Idle Hour Tennis
Issue No. 5, 25 April 2013
Your Board of Directors, along with our members, have eagerly anticipated the coming of Spring and the pleasures of warmer days, which make possible the use of our HarTrue courts. A number of important suggestions have been made and plans proposed at recent Board meetings. The Spring Newsletter is intended to inform you about the work of the Board and to provide you information about planned activities for the season.
You can send us your questions, concerns, or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by placing a note in the suggestion box next to the phone in the club building. We are always looking for volunteers to help out with our social events and tennis activities.
Idle Hour Tennis Board of Directors
When will the courts open? Why do we have to wait so long? Why, oh why are we so impatient? Just the thought of playing tennis outside on the forgiving Har-Tru surface and my back, my knees, and my spirit feel stronger and younger. Whether we are in our eighties or much younger, the promise of Spring, of new life inspires us, awakens us out of hibernation.
I am often asked where I play tennis. When I tell them about Idle Hour, they are surprised that we have fourteen Har-Tru tennis courts, just off Route 3.
So, we must acquaint more people with the attractions of Idle Hour. We need your help. We have new IHTC car logos, which you can see at www.idlehourtennis.com, and obtain at the Pro Shop. I know that Idle Hour is one of the best kept secrets when it comes to outdoor tennis on the Eastern Mainline. It is time to share the news of our terrific facilities. For $360.00 a year, where else can you play tennis as much as you want, without reserving a court?
While the main courts were shut down for the winter, the Idle Hour Board has been planning for our 2013 season:
- A new storage shed will be placed next to the back hitting wall and the hard courts.
- Look for our Idle Hour banner flying at the entrance to the club.
- There will be more mixed doubles and round robins this season.
- Each member will receive two free guest passes to help spread the word out about Idle Hour to the tennis community. Contrary to what some tennis players think, we do not have a "waiting list." Help us dispel that myth and attract much needed new members.
- In future newsletters, look for information about our Preservation Fund, inspired by Walt Bodek's recent gift to the club.
See you on the courts,
New Member Committee
Welcome to all of our new members this year.
Our new member orientation will be held on Saturday, 11 May, at 1:00 p.m. You will meet our Board members, review the rules and regulations, learn how to sign up for court time, and be taken on a tour of our facility.
We want to help you integrate into any of our player groups, so please let us know when you like to play and what is your current ranking.
To determine your ranking, you may schedule a time to hit with our pro, Dennis Olenik, who will assess your abilities.
Committee members and phone numbers:
Barb Whitson 610-246-3126
Alleen Andre 610-209-3614
John Griffen 484-557-0295
Please call any committee member if you have questions.
Calendar of Events
Once again we look forward to the 2013 Spring season at IHTC. Besides great tennis, there are some social functions we want you to mark on your calendars. May 11, New Members OrientationJune 8, New Members Cocktail PartyJune 22, Mixed Doubles Round RobinJuly 11, Member Guest Day for Men and Women July 20, Mixed Doubles Round RobinAugust 24, Mixed Doubles Round RobinMore details to follow in our newsletters. See you on the courts.
Blue Pacific Junipers
On March 29, a wintry
Saturday morning, together with Carol Wenner, we purchased four pacific junipers from Shemins Nursery in Chadds Ford.
This plant, spreads its ocean-green foliage covered branches over the ground year-round. As it matures, it stretches a blue/green, welcome carpet along the paths leading to the near courts, warming the hearts of Idle Hour's guests and members.
Terry L. Irwin
Rules, Regulations, By-laws Committee
The 2013 Rules and Regulations Committee, comprised of Tony Soong, Acky Covington, and Bill Kupprion, proudly announces that it has no intention of reinventing the wheel. Current rules and regs may be found on the club bulletin board and on the web site.
Suggestions on improving the rules or amendments to the by-laws are welcome.
Welcome back for another year of great tennis at Idle Hour. We have a full schedule of men's and women's club tournaments planned for the 2013 season. They will be posted on the web site, and on the club bulletin board. When you make your plans to participate in the tournaments, please check your schedules carefully for conflicts that may prevent you from finishing a tournament.
