2009 News

Additional pictures can be seen in our Photo Gallery and detailed match results/reports via our Competitive Play page

25th October – John Hobbs wins Golf Level Play

10 players enjoyed a windy but sunny day in a club afternoon, probably the highest number this late in the season, but the star game was the final of the Golf Level Play competition.

In the last competitive game of the season John Hobbs beat Frank Gunstone 7-5, 6-7, 7-6 in an enthralling game, full of mistakes. Frank managed to get good position at hoop 13, following the loss of hoop 12 in the final game. However, he was unable to run the final hoop with two clear chances and John clinched the match at the second attempts in front of the three massed spectators!

26th/27th September – John Bateson wins Tunbridge Wells Desert Handicap (sorry Pegasus Plate)

Well the players decided that with all the sand on the lawns it was a bit like playing on a very level desert.

Ten players entered, with four from Tunbridge Wells. Handicaps ranged from 6 (Mick G) to 18 (Jeff and Miriam). The format of this tournament was called an Egyptian, which means you score points for winning and lose for losing, but how many depends on how strong or weak your opponent was. The winner is the player with most points at the end.

To make all games shorter we played only 18 points (not 26) and each player had bisques if they were high handicappers. This meant most games finished with a peg out, which is the most exciting bit of the game – much better than having longer games that get cut short by time limits. At the end of Saturday Pat Duke-Cox, the Croquet Association chairman was a leader with three wins out of three.

On Sunday fortunes changed and by the time the last game was being played three people might have won, including Jeff Chapman, but in the end the winner was John Bateson from Medway with 5/6 wins. Second was Lucy Beach from Reigate who managed to qualify for her Croquet Association Bronze award (running 10 hoops in one turn with bisques).

Full results are:

Player Club Handicap Wins Games
John Bateson Medway 10 5 6
Lucy Beach Reigate 14 4 6
Peter Highton Medway 14 4 6
Jeff Chapman Tunbridge Wells 18 4 6
Mick Greagsby Tunbridge Wells 6 3 6
Allan Card Medway 14 3 6
Pat Duke-Cox Woodhall Spa 8 3 6
Ted Robinson Sussex County 14 2 5
Miriam Reader Tunbridge Wells 18 1 6
Ron Benson Tunbridge Wells 12 0 4

13th September – Alex Jardine wins Honeygrove Cup

Alex beat Jon Diamond in the final of the Honeygrove Cup, despite Jon winning all six of his games in the flexible Swiss, sealing a TW name on the cup for the first time since 2002.

Following four withdrawals, the field was reduced to eight which meant that the swiss format nearly became all-play-all. Excellent weather and true-running lawns made for rapid play and an early finish each evening.

Classiest game was the third-turn ball to rover and fifth-turn finish from Jon after John Hobbs got round to 4-back, with the rover peel, off the contact but failed to peg the opponent out. However, in the final, it was Alex who got both balls round before rushing onto the peg, leaving a three-ball ending. Jon refused the safety option and went for a brave 3-ball break, eventually coming to grief off oppo’s ball at rover, giving an easy finish.

Results:
Final: Alex JARDINE beat Jon DIAMOND +15

Swiss
Jon DIAMOND 6/6
Alex JARDINE 4/6
Sean SHERIDAN 4/7
John HOBBS 3/6
Paul MILES 3/6
Rodney PARKINS 2/5
Mick BELCHAM 2/6
Philip MANN 0/6

4th September – Late Summer BBQ

More than 30 people were at Elaine and Mark Houslop’s house to enjoy a splendid BBQ, albeit eating indoors given the lateness of the season. A good time was had by all, including some US visitors who play croquet with Mick Greagsby and have been touring the UK for the last 2 weeks! Many thanks to Elaine and Mark.

2nd September – SECF Golf Level League v Compton – won 4:3

A tight event this one, with excellent catering provided by Compton on a day which was better than forecast.

Richard wasn’t having a good day at the office, but Craig Oakley’s handicap of 5 was clearly out of line as he runs hoops hard and clears balls from almost any distance. So it wasn’t a surprise that Craig won both his games. Frank was having a good day and won both of his.

