NAPLES, Fla. – The Pickleball Academy of Southwest Florida, located at East Naples Community Park and home to the US Open Pickleball Championship, has rebranded with a new name, new logo and new leadership.
Formerly called the US Open Pickleball Academy, the Pickleball Academy of Southwest Florida is the premiere training academy for Pickleball lessons and activities of all ages and skill levels. From beginner to advanced clinics, to private and semi-private lessons, and including destination camps, team building programs and tournaments throughout the year. The Academy has 11 designated teaching courts, 5 of which are under sun cover, and numerous courts available for larger group programs. The Academy is located within Collier County’s East Naples Community Park with 54 total courts and a stadium court with seating for 1200.
The Academy is founded by Naples Pickleball Advocate and Founder Jim Ludwig, who was Collier County’s early champion responsible for bringing Pickleball and the US Open to Naples, working with commissioners and the community to build the court complex and help increase visibility of the sport while shining a spotlight on Southwest Florida.
Ludwig states, “We are thrilled to launch an Academy with a mission to make Pickleball accessible for players of all ages. It’s a unique sport where you will find a child playing next to a grandparent, or a daughter with a Dad. It’s not only a life-long sport, but one that connects everyone regardless of social background.” The Academy is managed by Ryan Reader, who will serve as Director of Operations along with other teaching pros, including Wayne Clark and Sally Hudgins.
The Academy offers weekly clinics, along with private and semi-private lessons and is open seven days a week. Guests not participating in the academy are welcome to join for drop in daily Pickleball. The county charges an annual fee of $50 per person or a daily drop in fee of five dollars. During season, the Pickleball courts have an average of 300 players daily, comprised of annual members and drop in guests.
For more information, contact the Pickleball Academy of Southwest Florida by phone at 239.778.8194 or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pickleballswfl. The Academy is located within the East Naples Community Park at 3500 Thomasson Drive, Naples, FL 34112.
Pickleball is one of fastest growing recreational sports in North America, and is experiencing growth of an exponential rate. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) 2017 Pickleball Participant Report, Pickleball currently has 2.815 million players in the US alone.
In 2018, more than 2,000 athletes competed in the annual U.S. Open Championship, a seven-day national tournament held at Collier County’s East Naples Community Park in Naples, Florida, an event that is growing by an estimated 40-percent participation rate each year.
What is Pickleball?
Pickleball is an indoor/outdoor sport that combines elements of Tennis, Badminton, and Ping Pong. The game is played on a court the size of a Badminton court, with a low net similar to Tennis, and with what looks like an oversized ping pong paddle and a whiffle ball. The game is perfect for all ages, from kids to seniors.
Pickleball Academy of Southwest Florida Summer Schedule
(Now through November 2018; fall schedule will be announced in October)
3.0/3.5 – Tuesdays 10am-11:30am $25pp
Beginner Clinic: Thursdays 9am-10am $15pp
DRILL SESSIONS ** *Mixed Levels
Wednesdays & Saturdays 8:30am-9:30am $10 pp
PRIVATE LESSONS: Available Daily @$80/hr.
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/pickleballswfl
Director of Operations, Ryan Reader
Founder, Owner: Jim Ludwig
Businesses located within East Naples Community Park:
3500 Thomasson Drive, Naples, Suite 201, FL 34112
Pickleball Pro Shop of Collier County, Suite 101 (Paddles, clothing and more)
Pickleball Academy of Southwest Florida, Suite 102 (Teaching academy for Pickleball)
Pickleball for All (non-profit dedicated to bringing Pickleball to students)