Playing tennis is a popular sport in Bermuda, both with residents and visitors. It was introduced to the island shortly in the late 19th century shortly after its inception in England.
Most of Bermuda’s tennis courts are found at the resorts and larger hotels and some of these allow non-guests to use them. Other courts can be found at private clubs such as the Pomander Gate Tennis Club. Public courts include the Kindley Community Tennis Courts, the court at Admiralty House Park, and those at the WER Joell Tennis Stadium and the Port Royal Golf Course.
Despite the island’s strong ties to the UK, there are no grass courts in Bermuda.
|Admiralty House Park||Pembroke Parish||1||Free court in public park.|
|Cambridge Beaches||Sandys Parish||3||Private instruction with tennis professional available.|
|Coco Reef||Paget Parish||2||Free for hotel guests.|
|Elbow Beach||Paget Parish||5||Hotel guests enjoy 1 hour of free play each day. Non-guests are welcome to use the courts but fees apply. Pro-shop rents racquets and sells tennis balls. Private lessons available.|
|Fairmont Southampton||Southampton Parish||6||Fees apply for both hotel guests and others. Lessons available. Tennis shop sells equipment and clothing.|
|Government Tennis Stadium - WER Joell Tennis Stadium||Pembroke Parish||8||Open to all but fees apply.|
|Grotto Bay||Hamilton Parish||4|
|Kindley Community Tennis Courts||St George’s Parish||3||Free public courts on former US base.|
|Newstead Belmont Hills||Paget Parish||2|
|Pink Beach Club||Smith's Parish||2||Complimentary racquets and balls for guests.|
|Pomander Gate Tennis Club||Paget Parish||5||Private tennis club. Visitors can join as temporary members.|
|Pompano Beach Club||Southampton Parish||1||Free for guests. Racquets and balls can be borrowed from the front desk.|
|Port Royal Golf Course||Southampton Parish||4|
|Rosewood Tucker's Point||Hamilton Parish||4|
Private tennis lessons can be booked at most of the major hotels in Bermuda and at facilities such as the WER Joell Tennis Stadium. They are, by their very nature, expensive.
A cheaper option for residents is to take one of the tennis courses offered by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs. Tennis lessons are of many courses offered under the Community Education and Development Programme. Courses run 3 times a year and last 8 weeks (1 term).
Courses are held throughout the year at the WER Joell Tennis Stadium, Kindley Community Tennis Courts, and the Port Royal Golf Course. Choose whichever location is best for you. Lessons for both beginners and intermediate players are offered. Rates are cheap. For example in 2013 the rate for 8 introductory lessons is just $75. Tuition is in groups so don’t expect a great degree of personal attention. However, it’s cost effective and a great way to meet like-minded locals and expatriate workers. Courses for primary and middle school students are also offered. For more details visit the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs website.
Until recently the Coral Beach and Tennis Club used to host the XL Bermuda Open, part of the ATP Challenger Tour. It was cancelled after the 2008 tournament due to uncertainty surrounding the development of Coral Beach and has not returned.
One of the major tournaments currently held on the island is the ITF Beach Tennis International Tournament. It’s held in August at Horseshoe Bay and is free to watch.
How Bermuda introduced tennis to the US
Tennis as we know it today was devised in England in 1873 by Major Watler Clopton Wingfield, an officer in the British Army. The following year some of his fellow soldiers were posted to Bermuda and brought tennis equipment with them.
Mary Outerbridge, an American tourist, chanced upon the men playing a game and became intrigued. On returning home, Mary played a game at the Staten Island Cricket Club in New York and introduced the sport to the US.