The Foxton and Beach Bowling Club will hold an Open Day on Saturday April 13 from 2.30pm to show off their new green.

The club's two oldest bowlers will cut the ribbon at 2.30pm and the green will be open to the public to have a go at playing. All you need are flat shoes with no heels and comfy clothing. The club has bowls available.

After a lengthy process the club's 56-year-old number one green was replaced earlier this year by an artificial one.

"We wanted to be ready for the future," said the club's match convener Clinton Gunn. "Many clubs are changing to artificial grass and we now have the very latest in acrylic mat. It does not need any adjustment. It is running a bit heavy now at 15 seconds but in a year's time will be a bit faster. This one is perfect for our club with many social bowlers.

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Diggers hard at work on the bowling green.
Diggers hard at work on the bowling green.

"It is a huge improvement. We are very happy with it."

Work on removing the old green began on February 4 and unearthed a whole host of problems.

"What was underneath the green gave us serious trouble. There was about 100mm of very hard pan underneath the green, which was the reason it used to take so long for any rain to drain off.

"The rock-hard earth was excavated and replaced with sand. Now when it rains the water drains away almost immediately and we can play bowls soon after. It means a lot more bowls from now on.

"It took about a month to get all that work done and have the new green in place. The new green is surrounded by new concrete too."

Foxton and Beach Bowling Club's brandnew green.
Foxton and Beach Bowling Club's brandnew green.

"We wanted to keep modern and looked at three different types of green and played on them to see which once would suit us."

The club has 400 social members and 55 playing members. While the current season is about to end, a winter competition is being planned and is likely to start at the end of May.

Club president Alan Shannon said the club is grateful to both the Foxton Community Board and Horowhenua District Council for their assistance and for $330,000 from the Foxton Beach withholding account that helped pay for the work.

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"This club is well supported by the community and I think both councils appreciated what we needed."

Foxton and Beach Bowling Club's business house bowls members enjoy the new green.
Foxton and Beach Bowling Club's business house bowls members enjoy the new green.

There is a lot more to be done though. The club's other green is unused and ailing, and the carpark needs a lot of work too.

"We would love to have another 50 bowling members," said Shannon. Every Tuesday and Thursday night at 6pm about scores of business house bowlers turn up and on Friday around 100-150 members come to play and have a good time. The club has competitions for singles, pairs, triples and fours.

Anyone can come on those nights and have a few drinks, enjoy the music and have a roll up. A team of three plays eight ends against another team of three.

The club has engaged a new caterer for their Friday night, so a night at bowls can also include a meal.

Foxton and Beach Bowling Club's business house bowls members enjoy the new green.
Foxton and Beach Bowling Club's business house bowls members enjoy the new green.

Club secretary Tracey Macrae said the club is planning more social events and would like to attract younger players. She said bowls is a thinking game and involves a lot of skills.

"You need to get the lengths, widths and weight just right and at the same time."

Social members pay $20 a year, and playing members $120. The open day will include an hour of bowls, then an hour of social time, followed by formalities with speeches.

Open Day April 13 from 2.30pm with time for the public to play on the green. Wear comfy clothes and bring heelless flat shoes.