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What the Heck is Pickleball?

The PTC-Fayette Pickleball Club will be happy to show you!

So you’ve heard of it, but it’s got a silly name, so it must be a silly game. And definitely not for a serious person like you, right? Well, here are some questions to ask yourself; Do you need to be more active? Do you need to get your heart rate up? Do you enjoy a friendly competition? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Pickleball may be just what the doctor ordered!

Created in the mid-’60s in Washington State, Pickleball has become one of America’s fastest growing sports. That can be attributed to the ease of learning to play and the fact that you don’t need to spend a small fortune on equipment to get started. Played on a court similar in size to badminton and using a typical tennis-style net, it can be played both indoors or out. The balls are plastic with holes… what we called wiffle balls when I was a kid. The only thing you usually have to provide yourself is a paddle, which typically can be purchased for less than $100.

Gameplay varies from fast and furious to slow and measured, sometimes within the same point. These variations mean that the sexes can play separately or together and still have fun and competitive games. The "Dink", a short drop shot, is one of the keys to the game. 

We recently sat down with Sharon Conrad and Nancy Price, the President and Vice President of the PTC-Fayette Pickleball Club to learn more about all things Pickleball here in Fayette County. In just 6 short years the club has nearly 200 local members. Their home courts are at Flat Creek County Club, but members of the club frequent several other venues including Kedron Fieldhouse, Glenloch Recreation Complex, Pebblepocket tennis courts and Kiwanis Park tennis courts in Fayetteville. There are also many private courts and churches that host games and rounds of play throughout the community.

Nancy’s first introduction to Pickleball was in 2010 or so when she worked with the Peachtree City CVB. The city had hired a consultant who had worked with the Villages in Florida and suggested that Pickleball might be a great draw for PTC in recruiting retirees to the area. Sharon got involved with Pickleball a couple of years later and in 2014 was instrumental in starting the local club. Until recently, Sharon served as a Regional Ambassador for USA Pickleball, promoting the sport throughout middle Georgia.

One misconception about Pickleball that both Sharon and Nancy would like to see dispelled is that the game is only for retirees. “It’s a great sport for people of all ages,” says Sharon. “The club is actively involved in providing training for local Physical Education Teachers and there are also grants available to provide equipment like balls, paddles and nets, to Elementary and High Schools.”  She noted that the club also has start-up kits available for Churches and other community organizations that have an interest in starting a Pickleball program.

The club is also working with local governments to create more dedicated courts for Pickleball here in Fayette County. Spalding and Coweta counties have recently opened dedicated courts and facilities for Pickleball. Both have seen success hosting tournaments, like the recent Doc Holliday Shootout in Griffin, that attract hundreds of out of town visitors to their areas.

If you would like to see if Pickleball is for you, the club offers free beginner classes. They even offer free use of equipment so you can “try it before you buy it” so to speak. You can contact Sharon Conrad directly at 678-478-3390 or visit the club’s website at www.ptcpickleballclub.com

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