Exciting changes are coming to the Palmetto Dunes Pickleball Center this fall! Once again, the Center will be expanding both its facility and its programming in response to the surge in demand we are seeing as Hilton Head Island and Palmetto Dunes Resort are fast becoming a destination for pickleball enthusiasts.
In October, the Palmetto Dunes Pickleball Center will begin construction on 8 new lighted pickleball courts, bringing the total number to 24. After adding 8 courts last fall, they were immediately being fully utilized for the daily morning round robins, prompting the expansion of afternoon round robin sessions.
The additional courts coming this fall will allow further expansion of morning round robins, while holding a few courts open for rental to families and other groups. The Palmetto Dunes Pickleball Center will also be expanding afternoon round robin sessions from two days a week to five this fall.
While the demand for recreational play remains strong, the demand for instructional programming has increased as well. This summer we introduced a series of clinics called the Daily Dose geared towards the advanced beginner and intermediate player looking to expand their tactical and strategic knowledge to improve their skill level. Many of these sessions are led by Sarah Ansboury, our Touring Pro & Director of Pickleball Instruction and one of the top players in the world. Rarely do pickleball players get the opportunity to receive this level of instruction at their local club… so check this one out!
A good place to learn more about what is happening on the island pickleball-wise during your stay is on our Pickleball Group on Facebook, “Palmetto Dunes Pickleball”.We hope to see you on the courts soon! Visit www.palmettodunes.com/pickleball or call 866-242-3169 to learn more about our tennis and pickleball programs as well as accommodation packages.
If you have been in our Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center lately (recently rated as the world’s “Best Pro Shop”), you may have spotted some new vibrant attire on our shelves; Pickleball Skorts by Pickleball Bella, the only of their kind on the market!
Pickleball Bella is made up of two gals, Kim and Nancy, who are addicted to Pickleball and when they couldn’t find proper court attire for the sport, they rolled up their sleeves and designed a line of fun and functional pickleball activewear specific to the pickleball lifestyle.
Their skorts are made of custom in-house prints created from original hand painted works of art, which are digitized, then sublimated onto custom made, high quality fabric, to create both fun and functional pickleball skorts. Coming in two styles, the A-line and Drop-Pleat, all skorts styles feature:
Even more, the story behind how Pickleball Bella started is just as fun as their prints! Co-founder Kim shares with us just how the athletic wear line came about:
“Nancy and I met in 2016, of all places, on our local pickleball courts in Daytona Beach Shores and became fast friends. Together, we attended the 2017 U.S. Open Pickleball Championship event in Naples, FL to watch friends compete and take in some awesome pro play. The event did not disappoint...with the exception of one area...SKORTS!
We kept asking each other, ‘Where are the PICKLEBALL skorts.’ We noticed the majority of female athletes wearing solid color skorts, and actually witnessed a few sporting tennis and golf themed skorts, but not a single pickleball themed skort.
We shopped the vendor tent during the day and the internet at night, looking for pickleball themed prints, to no avail. Keep in mind, neither of us needed another court skort, both of us owned more than our fair share of skorts. But, we were on the hunt for a true pickleball skort. As luck would have it, we found nada, nothing, zero, zilch, not a stitch anywhere!
So, on the 5 hour drive home, without either having any experience in the textile world other than buying a ridiculous amount of skorts for ourselves, we decided to start our own line of designer athleticwear, specific to the pickleball lifestyle. Yes, we were and still are bonkers and remind ourselves of that everyday!
Our name, Pickleball Bella, honors Nancy’s 4# service dog, a fluffy, black, adorable miniature poodle, named Bella. At events, Bella can oftentimes be found prancing alongside Nancy or rolling over for a beloved “belly rub” and she’s been deemed our official mascot.
At a very rapid pace we learned the ins and outs of the textile industry through expos, consultants, internet, factories, print houses, travels, etc., and we’re still learning something new every day! It’s been an exciting, scary, fulfilling, frightening, fun, sad, happy, mad, amazing & incredible journey.
