Abdul Ahmad won the All England Golf Croquet Handicap Final
Eighteen players took part with handicaps ranging from -2 to +6. Play was initially in two blocks of nine on an all play all basis. Games were time limited and a draw was accepted as a valid result. After completion of the blocks, the top two players in each block contested the semi-finals. Ray Mounfield from Ashby (winner of block one) played Bill Arliss from Southwick (runner up of block two) and Abdul Ahmad from Pendle (winner of block two) played Marcus Evans from Nailsea, last year's winner. Ray went through to the final 10-5 and Abdul 10-8. In the final Ray appeared to have the upper hand initially but Abdul held steady and ran away during the last few hoops to win 10-5.
A brief study of the results showed that the handicap system did not appear to favour any particular end of the handicap range as the semi-finalists started as -2, -1, 2 and 3 handicaps. However the automatic system showed its teeth after the competition by reducing Ray from 3 to 1, Abdul from 2 to 0 and Marcus from -1 to -2. There were in fact 4 entrants playing off a handicap of 6 and none of them lost all their games. John Keats and his wife from Eynsham, both playing off 6, managed 3 and 2 wins respectively, which I feel shows that no one with genuine handicaps need worry about being totally outclassed in this event. It is a good starter competition for anyone interested in playing golf croquet competitively and provides invaluable experience for the future events.