Tennis FAQs

The Adult Program at The Drysdale Tennis School was founded in the spring of 2009 and is designed to accommodate a variety of skills and tennis objectives; from the serious league campaigners to first time players we have a program for everyone. Since we opened we have been awarded a number of accolades including

Featured in Huffington Post Travel 2012
Top 20 Tennis Camp in the Country, Tennis Resorts Online, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Top 50 Tennis Resorts in the Country, Tennis Resorts Online, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
#10 Tennis Resort in the Country, TENNIS Magazine, November 2010
#2 Tennis Resort for Families, TENNIS Magazine, November 2010

The Drysdale Tennis School has eight red clay courts, six hard courts and two indoor courts and is complemented by the Stratton Sports Center which includes a 15,000 sq ft recreation space, weights, stretching room, cardio machines, hot tub, swimming pool, steam room and locker rooms. All facilities are available for use as part of your tennis vacation or stay at Stratton Mountain Resort.

Pro Staff

Robert Menzies, Director of Tennis

A native of New Zealand, Robert started with Cliff Drysdale in the summer of 2012 here on Stratton Mountain Resort and moved onto positions in Florida during the winter and spring, before returning to take up the position of Assistant Director and to run the winter program that is on offer here.

A certified PTR Level 1 professional in the USA and a certified Tennis New Zealand teaching professional, Rob has been playing tennis since the age of eight and started coaching when he was sixteen. He attended Auckland University in New Zealand where he studied Sport and Recreation, focusing on coaching, nutrition, psychology and exercise principles. Robert has help previous positions as the Head Coach of the Te Pai Park Tennis Club and Massey High School teams in New Zealand.

Nicknamed “The Doctor” (as he can fix anything on the tennis court) his ability to coach people of all ages and identify the finer details has been recognized by his peers and clients alike. If you have any questions about the tennis program here at Stratton Mountain Resort, or tennis in general, email Robert at 

Billy Simmers, Head Professional

Billy Simmers has amassed a lifetime of experience in tennis and is a huge asset to the Drysdale Tennis School. Billy's background is as extensive as it can be in tennis, having been involved in the industry for the past 30 years, during this time Billy has worked alongside tennis legends such as John Newcombe, Cliff Drysdale, and Nick Bollettieri. His experience in players ranges from young beginners to professional players; Billy is also a wealth of information about Stratton and the surrounding area. Along with being certified by, Billy is also the Vermont State Rep for the USPTA.

In the summer Robert and Billy are joined by a fantastic staff of international and local pros. You can find them on the courts teaching; watch them during exhibitions, and socialize with them during the Friday Night Mixers and Saturday dinners.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am a beginner player, am I good enough for the school?

Most players are nervous before joining a group class. Don't worry, as long as you've been on a court before we can work with the skills you already have and build on them to develop your confidence and improve your play. If you are a beginner player or haven't played in a while then we suggest that you try to hit once or twice the week before you come to begin getting your timing in order.

I'm an advanced player, is it worthwhile for me to attend the school?

All players regardless of skill have areas they can improve, our aim is to use your natural style combined with our coaching and professional expertise to improve all areas of your game, be it technical, strokes, match play or strategy. For the more advanced players drills are tailored to emphasize spin, speed, and depth as well as match play and live ball drills with other advanced players and the pro's.

How do I know that I will be placed in a group appropriate with my skill level?

All guests are asked their ability level upon making their reservation. We ask for information such as a USTA rating (3.5, 4.0 etc. if applicable), playing history and/or years of private instruction in order to try and match guests with players of a similar ability level. In addition to this we evaluate all players on the court during the warm ups and clinics. Once we begin each clinic if it is obvious that there are mismatches in a group then we are able to adjust groups as we see fit. If you have questions or concerns about your court assignment please make sure to talk to one of the pro's so that we can ensure your tennis experience is a memorable one. It's in ours as well as your best interests to have evenly matched groupings.

How tough are the programs physically?

Our 2 ½ hour camp clinics are designed to push you! In fact many players have come off the court stating they hit more balls and ran more than most 3 hr and longer sessions at other programs. However we're not here to break you down, the soft clay courts and the cooler summer climate in Vermont ensure that your energy levels and enthusiasm stay high. For the hard core that wants it we aim to please and can provide intensive private lessons in the afternoon or before the morning clinics.

What should I pack for tennis?

Proper tennis attire and footwear are required. Make sure to bring a comfortable broken-in pair of tennis shoes. Sunscreen and a hat or visor is a must! There are drinking fountains available close to the courts and we suggest bringing your own personal water bottle to ensure that you stay hydrated. We also recommend more than one racquet in case you break a string. We provide stringing services in our pro shop as well as a full line of Wilson rackets that are available to demo. If you have any apparel needs during your stay our fully stocked pro shop is on hand.

