Thursday, March 27, 2014

Profile: Pickle Ball Queen

When Myrtle Beach resident Rena Grant moved from Tabor City, N.C., to central Pennsylvania, the U.S. was newly engaged in World War II. Shortly after her move, at just 19 years old, she found a job through a friend that almost tripled her weekly pay. She went from bookkeeping at $18 a week in Wilmington, N.C., to $50 a week working at an aeronautics company making airplane parts for the war effort. There she would eventually meet her husband, Richard Grant, have children, and return to her first loves, athletics and volunteering.

Rena Grant was recently chosen as the City of Myrtle Beach’s Volunteer of the Year from among 600 volunteers, an honor for which she received a $500 cash stipend. Grant volunteered some 788 hours in 2013, mostly on the pickle ball courts at the Crabtree Memorial Gymnasium. She celebrated her 90th birthday in November.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Clear One Deadline Approaching

Hi to all Pickleball Players,
The Clear One Skill/Age tournament deadline is approaching! On-line registration is open until Sunday, March 30. The direct link for registration is

 Embassy Suites Hotel, Orlando North, located at 225 Shorecrest Dr. Altamonte Springs, FL, 32701 is offering Suites for $99 a night. This includes a King or Two Queens in a closed off bedroom, with separate living space, Wi-Fi, made to order hot breakfast , free parking, pool, exercise room and other hotel amenities. Please book as soon as possible, rooms are limited. Use CODE "PKL" and let them know you are with the "Pickleball Doubles Invitational Tournament."  You may also call the hotel directly at 407-834-2400 or 1-800-362-2779 (24 hrs.) to make your reservations.  



Pickleball Palooza Tournament

April 26, 2014

Jarboe Park, Neptune Beach, FL

A1A (3rd Street) and Florida Blvd

10:00am- finish

Beginners to 3.0 level, all ages

Establish your playing level at

You are invited to join us for a casual blind draw doubles tournament and social!
Food, beverages and equipment provided.
We have six courts available for the tournament and a practice/warm-up court.
Awards presented to the winners.

Please bring a chair, sunscreen, and
be ready for FUN!

Players meeting at 9:30am
Teams drawn at 9:45am

Double Elimination Tournament to Follow

Registration Fee $10.00 
(Part of the fee will be shared with the Neptune Beach Senior Center)      

RSVP by April 22, 2014 to

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pickle ball growing in Southwest Florida

March 19, 2014 -


The self-proclaimed fastest growing sport with the funny name is making it's way to Cape Coral.

Pickle ball is growing in popularity.

With a tournament in Collier County this weekend, people who play in Cape Coral think it's the perfect time to bring the game to the city – which could mean big bucks for the city.

"It is growing around the entire United States in leaps and bounds," said pickle ball player Mike Welter.

CLICK HERE to view more.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Putnam County, Florida, joins in the Pickleball mania

Submitted by Michelle Holland, Ambassador, Putnam County, FL

Over 40 years ago I played tennis in high school. Some years later, after I had my children, I tried introducing them to tennis. It didn’t go well. I was still a lover of tennis at heart and would watch the Davis Cup, Wimbledon, whatever I could when I had time. As I got older, I would occasionally visit a tennis court with my racquet and balls to hit overhead serves, walk around the net to the other side and repeat the process, pining for a game. I had tried finding someone interested in playing here in South Putnam County, Florida, but to no avail.

On September 7, 2013, I sent a message on Facebook to my local gym, Putnam Family Fitness Center and asked them if they had anyone that would be interested in playing tennis. Here is the response I got: “We are launching a pickle ball program soon and will be playing in Morgan Park in Pomona Park.” On November 21st, I showed up at the park together with Bonnie, Marcia, Jim (the only person there that had ever played pickleball) and Hal (I think he had some idea what this pickleball thing was). Jim gave us all a quickie lesson on the rules and that was our introduction. The inaugural meeting of the pickleball group in Pomona Park.

Bam! Kapow! There it is! Where have you been all my life? I am in love, obsessed, hooked like one of those catfish that I catch on the St. Johns River. Jim had marked out the lines on the old, cracked tennis court with masking tape. I didn’t care. I had somewhere to play and someone to play with. I sure hoped they were as crazed and obsessed as I am. Within a couple of weeks the peeling tape was transformed into painted yellow lines.  

