The golfers, all polished and sporty, like to reprimand the croquet players.
“We play croquet,” they say, “when we are not physically able to play golf.”
Chan Chandler has been hearing it for years. On behalf of his fellow croquet players at Arbor Acres, Chandler has a retort ready.
“We tell them, ‘We’re going to play golf if we’re not mentally capable of playing croquet,'” Chandler said with a chuckle. “We love to geese them.”
Croquet is serious business in Arbor Acres, a retirement home between Reynolda Road and University Parkway.
It’s fun, too, of course, which is why so many people pack their walkers and oxygen tanks and head to the neighborhood’s pristine courthouse for mental, social, and, yes, physical stimulation.
About 60 residents, including some in their 90s, play regularly each week, making it, along with pool, one of the community’s most popular times.
Chandler, 78, said the sport aligns with the competitive spirit that remains with people regardless of their age.
“We still have that competitive edge,” Chandler said. “It’s really addictive. People hear ‘croquet’ and roll their eyes. And within a few weeks they are addicted to it. That pattern repeats itself over and over.”