Artificial Grass vs Natural Grass for Lawn Bowls

The TigerTurf SuperGreen bowling surface at Stansbury Bowling Club

A world-class bowling green surface is your club’s greatest investment. With a quality bowling green, players can enjoy their game of bowls and improve their skills.

When choosing between artificial grass vs natural grass for your club’s bowling green, it’s important to weigh some key requirements including:

  • The performance of the bowling surface
  • Cost of maintenance
  • Usability
  • Appearance

In this article we’ll explore the pros and cons of artificial grass vs natural grass for bowls, keeping these requirements in mind.

The performance of your bowling green

Bowls is a sport that requires a high level of skill and attention to detail in technique. The last thing your players need to be worried about is an unlevel and unpredictable bowling landscape.

On a consistently performing bowling green, players will experience more control of ball roll and distance. This will give them a better opportunity to improve their technique.

artificial grass vs natural grass

The advantage of a properly installed artificial turf bowling green is optimum conditions for players to perfect their game. This is because a completely level playing surface allows for a more predictable bowl performance.

On the other hand, natural grass tends to be more susceptible to dips and troughs as the ground moves and shifts. Although it is possible to combat these issues with maintenance, the performance of the green will be determined mainly by the greenkeepers’ capability (and the time and money invested in upkeep).

Cost-effective bowling surfaces

When running a bowls club, it’s all about making the dollars go further, so investing in the most cost-effective solution is a top priority. It’s important to take installation and maintenance costs into account when deciding between artificial grass vs natural grass.


A natural grass bowling green wins price-wise when comparing the initial installation cost. However, the general upkeep of natural grass is expensive and time-consuming, because it includes weeding, mowing, rolling, fertilizing, and watering.

No matter how much time and money you invest into maintaining it, your natural grass bowling green will need to be upgraded or replaced sooner than artificial grass.

Although artificial grass is more expensive to install, you’ll find your club saving more money (and time) on lawn maintenance. Ease of maintenance also means that hiring a highly qualified groundskeeper won’t be necessary.

The added perk of choosing an artificial grass for lawn bowls is the opportunity to increase your club’s revenue in two ways: Artificial grass is weather-resistant and can be used year-round, extending your play season and member capacity, and your grounds could be rented out to other sports clubs.

Weather and Bowls

The dream of any bowling club is to be able to have year-round play. Unfortunately, rain and muddy bowling greens can stand in the way.

Thankfully, artificial bowling surfaces are designed to be weather-resistant. They have great drainage, which means no more waterlogged greens or cancelling your bowls game due to pre-event rain.  This means that artificial greens allow bowls to be an all-year-round sport, not just a summer game, depending on the local climate.

Comparatively, natural grass bowling turfs tend to be unusable in winter due to wet weather, making the play season shorter and less predictable.

Ngungaru BC SuperGreen 3

Enjoyment for the eyes

A beautiful bowling grass means extra enjoyment for bowlers and spectators alike.

Natural grass is the traditional (and nostalgic) surface for bowls. However, keeping natural grass looking beautiful takes a lot of time and maintenance. In summer, consistent watering is required to avoid bare or dead patches. And in winter, members need to avoid playing post-rain and risking ruining the turf.

An artificial grass bowling green is visually appealing in any weather with minimal maintenance. This means players can enjoy the look and feel of natural grass without any of the headaches.

If your club is ready to upgrade to an artificial grass bowling green, contact our team to discuss your options.

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