Where to Play Sports in Long Beach
Even if you didn’t know about the vast number of professional and Olympic athletes from Long Beach, even if you were unaware the city’s main library is named after American sporting icon and Long Beach product Billie Jean King, the sheer number of folks outdoors, participating in all kinds of sports on the city’s many courts and courses would clue you in to how serious this city takes its play. Here’s a list of places where you can join in on the fun.
Though there seems to be some dispute as to how pickleball got its name–some claim it's from a dog, others a boat race–there’s no doubt about its quick and immense popularity. Pickleball, a sort of compacted version of tennis, is played all over the city, some of the most popular courts being the three located at Bayshore Recreation Center (5417 E. Ocean Blvd.), the six at College Estates Park (820 Stevely Ave.) and the four at Marina Vista Park (5355 E. Eliot St.). Though all have permanent painted lines, they do require you bring your own net. Both El Dorado Tennis Center (2800 Studebaker Rd.) and Billie Jean King Tennis Center (1040 Park Ave.) have courts that can be reserved for $5.
The El Dorado Park Archery Center (7339 E Spring St.), site of the 1984 Summer Olympic archery competition, is not only for seasoned archers, but offers weekly classes for beginners. Be aware that before you can take that class, you’ll have to take a basic safety class offered on Saturdays from 9-10:20 a.m. The safety class, open to anyone eight years and older, has only 15 spots and typically fills up quickly. In person sign ups begin at 8:30 a.m.
Long Beach is a renowned hotbed for hoops, whether it’s producing top flight talent or simply providing a myriad of courts, talent levels and vibes in which to shoot your shot. There is the legendary court at Bayshore Beach (5415 Ocean Blvd.) where top talent has congregated for decades. There popular courts at Pan American Park (5157 Centralia Ave.) and MacArthur Park, as well as newcomers downtown at Lincoln Park (101 Pacific Ave.) and on Junipero Cherry Beach (2100 E. Ocean Blvd.). The city has compiled this rather exhaustive list of court locations and whether they are lighted.
This sport retains its popularity with its loyal and enthusiastic adherents and the El Dorado Park Disc Golf Course (2900 N. Studebaker Rd.) remains a popular destination for experts, casual players or beginners alike. This grassy course, laid out amid pleasant parkland amid ash trees, is located near the El Dorado Tennis Center. The course is free and features 18 “holes” or, more accurately, baskets on its nearly 6,000 feet. All you need is a disc and if you don’t have one of those, you can purchase one at the pro shop located at the tennis center.
Long Beach’s many courses have produced lots of great players including a kid named Tiger Woods who learned the game at Heartwell Park Golf Course’s (6700 E Carson St.) three par, 18 hole layout. Recreation Park has two courses: nine holes of varying par at Recreation Park 9 (5000 E 7th St.), as well as the par 72 Recreation Park 18 (5001 Deukmejian Dr.). Other championship courses are at Skylinks (4800 E Wardlow Rd.) and El Dorado Park Golf Course (2400 N Studebaker Rd.) You can make a tee time at any of these courses at LBC Tee Times.
The many courts located all over the city, point to the continuing popularity of tennis in Long Beach. The city has compiled a rather extensive listing of pubic courts, where they are located, when they are open, if they are lighted. Most of them can be played on for free, though two of the most popular, the courts at El Dorado Park Tennis Center (2800 Studebaker Rd.) as well as the courts at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center (1040 Park Ave.)–yes, we’re kinda proud–sometimes require reservations and an fee to play on.