Paddle Courts of Leelanau building courts at Dune Bird Winery!

Today’s Leelanau Ticker shares the exciting news that Dune Bird Winery is partnering with the Leelanau nonprofit Paddle Courts of Leelanau (PCOL) to build two platform tennis courts on the winery’s property later this year:

PCOL is identified on its website as a 501c7 nonprofit social club LLC “led by a volunteer board of directors who are enthusiastic about establishing a platform tennis facility in Leelanau County.” While pickleball is the hot trend in the racquet sports world at the moment, platform tennis is another growing sport that utilizes elements of tennis and other racquet games.

The American Platform Tennis Association (APTA) defines platform tennis – which is alternately known as “paddle tennis” – as “an outdoor racquet sport that combines elements of tennis, squash, and racquetball. It is called platform tennis because the court is raised off the ground, with heaters below the court to keep the playing surface clear of snow and ice, allowing the game to be played in almost any weather conditions.”

According to the Dune Bird newsletter, PCOL’s board of directors was working “tirelessly behind the scenes throughout 2023” to bring a dedicated platform tennis facility to Leelanau. The organization had a breakthrough in December, when PCOL was awarded both a donated court and a $25,000 grant from the APTA, for a total value of $50,000. Those contributions made a sizable dent in the $250,000 PCOL has estimated for the initial phase of the buildout at Dune Bird. PCOL is now raising additional funds to close the gap.

As a private facility, the platform tennis courts at Dune Bird will have a mostly “members only” structure. PCOL is aiming to sell 200 family memberships for the facility, with a $1,250 price tag “including initiation and your first year of dues.” Ongoing dues are expected to be $200 to $250 annually. The organization is also accepting donations, with contributions of $5,000 or more unlocking “special membership benefits, up to lifetime free dues.” PCOL is in the midst of a fundraising drive to recruit 70 new founding members and raise $100,000 by March 31.

Information on how to get involved can be found at Paddle Courts of Leelanau.