We continue 2021/22 season with fresh weekly unabridged reports from our intrepid reporter Bevan

........More Photos in the Photo Gallery

24/04/22            Wind Tests Bowlers

There was a good turn out of lawn bowlers for the final sponsored three-bowl progressive tournament of the summer on the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club greens on Sunday.

The blustery south-westerly winds made for challenging conditions for the bowlers with the overall success for the best skip on the day going to the ever-consistent veteran Rick Whittaker with three wins from three and 32 points. Second prize for the skips was taken out by Vern Hobbs with his two wins netting the player 27 points and third prize was won by Caro McLeod 2w/26.

The ever-improving Bill Thomson took the top prize for the winning director after three wins and a massive 42 points from Marlene Jordan 2/31 and Jan Hopkins 2/27. Bevan Choat went though unbeaten as the best of the leads to take first prize 3/36, only just edging out top junior bowler Kirsty Byloo who was also unbeaten with 34 points for second prize. Prize for the third best lead was won by the delightful Verona Billing 2w/30.

Summer closing day for the club is next Sunday, with a good turn out expected for the on-green bowling action from 9.30am and the season prize giving to follow in the afternoon.

19/04/2022       First-year Bowlers Shine

If there was ever any doubt about the future success of Taupo lawn bowls then that doubt would have to be totally dispelled by the very high standard of talent in the ‘on-green’ actions displayed by the first-year club championship singles held recently on the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club greens!

The women’s final between Patrice Senior and Jill Lloyd revealed those skilled bowls with Patrice emerging as the champion in displaying clever and consistent draw bowls.

The men’s final was just as impressive and after a great duel between Richard Shearer and another promising bowler in Robbie Dymock, Richard won his way through to take the championship honours.

A keenly interested spectator gallery recently witnessed a thrilling men’s two-bowl triples championship final that saw Steve Lee (sk)/Jim Fitzsimons/Rick Whittaker edge out Joe Rowen (sk)/Rusty Petterson/Ron Bailey on the centre rink to take the title.

The closeness and impressive skills of the bowlers often had the gallery on edge until the Steve Lee skipped side won 15-14 in a contest more than worthy of a classic final. Not a great deal could separate the teams for much of the match!  For winning youthful skip Steve Lee it was another proud moment!

03/04/22       Taupo Team Takes Honours

The poular Taupo team of Phillip Burrows (sk)/Colin Light/David Beck took out the major honours in the annual Summerset Golden Oldies two-day triples tournament during the week on the Harcourts Taupo Bowling Club greens. One of the Taupo club’s most dedicated trio were unbeaten in the post section play in taking the title with 3 wins, 42 points, and 18 winning ends, to wrest their first major tournament success and were overjoyed to be presented with the tournament trophy! W.Parker/B.Godber/L.Fitness of Omarunui, Hawke’s Bay 3/39/23 took the second prize with C.Marshall/R.Scott/J.Denton (Omarunui) taking third.

Joe Hunn/Heather Leyland /Lyn Hunn (Havelock North) 3 wins/59 points were the winners of the plate section where B.Wakeley/M.Williams/J.Cornish (Omarunui) 2/39 won the second prize and the Taupo combination of Marlene Jordan/Annie Judge/Verona Billing 2/38 took the third prize.

The tournament attracted 20 teams and was contested in perfect weather conditions over the two days. Five of the teams were from Omarunui (Hawke’s Bay), nine from Taupo and one each from Reporoa, Tokoroa, Taruranga and Havelock North as well as a combined team.

The club championships resume on Saturday and Sunday with the round robin and finals of the men’s triples for 2021/22.

27/03/2022   Major Tournament in Action

A second major annual lawn bowls tournament in the past fortnight, the Summerset Golden Oldies, is currently on the greens at the Harcourts Taupo Bowling Club. Play today (Thursday) has entered day two with both the artificial and the natural green the venue for players from many parts of the North Island as well as local players. Major prizes will be decided from the late afternoon action and the prize giving will follow.

The Summerset Golden Oldies is one of two annual major tournaments that attract quality plays, including locals, to Taupo. A full review of these results will appear in next Thursday’s issue of the Taupo & Turangi Herald.

With just a month of the 2021/2022 summer season remaining there is still plenty of ‘on-green’ action ahead for local lawn bowlers. This weekend features championship play for the first year singles for men and women and unfinished championship play follows on April 9 and 10.

Once the summer season closes regular winter action for club members and interested public wishing to try out the sport follows with details on this action to be released later.

20/03/22             Visiting Teams Dominate Prizes

The Kia Toa, Hastings lawn bowls team from Hawke’s Bay skipped by Patsy Frazer and including Barry Cavey, Tony East and Steve Asquith won the annual Harcourt’s Blue Ribbon Trophy after the annual two-day tournament at Taupo during the weekend. 

Another Bay combination, Omarunui’s Zay Rioda-Silva (sk)/Hana Rioda-Silva/Sara Weeks/Maree Nilson took second prize, while Havelock North’s J Hunn (sk)/V Veale/M Eagle/L Hunn were third.

The Taupo composite team of Wayne Gunderson (Matamata) sk/Steve Lee/Annie Judge/Grahame Velvin (all Taupo) were the plate winners from the visiting Lamerson skipped team with Reporoa’s Peter Kelly (sk)/Wayne Place/ Brad Potter/Ashley Snooks taking out the third prize.

A big field of Ninety-six players in 24 teams from as far away as Wellington, Hawke’s Bay, Bay of Plenty and Waikato as well as locals competed.  A very high standard of lawn bowls was on display as several centre, national and former New Zealand representative players competed.

