Lawn Bowls

HI All

Our Garden family has been involved in the gentlemanly sport of (Lawn) Bowls for almost 60 years. My parents both represented Zimbabwe at Bowls and my late brother, Roy, was effectively a world champion when he won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur way back in 1998. Growing up in Umtali and Bulawayo we, as a family, used to go down to the local bowling club every Boxing Day to compete in the “Scotland versus the Rest” social bowls days. On one such occasion, I remember my dad donning his Gordon Tartan Kilt much to the amusement of all the ladies present.

I have, thus, decided to take up the mantle and try my hand at Bowls. For the past few Saturday afternoons, I’ve pitched up at Borrowdale Country Club clutching my Dad’s trusty bag of Henselite, SABA approved, woods – size 413/16. There are normally only about a dozen of us playing on Saturdays from 2 – 4 pm – allowing plenty of time for rugby fans to catch up with the current 6 Nations game showing on TV in the bar alongside.

Bowls is a sport that can be played by young or old with the better bowlers being those that can focus rather than being a rugga bugga or hard slogging cricketer. World champions these days are often in their early 20s. It is often much more popular in the smaller cities like Bulawayo. Having said that there are still quite a few active Bowling clubs in Harare – Highlands, Avondale, City and Borrowdale – with the former probably having the largest gatherings. Over the course of the last year or so Highlands have introduced a Thursday night Bowls league that has proved to be very popular with many young adults.

All the clubs have inherited woods from past players so if you’re keen to start playing you can just give them a donation for one of their stored sets. The atmosphere in most clubs is very relaxed over non-competition weekends so don’t be afraid of just rocking up on your own. Better still talk a few mates and or spouses into trying it out this coming Saturday afternoon. See you on the rinks soon!

Mike G.

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