It's time for Diablo Rod & Gun Club's first FT Golf Match of the 2011 Season! FT Golf Matches are a very fun diversion from the normal FT Game. The FT Golf Match differs from a normal FT Match in format and scoring.
In a golf match, you want to earn the lowest points possible to win as opposed to a normal FT Match where the the most points wins. Also, in a golf match, when addressing a target, you take a shot at the target and if you knock it down, you earn a point and move on to the next target. If you missed the target, you take another shot at it and if it falls, you earn 2 points and move on to the next target. If you missed the second shot you take a third shot and if it falls, you earn 3 points and move to the next target. If your third shot was a miss, you earn 4 points and move on to the next target.
Today's FT Golf Match has 2 targets per lane, 11 lanes set, thus 22 points is the best possible score. With our golf matches, we utilize our club's Archery Range to enhance this "change of pace" as it offers greater range of targets with varied uphill terrain and the added complexity & challenge of WIND rolling down and across the hillside!!!
Given the planned golf format, a few of us were excited and wanting to shoot different rifles/classes to just truly mix things up and just have FUN! We were also excited to hear that some shooters, including Steve T. from Nevada would be making the trek to our shoot to enjoy the fun as well as check out some equipment. As such I decided to bring a couple springers that I was thinking of shooting, an HW97K(.20) which had holdover to 45 yds. and a RWS350(.22) that had numbers to 25 yards. I also brought along USFT Carbine #168 and a sub 12fpe Steyr LG110FT for Steve to check out as he was interested in these models as his potential first pcp FT Rifle.
Once the truck was loaded with the gear, I decided to fill my commuter thermos with 2 cups of coffee and grabbed the freshly baked bagel dog my wife picked up for me in the morning on her way back from the gym. Normally I wouldn't drink coffee or any caffeine before a match but I figured what the heck, we're looking at this as more like a Fun Shoot/Get Together so I'm gonna enjoy some good coffee and leave the shooting jacket and glove at home and go play!
As I drive from my house to the range, the weather(thankfully) is changing from cool/cold to warm and as I pull into the parking lot by the Archery Range it is looking surprisingly full!!! I'm getting stoked, my stomach is happy, the 2 cups of inspiration are in full effect and there's a parking lot full of familiar airgunners looking to have some fun at today's Golf Match!
I was pleasantly surprised to see a handful of new old faces at hand. Jim R. of Stockton was in the lot. Jim is one of the guys that I met in Sacramento last year when I helped start an airgun club up there. Last time I saw him was at a Fun Shoot at Diablo Rod and Gun Club last year so it was great to see him here today. It's a good thing to see folks that were new shooters at the club previously return and that we did! From our last FT Match, Richard A. & Matt L. from Sacramento were back for more as were Ed P. and Eric C. Steve T., whom shot a match with us last year, made the trek from Nevada again to have some fun. From our 10m Indoor League, George M. and Doug T. came to try HFT for the first time and see what it was like.
After meeting and greeting with all that were there, Riz and a few of the guys pull up with the Field Targets, sight in spinners and other equipment that had to be transported from our storage area up to the Archery Range so the course could be set. In typical fashion, everyone was helping set the course and it was set quickly. Also in typical Diablo style, shooters brought some wonderful Accuracy Enhancing snacks for all to enjoy, including donuts, Spanish Bread and Jim R.'s freshly baked cookies!
Match Director Jonathan Reyes called the Shooters' Meeting to take care of administrative duties as well as make an important announcement. Much to our surprise, Jonathan announced that he would be stepping down as Match Director due to an excellent opportunity arising, one of those cross roads in life, that re-focuses priorities but unfortunately for us will relocate him abroad in the foreseeable future. Jonathan has performed an excellent job as Match Director over the past year, keeping the club's interest and honor at heart and at the forefront of his decisions and actions both at the club and elsewhere. As many of you know Jonathan, he truly is one of the "Good Guys" that always brings a smile and positive energy/attitude where ever he goes. We wish him the best but also really wish he didn't have to leave us!
With that said, Jonathan called the line hot so we could start sighting in! It was a crowded sight in line with all these shooters, but who's complaining to have all these airgunners on the line!!!
