Tennis players have had enough. For too long, golf balls sliced off the 15th tee-box have rocketed into the Tennis Center. Play has been disrupted and players have been hit. One player reportedly required emergency treatment after a golf ball hit him on the side of the head and countless others have had near misses. As a result, tennis players want a fence that will protect them from the golf balls before someone is seriously injured or killed.
“The City needs to install a fence that is long enough and high enough to protect the tennis players,” said Jennie Portelli, president of the Coronado Tennis Association (CTA)
Its board of directors issued a resolution and launched a petition drive urging Coronado City Council to approve the funds. The petition drive began last weekend.
The CTA wanted a fence from the beginning, but protests from neighbors caused the city to adopt remedies that wouldn’t block the bay front view. It spent more than $72,000 dollars to lower the tee-box on the 15th hole, plant shrubs and put up signs on all the courts warning tennis players that they risk being hit by a golf ball.
The tee modification began in July and recreation staff is documenting the number of balls coming into the courts, but will not say how many they’ve counted.
“The current fix is inadequate,” said Phil Monroe former councilman and CTA board. “What they did in moving the tee was a waste of time and money. The little sign (warning tennis plays about golf balls) is useless.”
The hedges, even after they grow to their full height of seven feet are also useless, added John LaPore who is heading up the petition drive.
“Hedges and trees don’t stop golf balls, fences do,” LaPore said.
The city is not unaware of the tennis player’s frustrations. If the current fix doesn’t work and the balls keep coming “we’ll look to putting up screens, but we’re not there yet,” said Linda Rahn, Director of Recreation Services.
The CTA is not alone in wanting a fence. The head pro at the golf course also wants one.
“It would benefit golfers,” Ron Yarborough manager of the golf course said. “If the fence is high enough and a golf ball hits it, the ball will roll back onto the fairway.”
He also noted that when the city put up a fence up to protect golfers, none of the neighbors objected.
One of those neighbors was Portelli. “We all saw the need to keep golfers safe,” she said. Now she and other tennis players would like the same safety considerations extended them.