Choosing A Croquet Set
To purchase a croquet set, please visit the CA online Shop. Croquet sets come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and the old adage that 'you get what you pay for' is generally very true when it comes to croquet sets. We hope this guide will be of some assistance, but please don't hesitate to contact the CA Office for further advice or details.
With so many sets to choose from, a key part of a decision is the use that the set will get. Will you be using it occasionally in the garden, or do you want a set for heavy use that will last you down the years? Generally the more you pay, the better the set. Being realistic about use will help your decision. Most sets we sell are for use in the garden, and are not suitable for croquet club use. Croquet clubs or groups should look at the Competition Croquet Set section or contact us for advice.
One of the most important (and expensive) ingredients of a croquet set is the mallets. Low-end garden sets will have light-weight mallets of around 2lbs or less, and will generally also come with lighter balls. The cheapest mallets are made of ordinary hardwood, with a round 'broomstick' handle. These will not last as long as mallets made of a better hardwood such as Ash, and there is less give in the handles. This means they will be more likely to jar the arms on heavier shots. Better sets will have mallets with Ash or Hickory handles, which feel nicer to play with. The handles may still be round, but for a little more they will have an octagonal cross-section, which gives the user a more instinctive feel for which way the mallet is pointing. As the sets get more expensive, the mallets will get heavier (an ideal weight is around 3lb), and the head will be protected by either brass bands or a hard plastic end-face, both of which help to stop the head becoming damaged with use. For more details on choosing a croquet mallet please follow the link.
The next thing to consider is the balls, and in particular their weight. If the set is to be used by young children, it may be better to choose a set with 12 ounce balls rather than the regulation 16 ounce. Also beware of sets with heavier 16 oz balls if the mallets are lightweight (less than 21/2lbs). However, more enthusiastic players will want to go for regulation weight balls. For more information about choosing balls please follow the link.
Another important ingredient is the hoops. Cheaper sets will have hoops made from thinner wire, and which have shorter legs. Most garden sets will have straight-wire legs, with no 'carrot', and these are perfectly adequate for casual garden play. The thicker the wire on such hoops, the better they will perform. Tournament quality hoops will be much heavier, and have 'carrots' on each leg, which help to hold the ground more firmly. For more information on choosing hoops please follow the link.
Finally, you should look at the other items to be provided. Do you want the set in a wooden box, or will a flimsier box or bag be adequate? Does the set come with clips (to mark the next hoop for each ball), corner flags, etc.?