The county is installing courts in Andrews as part of the Capital Improvement Plan. A tennis pro has also been hired to grow the sport in the county.
By Chris Sokoloski
In the two months since David Bromberg was hired as Georgetown County's tennis pro, he has been busy getting the new Waccamaw Regional Tennis Center ready for its grand opening.
The center, which is part of the $915,000 first phase of the Stables Park project, is off to a slow start. A free play day had to be canceled because construction work is not complete.
Waccamaw High School's girls tennis team was also supposed to start playing at the center, but the girls will continue to play at Wachesaw for the time being.
Bromberg was hired not only to run the tennis center, but also to grow the sport of tennis in Georgetown County.
"I want to get to the masses," Bromberg said. "Most tennis facilities are private country clubs so the masses can't get out there and use the tennis courts."
The county is installing courts in Andrews and Choppee as part of the Capital Improvement Plan.
Bromberg has been working with the Boys and Girls Clubs, playing pickleball - which is similar to tennis - at the Beck Recreation Center twice a week, and recently conducted a free program at Waccamaw Elementary School.
"It's about encouraging the kids and showing them what tennis is all about," he said.
He's planning school programs across the county, especially for younger kids "You give them a little taste, and if they like they can follow up on it," he said.
Eventually Bromberg would like to hire people for part-time positions to work with kids at facilities in other parts of the county. The key, he said, is to make sure all the pros are on the same page and using the same teaching methods.
"It takes pros who know what they're doing to make it fun for the kids and make sure they're learning something and improving."
Bromberg is working on a schedule for adult and youth programs at the center, and expects adult leagues will begin in the spring. He's hoping to offer a variety of options for the leagues, to fit everyone's schedule.
The center has both hard courts and clay courts.
Hard courts are "a young man's surface," Bromberg said, hotter and harder on the joints.
Clay courts are cooler and easier on the joints, prone to bad bounces and slower shots.
"I'm a big proponent of clay," Bromberg said. "It allows you to learn the game better because you have to construct your points more. Clay courts are a slower surface so you can't just hit it 100 miles per hour and the ball is going to get by the person."
Bromberg wants to attract high school tournaments to the facility.
"My hope is to attract three or four high school tournaments per season," Bromberg said. "Three or four in the spring and three or four in the fall."
Bromberg expects the rental fee to use the facility for the tournaments to be between $200 and $400 per team.
There will also be fees to play in the leagues or for casual competition. People can pay yearly or monthly subscription, or pay as they play.
Bromberg has submitted a fee proposal to the county and is awaiting approval.
The county will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the tennis center on Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. Bromberg is trying to get some local pros together for an exhibition match that day.
There will also be a ceremony that day on the other side of Stables Park where the new multi-purpose fields are located.
To keep up with what's going on at the tennis center, check out its Facebook page, "Waccamaw Regional Tennis Center at Stables Park."
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