New bowlers Q&A
I’ve never tried bowls before, can I have a go?
Yes, we welcome anyone who wants to have a try at bowling. No experience is necessary, just contact us and we’ll arrange a convenient time.
What do I need to bring?
You only need to wear flat (no heals) shoes/trainers. We supply the bowls and all the other equipment.
Do I need special clothes?
No, just turn up in anything you feel comfortable with allowing for bending, so loose fitting clothes are probably ideal.
How much will it cost to have a try?
Nothing, your first visit is free. If you want to come back for more we only charge a green fee of £3 each visit. This is to help pay for the upkeep of our bowling surface.
What about instruction or coaching, is that costly?
We do not charge for any instruction or coaching that takes place on our bowling green.
If I like bowling, can I become a member of Farnborough Bowling Club?
Yes, we welcome new members, but we want to make sure you like the game before committing to it. Try before you buy.
How much is the annual membership?
We have the rates listed here. New bowler only pay half price for the first season
What is the membership fee used for?
The day to day running of the club and the upkeep of our bowling green, which on its own costs about £7000 each year.
What about other costs to start bowling?
Bowls is not an expensive sport, but as with any new venture there will be items you need to buy, that is why we only charge half the annual membership fee for the first year. When you join you are expected to buy a pair of proper bowling shoes, these vary in price but expect to pay £30 – £50 for a new pair. At some point you will want a set of your own bowls, these start at about £120 but you can pay £200 for some of the top coloured ones. We give advice on this so don’t buy until you have tried some and see what suits you. Second-hand bowls are sometimes available and a good set would be between £40 – £80.
You will also need some clothing as games against other teams have a dress code. You will need a white shirt/blouse, a white jumper (on chilly days), a pair of grey trousers/skirt, and a pair of white trousers/skirt, also a set of white waterproofs is advisable. Club ties/scarves are also available, but not compulsory. We at Farnborough also have club coloured tops, but these are not compulsory either, they just look nice.
Lastly, we pay a small ‘playing fee’ for league and friendly games to help pay for refreshments etc. These are listed here.
Is there an age limit?
No, we have bowlers who play well into their 80s and 90s. As for youngsters, as long as they can hold a bowl and deliver it down the green safely, we are happy. Bowls England have the ‘English Bowls Youth Development Scheme (EBYDS)’, and we at Farnborough Bowling Club support this initiative. We are also hoping to start a Farnborough ‘Colts’ team, aimed at school aged youths. For very young children wanting to have a try we have a set of brightly coloured rubber bowls (not for use in a full game), so they can have a go at beating mum and dad.
It’s not the summer yet, when does the club open and how can I get started before then?
The club opens at the end of April. But if you want to get started before that we do have some starter courses which are held at the Farnborough Leisure Centre on Saturday mornings, or other times if possible . A small charge is made for this, to pay for the rink hire, but we only cover the cost, that is all.
If I join, will I be expected to play in matches and competitions?
The only thing we expect you to do is enjoy yourself. There are matches and competitions all the summer, but you only join in when you feel you are ready, there is no pressure to do so. Most Monday afternoons, (weather permitting) we have an ‘all comers’ roll up, called the Monday Club. This is open to members and none-members (green fee of £2 to none-members) to have a friendly game. Of course as a member you can come and have a roll up any time the rinks are free. We have some players who play just once or twice a week, other play every day; it’s entirely up to you.
Okay, I’m interested, what do I do next?
Contact us by any of the following:
Phone the club – 07901 366698
email us at email@example.com
Call at the club when the summer season starts.
Or ring our club coach Alec Sharman on 01252 514893 who will arrange a time to meet you at the club.
So, go on why not give it a try!