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Tennis Anyone? The Vibrant Tennis Scene in Peachtree Corners



tennis in peachtree corners
Featured photo by George Hunter. Steger Ryland (foreground) with Hank Skurpski.

It’s time to get into the backswing of things. For tennis lovers of every age, stage and skill level, there is a place in Peachtree Corners to pick up a racquet.

Where to Play

Peachtree Corners Swim & Racquet Club

People make quite a racquet about Peachtree Corners Swim & Racquet Club (PCSR) because of the vast amenities it offers member families for recreation, quality exercise and more. It boasts four lit tennis courts with covered seating areas on each side, reservable through their website or app. Other features include a six-lane junior Olympic sized pool, playground, ping pong table, tetherball court, basketball court, volleyball court and a seasonal pavilion.

There are many teams that compete out of PCSR, in the respected tennis organizations of Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association (ALTA) and United States Tennis Association (USTA). This spans to adult men’s and women’s teams, as well as mixed doubles. Teams are open to club members, but non-club members can play out of the club for an additional fee.

2020 junior ALTA champions from Peachtree Corners Swim & Racquet.

“Peachtree Corners has a vibrant tennis community across multiple clubs and neighborhoods, so you don’t have to travel very far to get a match in,” PCSR Membership Chair Sonny Pieper said.

Tennis is a social sport with a broad appeal, bringing people from all walks of life together to work out and have a blast. PCSR Tennis Chair Ryan Corley first joined a weekly Sunday women’s team for beginners, before eventually stepping to a leadership role.

“I only started playing tennis myself the last three years, because there was an opening advertised for a beginner’s team out of our club. It was a great way to get to know people and to get to learn the game more and to foster that team spirit,” Corley said.

For more information, check out peachtree-corners.org.

Jones Bridge Swim and Tennis

Jones Bridge Swim and Tennis Club boasts a saline pool and 6 lit tennis courts for year-round play.  All 6 courts will be resurfaced at the beginning of May and will include pickleball and kids lines.

The club offers weekday and weekend teams across all levels of skill for ALTA and USTA. They have five to six teams for ALTA Mixed Doubles and four Men’s and four Women’s Doubles teams. Often they have one or more teams in playoff contention. Many players also play in flex leagues out of the club.

Their tennis pro, Courtney Allen, offers team drills, private, semi-private, group lessons and a juniors academy.

Another unique feature the club offers is cardio tennis which is available to both members and nonmembers.  Cardio tennis combines tennis and fitness with music – classes are held Monday evenings and Friday mornings. 

Jones Bridge Swim and Tennis also hosts fun tournaments every month including round robin mixers and triples tournaments.  For more information on Jones Bridge STC tennis, visit jonesbridgeclub.com/

The Club at Spalding Corners

This active neighborhood’s club offers four courts to its members. Both of their mixed teams won in their respective divisions this year and, in fact, one of their mixed captains is the second longest running captain in ALTA history, according to President of Spalding Corners Neighborhood Association (SCNA) Megan Powell.

The Club at Spalding Corners members showing off ALTA first place plaques

“Tennis is the best sport ever! It’s a great social sport, and to be competitive and compete at all ages is so great,” Powell said.

SCNA Tennis Chair Christina Stolte has been playing for roughly 21 years, starting about a year after moving into Spalding Corners. She also served as the former HOA president and now serves as the Grounds Committee Chairperson.

Stolte, who is instrumental in coordinating all things tennis at The Club in Spalding Corners, is quick to point out all the great opportunities for play — singles, doubles, mixed doubles, tournaments and more. Two years ago, the club hosted a triples tournament for members and guests to try a unique and different form of gameplay. The SCNA also offers tennis pro coaches for lessons and summer camps, as well as kids’ play.

The club is voluntary membership for residents of Spalding Corners, but it also allows non-residents to join for dues of $685 for families and $485 for adult individuals. Standard operation hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, according to their website.

