Across Scotland and the rest of the UK right now, green bowling clubs continue to have difficulty in maintaining their playing surface and surrounds to a high standard, thanks to constraints in budget, time, equipment and experience.

Duncan Gray - Lawn Care

Duncan Gray – Grass Care Expert

Budgets often don’t allow bowling green committees to employ a full-time groundsman, and the members, as hard as they try, normally don’t have the knowledge and skills to look after their bowling green to the standard they’d like.

The buying of bowling green equipment takes a lot of knowledge and experience, and bowling green supplies can be a maze of chemical formula and strange brand names to the uninitiated. The wrong equipment can easily be purchased, and unsuitable supplements and fertilisers utilised.

This all leads to the inevitable: the surface loses it’s quality, and the surrounds deteriorate, until you’re soon playing on a bowling green that actually is not fit for purpose.

There’s nothing worse than throwing a great shot, watching it zero on it’s target only for the bowl to be knocked off-course by a rough patch of grass, or a diseased section of the green.

I have been a Head Greenkeeper on golf courses for thirty six years, and for the past twenty five years have also been heavily involved in maintaining bowling greens in Scotland and across the UK.

I’d like to talk about the bowling green maintenance services that I can offer that will help you to maintain a great surface and keep playing, problem free, all season.

My Experience with Bowling Greens

Mowing one of the Northfield greens between the morning and afternoon games in the Ladies World Championships.

My first involvement with bowling greens came when I joined the old Kyle and Carrick Council in Ayrshire, Scotland as Fine Turf Superintendant, in charge of eight golf courses, nine bowling greens, and two eighteen hole pitch and putt courses. This was an area from Troon all the way down the coast to Ballantrae.

The nine bowling greens included Ayr Northfield, a highly regarded five green complex with a substantial membership.

There had been no national competitions held at Northfield previously, but that changed when problems with the usual national venue in Glasgow meant we were asked to host the Scottish National finals with less than four weeks to prepare the greens.

These finals were a big success, with players and officials very happy with the playing conditions provided. This led to a succession of Scottish and British championships being held at Northfield over the next few years.

The top class playing surfaces I created at Northfield bowling green led to it staging the male and female World Championships in the early 90s, both of which were televised. I was immensely proud of this achievement on a very busy municipal bowling green complex.

During this time I also advised a substantial number of private bowling clubs throughout Ayrshire on the maintenance and renovation techniques required to produce the best playing conditions.

Bowling Green Services that I Offer

I am now in a position where I am available to help bowling clubs throughout the country produce playing surfaces that they can be proud of. I can provide this service either in person, or at a distance (phone call/email/video call), depending on each club’s requirements.

The following is an outline of  my bowling green advisory services:

  • Bowling Green Maintenance: Mowing, height of cut, scarifying, grooming, brushing,switching, fertilising, conditioners, top-dressing, wetting agents, moss control, weed control, pest control.
  • Bowling Green Equipment and Machinery: type of mowers, setting procedures, maintenance procedures, other machinery and  equipment requirements.
  • Fertilisers and Supplements: Bowling green supplies are many and varied. I can help in how to select and use fertilisers and conditioners in the most effective and economical manner. Examples here.
  • Bowling Green Renovation: Autumn renovation procedures to unsure the green and recovers well from the season, and how to fully renovate a badly worn green.
  • Pre-season Preparation: How to get the green ready for play in the Spring.
  • Bowling Green Banks: How to maintain, repair, and reconstruct, banks and ditches.

The experience I have in all aspects of preparing bowling greens, in many varying conditions, to a very high standard, enables me to help any bowling club, no matter their budget, to make the very best of the green they have.

Finally, the many contacts I have with machinery and materials suppliers, means that in most situations I can save clubs a substantial amount on the annual budget.

Phone me now to have a chat about exactly what you require – I can easily carry out a one-off visit to set you up for the year, or provide ongoing support throughout the season.

Spring Bowling Green Maintenance

This is a very good example of how to prepare a green for play in the Spring. This was in the last week of March 2012 in Uddingston.

Phone Me For a Free Consultation

Drop me a line right now and we can have a talk about your requirements. Big or small, I’m sure I can help you out, and help to create a bowling green your club can be proud of.

Duncan Gray – Lawns For You: 07801 301712
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