Warilla Bowling Club is ready to showcase its massive refurbishments on the biggest stage with the region's biggest tournament, the South Pacific Carnival, beginning tomorrow.
The 10-day tournament features 900 players. Warilla Bowling club will serve as carnival headquarters as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2014.
Warilla spent $6.3 million on a refurbishment program including a new lounge area, new TAB, a new bar and bistro, plus coffee shop and designated kids area.
The club is more open plan and family oriented - perfect for the South Pacific Carnival which will attract hundreds of guests to the region.
Warilla Bowling Club general manager Phillip Kipp said everyone is looking forward to hosting the event.
"This is an exciting time at Warilla Bowling Club with what is essentially a brand new club," Mr Kipp said.
"We look forward to hosting the Zone 16 bowling fraternity and visitors statewide in this sensational new facility.
"All members, directors and staff at the club can't wait for the carnival to kick-off - neither can I."
Champion Warilla bowler Jeremy Henry, Jesse Noronha and Aaron Teys will lead the club's campaign on the green.
"It'd be great for Warilla to win a title this year with our 50th year coming up in 2014 and us being the hosts," said Henry, a back-to-back World Cup winner.
"It really wouldn't matter who won from Warilla; we're overdue.
"A lot of the Warilla pennant players haven't played much South Pacific in recent years but this year it would be special to do well in."
Henry is playing in all three disciplines - singles, fours and pairs - for the first time.
"With it being a carnival, playing fewer ends, you can't predict how things will turn out, it's the luck of the draw sometimes."
The world No 2 Henry and his Warilla team were handed no favours in tomorrow's opening day of Fours, drawn in the same section as a Dapto Citizens team skipped by Brendan Aquilina.
"It's a tough draw - just like a pennant battle - Citos versus Warilla," Henry noted.
Warilla will host all finals, scheduled for Sunday January 5, 2014; in tomorrow's sectional round of fours, they will host nine of the 18 sections.
A combination of Warilla's world-class indoor facility and not enough outdoor greens available within Zone 16 clubs means the carnival will be played indoors for the first time in its 55-year history. The indoor facility will be used in the sectional rounds.
SOUTH PACIFIC BOWLS CARNIVAL
When: Friday, December 27 to January 5 (finals)
Where: All across Illawarra
Headquarters: Warilla Bowling Club
Format: Fours, Singles, Pairs played on alternate days.
Number of players: 900-plus.
Fours Schedule: Friday, 18 sections
Singles Schedule: Saturday, December 28, 59 sections
Pairs: Sunday, December 29, 50 sections
Players to watch: Shane Garvey, John Green, Steve Glasson, Jeremy Henry, Brett Pieper, Jesse Noronha, Dylan Skinner.