top of page

Katy Joins the Nation in the Popular Pickleball Craze


September 14, 2023

By Natalie Cook Clark

Pickleball continues to sweep the nation in popularity and our Katy community is also joining in the fun. The sport is bringing communities and families together through the fast-paced, social game.

Photo credit: Susan Hutson

Growing Popularity Among Katy 55 and Up

Phyllis Baker has been playing Pickleball for three and half years and considers herself an average player. She plays weekly at the courts at Heritage Grand, a Katy 55 and up community.

“We are very active individuals and this sport is great,” says Baker. “Some people are so good you just know you are going to have your hinny beat!”

Baker says that she saw this sport quickly gain popularity during the pandemic as it kept older people active while being safe outdoors.

“I love the social thing of it all and being able to move my whole body,” says Baker. “This is more fun than getting on a treadmill and it also works your mind.”

More than a Sport

Pickleball is more than a sport, it’s a community and in some cases family activity.

Susan Hutson has been playing Pickleball since June of 2022. Her mother also plays at the courts at Heritage Grand, where she met her husband. They were just married at the young age of 79 and owe their relationship to this sport.

“It is a community growing sport, so much fun and social,” says Hutson. “I used to run marathons and really missed my running and the social aspect of it, but it was getting too hard on my body as I aged.”

Her mother is who introduced her to the sport and both agree that this is a sport for all ages and levels of fitness. Now Hutson plays in a league and at Lifetime Fitness. She started playing at the YMCA.

“I take lessons once a week from my Pickleball coach, she has a Pickleball court connected to her house,” says Hutson.

What is Pickleball?

So, for us Pickleball newbies, what is this fast growing sport?

Pickleball was created in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, not fa from Seattle, Washington. Three dads – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum are credited for creating game. They made it up when their children got bored with normal summer activities. The sport grew from there and now is even growing internationally.

According to USA Pickleball, this sport is fun, social and friendly. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game,

Pickelball is similar to tennis. The biggest difference is the court size, Pickleball is played on a smaller court and uses a paddle instead of a racket. Pickleball doesn’t use tennis balls but rather a low-bouncing plastic ball.

Many Katy communities currently have Pickleball courts in addition to tennis courts. Pickleball is popular in communities such as Cane Island, Heritage Grand, Cinco Ranch, Oak Park Trails and more. Elyson is currently building Pickleball courts set to open later this year.

How to Play Pickleball in Katy

Of course, neighborhood Pickleball courts are reserved for residents in that community and their guests. There are other ways for Katyites to pick up the paddle and play this game. Local gyms like both Katy area YMCA’s and Lifetime Fitness offer Pickleball lessons and court time. These resources can also set players up in local leagues.

“A lot of younger people are getting involved,” says Baker. “It gets them away from their phones and technology.”

For more information on Pickleball, visit Here you can learn more about the game, its rules, and connect with leagues and tournaments.

“It is super fun to play and your get to meet so many really great people,” says Hutson. “My famous saying along with most people that play is, ‘one more game!’”

#CentralGreenPark #Town&Country


bottom of page