You stand with your shotgun ready at your shoulder. “Pull!” you say, and a bright orange clay target launches into the air. You follow the clay as it sails away. You pull the trigger. Crack! the clay falls to the ground in pieces.
Clay target or clay “pigeon” shooting is one of the many things you can do to enjoy country life at its best at The Sporting Club at the Farm.
My coworkers and I set off one July morning for a tour of the Sporting Club. Leaving behind the hip and hopping downtown of New Albany, we headed west on River Road.
About 10 minutes later, we arrived. The farm looks like it was pulled straight from an old painting.
As we entered through a metal archway that says “The Sporting Club at the Farm” we saw a gorgeous two-story farmhouse, built in 1870. Two white barns sparkled atop a perfectly mowed checkerboard field. A lake and tree-covered, rolling hills stretched behind them. It was early in the day as I stepped out of my car. The day’s heat was still settling in, and it was quiet. I hear the birds chirping, leaves rustling, and the paws of Ollie the farm dog trotting up to greet me. I thought, “I can’t believe I am just 20 minutes from Louisville!”
The Sporting Club at the Farm sweeps across 740 acres in southern Indiana. It offers an authentic sporting experience for all ages and abilities, including shotgun clay pigeon courses, archery course and range, four fishing lakes, 10+ miles of hiking trails and two barns for events. All activities are open to the public except fishing, which is for members only.
Activities at the Farm
- Clay pigeon shooting – firing a shotgun at a bright orange target midair that has been fired from a machine.
- Clay target course (similar to golf) – includes 15 stations with three targets per station
- Scholastic Clay Target Program for kids – program in the works that will hold workshops and clinics for kids
The number one priority of the Farm is safety, that is why you have a guide with you during the whole shooting course making sure you are safe and giving you directions and tips along the way. Bobby Brooks, owner of The Sporting Club at the Farm, informed me there have been more injuries in badminton than competitive shooting.
Clay target shooting is like golf, you drive in a golf cart with your group to each station where you shoot different target presentations. There are 15 stations and 3 targets per station. It looks more intimidating than it is, Bobby says most people hit about 50% of the targets! Bobby spoke enthusiastically about starting a Scholastic Clay Target Program for kids. He plans to hold shooting workshops and clinics for young inspiring shooters.
“I have been very fortunate in traveling, touring and competing with some of the best Olympic shooters in the business to shape and mold me and grow a network of some of the best in the world," he said. "This has set me up to come home to southern Indiana and share this network and experience with the community and the kids.”
Before Your First Visit
Everyone has to get training with an employee at the farm before you can go out on the course alone. Call before you go to schedule your training. If you are new to shooting, don’t worry. They will teach you everything you need to know from gun safety to proper stance. Don’t forget to bring your own eye and ear protection, but if you don’t have some, you can buy it at the Farm.
The Farms offers two types of archery:
- A range with traditional round targets
- A course in the surrounding wooded area where you shoot at three-dimensional animal targets
The Farm has 4 lakes with more than 40 acres of water.
- Two of the lakes will be specifically managed for large-mouth bass.
- Fishing is available for Club and Corporate members only to keep from overcrowding the lakes.
Future Activities at The Farm
The owners are creating a map of the 10+ miles of trails, which lead to one of the highest peaks in SoIN. It overlooks the farm and gives a breathtaking view of the Louisville skyline. They are also renovating the farmhouse to be a shop and bridal suite. Other activities they hope to include in the future are glamping, horseshoes, canoeing, corn hole and axe throwing.
Gather a group or friends, pack the family up and spend a day at The Sporting Club at the Farm to release your inner country spirit! You might just discover you are an expert marksman or Robin Hood with a bow.