The inaugural CCA GC Open Doubles competition was held at St Martin’s Croquet Club on Saturday 27th Feb 2021. There were eight pairs entered with the individual handicaps ranging from -5 to +11 and the combined handicaps ranging from -7 to +21! We had both the current NZ National GC Champion and the current U21 GC World Champion playing which was great to see.
Block play was organised with the lowest handicap players at the top of the block and the highest handicap players at the bottom of the block and follows a set pattern, starting with the highest handicap players playing the lowest handicap players and then, as the day progresses, players play opponents with closer handicaps until the last games when players play the opponent ranked closest to them. This means, that (in theory), the lowest handicap players start with their easiest game and end on their hardest game and the highest handicap players start with their hardest game and end with their easiest game. However, nothing every quite goes to plan and everyone won at least one game and well done to Lyn Ringrose and Hans Van Den Bos from St Martin’s who had to wait until their very last game of the day for their well-deserved win. Open events such as this are a great way of improving your play as you get to play some of the best players in NZ which is a very good way of improving your game. If you lose, you only lose one index point and if you win you can pick up nineteen index points. Combine that with good company and tasty food and you wonder why there were only eight pairs entered. Hopefully, we will have more pairs entered next year.
Edmund Fordyce and Chris Spittal were the hot favourites and ended the day unbeaten although five teams all scored three hoops against them. Their last game against the second seeded Duncan Dixon and Claire Horncastle was close and ended with a (failed) jump shot at hoop 13.
First place went to Edmund Fordyce and Chris Spittal and runners up were Jonathan Hart and Marguaritte Rogers from St James Park. The full results can be found at croquetscores.com/2021/gc/cca-open/doubles
Thanks to Bruce McClay for giving up a Saturday to referee the event, Claire Horncastle for managing it and St Martin’s CC for organising the lawns and catering and generously allowing us to use their grounds for the second time this month.