Last Thursday’s club competition three-bowl triples saw success going to Peter Sarelius (sk)/Winston Gurnell/ Edith Hewett with two wins. Carolyn McLeod (sk)/Kirste Byloo/ Grahame Velvin with a win and a loss took the second prize and Vern Hobbs (sk)/Bill Thomson/Bruce McLeod won the third prize.

13/03/17 More Championship Action

Club championship action continued to feature on the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club greens during the weekend.

Highlight of the women’s singles was the complete success of club coach Liz Witton who took out the women’s title after beating a very determined Annie Judge twice.

But Liz again proved what an outstanding lawn bowler she is, her singles title going with her success as skip of the pairs, triples and fours championships earlier in the season. A remarkable effort!

Former Manawatu rugby man and all round sportsman Rusty Petterson is the men’s champion after narrowly beating Ross Herriot 21-15. The left-handed Petterson established an early lead, but the burly Scotsman always fought back with skilled bowls in the tricky and challenging wind conditions.

Optional and open 2x4x2 pairs highlighted the club’s Thursday competition when Pater Judge/Maureen Blackburn won first prize of the day by returning 2 wins and 25 points.

Visiting Hutt Valley player Anne Smith (Nae Nae BC)/Kirste Byloo earned second prize after their 2 wins and a draw netted them 10 points. Vern ‘poker face’ Hobbs/Peter ‘always trying’ Rossall secured third prize even though winless, but with an impressive 22 points.

The drawn prize was taken out by Jan Hopkins/Steve Dickens.

06/03/22            Talented Junior Bowlers (As LH photo)

There should be no doubting about the future strength of women’s bowls at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club after the skills that emerged from the women’s junior club championships at the weekend. Firstly, Saturday’s junior women’s championship singles saw the honours being taken out by a skilled Maureen Blackburn who finished with three wins in a round robin that featured some amazing bowls. Maureen went through unbeaten!

Then, on Sunday it took three straight matches to decide the women’s junior pairs title after Maureen Blackburn (sk) /Kirste Byloo won the first game and opponents Jill Lloyd (sk)/Patrice Senior won the second leading to a third match play-off to decide the championship honours.

In yet another tight match, that entertained the small gallery of spectators, Jill Lloyd/Patrice Senior proved to be the stayers, taking out the championship title for 2021/2022 with deadly accurate draw bowls from Patrice and the backing of skip Jill being the feature.

In the meantime last Thursday’s club competition 2x4x2 optional pairs Jan Hopkins/Grahame Velvin won the first prize with their 2 wins netting 24 points. Val Mikkelson/Steve Dickens took second prize 1/26 and the third prize went to Peter Sarelius/David Beck 0/10. Peter Sarelius/Bill Thomson won the drawn prize, yet again!

27/02/22        MajorTournaments Ahead

It’s a month of top bowling action ahead for local and visiting lawn bowlers at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club, 

The two major tournaments of the season, the annual open Blue Ribbon optional fours and the open optional Golden Oldies triples are attracting considerable interest.

Scheduled for March 19/20 the Blue Ribbon is already closed with the maximum entry of 24 teams from many parts of the North Island including Taupo.

The annual Golden Oldies, this year to be named Summerset By The Lake Golden Oldies following Summerset Retirement Villages kindly sonsoring the Club - featuring the usual optional three-bowl triples set for March 29/30 still has vacancies, but these are soon expected to fill.

Other major action includes the junior club championship singles and pairs for (women) on March 6, the final two rounds of the club championship singles (men) March 12, the first year club championship singles (men and women) April 2, and the completion of matches 4 and 5 and the finals of championship triples (men) on April 9/10.  A very busy schedule of lawn bowls.

In the meantime last Thursday’s club competition of optional 2x4x2 pairs saw Liz Witton/Northland’s Richard take first prize with 2 wins and 27 points. Grahame Velvin/David Morse (Inglewood) 1/20 took second prize and Winston Gurnell/Bill Thomson third 0/17. Urshla Croft/Tony Corbett won the drawn prize.

20/02/02       Liz Witton Wins Titles
One of Taupo's most successful lawn bowlers and diligent club workers, Liz Witton added further championship titles to her collection when taking out the veteran women's singles title as well as the women's triples at the Harcourts Taupo Bowling Club at the weekend.

Liz first accounted for a very determined Jan Hopkins in the singles final as Jan kept Liz honest before going down 21-14.

Then in Sunday's re-scheduled women's triples championship final she skipped her team of Urshla Croft and Annie Judge to success against Caro McLeod (sk)/Marlene Jordan/ Val Wilson 16/11.

Meanwhile a full weekend of 'on-green' action in the veteran men's singles championship saw Ric Whittaker regain that title after his long run ended last year when beaten by Paul Howell.

This time Whittaker accounted for a determined Joe Rowen 21-14.

Earlier in the week Liz Witton (sk)/Mary Tomlinson/Maureen Blackburn won Tuesday's major honours in the Laura Arnold sponsored three-bowl triples tournament.

First prize in Thursday's weekly competition was also won by Liz Witton (sk)/Peter Rossall/Edith Hewett with their two wins securing 27 points.

Ric Whittaker (s)/Grahame Velvin/David Beck took second prize with one win/20 and Vern Hobbs/Winston Gurnell/Robbie Dymock third 0/11

06/02/22        Big Fields for Champ singles

ig fields for this season’s championship men’s singles at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club and changing weather over the Waitangi holiday weekend restricted the contest to just section play.

Rusty Petterson, Collin Haigh, Bill Thomson and Ross Herriot were those to qualify each with three wins from their four matches, while rain finally restricted section two on day two.

This meant that post section play and the all-important finals are now delayed.

