Golf Croquet Tactics – Parts 3

(h) what to hit next

  • if you can’t run the hoop, and the next ball to play after you can, block or clear it
  • if neither you or the next ball to play after you can run the hoop, it is useful to hit away their last ball in (it won’t come back immediately and gives you numerical advantage around the hoop)
  • remember “decoy” balls are to distract you from your correct target
  • “sucker” balls are to entice you to clear them, badly.  The ideal sucker ball is close enough that you will shoot at them, but far enough away that you split off into the distance – the sucker ball then comes back before you do…..

(i) jawsing

  • a hoop is a hoop, but jawsing the ball gives you a chance at 2 hoops in a row
  • jawsing with oppo in jumping position or behind the hoop is dangerous, but you need to weigh up their chances of clearing you – and you are likely to then still be in front of the hoop, but they won’t be…
  • jawsing is easier from an angle, rather than from directly in front
  • be aware that jawsing often backfires, so you’re accepting a deliberate risk

(j) jumping

  • don’t rely on jumping, since they can fail – jumps aren’t your first option if you can clear instead
  • practice your jumps, since you will need them – remember that you can jump a blocking ball to clear opponent, not just run hoops (but practice this as well!)
  • jumping is particularly effective on even numbered hoops, since opponent is left in the jaws & not able to play laterally across to the next hoop
  • only jump on even numbered hoops if you are confident that you won’t pump opponent through & give them first ball to the next hoop
  • conversely it is worth having a go on odd numbered hoops, since opponent already has first crack at the next hoop = “no jeopardy”.  It is surprising how often a failed jump, which puts opponent through, still leaves them w/o a shot to next hoop

(k) “1-2”

If opponent has put in a good first ball, it is tempting to try clearing with both of your balls in case you miss.  However a solid tactic is “first ball in, second ball clears”.  The first ball keeps the opponent under pressure if you fail to clear them with your second ball – if they then try for the hoop & fail, you are waiting; so often they opt to clear you, and you can get back into the hoop.  If you have both balls off in the far distance after misses, this won’t happen…

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Around the Courts 29th November

Another busy weekend for our clubs and players.

Cambridge was extremely busy with social functions and club play. They hosted the Roy Morrison Tournament and morning tea for their Alumni members and on Friday, conducted the final day of school sport with students from Floreat Primary School.

You can check out photos of these events and others held on the weekend by visiting their club Facebook page.


Busselton Annual Spring Tournament

Players came from far and wide to participate in Busselton’s Annual Spring Tournament with 20 pairs battling it out over the two days for top honours.

W Reid / D McGivern (Albany / Sorrento) topped Block A with 8 wins from the pairing of B Miller / L Hurt (Dunsborough).

In Block B, P Hamilton / K Hamilton (Como) went through undefeated with 2nd place being taken by R Vincent / M Murphy (Busselton / Forrest Park).

Results from A1 vs B1 & A2 vs B2 below:

Congratulations to all competitors and our thanks go to all Busselton club members for helping make the event such a great success.

Full results can be found on Croquetscores.



AC Coaching Sessions

On Sunday, an intrepid group of AC players headed to Nedlands to participate in the last day of a series of coaching sessions run by Alan Sands. I have it on good authority that it was quite warm but I know all the participants were very grateful for having had the opportunity to be coached by Alan. His wealth of knowledge, commitment to excellence and attention to detail enabled everyone to make improvements to their game.

Some of my key takeaways:

  • Do the simple things really well
  • Rush a ball to a ball
  • Load the next hoop as early as possible without scarifying the break
  • Tight control in = tight control out
  • Stroke through the line of the swing
  • Strokes you are good at – make them perfect
  • Rushes – it is a slow stroke
  • Reality check -8 ball routine
  • Practise- start small and then increase the distance
  • When practising, change only one thing at a time
  • Before getting on the court – know what you would like to do

We are indeed most fortunate to have coaches of Alan’s ability in WA.


Grooming at Moorabinda today

The workers came out in force as soon as they heard Suzie and Dawn were putting on morning tea and Les was shouting. A great team effort. No doubt the lawns will look a million dollars in a few weeks time.

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Golf Croquet Tactics – Basic Principles – PART 2

Part 2

(d) “inside” = good, “outside” = bad

  • you should place your incoming ball where it can’t be hit far away
    (ie towards a near boundary, not out into the court)
  • try and find the “50/50 distance” where your opponent can’t decide whether to clear you or block.  Depends on each opponent, and changes during games

(e) use the furniture

  • hide from your opponent behind hoops and other balls so they can’t hit you
  • when hitting them away, try & put them where they can’t see you

(f) be patient

  • play to your percentages (and practice to improve them) so don’t try miracle shots unless you have to
  • it is often better to just load another ball in front of the hoop rather than try a difficult clearance/block trying to ensure that your other ball can run the hoop straight away
  • play to win the game, not just the next hoop

(g) play your own game, not theirs

  • its easy to start playing your opponents game, but they’ll usually be better at that than you, so play to your own strengths
  • keep alert and adjust to what is happening – if they’re having a bad day, missing hoops/clearances/jumps then you can take more liberties

Click here for Part 1

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Golf Croquet Coaching Clinic – Jan 16th 2022

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Golf Croquet Tactics – Basic Principles – PART 1

I was fortunate to meet Peter Freer when I went across to Victoria earlier in the year and have kept in contact since. A while ago I asked him a question about tactics, and he promptly supplied me with a set of principles he has written and uses when he is coaching. These principles are continually being adding to and refined.

