The San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club

The San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club, which I previously photographed here, recently celebrated its 110th anniversary. These photos were taken at the Men’s Championship Singles, held at the SFLBC Greens in Golden Gate Park.

Lawn Bowling is often confused with Bocce Ball despite different rules, fields and balls.

From the SFLB website:

Established in 1901, The San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club is the oldest public club in the country and boasts the first municipal lawn bowling green opened in the United States. It’s the oldest club on the west coast.

On October 7, 1901 the St. Andrew’s Society, a Scottish fraternal organization, formed a lawn bowling club in San Francisco. John McLaren, then Superintendent of Golden Gate Park, laid out a “green” in the west corner of the recreation grounds near Sharon Meadow… At first, the Club was called the San Francisco Scottish Bowling Club. A permanent green (now Green #1) was built on the original site and opened in 1901. Many enjoyable games were played on it until – April 18, 1906 – when the earthquake and fire destroyed much of the City. The earthquake heaved the green and the Army, under the command of General Funston, used it as a corral for a troop of cavalry. The troops were quartered in nearby Sharon Meadow. The green was not fully restored until April 1907.
From its beginning in the City, the sport attracted a number of women who sometimes played along with the Club’s gentlemen members and, on September 17, 1912, the Women’s Golden Gate Lawn Bowling Club was organized. Since one green was inadequate, the Parks Commission laid down another, Green #2, which opened for play on July 19, 1913. Contemporary maps of Golden GatePark designated the area as the “Women’s Lawn Bowling Green.”

In 1914-15, the members of each club contributed $500 which was turned over to the resourceful John McLaren for the construction of a one-story wooden, Edwardian-style club house, which became known as the “House that Jack built.” The Clubhouse and three greens are now registered as San Francisco City Landmark #181. Green #3 was constructed in 1928 and a State Tournament was played on the greens in 1929. The Club’s name was changed to the San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club in 1931 and 48 years later, the Women’s Golden Gate Lawn Bowling Club merged with the SFLBC.


Posted: October 14, 2011  /   Taken: October 9, 2011


Focal Length: 50mm  /  Shutter Speed: 1/8000 second  /  Aperature: f/1.4  /  ISO: 100


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