Induction Year: 2019
Harry Parten is known for his pioneering efforts in the tennis pro business, his thirty-one-year tenure as Director of Tennis at the River Oaks Country Club in Houston and his success in bringing top level professional tennis players to Texas through the River Oaks Tournament.
Parten was a self-taught tennis player who went on to excel on his high school tennis team at W.B. Ray High School in Corpus. He put himself through college on a tennis scholarship at the University of Houston where he earned a civil engineering degree. After two years of engineering, he was offered the position of Director of Tennis at River Oaks Country Club. This career change not only changed his life, but the future of tennis in Texas. His passion for tennis along with his own high standards were responsible for his many achievements in the tennis industry throughout the years.
Parten remained the Director of Tennis at River Oaks Country Club for 31 years. He was a charter member of the Texas Professional Tennis Association (TPTA) where he wrote the constitution and by-laws. He served as president in 1968, vice-president and secretary. Parten was honored as TPTA Pro of the Year in 1974. He was a 50-year Member of the USPTA. He is also remembered for creating an Assistant Pro Apprenticeship Program at River Oaks Country Club that enabled assistants to achieve head pro positions.