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What Is Golf Croquet? Rules and Game Guide

Try out golf croquet! It is gaining popularity, because it is easy to learn, fun to play, and still incredibly competitive. Golf croquet is similar to other types of croquet, except the rules and field layout differ slightly. It’s not a bad way to spend a few hours out in the yard either!

Golf croquet is a variation of croquet that both men and women play, and the rules are just slightly different from croquet. The players hit balls through hoops and the first player or team to go through all seven hoops wins the game.

If you are interested in finding a new sport that is simple and will allow you to spend time outside while socializing, golf croquet may be the sport for you. Keep reading to learn more about the game’s rules and what you need to know to pick up the sport fast.

How to Learn Fast to Play Golf Croquet

Golf croquet is easy. Practice holding the mallet with a steady grip and control. Accuracy is the main skill needed to be good at this game.

Ready to Play Golf Croquet?

Before you start, think about your goals. This will help you set yourself for success. You will probably set different goals based on your desire to play socially, competitively, or handicap.

There is no right or wrong. Set your expectations appropriately, gather the right teammates, and enjoy the game.

Rules for Playing Golf Croquet

Golf croquet is a quick way to have a lot of fun. The rules are simple, and any age group can comfortably play it. Here is a rundown on how to play golf croquet:

  • Toss a coin to choose who plays first.
  • Prepare to strike a ball. Stand in front of the ball on the ground you are about to hit, spread your feet apart, facing the ball, and swing forward the mallet between your legs to hit the ball.
  • The ball should go through a metal arch called a wicket or hoop.
  • Run the balls in this order: blue, red, black, yellow. The first player hits blue; the second player hits red, the third player hits black, etc. If there are teams, blue and black are on one team while red and yellow are on another.
  • Aim to run the hoops from 1 to 7.
  • When you run a hoop, you get the point, and all players move on to contest the next hoop. As a comparison, in croquet, each hoop is played twice (once in each direction).
  • You can only strike the ball once per turn. If a ball runs two hoops in the same stroke, then both hoop points are scored. (In croquet, even if you run two hoops, you receive only one point).
  • The first player to reach 7 points wins. If there is a tie, play hole 3 again.

Once you start playing you will quickly get a sense of the game.

Miscellaneous Rules:

  • When a ball goes out, it is placed just inside the boundary nearest to where it went out.
  • The aim is always to leave your side better placed to win the hoop than your opponents. While in croquet, you win an extra strike for putting your opponents’ balls out of position; in golf croquet, you do not. In this case, it is enough of a reward that it would take the opposite team multiple strikes to recover their positions.
  • The peg serves as a reminder of the color order in which the balls are hit. In croquet, the player must hit the ball into the peg to win.
  • A ball may take more than one turn to complete the running of a hoop.
  • Game is typically over in 30-50 min.

Here’s a great intro to golf croquet video to give you a better idea of how the game is played:

What Sports Can Help You Master Golf Croquet?

Pool may be a good sport to help you practice aiming. Golf croquet could be compared to “lawn pool”, just the pool table is the ground, you strike the balls towards hoops, instead of holes, and the cue sticks are replaced with mallets.

Golf can help with aiming, although the golf club is much thinner, and the strike is performed sideways vs back to front. Regardless, anything that would help you practice aiming is good.

Golf Croquet: Seasonal Sport or All Year Long?

You can play golf croquet all year long if the grass on your field is trimmed and clean from debris.

Can you Lose Weight When Playing Golf Croquet?

If you are looking for a sport that would help you burn thousands of calories per game, golf croquet probably will not serve the purpose. However, it is great as a mild sport activity that keeps you up on your feet.

If you would like to learn more about some of the famous golf croquet players, visit the World Croquet Organization. There you can also follow the sport closely and check out some upcoming events.

Difference Between Golf Croquet and Croquet

One of the main differences between croquet and golf croquet is that in croquet, the player who maneuvers the ball into the peg, wins, while in golf croquet, the goal is to strike the ball into the last hoop (number 7). Also, in croquet even if each turn constitutes one stroke, extra turns can be earned when striking other balls.

Golf Croquet vs Golf vs Croquet

You may wonder what the origin of golf croquet is, in which parts of the world it is played and what are the differences with some other sports, precisely the ones that the name is made from.

Here is a table that would help you see the differences and similarities:

 Golf CroquetCroquetGolf
Field Size105 feet x 84 feet (35 yards by 28 yards)35 yards by 28 yards110 (urban) – 200 acres (resorts) (Standard 18-hole)
Number of Players2-42-4Four per team
Number of Balls449 balls per round
Size of balls35/835/81.6″
Number of Wickets / Hoops76No Hoops
WinnerThe first side to go through all 7 hoopsThe first side to get both of their balls through the 6 hoops in both directions and hit the pegThe side with lowest score
First PlayedEgyptFranceScotland
Introduced in19th Century13th Century15th Century

As you can easily see, golf and golf croquet don’t have much in common, except the requirement for a “good eye” and accurate aiming.

Is Golf Croquet an Expensive Sport?

Playing golf croquet is very affordable – it is easy to set up a field in one’s backyard. A golf croquet set is the same as a croquet set and the price can vary from $50 to $400.

Although I would recommend just checking out my Most Popular Croquet Set Comparisons, here are a few croquet sets you may want to start with based on your budget. However, keep in mind that higher quality equipment would increase the enjoyment of the game and provide higher accuracy for hitting the balls.

Everyday Golf Croquet Set

Here is a starter kit for the beginner. This Juegoal Six Player Croquet Set is perfect for everyday use with family and friends. It has:

  • Six mallets
  • Six balls
  • Hoops
  • Comfortable carry case

The mallet is 28 in long vs. 26 in, making it easier for taller people (like parents!) to hold. No matter if you take to it a barbeque, picnic, or outdoor event, you are almost guaranteed you will have fun every time.

Vintage Set

If you are interested in playing the old-fashioned style, buy this Crown Sporting Goods Vintage Croquet Set. It includes:

  • Four mallets
  • Four balls
  • Accessories
  • Bag. You will love this artisan kit which is beautifully hand painted.

Check out my comparison guide of the Most Popular Croquet Sets to find one that fits your budget and needs.

High Quality Golf Croquet Set

If you are seriously looking into practicing golf croquet, you may want to purchase this high end AmishToyBox Family Traditions Set. It is worth the money, as the mallets are made of maple hardwood and the solid material and extra length (31 in) ensure extra comfort and durability.

Why You Should Try Golf Croquet

Golf croquetunlike swimming or jogging, is a social sport, so if you are looking for a sport where you can interact with others while playing and be part of a team, this may be the sport for you.

Are you prone to injuries? Then you will for sure not choose soccer as your primary sport for example, but golf croquet is safeand the chance of getting hurt is minimal.

You are looking for a less intense but still fast-paced sport? Then, consider golf croquet which involves some mild physical activity but will not make you sweat too much. Moreover, it is a great sport to play with family and kids. It is a win-win, as you get your Fitbit steps while your children build their motor skills.

Do you like chess? Golf croquet involves some strategic thinking and fast decision making. If you love to be a few steps ahead of your opponents, try out golf croquet. It would give you a lot of satisfaction to pan out the game.

Even if are not planning to be the next golf croquet champion, consider that it is still an extremely competitive sport, so if you are thirsty for some sport zest, you should try it out.


Now is the perfect time to start playing golf croquet. Golf croquet is a great recreational sport for all, men, women, and even children. It is easy to learn, has a pleasant social atmosphere and is outdoors. If you are interested in playing, reach out to the nearest golf croquet club.

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