TRAVERSE CITY — If tennis is your racquet, a Traverse City store that opened earlier this summer has you covered.
If pickleball is more your passion, paddle to the same store on Woodmere Avenue.
TC Tennis Racquet owner Dane Fosgard said business has been booming since he opened a storefront on June 9 at Woodmere Commons. It helps that Fosgard has a connection to the local tennis community through his three years of coaching high school girls’ and boys’ teams in Traverse City St. Francis, in addition to his certification with the United States Professional Tennis Association.
“We have a lot of business with local high school tennis teams, tourists as well as local pickleball players,” Fosgard said.
“The tennis community has been so supportive,” said Doreen Fosgard, who works part-time at TC Tennis, including on a sunny Friday afternoon. “Anyone Dane has tutored and their parents, and anyone who drives by and sees we are open. But pickleball is only getting stronger.
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport for the second year in a row, according to a February 2022 article from USA Pickleball, which cites the Sports and Fitness Industry Association’s 2022 Topline Participation Report. The SFIA study found pickleball participation increased by almost 40% between 2019 and 2021 to 4.8 million players.
At TC Tennis Racquet, Dane Fosgard reported that the sport NBC News describes as “a hybrid of badminton, ping pong and tennis” accounts for about 35% of activity at the 741 Woodmere Ave store.
“It surprised me,” he said. “Pickleball players are like tennis players, always on the lookout for the latest and greatest products and we have them all. We have a huge inventory.
Dane Fosgard said the region has responded to increased interest in pickleball by converting some outdoor courts to the sport or at least adding the option.
“There are a ton of them,” he says. “Traverse City probably has the most outdoor tennis and pickleball courts in the state.”
Fosgard said the area is a bit behind when it comes to the number of indoor courts for tennis and/or pickleball, saying the number can be counted over two hands.
It only takes one hand to count the number of tennis specialty stores in Michigan, Fosgard said. Equipment for playing tennis and pickleball is available at sporting goods and other stores, but the number specializing in tennis is a bit scarce.
“There’s the Tennis Connection in Grand Rapids, Tennis and Golf in Detroit, and us,” Fosgard said. “Each business serves a wide range of customers. We get people from Petoskey, Cadillac. We receive people from everywhere.
A couple of young tennis players stopped by TC Tennis Racquet before closing time on Friday. Glen Lake High School junior Jaiden Thompson was looking at a Babolat Pure Strike racquet for the tennis team.
Thompson was looking for a new racquet on the recommendation of teammate Ben Selby.
“He told me about this place,” Thompson said. “I was demonstrating with his racquet today.”
In addition to offering equipment for tennis and racquetball, TC Tennis Racquet also emphasizes service. Doreen Fosgard said her son had two palm machines and was looking to buy another after the US Open tournament.
“His niche is service,” Fosgard said of his son. “He can usually put a racquet down and get it back to you in a day or two.”
“Racket (repair) and racquet stringing,” Dane Fosgard said. “We are very busy with the racket strapping. We have a top of the line stringing machine and all the best strings on the market.
“When we take a racquet out, we inspect it and make sure the racquet is in good condition. If not, we recommend a newer model that they can upgrade to.
In addition to equipment for playing tennis or pickleball, Dane Fosgard said TC Tennis Racquet offers a wide range of clothing for men and women.
TC Tennis Racquet is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except when the owner is on the road for a show. Dane Fosberg said TC Tennis Racquet plans to stay open through the winter, but he said he has to rehire his current staff due to college and retirement commitments, including his mother.
New home for Top Drawer
TC Tennis Racquet sits in the location that had housed Top Drawer Consignment Furniture for two years, which had moved to Woodmere Commons after 22 years at 1115 E. Eighth St.
Top Drawer Consignment Furniture opened July 1 in the former home of Martinek’s Jewelry at 950 Duell Road, which parallels South Airport Road just east of Garfield Avenue. Now there are furniture instead of jewelry boxes and staged pieces in the old offices.
“It’s been great here too,” said Rick Carmean, owner of Top Drawer Consignment Furniture. “For me, it went very well. The owners there were great. It was a good compromise for both of us. »
Carmean said he discussed renting space at his new location when longtime friend and table tennis rival Paul Everts announced this spring that he was closing Martinek’s Jewelry earlier this year.
Martinek’s Jewelry had been in business for 144 years and in Duell Road since 2013.
But Everts isn’t entirely out of business despite the shutdown.
Paul’s Jewelry Repair is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday in its repair space at the back of the store.
“It worked well for both of us,” Carmean said. “It’s a pleasure to work with him. So far so good for both of us.
“Traverse City probably has the most outdoor tennis and pickleball courts in the state.” Dane Fosgard, owner of TC Tennis Racquet