This is the time of year where everyone is excited to get outside and enjoy the crisp fall and winter weather to the highest degree. This means experiencing beautiful landscapes, great hiking trips, and foliage in all forms.

Beyond the traditional fall outings however, there are other fall activities that might be catching your eye and growing in popularity, especially this time of year. 

Clay shooting is one of the fastest growing sports for ladies and gentlemen alike. This sport allows you to learn a new exhilarating skill and game while being out in nature and experiencing the best of the season. Lots of different types of sport shooting competitions and modes of play can make for endless ways to test your sharpshooting ability and enjoy time with friends and family.

There are several choices and considerations when sport shooting; including where to sign up, what sort of equipment you will need, and learning to shoot properly. Luckily, The Preserve Sporting Club & Residences in scenic Rhode Island has the answers to these questions, as well as professional staff and a handy guide with the steps to get started. 

1: Choosing the Sport for You

What many newcomers to the sport might not know is that it is much more than just “one” sport. There are a lot of different games, tournaments, and match types that make up the world of sport shooting. Most importantly, remember that you certainly don’t have to like all of them.

Take the time to decide which sport you like best by trying out different ones. It might come down to liking a certain kind of target, a certain kind of match type, or preferring a particular firearm. Some of the sports on offer are:

  • 19 and 10 Stand Sporting Clay courses 
  • FITASC Course (100 targets made up of four layouts of 25 targets)
  • High Tower Hunts
  • Indoor Rifle and Pistol Range

2: Choosing the Best Club or Destination 

First and foremost, look around your area for available clubs that offer sport shooting. The important things to pay attention to when looking at a club and comparing it to others are:

  • Available ranges & instructors
  • Accreditation
  • Social media posts & forums
  • Amenities such as a sporting shop or restaurant and bar
  • Upcoming events & competitions
  • Membership rates 

These key items will make it easy to distill down the options to the clubs that are truly worth joining. You want a club that offers a wide array of options for indoor & outdoor ranges, as well as expert instructors to teach you how to use your gear. Exploring the social media posts & upcoming events will tell you if this community is lively, friendly, and welcoming for newcomers.

3:  Visiting & Beginner Matches

Beyond picking out which event and sport you want to participate in, it can help to visit a match or shoot beforehand to know what kind of competition will be going on and how it’s organized.

Small things like being able to see what kind of hearing protection you should use, how you should dress, what kind of courtesy you should give other competitors, and many other things can all pile up if you don’t know them ahead of time. Not knowing them can make for a stressful day on what should be a relaxing new adventure.

A visit ahead of time allows you to take in the atmosphere and let all those small details take hold. That way, when you want to join in on the fun, you have everything ready for an enjoyable experience.

4: Choosing Your Gear

Speaking of having everything ready, having the right gear for your sporting event is of utmost importance. This is one of the many reasons it helps to join a club that has a well-stocked sporting shoppe so you can acquire the right gear for the competition and on the off chance you’ve forgotten some odds and ends such as a hat, or a set of hearing protection, you can easily stock up on everything you need.

When it comes to selecting your equipment such as your firearm and other key items, it’s best for newcomers to rely on the expertise of the instructors for which guns would be best. Small things like ease of use, reliability, and accuracy are all skills that the experts know how to recognize and will be able to recommend the right firearm for each shooter.

All other accessories are really up to the preference of the shooter. Feel free to explore the world of tools & accessories until you find the setting that works best for you.

5: How to Practice

As with every sport, practice makes perfect!

The best way to practice is to make sure you are getting out on the courses or the range and taking shots. To make this as easy as possible, The Preserve has many different membership levels for the shooting range (the longest indoor range in the United States) where you can practice your marksmanship and reach your true competition level.

Make sure you’re reaching out to experienced instructors who are able to give you some expert advice on how to perfect your form, avoid bad habits, and keep you at the top of your game.

6: Signing Up for Matches & Tournaments

Once you start coming into your own and gaining confidence in your marksmanship and competitive skill set, it’s time to sign up for competitions.

Look at your local calendar and find out when competitions at your level are taking place and get the details on how to sign up, what to bring, entry fees, and so forth, then you’re off to the races!

If you found these tips helpful and would like to explore more about The Preserve Sporting Club & Residences, contact us today to learn more.