Low-cost tennis programming for new players
  | By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

The 1970s tennis boom has diminished
Thirty-eight years ago, Jim Donnelly opened Grand Slam Tennis. During that time, the amount of people playing tennis was fierce. The tennis clubs on Long Island were competing with one another to keep their players and help grow the game. Today, however, tennis needs a jump-start to re-invigorate the game we all know and love.

How can we regain interest in tennis?
Jim and Chase Donnelly, owners of Grand Slam Tennis, have developed the concept of Tennis 1,2,3 RIP, which stands for “Racquet + Instruction = Play.” This simple concept targets adults and adolescents while utilizing the new and innovative 10 & Under Tennis teaching tools. Tennis 1,2,3 RIP allows for an inexpensive and fun introduction to the sport of tennis.

Benefits of the program? 
Through Tennis 1,2,3 RIP, interested parties can learn to play tennis in a fun and controlled environment. Instruction is basic and the sport is introduced using low-compression and foam balls. Juniors will use a variety of racquets, ranging from 25- to 26-inches, and adults will use 27-inch racquets with two head sizes, 105- and 110-inches.

Who qualifies and how does the program work?
Ages six through adult are ideal candidates for the program. Interested parties can purchase a racquet from Grand Slam Tennis in Commack (23- to 25-inch racquet: $75 and 27-inch racquet for $100). Contact a participating tennis facility or the SCJTL to purchase your lesson package.

The end result
Jim and Chase formed and are launching the idea of Tennis 1,2,3 RIP in hopes of growing the sport. Jim spent a great deal of time contacting the area’s local facilities in hopes of getting them on board with the idea. All of the clubs agreed that tennis needs a jump-start in introducing new players to the sport and to grow the game in the future. Launching the Tennis 1,2,3 RIP program will introduce people to the sport of tennis at a low cost and provide them with a great time learning the game.

List of clubs participating in Tennis 1,2,3 RIP
Huntington Indoor Tennis
100 Broadway ♦ Huntington Station, N.Y.
(631) 421-0040

Setauket Tennis & Fitness
5 South Jersey Avenue ♦ East Setauket, N.Y.
(631) 751-6767

World Gym Setauket
384 Mark Tree Road  ♦ East Setauket, N.Y.
(631) 751-6100

Eastern Athletic Club
100 Ruland Road ♦ Melville, N.Y.
(631) 753-3696

Eastern Athletic Club
854 East Jericho Turnpike ♦ Dix Hills, N.Y.
(631) 271-6616

SPORTIME Bethpage Tennis, Long Island Home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy
101 Norcross Avenue ♦ Bethpage, N.Y.
(516) 933-8500

275 Old Indian Head Road ♦ Kings Park, N.Y.
(631) 269-6300

175 Merrick Road ♦ Lynbrook, N.Y.
(516) 887-1330

SPORTIME Massapequa
5600 Old Sunrise Highway ♦ Massapequa, NY 11758
(516) 799-3550           

2571 Quogue-Riverhead ♦ East Quogue, NY 11959
(631) 653-6767

Landing Road, PO Box 1 ♦ Roslyn, NY 11576
(516) 484-9222

SPORTIME Syosset Tennis & Multi-Sport
75 Haskett Drive ♦ Syosset, NY 11791
(516) 364-2727 

For more information, contact Grand Slam Tennis at (631) 499-6444. Grand Slam Tennis is located at 214 Commack Road in Commack, N.Y. Or, contact Joe Arias of the Suffolk County Junior Tennis League (SCJTL) at (631) 590-5019.