In addition to its tennis offerings, The Club at Spalding Corners also has a lovely pool that has recently been resurfaced. It serves as the home base for the Spalding Corners Sharks, who ranked first place in Gwinnett County Summer Swim Leagues.

Peachtree Station Swim & Tennis

Peachtree Station Swim & Tennis Club (PSST) has eight LED-lighted tennis courts and two full-time certified United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) and United States Professional Tennis Registry (USPTR) tennis professionals on staff. Offerings include group, semi-private and private lessons, summer/holiday tennis camps, cardio tennis, tournaments, racket stringing and demos. The variety of levels of ALTA and USTA teams for men, women, children, seniors and mixed doubles out of PSST runs the gamut.

For those of us who really want to get the most out of every swing, it sometimes takes a savvy coach to motivate and teach us. That’s where a hardworking athlete comes in, like Joe Rahme, one of the tennis pros who works within PSST and Peachtree Corners Swim & Racquet. He puts his players through their paces, often instructing over several courts at once to make sure they’re getting the attention they need.

Coach Joe Rahme and his student tennis players

“Probably the most satisfying thing is just seeing everyone improve,” Rahme said. “I’ve had some players come is as complete beginners. They have never even played the game, and then over the year they become really good. And that is the most satisfaction I get.” Rahme also remarked that often tennis is a main source of exercise for people who go into the office (or work from home), so he makes sure they get a good workout.

“We believe that tennis is the ideal sport for a number of reasons,” PSST Club Manager Lise Weaver said. “Tennis is a sport that can be played for a lifetime. At PSST, tennis provides our members an opportunity to socialize and meet new people, and we even offer things like cardio tennis for those looking to use tennis as a way to get or stay in shape! Not to mention, tennis is relatively inexpensive and is a low injury sport.”

The Fields Club —Amberfield, Riverfield and Linfield

The Fields Club encompasses 50 acres of land between the Riverfield and Amberfield neighborhoods, much of that in view of the Chattahoochee River. It’s a mandatory membership community for residents, and it’s also open to outside members for access to its recreational programs, two pools, upcoming permanent pickleball courts, walking trails and 16 tennis courts. It’s interesting to note that they have the most tennis courts of any HOA Swim and Tennis community in the area.

Riverfield Fields Club aerial view.

Ace Tennis Academy, under Ace Tennis Management, has operated in the area for 25 years and has been with Fields Club since 2015. There are seven full-time on-site coaches on staff, and there tends to be 15 to 16 adult teams active in ALTA or USTA every season. There is ample opportunity for summer play and programs for all ages and abilities. The junior tennis program spans from introductory tennis to kids who are top players in the country.

“To give you a little history, we have had eight players who have hit number one in the country over the years, and a pretty solid number of kids who have gone on to play college tennis,” Tennis Director Jeff Weaver said.

Jeff Weaver

Ace’s team of tennis pros provides all the programming for the club “and the competitive part of the academy just kind of sits on top,” Weaver added.

For information on the Fields club, visit fieldsclub.com or email membership@fieldsclub.com.

Greater Atlanta Christian School Tennis Academy

In addition to its educational value, Greater Atlanta Christian School (GAC) has a unique asset in its tennis academy that allows students to receive tennis instruction as a PE elective or free period alternative during the school day.

GAC Tennis Pro Scott Hutchinson gives a lesson at GAC Tennis Academy.

With six outdoor courts and two additional indoor courts, there is plenty of room for kids to play. It’s worth noting that GAC is the only school campus in the state of Georgia to have indoor courts. The courts are within walking distance for students who participate in the tennis academy during school hours, so middle and high school players can walk over freely; elementary play is limited as younger children require an escort.

GAC Tennis Academy is a fully functional tennis academy that has operated within the school since 2017, with tennis professional staff accredited with USPTA and USPTR tennis coaches, professional organizations and USTA high performance certified coaches. Many of their tennis pro coaches have a trophy case full of awards and accolades, including Scott Hutchinson’s and Rocky Warner’s 2019 USTA Facility of the Year and 2020 USPTA Industry Excellence awards.