Top Taupo and Centre rep bowler Dave Jones skipped his composite team to success in the recent Bay of Plenty men’s open fours.

The Jones skipped side beat another composite team skipped by Kevin Maxfield 14-13 to take the honours.

Earlier Jones accounted for Te Puke’s Brian Wightman 21/7 and Maxfield beat Te Puke’s Graeme Ricketts 17/15.

In the meantime Peter Judge in tandem with David Beck won last Thursday’s club competition, their 2 wins and clear cut 28 points, ensuring them first prize.

Philip Burrows/Peter Rossall scored a win and a loss with 18 points for second and the prize for the best of the non-winners Rick Whittaker/Robbie Dymock with 10 points won the third prize.

Collin Haigh/Verona Billings were the drawn prize winners.

30/01/22         Whittaker Team Wins Tournament

Constant winning lawn bowler, Rick Whittaker skipped his team of Edith Hewett and first-year Turnagi bowler Leila McLeod to the top prize in the Pauline and Bevan Choat sponsored two-bowls drawn triples on the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club greens.

Whittaker went through unbeaten with three wins and a draw and 61 points to take the prize winning honours.

Turangi’s Sherrill Ackroyd (sk)/ Alex Marnoch and Taupo’s Maureen Blackburn with three wins/51and just the one loss claimed second prize in the all-day contest.

The Taupo combination of Rusty Petterson (sk)/Val Wilson/Steve Dickens returned 2 wins, a draw/50 and a loss, were the third prize winners.

A special drawn prize saw Sandra Burrows (sk)/Mark Mikkelson/David Beck successful.

Club championship play returns to the greens this weekend with the men’s singles providing the action on both Saturday and Sunday from 9am each day.

There is a regular club roll-up on Tuesday from 1pm and club competition 2x4x2 pairs on Thursday also from 1pm.

The next sponsored tournament is the open Blue Ribbon optional fours over two days featuring outside player as well as locals on March19/20.

23/01/22       Jones/Giddy Win Title

It might not have been the overwhelming thriller, but Saturday men’s club championship pairs’ final between the best two pairs in the Harcourts Taupo Bowling Club, was certainly interesting.

Dynamic skip Dave Jones with skilled veteran and multi-title holder Jack Giddy, started as though they meant business and Jones stamped his authority on the match by killing the very first end!

Undeterred opponents Mike Wooldridge (sk), a lethal player who shows skill with a metal assisted arm, and the highly experienced lead Jim Fitzsimons showed determination.

But, it was a game during which Jones and Giddy dictated the terms for most of the final and in the end they ran out the clear cut winners and deserved the honour as champion men’s pair for 2021/2022.

The final was played in hot and sunny conditions, before a interested gallery of spectators.

Meanwhile Thursday’s club competition 2x4x2 mixed pairs was won by secretary Dot Pope/ Mark Mikkelson with two wins and 25 points.

Vern Hobbs/Peter Rossall won the second prize with a win and 21 points.

Lindsay Wilson/Steve Dickens with nil wins and 13 points received third prize.

Peter Sarelius/Bill Thomson won the drawn prize.

16/01/22    Lawn Bowls Action Hots Up

With the business end of the summer season about to get under way at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club, it was the club roll-ups that proved very popular during the holiday break.

Visiting bowlers, from far and wide, joined local members and interested public on ‘roll-up’ days.

During the many hot summer days all appreciated the fact that mufti clothing was permitted and made the most of testing their skills on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays and the club competition day on a Thursdays.

But it’s now back to the business of championship play on Saturday when the first year junior men and women contest their singles and play also features the final of the senior men’s club championship pairs.

It’s now only a matter of weeks away to the annual glamour sponsored events which draw the very best lawn bowlers from outside Taupo as well as top locals.

The first of these two-day contests is the open Blue Ribbon optional fours and this is to be followed by the ever popular Golden Oldies optional triples.


The O’Brien’s Plumbing and Bathroon team classic at the Taupo Bowling Club at the weekend saw overall success going to the home team of the highly experienced Dave Jones (sk)/Jim Fitzsimons/Rick Whittaker/Jan Hopkins.

The team classic featured matches in fours and pairs and proved very popular.

Another Taupo team of Vern Hobbs (sk)/Dot Pope/Bill Thomson/David Beck took second place on the day and the Ngongotaha combination of Char Beckett Sk)/ Paul Graham/Lydia Sage/Mitch Hunuhunu claimed the third prize.

Sandra Burrows (sk)/Marlene Jordan/PhilBurrows/ Rusty Petterson (Taupo) won the drawn prize.

Brian Rohloff/Colin Light were outright winners in the club 2x4x2 pairs with Urshla Croft/Steve Dickens winning second prize after a win and a draw and Janice Collier/Kirsty Byloo taking third prize.

Mark Mikkelson/Elaine won the drawn prize.

Next weekend features the junior championship pairs and singles for men and women and the final of the men’s championship pairs.

12/12/21 Junior Bowlers Show Talents

Up and coming junior men’s bowler, Steve Lee won his third championship title of the season after a thrilling singles final against a determined and gritty Stan Hall on the greens at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club during the weekend. Both players showed skills beyond their experience and for Stan it proved a long and arduous day after narrowly beating a classy Colin Light to make it to the final.

Steve won the junior championship pairs some weeks back with the hard-working Grahame Velvin as his lead and only last week he took the senior fours championship skipping a team that also included experienced bowlers Rick Whittaker and ‘super’ administrator Jim Fitzsimons.

It is most encouraging for the club to know that there is considerable depth of talent among its junior bowlers auguring well for the future of Taupo lawn bowling.

