SPORTENG specialises in the planning, design and construction phase consulting services of Fields of Play across all sports in Australia. Our experienced team all contribute towards designing high-quality Fields of Play for all levels of use.


Unlike most Fields of Play, a bowling green for lawn bowls must be flat so it doesn’t affect the roll of the bowls. If there are any surface grades, this can negatively impact the bowl and gameplay. Getting the key design elements for a bowling green correct is crucial to the game’s success.

Close up on lawn bowls and player'f legs on lawn bowl synthetic turf field

Due to the strong relationship between the bowl and the surface, the prepared surface needs to be flawless. Traditionally, a bowling green is constructed with a natural turf surface. But due to the maintenance required to preserve a high-performing natural turf surface, the sport introduced synthetic surfaces.

When we design a natural turf bowling green, we equally represent and integrate three important elements to ensure the pitch is properly designed. These elements include:

  • Engineering ensures that the subgrade is adequately understood, and that the drainage is correctly designed to accommodate the infiltration rate of the overlying profile.
  • Agronomy allows our team to correctly specify the growing medium, profile amendments and turf species.
  • Irrigation helps our team design a fully automated system to uniformly distribute precipitation across the turf surface.

Our in-house design team addresses these three elements to ensure the design of your pitch is completed to a high quality, and meets your needs and the needs of World Bowls/Bowls Australia.

Synthetic surfaces are becoming a common surface for bowling greens, and the SPORTENG design and engineering teams are well-versed with the requirements of these surfaces. Like the natural turf bowling greens, the underlying profile needs to be free-draining to effectively collect infiltrated water and drain away from the surface.

Our technical expertise underpins all our projects, and we are regularly called upon to work on projects of high significance.

No matter if you’re a governing body or a local school, you will benefit from a sports field that puts the athlete first.

We guarantee that SPORTENG’s designs will meet your needs, while complying with the World Bowls and Bowls Australia standards.

SPORTENG projects run on time and on budget due to our team’s comprehensive 3D design work, exceptional engineering expertise, agronomic and irrigation consultation, along with clear on-site direction.

Our Design Approach

SPORTENG lives and breathes Fields of Play. We take our love of the game from the grandstand right into our office. We’re proud to be Australia’s leading Field of Play design consultancy.

Panoramic view of players on a lawn bowls synthetic turf field

Our attention to detail is reflected in our mantra,‘measure twice, cut once’.

We’re dedicated to achieving the best results for your venue and its athletes, whether it’s a local legend or the next international star.

Before we commence the design stage, we work with the bowling club members to determine their preference for the surface. We provide relevant information for the club on the different surface options available so that they can consider the advantages and disadvantages for each.

Whether the surface for your bowling green is natural turf or a synthetic surface system, it’s important that it’s flat and remains flat throughout its life. This means that our design approach is the same regardless of the surface options. Our process lets us:

  • Know the condition of the existing subgrade.
  • Determine the appropriate free-draining profile base.
  • Locate drainage point of discharge.
  • Identify any site constraints.

Once we have a deeper understanding of the site, we brief the client and work with them so we can deliver their dream bowling green on time and on budget.

Sustainability Practices

Here at SPORTENG, we take a sustainable approach to all our designs. Not happy with just the status quo, we always strive to investigate new designs and construction techniques that deliver positive environmental outcomes.

We believe sustainability is intertwined with sports greatness.

Aerial view of a synthetic turf lawn bowls field

As part of this, we integrate your requirements, from budget to performance values, through to sustainability practices – this ensures we achieve a successful result.

We consider the following outcomes when we adopt our sustainability approach for creating natural turf Fields of Play. These outcomes include:

  • We design an irrigation system that’s as efficient as possible to minimise precipitation requirements.
  • Specifying a playing surface profile that’ll support healthy turf growth with adequate natural retention, which won’t hinder performance.
  • Nominating a durable and drought-tolerant turf species that addresses the end users’ performance requirements.
  • Consider the use of recycled materials in the growing medium.

When we design a synthetic grass pitch, we consider and additional environmental elements in the planning and design process. These include:

  • End-of-life consideration allows us to specify cradle-to-cradle materials and products that have a circular upcycle process at the end of its design life rather than a linear ‘take-make-waste’ process.
  • Longevity is identify and we recommend products that are durable and provide durability to the facility owners.

The SPORTENG team considers the whole-of-life cycle and the use of recycled materials at every stage of design and construction. We make sure that a sustainable end-product starts at the beginning of design.

Bowling Green Profile Options

Due to the flat nature of a bowling green, there are only two profile options which can you can consider for your facility. These are both linked to the surface type, and the options include:

Close up of a lawn bowl on a synthetic turf surface with white line marking
  • Perched water table profiles are strongly recommended for a flat natural turf profile. The rootzone sand growing medium layer is at a constant depth, which has a drainage gravel layer underneath to allow infiltrated water to be directed to drainage collection pipework.
  • Free draining aggregate profile is like the principle of the drainage gravel layer in the perched water table profile. This means there’s a varying depth layer of drainage gravel, which will redirect infiltration to the drainage collection pipework.

There are typically three synthetic surface systems that we use for lawn bowls, which are:

  • Sand-filled synthetic grass
  • Woven carpet
  • Needle-punched carpet.


We follow key principles to ensure the long-term success for a bowling green to stay as a flat playing surface. These principles are:

Lawn Bowls on the side of the field with hat
  • Suitable subgrade is very important when constructing most Fields of Play. An unsuitable subgrade can lead to pavement settlement or heaving, which is not readily fixed once identified. A detailed geotechnical investigation is required to ensure any subgrade remediation is identified and implemented.
  • Free draining profile complements the flat surface and ensures a well-draining surface, regardless of the playing surface the base pavement needs to be free draining. The free draining profile needs to allow an infiltration rate in accordance with the World Bowls requirements, but also provide a stable base that does not readily displace from surface applied loads.

Lawn Bowls Requirements

Blue and red flags on the side of a lawn bowls field of play

Bowling green shape

Typically, a bowling green should be a rectangle or square shape.

Perimeter ditch

The perimeter ditch depth and width should comply with World Bowls standards and should be a mode of a material that will not damage the jack or bowl. The ditch should also be free draining.

Perimeter bank

The bowling green should consist of a perimeter bank that should comply with the World Bowls requirements. Ideally, the bank should be sloped at an angle towards the green, preventing bowls from rebounding back onto the green.


A shockpad can be used under the synthetic surface to help regulate green speeds and make the surface more comfortable underfoot.