Best Tennis Ball Machine

Tennis ball machines are one of the most effective, and fastest ways to improve your tennis game. They allow you to play when you want, where you want, and improve specific parts of your game.

Below you’ll see a complete guide for choosing a tennis ball machine, and see reviews of the best tennis ball machines on the market today. Also, we’ve included all the features to consider before buying a tennis ball machine if you’re unfamiliar.

Top 7 Tennis Ball Machines for Individual Players

These machines are more mobile for a player to keep at their home and bring to their local courts for personal use.

The Spinshot Player tennis ball machine is our top rated machine.

Top 3 Tennis Ball Machines for Country Clubs, Schools or Professional Coaches

These machines are less mobile. They are typically stored near the courts in storage and rolled out to the courts when needed. They do not fit in most cars.

The Lobster Sports Phenom II Club Series ball machine is our top rated tennis ball machine for country clubs, tennis centers, and schools.

How to Choose a Tennis Ball Machine

When looking for a tennis ball machine, there are many factors to consider. This guide will help you understand all your options and give you the perfect machine for your needs. Below are questions you should ask yourself before choosing a machine.

What is Your Skill Level?

Depending on your skill level as a tennis player, you will choose a different ball machine.

Advanced

Ball machines for advanced players need to be able to feed a variety of shots with different spin, pace, and heights. These machines are more expensive, but provide a customizable experience that pays for itself easily when compared to private lessons. You can create custom drills with these machines.

Intermediate

Intermediate players typically are looking to improve their game to the next level. Similar to choosing a tennis racquet, you will likely want to get a product that will work for advanced players too. You may not use all the features immediately but as you push yourself with more difficult tennis drills, you will improve faster.

Beginner

Beginners can purchase a ball machine with less features. They typically just need to hit more forehands and backhands from the baseline to improve their groundstrokes. Tennis ball machines for beginners can feed balls at a slower pace, without spin or variety. I recommend that beginners buy a less expensive machine and work on moving to hit backhands and forehands.

How Often Will You Use the Machine?

When purchasing a new ball machine, you have to be serious about how often you’ll be using the machine. As we discussed above, the ball machine will pay for itself after a certain number of uses. However if you only plan to use it a few times per year, then it may not be a good idea for you. Most machines are worth it if you can use them at least a few times per month.

If you’re serious about tennis and really want to get better, buying a tennis ball machine is a no brainer. You don’t have the headache of finding someone else to hit with. You don’t have the expensive bills of a private lesson. You get to play when you want, on your terms.

If you’re less serious about improving, then you should consider your budget and possibly find a friend or family member to split the machine with so you can justify it.

What is Your Budget?

Purchasing a tennis ball machine is a decision that costs a lot up front, but pays for itself over time. You’ll need to consider how often you’ll use the machine, before you can do the math on how long it will take you to break even.

For example, if you take 2 private lessons per week at $60 per lesson, and you buy a $1500 ball machine to replace those private lessons, it will only take you 3 months before you start saving money! In this case it’s an easy decision 🙂

Again, to help mitigate the cost, you can consider sharing the machine with your doubles partner or another player from your local tennis courts. Country clubs & tennis centers can rent the machine to players to help pay for the machine as well.

Features of Tennis Ball Machines

Before purchasing a tennis ball machine, you need to understand all the features a ball machine has to offer. Below are the primary features explained and definitions of each.

Ball Capacity

How many tennis balls fit into the machine at one time. In other words, how many balls can you hit before you have to pick up the balls and refill the machine.

Feed Rate

How much time do you have between shots. This is important because advanced players will want to look for machines that can feed the balls quickly. Beginners should look for more time between shots since they don’t hit the ball as hard.

Oscillation & Elevation

Oscillation refers to the ability for the machine to feed balls to both sides of the tennis court. Some ball machines can only feed in one direction while more advanced machines can feed to both the forehand and backhand side. Elevation refers to the height of the ball being fed. This becomes important for drilling. If you want to practice high lobs, overheads, and low volleys for example, you will need a machine that can provide different elevations on each shot.

