Gerry Turner, otherwise known these days as “The Golden Bachelor,” made a popular appearance at the 2023 Biofreeze USA Pickleball National Championships powered by Invited and the PPA Tour on Friday.
“One Of The Perfect Activities”
Turner, the 72-year-old widower from Hudson, Indiana, is the featured participant in ABC’s new reality series, a spinoff of The Bachelor, with 22 initial contestants vying to find a place among the final three ladies who will compete for his hand in marriage.
Apart from his off-road adventures with all-terrain vehicles and classic cars, Turner has a keen interest in pickleball, a sport he has been playing for nearly three years now.
“(She’s) a very nice woman who plays well with me, and she keeps me grounded,” Turner said. “I have a great time with her.”
Reflecting on his experience at the nationals, Turner, who has played mixed doubles in local tournaments in Indiana, described the atmosphere as fantastic, filled with positive energy and happy participants.
His schedule for the day included playing pickup games, engaging with professionals, and presenting medals to amateur players.
“This is fantastic,” he said, noting the electric atmosphere at Farmers Branch. “Everybody’s having a good time. It’s an athletic environment. Look around; there’s no frowns; everybody’s happy.”
Mr. Quick Hamburgers
Turner, a retired restaurateur, served as both a partner and the exclusive franchise owner of Mr. Quick Hamburgers, a successful burger chain established in Illinois in 1965.
The franchise expanded significantly during the 1960s and 1970s, reaching over 300 locations across 13 states. After 20 years expanding the business, Turner transitioned to a career in food sales in 1985. He also took on the management of a Gold’s Gym before eventually retiring from active professional engagements.
An insanely fun day with Gerry Turner, the very first Golden Bachelor and avid pickleball player/fan! Thank you @GoldenBachABC for gracing #pickleballnationals with your presence 🏓💯 pic.twitter.com/GQUOl7TAaJ— Melissa Zhang (@MelZhang10) November 11, 2023
The Golden Bachelor
Turner has gained recognition as the star of The Golden Bachelor, a series that began in September 2023 and is set to conclude on November 30. His journey, which started in July 2023, has drawn attention not only from pickleball enthusiasts but also has also attracted a nationwide audience.
Turner’s visit to the nationals at Brookhaven Country Club was one of the main attractions of the day as his fellow picklers sought him out at every turn and bombarded him with autograph and photo requests.
One of the highlights of his day at the nationals was a meet-and-greet session outside the USA Pickleball trailer, where fans had the opportunity to interact with Turner, take pictures, and receive special The Golden Bachelor-themed pickleball paddles signed by him.
“Everyone Is Having A Good Time”
“It is (cool to meet so many fans of the show),” he said. “It’s very sweet, and everyone is having a good time.”
Turner used the Pickle Pad Pro practice board to show he is a dab hand with the paddle.
He explained why he loves the sport so much: “You get good exercise. You’re out amongst people, so you’re staying alert and active, and then the social side of it where you’re making friends.
🌹FEELING GOLDEN!✨— Adriana De Alba (@adealbaWFAA) November 12, 2023
Chatting it up and playing pickleball with @goldenbachabc Gerry Turner at the @usapickleball national championship in Dallas.
He was kind, fun, and told me all about his journey to find LOVE. Our interview coming soon on @wfaa pic.twitter.com/SF3S8jtVz1
“I think it’s the perfect activity. It’s easy for every level of competency, and there’s the fantastic socializing side of it. When you’re sitting down in between games, you get to know people, and you get to make good friends.”
Pickleball Not A Dealbreaker
When asked what his perfect potential partner would be like, Turner had a couple of preferences, though playing pickleball is not a “dealbreaker.”
“I’d like to have someone who is fit and somewhat athletic,” he said, “but if they don’t play pickleball, that’s not a dealbreaker at all.”
Viewers can catch The Golden Bachelor on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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