The match was tied at 3 games all when Richard and Hilary left the lawn after all the other games finished and announced that they were one game each and did they need to finish it? Well, we made them play the last one and Richard did carve out a win for us, but made the spectators sweat a bit.

30th August – SECF A League v Woking – won 4:3

Phew, what a nice win and such a tight finish! Despite our handicap deficit, our average handicap being 2 v Woking’s 0.5, we managed to eke out a narrow win at the end of the day.

Mick had reset the hoops on Saturday, after the lawns had been cut to their shortest ever, so the hoops were tight and the lawns pretty fast, making conditions a little more difficult than usual…

The morning was disappointing with Jolyon and Jon both unable to run hoops, Jolyon failed three times at hoop 3, and so went down to a comprehensive defeat having scored only 4 hoops by Woking’s top two – Jeff Dawson and Malcolm Bigg. Mick echoed this problem, running only 3 hoops in his defeat by Nick Harvey. Face was saved with Alex having a comprehensive success against Annabel McDiarmid, leaving the match score at 1:2 and with us having to win 3 of the 4 singles games to win the match.

The afternoon started much in the vein of the morning with Jolyon, Jon and Mick still not running hoops well, but Alex having more of a struggle with Nick than against Annabel, but still a little ahead. Jeff soon wrapped up his game against Jolyon, including a triple peel attempt, so leaving us requiring all three games to win the match.

Jon decided that the weather was too cold and put on his fleece; this seemed to change his fortunes. Despite rolling off the lawn twice when close to his opponents’s ball he managed to put his breaks together and soon after ran out the winner by 19. So, only 2 more games to be won!

Mick had recovered his hoop running ability, but not perfectly, so was still struggling somewhat and missing too many roquets. However, after making penult he was hampered and couldn’t hit his partner ball and so had to hit one of the two balls joined up in corner 2, to stop Annabel getting in again – an excellent pressure shot. After this, he failed to make the rover peel and had to lay up for the final ball to make rover. Running rover was successful, but he turned down the opportunity of a 5-yard roquet on the opponent ball in favour of trying to set up for a rush to the peg next turn. This didn’t work, leaving some tortured play to split Annabel’s balls up and setting up the rush again, but he eventually pegged out – so we only need Alex to win!

Alex wasn’t doing too badly, but Nick had caught up and managed to peg out Alex’s forward ball. This left a three ball ending to Alex’s disadvantage, with his ball on 2-back and Nick’s backward ball on 4-back. However, rather than being very defensive to ensure a win after Alex had missed a long shot, Nick tried to make a 3-ball break and overran 4-back, leaving his balls too close to Alex’s after a failed hoop attempt. Alex picked up the break and after some good rushes across the lawn finished the game nicely; so winning us the match with a very good win and a handicap reduction to 1.5!

16th August – CA Mary Rose v Colchester – won 5:2

On a lovely day out to Colchester we make it to latest round we’ve ever been to in one of the CA events! We’re now in the semi-finals for the first time, playing the East Dorset club at Parkstone, near Poole.

Our team made a clean sweep of the morning three games against a slightly weaker team, so only had to win one of the afternoon ones. However, we struggled a bit throughout most of the afternoon, but Mick won the first of the games to finish, so the others could relax and we eventually ended up winning 2 of the 4 games in the afternoon.

Phew! It was a scorcher of an afternoon, with all having to retreat to the shelter of the clubhouse when not on the lawns. Great hospitality though.

10th August – SECF B League v Canterbury – lost 2:5

9th August – We have clean sweep at the SECF Golf Croquet Team Day

Last Sunday, 9th August, 17 teams from 13 croquet clubs all over South East England competed in the annual Golf Croquet Team event, hosted by the Sussex County Croquet Club at Southwick. This year, for the first time, the teams from the Royal Tunbridge Wells Croquet Club ran out as winners in both the Singles and Doubles events.

