Best lawn bowls for fast greens. Here’s what I’ve found over the past few years which has helped my game massively.
Bowling on fast greens can be tricky. This is especially true for those of us in the UK, where we just don’t see them that often.
For you of those who play regularly on fast greens you may want to consider buying a set of bowls specifically designed for faster running surfaces. In this guide we will go through the main reasons for considering a different set of bowls, plus reviewing our top 4 models of bowls for fast greens.
What is a fast green
The speed of a green is measured in how long a bowl will continue to roll on it. For example if the bowl takes around 10-14 seconds, it will be considered a slow green, whereas something like 17-20 will be considered fast.
Fast greens are usually found in the hotter countries where bowls is played, such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, but you can see them in the UK particularly during heatwaves, or prolonged warm summers. Why are fast greens hard?
Faster greens require a greater sense of “touch”. This means small adjustments make big differences.
Your bowls will swing much further on a fast green, so your aiming points will be much wider, giving a greater chance of missing your line.
Faster greens can also limit what type of shot you will want/can play. For example, a running shot to dislodge a scoring bowl is much easier on a slow surface, as you will only need a slight addition of weight to straighten the line.
On a faster surface you will either need to keep a wide aiming point with the extra weight – making the judgement harder, or play so much weight to keep the line straight that you won’t be able to maintain your shot after hitting the residing bowl.
Tips for playing on fast greens
- Adjust your step and backswing. By taking a smaller step and reducing your backswing you will reduce the force coming through your body. This will allow more effect to come from the shoulder and arm, making your delivery swing speed more natural
- Adjust your jack length. If you commonly do well on short jacks, you should find your delivery better suited to longer jack lengths on a fast green
- Pausing at the back of your backswing. This reduces any extra energy that is added due to your arm acting like a pendulum. By pausing you are only using the force you apply to the bowl
- Remove your backswing completely. If you are playing an extremely fast green you may want to consider removing the backswing entirely. This should always be done in practice first, and only as a last resort
What makes a lawn bowl good for fast greens?
The main characteristic of a bowl that is good for fast greens is the narrower line. Almost to the point of an indoor bowl.
As bowls can also be affected by windy conditions more on fast greens you could also consider looking at models that have specialist grips that aim to reduce those affects.
Finally, check the weight offered by the manufacturer. You will want a “heavy” bowl as a base, which is offered as standard by all major manufacturers. However some do offer Extra Heavy which will be the ideal, so keep your eyes peeled!
Best lawn bowls for fast greens
The Aero GrooVe has the perfect line for fast greens. It sits just outside of Aero’s standard indoor bowl.
Aero also offer their Z-Scoop grip on all of their models. They claim this can help not only with your grip, but can help in windier conditions.
Aero are designed and manufactured in Australia where fast greens are the norm, so have been specifically designed with the Austrailian market in mind.
Taylor Vector VS
The Vector VS is one of our favourite models of bowl. It has a clean, narrow line that is forgiving for beginners and pros alike, making it ideal for faster conditions.
Unlike the Aero model Taylor don’t offer their modified ProGrip for all models, so you won’t be able to take advantage of the improved grip as it’s only available on the Ace, and Lazer models.
The Lazer sits inside the line of the Vector VS and is also a popular indoor bowl. Because of this extremely narrow line, it should only be considered if you are playing on the fastest greens.
The other main advantage for the Lazer is the ProGrip as standard. Similar to the Z-Scoop available on the Aero bowl, it claims to help in the windier conditions, which will make the effects less pronounced on the zippy greens.
The Dreamline model is Henselite’s premier narrow lined outdoor bowl. It has a flat finish to the jack, but will offer enough on the bias on fast greens for it to be suitable for any player position.
It has been designed with Henselite’s own “ergo shape” for extra comfort in the hand. This basically means the bowl is slightly narrower than a standard bowl. This could be beneficial on super fast greens where “touch” on a shot is important.
The Dreamline is also offered in Extra Heavy. This is perfect for fast greens as the extra weight will prevent any excessive impact from the wind.
We would suggest looking into some technical changes for playing on fast greens before you invest in a new set of bowls. However, if you are playing them regularly it would certainly pay to have a taylor made bowl for the conditions.
Have a look at the models here, see which ones suit your style of play and let us know how you get on.