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Our Tennis Professionals

 93A0122The tennis operation at Esplanade are staffed with USTA/USPTA certified tennis professionals, who provide a strong tennis program. Services include professional instruction from beginners to advanced players, league and tournament play, as well as a variety of social tennis programming to complete the tennis experience at Esplanade.


Jason Golden, USPTA/TIA Cardio Tennis Trainer /USPTR Affiliate Member
Director of Wellness and Sports Courts
Esplanade Golf and Country Club

Jason is currently the Director of Wellness and Sports Courts at The Esplanade Golf and Country Club in Lakewood Ranch as well as the Regional Director for Coaches of Excellence. Jason has also been the Tennis Director at the Hilton Guam Resort and Spa in Guam and Mission Valley Country Club in Venice; Head Tennis Professional at Maui Prince Hotel in Hawaii, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, and Laurel Oak Country Club in Sarasota; Tennis Professional at the Sports Core in Kohler, Wisconsin, and Lakewood Ranch Country Club. Jason has also coached the girl's tennis teams at Lakewood Ranch High School and Venice High School.

Jason graduated from Lakeland College in Wisconsin in 1996 with a degree in Coaching/Sports Management. There he played #1 singles and #1 doubles for three years and was named team captain in 1993 and 1994 and was all-conference in singles in 1994.

Jason lives in Lakewood Ranch and has two daughters Jordan and Taylor. Jason's hobbies include reading, coaching coaches, running marathons, and spending time with family.

Phone: (941) 539-6083
Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Paul Varner, USPTA Elite P1
Head Tennis Professional
Esplanade Golf and Country Club

Paul is currently the Head Tennis Professional at Esplanade Golf and Country Club at Lakewood Ranch. Paul moved to Bradenton in 1989 and trained at IMG as a player and a coach for over 10 years. After leaving the Pro Tour, Paul was the Director of Tennis at El Conquistador Racket Club, Cedars Racket Club, and the Cayman Island Tennis Center. In 2008, Paul moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to manage North River Yacht Club. He has coached numerous men's and women's state and sectional teams ranging from 2.5-10.0 mixed doubles teams.

Paul has held top 10 rankings including national rankings in his junior career and was part of a national championship junior college team in Tifton, Georgia. After a few years on the pro tour, he was able to successfully transfer his knowledge of tennis into managing tennis facilities and coaching. Paul has over 25 years of experience in every aspect of the game.

Paul now lives in his hometown of Bradenton, Florida. He has two boys, Cade and Gage. His hobbies include fishing, working out, coaching all junior sports, and loves family time.


Kent Gardner, USPTAunnamed
Assistant Tennis Professional
Esplanade Golf and Country Club

Kent is the Assistant Tennis Professional at Esplanade Golf and Country Club at Lakewood Ranch. Kent grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama playing both Junior USTA Tennis as well as at Hillcrest High School. He played #1 singles and doubles for the Patriots and they captured a state title his senior year. After graduation, Kent played #1 doubles and #3 singles for Itawamba College in Mississippi. During his time there, ICC won the state championship in 2012.

Kent knew he enjoyed playing the game of tennis, but soon found his passion and calling was teaching others to play the game he loved. Kent obtained his USPTA certification in 2012 and started as an assistant teaching Pro at North River Yacht Club of Tuscaloosa. Under the guidance of Charlie Rivera and Paul Varner, he obtained a Head Professional Position at Tuscaloosa Racquet Club in 2016.

During his free time, Kent enjoys running, working out, fishing, spending time with friends and family and his Golden Lab, Molly, and watching Alabama Football.