John Hobbs Croquet Mallets

Design your own mallet part 1

These notes will guide you in filling in the specification form

 

Stiffness options

The mallets are made with an aluminium or carbon fibre shaft connected to the head with a short piece of tapered nylon. This gives flexibility and reduces shock and the shaft is easily removed. Alternatively the connecting piece can be made of aluminium, which gives no flexibility but feels more positive and may help some people with stop shots and very controlled split shots. It doesn't absorb as much shock on roll shots and you seem to have to hit harder to achieve the same distances. If  you want an aluminium connector put aluminium instead of nylon. For golf croquet I find that the nylon connector is fine with carbon fibre.

 

The carbon fibre shaft is lighter and more rigid than aluminium. You need to note that the handle will weigh 3 - 4oz less than a wooden handle and about 2.5oz less than an aluminium one.

 

Weight

Since carbon fibre shafts are so much lighter than wooden ones it is better to think in terms of head weight alone. The most usual head weight is 1022gms (2lb 4oz), which is fine for golf or associiation play on average lawns. If you want greater stability, or have slow lawns, then go up to 1080gms (2lb 6oz) . My own mallet head weighs 1200gms (2lb 10oz). With an aluminium shaft it's 3lb 4oz, but I have a carbon fibre shaft, making 3lb 2oz all up. For purely golf croquet you can go down in weight - the Egytians have 850gms (1lb 14oz), but they whack the ball so hard.

 

Height and head length

Estimate your desired height by holding a mallet that is too long, at the height you feel you want for a comfortable swing. Your ideal height depends not only on how tall you are, but on your grip style—longer for Solomon grip and shorter for Irish.

 

Most of the best players have 12" heads, because the lead weights behind the faces help resist any twisting if you hit off centre and the further they are from the handle the harder it is to twist. For some people a 12” head makes them dig in when hitting, or it just seems too long. For this reason I always suggest an 11" head as the best compromise if you don't want 12". I'm currently using a 13" head for extra stability and I very rarely dig in.

 

Head Width 

There are advantages in having a head about 2" (51 to 53 mm) wide when you are hampered in the hoop. It also means that there is more lead needed at the ends, because there's less wood weight. If you feel there is a risk of miss-hitting then choose a wider head (say 55 to 57mm) or I can make any width up to 62 mm (2 7/16") but then your choice of wood is more limited—ask what I have. Expert players can go down to as little as 47mm width. Also consider the fact that if you have hit say 2cm off sentre you are going to miss anyway, because the head is going to twist.

 

 

Design continued