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Happy New Year

Jonathan Powe

8 Jan 2023

To all ED Croquet Members

Happy New Year everyone.  I hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable break over the Christmas period.

Looking to the year ahead, I thought I’d provide an update on a few things:

Winter/Summer Season.  Although the dates remain tbc, it is likely that the courts will close for a 2-week maintenance break on 19 March before re-opening on 3 April for the summer season.  


2023 Programme.  The programme of events for 2023 is still being developed.  The dates for the tournaments are now fixed, but most of the league fixtures remain tbc.  You can find the current version of the programme on the noticeboard in the veranda and on the ED Croquet homepage (scroll down to ‘Future Events’).  Both will be updated as and when more dates are confirmed.

League Teams. We will be forming eleven teams in 2023: four teams in National inter-club events; three in the South West Federation leagues; one Short Croquet tournament team; and three teams in the Southern Federation leagues.  The list of the teams and captains can be found here.  Fixture dates will be confirmed when known and sign-up sheets (where appropriate) will then be posted on the noticeboard.  If you wish to register an early interest for one or more of the teams, please get in touch with the relevant team captain(s).

Internal Competitions.  Gary Brennan and John Clode are teaming up to run our internal competitions in 2023.  Gary is aiming to send out the information towards the end of January, with a view to starting the competitions in early April.  John will run the competitions during the season, chasing up players as necessary!  One major change for 2023 is that all our internal GC handicap competitions will use the ‘Advantage Play’ format rather than ‘Extra Strokes’.  Don’t worry if you haven’t used this format; we plan to run some familiarisation sessions before the competitions start.  In the meantime, you can read about Advantage Play on the CA website here, which includes a link to this guide: How to play Advantage GC

Handicap Cards.  The club handicappers (AC – Mike Rice; GC – Keith Southern) will be checking handicap cards before the start of the summer season.  Please drop off your cards when asked. 

Bamboo.  Unfortunately the initial attempt to remove all the bamboo before Christmas was not successful and has revealed some other major issues, such as deep, stubborn roots and damage to the drainage pipes.  Further quotes are being sought, but the task is likely to be expensive and time consuming, and there is a danger that the work may delay opening Court 4 as a full-sized court at the start of the summer season.  We’ll keep you updated.  

Padel.  As those who attended the Club AGM on 13 Dec will have heard, the plans for the padel courts continue to be developed.  Although planning permission has been granted for two padel courts at the far end of the Worthington Crescent (WC) grass court area, it is likely that a revised application will be submitted for three courts with floodlights on the far side of the Cage (the grass court area beyond Croquet Court 5 – see here) rather than on the WC area.  There will be room for an additional hard tennis court in the Cage, which would also provide space for a further 1-3 padel courts should demand warrant it in the future.  Building three padel courts is not cheap (the current rough estimate is between £250K and £500K) and funding options are being explored.  However, the income model looks attractive and there is confidence that there will be a good return on investment, which could then be used to fund other areas of the club (clubhouse, asphalt, car parking etc).  We’ll know more when we see the business case and this is all subject to approval by the Board before being put to the membership.  In the meantime, you will be able to read a bit more detail in the minutes of the Club AGM when they are shared with all members, hopefully in the next few days.  More information will follow in due course.  If you are not familiar with padel, here’s a 2-minute introductory video.

Lawn Care.  Finally, please remember to carry a pitchmark repairer at all times when on the court and repair any damage straight away.  As I hope you will have seen, there is a pot of repairers in the veranda.  Please grab one if you don’t have one on you.

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