Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"Golf with a Gun" Offers Challenges & Entertainment!

If you've been racking your brain trying to come up with a fun new group outing for your next family get-together, work or corporate team-building, date night, school fundraiser, or bachelor/bachelorette party, we've found the perfect solution for you! Head to Blendon Pines Gun Club in Zeeland, MI, for a round on their sporting clay course!

Never heard of sporting clays? I wasn't familiar with them myself, but Russ and Amy at Blendon Pines filled me in on everything I needed to know! The sporting clay course is a series of twelve stations that are set up in their 80 acres of woods. Every station has two launchers set up, which will each send a bright orange clay disc (or "clay pigeon") flying into the air or running across the ground. You'll bring a shotgun to each station, and attempt to hit both of the discs. This was my first time out, so we opted to set off one clay pigeon at a time, but for the pros out there, you're able to launch them both at once!

They do a great job at Blendon Pines of adding a lot of variety to their course. That means that every target along the course is different! Some launch from high in the air behind you, while others are flung straight into the air. Others cross the station from side to side, and one even rolls right along the ground (called a "rabbit"). Russ takes careful care of all of the clay pigeon launchers on the course, checking that they work every morning as he sets them up, and again at night as he covers them at the end of the day.

You're welcome to bring your own shotgun to use on the sporting clay course, but they also have ones available to rent. Rental guns are $10 each, and can be shared by two people out on the course (more than two people firing off the same gun causes the guns to overheat). They set me up with a low power shotgun to use for my first time on the course, and I appreciated the very light kick-back!

It did take me a couple tries to finally hit one of the clay pigeons as they flew by, but I managed to knock a fair number of them out of the sky by the time I was done! I went in not expecting to accurately hit any (Me, shoot a moving target? Not a chance!), but once I was comfortable with the gun, and with some guidance on my aim from Russ, it turned out to be a very successful (and fun!) round!

The sporting clay course is open year-round, and really is perfect for groups. There's lots of time for chatting (and for friendly competition!) as you walk from station to station and watch as your group takes turns in the shooting stand. The woods were just starting to show their fall colors on my visit, and the area will soon be ablaze with vibrant leaves! In the winter, they have fires going by a number of the stations, letting you warm up during your trip through the snowy woods. If you decide that you'd rather not walk the course, they do offer golf cart rentals for $10, with a gun rack on the back! The course takes about an hour to and hour and a half on foot (varies depending on the size of your group). 

Safety is a priority at Blendon Pines, and they make sure to walk you through everything you'll need to know to have a fun and safe time on the course. They require you to wear both eye and ear protection on the course, and do have some available if you don't have your own. If it's your first time out, they'll walk you through a demo on how the guns work, as well as a safety briefing.

When you're done on the course, you'll want to swing by the club house for a visit! Make sure you say "Hi!" to Thunder on the way in, as she's the official dog greeter! The club house has cozy table space, perfect for waiting for the rest of your group to arrive, or for relaxing after you've played a round and reliving the best shots of the day! They also have a large banquet space which is available for groups to rent out. You're able to bring your own food in, so think company picnic, giant birthday party, family reunion, or even wedding!

The attached gun shop boasts an amazing range of offerings. They stock Browning, Beretta, Benelli, Weatherby, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Glock, and Springfield guns, as well as optics, clothing, and accessories. They sell pistols as well, and offer CCW (carrying concealed weapon) classes right on site. As well as the basics, their instructor also guides classes in a number of "real life" exercises on their pistol range, such as shooting from the hip and running while shooting. Their next CCW class will be held on November 1st at 8am, $110 in advance or $120 at the door.

Although the sporting clay course was all that I tried my hand at on my first visit, they do offer even more. There's their five person stand that will release a flurry of discs for the group to aim at, as well as wobble trap (the clay pigeon launcher "wobbles" so you have no idea where the next one will launch) you can try for $8 for a 25 rounds.

Blendon Pines does offer memberships, which is a great idea if you're planning to get out and hit the course often, but they are also unique in the fact that they invite and welcome the general public to come out and try their offerings! Kids under 18 get a discount on the course, so it's a great place to introduce them to this sport. You can find their current hours posted on their website, Make sure you follow them on Facebook as well, to keep up to date on upcoming events (such as Couple's Shoots) at the gun club.

Click here to view more pictures from my visit to Blendon Pines Gun Club.

Contact Information:
Blendon Pines Gun Club
8455 88th Ave. Zeeland, Mi 49464
Telephone: +1 616 875 7000

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is where the white trash rednecks gather to celibate "Murica". Typical gun fanatics that would rather spend there money on this vs a nicer way of life. That's probably because most of them have nothing more than a high school education and work a blue collar job. Long live Murica!!