Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Hideaway Country Club No Longer a Secret

I’m guessing that you have not heard of The Hideaway Country Club, and if you have, it was only recently or a long time ago. Well, if you haven’t heard of The Hideaway, I’d like to introduce you, and if you have, I’d like to bring you up to date.

Front gate
Hmmm, lemme see…trying to capture and portray this one-of-a-kind gem in words is tough, even for one who thrills in throwing words around…Ok, it’s definitely an old Florida condominium-style community, and there is all of the old school charm that you are likely to find at any well-preserved haven hidden amidst modern marvels.

Clubhouse entry
Developed in 1984, the Hideaway Community consists of five villages (496 homes) with names you would only recognize if you were an avid golfer. They include Augusta, Baltusrol, Greenbriar, Merion and Oakmont. I’m making a push to get one of these renamed “Wimbledon,” but the odds aren’t real good on that.

Tennis Center landscaping
I could write a lot about characteristics of The Hideaway, but I just want to give you a little taste of the place. You can come check things out yourself and savor the full flavor.

Tennis Cabana
For tennis devotees, The Hideaway offers four pristine, hardly used, HydroGrid, HarTru clay courts that are in as good a condition as any we played on during Pro League this year. And, you now get my USPTA professional services, access to Park Meadow Tennis Center teams and other competitive opportunities.

View from 1st Hole
If you enjoy golf as well as tennis, you get a sweet, not-so-little (over 5000 yards) Ron Garl-designed golf course that will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2014, and the PGA expertise of Sean Balliet, formerly of The Dunes.  
1st Hole
The Hideaway leadership is making sure that the anniversary celebration will be a stylish one, with a renovation to the tune of almost $1mil this summer.

New fitness center
So there’s tennis, there’s golf, and  a brand new fitness center for those who plan to play golf and tennis into their 80s and 90s as some do at The Hideaway. 

Of course, like any old school country club, there’s food…and I mean good food. Since we’re always real here, I should probably tell you that we’re not talking about a menu you’re likely to find at a $30k-membership club, nor plush, fine dining ambiance. But we are talking fresh, creative, and tasty, and perfect for an after-tennis refreshment gathering.

Sean and Gerry Welcome Andrea & Cindy of
one of Park Meadow's 3.5 USTA Teams
In addition to the terrific courts that I know you will love, perhaps one of the most attractive features of The Hideaway, especially in today’s financially challenged environment, is its “big-bang-for-the-buck” nature. Personally, I love the location, just a mile and a half from home and less than that from US 41. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

I can’t wrap up this post without acknowledging the small, but so very congenial and helpful tennis membership at the Hideaway. Like the place itself, I don’t think you could find a group of tennis aficionados like this one anywhere else. Saying that these folks are welcoming and helpful is like saying Donald Trump has a few dollars in his wallet.

Gerry Courtney
I think I mentioned earlier that the courts were in great shape? Well, Armor Persons of Court Master Tennis Services has something to do with that, but the members brush and line the courts faithfully after every use, and with Bill Dey and Gerry Courtney attending to the courts and their surroundings daily, it is truly a pleasure to walk through the tennis gate.

Sean Balliet
Oliver Stenger, owner of Park Meadow Tennis Center, and Sean Balliet, Director of Golf, Tennis & Agronomy at The Hideaway, are currently working on an agreement that will benefit the membership of both clubs.  I look forward to bringing you the details of that agreement once it has been finalized.

Meanwhile, I have heard through the tennis grapevine that there are a few players and teams looking for a tennis home. If you happen to be one of those, then I think you owe it to yourself to come take a look at The Hideaway. Before you choose a new home, why don't you drop in on our Hideaway Tennis Open House on Friday, April 27 at 4pm. Please let us know if advance if you plan to attend, and bring your racquet!

I can tell you that I’m happy to be there and you might be too! Drop by, send us an email, or give us a call if you want to explore (, 239-275-5581), 5670 Trailwinds Drive). Game, set, match...T. A.

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