Clay Court Dragging
Clay Court Maintenance
Our synthetic clay courts are designed to have 2mm of sand above the carpet within the court lines and on the playing area around the court. It is important that members drag the court after each use to help maintain this level of sand on the court. If you follow these instructions we should have less accumulation of sand around the fences where the drag mats are left. Periodically we will add more sand to the courts and do regular deep dragging maintenance to help prevent compaction of the sand inside the carpet and moss occurring in non-high traffic areas.
Dragging The Courts
There are drag mats on each clay court. The courts must be dragged with these after you play to spread the sand infill so that the carpet fronds are covered. Allow 5 minutes for this task before you need to leave to ensure the courts are ready for the next players.
Start at one net post and drag the mat across the court along the line of the net, then head down the side of the court outside the tram lines towards the fence, across the back of the court along the fence and continue walking in an inward spiral motion until you are in the middle of that side of the court. Repeat the same action at the other end of the court. Do not simply drag the mat across the courts or up and down as this takes the sand away from the playing surface where it is needed. This is illustrated in the diagram below:
When the sand is dry it will collect on top of the mat like this:
It is important that you shake the mat inside the court where it is getting bare to deposit the sand back on the playing surface.
Please carry the mat to the fence at the side or end of the court and do not drag it there. The sand that collects on the mat will be deposited by the fence when the next person picks it up. This causes our sand dunes by the fences!
When it is wet the courts are not as easy to drag to remove ball and shoe marks and move sand around but the courts should still be dragged to help smooth out clumps of sand. If the courts are saturated then dragging will not be possible.
The drag mats can be laid flat or folded neatly so that they do not wrinkle and stick up when next used. The hooks placed on the fence poles are for coats. Please do not hang the mats on them as it can rip the mat fabric.
There are line brushes on all courts. When the courts have been dragged the lines should be cleaned. It will take two or three “up and down’s” to properly clean each of the lines of sand. This also helps preserve the white colour of the underlying line carpeting. The baseline will take perhaps 4 or 5 “up and downs” as they are wider. Please keep your lines straight paying particular attention to the outside of the key lines – service boxes, tramlines and baselines. A cursory “once over” wiggle is impolite to the next member to use the court!
When exiting Courts 1 to 3 via the steps up to the clubhouse patio please use the green footbath at the top of the steps to wash sand out from your shoes. There is also a foot bath by the clubhouse door. This helps keep sand out of your car, home and our clubhouse! If the shoe bath is full of sand please empty the water and tip the wet sand back into the court. It will dry out in due course and can be spread out. There is a water can by the steps and clubhouse door so the shoe bath can be refilled.
During the autumn a large bin and leave gathering tools will be put on clay courts. Please gather up leaves before or after you play. This prevents vegetation decaying into the sand and underlying carpet.
Our grounds staff will apply weed killer to the court surrounds but occasionally weeds will take root in the sand at the edge of the court. If you see something growing while picking up your ball please pull it out and post it through the fence outside the court.