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GOPB in the News

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  • 07/15/2021 4:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Some GOPB volunteers made News 9 to launch Lifetime Fitness Pickleball !!     Thanx to Andrew Felsenthal for reaching out to us. Thanx to our amazing players/actors (LOL) for coming out on such short notice !! Gene Click, Jan Meares Lowrance & grandson Bode, Adrianna & Rossi, Robert “Pastor Bob” Davis, Rod Bynum, Jonathan Dubord, Juli Mccain-Cowden, Michael Ooten.

    Channel 9 video

  • 06/08/2021 5:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Journal Record

    A rendering of the future Kickingbird Golf Club projected for completion inlate 2022. (Courtesy of Edmond Parks and Recreation and Bockus Payne)

    Kickingbird welcomes pickleball, plans major renovations

    By: Jennifer Sharpe " June 3, 2021 # 0

    Kickingbird Golf Club’s 50-yearold clubhouse is preparing for a new look. A major renovation to the course and clubhouse is planned starting in July 2021 that will take about 14 months to complete, according to Craig Dishman, director of parks and recreation for the city of Edmond. Dishman anticipates that the course itself will close shortly after the construction bid gets awarded in early July, followed by the driving range and grill shutting down a few weeks later.

    Planned course improvements include work on the irrigation system and greens. “The greens and the irrigation at the golf course are well over their prime, at least 20 to 25 years old. The clubhouse is 50 years old,” Dishman said. “We have been there for 50 years, and it has been great, but it’s time for a new clubhouse.”

    The entire clubhouse will be torn down to make way for a new complex that will include a new grill, clubhouse and event building, which will be available for rentals to the public. The renovation also will include significant improvements to the parking lot, including increases to the number of available parking spaces.

    Pickleball’s new home

    With tennis transitioning to the new Edmond Center Court facility, the courts at Kickingbird have been converted to pickleball. One tennis court can hold four pickleball courts, allowing for 32 courts at the Bryant and Danforth recreation location.

    Pickleball first came to Edmond in Stevenson Park several years ago, but the facility at Kickingbird allows for significantly more courts and an indoor space. At present, there are 12 indoor courts inside the bubble and 20 outdoors courts set up at the existing Kickingbird facility.

    Sherry Prince has been a USA Pickleball Ambassador since 2012. In this volunteer role, she works diligently to promote the sport in Edmond and beyond.

    “I’ve lived in Edmond all my married life; our kids were all raised here, and I knew this town would do a fabulous job with pickleball,” she said. “We have about 13 sites now in the metro, but our main hub is Kickingbird. The sport is exploding.”

    The rise of pickleball in the OKC metro

    According to the Greater OKC Pickleball Club, the sport arrived in the Oklahoma City metro in 2009. Today the clubboasts more than 1,300 members, and membership numbers are growing daily.

    Outreach is a priority for the GOPC. “We are always looking for people that want to learn how to play and tell others how to play,” Prince said. “I see pickleball growing like never before, and I see it popping up everywhere.”

    Chicken N Pickle opened its Oklahoma City location in January 2021. Andy Gensch, Head Pro at Chicken N Pickle, has been with the company from its start, and he has been impressed with how the location has been received. “Our OKC store is our fourth one in our family, and we had very high expectations for the market. It has exceeded our lofty expectations.”

    Gensch has been in the pickleball business for many years and has contacts nationwide. He has been awed by the size and success of the GOPC. “Oklahoma has been really progressive when it comes to pickleball. The commitment, the investment, the growth in Oklahoma has really been impressive.”

    The sport’s appeal reaches all ages and abilities, and, as Gensch notes, it is easy to learn and easy to play. “You can be six to 86 years old and enjoy that sport. It is such a social sport; it can be as competitive as you want it to be, or it can be as recreational as you want it to be. It’s truly America’s fastest-growing sport right now.”

    The future of pickleball at Kickingbird

    While the current arrangement at the Kickingbird facility allows for 32 pickleball courts, in order to create an adequate amount of parking for the new golf and event venue, the former tennis complex will be modified and the number of pickleball courts will decrease.

