Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weather or not - P'ball - Friday, 9/23/11

We were drowned out of our scheduled session on Tuesday, Sept. 20th and Old Man Weather tried to foil us again on Fri. the 23rd by dumping tons of rain in the morning causing cancellation of the 9:00AM session. BUT, Gary A's and Steve's persistence and weather manipulation brought the promise of sunny skies for the afternoon - so the session was rescheduled for 1:00PM. Eight players were in action: Steve, Gary A, Gary, Mike, Johnny, Carol, Sharon and Ron. Normally, playing after a rain would entail drying off the courts (at Timmons), but the Gower courts were dry and perfectly playable when we arrived thanks to the well drained playing surface. So, we eight played on two courts for over two hours in beautiful, sunny weather. A little warm, but who's complaining? Notice in the photo above that the court color matches the Carolina Blue sky? Nice touch, yes?

Top photo: Gary A and Carol w/ Steve and Mike gabbing in the background. 2nd from top: Johnny and his knees; above: Gary digging one out of the tarmac.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Friday P'ball - Hardcore - 9/16/2011

It was a mite windy. And, coolish at 60 degrees (especially after a long run of 90 degree days). But, we've played in much worse conditions. However, only five players appeared for the session: Steve, Peter, Mike, Sharon and yon scribe. We played for about two hours and had some fine games considering the wind kept trying (and often succeeding) in redirecting the balls during flight.

We are getting frequent reports from Anne. To date she has hiked 150 miles and did 18 miles a few days ago. She has been hiking the El Camino in Portugal and crossed over into Spain. Has met some old friends from other El Camino treks she has done.

See you on the courts soon.
Yon scribe

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pickleball Chronicle - Tue, 9/13/2011

Above: Ron and Sharon gabbing with Ralph and Peter.
This was one of our nicest days in quite a while. Nine P'ballers came out to swat the ball around and enjoy the day. Players: Lynne, Jan, Sharon, Steve, Mike, Peter, Ralph, Gary and Ron.  We occupied two courts and played mostly doubles plus we played a few partial singles matches. Lately, duos have been practicing 'dinks' and find, once you get a rhythm going, its easy to get a bunch of shots across the net. The unofficial record so far is 40 consecutive dinks by Ron and Peter. This record, like all others we UPGers lay claim to - are made to be broken. Keep that in mind!  The dink practice is good for eye-hand coordination and forces players to keep their eyes on the ball.
                                                     Below: Gary and Mike in action.
Below: Jan and Steve poised for action
Thanks to Lynne for taking the pictures.
See you on the courts. The sooner the better. Spike

Friday, September 9, 2011

Eight on Friday - 9/9/11 - Pickleball

Had to use a stock photo for today's write-up. Too busy playing P'ball on a beautiful day, but short on players. But, long on playing. Ralph reported in after a 15 day leave-of-absence while traveling in Spain. Ralph got right back into the game - just like he never left. And, he gave us a little rundown on his trip. Other players: Steve, Mike, Peter, Lynne, Jan, Sharon and Yon editor. We occupied two courts and played mostly doubles. Lots of good matches and scads of fun.

Also: Have heard from Anne. She is in Portugal hiking the El Camino, seeing some beautiful sights and enjoying herself.

And: The UPG is looking for some more players. If you know anyone with a tennis, or any paddlesport background who is physically active - let us know. We'll invite them to the courts and give them a little workout to see if they can work into the sport.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Gusty Day - Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - P'ball

No pictures today. Lucky you. When we first arrived at Gower Park, the weather was surly and some might say threatening due to the ominous black clouds and squirrelly winds. And, the courts were wet. But 6 were on hand, armed with brooms and two courts were promptly cleared of most of the water. The sun, which soon poked its head out of the clouds and the wind combined nicely to finish drying the courts.

Players: Steve, Mike, Gary A, Lynne*, Sharon and Ron. We played doubles and singles and kept busy for 2-1/2 hours.

*Lynne looked none the worse for wear after having been stranded in Iceland while on vacation with Bill. They were unable to fly out on their scheduled flight due to problems associated with Hurricane Irene. They spent 6 extra days in Iceland.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Pickleball - September 2, 2011

We had 10 players today. There would have been more, but the intense look on Claude's face scared some of them away. Players who stuck it out: Mike, Steve, Gary, Gary A, Claude Hisself, Johnny, Carol, Ray, Sharon and Ron. We played for about two hours. The group kept dwindling for various reasons - one of which might have been because we were being constantly buzzed by low flying aircraft - some of them, ours. And, a worker was mowing a nearby ball field and kicked up so much dust that we had a hard time seeing the p'ball. That's the excuse we used, anyway. But, we had fun, and there were some exciting games.
Gary was back in town - this time wearing a knee brace. Someone must have messed up, because it's Muriel who had knee surgery. Muriel is doing well and we are glad to hear that. Claude will be leaving for the coast so we won't see him for a while. He's going to leave his tank at Gower until then because the condo association won't let him park it in the driveway.

See you next week. Spike

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back home. Gower Park - Tue. P'ball - 8/30/2011

Ten players were in action - some, a little sore from the action at Lake Lure on August 26, 2011. In attendance: Claude, Ray, Johnny, Ron, Sharon, Steve, Peter, Anne, Gary A and Mike. It was very windy the whole time, so it was hard to get any really good games in. But, that didn't keep anyone from trying. We kept at it for over two hours.

We'll be going at it again on Friday, September 2nd. Be there! Spike

Hickory Nut Gorge Olympiad - P'ball Games - 8/26/2011 - REVISED

L-R: Gary A, Claude, Ron, Sharon, Jan, Anne, David H, Catherine, Mike and Steve.

The above Upstate Pickleballers, including Johnny and Carol (not in photo) competed in the Pickleball Games on a veeery hot day at the Rambling Bald Resort on Lake Lure, NC. Peter and Josee were also on hand to cheer everyone on. The event was well organized. The matches started at about 9:30 AM, when there was still a little shade on the courts. Hosts Smoke, Libby and their crew kept things moving (no simple chore), provided much needed yummies and fluids and kept track of all of the matches - at times, four going on at one time. There was plenty of stiff competition and it made for an exciting day. The final match ended about 3:30 PM. Congratulations to all the players from Hendersonville, Lake Keowee, Lake Lure and our group who toughed it out in the blazing heat, and against some hard-core competitors. Upstate Pickleballers battled hard and took home these medals: Mixed doubles. Gold: Jan and Mike; Silver: Carol and Steve; Bronze: Anne and Gary A . Women's doubles. Bronze: Sharon and Anne. Men's doubles. Bronze: Steve and Mike.  Congratz to all.
Above: Carol and Steve and their shadows compete and win the silver.
Above: Anne and Sharon proudly display their medals.
Above: L-R: Anne, Sharon, Gary A, Catherine, David, Peter, Jan and Claude. All trying to cool down. That wet spot by Anne's feet is what was left of Steve after he completely dehydrated. Soon after, a good Samaritan gave Steve an electrolyte drink. Steve promptly morphed back into a Pickleball player and he and partner Mike went on to play two more games - winning one of them to bag the Bronze in men's doubles.

Win or lose, we had a good time and met some fine folks and rekindled friendships we've made during other p'ball events. Thanks to Gary A for working closely with Smoke and our crew to set up our participation in the event. A lot of work. Much appreciated.

PS: UPGers should be sure to check your email as a series of photos of the event have been sent to you, and a video by Richard Stone has been sent as well. Spike