National Lawn Bowling Day is Saturday, May 8, and clubs all across the country will open their doors to lawn bowling novices. Stop by the Woodland Park Lawn Bowling Club at North 63rd Street and Whitman Place North at the southwest end of Green Lake from 12-4 p.m. for free lessons.
Lawn bowlers at Jefferson Park Lawn Bowling Club on Beacon Hill, one of two clubs in Seattle.
Ever heard of ‘Bowls’?
Not salad bowls, not rice bowls, not Rose Bowls, but Lawn Bowls. No pins on the grass, just a little white ball called a jack. Bowl your bowl closer to it and win the point. Simple.
But not so simple, because the bowl curls. It breaks: like a putt on a sloping green or a curve ball on a baseball diamond. It bends nearly 10 feet on its way to the jack 100 feet away. Use the bowl’s arc to get around other bowls or hit them out of the way. You can hit the jack, too, if you want. But beware: when you move the jack you might not be close to it any more.
Played on a ‘green’ cut to a 1/16 of an inch and as smooth and level as a pool table, ‘Bowls’ rewards and develops grace, touch and concentration. It might scream Hoity Toity to some but it’s played by all sorts of people all over the world: blue and white collar, young and old, serious and recreational.