Driftwood residents donate funds to complete pickleball court

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS join Jim Hopson and Debbie Michel, Greater Driftwood Homeowners Association board members, for a photo to commemorate a $25,000 donation from residents to help complete the Driftwood Park pickleball court. (Photo by Dotty Nist)


Driftwood estates residents have come to the rescue in getting a pickleball court completed at Driftwood Park that meets the requirements of the game.

Jim Hopson and Debbie Michel, Greater Driftwood Homeowners Association board members, attended the May 14 Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) meeting at the South Walton Annex to present the BCC with a $25,000 check for completion of the pickleball court.

Driftwood Park is a public county park mainly serving the surrounding neighborhood.

Hopson spoke about the neighborhood park which, he explained, had first been constructed a couple of years ago as a basic park with walking trails and some playground equipment. He reported that the park has now grown to include not only covered playground equipment but a restroom and tennis, handball, soccer, and softball/baseball facilities.

Hopson said that a pickleball court had been constructed but that residents had agreed that it did not meet requirements for “serious pickleball players.” It had been decided that a new court was needed, and that was agreed on by the county, he explained.

After seeing work get started on the new pickleball court and stall out, Hopson said it had been determined that funding was lacking, the reason for the donation.

“We only have one request, that you do it sooner rather than later,” Hopson told the commissioners as the check was presented.

Invented in the 1960s, pickleball combines the elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It is played on a badminton-sized court with a modified tennis net, using paddles and plastic ball with holes.

The commissioners gathered for a photo with Hopson and Michel to commemorate the donation.