Jerry Stark says that he would probably still be working on he assembly line at General Motors if it weren't for croquet. For the past eleven years, the 45 year-old has been the Croquet Professional at the Meadowood Resort in California's Napa Valley. In charge of introducing Meadowood's corporate clientele to the sport of croquet, Jerry estimates that he has taught over 35,000 people to play croquet over the years on Meadowood's two magnificent lawns.
Like many sport croquet players, Jerry became interested in croquet playing the backyard version in his native Kansas City, Missouri. When his high school buddy Jim Bast (the 1984 USCA National Singles Champion) moved to Phoenix, Arizona and discovered "real croquet," Jerry visited him on his vacation from GM. After playing croquet with members of the Arizona Croquet Club Jerry told Jim, "Give me one year and I'm moving to Phoenix to play croquet!" And he did.
Jerry excelled at the sport and quickly became one of the best international rules players in America. He placed third in the 1989 World Croquet Championships and second in the Sonoma-Cutrer Worlds in 1997. "I'm the perennial runner-up or third place guy," says Jerry.
Jerry has been a member of the U.S. National Team eight times and is the only person to be a member of all three U.S. MacRobertson Shield Teams. Jerry says that the highlight of his croquet career was this past February when the U.S. Team defeated Australia in the MacRobertson Shield. Jerry's goals are to win a World title and to see that the U.S. National Team continues to improve on the world croquet scene.
Jerry is married to wife Donna and has a son Zach, 14, who "doesn't play croquet YET," says Jerry.
Jerry Stark was inducted into the United States Croquet Hall of Fame in 2000.
Jerry Stark died on 19 May 2010.
Not Your Picnic Croquet Match in San Francisco Chronicle
Jerry Stark in Maui Croquet Club Gallery
California Wine Country: Croquet Lesson inTravel Channel