After a bit of warming up with my Blue Laminate HW97k(.20), things started going south! I was hitting everything from 11 to 25 yards consistently then I could barely hit any of the spinners! Time to abort the mission and grab my USFT Carbine and see if it was still on, 2 shots at 25 yards confirmed it was good enough as Jonathan announced the sight in was going to end so we could pair up and start the match. Hmmm, kind of funny how the match is starting as the wind is picking up!!!
Today I am paired up with Matt L. from Sacramento. He is a new FT shooter as this is his first actual match. He's showed up at a few matches in Sacramento and Diablo to look and try and sight in his rifle but this would be the big day to get his feet wet with his TX200MKIII and score card in hand.
As we're moving along, we're hitting a few and missing a few and one thing is apparent, Matt is having fun and likes to have fun at what he's doing. He's cracking jokes/comments and laughing and smiling as he hits and misses. Comments like "That Target is being stubborn" when it doesn't fall or "How did that happen?!?!?" when they did fall!
Elsewhere on the course folks are having fun on playing FT Golf as the temps start to really warm up and the wind starts doing its thing as it rolls down and across the hillside with gusts to around 15mph.
Junior Shooter, Doug T. is paired up with veteran shooter Mike A. aka Boomer Mikey who has set up an S200 for young Doug to use at his first FT match. Doug T. is one of the up and coming first year 10m & 3P shooters at our club that recently placed at a National Level shoot against much more experienced shooters with higher end equipment than his Daisy 853, the kid can shoot!
Boomer was showing his Off Hand Shooting Skills as he took out both a 50ish and 60ish target on his first shots!!!
Richard A. drove down from Sacramento to enjoy some fun in the sun shooting HFT with his TX200MKIII:
Steve T. made the trek all the way from Reno, NV with his TX200. Despite the downward velocity swings his gun has been experiencing, the change of altitude yielded a slight pick up in velocity for him and he was having at it and enjoying the course and company:
The course was filled with a good vibe and laughter everywhere. George M., another first time FT Shooter, but regular 10m shooter had his MROD(.22) with a 3 - 9 x 32AO Bushnell Scope on it with a 25ft. zero(We shoot our 10m targets at 25feet due to space constraints) and he was figuring out his holdover as he went along the course. Facing a 45 yarder, he breaks his shot and drops the target and all you hear is an uproar from everyone around him, to put it mildly he was finding FT "FUN"!!!
Ed P. is shooting his 2nd FT Match. At his first match, he showed up with his RWS34 and open sights and it was decided that he pair up with Jonathan R. to learn the game and share his scoped rifle. This time he had a scope on his rifle and was shooting the match up until the point he had to leave to go to work! How's that for committment, showing up to a match to enjoy it as much as he can before having to pack up and head to work?!?!
Eric C. is another relatively new FT shooter whose 2nd match is at hand with his HW97K in hand and having a blast!
Jun A. is a casual FT shooter that comes out, time permitting to relax and spend some time with his RWS34P and friends:
As the day is progressing, so are the winds and its making the veteran shooters smile and shake there heads at times, lol. The classic scenario of missing the first shot and compensating the second shot to only have it hit where you were aiming was all too common!
It was great to see the veterans having at it in challenging conditions, which we do not normally get in our usual match setting.
Once the course of fire ended for me, I set up the grill and started the sausages which were accompanied with fruit salad, chips and cold refreshments! It was funny, George M. exuberantly states "You guys Shoot AND Eat?!?! That's great!!!" I then let him know that the Field Target group is VERY SOCIAL, we like to Shoot, Eat and Hangout as it makes our hobby that much more FUN of an EXPERIENCE!!!
As we're hanging out and relaxing, Matt L. announces that he has brought a special dessert for all of us to enjoy that he brought all the way from Syria the other week. These pastries/desserts ARE EXCELLENT and everyone enjoyed them/devoured them readily!!!
Oh yeah, before I forget, the scores...By the looks of things, if this match is any indicator, Hunter Field Target(HFT) is gonna be real popular this year!
Thanks again to Diablo Rod and Gun Club and the USI Range for providing yet another Insanely Fun and Safe shooting event for us to enjoy.
Til next time...
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