Affordable croquet set with one of the best carry cases around.
Made by a well-known outdoor sports equipment manufacturer. 28-inch handles can be used by kids and adults alike. Comes with instructions and diagrams for first-time players.
Croquet balls get dented or damaged easily and will require replacement.
Durable mallets and balls hold their color well along with wire wickets and goal posts that can withstand rainy weather.
Enough equipment to support a 6 person croquet game. Pieces pack up nicely into a carrying bag for easy storage and transport when not in use. Wire wickets are coated for protection from the weather making this great for year-round use.
Does not include a stand for the mallets, which is necessary for some.
An inexpensive alternative to the Franklin Professional Set that features lighter mallets.
The lightweight mallets are great for kids and have brightly colored handles. The chestnut finished wood looks and feels great. Includes everything needed to play and comes in a convenient carrying case.
The cheap wood can cause the mallets to fall apart after moderate use.
One of the sturdiest croquet sets available. Great natural-wood look.
If you need a croquet set for adults or older children, this is a great option. Includes 6 mallets and balls in 6 colors, plus a carrying case, wickets, and stakes.
The carrying case is on the flimsy side. Some customers received duplicate color mallets.
Casual croquet set that is ideal for beginners, kids, or parties.
The sticks have a bit more colorful detail than most sets, plus they’re well-made. Sticks and mallets are coated with an eco-friendly varnish that is water-repellent and mold-proof. Despite being on the thin side, wickets are extremely durable.
Comes with a carry case, but it's a bit small and not all pieces fit.
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If you're after an amusing outdoor game to play, croquet might be the answer. Whether you're a complete beginner or an actual pro, you'll need your own croquet set before the fun can begin.
You'll find all kinds of croquet sets available, some of which meet professional standards and others that are for beginners. While not everyone needs a regulation croquet set, it's important to consider what you need from yours before you choose. Are you looking for something to mess around with or do you want to seriously learn the finer points of croquet?
Before you get started, you should know more about the parts of a croquet set and what you should expect to get for your hard-earned cash.
The mallet is the equivalent of a club in golf – it's what you use to hit the ball with. You can find croquet sets with anywhere between two and eight mallets, though six seems to be the most common option. You'll need one mallet per player, so make sure there are enough to go around. Officially, croquet should only have two, four, or six players (playing either individually or in teams), but there's no reason you can't play with more people, should you choose to.
You need balls in your croquet set. Otherwise, you'd be swinging your mallets at thin air. Regulation balls weigh 16 ounces and are made of hardwood, but some sets offer lighter balls and balls made from resin rather than wood. There's nothing wrong with opting for a lighter hardwood ball (12-ounce balls are a common choice), especially if children will be playing or the mallets are lightweight. However, you should be aware that resin balls aren't very hard wearing, so they're not ideal if you plan to play a lot of croquet. You should have as many balls as you do mallets, as each player needs their own ball.
Wickets (which are sometimes also known as "hoops") are the arches that you must hit your balls through. They're generally made of steel with straight legs that can easily be hammered into the ground. Official tournament wickets are usually heavier duty than those for recreational use and are only slightly wider than the diameter of the ball. Recreational wickets are wider than tournament options, making it easier to get the ball through. Tournament-level croquet requires nine wickets, but some recreational sets feature six since casual players often prefer the smaller scale of "garden croquet."
Stakes – or "pegs" – are little wooden posts that go at either end of the pitch. You should have two in a set, as you must hit one when your ball reaches the top of the pitch and the other after going through all the hoops to finish your round. These are usually made of fairly thick wood, an inch or so in diameter.
Though obviously not essential for gameplay, most croquet sets come with either a stand or a carry case to help you keep all your croquet gear together and make it easier when transporting the set from one place to another.
Check the size of the included mallets before buying your croquet set. Look at both the length of the handle and the size of the head. Shorter-handled mallets are easier for children to use, so bear that in mind if you'll be playing with little ones. The average size of a mallet head is between 9 and 9.5 inches long, though you can find larger options. Beginners should go with standard-sized mallet heads as they're easier to control, but experienced players often prefer the increased performance you can get from longer heads, once you know how to handle them.
A high-quality, sturdy mallet should weigh between 2 pounds 12 ounces and 3 pounds 4 ounces. However, some cheaper sets offer lighter mallets, which aren't ideal in most cases, but they can make playing easier for kids. If your chosen set features mallets that weigh less than 2 pounds 7 ounces, opt for a lighter 12-ounce ball.
It's important to consider the sizes of any croquet sets you're looking at – how many mallets, balls, wickets, and stakes they contain. Make sure your chosen set features enough wickets and balls for each player to have one. So, if you're a family of five, a set with four mallets and balls isn't going to cut it. If you want to play regulation croquet, you'll need nine wickets and two stakes, but if you don't mind playing a stripped-back game, you can get by with six wickets.
You can find full croquet sets starting at about $30 to $40, with smaller kids' sets costing even less. Sets in this price range are fine for occasional recreational use.
At the upper end of the price spectrum, top quality regulation level sets can cost as much as $900 to $1,000, but they're likely to be overkill for the casual player.
Look for croquet mallets with end faces or ring bindings. These help stop the head of the mallet from splitting with regular use.
Learn the rules of croquet. Whether you play by official tournament rules or by the more relaxed rules of garden croquet, things will go more smoothly if you know what you're meant to be doing.
Check what the handle of the mallet is made from. Those made from rigid hardwoods, rather than softwoods, not only last longer but also give you better control, especially for stop shots.
Decide what head shape you want. Traditionally croquet mallets have round heads, but square heads are becoming more popular, especially with advanced players. While it doesn't make a huge difference to how the mallet performs, if you have a square-headed option, you can set it down to help you line up your shot.
Experiment with different grips and strokes. You'll find various ways to grip your mallet, as well as a range of possible strokes. Experient with a variety until you find what works for you.
A. Croquet tournaments take place on perfectly manicured lawns. While you don't need to go to quite those lengths to prepare your croquet pitch, you do need a lawn with close-cropped grass, as the ball won't roll easily over long or uneven grass. The playing area should also be as flat as possible. Any slopes or bumps will infringe on your ability to play.
A. You can buy croquet sets that stand up to all the official regulations. If you plan to play in croquet tournaments, you should ideally practice with a regulation set, as it will give you the closest experience to playing in a tournament. If you usually play with a non-regulation set, it will put you at a disadvantage come tournament time. However, if you're only playing for fun, there's no need to splash the cash on a regulation croquet set.
A. Since croquet is a lawn game, you can only really play it when the weather is good. Summer is the ideal time for croquet, but you may be able to play it through spring and fall if the climate is right where you live.