Best Place to Pretend You're a Rich Sport - 2003
San Francisco Croquet Club
You don't have to have a whopping mansion in Sea Cliff to live the ritzy life. Instead, put on a floppy straw hat and some linen trousers, tie a sweater around your shoulders, slip into some flat, soft-soled shoes, and head down to the eucalyptus-lined Stern Grove Croquet Lawns -- the largest public venue exclusively for the civilized game in the United States. The S.F. Croquet Club hosts an introductory six-wicket clinic on the first Saturday of every month (reservations required), or you can swing the mallet sans reservations during the group's free hours, in the afternoons of the first and third Wednesdays of the month. The club is nonprofit, and several top-ranked professional players learned their mastery of the greensward here. As the pros say, "Croquet yields to practice."