It’s that time of year again: the grass court season is shifting into gear, Andy Murray is coming into a decent run of form, Wimbledon is on the horizon and, once again, Britain is about to go tennis mad.
If, over the coming weeks, you’re inspired by the antics of British players at the various tournaments around the country, it’s time to find your closest court, pull on those smelly trainers and get hitting.
Chances are, if you read Tennis Talent regularly, that you already have a favourite court or belong to a club. But what if you’re new to the sport and have no idea where to play? Or maybe you’ve recently moved house and have lost your tennis bearings? Or perhaps you’re sick of paying to hire a court and want to find the nearest free one.
Well, an incredibly simple and intuitive map tool from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has the answer to all three questions. Here’s how it works.
1. Head to lta.org.uk/go-hit-it
2. Before you’ve even landed on the page, the website will ask to use your current location. We’d recommend clicking “Allow” as it will bring up useful information such as the weather in your area. However, if you’d rather not say, you can manually enter your location later.
3. You will then be confronted with a greyed out map. Enter the location you wish to scout and the display will automatically change.
4. The blue pin above denotes your location, while the dark red pins are tennis courts.
5. Click on a tennis court to bring up its address, phone number and a link to its website.
6. So far, so good, but the main attraction of the LTA map is its filters. By clicking on the tickboxes shown below, you can, for example, select to only see free courts (there are three in Tunbridge Wells) or those that are indoors or outside. It’s a very useful tool.