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Tour Pros Playing Pickleball!


GolfSpy_APH

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Gotta love seeing some of these guys having fun with some side sports during their down season. Something I definitely would have gone to watch had it been closer!

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/jordan-spieth-pickleball-charity-match-scottie-scheffler-dirk-nowitzki-john-isner-video

It does make me wonder who would be the best actual pairs and who would be best at other sports. Such as who would be the best at baseball or basketball?

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On 10/16/2022 at 10:50 AM, GolfSpy_APH said:

Gotta love seeing some of these guys having fun with some side sports during their down season. Something I definitely would have gone to watch had it been closer!

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/jordan-spieth-pickleball-charity-match-scottie-scheffler-dirk-nowitzki-john-isner-video

It does make me wonder who would be the best actual pairs and who would be best at other sports. Such as who would be the best at baseball or basketball?

As a current Pickleball player myself, interesting strategy call from Spieth and Scottie to hit it at the guy who used to be a top 10 tennis player instead of the big German basketball player.

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I really need to give this a whirl.  Looks like a lot of fun and great exercise.  I just need to turn right at my club rather than left (to the course).  I don't know if my car knows how to turn right in the club parking lot...hahaha.  Awesome to see the Jordan and Scottie outside the ropes.  

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1 hour ago, Golfspy_TCB said:

I really need to give this a whirl.  Looks like a lot of fun and great exercise.  I just need to turn right at my club rather than left (to the course).  I don't know if my car knows how to turn right in the club parking lot...hahaha.  Awesome to see the Jordan and Scottie outside the ropes.  

It's a fun time man, and you don't need to be the fittest person alive to do it which is also nice. The rules aren't overly complicated once you understand The Kitchen and scoring can be a bit difficult to learn until you actually play someone, but I recommend it highly.

In a :ping-small: Hoofer Lite bag

 :titleist-small: TSR2, 10 degrees, A1 setting, Fujikara Speeder NX Blue 50-S

:taylormade-small: Stealth, 15 degrees, VA Composites Nemesys 70-S 

:755178188_TourEdge: E722, 19 degrees, Oban Devotion 80-S

:mizuno-small: JPX 921 Hot Metal Pro 4-P, Nippon 950GH Stiff Flex

 :cleveland-small: CBX Zipcore 50* (bent to *49) and RTX Zipcore Tour Rack 54* (bent to *55), DG 115 Spinner, Tour Issue

:wilson-small: Staff Model TG 60*, Dynamic Gold 120 S300

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:bridgestone-small: Tour B-XS (2022 Model)

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1 minute ago, Berg Ryman said:

It's a fun time man, and you don't need to be the fittest person alive to do it which is also nice. The rules aren't overly complicated once you understand The Kitchen and scoring can be a bit difficult to learn until you actually play someone, but I recommend it highly.

I'm 96.5% the way there Berg..  hmmm... I wonder if there is a MyPickleballSpy forum somehere? 😉

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37 minutes ago, Golfspy_TCB said:

I'm 96.5% the way there Berg..  hmmm... I wonder if there is a MyPickleballSpy forum somehere? 😉

I can lend you my opinion on the best paddles for your buck if you're wondering... and yes, there are demo programs for paddles from two major online retailers if your local club doesn't have demos on hand!

In a :ping-small: Hoofer Lite bag

 :titleist-small: TSR2, 10 degrees, A1 setting, Fujikara Speeder NX Blue 50-S

:taylormade-small: Stealth, 15 degrees, VA Composites Nemesys 70-S 

:755178188_TourEdge: E722, 19 degrees, Oban Devotion 80-S

:mizuno-small: JPX 921 Hot Metal Pro 4-P, Nippon 950GH Stiff Flex

 :cleveland-small: CBX Zipcore 50* (bent to *49) and RTX Zipcore Tour Rack 54* (bent to *55), DG 115 Spinner, Tour Issue

:wilson-small: Staff Model TG 60*, Dynamic Gold 120 S300

 SIK Golf Flo-C

:bridgestone-small: Tour B-XS (2022 Model)

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33 minutes ago, Berg Ryman said:

It's a fun time man, and you don't need to be the fittest person alive to do it which is also nice. The rules aren't overly complicated once you understand The Kitchen and scoring can be a bit difficult to learn until you actually play someone, but I recommend it highly.

