1555 5th Avenue West, Owen Sound, Ontario
The objective of the game of bowls or lawn bowling is to to roll a biased bowl so that it stops close to another smaller target ball called a “jack”. Velocity, aim, conditions of the green, weather can all influence the line of the bowl. The sport is easy to play, but challenging to master!
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Lawn bowling, or “bowling on the green,” is an outdoor game that has fascinated young and old for centuries.
In the early days of the sport, it was fashionable for the aristocracy in England to have private bowling greens. Samuel Pepys mentions in his diary being invited to “play at bowls with the nobility and gentry.” Sir Francis Bacon, Sir Water Raleigh, Victor Hugo, and Lord Macauley were all bowlers. British officers installed bowling greens in the American colonies in New York in 1725, and in Port Royal Canada in 1734. George Vanderbilt and John D. Rockefeller had private bowling greens on their estates in 1896.Today, bowls is no longer only a rich person’s game. The world famous have played and enjoyed this game from ancient to modern times, from Shakespeare to Walt Disney. Men play today on the very green at Plymouth Hoe where Sir Francis Drake and his captains bowled that memorable day in 1588 when the messenger arrived with the news of the invading Spanish Armada.
Literature, history and art all abound with references to this game, and we can indeed look back with pride on the noble heritage of our Royal and Ancient games of bowls.