Mallets By Matt Minarik

About Matthew Minarik:

Matt Minarik builds ‘personalized’, ‘specialized’ and tough croquet mallets.  In fact, Matthew Minarik believes they are the best mallets anywhere. Each mallet is hand made and hand painted. 

Matthew Mann Minarik only started doing this when the pandemic hit. Before that, Matt was doing some hobby woodworking – Making cabinets and tables for his home and family.

IN HIS BLOOD: But woodworking is not new to Matt.  His grandfather, Andrew Mann, was a cabinet maker from Bavaria (Austria-Germany area) and his uncle, Leonard Mann, S.M., Ph.D. was a hobbyist cabinet maker.  In fact, Matt’s father-in-law was also a cabinet maker!  Some of the tools Matthew Mann Minarik uses are from his grandfather and are 100 years old!

PERSONALIZED, SPECIALIZED MALLETS BY MATT MINARIK.  Matthew Minarik will make you any specialized mallet you want (within reason).  Matt will put your favorite team logo and name and colors on a mallet.  Matt will also make a personalized set of four mallets (Blue, Red, Black, and Yellow) as a great wedding gift for a newlywed couple – or for a couple’s anniversary!    

FOR USE OR DISPLAY:  Matt Minarik made sure the mallets are not just decorative pieces, but mallets that are excellent for everyday playing and that will last years.  Half of the mallets made by Matt are used, and half sit proudly by the fireplace in the living room or in  the den.  ALL MALLETS BY MATT MINARIK ARE TOTALLY UNIQUE.

These Make Great Wedding Gifts

Personalize their great day like this full four-mallet set Matt made for his great niece.

The set comes with everything you need to enjoy croquet.  Other than the balls, Matt Minarik builds the whole set from scratch by hand.  The mallets, the stakes, the wickets, and even the small mallet to pound in the stakes (so you don’t damage the real mallets).  Matt even provides a duffle bag to hold everything.  

If you would like a personalized set like this, then contact Matt at three months in advance of when you need the set.  A complete, personalized set is only $950.00 delivered to your door in the continental USA.

TOUGHEST MALLETS:  You will see below that some of the mallets made by Matt are very unique.  In fact, as far as anyone knows, Matthew Minarik is the only Specialized and Personalized Croquet Mallet Maker in the world!  But these mallets aren’t just for looks – although they are gorgeous.   These mallets are tough.

Matt’s mallet heads are made of any one of three woods:  Hard Maple, Shagbard Hickory, or Persimmon wood.  The Hickory mallet heads are extremely hard and when one hits the croquet ball, the balls go further with less effort, and they go more true.  NEW WOOD:  Matt’s nephew, Tim Minarik, makes golf clubs and he suggested to Matt to use Persimmon wood as that is what the old ‘woods’ were made of in the older days.  Now, Matt is making his next mallets from Persimmon and is excited to try them out.

The handles are made of either Oak or Maple.  Matt finds that the Maple handles are strong, yet are a smoother finish and paint better and feel good in the hands.

HARDNESS SCALE:   In woodworking, there is a hardness scale for wood.  It is called Janka Hardness Scale.  It was created by Austrian-born American researcher Gabriel Janka (1864–1932).  “The actual number listed in the wood profile is the amount of pounds-force (lbf) or newtons (N) required to imbed a .444″ (11.28 mm) diameter steel ball into the wood to half the ball’s diameter. This number is given for wood that has been dried to a 12% moisture content, unless otherwise noted.”

Persimmon Wood Hardness:  2,300 lbf (10,230 N)

Hickory Wood Hardness: 1,880 lbf (8,360 N)

Hard Maple Hardness:  1,450 lbf (6,450 N)

WHY CROQUET MALLETS? So, what is the big deal with croquet mallets?  Where did this come from?  Matthew Minarik is the youngest of 7 children of Paul and Alice Minarik.  Matt’s dad, Paul, was an avid, and good, golfer when he got married.  Soon after the second child arrived, Paul realized he couldn’t go play 18 holes of golf and leave Alice alone at home to care for the children.  Thus, Paul decided croquet would be a great alternative.  Paul became ‘obsessed’ with playing croquet and passed that passion on down to all seven of his children who continuously play it at a very high level today.

RULES:  There are several different types of croquet, but the version played by Matt, his family, and most Americans is a 9-wicket standard backyard croquet.  The rules linked here.   Paul Minarik changed the Rover rule, in that the Rover is ‘dead’ on the last ball he/she hit but becomes undead on that ball as soon as a different ball is hit by the Rover.  (THERE IS NO POISON IN OUR GAMES).   Also, in Standard croquet, you are only dead on a ball until you clear your next wicket or your next turn.  In ABCA, by Paul Minarik, you are not given the reprieve of being dead on a ball because of a new turn.  The only way to become live to the ball you were previously dead on, is to make your next successive wicket.

AMERICAN BACKYARD CROQUET ASSOCIATION  Matt Minarik started the American Backyard Croquet Association back in the 1980’s when Matt graduated from (the) Ohio State. To Matt and his family, enjoying a beverage and good company is all about the game, and so the somewhat ‘stuffy’ approach of a more professional croquet is not played by member of the ABCA.   And the great part of the ABCA is that most backyards have hills, and roots, and bad spots and even horseshoe pits that all make the game more challenging and fun. 

HOW TO ORDER YOUR MALLETS: If you would like to order a hand-made personalized croquet mallet from Matthew Minarik, you can contact him at  

Info needed:  How many mallets would you like?

Team or other Logo on the mallet? Yes or no?

Or Custom mallet: Yes or no

What would you like on the mallet head? 

In your email, describe the mallet in as much detail as you can provide.

Type of wood for Mallet Head:

Maple – cost per mallet $250

Hickory – cost per mallet $295

Persimmon – cost per mallet $325

Expect delivery in one month or less. 

All payments are up front and can be paid by Venmo to @MattMann82