Budleigh Croquet Club star retains top national honour

11:51 20 March 2014

Harry Dodge, a member of Budleigh Croquet Club, has won the Croquet Association’s national award for the most improved Golf Croquet player for the second consecutive year.

The prestigious Spiers Trophy is awarded by the Handicap Committee of the sport’s governing body.

Competition for the award is fierce and to determine the winner, the committee considers a range of achievements over the previous twelve months. These can include reduction in handicap, increase in ranking grade, quality of opponents and tournament wins.

Dodge’s performance was outstanding on all four counts. At 17, he won three premier singles tournaments - including the Musk’s Cup for the top six players in the country – as well as the national doubles Open Championship with Pierre Beaudry. Along the way he gained 402 index points to become a scratch player for the first time. And he has raced up the rankings from 321st in the world at the end of 2012, to 35th in the world and ninth in the UK at the end of last year.

These achievements are all the more remarkable as 2013 was only his third full season of play and croquet has to be fitted around his college studies. He has also qualified as a Golf Croquet Referee – the youngest in England.

Harry, who lives near Yeovil, attributes his success to frequent visits to Budleigh Croquet Club for practice on good lawns. He first discovered the excellence of its facilities in 2012 and joined the club last year. Despite the awful winter, his preparations for the coming season have already begun with regular practice sessions as soon as the lawns became playable. He hopes to fulfil the prediction of Brian Shorney, chairman of the Croquet Association’s Handicap Committee who said: “The award of the Spiers Trophy to Harry Dodge following his win the previous year is quite exceptional. His remarkable improvement throughout 2013 surpassed even his outstanding achievements of the previous season. We fully expect him to continue to improve, and to achieve success representing his country.”

Harry’s dedication to his sport was evident in the way he chose to celebrate his eighteenth birthday recently. He arranged an invitation tournament and spent the day with croquet friends at the Budleigh Club. The competitors played three games each before a splendid lunch, and another three during the afternoon. The club had commissioned a figure of a croquet player for the birthday cake as well as a special trophy featuring a silver croquet ball. Almost inevitably it was won by Harry, who will thus have a unique reminder of the day.

Harry is in the vanguard of a group of young croquet players who are now challenging the leading names in the sport in premier competitions. He says ‘I am so lucky to have discovered croquet while I’m young. It’s a sport where there is always something new to learn, and as it can be played at a high standard throughout your life I can look forward to many more years of enjoyment. You hear so many people saying they wish they’d found it earlier.’

Countless hours of practice lie ahead as he continues his quest for improvement and success. His sights are now firmly set on gaining international experience, and he is working towards the Under 21 World Golf Croquet Championship to be held in New Zealand next February.

0 comments

Other Sport Stories

11:27
Ottery 2nds against Lewdown. Ref shsp 23-16TI 1621. Picture: Terry Ife

Topsham St James Under-12s travelled to Sampford Peverell for their re-arranged Cup match on a dark evening with rain again threatening.

Read more
10:48

The June Stableford and Pine Coffin Cup were the challenges played for at East Devon on the middle Saturday of June, writes Paul Willoughby.

Read more
10:48
Cricket drinks

Daniel Armstrong scored a wonderful century, but it was ultimately in a losing cause as Topsham St James 2nd XI went down by 46 runs in their D Division East meeting with Feniton at their Acland Park home.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:01
Les Figaros Beneteau lors de la 2eme etape de la Solitaire du Figaro - Eric Bompard cachemire entre Sanxenxo (Espagne) et La Cornouaille - Sanxenxo le 08/06/2015

On Sunday (June 26), Artemis Offshore Academy Brits made an emotional procession out of Cowes Yacht Haven, the pontoons sinking beneath the weight of friends and family cheering them on their way to Paimpol.

Read more
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Exmouth RFC new signing Tom Bedford shakes hands with Nunn Rickard Managing Partner Stephen Nunn outside their Exeter office.

Exmouth have signed former Exeter Chiefs, Newcastle, Bedford, Cornish Pirates and Plymouth Albion centre or wing Tom Bedford for their forthcoming National Two campaign, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Read more
Sunday, June 26, 2016

There are just three weeks remaining in the Honiton Summer Netball League campaign, writes Graham Ingram.

Read more
Saturday, June 25, 2016
A rosette winner at the Exe Equestrian Open day meeting

The Exe Equestrian club’s novice show was held recently at Nutwell Court, with near record entries.

Read more
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Golf generic picture

Two competitions recently played at East Devon have been the Greensome Stableford and the Ron Jefford medal (seniors), writes Paul Willoughby.

Read more
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Cricket

Exmouth 2nds were edged out in a low scoring game against Paignton with the Maer ground seeing 20 wickets fall for a combined total of 196 runs.

Read more
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Exmouth netball team Comets

The Exmouth and District Netball League celebrated its 30th anniversary on Saturday and marked the occasion by staging a charity tournament at the Cranford Club.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read Sport

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder


HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications