Mallet Matters

In an earlier post KJB mentioned that he was having new Mallets made to commemorate his purported 2013 win. Though that win has yet to be officially sanctioned, the celebratory offspring have become real. A series of emails to the FotGM followed this happy event and are quoted below.

Feb 25, 2014
Dear Friends of the Golden Mallet –

After considerable research into the available trove of historical and contemporary materials concerning croquet mallet construction, Master Malletmaker KG and I agree it is now appropriate to seek input from both responsible and irresponsible members of the Golden Mallet community.

Not surprisingly, it appears that there are no standards, either traditional or institutional, for mallet construction. This no doubt reflects the continuity of the character of croquet play and players over generations. Therefore, KG and I request your comments with regard to the following:

1) The Mallet Head – Wood? Metal? Plastic? Hybrid? Wood – Exotic/tropical/extinct? Maple? Oak? Hickory? Emuhrr? Metal – Iron? Steel? Aluminum? Titanium? Kryptonite? Plastic – including carbon fiber? Cross section – Circle? Square? Hexagon? Length – 8”? 8.5”? 9”? 9.5”? 10”?

2) The Mallet Shaft -Same options/questions as mallet head except. Length – 36”? 34”? 38”?
Such comments as you may have must be submitted on or before 5pm UTC, February 28, 2014. We (K and I) wish the new mallets to be available for the 2014 Season of Play. Joint, ghost-written or posthumous comments will not be considered.
You can be assured that all comments will be given the consideration they deserve, with due bias according to source.

Respectfully Yours,

P.S. I have copied in something called an “Andrew S.” Because it was introduced into this string of emails by one of you. I am familiar with that specie, I am not familiar with the “Andrew” sub specie. Is it sentient?

Of course, there are some standards regarding mallet construction, but that’s another issue.  Months later, this follow-up email surfaced:

April 17, 2014

Friends of the Golden Mallet –

After the wintertime defilement and theft of an Original Mallet [from the vault of the Golden Mallet] in order to permit “study” of the severed mallet head, and following weeks of consultation, investigation, research and measurement, Master Malletmaker KG has finally emerged from his mysterious workshop in the now darkened cellar of his little house on the Illinois prairie, mallets in hand!

And they are beautiful!

The six mallet set has heads crafted from laminated oak using a technologically advanced glue, and the solid maple handles are attached with the same glue enhanced by classic wedge-and-kerf joinery.  I should warn you that while three of these mallet[s] meet the standard measurements, three others have heads of modestly different lengths.  The differences are intended to  provide opportunity for improved play and NOT intended to incite arguments over who gets to use which mallet!!  This mallet set is destined to serve generations of Golden Mallet play.

The two rectangular mallets, modeled after those popular in club croquet, were made by Mr. G. for me.  I look forward to comparing these mallets to our traditional ones.

It is my understanding that HG and KG will deliver the new mallets to the Field of Play when they go to Bellaire in July.
I hope you will be inspired to thank KG for his inspired work!



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