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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | OUTDOORS / RECREATION

Summer Courting

Tennis Players Seek Open Space During the Busy Months

July 04, 1998|PAIGE A. LEECH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Unless you are fortunate enough to own a membership to a country club, finding a decent available tennis court in the summer can be as aggravating as blowing triple-match point.

Thankfully, there are alternatives.

There's always the local high school during non-school hours. Additionally, several tennis and racquet clubs--like the Racquet Centre in Studio City--offer pay-per-use courts to the public.

But if you don't mind parting with a few bucks, the Balboa Sports Center in Encino is the best available option in the Valley.

Balboa has one of the region's largest and most well-maintained public tennis facilities. Courts are in a park setting surrounded by palm trees, with ample free parking, vending machines, restrooms and drinking fountains.

Unlike the restrictions at stuffy tennis clubs, Balboa caters to the average Joe who likes, for example, to get a little sun on his upper torso during his match.

"As long as they have tennis shoes and shorts on, we don't mind," said Lucy Hutchinson, supervisor of pay tennis for the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.

Sixteen well-maintained, well-lighted courts are available daily, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Hourly fees are $3 Monday through Friday until 4 p.m., and $6 after 4 and all day weekends and holidays.

Walk-ups are always welcome, but reservations can be made with a reservation card. Three-year reservation cards are available for $14.

Card holders must claim their court no later than five minutes before the reservation time or the court will be given to a walk-up on the waiting list.

"People will call from their car phone and say, 'I'm just around the corner, I'll be there in five minutes, hold the court.' But we don't hold courts for anyone," Hutchinson said.

The busiest hours at Balboa are on midweek evenings after 6 p.m. and from 8-11 a.m. on weekends.

Those seeking instruction can take a lesson from Erik Glasser, the resident pro. Hourly private lessons are $42, or $21 for a half hour. Group lessons are also available.

Following is a list of free public tennis facilities in the region. Most are parks owned, leased or managed by cities and counties. Some facilities charge a nominal hourly fee, as indicated.

AGOURA HILLS

* Agoura High School, 28545 W. Driver Ave. Except during school hours.

BURBANK

* Brace Canyon Park, 2901 Haven Way.

* McCambridge Park, 1515 N. Glenoaks Blvd., (818) 843-4105.

* Mountain View Park, 751 S. Griffith Park Dr.

* Olive/George Izay Park, 1111 W. Olive Ave.

* Pacific Park, 3715 Pacific Ave.

* Valley Park, 1625 N. Valley St.

* Verdugo Park, 3201 W. Verdugo Ave.

CALABASAS

* Gates Canyon Park, 25801 Thousand Oaks Blvd.

CAMARILLO

* Mission Oaks Park, 5501 Mission Oaks Blvd., (805) 482-1996.

* Pleasant Valley Park, 1030 Temple Ave., (805) 482-1996.

* Valle Lindo Park, 889 Aileen St., (805) 482-1996.

CANOGA PARK

* John Quimby Park, 7008 De Soto Ave.

* Lanark Park, 21816 Lanark St., (818) 883-1503.

CHATSWORTH

* Chatsworth Park South, 22360 Devonshire St., (818) 341-6595.

CRESCENTA VALLEY

* Crescenta Valley High School, 4400 Ramsdell Ave. Except during school hours.

ENCINO

* Balboa Sports Center, 5651 Balboa Blvd., (818) 783-2211. Hourly fees: $3 weekdays, $6 nights and weekends.

* Encino Park, 16953 Ventura Blvd.

GLENDALE

* Central Park Tennis Courts, 201 E. Colorado St. Hourly fee: $4.50 after 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday. (818) 246-4550.

* Emerald Isle Park, 2130 Lenore Dr.

* Fremont Park, 600 W. Hahn Ave. Hourly fee: $4.50 after 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday. (818) 241-6022.

* Glenoaks Park, 2531 E. Glenoaks Blvd.

* Glorietta Park, 2801 N. Verdugo Rd.

* Maple Park, 820 E. Maple St., (818) 548-3783.

* Montrose Park, 3529 Clifton Pl.

* Nibley Park, 1103 E. Mountain St.

* Oakmont View Park, 2940 Oakmont View Dr.

* Pacific Park, 501 S. Pacific Ave.

* Scholl Canyon Golf & Tennis, 3800 East Glenoaks Blvd., (818) 243-4100.

* Glendale College, 1500 N. Verdugo Rd. Except during school hours.

* Glendale High School, 1440 E. Broadway. Except during school hours.

* Hoover High School, 651 Glenwood Rd. Except during school hours.

GRANADA HILLS

* Granada Hills Recreation Center, 16730 Chatsworth St., (818) 363-3556.

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE

* Cornishon Tennis Courts, 4490 Cornishon Ave.

* Glenhaven Park, 1918 Parkdale Pl.

LANCASTER

* Lancaster City Park, 43011 N. 10th St. West, (805) 945-1769. Hourly fees: $3-4.

* El Dorado Park, 44501 N. 5th St. East.

* Jane Reynolds Park, 716 Oldfield.

MOORPARK

* Tierra Rejada Park, 365 Tierra Rejada Rd.

* Moorpark High School, 4500 Tierra Rejada Rd. Except during school hours.

* Moorpark College, 7075 Campus Rd. Except during school hours.

NEWBURY PARK

* Borchard Park, 190 Reino Rd.

NORTH HOLLYWOOD

* North Hollywood Recreation Center, 5301 Tujunga Ave., (818) 763-7651.

* Valley Plaza Recreation Center, 12240 Archwood St., (818) 765-5885.

* Victory-Vineland Recreation Center, 11112 Victory Blvd., (818) 985-9516.

NORTHRIDGE

* Dearborn Park, 17141 Nordhoff St.

* Northridge Park/Devonshire House, 10058 Reseda Blvd., (818) 349-7341.

OAK PARK

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