Sporting clays is a pastime that’s been dubbed as “golf with a shotgun.” The hobby includes proceeding along a course in teams from two to six shooters. Targets or clays are thrown at each stop along the way and simulate bird hunting. If that sounds like your kind of game, here’s what else you should know about sporting clays.
To get the game started, you’ll join your team and begin shooting at the first station of sporting clays. The referee on the hole will show you what the target looks like before the first one is thrown. Once the target is thrown, the first shooter must take aim with the goal in mind of hitting the target. Any direct contact to the target is considered a hit and the referee will score accordingly.
The standard gun for shooting sporting clays in a double-barrel shotgun. Your gun should be clean and in good working order to be used in the sport. Over/unders are a preferred type of shotgun for use in the sport. After you shoot at each target, you are to open the gun and remove the hulls. The gun should remain unloaded until you arrive at the next shooting station.
Each shooting clays course is different just like golf courses around the country. The terrain will change from course to course, as will the specific challenges involved with each shooting experience. But courses have a few things in common including that most have between 10 and 15 stations, golf carts are often the preferred mode of transportation around the course, and shooters of all skill levels are welcomed.
Anytime you’re handling loaded weapons there will be significant safety protocols that you’ll have to follow. One of the most important safety protocols is to keep the chamber of your shotgun empty most of the time, only loading it when you step onto a station and prepare to shoot at your targets. You should also use the proper ammunition as per the course location, and eye and ear protection must be worn. Each sporting clays location might have it’s own unique set of rules, and all are staffed with seasoned professionals to ensure that you have a great shooting experience.