What is a Golden Pickle in Pickleball


A golden pickle in pickleball is not an edible snack, but it is a mighty accolade to achieve in the game of pickleball. In this post, learn what a golden pickle is and how you can achieve one. And we go back to 1986 to uncover the FIRST, EVER GOLDEN PICKLE. Pickle on!

What is a Golden Pickle in Pickleball?

In the game of Pickleball, a golden pickle is achieved when a team wins a game using its first serve, and the opposing team do not serve or score a point.

The Golden Pickle is the perfect pickleball game. It is similar to pitching a no-hitter in baseball, or bowling a 300. The golden pickle is winning perfection.

However, what isn’t discussed is what happens to the losers in such a scenario. The Bros recommend that Pickleball borrow an old Aussie tradition. You know the one, when you lose a game of Billiards and don’t pot a single ball in the game. And the loser is “pantsed” and must drop their pants and run a lap around the billiard table.

Imagine a player being “Pickleball Pantsed” because of an epic loss at your local pickleball court…. Luckily, golden Pickles are rare, and such a humiliation probably isn’t required. But it would be funny.

A rare video of a golden pickle, captured at a Joola Mens Singles Tournament.

Origins of the Golden Pickle

The origins of the first recorded “golden pickle” goes back to 1986 as reported in the LA Times. But the original golden pickle has nothing to do with the game of pickleball. Let me explain…

Gary Sherlin was a third generation pickle farmer in Los Angeles, where his grand father had a pickle farm. Sherlin got his start in the pickle business riding the pickle truck with his grand father and his father in the 1940s. They supplied pickles to all the delicatessens and the pickle business was a booming.

Then Sherlin drove a pickle truck for 15 years. He’d smell like pickles every single day. His business expanded, and he became a sales manager, in charge of two salesmen and 11 pickle trucks.

Sherlin would visit deli’s and sell his pickles, and people knew him and recognised him. Although they thought he was strange, for one reason. He openly says…

“I’m the only person with a golden pickle around his neck”

Gary Sherlin

Wearing a golden pickle around his neck was good for business. It helped sell pickles and Sherlin wore it for over 10 years, never taking it off. He felt strange at first, but the golden pickle was a symbol of his pickle selling prowess.

It was a symbol of his status. And now that strange man and his golden pickle is now an achievement in this new strange game, pickleball. And it has all come full circle, with Pickleball jewellery available in select stores. The standard pieces available are pickleball balls, paddles or a pickle. Any player can channel Gary Sherlin with a golden pickle around their neck.

Chasing the Golden Pickle

The Golden Pickle in Pickleball is a rare event. And it is unlikely for most players to achieve it in their lifetime. But it isn’t unusual for a player to lose their game 11-0, with the difference being that they have served and attempted to win a point. And unfortunately, they finished the game with no points scored.

Could this be a Silver Pickle? Where the opponent doesn’t score a point, but they do get a chance to serve.

The Bros have played in many games that fit this scenario when starting out. Luckily, their opponents were gracious payers and let at least one point slip to ease the blow of losing so badly. The Bros pass on that same courtesy to other new players, when they are obviously struggling.

We must be kind to our fellow players 🙂

In case you missed it, Learn how to play Pickle Tennis with the Pickle Tennis Rules, served up in the Aussie Pickleball Style. Bon Appetit!

Final Thoughts

The Golden Pickle in Pickleball is a great achievement. And the idea and history of the golden pickle align with the history of pickleball. There are other definitions of non-pickleball related golden pickles, but the Bros suggest you search for that at your own risk…

Have you ever achieved a golden pickle? Or have you been on the receiving end of a golden pickle. Let the Bros know in the comments below.

Pickle On!

The Aussie Pickleball Bros.


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