Yes, it is addictive and, as Berg mentions, an age and level of fitness friendly game.  Friends in Yuma kept egging me on to join them for PB and I didn't the first few years. I finally tried it last winter and it is really fun.  The PB league here at SCG is very active and the 21 courts are always going during the league and drop-in schedules.  They have 5 skill levels which pairs folks up very well.  Between golf, PB, and the fitness center, my weekly schedule will be filled.

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11 minutes ago, Berg Ryman said:

I can lend you my opinion on the best paddles for your buck if you're wondering... and yes, there are demo programs for paddles from two major online retailers if your local club doesn't have demos on hand!

You must know me well... that is my largest barrier at the moment.  (that is to say, there is very little standing in my way to actually get hooked on it). 

Yes... I would be VERY interested in your suggestions!!  THanks Berg.

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5 minutes ago, Golfspy_TCB said:

You must know me well... that is my largest barrier at the moment.  (that is to say, there is very little standing in my way to actually get hooked on it). 

Yes... I would be VERY interested in your suggestions!!  THanks Berg.

PB Superstore for a paddle fitting highly recommended 😉.  Kidding aside, look into any local rules about paddle noise.  One of the players in Yuma gave me a tip on this as where they play back in WA, their development has a list of "authorized" makes & models. I checked SCG before we purchased ours and... sure enough... they have a list of low noise paddles. 

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:ping-small: Glide 2.0 56 Degree SW   (removed from double secret probation 😍)

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:odyssey-small: AI-One Milled Seven T CH (Currently Under Product Test)

 

 

 

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Ok, so here's the Berg Ryman approach to Pickleball Paddles... TM, pending registration. Note there are a ton of articles and YT videos about paddle selection that can take you down a rabbit hole if you're someone who researches before any purchase, like yours truly, so be forewarned

Types of Paddles: So really there are a few different shapes in the paddle world that I think you can break down into 3 styles. Standard, Wide, and Elongated. Your standard paddle is is around 16" long by 8" wide, your wide body is 15.5" by 8"5" and elongated is 16.5" by 7.5" Elongated give you more power and reach, but are less forgiving. Wide gives you more forgiveness and better stability at the expense of reach and power, and the standard is good at most things, but not overwhelmingly strong in one particular area. To liken it to gold, Standard would be GI, Wide SGI, and Elongated players irons. If you're playing singles the elongated may be the play as there's just more court to cover by your lonesome over a standard, but for most beginners standard is the play, I think.

Materials: Most of the paddles now come with a polymer core, although Gearbox uses a carbon fiber core for it's paddle. The difference in that comes down to how solid the polymer core is and it's thickness. Lower price, lesser quality of core, although once you reach past the "Amazon" type paddles, I haven't seen much in the way of difference.

The other major difference is in face materials. Most paddles either have a fiberglass composite face, although some go to a carbon fiber face or a graphite face for higher end paddles. Another thing to consider is grit on the face. Some paddles have grit on the face to increase spin, but like grooves that will wear away over time, lessening the impact.

Weight: The general paddle for most companies comes in between 7.8-8.4 ounces. Some companies offer lighter options for players who want more speed or need lighter paddles, some go heavier for those who want more mass behind the ball. It's a personal taste but the big bell curve of standard is likely the way to go.

Brands: There are a ton of Pickleball brands, most of them pretty ok from what I've experienced. Some are longstanding racquet based companies (Head, Babolat, Wilson, Prince), some are pickleball specific (Vulcan, Selkirk, Gearbox, Paddletek), Joola from Ping Pong has joined recently, Franklin and Onix are two names in the game as well, and then there are other outsider companies like Rokne (a local company out of Rochester) who are going the DTC thing. Whatever your pleasure you can find something good.

Price: So paddles can range from $30 to $250 based on my most recent search of my company of choice to order from Pickleball Galaxy (just north of Albany ironically enough). There are decent choices at the sub $60 dollar price point, but I would say the sweet spot for pricing right now for the best bang for your buck is the 90-120 range. Sub 100 dollars you have Rokne's Curve Classic, the majority of Head's entire line as prices have been cut on them, solid choices from Onix and Franklin (the Franklin Signature line is a real star), Vulcan has a ton of good options here and the Babolat RGND is good in this space too.

If you want to go a touch higher at the 120 price point you have Babolat's REBL series, the Paddletek Genesis Phoenix Pro, and Engage's Encore Pro. If you wanted to push to $130 you include Prince's top end options, the Paddletek Tempest Wave II and Engage's Omega Evolution paddle.

