An interview with Rachel Gee

An interview with Rachel Gee


Rachel Gee

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Ashby Croquet Club

Potted playing history – from first picking up a mallet to current play  - including what influenced you to start.


I started playing croquet with my Dad in our back garden with a garden croquet set when I was a teenager.  At the time I was working towards my Duke of Edinburgh (DoE) Award; this ended up being the catalyst for joining Ashby Croquet Club.  As, upon leaving secondary school, I stopped playing for the school netball team and needed a new “physical recreation” activity for the DoE Award; so I joined a croquet club.


After joining Ashby Croquet Club, Derek Buxton took my Dad and me under his wing, coaching us and encouraging us to enter league matches and tournaments.  Once I started playing competitive croquet I was hooked!  My first big event was travelling to Ireland and playing for the England U21 squad against the Irish U21s.


The rest of the England U21 squad were predominantly AC players and encouraged me to learn to play AC as well as GC, so I joined Nottingham Croquet Club the following summer to get access to AC coaching, advice and support from the players at that club.  I spent large amounts of my University summer holidays playing and practising croquet - both Association and Golf.


In 2010, after graduating from University, I took a job in Nottingham and still live only a few miles from Nottingham Croquet Club!  I have been predominantly a GC player for the last decade or so, but still dabble with an occasional AC event now and then.


I won the 2011 Women’s Golf Croquet World Championships in New Zealand and was a Silver Medallist in the 2023 Women’s Golf Croquet World Championships.


I turned my attention to predominantly AC for a couple of seasons in the run up to the AC Women’s Worlds being held at Nottingham CC in 2015; getting down to an AC -1 and reaching the quarter finals in that event.


I represented England in the 2016 Openshaw Shield.  Shortly afterwards, Lionel Tibble started his role as the CA Golf Croquet International Performance Director and I took on a supporting coaching role with the Golf Croquet Development Squad; providing tactical advice, support and guidance for aspiring players going through the squad.  During my playing career I have also served on a range of different CA committees.


I won the 2019 and 2020 English National Singles Championships and the 2014, 2018 and 2023 European Golf Croquet Championships.



Your finest or proudest achievement and shot.


Tricky one – a few standing out for me:


  1. Wearing an England shirt for the first time. Even after 10+ years playing for my country this one still doesn’t get old.
  2. My first big tournament win was the Women’s Worlds in 2011, no big fancy shot to win this one, just a 2-3 foot jump shot, but winning a WCF Gold Medal has to make it to the list!
  3. Playing for England at home in the 2016 Openshaw Shield
  4. More of a combo of shots to swing a big match; playing Aston Wade in the 2023 European Championship final (after losing the same final match-up in 2022) – a great rush on partner ball from hoop 7 to hoop 8 giving myself an 5 yard jump shot at hoop 8 over his other ball in position to be able to run the hoop and take the lead to 6-2 in the 3rd game of the best of 3.



My Dad bought my first croquet mallet for me (and he bought a very similar spec’d mallet with a slightly longer shaft for himself), a square headed wooden Pidcock with a carbon fibre shaft.  I played with this (GC and AC) for 10+ years.

I tried out a few other mallets and decided to swap to a lighter (2lb 8oz) square headed Trimmer Carbon Fibre mallet in 2017 and haven’t looked back. The Trimmer mallet is better for shooting, which has helped my GC game, but on the rare occasions that I do play AC need to remind myself I don’t have the same stop shot ratio that I used to have!!


There are many styles, but what is your approach to stalking and a smooth swing?

For me, most of the success of the shot is down to the stalk and orientation/position of your body before taking the shot.

I generally have a pretty straight swing so don’t try to analyse or break it down, in my experience when you start trying to do this it all goes downhill!

What is your top tip for a good tournament performance?

Regular review and analysis of games, performance and decision making - what went well, what didn’t go well and what needs to be added/amended to your practice sessions to help resolve and improve.


Don’t be afraid to ask better players for their advice, either on particular situations faced on a lawn, their tips for improving or playing particular shots etc.

What is the one other piece of kit you're never without?

White baseball hat, sunglasses and a bag of chocolate buttons!


What is your best suggestion for development in either code?

Playing the other code.  Playing AC has opened my eyes to a large range of alternative shot options in GC, some of which can be hoop-winning almost immediately (particularly if oppo hasn’t seen the option available).  Playing GC has given me a much better understanding of my % success rate for any given shot (running longer hoops, various length roquets etc.) which has given me the confidence to be much more aggressive with my break pick-up lines and shooting shot selections in AC.


Who do you enjoy playing against and why?

A mixture of players.  One of my favourite tournaments to enter is the European GC Championships, as there are a lovely range of players who don’t regularly play on the UK tournament circuit; however I do also really enjoy playing against the best players in the country for really tough tight competitive matches where you need to bring your A game to have a chance of winning.


Giles Pepperell

Photo by Chris Roberts

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