Tennis and Pickleball enthusiasts in the state of Georgia should head to Mission Inn in Florida. An easy drive or an inexpensive flight from Atlanta to Orlando awaits. Mission Inn Resort and Club has also established itself as a perfect destination for racquet sports enthusiasts.
Whether you play tennis, pickleball or beach tennis, Mission Inn has you covered. Nestled among the rolling hills of Central Florida’s Lake County, the resort features six Har-Tru Green Clay tennis courts, a Laykold all-weather court and four pickleball courts, along with beach tennis courts for both singles and doubles.
Regardless of your talent level, there is a place for you to flourish at Mission Inn where former Bolivian Davis Cup player Cesar Villarroel operates an academy. Listed among the Top 100 Tennis Coaches in the USA by Peterson’s Tennis Camps and Clinics, Villarroel guides a team of three other professionals to assist him in offering private lessons and clinics in all three of the racquet disciplines.
“We have a lot of programs at Mission Inn that we offer for the members and also for non-members alike,” said Villarroel, who is longtime Director of Racquet Sports at the resort. “We host clinics and spend a significant part of the day providing private lessons, and semi-private lessons, which involve two players. so, bring a friend.
Villarroel is a USPTA Elite professional instructor who is certified through the National Endurance Fitness Training Association, as well as the Professional Tennis and Pickleball Registries. While tennis has been a dominant factor throughout his life, he is excited to be working in two other sports that have exploded in popularity worldwide in recent years.
“We also offer cardio tennis – and that is for players who want to get in better shape. It’s not a lot of technique correction, it’s mostly drills with intervals, five minutes at full speed then one minute rest. The goal is to get the heart rate going high and then slowing it down. It’s a good workout. The average player probably burns at least 500 calories in a one-hour clinic.”
The Place For Pickleball And Beach Tennis
Pickleball has been the fastest-growing participatory sport in the United States for the last three years and beach tennis is now poised to take off in North America after surging in popularity throughout Europe, but especially in Italy, Brazil and Spain.
“With pickleball, assume that I have a clinic of eight players,” said Villarroel. “I can teach them the basics in probably 40 minutes and then they will be able to play a match. So, they learn in one day what in tennis would take probably a month before you could take part in a rally. That explains the popularity of pickleball.”
Pickleball as the intersection where ping pong, badminton and tennis and was invented by three vacationers on Bainbridge Island near Seattle.
Beach tennis, however, combines elements of tennis and volleyball and, as its name suggests, takes place on sand. The sport is now played in over 50 countries by more than half a million people.
“Here in the United States, beach tennis has just started, and it’s huge,” said Villarroel. “One of our pros, plays professional beach tennis, so we are creating a training center here at Mission Inn and will offer complimentary clinics to grow interest and participation in this fun and healthy pursuit.
If you live in visit Central Florida or are planning a visit and want a memorable experience, then Mission Inn Resort & Club is the perfect destination for you. Features fine dining with four restaurants, two lounges and a poolside bar, Mission Inn’s menu of recreational amenities is plentiful.
In addition to championship golf, tennis, pickleball and beach tennis, the property features jogging and cycling trails, volleyball courts, an outdoor pool, a spa, a fitness center and a marina offering pontoon, bass boats and kayaks for eco-touring. More than 30,000 square feet of well-appointed indoor and outdoor event space is available for meetings, banquets, holiday parties, weddings, and special occasions.
Located in the town of Howey-in-the-Hills, Mission Inn is just a 35-minute drive northwest of Orlando or an 80-minute drive northeast of Tampa, and it is home to two championship golf courses, which are wonderfully complementary. The El Campeón (The Champion) layout, built in 1917 by George O’Neil, is one of the oldest courses in the South with a classic design featuring unusually sharp elevation changes in the typically flat central Florida terrain. It plays host to multiple professional, college and high school, tournaments. Las Colinas (The Hills) was created in 1992 by former PGA Tour winner Gary Koch, and it lives up to its name with wide fairways rolling over gentle rises. Both courses at Mission Inn feature undulating greens surrounded by tropical vegetation and incorporate large water hazards on many holes.
If Tennis and Racquet Sports Is Part Of Your Plan, Then Cesar Villarroel Is Your Man!
“Every week, we have 70-80 players on our tennis courts and, if you also count our clinics, that number is probably over 100 players every week,” said Villarroel. “With 4 instructors and so many courts, we have room for more.”
Early birds bear the summer heat and start playing as early as 6 a.m. and afternoon activities also include junior clinics to introduce youngsters to the game.
“We start teaching at seven in the morning and the last lesson of the day begins at seven in the evening because we are here to accommodate and exceed the needs of our resort guests and those who want to enjoy playing the games.”
A little of everything awaits at Mission Inn.