ENCINITAS — Back in 1966, a small group of tennis enthusiasts, in search of courts, took matters into their own hands and established the San Dieguito Tennis Club (SDTC).
They could not have known then how the club would grow, and that 50 years later what started out as a small family club has transformed into a gathering place for tennis lovers and their families to enjoy all levels of competitive and social tennis.
Today the club is a nine-court facility with a pool and a large beautiful clubhouse.
The club sponsors nearly every level of competitive play for men and women of all ages and abilities. The club fields men’s and women’s United States Tennis Association (USTA) leagues for 3.0 through 4.5, mixed doubles leagues and various non-USTA leagues as well. In fact, this past year both San Dieguito’s men’s and women’s winter BB leagues took first place in the North County division.
In addition to league play, there is as much social tennis as anyone could want, with a player mentoring program and coordinated weekly women’s and men’s tennis nights. “Our club has the lowest player-to-court ratio around,” Dick Sanders, SDTC’s current president, pointed out. “We pride ourselves on our welcoming atmosphere and we cater to all levels of play. You can come out and play competitive or social tennis, play a game of pickle ball or join in our monthly tennis social mixers or indulge in our wine club events.”
The club is its own community with members not only finding great tennis, but wonderful friendships. Club members often celebrate holidays together at the club and get together for events away from the club, attending the Del Mar Races, tennis tournaments and Aviator events each year.
This month the club will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a grand party. During the first week of August the club will host a high-level USTA junior’s tournament. Junior tennis has become an important part of SDTC with year-round clinics and summer camps. In fact, many of the players on the 2016 CIF Champion San Dieguito Academy Boys Tennis team trained with SDTC pros.
Sanders believes that one important difference between SDTC and other clubs is that SDTC is member-owned. “We own the building and the land and we have a vested interest in maintaining a beautiful and inviting club — and it shows,” he said.
Another thing that distinguishes SDTC from other clubs is the convenient and beautiful location — the club is tucked away in a picturesque hillside in Encinitas just north of Mira Costa College — less than five minutes off the 5 freeway.
According to Sanders, the members truly think of the club as a hidden gem. Many of the new members are longtime North County residents who were completely unaware of the club before discovering it through friends. One of the more recent members joined about two months ago. “He was moving down from L.A. and stopped in to have his racquet strung,” he said. “He happened to show up during one of our monthly mixers and was invited to join us for dinner.
He was taken by the club’s beautiful setting and impressed with the incredibly friendly and welcoming atmosphere. And now he’s a member.”
Sanders encourages anyone who is interested in family-oriented, competitive tennis to come down and visit the club to see for themselves. “There is always something fun happening here,” he said.
San Dieguito Tennis Club is located at 1414 Tennis Club Drive. For more information, visit sandieguitotennis.com or call (760) 942-9725.