    As Dishman explains, the bubble will remain, and the courts inside will be resurfaced into 12 permanent pickleball courts with a new heating system and new LED lighting.

    To create more parking, the existing outdoor courts will be cut back, reducing the total number of outdoor pickleball courts to 12. Those will be resurfaced with permanent pickleball nets and lines as part of the overall renovation project as well. “They’ll look really sharp,” Dishman said. “When we redo the courts, indoors and outdoors, they’ll be top-notch, and we hope to add more in the future.

    We also to put pickleball lines on other courts that we have in town for basketball or tennis in some of our parks. It’s a good thing for everyone; we are excited that pickleball is popular.”

  • 01/19/2021 4:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Until There’s a Cure, Fight On

    October is breast cancer awareness month and the GOPB

    celebrates all our breast cancer survivors!

    When Brenda Peddycoart and Connie Burnett step on a pickleball court every dink, drop and volley means so much more.


    Recently competing together in the Texas Open, winning gold in 4.0 Women’s Doubles is not just another victory on the court for these 2 athletes, but also a victory against the deadly enemy they both faced, breast cancer. 

    They agreed to share a little about their stories in order to aid in early detection and treatment of this disease that 1 in 8 women in the US will face.

    Connie, 6 year survivor.

    In 2014 Connie was diagnosed with stage 3C invasive ductal carcinoma.  A surgeon performed a mastectomy and removed tumors in multiple lymph nodes.  She needed to be treated with several chemotherapy agents, and received multiple rounds of proton radiation.  She is extremely grateful for the love and support her friends and family provided during that difficult time.  After additional surgeries for breast reconstruction,  Connie made a conscious choice to shift from fighting the illness to living life.  Having always enjoyed competing in sports, she played basketball at the National Senior Games in Alabama in 2017.  Then she discovered pickleball. 

    “Having a serious illness makes me truly appreciate the opportunity to learn a new game, to be challenged and to try to improve.  Participating in pickleball helps me feel like Connie….not Connie with cancer.   I enjoy the exercise and competition, but mostly enjoy the friendships I have made.  I just think if somebody’s going through it right now, maybe in the mix of chemo or radiation, and they’re bald, it’s just a hard time.  To know that if you can just work hard and get past that and things return to normal in some ways, you appreciate things more.”

    Brenda, 26 year survivor

    In the summer of 1994, Brenda was a 32 year old healthy, active mother of a very busy 2 year old boy when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She remembers thinking it had to be a mistake.   It simply could not be breast cancer!  However, a surgeon removed 3 cancerous lumps with the largest being almost 4 cm.  The cancer was also present in 4 lymph nodes.  She kept asking, “why would this be happening to me?”  After the initial shock, she prayed and decided to turn it over to the Lord.

    “The chemotherapy was harder on my body and mind than I ever expected.  However, I was blessed to have a wonderful supporting family and friends who prayed and helped me stay strong.  After the chemo and radiation, I realized the good things that happened to me during treatment far outweighed the bad.  Through God’s grace, I’m now a 26 year survivor!  I’ve learned to be more thankful and enjoy life more and pickleball is a huge part of that!  Practicing and competing keeps me active both physically and mentally.  More importantly, I’ve met some wonderful people and gained so many new friends through the wonderful sport of pickleball!”

    If you are lucky enough to find yourself on the pickleball court with either of these two ladies, remember they are survivors and too determined to be defeated! 

    written by Denise Brinkworth

  • 08/25/2020 3:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    July 22, 2020

    Official National Governing Body for Pickleball in the U.S.

    Welcome to USA Pickleball’s New Logo and Updated Website!

    We are excited to announce a brand re-launch that includes a new, modern logo, and an updated website and URL at The new brand name officially changed from USAPA to USA Pickleball, aligning it with other sports governing bodies and our USA Pickleball National Championships. The new name, logo and website will strengthen USA Pickleball’s worldwide image as the official Pickleball organization in the U.S. and will help attract new players and future ambassadors.

