Recipe for a Fantasy (Camp)
“I can beat Shelby Rogers.”
No, you can’t.
You can’t beat her, nor Stevie Johnson, nor Reilly Opelka. At least, this was the verdict from campers at our first ever Topnotch Fantasy Camp—Wailea, held last November in Maui.
As with the Stowe Mountain Lodge Classic exhibition tournament, the fantasy camp is another collaborative project between Topnotch Management and Topnotch Tennis Tours. It blended a simple, five-ingredient recipe:
Stevie Johnson has played Roger Federer at Wimbledon, won an Olympic medal, and captured ATP titles. Shelby Rogers literally brought her Fed Cup trophy straight from Minsk to Maui. Reilly Opelka won Junior Wimbledon. And Tracy Austin? Just a few US Opens, a world No. 1 ranking, and the whole Hall of Fame thing. Tour coach Marc Lucero rounded out a talented fantasy camp roster, all of whom spent hours on court each day and knew campers by name and stroke.
It really doesn’t get much more beautiful than Maui, and Wailea is spectacular. The forecast was four days of blue skies, warm days, and beaches. Needless to say, it was optimal for both playing tennis and relaxing, and a great break from the fall weather elsewhere in the country.
There are a handful of excellent resorts in Wailea, and Fairmont Kea Lani is the best of them all. We chose to have campers stay in Ocean View rooms for the duration of the fantasy camp, and the amenities at the resort were nothing short of excellent.
The Wailea Tennis Club offers perfect courts, friendly clubhouse, and views of the ocean with Lahaina in the background.
Cocktail Reception on the lawn at the Fairmont. Vodka and lavender tour for those not playing tennis. Casual BBQ at the club before the exhibition match. And a Farewell Dinner at the Mill House.
Enjoy and repeat.
The event was an amazing time for pros, campers, and—at least for this writer—staff. The event was so unique on the island that the Maui News sent a reporter on two of the four days, once to capture the opening day and another for the exhibition between the pros (with commentating from Tracy Austin). Besides the Maui News, Robb Report and the LA Times got wind of the camp, helping ensure a strong turnout in the camp’s inaugural year.
In the post-event survey we asked guests: “What was your favorite aspect of the fantasy camp?” The most common response: playing points against the pros. The staff favorite was the lobster tacos, and the great campers we got to spend five days with.
Until next year, Maui!
The next Topnotch Fantasy Tennis Camp—Wailea will be held in November. For more information, please visit www.fantasytenniscamps.com.