November 2023

Club NWPickleball, celebrated as one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States, shares similarities with tennis: it employs a smaller court, composite paddles, and a perforated plastic ball. The underhanded strokes add an element of fun and accessibility for players across all age groups and skill levels, from professionals vying for tournament victories to enthusiasts looking for a spirited game.

If you’re a Grants Pass resident, you’re in for a treat. Club Northwest, located at 2160 NW Vine, now offers an unparalleled pickleball experience unmatched anywhere else in the state. The facility boasts nine state-of-the-art courts, including a Championship Court with seating for 100 spectators, and has appointed David Johnson as its Director of Pickleball.

“While other courts in Grants Pass typically use a basic one-layer acrylic paint over asphalt surface, the courts at Club Northwest are comprised of an impressive 17-layer cushioned court surface,” David said. “This not only eases strain on players’ joints but also provides the best grip of any courts in Oregon. We’ve crafted a venue that exudes a blend of high-level competition and the ambiance of a luxury resort. Here, people can play, unwind, savor excellent food and drinks, and soak in the atmosphere. Members can engage in group play, reserve private courts, attend clinics, and enroll in private and small group lessons—all designed to enhance their game. We’ll be hosting an array of events, including both tournaments and non-tournament events, with a focus on fostering a more social and enjoyable experience than conventional tournaments.”

David, who made the move from Orange County, California, to Grants Pass in 2005, led the pickleball program at the Grants Pass YMCA from 2011 to 2017, imparting his knowledge of the sport and mentoring players. He achieved certification as a Pro Instructor (Level 2, catering to players up to 5.0 skill level) from the IPTPA (International Pickleball Teaching Professionals Association) in 2017 and has coached countless pickleball enthusiasts. Prior to his involvement in pickleball, he coached budding race car drivers, Little League baseball, and guided the middle school and high school track & field and cross country teams at New Hope Christian School.

For 34 years, he’s been happily married to his wife Sabrina, and together they have four children: Sarah (30, a Professor of Veterinary Medicine at Tennessee State University), David (29, a professional musician), Stephanie (19, an animation artist), and Daniel (15, a home-schooled student with aspirations of becoming a jedi/ninja).

David’s passion for his role and the new Club Northwest facility is evident. “Members can anticipate an inclusive experience tailored to players of all ages and skill levels, whether their aspirations lie in high-level competition or the sociable, joyous side of pickleball,” he affirmed. “We also offer a comprehensive pro shop stocked with premium products, including paddles, balls, backpacks, pickleball shoes, eye protection, apparel, hats, accessories, and personalized paddle setup services.”

For further information, please call 541-955-CLUB. You can also visit them at clubnw.com or find them on both Facebook and Instagram. Established by Scott Draper, Club Northwest has been an integral part of the Grants Pass community since 1997.