Keen to try bowls for the first time? Here’s how to begin, in 5 easy steps…

1.  Find a club near you using the FIND A CLUB link. If there is more than one near you, compare them to see which one offers the best facilities.

2.  Contact the club of your choice and explain to the membership officer or club ambassador that you are interested in trying out the sport to see whether it’s the right sport for you.

3.  Most clubs have at least one coach who will gladly give you a free introductory lesson. Arrange to meet them at the club at a day and time that suits you. You will need roughly an hour.

4.  Don’t rush out to buy any equipment yet! All you will need at first is comfortable clothing (any colour), shoes with flat, smooth soles (no bumps, heels or studs), a cap or hat, sunscreen and a bottle of water. That’s it!
The club and coach will lend you everything else. If the bowls bug bites you (and we know it will!) the coach will advise you what to buy, when to buy it and where. They will also advise on what size bowl and model will be best for you, based on the size of your hand and your build.

5.  The initial outlay for a reasonable set of used bowls and a bag will be between R800 – R4 000, depending on the size and age. The smaller sizes are very popular and tend to be pricier. On the other hand, smaller bowls retain their value better if you should later decide to sell them and treat yourself to a new set.


Bowling clubs offer regular bowls games for players of all skill levels, from social to highly competitive, all the way up to national level. You can start out slowly and decide just how involved you would like to get. Besides ongoing coaching to improve your own skill, clubs also provide opportunities for players to be trained as technical officials, umpires and administrators, which adds another exciting dimension to the sport. Whatever form of involvement you choose, you will never be too young or too old to be part of this fascinating sport!