BOLTON’S only flat green bowling club is offering non-members the chance to learn how to play.
The borough is lucky to play host to just one of three flat green bowling clubs in the north of England, along with Southport and Heaton Park.
Bolton Flat Green Bowling club, founded in 1980 and based in Leverhulme Park next to The Gorses, caters for all ages and abilities, including those who are visually impaired.
Lawn bowling, or flat green bowling, differs from crown green bowling as it is played on a flat surface as opposed to convex — but this does not make the game any less skilful.
Jenny Hayes, the club’s membership development team leader, is keen to bring in new talent to the club with the Learn 2 Bowl (CORR) taster sessions, which were launched three years ago.
She said: “We started doing the Learn 2 Bowl sessions mainly because Ken, the club’s president, and I thought that we should try to get some new members from the local area.
“In the two hour sessions we teach the basics, such as the rink, which is the area you play in, the bias on the bowls, the different weights, how the jack and bowls are delivered and how the mat is placed.
“We offer two of the taster sessions to anyone for free, and of course if people have enjoyed themselves they are welcome to become a member.
“We welcome anyone of any age to come and have a go at the learn to bowl sessions. We also cater for the visually impaired and those with disabilities.
“Too many people think it is a game that you take up when you retire, but our currently club champion is only 16.
“There is of course, the serious side to bowling, such as the county and national games, but a lot of people come here to socialise, keep fit, and have fun.”
For more information, call the club on 01204 362712 or visit boltonflatgreenbowlingclub.com.
BOLTON NEWS features writer VICKIE SCULLARD tried her hand at flat green bowling. Here is how she got on “I admit it — most people love playing 10-pin bowling with me because I am so monumentally bad at it, so I expected that I would put up just as poor a showing at flat green bowls.
“But after being shown the basics by Jenny Hayes, who explained that I simply had to get the bowls, or ‘woods’ as close as I could to the white jack, I must say I surprised myself — and even managed to hit one of Jenny’s bowls out of the way.
“The bowls are weighted with a ‘bias’ on one side, which means they don’t roll in a straight line, making it more of a challenge, so just because you can chuck a bowling ball down a ten-pin alley means nothing when it comes to the skill needed to keep your bowls in the rink.
“Jenny explained that the bias side is placed either inside or outside your palm depending on whether you are playing forehand or backhand, meaning that a player can aim for the jack from either side.
“I don’t really know what I expected, but I know I enjoyed it. Plus, I felt surprisingly tired after all the walking up and down the green, meaning that I may have finally found a form of exercise that is fun.”