Meanwhile Jim Fitzsimons and the ever-improving junior Maureen Blackburn won the Thursday club 2x4x2 mixed pairs with two wins/12 winning ends and 29 points for first prize. Mark Mikkelson/Colin Light won second prize 1/10/24 and the best of the non-winners for third prize were Edith Hewett/Steve Dickens 0/6/10. Board chairman Peter Sarelius/Bevan Choat won the drawn prize.

05/12/21            Generous Sponsorship Day

The generosity of club members Marie and Colin Buchanan could have been no better emphasized than in their sponsored progressive three-bowl triples tournament last Thursday played on the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club greens. Not only the tournament prizes, but also the drawn and auxiliary prizes, as well as the provision of afternoon tea proved a credit to the couple.

Rick Whittaker’s three wins/22 winning ends/41 points earned him the first prize for the winning skip, with Janice Collier taking second prize 2/21/35, and Dot Pope 2/18/32 took third. Top prize for the directors went to David Beck 3W/21/31, Norm Bluck 2/21/42 won second prize and Colin Light 2/20/39 third. Eleanor Usherwood was the popular winner of the leads 3W/18/39, from the ‘jovial’ Edith Hewett second best lead 2/19/44, and the ‘diligent’ Stan Hall third 2/21/35.

Steve Lee (sk)/Jim Fitzsimons/Rick Whittaker/Grahame Velvin are the champion men’s four for 2021/22 after going through two days of round robin championship play at the weekend unbeaten. It is the first time in the club’s history that a junior player has skipped and another led a club champion fours.

The champion women’s team is Liz Witton (sk)/Janice Collier/Urshla Croft and Edith Hewett.

21/11/21           Bowls Classic Proves Popular

The inaugural Harcourt’s two-day classic bowls tournament introduced to the Taupo Bowling Club at the weekend drew favourable comment from many of the players. Especially popular in Australia the event for teams of four playing rounds of fours, triples, pairs and singles attracted 32 players. One of the players who spoke to us afterwards said… ”I had never played in a classic before, and it’s certainly a great team game with a variety of disciplines.”

Overall winners were Wendy Green (sk)/Lynette McIntosh/Julie Kerry (Ngongotaha)/Simone Stewart with 6wins and a draw/20 points. Second prize went to Ross Herriot (sk)/Jim Fitzsimons/Rick Whittaker/Jan Hopkins 5w, a draw/17. Rob Gerring (Wgtn sk)/Joe Rowen/Rusty Petterson/Ron Bailey took third prize 5/15. The lucky team drawn prize was won by Dave Jones (sk)/Jan ice Collier/Edith Hewett/Jack Giddy.

Meanwhile the weekly club day 2x4x2 open pairs saw dedicated coach Liz Witton/Colin Light take the first prize unbeaten with 2 wins/26 points. Experienced bowler Rusty Petterson/Steve Lee won second prize 1w/28 and the third prize was taken out by Brian Rohloff/Mark Mikkelson 0w/14. Jack Giddy/Bill Thomson won the drawn prize.

This weekend features the club championship fours for men and for women on Saturday and Sunday.

21/11/21      Lee and Velvin win pairs

Junior bowlers Steve Lee and Grahame Velvin are the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling club junior pairs’ champions for 2021/2022. Skip Lee continues to make major strides in the game and his lead, Velvin showed just what a courageous and determined player he is. Quite crippled by a previous accident after an untimely fall from ladders, the former Tui Golf Club president suffers from constant pain that he fails to let affect his game. Players are ranked as junior for the first five years of a bowling career. The junior men’s singles championship has yet to be decided.

Last week’s club competition saw Janice Collier (sk)/Winston Gurnell/ Bruce McLeod with 2 wins /26 points take the first prize. Urshla Croft/Marlene Jordan/Jennie Pannell 1/24 won second prize and Val Mikkelson/Peter Rossall 0/18 received third prize. Vern Hobbs/Peter Judge won the drawn prize.

The new discipline of three fives continues to attract attention of members, prospective players and spectators on Tuesday evenings and continues over the next few weeks.

This weekend features an open optional two-day classic which has drawn a large field where teams of four will features in singles, pairs, triples and fours. Spectators should be treated to top bowling action!

07/11/21                  Cup Day Fun for Bowlers

Arabian and Irish interests were among those players to dress up appropriately for the Melbourne Cup day First Windows and Doors sponsored ‘fun day’ tournament at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club. The contest featured three rounds of 3xbowl progressive matches and attracted a well supportive field. Consistent bowler Rick Whittaker went through the tournament unbeaten with 45 points and 21 winning ends to earn the skips’ first prize. Ever-accurate Mike Wooldridge continued to show his skill with his artificial metal arm to take second prize for skips unbeaten 44/21. Vern Hobbs 2 wins/39/21 was the third prize winning skip.

Taking first prize for directors was Edith Hewett 2/36//19, second ‘Arabian’ Geoff Pannell 2/33/25, while third prize for directors was won by Colin Light 2/32/24. Talented junior bowler, Kirste Byloo, was unbeaten 3/46/22 scooping the first prize for leads from Robbie Dymock 3/34/19 second and the ever-reliable Stan Hall 2/43/20 third. Irishman Brian Rohloff won the drawn prize for skips with Bevan Choat, in tandem with Lorainne Burbery, taking the drawn prize for directors and Jill Lloyd winning that honour for leads.

Verona Billing took the best dress-up women’s prize and Geoff Pannell took that honour for the men.

