3 fundamental ways to boost your lawn bowls delivery
1. Take a consistent mat position.
Each time you deliver a bowl, step onto the same spot on the mat. For most bowlers, most of the time, that means standing with the shoulder of your bowling arm centred above the mat, then turning slightly to face your aiming point. If you’re all over the mat, your aiming point will be slightly different for every shot, and your brain will struggle to get an instinct for your bowls’ path.
There’s an exception—on wonky rinks or when there’s no other way around an obstacle, you can stretch one foot out to the side while keeping the other on the mat. Some bowlers perfect this style of delivery, but it usually throws your aim or weight out of whack.
2. Aim your feet, and square your shoulders.
After you pivot slightly on the mat so your feet are oriented towards your aiming point, keep your shoulders square to that line as you swing. This helps you develop a smooth pendulum swing without crossing your arm in front of your torso.
A square stance works for most people, but if you have wide hips that force your swing out to the side, try positioning your body more like an archer’s, one foot a little in front of the other and shoulders angled slightly. Suddenly your hips aren’t in the way. Your swinging arm will angle across your body, but it can follow a straight path along the aiming line.
3. Don’t let your arm get floppy.
When you move your arm as a controlled unit (which doesn’t mean it’s rigid), you’ll get a true pendulum swing, with much better weight control. Muscle memory becomes easier, because your brain has just one thing to learn: “If I move my arm this hard, the bowl goes that far.” But if your elbow flexes a lot, your brain gets addled: “Should I move my upper arm a little? Swing my lower arm a lot? Or vice-versa?”
Here’s your arm when it’s moving well:
But here’s your arm when your elbow is floppy:
Good luck bowling with that swing!