Golf Croquet 101

The National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach has expanded its summer golf croquet league to make room for more participants. Five weeks of play for teams of family, friends, and coworkers begins July 8. Golf croquet is the easiest version of the sport to learn, so beginners are welcome, and the summer league keeps it light with creative team names, fun hats, and matching attire. Here, PBI shares the basics so you can shine at the awards ceremony and the lobster dinner scheduled for August 13. 

How to Play

Team ball colors are either blue and black or red and yellow. Order of play—visible on the peg in the center of the court—is dictated by the color of the balls. The game begins in the fourth corner, and players try to hit their ball into scoring position while the opposing team works to hit their balls out of scoring position. The first team to score seven points wins.

Pro Tips

Strategize to score two wickets with one ball in successive turns, or to get an opponent’s ball out of the jaws of a contested wicket. If you really want to impress the audience, practice your jump shot and score by hitting your ball over an opponent’s ball.

Code of Conduct

In keeping with long-standing tradition, players should wear white. Heels of any kind are discouraged. Despite the competitive nature of the game, genteel behavior is required on the green at all times. Players should be clever but are expected to call faults on themselves if they misstrike their ball. In croquet, good sportsmanship is as important as winning.

Only Spectating

If you arrive to watch after a game has started, you may ask one of the players for the score between shots. Drinks are served to spectators and players alike.


Blob: Accidentally failing a wicket and landing in the jaws.

First colors: The traditional colors used in croquet (blue, red, black, yellow).

Jaws: Area of the wicket between the uprights.

Jump shot: A shot where the ball is hit hard into the ground, causing it to jump up, usually over another ball to score a difficult angled wicket.

Mallet: Used to hit the balls; typically 36 inches long.

Stake: The most common name for the peg in the middle of the six-wicket court or on either end of the nine-wicket or backyard court.

Wickets: The metal or wire openings set in the lawn through which points are made; referred to as hoops in Commonwealth countries.

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