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The gentle knocking of wood on wood
interspersed with peals of laughter, friendly
banter and encouraging words of support
are the sounds of the Southern Highlands Croquet
Club in Exeter.
Golf croquet is played on Tuesday and Fridays on
the beautifully manicured croquet lawns in Exeter
making this an ideal meeting place for people of all
ages who love the outdoors, gentle exercise and enjoy
socialising within the community.
The rst known mallet and ball games were played
in England and Europe in the middle ages and were
called "pall mall". The game involved hitting a single
ball through wide hoops. The modern game is
reputed to have Irish origins and moved to England
in the 1850s. Thereafter it moved to the colonies
and has been popular in Australia since the late 19th
Century. Its success was signi cant as it allowed
women to compete on an equal basis with men.
Hoops of di erent colours indicate the direction of
the game. The saying "it's all over red rover" comes
from the croquet game and is uttered when a player
successfully shoots their ball through the last
Each player takes a stroke in turn, trying to hit a ball
through the same hoop. Blue and black balls play
against red and yellow. When a hoop is won, the
sequence of play continues as before. The winner
of the game is the player or team who wins the
The game itself is fascinating, with players having
to follow a route around the lawn, aiming their ball
through the next hoop. The task is made more
di cult when trying to avoid hitting the opposition
ball through the hoop and anticipating your partner's
next move. There are many intricate shots and
manoeuvres which make croquet a wonderful way to
pass a lazy day.
The Exeter lawns have been in existence since the
1980s and have recently seen a surge in membership.
President of the club, Dr Peter Anderson, says the
game is attracting many new members from villages
around the Highlands.
Members of the Exeter club play croquet for the gentle
e xe rcis e , social and mental aspect of the game.
A perfect combination of golf, billiards, bowls, chess
and bridge skills are ideal for playing croquet.
Golf croquet allows everyone to have a turn at playing
a shot and is therefore suitable for newcomers and
those wanting to learn the game. n
Crikey it's Croquet
> Oliver Smith, Mary Paton, Jill Anderson, Elizabeth Rees, Suzie Wallace and croquet
coach from Maitland Jackie Macdonald
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