31/10/21   Semi-final Bowls Thriller

Despite his health handicap veteran men’s pairs champion Mike Wooldridge in tandem with former national sports’ administrator Jim Fitzsimons narrowly won another thriller in the weekend’s semi-final of the men’s club championship pairs at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club. The combination just edged out skilled bowlers Joe Rowen/Rusty Petterson after they had come from behind to force the game into an extra end at 15-15. In tricky wind conditions the extra end went to Wooldridge/Fitzsimons when they picked up a crucial four to seal the match 19-15.

Earlier regular champions Dave Jones/Jack Giddy won their semi-final comfortably against Bay of Plenty coach Reggie Martin/Bill Thomson. All teams played four qualifying rounds to reach the play offs. The final to decide the title between Wooldridge/Fitzsimons and Jones/Giddy will be decided later in November.

In the meantime multi champion Liz Witton accompanied by veteran mixed pairs’ champion Dot Pope, won the women’s pairs title after a round robin championship tournament of three rounds. That pair went through unbeaten.

Championship play continues on the greens this coming weekend with the championship junior pairs for men and for women on Saturday and the championship junior singles for men and for women on Sunday.

17/10/21        Record Title for Bowler

Yet another solid gallery of spectators witnessed a fitting final as Mike Wooldridge and multi titleholder Jack Giddy clinched the veteran men’s pairs’ championship title for 2021/2022 at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling club. In a thriller against dedicated Lakeland sportsmen Joe Rowen and Rusty Petterson, Giddy, Taupo’s oldest original lawn bowler, grabbed a record 82nd title this time leading for his skip a skilled Mike Wooldridge who struggles with personal health. It was a most memorable encounter in tricky conditions.

Meanwhile settled weather certainly drew the numbers to the weekly club competition with the match committee changing the discipline to a three-bowl triples format. Competition was keen with the overall first prize going to the triples combination of Rick Whittaker (sk)/Urshla Croft/Graham Velvin when registering 26 points and 11 winning ends for a win and a draw. Second prize and best of the single winners went to Vern Hobbs/Phil Burrows/ Edith Hewett 22 points and 10 winning ends. Lindsay Wilson/Janice Collier/Mary Tomlinson 13 points and seven winning ends proved the best of the non-winners and took third prize. The drawn prize was won by Dot Pope/John McLeod/Collin Light. Almost 40 competed.

10/10/21      Dot and Rusty Champs

Experienced and long talented lawn bowler Rusty Petterson combined to perfection with the lesser experienced, though talented Dot Pope, in sealing the 2021/2022 lawn bowls mixed club championship at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club. The weekend featured two full days of bowls with the outright final and decider between the equally talented pairing of Liz Witton and Steve Lee. Sunday’s final, played at times in blustery and very cold conditions proved to be a thriller! A good size gallery of spectators were treated to some very good bowls in the testing conditions.

Surprisingly the two experienced players featured as a lead in their respective teams Liz Witton with Steve Lee and Dot Pope with Rusty Petterson. Both the lesser experienced players revealed their considerable promising talent and showed the depth of ability now building within the club. Day one of the championship featured four rounds of qualifying play with teams requiring three wins to feature in the final day’s post section play.

After club action during this week with the usual 2x4x2 club competition pairs today (Thursday) the weekend’s competition will features the men’s and women’s veteran club championship pairs.

03/10/21  Unbeaten Team Top

The drawn two-bowl triples team of Joe Rowen (sk)/Janice Collier and Colin Light were the clear cut winners of the Mike Wooldridge sponsored open tournament on the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club’s natural green.

There was an admirable turn-out of 36 bowlers for the contest played in still, but cloudy conditions.

Liz Witton (sk)/Steve Lee and Maureen Blackburn took second prize after 3 wins and 58 points and Colin Haigh (sk)/Phil Burrows/Bevan Choat won third prize with 3 wins and 55 points.

The fourth prize went to Ron Bailey (sk)/Peter Rossall/Edith Hewitt 2 wins and 55 points.

Rusty Petterson (sk)/Mark Mikkelson/Steve Dickens won the drawn prize.

Sadly the sponsor and club works’ manager was not available to present the prizes since he was in hospital.

Meanwhile early season club championship action gets under way this weekend with two days of play in the mixed club championship pairs.

Competition is expected to be wide open as last year’s champions will not be defending their title since Paul Howell, who skipped the winning combination with Marlene Jordan, now plays his bowls in Taranaki.

26/09/21     New Flag and Challenges

Hoisting of a newly designed, appropriate and significant club flag during the recent official opening of the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowls Club also brought expectancy of not only innovations in the game here this season, but also a challenging season.

The club ensign, to be flown alongside the usual appropriate flags during competitive play, was first hoisted at the opening by Board Chairman Peter Sarelius and the Board’s Bay of Plenty delegate and top male bowler Dave Jones.

Among the newest bowling innovation during the season will be Taupo’s participation in the format of the game that has proven very popular on National television….. 3xfives. Taupo’s giving much consideration to this and as to how it might operate here. Organised details locally are being ‘worked on’ by two members in particular, who have experience in such a venture and helped by other members.

But the first club championship action of the season, the mixed pairs, is expected to attract a top field when it takes the greens with skilled sporting action on Saturday October 9 and Sunday October 10.

Other major tournaments planned for later next year that attract quality local players and experienced bowlers from Taupo and beyond are the annual open blue ribbon fours and the equally popular Golden Oldies.

20/09/21     New Season Opens

Almost 50 people attended the official season opening by Mayor David Trewavass of the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club on Sunday. Among dignatories at the formal opening in the club rooms, beside Mayor David, were Board chairman Peter Sarelius, Taupo Bay of Plenty delegate Dave Jones and Harcourt’s rep Marie Louise.

