The King of Courts Makes Courts for Kings
When Southern California celebrities want the best in backyards, there’s only one man to call: Sports Courts’ Dale Hendrickson.
Shaq? Check. Justin Timberlake? Check. Leonardo DiCaprio? Check. Julia Roberts? Check. Ben Affleck, Sylvester Stallone, Paul McCartney, Jack Nicholson and hundreds more. Check, check, check, check and checks. They’ve all spiffed up their grand backyards with basketball and tennis courts, putting greens, in-ground trampolines and many other sports features, under the watchful eye of former Thousand Oaks' Dale Hendrickson.
Hendrickson is the owner of Sport Court of Southern California, with 27 years of “Getting people off their backsides and into their backyards,” he laughs. Making people’s property more activity friendly was the ideal fit for a guy who played college baseball, has a degree in construction engineering and a passion for all things sports.
He started the business in his basement, and now he has 35 employees and a 7,000-square-foot warehouse. Hendrickson's wife Sheryl, an accomplished attorney, handles contracts and legal work. Their company has installed over 5,000 sports surfaces, about 450 last year alone.
If you were to take a helicopter and fly over Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Malibu, Calabasas, Pacific Palisades and all the upscale neighborhoods in between, you would be able to spot plenty of examples of Hendrickson's work. Courts in team colors are especially popular, so you’ll see a number in purple and gold, many belonging to past and present Lakers, and black and silver for past and present Kings. There are 22 colors available, and an endless number of logos.
See L.A.'s Super Sporty BackyardsView All 8 Photos
But you’ll also see a lot of putting greens and sand traps, many of them owned by professional golfers like Ben Crenshaw, Phil Mickelson, Hale Irwin and Johnny Miller. For aspiring pros, Hendrickson's company installs mini-golf courses as well.
The most popular installations, he says, are the multi-purpose surfaces, which make it possible to play 20 sports, including tennis, basketball, volleyball, handball, badminton, roller hockey, paddle tennis, shuffleboard, tetherball and more, on one area.
The second most popular backyard addition is the hoop system, and the third is the rebounder, which is basically an adaptable vertical surface against which you can play handball, practice your volleyball serves and spikes, you tennis serves and volleys – just about anything that involves hitting a ball against a wall, and it even collects the balls for you.
Professional athletes are particularly fond of the surfaces, Hendrickson notes, because they value the cushioning features sports courts have that absorb shock. He believes that's one of his product's best features. "Years of playing basketball on hard courts has really chewed up my knees," he laments. His children will not suffer the same fate.
Which begs the question, with all these options, how has Hendrickson decked out his own backyard? With four kids and two dogs, he’s got something for everyone: lighted multipurpose court, rebounder, putting green, areas of synthetic grass and an in-ground trampoline. By the way, he adds -- the surfaces also make ideal party floors, as the Hendricksons just found out when they held their son's wedding reception in their backyard.