Pickleball is Growing Like Crazy in the South

Is your local park a bit busier these days? Crowds are gathering around the tennis court area, and they’re playing a sport you haven’t seen before?

Chances are it’s pickleball.

This colorful and creative game is becoming increasingly popular in the South, bringing together people of all ages for a unique sporting experience.

Pickleball is a great game for those who don’t want to commit to something as physically demanding as tennis. The slower pace, smaller court size, and shorter game duration make it an excellent choice for those looking to stay physically active while having fun.

Just check out the pickleball courts in Atlanta, which now has over 30 places to play in the city and surrounding area.

Growing faster than anyone ever expected, there were more than 36 million people who picked up the paddle in 2022.

It’s not just for casual players, either. The Carvana PPA Tour will hand out more than $5.5 million in prize money this season to its roster of professional pickleball players, with stops in Florida, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, and all across the country.

Every day there are athletes and celebrities like Eli Manning and Rob Gronkowski lending their credibility to the game because it’s just so easy to love!



Why pickleball is growing in the South

The real glow-up of pickleball happened in Florida, so it’s easy to understand why the game has taken off in the South. People here have a long history of enjoying outdoor activities, and pickleball perfectly suits that lifestyle.

It’s also an incredibly social game and can be easily adapted for all different groups. Its easy-to-learn rules and simple movements make it welcoming for beginners without feeling overwhelming or intimidating.

Plus, with modern materials like graphite paddles and low-impact balls designed specifically for pickleball, the game is more accessible than ever before. That means it’s easier for people of all ages and skill levels to get involved and enjoy the fun.

Places to play pickleball in the South

From recreation centers to country clubs, pickleball is popping up in all sorts of places throughout the South. Here are five cities that have experienced the boom and now feature many pickleball courts:


Everywhere you turn in Atlanta, new lines are painted, new nets are installed, and new communities are forming around the game of pickleball. Here are a couple of the best spots to hit:

1. South Fulton Tennis Center

With four dedicated pickleball courts – that means no sharing with those tennis folks – you can walk on and play for free without bringing a portable net. If the whole family wants to tag along, there’s even a space for your canine friends to run around off-leash.

2. Sandy Springs Tennis Center

You can play pickleball all day and night with eight lighted courts at the Sandy Springs Tennis Center. It also offers clinics for all levels and special drop-in mixers so you can meet other community members and test yourself against new opponents.


The beautiful Charleston – America’s #1 City for ten years running – has a ton of courts popping up for residents and tourists alike to take in the pleasures of pickleball. Check out these on your next visit:

1. Collins Park Community Center

With ten outdoor courts, there’s enough room for a whole tournament at the Collins Park Community Center. Better yet, they’re free to use and are flanked by restrooms and water fountains, meaning you can play all day long.

2. General William Moultrie Playground

Tucked into a gorgeous park right along Colonial Lake, this public pickleball court is one of the best experiences in the city. Get there early, though, as there are only two dedicated courts!


A hotspot for professional pickleball, Charlotte is brimming with top players looking to test their skills. While there are more than two dozen courts dotted across the city, here are a couple of the best:

1. Clarks Creek Community Park

Talk about pickleball heaven. The Clarks Creek Community Park has a fenced-in pickleball-only area that often has high-level players just out for some casual games. If you want to quickly level up your skills or get tips on improving, this is a great place to visit.

2. Tuckaseegee Rec Center

The Tuckaseegee Rec Center has painted lines on six tennis courts to accommodate the growing pickleball presence in Charlotte – and it seems like they get more use these days! Just remember that the nets will be slightly higher, so you might not get quite the same experience as on dedicated pickleball courts.


One of the best sports towns in the country has embraced pickleball over the last decade, with 17 courts now open across the city. Here are two of the best options:

1. The Bucket at North Hills Park

The Bucket was converted from tennis thanks to the financial backing of Raleigh resident and noted pickleball fanatic Marilyn Sorin and now features six dedicated courts. Remember that the lights go out at 10 pm, so get your games in early!

