Green Gables Croquet Club

The Mount Desert Island Croquet Club Book of Puzzlers

‘What do I do now, with only 45 seconds to make up my mind?’ American Rules 6-wicket croquet has sometimes been called chess on the grass. In truth it does require chess-like strategic analysis as well as the kind of physical coordination skills required of billiards and golf players. Nerves of steel in critical situations help, too.”


Tom Zooming on Saturday Morning

Chuck Reynolds - 4 Ball Break - Watch Out

In late September at Wicket Wednesday, I had the great pleasure to watch Chuck Reynolds play the most awesome end game last ball to come from behind and tie up the game, surprising me and my partner.

Behind by five wickets, his partner scored his wicket then shot Chuck an opponent ball and lined up as a pioneer. Chuck breezed through wicket 4, roqued his opponent, sent it to one-back, rushed a second opponent ball as a pivot and made wicket 5 with his partner ball. He then skated to six and one-back tying up the game.

Chuck has the 4 ball break in his pocket, so opponents beware!

By Karen Leoncavallo

Chuck Reynolds

What is a 4 Ball Break?

Here are 2 example videos suggested by Tom Cooper. Chuck mentioned that he had studied YouTube videos to learn the pattern. I did as well. - Scott K.

Learning 4 Ball Breaks (full court example #1) <-- Has sound

Learning 4 Ball Breaks (full court example #2) <-- No Sound

Tom Cooper at AC Nationals Tournament, and Camping!

The Association Laws Nationals recently took place in Hartfield, VA for 7 long days of croquet. Most days we played at least 3 matches of 2.5 to 3 hours each. Some days were longer.

There were 26 contestants in four blocks to start. I had Matthew Essick, #2 in the World in my block, plus Danny Huneycutt who many of you know as a professional instructor and tournament director.

Tom on a Roll

Tom and Zack Watson

Camp Cooper with the GGCC Flag

There were 26 contestants in four blocks to start. I had Matthew Essick, #2 in the World in my block, plus Danny Huneycutt who many of you know as a professional instructor and tournament director. Needless to say, it was tough going. I was very fortunate to get two wins which made me #16 out of the 16 players to make the play-offs where I met Zack Watson of North Carolina (pictured with me here). Zack ended up winning the doubles, came in 3rd in singles and sent me packing to go play in the plate, which is a competition for those knocked out before the semi-finals. I can honestly say, probably due to the many Saturdays at Green Gables playing with the very tough G-Men, that I was very much in each match. While it’s not at all unusual to lose 26-0, I was able to have a chance to win in each match and only lost to Matthew 26-22 with a chance to win late in the game.

A word about Covid. Although the USCA, our national organization, has cancelled several major events for the Fall, Club tournaments are still being scheduled. In the case of last week’s Nationals, everyone was masked unless they were playing on the lawn. Masks were strictly enforced, and people sat apart during lunch. I think everyone did a very good job holding to the rules. There were no dinners or large gatherings so things were not quite as elegant as in the past but there was plenty of comradery around the club.

I was proud to fly the Green Gables flag outside the tent through rain and shine, having a great time with a terrific group of players from all over the country. I highly recommend traveling to compete at any level. You meet wonderful people and gain new insights into playing the great game of croquet.

Tom Cooper

Blog post (link)

Members Round Robin Aug 22-23

Sad News, Ann Ix

Please see link to eulogy (link)

Come and Celebrate National Croquet Day

Sunday, June 7, starting at 5 PM

Invite Interested and Interesting People. No Guest Fees!!

Green Gables Croquet Club, the oldest of the roughly 80 private croquet clubs in the United States, will be celebrating National Croquet Day this coming weekend on its three courts located at the National Guard Training Center in Sea Girt. With rain forecast for June 6, the official celebratory day, Green Gables will be hosting an open house for the public the following day, Sunday June 7th, beginning at 5:00 pm. Come as you are, masks required. Parking is available adjacent to our courts.

Croquet is a great way to get exercise, fresh air and sunshine, and socialize while maintaining the social distancing required at this time. Green Gables is open June through October and has group lessons for both the six-wicket American game and golf croquet as well as individual and team play. Anyone having an interest in the sport of croquet should contact GGCC President Scott McMurray for more information. No guest fees!! Come play!!

Please visit our website:, or email

Tuesday Morning Lessons Have Started!!

First things first. Our Tuesday morning lessons will resume this coming Tuesday, June 2, at 9:00 am. We worried that with Murray and Brenda Pollock remaining in Florida for the time being we might have to put off the beginning of lessons. However, Tom and Loretta Cooper, United States Croquet Association-certified instructors, have volunteered to step in. Players of all skill levels are welcome. If you haven’t had the pleasure of playing with Tom or Loretta, you are in for a treat.

In the spirit of getting the kinks out of your game, Loretta tells me that the first Tuesday lesson will be a swing clinic. “We will focus on the swing as the starting point for croquet.”

The Courts Are Open!!!

No better to way to open the new season than to hammer in the first wicket with your brand new mallet! Photo credit Tom Cooper.

Attention Green Gables Croquet Club Members!

Exciting News! Gov. Murphy's Executive Order 148 issued Friday May 22, 2020 opens up our courts for limited use, with a ** updated maximum of 25 players ** on the courts at any one time, in line with widely practiced social distancing steps already in practice in many aspects of our lives. The previous Executive Order 147 set a 10-person maximum. Please read the order below and stay tuned for additional directives from your Board concerning the date the courts will be playable, following a cleanup Sunday , and procedures for maintaining the health and safety of members.

*** We are all keenly aware that we and all groups will be observed closely to ensure that we are operating in step with State guidelines and with the health of our members foremost in mind. ***

Thank you for your support during these trying times, The GGCC Board of Trustees

Link to NJ Executive Order 147

Link to NJ Executive Order 148


16 people signed up and played in our First Annual Cobweb games. Blue skies, bright sunshine, and State Police Trooper candidates marching around made for 2 days of fun and wickets. Everyone had a good time. The team of Karen Leoncavallo and Dennis Leddy was the winning team. Many thanks to all who participated by playing ding boards and/or cheering the players on to victory.

Link to Blogger, News, Announcements

Calendar of Events (Full Monthly View)

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