Within my capacity of teaching various levels of tennis, I’ve had the opportunity to better understand how tennis is constantly evolving; not only from a local level, but from a global perspective as well. Of course we can’t talk about tennis as a whole, without first mentioning the success we’ve had in growing the game from the junior level.
According to a recent US Sports, Fitness & Recreation Participation Report, published by the Physical Activity Council (PAC), tennis continues to lead all sports in long-term participation growth with kids ages 6-17, which is up 31% from the years 2000-2012. The only other ‘traditional’ sport (baseball, basketball, football, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, ice hockey & fishing) with positive growth was gymnastics, up 5% in terms of participation. The extensive growth of junior tennis comes from a collaborative and concerted effort from organizations like USTA and programs or initiatives such as 10 & Under Tennis, NJTL, Junior Team Tennis, etc. While the game is seeing over 17 million junior players; 5.2 million frequent players (those playing 21 times or more per year), there are some hindrances within the U.S. that keep us from a global success. Very specifically, one cause is the lack of technical training. Players being taught easier, inferior or even ineffective techniques from the beginning, just to “get them playing,” very seldom will ever reach their full potential, despite athleticism and determination. It’s critical that coaches and professionals understand the need to teach “Advanced Foundation,” (proper grips, strokes, footwork, etc) from day one. The mentality is, “It’ll be easy to change later.” Wrong. It becomes more difficult to change bad habits, form, etc, especially the older the player.
Bottom line: It’s important we teach “Advanced Foundation,” adjusting for ability, from the beginning.
As research has shown tennis is a “sport for life,” not all players are looking to compete in matches, leagues, etc. Some are looking for fun drop-in tennis, mixers or to simply keep in shape! Cardio Tennis has continued to bridge the gap between tennis and fitness and has had tremendous growth since its inception in 2005. Cardio Tennis has grown to over 1.4 million players, surpassing “old school” racquet sports like squash, in terms of overall participants. It’s fun, it’s fast, it’s social and there’s heart-pumping music to play to. What’s not to love for the fitness junkie and tennis lover?
Longevity of Tennis Players
Finally, we can’t neglect to talk about pro tennis. After all, these are our childhood idols, the players we try to emulate and the ones we watch on a daily basis (Ok, maybe that’s just me). In terms of tennis careers and longevity for players: 30s are the new 20s. In the past decade, players have become far more likely to extend their careers into their late 30s. Compared to basketball, gymnastics, baseball and volleyball, trends have remained constant, whereas tennis is evolving. Why? Professional tennis is a power sport w/ more emphasis on overall athleticism—older players have figured out how to last. How have they done this? Previous generations used to simply focus on technical skills, whereas current trends are veering toward speed, endurance, minimizing recovery time and strength. With a broader focus on full-body training, players are able to increase their staying power on tour.
Pickleball in Southwest Florida has become a hot topic word for several reasons. You hear about the popularity of the sport, the dangers of the sport and more recently, the noise issue of the sport.
Many communities have adopted the sport as part of their amenity package. Some start with two courts and some start with eight courts. The numbers are driven by activity. Most public courts will be totally booked at various times of the day and night depending on lighting on the courts. Private courts are typically under more controlled times of play unless their Pickleball courts are isolated away from homes and other amenities.
Along with its popularity, Pickleball has created several issues which with instruction and forethought can be avoided. Pickleball is typically played on what is considered a hard surface. Usually asphalt with some type of coating or liner. This can produce issues with joint pain and injuries from the physical demands of the game and improper positioning during play. Posting a simple sign with play tips can help to avoid some of this problem. Tell players to stretch and warm-up. Warn them about balance on quick moves and the danger of moving incorrectly. Many players will show up for Pickleball never having played it or any sport before.
Noise is also an issue with Pickleball. You have a hard paddle hitting a plastic hollow ball on a hard court. This makes for a constant Bick-Bock effect. This noise put too close to normally quiet areas like a pool, clubhouse or private homes can create a real problem for everyone involved. Today, it is important for Pickleball court placement to be well planned and well thought out. With the proper plan, noise issues can be avoided. Pickleball vendors have also come up with sound panels for courts to aid those who already may have their courts in a poor position for noise.