0809_01 SECF Golf Singles Team winners: Joyce Rocca, John Hobbs (captain), Duncan Cox and Derek Heath
SINGLES TROPHY
Team 1: John Hobbs (captain) won 2 lost 1, Derek Heath won 3 lost 0, Duncan Cox won 3 lost 0, Joyce Rocca won 2 lost 1 – overall score 10:2 (1st place)
Team 2: Frank Gunstone (captain) won 2 lost 1, Derek Crocombe won 1 lost 2, Val Rocca won 2 lost 1, Anita Hunter won 0 lost 3 – overall score 5:7

0809_02 SECF Golf Doubles Team winners: Anita Hunter, Derek Crocombe, Frank Gunstone & Val Rocca
DOUBLES TROPHY
Team 1: John Hobbs & Duncan Cox won 1 drew 1, Derek Heath & Joyce Rocca won 1 lost 1 – overall score 2:1:1
Team 2: Frank Gunstone & Val Rocca, won 2 lost 0, Derek Crocombe & Anita Hunter won 2 lost 0 – overall score 4:0 (1st place)

1st August – Jon Male wins TW Super-B

Kevin Carter writes: “Jon Male won the Tunbridge Wells Super B event with four wins in four games. His play is unflashy but steady and error-free; he is much better than his 1.5 handicap implies. Local player Jolyon Creasey and Kevin Carter finished with three wins.

This was one of this season’s experimental one-day ‘Super-B’ events. They are proving popular, since they appeal to those who have busy jobs and/or families. Four games are guaranteed. Watch out for more next year, at Tunbridge and elsewhere.

For those who have not yet been to the Tunbridge Wells Club they really should try it. You get a big welcome, it is in a pretty setting and the courts are very flat (if they were rather green after the recent wet weather).”

24th July – Golf Handicap League v Dulwich – lost 2:5

Havey rain in the morning didn’t stop play, at least for very long, but the thunder and lightning did! Our opposition were very complimentary about our drainage, as it recovered pretty well, although the water table was only one inch below the surface as we arrived – we were very careful about putting hoops slowly in to avoid being seriously splashed…

As to the match itself: Jon Diamond and John Hobbs were well outclassed by their opposition, both 0 handicap, with Frank Gunstone and Derek Heath unable to retrieve the situation. The return of the sun in the afternoon failed to improve the outcome and we were well beaten – more practise required!

11th July – TW beat Dulwich in the second round of the CA Mary Rose Cup

Tunbridge Wells are through to the third round (quarter-finals) of the Mary Rose!! Well it did help to get a bye in the first round, but on 11 July, we beat Dulwich 4-3 on their lawns, avenging our home defeat in the opening South-East Federation A-League match.

Jolyon and Alex romped round to the peg in the doubles and then spent an awful long time failing to complete the game. Mick B had a good win over Belgian international Pierre Beaudry while John H went down to Mark Ormerod, a returning minus player from the eighties.

So to a fine lunch 2-1 up (again!) but this time the necessary two wins came from the same lawn, Jolyon taking out an erratic Ed Dymock, while Alex eventually managed to hit in at long distance after one ball had been pegged out by David Collins.

6th July – Golf Handicap League v Compton – won 6:3

What a pleasure to report that we triumphed.

Richard Clark, Frank Gunstone, Val and Joyce Rocca represented the club against visitors from Compton who admired the fresh green lawns we had in wait for them. By lunch time we had a 4 -2 lead, having taken both doubles matches and half the singles. Fortified by lunch Richard and Frank combined in the doubles to put the outcome beyond doubt. Joyce won but Val lost the remaining singles games to give us a comfortable 6-3 win and to restore a bit of local pride. Richard and Frank, survivors of the Surbiton Massacre of the previous week had recovered their form while the Roccas performed very well too. Our opponents did not always appreciate the length of our clearances, but took away a few tips on jumps shots to salve their wounds. Beware next time.

2nd-4th July – Jon Diamond wins 6 Lawns Trophy

One of the more unusual tournaments is this 6 Lawns handicap event, with two lawns at each of the Littleton, Winchester and Hamptworthy Croquet Clubs (all within a 25 mile radius).

Brian Fisk, as manager, has a more difficult job than most managers – having to schedule groups at the three clubs, so that players remain at the club they’re scheduled to start at for the whole of that day and collecting results by mobile phone.

This year he had to do a complete re-organisation as two more players entered in the last week, making a total of 18 and so 3 blocks of 6 in an all-play-all over the first two days. The last day was occupied by the semi-finals (block winners plus best loser) and finals at Hamptworthy.

