By Steve Berwald
Special to Independent Newsmedia
The Sun City Grand Pickleball Club had its ribbon cutting ceremony on March 4 for the opening of 10 new pickleball courts at the Cimarron Center.
Following years of discussion the Sun City Grand community association board voted 5-2 April 14, 2016 in favor of converting three tennis courts at the center into pickleball, making the Cimarron courts all pickleball, with 22 in total.
The $161,000 project began Nov. 7 after receiving final funding approval from Grand’s community association board.
The Chaparral Center has 11 playable tennis courts.
Noise from the additional pickleball courts was a primary concern in the recent discussions of this measure. A 3-foot-high berm was built behind the courts with thicker bushes planted on it. Club president Steve Berwald said the club also switched to the Onix Pure 2 balls, which have proven demonstrably quieter.
In June 2015 the board voted down a similar measure 4-2. That proposal would have changed two tennis courts into eight pickleball courts.
Originally programmed for six tennis courts, the Cimarron Center opened in 2002 with four tennis courts and eight pickleball courts after developer Pulte grasped the new game’s popularity.
By 2004, the ratio was 12 pickleball to three tennis. A tennis court converts into four pickleball courts.
The Sun City Grand Pickleball Club will be hosting the first ever Super Senior International Pickleball Association Tournament on March 21-23. This tournament is a USAPA sanctioned event.
The tournament is open to all players 65 and older and we will be having players in this tournament from different parts of the country.
Editor’s Note: Steve Berwald is the president of the Sun City Grand Pickleball Club.
Richard Smith contributed to this story.