Racquet & Paddle sports

Play Tennis & Pickleball at Ruttger's

Ruttger's Bay Lake Resort offers multiple courts for you to play tennis, pickleball, and other racquet sports.

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Learn How to Play

We offer you the opportunity to learn and play tennis along with the wildly popular sport of pickleball.


Tracy Kennedy

We are very excited to have Tracy Kennedy as our Racquet and Paddle Sports Head Pro. His professional and industry expertise uniquely enables Tracy to help anyone improve their skills and build confidence in their game and life.

“Jack Ruttger was always a fixture out on the courts at Ruttger’s. When I played tennis at the resort as a kid, you’d see Jack Ruttger out hitting balls. He was an avid tennis enthusiast and loved playing doubles with the locals and guests at the resort.” – Tracey Kennedy

Tracy is continuing the long Ruttger tradition and is bringing new life to the courts.

Read More About Tracy

Tracy grew up in the Brainerd Lakes Area and began playing tennis when he was 12 years old.  As a teen attending Brainerd High School and subsequently the University of Minnesota, Tracy spent his summers working at Ruttger’s.  Most afternoons you could find him on the courts playing tennis with guests (often providing lessons) and local tennis enthusiasts including one of his mentors, Jack Ruttger.  He was a Regional Champion, top ten state competitor for Brainerd High School, and a member of the University of Minnesota tennis team. He now returns to Ruttger’s a certified tennis and pickleball professional.

Tracy entered the US Air Force Space Launch Programs after graduating from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Electrical Engineering.  Here began his career in technology and aerospace as a manager for satellite and rocket systems.  For several decades Tracy held leadership positions where he developed and managed technical personnel, programs, and organizations.  He led engineering and scientific teams through development and launch of 23 space-based US National Security and international projects. He was a founding Launch Director of a commercial satellite launch company which placed satellites in orbit using Russian rockets.  He is known for his people-focused leadership style and stresses the importance of results-oriented decision-making skills. Tracy uses this same approach as he teaches tennis and pickleball on the courts.  

Since his corporate retirement in 2018 Tracy has been teaching and coaching adult and junior players from local communities in central Minnesota. He teaches his players that tennis is a game for life.  “As we develop the athlete’s technical skills for the game, we also develop their decision making and leadership skills for life.” Tracy is a passionate leader, teacher, and coach.  His approach to teaching technique and strategy is based heavily on successful application of his 30 years of leadership experience, elite level athletics, and formal education.

Ace Your Vacation

Tracy offers private, semi-private, and group lessons for tennis and pickleball where you can get out on the court and learn and hit with a pro. Additionally, he offers a weekly clinic for both sports to learn the game.

“For those who might be a bit apprehensive or say they’re not athletic or don’t have the ability, I tell them, ‘I guarantee I can have you playing in 15 to 30 minutes,’ and without fail, within an hour, they know the rules, are hitting the ball over the net, and are having a blast.” – Tracy Kennedy

Have Fun Improving Your Game

At Ruttger’s, you’ll not only learn the rules of the game, but Tracy also focuses on mechanics and technique so your game can improve.

“We do drills and skills and focus on the components and developing your technique, so you see immediate improvements in your game, whether it’s tennis or pickleball. Seeing the look on people’s faces when they learn something new is everything. I love teaching and seeing their results and improvements in just one lesson.” – Tracey Kennedy

Tennis Skills & Drills

Grab a racquet and come have some fun with our resort tennis pro.

Get Into Pickleball

If you want to get into pickleball, Ruttger’s is the perfect place to learn. As a lifelong sport, pickleball is the perfect addition to the resort, allowing families and all generations to play together.

“Pickleball is a cross-generational sport. The game is designed to level the playing field so young kids can play with their grandparents, and less-skilled players can play with more advanced players, enjoying a fun and competitive game.

With pickleball, we’ve had as many as 32 people sign up for our clinic for an introduction to the game. It’s been so much fun.” – Tracey Kennedy

Pickleball Clinic

Learn the basics of pickleball from our resort pickleball pro.

Play with Family, Friends, and Coworkers

Pickleball has been especially popular and fun for large families, reunions, and company retreats at the resort.

“Friendly pickleball tournaments and round robins are great for bonding and spending time with your family and offer an easy, low-pressure way to get to know your coworkers if you’re on a business retreat.” – Tracey Kennedy
The winning group holding a trophy

Ruttger's Team Building Activities

Specially designed team building programs are available for your group.

Open to All of Our Guests

The resort’s pickleball and tennis courts are open to guests and local residents who want to learn or aren’t having any luck getting time on the community courts.

“We’re building a program at Ruttger’s where players can come for cardio tennis to get a great workout, sign up for both tennis and pickleball tournaments, and take lessons for skill development. Ruttger’s is the central all-inclusive resort in the Brainerd area that offers everything — tennis, pickleball, golf, and water recreation!” – Tracy Kennedy