We’ve met many wonderful people along the way from all over the world. Our line from start to finish, including threads, elastic, inks, fabrics, dyes, tags, printing, etc. is produced solely in Guatemala. Currently the U.S. government has a free trade agreement with Central America, which allows us to be fair in our pricing and greatly benefits the economic status of the Guatemalan textile workers who consistently produce quality products for us. They are hardworking, proud people and one of our many goals is to bring Pickleball to the factories and mills we partner with.”
Kim and Nancy have been busier than ever developing many new products, including jewelry, and have recently launched their e-commerce website at pickleballbella.com along with showcasing their skorts at tournaments, club pro shops, Amazon, and more.
We are thrilled to partner with Pickleball Bella as their flagship retailer at our own Palmetto Dunes Pro Shop. Be sure to call (843) -785-1152 or stop by the pro shop to check them out and learn more about the many opportunities to both learn and play Pickleball at one of our academies or clinics.
We’ve got so many fantastic clay courts at our award-winning Tennis Center that a game of tennis is a must when you’re on vacation at Palmetto Dunes! We want to make sure that you have fun on the courts and that you’re not too sore that you can’t enjoy a round of golf, or bike ride to the beach. That’s why we asked our Head Tennis Pro Eric Wammock to tell us his top three tennis warm-ups tips.
This means you should hit the ball only as hard as you and your opponent can effectively and comfortably keep it in play. This is to gain confidence and help prevent injury. Don’t go too fast too soon. If there are a lot of mistakes and the rhythm isn’t established your confidence is likely to suffer.
If you’re playing singles, then you should hit a majority of groundstrokes followed by some volleys, overheads and serves. If you’re playing doubles, get to the net quickly in the warm up to get a large amount of volleys and overheads in, then go back to the baseline for ground strokes. Many people spend 90% of the doubles warm up hitting groundstrokes, when a much larger percentage of the match involves volleys and overheads. So, players who hit groundstrokes for 90% of the doubles warm up are not adequately preparing for the match they’re playing.
Remember that it’s just the warm-up. Did you know that Eric has had the privilege of playing several former grand slam champions? We asked him what it’s like playing against the best and he said, “One of the things I remember the most his how nice and easy the warm up felt because they kept the ball in play and hit it very cleanly to me. It was only during the match that I began to suffer their ability!“ The point being that the very best in the world warm up the nicest to set up a great match. Win the match – not the warm up!
What are your favorite tennis warm ups? Improve your game and learn some more tips with tennis clinics and lessons at Palmetto Dunes. Then get out there, get warmed up, and get ready for a game, set, and match!
There have been a couple of different stories told through the years about the origins of how pickleball got its name
We know the game originated in the summer of 1965 in a beach town on Bainbridge Island in Washington state, where it was played by several families — including the McCallum, Pritchard and Brown families — on an improvised court.
Original Pickleball Court. Bainbridge Island. 1960’s. (Photo Credit: Pickleball Portal)
As one of the stories goes, two of the families had adopted twin puppies — cockapoos named Lulu and Pickles. Pickles liked to run around and grab the ball as it went off into the bushes.
One night in the Pritchard cabin, the families came up with a name for their new game.
“We were sitting in Joel (Pritchard’s) old cabin front room and we were throwing around trying to get a name for it,” recalls Dick Brown in a video segment of the PickleballChannel.com’s “Pickleball 411.” “The dog was always around grabbing the ball. Joan (Pritchard) said, ‘Why don’t you name the game pickleball, after Pickles?’ And it just hit us. We all thought it was a great name.”
“Everybody kind of went crazy,” said Dick Brown’s son, Jim. “They said, ‘That’s it. Let’s call it pickleball.’”
And the rest was pickleball history.
