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Croquet All Day: The Ponte Vedra Croquet Club

Did you know there is a croquet club in Ponte Vedra Beach? John Curington, known for his extensive community involvement, brought this unique venue to life right here in Ponte Vedra Beach in 2013. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight but it was certainly worth it. So, who is John Curington and where exactly is the Ponte Vedra Croquet Club?

Meet John Curington

John Curington, Owner, PV Croquet Club

John Curington has taken on various roles throughout his life, including investing in and revitalizing the San Marco Blvd district over a period of 20+ years with a business partner. In 1979, they acquired most of downtown San Marco Blvd, which included the San Marco Theater, Cafe on the Square, the St. Marks Building and the St. Marks Restaurant. This marked the beginning of John’s dedication to building stronger communities.

In 1989, Curington stumbled upon the game of croquet. What initially appealed as a “hobby” quickly transitioned into something with much more allure. Having never played organized sports as a kid, John had occasionally played backyard recreational croquet and loved the intriguing yet puzzling strategy of the game.  

Intrigue turned to lessons and lessons turned to winning tournaments which eventually brought John to becoming an in-demand croquet court consultant and designer.  For 18 months, John helped to plan and design the National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, and eventually was inducted into the 2006 Croquet Hall of Fame.  All this to say, John Curington not only KNOWS the sport of croquet, but LOVES it too!

John, a Ponte Vedra Beach resident since 1993, repeatedly tried working with St. Johns County to fund a croquet facility through a public or private partnership with no success.  All attempts with private clubs proved unsuccessful as well, with the exception of Florida Yacht Club where he helped develop and build two regulation-size waterfront croquet courts and began teaching lessons.

John’s hope was always to bring croquet to Ponte Vedra Beach and in 2013, after a very lengthy process, he was successful. John purchased the former mosquito control property at 100 Mosquito Control Road in Ponte Vedra Beach where today you will find Ponte Vedra Croquet Club.

Ponte Vedra Croquet Club

Ponte Vedra Croquet Club is a 5-acre property featuring 7 courts. There are 4 three-quarter sized courts on the South Lawn and 3 full-size courts on the North Lawn with a deck for play viewing.  The facility also includes a 3,000 square foot open-air pavilion with kitchen and seating for 50. It’s the perfect spot to find some shade if the Spanish Oaks throughout the property are just not enough.

Considered an ambassador of the sport and an excellent teacher, John pretty much does it all at the club with the help of a groundskeeper.  Living under 3 miles from the club helps him to be readily accessible to his 40+ members, some of whom play 2-3 times a week.  The club is is open 7 days a week and members have access to equipment and the facility during non-scheduled hours. On Wednesday and Saturday mornings at 9:30AM or Sundays at 3:30PM, the club offers an introduction to the game at no charge.

Who plays Croquet? Croquet truly has no age limits, yet typically speaking, it is most popular among the early retirees to retirees. The average age demographic is 60+, however, not all ages wish to or can play a high-cardio or intensive sport like pickleball, tennis, or golf. John says, “Croquet is a less bodily intense sport that is perfect for those who have a hard time twisting as in golf, and hard pounding, stop and go as in tennis. Croquet is a very strategic sport that gently builds player balance and laser focuses on mental acuity.” You can play croquet for many hours, it requires teamwork, walking, standing, strategy, rhythm and concentration. It also provides socialization, fresh air and, yes, it adds to longevity and improves health.

The club has a thriving, active group of member who enjoy not only the fun and challenge of the game, but also the socialization it offers. If you’re curious, you are encouraged to just give it a try. There is sample equipment available and folks that are happy to help you learn the game while you give it a try at no cost. For more information on Ponte Vedra Croquet Club, visit the club at 100 Mosquito Control Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 or visit their website here: https://www.pontevedracroquetclub.com/

About the Author

Jenn Heller is the Operations Manager for The Volen Group, Keller Williams Luxury International, a top real estate team in Ponte Vedra Beach. Jenn has over 20 years experience in Real Estate all in Ponte Vedra Beach, and is an Atlantic Beach resident.

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