A last-minute decision to compete in the qualifiers for the Golf Croquet Women’s World Championship, unexpectedly landed a Point Wells woman in the finals.
Marion Taylor was encouraged by a friend to compete in the qualifiers and then had to quickly revise her holiday plans when she got through to the championships proper in Hawke’s Bay two days later.
“We had to take the caravan down to camp in Napier instead,” she says.
The best of the world’s players assembled at the Heretaunga Croquet Club grounds and Marion, along with other Kiwis, marched onto the field with flags and team colours for the opening ceremony.
Marion says the players to beat were from Egypt, where croquet is a national sport and where they have adopted an aggressive style of play.
“The Egyptians are fast and hard hitters, and incredibly focused. Two women were out there early in the morning before anyone else to survey conditions,” she says.
It was a knockout style competition with five best of three games played each day in 36-degree heat.
There were some tense moments with plenty of balls ‘roqueted’ – when players knock out a competitor’s ball with their own.
Ultimately, Egypt’s Soha Mostafa claimed the championship, but the Kiwis put in a good show with seven players making it to the top 32.
Marion said she was glad to have competed at the highest level.
She says golf croquet offers new entrants a chance to get into a competitive sport with plenty of potential to go far.
The Point Wells club punches above its weight with two championship level members.
“We help out new members by giving them some coaching, and club gear is available for use,” Marion says.
“It’s a game for all ages and, in fact, the majority of top 10 level players are in their early 20s.”
To try golf croquet, call Marion on 021 078 4691 or turn up to the open day on Sunday, March 17 at the club opposite the Point Wells store.