Highly acclaimed for its championship golf and elegant amenities, Mission Resort + Club has also established itself as a perfect destination for racquet sports enthusiasts.
Whether you play tennis, pickleball, or beach tennis, they’ve got you covered. Nestled among the rolling hills of Central Florida’s Lake County, the resort features six Har-Tru Green Clay tennis courts, a Laykold all-weather court, four pickleball courts, and beach tennis courts for singles and doubles.
Take A Lesson
Regardless of your talent level, there is a place for you to flourish as former Bolivian Davis Cup player Cesar Villarroel operates an academy. Listed among the Top 100 Tennis Coaches in the USA by Peterson’s Tennis Camps and Clinics, Villarroel guides a team of three other professionals to assist him in offering private lessons and clinics in all three of the racquet disciplines.
“We have a lot of programs at that we offer for the members and also for non-members alike,” said Villarroel, who is longtime Director of Racquet Sports at the resort. “We host clinics and spend a significant part of the day providing private and semi-private lessons involving two players. so, bring a friend.
Villarroel is a USPTA Elite professional instructor certified through the National Endurance Fitness Training Association and the Professional Tennis and Pickleball Registries. While tennis has been a dominant factor throughout his life, he is excited to be working in two other sports that have exploded in popularity worldwide in recent years.
“We also offer cardio tennis – and that is for players who want to get in better shape. It’s not a lot of technique correction, it’s mostly drills with intervals, five minutes at full speed then one minute rest. The goal is to get the heart rate going high and then slowing it down. It’s a good workout. The average player probably burns at least 500 calories in a one-hour clinic.”
The Place For Pickleball And Beach Tennis
Pickleball has been the fastest-growing participatory sport in the United States for the last three years. Beach tennis is now poised to take off in North America after surging in popularity throughout Europe, especially in Italy, Brazil and Spain.
“With pickleball, assume that I have a clinic of eight players,” said Villarroel. “I can teach them the basics in probably 40 minutes and then they will be able to play a match. So, they learn in one day what in tennis would take probably a month before you could take part in a rally. That explains the popularity of pickleball.”
Think of Pickleball as the intersection of ping pong, badminton, and tennis and was invented by three vacationers on Bainbridge Island near Seattle.
Beach tennis, however, combines elements of tennis and volleyball and, as its name suggests, takes place on sand. The sport is now played in over 50 countries by more than half a million people.
“Here in the United States, beach tennis has just started, and it’s huge,” said Villarroel. “One of our pros plays professional beach tennis, so we are creating a training center here and will offer complimentary clinics to grow interest and participation in this fun and healthy pursuit.
Mission Resort + Club Resort Offers So Much To Do
If you live in visit Central Florida or are planning a visit and want a memorable experience, then this is the perfect destination for you. Features include fine dining with four restaurants, two lounges, and a poolside bar.
In addition to championship golf, tennis, pickleball, and beach tennis, the property features jogging and cycling trails, volleyball courts, an outdoor pool, a spa, a fitness center, and a marina offering pontoon, bass boats, and kayaks for eco-touring. More than 30,000 square feet of well-appointed indoor and outdoor event space is available for meetings, banquets, holiday parties, weddings, and special occasions.
A Golfers Paradise Awaits
Located in the town of Howey-in-the-Hills, Mission Resort + Club is just a 35-minute drive northwest of Orlando or an 80-minute drive northeast of Tampa, and it is home to two championship golf courses, which are wonderfully complementary. The El Campeón (The Champion) layout, built in 1917 by George O’Neil, is one of the oldest courses in the South with a classic design featuring unusually sharp elevation changes in the typically flat central Florida terrain. It plays host to multiple professional, college, and high school tournaments. Las Colinas (The Hills) was created in 1992 by former PGA Tour winner Gary Koch, and it lives up to its name with wide fairways rolling over gentle rises. Both courses feature undulating greens surrounded by tropical vegetation and incorporate large water hazards on many holes.
If Tennis and Racquet Sports Is Part Of Your Plan, Then Cesar Villarroel Is Your Man!
“Every week, we have 70-80 players on our tennis courts and, if you also count our clinics, that number is probably over 100 players every week,” said Villarroel. “With 4 instructors and so many courts, we have room for more.”
Early birds bear the summer heat and start playing as early as 6 a.m., and afternoon activities, including junior clinics, to introduce youngsters to the game.
“We start teaching at seven in the morning and the last lesson of the day begins at seven in the evening because we are here to accommodate and exceed the needs of our resort guests and those who want to enjoy playing the games.”
For more information, please visit missioninnresort.com/resort/activities/tennis
Photos courtesy of Mission Resort + Club.