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The Augusta Chronicle

Columbia County unveils parks department's new public tennis, pickleball club in Martinez

By Joe Hotchkiss, Augusta Chronicle,


Columbia County has reopened a formerly independent recreational sports club as the county’s newest public parks and recreation venue.

The former Petersburg Racquet Club on The Pass in Martinez is now the Columbia County Racquet Center, the county announced in a statement Monday.

County staff have been repairing and upgrading sidewalks, stairs, handrails, fences, landscaping and lighting since the county closed on the property officially on May 1. Columbia County commissioners voted April 18 to approve purchasing the facility.

The key addition to the center will be several pickleball courts, although that portion of the facility “will remain closed as construction of the new pickleball courts and a new restroom begins this calendar year with anticipated completion by early 2024,” the county said.

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The hard tennis courts are open for public play with no reservations required. Clay courts can be reserved by calling (706) 860-9288 or emailing James Webb at For now, play is free on the clay courts with the appropriate shoes until the county can establish a fee schedule.

The pickleball courts will occupy the former site of the club’s swimming pool, which the county decided not to retain as part of the improvement project.

“After evaluating the cost to repair, maintain, and operate the pool, the county has made the decision to close the pool area and repurpose it for pickleball courts,” the county announced in April. “Due to the rise in popularity and growing demand of pickleball in the county, it has been determined that the pool area is best suited for new pickleball courts to make this a true racquet club that services both tennis and pickleball.”

The center’s smaller parking lot will be closed while the pickleball courts are built. Visitors are asked to use the larger parking lots by using Cedar Rock Drive to enter the center.

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