How to play Golf Croquet
Golf Croquet takes less than 10 minutes to learn, making it a great choice for beginners. Unlike Association Croquet – players play one shot per turn in a strict rotation of colours and cannot earn extra strokes or breaks.
Golf Croquet is a great game for socialising and can be played at a leisurely pace or very quickly, with games usually lasting between 30 and 60 minutes.
Some fantastic plays from the 2008 World Championship between the South African Reg Bamford and the Egyptian Ahmed Nasr can be seen in the video below. As you can see, croquet can be very fast paced!
How to win a game of Golf Croquet
The winner is the first side to score seven hoops.
Basic rules of Golf Croquet
A summary of the game is given below. To read the full list of rules in more detail, learn more about Golf Croquet rules.
- There are four balls used in any game. In a singles game, each player has two balls, and in a doubles match, one player has a single ball. Altogether, there are four balls used in any game (blue and black versus red and yellow, or green and brown versus pink and white).
- Play progresses in strict colour order: blue, red, black, yellow (the order of colours on the peg), then back to blue again (or green, pink, brown, white, then back to green again).
- Each turn consists of one stroke only. Unlike Association Croquet, there are never any extra strokes for running hoops or hitting other balls.
- The game starts after a coin toss. The winner of the toss decides whether to play first or second. The side playing first plays the blue and black balls, with blue being played in the first stroke.
- The first four strokes are played in order from a position within one yard of corner 4 (see image for reference). Note that for friendly or club games, this rule is often relaxed to be anywhere within one yard of the eastern boundary, and between corner 4 and level with the 4th hoop. This is to reduce wear on the corner area.
- All players try in successive turns to run hoop 1. As soon as any player completes the running of hoop 1, the hoop point is scored for that side. All players then move on from where their balls currently are to hoop 2, and so on around the court. Each hoop is scored only once, for one side or the other. The side scoring the hoop may place one of their scoring clips on the hoop.
- The hoops are run in the order and direction shown in the image. The game is usually played as a best-of-13-points game and stops as soon as one player has scored seven points. If the points are level after running the 12th hoop, the game is decided by contesting hoop three again as the 13th hoop. The peg plays no part in Golf Croquet except as an obstacle and a reminder of colour order.
Tactics involved with Golf Croquet
Some of the most common tactics include:
- getting your ball into position to run a hoop next turn
- promoting the position of your partner ball to do so
- hitting your opponent’s balls away to prevent them from scoring the hoop