Palm Beach, Florida: World’s best pickleball player showcases the game at PGA National

— PGA National hosts some of the best golfers across the country. But on Saturday, the resort welcomed the number one pickleball player in the world.

At 23-years-old, Kyle Yates has batted and swatted his way to the top of the rankings.

“I never thought pickleball would be as big as it is now,” said Yates.

The sport, which has been dubbed the fastest growing game in America, is primarily played by the older generation.

“Senior citizens tend to be the bulk demographic of the sport right now,” Yates said.

The average pickleball player is 55 years or older, so what got this 23 year-old into this sport?

“I had too much (attention deficit disorder) to play golf growing up so I played soccer and tennis so I could run more. Pickleball is really fast so it keeps my anxiety in check.”

Despite his need for speed, Yates slowed things down at PGA National, speaking with the community about the sport and how to play it.

“It’s important to all the generations. It’s a very fun activity, it’s just a whole lot of fun and great comradely,” said Bob Douglas, Pickleball Ambassador in West Palm Beach.

The 23-year-old says he enjoys speaking with different communities about the up and coming sport.

“A lot of the people I work with and teach are just positive and upbeat people and it’s just a real pleasure working with them,” said Yates.

And he’s hoping that bond can bring every generation closer through pickleball.


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