By Danielle Leonard | Photo by Nikki Wesley
On a warm summer day, you’re likely to see them at play, surrounded by a white picket fence with balls (called bowls) the size of large oranges, rolling across a grassy surface. They’re the lawn bowlers at the Oakville Lawn Bowling Club.
It’s not unusual for onlookers to line the fence to watch, with interest, this intriguing game that looks more like curling than bowling. The charm of the game, and the clubhouse, is too irresistible to ignore. Located in one of the most beautiful spots in Oakville – overlooking the Oakville harbour, steps from Lakeside Park and a quick stroll from downtown shops, restaurants and theatre – the club is a treasured feature that’s steeped in history. Founded in 1908, it was once the site of the Oakville Town Hall, jail and outdoor market.
Although a pleasure to watch, lawn bowling is even more fun to play. The main objective of the game is to place the bowl as close as possible to the target, which is called a jack. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds; one side of the ball is not proportioned which causes it to travel in a curved path.
The Oakville Lawn Bowling Club welcomes new bowlers from experienced to beginner players. The season runs May to October, offering activities almost every day of the week. Along with club, interclub and provincial tournaments, members enjoy a social club environment. Its popular junior program is a great way to pull the kids away from the screens to have fun outdoors.
Whether you come to watch or play, a stop at the Oakville Lawn Bowling Club is an essential part of the perfect summer day in downtown Oakville.