During his brief address to the club Mayor David praised the Board and club members for the efforts to provide not only a healthy sport, but also the community use for the facility. David Jones outlined changes made by Bowls Bay of Plenty to improve and update the sport and spoke of Taupo’s important role.

Following the formalities action moved outside where the new flag and club emblem was raised up the flagpole by the Mayor and Jones. On the green Mayor David sent down the first jack and Mary-Louise, who also presented bowling mats on behalf of Harcourts’ delivered the first bowl.

A three-bowl triples tournament involving 36 players followed with the winning skip Jim Fitzsimons, winning director Simone Stewart and winning lead Graham Velvin.

First touchers were won by Maureen Blackman (lead), Simone Stewart (director) and Jim Fitzsimons (skip).

Peter Rossall won the ‘spider’ activity.

12/09/21   Bowls with a Difference

It was a welcome return to lawn bowls for the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club last Saturday, but in a somewhat different format.

The latest COVID level had numbers for the winter mixed pairs tournament restricted to first-in-first-served and the progressive pairs allowed only 24 players to contest play over just six rinks.

After a four match contest veteran Urshla Croft won first prize for the skips with skilled bowler Liz Witton taking second prize and the ever-determined Janice Collier third.

Prize winning lead was ‘honest’ John MacLeod, taking first, and the accurate Verona Billing second with the ‘cheery’ Edith Hewett picking up third prize.

Di Grant and Brian Rohloff won the drawn prize.

This Saturday features the official opening of the 2021/2022 summer season for the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club.

Officials from Bowls Bay of Plenty and local dignitaries will formally open the season at a function in the club rooms from 9.30am followed by the delivery on the greens of the first jack and first bowl of the season.

Members then feature in a triples competition and novelty events from 10.00am.

08/08/21       Challenging Programme

With the popular winter bowls programme at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club starting to wind down lawn bowlers are already looking ahead.

An enticing official summer opening for the club next month includes a progressive tournament as well as novelty events to follow the usual formal format from executive and guests.The bowling activities should encourage a very good entry from regular and new members alike.

Awaiting the official stamp of approval, the programme for the summer season is complete, and includes an attractive number of tournaments and the usual club championship activities as well as new innovations. Among the new innovations is a series of the popular televised 3xfives competition with the hope that Taupo will have teams to later feature at regional and national level.

The always sought-after business house bowls returns, offering the public a chance to try out the challenging sport of lawn bowls.

In the meantime last week’s highly favoured winter competition was, for the first time, abandoned because of unfavourable weather. With only a few weeks remaining the winter programme continues with roll-up action on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays and the competition for club members each Thursday.

Play starts each day at 12,30pm and names must be registered by 12.15pm.

01/08/21    Sunshine for Bowlers

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun and Taupo lawn bowlers, it seems, turn out in numbers in the winter sunshine! So many, in fact for last Thursday’s weekly competition on the all-weather green at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club that three players had to stand down!

The mini tournament was over-subscribed! Thursday’s club competition throughout the winter has proven popular and has regularly attracted very good numbers of locals and visiting bowlers.

Outright winners last week and taking first prize for the 2x4x2 open pairs were top bowler and sportsman formerly of Turangi, Rusty Petterson, with veteran Bevan Choat, recording 2 wins/14 winning ends/32 points.

Best of the single winners for second prize were Sandra Burrows and David Beck 1/11/24, while the best of the non-winners for third prize were Val Wilson/Steve Dickens 0/8/10.

Next Sunday week the club hosts a winter progressive tournament of either triples or fours, depending upon the number of entries.

In the meantime members, new bowlers and public are invited to club winter roll-ups on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, while weekly club competition for members is each Thursday.

The ‘on-green’ action starts at 12.30pm.

11/07/21    Aids Benefit Bowler

Artificial bowling aids are helping lawn bowlers here and across the lawn bowling world.

The assistance of an artificial metal delivery bowling arm has kept the sport alive for at least six players at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club and each of the users has been able to enter competition at the highest level.

Ace Australian lawn bowler Kelvin Kerkow is a classic example as to how important such bowling aids can be in the sport. Diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome at the age of seven in 1976 Kerkow’s sporting parents, were keen for him to play a non-contact sport that provided plenty of opportunities and enjoyment. They entered him in lawn bowls, and with the assistance of artificial devices Kelvin soon developed a passion for the game. He went on to represent Australia gaining gold, silver and bronze medals in World championships and now, in his fifties, is still a bowling icon in Australia.

All six Taupo bowlers who are forced to use a metal delivery arm have taken up the very challenging skills the arms require and each is now benefiting from developing the art and enjoying the skilled game of lawn bowls.

( The photo shows the claw design on the left while on the right is the jaws design)

08/07/21    The Silent Heroes

Just what makes a club tick?

In the case of the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club it’s ‘the backroom boys,’ a group of dedicated workers who sacrifice endless hours of their leisure time to benefit the members.

These men carry out a multiplicity of tasks some of which include green and green surround maintenance, beautification of the grounds, upgrading of spectator seating, building maintenance, painting, management of functions often until very late hours and the list is simply endless.

The ‘backroom boys’ are the very backbone of the club and too often the ‘unsung heroes!’

These behind the scenes workers are the real heroes of sports’ clubs.

Thank you to the unobtrusive workers who never seek the accolades they so deserve!

Take a bower the Taupo Bowling Club 14: Grahame Velvin, Vern Hobbs, Brian Rohloff, John McLeod, Dave Jones, Mike Wooldridge, Barrie Gilbert, Phil Burrows, Emerys Davies, Stan Hall, Steve Dickens, Rick Whittaker, Peter Rossall and Jack Giddy.

Meanwhile the winter playing programme continues for bowls with the ‘on green action’ every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 12.30pm.

