GOLF CROQUET – Playing the Middle Section (P2)
Think about the Transition from hoop #5 – #6
Keep in mind that all odd-numbered hoops are great opportunities to jaws the ball and therefore be able to score the hoop and be the first ball down to the next hoop. There is a good chance you could win two hoops in a row!.
Take your time playing hoop #5 and try to create a situation where you can jaws your ball without getting cleared out. Also keep in mind when shooting the ball in the jaws at #5 on to #6 that the distance between these two hoops is the shortest hoop distance, be careful not to overhit and go past #6.
If your opponent is in the jaws at hoop #5 and you cannot clear them out, position yourself to block their path to hoop #6.
First Ball to Hoop #6
Try to get in the best possible scoring position if you are the first ball to hoop 6. The other balls most likely will be shooting from behind you and possible without much angle (along with navigating around the center peg), making it a difficult clearing shot.
a) If your opponent has a good scoring position at hoop #6, find a way to clear them, block them, or shoot the hoop from where you are.
b) Keep in mind the distance from the center peg to hoop #6 is 21 feet, so if you happen to be in the vicinity of the peg and have no other options, a 21-foot hoop shot isn’t a terribly bad option.
c) Another option is to go halfway to hoop #7 – be sure to set up on the scoring half-way side of hoop #7. Some players will opt to shoot their ball out of bounds at the halfway point to have a nice angle to hoop #7.
d) If your scoring ball is in the jaws at hoop #6, look for a chance for your partner ball to peel you through, saving you a shot heading to #7.
Clearing Shots are Key at Hoop #7
With hoop #7 located in a corner and your approach from the center of the court from hoop #6, clearing shots can be vitally important. If your opponent has set up in a scoring position at #7, take him out. Typically, the worst thing that will happen if you miss a clearing shot is that you will go into the corner quadrant. You are still within a 21-foot vicinity of this hoop.
Hoop #7 is another excellent and wise opportunity to go to jaws.
The Score after Hoop #4– at this point you could be off to a great start leading 4-0 or 3-1, or tied at 2-2. If not, you may have your work cut out for you trailing 0-4 or 1-3. Regardless of the score after this first section, focus on playing the middle section well. It could increase your lead, tie things up, or get momentum back in your favor.
Ideally, you are trying to score both hoop #5 and #6 keeping yourself in a good situation in the game as you head to one-back (#7). At the end of hoop #6 the score could be 6-0 in your favor, 5-1, or 4-2.
Your lead could also have dissipated making it 3-3, 2-4, or worse you could be down 1-5 or 0-6. Regardless of the score, remember that the game is never over until the winning hoop has been scored. As you head into the final section, each shot you take will be critical.
Every shot you take is important and has a purpose. There is a lot to think about when you are playing, but it all boils down to making each shot you take count. Every shot has value and each shot combined with another will hopefully string together a win!