California Lawn Bowling, All Ages Welcome

When I first arrived in California on a photo assignment for a renown clothier, I drove through Beverly Hills and had to stop, not to look at celebrities or anything famous. What caught my eye was The Beverly Hills Lawn Bowling Club on S. Roxbury Drive. I was amazed by the lawn greens, the crisp, white attire the players wore, and the serenity of this sport as elderly people with rakes pushed balls to the ends of the field. It looked like a big, outdoor pool table made of grass, or a polo game inning break in slow motion.

Perhaps you've noticed pristine, green fields that are just begging you to come roll, romp & play in the grass. Be careful and take note before you do so! Those perfect lawns may be home to a lawn bowling club and though all ages are welcome to play the sport, you have to follow their rules (no skipping, jumping, hopping or picnicking).

Lawn bowling as a sport began circa 13th century in England, and has a larger member base in that country, Europe and Australia. While statistics are hard to come by, it appears that California may have the largest lawn bowling population in the U.S., thanks to year-round mild climate and no snow in many parts of the state.

While the sport appeals to retired seniors, some websites show handsome young (20's) guys as members, noting that this sport is for all ages and is ideal for individuals with ambulatory handicaps. What you discover about the game is that there's challenge enough for any age. The balls (called bowls) are shaped with extra weight on one side, making them roll different than a center-weighted ball. You have to learn how to throw and roll with this added challenge.

It costs around $250 - 350 to purchase a set of bowls, though they say you can enter the game with used bowls for around $35. Clubs are usually looking to expand their member base and invite people to come check out their sport. Many clubs offer complimentary or fee-based lessons to get you started. If you like it, you can join a group and compete. Here are some places we've found that have lawn bowling in California.

To watch the U.S. OPEN LAWN BOWLING competition, it will be held Sept. 17-23, 2011 in Corona del Mar (Newport Beach.) The Southwest Bowling Division of Southern California is hosting the most prestigious Lawn Bowls tournament in the USA- The U.S. Open. Bowlers from around the world converge on Orange County to compete for the title of U.S. Champion.


Subscribe to our newsletter!

More Info