Barefoot Bowls Tips and Tricks for
the Barefooted Beginner

With our busy schedules, there’s no time like the present to roll down to the RUC at Turner for a relaxing time playing a game of Barefoot Bowls. And with Canberra’s (usually) year-round clear skies, the RUC’s enticing food and drinks, and one of the best atmospheres in the ACT, there’s no reason for newbies not to give the classic Aussie game a go.

One of the best aspects of lawn bowls is that almost anyone can play; it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, a tradie or an office worker, a weekend warrior, or a master of chill – lawn bowls is literally always played on a level playing field.

We love welcoming new players to the game, and you’ll often find that some of the more experienced bowlers at the RUC are all too happy to share their wisdom with beginners over a few frothy ends.

If you’re looking for the best venue in Canberra for a barefoot bowling session, look no further than the RUC at Turner.

Barefoot Bowls at the RUC is played outside in the fresh air with all the rays of sunshine and cool breeze that come with it.

Have you heard about our member’s Barefoot Bowls special? We have your Sundays sorted with $30 bowls, burgers, beers or bubbles which is sure to provide a fun-filled afternoon for you and your friends.

Don’t let the cold keep you from enjoying a Sunday arvo with your mates. We also encourage Ugg Boot Bowls during the cooler months.

How to be a pro on your first go:

Sunday: Bowls, Burgers, Beers or Bubbles. $30 per person. Members only.
Our $30 Bowls, Burger, Beer or Bubbles special has become one of our most popular promotions.

Our greenskeeper works long and hard through the year so that your first time can be as memorable as you’ve always dreamed. So, if you’re one of our first timers, here are a couple of tips on etiquette and gameplay to help you look like a star in front of your mates and our staff.

  1. Heeled shoes will destroy our greens – and your game – so please do not wear them. If you want to wear shoes, flat-soled shoes are your best bet (such as thongs, sandals, sliders, or ballet flats).
  2. We want to keep the greens healthy and happy, so no food or drinks are allowed over the greens. Not only do we want the grass to stay healthy, but we need it to be clean as well to ensure you don’t step on anything wet, soggy, or sharp. For your safety, and the safety of others, keep your food and drinks off the greens – that’s what the tables and benches are for.
  3. On the topic of keeping you safe, bowling with force to knock other bowls out of play (driving of the bowls) is both dangerous and destructive, so this is a firm no-go.
  4. As you can tell, keeping the greens in tip-top shape is very important to us. Another way we do this is by bowling from both ends of the greens. This allows for the field to stay even and prevents you from running back and forth to “bowl the bowls back” – a true win-win.
  5. Real barefoot bowls champions bowl as low to the ground as possible. Lobbing or chucking the bowl is not only bad for the greens, but it also won’t be as accurate or effective.
  6. Make sure you are off the greens if you are not bowling. Standing on the edge of the grass can destroy the field and puts you in the danger zone from other first-timers who haven’t quite finessed their game yet. There are plenty of chairs and benches surrounding the greens for punters to sit back and relax.
  7. Finally, always bowl with a mat to avoid scuffing the grass.

If you follow these 7 quick tips not only will you show up your mates, but you’ll keep all the other players safe and happy. When everyone follows these rules, we’re able to maintain the great natural surface that players love barefoot bowling on. The most important thing for us at the RUC is that bowlers bring a good attitude to the game and respect other players.

If you forget any of the rules, or want more tips and tricks, please reach out to our friendly staff – there are always happy to chat!

Ready to try your hand at barefoot bowls? Check out our Barefoot Bowls page to find out more about all our members’ bowls specials or to book your spot on one of our greens.

Barefoot Bowls Etiquette at the RUC – a video explaining our rules on the greens.

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