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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Chard upped their game in the second half against Hornets to avoid what looked like a drubbing.

Read more
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Jessica Gundry (on right) landing a hit on her way to a 15-4 victory in the U23 Womens Epee British Championships final in London (photograph courtesy of David Bradley)

Jessica Gundry from Dalwood, near Axminster, has added a third British title to her collection.

Read more
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Rugby - generic

Honiton Tigers U8s took a squad of ten players to Exeter Saracens on Sunday and produced some decent rugby to claim two wins, a draw and a defeat in the four matches they played.

Read more
Thursday, March 26, 2015
rugby generic picture

Honiton achieved a dramatic last-gasp win on Saturday to secure their survival in the Cornwall & Devon Division for another season, writes Roger Dance.

Read more
Thursday, March 26, 2015
rugby generic picture

As the Lacemen’s Colts licked their wounds from their recent defeat by a strong Barum outfit, they travelled to Okehampton for a must-win game and produced the goods in a 25-15 result, writes Paz Parratt

Read more
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Two wins in two days! It wasn’t a bad weekend for Honiton Town Youth U12s.

Read more
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dunkeswell Rovers didn’t put a foot wrong during a weekend of league and cup action away from home.

Read more
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hard work during winter training paid off for Lyme Regis Gig Rowing Club at the Three Rivers Race put on by Caradon GRC on the Tamar.

Read more
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Nice to see was the first black bream of the season with Trevett landing a fish of 3lb 5oz.

Honiton Sea Angling Club members Mike Spiller and James Trevett had some cracking fish on a day trip from Lyme Regis.

Read more
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

GOLF: George Seed stormed to a three-point victory in Division One of the March stableford at Lyme Regis Golf Club.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read Sport

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition



Devon's trusted business finder