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3rd Shot Pickleball celebrates with Grand Opening 2.0

The courts were full all day with experienced players, newer players, families and friends. 
3rd Shot Pickleball in Longmont

There was plenty of sideline heckling, hooting and hollering at 3rd Shot Pickleball, located at 20 S Bowen St., as it celebrated grand opening 2.0 on Saturday. Although the pickleball club officially opened in November, major improvements and expansion have taken place making cause for a new celebration. 

“We only had five courts, less than ideal court dividers, a limited bar where we had to serve everything out of a can, and the court surfaces and decor wasn't quite up to 3rd Shot Pickleball standards,” said General Manager Robert Leonard. “Now we've got an amazing atmosphere at the bar, and 8.5-foot tall netting around the best eight courts in Northern Colorado — brush-coated Laykold surfacing and everything!”

Over 40 people were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the expanded facility. The club offered free two-hour time slots to check out the new courts from 8 a.m.- 10 p.m. The courts were full all day with experienced players, newer players, families and friends. 

Chub Burger and the bar provided food samples from the new menu. The bar was fully open featuring themed drinks including the Dink and Drink and the Pickle Shot as well as a great lineup of beer on tap.

The social aspect of the sport is reflected at the facility. Comfy couches around the play area and views of the courts from tables at the bar. Classic video games including Mortal Kombat and a golf game add to the upbeat atmosphere. Several big screens let you catch the game while having a post-pickleball playing beverage. 

“Longmont is a town with strong family values and a strong sense of community,” said Adam Kahn- co-owner of 3rd Shot. “Pickleball is a sport that mirrors these attributes. It is a very social, family-oriented sport that is easy for people of all ages to learn and enjoy to stay fit, healthy and social.” 

While pickleball was invented in 1965 to occupy bored kids in the summer on Bainbridge Island by three dads, Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum, the sport has exploded in popularity in recent years. It’s the fastest-growing sport in America with 13.6 million players in the United States in 2023 according to the 2024 Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) Topline Participation Report.

“Pickleball started as a sport with primarily older players, but has continued to evolve and attract tons of young people,” said Kahn, who plays pickleball at the Senior Pro level. “The average age of regular players is now 34.8 and the fastest growing demographic is 24 year olds. Pickleball has become ‘the thing to do’ for young professionals after work. We are attracting younger players through offerings like leagues and tournaments. We will be introducing a ‘Date Night’ pickleball program that will include drink specials and dinner options on weekend nights.”

For those looking to try out the sport, pickleball enthusiast Jon Edstrom recommends starting with the free Beginner 101 class that 3rd Shot offers where equipment is provided. Edstrom said the beginner class is the perfect place to learn the various shots of the game including the third shot — a drop shot that is low and soft landing just over the net and the namesake of the club. 

“The free one-hour class is perfect for instruction on the rules, strategy and how to play correctly including shot selection,” he said. “I tried to teach myself and learn on the go, so I was taught incorrectly and had to relearn a lot of things.”

From there, clinics offered focus on specific skills. Beginner open play is also perfect for those new to the sport. The club is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week (check for holiday schedules) with public open play and memberships.