How to get started

If you would like to play short mat bowls, or at least give it a try and to see if it is for you, then follow these three steps: 

  1. Learn how to play
    If you have never played bowls before then you will need some instruction and coaching. We do this by prior arrangement, usually on a Friday afternoon when we have the capacity to put down an extra mat purely for this purpose. Please use the contact form to get in touch and we will sort out a mutually convenient session to start you going. This is an ideal starting point with no commitment to continue if you decide it is not for you.

    For those who have played another form of bowls making the transition is pretty easy so just come along to one of our open sessions and have a go. We give potential members two sessions free bowling whilst they decide if they wish to continue.
  2. Join a club
    In addition to Wareham Short Mat Bowling Club there are also clubs that meet in the Carey Hall, near Wareham, in Wool, in Crossways, in West Morden and in Lychett Minster. Whilst they are all the same in that they play short mat bowls they can differ in culture. It just depends on the mix of people as you would expect! 

  3. Get some equipment
    Whilst most clubs will have spare woods that can be borrowed, to play the game well you will need woods that are best suited to you in terms of size, weight and bias. Woods can cost anything from about £150 upwards. There is little point in buying expensive woods, especially when you are starting out.

    Only flat soled shoes are allowed on the mat so you may well wish to buy a pair of proper bowling shoes which can cost from £40 upwards.

    To keep everything together you will also need a carrying bag for your woods, shoes and other bits and pieces. These start at £70.

    Some bowlers with ageing backs like to use a bowls lift which costs a further £25.

    Other things like measures, chalk holders, score card covers, grip aids and the like are optional and are often provided by the club or are not really needed for indoor play. Overall, you can expect to get ‘kitted out’ for around £300 so make sure you like the game first before you dash out to your nearest bowls equipment supplier.

    NEVER buy woods you have not tried first so take care if buying on-line. 

    It is possible to buy second hand equipment if you wish to cut the cost down.