CLASS OF 2005
Tommy English was born October 31, 1950, in Birmingham, Alabama, and grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He was annually ranked as one of the top juniors in Alabama from 1963-1968. In 1968, English and Charlie Owens were ranked No. 1 in doubles in Alabama as well as in the Southern High School Championship Division. After high school, he attended Marion Military Junior College earning All-Southern honors in tennis before transferring to the University of Alabama in 1969 on a full tennis scholarship, where he lettered twice.
Tommy's career in the club business began as Manager of the Southern Grass Tennis Academy from 1970-72. In 1972 and 1973 he worked as a Tennis Professional under Jason Morton at the University Club in Houston, Texas. From 1973-75 Tommy was the Senior Vice-President and Director of American Tennis Centers, Inc., in Houston. In 1975 he served as the Tennis Director for Horizon Corporation (owner and operator of Country Clubs) based out of The Racquet Place in Birmingham, AL. In 1977 Tommy moved to Oklahoma City where he was the general manager of The Courts, an indoor/outdoor tennis facility.
In 1980 Tommy and a group of local investors purchased Summerfield Racquet Club in Oklahoma City, and until 1988, he served as General Managing partner. While at Summerfield, he brought women’s professional tennis to Oklahoma City and handled the operations of the tournament for 15 years. This led to his involvement in the operations of the Virginia Slims Legends events in Oklahoma City, Nashville, and Denver. He was also the color commentator and tennis sports advisor for KWTV, Channel 9 (CBS affiliate) Oklahoma City from 1979-1983.
While continuing operations at Summerfield, Tommy and a group of local investors opened the Waterford Athletic Cub in 1986 until 1995. It was the only 5-star hotel that had a premiere athletic club.
In 1988, Tommy moved to the Green's Country Club, a ClubCorp facility located in Oklahoma City. As Director of Tennis, he oversaw the building of a new tennis facility there, which included both indoor/outdoor tennis and a clubhouse. In the years Tommy was with the Greens Country Club, he was honored many times by ClubCorp, including CCA South-central Tennis Pro of the Year, CCA National Tennis Director of the Year, and the tennis facility at the Greens was was named Tennis Club of the Year in 1996. He also served as a Regional Tennis Advisor and a member of the National Tennis Council for ClubCorp and in 1998 he was inducted into the CCA Hall of Fame. The Greens was the host club of the IGA Women's Pro Tournament event from 1991 until 2000.
In 2005 Tommy and a local group of investors purchased The Greens Country Club. As General Manager/Partner he was responsible for the successful operation of the 18-hole golf course, 6 indoor and 6 outdoor tennis facility, three swimming pools, and two clubhouses that generated over four million dollars in revenues per year, with a staff of approximately 130 and 1,250 members. His role as General Manager also included the hiring of appropriatge personnel, overseeing budgets and cost controls of each department, and working one-on-one with all Department Heads to achieve positive financial results. Tommy also personally participated in promoting the Club through activities such as recruiting sponsorships of tournaments, membership activities and programs. In April of 2011, Tommy retired as the General Manager and partner. He has since sold his ownership in The Greens County Club.
In 2012 Tommy moved to Tuscaloosa, AL, where he was able to build Tuscaloosa's first indoor-outdoor tennis facility. Along with his partners, he designed, consulted with construction, and managed this public-private tennis facility consisting of 3 indoor climate controlled, 6 lighted outdoor soft court and 4 outdoor hard courts. The facility is state of the art designed with pro shop and viewing area. After completing this venture in November, 2015, Tommy turned over the operations to Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority.
In addition to his duties at The Greens Country Club, Tommy has been active in the public tennis community as a founding director of Tennis OKC, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that was formed to help the city boost its tennis facilities. He continues consulting on many tennis projects nationwide, specializing in court construction, lighting, and design.
Tommy has been a member of the USPTA since 1971, holding a Professional 1 certification, and is also a member of the USTA, and a national advisory staff member for Head-Penn Racquet Sports. He served on the Advisory Board of National Tennis Week magazine in 1981. In 2005, Tommy was inducted into the Oklahoma Tennis Hall of Fame and in December, 2010, was inducted into the Missouri Valley Tennis Hall of Fame.
Tommy is married to Sharon Causey English. He has a daughter, a son, and three grandchildren. He currently resides in Tuscaloosa, AL, where he enjoys golfing and keeping busy with home improvements.