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If you believe croquet is a game played on vicarage lawns in prehistory, it’s time to think again. Blewbury Croquet Club (BCC) is thoroughly up to date, offering try out sessions before joining and free instruction from qualified coaches afterwards. It’s quite difficult to miss a large ball with a large mallet so beginners can enjoy games from the start. Imagine snooker on grass; as the skill sets increase, so do the subtleties and complexities. Don’t be afraid of having a go; above all, croquet is sociable, affordable and fun.
The club is located on the outskirts of Blewbury, a traditional village with a vibrant community and two pubs within three miles of Didcot. The club has two full sized courts and a clubhouse on the multi-purpose recreation ground. Looking up at expansive views of the Berkshire Downs is tempting, though raising your head playing a croquet shot is unlikely to be rewarded.
Currently we have around 50 members of all ages and levels. See about us to see what we offer and details of how to get in touch or If you’re considering taking up croquet from scratch, read on to learn what it’s all about.
To state the obvious, croquet, like all sports, is best started young, but unlike most other sports, age and gender are no barrier. The physical component is minimal, the learning curve can be swift and temperament can compensate for limited natural ability.
When it comes to use of courts, coaching and match play, BCC gives equal weight to Association Croquet (AC) and Golf Croquet (GC), the two branches of the game. Both are played as singles or doubles. They use transferable basic shot making skills though some players develop a preference for one or the other.
AC is the older format, the one many remember from childhood games involving putting your foot on your ball to rocket your opponent’s into the flowerbed. Though this is totally forbidden today the modern game does include elements from the original, notably the need to plot your way around the course.
Unlike AC, where competitors progress by building breaks (sequences of shots), then spend time on the sidelines while their opponents do the same, GC players are on court all the time.
AC and GC use handicap systems, with free turns awarded to lesser players. This means that players can compete in handicap games with an even chance of winning. Some take the game very seriously, but many club members look on it as a great way to spend a sunny summer afternoon – or even a damp winter one because the courts are open whenever the weather permits.
About the club
The two courts were established in 2002, with generous grants from Sport England, the Croquet Association, the Vale of the White Horse District and the Blewbury Parish Council among others. BCC takes great pride in maintaining them at the highest level.
It is open throughout the year and membership is open to all. New recruits are always welcome. Members may use the club equipment and have access to coaching from qualified coaches within the club. You don’t need any special clothing or equipment to start playing at our club, apart from a comfortable pair of flat-soled shoes so as not to damage the courts.
For both formats of the game, there are internal events and regional and national leagues and tournaments for those who wish to play competitively. These cater for all levels of player from beginner to expert.