The Playmate ball machine comes in a range of models, including 2 portable ball machines, and 4 high tech commercial grade tennis ball machines.

Playmate ball machine

All commercial Playmate ball machine models offer this design.

The Playmate ball machine is produced by Playmate Tennis which was started in 1973 by Alfred Yarur who had a background in robotics and artificial intelligence. The first product introduced by Playmate was the Playmate Genie which featured random full court oscillation both horizontally and vertically; a revolutionary innovation at the time. By the early 1990’s the Playmate Genie had evolved to generate drills with different ball spins, further simulating the shots of a real opponent.

Playmate is one of the only tennis ball machine manufacturers to offer onsite training and service for their ball machines. To further their outreach and focus on tennis education, Playmate sponsors a Professional Development Course for the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR), which is the largest global organization of tennis teachers and coaches. Playmate also sponsors Specialty Courses for the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) which has more than 15,000 members worldwide.

Playmate designs and manufactures two portable Playmate tennis ball machine models that range in price from $1,195 to $1,695. They produce four commercial level high-end machines that range in price from $4,395 to $7,820, and a specialized serving machine called the Slam which retails for around $7,495.

 

Playmate Ball Machine – Portable Models

The Playmate tennis ball machine portable models are the only do-it-yourself upgradeable, battery powered ball machines on the market. The models in this category include the Half Volley and the Volley. The Half Volley is a basic model that runs $1,195 and offers the following:

The Playmate portable ball machine easily folds down for a compact fit.

The Playmate portable ball machine easily folds down for a compact fit.

  • Point and shoot design (no side-to-side random oscillation come with this model)
  • Spin control
  • Manual elevation control
  • 42lb weight
  • 10-70 mph speed range
  • 200 ball capacity
  • A feed rate of a ball fired every 1-10 seconds
  • Battery life of 3 hours
  • 2 year warranty

The Volley Playmate ball machine offers all of the same features of the Half Volley and upgrades to include the following additional features for $1,695.

  • Random 2-line side to side oscillation
  • Removable 6 hour battery pack
  • 46lb weight
  • Commercial remote control

 

Playmate Tennis Ball Machine – Commercial Models

These high-end Playmate ball machine models are designed for home court owners, tennis clubs, camps, or other professional organizations. The models in this category include the Smash, Deuce, Genie, and Playmate PC. All Playmate tennis ball machine commercial models are easily upgradeable from the base Smash model, which offers the following features.

Playmate ball machine Smash Control

Playmate ball machine Smash control panel

  • 110 Volt AC power
  • 7 position programmable random electronic oscillation
  • Spin control
  • Variable electronic height control
  • Holds 300 balls
  • 2-function remote control
  • 3 year warranty on parts
  • MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) – $4,395

You can upgrade to the next models by simply unplugging the Smash control panel from the ball machine and plugging in the more advanced control panel. You will need to purchase the upgrade, which for the Deuce is $1,125, $1,925 for the Genie, and $3,750 for the PC. The Deuce offers all of the features of the Smash and adds the following.

  • 2 distinct programmable shots – this allows you to practice 2-shot combinations such as a volley followed by a lob or a baseline topspin shot followed by an under spin cut shot.
  • One shot delay – lets players return to the baseline after hitting a net shot during a drill.
  • MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) – $5,195
Playmate ball machine Genie control

Playmate ball machine Genie control panel

The Genie is the next level up for the Playmate tennis ball machine commercial category. It offers all of the features of the previous models plus the following.

  • 7 distinct programmable shots
  • 7 shot delays – Having seven programmable shots and delays is perfect for groups of student practicing drills, and ideal for doubles players. It is a great way to simulate realistic game situations. A typical program sequence could be 2 ground strokes, followed by an approach shot, then a volley, then a lob.
  • MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) – $5,995
Playmate ball machine PC control

Playmate ball machine PC remote control

The top of the line Playmate ball machine in the commercial category is the Playmate PC model. It has all of the features of the previous models and adds the following.

  • Wireless, extremely durable, multifunction remote control
  • 8 programmable shots
  • 8 shot delays
  • Includes many standard teaching and personal use drills – You can preprogram drills into the wireless remote and recall those drills at the touch of a button, when you are ready to train and teach students, or simply use it for yourself. Complex drills can be set up effortlessly in a manner of seconds.
  • MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) – $7,820

 

 

Playmate Ball Machine – Serving Simulation Model – The Slam

The Playmate Slam is the fastest ball machine currently manufactured in the world. It can fire a 120 mph serve. It can also fire balls with any type of spin, such as left and right-handed slices, left Playmate ball machine - Slamand right handed kicks, and the American twist. The Slam offers the following key features.

  • 7 distinct programmable shots
  • 7 shot delays
  • Programmable random shot sequence
  • 300 ball capacity
  • Variable electronic height adjustment
  • 2-function remote control
  • 3 year warranty on parts
  • MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) – $7,495
  • The Slam lift is sold separately for $4,395

 

 

Where to Buy the Playmate Ball Machine

Playmate tennis ball machines are only sold through authorized sales and service center dealers.

 

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