It seems like a silly game to play, but pickleball is very serious business for some.
Michele Singletary is one of them. After driving through the Goodale Park tennis courts in Grovetown, the avid pickleball player approached the town of Grovetown in February to have a pickleball field for local players.
She and her husband grew up playing sports and hanging out at Goodale Park. For the past two years, the couple have played pickleball at the Montclair pickleball courts, travel to participate in tournaments and help organize local tournaments.
“It’s a fun way to stay active and meet new people,” she said.
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The sport is for all skill levels, combining elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis. Singles and doubles matches can be played indoors or outdoors on a badminton court with a modified tennis net, according to usapickleball.org.
“Pickleball is a great mix of athleticism and social all wrapped up in a fun package,” Singletary said.
After researching the sport, the city approved the addition of lines to the park’s tennis courts. The lines for two lots cost $ 1,500 compared to over $ 60,000 for a new lot.
“It was the cheaper alternative and we can still use the courts for tennis,” said David Carlin, director of recreation services.
There is also talk of having courts at the Liberty Park Community Center. Carlin said he hoped the courts would make it possible to host tournaments and earn income from pickleball players visiting the city. This is already happening in Aiken. The city has been a pickleball hotspot for the past 12 years with tournaments drawing crowds from several states.
Columbia County also offers pickleball opportunities at Patriot’s Park, Lakeside Park, and Blanchard Park. The county recently made Patriot’s Park yard lines permanent in a recent resurfacing, going from duct tape to paint.
A county spokesperson said the courts in all three locations were used by clients every day. Tournaments are already organized at these locations, although they are not organized by the county. A pickleball tournament called Zero Zero Boo will take place at Patriots Park in late October.