When Scott Cleere first became the Director of Tennis at the Templeton Tennis Ranch back in 2015, he wanted to introduce some of his new members at the new facility just south of Paso Robles to a one-day tennis-watching experience that they would never forget.
And The Ojai ROAD TRIP he and his buddy Franky Curiel had started a few years prior was the perfect fit for his new membership.
Cleere first experienced The Ojai in 2013, and said his first trip to the tournament started in 1896 was something special.
“It was magical,” Cleere said. “The setting, the trees, the tea. It was like something you couldn’t even describe. And then the tennis. I mean, just unreal that you could go to a place and see the Pac-12 Championships, the other colleges, the open players AND SoCal’s top juniors. Libbey Park is a special place. You can feel the history. It’s a place of reverence and deep respect for the most essential heart of the sport of tennis.”
Scott and Franky wanted others to see and feel what he did. So a few years ago, Cleere began talking up The Ojai ROAD TRIP to anyone who would listen. Soon, they filled a van of 12 to 15 local San Luis Obispo County tennis fans who made the three hour one-way trip all day trip on the last Saturday in April. He said his goal is to someday charter a bus and fill it with 50 fans and bring them on The Ojai ROAD TRIP to sip tea from the Tea Tent, and watch tennis all day under the huge oak trees that hang down on Libbey Park.
The Ojai’s PR and Marketing Director Steve Pratt soon learned about The Ojai ROAD TRIP and was eager to help Scott and Franky promote it with discounted tickets, and a special welcoming at the front of the park where Pratt talked about the past history of The Ojai. Both Cleere and Pratt currently serve on the SCTA’s Volunteer Marketing Committee.
Scott and Franky would love to have other tennis clubs or community groups start an Ojai ROAD TRIP, and Pratt said he would assist any way he could. Anything to get more people to experience The Ojai, Pratt said.
If your group is interested in doing an Ojai ROAD TRIP, there is a little time before next week’s tournament, which begins on Wednesday with the finals running till Sunday, April 29. But there’s always next year! Please feel free to contact Scott or Franky if you have any questions.