You thought maybe you would be spending a lot of time on the golf course or tennis court once you retired. But you might just be surprised about that, as our faithful correspondent Len discovered after he moved to The Villages, Florida. As he told us recently: “Pickleball has supplanted golf as my primary outdoor activity since I moved to The Villages. It’s good exercise and is somewhat addictive!”
Len is not alone – pickleball has caught active adult communities by storm. Many developments are converting tennis courts to pickleball courts, which gives the advantage of getting more courts in the same space. The sport is a bit of a cross between platform tennis, tennis, and ping pong. Since the court is about a fourth the size of a tennis court, there is less ground to cover, which a lot of aging bodies appreciate. It is also easier to pick up than tennis, which requires practice and/or lessons for proficiency. The world championships of pickleball are held, where else, in The Villages.
Not everyone is as pleased about pickleball’s ascendance though, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, “In Retirement Communities, A Red-Hot Sport Leaves Some with a Sour Taste“. Tennis players are concerned about the land grab going on, and are not pleased to see their courts being converted to pickleball use. Close neighbors of pickleball courts are very unhappy about the noise factor. The ball makes a loud popping sound when struck by the paddle. And, just as many owners of homes next to golf tees have discovered, loud trash-talking and bad-shot expletives can be annoying as a feature of everyday life. Many communities are having heated discussions about court location, hours, and noise. A few have even initiated rules for the minimum distances courts must be from neighboring homes.
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