The inevitable Mar-a-Lago Trump croquet backlash has officially kicked off. Cue the fireworks and congratulations to the Miami Herald and Carl Hiaasen as first out of the gate. In fact, he gave croquet first mention in his brilliantly circular fake news/non-fake news posting:
"Those of you who’ve visited our website know that one of our most popular 'six-star' amenities is croquet. This is the sport where you dress up like Jay Gatsby and whack a hard ball through a series of bent coat-hangers that have been whimsically arranged on a wide green lawn.
Raising the club’s initiation fees will allow us to upgrade our famous croquet operation. The traditional wooden balls will be replaced by ones made of authentic elephant ivory, supplied by Mr. Trump’s older sons.
Another exciting change is coming to our renowned lunchtime bridge games. Each deck of playing cards will soon feature a hand-painted likeness of Mr. Trump as the king of hearts, and of Mrs. Trump as the queen of diamonds."
Another spectacular stereotype of the sport that maybe exists in one or two clubs in the entire world. I'd love to embrace this beautiful fantasy of a sport drowning in money and opulence, but all I know are croquet facilities primarily concerned with keeping clubs alive, pop-up tents for shade, styrofoam coffee cups, pizza lunches and a relatively good chance that you'll get drafted onto the hoop setting crew at some point. Not to mention the occasional eight to 12-hour tournament days based on an overall scarcity of courts at most facilities, which syncs with the general lack of good lawns across the world. Whatever posh is ... it's not the croquet I've seen.
Over the years though, I've come to enjoy and embrace the underground/underdog nature of the sport. If the sport is destined to crawl forward in perpetual survival mode, so be it. However, I kind of draw the line of quiet tolerance when a "newspaper" sets forth a piece perpetuating a negative image of our sport.
With that, I now leave you to the real croquet news of the week ...
SKINLEY OUT FOR NZ: Croquet New Zealand is reporting a line-up change for their MacRobertson Shield roster. Chris Shilling will replace Paul Skinley in the line-up for the New Zealand team. Skinley has previously played in seven MacRobs for New Zealand while Shilling will be getting his first experience in this year's event.
GOLF CROQUET WORLDS: Press release on the upcoming 2017 WCF Golf Croquet World Championships to be held in February in Australia.
MACROB DONATIONS: The USCA is looking for donations to support hosting the 2017 MacRobertson Shield team competition to be held April 18 to May 4, 2017 at the Mission Hills Croquet Club in Rancho Mirage, California. More details and link to the donation form.
2017 TRANS TASMAN: The next edition of the AC Trans Tasman test competition between Australia and New Zealand is set for December 4-9, 2017, at the Northern Tasmanian Croquet Centre, St Leonard’s Sports Centre, Launceston, Tasmania. More details on the event from Croquet New Zealand.
MALLET MANIA: Patrick Foy details his long list of mallets that used over the years in this piece from Croquet World Online.
PONTE VEDRA PRO: The Ponte Vedra Recorder recently posted a piece on new Ponte Vedra Croquet Club pro Jim Nicholls -- “In Australia, we say croquet is the game for people ages 9 to 90,” he said, noting that in some forms of croquet the matches can be as short as 30 minutes. “It’s a non-contact sport, so parents don’t have to worry about those types of issues for their kids.”
TRICK SHOT VIDEO: And to close out this edition, here's a bit of fun on the old croquet court: