To build a tennis court properly means a lot of work and it should only be attempted under the direction of some one who understands it. The things most important are good drainage, good light, and sufficient room. A double court is 36 feet wide by 72 feet long, but in tournament games or on courts where experts play it is customary to have an open space about 60 feet wide by 110 to 120 feet long, to give the players plenty of room to run back and otherwise to play a fast game.
A court should always be laid out north and south or as near these points of the compass as possible. In courts running east and west the sun is sure to be in the eyes of one of the players nearly all day; this is of course a very serious objection. While it is very pleasant to play tennis in the shade of a tree or building, a court should never be located under these conditions if it is possible to avoid it. A properly placed court should be fully exposed to the sun all day.
Cutting And Making Up The Grass With Lawn Mowers
First of all it will be necessary to decide whether a grass or "dirt" court is to be built. If the grass is fine and the place where the court is to be happens to be level, there is little to do but to cut the sod very short with a lawn-mower and to mark out the court. If, on the contrary, there is much grading or leveling to be done, a dirt court will be much cheaper and better in the end, as constant playing on turf soon wears bare spots. The upkeep of a grass court will be expensive unless it is feasible to move its position from time to time.
Choosing A Drainage For Your Court
Whatever the court is to be, the first question to consider is proper drainage. If the subsoil is sandy the chances are that the natural soakage will take care of the surplus water, but on the contrary, if the court is at the bottom of a hill or in a low place where clay predominates, it is necessary to provide some means of getting rid of the surplus water from rainfalls or our court may be a sea of mud just when it would be most useful to us.
To level a court properly we shall need the services of some one expert with a leveling instrument of some kind. It is not safe to depend on what seems to be level to our eye, as our judgment is often influenced by leaning trees, the horizon, and other natural objects. With a few stakes driven into the ground, the tops of which are level, we are enabled to stretch lines which will give us our levels accurately.
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