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Miami Beach, FL
Welcome to South Beach Tennis!
One of the many weird and funny things about playing tennis in Miami Beach is you can seemingly get in more trouble playing tennis without your shirt on in 95 degree temperatures than you can smoking a joint on Washington Avenue.
The Flamingo Park Tennis Center is full of characters: models, rich people, trust fund brats, poor slobs, tourists, regulars, gays, hackers, grunters, pushers, grandpa’s and even the occasional celebrity. They have it all. It’s one of the great people watching spots in all of tennis.
If you went by their Yelp reviews you might not set foot in the place. But Flamingo Park Tennis Center is one of the nicest public tennis facilities in the country and it’s the only place to play in South Beach. This type of finite playing opportunities probably explain some of the grouchy reviews online.
They run a tight ship at this facility so enter at your own risk if you think you can slide by the gate keeper. If they aren’t at the desk guess where are they? Checking to make sure your sweaty tennis ass isn’t using up extra court time you didn’t pay for. So being fashionably late for your tennis game won’t win you first ball in courtesy on your first service game.
If you have ever played on clay courts with underground irrigation they can get “crusty” and a bit slippery if they aren’t maintained properly and the balls get caked in clay so after about 45 minutes your hitting a shadowy spheres so perhaps bring an extra can of balls. For the most part the sliding here is predictable and the bounce is firm.
I myself love the play on these courts. They play like a medium fast hard court and if you hit your slice backhand with some zest you can really skid the ball downhill if you have an eye for the court slope. Hint look for the drainage area if you are curious.
If you google their city contract on the Miami Beach dot gov website you will see all of the rules for how many courts can have lessons and how many are open to the public. There are lots of programs for adults and children including their 2pm Saturday Match Tuff tournament. I think it includes a gatorade.
My only gripe with the place is the showers. The water stings but hey I”m tough. My real issue is the stream only lasts about 15 seconds. So you can have to push, rinse, turn and repeat this process about 20 times before your are washed off. I guess this is the price of being eco friendly.
Rates: $10,70 per player per hour for non residents and super obnoxious cheap for Miami Beach residents (like if you aren’t from the beach you are a foreigner!). Maybe they can use the extra dollars to clean up the garbage on Alton road. That was a total cheap shot I admit it.
Book courts online or over the phone.
Oh yeah the parking is a hassle. The lot by the courts is dedicated for Flamingo Park but beach goers hog up the free parking so you best bet as always is Uber.
Backhand City in Miami Beach, Florida.
Play. Compete. Learn.
Google Map: Flamingo Park Tennis Center