By Pat Brooks
To say pickleball is a sport that can be played and enjoyed at all ages is definitely true for Savannah pickler Jill Petersen. While many of us would be thrilled to simply make it into our 80s, Jill is proudly holding court in both pickleball and tennis—and still going strong at age 86!
Jill has been playing pickleball competitively for about four years in leagues as well as local tournaments in doubles and mixed doubles. Jill played tennis in her youth but stopped while working and raising a family. She picked it up again in her 40s and is now a solid 4.0 club player in tennis and 3.0/3.5 in pickleball. Jill loves the fast action at the pickleball net and, with a glint in her eye, reveals she likes “smacking it down the middle” on a pop up. She also enjoys the intricacies of the third shot drop, which she’s vowed to stick with and master. Jill does drills and works on her game weekly with local pro Mike Hardman at The Landings.
In tennis, Jill usually plays doubles with the men. Her game tends to fit better with their fondness for the net game. Conner Murphy, a regular on The Landings courts, says Jill is a fierce competitor, but at the same time, is always a lady on and off the court and fun to play with and against. Says Murphy, “She likes to exercise and have fun like we all do, but winning never gets old!”
Jill hopes to expand her tournament plans to regional and perhaps national tournaments where she can compete with and against other super seniors. She’s even considering singles pickleball if she can fit it into her busy schedule. We wish Jill a wonderful 2019 as she continues to break barriers in the sport we all love.