Playmate Tennis Ball Machines Overview

Playmate Tennis is a Morrisville, North Carolina based company belonging under metal company Metaltek. The company specializes in manufacturing tennis ball machines and accessories. The company was established in 1973, and first Playmate tennis ball machines were made in red color resembling European clay courts. In 1975 with the new Playmate Genie ball machine introduction, the color of machines changed to green. And that is the characteristic color for Playmate machines until today.

Playmate logo

The product range of Playmate tennis consists of a battery, and ac/dc powered tennis ball machines, battery-powered pickleball machines, and tennis ball machine accessories (lift and tennis ball mower).

Playmate Tennis Ball Machines

VolleyPickleballAceSmashDeuceGrand SlamGenie
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Read more about Volley Ball MachineRead more about Pickleball machinesRead more about Grand Slam Machine

Playmate Tennis Ball Machines belong to more expensive items on the market, but they offer a full range of features. The five of six tennis ball machines are AC/DC powered, and with its features and price are suitable for mid-sized to big tennis clubs. The only battery-powered tennis ball machine from Playmate is ideal for individual use.

Playmate Tennis Accessories

Playmate focuses on a full tennis ball machine service for tennis clubs. Therefore, it also provides additional accessories for the smooth and efficient use of tennis ball machines during the practice.

Tennis Ball MowerLift
For fast and effortless ball pickup
Lift for Playmate Tennis Ball Machines
For the serve return practices
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Playmate Volley Tennis Ball Machine

Pros:
+ Ball capacity up to 200 balls

+ Feed range from 1 to 20 seconds
+ Court time up to 6 hours
+ Remote control
Cons:
– Price

– Weight

CHECK PRICE OF PLAYMATE VOLLEY ON AMAZON HERE or read the review below.

Playmate Volley Review

Playmate Volley is the only battery-powered tennis ball machine manufactured by Playmate Tennis. It is substantially cheaper than AC/DC models produced by Playmate, but it still belongs to more expensive portable ball machines.

Looking at the specifications and features of Playmate Volley, I see two exceptional parameters. The first one is ball capacity. Volley can hold up to 200 balls, and that is a big step forward comparing to the usual 100 to 150 balls. The second exceptional parameter is battery life. The advertised court time of 6 hours is more than other ball machines usually offer.

The other positives of Playmate Volley are wide feed range from 1 to 20 seconds and also ten different levels of spin (5 backspin and 5 topspin). Both parameters put Volley high in the ball machines ranking.

The downside is the weight of 46 pounds as solid aluminum construction took its toll. And another minus is just manual elevation control.

Playmate Volley offers two lines oscillation feature (10 different options from narrow to wide) with the additional possibility of random shots and simple remote control (on/off control). The maximum speed of shots is 70 mph.

Summary

Overall, Playmate Volley can be the right tennis partner for beginners or intermediate players. The ball capacity, maximum court time, and wide range of available spin are the most significant advantages of Volley. However, the price is too high in comparison with other tennis ball machines offering the same features.

CHECK PRICE OF PLAYMATE VOLLEY ON AMAZON HERE OR GO TO OUR RANKING OF THE BEST TENNIS BALL MACHINES HERE.

Playmate Grand Slam Tennis Ball Machine

Pros:
+ Ball capacity up to 300 balls

+ Full programmability (sequence of 7 shots with various length, height, spin, speed, etc.)
+ Unlimited court time
+ Remote control
+ ServeLift friendly

Cons:
– AC/DC Powered: Need to connect to an electric socket

– Price

Playmate Grand Slam Review

Grand Slam is the best-equipped ball machine from Playmate tennis. I was lucky to get a chance to try it, and I gladly share the details of my practice.

My first impression of the Playmate Grand Slam was a surprise. It seemed very small for so many embedded functions. Even when we packed the machine with balls (ball capacity is up to 300 balls), it was easy to move it thanks to the wheels and comfortable handle.

Control Panel and Programmability

Then the more difficult task came up. How to set the practice regime you would like to try. There are numerous possibilities for different shots. You can adjust almost everything: speed, height, feed interval, spin, angle, direction. Almost infinite combinations are available, and I strongly recommend preparing for the practice in advance. It will save a lot of time if you come by with an exact plan saying what you want to practice. Otherwise, you will just try and change again and again. Check out how the control panel of Playmate Grand Slam looks below.

Playmate Grand Slam Control Panel

The control panel looks a bit complicated at first sight. However, I believe that after a few practices, the setting up of the desired shot sequence would be quick.

Balls & Practice

The practice itself was very exhausting. The machine never stops and does not need breaks for refreshing itself. Unfortunately, I do. I have to confess to adjusting* the feed interval after the first set of 300 balls. (*adjusting = increase the feed interval to got some break between the shots)

I tried several different shot sequences, and I was delighted with the stability of the machine. It will withstand any shot from your return without any notice on the quality or direction of served balls. Overall, Playmate Grand Slam serves the balls in the same direction, height, speed, and consistency very reliable.

Playmate Grand Slam Shooting Mechanism

We used a mix of used balls for practice, and I was afraid if they would not be stuck into the feeding mechanic. Surprisingly, the machine was able to process them with no problems. Just when the old and the worn-out ball came through, the shot was shorter. But it can be easily solved by using the pressureless balls that are recommended for tennis ball machine use.

The other thing I appreciated was how quiet the machine is. You will definitely not bother the people on other courts, they will hardly notice you have it on the court.

Overall, the practice with Playmate Grand Slam ball machine was enjoyable. I did not notice any issues with the machine, and I can guarantee that no player will leave the court with a dry shirt.

Summary

Playmate Grand Slam is a great tennis ball machine that has a lot to offer. It can be used in a tennis club for group practices or individual sessions. The full programmability and ability to customize drills will satisfy every player, professionals included. The only downside is the price and necessity to have an electric socket close to the courts (or long enough extension cord). However, if you have enough money, do not hesitate and go for it. It is worth it. My forehand and backhand fully agree 🙂

You can buy Playmate Grand Slam here on OnCourtOffCourt (free shipping to 48 US States included).

Posted in Playmate Tennis Ball Machines, Reviews, Reviews, Tennis Ball Machines, Tennis Ball Machines for Advanced Players, Tennis Ball Machines for Intermediate Players, Tennis Ball Machines for Tennis Clubs and tagged , , , .

Tennis Pro Guru

Simon is the leading editor of TennisProGuru.com from 2015. He is an avid tennis player from age of 5, however, he never reached the pro level. Still, he likes playing tennis on different courts, with different rackets, and against different opponents. In his free time, you can find him watching all possible tennis matches he can find on the web or tv. Challenger or Grand Slam? It does not matter, just tennis matters.

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