Get Pickeled on Hilton Head Island

Get Pickeled on Hilton Head Island 


Jump on the bandwagon and start playing Pickelball on Hilton Head Island. Already a pro?  Hilton Head Island has the pickelball you've been looking for! 


You have probably heard about pickleball but have you played the sport yet? If not, you should. It’s like tennis, badminton and ping-pong had a bubbly baby.

Graeme Joffe, a PTR-certified pickleball and tennis instructor, was introduced to pickleball in Hilton Head five years ago. “I fell in love with it from the word ‘Go.’ It’s very addictive,” began Joffe. “Being a tennis and squash player made it a little easier to learn but I found the scoring a little confusing.”

The beauty of pickleball is that it is for all ages, stages and just requires a little hand-eye coordination to get started. Joffe admittedly said, “It helps to have some racquet sports background but it is not a prerequisite.” He then added, “It’s highly recommended to take a couple of beginner's lessons to get started. It’s good to learn the right way from the beginning and not get into bad habits.”

According to, “ Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, Washington. Three dads – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum — whose kids were bored with their usual summertime activities — are credited for creating the game. Pickleball has evolved from original handmade equipment and simple rules into a popular sport throughout the US and Canada.”

Pickleball is now one of the fastest growing recreational sports — and it is not just for retirees. The largest emerging segment of the “pickler” population is people under 24 years of age.

So why has pickleball become so popular? Joffe lists three key reasons:

1)     It is very inclusive.

2)     It is very social and fun for all ages.

3)     The learning curve is a lot shorter than any other racquet sport.

So how can you start playing pickleball? “There are a number of clubs where you can play pickleball on the Island. South Beach Racquet Club in Sea Pines and Palmetto Dunes are two of the biggest pickleball clubs that welcome members and non-members,” explained Joffe. He then went on to say, “It is also easy to form your own groups, as well as join in mixed round robins at clubs like South Beach and Palmetto Dunes. In addition, there are level-based tournaments around the country and the sport is growing in leaps and bounds!”


Pickleball Terms


  • Dillball —A shot that is inbounds and has bounced once (ie. a live ball). 
  • Falafel or dead paddle — A shot that falls short due to hitting the pickleball without any power. Flapjack — A shot that must bounce before it can be hit.
  • The Kitchen — The area in the court that is seven feet from both sides of the net. (Note: Players are not allowed to execute a volley shot while inside this area.)
  • No Man’s Land — The space between the no-volley zone and the baseline. (Note: This is considered the most dangerous part of the court as it is also the largest zone.) 
  • Pickler — Someone who plays pickleball.
  • Pickled — When a team scores zero points in a whole game.
  • Rally — This is a consecutive streak of shots that are played by both teams before a point is scored.
  • Smash — A shot that is hit above the hitter’s head a.k.a a cooler way of saying an overhead shot. 
  • Volley Llama — An illegal move, or fault, where a player hits a shot in the non-volley zone.