Driggs pickleball courts are open for play
On Saturday, Aug. 27, a complex of eight new pickleball courts were officially opened to the burgeoning Teton Valley pickleball community.
Although still waiting on nets and windscreens, which will be delivered and installed sooner rather than later, the courts at Primrose Park in Driggs are already seeing action.
The courts were installed by Renner Sports Contractors, out of Denver, CO. Local USA Pickleball ambassador Ray Williams is over the moon with the new courts and the potential it brings for the sport here in Teton Valley.
“I drive around Driggs, I drive around Victor, I see tape on people’s driveways where they have pickleball at their own homes,” said Williams. “We are getting so much push for these courts. What this now allows us to do is possibly set up leagues and have pickleball tournaments. These are all things that will help the community grow.”
Mostly paid for by the efforts of a financing committee made up of Jim Maloney, Jim McCane, Dot and Joe Burns, and Alice Stevenson, the courts installed are “the highest level of court you can get,” according to player Spencer Caldwell.
“That speaks volumes about how much of their own money they are willing to commit to the entire community. It isn’t just for the pickleball players, it is the players that we hope to introduce to the sport,” said Williams.
In addition to the almost $100,000 garnered by the pickleball community, the City of Driggs pitched in around $30,000 of local option tax money and some funds from impact fees.
Doug Self took the lead in interfacing with the pickleball financing committee, with some additional involvement from past Driggs Mayor Hyrum Johnson and current Mayor August Christensen. Williams could not be more pleased with their help.
“What a wonderful gentleman,” Williams said of Self. “He has worked so hard for the pickleball community here and with his help, and the last mayor and the current mayor, they saw this thing through, it was unbelievable.”
Pickleball is touted as one of the fastest growing and most popular sports not only in the country but around the world. For those unfamiliar, the game is a ball and paddle sport that lies in between table tennis and tennis.
Besides a smooth and level playing surface, pickleballers appreciate that the new Driggs courts have fences separating each court and alleys for spectators.
“It is nice to have it level, with professional gates all around. I was playing over in Jackson yesterday and they don’t have gates between the courts. Having that alleyway between is nice so people can be watching the gates in between. This is top, A-grade stuff, so I love it,” said player Chris Dart.
Visiting player Allanah Bailey pointed out that the new courts can also increase visitation from the wider pickleball community to Driggs. Visiting players will be able to find the new courts on the USA Pickleball Places2Play app and website.
“I was in Jackson and I heard these courts were opening up Saturday, so I came here. I knew they were going to be brand new courts that had the alleys and everything. I travel around and play pickleball and this will make it more of a destination for those that play pickleball. A lot of pickleball players do that, they travel around and play pickleball and it can bring in tourism money to Driggs,” said Bailey.
Teton Valley Pickleball hosts games at Primrose Park on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5-7 p.m. and Saturday and Monday mornings from 9-11 a.m. Pickleball paddles are available to borrow.