‘Croquet on the Lawn’ rolls back to The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe


By Karen Billing

Give croquet a whack this summer at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe

Croquet returned to the lawn at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe on Thursday, July 10. Players — dressed in fashionable, traditional whites and khakis — enjoyed learning the game from a pro while sipping on champagne cocktails or refreshing citrus water and noshing on small bites from The Inn’s restaurant Morada.

The main lawn of The Inn was refurbished during The Inn’s $12 million renovation which was completed in July 2013, taking out the bumps and divots, and offering a smooth, clean surface perfect for croquet play.

Jerome Strack, general manager of The Inn, said that visitors to the village in the 1950s might remember the iconic scene of guests playing the game on the front lawn.

“We want to bring back the innocent fun of the era and reintroduce a sport that anyone, from couples to friends to three family generations can play together,” Strack said.

Professional croquet player John Delille taught the guests how to use their mallets to whack their wooden balls through the wickets.

“Croquet is a sport that anyone — as long as they can swing a mallet — can play. This is what makes it fun. One does not need athletic ability, only strategic thinking, in order to do well in play. Croquet is more like chess than anything else,” said Delille. “I look forward to being a part of a long-standing history of croquet on The Inn’s magnificent lawn.”

The July 10 games were just the beginning of a summer of croquet on the lawn. The event will return on July 24, Aug. 7 and Aug. 21, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The cost is $25 per person and that includes the games, instruction, cocktails and light appetizers.

For reservations, call (858) 381-8190 or visit