Nick Price plays golf with a shotgun at Pine Creek Sporting Club

Sporting clays or “Golf with a Shotgun” as it is often called, is a fairly new shooting sport relative to the more familiar trap or skeet, which have been popular for nearly 100 years. A clay pigeon sport, sporting clays took off in the United States in the 1980s as sportsmen discovered that its diversified presentations mimic the experience of hunting more realistically than most shooting sports. It caught on fast and is now enjoyed by more than 3 million people each year.

At face value, sporting clays does not appear to have anything in common with golf, due to contrasting body mechanics, no ball or club, and Carharts instead of “short pants”. But if one looks below the surface, the two sports mirror each other in many ways. Both require precise routines, the development of a strong mental poise, extremely good hand eye coordination, and tremendous amounts of patience.

A recent exemplification of this mounting popularity of shooting sports and the parallels between golf and sporting clays lies in the creation of Pine Creek Sporting Club, an exclusive sporting clays and wing-shooting community in Okeechobee, FL, with founding members that include two of golf’s biggest stars, Jack Nicklaus and Nick Price. The Club possesses all the amenities of a top-tier golf community (member’s lodge, gourmet restaurant, guest suites, spa, pool, a 24-hour concierge service, miles of nature trails, equestrian facilities, and more), but instead of golf, Pine Creek Sporting Club offers nearly a thousand acres for quail and wild hog hunting, 40+ acre ranch sites, a 5-stand, pistol range, trap & skeet range, onsite shooting instructors, hunting dogs, and most importantly, one of the best sporting clays courses in the southeast designed by Mitch Howells.

“Pine Creek is a sportsman’s paradise,” said founding member and golf legend Nick Price. “Stephen Myers has created a nirvana for all who love the outdoors, and I am proud to be a member, as it is one of the finest facilities I have ever had the privilege of shooting at.”

Not unlike Bandon Dunes or Sandhills Golf Club, the sporting clays course at Pine Creek Sporting Club is arranged using the club’s natural terrain, obstacles, and cover. With more than 40 throwers offering intermediate and expert presentations, the world-class course offers a wide variety of shots, including a quail walk-up to simulate a quail flush, and an English high tower simulation. Some shots are even thrown in pairs, adding more difficulty to an already tough sport, and the speeds, angles and heights can all be adjusted to create an ever-changing experience. Shooters walk through wooded areas, open spaces and brush, pausing to engage in quick eruptions of precision activity requiring extreme focus and technique. By removing the predictability of the clay’s path and offering the shooter variety that changes from station to station, the sport is challenging enough to be stimulating, but not so difficult that it becomes discouraging. Sound familiar, golfers? Also like golf, sporting clays is a sport for the entire family and an excellent option for business entertaining. With a bit of coaching, even someone who has never shot before can enjoy a round of sporting clays.

“To be successful in either golf or sporting clays it’s important to have a good foundation of the fundamental mechanics,” said Pine Creek Sporting Club co-founder Stephen E. Myers, Jr. “Both sports require good hand eye coordination, identifying your target, and proper follow through to pull off a good shot, but most importantly, they share similar camaraderie and common love for the outdoors.”

Golf legend Nick Price warms up by shooting clay pigeons at Pine Creek's shooting range.

Golf legend Nick Price warms up by shooting clay pigeons at Pine Creek's shooting range.

For more information on Pine Creek Sporting Club, visit