Can a spouse or friend join me for my scheduled private lesson?

Yes, the coach can handle 2-4 people in a scheduled private lesson. Just let the coach know how many to expect when the lesson is scheduled.

Are there physical requirements that need to be met in order to participate?

The sport is enjoyed by people with a wide range of ages and physical abilities. In general, you need to have a decent sense of balance and the ability to bend over and roll an approximately three-pound bowl for a distance of up to 100 feet across a grass surface. A few practice rolls on the green will quickly allow you to evaluate whether this is a sport suitable for you.

Besides smooth-soled shoes, are there any other things I should bring with me when bowling?

You will be outdoors for a couple of hours, so a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are advisable. You may also want to bring a small towel (like a dishtowel), since moisture and grass clippings can cling to the bowls at certain times of day. All other equipment needed to bowl can be borrowed from the club while you are participating in a game.

What other amenities are available at the club facility?

The club has well-equipped restrooms, including a place to change clothes if necessary. It has a full kitchen and a refrigerator stocked with water and other drinks that may be purchased for a nominal fee. There is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, and a collection of books about lawn bowling that may be used by visitors. Parking spaces are available either curbside along Churchill or in two small parking lots off Churchill and off Embarcadero that are shared with Gamble Gardens.

Are there any age limitations for participation?

We suggest that bowlers be at least 12 years old. There is no upper limit, and we have members actively bowling into their 80’s and 90’s.

Can I practice on my own without having a scheduled lesson?

Our facility is locked when it is not actively being used. Members receive a key to access the facility at any time, and they are free to practice on their own. Non-members must either arrange a private session with a coach or come when others are playing. If you prefer, you can be set up in an area where you can practice on your own, as long as it does not interfere with other scheduled activities.

How good do I have to be before participating in a draw game with more experienced bowlers?

We all started as novices, and the bowlers in a draw game will welcome your participation as long as a coach has determined that you are ready for that step. A typical three-person team will include bowlers of varying skill levels, so a novice can participate without fear of embarrassment. By far the best way to learn the rules and etiquette of the game is to play with more experienced bowlers, so don’t hesitate to jump in and play.

How do draw games actually work?

Fifteen minutes before the scheduled start time, all bowlers who want to participate put their personalized chip up on a board, with three different colors indicating different skill levels.  The total number of chips will determine how many games will be played and how many bowlers will be on each team. For example, 12 bowlers would be divided into 4 teams of 3. Names are assigned randomly within skill levels to the four teams, each of which is paired randomly against another team for the upcoming match. Variations in the number of teams, the size of the teams, and the use of “floaters” can accommodate whoever happens to show up that day, while ensuring that teams have a balance of skill levels and are open to new faces as well as familiar faces. It sounds complicated, but it’s an excellent way for newcomers to meet and learn from more experienced bowlers without the need for elaborate planning.

How long does a draw game last?

It can vary depending on team size and other factors, but you should allow about two hours for a typical draw game.