The Concourse Athletic Club undergoes major transformation
By Emmy Powell, Net News Editor
The Concourse Athletic Club is a unique facility where health, fitness, racquet sports, and fun collide in one iconic location. Since opening its doors in 1989, the Concourse has become known for unparalleled facilities and exceptional programming. Nestled between the legendary King and Queen buildings at the intersection of I-285 and Hwy 400 in Sandy Springs, the club has recently come under new local ownership and management, and they’re taking things to the next level — with extensive renovations and exciting additions planned over the next two years. And speaking of exciting additions, the club now features pickleball! With so much to offer, the Concourse Athletic Club is the place to be in 2023.
Pickleball at The Concourse
“With its rapidly growing popularity, one of the first enhancements we decided to focus on for our members was providing pickleball,” said Neil Doherty, president, and COO of Concourse Athletic Club. “We’re excited to announce that the Concourse is near completion of eight dedicated, professional-grade outdoor pickleball courts in addition to our three indoor pickleball courts lined on the basketball court.”
For those who haven’t yet had the chance to try this popular sport, Concourse is taking this opportunity to introduce you to pickleball and its many benefits. The game is both social and physical. “It’s very easy to pick up and is also very social,” says John Rebol, director of tennis and pickleball and head tennis professional at the Concourse. “Because the game is so new, a lot of people get out and play, but their identity isn’t tied to it. It’s just fun.”
Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It can be played either indoors or outdoors on a court the size of a traditional badminton court (about a fourth of the size of a tennis court). The plastic pickle ball is like a wiffle ball, and the paddle is slightly larger than a ping-pong paddle. The game is easy to learn and can be played by people of all ages and skill levels as singles or doubles, and the rules are simple to follow. Just like tennis, the objective of the game is to hit the ball over the net and onto the opponent’s court. The player scores a point when his/her opponent is unable to return the ball or hits it out of bounds.
Pickleball is not only a fun, social and exciting game to play, it also offers numerous health benefits. It is a great way to get active and stay fit, as it requires players to move around the court and demands use of their entire body. It can help to improve hand-eye coordination, balance, and agility, as well as increase cardiovascular endurance. “One of the best parts of pickleball is that you can learn the game and start playing the same day,” says Rebol. This makes it ideal for people who might not be the most athletic but who are looking for a new, fun workout. Games are played to 11 points. Matches, which are best of three games, typically take about 45 to 60 minutes.
Another great thing about pickleball is that it can be played by people of all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting out, you can enjoy the game and improve your skills over time — just as you have with your tennis game. It also is a great social activity, as it can be played with friends or in organized leagues (such as ALTA’s new league) and tournaments. It also makes for a great team building opportunity.
Getting Started with Pickleball
If you’re interested in trying out pickleball, Concourse Athletic Club offers a range of opportunities, and they even can provide paddles and balls. The club also offers private lessons and several clinics for those who are new to the sport.
For those who are interested in playing competitively, Atlanta now has several organized leagues, including ALTA, and tournaments that cater to players of all skill levels. These events are a great way to meet other pickleball enthusiasts and to test your skills against other players.
Concourse is excited to bring pickleball to its members and welcomes new players every day. With its new outdoor and indoor courts, there’s never been a better time to try out this popular game. Whether you’re looking to get fit, meet new people, or just have fun, pickleball has something to offer. So, grab a paddle, hit the court, and play some pickleball!
In addition to tennis and pickleball, the Concourse Athletic Club boasts a full-size basketball court, four squash courts, two racquetball courts, indoor and outdoor saline heated pools, steam rooms, saunas, full-service bar and restaurant, café, and live entertainment. Members can also take advantage of a multitude of lessons, classes, and leagues, and so much more. To learn more about how you can join the pickleball craze at Concourse Athletic Club, contact John Rebol at Jrebol@concourseclub.com.