Costs involved in playing bowls

Frequently Asked Questions.



Q.) I would like to play lawn bowls. - Do I need to become a member of a club?

Yes and No. It depends on how often you wish to play and whether you wish to play competitively in the league or as a social member. If you wish to play on a regular basis,  you would need to become a full member. If you  only want to play socially we can arrange  this with you.  

Q.) How much does it cost to be a member?  

At Gelli Park Bowling Club, Full Membership costs £30 per year, which, when  compared to other sports, is very reasonable indeed. To try and encourage new bowlers to  join, we offer a special new member rate for your first year of membership of only £20.  This rate only applies to Full Membership and does have some special conditions. 

Q.) Why do you have a special rate for New Members?

 A lot of people take up lawn bowls without having any real knowledge of the game or  what additional expenses are involved. The special introductory rate enables them to try  the sport for a season and assuming that they continue to enjoy the game (which  they invariably will); it also enables them to purchase clothing and equipment during this  time without having to pay full membership fees as well.       

Q.)  What are the other costs involved? 

Like any sport, lawn bowlers need to have the right clothing and equipment, and this  can be expensive. The singular most expensive item you will buy will be a set of bowls. This  can cost anywhere between £250- £450 +  for a new set.   Most bowlers eventually purchase a  set of new bowls; however it is recommended that you try out a range of bowls before  deciding. The club coach can assist you with this process. Every bowler also needs to have  the right clothing and footwear as well. Approved flat soled shoes are a must and will cost  between £20 - £60 if you decide to play competitive bowls, you will also need approved  clothing in terms of white and grey trousers, white shirt, club shirt. Of course there are the  extra items that you will accumulate over time. 

Q.)  I’m a golfer and even though I am a member, I still have to pay to play a game. Is bowls  the same? 

If you play in the league there are some extra costs - green fees / match fees,average £2 -£3 per game,Transport costs for away games Average £2 -£3. Incredible value I’m sure you will agree.

Q.)  I am not really sure if I will enjoy it, do I have to purchase a set of bowls straight away?  

No, not at all. The club does have a number of sets of second hand bowls that have been  donated to the club by both current and former members and these can be loaned to you.  Whether we have a set of bowls that are the right size for you is another matter, however  the chances are good that we will. The majority of these donated bowls are what are  termed ‘old style’ bowls which have different characteristics to the modern narrow bias  bowl but great to start with

Q:)  Wouldn’t I be better off getting a set of modern bowls? 

For anyone that has not bowled before, learning to bowl with the older style bowl is  probably the best way to learn all aspects of the game. The old style bowl is a much more  ‘forgiving’ bowl in that it is easier to bowl with. The new ‘narrow bias’ bowls can be  difficult to master, however you will find that all ‘top’ bowlers use them in the modern  game. It is also interesting to know that many top class bowlers have 2 or 3 sets of  different bowls and depending on conditions; they will choose a particular set to play with.  

Q.) Aren’t all bowls pretty much the same?  

No, just in the same way that not everyone bowls the same way. Over time, you will  develop a particular style of bowling and certain types of bowls will be more suited to you  than others. 

Benefits of becoming a member 

Q.)  Are there any other benefits in becoming a Full Member

Of course. Once you are a full member you can use any of the club facilities at any time  (if available). You are entitled to practice as often as you like at no cost whatsoever,  assuming that the greens are not being used for competitive games or being worked on.

Q.) I am not really sure that I want to play league matches. Do I have to? 

No, of course not. We would however encourage you to make yourself available to play,  even if only every now and again. A large part of the enjoyment of lawn bowls is playing  competitively for your club and there is nothing better than celebrating with your  teammates after a great win. It is very much a team game with every member of the team  contributing to the overall result.  

Q. But I know I’m not good enough yet? 

Of course you are!! Bowls is a game for all ages – from 12 to 90 (and even that is a rough  guide). All clubs have bowlers ranging from novices to top bowlers and every one of them  enjoys being part of the team. When you play in the league matches you will be selected to  play in a side where your level of experience or ability is best suited. Many new bowlers  are identified as having good potential (if not experience) and they will find themselves  playing at a higher level than they expected to be playing at.  

Okay, I’m convinced. How do I join up and what is involved?  

It's a simple matter of filling in and submitting an application form which is available on our website or speaking to a committee member who will take your details. Once your  application is approved, it is then a matter of you getting involved as much or as  little as you wish.  

I’m a little shy and don’t really know anyone? 

Well, we certainly hope to change that, however it is up to you to help us get to know  you. If you are a brand new bowler, you will be assigned a ‘buddy’ to help you over the first  few weeks. This is the person who will show you ropes, introduce you to others and show  you how to go about getting involved in playing regularly.