Ball Speed & Spin

Speed is how fast can the machine feed each individual tennis ball. Advanced players need a machine that feeds the ball harder to simulate real match play. Spin refers to the spin on the ball. Unless you’re a complete beginner, you will likely want a machine that can hit both topspin balls, and slice shots.

Custom Drills

Many machines below allow you to create custom tennis drills. This is like having a personal coach and is a great feature for those serious about improving. For example, you could program a machine to feed a deep topspin forehand followed by a short backhand approach, then a high forehand volley. This would help you work on coming into the net.

Here are a 5 drills you can work on with your new tennis ball machine.

Control

How you control the machine is an important factor. Most machines come with some sort of remote control feature and some even have a downloadable app for your phone.

Size & Weight

If you need a mobile machine, make sure you don’t buy something that can’t fit in your car!

Power

Tennis ball machines will either be powered through a normal outlet, or have a rechargeable battery. For some machines, the battery is sold separately.

7 Best Tennis Ball Machines Reviewed for Individuals

These ball machines are for tennis players looking to improve their game. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced player, you’ll be able to find the right machine for you below.

Spinshot Player

This is the top tennis ball machine on the market for beginners or advanced players who want a fully customizable experience. The machine checks all the boxes that you’d look for in a good tennis ball machine.

The machine has a ball capacity of over 120 balls, and can feed balls from around 19 to 68 miles per hour (30-110 kmph). You can program drills that have spin and move you from one side of the court to the other. If you need to practice fast paced volleys, this ball machine’s feed frequency is from 2 to 10 seconds.

The best part of this ball machine though, is the mobile app. You can download it right from your phone and customize drills specifically for areas of your game you need to work on. You can create up to 12 preset drills for yourself with up to 6 shots per drill.

It’s like having a coach right there on the court, but better! Your coach can’t feed 60 MPH topspin with the accuracy of this machine 😉 So instead of expensive private lessons, this machine will be your coach and pay for itself in only 25 hitting sessions.

Specifications & Features

Skill Level: Any
Ball Capacity: 120+
Feed Frequency: 2-10 seconds
Oscillation & Elevation: Horizontal, Vertical | Yes
Speed & Spin: 19-68 MPH (30-110 KMPH) | Topspin & Backspin
Custom Drills: Yes, create 12 preset drills at 6 shots each
Control: Android or iPhone App (or apple watch to pause and start)
Size & Weight: 46 lbs (with battery) | 21h x 20l x 14w (inches)
Power: Rechargeable battery included but shipped separately | Lasts 2-3 hours

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    Mobile app allows you to create custom preset drills
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    You can adjust spin, speed, direction, trajectory, and feed rate
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    Has all features you need for any skill level
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    Great manufacturer support
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    Max speed is 68MPH which is a problem for highly advanced players (USTA 5.0+)

Lobster Sports Elite 2 Portable Ball Machine

If you’re looking to improve your fitness for singles, or just hit a lot of balls, this tennis ball machine is a great choice. This ball machine will move you all over the court and can feed balls with a variety of paces, spins, and elevations.

In addition to its large ball capacity, this machine can hit balls as fast as 80 miles per hour for high level tennis players. If you’re just a beginner, you can start as low as 10 MPH. The feed frequency, oscillation, and elevation are all top class.

This machine feeds balls randomly either vertically, horizontally, or both. This means you can work on deep groundstrokes and approach shots on either side of the court. Then you can change the ball machine settings to work on both forehands or backhands. If you set the machine to both random vertical and horizontal, you are in for a great workout!

You cannot customize drills with this machine. Of course, you can turn off the random setting to work on one shot in repetition. Also, keep in mind that the remote control is an additional cost.