Whatever the issues, it is evident that Pickleball is here to stay and will more than likely continue to grow in popularity as a sport.
Are you struggling to lose weight? Is this directly related to what and how much you eat?
If you’re ready to take action, there’s no better time than now to start counting calories. By doing so, you’ll gain a better understanding of what you’re eating, how much you’re eating, and the impact each bite has on your weight and overall level of health.
Even if you’ve never counted calories in the past, getting started is every bit as simple as it sounds. As long as you have the desire and dedication, you can get started in no time. Here are three tips to follow:
1. Know Your Body
In short, you must understand your optimal daily caloric intake for weight loss. While many people use 2,000 calories as a jumping off point, this doesn’t necessarily work for everyone.
Talk to your doctor and nutritionist about your optimal daily caloric intake. Once you know this number, you can count calories to ensure that you don’t exceed it.
2. Keep a Journal
This doesn’t have to be anything advanced. It’s simply meant to help you track how many calories you consume, as well as the manner in which you’re doing so.
You can also use your journal to track your progress, take notes on things you should and shouldn’t be doing, and to motivate yourself.
Tip: at the end of each day, week, and month, review your journal with an eye toward your progress and what you attribute it to. This can help you adjust your plan for better results in the future.
3. Plan Meals in Advance
One of the biggest challenges of counting calories is doing so when you don’t know what you’ll eat over the course of a day.
You may not be able to plan every bite of food in advance, but do your best so you’ll have a clear idea of what you’ll consume in the hours to come. By doing so, it’s easier to stay below your recommended daily caloric intake.
With these three tips on counting calories, it won’t be long before you know exactly how many calories you’re consuming each and every day. Making Estero Country Club part of your exercise routine can aid in making better decisions in regards to your health, diet, and physical fitness.
Challenge yourself to a game of tennis with your friends, play 18 holes on one of the best golf courses in Fort Myers, or retreat to our new Precor Fitness Studio and newly remodeled fitness facilities. Enjoy an unforgettable and healthy time at Estero Country Club.
At Estero Country Club, we take great pride in providing our members with the best service and amenities across the board.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noticed two things about country clubs nationwide and those located in Southwest Florida:
The overall number of golf and country clubs throughout the country is declining
The best (and most popular) clubs in Southwest Florida are changing with the times
According to a recent article by Naples Daily News, private clubs across Southwest Florida have spent tens of millions of dollars to upgrade the member experience – and that’s just the start of what’s to come.
Participation On and Off the Course is Important
Country club members are searching for the “total experience.” While it’s important for them to have access to a professional course, many people are looking for more than that.
They’re searching for:
- Top of the line restaurants
- Fitness centers
- Tennis courts
- Swimming pools and spas
- Entertainment venues
- Rental opportunities
Several years ago, we realized that the country clubs of the past were no longer as attractive. For this reason, we decided to change with the times, such as by restoring our championship course and adding a comprehensive schedule of golf activities. Some of the other things our members now enjoy include:
- A limited number of golf memberships to keep crowds manageable
- Year-round golf programs
- Access to golf lessons
- Organized golf events
- Men’s and women’s golf associations
- A fully stocked golf shop
Country clubs across the country are looking for ways to not only retain current members but to also attract new ones.
Rather than sit back and hope for the best, Estero Country Club has taken the initiative. We know that other clubs in the region are upgrading their courses and facilities, so we’ve decided to do the same.
With many improvement projects in the works, we hope you’ll take the time to stop by and check us out.
