Facility Spotlight — Dana Hills Tennis Center

Facility Spotlight — Dana Hills Tennis Center

You could say consistency plays a big part of the success of the Dana Hill Tennis Center.

When you walk through the two-story clubhouse of the eight-court facility located just a mile from the ocean in Orange County, you immediately get that welcoming greeting and a quick hello from the friendly staff. Most likely one of the first people you may encounter is long-time Club Director Brad Albert, who has been running the public facility for 32 years.photo3

You may also see familiar faces like former Wimbledon doubles competitor and head teaching pro Barbara Lemberg, who had been at DHTC teaching tennis for close to 30 years, and one of her assistants Bill Howie, who has been at DHTC for more than 20 years.

“We pride ourselves in providing great service to all the tennis players who play here, and have always had great support from the city and the local residents,” said Albert, who played junior college tennis at Saddleback College. “I’ve run this place like it’s my own personal place. I’ve always felt that if you run something like it’s your own, then you’re going to do a better job than if you are just working for somebody. We take pride in that and have found that our staff feels that way too.”

The Dana Hills Tennis Center (www.dhtenniscenter.org) has been a fixture in the community since opening July 1, 1983. DHTC is a nonprofit facility owned and operated by the South Coast Water District. According to the website: “The construction of the courts is unique in character because the tennis court surface for 6 of the 8 courts is actually the top deck of a 7.8 million-gallon water reservoir. In 1977 board members of the South Coast Water District decided to better utilize land space for water storage and, at the same time, provide a recreational facility that could be used by the community. Both purposes could be accomplished more functionally and aesthetically by building an underground concrete water reservoir in lieu of a steel tank.”DSC_0005

In 1987, two additional tennis courts bringing the total to eight were built, along with a 2,200-square foot two-story clubhouse. “We strive to provide a valuable community service to the local residents and users by providing outstanding service and excellence in our programs,” Albert said. “Fortunately that vision is shared and has been supported from the SCWD management and the Board over the years.”

The Dana Hills Tennis Center was named the Outstanding Tennis Facility Award winner presented by the USTA in 1991 and Lemberg has been named the USPTA California Pro and Player of the Year award winner in the past. Lemberg’s other assistants besides Bill Howie include Warren Wong, Mike Story and Corey Rhodes.

Albert said he was on his way to USC for his doctorate degree when he was hired to run DHTC. Now he’s 58 years old and says retirement is two years away. But he will no doubt remain active being the tournament director and running the largest charity tournament in Orange County, the Roy Emerson Adoption Guild Classic. He also runs the Michael Chang Tennis Classic at the end of July.DHTC Arial reduced

Albert, who in the past ran the popular Top Gun Tournament at Newport Beach Tennis Club, was one of the first tournament directors to use computer software to run tennis tournaments.

The Rundown:
No. of Courts: Eight; all lighted; with 2,200 square-foot two-story clubhouse.
Website: dhtenniscenter.org.
Phone: (949) 240-2104.
Address: 24911 Calle De Tenis, Dana Point, CA 92629.

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