PALM SPRINGS PICKELBALL – CALIFORNIA – By Bob Shery – Quebec member of Canada pickleball federation.
1. Cahuilla Hills park near Palm Desert.
Four pickleball courts and one dual purpose tennis/pickleball court.
Directions – from the intersection of Hwy @ 111 and Monterey, travel south on Monterey (which becomes Hwy 74) about 1/3 mi. To Pitahaya St. Turn right on Pitahaya (there is a sign for Cahuilla Hills and the Baptist church) and go to the end of the street (over the canal bridge) which brings you to a parking lot. Baptist church on the left, pickleball courts on the right. Chris Thomas, the ambassador for the USAPA is in this area, plays there. Seems to be a very tight knit group of regulars there who are better players and are not particularly inviting to newcomers, especially to beginner players. No effort is made by Chris or others to introduce and teach the game to beginners on the dual purpose court (which is a practice court). We were told by locals; that many of the average and beginner players prefer to go to the Catalina RV spa which invites players of all levels. I have heard the same reports from others of A level play who have gone here to enjoy their sport. I believe this to be a public facility where all should be welcome and received with respect.
2. Catalina spa and RV Resort,
Directions — Located in Desert Hot Springs, 18800 Corkhill Road. From Palm Springs, go North on Gene Autry and Palm Dr. to Dillon Road. Turn right on Dillon Rd and drive about 3mi to Corkill. Turn right on Corkill. Catalina is about a mile down the road. There are 8 pickleball courts. Visitors are welcome but there is a cost ($3.00 per play per day.) First trip is free and you can buy a book of 10 tickets for $50.00. We did not visit the site but it looks good on the website photos (www.skyvalleyresorts.com). Word of warning – we were told more than once that Desert Hot Springs is a high crime area especially at night but also in the daytime.
3. Sky Valley
Directions — Located on Dillon Rd about 5 mi. East of the Catalina Resort. It can also be accessed by taking the Thousand Palms road north to Dillon road and then east for about 4 mi. We visited the site. It is very nice, 4 pickleball courts, visitors are invited to play and beginners to learn. I don`t believe there is a cost for visitors. More competitive players play in the morning, others in the afternoon. The Pickleball co-ordinator is Doug Cassidy. (He is from Quebec and knows Marcel and Louise Lemieux (President ) well. Photos can be seen on (www.skyvalleyresorts.com). We did not meet Doug when we were there but my wife Carol spoke to him by phone later and he seemed a very nice person.
Note: both Catalina and Sky Valley are located smack on top of the San Andreas Faultline which we were told is 10 months pregnant regarding earthquake potential. Of course the same is true of all of California.
4. Desert Aire RV resort.
Located in Indio on 49th between Madison and Monroe Sts. A small resort but very nice. Two pickleball courts. One for more experienced players, one for others. Not for visitors.
This section of our website will be expanded as we hear of more places and get more evaluations from our players.
It will include offerings from other destination points as well such as Arizona, Texas and Florida as well as other Southern states. Should you wish your center listed, just e mail Kathy Thomas ikat…@gmail.com, our Communications person with the pertinent information, of interest to Canadians. This would include cruises. See www.racquetnetwork.com prior issue on `setting up pickleball instruction for your cruise ` – paddle ball is already there……..
Can you get a free cruise ….. with quals you can get a certificate and course from www.bcpickleball.com free.