Pickleball has taken the world by storm! Although pickleball seems to have popped up practically overnight, the sport has been around for more than 50 years. Three dads from Washington state — Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum supposedly developed the game in 1965 to keep their families occupied in the summer.
Using an old badminton court and incorporating a hodgepodge of sporting equipment, including ping pong paddles and a perforated plastic ball, the men pulled inspiration from badminton and began a new racquet sport.
No one quite understands where the name came from. According to the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), the sport's national governing body, the name either alludes to the idea of a pickle boat, a crew term that refers to a boat filled with oarsmen chosen from the leftovers of other boats, or the Pritchard family's dog, Pickles.
Even though it has a crazy sounding name, it hasn’t put a damper on the sport's fast growth. According to data from the USAPA it has been reported that there has been a membership increase of at least 650% since 2013.
People say that one of the appealing things about pickleball is that smaller court size helps facilitate more social interaction.
Today, the boom continues, and we are seeing more and more facilities and venues making pickleball accessible to youth and adult players.
Many resorts are starting to convert their tennis courts into pickleball courts due to high demand.
Some resorts that specialize in hosting pickleball tournaments and groups wishing to play pickleball are:
Beaches Turks and Caicos- They have a pickleball tournament this year from December 11-17th. This is a very popular tournament that you must sign up for very early for availability because this is truly one of the most beautiful resorts in the entire Caribbean.
Sandals South Coast, Jamaica- An adult only tournament will be held in January at this stunning all-inclusive property in the Southern coast of Jamaica.
Grand Palladium in Riviera Maya, Mexico. – This is a newer property that was built when Pickleball was gaining popularity, therefore they added many courts at time of building.
In the USA- the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge boasts that they have the most pickleball courts of any resort in the country. They have 17 new pickleball courts that are professionally surfaced and are world-class courts. They also have a 400-person capacity.
Also in the USA is the pickleball clinic at Carmel Valley Ranch in Carmel, California. This is a beautiful setting in one of the most charming areas in the nation. They have clinics that last an hour, and they say you will certainly know how to play at the end of it!
On the eastern side of the country, Palmetto Dunes at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina has become quite a pickleball territory!
Grand Palladium also has a property in Punta Cana with pickleball courts and clinics. They are well known for this.
In Hawaii you might want to stay at Turtle Bay on the North Shore if you plan to spend some time playing pickleball. They have pickleball courts, tennis courts, and two golf courses to choose from.
The St. James Club in Antigua also has 4 pickleball courts. It would be a perfect place to visit with your pickleball group!
One thing is for certain, more and more resorts will begin to add pickleball courts to their properties. The demand has become very high, and it seems to be growing by the day! They just might be “in a pickle” if they fall short of courts!
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