Pickleball Club of Grey Highlands

Pickleball Club of Grey Highlands

Grey Highlands, Ontario

Member's Update - Spring Into Action!

May 25th Big Day for PGH - Tournament TimeA year ago the Pickleball Club of Grey Highlands was nothing more than a twinkle in the eyes of a few people. Today we have 111 members and that number is climbing week by week. PGH received affiliated Club status with Pickleball Canada and Pickleball Ontario on May 25th 2023, so in honour of that auspicious date we are holding a tournament and a party. This event will be held at “Club 32” as we need at least 2 courts and these courts are the best around. There will be cake and there will be pickleball matches. The tournament will be in 2 divisions: Under 3.0, and plus 3.5. Entries will be limited to 12 in each division. Cake will be served to all who arrive along with coffee and lemonade. Come out and support your Club and see who the big dogs are (also the little dogs). Sign up now on Team Reach and Pickle Planner.

Pickleball Camp for Youth – We are running a half-day camp, 9 am to 12 noon, for the first week of July on the courts at Memorial Park in Flesherton, open to girls and boys ages 10 – 16. Our own Club members will have first dibs but non-members will be welcome at a slightly higher cost, if there is room. Enrolment will be limited to 8 participants. The fee for Club members will be $20 to cover cost of snacks, drinks, balls and prizes. (Ed's note: we now have a sponsor for t-shirts, Forest Hill Real Estate's Simon Dearden. Thank you, Simon!) There are only 2 spots left. Time is running out to sign up.

Where’s the Action? - Two choices

Door # 1 – Beaver Valley Pickleball, the place we playfully call “Club 32” is located on County Road 32 just northeast of Flesherton. It is a private residence owned by Margo and Brian Salnek with 2 gorgeous pickleball courts tucked away behind. Robert, their son, and a certified level 1 coach, manages Beaver Valley Pickleball. We pay to play here through a phone app called Pickle Planner. The single use drop-in fee is $8 or a flat fee of $45/month. Our designated times at “Club 32” are Monday mornings 9am – 11am, Wednesday evenings 6pm – 8pm, Friday morning 9am – 11am, and Saturday 4-6pm. We will continue to use TeamReach to post times and record signups as well. On TeamReach we will post the link to "Pickle Planner" which is Club 32's link for registration and court fee payments. BVP also offers a seasonal rate of $225 for our Club members, which includes unlimited drop-in play, use of the ball machine and entry into the end of season tournament. For non-club members this rate is $275. The seasonal deal at “Club 32” runs from May 1st until Thanksgiving.

Door # 2 – Memorial Park, Flesherton, is where it all began for the Club. Located in the park adjacent to the Museum and tucked away behind the swings and monkey bars, this asphalt basketball surface is where we lined our first court by hand and put up our portable net. With the support of the Flesherton Beautification and Improvement Committee, who bank-rolled 8 paddles, a net and a dozen balls, pickleball began to grow organically with passing kids and local curiosity seekers. It was the birthplace of the “Church of Pickleball” on Sunday mornings, a small congregation which lives on and meets religiously as soon as the court is playable in May. We plan to continue to use Memorial Park at least until a new municipal facility is built. Our Youth will play here one afternoon a week after school until the end of June and then in the summer. Flesherton Pickleball maintains an equipment box at the court with spare paddles, a net, and balls, for the Youth program and others. We anticipate there will be Club activities at Memorial Park but a schedule has not been firmed up yet. It will depend on finding willing volunteers to facilitate these events. (We will post times on TeamReach as they unfold.)

What’s your Number? – The pickleball self-assessment skill level rating system is a method for players to assess their own skill level by assigning themselves a 2-digit score between 1.0 (absolute beginner) and 6.0 (pro tour). The assessment is based on playing ability, knowledge of rules and scoring, positioning and strategy. Pickleball Canada has a chart on their website Self-Assessment Chart giving guidelines. In our Club, for example, Norm Green is about 4.0 and Caroline Feeley about 3.5. Norm advises that most players seem to over-rate their prowess. (Norm actually said he was 3.75 and Caroline 3.25. They got rounded up.)

Gearing Up – We joke about fancy footwear sometimes but yes, good court shoes are worth consideration. We found playing indoors in the gym this winter that court shoes were an asset for comfort and safety, offering support and balance. They will be highly recommended at Club 32 where clean, non-marking soles will be required. At Memorial Park, where the surface is asphalt, court shoes are not so important except in terms of fit and support. Decent trainers that lace up are sufficient for safety. Eye protection is another recommended item. Eye injuries are rare in pickleball but very concerning when they do happen. A pair of inexpensive protective glasses go a long way to ensuring accidents don’t spoil your pickleball career.

Meanwhile In the Gyms – At MacPhail Wednesday evenings the marauding Youth Rally Crew continue to grow in numbers as we now have 3 courts in operation and 4 youngsters waiting on deck. A sometimes wild but delightful bunch, they are our hope for the future. At Grey Highlands SS that same night a more mature set play their hearts out in the big gym. The games are friendly and vary in skill level. Beth sometimes throws in a theme night to spice things up. On Friday night the Ladder kicks in with competition which is just as friendly but clearly faster and more intense especially in the top box. Kudos to Norm for his organizational skills and amusing commentary. Currently, the final ladder session is over but we will extend Friday night until the end of May if there is demand.

Be An AngelAnnouncing a new “Supporting Membership” category for pickleball angels who wish to support our local pickleball efforts but don’t intend to play. $20 flat rate, does not include membership in Pickleball Canada or Pickleball Ontario. Does include socials, amusing Updates and our sincere appreciation. If you are interested, please contact us at pickleballgreyhighlands@gmail.com for more information.

Still on the Web but Not at All Tangled – The Club’s website is there as an information resource and conduit to Pickleball Canada and Pickleball Ontario. The photo gallery alone is worth tens of thousands of words, available to you at a glance (but only if you are a member). It’s a fun browse: Photo Gallery.

Make it Fun! Do what you love. Love what you do!