Tuesday, February 27, 2024

‘For the next generation’

Granbury’s upcoming pickleball club breaks ground

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Hood County residents better get their paddles ready and practice their ernes because Granbury’s upcoming pickleball club is now officially in the works.

The TX HOP (House of Pickleball) Club held its groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 920 Tucker Way, across the street from Granbury Baptist Church on Farm-to-Market Rd. 51.

The club will include eight indoor pickleball courts, pro cushion playing surfaces, permanent professional nets, LED lighting with no shadows, and spacious well-marked courts that will also be climate controlled.

Located in an almost 24,000 square-foot facility, TX HOP Club will also feature a lounge and a pro shop area, a 50-by-70-foot patio, skill zones along the walls for players to practice, along with cornhole and food trucks in the back.

Kim Copeland, CEO of the new premier indoor facility, told the HCN the idea originated after touring various pickleball courts around the nation with her sister, Staci Parker.

“We're pickleball enthusiasts and we're entrepreneurs," Copeland said. “We like to put our passion to work. We traveled the country and looked at places, and then we came up with a plan, found a location that we loved, and here we are.”

According to the website, Copeland first invited Parker to play pickleball at an indoor facility. However, the glare from the court distracted Parker. Additionally, while waiting for their next turn on the court, Parker felt her enthusiasm for the game waning.

The next week, Parker went to play at Copeland’s outdoor court and enjoyed the experience at first, but after a while, it became a challenge to try to adjust to the wind and cope with the sun constantly shining in her eyes. Parker’s knee also started to hurt from playing on the hard surface and she eventually developed a sunburn from being outside for too long.

Over lunch, the sisters then brainstormed about what the perfect pickleball conditions would look like, choosing instead to travel the country and play as many pickleball courts as they could find.

They soon realized though, that their dream pickleball facility didn’t exist — yet. So, they decided to build one themselves and enlisted the help of Parker’s daughter, Jodi Herzog, who had amassed years of entrepreneurial and managerial experience.

With Copeland bringing the pickleball vision, Parker supplying the experience in organizing leagues and tournaments, and Herzog delivering the skills to run the business, the family then set out to create the ultimate space and experience for pickleball players of all levels.

“We bring three different skill sets, and we found that they all just meshed perfectly to create a whole,” Copeland said. “And it’s been wonderful to have a family business. We're building it for the next generation. We're building it for the family entertainment here in Granbury.”

“It's been a long journey, and it's been a lot of ups and downs, but it's been fantastic for us to all get to know each other in a completely different aspect as far as professionals go,” Herzog said. “The three of us together, we're all family, but we're also very different, and once we started putting our talents together, we realized that we could do whatever we wanted. We were unstoppable together.”

The sisters agreed upon a facility in Granbury, as Parker had already resided in Granbury for 10 years.

"We love it here,” Parker said. “We moved here because our grandkids were here, but we love it. It's just such a friendly community and so supportive. Anybody that needs anything, they come together to help whether it's a disaster, or just something happens to a family. It's just a great place to live.”

“Granbury doesn't have anything like this, and it's a perfect place to initiate something like this that can involve everybody,” Copeland explained. “Everywhere we travel, the first thing we do is look at where the pickleball courts are. We know that Granbury is a major tourist destination, and we want to be that place that they look for, like we look for other places, so we're really looking to benefit Granbury as well, and have it be mutually interesting and profitable.”

With help from local realtor Vickie Davies with Knieper Realty, Tony Callaway, president and CEO of Callaway Development Services, contractor Tony Gresham, and Andrew Donaldson, assistant vice president and loan officer with Texas Republic Bank, the sisters’ pickleball dream is finally becoming a reality.

"Two years ago, they put this property under contract, and I really didn't have any idea of necessarily what it was going to be; I just wanted to be involved in developing a project in Granbury that we could all be proud of,” Callaway said, during the ceremony. “Just about a year ago, these three beautiful ladies showed up on site and we had a meeting and we talked about doing a pickleball facility. I had no idea what pickleball was — none whatsoever — but we've had a very interesting journey through this whole process.”

Callaway thanked city officials like City Manager Chris Coffman, Mayor Jim Jarratt and City Attorney Jeremy SoRelle for assisting with the project.

"We had to be very creative in terms of how we can approach things because we have some things with our ordinances that we're still working on to improve, but it's been a joy,” he said. “And I can only thank the city officials because without them, it would not have happened. They jumped in and really helped us from halfway through to the finish line. It's just exciting to have this today, and it'll be even more exciting when we have our grand opening.”

Copeland said she expects to have the building up by December, with the official grand opening scheduled for some time in the spring.

"We're doing it for the next generation,” she said. “Because it’s about pickleball, but it’s also about community. We wanted to do a project together, and we wanted to do something that would benefit us and benefit the community.”

She explained that the first charity event is scheduled for June 16, where TX HOP Club will be co-sponsored by the Parkinson’s Foundation and the Mayo Clinic as they “shine the light” on Parkinson’s disease.

The facility will also offer open play, membership play, clinics, local and traveling league play, drills and skills sessions, tournaments, and special events all designed to enhance players’ fun and improve their play.

"It's really going to be a VIP experience for pickleball. We're designing it much like a tennis or golf club, but it's more achievable for everybody,” Copeland said. “That's our motto: VIP pickleball play for everyone.”

“It's just a fun sport like anybody can come out, you can be good, you can never play before and it's just fun,” Herzog said. “You don't realize how much fun it is until you're out there, and you're like, ‘Oh, my gosh, it's been an hour.' We wanted a place where people could play when they wanted, how they wanted, with who they wanted, and it's hard to find that here, so we're super excited for people to be able to play their way.”

Memberships for TX HOP Club vary in terms of pricing and offerings. Family memberships are $150 a month for up to four family members, a standard individual membership is $75 a month, and a platinum membership is $1,800 a year. Non-members can reserve courts on the day of play only, based on availability, and will pay a non-member court fee of $15 per person for one-and-a-half hours of play.

Another interesting aspect of the new facility is the Donor Appreciation Walkway feature on the gathering patio, where individuals can donate $500 or more and receive a personalized, engraved brick with up to three lines of text.

“The walkway will be six feet wide by 70 feet long, and it will be paved with bricks that people have bought, either to commemorate it, celebrate it, help sponsor it, or for their kids and grandkids forever to be memorialized in our Donor Appreciation Walkway,” Copeland said. “It gives people a chance to be a part of the building and a part of the project forever. We're very excited about that aspect because it gives everyone a chance to feel like they helped build it.”

Individuals can also vote for the pickleball court colors on the website, choosing between the colors of blue and green, blue and gray, or blue and blue.

Herzog, who moved to Granbury for this project in July, said the support her family has gotten from the community members and the players for the new pickleball facility has been absolutely amazing.

“We’re so grateful to be here,” she said.

Copeland added, "We hope it's going to be a mainstay of Granbury and a destination pickleball location.”

For more information about TX HOP Club and membership options, visit txhopclub.com.