As it happens I had a clean sweep, winning all 7 games, and so won the event; although not without alarums – the semi-final (13.5 bisques) was only won by 1 hoop and the final (11.5 bisques) by 3, after a disaster with a rover-peel attempt and an easy win beckoning. I think this is the first time Barbara has really been watching my games and the stress was too much for her at various times!

A great event with much hospitality including accommodation for may players, a barbeque and fish & chips supper. However, I’m not sure what they’re going to call the event next year as they’re hoping to have another two lawns at Hampworthy… but do try it yourself – the natives are friendly.

2nd July – Golf Level League v Surbiton – lost 0.5:6.5

Just like doing the driving test on an ice rink with Fangio, Schumaker et al watching. England internationals did us the honour of playing with (against) us. We went down by 6.5 to 0.5 to a highly polished team of handicaps 1,2,2,3. The lawns were quite an experience, lacking the comforting green of ours, and sporting more Plummers than the human brain can comprehend. I have to report that we all played very well, with some valiant clearances, but we were mere Riddicks to Surbiton’s Federers in the end. I suppose even dead gladiators could claim that the experience would do them good in later contests. Food excellent. It was very hot. Nice people, but as golf croquet players not in our class, I’m afraid.

27th June – Jean Cobbold wins Open Golf Handicap Tournament

On a lovely sunny, if rather hot day 10 players managed to play 6 rounds of Golf, despite the fox/crow damage to Lawn 3. Jean Cobbold, from Reigate Priory, ran out the winner fairly easily winning all her games, except the one against her husband! This one ended up as a draw…

Full results are:

Player Club Handicap Score
Jean Cobbold Reigate Priory 9 5.5
Ian Cobbold Reigate Priory 5 4.5
Duncan Cox TW 7 4
John Hobbs TW 4 3.5
Jon Diamond TW 2 3
Robert Laver Dulwich 8 3
Lynn Whyte Temple 7 3
Miriam Reader TW 9 2.5
Anne Laver Dulwich 7 1
David Whyte Temple 7 0

Jean had her handicap reduced to 8 and David increased to 8 as a result of the tournament.

26th June – SECF Golf Level Play League v Ramsgate – lost 2:5

Not one of our better outings – only Mick Greagsby played well enough to avoid a whitewash. At least we did provide some decent weather and lunch.

22nd June – SECF U League v Compton – lost 2:5

The U-league team visited Compton on Monday 22 June and had a mostly successful morning, turning round 2-1 up, before a disastrous whitewash in the afternoon, eventually losing 5-2.

Mick and Richard were first in the bar at lunchtime, losing the doubles without really getting into the game, while Jon was next, beating the hard-hitting youngster Craig Oakley who at this time was mainly hard-missing. Alex took till the brink of “time” to finally come from well behind with a winning break.

After a fairly basic lunch of bread and cheese, Compton came alive and Tun Wells slid into a mutual post-prandial torpor. Jon was out-bisqued, Alex was out-hit (Craig now hitting everything), Mick never got into the game and finally, Richard was also out-bisqued by the Compton sub who had got to rover and penult (against 1 & 2) before the bisques ran out.

Strange things can happen at Compton – first Alex, on a normal all-round break, inexplicably ran rover in the wrong direction, then later Jon, having run hoop 2, went straight to penultimate instead of three without any of the intervening nonsense. The ley-lines in Eastbourne are mighty strong, and obviously run down the centre of lawn four !

19th June – Lovat Insurance Brokers win 4th Annual Corporate Challenge

The fourth year of this event, inaugurated as part of Royal Tunbridge Wells 400 in 2006, was a great success with 14 teams taking part on a sunnyish, if slightly cool evening. Sadly the Courier and some other teams were unable to attend again. All teams played with gusto throughout and thoroughly enjoyed the evening, saying that they would be back again next year.

0619_5 Winners: Chris Moon & Robert Elkins (Mallet Masters 2008)
The previous winners (Blockley Partnership and Lovat Insurance Brokers) entered again, and were clearly trying to repeat their previous successes. In the end the final was between two teams from Lovat, with Chris Moon and Robert Elkins (Mallet Masters 2008), who won all four of their games ending up as winners. Runners up were Tim Austen and Cheryl Bowden (Creme de la Creme).

