There’s no doubt that Wellington has a lot of fabulous bowling clubs.

They’re fabulous because they have often expropriated some of Wellington’s scarce flatlands nestled in picturesque dells and sheltered from Wellington’s sometimes not so clement weather.

They’re fabulous because they have often created an environment that not only nourishes social roll-ups, but provide an environment for sharp-end competitiveness.

Johnsonville Bowling Club is just one of those fabulous Wellington clubs.

And a big reason why Johnsonville ticks both of those boxes is the work of Club Greenkeeper, Brendon Gibson.

Brendon is probably Wellington’s worst-kept secret.  The members of the Johnsonville Bowling Club know when it comes to greencraft, they’re lucky to have the best of the best.  Even visitors to the club will concede the superiority of the Johnsonville greens (although they grumble about the inferiority of the carparking!)

Club members are effusive in their praise of Brendon’s handiwork.

“We have two beautifully manicured Maniototo greens without a blemish on them … which play with such trueness that even billiard tables look on with envy.”

That’s high praise.  And from all accounts, highly justifiable praise.

What’s more, Brendon not only puts his skills to work at Johnsonville, he spreads his expertise around the whole Wellington Centre …formally as Vice President of the Wellington Greenkeepers’ Association and informally as a MacGyver-on-call available to help any club in the Centre with greenkeeping repairs, rehabilitations or redevelopments.

Brendon has made such an impact on Johnsonville’s and Wellington’s greens and fellow greenkeepers that he was named Bowls Wellington’s 2023 Greenkeeper of the Year.

“Brendon is a greenkeeper who is truly worth his weight in gold,” says General Manager of Bowls Wellington, Blake Signal. “And all bowlers in Wellington will thank him for his hard work and dedication.  He is not only hugely important to the state of greens in the Wellington area, but will be hugely important for the state of greens in the Centre for years to come.”

And Brendon’s keeping performance has been so standout, that he has now been named Bowls New Zealand’s Greenkeeper of the Year in 2023.

“His greenkeeping at Johnsonville, his help with other greens in the Wellington region, and his help to other greenkeepers in the Wellington region has made him the unequivocal go-to greensperson in the capital,” says Bowls New Zealand’s Martin Mackenzie.  “So much so, that he has grabbed the attention of bowlers up and down the country.”

Congratulations Brendon.