…Continued from the previous post.
The very first thing I noticed about the 2010 Lawn Bowls U.S. Open was the smell. It smelled like golf – more specifically like a putting green first thing in the morning. Which was no coincidence, since the Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club’s entire playing area was one big painstakingly manicured putting green.
I liked the place immediately, even if it did evoke suppressed memories of 90-hour work weeks as a golf course GM. I managed to fight off the reflexive duck and cover response and find a bench from which to survey the scene.
I had been surprised to learn that the Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club was not a private facility. It is actually part of a larger, meticulously maintained public recreation facility in Corona del Mar, California. Open to anyone who wants to learn the game. That in a nutshell, encapsulates the vague public perception of the sport – for the small portion of the population that even holds a perception.
OK, the name is kind of quirky – I’ll give you that. Why not call it lawn bowling? That would at least give people a head start on relating to the concept. That will also cut down on the confusion created by the fact that “bowls” is the name of the game, the equipment AND the action taken. As in “One bowls with his lawn bowls in lawn bowls”. But I digress.
Let’s get one thing straight right from the start. Lawn bowls is NOT bocce. Yes, it bears a family resemblance. But lumping them together is like saying that the Soapbox Derby and NASCAR racing are the same thing because both involve something with four tires and a steering wheel.