We will be hosting several USTA tournaments as well as adult inter-club and league teams again this year. Check the club information sites for more details about these activities.
The spring women's inter-club league starts shortly and we still need players and a captain for the Philadelphia Cup 4 team. If you are interested please contact Dennis Olenik or Paul A. Painten.
Thanks and good hitting,
Paul A. Painten
Don Richardson Honored
Don Richardson, long-time member of Idle Hour, and Club Manager for more than 3 decades, was inducted into The Haverford School Hall of Fame on Saturday, 23 February 2013.
Don had taught at Haverford for 36 years, and was Chair of the Math Department for eight years. He was a prominent player and tennis executive, attaining the number one rank in Men's Senior Doubles.
His teams at the School won six consecutive Inter-AC championships from 1952-57 and a total of 14 championships during his coaching career.
Tru to Nature
After a cold and wet winter, always drearier for those who have seen more than they care to remember, the promise of Spring and Summer rejuvenates us. The spreading verdure and the pink and white magnolias, the way that nature seems to wash itself clean of the detritus of winter contribute to our illusions of recapturing our youth.
We head out to our beloved Har-Tru courts, so kind to our backs and joints, so helpful in dissipating the pains which try to dispel our illusions.
We must treasure the gift of this artificial clay that provides us so many hours of unpunished exertion. But we must also remember that it does not rejuvenate as miraculously as nature, since it was constructed by men. So we are responsible for nurturing it, and in this case that requires an understanding of the weaknesses wrought by many years of use and the punishment of floods and storms. Nature is uncaring about man's creations, and spares them no more than it spares its own.
As we enjoy the pleasures of our Har-Tru courts, let us not forget the efforts and even expense that they require to be maintained and renewed, so that members can continue to use them in the club's second hundred years.
Welcome back for another season of tennis and camaraderie.
We will continue to apply calcium chloride to maintain the moisture retention of the Har Tru surface. Our first application will be completed before May first. Let us hope that mother nature is gentle and cooperative this summer, but no matter what she throws our way, we will do everything to be ready for her whims.
We need everyone to recruit new members, since our current numbers are significantly down from 2012. The maximum membership is 525. Today, we are at 415 senior members, 11 new, 110 short of the maximum. There are 12 junior members.
Since dues are the main source of the club's revenues, it is crucial that we maximize the number of members.
We still offer a one-time $25 credit towards next year's dues for the primary sponsor of a new senior member. Full details are available on our website in the Membership Application tab.
Our website is : http://www.idlehourtennis.com
Idle Hour Needs You!
In our efforts to help promote our club to new members, the committee has come up with several ideas.
We will display posters and brochures at three area indoor tennis clubs to attract tennis players who are not aware of Idle Hour's attractions or location.
At a nominal fee, we will sell IHTC bumper stickers, which will be available in the pro shop by the end of April, and will let you proudly display your love of tennis and Idle Hour.
To encourage friends and family members to try out Idle Hour, the board has approved providing two free guest passes to each paid member. These passes should be used to bring potential new members to the club and will be used to recruit those who receive them.
We need your help to increase our membership numbers and to maintain our reasonable club dues.
- Joe SooHoo, chair, Bill Barton, Chris Rohner, Dom Sciubba, Carol Wenner
- Sports Builders has completed work on Har-Tru courts for the 2013 season. Courts are open.
- Performed walk through of courts
- Recommend $23,000 contract payment.
- Tarp cover experiment for courts 1 and 2 during the winter provided lessons and conclusions:
- It is necessary to remove tarps from courts quickly after a flood
- Tying tarps to fences and to each other was a success, but required too much time and effort.
- We need a way to secure tarps that is quick and easy, and does not require a lot of manpower.
- There should be two tarps per court to decrease the unit weight, and make them easier to handle.
- We must investigate the cost of hiring a contractor to transfer the tarps between the parking lot and the courts.