The academy is not a separate entity from the school; it’s completely integrated under its athletic arm. Similar school programs typically bring in an outside organization to provide such specialized programs, but GAC made a point to construct a new kind of leadership.

“We were very intentional in setting up GAC Tennis Academy as a direct part of the school instead of a separate group so we could be connected to the students and help them to succeed in the sport,” Hutchinson said.

Per scholastic sports regulations, the GAC Tennis Academy does not coach the GAC school tennis teams in any way and are not allowed to be present at practices. Student players can participate in camps and private lessons, however, and many do.

GAC Tennis Academy welcomes outside players from other schools for after-school programs, and also works with adults in USTA and ALTA. The academy will be part of GAC Grow Camps this summer. For more information, visit greateratlantachristian.org/athletics.

Life Time Athletic and Tennis Peachtree Corners

Life Time Peachtree Corners has 28 total tennis courts — 16 outdoor hard courts, 4 clay courts and 8 indoor tennis courts. They recently partnered with Academia Sánchez Casal to offer a junior academy for high level junior tennis players. Then there is the SMART Junior program, a junior development program that offers classes for ages four and up.

Life Time Peachtree Corners

“Our innovative SMART programming focuses on fun and athleticism first, with tennis skills coming second,” said Lifetime Public Relations Specialist Dan DeBaun. “We also offer a Play, Learn, Love Program — this is our beginner pathway for adults.”

Additionally, Life Time Peachtree Corners offers in-house leagues, mixers and tournaments for all levels, as well as ALTA and USTA League play. For anyone looking for one-on-one instruction, private lessons with USPTA and PTR certified professionals are available.

Find out more about life at Life Time at lifetime.life.

USTA and ALTA: A Primer

Here is a general overview of the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association (ALTA) and United States Tennis Association (USTA) sports organizations, which set the standards and organizational structures of competitive tennis in the U.S.

The USTA Southern office is located in Peachtree Corners, though their influence and authority reach much further.

“USTA Southern is one of 17 USTA sections. USTA Southern is the largest, with 25 percent of the national membership,” explained USTA Southern Communications Director Ron Cioffi. USTA Southern covers Georgia and also included Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

“USTA Southern acts as a regional office, even though we are called a section,” Cioffi continued. “Each of our states is considered a district. Local tennis play is organized by community tennis associations (CTA). USTA Atlanta is the local CTA and covers much of metro Atlanta.”

ALTA’s office is located in nearby Roswell and has much in common with USTA. They are both non-profit or not-for-profit organizations dedicated to maintaining the rules of play and sportsmanship. ALTA is also affiliated with USTA through membership in the Southern Tennis Association and abides by the USTA rules of tennis and code of play.

The main difference between the two, if any, is simply ALTA’s focus on play in the Metro Atlanta area. But if you play adult tennis locally and competitively, chances are high that any team you join would be under one of these two umbrellas.

*This article has been updated on April 12, to include information from Jones Bridge Swim and Tennis

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Peachtree Corners Gets Pole Position in Speed Week 2024



The 2024 Curiosity Lab Criterium will take place on a course in the world-famous Curiosity Lab in Peachtree Corners.
Criterium Race in 2023

The first Curiosity Lab Criterium took place last year on a cold, rainy day, but the weather didn’t dampen enthusiasm for the event.

The collection of Speed Week criteriums in Georgia and South Carolina kicks off Thursday, April 25, in Greenville, SC, and wraps up on Sunday, May 5, in College Park, GA.

Peachtree Corners has added many new components this year, including a Sunday time slot.

“It was a good opportunity for us to get a feel for it,” said Louis Svehla, the city’s communications director. “[We got to see] how it would work in the setup and stuff like that.”

This year’s event will also feature a running race, races for kids, food trucks, vendors and other activities for the family.

Speed Week is a premiere event on the U.S. Pro Cycling Circuit that draws cyclists worldwide, including Olympic medalists and world and national champions.  In 2023, the professional men’s and women’s events drew cyclists from over 30 states and more than 20 countries.

