If you’re looking for the perfect place to test out your Serena Williams or Andre Agassi skills, there are plenty of opportunities to strut your serve or improve your backhand when visiting Golden Gate Park. Situated at the eastern end of the park (JFK Drive at Middle Drive East), twenty-one courts allow you to bask in the glory and warmth of a victorious ace accompanied by the satisfying San Francisco weather.
Who Plays Tennis at Golden Gate Park?
Throughout the year, hundreds of residents, seniors, youth, and non-residents gather at Golden Gate Park to play a couple of games of tennis. During their tennis season, the University of San Francisco women’s team often dazzles on the courts when competing against schools, such as Saint Mary’s.
In November, boys and girls (ages 8-17) also gather at the Kezar Pavilion to compete in an indoor table tennis tournament. Interested in joining in on the fun? You may contact Chris Gaggero at 831-6317.
Making a Reservation
Sometimes you just want a court all to yourself and don’t feel like fighting for a space. This is when making a reservation comes in handy. Reservations do not apply for weekday play, but can be made for the weekends and holidays.
There are several different contact numbers connected to landing the court of your choice. When calling prior to the weekend on Wednesday evenings (from 4pm to 6pm), Thursday (from 9am to 5pm), and Friday (9am to 11:30am), you should contact 831-6302.
If you are in the area, you may stop by the director’s office located at the Golden Gate Park Tennis Complex to place your reservation in person. You may also call 753-7001 after Friday morning; reservation sheets are taken to the tennis courts where a few spots may still remain.
As a rule of thumb, the best time to reserve a court for a weekend morning is to be one of the first to call at 4pm on Wednesday.
After you have obtained a reservation for a tennis court, you should know that playing time is limited to one hour and thirty minutes. You must also arrive at the clubhouse (also known as the director’s office) 10 minutes before the start of your tennis reservation. If you fail to comply, you will be bumped down the list or possibly lifted off if eager opponents wait in the wings.
With reservations, you can’t be greedy. Only one allowed per person on a daily basis and only two per weekend. They also keep an eye on the amount of player names attached to a phone number. There is a two-person limit per phone call. You should also know that proof of residency is required, which is satisfied in the form of a current driver’s license or current Department of Motor Vehicles I.D. card.
Reserving Courts For Tournament or League Play
If you have chosen the lovely Golden Gate Park courts for your next tournament or league play, any organization or agency should submit their request for court reservation in writing to Jake Hall at the Athletic Division. Requests should be placed at least 30 days before the desired tournament dates and cannot exceed more than one year in advance. All inquires regarding tournament play at Golden Gate Park should be directed to Jake Hall at 831-6302.
As for tournament fees, they vary from $7 for prime time play on the weekday between 1pm to 5pm, to $10 on the weekend for non-prime time play between 9am to 1pm.
Playing on the Weekdays
If you wish to enjoy a nice game of tennis during the weekdays, the courts are arranged on a first-come, first-serve basis. Waiting lists are in play, but a player must be in the area to protect their spot. The waiting list is not determined by pre-received calls or adding player’s names at the last minute. A player is allowed only two reservations per day, which cannot include back-to-back play.
When playing on the courts, the times are broken into the following increments: 9:00 am to 10:30 am; 10:30 am to 12:00 noon; 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm; 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm; and 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.
Court fees are determined by your status as a player. For example, walk-in play for the weekdays is as follows: residents ($4), non-residents ($6), seniors 65+ ($2), and youth under 18 are free. During the weekend and evening, the fees increase for residents ($5) and seniors 65+ ($5). On the weekends, all youth are expected to pay $2.
Don’t know how to play tennis or need to freshen up on your ability? If you are interested in receiving tennis lessons at Golden Gate Park, you should call 831-6302 or 753-7001.