My personal paddle is the REBL Power, it's the heavier of the two versions and coming as someone who did play tennis on the rec side I know Babolat's quality as a brand. Plus, my wife really really fell for the Touch version of the paddle (lighter version) so I figured we'll keep it in the family. In my demo runs we demoed paddles from Onix, Vulcan, Head, and Rokne as well and they were all great. No hesitation in recommending any of them.

Demo Programs: So Pickleball Galaxy and Total Pickleball both have demo programs through the website. Total Pickleball sends you three paddles for a week, Pickleball Galaxy sends you two for a week. TP is $25 , PG is $30. The companies have different brands available so it's your call which ones you want to try. Also, most online retailers have a 30 day no questions asked return policy if you aren't happy.

So yeah, I hope that was informative, probably overly so, but if it can help and save you the hours of youtube videos and articles I read, it'll be worth it to someone!

In a :ping-small: Hoofer Lite bag

 :titleist-small: TSR2, 10 degrees, A1 setting, Fujikara Speeder NX Blue 50-S

:taylormade-small: Stealth, 15 degrees, VA Composites Nemesys 70-S 

:755178188_TourEdge: E722, 19 degrees, Oban Devotion 80-S

:mizuno-small: JPX 921 Hot Metal Pro 4-P, Nippon 950GH Stiff Flex

 :cleveland-small: CBX Zipcore 50* (bent to *49) and RTX Zipcore Tour Rack 54* (bent to *55), DG 115 Spinner, Tour Issue

:wilson-small: Staff Model TG 60*, Dynamic Gold 120 S300

 SIK Golf Flo-C

:bridgestone-small: Tour B-XS (2022 Model)

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3 hours ago, Berg Ryman said:

Ok, so here's the Berg Ryman approach to Pickleball Paddles... TM, pending registration. Note there are a ton of articles and YT videos about paddle selection that can take you down a rabbit hole if you're someone who researches before any purchase, like yours truly, so be forewarned

Types of Paddles: So really there are a few different shapes in the paddle world that I think you can break down into 3 styles. Standard, Wide, and Elongated. Your standard paddle is is around 16" long by 8" wide, your wide body is 15.5" by 8"5" and elongated is 16.5" by 7.5" Elongated give you more power and reach, but are less forgiving. Wide gives you more forgiveness and better stability at the expense of reach and power, and the standard is good at most things, but not overwhelmingly strong in one particular area. To liken it to gold, Standard would be GI, Wide SGI, and Elongated players irons. If you're playing singles the elongated may be the play as there's just more court to cover by your lonesome over a standard, but for most beginners standard is the play, I think.

Materials: Most of the paddles now come with a polymer core, although Gearbox uses a carbon fiber core for it's paddle. The difference in that comes down to how solid the polymer core is and it's thickness. Lower price, lesser quality of core, although once you reach past the "Amazon" type paddles, I haven't seen much in the way of difference.

The other major difference is in face materials. Most paddles either have a fiberglass composite face, although some go to a carbon fiber face or a graphite face for higher end paddles. Another thing to consider is grit on the face. Some paddles have grit on the face to increase spin, but like grooves that will wear away over time, lessening the impact.

Weight: The general paddle for most companies comes in between 7.8-8.4 ounces. Some companies offer lighter options for players who want more speed or need lighter paddles, some go heavier for those who want more mass behind the ball. It's a personal taste but the big bell curve of standard is likely the way to go.

Brands: There are a ton of Pickleball brands, most of them pretty ok from what I've experienced. Some are longstanding racquet based companies (Head, Babolat, Wilson, Prince), some are pickleball specific (Vulcan, Selkirk, Gearbox, Paddletek), Joola from Ping Pong has joined recently, Franklin and Onix are two names in the game as well, and then there are other outsider companies like Rokne (a local company out of Rochester) who are going the DTC thing. Whatever your pleasure you can find something good.

Price: So paddles can range from $30 to $250 based on my most recent search of my company of choice to order from Pickleball Galaxy (just north of Albany ironically enough). There are decent choices at the sub $60 dollar price point, but I would say the sweet spot for pricing right now for the best bang for your buck is the 90-120 range. Sub 100 dollars you have Rokne's Curve Classic, the majority of Head's entire line as prices have been cut on them, solid choices from Onix and Franklin (the Franklin Signature line is a real star), Vulcan has a ton of good options here and the Babolat RGND is good in this space too.

If you want to go a touch higher at the 120 price point you have Babolat's REBL series, the Paddletek Genesis Phoenix Pro, and Engage's Encore Pro. If you wanted to push to $130 you include Prince's top end options, the Paddletek Tempest Wave II and Engage's Omega Evolution paddle.