Can I take private lessons?

Private lessons can be scheduled either before the morning clinics or in the afternoon. Reservations can be made prior to arrival by calling 802-297-4236. Players are also welcome and encouraged to join in any of our other summer classes including cardio tennis, evening clinics and our Friday Night Round Robin.

What if it rains?

We move indoors and adjust our schedule to fit as many as possible in the best possible environment. We have two indoor courts for the adult schools use should it rain so even a torrential downpour won't dampen your game.

What is there to do after my tennis is finished for the day?

A huge variety of activities are on offer once you put the racket down. Stratton Mountain Resort is a hub in summer for hiking, biking, swimming in our pool or nearby lakes and rivers, gondola rides, and any number of other outdoor activities. For sore muscles take a relaxing massage at the Stratton Training & Fitness Center. The nearby town of Manchester offers fantastic outlets for shopping and more. Or you can just relax, for an extensive list of off-court activities.

What options are there for my children?

The Drysdale Tennis School is a great place for a family vacation. If your children are interested then you can enroll them in our junior tennis camp program where we take players of all levels from beginners through experienced. Camp options range from half and full day to weekly programs. Outside of tennis there are plenty of fun family friendly activities.

Where exactly is Stratton Mountain Resort and do I need a car?

Stratton Mountain Resort is approx four hours from NYC, 2 ¾ from Boston, and 1 ½ hrs from Albany Intl Airport, for complete travel details. Private transport is recommended for getting you to and from Stratton Mountain Resort as well as being great for day trips and off mountain excursions. Once you have arrived everything you'll need on mountain including, dining, lodging, and the Drysdale Tennis School is located within walking distance.

 

Testimonials

"I have been to the Cliff Drysdale Tennis School at Stratton many times since its inception. Last summer (2014), I was there with my husband once and another time with my team. The instruction was top-notch and the setting was spectacular. What can be better than learning tennis in a non-competitive atmosphere on beautiful red clay courts against Vermont’s Green Mountain background? Rob Menzies and Billy Simmes were two standout instructors who gave us plenty of innovative drills as well as live-ball situations. Rob and Billy were attentive, listening to all our questions and requests. The staff at Stratton was also very accommodating and friendly. We had to play inside once when it rained on well-kept hard courts, but Rob was able to adjust to the rain and cooler conditions and kept the clinics interesting, fun, and fast-moving. I highly recommend Cliff Drysdale Tennis at Stratton. My team and I had a fantastic weekend and left feeling more confident about our tennis. My husband's backhand improved significantly with the private instruction that he received at Stratton." - V.N., Adv. Int., March 2015

"Excellent instruction, very friendly atmosphere, enjoyable in every way." - K.E., Adv., March 2015

"The outdoor facilities are unmatched with the red clay surface providing a stark contrast to the Green Mountains that surround the courts. With only two courts inside, the winter time court availability is limited on weekends and during holiday weeks though the offerings of cardio tennis, various clinics, and classes can provide an opportunity to hit a lot of balls in a short amount of time. The pros, Rob and Billy, are quick to assess the skill levels of players and make adjustments to the clinics to make sure each and every player gets something out of the session. Cross-training is easy with access to suspension trainers, kettle bells, resistance bands, free weights, cardio equipment, and a pool." - T.R., Adv., March 2015

"Beautiful location in southern Vermont. Really can enjoy bring outside in the summer and fall seasons...weather is perfect with low humidity. Teaching staff is excellent....so friendly, fun and knowledgeable. They really helped to improved my doubles game strategy." - D.H., Adv. Int., March 2015

"Excellent and enthusiastic teaching staff keep lessons and drills fun. Pros give positive feedback and clear instructions. The time on the court goes by much to quickly because the drills are fast paced, competitive and fun. The schedule allows for a variety of different drill sessions to try. The pros put you on a court with others of similar ability. During the winter there are only 2 indoor courts. The are consistently used, indicating a need for more indoor courts. There are plenty of outdoor courts when the weather is nice." - K.H., Adv. Int., March 2015

"This program is great for beginners like myself. I hadn’t played tennis much, wanted to try something new, so I worked with Rob who was very patient and considerate. He helped my game in the few short hours I spent with him. Would highly recommend" - K.H., Beg., March 2015

"I was there for the end of the summer season on the weekend; it was rainy and cold so the sessions were indoors. The courts were nice (although outdoors was far more scenic!) Clinics and private lessons were great; we had a smaller crowd and the individual attention from Rob and Joe Bob was great. Drills and lesson plan focus on varying activity and incorporating a lot of live-ball action to help working on skills in realistic fashion instead of rote. Instructors managed to be interested and insightful with tips while keeping the atmosphere friendly and not intimidating, so big ups there. The mountain in late summer was sleepy but there were enough things open to be entertaining and people were friendly." - S.T., Adv., September 2014

