COSTA MESA — It all started in 1999, when friends Clay Peterson and Johnny McCray bought neighboring homes on East 20th Street.
While unpacking, Peterson came upon a wooden tennis racquet and they started to hit balls in Peterson's tennis court.
Then they had an idea.
"Why don't we have a tournament and have people dress up?" Peterson thought.
Peterson has a court, and McCray has a lush, garden-like backyard, so they decided to tear down the fence separating their properties for the one-day event and to celebrate their new-found hobby.
The Wood Racquet Classic was born. On Sunday, it will mark the 12th year of the tennis tournament at the McCray-Peterson estates.
No graphite allowed. Wooden racquets definitely change the nature of the game.
"We have a couple other pros that have entered the tournament," he said. "It's funny, having these pros that are used to a graphite racquet, and then you put a wood racquet in their hands ... the wood racquet kind of slows the game down and allows for longer rallies."