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Lillian Phipps

Lillian "Lil" Phipps

Croquet on Long Island, Palm Beach or Saratoga would be a duller sport indeed if it were not for the energy, the enormous humor, the competitiveness, the sheer enjoyment that Lil Phipps brings to the game and those who play it. If ever anyone were to inherit the crown of empress of croquet which Margaret Emerson wore during her lifetime, it could have been no one but Lillian Phipps. But then, she has always worn her own crown, not one but a series of the wildest hats ever seen, the better to confuse her opponents.

The Phipps course on Long Island, American to the core, with nine wickets and two stakes, can exhaust the healthiest croqueteer, being long enough and wide enough to make at least three golf holes or, if you prefer, a polo field. It is a sporty one of hills, valleys, bumps, but it brings out the best in a player.

The Phipps course on North Lake Way in Palm Beach, now sold to those who sadly know not croquet's charm, was a favorite spot, with one beautiful patch of its lawn hidden behind lovely flower bushes. Once sent there, it would take two shots to return to the playing field itself.

Now Mrs. Phipps does most of her croquet playing in Saratoga, off season, and in July conducts her own personal tournament. Coming as she does from a family of great sportsmen: polo, golf, thoroughbred racing, court tennis, it is no wonder when the Croquet Hall of Fame honors Lillian Phipps it does so in deep appreciation both of her talents on the course and in her ability to keep friends, young and old, interested in the game, wherever she decides to move her lares and penates, not to mention her hats.

Lillian Phipps was married to Ogden Phipps.

Lillian Phipps was inducted into the United States Croquet Hall of Fame in 1980.

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