Best Lawn Bowls For Beginners

Finding that first set of bowls can be tricky. But knowing what to look for will give you confidence it your choice.

Best Lawn Bowls For Beginners

Borrowing sets of bowls from your club is a great way to get a taste of lawn bowls, but when you want to commit to playing regularly (and why wouldn’t you?!), getting your own set of lawn bowls is crucial.

A good set of lawn bowls for a beginner should be affordable, comfortable to use, and suit the style of game you will be playing. But it can be tricky to work out which brand and model you should be considering when there are so many on offer.

Fear not, as in this guide I will walk you through what I believe are the best lawn bowls for beginners.

The criteria

Before we jump into the recommendations I just want to run through how this list was compiled.

Lets look at the characteristics that I mentioned above:

  • affordable
  • comfortable
  • suit the style of game you will be playing

Therefore, I have chosen models that have:

  • good availablity in the second hand market - to keep cost down
  • have good grip options - this will allow you to comfortably hold the bowl
  • have a slightly narrower bias to help drawing to the jack - most beginners play lead, so a good drawing bowl is ideal

Great, now we have got that out the way, lets take a look at the best lawn bowls for beginnners.

Drakes Pride Professional

Its an oldy, but a goody. The Drakes pride professional has been a staple of club bowls for decades, and for good reason.

It is perfectly playable on indoor and outdoor surfaces, so great for those who play all year round. Its one of a group of models, known as “mid-biased” bowls.

A mid biased bowl is one that swings just enough for outdoor greens without becoming uncontrolably wide on faster indoor surfaces.

A Drakes Pride Professional is very durable, and will last you for many years. It can be used in many riles and situations, so you won’t “out grow” it when you start playing singles, or “backend” roles in team formats.

Key features:

  • Price: £60-100 (secondhand)
  • Best for: All-rounders
  • Type: Mid-biased


  • Durable. Can be used for many surfaces and team roles
  • Will hold its value for resale
  • Very affordable


  • Colour options are a bit bland (for those you like a pop of colour in their life)

Taylor Ace

Much like the Drakes pride Professional, the Taylor Ace has dominated the club level rinnks for years. These are trusted by bowlers, and have been for decades.

They also have a good secondhand market, so a decent set can be bought without costing you the Earth.

Again, another mid-biased bowl, the Taylor Ace can be used on a multitude of surfaces and team positions. Both the Drakes Pride Professional and taylor Ace have dominated the mid-biased market for sometime.

Key features:

  • Price: £70-£120 (second hand)
  • Best for: All-rounders
  • Type: Mid-biased


  • Solid performer that will last you years
  • Easy to get hold of second hand
  • Nice draw line to the jack


  • not quite as affordable as the Drakes pride Professional

Taylor Vector VS

Another Taylor offering, this time the Vector VS. The VS has a slightly narrower bias than the Ace. This means that it won’t turn as much as it travels down the green.

This means it takes a shorter path to the jack, and makes it a bit easier to draw close to the jack. The down side of this is that if there are other bowls in the way (i.e. they are “short” of the jack and sit between you and the jack) you will have trouble getting your bowl to curve around them.

For this reason the Vector VS is ideal for those who want to play lead, or for those who play more indoors, where the faster swingier rinks makes things a bit easier.

Key features:

  • Price: £70-£150
  • Best for: Lead bowlers/indoor bowlers
  • Type: Narrow


  • Great for those who want to play lead more
  • Still very much cost effective
  • Nice draw arch to the jack


  • The narrow bias might make it limiting for those who want to expand their game in the future

Henselite Tiger II

This wouldn’t be a beginner’s list without a mention to the Henselite Tiger II. The Tiger II is another narrow drawing bowl (much like the Taylor vector VS), so good for beginners who play a lot of lead bowls.

The Tiger II can be found relatively easily on second hand marketplaces such as eBay, but not quite so easy to find as a Drakes Pride Professional.

Again, much like the Vector VS, the Tiger II has a tidy narrow draw to the jack - especially on outdoor greens.

Key features:

  • Price: £50-£120
  • Best for: Lead bowlers/indoor bowlers
  • Type: Narrow


  • Great line to the jack
  • Henselite are a great brand of bowls
  • Can be found at great prices


  • Slightly harder to find second hand

Aero GrooVe

The Aero GrroVe is a relative newcomer into the mid-biased category. As its so new, it will be very hard to find a set for under £180 - so not the most affordable (breaking my own rules - slap on the wrist for me). However, it is hard to compile a list for any “Best Of” without mentioning an Aero bowl.

The Aero GrooVe fits perfectly into the mid-biased category - easy to play both indoor and outdoors. Its draw arch makes it comfortable to draw to the jack, but still wide enough to get around any short stuff in the way.

If you do go for a GrooVe I’d recommend buying new directly from Aero to take advatage of their colour and grip options. Aero offer a wide variety of grips - with the Z-Scoop being my personal favourite.

The GrooVe is great for those who know they will be playing for a long time, and want to take on more challenging roles for their teams. For these it is worth the upfront investment knowing the Aero GrooVe will last for 10-15 years, easily

Key features:

  • Price: £180+ (second hand) £350+ (new)
  • Best for: Allrounders
  • Type: Mid biased


  • Great colour and grip options
  • Will last
  • Great mid-biased bowl option


  • Very much a “considered investment” (expensive)

How To Play Sport