December 2014: Oxford Croquet is pleased to announce an online version of Keith Wylie's seminal work:
by kind permission of the Croquet Association.
Expert Croquet Tactics is the bible of Association Croquet strategy for A-class and International players. It details the intricacies of the Triple Peel, Advanced Break Building and Openings. Some of what is there will be bewildering to players with handicaps much above 1, but the Openings Article (Article 4) is accessible to most croquet players. The largest section (Article 1) is dedicated to the Triple Peel and is essential reading for anyone wishing to master that part of their game. This book rewards repeated reading as your play improves. It should be on every aspiring A-class player's bookshelf.
"Wylie was regarded as one of croquet's most innovative players, treating the game as a cerebral challenge of tactics and finesse, always thinking many moves ahead. In a sport in which applause is appropriate only when distinctly muted, he rocketed to the top of the game like a young Bobby Fischer, in five years winning all the major British titles and several international ones. Then, in essence, he walked away from the game.
Wylie helped bring the game of croquet from a simple pastime for the vicarage garden to a competitive sport, albeit one in which contestants plod around methodically during two-hour matches, occasionally lying down to line up difficult shots.
Wearing the traditional white croquet garb, a pith helmet and an ascot, Wylie, a tall, angular man, became a legend in the minds of many who watched or played against him -- a ''shooting star,'' in the phrase of one contemporary chronicler. He cemented his reputation with the publication of his 1985 book, ''Expert Croquet Tactics,'' which the American magazine Croquet World called ''without question the most significant croquet book published in the last 20 years.''
"His landmark book, Expert Croquet Tactics, is must reading for top-level international rules players and anyone aspiring to the expert level."
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