Ace, Ace, Baby

Photography by Scott Avra and Mark Davidson

BIGHORN’s tennis program reached another milestone this year with a  dynamic exhibition, the Kate Laver Tennis Invitational, as a fundraiser benefitting special needs children and their families. The event was held on BIGHORN’s brand new tennis courts and featured ATP Newcomer-of-theYear Taylor Fritz playing against 2016 Jr. French Tennis Open Champion Bjorn Fratangelo for a $15,000 Purse and the Mason Zisette Memorial Heart Trophy. The balls flying back and forth across the court led to a 6 games to 4 win for Bjorn – and a very impressed audience.

The crowd then erupted in laughter and good fun as emcee Jon Lovitz called the match featuring the most celebrated doubles team in men’s tennis, identical twins Mike and Bob Bryan, whose opponents were the legendary Murphy and Luke Jensen, men’s doubles winners of the 1993 French Open. Known for their antics and chest bumps, the Jensen Brothers had the crowd roaring with laughter even though the Bryan Brothers were on fire taking an easy lead. At one point, the Bryan Brothers traded in their new technology for wood racquets, had Jon Lovitz fill in for a point that he actually won, and laid their rackets down on the courts as they sat down after a double fault serve by Murphy Jensen. The jabs and friendly camaraderie were fantastically entertaining, with the Bryan Brothers winning  6 games to 4.

“To have these talented young pros and impressive players at BIGHORN was an exceptional experience for our Members,” shares BIGHORN Chairman R.D. Hubbard. “As our tennis Membership grows, our Tennis & Fitness Director, Frank Fanning, will create even more unique, interactive experiences for our Members.” Inspired by 10-year-old Kate Laver, born with Cerebral Palsy, the Kate Laver Invitational raised over $750,000  benefitting AngelView, Pegasus Riding Academy, and  United Cerebral Palsy of the Inland Empire. These nonprofits that serve children with special needs receive valuable equipment and support services needed to improve their quality of life and sustain a strong family bond. In addition, a special treadmill was given to the child support services located in Indio and Palm Springs to help 100 children work through therapy to learn how to walk.

Hustle, Hit, and Never Quit! BIGHORN’s thriving tennis program kicked off last season  with BIGHORN’s Tennis Classic. “It was a variety of fun, interactive drills blended with spirited camaraderie,” shares Member Kerry Killinger. “We were thrilled that everyone could share this experience, and as we always say, ‘Tennis players have more fun!’ ” The fabulous day turned into a fabulous dinner party for 80. Whether you are just starting out or are a future Club champ, BIGHORN’s exemplary tennis program is right  for you! With a variety of Drill & Plays, Beginner and  Advanced Clinics, Ladies’ Play and Men’s  Doubles, and Junior Sessions,  you can enhance  your skills, learn new techniques, and meet other Members who have a passion to play. Considered a tight-knit group, the tennis Members all have a ball!

“Frank runs an entertaining and growing tennis program that has attracted a wide variety of players of all abilities who enjoy tennis and good friends through parties and other social events,” describes Tony Ogrodnick, General Manager. “Our outstanding tennis program has attracted many new Members to BIGHORN, and we encourage all Members to try out the complimentary Drill & Plays and quality tennis instruction.”

BIGHORN will continue to provide the best instruction and Club Championship tournaments, but the real value to  BIGHORN’s tennis program is the social network of players  and how readily they welcome new tennis players at  BIGHORN.

“I am proud of the work that we have done with the growth in the tennis program,” says Fanning, “but the real heroes  in the program’s growth are the Members. They bring in new players and, even more importantly, they welcome and  indoctrinate the new Members into this exciting and active life at BIGHORN.”

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