September 9, 2012

Contributed

Pickleball is a racquet sport that encompasses elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis but is played on a court one-third the size of a tennis court. The game was invented in 1965 and has become one of the nation’s fastest-growing sports.

Golden Village Palms guests, many of them from Canada where pickleball is gaining significant interest, began to ask the resort about adding some pickleball courts, says Reza Paydar, president and CEO of Sunland RV Resorts, parent company of Golden Village Palms.

The game is easier to play than tennis or badminton because the shorter racquets require less hand-eye coordination, the underhand style is easier on the joints, the smaller court means less distance running and the perforated ball travels at one-third of the average speed of a tennis ball, making each rally longer. This makes pickleball more accessible to a wider range of players, particularly children and seniors.

Responding to the desires of their guests is part of their companies’ philosophy and as a result of this the pickleball courts are part of a $500,000 upgrade and improvements at Golden Village Palms and a multi-million dollar investment across the Sunland system, Paydar said.

“Over the years, our goal was to make Golden Village Palms the most amenitized and most beautiful park in the country,” said. “Every amenity in this resort was designed with state-of-the-art expertise to make sure we designed projects that would last and our guests would enjoy for years to come.”

“A few years ago, we examined what’s happening to the age group that comes to our parks,” said Paydar. “We noticed the age of RVers is getting younger, people are retiring earlier and are more active than former RVers.

“RVers pay attention to resort amenities or amenities in proximity to our resorts and will choose their travel patterns before they get there. The mindset of today’s RVer is very active; they want to participate in resort activities.”

Resort staff has been in contact with the United States of America Pickleball Association and will seek certification of the courts upon completion. The goal is to set up leagues and tournaments for guests as well as attracting some national competitions.

One reason pickleball has grown so quickly is the fact that playing the sport requires less wear-and-tear on muscles and joints, yet provides a vigorous and enjoyable exercise.

Bleacher seating will be installed at the courts to accommodate spectators.

Progress on construction of the pickleball courts at Golden Village Palms can be followed at www.goldenvillagepalms.com.

More About Pickleball

A pickleball court is 20 feet by 44 feet for both singles and doubles matches. The net across the middle of the court is 34 inches high in the middle of the court and goes up to 36 inches at each end. Each player uses an official pickleball paddle, which is similar in size and style to a table tennis paddle. The ball is made of plastic and has holes in it and is three inches in diameter.

Invented as a backyard pastime, pickleball is now an organized sport represented by national and international governing bodies. Since its inception, pickleball has spread across the United States and into Canada. Its best-known competitor is Bill Gates. The United States Pickleball Association estimates there are more than 100,000 active pickleball players in the U.S. In Canada, where the game is still relatively new, there are already more than 5,000 players in just four provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec and Ontario.

About Golden Village Palms RV Resort

This world-class resort includes 1,019 landscaped and groomed sites, including 65 pull-throughs, with full-service hookups, 50-amp service, cable TV, wireless Internet and the attention you expect from a luxury resort. A stunning multi-million dollar recreational complex is the centerpiece of Golden Village Palms. The resort is within walking distance to shopping and dining and the “lady bug” shuttle that runs on a regular daily schedule all over Hemet. Golden Village Palms’ location is central to all San Diego, Palm Springs and Los Angeles attractions. For more information, visit www.goldenvillagepalms.com.

September 9, 2012

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