What is a Fast Green in Lawn Bowls?

  • By: Jack Toucher
  • Date: June 6, 2023

A fast green in lawn bowls is generally hard, smooth and dry, offering little resistance to the bowls as they travel over the surface. With a fast green, a bowl (also called a wood) takes much longer to come to a halt near its target (the jack). And as you can see in the photo, the path that a bowl should take on a fast green is usually a very wide curve. A player needs to bear in mind that “wide grass” is required in delivering a bowl on a fast green.

A fast green may also refer to a playing surface in lawn bowls where the grass has been meticulously maintained to provide minimal resistance and maximum speed to the bowls. This allows for a more dynamic and strategic gameplay experience, as players must adjust their delivery, weight, and line accordingly.

How do you measure a fast green?

A fast green measures about 12 to 16 on a green meter, which means it takes between 12 and 16 seconds from the time the bowl meets the green to come to a halt.

Strategies for success on fast greens

Mastering the art of playing on fast greens requires a combination of skill, technique, precision and adaptability. Here are some key strategies to keep in mind:

1. Adjust your delivery

On a fast green, your delivery needs to be adjusted to accommodate the increased speed. The key is to release the bowl with a controlled and consistent weight, avoiding any sudden movements that could result in an errant shot.

2. Play with a lighter bias

When the green is faster, bowls tend to have a reduced bias or hook. This means you’ll need to choose bowls with a lighter bias or opt for a flatter running line to ensure they reach the desired target. It’s crucial to adapt your shot selection to maximize your chances of success.

3. Focus on line and length

Fast greens demand precision in both line and length. The increased speed means the bowls will travel further than usual, so you must calculate the appropriate length to reach your desired target. Additionally, maintaining a consistent line is essential to navigate any subtle undulations on the green.

4. Adapt your tactics

On a fast green, it’s important to be adaptable and flexible with your tactics. Assess the conditions, observe how your opponents are playing, and make strategic adjustments accordingly. This may involve changing your shot selection, adjusting your line, or modifying your weight to counter any challenges posed by the speed of the green.


Mastering the art of playing on quick greens in lawn bowls is a challenge that requires skill, adaptability, and strategic thinking. By adjusting your delivery, playing with a lighter bias, focusing on line and length, and adapting your tactics, you can enhance your performance on fast greens. Remember to practice regularly and seek opportunities to play on different green speeds to develop your proficiency. With dedication and perseverance, you can become a formidable player on fast greens and elevate your lawn bowls game to new heights.

FAQs about Fast Greens in Lawn Bowls

Here are some frequently asked questions about fast-running greens in lawn bowls, along with their answers:

Are fast greens suitable for beginners?

While fast greens can be more challenging for beginners due to the increased speed, they also provide an opportunity to develop and refine your skills. It’s recommended that beginners start on slower greens and gradually progress to faster ones as they gain experience and confidence.

How can I improve my performance on fast greens?

To improve your performance on fast greens, focus on developing a consistent and controlled delivery, practice adjusting your shot selection, and work on maintaining precision in line and length. Regular practice on a variety of green speeds will help you become more adaptable and versatile in your gameplay.

Are there any specific bowls designed for fast greens?

Some manufacturers offer bowls specifically designed for fast greens. These bowls are typically narrower with a flatter profile, allowing for a smoother and more stable delivery. It’s worth exploring different options and consulting with experienced players or coaches to find the bowls that suit your playing style and the specific conditions of the fast green.

How does the weather affect the speed of the green?

Weather conditions, such as temperature, humidity, and wind, can significantly impact the speed of the green. Hot and dry weather tends to make the green faster, while cooler and wet conditions may slow it down. It’s essential to consider these factors and make appropriate adjustments to your gameplay strategy accordingly.

Can the speed of the green change during a game?

Yes, the speed of the green can change during a game due to various factors. As the game progresses and more bowls are delivered, the green can become worn or compacted, which may alter its speed. Additionally, changes in weather conditions, such as sudden rain or wind, can also affect the speed of the green. It’s important to stay observant and adapt your gameplay strategy accordingly as the conditions evolve.

How can I practice on fast greens?

To practice on fast greens, seek out clubs or facilities that offer the opportunity to play on different green speeds. Familiarize yourself with the specific characteristics of fast greens by spending time practicing on them. Focus on developing your control, precision, and adaptability in various shot selections. Playing against experienced players on fast greens can also provide valuable learning opportunities and help you hone your skills.