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Pickleball is currently the fastest growing sport in America. At Pickle Pro Courts, Madison’s first indoor and dedicated pickleball courts, there is no need to worry about the weather outside – making it the perfect sport to play year-round. It is a combination of tennis and ping pong played with paddles and a plastic, perforated ball on a court about one third the size of a standard tennis court. Pickleball is a very social, easy-to-learn sport that can be played with 2-4 people from all age ranges and skill levels.


Patrick Riha, owner of Beef Butter BBQ, found his passion for pickleball after one of his employees bought him his first paddle. They played pickleball all summer and into the fall. As they began to lose daylight earlier, they brought their own solar lights to the public courts in Waunakee. The only thing that stopped them from continuing to play the rest of the year was the cold temperatures.


At the time, there were no indoor courts dedicated to pickleball in the Madison area. Most people would resort to a shared gym space, which wouldn't always have the most adequate surface. A gym floor can be slippery compared to a standard tennis court with more grip. Riha was considering the idea that an indoor pickleball facility made sense for Madison when he became aware of a vacant space available at North Side Town Center.


Wanting to make his vision a reality, Riha went to the landlords and proposed converting the old Kohl's and grocery store space into state-of-the-art indoor pickleball courts. Once approved, Riha was able to move forward and bring Pickle Pro Courts to fruition. Pickle Pro Courts features 5 dedicated courts, separated by nets, a lounge area with vending machines, paddles for purchase, and plenty of pickleballs. They also have a 30 foot, jumbotron LED TV for streaming Packer games, Badger games, World Cup Soccer, and more. People looking to start playing pickleball can pay-as-they-go or purchase an annual membership.


In addition to introducing their new facility, Pickle Pro Courts wanted to make an impact on the community. The grand opening fundraiser raised $2,500 for FEED Kitchens (which helped launch Beef Butter BBQ) and a barrel and a half of food for the River Food Pantry. In an effort to continue giving back to the Madison area, they plan on hosting youth summer camps and more fundraising for the pickleball courts at Warner Park.


Patrick hopes that with the addition of Pickle Pro Courts, pickleball will continue to grow in the community among a variety of people. There are open play times for anyone from beginners to experts, as well as lessons for anyone looking to learn how to play. If you’re looking to stay active and have fun year-round, make sure to visit Pickle Pro Courts.