27/06/21           Winter Bowls Popular

So popular is the sport of lawn bowls that even in winter players are attracted to the greens!

Almost 40 players turned out for the first mufti winter progressive three-bowl triples tournament on Taupo’s ‘all weather’ greens last Thursday.

Top prize for the skips was taken out by Vern Hobbs when compiling 43 points from his three wins.

Second prize for the skips was claimed by Jim Fitzsimons with his three wins producing 40 points from third placed Brian Rohloff 3/36.

Bill Thomson was the winning director with 3/41 from Eleanor Usherwood 3/36 and Jan Hopkins 3/34.

The ever-determined David Beck took the first prize for the leads with 3/44 with veteran bowler Bevan Choat securing second prize for leads with 3/35 from ‘boat builder’ Geoff Pannell 3/32 with third prize!

Winter play continues on the club greens each Tuesday, Thursday (club competition day), Saturday and Sunday from 12.30pm.

20/06/21   Sun attracts bowlers

A ‘watery’ sun came out last Thursday and with it the keenest of the lawn bowlers at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club.

Ready for action in the winter competition of 2x4x2 pairs’ the 24 dedicated contestants applied their skills and several close games resulted.

Departing club captain Darrell Purdie accompanied by writer Steve ‘Charles’ Dickens won the top prize of the day after returning two wins, 13 winning ends and 28 points.

Second prize was taken out by Jim Fitzsimons/David Beck 2/12/20 and third prize went to skilled bowler Donna Lee/ veteran Bruce McLeod 2/11/18 after edging out their opponents 10/9 in the opening round!

Jan Hopkins/Maureen Blackman won the drawn prize.

Winter play continues on the greens each Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 12.30pm (names by 12.15 pm) with club competition day on Thursdays.

06/06/21  Jim and Geoff victors

Jim Fitzsimons (sk) and his lead Geoff Pannell took the top prize on a cold, though still winter’s day in the 2x4x2 pairs contest at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club last week. The combination recorded 2 wins/14 winning ends and 33 points. Despite the cold, there was a very good turn-out of keen lawn bowlers and close games were the order of the afternoon.

So close was the play, in fact, that second place could not be separated with the prize being shared between Marlene Jordan/Bill Thomson returning 2/12/24 (after needing an extra end to decide their final game) and Lindsay Wilson/Thomas Pope 2/12/24. The drawn prize went to Dot Pope/Val Wilson.

Winter play continues on the artificial green each Tuesday, Thursday (Competition day), Saturday and Sunday from 12.30pm.

Names are required at the match committee room by 12.15 pm each day.

23/05/21   Winter Bowls in Action

While the summer action at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club is over for another season, the action now switches to the winter programme where much of the emphasis is on helping prospective and interested players become involved.

Besides sessions where players are offered assistance in the finer tips of the game there is also the regular club 2x4x2 pairs’ competition once each week on a Thursday.

A good crowd assembled for the action on the all-weather green last week when the first prize was won by Noel McCutcheon/Steve Dickens after two wins/12 winning ends/25 points.

Experienced veteran Jack Giddy/Marie Buchanan won second prize 2/11/24, while Winston Gurnell/Vivienne Hutchinson 2/10/23 finished with third prize.

Dot Pope/Colin Light wan the drawn prize.

Club drawn sessions during the winter, for interested members and public, are scheduled each Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday. Club competition is on Thursday.

The starting times each day are from 12.30pm with names to be in at the match room before 12.15pm.

Players are expected to wear warm mufti clothing and soft soled shoes.

 09/05/21                   Honours for Wendy and Dan

The Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club and the Te Puke Bowling Club each hosted the best singles players for the Bay of Plenty champion of champions recently, the men at Taupo and the women at Te Puke.

After qualifying play bowlers went on to the business end of the contest on day two.

At Taupo, Tauranga’s Dan Dickisen, a very experienced bowler, met a determined third-year junior in Michael Stiate from Mount Maunganui in the final.

Spectators witnessed a match of high quality as Dickisen ekked out an impressive win from a match that kept spectators enthralled.

Earlier at Te Puke, Taupo’s most talented bowler, Wendy Green, won the women’s final against a former Taupo and National bowler Mary Campbell, who some years ago also played for New Zealand.

Wendy Green’s incredible winning effort not only brought her the Bay of Plenty women’s singles title again, but also her 25th Bay of Plenty title to go with her three National titles.

And now both Bay champions Dan Dickeson and Wendy Green head for the New Zealand champion of champion singles tournament at Naenae, in Lower Hutt, during July.

Both champions were at the Harcourt’s Taupo greens at the conclusion of play, Wendy Green having arrived home before the conclusion of the men’s final.

07/05/21      Summer Closing

More than 50 keen lawn bowlers and supporters turned out for the official summer closing and trophy presentation at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club last week.

The closing featured the First Windows and Doors drawn and mixed three-bowl, three-round tournament with the top prize going to the skilled team of Liz Witton/Grahame Velvin/Kirsty Byloo with 3 wins, 19 winning ends and 31 points.

Rick Whittaker/Urshla Croft/Barrie Gilbert with 3/17/30 won second prize and a pairing Lindsay Wilson/Marlene Jordan secured third prize 3/14/30.

Annie Judge/Stan Hall/Bevan Choat took the fourth prize 2/16/37.

Presentation of Season championship honours were:

Fours (men): Dave Jones(s)/N McCutcheon/ Mike Wooldridge/Jack Giddy; (women): Liz Witten(s)/Annie Judge/Janice Collier/Edith Hewett.

