This information is mostly intended for people new to Lawn Bowling but should also have some details about Lanchester Bowling Club that experienced bowlers could find useful.
Why take up bowling?
Bowling is inexpensive compared to most other sporting or leisure activities. It is sociable as there is time for a chat in the tea breaks or during play as long as you do not disturb a player about to bowl. It is perfectly suited to the British summer climate and you can play indoors locally in the winter. League matches take approximately two hours and are played at convenient times of the day. It is easy to pick up the basics of the game with minimal coaching.
You can start at any age from teens upwards and remain competitive into your nineties. A common comment among bowlers is they wished they had taken up the game earlier. Most of our members are retired but the best time to take up bowling is now. Perhaps you have reached or are approaching retirement or your children have flown the nest and you want a new activity. Perhaps you have played other sports such as football, cricket, badminton, golf or tennis and feel your best days are behind you. Take up bowling now and you will be able to play competitively for many years to come.
New members at Lanchester Bowling Club pay only £20 in their first year; after that fees are currently £40 per year. For that you can play as often as you wish, morning, afternoon or evening. The green is available seven days a week from late April to the end of September. You will be given a key and a locker (subject to availability) so you can practise and play as much or as little as you wish.
What will I need to get started?
Flat shoes are a must. You may have some already - if so just use them to get you started. They need to have flat soles without heels so as not to dig into the bowling green. A proper pair of bowling shoes cost £20 to £30. Ask members where you can buy them.
The club has some sets of bowls (also sometimes called woods) you can use to get you started. If you cannot find any in your size some members have spare sets they may let you borrow.
Clothing need not be expensive. For practice and informal play including club competitions any comfortable clothes you already have are suitable. For league matches there is a dress code but you will probably have the necessary clothes in your wardrobe.
What do I do first?
You do not need to be a member to give the game a try, you just need a pair of flat shoes.
Option 1 Come to our spring meeting held in April and shown in Lanchester Village Voice.
Option 2 Come to a getting started and get together session, usually held on Thursday afternoons at 1.45 pm for a 2 pm start or Sunday afternoons at 2.45 pm for a 3 pm start. The purpose of these sessions is to cover the basics of the game and introduce you to fellow new members. They are not formal coaching sessions as none of our members are accredited coaches. Please bring flat shoes. (Please note: the Thursday sessions are not held when the Monday of that week is a Bank Holiday or an election is held on that day.)
Option 3 Ring the club secretary, Stuart Lee, on 01207 521088 and he will arrange for a member to come down and get you started on the basics of the game at a mutually acceptable time.
Option 4 Pick a day with reasonable weather and come down to the green on a weekday afternoon at around 2 pm. Introduce yourself to the members there and ask one of them to introduce you to the game.
How can I improve my game?
Practice is the only way to be good at any sport. However you will probably be surprised that after a few hours you will have made considerable progress. The best advice is not to be shy. Club members want to help you and do not mind playing with new bowlers. Just ask if you can join them for a 'roll up'. Everyone has their own style of bowling; you need to find what works for you and practice is the way to find out.
Will I make friends in the club?
We sincerely hope so. Bowling is a great way to make friends in your local community.
Will bowling take up a lot of my time?
It will take up as much or as little as you wish. There is no obligation for you to enter anything or play for any team on any given week. Obviously the more you play the better you will get but don’t worry that it will take over your life. It does for some people but only because they want it to. Some of our members play only once a week, some play almost every day. It’s completely up to you.
What about competitions?
Lanchester Bowling Club is a friendly welcoming club; we sincerely hope you join our club and enjoy your bowling.
Updated February 2018