Since we have talked about the difference between Tennis and Pickleball before, we thought it might be interesting to take a look at Pickleball vs. Golf.
The first most glaring difference is cost. While you can (in some areas) still find golf greens fees for as little as $15, the fees are usually much more. Depending on the location, Green fees can certainly be in the hundreds of dollars. Pickleball on the other hand ranges from free to no more that $8. In general, Pickleball is free to play - sometimes there is a in the $2-$5 range. This is usually just to cover the costs of balls, water etc.
A Pickleball paddle can start at about $40. Decent paddles come in at just under $100. Even the top of the line paddles cost around $150. On the other hand, a decent set of gold clubs are going to cost $200-$400 with premium club sets going into the $800 to $1,000 range.
The next issue is time. Golf, especially an 18-hole course can take 4-5 hours and depending on crowds even the better part of a day. It is pretty easy to play Pickleball for an hour or two, get plenty of exercise and go home or do some other activities. There are some hardcore Pickleball players who can and sometimes do play all day long.
Golf is one of the most difficult games to learn no less master. Almost anyone can play Pickleball right away with a very low learning curve.
The next issue is ease of maintenance. Once a Pickleball court is built it only takes an occasional washing to keep it in good order. Obviously, a golf course being much larger and being made out of grass takes a lot more time and money in terms of maintenance.
The final issue would be land use. Four Pickleball courts can be placed on one Tennis court area. Golf on the other hand takes up much more land which is costly and sometimes not available to use for this purpose.
Click here for an interesting story about one prominent golfer who made the transition to Pickleball.
We encourage all Golfers to at least give Pickleball a try!
When your municipality opens up new public courts the first thing you should do is check Facebook and other Social Media for a group. Often times your new courts will have a Facebook page that you can use to see when groups of players are meeting at the courts. This might be broken down into levels and/or include open play (all levels welcome). An example of this might be Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9 am to noon level 4.0 and above. The other days might include open play.
The next order of business would be to check for signs (if any). In this case, there might be (a) court(s) designated as a challenge court(s). Meaning the winners stay on the court as long as they win. This is usually attracts higher level players. Also, some courts might have signage that says “Competitive Play” usually indicating a higher level of play. This would be coupled with the rest of (the) court(s) designated as “social play” which is designated for all levels.
If there is no signage the courts are be available to anyone on a first come first served basis. This system is the same as tennis works in this context. As to how long a set of players holds a court if others are waiting it would normally be until the game being played is over.
There may also be signs that say “Pickleball Only”. If people are playing tennis or any other game on these courts, they can politely be asked to leave.
Once open to the public each court will have its own culture. Meaning it will include good players or perhaps only open or social play which is available to players of all ability levels. Please click here to see our article on court culture.
Over-all a little bit of courtesy and common sense goes a long way!
Even if you have only been playing Pickleball for a short time, you may be aware that there is a debate about Pickleball versus Tennis. As far as tennis players go it is a mixed bag. Many Tennis players have made the transition to Pickleball and some play both Pickleball and Tennis.
The issue at hand has to do with a few Tennis purists who claim that Pickleball is too noisy be it noise from the paddles or noise from the players. Because the players are such much closer to each other in Pickleball there is often a lot of playful banter that goes on. This and the noise coming from the paddles is the main complaint of Tennis purists.
The second area of contention has to do with use of space be it public or private. Some Tennis players contend that Pickleball is taking over, whether at their local park, their private club or any location where both Pickleball and Tennis are played.
Additionally, at times Pickleball courts are set up with lines made from painter’s tape. Tennis players contend that these lines can leave permanent marks.
Currently these issues are being dealt with in two ways. One - the various Pickleball paddle companies may in the future be coming up with “noise compliant” paddles. These would be paddles that would be used in certain facilities to mitigate noise as it relates to nearby Tennis and/or any residents who live near Pickleball courts.
The land use issue is being dealt with by the fact that many municipalities are building courts that are dedicated to Pickleball only. In fact, many dedicated Pickleball courts (public) have signs that say: “These courts are for Pickleball only.” If the municipalities can afford it this seems to be by far the best solution. Pickleball courts for Pickleball use and existing Tennis courts can be used for Tennis only. This would be the ideal “everyone is happy” solution to this problem.
In the end aside from a few Tennis purists this is a non-issue because as a whole Tennis players and Pickleball players get along just fine and enjoy peaceful
First of all, there are significant differences between playing at private courts versus public facilities. Private Pickleball facilities of course charge a fee which can be per visit, monthly or even annual memberships. Public Courts are normally free but might have a nominal charge for balls, water, etc.
When Public Courts have no signs then it is just a first come first served situation. This is similar to the way tennis used to be. This also means that any person on any level can play at any time. This is very popular with families especially grandkids and grandparents. These types of players are just there to have fun with their family and are generally not playing in a competitive manner.
On the other hand, many Public Courts do have signs. These signs will usually designate one or more courts as challenge or competitive courts whereas the other courts are more for social play. The better players are on the challenge or competitive court(s) and everyone else is free to play on the social courts.
This set up seems to work for the largest amount of people with no one feeling "left out". If you have courts under construction in your area (and many do!) it would be advisable to lobby for such signs if they aren’t being planned.
Sometimes playing schedules are much more detailed. For example, on a Saturday morning they might have 2-3 courts designated for 4.5 level and above. Also, you may see something like Sunday morning team challenge 3.5 level and below.
Designated challenge courts tend to attract 4.5 level and above players. As long as players of a similar level keep coming it will remain a competitive court culture. If the courts get "clogged up" with beginners, over time the better players will stop coming and migrate to a more competitive environment.
If you are a relative newcomer to Pickleball you are probably wondering by now: “What is this skill level business all about?” Skill levels range from 1.0 and go in one half point increments all the way to 5.5+. At an informal level you will find out just by playing and asking other players who are usually more than willing to help. Formal definitions have been established the USAPA and are available at:
Your enjoyment of the game will be greatly enhanced as you improve and play others within your skill level. Of course, if you don’t care and just want to get exercise and have fun that’s OK too!