A simple introduction
Golf croquet is played with four balls making two teams, Blue and Black versus Red and Yellow. In singles, you will play both balls in your team. In doubles you will play just one colour and your partner will play the other. Each turn consists of just one shot, and play is strictly in sequence: Blue, then Red, then Black, then Yellow, and Blue again.
The players take turns aiming to get their ball through Hoop 1 (while preventing their opponents from doing so). When one ball is successful, that side scores a point, and that hoop is finished with. The following turns are played from wherever the balls happen to be, aiming for Hoop 2. And so on, round the 12 hoops. The first team to seven points(hoops) is the winner.
So your shot might be to get your ball closer to the hoop, or to block your opponent’s shot at the hoop, or to hit your opponent a long way away, or to protect your partner’s ball, or to put your ball where your opponent can’t hit it or . . . Good tactics can beat an opponent who plays more accurately.
If you find yourself playing a more experienced player you will be entitled to a number of extra turns based on the difference between your respective handicaps. Using these well is a skill in itself – but a well played extra turn should win you that hoop so it’s a powerful weapon. Of course, as you improve, the number of extra turns you get will reduce, just as your reputation increases.
The handicapping system ensures that when a strong player plays a weaker one both players can have an enjoyable game.
The WCF rules of Golf Croquet (5th Edition 2018) can be viewed and downloaded here.