See You On the Court
Exclusive pickleball club scores space in East Austin
UPDATE: According to the PR group for Other Racquet, the team has restructured its operating hours "to be good stewards" in the neighborhood. Instead of 24/7, the club will be open from 5 am to 11 pm.
Ironically, no matter how much money tough professional sports make, the most physically accessible will always be the runaway successes among regular people. Look at yoga: You don't even have to move.
Pickleball, noted sport of senior champions and cruise-goers, has absolutely taken off. It's bouncing around the U.S. like a florescent plastic ball with holes in it.
There will be a new place to volley in East Austin on September 15. Other Racquet Social Club (2717 Manor Rd.) brings three tournament regulation pickleball courts to a large lot protected from the surrounding area by trees, fences, and neighboring buildings, as seen in a video of the space.
Each court is accompanied by a full-service cabana (not visible in pictures) for friends taking a break without having to leave the action. If they did wander away, however, they could hit up the clubhouse with lockers, a shower, and a lounge with an honor bar — traditionally where guests can self-serve and report charges to their account. For members who plan ahead, there's a private dining room.
“We wanted to create something that doesn’t quite exist yet in Austin,” said Matt Wolski of Pursuit Concepts in a press release. “Instead of retrofitting an existing space for the concept, we have had the unique opportunity to design the entire space from the court out. This allowed us to focus on both optimal pickleball play and draw on a bit of nostalgia for the classic country club experience.”
Plans for the lot include a future expansion that emphasizes the "social" part of the club's name, opening up 20,000 square feet to the public and luring them in with food trucks run by NADC Burger and B Cooper Barbecue. A map of future plans on the site shows areas the release does not mention: notably, a stage, a "beer barn," and a large bar that seems to be nearly the size of the clubhouse.
Other Racquet Social Club is accepting founding members ($2,500 introductory price for Q4 of 2023) on a first-come-first-served basis. These members get priority access to club facilities between September 15 and December 31. They can also join social events, members-only tournaments, and monthly clinics. They'll also get some limited-edition pickleball merch.
The club is already selling merch, in case pickleball lovers just can't wait to pick up their racquets next week. These designs don't quite follow the austere look of much other country club merch, and those adorned with the tagline "Après Pickle" make a silly conversation-starting statement.
More information Other Racquet Social Club is available at otherracquet.com.