Bragging rights in the tennis community will soon be up for grabs.
The Brunswick-Golden Isles Tennis Association will hold its first annual Golden Isles Hardcourt Championships at the Marta B. Torrey Complex on June 8-9. The tournament is open to USTA members 18 and older residing in Glynn or adjacent counties.
It all started about a month ago with a simple idea.
A member of the Community Tennis Association made up of eight counties in southeast Georgia, Patrick Anderson sought a way to bolster the membership of the BGITA in an effort to help the organization offer more programs for the adults and children of Glynn County.
Believing league play and tournaments to be the entry into the organization, and the sport’s governing body, Anderson pushed for an event in the Golden Isles.
“I’m actually the men’s league coordinator, and I wanted to do something to build up the men’s membership,” Anderson said. “I went to the board meeting and asked if we could get a tournament approved for the men. Then the women said, ‘Well, what about the women?’ and it kind of grew from there.”
The field for the inaugural Golden Isles Hardcourt Championship is expected to reach 75-100 competitors.
The tournament will offer men and women the opportunity to compete in singles and doubles, in addition to a mixed doubles bracket.
Competitors will also be grouped based on their level of skill and experience with less experienced players competing in the 3.0 or 3.5 divisions as veterans battle it out in the 4.0 and open ranks.
Ratings can be earned through playing in USTA leagues and tournaments or estimated through a questionnaire on the organization’s website.
In total, 32 champions will be crowned over the weekend. Runners-up will also receive an award.
“Really, everybody can get in this at their level and compete for a championship,” Anderson said. “Whether they win or lose, who cares. It’s partially about fitness, partially about camaraderie, partially about the competition.”
Entry into the tournament is open now. Registration is available at tennislink.usta.com. The tournament ID is 700131619. Participants will receive T-shirts commemorating the event.
There are already more than 300 members of the BGITA. Now they’ll get to prove which is the best among them.
“There’s no tournament locally here where somebody can join and say, ‘I won that tournament, I’m the area champ. I’m the best at my level,’” Anderson said. “Because there are other tournaments in the area, but they attract people from all over the state, and really, from other states like Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and so forth.
“We wanted something that was really just a local tournament, for the local players, for bragging rights to tennis championships.”