Practice for draw bowling

Kens Coaching.


The draw shot is the bread and butter shot and all the top bowlers will tell you that is the draw shot that wins games, after all if you don’t get near the jack on a regular basis you won’t score many shots. Practice is all-important if you want to improve your game. An hour is the minimum worthwhile. If you are a novice player, remember that drawing to the jack will be your sole function for some time to come. Bowling the jack is also important to leads and anyone playing a singles competition, you should devote part of your practice session to that end.

You can also practice getting into a routine at the same time.

1 Jack Rolling. Requirement 3 or 4 jacks. Hold the jack in the fingers with the thumb resting on top. By placing the thumb on top it reduces the chance of spraying the jack about. Centre your mat then centre another mat at the other end no less than minimum distance. Concentrate on bowling the first jack using the same delivery action as you do with a bowl, then make adjustments with the other jacks, once you can bowl either on to the mat or very close to it, then alter the length. This exercise should be practised with the delivery mat at various positions, and most important fully up the green with the target mat placed at 2 meters from the far ditch.

2 Grooved delivery. Requirement one set of bowls. Deliver one bowl. It does not matter where it finishes, but watch it all the way. Follow this with the other bowls as if the first bowl was the jack. The object is to put down four identical bowls, so that they finish in a cluster, as close as possible to each other. When you can do this, it shows that there is consistency in your delivery and pace. This is good practice to establish a consistent grooved delivery action. This exercise should be practiced on both hands.

3 Using two jacks. Deliver one jack and centre it. Then deliver your four bowls on, say, the forehand using the last three for adjustment. Centre the second jack before going down the green. On the next end do the same except that you play the backhand i.e. the same side of the rink you played on the first end. Repeat this for, say six ends. Then concentrate on using the other side of the rink, playing forehand one way, backhand the other. On the last three or four ends, do not centre the jack. It is good practise to play to a jack off centre because the jack is often displaced by you or your opponent and you have to make green adjustments. Vary the length of heads and vary the mat positions so that you can practise change of pace.

4 Using two jacks and four spare bowls. Centre the jack and place one bowl 3ft in front of the jack and one bowl 3ft behind.Practice drawing all four bowls between the two bowls without disturbing them or the jack. Aim to avoid jack level bowls. Again practice this exercise at various lengths and various mat positions. Once you can get all four four bowls between the two target bowls then reduce the distance of the bowls from the jack by say 6” and keep doing this until there is a 18” distance of bowl to jack.

5 Using four jacks. Centre two jacks at some distance apart. Draw to an alternative jack on a different hand with each bowl. Once you have got the pace of the green and can achieve a good degree of accuracy, bowl to the jacks off centre and at various lengths. Again vary the position of the mat. If four jacks are not available and since you are only drawing you can use say a mat instead.

​6 Using two jacks, one spare set of bowls. Centre one jack and place the spare bowls three feet from the jack to form a square. The purpose of this exercise is to get all four bowls within this square, bowling a different hand with each bowl. Once you can do this, move the spare bowls six inches closer to the jack and start again, keep reducing this distance, until the bowls are 18” from the jack. To save time don’t break up the head, place the mat in front of the head and bowl to a jack or mat at the other end of the green. Once again don’t just practise with the mat and head in the same continuous positions. This is also good practice to nominate any of the four bowls or the jack to draw to, you can also practise drawing to a different target with each bowl and also on an alternative hand. This exercise is one of the best practise sessions any bowler could wish to have. With a little imagination almost every shot in the book can be practised here.

The above are just a few examples on which to practice without getting bored. But please remember good practice makes good bowlers. Good leads win games. Good draw bowling wins competitions.

You will get better results by practicing on your own.