Close to where we live is a pretty little park with a bowling green at it’s center. We often walked by and contemplated checking it out. One day we noticed that they were having an open day. We peeked into the clubhouse and ran into the club champion who might have been passing himself off as the janitor. His description of the club was colorful but welcoming so we decided to check out Open Day.
Open Day was heaps of fun. Many existing members were there helping visitors bowl their very first bowls and encouraging them to take up the sport. Knowing nothing better I applied my ten-pin bowling delivery technique to the lawn bowl and having been given a few pointers on determining the right ‘line’ achieved a respectable degree of success. Indeed our host suggested that I should be bowling in the pennant team the coming Saturday. Pennant is the regular inter-club competition that runs throughout the bowling season. He said ‘you think I’m joking, don’t you?’ I did think he was joking, but he wasn’t. More on that in another post.
Now a year later we’re still happy with our choice of club, which is just as well since the next nearest would be inconveniently further away. So what are the factors that might be considered in selecting a club?
One obvious first step would be to look at the facilities. Ours is a small club and although the clubhouse is decent enough with kitchen and bar facilities you could certainly find others with more extensive catering facilities. More importantly the club has just one artificially surfaced green with no scope to expand. Bowling capacity, say in terms of number of pennant teams that could be fielded, will therefore always be limited. Some people may also prefer a real grass green although the artificial surface is easier to maintain and is available all year round.
Another thing to consider would be the existing membership and culture of the club. We’ve often heard people observe that our club is less male dominated and drinking oriented than nearby clubs. That’s quite likely to be an important consideration one way or another.
Other factors to consider would be the kind of events, bowling or otherwise, that are on the calendar, the availability of coaching and of course their membership and other fees. If you’re lucky as we were you’ll find a club able to nurture your bowling aspirations as well as providing a convivial social community.