Our ball machine is a TENNIS TOWER PROFESSIONAL PLAYER MODEL, originally purchased in 2011 and maintained over the years since. It is stored in the tennis cage inside the equipment shed which is located under the upper deck of the Community Hall. To access the machine, you must must be a current RTC member (see Joining the Club – also includes the opportunity to join the Ball Machine Club). If you didn’t join the Ball Machine Club ($15 per family per season) when you purchased your membership, you can join after the fact by clicking this link: Join the BMC now. After registering, you should receive a system-generated email with the access codes for the shed lockbox and the cage combination lock. The lock box is located on the wall beside the shed door. After using the machine and returning it to the cage, please ensure both locks are properly secured.
A plug for the extension cord is located on the light pole nearest to the Community Hall. Before using the machine, please familiarize yourself with the Ball Machine Manual. There is also a laminated, one page manual attached to the machine. The ball machine can be operated with a remote control and includes a Player Mode to simulate a player on the other side of the net. Just push either the Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced buttons, and the Professional Player model automatically picks an appropriate speed and spin, then changes both the side-to-side position and the depth of shots just like you were playing someone of that ability. The side-to-side position and depth of each shot are not simply changed in a random or sweeping motion, but are computer programmed to simulate the shot patterns of real players. For instance, beginning players will see more shots towards the middle of the court and more variation in depth of shots than will advanced players. And you are not stuck with only the standard settings, you can customize the settings by adding or subtracting more speed, spin, or elevation as you like. This machine also features a pre-programmed two-line function. At the touch of a button, the two-line function shoots balls to two preset positions. This helps an instructor work with two lines of students in a group lesson, or allows a single player to practice alternating forehand and backhand shots. There are actually two 2-line settings to select from, ‘2-line narrow’ or ‘2-line wide’, depending on your preference for spacing of the two positions. The hopper holds a maximum of 225 balls – use only tennis balls and do not overfill.