Pickleball has become the court game of choice for many.
Last August, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held by Flagler County at the new pickleball courts behind the Hammock Community Center. In March, the courts will host the first Hammock Cup Pickleball tournament.
“We want to show the county that, ‘You built us the courts last year and we are already having tournaments,’” Sylvia Whitehouse said.
Whitehouse recently won a gold medal in Women’s Doubles 50-54 class, at the Florida State Senior Games in Clearwater.
Whitehouse and Walt Hooker, USAPA ambassadors, organized the tournament for March 16-19. Hooker has organized tournaments in New Hampshire in the past.
Finding pickleball players is apparently easy; more than 120 have signed to compete. What the organizers would like to attract are more sponsors and vendors.
“This tournament is nearly booked,” Whitehouse said in December. “Seventy percent of the competitors are within a half hour of the course. I expect to attract more people from outside the area in the future.”
The money raised is going back to the county for future improvements.
“We hope to put lights on the courts,” Whitehouse said. “Any money we raise will be given to the county for lights and more courts.”
Pickleball has become a popular sport throughout the country.
“People that are traveling around, are now looking for a place to play pickleball,” Whitehouse said. “We had a call from a player in Lansing Michigan who comes to Flagler Beach and wanted to know where to play.”