The first Greek Open Croquet Championship took place in Corfu in September 2007. There were three events: Association Handicap Singles - Association Handicap Doubles - Golf Handicap Doubles. All sixteen competitors in the Association events came from the UK as Association is not yet played in Greece.
The Golf Doubles was scheduled for the weekend to maximize the number of local players who could join in. As far as possible a Brit and a Corfiot were partnered. In every round they swapped partners. This proved to be a great success - it was both sociable and competitive. Indeed, there were high emotions at times, such as from hard-hitting Stelios Papikinos who played fifteen games over the two days. However, his win percentage was just behind that of his charming 12 year old daughter Carien who played with a different style - thoughtful and with impressive accuracy. Both were just pipped by Lola Klouda who earned a handsome prize as a result.
The winner of the prize for the best of the Brits was Alan Newman from Plymouth who won with a remarkable 83% of his games. Not far behind him was Catherine Cosier, over as a non-playing spouse but who joined in enthusiastically. One feature of the Association Handicap Doubles was wife-swapping! There were several married couples playing but they were not allowed to partner one another. Over two days there were five rounds, with Michael Hague and Anne Stephens emerging as victors, with Ivor Nunn and Liz Potter runners-up.
The principal event was the Handicap Singles which was played rather more seriously, not least because there was a very fine olive wood and silver trophy on offer to the winner. This was also run over two days with Liz Potter from Cheltenham playing off a handicap of 18, proving far too good for all of her five opponents. She completed the final by beating the tournament manager, Kevin Carter, with three bisques in hand!
On the final evening there was a gala dinner and prizegiving held at the superb Pomo D’Oro restaurant whose chef/proprietor Aristoteles Megoulas, a young Greek, is already a true enthusiast having mastered the tactics of the game in a very short time and is so determined to improve his skills, he has recently acquired his own mallet.
It is hoped that even more Greeks will take part in the 2008 Championship due to be held in May.