Saturday, May 26, 2018
Text Size

20180301 Bentsen Grove Pickleball Courts MILLER IMG 4046MISSION - With 130 registered pickleball players and just one indoor court, the folks at Bentsen Grove Resort decided to construct a building to shorten wait times for those who would surround the old court, inside a building known as “the hangar.”

The “hangar” court would also double as a tennis court (sometimes also as a volleyball court) and when the residents used it for pickleball, those waiting to play would act as ball boys, chasing down balls and getting them back in play quickly to decrease the amount of time a game took.

Now, however, Bentsen Grove residents have the Valley mecca of pickleball courts. A 65-foot by 60-foot, air conditioned and heated building that holds two immaculate pickleball courts reminiscent of the hardcourts that the U.S. Open and Australian Open tennis tournaments are played on. There is also a set of bleachers, a cylinder on the side of each net for extra pickleballs, signup sheets and a schedule that determines the times specific leagues and skill levels can play, including when there's open court for anyone to play.

20180301 Bentsen Grove Pickleball Courts MILLER IMG 4052Programs include beginners training, beginners play, ladies only play, men only play, intermediate training, intermediate play and competitive play. There are also open play times available to all skill levels.

Larry Vermeersch, the park's pickleball chairman, said that the sport is the fastest-growing sport in North America and has seen the number of players increase at the park. He added that he expects even more players in the coming years.

“This is good for recruiting new residents,” he said. “It's good for every age group and competition level. The court is smaller than a tennis court so there's not as much running – but it still gets intense.”

While the sport may seem to be new, references claim that the sport began during the summer of 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Wash., at the home of former State Representative Joel Pritchard who, in 1972, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and eventually went on to become Lieutenant Governor of Washington.

Returning home from a round of golf with two of his friends, they saw that their families were bored so they tried to set up a badminton net but couldn’t find a shuttlecock. They improvised with a Wiffle ball, lowered the net and made some improvised “paddles.” It has been fine tuned ever since then.

20180301 Bentsen Grove Pickleball Courts MILLER IMG 4059Vermeesch said he heard about the sport being played at a nearby school back in his hometown. He and his wife checked in on it and have been playing ever since. He said when he first started playing at the park they would play outside in an empty lot.

“This is much better now,” he said.

The games are even part of the Golden Age Olympics run the City of McAllen Parks and Recreation Department and is second only to shuffleboard in popularity.

Top News

  • San Juan Gardens keeps residents active

    2018401 Shorts San Juan Gardens Ladies LuncheonSan Juan Gardens had many activities to celebrate the Winter Texan season, including a new event called Tape Measure Racing where races are held in double-elimination heats, and everyone is eligible to participate. The park also holds 30-minute low-impact exercise time every weekday for all ages, including a 90-year-old who gets… Read More +

  • Paradise Resort Estates raises money for charities

    20180401 Shorts Paradise Estates1Paradise Resort Estates in Pharr, held its annual Spaghetti Supper and Charity Auction on Friday, Feb. 16th.

    The resort’s Community Outreach Committee sponsored the event and proceeds are donated to local charities. This year’s proceeds totaled $7,000. Some of the items for auction included wood carvings and a… Read More +

  • Split Rail Party

    20180401 Shorts Split Rail Party1At the end of each season, the Split Rail Association at Split Rail RV Park in Mission throws a thank you party for its residents, filled with good food and entertainment. In mid-March, residents enjoyed a delicious catered lunch of grilled chicken, potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw and all the fixins and dessert.… Read More +

  • Southern Comfort RV Park hosts Bocce tournaments

    20180401 Shorts Southern Comfort Bocce JPGSouthern Comfort RV Park, located at 1501 S Airport Dr. in Weslaco has been running bocce ball tournaments for the past couple of years. What started as one bocce tournament in the park is now up to three and signs are that the growth is going to continue.

    Read More +

  • Winter Texans volunteer at Lutheran church

    20180322 El Buen Pastor IMG 5095For nearly a decade, Stan Kirschbaum and Bill White of Hidden Valley Ranch, and Ralph Freudenberg of Mission West RV Park have spearheaded projects at El Buen Pastor Lutheran Church.

    The congregation from Westminster Lutheran Fellowship at Pleasant Valley Ranch have collected money and, most recently,… Read More +

  • La Floresta holds tournament championship golf event

    20180315 LaFloresta Golf GAIL CATRON MENS CHAMPIONGail Catron, Men’s Champion

    La Floresta Park and Golf Course held its version of the PGA Championship March 5-8 with 32 men and 24 ladies competing in the annual event. La Floresta is located at 4140 La Floresta Road in Mercedes.

    Read More +

  • The Power of One

    20180308 Palm Resaca Single Ladiesbest2The vitality of any Winter Texan Park is the result of the positive efforts and friendly interactions of its residents. A small core of single women in Palm Resaca Park have made a tremendous effect on helping to make the park run smoothly.

    Single women account for more than 10 percent of park residents. These women have involved themselves in leadership… Read More +

  • Mexican Whistling Ducks enjoy Palm Resaca Park

    20180301 Whistling Ducks mexicanducks2Marching single file, seemingly with purpose. They are not soldiers mustering on the parade grounds or cows heading home at feeding time. They are black-bellied whistling ducks.

    As a Winter Texan from Canada, I find the birds of Southern Texas fascinating. Dozens of Whistlers dwell along the Resaca de la Guerra that flows past our mobile home at Palm Resaca Park in… Read More +

  • Canada Day celebrated at Riverside Club

    20180306 CanadaDay Riverside GU 1889Hundreds of Canadians showed up at the Riverside Club in Mission on Tuesday, March 6 to join in the fun of the annual Canada Day celebration. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the music provided by the Riverside Club Band led by Randy Dupuis and enjoying drinks and food. They were a number of… Read More +

  • Encore brings tribute concerts to RGV resorts

    20180329 Encore Abba Fab 2676The 2017-18 Winter Texan season is fast coming to a close – and Encore is quickly giving Winter Texans some great reasons to look forward to next year.

    The management group that oversees more than 200 RV resorts in 21 states has announced five tribute bands coming… Read More +

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • All
  • Border
  • Charity
  • Free Health Care
  • Groceries
  • Grocery Stores
  • HEB
  • Immigration
  • Mission
  • Operation Lonestar
  • Ribbon Cutting
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Sharyland
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
load more hold SHIFT key to load all load all

Login