Longer. Straighter. These are the words most frequently heard when listening to the marketing ads from golf equipment companies. If you pay attention to their advertisements, you will no doubt come away thinking that the best and most reliable way to improve your scores is to hit your driver farther off the tee and your irons longer from the fairway. Conventional wisdom states that it’s easier to hit an 8 iron than it is to hit a 7 iron, so if you just hit your driver a little longer you will have a shorter shot into the green. Because you are closer to the green, you will hit a shorter club on your approach shot, thereby hitting it closer to the hole. Being closer to the hole will result in fewer putts and by definition result in having a lower score. Okay, there is some amount of truth to that logic. But let me ask this question: if you are one that has taken advantage of all the technological advances, can you say that your scores have dropped proportionally? Is your handicap that much lower now than it was?
So, here’s a challenge that will enable you to determine whether the distance is a primary factor in helping you lower your scores, and it’ an easy one. Move up one tee box on every hole and see if your scores come down – spot yourself the extra distance without the new clubs. There are reams of data out there to suggest that your scores won’t be consistently better (although you may have more fun and play quicker).
My interest as a PGA Professional at Estero CC is to help members play better golf, not to sell more drivers. So, what do I suggest that will help you improve your scores? The short answer is to chip and putt better. I would love to see every member spend at least as much time chipping and putting as he or she spends on the driving range. Practice from the hole back to the tee. Place five tees in a circle around the cup 3-4 feet away and putt three balls from each location. Go around the circle twice and you have hit 30 putts; record how many you make out of 30. If you rarely miss that 4-footer, your scores will improve. Next, practice hitting long putts across the green. If you lag that 50-footer within a few feet, and you have gained confidence in your ability on those short ones, your scores will improve. Next go to the chipping green and hit ten chips from just off the green and putt them all out. Record how many times you get up and down in two shots. Your scores will improve. Now move a little farther from the hole and hit ten pitch shots to the green and record how many times you get up and down. The better you get at that, the better your scores will be. When you do go to the range, spend more time on hitting wedges than you do on hitting driver. Your scores will improve.
The golf staff is here to help you in any way we can – and we want to see your scores improve. Let us know how we can help!
Estero Country Club felt little to no impact from Tropical Storm Gordon. Other than ruining anyone’s outdoor barbeque plans the storm was mostly uneventful. We only received a total of an inch of rain and our new trees made it through unscathed. Grass growing continues to be the name of the game for the golf course maintenance department. We are pushing the turf on the front 9 as much as possible to encourage lateral growth in the hopes of the sprigs filling in faster. Everything is moving along as planned with no major set-back at this point.
Landscape work continues along the course. 400 Slash Pines and Cypress Trees were installed on holes 1, 2, 14 and 15 along the railroad tracks. We are expecting a delivery of 120 Sabal Palms next week which will be planted in the same area. Staff will continue working on the course, removing old landscaping and installing new in accordance with our landscape plan.
The remaining landscape work to be completed around the clubhouse focuses on the tennis court area. Plants are expected to be delivered this week along with additional mulch. Completion is not far away. The new Canary Island Date Palms have been installed at the front of the clubhouse along with new Zoysia grass sod and it looks spectacular!
Clarke Construction is scheduled to be on property beginning next week to continue with punch list items. They will also begin construction of the new landscape retaining wall that is to be installed out back of the clubhouse. After this is complete, work will begin on installing the “Bunker Solutions” bunker liner on certain bunkers with high faces to prevent wash-outs. They will also be putting the ‘G-Angle” bunker sand into the traps and compacting with a plate compactor to a depth of 6 inches. We expect all this work to be complete by early October.
Please enjoy this week’s drone videos!
Through the first three weeks of August, we have recorded 7.5” of rain here at Estero Country Club. As the overall water table in Southwest Florida continues to rise, the golf course is beginning to get saturated. This is good news on the holes that we are still trying to grow grass on, however, it is bad news in other areas as we are trying to mow grass, fertilize, aerify and move large equipment around in general.
The golf course maintenance staff is spending a tremendous amount of time and effort repairing “wash-outs” after these rains. The soil is retrieved when possible but in many cases, new soil needs to be brought in. The ground is then leveled and compacted. We have begun sodding many of the reoccurring problems in the hopes that when established the root system will hold the soil in place and prevent future wash-outs. This is a very slow, tedious process that is all a part of growing in a golf course in the summer in Southwest Florida.
