Lubbock Country Club’s tennis facility just won a prestigious award but it’s a little hard knowing who gets credit.
If you ask General Manager Jerod Becton, he credits Tennis Pro Mel McRee.
If you ask Mel, he credits Jerod.
“Yes, technically, the award went to me,” said Jerod.
But every club member can take pride in The Club winning the Small Facility Manager of the Year award from the Texas Division of the United States Professional Tennis Association.
Small facility means eight courts or less and LCC has exactly eight courts – not counting the new pickleball court.
“He’s been absolutely instrumental,” said Mel of Jerod’s support for the tennis program.
“The first thing he did when taking over in 2015 was look it all over and he made mental notes of everything that was old, outdated, dilapidated and broken. Then he found ways to allocate funding to get the jobs done,” said Mel.
So what got done? Mel has a list.
• Resurfaced all eight courts.
• Relamped all lighting fixtures
• Installed new windscreens on outdoor courts with logo
• Turned a dilapidated hitting wall into a pickleball court
• Taking online court reservations and offering a phone app
• Increased Wimbledon event from one day to two full days of tennis including a grass court
• Increased budget to add new tennis pros and educational opportunities for those pros through USPTA
• Added smart features to operate music and fans
• Allocated funding to replace 30-year-old curtains for indoor courts.
• Improved the outdoor viewing area
“That’s a hell of a lot in one year,” said Mel.
Mel serves on the group that gives the award.
“When we were going through the nominations, I went through list of what we’ve done and they said that’s pretty clear cut. There was not another club nominated that did remotely close to what we did in 2017,” he said.
All of this has led to more activity, said Mel.
“We have a good staff and members are proud of facility and come out and play,” he said.
In addition, a brick wall that was hit by a truck six years ago near tennis was finally repaired and fences were installed behind the kitchen so when tennis members go to the Clubhouse for lunch they don’t have to see the trash.
“Jerod sees the little things and makes sure it gets taken care of,” said Mel.
“At times we felt like we were not part of The Club … now we feel included,” he said.
Jerod was quick to credit Mel.
“He almost doubled our junior program in one year and has grown clinics and player development,” said Jerod. “Anything intangible Mel did, anything tanglible, I got funded.”
One more small example was the cable TV did not have the Tennis Channel and Jerod switched to another so the Tennis Channel could be watched in Tennis.
Jerod also said pointed out different ways to get funding.
He showed Mel how to replace the outside court windscreens through a weather-related insurance claim.