Gabion Berms - Low Flood Remediation
- In 2013, the property committee will continue to work on determining the costs and accomplishing the reconstruction of the berms.
Hitting Wall Repair
- Stucco surface on the front hitting wall has been repaired by the contractor Gavigan.
- Work passed final inspection.
- We recommend payment.
- We have investigated the costs and the various player rental options for a ball machine.
- The shed near the back hitting wall will be replaced.
Har-Tru Maintenance and Repair
From top surface down a properly constructed and maintained Har-Tru courts consists of
(1) a thin eight of an inch (1/8") layer of loose Har-Tru,
(2) a one inch (1") thick layer of bound Har-Tru, called the "base,"
(3) an underlayer of fine stone.
These were the elements in the construction when the courts were built in the early 1980s. The one inch thick base serves to retain water and provide a good playing surface. As this base becomes thinner, it retains less water.
The Har-Tru Problem
Over the years the weather, six floods, and six ensuing clean-ups have eroded the loose playing surface and the bound base. Every year, before opening the courts for the season, our contractor has patched up worn spots and replenished the loose Har-Tru playing surface but did not rebuild the base. This pre-season preparation adds 2 tons of Har-Tru to each court and costs a total of $23,000. After every flood IHTC has elected to have our contractor only patch up worn spots and replenish the loose Har-Tru playing surface and not to rebuild the base. After Hurricane Irene the courts were thus minimally replenished at a cost of about $25,000.
Over the intervening 30 plus years the base has become thinner, and has worn unevenly so that some spots are thinner than others. This has resulted in spots so thin that the underlying stone is no longer covered by the base. The uneven thickness causes tennis balls to bounce erratically, and the courts to lose the tilt that they had when they were constructed.
The Irrigation System
A second reason for not performing a full restoration has been that the galvanized piping irrigation system used to water the courts, also installed in the early 1980s, needs to be replaced. If it this is not done, IHTC may have to pay for having areas of the courts dug up to replace clogged or broken pipes. The logical approach is to replace the irrigation system before or at the same time as the courts are restored.
In recent years we have obtained quotes for the repair and replenish of the courts. The magnitude of these has been the primary reason for deciding each time on minimal restoration. The options are:
A. Irrigation system replacement - $32,000 total
B. 1. Installation of a 1/2" base, 18 tons of Har-Tru per court - $5,000 per court, $70,000 for 14 courts
2. Installation of a full 1" base, 36 tons of Har- Tru per court, at $10,000, or $140,000 for all 14 courts
Court Preservation in Event of Floods
As many members are aware IHTC has been experimenting with the use of tarps to protect the courts in the event of non-flash floods. Courts 1 and 2 were covered over the winter to assess effect on the environment. Although the test did not include flood conditions, the well-secured tarps successfully prevented erosion and other damage to the covered courts. Now that the design and the deployment of the tarps has been tested, it is the logistics of deploying, removing and storing the tarps which need to be resolved. The cost estimate of the tarps to protect our investment is about $20,000.
A second means of preventing flood damage is the restroation of the berms on the north side of IHTC. Although a final cost has not been determined, the estimated amount is about $20,000. The concurrence of the township has to be obtained.
After Hurricane Floyd in 1999, an emergency fund was established, which, upon approval by the membership, could be used to defray most or part of these costs.
Centennial History Books
Complimentary copies of The History of Idle Hour Tennis Club... are available in the Proshop.The on-line version is on the club's website: www. idlehourtennis.com Click on "The History of Idle Hour Tennis Club." Whether you have been a member for many decades and have vivid memories of the club's earlier years, or you are a new club member, you will enjoy the pictures, stories, and the finely crafted work of its authors.
There are still many copies available, so be sure to pick one up. You won't regret it. It is as much a pleasure reading this book as it is playing tennis with its contributors.
In memory of recent and past Idle Hour members, with condolences to their loved ones.
Bill Padula, died on 2 March 2013
Jim Foti, died on 16 April 2013