Golf Croquet Tactics – Basic Principles (P3)

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(m) promoting your partner ball

not my first choice – usually too inaccurate to justify leaving your other ball
behind out of play
sometimes forced on you because striker’s ball is blocked by partner ball
from anywhere useful, but be very conservative re where “useful” might be
can be devastatingly effective if your balls are close enough to be very
accurate in where you send your partner ball (practice to improve your %!)
beginners often want to hit their partner ball through, when it is jawsed in an
odd numbered hoop. This will score the hoop, but it is unlikely to get close
enough to the next hoop to be better than waiting and letting the partner ball
itself run this hoop down to the next hoop– the exception is if oppo is about
to clear the jawsed ball and you can’t stop oppo’s ball doing so

Golf Croquet Tactics – Basic Principles (P3)

(n) running hoops backward

not my first choice – looks easy but all too often you end up jammed against
the back of a hoop, or only half way through (ie not live), or you run it so well
that you haven’t blocked oppo…
there are however times when oppo is ready to run the hoop with their ball
next, and you have no other option
sometimes running a hoop hard backward may be better than just rolling
through (eg if they can jump you if you just roll through the hoop & block)

(o) “back door” play

deliberately putting a ball behind the hoop is counter-intuitive (see a & b above)
but oppo will tend to discount such a ball, and not hit it away, so it is often a
useful tactic to influence play at a hoop if you haven’t a better option
especially useful to discourage oppo from just jawsing their ball
(eg if they’re setting up a promotion shot to H13 after H12)
also useful to block an already jawsed oppo ball, so it can’t just head for the
next (even numbered hoop). Remember that jawsed balls can still jump you.
it is usually better to be a yard back than close in – you have less dead zone
(where you can’t hit oppo)

(p) playing to the side

if your partner ball is off in the distance, and oppo is close but can’t run the
hoop, then play to 2-3 yards (depending on your clearing distance) to the
other side of the hoop, “Inside” – towards a near boundary – is best.
this won’t get you a chance to run the hoop, but gives you time to get your
other ball back in play. If instead, you head for the boundary out in front of
the hoop, oppo will just put in a block and see if you hit them through
if you get into an impasse with 2 balls hiding from each other on either side
of a hoop (waiting for someone to crack & go in front), don’t get too close to
the hoop – it is easy to then pop out far enough to give oppo a shot at you,
and it constricts your shooting options

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