WARRNAMBOOL Gold bowler Joan Anderson buys into the mantra "absence makes the heart grow fonder".
Anderson will return to the green for the first time in almost two years when the Western District Bowls Division (WDBD) Tuesday pennant season gets under way today.
Anderson, a skipper, left the club in December, 2010, after losing enthusiasm for lawn bowls, a sport she had played for about 40 years.
But she has rediscovered her love for the summer sport and will help spearhead a Gold side seeking to go one better than last year's runner-up finish.
The 78-year-old said she had been practising "three or four times a week" to regain the form which in past years took her deep in state competitions.
But after years of contesting pennant and state events, she will focus solely on skipping her Gold rink on Tuesdays throughout the season.
"I didn't care (what position I played), really, I just felt like coming back if I could do it," she said.
"I didn't know if I could after the break. I was quite happy if I could manage to get a game.
"I wanted to play at the highest level I possibly can, because I think that's what everyone should do. That's what we should all aim for."
Anderson will skipper a new-look rink featuring Kaye Maddern, third, Maree Lynch, second and Imke Gill, lead.
She said losing last season's Tuesday pennant grand final to City Memorial Gold was a lost opportunity which would motivate Warrnambool Gold.
"It was an opportunity missed and opportunities don't come that often," she said. "You have to make the most of the opportunities you get.
"We have been in finals quite a lot but we can't seem to finish it off.
"I think we might get the Colliwobbles."
"City, they've won quite a lot. I feel we can beat them through the year but when it comes to finals we just seem to fall in a hole."
Warrnambool Gold kicks off its season against promoted City Memorial Pink, which won the division two title last season.
City Memorial Green takes on Port Fairy Gold and Terang meets Warrnambool Blue.
Timboon hosts City Memorial Gold in the other match.
Anderson said she was pleased Warrnambool would start the season a strong chance to have two teams play Tuesday pennant finals.
But she lamented that the strength of the club meant it would not take on smaller Warrnambool-based clubs during the summer.
"You're playing the same clubs now, which is a bit monotonous," she said.
"I don't think there is a solution. The smaller clubs are struggling for numbers, especially in the ladies."