The cold weather in the DC metro area brings me to thinking of my past winter tennis escapes to Boca Raton, Florida.
It was by accident that I ran into the Evert Tennis Academy on Diego Drive in Boca on a sunny day in February, circa 2000. Visiting my brother, taking a respite from the cold in Northern Virginia and driving north on U.S. 441. I took a left onto State Road 808, locally known as Glades Road, when I saw the sign for the Evert Tennis Academy. Diego Drive is in the Mission Bay area of Boca.
I called the Academy and learned there was an opening in the morning adult tennis clinic. The next day I was on the court with Drew Evert, one of Chris Evert's brothers.
It was the beginning of a decade old friendship. I've been back to Drew's adult tennis camps several times over the years. I've met his charming wife Penny Perry, the daughter of British tennis legend Fred Perry. A couple of years ago, Drew called me when he was visiting his daughter who was living in Alexandria, Virginia. We had lunch at Indigo Landing with a view of National Airport and the U.S. Capitol.
Drew now runs his Adult Tennis Camp out of the Boca Raton Resort and Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort that is closer to the Intercostal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean beaches.
I last wrote about Drew Evert's adult tennis camps in January 2012.
Drew Evert was a nationally ranked junior player and competed in the junior national doubles finals at age 16. In the early 1970s he played college tennis at Auburn University as their # 1 for four years.
After stints at several tennis clubs, including The Tennis Club of Palm Beach, Florida, Boars Head Inn & Sports Club in Charlottesville, Virginia, Amelia Island
Plantation and the Delray Beach Florida Tennis Center, Evert became the Director of Adult Programs and Tournaments at the Evert Tennis Academy on Diego Drive in Boca Raton. He is a USPTA and USPTR certified teaching pro.
Tennis Resorts Online rates the Boca Raton Resort and Club among the top tennis resorts and camps.
The adult camp sessions run Thursday through Sunday from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm
Cost: $150 per day, 3 days for $400, 4 days for $475, 5 days for $575
Remaining Winter Schedule 2013:
Feb. 7-10 Mar. 21-24
Feb. 14-17 Mar. 28-24
Feb. 21-24 Apr. 4-7
Feb. 28-Mar 3 Apr. 11-14
Accommodations in all price ranges are plentiful in the Boca Raton area. If you want to stay at the Boca Raton Resort & Club at 501 East Camino Real Boca Raton, Florida 33432 call 888-543-1277 or make reservations at http://www.bocaresort.com/
Tip: In nearby Delray Beach, Florida from February 22 - March 3, the Delray Beach Tennis Center runs the annual Delray Beach Tennis International Championships, a unique tennis tournament that combines an ATP tour event with a senior tennis ATP Champions event. Senior champions playing this year include John McEnroe, Mats Wilander, Carlos Moya and Mark Philipoussis. The ATP tour event includes John Isner, Mardy Fish, Gael Monfils, Tommy Haas, Sam Querry and the Bryan brothers.
A visit to the Evert adult camp could be scheduled around a day or more at the Delray Beach tournament.
Travel: For travel by air, there are flights from DC area airports to either Palm Beach International Airport or Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, both a little more than 25 miles away from Boca Raton.
Boca Raton, Florida is about one thousand miles away on I-95 from Springfield, Virginia. Amtrak has service from Washington, DC to nearby Deerfield Beach, Florida, but it is a 22 hour scheduled trip.
At this writing Travelocity was listing flights from DC, one way not-stop as low as $113.80.