The new season opens

Saturday 3 September marked the official club start to the summer croquet season.

The day started with a BBQ lunch after which the club captain updated us with the season’s competitions.


Lunch on Opening Day 2016

Lunch on Opening Day 2016

Chris and Jenny Clarke arranged for the shield for the World Teams Golf Croquet Champs to be on display. Chris pointed out that three of the four members of the winning team are United members.

Full results and commentaries are at


Members of the winning team for the 2016 World GC Teams’ Championship, Jenny, Chris and Duncan


Shield for the World GC Teams’ Championship, made by Ray Atkins of Christchurch


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Golf Croquet Trans Tasman

Although it is a club day I am at home escaping the baking 25 degree heat and resting from days of corporate events, the last ending at 10:30 pm when I had to ask them to leave so I could get home.

This means I am able to follow the results of the first of the Golf Croquet Trans-Tasman test series.

The Trans-Tasman is a team event with four women and four men.
The New Zealand team is Jenny Clarke, Dallas Cooke, Erica Stephens, Phyllis Young, Chris Clarke, Jared Keeman, Duncan Dixon and Phillip Drew. Jenny, Chris, Jared and and Duncan are all members of United.

The series consists of three two-day tests held in Nelson from Monday 30 November to Saturday 5 December.
Each test has 24 matches, each best-of-three 13-point games. There are four mixed doubles matches followed by eight singles, then same-sex doubles and a further eight singles.

New Zealand won the first test 15-9 and Australia won the second 14-10. Last night, after the first day of the final test, New Zealand was ahead 8-4. Today, Australia won three of the four doubles to bring the score to a closer 9-7, so the test is still open. If New Zealand win four or more matches, they will win the final test and the series. If they win three games the third test will be a draw. However, New Zealand will be ahead on matches 37-35 and will still win the series.

I am still waiting for the first of the singles results to be posted.

Full results are on Croquet Scores.

Update 4:10pm
Jenny has lost her match to Wendy Dickson in three games. The match score for the last test is now 9-8. Erica is one game up and Phyllis is one game down.
NZ still need another three matches.

It’s a pity there are no commentaries.

Update 5:37pm
Back from planting scarlet runners and parsley
It’s getting close.
Erica and Rosemary are one-each.
Dallas and Anne are one-each.
Phyllis lost her match to Alison
Chris Clarke in one down to Chris McWhirter.
Jared is one up against Kevin.
Which makes the match score 9-9

Update 5:48pm
Erica has lost her match to Rosemary
Match score is now 9-10. Aussies ahead.

Update 7:23pm
Back from The Laboratory (our local pub)
Erica lost
Dallas lost
Chris lost
Jared won
Duncan and Peter one each
Phillip one game up
Match score 10-12 to Australia
Both Duncan and Phillip must win their matches for NZ to win

Update 7:48pm
Phillip won his match
Match score 11-12 to Australia
Down to the last game of Duncan against Peter Landrebe
(one game out of 63 games in the third test)

Update 8:45pm
Jenny started a commentary on the last game.
Duncan won on the 13th hoop of the last game.
That means the third test is a draw at 12 games each and New Zealand wins the series 37 matches to 35.
That was close!!

Croquet Scores shows NZ winning the final test.
The match score is 12-12, but the game score is 35-28 to NZ.
I have not seen the rules for the GC Trans-Tasman so presume the Croquet Scores result is correct.
That does change the fact that NZ wins the series.

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First United September GC Weekend tournament

The United September Golf Croquet weekend tournament was held on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th September 2015.  This is the first time we have run a GC event in September. An AC event has been run in September for several years and will be held 26th and 27th September.

The weather was kind with no rain and plenty of sun for his time of the year.

Six players entered the Open event. It was played as a double round robbin with five 13-point games played each day. Edmund Fordyce (Waireka, South Canterbury) won all his games to take the event and reduce his handicap to 1. Tony O’Donnell (United) was runner up winning eight games. John Borner (St Martins) took third place.

The handicap event had a field of eleven and was played as a round robin with six games on Saturday and five on Sunday and each player having one bye. The winner of the handicap was Connell Leahy (Blenheim), winning 9 of his 10 games. Rosalind Thomson (United)  and Lin Cross (Holmes Park) both won seven games. Rosalind had one net point more than Lin to take second place.

Lyn Cross, Rosalind Thomson, Connell Leahy, Edmund Fordyce and Tony O'Donnell

Lyn Cross, Rosalind Thomson, Connell Leahy, Edmund Fordyce and Tony O’Donnell

Full results can be viewed on Croquet Scores.

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Our new world champion

United Club member Josh Freeth today became the Under 21 Golf Croquet World Champion beating Egyptian Marwan El Sabarouti. The best-of-three final went to the wire with scores of 5-7, 7-6, 7-6. Josh was 4-6 down in the last game but managed to score the final three hoops to win. Josh and Marwan qualify to play in the Golf Croquet World Champs held in Bay of Plenty 7-15 February 2015.

The championship was held at United Croquet Club 1-5 February 2015. Many thanks to Gordon Smith for managing, Chris Clarke for preparing the lawns, including 6:30am starts setting hoops, Lena Metcalf and her team for Tuesday’s meal and the daily BBQ, and many other helpers.

