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.

Golf Croquet Tactics - Basic Principles by Peter Freer
Part 1 - Priorities, Position, Maintain pressure on the hoop
Part 2 - Inside/Outside, Use the furniture, Be patient, Play your own game
Part 3 - What to hit next, Jawsing, Jumping, 1-2
Part 4 Don't be surprised, Stymying, Promotion, Running hoops backwards
Part 5 Back Door Play, Playing to the side, More than one thing , In-offs, Bombard, Jump clearances

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

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