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Best Old-School Sporting Club New York 2012 - New York Croquet Club

Granted, it's not the late 1800s anymore (even if the GOP wishes it were), but the genteel English sport from that time still has a home in Gotham. Established in 1967, the New York Croquet Club gently knocks balls through small hoops in Central Park's Mineral Springs area. NYCC is 90 members strong. Its free weekly introduction clinics bring in up to two dozen players, teaching participants grip, stance, swing, single ball shots, and shooting a wicket, ending with a full game of croquet. And if you join, you'll be rubbing elbows with experts who compete in national and international tournaments. So what do you have to lose? Every game will be the most sophisticated and civil hour and a half you'll spend outside a wine-tasting cruise. West 69th Street and Central Park West Drive, 917-310-8724, newyorkcroquetclub.com (10023)

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