Pictures of the eXtreme dirt Croquet court.

Last Updated 12/14/09.
Hits since 09/07/08:

      So our version of Golf Croquet is a little different, there used to be no out of bounds at all because of the walls and fences but since a large portion of the fence was removed (still present in these photos) there are actually a couple of places you can now honestly get out of bounds.  However you can still lodge up against the walls or the one little bit of fence still remaining or for that matter in a shed so the first rule modification is the out of bounds rule gets supplemented with free relief from the walls, fence or shed.  But because the walls can be quite close to some hoops it's got to be pretty minimal relief, just enough so you can swing the mallet without bashing it into the wall.  And no relief from trees and sheds just because they're in your way, unless it's blocking your backswing or you're going to break something on the follow through there's no relief.  Perhaps given the extremity of some other eXtreme Croquet (they do after all play in forests and through creeks) and the fact that we bank shots off the walls all the time we should call our game Carom Croquet after the billiards game.  An attempt at formalizing the relief rule is here.  And no, you can't pretend that you're aiming some place else just to get relief. . .

      So here's the view from corner IV, the starting point towards hoop 1.  We play a simultaneous start instead of a coin toss and whoever winds up closest to hoop 1 goes first.  Hoop 1 you say?  Where's that?  Yeah, the first eccentricity of of the course (beyond the lack of grass and so on) is that hoop 1's just around that corner and you can only see half it in that picture (although when we bought nicer hoops we've since moved it to foot off the corner of the shed, a much more interesting location for it).  Get a bit closer like below and you can see better: 

      Yes, it looks a little rough (most of what looks bad in this photo happens to be dead blossoms from the oleanders over the wall) but it really is surprising just how well the ball travels over that stuff.  Given all the walls here plenty of bank shots tend to get played on this hoop, in fact that was to be my favored starting shot when the hoop was where it is in that photo, a ricochet off that wall straight down the line of the sheds and I was usually within a foot or three of the hoop.  With the new location (blue dots) I have to actually play a proper shot :(  Oh yeah, there's the clothes line pole in there too.  Bit of a bitch some days as it was right in line with the old hoop location even if it did only come into play infrequently.  Now that it's off to the side it comes into play a lot more often, go figure.

      Having cleared hoop 1 you have a almost normal shot down to hoop 2 under that nice Chinaberry tree.  Gotta keep the shot a little right as they break left into that bird of paradise plant on the right (since removed, that was getting a little tedious): 


      The shot from hoop 2 to 3 looks straight forward but hoop 3 actually sits on a little hill and lan' sakes can it be a battle.  The fence in the background and a good deal of the greenery has since been removed and hoop 3 now sits between the tree and the house. 

      And of course from the left you can't see hoop 4 at all, it's behind the palo verde tree off in the distance.  With the fence gone hoop 4 is left of the tree in the distance.

      Here's the left approach to hoop 4.  Can't see it in the picture but there's a slab of concrete up against that fence (since removed when the fence went) so you don't want to hit that ball too hard.  But you can bank it off the fence nicely which often leads to a very nice shot next to the hoop if not actually right through it:   

      And here's hoop 4 from the right (with the back of hoop 5 in the foreground).  Nice and level this way but you don't want to hit the palo verde. 

      Was real pain of a hoop till if you left it short till I whacked hell out of the palo verde. 

      Kinda tough to see hoop 5 in this shot but the yawning maw of the old tin shed sure isn't:   

      If you're too far to the right after hoop 4 is run you can always smash the ball off the supports to the the wood shed there on the left.  The treated pine is a little dead compared to the cinder block walls so the rebound is going to be more acute than you're initially bargaining for, but hey, experience counts and you learn. . .   

      And surprisingly few shots actually wind up in the shed, even given our tendencies to bank shots off the thing. 

      Hoop 6 would be straight forward and a welcome relief from the eXtremities of the course but there's a depression there on the left that just sucks balls into itself like no one's business.  Not to mention a bunch of sand so everything's rolling quite a bit slower, you could almost call it a bunker.  It's also almost superfluous having a post on our court but the order colors gotta go somewhere, plus it's kinda nice to curl the ball around the post using the break to make hoop 6:   

      Ah, but the shot from hoop 6 to 7, now that's well defended:   

      Having completely removed the vegetation along the wall on the left if the trees are blocking the shot you can now (like a lot of shots on this court) just smash it off the wall and carom the ball in for a shot on hoop 7. 

      For the back hoops please see the back hoop page

Should you really want to communicate you can eMail to: jforster@someplace.spam.dont.go

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