The best public tennis courts in Miami Beach are in North Beach at the North Shore Tennis Center located at 501 72nd Street (phone: 305-604-4080). There are 10 clay courts and 2 hard courts there. The clay courts are hydro-courts, which are watered through an underground watering system. The courts are in pretty good condition are generally crowded during the late afternoons on weekdays and the early mornings on the weekend. Court fees are $4 an hour for residents and $8 an hour for non-residents. There a number of tennis clinics and programs for all levels of players and ages.
The Flamingo Park Tennis Center was the home of the Orange Bowl Junior Tennis Tournament for decades, which is considered one of the premier junior tennis tournaments in the world. Flamingo Park is a 36 acre park located in South Beach. The entrance closest to the tennis courts is at 11th street and Jefferson Avenue. There are 19 clay courts, which can be pretty slippery depending on the court, the day and the mood of the maintenance crew. Sometimes you can show up and find a game there. The phone number there is 305-673-7761.
For the more advanced players, you can find a very good game if you participate in the "Match Tough" competitions, which are usually held on Sundays at 1:00 PM at the North Shore Tennis Center, and at Flamingo Tennis Center on Saturdays at 1:00 PM. It is recommended that you call in advance to confirm availability. There is a $20 charge to play in the competition, which can include top ranked juniors and former touring pros as well as some savvy veterans.
I would be remiss if I did not mention two excellent facilities in Key Biscayne, one in Hallandale Beach and another one in Miami Shores. In Key Biscayne, there is the Crandon Park Tennis Center right next to where the biggest professional tennis tournament in Miami is played each year. The Crandon Park tennis center houses 27 lighted tennis courts including 17 Laykold cushioned hard courts, two grass courts, and eight state-of-the-art clay courts with four being red European clay courts. The address is 7300 Crandon Boulevard in Key Biscayne. The phone number is 305-365-2300. Another facility in Key Biscayne is located at 6700 Crandon Blvd. which is right next to the public golf course and has about 8 clay courts and 2 hard courts.Phone number is 305-361-5263. The Towers of Quayside is situated inside a 33-acre complex that has a spa, a gym and several swimming pools. There are 8 tennis courts there of which 7 are clay courts. The tennis program there is headed by Rick Fagel, a former touring tennis pro. In Hallandale Beach, there is the Diplomat Country Club & Spa, which is headed by former touring pro Criag Wittus. They have 10 clay courts and are located at 501 Diplomat Parkway, Hallandale, FL 33009 (phone: 954-883-4000).
There are several other locations where there are public tennis courts, which are scattered throughout Miami Beach at Hibiscus Island, Nautilus School, Surfside and Normandy isle to name a few. There are also a few private clubs and condo complexes like the Continuum and Murano at Portofino that have some courts as well.
For more information on playing tennis in Miami Beach, Miami and the surrounding areas, call Michael Sahlman at 786.553.0697. Michael was a former world ranked tennis professional and has become a weekend warrior. You can email Michael at Michael@HomesForVIPs.com. His website is www.HomesForVIPs.com