Hermitage Farms Sporting Clays


If you are a sporting clays enthusiast you are always interested in a venue that offers all kinds of presentations thrown at all angles and in a beautiful scenic setting.  Hermitage Farms near Camden offers all the above and more.  I love the Cypress course with the overviews of the cypress and gum swamps and the twisting trails through mature hardwoods that circle back to the homey clubhouse that is the range office.  Although not as pretty as the cypress course if your interested in verdant views, to my mind the Loblolly Course overlooking the clay and sand pits developed as a borrow site for adjacent I-20 is ideal for a shooter who enjoys technical targets thrown from beneath your feet and off the towers for which Hermitage is famous. 


The property came into the Cantey family in 1941 and was used primarily as a farm, growing corn, tobacco, and cotton during the ensuing years.  The son, Joe Cantey, who is now the current owner of Hermitage Farms did not begin his early life in farming, but instead went to college on a music scholarship (trumpet) and at one time thought about making that his career.  Per Joe that was probably a good decision on his part not too.  But as Camden is noted for horses, Joe soon became interested in the training of them and after some success in the local area move to New York and eventually trained Belmont winner Temperence Hill.  As a 52 to 1 longshot Temperence Hill was an immediate sensation and Joe was recognized both for his training ability and ability to pick and develop a winner.


When his enthusiasm waned for racing horses Joe returned to Camden in 1991 and began to shoot recreationally in Boykin with his son JB.  After some fledgling starts, and always aspiring to the winners circle, Joe sought out the most local shooting instructor, John Higgins, and began training in earnest.  Although Joe is a remarkably humble individual and astute business man, he is understated where his shooting prowess is concerned.  Although you won’t hear it from Joe, he was very successful in the shooting world and you only have to visit the range and rustic clubhouse on Hermitage, built and developed in 1995, to see the “Man with the Golden Gun” was World Champion an unbelievable six times, four in FITASC and two in English sporting.  Joe was subsequently inducted into the hall of fame in 2008. 


So if you are looking for venue of Sporting clays, FITASC, or Five stand, you only have to go to the centrally located Hermitage Farms in historical Camden, South Carolina.  The shooting grounds encompass several hundred of Joe Cantey’s thousand acre part of the farm.  The remarkable hills and sand pits aid in great target setting from all angles and the broken ground aspect of the terrain makes it easy to “school” a shooter.  Aside from the views, the main attraction is the custom set targets both on the cypress course and loblolly course.  Shoot there once and you will see that world champion “Joe knows targets!”