    The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) was formed in 2005. The last time the USAPA logo was updated, in 2013, the governing body had 4,000 members. By January 2020, membership had accelerated ten-fold, surpassing 40,000 members. The Sports Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) estimates the number of active Pickleball players in America is 3.3 million.

    Specific to the new-and-improved website, a key goal was to make it easier to navigate. Using data and analytics, the new website was designed to improve the user experience and make information easy to find and share with an emphasis on visual design.

    The speed of the website was also improved, allowing for faster loading and page refresh times for users. The site receives more than half of its web traffic from mobile devices, ensuring that the user experience is optimized for any and all devices – not just desktop. A new framework and theme were built to showcase the site’s modern design. And a new “What is Pickleball” animated video was produced to support one of the top web pages on the site and build awareness by providing an overview of the basics of the sport. Check it out!

    We appreciate and thank all of our members, Ambassadors, partners and team for all you do for the sport and the organization, and for making pickleball one of the fastest growing sports!

    For questions or comments regarding the website, please send an email to

    Thank you!

  • 08/05/2020 9:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    USAPA ambassador Rocky Arrington and GOPB V. President was interviewed by the Oklahoma Senior Journal about the Oklahoma Senior Games! Great job & nice interview! Click on the link to hear the interview.…/07-18-20-ok-sr-games-athlete…/

    Image may contain: 3 people

  • 07/16/2020 6:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    January 30, 2

    By Jennifer & Clayton Edwards, GAMMA Contracted Players

    Whenever I (Jennifer) ask people if they play mixed doubles with their spouse, the usual response I get is a chuckle and something on the lines of “It’s best if we want to stay married that we don’t.”  They are usually surprised when they find out Clayton and I are married and are playing together.

    Clayton and I are unique as we both grew up playing competitive tennis, so transitioning to pickleball was pretty easy.  Clayton introduced me to pickleball when we first dating in October 2015, and a married couple was the first ones that played with us – so we thought it was normal for a husband/wife team to be playing together.

    The beginning of our relationship on the pickleball court was challenging – I didn’t understand why Clayton wanted to be on my side of the court and take my shots.  But now that we have been playing at a higher competitive level, I just stay out of the way and just do my job – dink and set up the points.

    Playing together is not always easy, but it has been rewarding and has strengthened our relationship.  We enjoy getting to compete and travel together for tournaments. Also, it is nice having a forever mixed doubles and practice partner.

    Playing with your spouse may not be for everyone, but for those who do, here are some tips we wanted to share.

    5 Tips Playing Pickleball with your Spouse

    1. Start each game with a sign of affection. We start off before each match with a hug. If you’re less socially inhibited or want to psych out of your opponents, you can go in for a big sloppy kiss.
    2. Take Time Outs. If one or both of you start getting mad, take a time out.
    3. Most teams will try to pick on one player.  Make a game plan of stacking or when to poach to help avoid a player being isolated.
    4. Even just 1 day a week can improve your game significantly. Practice dinking, 3rd shot drops, or where else you think you need work.  Make a dinking game with a friendly wager.
    5. Remember it’s just Pickleball. Even at a tournament, it’s still a silly game with a silly name.  Remember that your partner is your spouse that you love and you must spend time with after the game.  Often the best parts of pickleball tournaments are the time off the court, meeting friends and travelling to new places together.

  • 02/01/2020 7:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Why Do I Play Pickleball?


    Karen and I just got back from Edmond where we won a medal in mixed doubles. Karen thinks we should get money rather than medals. I remind her that I’m a two time loser in side jobs…golf (I made $271.00 in 1982 as a pro) and writing (I received $107.20 in book royalties in 2019) which works out to 4 cents an hour. We should just be grateful for a medal and love of sport.

    Folks often ask me these days about pickleball. What is it? Why do I play?

    I often reply with details…the size of the court and I describe the ball, the paddle, and the strategy. But the reason I play has nothing to do with any of that. Let me describe it without the technical stuff.

