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Tips for Clay Court Maintenance

Tearing up and replacing old lines can be time consuming and difficult without the right tools. Especially if the court is extremely hard and crusty.

To the right and below you can see the court line has been torn up and what remains are the holes from the nails and a great deal of damage to the court. 

TIP #1 : Replacing Lines

Rake over the clay with a Gator Rake or Lute to smooth out the area. Depending on how deep you scarify with the Clay Court Grinder you will have excess mounds of clay that need smoothing.

Tennis court lutes are designed to both distribute new material on the court and break up and scrape away old material. 

Small handheld Gator Rakes do an excellent job at redistributing material and agitating the court surface. 

STEP #3 : Add HarTru
Clay Binder

With green HarTru courts we recommend adding a bit of HarTru Binder clay over the area where the line will be replaced. This helps bind the material with fresh clay and also serves to fill in any additional holes. 

Spread with a court brush to ensure surface is even to prepare for watering.

STEP #4 : Water the clay

A very light watering will begin the binding process of the clay. Do not over water this area or you will get runoff of the clay. 

The watered clay should look like this. As you can see the damage done to the court with removal of nails is totally gone and the surface is ready for new lines.. 

STEP #5 :Replace the lines and
brush the court

Once the clay has dried you can now replace the lines. Once lines are installed, brush the court and check for bumps or nail heads that might cause tripping. Clean lines with a line sweeper and you are ready to play.

Estimated time to remove lines, scarify and replace lines per short line is 2 hours. 3-4 hours for longer side lines or the base line.

TIP #1 : Replacing Lines
TIP # 2: Reconditioning clay courts with the GRINDER
TIP #2 : Reconditioning clay courts with the GRINDER 

It is recommeded to use the CLAY COURT GRINDER  every month to avoid courts becoming too hard and crusty. It only takes 30-minutes to run the GRINDER over the court leaving the court smooth and ready for play. 


Remove the net and gently wet the soil to keep clay dust particles from becoming airborne. We recommend wearing a breathing mask to alleviate breathing in dust during clay court installation or repairs. 

For regular maintenance you can pass over the lines. Consider doing a criss cross over the entire court and lifting the Clay Court Grinder over the lines as you pass.


NOTE: Some lines will remain unaffected by the GRINDER but test on your court lines prior to committing to the entire court. You may need to lift the GRINDER slightly above the lines to

alleviate damage. The guide built into the Clay Court Grinder will allow you to scarify directly up to the line without damaging the line itself.



Adjust the Clay Court Grinder to a depth of 15-20mm and continue back and forth up and down the court until fully scarified. When depths are set deeper the machine will be hard to control due to the action of the steel blades. It will pull the operator. We recommend doing smaller depths and running over the court surface several times doing a little at a time. This allows for a more controlled operation of the unit.



If necessary remove some of the older material after the first run but if this is not always necessary depending on the age and quality of the material. 



You will have a build-up of excess clay after using the GRINDER. Smooth the court out using a gator rake or Lute and then brush the court and clean the lines. A Gator rake will knock down any clay build-up left behind after using the GRINDER. We recommend adding bags of HarTru Coarse Blend to each side of the court. Use a Lute to spread this material for an even flat quality across the court.


Gently water the court again to ensure clay BINDER is working. The members will love the look of the court if you maintain them properly and monthly maintenance will alleviate bigger costs later..

The more frequent simple maintenance is done on clay courts with the Clay Court Grinder, the less necessary a more expensive maintenance project later. 

With one pass at a depth of 10mm the Clay Court Grinder begins to break up the hard clay pieces. 

With two passes you have a whole layer of finely graded material to work with. All the pieces of hard clay are pulverized and the nail holes have been filled in with the smaller particles of clay.

STEP #1 : Clay Court Grinder
STEP #2 : Court Scarifyer or
Gator Rake

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