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Susan Lawrence and her husband, Victor, took up croquet five years ago. Today, they have built up the team to more than 50 members.
Sarasota Thursday, Mar. 17, 2011 4 years ago

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Susan Lawrence

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by: Rachel OHara Staff Photographer

Susan Lawrence took up croquet five years ago when she and her husband, Victor, moved to The Oaks. At that time, the croquet team only had eight members and was on the verge of losing its playing area. Today, Lawrence and her husband have built up the team to more than 50 members. Lawrence admits to being a competitive player, but she says that the real fun is playing with her friends and meeting new people while traveling to croquet tournaments around the country. **See Video Below**

Can you explain the types of croquet played at The Oaks?
The croquet game is a multi-layered game. You can have fun at a beginning level and play basic croquet, called “golf croquet,” which is the most popular for our group. We meet three times a week, three different groups, to play golf croquet, because our membership has grown. Then, we move on to a game called “six-wicket croquet,” which is for more serious players and has a lot more strategy in it. In fact, we call it “chess on grass.”

How do you think people perceive croquet?
Initially, croquet is perceived as a game for old people and a game for people who can no longer play tennis or golf. So, what we did was put into place a tournament, where we invited golfers and tennis players to play with the croquet players. They found it was not quite as easy as they had imagined. So, we like to say, “Hey, come give this a go.” This has increased our membership quite a lot, because people have seen that it is fun.

Do you have handicaps in croquet like golfers?
We are awarded handicaps by the USCA (United States Croquet Association), and it places us with a handicap, which is similar to golf; as we progress, we get a lower handicap. Vic’s got the lowest handicap at the club — he has a handicap of 1. I have a handicap of 5, and he will probably improve, and I will probably stay there.

 

What was one of your favorite games?
My favorite game or the game that I remember the most is where I came out of the ladder last, and, therefore, the last person in the playoffs plays against the first person. So, it was eight playing against one, and I actually was able, to the surprise of everybody, to claw my way back a win a little trophy.

Do you know someone who would make a great Athlete of the Week?
E-mail Rachel O’Hara at rohara@yourobserver.com.

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