As we head into a quiet time on the GC calendar, I asked if he wouldn’t mind me sharing them on the website for all of us to consider as we work on our game. They are meant to be talked about on the lawn but should make sense, even without his personal input.

I thought I would just share a few at a time but first, a little about the man himself.

Peter has been playing croquet for over 40 years and joined the Canberra Croquet Club in 1981. He has played in four World Golf Croquet Championships and played in the World Gateball Championships in Brazil as part of the Canberra Team. He has been runner up in the Australian Open GC Singles Championships three times and once in the Open Mens GC Championship. Currently he is reigning NSW Open GC Champ.

His greatest achievement; however, has been to enjoy playing croquet all around Australia, and around the World!

Peter currently serves on the ACA Events Committee, is a referee at all levels, coaches, a NSW GC Selector, and has held every position at the Canberra CC at some stage.

Part 1

(a) Priorities

  • it’s all about scoring hoops – everything else is manoeuvre
  • if you try for a hoop and miss, then you give the momentum to opponent
  • if no other ball can run the hoop, you have a “free” shot – but use a soft “dribble shot” to stay close to the hoop if you miss
  • practice so you can rely on running hoops (or at least jawsing them)
  • clearing etc is necessary, but should always be aimed at getting the next shot at the hoop

(b) Position, position, position!

  • around 2/3 of your shots in a game will be to position
  • practice accordingly – everyone likes jump shots or running very long hoops, but they are not your “bread & butter” shot.  Practice all shots, but do a lot of practice on position – from corner 4, from the penalty areas to each hoop, from one hoop to another, short blocking shots….

(c) Maintain pressure on the hoop

  • you can’t score a hoop unless you are in front of it
  • “short is better than long” when approaching hoops from in front
  • if you don’t trust your clearing, just “join the mix” & see what happens

Part 2 to follow

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Around the Courts 22nd November

The Moorabinda Country GC Singles were held over the weekend in warmish conditions with 37 players competing across three grades.

  • A Grade:
  • Winner – G Phipps
  • Runner Up -Torben Bak
  • B Grade:
  • Winner – Judith Nicholls
  • Runner Up – John Doepel
  • C Grade:
  • Winner – Steve Newbold
  • Runner Up – John Bird

Full results can be found on Croquetscores.

Congratulations to all the winners and a big thank you to all the people who helped make this weekend a great success. A special shout out to Max for managing the tournament – Suzie, Dawn and all the club member who helped in the kitchen (yummy patties too) and to David, Phil and their helpers that presented the lawns and surrounds in tip top condition.

B Grade final – J Nicholls 7 vs J Doepel 4

More information can be found on Moorabinda’s Facebook page.

Geraldton conducted their GC A. Bunter Handicap Doubles with the pairing of Paul Christmass and Sheryl Chant topping the table from Wendy McDonald and Sandra Toomey.

Full results can be found on Croquetscores.

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Shot Types – Croquet Angled Cut Shots

Came across this video by Keith Harvey recently which gives a nice explanation in regards to angled cut shots.

Aiming Point Method

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Victorian Association Croquet Championships – Live on Kayo today 21st November

The Victorian Association Champions continue today and are being streamed live on KAYO freebies. Livestreamed on Kayo from 10.30 am (AEST).

You can catch up on the results from yesterdays play on Croquetscores.

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GC Rules 6th Edition – Consultation Draft published

The WCF Golf Croquet Rules Committee has published a Consultation Draft of the proposed 6th Edition of the WCF Rules of Golf Croquet. The relevant documents are:

6th Ed public consultation_Introductory Statement

6th Ed public consultation_Rules

6th Ed public consultation_Comparison with 5th Edition

6th Ed public consultation_Consultation Questions

If you have any comments to make, I’m certain John D would love to hear from you.

One suggested change I like is:

Rule 15.4 (Hoop contested or run out of order) is a new rule that gives a referee the power to save time by intervening if they observe that the sides are contesting a hoop out of order. The remedy is a penalty area continuation.

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Sharing Facilities

I’m certain many of our croquet clubs make their facilities available to different interest groups on a regular basis. Today I had the pleasure to see all the handy work by a group of volunteers who meet every Monday morning at the Moorabinda Croquet Club as part of the Uthando Project.

They have a great time getting together each week and as evident by the pictures below, they all possess a great talent for making dolls and animals .

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