The 2021 PPA Arizona Grand Slam Qualifier tournament held at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in February was my first ever out of town tournament. It was the first “real” tournament besides the smaller fundraising tournaments we’ve had locally for the Light Up Edgemoor initiative that I have ever attended.
If you are wondering why anyone would want to travel out of state to play in one of these big tournaments, watching matches like these in real life rather than my phone or TV screen was the biggest draw for me. The energy at this big tournaments is amazing and the points are out of this world. The pros are so athletic and intense. I just love watching these firefights happen live.
It can get really expensive to travel to these events after you factor in the cost of your flight, food, and lodging. Wichita is so blessed to have so many of the best pickleball players in the world living in our city. My dream is that someday we will have a big enough facility to host one of these events in Wichita so our Wichita Pickleball peeps won’t have to travel far to watch these world class matches.
One of these days, right? Until then, we just have to catch these matches on YouTube and Facebook — unless, of course, we are lucky enough to be court-side at one of these tournaments to watch them transpire live.