Golf Croquet Tactics – Basic Principles (P2)

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Golf Croquet Tactics – Basic Principles-min

(g) what to hit next?

if you can’t run the hoop, and the next ball to play after you can, block or clear it
if neither you or the next ball to play after you can’t run the hoop, its useful to
hit away their last ball in (it won’t come back immediately and gives you
numerical advantage around the hoop)
remember “decoy” balls are to distract you from your correct target

(h) jawsing

a hoop is a hoop, but jawsing the ball gives you a chance at 2 hoops in a row
jawsing with oppo in jumping position or behind the hoop is dangerous
be aware that jawing often backfires, so it’s accepting a deliberate risk

(i) jumping

don’t rely on jumping, since they can fail – jumps aren’t your first option if you
can clear instead
practice your jumps, since you will need them – remember that you can jump a
blocking ball to clear oppo, not just run hoops (but practice this as well!)
jumping is particularly effective on even numbered hoops since oppo is left in
the jaws & not able to play laterally across to the next hoop
only jump on even numbered hoops if you are confident that you won’t pump
oppo through & give them first ball to the next hoop
conversely, it is worth having a go on odd numbered hoops, since oppo already
has first crack at the next hoop = “no jeopardy”. It is surprising how often a
failed jump, which puts oppo through, still leaves them w/o a shot to next hoop

(j) “1-2”

If oppo has put in a good first ball, it is tempting to try clearing with both of your
balls in case you miss. However a solid tactic is “first ball in, second ball clears”.
The first ball keeps the oppo under pressure if you fail to clear them with your
second ball – if they then try for the hoop & fail, you are waiting; so often they opt
to clear you, and you can get back into the hoop. If you have both balls off in the
far distance after misses, this won’t happen…

(k) don’t be surprised by the unexpected

you can’t rely on it, but it is surprising how often even the best players stuff up
never give up, and don’t be surprised when it actually happens – take care
and then make the most of the opportunity

(l) stymying

hitting away gives oppo an opportunity for a miracle shot, no matter how far
a good stymy removes any chance
remember that a stymie that blocks clearing your other ball, and/or running the
hoop, may still allow oppo to get their ball on-side at the next hoop
stymies on indifferent lawns usually lead to heartbreak
practice stymies (improve your percentage)

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