The front 9 holes continue to grow-in nicely. Weekly fertilization continues, and we have begun mowing tees, fairways, roughs and greens on the first holes that were planted 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8. The remaining holes are about 2 weeks behind will catch up soon enough.
We remain on schedule and our opening will be based on the weather over the next 6 weeks. Although the back 9 may look almost playable from the road, I can assure you that there is much work still to be done and we ask you to please continue to observe the no entry signs as all the turf is still very fragile. We have found a few golf balls on the course and we ask that you refrain from any player on the course until we are open.
Many areas along lake banks still need to be grown in along with some spots on fairways and roughs. Smoothing of the playing surfaces continues through aerification, rolling and sand top-dressing and will be ongoing over the next month. We will soon begin to lower the mowing heights, slowly bringing them down to playing condition height over the next 6 weeks. This is not something we want to rush, as we do not want to stress the plant that is still in the growing in process.
Our goal to have the golf course construction completed and all grass planted by July 31st has been achieved!
Sprigging crews installed the last of the Latitude 36 rough sprigs around the practice area on Tuesday morning. This is a big accomplishment and was necessary to keep the overall project on schedule. Although the entire course has been grassed, it will be necessary over the next couple of months to bring in sod occasionally to repair washouts and sod areas that are slow to come along such as on mounds, slopes, and lake banks. At this point, the grow-in process remains on schedule despite a nearly 3-week stretch in mid-July without a drop of rain. We have caught a few small rain showers over the last couple of days and we are hoping this is a sign of things to come. The most important factor at this point in plant growth is soil moisture. Our irrigation pumps are running at 100% virtually 24 hours a day. With our extremely sandy soil profile here at Estero Country Club sometimes the irrigation alone is not enough. That is when we depend on timely rain showers to saturate the soil. The most difficult areas to manage moisture is on hills, mounds, slopes and along lake banks. We all know that water tends to roll downhill and lake banks are always a challenge due to a lack of irrigation coverage in these areas.
Clarke Construction will remain on site over the next month or so completing the cleanup and punch list items.
- The remainder of the brick pavers for the practice area has been delivered. The installation will continue later this week and be completed by the end of next week.
- Landscape install at the Clubhouse continues. We are expecting the last couple of trees, Canary Island Date Palms, to be delivered and installed next week. Mulch has been delivered and staff will begin installation as plant material is positioned in the ground.
- The delivery and installation of nearly 140 trees for the front 9 of the golf course will begin next week. This delivery of trees does not include any of the trees that are designated for the railroad track area. That portion of the project will begin in about 3 weeks. Work on golf course landscaping will continue in the coming weeks as we finish the Clubhouse portion of the project.
- The sprigs and sod on the back 9 have finally reached a point that we can begin applying herbicides to combat the heavy weed pressure. Our goal is to have about 60% grass coverage before we begin the herbicide application process to prevent any damage to the sprigs and/or sod. During the grow-in process, we fully expect to see an abundance of weeds throughout the course. Excess water increased fertilizer amounts, and bare soil is a perfect storm and ideal condition for weed growth.
- With the greens being planted in 3 different phases, each set is at a different stage in the grow-in process. The first greens to be sprigged, the back 9, have achieved about 90% grass coverage in just 8 weeks. They are being mowed frequently and in fact, we even did a verticut for the first time last week. We have also started to back off the fertilization slightly on these as an abundance of Nitrogen is simply not necessary. The second set to be planted, the Putting Green, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8 are almost 3 weeks old and mowed for the first time on Monday. Weekly top-dressing, rolling and fertilization continues as they are filling in ahead of schedule. The final set to be grassed, the Chipping Green, Nursery Green, 1, 4, 5 and 9 are approaching their 2nd week in the ground and it won’t be long before they catch up to the second set.
Check out our first update!
