THIS IS... TEMPLETON TENNIS RANCH'S RALPH GOEHRINGCOMMUNITY TENNIS | USTA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
JANUARY 5, 2024 | STEVE PRATT
THIS IS... TEMPLETON TENNIS RANCH'S RALPH GOEHRINGCOMMUNITY TENNIS
USTA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
JANUARY 5, 2024
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The fifth edition of the Central Coast Tennis Classic was recently completed in northern San Luis Obispo County in a little town where you would probably never expect to see professional tennis land.
But because of the efforts of Templeton Tennis Ranch owner and CEO Ralph Goehring, the Central Coast Tennis Classic – a USTA Women’s Pro Circuit $60,000 tournament – was born in 2017, just two short years after the five-court lighted facility opened in 2015.
Just off the US 101 Highway Main Street exit 5 miles south of Paso Robles, a right turn on Championship Lane will lead you to the tennis oasis in a rural part of Central California.
The 67-year-old Goehring said the club’s first director had played on the pro circuit and that there really wasn’t another tournament or even stadium court for a hundred miles. “I really knew very little about pro tennis, but I said, ‘Let’s give it a shot,’” Goehring said. “Let’s just do it and if we’re going to do it, let’s go big and do it right.
“We didn’t really know what we were getting into.”
The event lost two years of momentum because of Covid, but Goehring said it was too hard to just give it up and the event has thrived the past two years with WTA world-ranked No. 75 Taylor Townsend winning the singles title in September.
“Having a Pro Circuit event puts us on the map,” said Goehring, who lives in Bakersfield and also has a home in Cayucos. “A lot of these players have never been to California, and if they have been it’s to San Diego or San Francisco, and never to the Central Coast. So, it’s a good kind of outreach to teach people about the more rural side of California.”
A graduate of University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business, Goehring was formerly the SVP Chief Accounting Officer of Treasurer Global Clean Energy Holdings with the main goal of retooling petroleum refineries for renewable diesel.
Currently working as a consultant has given Goehring more time to focus on his club, but that the day-to-day duties fall under TTR General Manager and President Chris Fouquet. TTR was recently honored by the USTA as an outstanding facility in the small-sized private club category.
“We got to fly back to New York and accept our award and attend the Opening day of the US Open,” Goehring said. “We were not expecting to win the award at all. Chris deserves most of the credit for the award as he is the most responsible for keeping the CCTC and TTR on track and expanding our community outreach.”
As the Templeton Tennis Ranch was being built some 10 years ago, Ralph and his wife Judy were battling cancer. Both went through chemotherapy treatments beating the initial stages of the disease, Ralph from colon cancer and Judy breast cancer. An aggressive form of cancer returned, and Judy passed away in 2018.
“My late wife Judy and I both love tennis,” said Goehring describing how the idea for the ranch came about. “Our contractor who remodeled our house in Cayucos lived in Templeton and already owned this property and had already started the permitting. He was looking for a partner and so I bought in. Templeton is a small community, but we love tennis and thought this would be a great addition to the community overall. To really bring tennis into this area because there isn’t a lot up here.”
Goehring – who remarried Deborah Goehring and has three adult sons Simon, Evan and Jason – said he would have never thought to host a Pro Circuit event until he was contacted by the USTA shortly after the club opened.
“They were looking to add another date on the west coast,” he said. “So, we went to Orlando and visited Aptos and another one in Stockton. There was a definite learning curve, but it wasn’t as hard as you would think. Just a lot of different pieces you have to fit. We pulled it off and it was amazing. It kind of just blew us all away.”
As for the future of the Central Coast Tennis Classic, Goehring said he only wants to see it get bigger and better. “I want to keep it going up the ladder in terms of prize money,” he said. “If we stabilize it and continue to get sponsors and the community’s support, then we’ll keep doing it. I think hosting a pro tournament helps get more people into tennis overall. It’s such a healthy sport and a sport you can play for a lifetime.”