0619_7 Community winners: Rose Harrild & Charles May (Brencley Bruisers)
The Churchill Retirement Living Salver for the best Community team was won by Charles May and Rose Harrild (the Brenchley Bruisers).

Prizes were awarded to the winners and commiserations to the losers, who we hope to see later on in the season.

The full list of teams is:

  • Lovat Insurance Brokers – 3 teams
  • Cripps Harries Hall – 2 teams
  • Wells Associates – 4 teams
  • Blockley Partnership
  • Brenchley Bruisers
  • Four Elms Mallets
  • Discord Distribution
  • Expense Accounters

Thanks to all the helpers – Duncan Cox, Frank Gunstone, John Moore and Val Rocca, together with those in the kitchen Barbara Diamond and Joyce Rocca.

15th June – B League v Ember – lost 1-2

The B-league match against the Ember club from Esher in Surrey was played at home on Monday 15 June.

The match was lost 2-1, mainly due to Alex’s complete inability to hit anything in the last half-hour when points were desperately needed. Miriam had “… one of those days …”, while our only success was newly-joined Ron Benson (formerly of Surbiton CC) who squeezed past Mike Lambert (other club Surbiton CC) by the proverbial +1 on time.

Despite the threatening clouds, the rain held off till nearly lunchtime but afterwards fell in torrents and no further play was possible.

12th June – Golf Handicap League v Crawley – won 5:4

Another day, another story. This time a similar team (Richard Clark, Frank Gunstone, Derek Heath and Duncan Cox) found their circuitous way to the ground of Crawley Croquet Club. This time the bisques were entirely in the hands of our opponents and they were plentifully ranged beside the court to strike terror in our hearts. But oh! What a different story! The morning’s doubles saw us at one all. The singles which followed left us locked at 3-3. The final session saw us win the doubles (Richard and Derek) and one of the singles (Frank) to emerge 5-4 victors.

8th June – Golf Handicap League v Reigate – lost 1-8

They came, they saw, they conquered. (8 – 1)

There is little else to say but that the collective might of Richard Clark (Captain), John Hobbs, Frank Gunstone and Derek Heath could not withstand the polished arts of our Reigate visitors shielded from our futile efforts by an tidy basket of bisques. All had been decided well before lunch. Significantly however in the one and only tie in which we were the recipients of a solitary bisque, the stalwart John Hobbs used it to good effect, running out the winner by 7-6 in the last game of the day, salvaging not only something of his own reputation but our collective self esteem. I am sure our next opponents (Crawley) will pay dearly for this chastening experience.

6th/7th June – Kent Cup

0507-04 Jon Diamond presenting the cup to the winner Robert Alexander, with Alex Jardine (manager on left) and Rodney Parkins (runner-up)Tunbridge Wells hosted the Kent Cup over the weekend of 6/7 June, with victory going to a Medway member yet again, this time Robert Alexander from Rodney Parkins in second place.

Despite the threat of rain, and a downpour in the early hours of Sunday morning, the playing conditions were excellent. With Dulwich having decided they are no longer a Kent club, and no representation from Ramsgate or Canterbury, the small entry of just eight from Medway and ourselves got in seven games each in an all-play-all block.

The Saturday was dominated by the careful and steady play of Rodney, who won all four games albeit two by just +1 in overtime after the time turns had finished level. In the meantime, Robert had three easy wins but was himself beaten +1 by Jon Diamond in an exciting three-ball ending.

Key game on Sunday then, was the win by Robert over Rodney, right on the 2 ½ hour time limit by 15 points (!) with one of Rodney’s balls still to get off hoop 1. Shot of the day was Alex’s 8-yard penultimate (in another 3-ball ending) which then glanced off the peg to end up next to David Parkins’ balls, carefully wired behind hoop 4, giving him an easy finish. In the final round, Jon comprehensively defeated Rodney to leave Robert clear on number of wins.

Results
6 wins – Robert Alexander
5 wins – Rodney Parkins, Alex Jardine
4 wins – David Parkins
3 wins – Jon Diamond, Philip Mann
2 wins – Paul Miles
0 wins – John Hobbs

18th May – Ivychurch friendly

We had a very enjoyable day at Ivy Church yesterday although it was somewhat windy! We lost all the association matches and I am told the lawns were not ideal for that form of croquet, a point you made at the bank holiday tournament. We won all but one of the golf matches which meant we lost overall by one game.

