I would like to play lawn bowls. Do I need to become a member of a club?

Yes and No. It depends on how often you wish to play and whether you wish to play competitively in either a regular competition (Pennant) or as a social member.  

If you wish to play on a regular basis, you will need to become a member.

If you only want to play infrequently with a group of friends, you may opt to play what is known as Barefoot Bowls where you pay per two-hour session subject to green availability. 

How much does it cost to be a member?

At the Cockburn Bowling Club, Full Bowling Membership costs $180 per year, which, when compared to other sports, is very reasonable indeed. We also have a Recreational Bowler category which costs $110 per year however you cannot play Pennants. 

Our Social Membership fees are $20 for one year or $30 for two years. 

To try and encourage new bowlers to join, we offer a special for first time Full Bowling Member bonus of a new Club shirt for your first year of membership.  

What are the other costs involved?

Like any sport, lawn bowlers need to have the right clothing and equipment, and this can be expensive. The singular most expensive item you will buy will be a set of bowls. Most bowlers will eventually purchase a set of new bowls; however, it is recommended that you try out a range of bowls before deciding.  

The club coach can assist you with this process. A set of new bowls will typically cost you between $500 to $650 and even a set of modern second-hand bowls can cost between $300 to $550.  

Every bowler also needs to have the right clothing and footwear as well. Approved flat soled shoes are a must and will cost around $90.  

If you decide to play competitive bowls, you will also need approved clothing in terms of pants, slacks, skirts, shirts, and blouses. These can also set you back a $100 or more; Of course, there are the extra items that you will accumulate over time.  

These include: 

  • Hat & caps 
  • Jacket 
  • Waterproofs (yes, we play in the rain) 
  • Bowls bag 
  • Measures 
  • Assorted other nick knacks 
I am not sure if I will enjoy it, do I have to purchase a set of bowls straight away?

No, not at all. The club does have several sets of second-hand bowls that have been donated to the club by both current and former members and these can be loaned to you.

Whether we have a set of bowls that are the right size for you is another matter, however the chances are good that we will. Most of these donated bowls are what are termed ‘old style’ bowls which have different characteristics to the modern narrow bias bowl. 

Wouldn’t I be better off getting a set of modern bowls?

For anyone that has not bowled before, learning to bowl with the older style bowl is probably the best way to learn all aspects of the game. The old-style bowl is a much more ‘forgiving’ bowl in that it is easier to bowl with, particularly on fast synthetic greens.

The new ‘narrow bias bowls can be difficult to master, however you will find that all ‘top’ bowlers use them in the modern game.  

It is also interesting to know that many top-class bowlers have 2 or 3 sets of different bowls and depending on conditions, they will choose a particular set to play with. 

Aren’t all bowls pretty much the same?

No, just in the same way that not everyone bowls the same way. Over time, you will develop a particular style of bowling and certain types of bowls will be more suited to you than others. 

Are there any other benefits in becoming a Full Member?

Of course. Once you are a full member you can use any of the club facilities at any time (if available).

You are entitled to practice as often as you like at no cost whatsoever, assuming that the greens are not being used for competitive or social games or are otherwise unavailable.

During the period May through August, the synthetic green is almost always available.

Being a Full Member also gives you reciprocal rights at most other Australian bowling clubs whereby you can go away on holidays, take your bowls, and be able to play in events or social games wherever you happen to be. 

I’m a golfer and even though I am a member, I still must pay to play a game. Is bowls the same?

Yes, although LOT cheaper. Typically, for a game of Pennant bowls, the ‘green fees’ are $10.00 per home game.

The cost is the same for all Pennant games and most social games.

From time to time there will be ‘specialty’ games or tournaments, which will have a different cost to enter. For example, our Legends Twilight Pairs event has an entry cost of $50 per person, however the cash prizes are significantly higher than the weekly Club events 

As a member, can I bring some friends to the club to play bowls with me?

As a rule, a Member can sign-in five friends. An exception to this is if you wish to organise say a social afternoon of barefoot bowls with your friends or family.

While you, as a member, would not have to pay anything to play, your friends would be required to pay the normal barefoot bowls charge of $10 per person for 2 hours of bowls.

I am not sure that I want to play pennant. Do I have to?

No, of course not. We would however encourage you to make yourself available to play, even if only every now and again.

A large part of the enjoyment of lawn bowls is playing competitively for your club and there is nothing better than celebrating with your teammates after a great win.

It is very much a team game with every member of the team contributing to the overall result. 

But I know I’m not good enough yet?

Of course, you are!! Bowls is a game for all ages – from 9 to 90 (and even that is a rough guide). All clubs have bowlers ranging from novices to top bowlers and every one of them enjoys being part of the team.

When you play Pennants, you will be selected to play in a side where your level of experience or ability is best suited.  

Many new bowlers are identified as having good potential (if not experience) and they will find themselves playing at a higher level sooner than they expected to be playing at. 

Okay, I’m convinced. How do I join up and what is involved?

It is a simple matter of completing and submitting an application form which is available at the club or you can download it from the Club website.

Once your application is approved, it is then a matter of you getting involved as much or as little as you wish.  

Of course, we really would like to see you at the club as often as possible – even if it is only for a social drink at the Legends Bar or the Bowl and Fork restaurant. 

I’m a little shy and don’t really know anyone?

Well, we certainly hope to change that, however it is up to you to help us get to know you.

If you are a brand-new bowler, we can arrange a coaching session with our Club coach and once you have the basics we would help you get into a team for the Summer/Winter competitions that are conducted outside of Pennantsentering these types of competitions will introduce you to others and it will quickly show you how to go about getting involved in playing social games.  

How would I go about getting involved in club activities?

A lawn bowling club is like most other clubs where the more you get involved, the more you normally enjoy your time at the club.   

New members are encouraged to play plenty of social games to get to know their fellow club members.   

You will soon find yourself mixing socially with some like-minded members and expanding your circle of friends.   

As time goes by you may wish to get involved in the various groups and committees that keep the club functioning.  You may like helping with arranging social functions such as our Club dinner functions or assist in the Club Busy Bees typically every Monday morning for those minor jobs that need attention about the club.   

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved and make the most of your membership.