Friday, April 21, 2017

U.S. Open Pickleball Championships return benefits to Naples

Published April 21, 2017 -

The national championships in a not-so-obscure-anymore sport return to Naples starting this Sunday, and tournament organizers and county officials expect the event to be bigger and more beneficial in Year 2.

The Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships begin Sunday at East Naples Community Park. The event held its media day on Friday, and excitement resonated throughout the park – from players, officials and county commissioners who see pickleball as a boon to Collier County.

Pickleball, a hybrid of tennis and ping-pong played on a badminton-sized court, has been a favorite of retirees for decades. However, the first organized national championship tournament was last year at Naples. More than 800 players from around the country, even a group from England, participated.

The U.S. Open has seen a 40-percent increase in players in just its second year. More than 1,300 pickleballers are signed up for this year’s tournament.

To accommodate the increased interest, the Championships expanded from five to seven days. The event runs from Sunday to April 29.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

US Open Pickleball Party in the Park

Get a sneak peak of the 2017 U.S. Open Pickleball Championships at the free Party In the Park on Saturday, April 22nd. Check out the New Product Demo Spectacular with all the latest pickleball gear, watch amateur and pro athletes on the practice courts, enjoy live music, and learn why millions of people are getting into the sport of pickleball. Pickleball courts will also be open for public play.

Hours: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
3500 Thomasson Dr., Naples, FL 34112

Thursday, April 13, 2017

12 court pickleball facility opens at Sundial

Published April 12, 2017 -

A 12 court pickleball stadium has been completed at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, adding to the lineup of resort amenities and public offerings. The Plexicushion system courts provide tournament-grade facilities in a pristine, waterfront setting accessible to both resort guests and the public.

Guests of the resort enjoy complimentary court access and equipment loans as part of Sundial's activity package. Lessons, clinics and open play are available under the direction of IPTPA certified resident pro Ernesto Enriquez-Socas.

For a limited time, introductory annual memberships are being offered to the public for a fee of $150. Public court time (based on two hours of play) is priced at $10 and includes equipment rentals. For groups looking to hone their skills while enjoying an island retreat, the resort offers custom pickleball vacations.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sun City Hilton Head (SC) to host a dancing pickle — and the Low Country Pickleball Classic

Published April 10, 2017 -

The 4th annual Low Country Pickleball Classic is scheduled to begin next week and will feature men’s, women’s and mixed doubles competitions, a Lowcountry boil and a dancing pickle.

Tournament action begins 8 a.m. April 21 and lasts through April 23 at Sun City Hilton Head.

This year’s tournament will be bigger than last year’s event, according to tournament director Reuben Oder: 216 players from 16 states have registered to date.

Oder expects the event to raise about $8,000 for charity. Last year, the tournament raised $4,000 for Hardeeville’s Jasper County Neighbors United and $3,000 for Hilton Head Island’s Operation R&R.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Dink For Pink Pickleball Tournament

Published April 8, 2017 -

Players and enthusiasts from all over the Southeastern hemisphere and Canada trekked to the Cape Fear National Golf Course to play in the Dink for Pink Pickleball Tournament in Brunswick Forest! Attaining great success, the tournament that took place from March 15th through the 19th raised an impeccable $13,000 for the Lump to Laughter organization.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Can pickleball help someone who has Parkinson’s? You bet

Published March 20, 2017 -

Ever since Louis Ma was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease nine months ago, his body has shown signs of betrayal.

The Indian Trail resident has started to shuffle a bit when he walks. His mind isn’t as sharp, he says. His sense of smell has disappeared. Fortunately for him, the shaking so commonly connected to Parkinson’s is not that obvious to others. Yet.

But Ma is a good steward of his doctor’s advice. He faithfully takes his medication and he trusts that exercise will help minimize his symptoms.

That’s why Ma dutifully reported to the Marion Diehl Recreation Center, 2219 Tyvola Road, Charlotte, (NC) earlier this month to test out pickleball, a sport new to him.

Through a partnership between the Parkinson Association of the Carolinas and USA Pickleball, the local recreation center is offering Pickleball for Parkinson’s, a weekly program tailored to those with the neurological disease and the people who support them.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Pickle ball and web sites: Reidsville Senior Center is not your grandma's center

Published March 19, 2017 -

Play pickleball with these people, and you could get bruised. Enter the computer lab, and you may find someone updating her website.

This isn’t your grandma’s senior center.

Reidsville’s long-awaited — some say overdue — new 18,000-square-foot senior center on Washington Avenue accommodates its fast-growing and active local population of people 55 and older.

“I’ll put some of my seniors up against some of these teenagers any day,” said Cindy Baynes, senior center coordinator. A cardio and weights class, two dance troupes and volleyball complement the card playing, painting and crocheting classes. Pickleball “is the new rage,” Baynes said, and the center’s bowling league has more than 60 members, several of whom average 185 to 190.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Welcome New Ambassadors

Gene Gautro • Birmingham, AL
Brian Nave • Ormond Beach, FL
Barbara Davis • Ponce Inlet, FL
Michele Lamontia • South Pasadena, FL
Linda Pierce • Sautee Nacoochee, GA
William "Bill" Alston • Pittsboro, NC