Visitors Keep the Ball Rolling at Kactus Creek

Team competition at Kactus Creek in Parkville.

Team competition at Kactus Creek in Parkville.

Canon shots, wickets, Chernobyl, Irish Peel? Yep, it’s just a normal day at Kactus Creek Croquet Club in Platte County.

With warmer temperatures, it’s time to start thinking about golf … or should I say golf croquet!

When visitors arrive at the Welcome Center in the Platte County Resource Center, they invariably ask “What’s there to do in Platte County?” While Platte County features Zona Rosa, Harley-Davidson, historic river towns, and so much more to explore, I will offer something unique and different – Kactus Creek Croquet Club.

Most visitors immediately think back to their childhood and wooden mallets, brightly colored wooden balls and metal hoops (or wickets) collecting dust in the garage. Once in a blue moon, the croquet carrier would be hauled out and dusted off. The “wickets” would be pushed into the ground at various intervals throughout the yard – first one to hit their ball through all wickets wins!

Fast forward to a place in Parkville offering a beautiful, landscaped full-size court complete with lights for night play and a covered porch area where you can indulge in a beverage of choice and gourmet food.

kactus creek logoMatt Griffith, owner and USCA Midwest Regional vice president, will teach even the greenest of croquet beginners the tricks and strategies of winning at golf croquet. Simply put, golf croquet is a team game with two teams starting together and heading to a specific wicket (although these wickets are not thin wire pieces but sturdy structures that allow balls to be “jumped” for the win).

The first team to get a ball through a wicket wins a point – games are usually played to 5 points. Most games last 15-20 minutes so visitors can play multiple games (and trade partners if needed).

Kactus Creek offers free open play one night a week for anyone – beginners to experienced players. The court itself can be divided into two courts accommodating up to 24 players at a time. The pristine hybrid Bermuda grass court stays green and fast throughout the summer using a sprinkler system of rain water collected in four 3,000-gallon tanks. Kactus Creek is truly a “green” croquet court.

Matt loves working with groups and introducing croquet to novices who have never picked up a mallet. Outside seating on the veranda or the Pergola can accommodate more than 150. In addition to weddings and wedding receptions – think “Team Bride vs. Team Groom” – Kactus Creek is available for company picnics, fundraisers, team building, and family reunions. Groups can use the grill, bring their own beverages and food or work with Matt to provide what is on the menu and drink list.

So the next time you’re in Platte County, stop by the Welcome Center and I’ll give you directions to Kactus Creek Croquet Club (might even give you a few tricks I learned from Matt). Or, contact Matt directly (KactusCreek@yahoo.com) to schedule a day and time for yourself or a group – he loves visitors.

Written by Jennifer Goering, executive director of the Platte County CVB.