Specifications & Features

Skill Level: Any
Ball Capacity: 150
Feed Frequency: 2-12 seconds
Oscillation & Elevation: Random Horizontal & Vertical | Yes
Speed & Spin: 10-80 MPH (16-129 KMPH) | Topspin & Backspin
Custom Drills: No
Control: Panel on machine. Remote control available for purchase.
Size & Weight: 44 lbs | Collapses to 21h x 29l x 15 ½w (inches)
Power: Rechargeable battery included with charger. Fast charger available. | Lasts 4-8 hours

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    Wide range of pace & spins for beginner to advanced players.
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    Feeds side to side as well as short and deep balls
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    Easy to maneuver with handle and large wheels
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    Adjustable height to work on a variety of shots including overheads
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    Leaving it on the charger can hurt the battery
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    Remote control sold separately
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    No custom preset drills

Match Mate Rookie

This tennis ball machine is perfect for beginners or juniors. If you’re just getting started with tennis, this a great way to sharpen your skills while not breaking the bank on lessons. The Match Mate Rookie feeds balls at a beginners pace. It is very lightweight, and can feed balls with different heights and frequencies.

If you’re a parent looking to coach your child, this is a great ball machine for kids and teens. You can set up the ball machine to your desired settings and work with them on the other side of the net. If you or your child plan to become intermediate or advanced players then, this machine is not recommended. See our guide on beginner tennis racquets to find the right racquet to go with your new ball machine 🙂

Specifications & Features

Skill Level: Beginner Only
Ball Capacity: 70
Feed Frequency: Varies based on speed
Oscillation & Elevation: No Oscillation | No Elevation
Speed & Spin: 10-27 MPH | Some topspin at higher speeds
Custom Drills: No
Control: Panel on machine
Size & Weight: 22 lbs | 22h x 11l x 11w inches
Power: Rechargeable battery included with charger

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    Great value for beginners - costs less than 9 private lessons
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    Customize feed rate & elevation
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    Rechargeable battery lasts up to 5 hours
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    Not for intermediate or advanced players
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    No remote control
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    No oscillation or advanced features

Spinshot Plus

This ball machine from Spinshot is similar to Lobster’s Elite 2 machine reviewed above. It’s a great choice for players who are looking to improve any area of their tennis game.

The oscillation modes and different paces can help you practice all kinds of shots including groundstrokes, volleys, and overheads. You can also use Spinshot’s mobile app to control this machine.

While this ball machine is a lower cost than the Lobster’s Elite 2 (if you buy the remote), it does have a slightly smaller ball capacity and does not reach the pace of the Lobster product (80 MPH). However this machine is more compact, and has an AC option so you can play for hours without worrying about the battery.

Honestly, if your considering buying this machine, it is a great choice, but at only a fraction of the cost more, the Spinshot Player with customizable preset drills may be the better option.

Specifications & Features

Skill Level: All
Ball Capacity: 120+
Feed Frequency: 2-10 seconds
Oscillation & Elevation: 5 oscillation modes | Height control from panel
Speed & Spin: 19-68 MPH (30-110 KMPH) | Topspin & Backspin
Custom Drills: No
Control: Panel on machine. Phone Apps optional
Size & Weight: 46 lbs (with battery) | 21h x 20l x 14w (inches)
Power: Rechargeable battery included but shipped separately. | Lasts 2-3 hours

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    Great for any skill level player who want to improve their game fast
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    Compact machine, very mobile
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    Mobile app allows ease of control
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    Feeds all varieties of shots
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    No customized preset drills
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    Max speed (68 mph) is less than Lobster machines

Spinshot Pro

If you need a tennis ball machine to get a physical workout and don’t need all the customization of a the advanced machines, the Spinshot Pro is for you. This machine can feed balls side to side giving you an excellent cardio workout, and has the ability to hit you a variety of shots.

For beginners, intermediate, or advanced players who just want to practice more, but don’t necessarily need a customizable drill experience, this ball machine is a great value. With its compact size, good battery life, and multiple speed and spin options, you will be able to work on all your shots. These features also make this ball machine good for more advanced kids and junior tennis players.

The oscillation does not randomly hit short and deep balls, but it will feed balls side to side so you can work on backhands and forehands. To work on approach shots or lobs, you simply change the settings on the control panel.

