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Serving Aces

Posted On June 3, 2020

Cedar Creek Club’s winning points 

By: KAT FORD

A serve in tennis is a shot to start a point. Serve seems to be a perfect homonym when speaking about the Cedar Creek Club in Cashiers, as they are well known for both their racquet sports and their service to the plateau. The inaugural fundraising event for Mountain Youth Charities, a local nonprofit whose mission is to enrich the lives of children in the community, was the “Mountain Challenge: Roddick vs. Courier” at Cedar Creek Club in 2013. During this challenge, two of the greatest competitors in tennis history, Andy Roddick and Jim Courier, competed in a rare experience for regional tennis enthusiasts surrounded by scenic mountain views. The game of tennis has a rich history at Cedar Creek. In addition to the Mountain Challenge, they have hosted other greats, including Fred Stolle, Rod Laver and Tim Wilkison.

Cedar Creek Club rests on 50 beautiful lakeside acres with stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains overlooking Lake Lupton. Originally part of a 730-acre residence owned by the Lupton family of Chattanooga, TN in the 1930s, seven-acre Lake Lupton formed after damming a portion of the Horsepasture River. When the property was bought in 1977 by a group of Cashiers investors, A. William McKee bought 150 acres intending to build a racquet club with a surrounding residential development. Small and family-focused, Cedar Creek promotes the Southern hospitality values of kindness and togetherness with an active lifestyle. This can be found in their lakeside activities, such as fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, walking trails and beach volleyball, or in their yearly children’s summer camp and annual 4th of July Regatta. 

As to be expected from a club that started with a common love of racquet sports in 1982, Cedar Creek Club has a robust offering in racquet centered athletics. The club boasts five Har-Tru tennis courts, one hard tennis court (with three pickleball courts), one racquetball court, and a full-service Pro Shop. Along with selling clothing and accessories, the Pro Shop also arranges doubles and single matches for member tennis players. Athletics Director and Pro at Cedar Creek Club, Chris Todd, was trained by US Tennis Professional Master Pro Bob Love and is PTR, PPR, and USTA certified while training in USPTA and USCA. Private lessons and clinics are scheduled every week in all sports and are available for all ages; even non-members can book a private lesson in the afternoons.

In recent years Cedar Creek has witnessed the rise of a new sport, croquet. With a full-size turf croquet lawn, croquet socials and interclub matches have proved to be a big success. In 2019 the Cedar Creek Club Croquet Team won the Bill McClanahan Mountain Croquet Challenge, bringing home the coveted crystal mallet. The Mountain Croquet Challenge is an end of year event with clubs from Lake Toxaway to Sky Valley participating in a two-day Golf Croquet challenge for bragging rights as to who has the best Golf Croquet team on the plateau. The winning team gets to display the crystal mallet at their club for the rest of the year.

Cedar Creek knows that an active lifestyle doesn’t just mean athletics; their social calendar is full of enriching experiences for both the mind and soul. With a roster of excitement for the whole family, members also enjoy fantastic cuisine in three separate dining areas, monthly themed parties, lectures, and specialty nights including gin and trivia. During downtime, a dip in their heated pool, a stroll by the lake, or roasting marshmallows by the fire are the types of memory-making experiences that make Cedar Creek Club beloved by all of its members. There’s an unmistakable enchantment when listening to staff and members talk about Cedar Creek, a sort of well-known secret that you have to experience to understand. It’s a sentiment akin to the stories you hear from childhood friends that just got home from summer camp. A romantic whimsy that you hope you are lucky enough to see for yourself. 

The key to any successful sport is the willingness to be a team player, and the members of Cedar Creek Club have a proven track record of doing just that. Through the CCC Charitable Fund, members of Cedar Creek Club generously raise and distribute money to charities throughout the area annually, raising over $130,000 in 2019 alone. With a warm, welcoming reputation and hearts for not just their treasured club, but for those in the community around them, it’s clear that the members of Cedar Creek will continue to serve with a smile- both on and off the court.

Notes For The Novice

Defining points of Tennis, Pickleball and Croquet by Cedar Creek Club Pro Chris Todd

Tennis: There are six basic strokes to learn and master in tennis: forehand groundstroke, backhand groundstroke, forehand volley, backhand volley, overhead and server. Once you feel confident with your strokes, footwork becomes the main focus.

Equipment and court facts: Racquet is 27 inches long with strings. Court: 120 ft long by 60 ft wide 

Pickleball: A great sport with many similarities to tennis, such as the same terms for strokes. Differences include serving technique; you have to serve underhand while in tennis, you serve over your head. A lot of players love pickleball because it can be a fast-paced sport but is on a smaller court than tennis.

Equipment and court facts: Paddle length cannot exceed 17 inches. Court: 64 ft long by 40 ft wide

Croquet: Three different grips, Solomon, Standard grip and Irish grip. The sport has different types of gameplay, the two main forms of gameplay are Golf Croquet and Six Wicket. The most popular gameplay on the plateau is Golf Croquet. If you like billiards, golf, strategy and socializing with people, this is the game for you! 

Equipment and lawn facts: Mallets weight 2 to 3 pounds, the length of shaft varies from 30 - 38 inches. Lawn: 100 ft long by 50 ft wide with six wickets