Crolf – a new garden sport

This is a relatively new sport, sort-of  ‘Cross country croquet’.  As with all new ideas, Crolf has taken some time to get the word out about it, but it is bound to become the latest garden game.

Invented by Robbie Carwithen Richardson in Devon, Crolf is a game that you can make as extreme as you want. A mixture between croquet and golf, it is a game that combines the best of the two sports – and doesn’t leave much room for the cheating which characterises croquet!

Crolf – a mixture between golf and croquet

Crolf - a mixture between golf and croquet

Briefly then… croquet requires an open field and a croquet set comprising two stakes, nine wickets, along with mallets and balls. The object of the game is to pass the ball through all the wickets. The rules are simple and competition fierce!

Golf on the other hand is a bag full of sticks – ok, just kidding, golf requires a set of clubs, extensive groomed grounds for the course, fairways, greens and a hole per green. The minimum game you can play is a 9 hole course which can take around 2 hours.

So… combine the two, et voila, you come up with CROLF.

The full Crolf set

Crolf - the new garden sport

Crolf has 4 hammers, 4 wooden balls, 6 hools  (three-way hoops in a triangular formation that you shoot through), 6 pins, 4 markers, and 9 Laws – I don’t think we were introduced to all 9. You place the 6 Hools anywhere in your garden to form the course, bearing in mind that the layout should be as full of obstacles as possible – the more obstructions the better – and you are ready to play. Like golf, a tee-off is marked by a pin. Players must reach each hool within a certain number of shots (the “par”) and they move around the course as a group. The object of the game is to get the ball (a ball similar to a polo ball but a little lighter) through the hool. Crolf, rather like golf, depends on the number of strokes it takes to hit the ball into the hole.

According to Robbie Richardson, “the grass shouldn’t be so long that you can’t hit a ball through it. Other than that, a course can take any route you like.” His own garden now features a six-hole, 36-par crolf course.

Crolf smacks of English eccentricity: the hammers, hools and pins are tidily secured on a wooden trolley with a parasol. “It’s much easier to move around the garden than a croquet set and it’s built to last,” Richardson says.

Not really in our extreme sport catagory, but since we had such fun playing it the other day I thought you all should know about it too!

Crolf Rules

  1. The players are numbered from 1 to max. 6 and they keep their number until the end.
  2. Player 1 is the first to play a stroke (surprise!), but only once. Then player 2, 3 in turns and so on. Now it is player 1 again, player 2, 3…
  3. If a player plays his ball out of sequence, the ball must be replaced. The player receives a penalty stroke.
  4. It is not allowed to move flags and other obstacles. Leaves, small branches and other loose things can be moved – moving obstacles or moving the ball away from obstacles costs a penalty point.
  5. If someone is lucky enough to get a hole-in-one, he scores 0. If your ball is hit by accident by another player, it can never be a hole-in-one. It scores at least 1.
  6. If you have to move your ball by hand (because it is out of bounds or can’t be played where it is), the ‘move’ counts as a stroke. You have to move the shortest way onto the course.
  7. If another player has hit your ball out of bounds, the ball can be replaced without penalty.
  8. You can move the ball away from hazards, but not more than 15cm.
  9. Winner is the player who has used fewest strokes.

Tags: , , ,

4 Responses to “Crolf – a new garden sport”

    2012 | 1 July at 11:59 #

    would you like the real laws to go on this site, as the ones there aree not right!

    • lolajones
      2012 | 1 July at 16:52 #

      Yes please. I’m sorry I haven’t got them right. Please – I’d love it if you’d correct it. You can send an email to – and thank you. Would you like to write something about the game too? Sarah

  2. Joseph Keeble
    2013 | 10 August at 15:45 #

    This is a sham. I invented this game in 1977 and hold a US patent for it.

Leave a Reply