Adur and Worthing are gearing up to welcome the world – the croquet world – to the WCF Simon Carter GC World Golf Croquet Championship 2019!
The lawns are looking good and all other preparations are well underway to host around 80 players from 20 countries on the pristine lawns at Southwick’s Sussex County Croquet Club (SCCC) in Victoria Road and West Worthing Club in Titnore Way.
Star players from countries including New Zealand, Uruguay, Egypt, the United States, Canada, Australia and, of course, the UK – will be taking up their mallets to play Golf Croquet, a faster more interactive form of the sport.
As well as Southwick and Worthing, matches will also be played in Tunbridge Wells and Eastbourne during the Championship which runs from July 27th to August 4th.
The tournament's main host is Southwick’s SCCC and its 11 lawns. One of the oldest clubs in the country and a global leader in croquet training for players, coaches and referees, it’s an old hand at hosting world class events, including a previous World Championship in 2004, and in June this year the British Open Championships.
Jonathan Isaacs, Club president and chairman of the organising committee, said:
"This is a fantastic coup for us to be hosting such a prestigious event again. It shows that all our hard work has paid off, including raising the funds needed to have all our lawns relaid over the last five years. We are really excited about bringing the Championships to the south coast again, and showing people what an exciting sport Golf Croquet can be."
Two lawns at West Worthing Croquet Club within The West Worthing Club will host championship matches for the first half of the event and then further matches with the visiting players for the remainder of the tournament.
As newcomers to the world championships’ circuit, it is exciting for the club and the town.
Andrew Stewart, Chairman of the West Worthing Croquet Club, said: “It’s exciting to think that people will be coming from all over the world to Worthing. We’ve put a lot of hard work into our lawns to make sure they are in top-top condition, and also gathered together many volunteers from our own club and other clubs to help us with the event. We also hope it will lead to more people locally to take an interest in croquet.”
Golf croquet has a long history, but has recently seen a resurgence. It has simpler rules than croquet, is more interactive with each competitor playing single shots and, when the ball is hit by top players at 40 miles an hour, can even be quite aggressively competitive, according to its fans.
Entry to the World Championship in July and August will be just the £5 cost of the programme and will give unlimited access at individual clubs.
Picture: Volunteers involved in preparing the grounds at Southwick to host the world championships.