Holdfast Tennis Club


The Holdfast Tennis Club is one of the oldest clubs in the Glenelg District Tennis Association.  The first recorded match of the Holdfast Bay Tennis Club (as it was then called) was in October 1902 on two courts located on Williams Avenue on the eastern side of Glenelg Oval.  By 1915 the Church of Christ Tennis Club (later Glenlea Tennis Club) established courts on the western side of Glenelg Oval and in 1918 St Peter’s Church Tennis Club and the Holdfast Bay Tennis Club amalgamated and formed the St Peter’s Holdfast Tennis Club.  Forty one members used four courts at this time. In 1931 it became Holdfast Tennis Club as it is known today.


The first president of the Holdfast Tennis Club was Karl Quist who occupied that position for an amazing 25 years! His three sons, Bruce, Adrian and Neville were members of the club in the 1930’s – Neville became a top South Australian player while Adrian went on to represent Australia in the Davis Cup a record 28 times, a record that was only surpassed by Lleyton Hewitt in 2010. Adrian also won 2 Wimbledon doubles championships. During this period he never lost contact with the club and many exhibition matches were organised during these years. Adrian was made a life member in 1936.

In 1937 the present clubhouse was built for £200 (£30 donations, £130 loans and £40 from club funds). Much of the credit for organising the building of the clubhouse went to Les Rogers who was secretary before the war and president from 1957-1968. He was made a life member in 1947.

During World War 2 many club members enlisted and served overseas. Allen Carnell and Karl Quist were responsible for the club surviving in those years. Teams could not be fielded and quorums for meetings were difficult to achieve. In 1945 Allen Carnell was made a life member and, to this day, the ‘Allen Carnell Memorial Mixed Doubles Handicap’ is a keenly contested event in the club annual tournament. After the war former members returned and the club flourished again.

The club entered its most successful period in terms of competition in the 1960’s when its Division 1 side contested every grand final from the 1960/61 season to the 1969/70 season, winning six premierships. Holdfast won the Champion of Champions title (best Division 1 team in Adelaide) four times.

By the 1970’s the Association had allowed the introduction of coloured tennis clothes and, although some members still wore the traditional white, coloured tennis attire began to appear on the Holdfast courts.



Many improvements to facilities were made in these years. In early 2000 Holdfast added two more courts to its original six courts. After representations from the Club, the City of Holdfast Bay recognised that more courts were required due to the Club’s growing membership base.

Having an additional two courts allowed the expansion of club membership and also allowed community access as the courts were made available to the public at all times except when required for club use. Courts 7&8 were built on the bowling green (part of the existing park) and were funded equally by the City of Holdfast Bay and Holdfast Tennis Club.

In the 1990’s Holdfast Tennis Club identified a need to provide disabled access for its members that required it and a concrete ramp was installed to allow disabled access to courts 1, 2,3, and 4. There was also a need for court lighting to cater for the club’s expanding membership  and lights were installed in the late 1990’s.

In 1990 the Club visited schools to recruit new junior members. This program ran for two seasons but this program was ceased in 1992 in favour of Tennis SA Hot Shots which Mike and Robyn find better engages current junior members. In 1993 Holdfast had two junior teams playing but rapidly increased to thirty teams and to this day still have one of the biggest junior memberships in the district.