Grab your paddle and get ready to play the fastest-growing game in the country, pickleball. The popularity of the sport and the demand for court time has given birth to Proshot Pickleball in Egg Harbor Township. The brand new, air-conditioned, 22,000 sq. ft. facility includes eight individually fenced pickleball courts in the Harbor Square Shopping Center.
Owners Andy Pessano of Egg Harbor Township, Dean Tridente of Ocean City, and Dan Wach of Linwood turned a portion of the former Burlington Coat Factory store into Proshot Pickleball, a spot that is everything pickleball. All three of the owners are avid pickleball players and know what players are looking for. They spared no expense to create a facility that is not only a great place to play pickleball but is also equipped with men’s and women’s locker rooms, a comfortable player’s lounge, and a fully stocked pro shop.
Andy Pessano explained, “As pickleball has surged in popularity, many communities converted tennis courts into pickleball courts, and they painted the asphalt to the pickleball dimensions. Those courts can be tough on knees and hips. At Proshot, each of our courts features Pro-Cushion surface technology. The rubber surface reduces the impact on the player’s joints. Pickleball is a game for players of almost any age. The courts were created with the idea that players of every age have the chance to enjoy the sport. We had a ten-year-old in a tournament recently who was really good. We also have an 85-year-old gentleman who surprises a lot of players because he is a very competitive player. That is what is so exciting about the game, and it really is a sport for everyone.”
From its inception, pickleball has been a game for all ages. It was created in 1965 in Bainbridge, Washington. Joel Pritchard and William Bell came home to find their family sitting around with nothing to do. To cure the doldrums, the two men came up with their own game. The property had an old badminton court but not enough racquets, so they improvised and used ping pong paddles and a wiffle ball. At first, they tried volleying over the badminton net. By the second day, they lowered the net and took advantage of the asphalt and bounced on each side of the net. By the following weekend, rules for the game were created. The game proved to be fun and competitive.
“The social aspect of pickleball is a big part of why it is so popular,” said Pessano. “The courts are smaller, so the players are closer together, so there is a lot of talking during a game.” At Proshot, players come in with friends to play, or they may come in during open play when individuals will come in and jump into a game with players they have just met.
There are instructors at Proshot for beginners just getting into the sport or for more seasoned players as well looking to improve their game. “Our beginner clinics are designed to give players the basics. When they leave the 90-minute lesson, they will know how to play, score, where to be on the court, and they are knowledgeable and ready to play and enjoy the game,” said Pessano.
Because of its social yet competitive nature, pickleball is a great team-building event. Pessano said Proshot is available to rent for private and corporate events. They offer different pickleball leagues and Friday evening open play where individuals of all ability levels can drop in and play. There are competitive courts as well. The facility hosts tournaments along with special guests. They recently hosted Catherine Parenteau, the # 2 ranked singles and #3 ranked doubles pickleball player in the world, to Proshot.
Along with a lounge and meeting area, Proshot has a dedicated, fully stocked pro shop to outfit every pickleball player. Shoes, paddles, balls, along with attire; there is gear for every player available.
Proshot owners opened the facility with the mission to provide a fun and friendly place for the community to come together and have a blast playing the fastest-growing sport in the country. From beginners to aspiring pros, Proshot offers something for everyone. From private and group lessons to leagues, tournaments, and open play, they wanted it to be a place for everyone.
Located at 6725 E. Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, in the Harbor Square Shopping Center, adjacent to Boscov’s, there is ample free parking available. Individuals can book a court or sign up for lessons at Proshot. Memberships are available, and discounts are included with membership.
Call 609-867-6439 for more information or visit www.playProshot.com.