The Club offers a friendly, relaxed environment for members and their guests to play tennis, enjoy social events, and have lunch on Thursdays and Fridays.
There is an extensive calendar of events and tournaments with something for players of all standards, including evening Pennant competitions and national/international tournaments.
In 1882 Lord Normanby, the Governor of Victoria, opened the Melbourne Tennis Club in Exhibition Street in Melbourne’s CBD. This building originally consisted of a real tennis court and club rooms, but later included squash courts (said to have been Australia’s first) and an indoor swimming pool.
The RMTC’s status was enhanced in 1897 when Queen Victoria granted a Royal Charter to the Club enabling it to be known by its present title: The Royal Melbourne Tennis Club.
As the city of Melbourne expanded, the costs of owning expensive CBD real estate and of maintaining the Exhibition Street building had risen beyond the Club’s means. In the early 1970s, with much regret but considerable courage, the Committee sold the site and established the present Club premises in Richmond.
The new clubhouse and grounds were designed and built by renowned Melbourne architect Daryl Jackson in 1974. The clubhouse was officially opened in 1975 by Lord Aberdare, President of the UK Tennis & Rackets Association.
Today, RMTC is one of the few clubs in the world to have two real tennis courts; the others are Cambridge University Real Tennis Club, The Queen’s Club, and Prested Hall Racket Club in the UK and The New York Racquet & Tennis Club in the US.
The real tennis courts at RMTC are known as the George Limb Court (or North Court) and Alan Hamer Court (or South Court).
George Limb, Alan Hamer and Richard Allen (for whom the clubhouse is named) were RMTC members instrumental in securing the Club’s present location in Richmond.
The North Court is used for Championship matches, such as the Australian Open, and can accomodate more spectators on multiple levels than the South Court.
Courts can be booked online using the Real Tennis booking (RTBooking) system or by contacting the Pro Shop. Members are provided with an RTO number and password in order to book online.
At least 48 hours notice is required if a member wishes to cancel a court (or tennis lesson). Otherwise the member will be responsible for the relevant court fee which will be charged unless the court is re-booked.
A squash court is available for use by all playing members and their guests.
Bookings are made through the Pro Shop.
A well equipped training gymnasium is available for use by all members. Children under the age of 14 years are not permitted in the gymnasium.
One of the outstanding features of the Club is the garden and courtyard area. This offers a perfect setting to enjoy a drink or meal after playing.
An outdoor swimming pool is available for use by members, and guests of members, between the hours of 7am and 10pm. Children under the age of 14 years must be supervised by an adult within the pool area itself.
Members and their guests may enjoy food or drink from the bar before and after games, or just as a social visit. The Club operates an honour system for all services, which are charged back to a member’s account.
There is an excellent collection of books and magazines about Real tennis; actively maintained by the Club's History, Archives, Library and Publications (HALP) subcommittee. These are available for members to read on the premises. Access to the library can be obtained by the Pros.
The kitchen operates on the honour system the same as the bar.
On Thursdays and Fridays, members are welcome to avail themselves of Club luncheons prepared by our professional chef. Members are encouraged to make a reservation with the Pros.
At other times members can prepare meals for themselves using food obtained from the Club or food brought by the member.
There are always things going on at the Club. For instance:
- First Friday of the Month – evening exhibition and competitive games with drinks and light snacks
- Club tournaments & championships
- Introduction Nights (for potential members)
- Family Sunday Afternoons
- Welcomes and farewells,
- End of tournament celebrations...
Members may use the Club’s facilities for approved private or business functions. A hire fee and other charges may be levied.
A private function application form is available from the Club or downloaded below. This must be completed and submitted for approval by the Committee well in advance of the proposed function.