It’s been almost 15 years since the movie Crackerjack taught us that lawn bowls is a game of skill, touch and patience; a true revealer of character and of butt crack.
The movie breathed new life into lawn bowls clubs across the country and these days the greens are also home to beers and barbecues as we embrace the glory of barefoot bowls. Don your whites, unlace your shoes and head to one of Brisbane's best bowls clubs and let it be on for young and old.
Perched on the side of the Brisbane River, Merthyr Bowls is the perfect place to kick off your shoes and kick back over a game of barefoot bowls. Renowned for its laid back vibe, river breezes and ice cold beers, barefoot bowls is on offer Wed-Sun and costs $5 per person but you'll need to book in advance.
Coorparoo Bowls Club
We have it on good authority that Coorparoo Bowls Club is the only club in Australia to setup a full rink of UV lights so you can play neon glow bowls. Wear your whites to glow bright in the night, or paint yourself neon for a glowing good time. As well as mainstream Barefoot Bowls, Coorparoo also boasts Sunday sessions, social darts games and live music.
Booroodabin Bowling Club
When it comes to bowling history, they don’t get much better than ‘The Boo’ which, after opening on 30 March 1889, proudly holds the title of Queensland’s oldest bowls club. Back at the turn of last century, the club’s membership boasted politicians and businessmen who were known to use their time on the greens to forge more than just friendly rivalry. These days, it’s Brisbane’s only 100 per cent “social” bowls club.
Toowong Bowls Club
On Thursday nights you’ll find us at Toowong Bowls Club for the free barefoot bowls and $5 basics. Barefoot bowls is available daily, with social bowls games held on Wednesday and Saturdays. Bookings are essential. Tuesdays are also hard to resist thanks to the $10 Parmi deal (there’s nine flavor combination!) plus, you can grab yourself a pot of Bowler’s Brew for $3.50. Uni students can show their ID for discounted food and drink.
Gallopers Sports Club
Formerly Hamilton Bowls Club, Gallopers can host more than 100 players at any one time. Groups of 10 or more are only $10 per person for two hours of bowling. In addition to hosting various forms of bowls, the club has a bistro with weekly food specials six days a week. You can also package your bowls with the club's BBQ or food platter options.
New Farm Bowls Club
Located opposite New Farm Park, New Farm Bowls Club is a hive of activity with barefoot bowls and social bowling available most days as well as trivia nights and live music on Friday nights as part of Brisbane Unplugged Gigs. Barefoot bowls costs costs $7 per person for a two hour session during the day or $10 at night.
Norman Park Bowls Club
Located across the river from New Farm Park, Norman Park Bowls Club boasts two greens, BBQ tables, a bistro and is under lights for evening play during summer. Membership is $5 for five years and barefoot bowls is available from Wednesday to Sunday and costs $5 per person for groups under 10 or $40 per lane and this includes coaching and equipment. They also have live music on Sundays and Harry’s Trivia on a Wednesday and Thursday night.
Moorooka Bowls Club
Moorooka Bowls Club just may be the jewel of the southside. This gardenia-lined bows is home to a bevvy of friendly locals who actually like teaching youngins’ how to play bowls. Pop down on Sunday afternoons for cheap drinks, a DJ (who plays strictly CDs and classic hits) and a mean bowl of chips and mash. Gravy as a side is a given. There’s a brekky bowls tournament on each month too, which already sounds fun but when we add in that the bar opens at 9am it sounds a whole lot more fun.
Image credit: Paddington Bowls
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