Part 4 – Golf Croquet Tactics and Options – Chris McWhirter

Aggressive/Attacking and Defensive Play

Many players think that the term aggressive play means hitting the ball hard. It certainly helps and looks impressive but is not always the case.

In GC terms to be aggressive/attacking is simply to attack/score the hoop as quickly as possible. This can obviously be achieved though shooting at the hoop straight away. It can also be achieved by positioning your first ball in a shooting position and clearing/blocking/wiring your opponent with the second ball (PHH).

In GC terms to be aggressive/attacking is simply to attack/score the hoop as quickly as possible. This can obviously be achieved though shooting at the hoop straight away. It can also be achieved by positioning your first ball in a shooting position and clearing/blocking/wiring your opponent with the second ball (PHH).

Defensive play is choosing to block or clear when a scoring opportunity exists. Using a highly likely scoring/hoop ball to block/clear is only acceptable if your second ball is also in a scoring/hoop position. That is both of your balls have managed to achieve an attack/scoring/hoop position.

If you choose to use a scoring ball to clear and your second ball is not in a scoring position, you are playing defensively and the games will tend to go longer. If players hold their nerve, then generally the longer a game goes the more likely a better player will win. Often choosing not to score because you are afraid of missing and losing that hoop will in fact, more often than not, make you lose the hoop to a better player.

 It is better to shoot to score than never to have shot at all!

In terms of changing styles throughout a tournament or a game it is better to play aggressively against higher ranked/skilled players. You can afford to play more defensively against lower ranked/skilled players as it is likely they will make more mistakes and allow you some easy hoops. It is still preferable to play aggressive and finish them off as soon as possible though.

The old adage of “safety first” has no place in a mismatched game. If you are the lower ranked player, you have to practice and play an aggressive/attacking style to have a chance of winning consistently.

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