The popular view of croquet may be of genteel lawn parties where people sip iced tea and gossip while pushing balls across manicured grass, but members of the North Shore Croquet Club are upending that view of the game.
Since 2012, the club has been playing at the Glencoe Golf Club three days a week. “I was introduced to (croquet) by the Chicago Croquet Club in 2008. Since then I have been enthusiastically promoting the game on the North Shore,” Tanya Vovk, president of the North Shore Club told DailyNorthShore.
Vovk and some friends were playing croquet at various locations across the area when she met Stella Nanos, the manager of the Glencoe Golf Club, in 2011. When Nanos welcomed the group to play in a small spot near the golf course parking lot, Vovk seized the opportunity to have a regular location.
Since that time, the North Shore Croquet Club was created where members play against each other in two leagues, as well as in an end-of-season tournament.
The club plays the game of “6 Wicket American Croquet,” which involves four balls, one stake, and unlike the 9 wicket game typically played in backyards, six wickets. Wearing the official attire of croquet, white, the group meets three days a week to play. The club also offers free coaching sessions and practice games to non-members.
At this point, Vovk said the club primarily attracts people new to the game since the club does not play on a regulation-size croquet court. She noted that there are “quite a few experienced croquet players on the North Shore,” who would likely join if the club had a regulation-size court.
“It is our long-term goal to have a regulation-size and conditioned croquet court, but in the meantime we are happy with the hospitality given to us by the Glencoe Golf Club,” Vovk said.
According to Vovk, croquet is easier on your body than tennis, and it’s easy to start with basic rules, unlike golf. But as you step up your game, croquet presents a lot of challenges. “I like everything about the game,” she said.
The club has two leagues, one for more competitive players, and another for those who prefer a more recreational style. “The great thing about this game is that you can take it at your own speed and bring it to your own level,” Vovk said.
In addition to providing an opportunity to learn a new sport, the club has also become a social outlet for its members. “The club is where you meet new people and new friends. The game really brings people together,” Vovk said.
North Shore Croquet Club plays on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., weather permitting at the Glencoe Golf Club, 621 Westley Rd. Contact Tanya Vovk at 847-409-5526 or [email protected] to schedule a game.