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Hilton Head Island selected to host Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) Hilton Head Open

Events & News

The award-winning Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center on Hilton Head Island, SC will play host to one of pickleball’s biggest events of the year, the Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) Hilton Head Open, scheduled to be contested October 13th through October 17th.

Pat Smith and Sarah Ansboury

The APP Hilton Head Open will be co-hosted by highly ranked professionals Sarah Ansboury and Pat Smith. A five-time national pickleball champion, Ansboury serves as Palmetto Dunes’ director of pickleball instruction.

The World Pickleball Rankings, powered by Pickleball Tournaments, is the “gold standard” for ranking Pro and Senior Pro pickleball players. Players earn points in participating tournaments for placement and wins. As more tournaments are played over the course of the year, the rankings become more meaningful.

APP Tour Tournament

The APP Hilton Head Open at Palmetto Dunes is a “golden ticket qualifier” for amateurs and professionals for Nationals held at Indian Wells in California this December. The APP Hilton Head Open is the final chance of the four prestigious tournaments to qualify for the USA Pickleball National Championship Series.

The 2021 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships will be played December 6-14 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, located just outside of Palm Springs, California.

The Hilton Head event is offering a $60,000 purse for participating professionals. The Tour has 18 tournaments throughout the United States and Europe, with more than $700,000 in prize money.

“Palmetto Dunes Tennis and Pickleball Center is honored to host a stop on the APP Tour,” says John Kerr, Palmetto Dunes’ Director of Tennis & Pickleball. “As we are working hard to create a world-class pickleball center, attracting such a prestigious event lets us know we are heading in the right direction.”

Palmetto Dunes Pickleball Center

In addition to its daily offerings of round robins and clinics for players of all levels, the Palmetto Dunes Pickleball Center is now a world-class destination for professional pickleball players across the globe, with 24 dedicated pickleball courts and state-of-the-art lighting. Racquet Sports Industry Magazine named the Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center as the 2020, “Pickleball Resort of the Year,” while Ansboury was tapped as the “PPR Member of the Year.”

The USA Pickleball Association, a non-profit 501(c)(3) was established in 2005 to further the advancement of the sport on a national level. As the official governing body of pickleball in the United States, USA Pickleball promotes the growth of pickleball by maintaining the rules, setting player ratings, advancing the sport through its national network of 2,000+ ambassadors, and sanctioning tournaments. Since 2013, USA Pickleball has grown 1,000% in its membership to nearly 42,000.

Pickleball growth continued in 2020 with participation increasing 21.3% and almost 50% in the last four years. The USA Pickleball National Championships Series provides opportunities for the best of the best to showcase their skills, earn the golden ticket entry bid to the National Championships and enjoy in the fun, social experience with your friends, family and the pickleball community.

“We couldn’t be more excited to see where the sport is headed in 2021,” said Stu Upson, USA Pickleball CEO. “With incredible growth across all of pickleball’s major indicators and a deepening competitive field, we look forward to seeing seasoned and new players compete in the USA Pickleball National Championships Series.”

As part of USA Pickleball’s mission to promote and develop pickleball, the National Championships Series will extend the reach and exposure for the sport through media and series sponsorship packages, expected to include broadcast and streaming to watch the pros and amateurs alike. This will complement the media for the Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships.

For additional details and information on qualifying for the Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships through the USA Pickleball National Championships Series and the USA Pickleball Regional Championships, please visit

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