Lawn Bowling Club Celebrates Reopening of Historic Green

The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and the city’s lawn bowling club reopened its lawn bowling green Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the oldest municipal lawn bowling club in the United States.

In 1901, Superintendent of San Francisco parks John McLaren laid out the green in Golden Gate Park, and co-founded the bowling club. The green is currently considered San Francisco landmark number 181.

“It’s not hard to imagine at least a hint of a smile from the gruff Scotsman who co-founded our club in 1901 … in finally viewing the finished product,” said Rod Arriaga, president of the San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club.

A grant from the Community Opportunity Fund, a 2008 Parks Bond Grant Program, provided the money to renovate the green.

“We’re privileged to have been selected as recipients of the COF grant and are proud of our members countless hours of volunteer service which helped qualify us,” Arriaga said.

“Golden Gate Park’s beloved lawn bowling greens are historic and were in great need of renovation to protect the integrity of the green space and the sport, said Phil Ginsberg, San Francisco Rec and Park General Manager.

Lawn bowling involves rolling a bowl as close as possible to a target ball, known as a “jack.” The team with the bowl nearest the jack scores one point and another point for each bowl that is closer to the jack than the other team’s closest bowl.

Tuesday’s celebration included a ceremonial rolling by BowlsUSA Hall of Fame member Bill Campbell, who is a San Francisco Bowling Club member. The event also included a ribbon-cutting, a celebratory lunch and games as part of the club’s November social.

Keith Burbank, Bay City News

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