The game of croquet can be played with two or four players. The object of the game is to hit your team’s ball(s) through the course of wickets in the right sequence in each direction and finish by hitting them against the center peg. The team that completes the course with both balls first wins. To get started playing croquet, you are going to need the following items…
- If you’re relatively new to the game, pick a length that’s too long for you and adjust your grip to a comfortable height.
- It’s much easier to trim the end of a long mallet than to grow an extra inch on a stubby mallet (we don’t care how much sunshine and fresh water you give it).
- An old trick: let your arm fall to your side and have someone measure from the ground to your wrist. Add an inch to this and that’s the proper length for your mallet.
Square or Round Head
Serious players use a square cross-section head because it’s believed to make hampered shots (when the hoop is in the way of your swing) easier due to the reduced head width.
Shaft Material and Size
Beginners will want a wooden-shafted mallet made of ash, hickory, or New Zealand tawa while more experienced players keep the weight of the handle at a minimum for better pendulum action. In this case, find a fiber-glass, carbon-fiber, or aluminum shaft.
Wooden Heads: Metal Rings?
Wooden mallet heads with brass rings or end-face plates are designed to keep the wood from splitting. You can also buy your own brass rings and slide them over existing mallets. In addition to adding a bit of weight and binding the wood, it also will make your mallet look much, much cooler. But rings won’t protect the wood of the head from wear so the best possible solution for serious players is an end-plated mallet protected with tough plastic.