Croquet might have had a reputation of being a game just for older people, but during the Covid summer last year, sales of croquet sets and equipment from the national Croquet Shop rose by 120% as many people took up garden croquet. More and more youngsters have become interested in the game, and most of the top players at club level are under 40. There are now over 200 clubs in the UK.

Northampton Croquet Club started in 1984, fi rst in Beckett’s Park and later in the grounds of St Andrew’s Hospital. As the hospital had another use for its lawns, the club is in the process of developing a new site, with up to eight courts, in Sywell.

The great thing about croquet is that it exercises both the mind and the body. Like other sports such as snooker or bowls it is a game of strategy; when it is your turn to play there are usually several different options to weigh up and you need to work out what your opponent might do next. It also gets you out into the fresh air and exercises all the body. Games can take from half an hour, for a simple game, to up to three hours.

Northampton Croquet Club holds regular club days when anyone can turn up and play and meet other members. You can come along a couple of times for free and use club equipment and mallets. All newcomers will have a ‘buddy’ to help them learn the ropes. All you need to start is a pair of fl at shoes – the grass is similar to a bowling green. Until you get the croquet bug and are ready to play more seriously you can use a club mallet, and all the playing equipment for free. Membership is about £100 a year, but there are no joining, game or lawn fees and members can normally play as many times as they like, all year round.

To fi nd out more, contact Mike Hills on 01604 467780 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Northampton Croquet Club