Bowlers feel they are not getting the rub of the green – as they hit out at the council over their playing surface.
The green at Houghton Town Bowling Club, on Station Road, has been described as ‘horrendous’ by Sunderland District Bowling Association president David Simpson.
He says bald patches and ridges are ruining the experience of bowlers at the club and making it almost impossible for them to reach their best form.
Sunderland City Council is responsible for the upkeep of the greens, and says it is working with the club to help address concerns.
For Mr Simpson, though, the green should never have been allowed to get into its current state in the first place.
He said: “The green is a terrible mess.
The way the council have left it is horrendous, and looks terribleDavid Simpson
“There are ridges all the way up and down it, 18 inches apart.
“You would think they were going to plant turnips in the green.
“The way the council have left it is horrendous, and looks terrible.”
The bowling season is about a month old, and Mr Simpson fears there could be more problems ahead for the club.
As a man with much experience in the sport, too, he says he has never come across a green in the state of Houghton’s before.
He added: “The season only started a month ago, and I don’t know if they’ll be able to get through the season at this rate.
“Houghton are obviously devastated about it as well.
“You can’t bowl on the green. The bowl just runs anywhere.
“There are bare patches – it’s out of this world.
“I’ve never been on a green like it before.
“I’ve bowled all over the North East and have never seen one like that.
“I can’t understand how anyone can put up with it.”
Mr Simpson has relayed his concern to the council, which says it is already taking steps to rectify the situation.
Sunderland City Council head of place management Mark Speed said: “We are aware of this gentleman’s concerns and are already working with the bowling club to address them.”