Club membership in Tennis can be expensive or not, as evidenced by the following examples:
La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club (La Jolla): Initiation for a full membership: $50,000, annual dues $4,650
La Costa Resort & Spa (Carlsbad): Initiation for a Tennis/Fitness membership: $16,500, monthly $195
Rancho Valencia Resort (Rancho Santa Fe): Initiation $2,400, monthly $120
San Diego Tennis & Racquet Club (San Diego): Initiation $990, monthly $135
Bobby Riggs Tennis Club (Encinitas): Initiation $300, monthly $70
Balboa Tennis Club (San Diego): $155 per year, no court fees
Kit Carson Park (Escondido): Free
What are you getting for your money? Well, La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club (with a 10 year waiting list!) and La Costa Resort, as well as Rancho Valencia provide matches with members for you. Rancho Valencia is the prettiest facility (Top 5 in the country) but doesn't have lights. SDT&R is extremely busy all the time, but has a nice big swimming pool. Bobby Riggs, with only 7 courts, is either very busy or totally empty, depending on the time and day of the week. Balboa has 25 courts, and somehow dim lights at night, but you can play pick-up tennis and use the challenge courts there every day. Kit Carson is known for its pick-up games on the weekends, but you have to be at least good intermediate level, otherwise you don't get to play much.
But, don't let your heart be troubled, there is another alternative for San Diego tennis players, especially for those who don't know any other players: San Diego Tennis Network and San Diego Tennis Exchange. Two groups that provide organized doubles and mixed doubles match play on many weeknights and on the weekends, at different facilities, and they are affordable! Another good news: they co-operate with each other and you find many of their members at both organization's events.
San Diego Tennis Network (TN) http://www.tennis-sandiego.com/
Operates mainly in North County. Plays at different facilities, such as Surf & Turf (Del Mar), San Dieguito (Encinitas), Rancho Valencia Resort (Rancho Santa Fe), Morgan Run Resort (Rancho Santa Fe). The mixers are all levels from 3.0 to 4.5 and they match up the levels pretty good. TN has 3 Social Directors arranging all sorts of activities from regular parties to ski trips, dancing, race track and Padres, bowling, softball, etc.
San Diego Tennis Exchange (TN) http://www.sandiegotennisexchange.com/
Operates mainly in San Diego. Plays at different facilities, such as Barnes Tennis Center, Lake Murray, Downtown Marriott, Surf & Turf in Del Mar, University City Racquet Club. Their mixers are well organized, the owner has been doing this for 29 years!
Both organizations charge about the same. Annual $150, then there is a court fee of usually $5 per night. TN provides new balls. In October, both organizations do a few mixers together, plus a big weekend trip to fabulous Shadow Mountain in Palm Desert, and the popular annual Halloween Party in Encinitas.
If you want to have tennis always organized for you, want to play with and meet new people, want to see different facilities and save some money, and like the idea of social networking, TN or TE are the way to go, for sure. Check them out and say hi from Rich. I play with both regularly once or twice a week. I don't know if they will give you a discount when you mention my name, but it can't hurt, right?