Everyone’s glad to see 2020 put to rest, although it appears SF Health Order restrictions will dictate the opportunity level for getting out have some Pickleball fun.  As of January end, there has been some loosening of the City-wide lockdown, and the January 27 Rec & Park newsletter says the rules are now:

” Doubles tennis may be played between members of up to three different households. Tennis players from different households may not share equipment and must maintain at least six feet of physical distance from each other at all times. Pickleball remains limited to singles per state requirements. ”

Please be aware of the current rule and exhibit good sense and courtesy on the court about mask wearing and social distancing.

The City’s three outdoor Pickleball venues,  Sutter, Stern Grove and Presidio, have been, and continue to be, quite active with players coming out whenever the weather permits.  Plus, the new Goldman Tennis Center in Golden Gate Park, scheduled to open by March, will have 5 lighted, full-time courts.  All indoor venues remain closed and will be so for quite awhile.

Here’s a rundown of what to expect at each venue.

  1. Louis Sutter – All day play on 6 courts.  Getting (over)crowded  on weekend mornings and even most weekday mornings.  Consider showing up later in the day to improve your chances of finding an open court for your group.   Folks new to Pickleball are coming out as well as top notch competition players.
  2. Stern Grove – As courts are shared with tennis players, reservations are a must and the local players have been super alert in getting court reservations on the Spotery system that ensures they can set-up and play.  Aiming for mornings from 10:30-1:30 try this Google calendar link to see if a spot has been snagged and if 2 or 4 (or 6) PB courts will be set up or not.  SG Google Calendar Link  (sorry, no tech support comes with using this).
  3. Presidio Wall – Same story about sharing with tennis, but the local player group has not been as committed about using Spotery.  Hence, it can be hit or miss when arriving and finding nets set up.  The team is trying for 10:30 -1:30 on F,SA,SU,M, but it’s probably best to arrive with a net as a walk-on to improve your chance to play if you do not have a reserved court yourself.
  4. GTC – Goldman Tennis Center may open in March for Pickleball (yay!!), but it’s hard to say what the offering will be beyond making your own court reservations on the new facility operator’s website – https://www.lifetimeactivities.com/.  GTC will be pay-to-play, but fees for reserved courts are reasonable (from $4/court/hour for weekday seniors to $9/court/hour on weekends and evenings, or about $2-$3 per person each hour).  We are working to get drop-in and other play sessions available as soon as health restrictions and facility opening issues permit.  Stay tuned for updates.

Bottom line – you should go out and enjoy yourself.  Stay safe and let’s hope for a rapid return to normalcy and a year where everyone gets a chance to dink and hit their share of backhand winners.