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Different Types of Practice to Improve your Game

It is advisable to practise some of the more difficult shots and not wait until you are asked to do them for real in a match. The following tips have been taken from the “English Bowls Coaching Scheme—Guide for Beginners”

‘Off Centre Jack’ : Practice by moving the jack to the left and right of the centre line and then adapting your green until you find the right one that takes you to the jack. Often there is less of a difference than you think.

‘Trailing a Jack’: Place a jack just a metre from the edge of the ditch and practice making contact with it gently enough to knock it into the ditch with the wood following it in.

‘Reaching the edge of the Ditch’: Place the jack in the ditch, place a wood 2 metres or so from the edge of the ditch and practice gaining shot by outdrawing the other wood. Gradually try to move the stationary wood nearer to the edge.

‘Moving a Wood’: Place 2 or 3 woods centrally and close together (about a woods’ width between them). decide which one you want to hit and try to turn it over with your wood when you bowl.

‘Firing’: Place 2 or 3 woods centrally. Stand as though you are delivering a jack but low enough to avoid damaging the green. Propel your wood at maximum speed straight at the target wood.

‘Different Jack & Mat Lengths’: Practice delivering jacks to various lengths. Move the mat up and down between the minimum and maximum lengths. Practice bowling in these different positions.

‘Bowling in a Box’: Use woods, beer mats etc to mark out a ‘box’ roughly one metre square. Practice bowling into this (start off with it a bit bigger if needed). A good bowler is one who can consistently bowl to within a metre of the jack, not necessarily getting to it every single time.