Orlando, Florida is known for making people smile. Some even proclaim it as the happiest place on earth (Disney World)! I found my happy place on our last visit. On our descent into Orlando, seated on the right side of the airplane, my smile began as I opened up the shade to look out my window. Directly beneath me, was the largest outdoor tennis center I had ever seen. It had tennis courts as far as the eye could see (and I was in a plane)! I knew immediately that this beautiful, tennis lover’s dream, was the brand new USTA National Campus (United States Tennis Association) Lake Nona, Orlando, Florida.
A couple of years ago we heard a rumor that the state-of-the-art, USTA National Campus that was scheduled to open in early 2017. We could not wait to check it out (Tip: You must pre-register online to book tennis court time, or to participate in tennis clinics at the USTA National Campus). In May 2018, our opportunity to visit and play tennis at this facility finally arrived!
Prior to our Orlando, Florida trip, we reserved a tennis court online (fun fact: This facility has 100 lighted tennis courts). Our tennis court reservation options included surface choices were har-tru, Team USA, Family Zone 60, Family Zone 36, Collegiate (Smart Court Pro) or Team USA (Smart Court Pro) and then court time selection (Team USA court time cost was $12/hour, har-tru was $15/hour). We noticed that there was an option for drop in drills, or open social doubles play (other options listed on the website). We checked out the times and levels to see if it matched our availability and skill set. Luckily, we found a doubles live ball drill that started at 10am. We booked two of the last three spots in the tennis clinic online (tip: There was no cost associated with registering to play at the USTA National Campus) The cost of the clinic was $27/person/hour.
The campus was absolutely beautiful. As we walked into the welcome center, we noticed a large group checking in for their tennis tournament (Over 55 USTA sectionals tournament). There was a lot of tennis going on! We checked in to the reception area, where we were greeted and instructed where to report to, for the drill. We made sure we had time to check out the racquet bar (racquet stringing team), and the very large Pro Shop (tip: with a $50 purchase you were given a commemorative US Open tennis ball. The salesperson gave it to me and said, a famous tennis pro could have played their match with this ball during the US Open).
When we walked around the campus, we noticed youth courts, with short fences and small courts with age appropriate lines. As a PTR (Professional Tennis Registry) Teaching Instructor, I was super excited to see the enthusiasm of the tennis coaches with the children on the court on the way to our tennis drill.
During our tennis clinic, the courts had no more than six people on the court at the time. The Teaching Tennis Pros kept the live ball drills moving, and we played out more doubles points than we could imagine in the hour drill! The drill was fantastic. We were only in Orlando, Florida area for a day, but when we return we will definitely play tennis at the beautiful campus, and maybe stay longer to take advantage of their adult tennis camps (tennis tip: children, adult, wheelchair and other tennis programs).
The USTA National Campus, fit in well, with the happiest place on the planet, Orlando, Florida! So, on your way to or from the Orlando airport, we encourage all tennis lovers to stop and play some tennis! And, if you a flying into the Orlando airport, try sitting on the right side by the window and look down right before you land!
Place of Interest: USTA National Campus, 10000 USTA Blvd, Orlando, Blvd. 32827, 407-675-2500