John Hobbs Croquet Mallets

Advice 2

Too tight a grip


A common reason why you can miss a key roquet is that you tense up your hand muscles and put the mallet head off line. If you want to see a demonstration of this stand with your mallet loosely held and in line with some straight line on the ground. Then tense your grip so that you hold the handle tightly. See how the head will move slightly off line, meaning that if you held the handle that tightly instead of gently, you would miss your target. The moral is that you should always hold the mallet gently and never tense up just because you have a difficult or a long shot. You must develop a way of hitting harder with your arms and shoulders, rather than gripping tightly and using just your wrists.




The lacquer on the head is water and gin proof. If not scratched, crushed or abraded it will last a long while. If you want to tidy the head up after a while, sandpaper down any bare parts and lightly go over the rest. The original lacquer is Rustins Plastic Coating; a two-part mix is obtainable in 250ml quantity. An ordinary varnish would also do. After a while the grip will need replacing and this is a Karakal Super Plus Hockey grip, which I can supply for £6 plus postage.. Remove the old one and start from the top with the new one, using the instructions I will enclose. See also below....


The oil that I use is Colron refined teak oil. Danish oil is more or less the same thing, but oil meant for outside furniture tends to be a bit less attractive, though thoroughly waterproof.


Removing a carbon fibre handle that has been locked tight


Undo the screw in the head so it protrudes by about 1cm. Drop the mallet on to a hard smooth surface (wood flooring or thin carpet) and the head will come loose.


If you have any problems, call or Email me using the link on the home page.


Fitting a Karakal grip


The grips are packed with the top part outermost – the bit with the little pimples. First peel off the clear plastic covering and peel away about 5cm of the white backing. Start at the top of the handle at one of the short bevels. Make sure that the overlap is equal to the tramline at the edge of the grip, so that it stops the grip unravelling. Continue downwards and overlap by the width of the chamfered tramline. When you get to the bottom cut off most of the white backing, so that you can wrap the last bit of grip round the handle, still with its backing on. That way you can see where you should use cissors to cut off the unwanted grip. Peel off the rest of the backing and finish wrapping round. Put insulating tape round the bottom and the wood end piece. Wrap it in the reverse direction to the way the grip has gone on. This is in case you want to take the tape off at a later stage and this way it won’t unwrap the grip.