Better Backyard Croquet (201)

by Michael Rumbin · 05/01/2013

It is estimated that over 200,000 croquet sets are sold each year in the US. Photo by Michael Rumbin

Better Backyard Croquet is a series of short instructional videos aimed at casual croquet players who are interested in improving their game and increasing the enjoyment they get out of playing croquet with friends and family. These seven tips are the foundation upon which competitive croquet players build their game and are universal whether you are playing 9 wicket on tall grass in your backyard, golf croquet, or Association Croquet on a manicured bowling green court.

Bob Kroeger, one of the finest croquet instructors in the world has put together a series of short videos that cover the basics. Each is designed to focus on one part playing better backyard croquet from basics of the swing to a four ball break strategy . There’s a world of possibility for you to explore. With practice it’s possible to play an amazing range of croquet shots, controlling the distance and direction of each ball to your advantage.

This article starts with the basics. By adapting a pendulum rather than golfers swing, adjusting your hand grips and foot positions and giving a forward tilt to the mallet shaft, you can shoot more accurately at a target ball or wicket and vary the relative distance each ball travels. The lower your bottom hand, the farther forward you stand, and the more you tilt your mallet forward, the farther the striker ball will travel relative to the other ball. This “stick shift” approach is covered in depth under Secrets of Great Croquet.

Watch the videos to see how all this works. Get out in the backyard and practice ‘till you get the feel for the swing grip and angle of the shaft.

The Swing

The biggest change for many backyard players is switching from the golfers swing to the pendulum swing. The improvements in accuracy and control are worth the effort. Click to watch this video covering The Swing

The Grip

The secret to a great grip is what comes natural. Some people like the “baseball bat“ grip, some like the “golf putter” grip. Try them all and choose what feel most comfortable for you. Click to watch this video covering The Grip

Split Shots

Moving two balls forward with one stroke is a huge advantage over the foot roquet because you have one more shot closer to your objective. Click to watch this video covering Split Shots

Full Roll Shot

The Half, Full, and Pass Roll shots “stick shift” approach is another huge advantage in getting your ball to advance towards an objective. Click to watch this video covering Full Rolls

The Two Ball Break Opportunity

The two ball break is key to setting up and making wickets. Click to watch this video covering the Two Ball Break

The Three Ball Break Strategy

This is the most important improvement a backyard player needs to routinely score multiple wickets in one turn. Click to watch this video covering the Three Ball Break

The Four Ball Break Strategy

Making multiple wickets is a lot easier with a fourth ball in your break. Click to watch this video covering the Four Ball Break