At the Palm Coast Senior Games, back in September, very few players registered to play pickleball. Now, it has become one of the most popular games in the city.
With similarities to tennis, badminton and ping-pong, Pickleball is also a sport played with a paddle and ball, and is a game that can be easily learned and played by all ages.
“It is a good way for people who have played a lot of racquet sports that can no longer cover the territory they use to,” said Steve Mager, one of Palm Coast’s pickleball ambassadors. “But, don’t get me wrong, yhere’s a lot of physical exercise in playing pickleball.”
Recently, he and his wife, Jeanne, played against another couple, Ken and Sandy LaPrall, on the tennis courts at the Flagler County Horseshoe Pitching Club. With every point scored, visible excitement illuminated from each of their faces.
“My wife and I were introduced to it at the Senior Games,” said Ken LaPrall, a pickleball enthusiast. “We got hooked on it, and now, we play three times a week. You can have a lot of fun playing the game, and it’s very social. The people you meet and the friends you play with make it worthwhile to come back for.”
Since its introduction last fall, many recreation parks have adapted their tennis courts to fit pickleball’s rules, and some companies felt it necessary to create a new court. SE Cline Construction was recently issued a commercial permit to build a court at 2 Village Parkway N., in Grand Haven.
According to the USA Pickleball Association, there are over 400,000 players and pickleball facilities in every state.
“I still consider us to be in the infancy stage in Palm Coast with all the park renovations,” Mager said. “But, I think pickleball has found a place to stay.”
Where to play?
For those interested in playing in Palm Coast, pickleball courts are at the following locations:
- Belle Terre, 339 Parkview Drive (986-2323)
- Grand Haven, 27 Sandpiper Court
- Villages at Matanzas Shores, 21 San Carlos Drive (246-2250)
- The Flagler County Horseshoe Pitching Club, 1250 Old Dixie Highway