A new artificial surface was recently laid on one of Manly Bowling Club’s three greens and members got to play on it for the first time last Friday.
One thing they can be assured of, after spending around $150,000 on the process, is that it’s as level as level can be.
It is also the first of Field Turf’s new carpet weave to be laid in the country.
Club president Bill Trotter says while the NZ standard is for a 4mm tolerance for a level bowling surface, they have exceeded that – aiming for just 2mm.
That job of perfect leveling falls first to contractors Field Turf. After that, a group of surveyors from the NZ Sports Institute will check the levels and certify it to NZ standard. They will return, three months later, to check that nothing has changed.
The surface being replaced is also carpet, which was put down around 14 years ago. Over time the fabric begins to rot and come loose – for the past six months that green has not been playable.
Initially the replacement surface was expected to cost in the vicinity of $250,000 but Bill says the club worked with Bowls NZ to find the chosen supplier and this, plus the fact that the original surface was so well laid, reduced the cost by around $100,000.
The club dug deep to come up with the funds – including doing without the weekly prizes that are usually offered for games.
The Covid-19 lockdown delayed the project, which was originally to be started in August.
The first bowls were to be rolled on the new surface at the club’s summer opening on December 3.
Bill describes the club as “Manly’s best kept secret”. At the same time, with a brand new state of the art carpeted green – perhaps he’s hoping that secret will now come out.