Specifications & Features

Skill Level: All
Ball Capacity: 120+
Feed Frequency: 2-10 seconds
Oscillation & Elevation: Random Horizontal Oscillator | Yes
Speed & Spin: 19-68 MPH (30-110 KMPH) | Topspin & Backspin
Custom Drills: No
Control: Panel on machine. Two button remote included.
Size & Weight: 44 lbs (with battery) | 21h x 20l x 14w (inches)
Power: Rechargeable battery included but shipped separately | Lasts 2-3 hours

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    Feeds tennis balls a wide range of paces & spins for all skill levels
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    Oscillates horizontally for a great cardio workout
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    Very mobile & good value for any skill level
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    Depth of the ball feeding must be set from the panel & cannot randomly oscillate
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    No customizable drills

Lobster Sports Elite 1 Portable Ball Machine

Similar to the Spinshot Pro above, the Lobster Elite 1 tennis ball machine can provide a great baseline workout. You can work on both forehands and backhands with it’s random oscillation feature that feeds balls from side to side.

This machine is a great value, and has a few advantages to the Spinshot Pro as well as some drawbacks. Like all of Lobster Sports’ tennis ball machines, it has a larger ball capacity and can feed balls harder than the Spinshot Pro. However, this machine does not include a remote control and is a bit bulkier than the Spinshot Pro.

Overall this is a great machine for players who don’t need all the drill customization of some of the nicer machines out there. You’ll be able to hit plenty of balls and adjust to your skill level as you improve.

Specifications & Features

Skill Level: All levels
Ball Capacity: 150
Feed Frequency: 2-12 seconds
Oscillation & Elevation: Random Horizontal Only | Yes
Speed & Spin: 10-80 MPH (16-129 KMPH) | Topspin & Slice
Custom Drills: No
Control: Panel on machine. Remote control available for purchase.
Size & Weight: 42 lbs | Collapses to 21h x 29l x 15 ½w (inches)
Power: Rechargeable battery included with charger. Fast charger available. | Lasts 4-8 hours

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    Great for beginner to advanced players
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    Oscillates side to side for a great singles or groundstrokes workout
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    Easy to maneuver with handle and large wheels
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    Adjustable height to work on a variety of shots including overheads
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    No custom drills
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    Does not feed short and deep balls in oscillation
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    Remote control sold separately

Isam Extend

If you need a tennis ball machine under $1000, this is an excellent choice. It is a relatively mobile machine at under 40 lbs. While you cannot create any drills, the ball machine does have a horizontal oscillation feature that will help you work on both sides of the court.

This machine can be used at any skill level and you can decrease the feed rate to as low as 2 seconds for a fast paced workout. There are also 5 elevation settings that are adjusted manually on the side of the machine allowing you to work on low groundstrokes, volleys and lobs.

This machine does not have a topspin or backspin adjustment and can have issues feeding harder balls. However, most players looking for their first ball machine will be satisfied.

Specifications & Features

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Ball Capacity: 125+
Feed Frequency: 2-10s
Oscillation & Elevation: Random oscillation | 5 manual elevation controls
Speed & Spin: 15-70mph | No
Custom Drills: No
Control: Panel on machine
Size & Weight: 39 lbs. | 18h x 19l x 17 ½w (inches)
Power: Rechargeable battery.| Lasts 5-7 hours

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    Side to side oscillation
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    Good customer support from the manufacturer
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    5 height adjustment settings to change the feed trajectory
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    No topspin or backspin controls
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    Cannot customize drills or oscillate vertically
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    No remote control

3 Best Tennis Ball Machines for Tennis Centers or Clubs

Whether you have your own tennis courts, or you’re a teaching pro at a club, the tennis ball machines above may not have all the features you need. If you’re looking for the top of the line in ball machines for country clubs or tennis academies, we’ve reviewed the top 3 products.

These machines are not very mobile, so plan on keeping them in a storage shed near your courts or at the indoor tennis courts.

Lobster Sports Phenom II Club Series Machine

This tennis ball machine from Lobster Sports has everything you could possibly want in a ball machine. With this machine you can create custom drills for all your students, making this a perfect ball machine for teaching pros or head pros at a country club.

The custom drills offer you 18 locations to place the ball, while also letting you adjust speed, spin, elevation, and feed rate. The machine actually comes with six pre-programmed drills that will help you against different types of players.

