LEGEND STAN SMITH EARNS LOCAL, STATE ACCOLADES
BY HILTON HEAD MONTHLY | PHOTO BY RITTERBECK PHOTOGRAPHY
Stan Smith has enjoyed a decorated tennis career. The Hilton Head Island resident, a former No. 1 player, won the U.S. Open in 1971 and Wimbledon in 1972.
He won 39 singles titles and 61 doubles titles. He also founded, with B.J. Stearns, the Smith Stearns Tennis Academy, which has developed young tennis players for 20 years.
Smith’s accomplishments were recently recognized by local and state officials.
The Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head Island dedicated its new outdoor pavilion to Stan and Margie Smith as “Club Champions” in honor of their long-standing commitment to the Club’s mission to serve those in need.
Stan Smith joined the board in 1994 and has led several key capital campaigns. He and his wife have been co-hosting the Club’s annual gala for more than 20 years.
“We are extremely grateful to have Stan and Margie in our corner,” said Kim Likins, Club director. “Their tireless commitment to making sure our young Members have bright futures is truly remarkable.”
The new pavilion is used as an optional space for learning and socializing, as well as a place to host events.
Smith was also honored by state Gov. Henry McMaster. During a ceremony held by the Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head Island celebrating the 50th anniversary of Smith winning the 1972 Wimbledon title and being ranked the top tennis player, McMaster presented Smith with the Order of the Palmetto. The award is the state’s highest civilian honor presented in recognition of a lifetime of extraordinary achievement and service.
“Mr. Smith is known around the world as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, but in South Carolina, he is known for his long list of charitable work,” said McMaster. “Mr. Smith has dedicated himself to giving back to the Hilton Head Community and promoting Hilton Head through the game of tennis. He exemplifies what it means to be an Order of Palmetto recipient. We thank him for his commitment to serving his community and South Carolina.”
The award surprised Smith.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude to have been nominated by the Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head Island for the Order of the Palmetto and to have Governor McMaster here to personally present this prestigious award to me,” said Smith, whose career highlights include representing the U.S. in the Davis Cup for 10 years and winning the championship seven times. “The entire evening was a night I’ll remember and cherish for a long time.”
Smith is also the spokesperson for the Club’s annual Fund-A-Need appeal, which took place during the event. The event featured special guests, including former Olympian and Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame Alumna Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Todd Martin, president of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
More than 200 people attended the event in support of the Club’s mission and his career.
“Our gratitude for all that Stan has done for our Club kids through the years is beyond measurable,” Likins said.
Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center
Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, 843-785-1152; 19 clay tennis courts (four courts are lighted for night play) and 24 pickleball courts.
Port Royal Racquet Club
Port Royal Plantation, 843-686-8803; Racquet club, pro shop, 10 clay, 4 hard, 2 grass courts, 4 lighted
Sea Pines Racquet Club
Sea Pines Resort, 843-363-4495; Tennis facility located in Harbour Town in Sea Pines. It offers a complete pro shop and instruction. 24 Har-Tru, 5 hard courts, 5 lighted
Shipyard Racquet Club
Shipyard Plantation, 843-686-8804; Adjacent to Sonesta Resort. Full complement of facilities and instruction. Call about their free weekly pro exhibitions much of the year. 14 clay, 6 hard courts, 8 lighted
South Beach Racquet Club
Sea Pines Resort, 843-671-2215; Located near South Beach Village. 11 clay courts, 2 lighted
Van Der Meer Tennis Center
19 DeAllyon Road, 843-785-8388; Hilton Head’s largest facility. Full complement of facilities, instruction. 21 hard, 11 clay courts, 8 lighted
The Island Recreation Association maintains the Town of Hilton Head’s public tennis courts. Play is on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is no fee. In the event that courts are being used for team play and/or lessons, signs are posted directing players to other locations. Call 843-681-7273 for more information.
- Chaplin Community Park, Singleton Beach Road 4 courts, lighted
- Cordillo Courts, Cordillo Parkway: 4 courts, lighted.
- Fairfield Square, Adrianna Lane: 2 courts
- Hilton Head High School, School Road: 6 courts
- Hilton Head Middle School, Wilborn Road: 4 courts
Bobcat Public Tennis Center
The Bobcat Public Tennis Center is located at 12 McCracken Circle in Bluffton. It has four outdoor courts that are not lighted.
Bluffton Recreation Center The Bluffton Recreation Center is located at 61 Ulmer Road in Bluffton. There are two hard surface courts that are located in the park. For more information, call 843- 757-1503.
Tennisclub of the Lowcountry The Tennisclub of the Low Country at Rose Hill provides the latest in tennis instruction, as well as tennis programs with a personal touch. 843 271-6401