WATCH: The Secret to Control Weight Delivering Lawn Bowls


I learned something today that was so startling and made such a dramatic difference that I was tempted to keep it as a secret- just for a year or two- I thought. Why should I share the secret? Then I thought again, this is too important not to share.

So here it is! You all must have heard, “It doesn’t matter what your style, consistency depends upon reproducibility of the delivery whatever it is.” This is true; but, I didn’t realize how precisely the statement must be interpreted. You need to be able to reproduce the same form exactly, in every detail, even those things that you think can’t be very important.

Paul Foster MBE
Paul Foster MBE

This is why simple delivery styles are best, even though any style can be perfected. Uncomplicated movements are the easiest (I didn’t say easy) to repeat consistently; end after end, season after season. There is a valuable dividend that follows from this simplicity. If your style is reproducible in every little respect then your mental computer will make corrections to the speed with which you release the bowl to correct for previous short or long bowls.

I say I have magically improved my draw accuracy. What was I doing inconsistently before? My follow through was not sufficiently controlled. My bowling hand came up somewhat higher sometimes than other times. My fingers flexed sometimes while remaining straight other times.

I would not have expected that these are consequential differences but they are. I discovered these differences watching professional indoor bowlers on U-tube and asking myself, “How does my delivery deviate most from theirs?” The answer was that, in the follow through for any draw shot, their hands were still pointing to the ground. They never raised their bowling arm more than 45 degrees from the vertical.

They stopped the arm rather more abruptly after releasing the bowl and never curled their fingers up. Moreover, many of the best players followed through by walking with halting, measured steps off the mat following the line of delivery and as they watched the progress of each bowl.

See for example Foster and Marshall in who exhibit this distinctly. With these two champions the exaggeration of these points makes it even easier to see.

So now I keep these little things constant, concentrate on a smooth release onto the green and let my subconscious computer determine the weight. All I tell myself is whether the jack is short, medium or long while I look carefully at its position. I don’t consciously measure my backswing the way I did when I started!

Can this be a light bulb moment for you?