Nelson Bay Croquet Club host Christmas Bush Bash

Players at the start of play, Saturday 19 November.

NELSON Bay Croquet Club hosted and organised the Christmas Bush Bash, a golf croquet doubles tournament held Saturday 19 to Monday 21 November 2022.

64 players from around NSW converged on Nelson Bay for the three days, with many extending their stay before or after the tournament.

The 32 doubles pairs were seeded into four blocks of eight teams each, with the top pairs in Block A.

The tournament comprised a round-robin of level play followed by a round-robin of handicap play, meaning each doubles pair played fourteen games over the three days.

The games were thirteen-point contests with a time limit of 50 minutes.

215 games were played over the tournament (one pair had to withdraw after the first day due to illness – they were leading Block A at the time).

Despite the high winds on Sunday and Monday, the tournament was completed on time with keenly contested games.

Kate Washington, Member for Port Stephens and Club Patron, and Philippa Brooks, representing sponsors PRD Real Estate, were on hand at the end of play on Monday 21 November to present the awards and prizes.

In Block A, three pairs finished with three wins with the winners and runners-up decided on net hoops – former Australian representatives Ros and Ron Johnston (Sutherland / Cooks River) were first with Stephen Thornton and Michael Anear (Maitland) second.

In Block B, Bill Munns and Laurie Lawson (Toronto/Nelson Bay) were clear winners with nine wins with Julie Thornton and David Smith (Maitland/Nelson Bay) runners-up on net hoops from three pairs with eight wins.

In Block C, three pairs finished with nine wins with the winners and runners-up decided on net hoops – Liz and Phil McDonald (Toronto) were first with Jim Muxlow and Ann Barrett (Maitland) second.

In Block D, Judy and Hans Szubert (Toronto) were clear winners with eleven wins with Margaret Myers and Martin Wooster (Toronto/Mount Sugarloaf) runners-up on net hoops from two pairs with nine wins.

With visiting players from as far away as the Blue Mountains, Orange, Smithtown and Young, as well as croquet clubs in Sydney, the local clubs from the Hunter region fared very well.

In addition to the usual certificates and awards, the winners and runners-up received a fledgling Christmas Bush grown from seeds for trees around the courts.

Kate Washington noted that they took a little of Port Stephens home with them.

The tournament was sponsored by PRD Real Estate, with support from Bunnings, Kmart, Newcastle Permanent Building Society and Wests Diggers.

For further information about the Club, visit or e-mail


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