Croquet at Phyllis Court
The Croquet Club is a thriving Interest Group. Membership, which currently stands at 251, has grown significantly in recent years, but we are always very keen to welcome more new members.
Croquet has been played at Phyllis Court since 1906 and, after a period of relative dormancy, was reactivated in the 1970s. We play both forms of the sport - Association Croquet (AC), which has been played in England since Victorian times, and the simpler, and now more popular, Golf Croquet (GC). We have four courts, which are maintained in excellent condition.
We typically welcome some 30 to 40 new members every year; some have previously played a bit of garden croquet (a simplified form of AC), while most have probably never touched a mallet before. We have several qualified coaches and run courses for both beginners and improvers.
Above: Some of our members enjoying croquet at an afternoon "mix-in" where members just turn up and play with whoever else comes along. It is well supported by new and long-standing members alike and is a great way to meet fellow members of similar ability.
Above: A captivated gallery watches one of our more competitive events with Phyllis Court entertaining a team from Ashby de la Zouche in the National Club Championships.
Membership costs £20 a year. There is a charge of £25 for Beginners’ Training, which comprises eight hours of tuition (typically in groups of four) with a qualified coach; this course is highly recommended even for those who have played a bit of the sport before.
If you would like to join the Croquet Club or have more information about the club, please contact our Membership Secretary, Hilary Cowley, on 01491 412780.
Beginners’ training is concentrated in April as we encourage new members to join for the start of the summer season, but we run courses as demand requires at other times too.
We cater for all levels of ability. Very many of our members just want to play croquet socially. Many of these will participate in our ‘Mix-in’ (‘Roll-up’) sessions on two afternoons a week (Thursday and Sunday), when members can meet and play against other members, usually in a doubles format. We have other initiatives too, such as a Rainbow, for which the focus is to help the integration of new members into the club and to allow existing members to expand their playing circle.
For others who get the competitive bug, we run season-long competitions, day tournaments and evening tournaments, suitable for all ages and abilities. The club fields five teams in inter-club matches with the Southern Croquet Federation (SCF). We have recently won a number of the SCF leagues, including in 2022, and were runners-up in the National GC Inter-Cub Championship in 2018 and 2019; we also have a smattering of internationals and a number of current and former individual national champions.
Of course, croquet is more appealing on warm, summer days, and therefore the main season runs from April to October, when we grace the courts in our whites. But for hardier souls in warmer clothing the courts remain open for most of the winter, subject to weather conditions.