“From that point on, when the Browns and the Pritchards named the game, as you went down to the beach to play the game, you were now going down to play pickleball,” said David McCallum, son of one of the game’s founders, Barney McCallum.
Barney McCallum (Photo Credit: Electrum Pickleball)
Except there’s also an entirely different side of the story, as well.
“OK, there’s the ‘official’ history and then there’s the real story,” said Pritchard’s daughter, Peggy Pritchard-Olson, in late 2005. “It was not named after the dog, because we didn’t get the dog until years after the game started. The dog was named after the game. Not the other way around.”
Frank Pritchard, another of Joel and Joan Pritchard kids, agreed that the name came from his mother, who was a competitive rower on the island. He said that she sometimes referred to the ‘pickle boat,’ the slowest vessel in a race.
“Nobody remembers how it came to be called ‘pickleball,’ but I think somebody needed a reason why it had that name and the dog story sounded good and eventually stuck,” Frank Pritchard said in 2005.
Joan herself set the record straight in a newspaper column she penned for Parkersburg, West Virginia’s News and Sentinel: “The name of the game became pickle ball, after I said it reminded me of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats,” wrote Joan Pritchard. “Somehow the idea the name came from our dog Pickles was attached to the naming of the game, but Pickles wasn't on the scene for two more years. The dog was named for the game, but stories about the name's origin were funnier thinking the game was named for the dog.”
Whichever story you believe, the families came up with a game that summer — eventually called pickleball — that would stand the test of time and be enjoyed by generations to come. Learn more about this fast growing and enjoyable sport at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center. Join one of the world‘s top ranked pickleball players, Sarah Ansboury, for a pickleball academy or clinic.
At Palmetto Dunes, we’ve caught Pickleball fever and we want you to join in on the action on your next Palmetto Dunes vacation! Even if you’ve never played Pickleball before, we’ve got four reasons why you should give it a go this summer.
We added eight more pickleball courts to our award-winning Tennis & Pickleball Center at Palmetto Dunes for a total of 16 courts for use, whether you’re signing up for lessons or meeting a friend for a quick game.
This fast-paced paddle sport is easy to learn, suitable for all ages and fitness levels, and it’s fun! Our incredible (and championship-winning) instructors are here to teach you how to excel at this incredible game.
Our instructors, helmed by champion Sarah Ansboury, are pickleball pros in their own right so you know you’re learning the game from the best, picking up insider tactics for excellent play and tips for taking your game to the next level.
Not only is pickleball a wonderful way to get some exercise, it’s an amazing way to meet people and make new friends! Our round robins are often packed and the laughter and chatter can be heard across the courts. Our community has even moved off the courts! Visit our Facebook Page to join our Pickleball Facebook Group.
Have you tried pickleball yet? What’s your favorite thing about the game? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to share photos of your pickleball fun with us on social media, using #PalmettoDunes. See you on the courts!
The Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center was recently rated as the world’s “Best Pro Shop” by Tennis Resorts Online.
Palmetto Dunes topped hundreds of outstanding tennis resort’s around the globe. The Resort at Longboat in Key Club, Fla., was No. 2 on the Tennis Resorts Online ranking, followed by The Lodge at Pebble Beach, Calif., and Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
“The Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center caters to a mixture of groups and vacationers,” writes Tennis Resorts Online Editor Roger Cox. “The reception is extremely friendly—these aren't kids behind the desk but adults. All of them play tennis—many in fact are on teams—and so they really do understand tennis players and their needs.”
Boasting 21 clay courts, including four lighted for night play, 16 lighted pickleball courts and a beautifully well-stocked, 1,800-square-foot tennis pro shop — Hilton Head Island's largest — the Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center has been named the top tennis resort in the Carolinas by Tennis Magazine. There's also a helpful, energetic staff whose primary goal is to make your visit a rewarding one.
