Many tennis clubs in Switzerland are private, meaning you have to pay a yearly club fee to use their facilities. This is annoying when your kids take tennis lessons because, in addition to the lesson fee, you have to pay a membership fee of 150+CHF for your child. And if you want to play tennis with your child, you’d have to pay another membership fee for yourself. It might be worth it if your kids are older and you play every week. But for hitting the ball around with a 5 year old a couple times a summer? No thanks.
Happily, there are public tennis clubs (aka “öffentlichen Tennishallenplätzen”) that do not require a membership fee, several right in Zurich city (their website). And there is a new new online tennis court reservation system, MyTins, that shows where these public tennis clubs are and makes it super easy to reserve a court. I went for the first time today and we had so much fun that I’m kicking myself that I didn’t figure this out earlier.
A few tips…
I’m not an expert on Got Courts but I’ll tell you what I know. After you register, you can add clubs to your profile so you can easily see their schedule. When selecting clubs, you will see public and private clubs, but will only be able to reserve public ones (or private ones of which you are a member). When you look at a club’s schedule, you can mouse over open time slots and it will show you how much it costs to reserve the court for an hour. The prices range from 10-30CHF depending on the club and time of day. You can reserve up to two weeks in advance as well as the current day. To reserve, you simply click on the time slot you want. It seemed too easy so I was a little worried when I showed up at the club. But I simply gave my name and payed my 10CHF in cash and I was on the court a minute later.
We went to TA Mythenquai in Zurich near the lake. It’s right next door to a private club where my son had previously taken lessons. There is seemingly no difference between the private and public courts so I’m really wondering what I paid that 150CHF membership fee for. I have a few friends that have arranged private tennis classes at the public courts, which was much more affordable without the membership fee.
I don’t know how other clubs are, but at TA Mythenquai, they have rackets to rent (adult and child-sized) for 5CHF. This is great if you just want to try it out before committing to a pricey racket or if you want to bring a few friends along that don’t have rackets. We bought our rackets at Karstadt Sport in Konstanz (Lago Center) and it was much more affordable than anything we saw in Switzerland.
Most outdoor courts I’ve seen in Switzerland are clay, with which I was previously unfamiliar before moving here. If you play on a clay court, you are expected to groom the court after you are finished. My court had the above sign indicating how they wanted me to groom the court. It’s not hard, but make sure you have enough time to finish before the next players show up. If you have a 5 year old helping you, it may take much longer than you think.