RSF Tennis Club named USTA Tennis Club of the Year

Tennis club
RSF Association Manager Christy Whalen, Chris Finkelson, RSFTC Board Vice President Stacey Pennington, RSFTC Manager John Chanfreau, Brigette Bradshaw and Director of Tennis Derek Miller at the RSF Open opening day.
(Robert McKenzie)

The Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club was recently named the 2023 Tennis Club of the Year by the USTA San Diego chapter.

“That’s a huge kudos to everyone at our tennis club,” said Rancho Santa Fe Association Manager Christy Whalen, recognizing especially the tennis club’s General Manager John Chanfreau. “John joined us about two and a half years ago and anyone who’s been at the club lately can feel the vitality and just the energy and the skill and talent that he’s brought to the club.”

Established in 1962, the Association’s tennis club’s facilities on the golf course campus include two clay courts, nine hard courts, and four dedicated pickleball courts for all levels of competition and skill levels. Chanfreau said it’s definitely a very special thing to be recognized by the USTA in San Diego County as they continue to build a fantastic club for its members.

Stacey Pennington, the vice president of the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club board, is one of the members who has been happily wrapped up in the excitement of the club over the last two years. She and her family joined the club in 2019 and their enthusiasm for tennis as a fun and healthy outlet grew during the pandemic.

“It’s been an awesome part of our lives. My oldest son was able to discover how much he loves tennis and I became completely obsessed,” said Pennington, who found herself participating in clinics one to two times a week, getting hooked on the adventure and journey of getting better as a player. “The community is just incredible, the people are wonderful.”

She and her husband became super-involved at the club and she was elected to the board last year, serving first as secretary and now as vice president.

This year has been a busy and successful one for the club. The juniors program is strong and on the adult side, the Women’s 3.0 USTA team won the Southern California Sectionals this spring.

The club played host to frequent social events for members and gave back through events such as Second Serve Charity Day, benefitting underprivileged youth with gently used tennis equipment and Pickle the Cure to support Curebound, an organization that invests funds into innovative cancer research projects.

This year the club was excited to host its second annual Rancho Santa Fe Open, a women’s USTA Pro Circuit event that was a big success. The club was also a stop on the SoCal Pro Circuit, both events exposing the community to world-class tennis.

In July, the Rancho Santa Fe Association board approved a $150,000 clubhouse refresh that included interior and exterior wood staining, updated lighting, new lounge furniture and a kitchen upgrade that is nearly complete: “It’s a really beautiful building and now I feel like it’s an even better showcase for everyone to enjoy,” Pennington said.

The tennis club hopes to soon get a “Club of the Year” banner on display and there are plans to continue to celebrate the accomplishment throughout the coming months.

“It’s very, very exciting and it’s so well deserved. It’s really the result of the entire team’s efforts, “Pennington said. “We have the most amazing staff and pros in the region and they are really the heart and soul of the club.”

The next upcoming social event will be the RSF Tennis Club’s annual holiday party, held on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 6 p.m.