If you want to be a premier teaching facility in your community, then this machine will attract students from all over. As with all Lobster products, the remote does come separately. This machine must be plugged in as well, so buy an extension cord.

Specifications & Features

Skill Level: Any
Ball Capacity: 250
Feed Frequency: 2-9 seconds
Oscillation & Elevation: Several oscillation options | 0-50 degree elevation
Speed & Spin: 35-80 mph
Custom Drills: Yes
Control: Panel on machine. Remote control available for purchase.
Size & Weight: 99 lbs | 50h x 32l x 25w in.
Power: AC (electric)

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    Customize your own preset drills
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    Comes with 6 pre-programmed drills
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    Complete oscillation horizontally and vertically
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    For intermediate to highly skilled players
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    Great for country clubs and tennis academies
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    AC power only
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    Remote sold separately

Lobster Sports Phenom Club Series Machine

Lobster’s Phenom Club tennis ball machine was the first in their line of Club Series Machines. This machine has all the features of the Phenom Two without the ability to program your own drills. Instead, you just use the pre programmed drills that come with the machine.

This machine is still a great option for country clubs and tennis academies on a slightly smaller budget. Most players will be able to improve dramatically with the random oscillation, spin, speed, and feed rates. This allows for an intense workout. The preset drills should be good enough for most club level players as well.

​Specifications & Features

Skill Level: Any
Ball Capacity: 250
Feed Frequency: 2-9 seconds
Oscillation & Elevation: Several oscillation options | 0-50 degree elevation
Speed & Spin: 35-80 mph
Custom Drills: No
Control: Panel on machine. Remote control available for purchase.
Size & Weight: 99 lbs | 50h x 32l x 25w in.
Power: AC (electric)

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    Comes with 6 pre-programmed drills
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    Complete oscillation horizontally and vertically
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    For any skill level
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    Great for tennis clubs and academies
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    Cannot customize your own drills
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    AC power only
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    Remote sold separately

Playmate Smash Ball Machine

This is the top of the line tennis ball machine for tennis centers, clubs and academies. This machine is for tennis clubs who have highly skilled students. Most country clubs will not need all the capabilities of this machine, but those that do will be more than satisfied. With upgrade features like the serve lift to emulate a real serve to practice your return skills, this is the most customized experience you can get with a ball machine.

You can program this machine to hit 7 lines, and it provides a random oscillation option for 2-7 lines for a complete workout. Adjust the height, pace, and feed frequency of each shot to fit your students needs. You can also add heavy topspin or backspin with this machine. Download the iPlaymate Tennis app to create completely customized drills, track your hitting session, and compare with others at your courts.

It comes with a remote control, holds more tennis balls than any other machine, and has a number of upgrade feature options. Playmate offers a 3 year warranty on this machine, but you should expect the machine to last much longer. This is a very heavy machine and cannot be moved easily.

Specifications & Features

Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Ball Capacity: 300
Feed Frequency: Variable
Oscillation & Elevation: Several oscillation options | Yes
Speed & Spin: Variable
Custom Drills: Pre-programmed
Control: Panel & remote control. Phone apps available.
Size & Weight: 445 lbs
Power: AC (electric)

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    Best ball capacity on the market
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    Upgradeable features
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    iPlaymate Tennis app allows for customized drills & workout tracking
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    Three year parts warranty
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    AC power only
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    Very heavy machine

Conclusion: Our Picks for Top Tennis Ball Machines

There are two types of people looking for tennis ball machines.

  1. A player looking for a personal machine for improving their game.

  2. A coach or head teaching pro looking for a ball machine for their country club or tennis facility.

For individual players, we recommend the the Spinshot Player Tennis Ball Machine. It has all the latest technology you’d want in a ball machine including an app to control the machine and create your own custom tennis workout.

If you’re a tennis teaching professional in need of an even more robust ball machine, our recommendation is to get the Lobster Sports Phenom II Club Series Machine. You can also rent the machine to students to help mitigate the cost. Also, with the extra remote it has everything you’d need including customized drills for your students. This will let you work hands on with your students while the machine feeds the balls for you.