"Spent a three-day weekend with Rob and his team (cheers to Lyubomir) at Stratton, can only say great things about it. The tennis center is well-equipped and maintained and the coaching staff is excellent. Everyone had something interesting to add to my game (Bill, Joe Bob, Lyubomir) and the clinics were demanding and varied, which kept things lively and challenging. Would definitely repeat." - G.B., Adv. Int., September 2014

"I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend tennis camp. The pros were exceptional, friendly, humorous, patient and well informed. I would suggest though that participants be advised that the Friday night mixer is for relatively advanced players. Since I had very little doubles experience it was, I thought, unfair to the other players and and embarrassing for me. Other than that I had a blast!" - M.B., Low Int., August 2014

"The instruction was excellent with each of the pros focusing on one aspect and how to improve that. Cliff's involvement was amazing. He took notes on everyone and spent time individually explaining what improvement or adjustment he thought important. There was a feeling of community from day one. The pros knew everyone by first name and that certainly made everyone comfortable. I could not have asked for more tennis. My son and I had a fabulous time and can't wait to go again!" - N.K., Adv., July 2014

Testimonials taken from Tennis Resorts Online for further reviews please check out Tennis Resorts Online.

Find out more about Stratton Mountain Lodging.

The Drysdale Tennis School has amazing facilities for a junior program! With eight red clay courts, six hard courts, two indoor courts, a multi purpose 15,000 sq ft indoor recreation space and an indoor swimming pool, there is an abundant amount space to keep your child active and learning all day long.

For advanced tournament level and college players we offer private lessons and can arrange matches with players of all levels. With a staff including current and previous college and pro level players we have the ability to push your child no matter what their level.

All junior programs are located just minutes walk from the Stratton Village which includes fine dining, cafes, shopping, live music and is the center for a host of outdoor activities, including skiing, snowboarding, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking and gondola rides. With these great activities so close at hand you'll find plenty to keep yourself occupied while your child enjoys their day. Or join a tennis program yourself and then check out the off-court activities as a family!

For all your junior tennis needs in summer and winter The Drysdale Tennis School at Stratton Mountain Resort is able to provide the "ultimate tennis experience."

Pro Staff

Robert Menzies, Director of Tennis
A native of New Zealand, Robert started with Cliff Drysdale in the summer of 2012 here on Stratton Mountain Resort and moved onto positions in Florida during the winter and spring, before returning to take up the position of Assistant Director and to direct the winter program that is on offer here.

A certified PTR Level 1 professional in the USA and a certified Tennis New Zealand teaching professional, Rob has been playing tennis since the age of eight and started coaching when he was sixteen. He attended Auckland University in New Zealand where he studied Sport and Recreation, focusing on coaching, nutrition, psychology and exercise principles. Robert has held previous positions as the Head Coach of the Te Pai Park Tennis Club and Massey High School teams in New Zealand.

Nicknamed “The Doctor” (as he can fix anything on the tennis court) his ability to coach people of all ages and identify the finer details has been recognized by his peers and clients alike. If you have any questions about the tennis program here at Stratton Mountain Resort, or tennis in general, email Robert at 

Frequently Asked Questions

My child is an advanced player, is it worthwhile for them to attend camp?

All players regardless of skill have areas they can improve on; our aim is to provide them with the tools and opportunity to train hard while improving their game. The instructors all have significant playing and coaching experience ensuring your child will receive the best possible instruction. As a player's skills levels get higher we adapt the drills and match play to suit.

How do you decide on the groups the children are in?

For the instruction and match play portions of the day we divide the camp into small group according to ability and age. We are able to adjust these groups as often as we feel necessary. Each group works on similar aspects of the game but in a way that relates to the specific group and is best suited for their abilities. It is our intention to have the most evenly matched groups. If you or your child has a concern, please alert us so that we can help make the experience positive for all.

What should my child pack for tennis camp?

All your child needs is gym clothing, sneakers or tennis shoes, a racquet, and a bathing suit if they wish to swim. We also encourage children to bring sunscreen and wear a hat. If your child does not have a racquet then we do a limited number of spares that can be used.

Can my child take private lessons?

Private lessons can be scheduled at the end of the camp day. If an instructor is available then a private lesson may be scheduled during swimming time at the additional private lesson cost.

What if it rains?

We move indoors and adjust our schedule to fit as many as possible in the best possible environment. We have two indoor courts as well as the 15,000 sq ft recreation space for indoor tennis, basketball, soccer and floor hockey.

What happens if a camper breaks the rules?

We take our responsibility of ensuring a camper's safety very seriously; therefore our enforcement of rules and regulations is quite strict. Cliff Drysdale Tennis reserves the right to remove a child from camp and send them home without refund should their actions break the rules and/or endanger themselves, their peers, or our staff.

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