Can I give bowls a try before deciding if I want to join?   Yes, positively encouraged. Open day for 2023 is Bank Holiday Monday 29th May.  10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come along at any point in the day that suits you. But don’t worry if you can’t make either of those dates; just ring 01732 358528.

Do I have to wear anything special to try it?  Absolutely flat shoes (to protect the green), such as trainers, plus trousers/shorts or a skirt that you can bend in.

What fitness is needed to be able to bowl?  Hands that can hold a bowling ball, knees that bend. 

What are the advantages of playing bowls?  Low impact exercise, good company, plenty of laughs but as competitive as you want, great when the sun is shining, not quite as much fun when it’s raining! But we only play competitions in the rain and sometimes even halt those!

What ages is bowling suitable for?  We currently have members from 30’s up to 90’s but we also have regular guest bowlers in their 20’s & 30’s. In short, we welcome any age!

When can I play?  We have mixed sessions most weekdays, in the afternoon starting from 2.00 p.m. Weekends & light summer evenings too are perfectly possible. Bowls is not just for the retired.

How much does it cost?  To try, absolutely nothing. To join: £75.00 fee each year. No green fees payable

I’ve never played before, how do I learn?  We arrange coaching sessions with new bowlers, bowls are available to use without charge.

Does the club need experienced bowlers?  Yes, experienced bowlers are very welcome.

Is there a dress code?  Not for general roll ups. For Competitions and some matches Yes, plain white top with sleeves and collar, grey trousers or skirt. Not required until you are sure you want to keep playing. The same goes for some matches when dress of white trousers or skirt.

Are there Rules?  Yes, the obvious Health and Safety ones, plus rules for conduct and play, see www.bowlsengland.com (lots more useful information there too!)

What is lawn bowling?  The object of the sport of bowls is essentially simple. It is played on a square of closely cut grass called ‘the green’, which is divided into playing areas called rinks. The green is surrounded by a small ditch to catch bowls which leave the green, and a bank upon which markers indicate the corners and centre lines of each rink.

Players take turns to deliver their bowls from a mat at one end of the rink towards a small white ball, often referred to as ‘the jack’ at the other end. Bowls are shaped so that they take a curved path towards the jack. To be successful the bowl must be delivered with the correct weight, along the correct line.

The object is to get one or more of your bowls closer to the jack than those of your opponents on each end – one point is scored for each counting bowl.

There are many different formats to the game, but the most common in England are singles or in teams of pairs, triples or fours. In singles, the winner is the first to score 21 points. In the other three formats, the winner is the team that scores the most points over a set number of ends.

What Equipment do I need?  We have a selection of bowls for learners to use until they decide which are best for them. Once you decide that you wish to continue and have found the bowls that suit you, you can purchase a set of bowls either second hand or new.

What are the facilities at the Club?  Ladies’ and Men’s changing rooms and locker facilities, Club House with some catering facilities; ladies’ and men’s toilets, Visitors’ changing room and of course the green!

What makes Tonbridge Bowling Club a good club?  The members, a good green, good mix of informal and formal play together with many Social functions.

I’m anxious that I won’t be any good at it!  Stop worrying! First, you won’t know until you try; you might be a natural. Secondly, we are genuinely a mixed-ability club. Thirdly, like most sports, you tend to get better the more you play.

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