Josh Freeth (3rd from right), Marwan El Sabarouti (2nd from right), Felix Webby, Harry Dodge, Logan McCorkingdale, Lachlan Hughes and John-Paul Moberly

Left-to-right: John-Paul Moberley, Logan McCorkindale, Lachlan Hughes, Felix Webby,  Josh Freeth (winner), Marwan El Sabarouti (runner-up), Harry Dodge

Final placings are:
Winner: Josh Freeth (Canterbury)
Runner-up: Marwan El Sabarouti (Egypt)
Third: Felix Webby (Taranaki)
Forth: Harry Dodge (England)

Plate (players who did not make the knock out)
Winner: Logan McCorkingdale (South Canterbury)
Runner-up: Nadine El Manoufi (Egypt)

Bowl (players eliminated in the first round of the knock out)
Winner: Lachlan Hughes (Wanganui)
Runner-up: Shaun Theobald (Wellington)

Shield (players eliminated in the second round of the knock out)
Winner: John-Paul Moberly (England)
Runner-up: Hemi McLaren

Detailed results are at

The first Under 21 GC World Championship was played in Cairo, Egypt in 2009. This was won by Duncan Dixon.

The second championship was played in Hunstanton, England in 2011 and was won by Moustafa Nezar of Egypt.

Video taken during the championship

Random clips 1 (opens in a new tab)

Random clips 2 (opens in a new tab)

Bloopers (opens in a new tab)

Knock out random clips (opens in a new tab)

Final between Marwan and Josh – clip 1 (opens in a new tab)

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A successful MAGAK weekend

The MAGAK event started in 2007. Sponsored by Kathie and Malcolm Grant, it comprises one days coaching followed by a 3-day open event. This years event was held in the South Island for the first time at United. Jenny and Chris Clarke provided the coaching on Friday and then 16 players ranging from -4 to 6 played a swiss event with prizes in different handicap ranges on Sat to Mon.

The temperature varied from 22 to 8 degrees and the lawns were running around 10-11 seconds until Mondays rain. Jenny Clarke was fast out of the blocks, recording a number of triples, but suffered a defeat to Peter Couch, who after taking 4.5 hours to beat a Tony O’Donnell (handicap 6) in the first game, managed to complete a tpo to beat Jenny.
Elsewhere, Richard Kimberley reached 5/5 before dropping a game to Geoff Duckett and Kathie Grant moved into contention on 3/4 after beating Jenny. Ed Cunningham was playing plenty of games and had just two losses, so was another possible winner.

Losses for Peter and Kathie on Monday morning meant that only 3 players could win. Richard played Jenny in the final round and sealed his biggest ever tournament win to finish with 7/8 and take $700 in prize money. Geoff Duckett was runner-up with 6/8. Best 0 to 2 was Peter Couch. Best 2+ was won by one of the higher handicap players, Ian Campbell who played particularly well during the event. Graeme Fisher won the prize for most points gained on handicap card not to win another prize.
Many thanks to Kathie and Malcolm for bringing this great event South.

For those of you on mid handicaps thinking about whether to play in some open events, I’ll finish with a comment from Ian Campbell, one of the highest handicap players “thank you for urging me to enter the tournament this past weekend. I wouldn’t have given it a second thought as being out of my league“.

The results and prise money were:
Winner and best -2 to -0.5 (with $500 plus $200): Richard Kimberley
Runner-up ($250): Geoff Duckett
Best 0 to 2 ($200): Peter Couch
Best 2.5+ ($200): Ian Campbell
Most index points gained not to win another prize ($150): Graeme Fisher.

Full game results are on Croquet Scores (opens in a new tab/window).

Richard Kimberley: Winner of the MAGAK and best -2 to -0.5

Richard Kimberley: Winner of the 2014 MAGAK and best -2 to -0.5

Geoff-Duckett: Runner-up of the 2014 MAGAK

Geoff-Duckett: Runner-up of the 2014 MAGAK

Peter Couch: Best 0 to 2

Peter Couch: Best 0 to 2

Ian Campbell: Best 2.5+

Ian Campbell: Best 2.5+

Graeme Fisher: Most index points gained not to win another prize

Graeme Fisher: Most index points gained not to win another prize

Chris Clarke coaching a group at the 2014 MAGAK

Chris Clarke coaching a group at the 2014 MAGAK



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United Weekend Tournament

The regular United Weekend Tournament was held on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 September. The forecast rain did not appear, with only a couple of brief showers.

There were 11 entries in the Open event which was won by Michael Wright with Jenny Clarke runner-up.

The handicap event was won by Edmund Fordyce with Kent Caddick runner-up. Edmund pegged out his three handicap games on Saturday and played an extra game in the Open event, beating Graeme Fisher. Edmund started the weekend on handicap 4. His handicap reduced to 3 and the manager, Chris Clarke, also made a non-automatic change to 1.5.

Edmund’s mother Carolyn played two games  in the handicap event when Maurice Cook was unable to play.

Thanks to Margaret Stoddart Retirement Village for sponsoring the weekend.logo-margaret-stoddart

Full results can be found at


Edmund Fordyce (right), winner of the United weekend handicap and runner-up Kent Caddick

Michael Wright, winner of the United Weekend Open and runner-up Jenny Clarke

Michael Wright, winner of the United Weekend Open and runner-up Jenny Clarke

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