Bowling, miniature golf and laser tag are staple activities we do with friends or fun dates on Friday nights – or whenever it’s time to unwind. Consider expanding that list with archery golf, a hidden gem that could become just as classic as the others.
Archery golf is a transitional activity for indoor or outdoor fun, and two versions of the game are common.
In one version, players shoot arrows at standard archery targets 20 to 50 yards away. To play, each archer shoots two arrows at the first target, trying to get the best score possible. The archers then continue to successive targets until shooting the 50-yard target. After finishing the course, they tally their final scores to see who won.
Another version is set up something like a golf course. The archers put a number of “pins” topped with rubber balls along a course, and then shoot to each pin like you would on a golf hole. The goal is to get your arrows closest to the pin. You score it the same as you do strokes in golf, but instead of strokes, you count how many arrows it takes to reach the pin.
Sports at the Beach, an impressive sports complex located in scenic Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, opened their archery range and archery golf course in September 2016. The range uses Olympic style targets and top-shelf backstops.
Michael Walls, the range master, has spent 40 years in the archery industry. He brings his knowledge and expertise to the range, where he hopes to build interest in the operation’s archery golf program. Sports at the Beach’s owner launched the program after falling in love with archery through the television show “Arrow.”
Walls said his archery passion started at a young age when he watched somebody shooting a bow. He said, “I’d like to try that,” and try he did. Forty years later, Walls teaches new archers of all ages. He finds that if a person is interested enough to try archery, they’ll usually continue with lessons.
This initial spark helped Sports at the Beach grow its business. The range seems to have a captive audience, including baseball travel teams that use the facility for tournaments. While there, they catch a glimpse of archery.
Archery requires skill, precision and at least some training. The skills required for archery golf require some practice to learn how to drop in accurate shots at 50 yards. Walls provides on-the-spot instructions for young archers who sign up for archery golf without having shot a bow.
Sports at the Beach has room to grow its facility, and hopes to add courses for 3-D shooting, another popular archery game. Archery tag, 3-D archery and archery golf prove that bows and arrows have great potential, whether it’s for recreation or a social event.
Of course, you don’t need to visit an archery range to enjoy this activity. You can set up a course in your backyard and make it part of a fun weekend hangout. After all, if bow and arrow golf could be part of the Miss Florida beauty pageant in the 1950s, it surely can make a comeback now.