17th May – SECF A League v Dulwich – lost 3:4

The very first SE Federation Advanced-league match was played at TW on Sunday 17 May, when we entertained (and that is the right word) the Dulwich team. Despite the fact that their highest handicap ranked better than our lowest, we lost by only 4 – 3 on an entertaining and most enjoyable day, even though the weather was both showery and very breezy.

Following the loss of a fairly turgid doubles, and John going down to superior hitting, the star of the morning was Mick G (playing off handicap 9) who took out his very-experienced oppo (off 1.5) after an exhausting 4-hour struggle. So in to an excellent lunch only 2-1 down, when we were expecting worse, to be honest.

In the afternoon, Alex soon succumbed to his minus-handicap opponent, making most of his points after Peter had missed the peg-out, while the match was secured by Simon beating Mick G to give Dulwich an unassailable lead.

Nonetheless, there was still pride to be played for, and both Mick B and John, in an exciting 3-ball finish, came through with fine wins to level the singles tally.

9th/10th May – SECF Association Team Doubles Championship

The Tunbridge Wells Five (Messrs Belcham, Greagsby, Chapman, Clark and Ms Reader) entered the SEFC Doubles Championship at Southwick this weekend with twelve other teams. We were scheduled to play under the pseudonym of Tonbridge (sic) and acquitted ourselves… averagely, winning no fewer games than we lost. The tournament was won by Dulwich we think. (they were still playing when we left having unsportingly broken for tea in mid afternoon.)

We thought it a trifle odd that Bill Arliss’ computer left some of us playing four of our five games against Purley Bury. Charming opponents though they undoubtedly were, we would have enjoyed it even more if that dratted computer had introduced us to new friends.

As to our play, new boys Chapman and Greagsby acquitted themselves well, especially the latter who raced to the peg in his first game leaving his bereft partner to battle it out to a narrow win! As to the other performances the proverbial curate’s egg provides some clue. Richard C seemed on Sunday to have formed an undying attachment to the ironwork of two back, and Miriam was plucked unremittingly from the jaws of hoop one by an overzealous Purley Bury lady on her first coming out tournament.

Ah well! Five wins and five losses and Southwick’s fine catering under our belts, we’ ve made it home for this week’s coaching. Still better things may be expected.

4th May – Mick Greagsby wins Tunbridge Wells Golf B-Class Level Play

With only 3 playable lawns the 18 players from 4 clubs who took part in this tournament felt somewhat crowded, and had to treble-bank and wait on too many occasions. Still, they did manage to play 6 rounds on a somewhat colder day than anticipated, with our own Mick winning them all.

This was perhaps not totally surprising since he was in the group of players all at 5 handicap (the best allowed) and had been playing throughout the winter in California, albeit Association and not Golf. Eli Frith from Ivychurch with 5 wins, came second. The table of results is (detailed wins/losses are on the CA website):

Player Club Handicap Wins
Mick Greagsby Royal Tunbridge Wells 5 6
Eli Frith Ivychurch 5 5
Duncan Cox Royal Tunbridge Wells 7 4
Paddy Croxford Ivychurch 10 4
Valerie Harding Ramsgate 5 4
Geoff Croxford Ivychurch/ Royal Tunbridge Wells 8 3.5
Pat Frith Ivychurch 9 3.5
Carol Bradley Medway 9 3
Derek Heath Royal Tunbridge Wells 6 3
Vera Phipps Ivychurch 10 3
Miriam Reader Royal Tunbridge Wells 8 3
Michael Sander Royal Tunbridge Wells 9 3
Frank Gunstone Royal Tunbridge Wells 5 2
Michael Gentry Royal Tunbridge Wells 8 2
Roz Cheesman Medway 9 1.5
Kate Sander Royal Tunbridge Wells 10 1.5
Doug Francis Medway 10 1
Tricia Francis Medway 10 1

It was no surprise to find that the only change in handicap was Mick – he now won’t be able to retain his trophy next year as his handicap is now 4!

