Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Community Voices: A Lawn Bowling Clubhouse and More

The City of Coronado continues to do its fine due diligence with respect to replacing the dilapidated facility at 7th and D Ave. On September 12, a van and two cars carried 18 passengers to visit new Senior Facilities in Oceanside, Mission Viejo and Newport Beach. Passengers included members of the Senior Center Ad Hoc Advisory Committee, who made the time to go, as well as City staff and the architects who have been selected for this project.

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The trip was nothing less than an inspiration and a peek at mind boggling examples of what could be and should be the future for Coronado. From intergenerational programming to superb design, these centers are honoring current and future generations of adults. On the trip, the group also stopped at the Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club to see what a real lawn bowling clubhouse should be. The Southwest Lawn Bowling Association (SWLBA) has 33 of the 111 Lawn Bowling Clubs listed by Bowls USA. Ours is the largest Division in the USA and is bounded in the north by Cambria and Santa Barbara, the south by San Diego and Coronado, the west by Santa Monica and Long Beach and the east by Riverside and Pomona.

What makes these Clubs and other clubs across America and the world different than Coronado LBC is that they have a clubhouse. In Coronado, with a world class championship quality green, the Coronado Lawn Bowling Club has just three sheds. There is no clubhouse for gathering to enjoy the social aspects of this sport except to infringe upon the space occupied by the Senior Association of Coronado, the Senior Center. In Coronado, other sports that have been here for far less than the 78 years that the lawn bowling green and Club have been here, all have a clubhouse. There is a clubhouse at the golf course, a club house at the tennis center, a club house at the yacht club and even a club house for kayaking, stand up paddling and other aquatic sports. Lawn Bowling is a sport and it is a very social sport as well. Clubhouses at some greens in the SWLBA are small and inadequate, old and outdated or magnificent, but, they are, at least, a clubhouse.

One of the oldest lawn bowling clubhouses in California is located at Holmby Park near Beverly Hills in Westwood. It was established in 1925 and has been in continuous use ever since. The clubhouse is showing its age, having been home to bowlers like Ronald Reagan and Walt Disney to name a few, but an old clubhouse is preferable to no clubhouse.

Now is the time for Coronado to add a clubhouse to the Green at 7th and D. The square footage that was approved by the City Council for the new facility can easily house a proper if not wonderful lawn bowling clubhouse in a space that can be enjoyed by Coronado Lawn Bowling Club Members and the Community. It need not take up more than about 12% of the approved square footage and its design can make it a cherished place for the whole community. Of course, additional spaces in the facility can be used to augment the social activities of the Club as well. This past summer, 554 people attended the Twilight Open Bowling Thursday evenings and were entertained on the patio by the Green. It would be so much more delightful to have been able to accomplish that with a clubhouse that blends with the outdoor surroundings. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if Twilight Open Bowling could run year round with a lighted Green and a wonderful club room for family and friends to enjoy.

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