Order in the Court

By Joe McGauley | Boston Magazine |

THE TOP INSTRUCTORS

Nadeem Osman, University Club A native South African, the 26-year-old guru (that’s him at right) has cultivated a devoted roster of beginners, yet possesses the skills to take seasoned students to the next level. $62 per 45 minutes, 617-266-5600, uclub.org.

Preston Quick, Union Boat Club Quick is an ace at honing already sharp players, but only during the week: On weekends he tours with the International Squash Doubles Association—in which he’s ranked third in the world. Starts at $60 per 50 minutes, 617-720-2252, unionboatclub.org.

Dan Sharplin, Cross Courts Squash And Fitness Center The former New Zealand national champion is known for his patience (and dreamy accent), and spends much of his time teaching beginners and kids. $80 per hour, 508-315-5500, crosscourtsquash.com.

THE RIGHT GEAR

Goggles Look for lightweight frames with scratch-resistant, distortion-free lenses—all the better to keep your eyes on the ball. Wilson nVue goggles, $49.95, All Seasons Sports, 638 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, allseasonssportsstore.com.

Racket You want a flexible handle, combined with a stable frame. Black Knight Ion Storm racket, $229.99, City Sports, 480 Boylston St., Boston, 617-267-3900; and other locations; citysports.com.

Shoes A made-for-squash sneaker provides shock-absorbing cushion, extra arch support, and high-tech rubber sole to boost control on the court. 2008 Asics Gel Domain shoes, $84.95, Tennis and Squash Shop, 67 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge, 617-864-8800, tennisandsquashshop.net.

THE BEST COURTS

Boston Racquet Club Tucked neatly within the Financial District, the BRC’s six courts buzz with game-face corporate types looking to escape the office for a quick midday match. Members can reserve courts online, join one of the club’s competitive or recreational leagues, and attend clinics hosted by three different pros. Complimentary workout garb and permanent personal lockers help the $495 quarterly membership fee go down somewhat easier. 100 Summer St., Boston, 617-482-8881, thebostonracquetclub.com.

Cambridge Athletic Club Prime for beginners and commitment-phobes, the laid-back Cambridge Athletic Club offers neither state-of-the-art equipment nor a country club pedigree. However, nonmembers can hop on the courts for $20 a game, and memberships start at only $84 a month. Less glitzy than the members-only variety, yes, though resident pro Enamullah Khan, of the legendary Khan dynasty of squash champions, safeguards the club’s wall-banging creds. 215 First St., Boston, 617-491-8989, cambridgefitness.com.

University Club With eight gleaming courts (six singles, two doubles) and five resident pros, it’s just as elite as its Brahmin-serving Back Bay neighbor, the Tennis and Racquet Club, but the U Club wins out thanks to newly remodeled facilities and its less-stuffy cigar-lounge décor. A university degree, current-member sponsorship, and a lengthy interview are among membership requirements. On top of initiation fees: Quarterly rates start at $650, or $375 for those under age 30. 426 Stuart St., Boston, 617-266-5600, uclub.org.