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8 min read

Is the “Pickleball Troll” Moving On?

Strategy & Technique Frank Cerabino 04-03-2023

Astute readers of pickleball Facebook groups will notice that Doug Wanoy is back. Again.

The fictional Wanoy is like a dormant virus on pickleball social media. He’s never quite gone. He comes and goes on his own irregular schedule, leaving posts that make him the most annoying pickleball player on Earth – if he were actually a real person.

But he’s not. He’s a pickleball troll with a surgeon’s precision for getting people riled up. Doug’s real name is Greg, and he’s a 62-year-old pickleball player who retired recently and moved from Western, Pennsylvania to North Carolina, near Raleigh.

Is the “Pickleball Troll” Moving On? | Pickler Pickleball

His highly developed need of winding people up causes him to write social media posts that some people (who aren’t in on the joke) find too annoying to let pass without comment.

The Pickler last wrote about Wanoy back in May, after he returned to the pickleball sites after experimenting with tormenting people on a youth wrestling site. The man’s got some range.

Then he disappeared again, only to show up in October of last year, writing a yarn about a verbal dispute he had with another pickleball player who tried to get him to stop lobbing into the sun or at least agree to a 20-lob limit in every game.

“We had a loud discussion that went on for about ten minutes until a Kroger manager said we would have to leave the front door area and may not be allowed to use their store for fundraising events,” he wrote.

A lot of people are on to Doug Wanoy. And Facebook group sites sometimes ban him. So, he has to dip in and out of circulation.

He magically appeared again at the end of March on the pickleball Facebook group, The Kitchen.

“I’ve slowed down because it’s hard to think of things that are really funny,” he told The Pickler last week.

In real life, he plays a lot of pickleball and gets his inspiration from what he witnesses and sees on the court.

“This latest post, though, was something that just popped in my head when I sat down to write,” he said. 

In the latest iteration of “Doug Wanoy”, he poses as a much younger man who uses pickleball to meet and marry old, wealthy women on death’s doorstep.

Here’s his new Facebook post on The Kitchen:

How did you find PICKLEBALL?? My story.
 
Ten years ago today fresh out of college I got my first job at a senior vacation resort in Florida working as a tennis instructor. A year later I was married to a beautiful woman that I had met at the resort and we were living at her place in a South Carolina retirement community.
 
I quickly noticed the pickleball courts next to the tennis courts. At first the game looked boring and slow with the average age between 75 to 80, but I wanted to give it a try.
 
My wife introduced me to several of her friends who played pickleball and I joined their group. I was instantly hooked and within a week I advanced so rapidly I was only playing with men.
 
Due to my tennis background and my younger age, I was the top pickleball player in the retirement community. I loved the game but unfortunately could not share that passion with my wife due to her health and advanced age and sadly a year later she was gone.
 
The HOA rules with age requirements and a costly legal battle with my wife’s grandson (attorney) forced me to leave, and I was right back at the retirement resort in Florida but now as a pickleball instructor.
 
The game had exploded and I had doubled the amount of students than tennis. A client of mine at our Pickleball center entered my life and we began a relationship that continued on a month long cruise aboard the Allure of the Seas.
 
I proposed to her on the pickleball courts in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea and will be married this spring. At her senior community home in Savannah, Ga., we have ten courts and play daily
 
I will forever be grateful to pickleball and how it changed my life. I would love to hear other stories on how the game changed your life.

 

Classic Doug Wanoy.

Some commenters took it at face value, and called it “a beautiful pickleball love story”, and spoke of also finding romance on the pickleball courts.

“That’s a wonderful story,” one poster wrote. “I play pickleball first for the fun and second for all the great people I’ve met along the way.”

Another wrote: “I met my wife on the pickleball courts about two years ago.”

Other readers were angered by the little time bombs Wanoy peppered in the story – like the line about getting good enough to only play with men.

“That’s disparaging to women, don’t you think?” one commenter wrote.

Others were still trying to make sense of it all.

“I’m confused,” one guy wrote. “So, you’re in your 30s living in a retirement community?”

Another poster told Doug Wanoy he should make a career of chatting up older, pickleball-playing women on cruise ships.

“You could probably get a job on a cruise ship with a cabin, open bar and some cash to teach old ladies pickleball on the ship,” one poster wrote. “Entertaining older cruise ship women is a real unadvertised job.”

But, alas, there were those who had come to know the various other versions of “Doug Wanoy” they had encountered in the past, and had realized he was back.

“Ahhhh! I was halfway through before I realized this was Doug Wanoy,” one poster wrote. “Good one.”

Another wrote: “Where have you been? Your ban from this site has expired? Keep coming up with the stories before you’re banned again!”

Wanoy said he’s no longer getting banned on pickleball Facebook sites.

“I think they like me now,” he said.

But as his inspiration for provocative pickleball posts has dwindled, he’s finding new life on Twitter, where “Doug Wanoy” has cultivated more than 15,000 followers and a wider range of trolling topics at his disposal.

“I don’t get too crazy politically, but I look for anything that will get people annoyed, which is very easy on Twitter,” he said.

Does this mean that Doug Wanoy is done with pickleball trolling? No, he’s just finding it harder to meet his demanding standards.

“I would post more,” he said, “but I’m only interested if it’s unique and funny.”

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