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday Marcia brings the equipment from the gym to the court. The equipment is there for anyone who shows up and wants to give pickleball a try. After two weeks, I had my own composite paddle.  

Jim arrives with a blower to blow the leaves and the acorns off the court. Nothing like having your opponent hit the ball to you and it hits the crack on the court or an acorn, shooting the ball off in a trajectory other than the intended one. Then there is the disadvantage of playing on the north side of the court. As soon as the sun comes up over the trees, we reach for our shades and hats, but we still can’t see those balls that are lobbed high. We reach up and hope that the racquet and ball make contact and that the ball finds its way back over the net. We laugh a lot.

We now have about 10-12 regular players and love it when we get more experienced players visiting us, like Ed, Steve and Warren. I love to be challenged.  

One day we got word that Crescent City, the town 7 miles to our south, was putting in 2 pickleball courts. Someone named Warren would be running the show down there. Warren is now a regular player at our court and we support his program in Crescent City. Warren is an experienced player and a good coach. He runs the program for the City of Crescent City and meets at the Eva Lyons Park on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  

We are now working on re-lining our tennis court into 2 pickleball courts to accommodate the players that keep showing up to learn. Putnam County, Florida, is officially on the pickleball map and I am a tennis player convert, never looking back. I love this game and look forward to seeing you on the courts.

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams: Pickleball: The Fastest-Growing Sport in America

March 18, 2014 -

Find out why the pickleball craze is sweeping the nation.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

East Naples Deadline Is Approaching!!

Hi Pickleball Players,

The deadline for online registration for the East Naples Skill Level Tournament is March 17. This is a skill/age tournament with more age breakdowns than we usually have. It will be held at East Naples Community Park in Naples, Florida. Singles are Friday afternoon, with men's and women's doubles on Saturday, and mixed on Sunday.

To register online, go to, go to upcoming tournaments, and there is a Register Now button for the East Naples tournament. This will take you directly to where you can register. We hope to see all of you there.

Cindy and Nancy
Tournament Directors

Charlotte County Fit For Life Games

Hi Pickleball Players,

The Charlotte County Fit For Life Senior Games is going to be held at South County Regional Park in Punta Gorda on April 11, 12, and 13. Many of you have already signed up, but for those of you who missed it, the deadline has been extended to April 3, 2014. You may either mail or drop off your entry form at any Charlotte County Parks and Recreation Department.

Friday, April 11 is the singles event. Saturday is men's doubles and women's doubles and Sunday is mixed doubles. This is an age only event. The singles will start in the afternoon on April 11.

We hope to see you there!! 

Cindy and Nancy
Tournament Directors

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Pickleball a hit at Heartland Games

March 9, 2014 -

AVON PARK – Part one of the Heartland Games for Active Adults Pickleball Tournament was held at South Florida State College on Friday, March 7.

The pickleball segment of the games was coordinated by SFSC and the Tanglewood Pickleball Club.
Thursday night’s thunderstorm left the college’s tennis courts drenched.

The crew from Tanglewood was on the courts shortly after 6 a.m., drying them with leaf blowers and squeegees in order to tape the much larger tennis courts, ready for pickleball.

CLICK HERE to read more and see the results.

Saturday, March 8, 2014 Gives Fast-Growing Sport an Online Home

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) March 07, 2014

An oversize ping-pong ball volleyed around a badminton-size court with a tennis- size net: that’s how some describe pickleball, one of the fastest growing sports in the US according to Athletic Business magazine. Fast-paced, easy-to-learn and inexpensive to play, pickleball has gained enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels since it was invented in 1965 and the number of active pickleball players has nearly doubled in the country since 2010. According to USA Pickleball Association, there are currently 1,900 places to play pickleball in the US with more courts being added each month.

On March 7, Pickleball Channel, powered by Hyland’s Leg Cramps, will make its internet debut. Every week, Pickleball Channel will bring web audiences new digital content from the quickly expanding world of pickleball. is an interactive website that provides news and community resources for pickleball players and organizations nationwide. The channel’s Executive Producer Rusty Howes says that with the lightning-speed growth of pickleball, there was a need for exciting digital content online to serve the sport’s growing fanbase.

CLICK HERE to read more.

NPR rec center holds March Madness Pickleball Tournament

Suncoast News staff report
Published: March 6, 2014

NEW PORT RICHEY — Never heard of pickleball?

