Croquet In May

Participate in the Croquet Workshops every hour from 11am-4pm in the Olive Grove. Workshop will explain the rules the game and etiquette on the court!

Dress in White and receive 10% off wine purchases!


History about Croquet

The origins of croquet are a little cloudy. Some believe that it developed from the French game of Pall Mall but arguments link Pall Mall more to golf than croquet. What is known is that the game traveled from Ireland to England around 1851. A Miss MacNaghten observed peasants in France playing a game with hoops made of willow rods and mallets of broomsticks inserted into pieces of wood and introduced it in Ireland. Sometime around 1850, she passed the idea to a Mr. Spratt and is evidenced by a copy of Spratt’s rules in 1851. Spratt then passed the game on to John Jacques which Jacques disputed claiming he made equipment from patterns he bought in Ireland and had published rules before Spratt introduced the subject to him. Whatever the case, Jacques was the first to make equipment as a regular business and in 1864 published his first comprehensive code of laws. Since then, the manufacturing of equipment by Jacques has been passed down through generations.

At first, croquet was most popular among women, It was a new experience for them to be able to play a game outdoors in the company of men. Early games of croquet were carefully chaperoned. Tight croquet, which was the practice of putting a foot on the ball and sending the opponent far away into the bushes, allowed the young men to go into the bushes with the young women to search for the ball. The game’s popularity grew in the 1860’s where garden parties began to be called croquet parties.

Walter Jones Whitmore was a man who loved to play games and create inventions and in 1860 took up the game of croquet. He soon realized that there were no tactics or standard rules so in 1866 he began a series of three articles on tactics in “The Field” which were later published in 1868 in book form with hand colored diagrams. In that publication he also discussed different types of strokes. He is considered the father of modern croquet.