San Diego Pickleball Guide – Part 1

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Looking for a destination pickleball spot? Or are you just looking for a place to start your pickleball journey? Well, San Diego has the ultimate pickleball weather and the places to play and this article will point you to some great spots to get out there and play

San Diego California has some fantastic public and private pickleball courts available to you that are open to players of all levels. Given the temperate weather, San Diego lends itself to pickleball play all year round. This article will list several places to play and some tips and tricks for picking up a game or court, as you need it. This is not an all-inclusive list, just the places I have personal experience with. Look for more court reviews to come as I expand my pickleball travels!

Today’s list specifically covers spots with permanent pickleball courts and nets along with supporting both open competitive and social play. Please remember, as you visit these spots to bring your sportsmanship and an extra pickleball just in case.

Other Helpful Resources:

Where to Play Pickleball In San Diego

Bobby Riggs Racquet and Paddle

Bobby Riggs pickleball court

Located in North County, San Diego, this private facility provides 22 lighted and well-maintained pickleball courts. The level of play is very high, specifically during their Aggressive Play sessions.

  • Courts are available for rental for $12.00 / hour (non-membership fee) and reservations are required
  • Drop-in / Open Play is available, all of the courts are designated as Challenge Courts (winner stays on), and here are the days/ hours :
    • Aggressive Play: Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT
    • Social Play: Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays from 8:00 – 10:00 AM PT
    • Open Play:
      • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
      • Fridays 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
      • Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    • Guided / Introductory Play
      • Tuesdays from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
        • $9.00
    • Non-members must pay $7.00 for each day’s 2-hour session
bobby Riggs open play schedule

Bobby Rigg Tips:

  • This is a private club, but guests and visitors are always welcome
    • Plan to get there early to warm up and register as spots are limited
    • Single players can easily pick up games during open play
      • Singles are matched with one of the players from the last losing team on the court
  • The staff and people are friendly, but please be kind and find a court that fits your level of play
    • Some of the higher-level players may not enjoy trying to hold back on novices

Mackenzie Creek Park

Mackenzie Creek Park pickleball courts

Located in South San Diego’s Chula Vista community, this is a public facility that has 8 beautiful pickleball courts. The courts and permanent nets are well-maintained, lit, and free to the public for open play.

  • Of the 8 courts, 2 are designated as Challenge Courts (Winner stays on), whereas the remaining are open play
  • Players place their paddles down on the court to indicate they want to play
    • Singles can easily jump onto a court by placing their paddle down at the net where they would like to play
  • Open play starts at 7:00 AM every day
  • Advanced and competitive play starts around 5:30 PM most evenings
  • Court lights automatically turn off at 10:00 PM

Mackenzie Creek Tips

  • The Mackenzie Creek players are very friendly and you will find a mix of family, social, and competitive players here
    • Experienced and first timers are welcome, but feel free to choose the court that fits your skill level
    • Lots of parking, especially in the strip mall to the North of the courts.
  • Friday nights are open, social play, with players playing music, at times bringing food and drinks to share. Fridays are always a great time.

Big Rock Park

Located in East San Diego’s Santee community, Big Rock Park provides 8 well maintained public courts. The courts and permanent nets are well-maintained and free to the public for open play. Big Rock also offers free beginners group lessons every Sunday morning and advanced group lessons on Wednesdays.

  • All 8 courts are designated as Challenge Courts (winners stay on for two wins if 4 paddles are waiting)
  • Players place their paddles in a paddle rack outside of each court to indicate they want to play
  • Open play starts at 8:00 AM every day

Big Rocks Tips

  • The Big Rock players are very friendly and you will find a mix of social and competitive players here
    • Experienced and first timers are welcome, but feel free to choose the court that fits your skill level
  • Free beginner clinics are held from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Sundays
    • Free advanced player clinics are held from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM on Wednesdays
  • Parking is free with both street and parking lot spots available
  • Full pickleball play rules are posted on the court or they can be found here

The Hub – San Diego Pickleball

The Hub San Diego Pickleball courts.

The Hub – San Diego is one of the newest private San Diego pickleball spots. It has 27 dedicated pickleball courts that are well-lit and maintained. It held its Grand Opening the last week of December 2022 and is already providing a great pickleball venue for the San Diego picklers.

  • The Hub provides both private and group lessons at all levels
    • Also a well-stocked pro shop with paddles, shoes, balls, and all the accessories to keep you on the court
    • A bar and restaurant is opening soon to help you celebrate those wins or even just the great shots after a match
  • The Hub is open Monday through Friday: 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
    • Saturday & Sunday: 8:00 AM -8:00 PM
    • Guests are welcome, and a full-day pass is $25.00
  • Open play courts are available all day, every day
  • All 26 courts are permanent, lit, and well-maintained pickleball courts
  • Players place their paddles in a paddle rack outside of each court to indicate they want to play
  • Open play starts at 8:00 AM every day

The Hub Tips

  • The hub is a private pickleball club, but they do allow non-members to play
  • Court rentals are available to members and can be booked 14 days in advance
  • Typically there are 4 challenge courts and 4 open play courts available on a daily basis
    • Both Challenge and Open Play courts use the paddle system – placing your paddle down at the court to indicate you are in line to play
  • The Hub also has a beautiful Grand Stand court which will showcase touring pro events and tournaments and a nice firepit and lawn area to relax after a tough evening game.

Summary

These 4 locations, spread across San Diego California, should give you a great set of places to visit and play. Always remember to bring your sportsmanship, your game face, and some sunblock (it is San Diego), even in December. All of the locations listed provide an open and fun environment for the beginner to the advanced player, but pay attention to the court play when you get there and paddle up to the court you think is appropriate to your skill level.

San Diego, come for pickleball and enjoy the side benefits of the sun, beaches, palm trees, and fish tacos.

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