For the ultimate in tennis facilities, instruction, and overall ambiance, Kiawah’s Roy Barth Tennis Center just can’t be beat. Perennially rated the “#1 Tennis Resort in the World”, this spectacular sports complex is constantly humming with activity just inland from The Sanctuary hotel, an easy bike ride down the beach from Timbers Kiawah.


The island’s tennis offerings received an impressive upgrade recently as part of Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s recent island-wide expansion and enhancement initiative.

Roy Barth Tennis Center now offers 22 courts — twelve resurfaced and ten brand new — for fans of the fuzzy yellow ball to sharpen their skills or enjoy a game. All ten brand new Har-Tru courts benefit from HydroCourt technology, which keeps the clay hydrated throughout the day, improving the playing surface. Nine clay and one hard court are lighted for night-time play, and another four are lined for pickleball. Each pair of courts is bordered by palm trees and colorful tropical foliage, and has a covered patio providing shade, benches, and a water fountain.

One of the most exciting features is the Practice Alley, an amazing high-tech tool for tennis workouts, not available at most facilities. This half court has a net and a specialized ball machine on the other side. Replicate strokes over and over by setting your automated competitor to send over balls at whatever pace, velocity, angle, and direction you choose — at rates up to 1,200 balls an hour! The best part? The balls automatically re-feed so you don’t need to gather and reload them. Just swing, lob, and volley your way to perfection. It’s also a smart way to fit in some solo tennis when the rest of the family is busy engaged in other activities around the island.

The full-service pro shop has you covered for stylish performance attire, and equipment rental or repair. Timbers’ concierge team is happy to reserve court time, lessons, and other programming for you at the center, helping you make the most of your time here.


Over several decades, Roy Barth, the tennis director emeritus for whom the center is named, developed a systematic approach to building tennis fundamentals that the talented pros here all follow. The principles work for players just starting out up to the most advanced, and are devised to complement tennis training you may be involved in back home.

There are so many clinics, camps, and round-robins (including parent-child doubles) to choose from you could live and breathe tennis your entire vacation. With programs tailored for adults, children age 7 to 16, and even “Tiny Tots” (players 4 to 6 years old), the entire family can enjoy time on the court improving their skills. For more dedicated one-on-one instruction, private lessons are available for individuals, families, or small groups of teammates or friends.

The center is also home to the esteemed Barth-Hawtin Tennis Academy — a year-round school for highly competitive juniors playing in state, sectional, and national level tournaments with an eye toward preparing for college play or even the pro circuit. The academy offers weekly sessions for children aged 12-17 who want to train at that level.


Throughout the pandemic, health experts have touted tennis as one of the safest sports you can play — an opportunity to exercise and socialize while physically distanced. Need someone to hit with? Itching for a game against someone new? Center staff will help you find opponents at an appropriate level, guaranteeing a match if you give 48 hours notice. Timbers Kiawah Owners can become members of the Governor’s Club or Kiawah Island Club for even more opportunities to meet new tennis and pickleball friends.

However you spend your tennis time on Kiawah, when the game is over, the Timbers staff is ready to help you relax and recover with a beverage or ice cream at the Beach Club, a dip in the oceanfront pool or jacuzzi, or a massage appointment to soothe those muscles and get you back in tip-top shape for more fun tomorrow.