Croquet Mallet Design - Part 1 Height
Mallet design can influence your game results. Even if it doesn’t, it does make a difference to your level of comfort and enjoyment. A mallet to a croquet player is like a baseball glove to a baseball player: it needs to fit like...well, a glove.
This is the first of several articles we're introducing on mallet design to help you choose the right mallet for you.
Over the course of the next few months, I'll be sharing knowledge about various aspects of mallet design, such as height, head lengths, weight, handle types, and shapes. You'll learn why there are so many mallet sizes, the benefits of various materials and how each of these decisions can affect your game.
Part I: Choosing the right height
There are two main ways to swing a croquet mallet - between your feet or across the front of your feet (similar to a golf swing). This article is intended for those who like to swing it between their feet. There are three primary factors to consider when choosing mallet height: player height, type of grip and posture.
Player height is self-explanatory. The taller the player, the longer the mallet. Simple enough, but how do you know what the ideal height is?
A classic method is to let your hands hang freely at your side, measure from your wrist to the ground and add an inch. This may work if you are of average proportions and use an Irish grip (palms facing forward on both hands).
If you use either a Solomon grip (knuckles facing forward on both hands) or Standard grip (top hand knuckles forward/bottom hand, palm forward), you may need to add 3" to 4" to your wrist height. Remember, this will only get you 'in the ballpark’' of the ideal height.
Beyond this, body proportions can affect your final selection. Some people have short legs and a long torso and vice versa. Arm length relative to height can vary, too.
Basic measuring method
The method I prefer to use is to place a tall mallet on the lawn in front of you and line your toes up to the back face of the mallet. Let your hands hang loosely at your side. Bring your hands forward and around until they naturally grip the mallet in your preferred grip type (Irish, Solomon or Standard).
You may want to adjust your posture by bending slightly at the waist. As you do so, allow your hands to slide down the handle naturally. Wherever they come to rest in a position that feels good to you, the mallet height should be about 1/2" to 1" above your top hand.
Now it’s time to hit the lawn and try out several heights that are above, below and equal to this height.
Below you will see a table I've created comparing player heights to approximate mallet heights based on grip type. Remember that mallet height is measured from the ground to the top of the handle.
|Player Height||Solomon or Standard Grip||Irish Grip|
|5'-2"||32" - 33"||30" - 31"|
|5'-4"||33" - 34"||31" - 32"|
|5'-6"||34" - 35"||32" - 33"|
|5'-8"||35" - 36"||33" - 34"|
|5'-10"||36" - 37"||34" - 35"|
|6'-0'||37" - 38"||35" - 36"|
|6'-2"||37" - 39"||36" - 37"|
|6-4"||38" - 40"||36" - 37"|
|6'-6"||40" - 42"||37" - 38"|
If you find this helpful and want to improve your game, please continue to read our blog.
Unless you're someone who I'm playing against this coming year, in which case "There's Nothing to See Here!".