My personal paddle is the REBL Power, it's the heavier of the two versions and coming as someone who did play tennis on the rec side I know Babolat's quality as a brand. Plus, my wife really really fell for the Touch version of the paddle (lighter version) so I figured we'll keep it in the family. In my demo runs we demoed paddles from Onix, Vulcan, Head, and Rokne as well and they were all great. No hesitation in recommending any of them.

Demo Programs: So Pickleball Galaxy and Total Pickleball both have demo programs through the website. Total Pickleball sends you three paddles for a week, Pickleball Galaxy sends you two for a week. TP is $25 , PG is $30. The companies have different brands available so it's your call which ones you want to try. Also, most online retailers have a 30 day no questions asked return policy if you aren't happy.

So yeah, I hope that was informative, probably overly so, but if it can help and save you the hours of youtube videos and articles I read, it'll be worth it to someone!

That is AWESOME BR.  (TM Pending Registration..haha).  I will be doing some educated searching tonight.  Yes, I believe my first trip to our pickleball court is just around the corner for me.  Thanks again for the great information.

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1 minute ago, Golfspy_TCB said:

That is AWESOME BR.  (TM Pending Registration..haha).  I will be doing some educated searching tonight.  Yes, I believe my first trip to our pickleball court is just around the corner for me.  Thanks again for the great information.

No problem, if you have any other questions don't hesitate to reach out.

In a :ping-small: Hoofer Lite bag

 :titleist-small: TSR2, 10 degrees, A1 setting, Fujikara Speeder NX Blue 50-S

:taylormade-small: Stealth, 15 degrees, VA Composites Nemesys 70-S 

:755178188_TourEdge: E722, 19 degrees, Oban Devotion 80-S

:mizuno-small: JPX 921 Hot Metal Pro 4-P, Nippon 950GH Stiff Flex

 :cleveland-small: CBX Zipcore 50* (bent to *49) and RTX Zipcore Tour Rack 54* (bent to *55), DG 115 Spinner, Tour Issue

:wilson-small: Staff Model TG 60*, Dynamic Gold 120 S300

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:bridgestone-small: Tour B-XS (2022 Model)

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/19/2022 at 2:59 PM, Berg Ryman said:

No problem, if you have any other questions don't hesitate to reach out.

Looks like we have found our Pickleball Paddle Ho!

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  • 3 months later...

I tried to search and see if there was another thread...

My golf buddy Mike and I just started playing this winter at a local tennis club that offers relatively inexpensive pickleball-only memberships. We found a couple guys that are similar skill level to us and play 1-1.5 hours at a time, usually once a week. @Berg Ryman seems to be a local expert and his notes above look solid to me, as a newbie. The club has some loaner paddles that I tried before I bought - most were Head of varying types (high spin, low spin, composite, graphite, etc.). I would grab 2-3 different ones each session until I found the type that seemed to work best for me. I ended up buying an Onix Z3 for around $70 (didn't want to spend much more than that if this was just going to be a passing fancy). It has a polymer honeycomb and composite face and is designed to be better for power and spin, with less focus on touch. I may decide I want better touch/feel at some point, but who knows if my current paddle will wear out or break before that happens. I played a fair amount of recreational tennis in grad school and had a pretty good ground game, just sucked at getting my first serve in. Even though I haven't played any tennis in the last 25-30 years, the hardest transition has been trying to overpower the ball when it is not really necessary. 

One thing Berg didn't mention is balls. There are "indoor" and "outdoor" balls. Outdoor tend to be heavier and have more holes so they won't be effected by the wind as much. Indoor are lighter with fewer holes and supposedly don't bounce as much. We've always used outdoor balls even though we play indoors. It would be interesting the try indoor balls and see if/how much it effects us. Does anyone have experience with indoor balls?

Maybe it's because we are all in our 50's, but keeping track of score/serve has been tricky at times, especially late in a match when fatigue is starting to set in. As we've all improved, our volleys last longer so I feel like I've been hit by a bus by the end, but I assume that will change as I get in better shape.

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Excellent post @MaxEntropy. I actually didnt mentions balls and you make a good point. The other thing is the number of holes in each ball, 26 for the indoor, 40 for the outdoor due to potential conditions such as wind and surface.

