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Another Year Over and Deeper in Pickleball

By the time this, my last pickleball article of 2023, hits the stands, the holiday season will soon be behind us, and we’ll be counting the days until the ball drops in Times Square. On New Year’s Day many of us will vow to eschew the Landings pour for a few months. It’s a promise rarely kept.

Left Group - Back Row (L to R): Billy McIntosh, Tracy Sellard, Lisa Reavis, Harriet Andersen, Chris Britten Left Group - Front Row (L to R): Molly Leamon, Betsey Andersen ​ Right Group (L to R): Kimberly Phillips, Danny Pinyan, Karyn Buckman, Matt Smallwood, Hermann Coolidge ​ Not Pictured: Carrie Montague, Tamara Walker, Jim Rogan, Mike Barber (Photo: Bradley Morse)

TWATL carried thirty-seven pickleball articles under this byline in 2023. One of the first was, It’s For Real –Nude Pickleball, which was hands down the sentimental favorite. Favorite or not, don’t get your hopes up. Nude pickleball is not apt to become a reality at The Landings Club any time soon. The year closes with a nod to the winners of the fall league competition. With approximately 150 picklers sorted into eight teams, and ten weeks of intense competition, the team captained by Chris Britten took home the gold. The Franklin Creek winter league starts on January 23rd. Be sure to sign up in time.

(Photo: Bradley Morse)

Franklin Creek league is not the only the organized pickleball competition. Don’t forget the LPA which has two league competitions scheduled during the year. Registration for the first, which runs from February 29 through April 18, begins February 5th. You must have a DUPR rating to play in the LPA.

2023 was the year pickleball hit the big time. It was a year of private courts, pickleball in malls and pickleball wars. Sports legends from Tom Brady to LeBron James invested in professional teams, while tennis players like Jack Sock have switched to pickleball. It was the year when a sixteen-year-old phenomenon named Anna Leigh Waters became the world’s top woman player in doubles, mixed doubles and singles. Her 2023 earnings exceeded $1 million.

Franklin Creek got four new pickleball courts and two new dedicated pickleball professionals. Stay tuned, more is being planned for the near future. The growth is not surprising. New Neighbor participation is at a record high, with new members outnumbering those who cycle out. And young members are joining the ranks of players vying for court time. Pickleball pre-pandemic, while not an afterthought, was not yet a Landings Club sport that deserved premier billing. What a difference three years makes.

Finally, a mea culpa of sorts. Every self-respecting writer has an editor. Mine is my wife, the lovely and talented wordsmith, Ellen Pitts. My first drafts often read like writing samples from an ESL student on the first day of class. After churning out a first draft I turn it over to Ellen who fixes misplaced modifiers, adds and deletes commas as needed, and eliminates trite, hackneyed and unnecessary comments, all while turning word vomit into comprehensible prose. While I might have an idea, Ellen makes the idea come to life.

Let’s hope your holiday gifts included an embarrassment of pickleball riches. Happy Holidays, Happy New Year and happy pickling to all.


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