Announcement of closure of bowling green

October 13, 2023

Bowls has been a part of this club’s history for over 60 years.  It has provided a social and sporting outlet to a countless number of local people. Sadly, though it has suffered falling participation rates over recent years.  At the same time costs to maintain greens has gone up. 

At the end of August 2023, the club’s professional green keeper terminated his services.  The club and some of the bowlers have been engaged in trying to find a replacement.  In the meantime, the club has been paying two, well-intentioned semi-professionals to manage the green as best they can.  This was never meant to be a long-term solution.

After seeking quotations from new green keepers and following a great deal of internal discussion which included the leaders of our three bowls groups (Ladies, Men’s and Flying Bowlers), the bowling group agreed that they could contribute $30,000 for 2024 in lieu of their players paying a green fee for each day they play. Green fees received in 2021 was $17,186, $19,118 in 2022 and $12,359 to 31st August 2023.

The offer from the group was reluctantly declined on the basis that it would still result in a direct cost to the club in the vicinity of $50,000.  A further consideration was that the two competing trends of rising maintenance costs and decreasing player numbers would see this figure increase each year.

The club Management group reluctantly recommended to the Board that we terminate bowls at our club, effective 31st October 2023. This date was selected mindful of the bowler’s advice regarding the end of their respective, competitive seasons.  With regret, the Board unanimously agreed with that recommendation.

In doing so Management and the Board was conscious of:

  • The role that bowls has played in the history of the club; and
  • There has been decreasing player numbers for some years with no net growth of membership, and
  • Rising maintenance costs for the remaining green;

(these 3 issues are not exclusive to our club.  They are challenges faced by many bowls groups); and the following facts:

  • Previous green keepers fees per annum $60000.
  • Lowest quotation received September 2023 was $77000 including GST (negotiated down from $90,000 excluding GST), plus $5-7,000 for annual renovation due December 2023 – January 2024, a total of $82 - 84,000.
  • The net cost to the club from Bowling activities over recent years (cost of maintenance of green less receipt of green fees from participants) was $39,000 in 2021, $42,590 in 2022 and $20,671 to the end of August 2023.

Notwithstanding the commercial reality, there is genuine sadness around this decision.

The club has offered the three bowls sections an opportunity to properly recognise the rich history of bowls at our club by way of a social function of some form. The club has asked the bowlers for suggestions in this space.


President Tony Mooney

CEO Ian Thomson