I do use indoor balls playing indoors at the  Y, they are a little bit faster in space and don't take as much as a beating, the plastic is a little thinner because you don't have the variety of surfaces that the 

In a :ping-small: Hoofer Lite bag

 :titleist-small: TSR2, 10 degrees, A1 setting, Fujikara Speeder NX Blue 50-S

:taylormade-small: Stealth, 15 degrees, VA Composites Nemesys 70-S 

:755178188_TourEdge: E722, 19 degrees, Oban Devotion 80-S

:mizuno-small: JPX 921 Hot Metal Pro 4-P, Nippon 950GH Stiff Flex

 :cleveland-small: CBX Zipcore 50* (bent to *49) and RTX Zipcore Tour Rack 54* (bent to *55), DG 115 Spinner, Tour Issue

:wilson-small: Staff Model TG 60*, Dynamic Gold 120 S300

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:bridgestone-small: Tour B-XS (2022 Model)

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5 hours ago, Berg Ryman said:

Excellent post @MaxEntropy. I actually didnt mentions balls and you make a good point. The other thing is the number of holes in each ball, 26 for the indoor, 40 for the outdoor due to potential conditions such as wind and surface.

I do use indoor balls playing indoors at the  Y, they are a little bit faster in space and don't take as much as a beating, the plastic is a little thinner because you don't have the variety of surfaces that the 

My wife and I just took the beginners class at the Northwest Family Y in Baldwinsville. 😀

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23 minutes ago, MattWillGolf said:

My wife and I just took the beginners class at the Northwest Family Y in Baldwinsville. 😀

Ill have to try and catch you with my wife and I, we're finishing up the whole 101 class in Manlius this evening and I'm playing in my second tournament thing on Saturday.

In a :ping-small: Hoofer Lite bag

 :titleist-small: TSR2, 10 degrees, A1 setting, Fujikara Speeder NX Blue 50-S

:taylormade-small: Stealth, 15 degrees, VA Composites Nemesys 70-S 

:755178188_TourEdge: E722, 19 degrees, Oban Devotion 80-S

:mizuno-small: JPX 921 Hot Metal Pro 4-P, Nippon 950GH Stiff Flex

 :cleveland-small: CBX Zipcore 50* (bent to *49) and RTX Zipcore Tour Rack 54* (bent to *55), DG 115 Spinner, Tour Issue

:wilson-small: Staff Model TG 60*, Dynamic Gold 120 S300

 SIK Golf Flo-C

:bridgestone-small: Tour B-XS (2022 Model)

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I've been playing on Saturdays with 8-12 guys/girls, and it's a lot of fun. But I'm trying not to get too serious about it, so I just use my wife's old paddle (she has the good pickle ball gear), I am NOT going to get fitted. She takes lessons, practices and plays leagues. I just show up on Saturdays and try not to embarrass myself, so far so good - I played varsity tennis in HS so I get the basic idea.

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17 hours ago, Berg Ryman said:

Ill have to try and catch you with my wife and I, we're finishing up the whole 101 class in Manlius this evening and I'm playing in my second tournament thing on Saturday.

We looking to play Sunday at the Y they have courts from 1 to 3pm. Baring any unforeseen issues. A couple of Sundays ago our furnaces died, seized blower motor. 🤪🤦🏻‍♂️

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  • 3 weeks later...

My home course is actually talking about building an addition that will house 3 golf simulators and 8 indoor pickleball courts. I'm kind of excited for this, although I wish they'd make the tennis courts as well. My wife and I joined a tennis club this winter, started taking lessons, and got into a beginners league. We see pickleball lessons being given on the courts next to us all the time. It looks pretty fun. I'm not sure if it'll be more fun the tennis, but I'm looking forward adding another activity to my to do list. 

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  • 5 months later...

I started about 4 years ago.  My tennis playing friends pooh-poohed the game (“Tennis for people who don’t like to run”) until I got the on the PB court!

Love the game, especially during winter, but I would caution against going full-bore right away.  Lots of muscles to pull/tear if you always go for the hero shot.

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  • 5 months later...

It's always a delight to see professional athletes having a great time with different sports during their off-season. The charity pickleball match featuring Jordan Spieth, Scottie Scheffler, Dirk Nowitzki, and John Isner must have been quite a spectacle. It's a fantastic way for them to unwind and connect with fans in a more relaxed setting.
If you're interested in exploring more about pickleball or other sports, https://anypickleball.com/guide is a valuable resource for insights and information. Sports have a unique way of bringing people together, and it's heartening to witness these talented athletes embracing new challenges and having fun along the way.

Edited by rubidius
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