Green Speeds

In order to achieve acceptable green speeds the soil base needs to be firm without being compacted. If it is too compacted the grass does not grow, If it is too soft the bowl sinks in and has a greater rolling resistance. Therefore a balance between the two should be aimed for.

The current acceptable Bowls South Africa green speeds are between 11.5 and 14 seconds. Green speed is measured over 27 metres and is usually measured using a stimphmeter.

When mowing to achieve the ideal speed the following should be observed:

  • Cut daily or at least 5 out of 7 days.
  • Never mow lower than the recommended height for the grass in use.
  • It is better to support the mowing regime by verti cutting.
  • Never mow when the grass is wet, although in certain circumstances this may not be possible. If conditions are wet due to early morning dew, sweep the green before cutting and ensure that the mower is correctly set and the mower roller scraper is fitted.
  • Always double cut.
  • Grooming removes thatch and thins out the mat to speed up the run of the bowl.
  • When the grooming cut is being done in the growing season, an occasional light rub-in of soil the same size as the top dressing will help smooth the green.
  • Should the green have different types of grasses the greenkeeper must rectify these areas with the best possible method available to him, so as to enable the green to be used at the shortest possible time again.
  • This should be carried out before spring treatment so as to achieve good mat development after spring treatment.

Causes of Resistance to the Bowls

The following factors will affect the speed of a bowl:

  • Hardness of the base.
  • Thickness of the mat.
  • Mowing height.
  • Characteristics of the grass.
  • Grooming prior to tournament, never groom two days prior to tournament. Grass will have dry ends on stems, effecting speed.