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Holiday greens - Tunisia

Holiday Greens

Thank you to Martin Holt for this photograph of a holiday crown bowling green in Tunisia. with the groundsman in action. Looks like it adjoins a golf course, is that a golf bunker in the foreground? All will be revealed as Martin tells his story.

Another 5 photographs below and Martin recalls his trip to Tunisia which makes a wonderful and unique bowling holiday story.

Add your holiday bowling snaps to our collection by sending me your photograph and story to share with other bowlers.


In May 2013 I saw an advert wanting 16 bowlers to go on a bowling week to Tunisia as part of a promotion. The deal was I only had to pay for my flight (£145 return) and stay 7 nights all-inclusive at the 4* Riu Bellevue Park hotel and on returning home promote the trip to fellow bowlers. The company had got sponsorship and special rates from the Tunisian tourist board, Tunisair and the hotel and it was intending to have a week-long bowling festival in Oct. with an £18,000 prize pot. Yes that’s right £18k cash.

We arrived late Sat night and after check-in, we just had time for a snack and was told the week's format. Each morning we would be playing in various formats and we would all chip in a couple of quid sweep. Afternoons were free although games amongst ourselves could be arranged as and when we wanted. There was also an artificial flat green at the complex.

Sunday morning and our first view of the ”green” and let’s just say it wasn’t a pretty sight. It was previously a putting green and the hotel's management had been convinced by our man to convert it to a crown green. He would design it with all sorts of characteristics he’d come across during his bowling career with the overall work and future maintenance to be carried out by the greenkeepers from the local golf club. In return for this, the company would run several week-long bowling holidays culminating with the big money festivals. What could possibly go wrong?

Well where do I start in describing it? Let’s just say at the top of the green was what I can only describe as a very deep and large sand bunker. If I didn’t know any different it could have been transported from the actual golf club! Getting the bowls in was the easy bit but it was impossible to play them out. At one of the bottom corners, our man had tried his characteristic trick by constructing a ledge about 3yds long x 1yd wide and if memory serves right 8-10” high. A nice tricky mark if ever I saw one. And on 1 side he had a swilly (think Paddock Ins). And to make matters worse it was dog heavy, just the job bowling in 25/30c heat. At least the waiters were up to speed bringing tray after tray of liquid refreshments and even better if 1 of us gave them a 50p tip.

It was so bad our man was offering the greenkeepers job to anyone with greenkeeping know-how! When we questioned how on earth could anybody be expected to promote the upcoming Oct biggie we had his assurance that it would be ok with the hotel implementing an intensive renovation programme.

The bottom line is for £145 I had 6 full days in an immaculate hotel and excellent staff. We did go back in Oct and the green had improved somewhat but nothing near the standard expected. The October trip was the sting but that’s another story. Hope you like the photos.

Add your holiday bowling snaps to our collection by sending me your photograph and stories to share with other bowlers.

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