As a free agent heading into professional hockey, Kirk Bowman began his trek to the NHL via Greensboro, North Carolina where he suited up for 46 games with the Greensboro Generals of the EHL. He collected 15 goals and 30 points. He also appeared in 19 games for the IHL's Columbus Golden Seals. The following year he played a full 70-game season with the Generals, potting 27 goals and 78 points.
Bowman spent most of the 1973-74 season in Greensboro but he also played in ten games with the Los Angeles Sharks of the WHA, where he had two points. As a member of the Flint Generals in 1975-76, Bowman scored 44 goals and 107 points in 78 games. That production drew the attention of the Chicago Blackhawks. A strong training camp provided Bowman with a spot in their starting lineup, and as a rookie, he played in 55 NHL games, scoring ten goals and 23 points.
The following year was divided between Chicago and the team's CHL affiliate in Dallas. Bowman last played in the NHL for Chicago in two post-season games in 1978-79.
Bowman continued to play at the professional level for another three years in the German Elite League, retiring after the 1983-84 campaign as a member of the Schwenningen franchise.
In 88 NHL games, Bowman tallied eleven goals and 28 points. He now devotes much of his time to the development of youth hockey and runs the Can/Am Adult Hockey School in Guelph, Ontario.