Brisbane experiences

Bare Foot Bowls

Get your feet on the grass and have some fun in the sun with barefoot bowls. It's lawn bowls gone casual and just the thing to do on a Sunday afternoon, or any time you've got a couple of friends together. Merthyr Bowls Club at New Farm led the growth in popularity of the game for Brisbane's young set but now you'll find barefoot bowls action at most bowling clubs across the city.
The dress code is as relaxed as the atmosphere and you don't need a lot of experience to have fun with the game. There are usually friendly experts at the club who are keen to help you improve. Some clubs even let you use of the facilities and equipment for free. It will only cost you a few dollars for cheap drinks or food.

Merthyr Bowls Club
Probably the most well-known place to enjoy an end or two of barefoot bowls and spectacularly perched next to the river, the Merthyr Bowls Club in New Farm makes the most of its position. There's a great BBQ lunch available too. You'll need to book in advance because bowling at Merthyr is a popular way to spend the afternoon.
New Farm Bowls Club
Close by, on Brunswick Street, The New Farm Bowls Club also offers casual bowling.

Norman Park Bowls Club
Just across the river from Merthyr is the Norman Park Bowls Club. With two greens and lights, you can bowl into the night and on Sundays enjoy bowls along with buckets of prawns and beats.
East Brisbane Bowls Club
Situated in Mowbray Park, the East Brisbane Bowls Club is a great spot to enjoy the sport of bowls.
Manly Bowls Club
Manly has barefoot bowls (flat soled shoes or barefoot) and bowls are supplied.
Booroodabin Bowls Club (Newstead)
'The Boo' offers jazz every Sunday afternoon during the barefoot bowls session. Visit Queensland's oldest bowls club for a top spot to bowl and hear the blues at the same time. You can play from Wednesday to Sunday each week and bookings are helpful.
Mt Gravatt Bowls
If you feel like bowling in the rain or at night, head to Mount Gravatt Bowling Club. It's all undercover. Sunday afternoon is dedicated to barefoot bowling.
Ferny Grove Bowls Club
Ferny Grove Bowls Club has new facilities and you can watch the games of beach volleyball being played next door.
Toowong Bowls Club offers up its greens for barefoot bowling by appointment. Open 7 days and nights. Bookings are essential.
The last Saturday of the month from 2 pm is the prime time for barefoot bowlers at Bardon. You can enjoy a BBQ meal too and other times are available if you book.
Moorooka Bowls Club - Moorooka Bowls Club is a casual, local club that is keen to encourage more social players. You can even indulge in karaoke in the club afterwards.

Hendra Nundah Bowls Club

The greens are fully covered by shade cloth screens in the summer months making bowls at Hendra Nundah Bowls Club more comfortable.
Ascot - Brisbane Racing Sports and Social Club offers barefoot bowls every Sunday afternoon. Teams play from 3-4.30pm with results announced at 5pm and a prize for the winning team. Then relax with live music until 8.30pm.

Quick tips for beginner bowlers

The larger black ball is called a bowl. The small white ball is the jack. They are usually supplied by the club for casual players.

The aim of the game is to get your bowl as close to the jack as possible.
Bowls are weighted so that they don't roll in a straight line, but in a curve.
Each bowl has a small and large icon on each side. Always keep the small icon on the inside of your delivery.

You will play on a green (of very short grass) which is divided into rinks. There is a ditch on the outside of the green to catch badly delivered bowls.
You bowl from alternate ends, usually standing on a mat, which is supplied.

Kids are usually welcome if they play carefully on the greens (they'll need to be barefoot too).

If you want to take the game beyond a casual weekend match, talk to your local club about becoming a member. There are competitions at all levels and ages.


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