Criterium Race in 2023

Gearing up for race day

The 2024 Curiosity Lab Criterium will take place on a course in the world-famous Curiosity Lab in Peachtree Corners, a 5G-enabled, 500-acre living laboratory ecosystem designed specifically as a proving ground for IoT, mobility and smart city technologies.

The Curiosity Lab Criterium will feature an array of innovative technologies currently being deployed to help protect vulnerable road users (VRUs). This event will also showcase the VRU technology of tomorrow as exhibited by private sector V2X companies and sensor innovators, OEMs hardware and software manufacturers, government officials, bike companies, advocacy groups and more.

“Despite it being a dreary day in the middle of the week last year, the public showed up and had a good time,” Svehla said.

“We always want people to gather and hang out with each other, especially when these events are free and really for them,” he added.

“For our first one, we were very happy with the turnout. … The vendors and the food trucks we hired for the event made their minimums, so they didn’t cost the city any money,” he explained.

Criterium Race in 2023

Even better than last year

Event producers, sponsors and race teams also gave great feedback.

“They were ecstatic about this course. They absolutely loved it because it’s unlike any other course they have on this circuit,” he said. “They love that there were elevation changes and … it was in a different type setting, not just on a city street like others.”

The success of that first year prompted the promoters to move this year’s race to a Sunday, a weekend race. It’s the day after the Athens race and the second one in Georgia.

“It’s not really far distance,” Svehla added. “And because of that, we expect to have more professional riders, both in the men’s and women’s professional divisions. And we’re hoping that also boosts the amount of … third tier riders that are amateurs but want to compete.”

“Last year’s races started at 3 p.m., and I think the last race went off at 9 p.m.,” he said. “This year, we are starting at 10 in the morning.”

The last race starts at 8 p.m. and lasts about an hour. In between, there are several junior categories for kids from 9 to 14 years old, a 130-yard race for little kids ages 5 to 9, a foot race and many family-friendly activities.

“Although the bike races are open to whoever registers, the running races are invitational only,” Svehla said.

“They’re inviting some of the best runners from the Southeast,” he said. These people are going to run a sub-six-minute mile, minimum.”

3-D printed trophy

Taking home the gold

Last year’s custom 3-D printed trophies for the professional men and women competitors will be replicated in smaller trophies and medals for the amateur racers.

The design is the same as last year, but the spokes on the wheel are gold. Local company ZhumeisterLabs (ZLabs3D) will be making the trophies.

In addition to being a fun, family-focused event, Curiosity Lab Criterium is also a chance to showcase the best of Peachtree Corners.

“[This] allows us to showcase Curiosity Lab, its different technologies and what being an IT city means,” said Svehla.

“We also want to be a leader in working with companies to provide solutions that make being on the road or next to the roadway as safe as possible. This, hopefully, will encourage more cycling, walking, running and multi-use trails.”

Curiosity Lab Criterium 2024

What: U.S. Pro Cycling Circuit Race and Running Race 
When: Sunday, April 28
Time: 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners City Hall (310 Technology Pkwy)
Learn more about the event at peachtreecornersga.gov/385/Curiosity-Lab-Criterium-2024.

Speed Week Events
April 25 through May 5

Greenville Cycling Classic
Greenville, SC
Thursday, April 25

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Criterium
Spartanburg, SC
Saturday, April 27

Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium p/b Michelob Ultra
Athens, GA
Sunday, April 28

Curiosity Lab Criterium
Peachtree Corners, GA
Tuesday, April 30

Spin the District – Union City criterium
Union City, GA
Wednesday, May 1 (non-speed week event)

Bonus! Track racing @ Dick Lane Velodrome
East Point, GA
Friday, May 3

Spin the District – Hapeville Criterium
Hapeville, GA
Saturday, May 4

Lagrange Cycling Classic
Lagrange, GA
Sunday, May 5

Speed Week Finals – Spin the District – College Park Criterium
College Park, GA
Sunday, May 5

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Deflecting debilitating blows one Guardian Cap at a time



A Guardian Cap in use courtesy of Guardian Sports

With football season in the rearview for most players, the effects of injuries–especially those blows to the head–can alter careers and live well after the final play.

