Please pardon a bit of a break from the fun news of tournaments and club events to allow me to relay some requests from Bruce Williams, our Greenskeeper.
Bruce and Romero have been working diligently to repair a number of spots on our greens where the grass has been worn down. The repair work is ongoing but especially important as preparation for an upcoming series of tournaments in August and September. If we all take a moment to look over the greens there are visible, common elements to these worn spots.
- These spots are all within 2-meters of the ditch and mostly in the last 3-4 feet
- The locations for these spots correspond to a collective practice of raking bowls all the way back to these areas during our regular bowling practice, social bowls, and club tournaments.
Did you know that the US is the only country that employs the use of rakes to push bowls back into a pile? In other countries, the general practice is to place the mat at the location where the jack or the majority of the bowls finished on the previous end. They also gently kick the bowls back to a common location.
Because bowlers have grown so accustomed to raking the bowls back to the same spots every time, we've seen a gradual erosion of the grass-density in those places. This is by no means a problem affecting only NHLBC but can be seen on many of the greens in the SW and greater US.
What Bruce has asked of the bowlers at the club is to please not rake the bowls all the way back behind the 2-meter mark so we can protect that delicate area of the greens and maintain a truly consistent playing surface for years to come.
I'd also like to point out that playing different mat positions and jack-lengths will actually help improve our skill-level as we grow more and more accustomed to playing varying positions on the green.
Please join me in helping Bruce and Romero maintain our world-class greens by completely avoiding patches where the grass is visibly thinned or bare. You can help by spreading the word at social bowls for those who may not be reading the blog.
- Please don't rake bowls back behind the 2 meter mark.
- When practicing, please make a point of choosing a rink with the least amount of wear and tear.
- Please don't walk on the bare sections of the green.
- Please make an effort to place mats well-away from the bare spots to prevent bowls and people from standing in those delicate locations.