For tennis enthusiasts, Palmetto Dunes runs back-to-back group clinics and drills so that guests can carpenter together a program day by day that could be as short as one hour or as long as 4.5 hours. And the junior programs coincide with the adult programs, so families can more easily come and go together. Among the options are a 90-minute Grand Slam clinic — a series of fast-paced drills and ball machine workouts — a 90-minute Competitive Edge Doubles clinic, and a 90-minute Competitive Edge drill session. All are scheduled to run one after the other and geared to intermediate-advanced players.
Beginners and intermediates, meanwhile, can choose from less demanding 60-minute stroke-of-the-day, daily drill, and cardio tennis sessions, also scheduled back to back. Because of this thoughtful, modular schedule, those who want activity after activity can easily spend a whole morning and part of the afternoon on court. What's more, as a boon to parents, the junior clinics run at the same time as the adult clinics, so the whole family can come and go as a group. Beyond that the tennis center runs a daily round robin, supervised by a member of the staff, and former Finland No. 1 Tapi Hayrinen runs a set of Cardio tennis sessions. From March to October there is a weekly exhibition and happy hour and a demo day.
The most significant recent change at Palmetto Dunes is the introduction of pickleball, now available on 16 dedicated courts. "We are ramping up our lesson, clinic and round robin offerings for pickleball and really are having fun with it," said Palmetto Dunes Director of Tennis & Pickleball John Kerr. "Pickleball is a great family activity because the learning curve is much shorter than tennis. Nobody is a beginner for very long and soon they are smiling and laughing. The grandparents can compete with grandkids on court, making it a multigenerational activity."
“Tennis remains a focus,” writes Cox on Tennis Resorts Online. “Stop by the (Palmetto Dunes) pro shop, as I did, and you'll find an experienced staff who are at once friendly and very service conscious. Game matching remains a priority: if you give them 24 hours’ notice and book a court, they promise to have someone for you at that time. All in all, the center offers an excellent series of programs.”
Cox has made a career of giving such advice, initially as Tennis magazine's travel and resorts editor and since 1999 as the founder of Tennis Resorts Online. During the course of several decades, Cox has visited more than 350 resorts on five continents and participated in some 50 different tennis camps, many more than once. It is that personal experience—supplemented now by reviews submitted by vacationers — that underpins Tennis Resorts Online.
Since 1999, Tennis Resorts Online has helped vacationers decide where to go on their next tennis holiday.
Palmetto Dunes offers getaway specials for tennis players. The Tennis Stay and Play package includes four days and three nights in a two-bedroom resort-view villa. After breakfast at the Palmetto Dunes General Store, enjoy two free hours of court time and a one-hour clinic, covering either the stroke of the day or a daily drill. The “Extreme Tennis Vacation” package includes an 8-day/ 7-night stay in a two-bedroom resort-view villa for four guests with three 1-hour, semi-private tennis lessons per player, two clinics per player and daily court time. Free court time is based on availability.
“Over the last few years a subtle change has taken place at Palmetto Dunes to the benefit of its vacationers, tennis and otherwise,” writes Cox on Tennis Resorts Online. “Greenwood Communities and Resorts, which owns the resort's recreational amenities, has also taken on a larger and larger share of the villa rentals. That has given them far more flexibility to offer a range of attractive packages that bundle lodging with whatever recreational activities you want as part of your holiday, whether that's tennis, golf, group outings, weddings, family reunions, or other celebrations. With a phone call or online request to a trip planner, you can arrange every detail of your vacation, including lodging in a villa or home at preferred rates.”
With 16 pickleball courts, a dedicated team of instructors, and comprehensive programs, it’s no secret that at Palmetto Dunes we’re passionate about pickleball! So imagine our delight to discover that April is National Pickleball Month! What a perfect excuse to improve your game—or discover how fun this sport can be! Read on to find out more about all of the pickleball activities happening at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort this spring.
Our resident Pickleball pro, Sarah Ansboury, is hosting two of her incredibly popular Ansboury Pickleball Academies this spring. April’s academy is already sold out, so register soon to reserve your spot in May’s academy, taking place May 23–26, 2019.
