The sudden whop of a green tennis ball echoes through the sprawling Glen Head Racquet Club, where world-renowned pros and local amateurs meet Mondays through Fridays to play ball. The club, at 95 Glen Head Road, came under new ownership by a pair of residents who grew up playing tennis together and are eager to pass on their love of the game to a new generation.
“I used to play here as a kid,” said Phil Barres, of Old Westbury. “The owner, Robert Friedman, who owned this place for 30 years, said that one day he would want to sell it to me.” Barres’s family real estate business bought the building two and a half years ago and helped diversify its operations, and when Friedman was ready to pass the baton — or in this case, the racquet — Barres knew he would need a co-owner.
He recruited his old tennis partner, Adam Mandell, of Glen Head, who played in the No. 1 singles spot for Division I Yale University and consistently ranked in the top 15 junior tennis players nationwide. Also joining the team is Cory Parr, of Jericho, a fellow pro who is the club’s social media manager.
As a club co-owner and operator, Mandell said he was excited to bring his expertise home. “We have a really strong background in tennis,” he said, “and we bring a different perspective in terms of understanding the pros and what people need because we’ve grown up around tennis our entire lives.”
The club, which is open to the public, offers high-performance programs, private and group lessons, and match play for juniors and adults of all ages and skill levels. The indoor facility boasts six hard courts, a state-of-the-art speed and agility training center, a pro shop, food court and newly renovated lobby with views of the courts.
The partners have maintained the original staff of instructors and managers, and are considering capital improvements, such as enhancing the lighting and resurfacing the courts.
Clients “would be getting the experience of Division I college level players and pros that have played on the ATP [Association of Tennis Professionals] tour from many different countries, with many different teaching styles,” Mandell said, “so there’s a little bit of something for everybody.”
The new owners are also developing a summer program. “We’re going to have tournament-level players, older kids and half-day options for younger children,” Barres said. “I know a lot of parents are looking for a place where their kids can do sports and not bake in the sun all day, so this is a nice option close by.” Children who enroll in the club’s summer program will receive tennis training and also have access to other sports such as soccer, yoga and lacrosse.
There’s also the Courtside Café, run by chef Irene Macropoulous, who serves up “gourmet-level” snacks in between sets.
“Having accomplished a lot on the tournament scene,” Mandell said, “our pros have studied the game, the evolution of the game, how it’s changed over the years, and it’s something unique to this club that no other club has.”
The owners said they look forward to continuing to provide a boutique tennis program to the community and building on the center that taught them how to play the game. “It’s just nice,” Mandell said, “to be able to have a business where I’m doing something that I love with a bunch of people that I’ve known and I love.”
For more information about Glen Head Racquet Club, visit www.glenheadracquetclub.com.