Tobi Savage won the GC All England Golf Croquet
While James Goodbun was winning the Ascot Cup at Ryde, the All England Golf final at Pendle was being won by another young Ramsgate player. Tobi Savage (3 Hdcp), aged 21, won all 8 games in his block, beat Bob Croft (10 hdcp) in his semi-final and defeated Stuart Smith (3hdcp) from Broadwas CC 7-4, 7-2 in the final. Stuart had won 5 of his block games and beaten Bill Bentham (4 hdcp) in his semi-final.
The final was notable for the quality of both players' approach shots and hoop running. The winning difference was Tobi's long clearances at vital points and his scoring 6 out of his 14 hoops with jump shots.
The ten players in this final group had handicaps ranging from 1 to 10, which produced some close exciting games, with 18 of the 40 block games ending either 7-6 or 7-5.
The weekend was cold but dry, the lawns were in first class condition and the hospitality was excellent; my thanks go to Geoff Young for his efficient management, keeping the competition to schedule and to the host club Pendle & Craven CC for the lawn preparation and catering.
A few years ago, the Egyptians revolutionised the Golf Croquet game and now, in the UK, we have a growing group of young players, who play the game in this exciting and attractive way. This can only be good for the future of game.