Pickleball combines the elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong. The game is played on a badminton size court with 20X44 dimensions and a modified tennis net with 36 inch height at the sides and 34 inches in the middle. The game is played with paddles and a plastic ball with holes in it, much like a wiffleball. The game is played by all ages because it is easy to learn and enjoy. Indeed, there are 2.8 million players nationwide who play the game either socially or competitively. Since its inception in 1965, the game has become so popular it is being taught in physical education classes in middle and high schools across the nation. The game’s popularity is also evidenced by its own publication, Pickleball Magazine, and the United States Open Pickleball Championships are held in Naples, Florida annually at the end of April.
Highlands Ridge Pickleball began over 15 years ago with hearty players using the road near the South Course Club House as the “court” using portable nets to satisfy the desire to compete in this new game spreading across the country. These players began using the tennis courts for their game yet the “kwock” of the paddle hitting the ball was a bit too much for the neighbors of the tennis courts to endure. Thankfully, Highlands Ridge built two excellent, enclosed Pickleball Courts for the players to enjoy. The courts are located on Gold Tee Drive adjacent to hole #1 on our South Golf Course.
Highlands Ridge has 46 avid Pickleball players in their club. Player’s ages range from their 50’s into the 80’s! Drills take place from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Social play is from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. every day but Tuesday. Competitive play is every afternoon from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday the courts are reserved for our ladies’ group called Pickle Pals from 10 a.m. to Noon. Each member pays $15 annual dues which helps to keep our courts supplied with balls and other tools for the courts plus funds the HR Pickleball Club’s annual End Of The Season awards banquet. Highlands Ridge Pickleball is also home to the 4 time Men’s Central Florida Pickleball League Champions and the HR Ladies earned a Championship in their Central Florida League in 2018!