Lawn bowls is no longer just for the grandmas and grandpas of the world—we now know why they spend so much time at their local bowling club… because it’s just so much damn fun.
We’ve divided up the fun for each Sydney local, so here are our top picks for the best places to play barefoot bowls in your area.
The Greens North Sydney
A few years after their big renovation, The Greens is still going strong and it’s only partly to do with the epic view of The Bridge. If you’re feeling competitive, try your luck at a round of bowls, sans shoes, or if you’re more in the spectating mood, the food and drinks menu hits the mark every time. Claim your seat and settle in for a great afternoon in the sun.
Warringah Bowls Mosman
With views of the city skyline, Warringah Bowls Mosman is just like the bowlo you visited for grandad’s birthday last year. But with more oysters. And likely colder beer. Get the gang together and head here this weekend—you know you want to.
Longueville Sporting Club
Throw off your shoes and settle in for some much-needed fun in the sun at Longueville’s barefoot bowls. The perfect stop on a lazy afternoon, you don’t need to be a sporting aficionado to have a good time. And for only $10 per person for as long as you’d like, you can’t really go wrong, right?
For only $12 a punter, this barefoot bowlo has got us hooked. Play a few rounds to determine the champ and head inside for their Gymea Grill for a good steak dinner with some crispy fries. You know what to do team—it’s time to gather your crew.
South Cronulla Bowling Club
A quick walk from the beach, grab your mates after a dip to have a bowls sesh. Slip off your thongs and see if you’ve got the skills on par with your trash talk. Make sure you stop over on a Friday night for their BBQ with steaks, kebabs and sausages. Now, that’s an Aussie summer session.
Taren Point Bowling Club
Who can pass up the chance for a classic sausage sanga-barefoot bowls package? For only $20 per person, you and your mates can bowl in style with a sizzle awaiting your win (or loss). Brush up on your aim because it’s going down.
Bondi Bowling Club
Bondi Bowling Club has become the unlikely hit of the Eastern Suburbs—this 80-year-old institution is quickly welcoming a new generation. With a revamped menu featuring oysters and share plates plus your regular steak and schnitzel fare, Bondi Bowls may just be your new regular. They even host live music on Thursday nights. Well, we’re sold.
Clovelly Bowling & Recreation Club
We’re calling it—this bowlo has the best view in Sydney. You’ve probably seen your mates snap gorge pics at this iconic bowling location because the view involves uninterrupted ocean vistas. For a perfect Sunday arvo, Clovelly Bowling Club will only charge you a cheeky $15 to play and they even have a BBQ where you can cook up your own meaty feast.
The Randwick Bowling Club
Only minutes away from the CBD, round up the office group chat because we know what your Friday arvo plans are. Play to crown the best bowlo in your division and celebrate by downing a few pints of beer (it’s not like you’re working the day after?).
Petersham Bowling Club
If you love barefoot bowls and craft beer more than life, Petersham Bowling Club is definitely the place for you. With a list of delicious craft beers from Young Henry’s, Grifter, and Murray on tap, and an extra 50 in bottles behind the bar, you can spend all afternoon winning at bowls and in the drinks department. This place is an institution for a reason people.
Balmain Bowling Club
Proud to be the oldest bowlo in NSW these guys know the name of the game. Seven days a week, round up the troops for a guaranteed bonding session. And order from the bar so you can snack on some burgers while kicking some ass.
Concord Bowling Club
These guys are the kings of budget barefoot bowls. For only a tenner you get 4 hours of play with your mates. We ain’t missing out on that. Then you can head inside for some BBQ by the sunset.
And here's where to find Sydney's best oyster happy hours.
Image credit: Rowena Naylor