• Bonnie Coffey

Top Spinning in Tucson, Arizona

Our young adult kids live in Tucson, so we visit often to get all the hugs we can. As a result, Tucson has become one of our "pickleball homes". As nomads, we are fortunate to meet all kinds of wonderful people, which we love doing. There is something special though about the people you get to play with on a regular basis. If you are a member of a league, or if you have a great group of friends that you get together with often, you get to know everyone, and fess up... you have some you like to play with more than others. As you walk up to the court, you're greeted enthusiastically by your friends, and while warming up, you have familiar banter and catch up on what's been going on lately, unless you just played together the day before! Then you probably just talk about how sore you are from the great play you had, or maybe exchange a bit of trash talk.


Tucson is one of those places where we look forward to catching up with our kids, and what's been going on in the lives of our pickleball friends. We most frequently play at Tucson Racquet Club (TRC) for outdoor play or one of three great indoor recreation centers in the area. There are lots of people to play with, even in the summer, they just start earlier to get the little coolness (or least heat) of the day.


The first time we ever played at TRC, we were fortunate to meet KK and Rick. They are the funnest people you'll ever meet. KK was an Elite skill level outdoor racquetball player, sponsored by Head. In pickleball she is currently rated 4.5 in both women's and mixed doubles, and a 4.0 in singles, but those will all likely pop up to the next level with her next tournament, with the way she's playing. She is sponsored by Gearbox, and her weapon of choice is the GX5. Both Rick and KK have star quality smiles that light up the court, and easy laughs that make everyone smile with them.



They love the sport so much, that they built a court at their home to add another amenity to the resort feel. It is nicknamed the "Fun House", and we had a blast finding out how it got that name.



In addition to great pickleball in Tucson, there is the University of Arizona, a public research university in Tucson, Arizona - home of the Wildcats. Founded in 1885, the UofA was the first university in the Arizona Territory. With an undergraduate enrollment of over 33,000, there are understandably lots of inexpensive, good places to eat and drink to your heart's content after burning all those calories playing pickleball! And if you happen to be a foodie, Tucson was the first place in the United States to be honored with the Capital of Gastronomy designation.

Tucson is famous for the dramatic beauty of the Sonoran Desert and its spectacular cacti – including the giant saguaro, a symbol of the American Southwest.

Saguaro flowers have been Arizona's State Flower since 1931. Saguaro flowers bloom typically at dusk and only remain open until the next mid-morning.

Tucson boasts year-round sunshine and literally has the best sunsets I've ever seen - breathtaking!

Untouched, unfiltered, straight out of the camera breathtaking. And the photo didn't do it justice!

Sentinel Peak is a 2,897 ft peak in the Tucson Mountains southwest of downtown Tucson, Arizona. In 1916 University of Arizona students used local basalt rock to construct a 160-ft-tall letter "A" on the mountain’s. It’s a great climb if you still have energy after your morning games. Might be best to wait for winter to do that in the afternoon though.

Currently on Places2Play.org, there are more than 10 places listed for Tucson. By the end of the year there will be a new fabulous place to play at the 145 acre expansion of the Kino Sports Complex on the south side of town with 20 new pickleball courts,


There are currently three tournaments listed for Tucson on PickleballTournaments.com, so if you love to play in tournaments, or even if you just enjoy rec play, this is one town you should put on your personal Places2Play list!


If you go:

Because there are so many venues to play, this is one town where I recommend the Places2Play.org website or app.


My favorites are:

Outdoor: Tucson Racquet and Fitness Center https://www.places2play.org/place?id=5107

Indoor: Donna R. Liggins and Randolph Recreation Centers


Happy dinking from Tucson, Arizona!



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