13th/14th April – Surbiton Easter Advanced

The manager Kevin Carter reports “Fine weather and great lawns (approx 11 plummers) meant that some players got in nine or ten games during this two-day Spring warm-up. It helped that the first games each day started by 9.30 – the benefit of having the last four to arrive being given a late start.

However, the result was settled not long after lunch on the second day. The winner was Rutger, just ahead of last year’s winner, Chris Farthing. Rutger tried several SXPs, completing one and also a QNP. Rutger and Chris were two of half a dozen players getting in practice for the World Championship (ten Surbiton members will compete in it).

At the other end of the scale it was good to see some B-level players entering the fray. Jon Diamond (from Tunbridge Wells and playing off 3.5) did especially well, with 4 wins from 8 games.”

The handicap range for the tournament was from -2.5 to 7, with a median of 0, so quite tough!

5th April – Opening Day

More than 25 people enjoyed the fair weather for our Season’s Opening Day, with the One Ball event in the morning being won by Jon Diamond and the Golf Doubles by Val Rocca & John Moore who won all their games.

Kate Sander provided the superb lunch, with assistance from Shirley Jardine. It was fantastic value for £5, with 3 different types of soup made from vegetables from her garden, as well as pate, cheese and deserts. If we want to repeat this in future I think we’ll have to charge much more!

26th March – Alex Jardine wins 7/11 at the Cheltenham Advanced Tournament

8th March – Sussex County Golf Inter-Club tournament

This is a new event as part of Southwick’s Winter Programme. With only five lawns available it was restricted to 6 teams of four, playing a Doubles and two Singles in each round.

Despite the awful weather in the afternoon it was enjoyed by all, and won by the local team, with 5 straight wins. Our team consisting of Jon Diamond, John Hobbs, Derek Heath and Miriam Reader won three of our matches, finishing up second equal.

27th January – New Zealand Golf Croquet Doubles

Congratulations to Bob Jackson and Aaron Westerby who today won the 2009 NZ Golf Croquet Doubles championships at Wanganui croquet club. It is Aaron’s first time in the event.

27th January – New Zealand Open

Aaron Westerby lost in the second round of the Knock-Out phase of the New Zealand Open to the eventual winner, Stephen Mulliner from England – 17-26, 26-22, 26-19. Aaron finished up 7th overall and winner of the Z-event.

24th January – Desert Classic Association Rules Croquet Tournament

0125_01 Mick Greagsby winning the First Flight of the Desert Classic Association Rules Croquet Tournament!
Played at Mission Hills in California this is an important US Championship and was won by Ben Rothman, with Danny Hunneycutt second.

0101_01 Mick Greagsby at his other home: note deadness board - US rules croquet being played
The First Flight was won by Mick Greagsby. In the final he played the lowest handicap in the flight (Jon Essick – ranked 61 in the USA/516 in the world) and won 13-11! And this with a dodgy shoulder and a split mallet head . (Yes, John Hobb’s replacement did arrive in time, but he didn’t want to change it.)

Anyway. attached is a photo of Mick getting his award ($400, which he has donated to a local charity), and a shot of all the winners. (Leeds & Son (jewellers) were the sponsors).

All this under clear blue skies and temperatures in the 70’s, life is so hard!

2nd January – Frostbite Challenge

Despite much trepidation over the weather forecast, with the 5-day forecasts showing freezing weather for many days, 20 people came to our first ever Frostbite Challenge! The weather was only about 4-5 degrees, but as the picture shows the sun even came out for the occasion.

Plenty of croquet was played with two separate events running side-by-side – Golf Croquet Handicap Doubles with 8 players and One Ball also with 8 players. According to the results sheet Gerald White and Val Rocca won the Golf having won both their games. The full One Ball results are:

Player Wins Games
Mark Houslop 5 5  
Jon Diamond 5 6
Mike Brown 3 4
Mick Belcham 4 7
Alex Jardine 2 5
John Hobbs 2 7
Richard Clark 1 5
Miriam Reader 0 5

so obviously a handicap reduction for Mark is in prospect, he’s been practising too much in Florida…. On the other hand what can we expect from Mick Greagsby when he returns from 6 months in California!

Many thanks to Alex Jardine for organising the event and Elaine Houslop for the hot soup and organising the variety of other food available for lunch. A good time was had by all.

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