European Golf Croquet Championship 2023

Budleigh Salterton, 25-28 May 2023

The event was won by Rachel Gee from England beating Aston Wade in a repeat of last year’s final but with the result reversed.

32 players from 12 different countries were represented: 5 each from England and Spain; 3 each from Finland, Ireland, Sweden, Wales and Switzerland; 2 each from Germany and Norway; and 1 each from Czech Republic, Latvia and Scotland (with myself David Fell representing Scotland).

The tournament took place on 8 of the 11 lawns at Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club over four days of hot and sunny weather on well-manicured firm lawns using Quadway hoops with, I believe, a clearance of 1/32nd of an inch.  The hoops were reset each day.  On Day 2 in my own first game the ball became jammed in two of the hoops requiring the referee having to be called to have the hoops reset before play could continue.  A number of players agreed that those hoops were difficult to run the way they were set, although of course it was the same for all and should be challenging at such a championship.  My own feeling, supported by some others over the weekend, was that they would not like to try to play AC with hoops set as they were.

The standard of play was very high with 18 players with dynamic grades over 2000.  Seeded at the bottom of my block I was pleased to win 2/7 matches.

The event was well supported by the club members who organised packed lunches for all who requested them, a fish and chip supper on the Friday evening and a paella and music evening on the Saturday.

The full results are available on Croquet Scores.

David Fell