ON A RECENT SATURDAY morning, Lynn Crane and her doubles partner, Johnny Gannatti, played on a 3.5 court at the Naples Pickleball Center, located in East Naples Community Park. The 66 courts were about two-thirds full and were mostly quiet, with the exception of a few shouts from Gannatti. “That’s pickleball, baby,” he called out after a winning point.

After a rousing win of 11 to 8, Crane and Gannatti came off the court. Crane took a few sips from her water bottle and talked about why she regularly drove 25 miles from her home on Marco Island to play here. “Whenever I’ve had friends come to visit from Maryland, Delaware, and California,” Crane says, “they are just amazed by this place.”

Crane plays pickleball for over two hours every morning, seven days a week. “I never have trouble getting a court, except January through March,” she says. “Even then, with so many courts, they turn over really fast.”

Read More