Jim’s View: On the Australian Open

BASED on the success of last year's Australian Open, held for the first time on the Gold Coast, Queensland is cockahoop over what could be an even bigger event there in June.

Pollies are almost dancing in the street over the prospects of another major boost to the glitter strip's economy.

It's billed as the "world's biggest bowls festival" and for once the blurb is right on the button.

The $250,000 prizemoney DOES make it the world's richest bowls tournament and it WILL attract an unprecedented army of bowlers and supporters from everywhere with pockets full of spending stuff.

For the first time, it is open to all bowlers. This is sure to attract entries from many who will just make up the numbers.

But bowls being the unpredictable sport it is, some less-than-favoured candidate could take the big bikkies.

It's one for the top performers, too. A 21-year-old former Ballina kid, Aaron Teys, won last year's Australian Open singles and pocketed $16,000.

YOUR VIEW on "woods"

REGARDING your article about wooden bowls (NS, March 2).

I was invited to attend the centenary of the Bathurst City bowling club in late 1995 and bury a time capsule.

The club has a set of two wooden bowls that belonged to the inaugural president, Dr Hugh Kirkland, to whom I am related.

I did practise with them and they certainly take a lot more grass than my present set.

Ray Kirkland, from Bathurst