Golfers, all polite and athletic, love to reprimand croquet players.
“We will play croquet,” they say, “when we are not physically able to play golf”.
Chan Chandler has heard it for years. On behalf of his fellow Arbor Acres croquet players, Chandler prepared a cue.
“We tell them, ‘We’ll start playing golf when we’re mentally incapable of playing croquet,’ Chandler said with a chuckle. “We love geese.”
Croquet is serious business in Arbor Acres, a retirement community between Reynolda Road and University Parkway.
It’s also fun, of course, which is why so many people pack their walkers and oxygen tanks and head to the neighborhood’s pristine yard for mental, social and, yes, physical stimulation.
About 60 residents, some in their 90s, play regularly every week, making it, along with the swimming pool, one of the most popular pastimes in the community.
Chandler, 78, said the sport taps into the competitive spirit that stays with people, regardless of their age.
“We still have that competitive urge,” Chandler said. “It’s honestly addicting. People hear croquet and roll their eyes. And within weeks, they’re addicted to it. This pattern repeats itself over and over again.”