It’s Prime Pickleball Season

A neighborhood park and its low-tech setup are just the right fit for pickleball fun.

Photograph by Sarah McCosham

In an effort to really up my “cool” cred and cement my status as a soon-to-be 40-year-old, I recently took up pickleball. I always wanted to be good at tennis, but coordinated I am not. Pickleball, however, is a horse of a different color. It’s the epitome of good, old-fashioned fun and is totally (ahem) dillightful.

Photograph by Sarah McCosham

There are lots of places to play pickleball around Cincinnati, including some next-level facilities with all the bells and whistles. But my pickleball court of choice is as basic and old-school as they come. It’s the tennis court at Dulle Park, one of my family’s favorite places to creek stomp and go sled riding, and now, get my pickleball game on.

The folks at Montgomery Parks & Recreation added four nets to transform the two-game tennis court into a four-game pickleball hub, complete with regulation lines, extra pickleballs, and even a white board for reserving a time to play. It’s the kind of awesome low-tech set-up you get at an old-school bowling alley or mini—not “adventure”—golf course, which is 100 percent my thing and preference when recreating with my family.

Photograph by Sarah McCosham

What is very 2023 about my pickleball venture is the fact that I’ve watched many YouTube videos outlining the rules of the game. I also follow several pickleball accounts on Instagram, which has naturally filled my feed with advertisements for high-end gear and accessories. It’s all noise to me, though—the inexpensive set I purchased at Target suits me just fine, and my sweatbands (free swag from one of my husband’s 10k races) complete my pickleball uniform.

As we move from summer into fall, it’s the perfect time to dink and dillball, and while there are some well-appointed indoor arenas in the Queen City, I highly recommend hitting up your neighborhood court for some outdoor play time during this fleeting season of crisp temps and bright skies.

Dulle Park, 10530 Deerfield Rd., Montgomery

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