GRASS..there’s not much left in Sydney now.
Real grass that is, with most tennis courts being constructed of synthetic grass.
Hunters Hill Tennis Club (previously the Hunters Hill Lawn Tennis Club) which kicked off way back in 1889 still is a real lawn grass centre.
The club is on the look out for new members, so here is your chance to improve your fitness and play a great game.
Five courts and a clubhouse cater for a wide range of players.
Our youngest player Lily Logue is only 15 and happens to be the current Ladies club champion.
On the other hand we have Tom Grozier who has been a member more than 50 years and recently won two vital sets in a match against Royal Sydney.
* * *
HUNTERS HILL Tennis Club is one of the oldest tennis clubs in Sydney and one of the few remaining clubs with all lawn courts.
This is an especially proud achievement when you realise we are a club, which for its entire history, has been run by members in a voluntary capacity.
Although it is thought that the club’s origin dates as far back as the 1860s, our first dated, authenticated record are club rules dating from 1894.
However, we also have a set of Handicap Tournament Rules that it is thought to date from 1884.
* * *
UNTIL THE 1920s the club played from different venues within Hunters Hill, but in May 1922 land was purchased on the present site at the corner of Woolwich Road and Jeanneret Avenue.
In July that year construction of four courts commenced. At this time H.M. Shelley personally purchased additional land for his own court, for exclusive use by the ladies.
This court is now known as Court 5 but it is no longer the preserve of women only.
To this day the club holds a special annual tournament called ÔThe Shelley Doubles in memory of Mr Shelleys’ numerous contributions to the club, not the least of which was his eventual sale of Court 5 to the club at a minimal cost.
Officially opened for play on June 23, 1923 by Mayor Alderman W A Windeyer, the courts then were basically as they are today.
* * *
THE CLUB has always operated as a small not-for-profit organisation and has for the past 100 plus years relied on the generosity of its members who have worked unselfishly to enable the club to prosper while other clubs unfortunately have not been as successful.
A number of well-known players such as Sir Alan Watt, Lew Hoad, John Newcombe and Wally Masur have graced the courts as have well-known Hunters Hill identities such as R. D. Fitzgerald, H. S. Lloyd, E.S. Jeanneret and E.R. Barker.
* * *
IN 1960 the Hunters Hill Tennis Club Limited was formed. Membership was expanding and like today, players were coming from surrounding areas, unlike the early days when membership had been restricted to Hunters Hill residents.
It was at this time that the present day clubhouse was built.
During the year the club holds a number of special social events to honour the history of the club and some of its past members.
However for those who are keen for a bit more competition, the club also holds annual internal club championships as well as competing in the Sydney Badge competition.
If you used to play tennis and are a bit rusty but keen to play again thatÕs no problem – we can organise tennis tutors to get you tuned up.
Our club is community minded and friendly.
Visit us at huntershilllawntennis.com.au or contact Roger 9817-0566.
We really look forward to hearing from you.
ROGER BRITTAIN is secretary of Hunters Hill Tennis Club