ALTHOUGH not a particularly hot evening, the sun had considerable bite during the penultimate session of barefoot bowls at Inverloch Bowls Club on Thursday.

“People come down and we give them some bowls and they have a bit of fun for a few hours,” bowls club volunteer Rob Dowling said of the relaxed format.

While a couple of the sessions attracted over 100 people each, numbers were down on this occasion with Victoria’s escalating COVID numbers undoubtedly playing a part in that.

However, those who came along enjoyed the leisurely proceedings.

There weren’t any sheep stations up for grabs, but lifelong mates Stuart MacDonald and Michael Hegan jostled for ascendancy over one another, with a liberal dose of good-natured banter.

“We’re very competitive with every game,” Stuart said.

The pair grew up in the Melbourne suburb of Syndal, even starting primary school together, before joining each other at De La Salle College in Malvern.

They are great mates with Inverloch footy identity John Ryan who also grew up in Syndal.

Another Hegan, Josh, was doing battle with Ashburton’s Oliver Brown in a contest between a pair of youngsters new to a bowling green.

“It’s great,” Oliver said of the sport.

It was a distinct change of pace for someone used to playing footy, rugby and cricket.

Josh has tried lawn bowling at school on an artificial grass oval and enjoyed the chance to test his capability on the Inverloch green.

“It seems fast,” he said of the artificial surface there.

A group from Melbourne’s Research spotted a sign about barefoot bowls while on a walk in Inverloch and decided it was the perfect way to spend a balmy evening.

Group members Adam and Mitch Horman, Jessica Summers and Caatherine Auchterlonie looked to be enjoying competition with one another, and perhaps a little light-hearted sledging.

The bowls club rosters some members on each night to run barefoot bowls, with holiday makers making up most of the playing field.

While fun is at the heart of barefoot bowls, those looking to improve their game were able to learn from members who were happy to offer advice, along with the odd quip.

Barefoot bowls evenings were great value at just $10 each.