Gloucester Bowling Club's grass green had been restored to it's former glory

Alex Cudbertson, Mike Sheely and Ray Fitzgerald stand proudly on the newly refurbished natural bowling green. Photo Anne Keen
Alex Cudbertson, Mike Sheely and Ray Fitzgerald stand proudly on the newly refurbished natural bowling green. Photo Anne Keen

For lawn bowlers it's a field of dreams, and Gloucester Bowling Club is quite proud of the current state of its natural green.

Thanks to hard work and dedication, the natural grass surface has been fully restored to it's former glory and is back in business for full time play.

Not only that, but all the old seating has been upgraded making the green, and the club look pretty professional.

According to a 1996 Horticultural Research and Development Corporation report which compares turf and synthetic greens, Australians traditionally play bowls on a natural grass surface.

"Natural turf is the preferred surface for lawn bowls as it offers the ultimate challenge to bowlers to read the subtle changes in pace and draw only turf can provide," the report stated.

So, when club all-rounder Alex Cudbertson took on the task of refurnishing the neglected turf, it was a project other club members got behind.

It had been out of action for about two years after the club installed a synthetic surface on the other side of the building. Alex had learned the tricks of the trade for maintaining a grass green after having spent years filling in for the greenkeepers when they would go on holiday.

"Both surfaces used to be grass and when the synthetic turf was installed the greenkeeper was no longer needed and the grass green became defunked," Alex explained.

The club tried to hold a State competition using only the one green but the format didn't work and the feedback was that the club needed two. As the club holds six major events each year, including State level competitions, getting the second green back up running was a no brainer.

Last year it was put back in action for the first time with a bit of light play, but this year it's full steam ahead, with the green up to State play standards. Something that will come in handy with the women's State carnival being played on the surface in late May.

Not only has the green improved the appearance of the Gloucester Bowling Club, but by replacing the old wooden bench seats and adding in many more, the club "looks more professional", according to Alex.

The club took advantage of the free Allianz Stadium seats that Ray Fitzgerald organised for collection at the end of last year. Club member, Mike Sheely got stuck into the project upgrading the area and sorting out how to install close to 100 seats around the green, multiple areas to store bowls bags.

"I certainly couldn't have done it without the support of the club members," Mike said.

According to Ray, there are still chairs available, so if anyone is interested they can email him at ecogreengloucester@gmail.com.