Triples (men): Paul Howell (s)/Steve Lee/Rick Whittaker; (women): Sandra Burrows (sk); Marlene Jordan/Simone Stewart.

Pairs (men): Paul Howell(s)/Rick Whittaker; (women): Wendy Green (s)/Lynette McIntosh.

Singles (men): Dave Jones; (women): Wendy Green

Junior Pairs (men): Steve Lee (s)/Geoff Pannell; (women): Not played

Junior Singles (men): Colin Light; (women): Donna Lee

Mixed Pairs: Paul Howell (s)/ Marlene Jordan

Vet Pairs (men): Paul Howell (s)/Jim Fitzsimons; (women): Liz Witten (s0/Annie Judge

Vet Singles (men): Paul Howell; (women) Wendy Green.

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday now reverts to winter play from 12,30pm and names by 12.15pm.

18/04/21   Fewer at bowls

Play at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club last week was restricted to club roll-ups, but the usual Thursday club tournament of 2x4x2 pairs featured fewer numbers than usual because of the cooler weather.

Consistent bowlers Jan Hopkins/ Bill Thomson won first prize after winning both their matches with 10 winning ends and compiling 19 points.

Second prize went to Winston Gurnell/Sheryl from Turangi 2/10/18 and the third prize was taken out by top bowler Paul Howell/Peter Judge 1/10/24.

Club play will continue on the greens with summer hours until after the closing day tournament and trophy presentation next week, after which winter times will take effect.

This means that play each Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday will then begin each day at 12.30pm and names will need to be in at the match room by 12.15pmNew  members and those wanting to try out the game will be welcome with tuition always on hand. Mufti and flat soled shoes are required.

11/04/21    Season drawing to a close

With just the one major season sponsored tournament remaining, the closing day and trophy presentation, the on-green action continues for club roll-ups at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club.

Last Thursday’s 2x4x2 pairs drew a very good field and keen competition with Winston Gurnell and Stan Hall taking the first prize after winning both games and winning 12 ends with 19 points.

Urshla Croft/Bruce McLeod 2/11/22 won second prize and Jim Fitzsimons/Edith Hewett collected third 2/11/20.

Jan Hopkins/Tony Corbett and Turangi visitor Leila won the drawn prize.

Club play continues throughout next week on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at the usual times.

Following the summer season closing day the weekly winter programme gets under way.

Players wanting to play in the First Windows and Doors presentation day closing tournament on Tuesday April 27 are urged to ensure that names are entered on the entry chart.

04/04/21     Club play for bowlers

With most of the major summer action now over, attention focused on club play at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club last week.

Thursday club play consisted of a mixed 2x4x2 pairs and was well supported by club members. Bowling action featured some very close matches with just a single point deciding the prize winners. Janice Collier/Bruce McLeod recorded 2 wins/10 winning ends and 17 points to narrowly take first prize. Jan Hopkins/Jennie Pannell 2/10/16 won second prize with Peter Judge/Val Wilson 2/10/15 taking third. The drawn prize went to Peter Rossall/Vivienne Hutchison.

Now that daylight saving has ended the starting times for club play are 12.30pm with names required for entry before 12.15pm every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

New players are welcome with tuition available

21/03/21   Lawn bowls growing

The continued growth, popularity and development of lawn bowls in Taupo can be no better recognised than by the attendance of players at the two most recent open competitions at the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club.

The tournaments, namely the annual Golden Oldies three-bowl triples and the annual open Blue Ribbon fours were widely supported.

Players for the first mentioned drew almost 80 contestants from many parts of the North Island, even as far south as Oamaru in the South Island, as well as locals.

News widely spread for the Blue Ribbon contest that followed drawing more than 100 players from Hawke’s Bay, Bay of Plenty and Waikato as well as Taupo, Turangi and Reporoa.

Both tournaments were played over two days and the out of town bowlers were accommodated in Taupo, with not only did the club benefiting, but so too Taupo businesses.

The club has welcomed players new to the game this season, and with skilled on-the-spot tuition from qualified coaches these new members have gained many benefits.

Several players from the club have performed successfully at Centre and even National level and two teams representing the club last weekend competed in the qualifying rounds for a place in the popular national televised three-fives.

The skilled and thinking game of lawn bowls is really looking great for the future in Taupo.

21/03/21   Bowlers flock to Taupo

More than 100 lawn bowlers from far and wide contested two days of play in the annual Blue Ribbon mixed and open fours on the Harcourt’s Taupo Bowling Club greens during the weekend.

The largest contingent, 40 of the players, made up the teams from Hawke’s Bay, with teams also from Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Reporoa, Turangi and Taupo.

Dry, but testing wind conditions proved a challenge for the bowlers, and brought out their skills of the best.

Prize winners conveyed to us: (Skips only)

Division One: G Fulford (Havelock Nth) 3 wins/ 23 winning ends/ 45 points 1; B Buchannan (Omarunui) 3/17/41 2; Liz Witten (Taupo) 2/15/35 3; G Sargesen (Omaranui) 2/15/34 4.

Division Two:G Dickey (Hawke’s Bay) 3/27/48 1: C Marshall (Omaranui) 2/20/35 2; T East (Hawke’s Bay) 2/19/57 3; D Jones (Taupo) 2/19/36 4.

Yet again Taupo received accolades from visiting bowlers for the outstanding administration as well as catering for a highly successful tournament, many visiting players planning to return for next year’s annual contest.

Meanwhile the regular Thursday club tournament three bowl triples saw success going to Brian Rohloff/Grahame Velvin/ Jenney Pannell 2/10/26 points from Paul Howell/Val Wilson/Steve Lee 2/10/20 and Jan Hopkins/David Beck/Geoff Pannell 2/9/14.