Art, music, and…pickleball? There’s a new activity sweeping across the country, and Asheville is at the heart of the boom. All over, pickleball courts are popping up in Asheville, giving our city something new to be known for in North CarolinaPickleball, which is a cross between ping pong, badminton, and tennis, is an easy-to-play activity for people of all ages. It combines coordination, agility, and a wholesome atmosphere that helps pull communities together.
As it grows, though, more money is being invested into the professional scene. In early 2023, the Carvana PPA Tour announced its 25-event tournament schedule, which will include over $5.5 million in prize money.
The North Carolina Open, held in Charlotte on May 4, is expected to be attended by top tour pros Ben Johs and Anna Leigh Waters. PPA commissioner Connor Pardoe called it an “exciting time for professional pickleball” and noted that sights are set even higher for the future.
As pickleball gains more exposure, cities like Asheville have embraced the culture that comes along with it.
The unique blend of arts-focused residents that have a penchant for outdoor activities led to the early adoption of the sport and the opening of several courts around the city. Despite being the 11th-most populated city in North Carolina, Asheville has the third-most pickleball courts in the state, with 13, according to Pickleheads.
Want to join a vibrant, welcoming community and get a little more physical activity?
Check out some of the pickleball courts in Asheville:
The picturesque Montford Park, best known for its free outdoor theater (which is also a can’t-miss experience), has painted four permanent pickleball courts in the tennis area.
One thing to remember is that you’ll have to bring your own portable net to play with.
One of the best places for outdoor activities in Asheville is Murphy-Oakley Park, which also has four courts in the tennis area. With so many other amenities, though – lighted baseball fields, playgrounds, and picnic areas – there are restrooms and concessions available for those long pickleball sessions.
This is another court that requires a portable net, though you’ll find regular players happy to welcome you into a match!
If you want to get involved in something a little more serious, the Asheville Racquet Club (ARC) has 12 courts – four indoors and eight outdoors. They also offer “Pickleball 101” to instruct new players and have loaner paddles available if you just want to try it out.
A membership at ARC gets you access to both locations, meaning you can play as much as you want. Non-members are also welcome but are limited to three guest pass visits per year.
Already have a membership at the gorgeous Country Club of Asheville for its stunning golf course? They’ve recently added six indoor pickleball courts and introduced a year-round league.
Youth camps are also available to teach pickleball to the next generation, ensuring that it will be a part of Asheville for years to come.
Asheville’s not going to stop at 13 courts. The city recently agreed that all tennis courts will be dual-lined for pickleball, including at Weaver Park. That will nearly double the number of available pickleball courts.
The conversion process is expected to begin in early 2023 and will take 4-6 weeks. There will then be a schedule adapted that alternates dedicated times for each sport.
So if you’re looking for a new activity this year, why not join the millions of others enjoying pickleball? With so many courts available, there’s no excuse!