8 Reasons to Use Artificial Grass for a Bowling Green
Lawn bowls is played by almost half a million people in the UK, and there are thousands of local clubs up and down the country.
Its history stretches all the way back to the 13th century and many of us have heard the anecdote of Sir Francis Drake insisting that he finished his game of bowls before dealing with the Spanish Armada, in 1588.
Of course, a vitally important part of bowls is the bowling green itself. In recent years, the popularity of synthetic bowling greens has increased at a rapid rate, and for good reason, too.
With the ever-advancing manufacturing techniques, the quality of purpose-built synthetic bowling greens has firmly arrived at a level where they perfectly replicate the roll of a real grass green.
In our latest article, we’re exploring, in-depth, the reasons why many clubs across the UK are now turning to artificial grass to surface their bowling greens.
1. Low Maintenance Costs
First on our list of benefits, and probably the most obvious benefit of a synthetic turf bowling green, is the drastically reduced maintenance costs, when compared to real grass.
Real grass bowling greens require lots of care and attention throughout the year, which means hiring professionals to ensure the surface remains in a playable condition.
The costs of frequent mowing, watering, aeration, brushing and weeding can really start to add up.
These high maintenance costs result in higher membership fees for club members, which can also create a barrier to new players joining the club.
The maintenance involved for a synthetic bowling green, compared with real grass, is minimal.
This keeps ongoing club costs to a minimum and helps to keep club membership fees low, or frees up funds for other club improvements.
2. No More Chemicals
Real grass bowling greens require the use of harmful chemicals, such as weedkiller, pesticide and fertiliser, to ensure the surface remains in a healthy condition.
Synthetic turf, on the other hand, doesn’t require any of these chemicals, again reducing club costs, while at the same time helping the environment.
Many pesticides and fertilisers can be harmful to humans and the last thing any club wants is for one of their members to be taken ill.
Installing an artificial bowling green will create a safer environment for club members to enjoy, with the added benefit of being more environmentally friendly, too.
3. Drains Quicker Than Real Grass
Artificial bowling greens also drain far quicker than their real grass counterparts.
The typical real grass bowling green construction often involves the use of underground drainage, such as a herringbone system, but the fact is, real grass lawns drain much slower than artificial grass.
At the end of the synthetic turf manufacturing process, the backing material is perforated with small drainage holes.
These holes allow vast quantities of water to drain freely through the grass, without leaving any standing water. Most artificial turf allows around 50 litres of water to pass through each square metre of grass, per minute, which is more than enough to cope with even the heaviest of downpours.
Faster draining surfaces result in less playing time lost due to the weather – a big benefit for clubs up and down the UK, where we often experience very wet summers.
4. Extended Season
Of course, the precise beginning and end of the bowling season depends entirely upon the weather.
Some years, the bowling season can feel all too short.
However, synthetic bowling greens can drastically extend the bowling season, with only frost or snow stopping competitions altogether.
This means that your members will get far more out of their membership and you’ll also attract members from other clubs that don’t have artificial surfacing.
You could even consider charging a higher membership fee, or creating a lower-priced, off-season only membership.
With a synthetic bowling green, the only thing stopping you is your tolerance of cold weather!
5. Perfect for Indoor Use
Common sense tells you that having a real grass lawn in an indoor environment just isn’t possible.
Of course, this is where artificial grass has a significant advantage and it’s the ideal choice for indoor greens as it perfectly replicates the exact roll of real grass greens.
Indoor bowls is very popular because, of course, it can be played whatever the weather is doing outside and there is no risk of games being postponed.
Installing a synthetic bowling green is generally more cost-effective per square metre than it is for outdoor use, as there tends to be less ground preparation involved.
6. Constant Conditions
Weather conditions can change during a game and, of course, this does have an impact upon the playing surface.
Artificial bowling surfaces help to keep the conditions as constant as possible throughout the game as they are not affected by the weather as much real grass bowling greens.
You may also find that with a real bowling green, some areas drain quicker than others. This can result in an unnatural green speed, as the speed of the bowls is reduced as they pass through damp areas.
Artificial turf, on the other hand, drains evenly across the entire surface.
7. Better Levels
Synthetic bowling greens tend to have a far better finished surface than real grass greens.
That’s because the underlying foundations are usually constructed from either macadam or concrete base, which can be levelled extremely precisely using laser levels.
Once the base has been constructed, the levels will not alter. That’s because the ground will not move, which it can when using real turf and soil, and which can create minor dips and troughs.
This ensures that the greens have an even roll up and down the length of the surface.
8. Ideal for Artificial Banks
There is no doubt about it, covering the banks of a bowling green in artificial grass improves the aesthetics of any bowling green.
But it’s not just for aesthetic reasons that you should use synthetic turf to cover the banks of a bowling green.
It also helps to cushion the impact of bowls and protect them from damage, so you can rest assured that your bowls will be safe when they hit the banks.
Lawn bowls is a fantastic way to stay active and it’s a sport that is enjoyed in large numbers throughout the UK.
It is, of course, important to continue introducing the next generation to the game. One of the ways to do this is by keeping membership fees as low as possible.
Installing a synthetic bowling green certainly helps to make this possible, due to the minimal maintenance involved.
It is also important that members get the most out of their membership fees by having the chance to play as much as possible, and synthetic turf offers a significant advantage here, too.
Some clubs have been dubious in the past about lawn speeds when playing on an artificial surface, but with today’s advances in technology you needn’t worry, as synthetic surfaces offer the same roll speeds as real grass.
If your club is considering having an artificial bowling green, then why not get in contact with us today and find out about our high-quality synthetic turf, purpose-built for bowling greens. We can also point you in the direction of your nearest NeoGrass Approved Installer, who’ll gladly carry out the installation for you.
Are there any benefits we’ve missed? Then let us know using the comments section below; we look forward to hearing from you.