Beach Tennis Tournament Coming to Mission Resort + Club

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Lifestyle

Long known for its successful tennis programs, Central Florida’s Mission Resort + Club, on May 2-5 will host a Beach Tennis USA tournament sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation. The event is expected to attract nearly 300 professional and amateur players, with approximately 80 percent coming from outside the United States.

Cesar Villarroel, longtime Director of Racquet Sports at the resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, recently introduced beach tennis into his programs. The resort currently has three beach tennis courts and is looking to add more.

“Beach tennis is similar to beach volleyball,” Villarroe told me. “But it’s played with a paddle. You volley – you can’t let the ball bounce.’’

If that sounds a bit like pickleball, consider that a pickleball court net is 34 inches high in the middle, while a beach tennis net is five-and-a-half feet tall.

“You use the paddle and fitness’’ in beach tennis. “It’s a very interesting game. At Mission Resort, we want to be among the first to offer beach tennis in the U.S. We hold training sessions, open-play clinics, and private lessons.

“The sport is already massive in other parts of the world. To give you an idea, about 1.8 million people play in Brazil; in Puerto Rico, I’m in Aruba, close to a million, around 800,000. In the United States, it won’t take long to catch on.

“One of our pros plays professional beach tennis. We recently set up a training center here and offer complimentary clinics to increase interest and participation.”

According to Villarroel, Mission Inn hosts between 150 and 200 beach tennis players each month. “Our goal is to educate people in the United States. Our free clinics help potential players really embrace the sport,” Villarroel said.

The first two days of the Beach Tennis USA tournament at Mission Resort will feature professionals, while the weekend of May 4-5 will involve amateurs at intermediary and beginners’ levels.

“For the first two days, we will have about 80 players daily,” said Villarroel. “Then we will have about 150 players on Saturday, with another 150 competing on Sunday. It should be a lot of fun for the players and for spectators.” Visitors coming to Mission Resort + Club for the beach tennis tournament will benefit from a memorable experience. The resort’s recreational amenities are plentiful, and the resort features fine dining with four restaurants, two lounges, and a poolside bar.

The centerpieces of Mission Resort’s recreation offerings are its two golf courses – El Campeon and Las Colinas. One of the older (1917) and more acclaimed courses in Florida, El Campeon features striking elevation changes and pristine, tree-lined fairways.

Las Colinas (The Hills) was created in 1992 by former PGA Tour winner Gary Koch. It lives up to its name with wide fairways rolling over gentle rises. Each course features undulating greens surrounded by tropical vegetation and incorporates large water hazards on many holes.

In addition to golf, tennis, pickleball, and beach tennis, the resort features jogging and cycling trails, volleyball courts, an outdoor pool, a spa, a fitness center, and a marina offering pontoon and bass boat rentals. 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.

Photo Courtesy of Mission Resort & Club


About the Author

<a href="" target="_self">Steve Pike</a>

Steve Pike

Steve “Spike” Pike is a lifelong journalist whose career covers Major League Baseball, the NFL, and college basketball. For the past 26 years, Spike has been one of the more respected voices in the golf and travel industries, working for such publications as Golfweek, Golf World, and Golf Digest for The New York Times Magazine Group. In 1998, Spike helped launch the website for the PGA of America. As a freelance travel and golf writer, Spike’s travels have taken him around the world. He has played golf from Pebble Beach to St. Andrews, walked the Great Wall of China, climbed an active volcano in the Canary Islands, been on safari in South Africa, and dived with sharks off Guadalupe, Baja California.