Pickleball has arrived in Athens!
This entertaining mixture of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong has been enjoying a surge in popularity around the world in the past few years. And now that it’s all over town, we’ve put together a list of the best pickleball courts in Athens.
Pickleball is easier to pick up and slower-paced than other competitive racquet sports, making it more fun for people of all ages and fitness to play. It’s played on a court about a third the size of a tennis court and it’s usually played in doubles, which makes for a lot less running around.
Pickleball is an inherently social game and the sport is renowned for its laid back, friendly feel. Being such an accessible game, it’s also great for bringing families together and getting people outdoors to enjoy the fresh air. The benefits of playing pickleball for your physical and mental health are well documented, and it’s so much fun you’ll barely notice that you’re getting a workout.
The game has now gone mainstream and is America’s fastest growing sport. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, there were 4.8 million players in the United States in 2021. Pickleball court data provider Pickleheads reports 10,320 places to play nationally. Of course, that includes plenty of good pickleball courts in Athens, Georgia!
Here are a few of the top pickleball venues in the Athens area, operated by Athens-Clarke Leisure Services.
Outdoor Pickleball Courts in Athens:
Southeast Clarke Park
Since opening in 2018, the pickleball courts at Southeast Clarke Park have become one the most popular places to play pickleball in Athens. The facility sports 6 dedicated pickleball outdoor courts with permanent nets and lines as well as access to restrooms.
The courts are open to the public and are free to play in.
Bishop Park offers free use of six outdoor pickleball courts to the public. These courts do not have dedicated pickleball nets, so you’ll need to bring your own. Courts are first-come, first-served, unless reserved for organized activities and sports.
Satterfield Park offers free use of six outdoor pickleball courts to the public. These courts do not have dedicated pickleball nets, so you’ll need to bring your own. They do feature lights for nighttime play, access to restrooms, and plenty of parking.
The courts are open from dawn to dusk and they accept advance reservations through their website.
Above photo courtesy of Joan Azeka from Unsplash.
Indoor Pickleball Courts in Athens:
Heard Park (formerly East Athens Community Center)
Formerly known as East Athens, this center was renamed Heard Park after a former supervisor of the park. The center hosts 3 indoor courts.
Heard Park offers outdoor and indoor courts. For the outdoor courts you'll need your own net, and the indoor courts are open to the public every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 AM - 12 noon.
Lay Park Community Center
Lay Park Community Center has been serving Athens since 1975. Now it’s become a great place to get involved in pickleball.
On Wednesday mornings, they offer beginner and intermediate level sessions. The three courts are also available on Mondays and Fridays from 8:30 - 12 noon.
Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services offers Open Pickleball play Monday-Wednesday & Friday 8:30 AM-12:00 PM. In order to reserve Pickleball courts you must call the particular facility. Rates for indoor courts are $50 per hour with a minimum of 2 hours.
Above image credit: Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services
More Athens Pickleball Resources
- Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services includes Pickleball among its adult sports offerings. This is a learn as you play league, so lessons or previous playing experience are not required to join in the fun.
- Learn about tournaments and connect with others players at Athens Area Pickleball Association.
- Keep up with local Athens pickleball court information at Pickleheads.com.
Get out and play pickleball in Athens!
Thanks to Pickleheads for contributing information for this blog. Pickleheads is a great resource to find nearby pickleball courts as you travel, as well as connect with players and leagues and plenty of other resources for players of every level, from beginner to advanced.
Header image credit: Pickleheads.
Map of Pickleball Courts in Athens
Click to show more details, street address, website link and click to call.