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Our History

San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club is the oldest municipal lawn bowls club in the country, founded at the prompting of the Scottish fraternal order, the St. Andrew's Society. With the blessing of two soon-to-be-members, legendary (Scottish) park superintendent John McLaren and "Sunny Jim" Rolf (long-time mayor and CA governor), the first game was bowled in October 1901, and bowls have been rolled ever since, except for a year's interruption after the 1906 earthquake. 

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Various forms of lawn bowling date back to Roman times, and possibly even further back than that. In England, it has a heritage dating back to 1299, when the first lawn bowling club was established, but it is to the Scots that we owe our bowling green. This seemingly innocent sport was not once, but twice outlawed by British law, on the concern that enthusiastic lawn bowling citizens were neglecting their other chores. A special exception was made on Christmas Day, when common people were allowed to indulge in the game.

~ Atlas Obsura

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