Home\Blog\December 2010\Hidden Dunes Pro Phil Landauer Adds to USTA Titles

Hidden Dunes Pro Phil Landauer Adds to USTA Titles

126402Phil Landauer has as many United States Tennis Association national championship trophies as there are days in a month, but perhaps the biggest thrill of his tennis career took place on foreign soil.

Representing the United States at the Dubler Cup in Dublin, Ireland, Landauer and his three American teammates stood and listened as the Star Spangled Banner played to signify a victory in what he called “a Davis Cup for seniors.” That win in the 45-and-up age group was just one highlight in a career that has seen plenty.

“There were only four guys on the team, so it was an honor to get picked,” Landauer, a teaching professional at Hidden Dunes Beach & Tennis Resort in Destin, said. “You get a lot more nervous when you have ‘USA’ on your warm-ups as opposed to a regular match.”

Landauer, a former tennis star at the University of Arkansas, has amassed 30 USTA senior national titles (20 doubles, 10 singles). Most recently, he won the USTA 55 National Grass Court championships in both singles and doubles in Forest Hills, N.Y., in September and the 55 National Clay Court doubles championship in Palm Springs, Calif., in October.

Now 59, Landauer’s first USTA senior title came when he was 35 and living in Columbus, Ohio, and owned an indoor tennis club. He foots his own bill to travel to tournaments and if he’s lucky, wins enough prize money to cover a couple of nights of his hotel bill. The allure of competing in these tournaments comes from other sources.

“I have played since I was nine,” Landauer said. “I run into old buddies all the time and it’s like a reunion at these tournaments. Plus, if you do win a national championship, you get picked to represent your country at these international events. I’ve been on five or six teams that have competed all over the world.”

While one of those international teams gave Landauer the opportunity to win a world title for his country, another set in motion a chain of events that brought him to Destin and matched him with his significant other.

Playing at a tournament in Turkey, Landauer met a woman named Myke Loomis, the current Director of Tennis at Hidden Dunes. Soon after, Landauer and Loomis, herself a world champion, started dating.

They tried to have a long-distance relationship, but about eight months ago, Landauer decided it was time for a change. Seeking to be closer to his girlfriend and warmer weather, Landauer headed south to Destin and took a job at Hidden Dunes.

“We had been dating for about three years, so I decided I wanted warm weather and to be with her,” Landauer said. “We’ve been able to practice and help each other’s games a lot.”

Now entrenched on the Emerald Coast, Landauer is relishing the opportunity to work with a blossoming tennis community that he says is growing each day. And of course, he still plans on competing for titles.

Because he turns 60 in April of next year, Landauer will move up to the 60-and-up age class beginning in January. He hopes to continue his success in singles and doubles, including career wins on hardcourt, indoor, grass and clay surfaces.

“Usually I don’t do as well the last year in my age group because I’m the oldest guy,” he said. “You look forward to being the young guy in the group. But I happened to play well and get some breaks this year. It really won’t get all that much easier from here on out.”
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Published by Tracy Louthain
Wednesday, December 1, 2010