Paddletek Pro Player Scott Moore is unquestionably the number one senior male pickleball player in the world. His long reach and dominate style of play has served him well winning six triple crowns at some of the most prestigious tournaments. His "Pickleball Trips" which he does with his sons, Daniel and Jonathan, is a highly successful combination of pickleball and sight-seeing in exotic places around the world.
You won the triple crown at the 2018 Mintos US Open Pickleball Championships. Who were your partners in men’s doubles and women’s doubles?
I partnered with Steve Cole, and with Lisa Naumu, with whom I had never played. I think the two main things I look for are chemistry on the court, and skill, as if one of those is missing it can make it tough. The other would be the ability to handle pressure, as I am not the easiest person to play with, for sure.
This wasn’t your first triple crown. What other ones have you won?
I consider USAPA Nationals, Tournament of Champions, and the Mintos US Open Pickleball Championships U.S. to be the ”Majors” of pickleball, and have been fortunate enough to win the triple crown at Nationals twice, and at TOC three times and the US Open Pickleball Championships once. At first it was really just a dream to win a triple crown, as there are so many things that have to go right, some of which you can’t control. Also each event is so different, and therefore to win all three in one tournament is extremely challenging to say the least.
Is there a ‘secret sauce’ to your success as the number one male player over 50?
I have been extremely blessed by God with great health, long arms, and quick reflexes. It also probably doesn’t hurt that I absolutely love to play and compete, which provided me the motivation to try to be the best in the world. So I have worked very hard the past few years to get into good shape.
Your oldest son, Daniel is also a top player with plenty of gold notches on his belt including winning men’s doubles with Matt Wright at the 2017 USAPA Nationals. Tell us about your other two sons who began playing competitive pickleball this year.
Both Stephen, 23, and Jon, 25 were exceptional tennis players growing up, but they just weren’t interested in pickleball. But finally this year, Jon surprised us by saying that he would really like to help us grow our family pickelball business after having spent a couple of years teaching English in Japan. Stephen was transferred to North Carolina with his job, and since he didn’t know anyone out there, was open to meeting new people. The people I knew, Daniel and Sara, just happened to be pickleball friends and they got him into it. Jon and Stephen played their first doubles tourney together in Atlanta in May, and won the 4.5-5.0 combined men’s doubles event so that was a good start.
Your wife Susan plays pickleball too and has been on the medal stand. Have the two of you ever partnered in mixed doubles?
She is absolutely loving the game, plays more than any of us, has tons of pickleball friends all over the country, and has improved a ton since she started. She has played with Jon and Stephen in mixed doubles, but we both agree that the chemistry is probably not right for us to play together.
You and Susan have a daughter too. Does she play pickleball?
Meredith doesn’t really enjoy playing sports, so no she doesn’t play. She is a flight attendant for Delta and her favorite past times are travelling the world (I think she has been to close to 60 countries) and reading. I really admire her as she reads 52 books a year, and is one of the most well read twenty-seven year olds that you will ever meet.
You play doubles with Paddletek’s Tempest Wave but are using the Sabre GS for singles.
What is unique about the Sabre GS? The Sabre GS is the only paddle I have ever tried that I can really hit a topspin forehand with, and I get the extra reach I need in singles so I absolutely love it for singles.
Do you have any advice for other players on choosing the right paddle to fit their game?
There are lots of great paddles out there, and would just say to make sure and try it before you buy it, as finding the right paddle can make a difference for sure. I would also say that as people improve, that they typically will want to have a softer surface on their paddle, for more control, which is why I like the Tempest Wave so much, as the graphite slows the ball down and gives superior control.
Paddletek has an extensive dealer network available for players to try out Paddletek paddles.
How often do you recommend that players replace their paddles?
It depends on how much they play, but for the average player, probably every couple of years. I recommend to buy the best paddle one can afford that feels the best, because you will probably play with it longer that way and end up being a better investment.
Pickleball continues to grow at all skill levels. How has the sport changed since you first began playing?
It has definitely gotten a lot faster, yet the top players are also much better at the soft game. At nationals last year, Matt, Daniel, Kyle and Wes had rallies that were over 50 shots, and even I was shocked at both how patient those guys could be, but also how skillful they were with their dinking. At the intermediate level, we are seeing the bangers no longer dominating like they do at the lower levels, as the intermediates are learning how to slow the game down and learning that to really improve they need to really work on their slow game, or they just won’t really be able to see much improvement in their game over time.
Do you have any advice for players just getting into the game?
I would say that if possible, take a lesson with a certified instructor or at least watch some pros playing on You Tube. Also try a paddle out before you buy it, as that is the best way to make sure it is a good fit for your game.
Are there any drills you would recommend for players to improve?
I like skinny singles, which is playing out points only using half the court, as it involves pretty much every shot in pickleball.
You offer opportunities to travel abroad and experience great pickleball and training through pickleball Trips. What are some of your favorite destinations?
We just finished our “Taste of Italy” tour, and playing the Bainbridge Cup and now Italy is one of my favorites. Japan has become our flagship trip over the years, as we show our guests a Japan that is so much more than just a tour, having lived there for 16 years. Thailand is amazing for the combination of the scenery, food and people, so am very excited about our trip there next winter. Daniel lived in Kenya for 2 years and loved it, so we are planning a pickleball safari there, and Jon and his wife Mayaka really like the Netherlands, so they will lead a trip there next spring, all of which we are very excited about.
You recently started a new pickleball venture. What is that about and how is it different from Pickleball Trips?
We call it High Performance Pickleball, in which we are collaborating with Pickleball Rocks. Essentially it is systematic pickleball training that teaches participants not only techniques and strategy, but also gives them a foundational framework to guide them to continue to develop their game and perform at higher and higher levels. It is different from Pickleball Trips in that we do the camps and clinics around the U.S. and they are anywhere from 2 hours to 3 days, as opposed to our trips which are a week to ten days and usually to overseas destinations.
In closing, I can’t overstate how truly blessed I feel to have discovered pickleball, become part of the Paddletek team, and in a strong sense get to live out a dream! Some of my main passions in life are travel, family, competing, entrepreneurship, relationships and adventure, and through pickleball, I have the chance to live out and experience those passions on a very regular basis. Life is good!