My initial exposure to the sport of pickleball came in two flavors. Shelley started playing it indoors at a
local health club and I would hear golfers tell self-deprecating jokes about it when their game soured.
After a string of bad holes, “I should quit golf and take up Pickleball.”
As Shelley continued to play and enjoy the game, my divergent views began to coalesce much more on
the positive side. I joined her indoor Pickleball group a couple of times (when schedule or circumstances
prevented me from joining my regular game of hoops), and despite the very confusing rules and scoring
system I began to embrace it.
At first, I recognized that it was a very challenging mix of strategy, hand-eye coordination, and even a
hint of athleticism. I watched and learned from players who clearly demonstrated that any one of those
facets can be used to great success. Pickleball then became another opportunity to let my competitive
side shine through as I strove to improve my game.
Vicariously through Shelley at first, and then directly, I also discovered the next great thing about
Pickleball: it is an incredibly social sport. Shelley started playing in a few groups at our golf club, and
quickly found both a new set of friends and the fact that it is an even better game played outdoors.
A nod to its popularity and social draw, Ansley Golf Club added a third dedicated Pickleball court last
year to its racket-sports facility. And to put those courts to good use, the club regularly hosts both
league play (shout out to Shelley and her team for winning the inaugural league season!) and mixers.
Last night, we played in our 3 rd mixer---this one with an 80’s theme, hence the headbands and neon in
the photos. They just get more and more fun, and I now realize that I am not such a reluctant
Pickleballer after all.