Lawn Bowls in Australia
On my recent trip to Australia
we toured around the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast areas of
Queensland. While there we managed to visit a few bowling clubs
and I thought some of our members may be interested in an insight
into how things are done down under.
As we were driving through Tweed Heads
in New South Wales we came across the Tweed
Heads BC. This is one
of Australia's best known clubs. Well known Australian bowler Kelvin
Kerkow is a resident of Tweed Heads although I understand that
he plays out of another bowling club in the town.
On a skill level Scottish bowlers can
compete with anyone in the world but our clubs don't normally offer
the facilities of those down under. For example, I visited five or six clubs over there and even the smaller ones served excellent
food to both members and guests. Visitors are always welcome. All
you have to do is sign the visitor's book.
In Australia lots of the social activities
revolve around the local clubs and Tweed Heads BC is a good example
of this. Private clubs are where most of the gambling takes place
and this is what generates much of their revenue. Other
popular clubs are the RSL (Returned & Services League of
Australia - their version of the British Legion) and on that coast,
the Surf Clubs.
Tweed heads BC's sprawling premises
offers three restaurants including an a la carte restaurant that
won a prize for the excellence of their food a couple of years
ago. I can personally vouch for their Brasserie restaurant where
we had an excellent lunch. They have two or three lounges,
a betting shop and a "pokies" room with dozens of slot machines.
In their main lounge they have three
very large screens for showing sporting events. They also show
recently released movies on these.
They are one of the top bowling
venues in Australia and they regularly host major championships.
They have three excellent outdoor greens and an international standard,
eight rink indoor. Indoor bowling is very popular in Australia
since it shields them from the extremes of weather that they often
experience letting play take place in air-conditioned comfort.
In addition to the facilities mentioned
also have a bowling shop, a travel agent and an off licence.
What does all of this cost? Well, if
you fancy it you can join for $7.70 AUD, which at current
exchange rates is about £3.60!
We arrived at lunchtime and there was
a senior's match taking place but as you can see from the cloudy
skies the weather was a bit threatening.
This is just a corner of the large
The Club Betting Shop!
The Pokies Room
Here in Scotland
we are well used to bad weather interrupting play but the weather
can be just as unpredictable in certain parts of Australia. During
our visit the heavens opened up and the match that was taking place
had to be abandoned.