So you would like to bowl – where and how do you start?
The first thing to know is that the object is to deliver a bowl as close to the jack (the small yellow/white ball) as possible. You need to know that all bowls have a bias, that is, they “bend” during flight, and that is where the skill comes in.
The Preston Bowls Club, opposite Preston Park in Brighton, will welcome you if you wish to see lawn bowls (indoors) in action. Just contact Nicky, Club Administrator on 01273 540415 or contact the Club through the website and a friendly member will get back to you and, subject to rink availability will arrange a date and time for you to try out.
If on your first visit you wish to have a go, you may do so subject to rink availability. However, be sure to have a pair of flat-soled shoes, but you may play in your socks. The Club has bowls which may be borrowed. After your bowling session, you may wish to get a drink at our fully-stocked bar or have a meal at our restaurant which is open during the day.
Youngsters are also welcome to try out this very skilled game. The same applies to them in the first instance, flat-soled shoes. There are junior bowls too which may be borrowed at no cost.
Preston Club offers several beginners sessions a year, usually indoors and to find out when the next one is just contact the Administrator, or click here. The beginners sessions are free, but if ultimately you decide this is the game for you then pick up a leaflet in the foyer which will give you the relevant details for joining.
Beginners sessions are run indoors during the winter, and once you have completed the course and joined the club, there is opportunity to play outdoors in the summer season. Again, the Club Administrator can give you details, or contact the Club’s secretaries through the website and they will give you information you require.
Once you decide this is the game for you, you need to think about buying your own bowls and selecting the right clothing as there is a simple dress code for playing in sessions. Grey and white clothing can be purchased in local shops but smarter tailored dress may be obtained from dedicated bowls shops. The Club also sells an official Club shirt at a very reasonable rate.
As far as bowls are concerned, the most important thing to do is ‘try before you buy’. Borrow some different bowls and seek advice from an experienced club member, or visit a bowls shop where the staff there can help you choose. There is a travelling bowls shop which visits the Club regularly.
New bowls are expensive but there are second hand bowls available – see the Notice Board in the foyer.
When it comes to buying bowls, there are some things that you need to think about:
- Bias - There are various bowls with all sorts of bias, ranging from narrow drawing bowls, right up to wide drawing bowls, so try out a few at your local club to decide on which is the best for you.
- Size - Women generally opt for a size 1 or 2 and men usually have a 3 or 4, but everyone has different sized hands, so it is important you choose one that feels comfortable for you.
- Grip - The type of grip you choose is also important for play and you would need a bowl that has a firm but comfortable grip.
For more information on outdoor bowls, click on this link: Flat-Green