There’s a heated competition underway at Pinehurst, but it’s not taking place on a golf course.
The Southeast Division of the U.S. Lawn Bowls Association is hosting their playdowns at the main clubhouse through the weekend.
Playdowns is lawn bowl lingo for playoffs. The winners of the competition will go on to compete in the U.S. Championships later this year.
“That’s as good as it gets in this sport,” said George Tucker, a member of the Pinehurst Lawn Bowls Club. “It’s like the World Series in baseball.”
About a dozen teams are facing off in the pairs competitions, which is expected to wrap up Friday. Singles play will get underway Saturday with 22 individuals facing off.
George has been participating in lawn bowls since he first picked up the sport in 1998.
“It’s just a fun game,” he said.
George’s wife, Jackie, started playing in 2003, but it didn’t take long to catch up with her husband. Last year, she took home first place in the pairs competition at the U.S. Championships.
Now, Jackie stays busy coaching the Team USA.
“This is a game you can play for the rest of your life,” she said. “It’s good exercise, you’re outside and it is always challenging.”
The strategy needed to win a game keeps the mind sharp, Jackie said.
“You’re got to be one thought or two thoughts ahead of your opponent, which is why I tell people it’s like playing chess on grass,” she said.
Jackie compares the physical aspect of the sport to curling, but George likens it to shuffleboard.
Pinehurst members interested in lawn bowling can contact Jackie at 910-215-5538 or Dan Delgarn at 910-215-0811 to set up a free lesson and learn more.
Groups interested in lawn bowling during their visit at Pinehurst can call Recreation Manager Mallory Caddell at 910-235-8783to make arrangements for a lesson.