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How to Pose for a Croquet Photo...and Other Useful Tips


ST. HELENA, Calif., Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Meet Meadowood Napa Valley's Resident Croquet Professional Mike McDonnell. Mike grew up playing tournament croquet in the company of the Hollywood elite. His father, Tom, taught him to play on the family's home court in Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles when he was five years old and he's been playing ever since. Tom was introduced to the game while working in the television industry in the late 1950s by famed movie producer Sam Goldwyn and was later instrumental in bringing croquet to Meadowood.

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Meadowood is proud to offer its guests the finest full-time teaching facility for croquet in the country under the leadership of Mike McDonnell.

Fun Facts:

  • The lawns debuted at Meadowood in 1986
  • Meadowood hosted the U.S. Croquet Championships in 1986; the first time they were held outside New York
  • Mike played competitively through the late-1970s well into the 1980s, ultimately reaching a ranking of 11th in the nation
  • Mike's music career as a bass player took him off the croquet circuit in 1988
  • Toured the world with jazz trumpet great Maynard Ferguson for two years and later became bass player and music director for Sir Tom Jones for five years
  • In 1996 Mike came back to the game, joined Meadowood as an assistant professional, working alongside long-time friend and then head professional, Jerry Stark
  • In October 2010 Meadowood officially dedicated the croquet lawns to Jerry: The Jerry Stark Memorial Croquet Lawns.
  • Meadowood named Mike Resident Croquet Professional in June 2011
  • When not on the lawns teaching, Mike continues to play music professionally
  • Check out Mike's story and the game of croquet at Meadowood HERE!

Meadowood is settled among two-hundred-fifty private acres in the heart of Napa Valley, America's premier wine growing region. The estate is a center for social, cultural and viticultural life in the valley and is known for its beautiful, natural setting, gracious hospitality, classic architecture and traditional pastimes including croquet, tennis, golf, swimming, hiking, a three-Michelin star dining experience and the enjoyment of wine.  Also a private club, Meadowood counts Napa Valley's most prominent vintners among its members. Meadowood is a proud member of Relais & Chateaux.

Media Contacts:
Ann Marie Conover, Director of Marketing & Communications;  (707) 967-1216

Jennifer Chiesa, Senior Public Relations Manager; (707) 967-1248


SOURCE Meadowood Napa Valley