While researching this subject, we have come across an old saying about bowling: “The game comes down to the three L’s = Line, Length, and Luck.”
The first two L’s are the key to a successful bowling game. The third one, either you have it, or you don’t. It is not uncommon that any crown green bowler that masters the line and length is almost unbeatable.
Before we get into a specific guideline of steps you need to take to get better at crown green bowls, we should explain the importance of understanding lines and lengths.
In green bowling, a line is a path that a bowl takes from the moment it leaves your hand until it reaches its destination. A correct line is when the bowl arrives at the exact planned location, either the jack or another bowl.
Most of the time, the desired location is anywhere near the jack or, in some cases, another bowl. In short, the line is the path that takes the bowl to get to the jack.
After you have mastered the line, you should focus on keeping a particular length. Reaching the correct length is probably the most challenging part of the game. Also, keeping the same length many times can be very exhausting.
With that being said, we have prepared a 6-step guide of things you need to focus on to get better at crown bowls.
Choosing the Right Bowl
So many beginners think that the size and the weight does not play a crucial role; they think they can roll any bowl. But they are wrong. Choosing a suitable bowl can affect you in such a way that you end up losing the game if you play with the wrong one.
If you know someone who likes to play crown green bowls, borrow their bowls for practice. That would give you a natural feel of the bowls, and you will get an idea about the right weight. Often, beginners go with bowls that range from 2lbs 6oz to 2lbs 12oz.
Aside from the weight, there is another thing you should pay attention to. Wooden bowls have different densities. If you play on a fast green, you need to use high-density bowls.
They are heavier bowls and tend to pull up quicker, giving you more control even if you are playing on a perfectly flat field.
However, if you play on the heavy green, it is better to go with low-density bowls. With a low-density bowl, you can easily roll in a straight line, reach the same distance multiple times, and quickly learn to carry off consistent delivery.
Delivery is essentially rolling the bowl from your hand to the field. It is, without question, the most important aspect of your performance.
The body gesture for perfect delivery is putting your right foot on the mat and the bowl in your right hand. This applies if you are right-handed. In the opposite case, put the left foot and hold the bowl in the left hand.
Following, step forward with the other leg and swing your opposite arm back while bending your knees. To ensure your delivery is perfect, get low to the ground so that the hand in which you hold the bowl is only a few millimeters from the green.
Always aim to release the bowl somewhere near your left foot (if you are right-handed). Still, this can quickly change depending on the delivery pace.
To get this technique to perfection, you need a lot of practice. After that, however, you will develop a more comfortable and smooth delivery.
Getting the Perfect Landing
To get a perfect landing, you need to consider the land, the bowl weight, how hard you throw it, and where. We know that it sounds too hard, especially if you are a beginner.
Here are some tips on getting the right land:
Every time your opponent sends the jack, observe where it will land;
While you are watching where it lands, pick a spot in the green that the jack passes through; Try to roll your bowl throughout the area you saw the jack go through.
Be careful not to pick a spot with leaves or bugs; the feature needs to be more liable and easily detectable. Once you get used to the green, it will get easier to pick a spot even without watching the jack. With experience, you will learn the bias of the bowl and will be able to get a perfect landing without even trying!
Getting the Right Weight
This step is slightly tricky to achieve and describe. When we talk about the “right” weight, aside from the distance that the jack has been sent, we also talk about the weather and condition of the green.
The bowl will roll quicker if the green is dryer and lower, unlike wet and thick grass.
The greatest advice is to concentrate on the backswing and weight as you send off the jack. Then try to imitate the same thing when you roll your bowls.
Use the first bowl to get the right feeling and practice with the second. If you’re playing a competitive game and don’t have the jack, this trick will come in handy.
Adjusting to the situation is also a big part of this game. There will be many cases when you need to change the landing or the weight on the second bowl, depending on the first landing. Here are some helpful tips for better adjustment:
Quickly assess what was off, whether the land or the control weight (or, in some cases, both). It is not easy to do, considering that everything happens so fast. When in doubt, ask yourself did the bowl went through the feature you picked on the green or not? If it didn’t, the landing was off, and you need to adjust it for the next time.
Please look at how your opponent bowls and see the effort they use to indicate their weight. You can learn a lot from the mistakes of others too.
After sending the second bowl, make another assessment. Was your judgment proper or not? By doing checks at every end, you will quickly get a better picture of the green and use that to your advantage.
As in other sports, concentration is crucial in crown green bowling. Therefore, it would be best to watch your own and opponents’ bowls closely. Also, picking featured spots on the green can be challenging if you are not concentrated.
In bowls, every distraction can cost you a point. The mental approach to the game distinguishes strong players from terrible players.
Masters in this sport are usually the ones that can put their emotions aside and keep calm under pressure. Concentration and focus are the only way to identify mistakes and make reasonable adjustments when needed.
Getting good at crown green bowling is not that simple. If you want to get better at this game, you need to follow through with every step and practice.
At first, it may not look easy to find the right balance between delivery, landing, and weight.
But by experimenting with different techniques, you will find a combination that works for you. Just stay consistent and practice because, as we all know, practice makes perfect!