Book Review
By Mike VanZutphen

Reviewed by Rich Neher

I have never come across a book that was more jam packed with information about managing a tennis club. Having been in a General Manager position of a Los Angeles based tennis and fitness club I can appreciate all the guidelines, rules, and forms Mike VanZutphen has packed into this 383-page 8.5x11 book. In fact, I wished I had that book on hand at the time. Would have made my life a lot easier.Mike starts out with a 10-page Club Audit to enable the reader to "meet the perceived needs of our membership/guest," followed by an 18 page section he describes as General Guest Information. I loved that part because it provides a complete packet of information and sample sheets to be given to new club members, including

  • Staff
  • Hours
  • Basic policies
  • Court booking
  • Guest policy
  • Leagues

The section Tennis Lessons and Clinics is packed with details and samples about lesson fees, junior development pathway, program schedules, camps, attendance sheets and the likes. Under Tennis Essentials Mike lists

  • String Services + picking the right strings
  • Sample Racquet Log
  • Ball Machine + Log

The next chapters are dedicated to the Swimming Pool (should you have one), Programming with policies and rules, a 7-page Membership Retention Program Packet, and an 18-page Job Descriptions section that covers

  • Employee or Independent Contractor
  • Swim Professional
  • Front Desk Agent
  • Maintenance Engineer
  • Snack Bar Area
  • Pro Shop Manager
  • Program Director
  • Activities Director
  • Director of Tennis

The Employee Training section includes bonus programs, cost/benefit analysis, training games, checklist and sample training sessions with meeting agendas, and is followed by an extensive chapter on Operating Procedures including cleaning and maintenance.

The next 180 or so pages are filled with samples of plans and proposals, numbers, projections, just all useful information with lots of real life examples.

When you write such an extensive book and fill it with so much useful content, you can't avoid typos. Self-published books don't necessarily have the luxury of a professional proof reader. I tend to not dwell on mistakes especially after reading and reviewing the late Vic Braden's last book, which actually included a letter of apology for all the typos.

resource for club managers and as such I think it should belong on every club manager's desk.Mike VanZutphen's career, his accomplishments, and now his book are just too valuable as a resource for club managers and as such I think it should belong on every club manager's desk.

Mike Van Zutphen has had thirty years of experience in Tennis Instructional Program Management, including the design and development of direct mail and promotional campaigns. He's a Certified Master Professional in the USPTA- one of 135 classified educationally at that level in the world.The recipient of 5 Southwest Professional of the Year Awards, 2 time recipient of the Southwest Coach of the Year Award, 2 time recipient of the National USTA Community Service Award only Professional in US to ever receive it twice. Mike was also the recipient of the Humanitarian Citation given by then Phoenix Mayor Terry Goddard now serving as Attorney General State of Arizona.Mike is a Board/Committee Member of the USPTA National Testing Committee, designing and administering content and certification for USPTA. Five year member of USPTA National Executive Committee, representing Southwest USPTA, four years as Divisional President.Qualifications include professional skills in all operations of club management from proshop, programming, training and supervision of staff along with skills in computer and point of sale systems.
Detailed Bio here
Mike lives in Newport Beach California and is the Director of Tennis at SeaCliff Country Club in Huntington Beach. He has 2 daughters and a wonderful wife of 35 years. He is still coaching tour players in the 200 level ATP and 100 Level WTA. He works on his website the one minute tennis lesson to help his members and clients with mechanical proficiency.You can purchase Mike's book (and his other tennis publications) here: http://oneminutetennislesson.comYou can reach Mike at