    See the source image

    Why do I play pickleball? 

    First, pickleball is not particularly difficult. You can play in your age group and ranking class. But what is challenging for me is the social aspect. Pickleball is a new way to talk across the fence to neighbors in an age that has lost the art of easy conversation. I am a social introvert, often masking my guttural instincts to scream or tackle someone when I play. Tackling isn’t allowed in pickleball. But occasionally, you can smash a ball into an opponent as long as you quickly feign lack of intention. That is the easy part.

    The difficulty lies in the hellos and hugs, the sharing of life and stories, and a feeling that we are even closer than 6 degrees of separation. Pickleball circumvents the social rule that says we are all just six handshakes away from knowing everyone in the universe. You are indeed a friend of a friend in pickleball, and the logarithmic social distance seems truncated to the point that you are instantly neighbors visiting over your backyard fence about children, paddles, and sore knees.

    Second, it reminds me of neighborhood backyards when I was a kid. There was always a game, a sense of inclusion young with old, and we played for hours on end.

    Pickleball is after all, at its heart, a backyard sport. It was invented near Seattle by three dads whose kids were bored. Some say the name pickleball derived from the inventor families cocker spaniel named Pickles who chased the ball and ran away with it. This was my youth, inventing games and making rules as you go. Pickleball is more refined today. But it still feels backyard. And just like our old backyards, the fences cannot contain us.

    So, I’m sitting in the Life Time fitness facility in Edmond watching 24 simultaneous games of pickleball from a cafe lounge overlooking the courts. And I’m thinking about how my backyard has grown, and yet it is the same.

    • It’s New Years Eve 1968 and I’m watching the Bluebonnet Bowl and the Oklahoma quarterback is #11 Bobby Warmack. The kid from Ada who listened to every Sooner football game on the radio just like I did growing up. Bobby Warmack is playing over there on court 12.
    • On court 3 is David Redding from Harding University who was a legend in tennis and now he is a legend in pickleball. He is playing with his wife Kay and we shake hands and catch up on the old days at Harding where our tenures overlapped a couple of years.
    • And Phillip from Cherry Hill, NJ, just down the road from where my wife grew up in the pine lands of Jersey and where I worked as a CPA 25 years ago. He talks about his family and what he remembers about Cherry Hill. He has showered and changed and is wearing a smart fedora hat. He isn’t much like me at all, but today we are the same and we talk easily about our families and New Jersey.

    The backyard is shinier now, there are more people, but it isn’t that much different from childhood. There is something altogether evocative and gritty about the backyard of my American youth. We could be whomever we wanted to be in our backyard…Willie Mays, Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning…and with Levi’s streaked with grass stains and sweat illuminating our faces like sudden glory, we were.

    See the source image

    The thrill of victory and agony of defeat somersaulting off a ski jump on the Wide Wide World of Sports rang true in our backyard. Tackle football without helmets, bats cracking baseballs that landed in the Johnson’s daffodils, and barn ball which pitted two people in a match of rolling a tennis ball onto a roof and catching it before it hit the ground.

    See the source image


    The thrill of victory was a whiffle ball homer over the fence into the neighbors yard and the agony of defeat was realizing their bulldog had your ball in his mouth. You are Pele as you bicycle kick a soccer ball between fence posts topped with Pepsi cans and you land square on your coccyx. We were physically and sociologically shaped on freshly cut lawns with clothes line goal posts and a sideline fence making out of bounds calls indisputable. Mom called you to dinner but hunger was no match against the guttural cry of competition. So you ignore the dinner bell because you are on the fifty yard line with the sun going down, drawing a hook and ladder play in the dirt which culminates in a last second touchdown. Your buddies carry you off the field and the celebration echoes through the suburban woods. Who could possibly think of food in moments like those?

    This is why we play pickleball even as our sacrum throbs and this is why we won’t come in for dinner because we are having too much fun. The cries of competition and voices of friendship float in the air like moths swirling around a lit candle. We have returned like spawning salmon to the sacred space of our backyards.

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