THE president of a Worthing bowls club is “furious” with claims the greens in Beach House Park are not up to scratch.
David Mann, president of Worthing and District Bowling Association, was shocked by a Leamington councillor’s remarks that Worthing’s greens are not as good as Leamington’s, due to the effects of salt water.
Last week (April 19), the Herald reported the possibility of the National Men’s Bowls Championship moving from Beach House Park, Worthing, to Royal Leamington Spa Bowling Club at Victoria Park, due to high costs of parking and accommodation in Worthing, as well as high travel costs.
Now, Warwick District Council says it can also provide better facilities for the bowlers.
Mr Mann said: “I’m furious with them because Worthing Beach House has always been one of the best greens in the world. All the championships have been here and we have had no trouble with the clubs that have come down here.
“Teams are dropping off because of the expenses, but I can’t see how they can think these are anything other than the world’s best greens.
“I play over at Norfolk and Littlehampton and we always look forward to going to Beach House Park, because the greens are just perfect. There’s no way there’s salt water in them.
“There must be something we’re doing right if we have had it for over 25 years.”
Warwick District Council’s executive committee met last Wednesday (April 18), to discuss the possible move.
Lib-Dem councillor, Bill Gifford, said: “Ours are probably the finest bits of grass in Britain, or even the world – these five greens are superb. Having looked at the greens in Worthing, and with my ‘expert’ eye, I’d say ours are much better than theirs which are close to the sea and have suffered from salt water.”
Worthing council said the claims are “simply not true”, and councillor Gifford’s “expert eye may be letting him down”.
Peter Latham, chief executive of Worthing Borough Council, said: “Worthing invites councillor Gifford to visit us again in August this year when the National Men’s Bowling Championship takes place. He will be able to see what real world-class greens look like.
“I am afraid his expert eye may be letting him down on this occasion as his comments about salt water affecting the greens are simply not true.
“We look forward again to also welcoming the bowlers of England to Worthing, not only for the superb bowling but also for the chance to visit our theatres, museum, fine cafés, restaurants and accommodation, our beautiful promenade and fabulous sea views and, of course, not forgetting the sunshine.
“Of course, it’s not only the quality of the greens that makes a good tournament, it’s also about the facilities for spectators, and Worthing’s are far superior to those on offer at Leamington Spa.”