5 Tips And Tricks To Improve Your Lawn Bowls Delivery

  • By: Reece Williams
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Here is some of the guidance I have had, as well as some of the learnings I have made through practice. These are fixes for the 5 most common issues that I see – and have had myself!

5 tips and tricks to improve your lawn bowls delivery

All bowlers experience issues with their delivery technique over the years.

Luckily for us the problems are the same as those who have plagued every bowler ever! Here is some of the guidance I have had, as well as some of the learnings I have made through practice.

These are fixes for the 5 most common issues that I see – and have had myself!

1. Aim with the big toe of your front foot

The issue

This is when you are constantly bowling a norrow line. Not matter what you do your shots go right up the middle. This leads all of your shots to be wide, and you feeling stupid. Not fun.

I often see this in newer bowlers, especially those who have just upgraded from a straighter set of woods, or those encountering fast, swinging greens for the first time.

How to fix

The issue is caused by your front foot stepping straight up the green towards the jack. It doesn’t matter where you swing your arm – your shot will often go where you step.

To fix this, focus on pointing the big toe of your leading foot (left foot for right handers, and right foot for left handers) towards your line.

If you have a traditional square on delivery focus on squaring your hips to the line. Or otherwise use the shooter stance to align the rest of your body.

Getting your alignment is key when having to use a wide line.

Finally, as you deliver your bowl, focus on throwing your body towards your aiming point, and not just your arm.

2. Get low in the delivery

The issue

When you don’t get low in the delivery you can cause any of the following:

  • Bowls bouncing down the green
  • Releasing too early and “dropping” the bowl
  • The bowl wobbling down the line

All of these cause issues with your line and weight.

How to fix

Focus on getting as low as possible. Ideally, your fingers should be just above the ground on release. To get to this point try the following exercises.

Practice through exaggerating the action. Practice your delivery without a bowl. As you “deliver” the imaginary bowl get so low that your palm of your hand brushes the floor.

This technique is used in other sports. This works as in the “heat of the moment” you don’t go to the extremes of your practice delivery.

The other way to improve this is to adjust your delivery technique. Practice crouching down before taking your step – all in one fluid motion. By focusing on getting low before you bowl you can focus on the step and release of the bowl.

3. Perfect your grip on the bowl

The issue

Incorrect grip is on of the biggest causes for delivery issues. Poor grip can cause any of the following problems:

  • Bowls “wobbling” after delivery
  • Timing issues with the release (bowl being let go too early and “dropping” for example)
  • Incorrect line being taken – this is caused by the bowl being released at an angle and the running surface pointing to the wrong place

All of the above will cause line and weight control issues.

Grip issues can be by far the worst problem as:

  1. it’s the last point of contact before release. If something goes wrong at this point you don’t have any opportunity to correct it
  2. It can get into your head. This is especially important as it will be on your mind the whole way through the delivery. This takes the mind away from focusing on the line and weight.

How to fix

I have a whole article on [fixing the grip here]({% post_url 2021-04-27-best-lawn-bowl-grips %}). This goes into more detail about the grip, and how you can optimise yours.

Alternatively you can check out my article on the best grip enhancers here. This will give you a few options on what you can use on your hands, and your bowls to help you grip better.

4. Take the same position on the mat

The issue

Bowls is a game of consistency, and angles. Aiming points work by giving you a reference point for the direction the bowl needs to go.

However this only works if the point of delivery is the same. If you take a different position on the mat you are effectively changing the angle needed to get the line right.

This will lead to inconsistent line control, and will have you second guessing yourself about where e should be aiming.

How to fix

There are plenty of ways to maintain the same mat position.

Common solutions are:

  • placing your back foot on the makers logo in the centre of the mat
  • putting the back foot on one of the corners of the mat

Any feature of the mat can be used as a reference point for where should place your body.

5. Stay relaxed

The issue

A tense mind and a tense body can lead to tension in the shoulders, and also to inconsistencies in your technique

A tense mind can also lead to your mind not focusing on the shot at hand, which can also lead to mistakes.

How to fix

I have a whole article on the best mental training methods.

Activities, such as visualisation, and breathing techniques can help you keep your mind on the game, and your body relaxed.

A relaxed mind and body are ideal for bowls. Don’t try to force a good shot. Trust your training and let it happen naturally.