A relatively new piece of equipment manufactured in Peachtree Corners helps alleviate much of the impact from those hits that a helmet alone can’t deflect.

Husband and wife team Lee and Erin Hanson started Guardian Sports in 2011 with one goal: innovating equipment to better serve athletes. But one must go back even further to understand the science behind their technology.

“[Our initial company] really had nothing to do with sports,” said Erin.

She and her husband started the Hanson Group, a material science company, about 30 years ago.

“The Hanson Group solves problems for other companies–material science problems,” she said.

“Lee is a chemical engineer from Georgia Tech. … [He created] things for the military and all kinds of applications for all kinds of Fortune 500 companies. If they need something done quickly, they come to the Hanson Group and we try to solve their material science problems,” she explained.

By chance, someone from the helmet industry came to them looking to make a more flexible helmet.

“We saw the data behind what it could do to flex the exterior of a helmet,” she said. “And even though that company didn’t make it, we decided that if we could retrofit any football helmet inexpensively, we could cut down on the impact that all players were feeling.”

Making football fun and safe for all

When the idea for Guardian Caps came together, the Hansons weren’t considering adding another division to the company.

The drive to make the helmet accessory grew from the passion to help the game.

“Quite honestly, Lee and I were pretty far along in our lives. We had raised five children, and he had been at the Hanson Group for at least 20 years by then,” said Erin.

The couple questioned whether they wanted to launch something new and revolutionary. There was nothing like it on the market.

“We felt like if we’re going to go direct to consumer, we’re going to branch off to a whole new company and just go for it and see if we can make a difference,” said Erin.

Through trial and error, Lee and his team analyzed data that showed what a softer helmet exterior could do to reduce impact, which would translate into reducing injury rates.

“And how can we do it in a way that’s affordable and could be available for mass adoption?” Lee said during an interview with the city of Peachtree Corners.

“How can I make it affordable to that mom who’s already buying all that equipment for her child to play youth football? How can we create a one-size-fits-all?” he recalled.

He said they worked with a cut-and-sew facility and seamstress and made up the first prototypes before testing them in a laboratory.

Their son and his teammates at Wesleyan became the first to practice with the new equipment.

In 2012, The University of South Carolina and Clemson were the first college adopters, and the company experienced solid grassroots growth after that.

Joining the Peachtree Corners business community

By 2014, the Hansons moved their company to Peachtree Corners to benefit from the pro-business, family-friendly community and strong Georgia Tech connections.

The Guardian Cap is now used by over 300,000 youth high school and college athletes nationwide and mandated by the NFL for all 32 teams.

The cap dramatically reduces the force of impact upon collision, as experienced by football and lacrosse players. This topic has come to national attention due to CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and its relation to concussions.

According to company literature, in 2017, Guardian won the first NFL HeadHealth TECH challenge to “develop new and improved helmet and protective equipment.”

While the football helmet itself has undergone many changes since the early days of the small leather hats that only covered the tops of the head and the ears (no face mask and nothing to absorb blows from tackles and other hits), Guardian Caps are an accessory that builds upon modern technology.

Some college and professional players wear helmets made so that the interior conforms to their heads. Guardian Caps adds a layer of protection on the outside, absorbing shock before the impact even reaches the helmet.

“Now, obviously, safety is a concern amongst athletes. So, Guardian Cap has come up with this soft-shell layer that goes on top of the hard shell of the helmet,” said Lee.

In 2018, testing done by NFL and NFLPA-appointed engineers revealed that Guardian Caps made a statistically significant improvement over hard-shell helmets alone, company literature said.

By August 2020, the NFL allowed its teams to wear Guardian Caps during practice. The Jacksonville Jaguars were the first to do so. In July 2022, Guardian Caps were featured at NFL training camps for all 32 teams.

