Green Gables  Croquet Club

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2021 NJ Championship

Two beautiful days of competition at the 2021 NJ Championship hosted by the Rumson Country Club. Weather was perfect. The competitors had dinner on the club veranda overlooking the courts. Players came from New Jersey, New York, Delaware, and even Connecticut. 

Tom Cooper had stiff competition including Stuart Lawrence (-3 HC) and Tim Rapuano (-1.5 HC). Tom won the final match 19-18 in a nail-biting final match against Stuart. 

Championship Flight 

First Flight

Championship Plate

Link to Pictures Album (link)

Lawns Committee in Action!!

In late September, your lawns committee members did a major annual maintenance project to keep the lawns healthy. This included aeration, cleaning up the leftover plugs, seeding, sanding and watering for two weeks. 

We were able to do the project for half cost thanks to our late consultant Mark Martini and the expertise of member Jim Daniels.

Many thanks to “the crew”

USCA Mid-Atlantic Regional, Sept 27-29

After a hiatus for the coronavirus pandemic, the Mid-Atlantic Regional returned to the Green Gables Croquet Club in 2021.  Fourteen players with -1.5 to 12 handicaps from Florida to Massachusetts enjoyed 6 to 9 singles matches over 3 days in late August, 2021 at the beautiful lawns near the Jersey Shore.

Players were divided into two flights for block play.  The Championship Flight had 6 players ranging from -1.5 to 7 handicaps.  The first and second flights were combined into a single first flight for block play because the field consisted of six 10 handicapped players accompanied by 8 and 12 players.  All block games would take place over the days of Friday and Saturday

After block play all championship flight players would be seeded by block standings into a single elimination knockout (KO) ladder starting on Sunday morning.  Likewise, all combined first and second flight players would also begin a KO but all losers from the first flight quarterfinals would go on to second flight semifinals. 

The first day Friday, September 27, there was literally no place to hide.  The sun was strong all day until the end when there was a lightning warning.  After players bathed themselves in sunblock, pulled on wide brimmed hats or slipped on their favorite golf gloves, the tournament commenced with a great series of games.  Double banking was a rare sight although it did occur occasionally.  Once the lightning warning was sounded current games were pegged down and rescheduled to play at 8am on Saturday


Link to Full Post and Pictures (link)

Sharif Abdelwahab earns his Golden Jacket for Winning the 2021 Golf Croquet Pro Tour Championship

Sherif Abdelwahab (kneeling on far left) earns his Professional Croquet Association Golden Jacket and $2000 by winning the 2021 PCA Golf Croquet Tour Championship at Green Gables earlier this month.

27 top players faced off in the Pro Tour event.  12 were tour qualified pro's who started play on Friday and 15 were not yet qualified players who started play  Thursday in an attempt to play into the pro tournament and qualify for the tour.  When the dust settled Thursday evening, 9 new players had earned a spot on the PCA Pro Tour.  These new tour qualified players (in Golf Croquet) are:

These players earned a tour card and will remain eligible for GC Tour play for a minimum of 4 years.

The money round knockout started on Friday with a few surprises. Ned Sperry defeated Tate Russack, Ahab Dincer and Justin Berbig only to loose to Bo Prillaman in the semi finals.  New-comer Dennis Leddy was a powerful player, defeating Marc Stearns two straight and taking Macey White to the third game where Macey pulled out a narrow victory with a clean hoop shot on the tie-breaker from the boundary.  White lost to Sherif Abdelwahab in a well contested match with battles at most hoops featuring many long clearing shots.  Bo Prillaman and Sherif Abdelwahab faced off in the finals in the rain on Sunday.  The sidelines were full of fellow tournament players who stayed for the finals and local players who came in to see the great players duel it out.  In the end, Sherif Abdelwahab prevailed with a 7-4, 7-1 victory to take the title, the Golden Jacket and $2000 first prize.  Bo Prillaman won $1000 for second.  Everyone in the tournament went home with prize money, even if in some cases it was only $1.

Ahab Dincer, Cami Russack, Marc Stearns and Cheryl Bromley faced off in the plate semis.  Ahab defeated Marc 7-3, 7-4 and Cheryl defeated Cami 7-4, 7-5.  Ahab Dincer defeated Cheryl Bromley in the plate finals 7-5, 7-1.

Special thanks go to Tom Cooper and the Green Gables club who hosted this event.

The PCA is now working on the 2022 Pro Tour schedule.  We all look for an exciting PCA Pro tour in 2022.

Macey White, PCA President

Pictures below. Click picture or link for all 12 Pictures. Photos by Richard Ricciardi

Green Gables Croquet Club went to the Rumson Country Club

The Green Gables Croquet Club went to the Rumson Country Club on Saturday, July 24th for friendly matches of croquet with their players. It was a very relaxed and social day, lunch was served  courtside. I am hopeful this event built some camaraderie between the two groups.


Many thanks to Ron Shiftan who hosted our group at Rumson and Karen Leoncavallo who chaired and hosted the Rumson players when they came to Green Gables.


There is a Green Gables/Rumson trophy which is on display in the Rumson club house

Chuck Reynolds - 3 Ball Break - Watch Out

It was extremely warm and Chuck was playing a veteran player and a newbie.  The newbie, trying to croquet the yellow ball leaves red between wickets 3 and 4.  

Hoop 3: Chuck was for 3 so roquets red, takes off and makes 3, then comes back to croquet red and takes off the black which was somewhere by 2.  

Hoop 4: He rushes black to 4, makes the wicket and roquets black to 5.

Hoop 5: Makes 5 and sends black to one back, picks up red

Hoop 6: Makes 6.  

1-Back: Roquets red to 1-back, makes it then roquets red to wicket 4

2-Back: He comes up short, but manages to hit black and make 2-back, then goes back to partner.  

He is AMAZING!  

By Karen Leoncavallo

You tube example (link)

Rumson Country Club and Green Gables Mixer

Congratulations to Karen Leoncavallo, Tournament Director and the other members who pitched in with food and time to make this event a resounding success.

Perfect Weather, Lots of Visitors

This past Saturday we celebrated National Croquet Day. The turnout was outstanding with 42 participants.

I am relatively confident that we picked up at least 5 new members.

The coordination, prospective new member interactions and the group lessons was terrific on the part of our members.

Special thanks to Tom & Loretta for making this event such a success.

Regards,  Richard

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.” 


Sad News, Dick Nelson

May 4, 2020

Dear Green Gables family,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, it is with great sorrow that I share with you the passing of Dick Nelson on Thursday, April 30 after a long illness. Dick was an integral member of Green Gables, always sharing his talents and generosity with the club. He was an avid player until his illness interfered with his regular matches, yet he tried his best to get out when he could. We have put together a tribute, as we will not be able to be with Barbara and her family during his funeral. Perhaps we will all be able to join the Nelson family in celebrating our dear friend at a later date.

Link to Dick Nelson Eulogy 

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