Pickleball continues to grow locally


Pickleball was invented in 1965, but it wasn’t until the Baby Boom generation reached retirement age that it became a phenomenon. It seems that pickleball courts are popping up everywhere, and yet there’s no shortage of demand.

According to the Global Pickleball Network, there are 24 pickleball court locations in and around St. Johns County with a total of 103 individual courts.

Most of these are not public. Nocatee, for instance, has 12 private courts, and The Yards has 12 club courts.

The largest public location is Treaty Park, located at 1595 Wildwood Drive near St. Augustine, with eight courts. It has open play from 8:30 a.m. to noon Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings and 6-9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday evenings when the courts are lighted.

For those who would like to get involved in the sport, lessons are offered at Treaty Park. For more information, go to sjcfl.us/Recreation/AdultActivities.aspx.

For those who enjoy competing for a good cause, the St. Augustine Sunrise Rotary’s Rhythm & Ribs Festival will present The Big Dill Pickleball Classic on Oct. 14 and 15 at Treaty Park. The tournament will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Johns County.

There will be four men’s doubles events, four mixed doubles events and four women’s doubles events. These are separated into different skill and age levels. Play will start at 8 a.m. and conclude at 8 p.m. each day.

To register for the event, go to http://bit.ly/BigDillregister.

There’s also an interesting Facebook group, St. Augustine Pickleball, at facebook.com/groups/542505075922953.