2. Method Road Community Center

With a perfect location right next to NC State, the pickleball facility at Method Road Community Center is always filled with players looking for new opponents. You can have a great day talking to the vibrant community even without playing!


While it might not have quite as many places to play – you can still find a game anytime you want. Here are two local favorites:

1. Jackson Park

Jackson Park is the biggest municipally-owned park in Western North Carolina, and it’s one of the best places to play pickleball in Hendersonville. Remember, the lines are permanent here, but you’ll have to bring a net (or join in on someone else’s)!

2. Hendersonville Racquet Club

If you haven’t played before but want to learn, the Hendersonville Racquet Club is the place for you. They have drop-in programs, a five-week beginner course, private lessons with professional players, and two more advanced-level training classes. You don’t even need to be a member to join, just pay the fee and jump on the court!

Pickleball is the perfect sport for southern residents looking to get active and have fun. Learning is simple, and you’ll have more fun playing with others than in any other sport. With its growing popularity, it won’t be long before pickleball is the most popular game in town!




Data & Resources

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America. There are an estimated 4.8 million pickleball players in the US, and the sport grew 14.8% from 2020 to 2021. There are 10,320 pickleball facilities nationally according to Pickleheads, a court data provider.

The sport, a cross between ping pong, badminton, and tennis, was invented by 3 vacationers on Bainbridge Island, near Seattle, in 1965.

Pickleball is fun, social, easy to learn, and can be enjoyed by players of all ages.

According to pickleball court data provider Pickleheads, there are 418 pickleball courts in North Carolina. North Carolina has the 4th most pickleball courts in the United States.

According to pickleball court data provider Pickleheads, there are 7 pickleball courts in Hendersonville. Hendersonville is the 9th most popular city in North Carolina to play pickleball.

Explore the top pickleball courts in Hendersonville here.

The Top 5 Pickleball Courts in Hendersonville:

  1. Cummings Cove Golf & Country Club (membership)
  2. Hendersonville Racquet Club (membership)
  3. Brevard Health and Racquet Club (one-time fee, Brevard)
  4. Connestee Falls (private, Brevard)
  5. Asheville Racquet Club – South (membership, Asheville)

About Us

Pickleheads is the #1 online destination for pickleball players. Pickleball – a cross between tennis, badminton, and ping-pong – is the fastest-growing sport in America. The Pickleheads platform helps players find courts, organize sessions, and connect with local players.


Brandon Mackie is an experienced entrepreneur and the co-founder of Pickleheads™. Previously Brandon founded a consumer snack brand, Keto Farms, which was sold in February 2022. Brandon started his entrepreneurial journey as an early employee of Soylent, which he helped scale to an 8-figure eCommerce business.




Credit: Brandon Mackie, co-founder of Pickleheads

“The magic of pickleball is it’s easy to learn, but hard to master. Beginners can go out their first time, learn the game, have fun, and even win a few games. But advanced players stay challenged, and keep coming back for more. This dynamic is a big reason why pickleball continues to grow like crazy.”

“Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. The SFIA estimates 4.8 million players and that grew 14.8% year-over-year. In fact, industry experts are predicting we’ll see 40 million players by 2030. If that happens, pickleball will become the largest racquet sport in the country, almost twice the size of tennis.”

“Pickleball is a social activity as much as it’s a sport. It’s commonly played in an open-play format where 50 or even more players show up and rotate games and partners. You also almost always play pickleball as doubles, which leaves many opportunities to socialize and meet players.”

“Pickleball’s popularity exploded during the pandemic, when many Americans were looking for responsible ways to socialize and stay active. But that was only the beginning – pickleball’s growth has continued even as lockdowns have ended and normal life has resumed.”

“Pickleball is a sport for all ages. Anyone from age 5 to 95 can play and have fun. This makes pickleball the perfect activity for families, especially around the Holidays.”



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