The Westwood Club has long been a part of the Richmond area community. For decades, Westwood has continued to evolve and progress into one of the best private clubs in the area. We are a member-owned facility with a long tradition of athletics, community and fun.
History Of Westwood Club
Although Westwood has since become synonymous with racquet sports, the Westwood Club was originally a public golf course. The golf course stretched from Horsepen Road to Libbie Avenue between Broad Street and Monument Avenue. This eighteen-hole golf course was designed by famed golf architect Donald J. Ross and opened for business on May 28, 1927. Despite its popularity the economic climate of the time would eventually lead to the closing of the course and public sale of the property in 1935.
Later in the 1930’s the Club resurfaced as the fashionable “Westwood Supper Club.” The Westwood Supper Club was a highly popular spot for locals featuring dinner and dancing under the stars. October of 1939 saw the opening of the Westwood Gardens, the then South’s largest roller skating rink. This new addition located just behind the main building of the Supper Club and was successful for several seasons until America entered World War II.
Although the Westwood Gardens had closed, the Westwood Supper Club continued operations throughout the Second World War contributing to the war effort in every possible way. When ‘leisure driving’ was banned due to gasoline shortages, the Westwood Supper Club developed a fleet of ‘wagon taxis’, covered cushioned wagons led by a pair of horses. This allowed patrons to continue to enjoy the entertainment at the Supper Club without using any gasoline. The Club would continue their support through hosting events such as the Bond Dance and Party. Westwood also provided Christmas dinner, free of charge, to one hundred soldiers stationed far away from their homes.
In the mid-1940’s, the club took on a new name, yet again, becoming “The Officer’s Club of Virginia.” Over time the Club experienced a number of changes and improvements and by 1955 had two tennis courts and a quickly growing program. As both the membership and amenities of the Club changed, so too would the name. In November of 1967, the Club then became the Westwood Racquet Club, a name it would keep until 1994. Due to member diversification and expansion of the facilities it was decided then that the name Westwood Club was most appropriate.
In November 1970, a group of professional tennis ladies known as the “Original Nine” played in a historical tournament at Westwood. This distinguished group of players, Billie Jean King, Kristy Pigeon, Val Ziegenfuss, Nancy Richie, Stephanie Johnson, Mary Ann Curtis, Denise Cater, Rosie Casals, Darlene Hard and Ceci Martinez launched the first all-women’s tennis event known as the “Virginia Slims Invitational Tour”. Philip Morris, Inc. was the events title sponsor with Westwood as host. Westwood continued to play a tangential role in hosting top named tennis professionals for competitive play including Bobby Riggs, Pancho Segura, Frank Sedgman, Hugh Stewart and Vic Seixas.
More recently Westwood has hosted professional tennis players such as Jimmy Arias, Aaron Krickstein, and Robert Seguso along with legendary coach Nick Bolletieri. Since 2011 Westwood has also been the site of the North American Open, a top ten world squash tournament attracting players such as Ramy Ashour, James Willstrop and Nick Matthew.
In 2013, Westwood Club was named the official home of the Richmond Tennis Hall of Fame. The Richmond Tennis Association first established the Richmond Tennis Hall of Fame in 1990. The first class of inductees includes Arthur Ashe Sr., Arthur Ashe Jr., Dorothy Chewning, Samuel Woods, Louis Einwick, Fidelity Bankers Life Insurance Co. and Crestar Bank. Later inductees include Massie Valentine, John Packett, Hugh Waters III, Davenport & Company and the Westwood Club among many others. To date, Westwood Club is the only Club to have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Westwood Club is a premiere private tennis club providing a fulfilling recreational experience surrounding the simple pleasures of family, friends and fun. We are committed to providing our members and guests with exceptional memories from the court to the dining room while maintaining a superior level of service, expertly maintained facilities, a strong focus on health and a relaxed atmosphere of camaraderie unmatched by others.