As construction of new paddleball and pickleball courts nears completion at the Inverness Golf Club (IGC), IGC General Manager and COO William Skelnik has announced the hiring of Andrew Buchholz as the new Director of Racquet Sports at the club.
Buchholz, a USPTA Elite Professional, will oversee the club’s tennis, paddleball, and pickleball programs. With the addition of pickleball and paddleball (or platform tennis) to their already robust tennis program, Inverness Golf Club will now offer a dynamic, year-round racquet sports program to its members.
“It’s really an exciting time at the club,” Buchholz said. “It’s the first time there will be a year-round program which makes IGC somewhat unique among area facilities.”
Originally a native of Michigan, Buchholz attended and played tennis at Carmel High School in Mundelein after his family moved to this area. He went on to play tennis at Ferris State University while earning his degree in their professional tennis management program.
“With the addition of the new courts and the introduction of these new sports, Andrew will have a lot on his plate,” said Skelnik. “Inverness Golf Club has a well-established tennis program for both adults and juniors, which Andrew will use as a model for introducing pickleball and paddleball.”
Buchholz is already implementing his plan to teach all three sports through clinics, drills, group classes, and individual lessons. He will also continue offering club tennis tournaments while introducing similar events for pickleball and paddleball.
While pickleball can be played on a tennis court, it provides a better experience when played on a court designed and dedicated to the unique aspects of the sport. Buchholz is thrilled to see IGC’s commitment to the new courts, which he expects to be open in April.
“Pickleball is a spring and summer sport, so our members will be able to enjoy the coming season,” he said. “I expect many of our tennis members may try pickleball, but I think it will also attract a new set of players as it tends to be more of a fun, social activity.”
Buchholz discovered platform tennis after college and has gone on to be a competitive player in the sport, traveling to tournaments around the country. His vision of lui is to introduce the sport at Inverness Golf Club by developing in-house leagues as well as teams that can enter competitions with other area clubs and groups.
“People are surprised to learn that paddleball is played outdoors even though it is a winter sport. The court is elevated and has propane heaters below the court surface. With screens around the court that are part of the playing surface, it can be a very vigorous and competitive game. It will be a great way for tennis players to stay active all year. “
“Obviously, Inverness Golf Club is well-known for our exceptional championship golf course, but both our swimming and tennis programs have very deep roots in our history,” said Skelnik. “The commitment of our Board and membership to build these new facilities, along with an ultra-casual dining spot will help us expand the value and overall experience for our members.”