Is there such a thing as a bowl in the draw? The answer is yes, but only if the green is extremely narrow drawing or the bowl is very close to the jack.
On most occasions it is possible to draw around or under a bowl and still finish on the jack but to achieve such a result you must alter the position of your feet on the mat. The real key to success is contained in those three words “on the jack”.
The two best Australian bowlers of my time (Glyn Bosisto and Frank Soars) have both written books and in each case they maintain that to draw around a bowl in the draw you must take your stance on the “inside” of the mat (i.e. the left hand side for a right hander,s forehand). What they are really saying is that if you move to the left and use the same aiming line or mark, you will draw around the offending bowl, but you will not draw back to the jack.
It is acknowledged that to try and explain why you should in fact stand on the “outside” of the mat is something akin to explaining the mystery of the Blessed Trinity.
The one sure way to convince yourself as to exactly where you should take your position on the mat is to draw the natural path of a bowl travelling from mat to jack, on a piece of cardboard (or see- through plastic is even better), cut it out and then transpose it over a similar drawing of a mat and track of the bowl with the offending bowl in the draw approximately equivalent to a metre from the jack.
Four feature drawings accompanying this article may help you to understand the theory but the important things to note are not only the position of your feet on the mat but also your aiming line or mark.
Explanations are as follows:
a. Portrays the normal path of a bowl from mat to jack with aiming mark shown as a continuation of the initial line taken. It is acknowledged that the bowl commences to draw almost immediately after it is delivered but for the purpose of this exercise we will assume it runs straight for about three fifths of it’s journey.
b. Identical to (a) except for showing the offending bowl in the draw.
c. Confirms what Bosisto and Soars are saying about moving to the “inside” of the mat but as the drawing shows, with identical weight the delivered bowl will pass under the offending bowl and finish short of the jack. Should a little more weight be applied the bowl will traverse the bowl in the draw but finish slightly wide of the jack.
d. Indicates the path of the bowl, skirting the offending bowl and finishing on the jack. You will note however that your aiming line will have changed and be slightly less than that shown in example (a) by approximately half of the distance your feet have altered on the mat (i.e. about 7/8 centimetres or three inches).
If all this sounds too technical you’re right. It is complicated and need only be applied where perfection is necessary. In other words I advise that generally speaking it is easier to just take a little more grass than normal , thus drawing around the bowl but finishing Jack high rather than on the jack.