This year, the NFL mandated that Guardian Caps be used for the 2023 season in all pre-season, regular season, and post-season practices. Players in position groups with the most head contact will be required to wear Guardian Caps in addition to running backs and fullbacks, as well as linemen and linebackers.

No one-hit-wonder

Genius doesn’t take a timeout, and Guardian Sports isn’t resting on the Caps’ success alone.

“We’re constantly evolving, and although Guardian Caps is our flagship product, we’ve got others,” said Erin.

Their son Jake was a lacrosse goalie at Georgia Tech, dodging rock-hard projectiles flying at him at 93 miles an hour.

“So, we said, ‘You know, why don’t we make lacrosse balls out of rubber?’” Erin said.

Thus, Lee created a urethane ball. Called the “Pearl,” it is now the official ball of the NCAA lacrosse tournament.

The Hansons have also developed infill for artificial turf fields that isn’t made of used car tires.

Without the chemicals and carcinogens of rubber tires, the smoother pellets are puffed with air, cause fewer abrasions and lower the temperature of the field by as much as 30 degrees.

“As we see things, it’s really difficult not to want to solve things when you see our children being affected by it,” said Erin.

Investors initially wanted to sell Guardian Caps at $1,000 each, but the Hansons knew that families couldn’t afford that price tag for youth sports. At the end of the day, they are a dad and a mom who are looking out for the safety of kids.

“The NFL is really cool, and they’ve helped us with exposure, but, you know, we’ve got a real passion for helping those young developing players, for sure,” she said.

Guardian Sports
3044 Adriatic Ct NW
Peachtree Corners, GA 30071

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Curiosity Lab Criterium 2024 Scheduled for Peachtree Corners as Part of Speed Week



The 2024 Curiosity Lab Criterium will take place on a course in the world-famous Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners.
Curiosity Lab Criterium 2023 (Photos by Roxy Stone, Tytan Pictures)

The City of Peachtree Corners is proud to announce the scheduling of the second Annual Curiosity Lab Criterium as part of Speed Week on April 28, 2024. 

This year’s event will also feature a running race, kid’s races, food trucks, vendors and other activities for the family.

Curiosity Lab Criterium 2023 (Photos by Roxy Stone, Tytan Pictures)

Speed Week is a premiere week-long event on the U.S. Pro Cycling Circuit that draws cyclists from around the world, including Olympic medalists and world and national champions.  

In 2023, the professional men’s and women’s events drew cyclists from over 30 states and more than 20 countries.

The 2024 Curiosity Lab Criterium will take place on a course in the world-famous Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners, a 5G-enabled 500-acre living laboratory ecosystem designed specifically as a proving ground for IoT, mobility and smart city emerging technologies.

Curiosity Lab Criterium 2023 (Photos by Roxy Stone, Tytan Pictures)

The Criterium will feature an array of innovative technologies currently being deployed to help protect vulnerable road users (VRUs).  

This event will also showcase the VRU technology of tomorrow as exhibited by private sector V2X companies and sensor innovators, OEMs hardware and software manufacturers, government officials, bike companies, advocacy groups and more.

Curiosity Lab Criterium 2023 (Photos by Roxy Stone, Tytan Pictures)

Enter a race, or just come to enjoy the festivities.  

CategoryTime Duration
Junior 9-10, 11-12 and 13-1410 a.m.30 min.
Junior 15-16 and 17-1810:45 a.m.30 min.
Master 40+ 11:30 a.m.45 min.
Master 50+ and Master 60+12:30 p.m.45 min.
Women 4/51:30 p.m.30 min.
Men 4/52:15 p.m.30 min.
Women 3/43 p.m.40 min.
Men 2/33:50 p.m.45 min.
Running Race5 p.m.15 min.
Kid’s Races5:15 p.m.15 min.
Women Pro 1/2/3 5:45 p.m.50 min.
Men Pro 1/2 7 p.m.60 min.
Curiosity Lab Criterium schedule

Race registration and additional details will be released as they become available.

Learn more about V2X Mobility here.

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