The Bitsy Grant Tennis Center (BGTC) is named after Bryan M. Grant, Jr. (“Bitsy”), a longtime Atlanta tennis legend who seemed an ever-present fixture on and off the courts here for much of his life. Located in Atlanta’s Springlake/South Buckhead area, the BGTC is a part of history. Built in 1952, the BGTC was the headquarters of the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association (ALTA), the country’s largest grass roots tennis organization. Once considered the showplace for tennis in the Southeast, the BGTC hosted ALTA’s Atlanta Invitational tournament, drawing the great national players of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s to Bitsy Grant.
In addition, the BGTC was the site of the 1955 U.S. Clay Court Championships, the USTA National 40 Clay Championships, the USTA National Father & Son Clay Court Championships, as well as other national and sectional tournaments. Some of the players who have competed at the BGTC include the likes of Arthur Ashe, Bobby Riggs, Chuck McKinley, Whitney Reed, Tut Bartzen, Vic Seixas, Barry McKay, Tony Traebert, Charles Pasarell, Cliff Richey, Clark Graebner, Marty Reissen, Alan Morris, Ham Richardson, Bill Talbert, Gardner Mulloy, Andy Lloyd, Frank Willet, Howard McCall, Russell Bobbitt, Ned Neely, Mike Belkin, Dan Magill, Zan Guerry, Richard Howell, Horace Reid and legendary coach Bobby Dodd, to name a few
Atlanta legends John Skogstad, Joe Becknell, Bailey Brown, and Hugh Thomson are also part of BGTC history. Skogstad and Ashe played one of the most memorable matches in Atlanta history here in the 1960s. In addition to its distinguished tennis history, the BGTC won an architectural award for its clubhouse in 1956.
Like the Bobby Jones Golf Course, also located at Atlanta Memorial Park, the tennis center is named for an Atlanta sports legend. “Bitsy” Grant won the U.S. Clay Court title three times, played on three U.S. Davis Cup teams, and won 19 national senior singles titles. Grant was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1972. Nicknamed “Bitsy” because of his 5-foot, 4-inch frame, Bryan M. Grant, Jr. personified the “everyone can play” credo of the tennis center named in his honor.
The BGTC is also home to the Georgia Tennis Hall of Fame Museum, with exhibits and memorabilia honoring inductees. The Georgia Tennis Hall of Fame receives funding through the Georgia Tennis Foundation.