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

Yesterday, 15:46
Horse Racing generic picture

Taunton race goers have got three meetings to look forward to this month.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:46
Horse Racing generic picture

This coming weekend (March 8), will see the re-arranged East Cornwall Point-to-Point fixture take place at the popular track of Great Trethew, Menheniot, writes Donna Harris.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:46
Grizzly run 2015. Ref mhsp 3950-10-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Axe Valley Runners Grizzly multi-terrain race is the seminal post-modern cross country race, often imitated, but never bettered and still incredibly popular after nearly 30 years, writes Dave Eveleigh.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:45
Roller derby action

South West Angels of Terror (SWAT) B took to the indoor hall for the first time when they faced Plymouth City Roller Girls B in Barnstaple.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:39
Gliding

With Friday, forecast to be the best gliding day of the week, Devon and Somerset Gliding Club members used social media to get together on a non-club day - the second so far this year, writes Jill Harmer.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:27
Football generic picture

King’s College, Taunton, has just launched a multi-sport BTEC qualification that will potentially involve a number of the major professional sporting clubs across the south-west of England, providing opportunities in a variety of sports.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 9°C

min temp: -0°C

Most Read Sport

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition



Exmouth's trusted business finder