New Bowlers

Welcome to our website!

Beginners

Lawn bowls is a low-impact, therapeutic exercise that can improve fitness, coordination and confidence. It is also fun, social and likely to establish long-term friendships.

Bowlers with no experience of playing lawn bowls are welcome at our Club. The Club is open to bowlers from age 8 to 90 and regardless of sex, ethnicity, disability or any other protected characteristic and whether you wish to play the sport socially or competitively.

Every year we have an Open Day at the end of April where you can come to try your hand at bowling. In 2024 the Open Day is on Saturday 27 April from 10am to 4pm. We follow this up with free coaching sessions. All the equipment that you will need will be provided. The only rule is that you came with a pair of shoes with a completely flat sole.

Over 75% of existing Club members started this way.

If you miss this day and you would like to try it out, it will not be too late, just fill in a request to do so on our Contact us page.

If your Society (or your firm) would like a morning or afternoon out to try out the game of bowls, then contact the Club Secretary to see what might be arranged. A Club which did such a thing in 2022 seemed to have enjoyed themselves!

What about the kit I'll need?

Starting as a beginner, the only equipment you will need are those flat-soled shoes. The Club will lend you a set of bowls (4 of them).

Once you decide that the sport is for you then you will want to buy a set of your own. A second-hand set might cost in the region of £40.

The "uniform" required for "roll-ups" is grey trousers/shorts/skirts and a white shirt and you will probably need to consider buying some shoes designed for bowls. If you want to play in competitions then you will be advised to acquire a Club shirt. 

Once you progress it will be wise for you to acquire:

  • a bag to carry your bowls
  • waterproofs and drying cloths, for an English summer
  • a measure
  • spray chalk for "touchers"
  • wedges to stop bowls from falling over as you measure
  • a scorecard holder and pen

Experienced, but new to the Club

We also welcome applications to join from bowlers who have had experience at other bowls clubs. You will need to have two sponsors from existing Club members. If you do not know any members, then come along on our Open Day, or contact the Club Secretary.

You can join and play social bowls and/or in the highly competitive National, County and League competitions.

Social bowls

The Club has a very active core of members who prefer not to enter competitions and enjoy the more relaxed environment of the "roll-up". They are well catered for as there are organised roll-ups on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10.00am until 1.30pm (the greens are closed on the mornings of Monday, Wednesday and Friday).

Rinks are available for booking in the afternoons between 2.00pm to 5.30pm and in the evenings from 6.00pm (5.30pm from 1 September) to dusk.

Bookings must be entered in the Club Diary. Restrictions can apply for a range of reasons, but there will be notices posted on the board in the veranda area.

Bowling with a disability

The Club is open to bowlers with physical, sensory or learning disabilities. We have a range of equipment, including a wheel chair adapted for use on a bowls green, for those with physical disabilities.

Bowls is welcoming to bowlers with all types of disability and more information can be obtained from the Disability Bowls England website.

If your balance is not as good as it used to be or you have an artificial knee or other problem then a specially designed stick for use on bowling greens might help a lot. See this video.

Coaching

The Club has a number of experienced coaches, led by Head Coach Michael Hutchison, who give up their time to set new bowlers on their way with confidence. Coaching is a continuing activity throughout the early part of summer. More experienced bowlers can ask coaches for help on particular aspects of their game. From time to time, International bowlers may visit the Club to pass on advanced techniques in a Masterclass.

The more experienced bowler will learn how important tactics can be when playing competitive bowls. An interesting tutorial by a leading Australian coach discusses the importance of tactics here.

Learning how to deliver your woods is one aspect of the sport. Knowing what is good behaviour is another and you can learn some of the more important issues by studying our etiquette tips on our Rules page.

Short mat bowls

The Club is fortunate to have a large clubhouse which, during winter months, houses two short mat bowls rinks. This growing sport is great for light physical exercise, improving eye/hand co-ordination and socialising. The short mat section in the Club provides training for new bowlers, roll-up sessions, competitions and matches in the East Kent Short Mat League. 

The short mat section has a fast growing membership, new bowlers are welcome, subject to the capacity limitations of only two rinks. 

Want to join?

If you would like to join us and to play on two of the finest greens in Kent, then complete an application form and if you have any queries contact our Club Secretary.

Good bowls practice

The videos below are aimed principally at new bowlers, but also useful for other members to up their game. There are several videos, some covering the same subjects, but you can learn from each of them. If you look at the top players of this game you will see very many different styles. There is no single right way of playing the sport of bowls.

It is important that new (and experienced) bowlers are aware of the rules and etiquette of the sport and you may benefit from a browse in our Rules section.

Holding the bowl and bias

All about placing the mat and how far the jack must go

Finding the correct line


Common faults a video from New Zealand.

A series of 12 short videos from South Africa covering all the basics of lawn bowls

After your training you should aspire to be able to bowl shots like this.