Stay and Play
Make the most of your next Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort stay and make it a pickleball vacation! Our Pickleball Advanced Stay and Play package includes three nights in a resort villa, one pickleball clinic and round robin, lunch for two at Big Jim’s, two hours of pickleball court time per day, and more!
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect! And you’ve got plenty of chances to perfect your pickleball game at Palmetto Dunes. We have daily morning round robins and afternoon round robins three days a week.
Join the Club
If you’re serious about your game, considering becoming a member of the Palmetto Dunes Resort Pickleball Club! You’ll get discounts on equipment rentals and special rates on our clinics and round robins.Grab a paddle and hit the courts! It might be National Pickleball Month this month, but it’s always pickleball season here at Palmetto Dunes.
Pickleball isn’t only a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. It is a social affair bringing people together on the court and on occasion, reuniting old friends and lost connections.
Just last Spring, two Minnesota men were preparing for a game on the pickleball courts at Palmetto Dunes Pickleball Center and quickly found out that they played at the same local pickleball club and in the same men’s senior golf league back home. They have returned again this year and have shared that they continued their friendship back in Minnesota by gathering for dinner accompanied by their wives.
A similar occurrence has already transpired this year. In one of the round robins in February, two women were paired together as partners. A few screams and shouts later, it was apparent that they knew each other and we later learned that they were sorority sisters reconnecting after 40 years. As it turns out, Mary Beth and Cindy were in the same pledge class in 1979 at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. They quickly exchanged contact information and went on to beat their opponents.
As described by the “regulars”, round robins at Palmetto Dunes are the best two hours of social fun on Hilton Head Island. Palmetto Dunes has 10 round robins each week – every morning from 10:00am to 12:00pm and on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:00pm to 4:30pm. Each round robin is pro supervised with the goal to have every player playing at their skill level within the first 20 minutes, so matches are both competitive and social.
Don’t just take it from us. Be sure to review the comments by fellow pickleball players on TripAdvisor, Yelp or Google by searching Palmetto Dunes Tennis and Pickleball Center.
For more information visit PalmettoDunes.com/Activities. To reserve a spot in one of our clinics or round robins call (866) 242-3169.
See you on the court soon!
In 1965, as a way to entertain their children during the summer, a trio of fathers residing on Bainbridge Island, Washington invented the game that has since become known as “pickleball.”
Congressman Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum fashioned handmade equipment, and based the simple rules on the existing sports of tennis, badminton and Ping-Pong.
According to the USA Pickleball Association, in 2016-17 the number of active players grew by more than 12 percent, most of the growth coming from the Baby Boomer set. About 75 percent of core pickleball players are 55 and older. At The Villages in Sumpter County, Florida — America’s largest retirement community — there are more than 100 pickleball courts.
Last year, our award-winning Palmetto Dunes Tennis and Pickleball Center doubled in size, expanding from eight pickleball courts to 16. In addition, Palmetto Dunes hired Sarah Ansboury as its Pickleball Touring Professional and Director of Pickleball Instruction. A nationally ranked tennis player, Ansboury has been a pioneer in the pickleball explosion of the last few years.
“Sarah Ansboury’s expertise and hard work conducting 40 PPR (Professional Pickleball Registry) workshops in less six months were integral to the rapid growth of the sport of pickleball,” said PPR CEO Dan Santorum. He added that PPR set a record at the end of 2018 with more than 1,000 members — easily becoming the world’s largest organization of pickleball coaches. PPR now has members in all 50 sates and is set to expand beyond its current 11 countries.
(Sarah Ansboury, Palmetto Dunes' Touring Professional and Director of Pickleball Instruction)
Now, the synergies between golf and pickleball are becoming evident, as many PGA Tour and LPGA Tour stars — as well as premier golf instructors — compete on the pickleball court. Former USGA executive director David Fay calls the bourgeoning sport, “terrific,” and adds: "I took one lesson and feel like I got it."
