Add Pickleball at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis and Pickleball Center to your list of fun things to do at our Hilton Head resort. We have 24 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.
Sarah Ansboury is a nationally ranked tennis player and currently is Palmetto Dunes' Pickleball Touring Professional and Director of Pickleball Instruction. In addition to providing daily instruction at Palmetto Dunes based on availability, Sarah also leads the Ansboury Academy, which is held several times a year at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball center. Participants of the academy will enjoy a week of Pickleball with each day focusing on techniques and tactics for all players to improve on the court. Learn more about upcoming academy dates and registration here.
Pickleball - Fun for all ages/skill levels - from beginner to advanced...
In addition to agreeing with all the rave reviews for this program, I would like to add that the morning "Round Robin" is as much social as it is pickleball. My wife and I had the pleasure of competing all 5 days we were here. Met people from all over the US, as well as local islanders...
- Pickleball2525 TripAdvisor, Sept 2019
I have been playing pickleball for several years and had a one hour lesson with Sarah Mitten. Her instruction was spot on and made a dramatic improvement in my game. I highly recommend her for anyone looking to take their game to the next level. The round robin play daily was icing on the cake...
- MCFedele, TripAdvisor, July 2019
Love, Love, Love Pickleball & playing at this great facility!
Promise me you’ll drop by and check out this place. And I promise you, within minutes of being on site, and watching some pros practice or just hanging out chatting, you’ll be itching to get on a court to play pickleball. I spent 7 weeks on the Island this past winter, and the best part of my day was playing Pickleball...
- OntarioCasey, TripAdvisor, June 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.