Senior Golf Tips
As a senior, your golf game may not be as strong as it was in your younger days.
Fortunately, by adjusting your swing and practicing until you’re comfortable, you can continue to shoot low scores every time you hit the links.
As you age, it’s only natural to lose some of your flexibility. When this happens, producing the correct golf swing is easier said than done.
It’s never easy to age, especially as someone who enjoys golf, but there are a few tips you can use to improve your swing.
Check Your Stance
First things first, check your stance to determine if it’s too wide. The wider your stance the more difficult it is to achieve the necessary range of motion in your hips.
By narrowing your stance, you will immediately notice an increase in the range of motion of your lower body.
Tip: this also puts less stress on your hips, thus allowing you to avoid injuries and/or soreness.
Once you adjust your stance, it’s time to focus on foot position. This can mean many things, so here’s the one detail you need to remember: as a right-handed golfer, your left foot should point at 11 o’clock and your right foot at 1 o’clock.
If your right foot is pointing more toward 11 or 12 o’clock, it’s more difficult to turn your hips on your backswing.
Practice Makes Perfect
You can’t expect to change your golf swing overnight. Instead, you need to practice your new swing, time and time again, until it feels natural.
Here’s a training exercise to help you get started:
- Point your left foot toward 10 o’clock
- Take a few practice swings to get a feel for the stance
- Once you practice a few times, speed things up until you’re at “full power”
- Continue to narrow your stance, always making sure your right foot is at 1 o’clock and your left foot is at 10 o’clock
With this exercise guiding you, along with regular practice, you can adjust your golf swing as a senior to better suit your age, health and playing style.
The front 9 is coming together and we are on track to meet our grassing goals for the remaining holes. This past month has been a challenge as we are trying to grow grass, begin cultural practices on the back while also preparing the front 9 for grassing. By the end of the month we should have everything grassed and we can focus our attention on executing our landscape plan for the golf course.
- The final six greens to be grassed, the chipping green, nursery green, 1, 4, 5 and 9 will be completed this Friday, July 20. The previously grassed greens are growing and on schedule.
- Holes 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8 fairways, tees and roughs were all grassed this past week. You will see irrigation running continuously throughout the day to keep adequate moisture levels in the soil and keep the sprigs cool.
- Much irrigation work is being performed by our staff to prepare these areas for grassing. As greens, bunkers and tees are altered and moved, so must our irrigation piping, electric and sprinkler heads. This is a large undertaking that requires time and labor.
- Final shaping is taking place on holes 1, 4, 5, 9 and the practice area and we can expect to start seeing grass laid next week. We expect all grassing to be complete on the golf course by July 31.
- On the back 9, we have begun cultural practices – mowing, aerifying, verticutting, top-dressing and fertilizing the tees, roughs, and fairways, pushing them to grow and smooth out as soon as possible. During the grow-in process, it is common to see an abundance of weeds growing in the new turf. With areas of soil exposed, this creates a void where weeds tend to thrive. When we achieve approximately 60% coverage of turf, we can begin herbicide applications to combat the weed pressure and not risk damaging the growing sprigs. Some spraying has begun in areas that are filling in quickly while others are still a week or two away.
- Landscape installation at the Clubhouse is now underway. The golf course maintenance staff will be extremely busy over the next couple of weeks, as the majority of the nearly 4,300 trees, plants and flowers are planted by our “in-house” staff. Upon completion, sod will be installed around the Clubhouse and we will then resume with the golf course landscaping.
- Areas that were “washed out” or damaged during the torrential rains that we experienced last Tuesday are being worked on. Soil that was washed away was retrieved and put back in place where possible, many areas required bringing in new soil to fill the washouts. Areas that may be continuous washout areas will be sodded vs. sprigged where necessary. This is a time consuming, painstaking process that unfortunately is inevitable living in Southwest Florida in the summertime. Keep your fingers crossed that we do not experience another storm like this for some time.
Check out the first video update!
Want to see the rest? Check out our YouTube page!