Among the tour pros who have caught the pickleball bug is Daniel Summerhays. When he built his house in Fruit Heights, Utah, Summerhays put in a half basketball court. Wanting to see what else he could play on the court, he came across pickleball, which he had played in high school.
Pickleball quickly became Summerhays’ non-golf sport of choice. “It's very competitive and fast, so it stimulates your brain, but we won't get hurt playing it,” he told Golf Digest.
Summerhays plays with friends and even competes in some amateur events. He also plays with his wife and kids, and he travels on tour with his paddles.
Fellow PGA Tour pros Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Ricky Barnes and Patton Kizzire have also picked up the sport.
Says Summerhays: “When I'm leaving a tour event, one of the first things I do, besides looking forward to spending time with my family, is to text my pickleball group asking where the game is the next morning.”
Unlike tennis, racquetball and many other sports, pickleball has a short learning curve; you don’t need months of lessons to participate in a fun game. It also is less running compared to tennis. However, at the same time, it can be very competitive and addicting for all ages, as well as an excellent, fun family activity.
Pickleball is a social sport and it is relatively inexpensive to enjoy. Rackets cost about $50.
Pickleball can be played as both a singles and doubles game, and can be played inside or outdoors, on a court that uses the dimension of a doubles badminton court, along with a modified tennis net. A pickleball court is 20 feet by 44 feet for both singles and doubles. A non-volley zone called the “Kitchen” extends 7 feet back from the net on each side. Games are usually played to 11, win by two, and only the server can score. Often a total of three games are played, typically taking no more than an hour and a half.
Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island continues to demonstrate its commitment to the up-and-coming sport of pickleball.
The award-winning Palmetto Dunes Tennis and Pickleball Center has doubled in size recently, expanding from eight pickleball courts to 16. The new courts at the renowned, mid-island Hilton Head resort were unveiled in October.
Along with its 16 pickleball courts (all lighted for night play), the Palmetto Dunes Tennis and Pickleball Center — which has been named the top tennis resort in the Carolinas by Tennis Magazine — boasts 21 clay tennis courts including four lighted for night play and a beautifully well-stocked, 1,800-square-foot tennis pro shop — Hilton Head Island's largest.
The Palmetto Dunes Tennis and Pickleball Center offers year-round dream vacations for racket enthusiasts of all skill levels.
“We added pickleball to our offerings at Palmetto Dunes after seeing how popular the sport had quickly become among all ages,” said Palmetto Dunes Director of Tennis & Pickleball John Kerr. “Now, having seen how popular pickleball is for our resort guests, we wanted to provide them bigger and better facilities.”
In June, Palmetto Dunes hired Sarah Ansboury as its Pickleball Touring Professional and Director of Pickleball Instruction. A nationally ranked tennis player, Ansboury has been a pioneer in the pickleball explosion of the last few years. She discovered pickleball in 2014 and was instantly hooked.
Ansboury entered her first national pickleball tournaments in 2015 and earned Gold and Silver at the September 2015 Tournament of Champions. In late 2017, she medaled four times at the USAPA National Tournament including winning a gold medal in the Women’s Doubles Open with her friend and partner, Gigi LeMaster.
Ansboury and her mixed doubles partner Tyson McGuffin, recently captured a bronze medal at the National Mixed Open.
In September, the first Ansboury Academy was held at Palmetto Dunes followed by an Island Rec Center Pickleball tournament being hosted at Palmetto Dunes.
In addition, Palmetto Dunes has played host to pickleball clinics conducted by some of the world’s top players, and the resort also offers weekly clinics and round robins.
One of America’s fastest growing sports in terms of popularity, pickleball is a fun sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and Ping-Pong. Pickleball can by played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net, and can be played as doubles or singles.
All ages and skill levels can play the game. The rules are simple and pickleball is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.