Resort Guy to Know: Tennis Pro Mike Sutcliffe

June 15, 2015

Every Friday, this Resort Girl attends a beginner one-hour tennis clinic taught by Tennis Director and Pro, Mike Sutcliffe of Palmetto Bluff Resort in Bluffton, S.C. One of my Resort Girlfriends started up this class as a fun, carefree way for our plantation’s RGs to learn, or get back, their tennis game.

Thankfully, Mike agreed to teach the class for us. He played for the College of Charleston, and previously taught at South Beach Racquet Club and Wexford Plantation on Hilton Head Island, S.C., as well as at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. This makes Mike a Resort Guy to Know.

I am glad to know him personally, as he is getting my tennis game back through a series of 10 private lessons in addition to the group class. Trust me, there are many improvements to go in my swing and such, but he has given me the skills, but mostly the confidence, to want to play again.

Mikes court lessons

As with most sports, your mind plays a big role, as much as body skills do. Here are two RG quick sports tips, I picked up and wanted to share from Mike’s clinic this week that hit both my mind and body:

  • Follow Through: In life and in sports, this is very important. Mike kept coaching us all to see our elbows on Friday. (You say what?!) Follow all the way through a swing until your elbow is at eye-level. This technique worked for me! My shots had been coming up short of the net until my elbows came into view and followed through on each one. Try it!
  • Accelerate: Be aggressive – on the courts, that is. As women, I think we sometimes tend to hold back and especially in a class with our fun RG friends. But, in most cases, in order to achieve the best tennis shots, acceleration and aggression is a good thing. Mike keeps telling me to accelerate through my swing and to hit the ball back hard to him. It definitely improved my shots and gained me some points.

Both of these concepts were easy for me to comprehend, as Mike pointed out to me that they are part of a golf swing. And, being a seasoned golfer, it made sense. Many times one sport compliments another, and it’s often easier to pick up a skill in one sport by relating the techniques of another.

So, get your tennis game back on the move, by suggesting and starting up a beginner Resort Girl tennis lesson at your club or community courts. It is a fun way to socialize, build skills and enjoy the outdoors.

And when visiting Palmetto Bluff, take a tennis lesson with Mike Sutcliffe on the 8 beautiful clay courts surrounded by the beauty of the Low Country. You can contact him at 843-706-6635.

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