Add Pickleball at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis and Pickleball Center to your list of fun things to do at Hilton Head's Palmetto Dunes Resort. We have 16 pickleball courts available at Palmetto Dunes (all lighted for night play).
Pickleball is a sport that combines the elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong. It is played with oversized ping pong paddles and a softball-sized plastic perforated ball that travels at about one-third the speed of a tennis ball. "It's a fun, easy sport that is great exercise, but doesn't require a lot of skill to be an enjoyable experience" says John Kerr, Director of Tennis at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center. We have eight pickleball courts right in front of the Tennis Pro Shop.
Guests who book vacation rentals through the Palmetto Dunes Vacation Rentals receive two hours of either tennis or pickleball court time (when courts are available) with each night of their stay per vacation rental unit or choose from one of two pickleball vacation packages. Stop by the Tennis Center to try it out or call us to find out more information on how you can get involved with this great new sport right here at Hilton Head Island. Learn more in our press release here.
In June of 2018, Sarah Ansboury, a nationally ranked tennis player, joined Palmetto Dunes as its Pickleball Touring Professional and Director of Pickleball Instruction. Sarah provides instruction at Palmetto Dunes daily based on availability as well as leads the Ansboury Academy, which is held several times a year for those interested in learning more about this fast-growing sport. Participants of the academy will enjoy a week of Pickleball at Palmetto Dunes — 15 hours of instruction — with each day focusing on techniques and tactics for every player to improve on the court. Learn more about upcoming academy dates and registration here.
Additionally, guests can bundle their pickleball lessons with Sarah along with accommodations and resort amenities and save with the Pickleball with Sarah Ansboury Package.
Pickleball at Palmetto Dunes is on a roll!!
I’ve been playing Pickleball for a few years and have never seen anything like this! The round robins at 10 am are an unbelievable experience. 60+ people show up and Mark takes over and leads us in a unique Pickleball experience. The commitment to Pickleball at Palmetto Dunes is obviously at a high level.
- Doug C, TripAdvisor, June2019
The #1 rule is to have Fun!
Go to the 10am round robin! It was a lot of fun. They have 16 Pickleball courts and they normally fill up at least 8 and sometimes all 16 courts. It's open to all skill levels. I like to get there at 9:15am and warm up before it starts. Mark is the organizer and he is great at getting everyone on the court at the right skill level. He is amazing at remembering everyone's name. They have one of the best Pickleball facilities that I have ever seen. Don't worry about finding good competition because you will find it.
- Jason C., Yelp, June 2019
Pickleball Program was Terrific
For my birthday recently my wife gave me what is easily one of the nicest presents I have ever received--4 days of instruction at the Sarah Ansboury Pickleball Academy. Sarah and Linh were totally focused on each student and the results were incredible. These two professionals were most pleasant to work with and I was impressed with their sincerity. The improvement in my game over this short period of time amazed me. The Palmetto Dunes Pickleball facility is a wonderful backdrop for this course. If you are serious about pickleball, I would highly recommend Sarah's academy.
- John R, Yelp, May 2019
The story goes that after playing golf one summer Saturday in 1965, Joel Pritchard, a congressman from Washington State, and Bill Bell, a successful businessman, returned to Pritchard’s home on Bainbridge Island, WA (near Seattle) to find their families sitting around with nothing to do. The property had an old badminton court so Pritchard and Bell looked for some badminton equipment and could not find a full set of rackets. They improvised and started playing with ping-pong paddles and a perforated plastic "wiffle" ball. At first they placed the net at badminton height of 60 inches and volleyed the ball over the net. As the weekend progressed, the players found that the ball bounced well on the asphalt surface and soon the net was lowered to 36 inches. The following weekend, Barney McCallum was introduced to the game at Pritchard’s home. Soon, the three men created rules, relying heavily on badminton. They kept in mind the original purpose, which was to provide a game that the whole family could play together.
By 1990, pickleball was being played in all 50 states - indoors and outdoors; in high school gyms and senior centers; in leagues and tournaments with official nets, balls and racquets. The official Pickleball Association, USAPA, was chartered as a Non-profit Corporation in 2005. Currently, the sport of pickleball is exploding in popularity with well over 2,000 locations on the USAPA’s Places to Play map and over 400,000 players.
Pickleball’s name is derived from the Pritchard family’s maritime pursuits. Frank Pritchard, one of Joel Pritchard’s children, said the name may have come from his mother, Joan, who was a competitive rower on the island. She sometimes referred to the ‘pickle boat,’ as the slowest vessel in a race.