No problem, says Lee Boerckle.

“Think of a ping-pong game, but you’re standing on the table,” said Boerckel, a Hudson-area resident who organized last weekend’s March Madness Pickleball Tournament at the New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center.

A racket sport invented in the mid-1960s, pickleball is played by two or four people in a surface roughly the size of a badminton court with a net that is about the same height as the one used in tennis.

CLICK HERE to see more.

Tanglewood tops in Pickleball

Special to Highlands Today
Published: March 6, 2014

SEBRING - Monday's Pickleball "Shootout" brought the five teams of the South Central Florida Pickleball League together for a one-day final.

League founder and commissioner, David Majick, of Highlands Ridge, addressed the teams prior to play and pointed out that the league is unique in that it doesn't discriminate on the basis of age, gender or playing ability.

After four years of trying, Tanglewood has finally taken top honors in the league. Having won all of their matches during regular season play, Tanglewood came to the shootout hoping to escape the demons that have kept them from winning in previous years.

CLICK HERE to see more.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Deerfield Beach Demo/Clinic on March 5, 2014

Submitted by Mitchell Ball, Ambassador, South Florida

A beautiful hot morning in Deerfield Beach welcomed Pickleball to a great turnout of 36 people. We had scheduled this Demo/Clinic twice before but was rained out both times.

Mister Pickleball (aka Mitch Ball) opened up a new location in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Many tennis converts found a a new sport to play.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pickleball growing in popularity

March 4, 2014 -

Bob Fiske and Ken Bush, both of Ormond Beach, play pickleball at the Nova Community Center. (Photos by Wayne Grant)

The sport is played every weekday morning at Nova Community Center.


It may sound like a game played in the produce section of a grocery store, but pickleball is a sport enjoyed all over the nation, including from 9 a.m. to noon every weekday at the Nova Community Center, 440 N. Nova Road.

“It’s the No. 1 growing sport,” said Lori Koplin, coordinator at the center. “Two years ago, we had two courts, and now we have four. … It’s kind of a mix between tennis, badminton and table tennis. A lot of people who used to play tennis like to play it.”

Bill Lauby, of Daytona Beach, was playing pickleball recently at the center and noted that it’s played on a smaller court than tennis, which makes it easier, but it’s still a fast-paced game and “very competitive.”

CLICK HERE to read more.

First Annual Cypress Cove International Nudist Pickleball Open Results

Submitted by Mike Sullivan

(Kissimmee, FL - March 4, 2014) -- This past weekend, idyllic Florida weather and the wonderful facilities of Cypress Cove's new purpose-built Pickleball courts welcomed 26 avid Pickleball players from around the region and over two dozen fans and supporters for the First Annual Cypress Cove International Nudist Pickleball Open.

Saturday's prelims saw spirited play as competitors vied for seed ranking in Sunday's championship round. The post-play party at Cheeks and the West Pool Saturday afternoon was a blast, with 30+ players, supporters and fans enjoying a glorious day poolside in the warm Florida sun after so much great play earlier in the day. Saturday night's awards reception and group dinner for 30 players and friends at Lakeside Restaurant was a blast as well, which all paved the way for a fantastic day of exciting competition on Sunday. 

Sunday's double-elimination tournament was capped by a thrilling finals round, with the tournament not decided until the final point of the final game and some incredibly high-level play by all involved. This First Annual spring event on the beautiful new Pickleball courts at Cypress Cove was a huge success, thanks to the support of Cove management and the enthusiastic participation by so many great players.

Medal winners from the weekend:
     Gold: Scott Nelson (Satellite Beach, FL) & Ray Brown (Cypress Cove)
     Silver: Dave Meiser (Cypress Cove) & Art Alwine (Ocala)
     Bronze: Don Kelleher (Solivita) & Brendon Smith (Florence, SC)

Left to right: Dave Meiser & Art Alwine (Silver), Scott Nelson & Ray Brown (Gold),
Brendon Smith & Don Kelleher (Bronze)

The next Pickleball tournament at Cypress Cove is set for Saturday, November 22, 2014, at the 2nd Annual Cove Turkey Smash. Everyone is welcome to enter and compete!

For more information on Cypress Cove pickleball, email or visit the Cypress Cove website at