A word about our Clubs


In South Carolina we are blessed with many Sporting Clays venues to shoot.  All of the clubs have different terrain features which make for dynamic target presentations and are very challenging to us lesser mortals who are not in a professional stature.  I really like them all.

I especially like Hermitage for its sheer clay pit drops in the Loblolly Course and woodsy pathways and overlooks on the Cypress course.  Also,  Backwoods and Black River have their pristine backwater ponds  and the greenways rife with myrtle bushes and associated beautiful low country vista’s.  They are both a gorgeous venue.

In the Upstate there is Clinton House that has been much improved by the addition of the Blue Course in the lower creek area and Rocky Creek at Richburg that has added the scenic pasture setting across Mountain Gap Road for larger shoots.   I really love the new sporting clay grounds and the friendly people at Belton Gun club.  Scott Branyon really has that club going in the right direction and has quite a following as he throws a more “competition style” of target.  The venerable Rocky Knoll, who continually produces some of the state’s finest clays shooters, is located near Abbeville and although a semi-private club, they are open for visits on Sunday afternoon and are always willing to help with a fundraiser or benefit shoot for the greater good.  These folks still only charge a 
$15 dollar fee for all youth and truly understand the idea of fostering the youth for the future of the shotgun sports.  In other word those guys “practice what they preach”!

Live Oak is located just 20 minutes South of Columbia near Swansea and is in the Piney woods and is a quite nice little course and is very easy to walk as it’s a circular course and has been energized by the ever forward looking manager Steve Bolt, who himself is a shooter and understands targets.  His venue is the site of Monzingo’s 5 day Champs Camp for youth shooters every Summer and he has also been known to host nationally ranked coaches Gil and Vicki Ash who need no introduction to those who closely follow the sport.  Also in the midlands area, there is the newly minted Palmetto Shooting Complex near Edgefield,  which is destined to be one of the best of all.  It is an amazing shooting venue right now and it has barely begun to exist.  When completed it will compete for the best in the South every year  and if the shooters I have spoken with are any judge it will soon surpass all expectations.  If a friendly face is what you’re looking for, Rhett Simmons and his National Wild Turkey fellows, are always smiling and ready to help you and especially the new shooters and youth shooters through their myriad youth and other outreach programs.  They are just getting going (opened to the public October 1st) but with multiple courses and new traps and plenty of savvy they are going to be a force in the South Carolina/ Georgia shooting area.

Dan Paxton

VP South Carolina Sporting Clays Assoc.

NSCA Level Two Instructor