A while ago, I decided to visit some friends in California. Over dinner the first night, the chat turned to personal experiences in the great outdoors. Like most conversations between men, the topic became somewhat competitive.
I don't remember how but the topic turned to archery. My friend asked if I was any good with a bow, and naturally, I said yes. I had lied miserably; the only experience I had with archery was watching Robin Hood as a child.
The next morning, I got caught in that lie. I woke up, went to the kitchen of my friend's house, and laid out on the table were two bows and an assortment of arrows. I quickly came clean, stating that I didn't know anything about archery except the pointy end goes toward the target. My buddy laughed and informed me I was going to learn. You may also train yourself by reading this article first: 11 Archery Exercises For Precision & Accuracy.
Archery Field Golden Gate Park
My friend and I filled a thermos of coffee, loaded up his truck, and drove to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. At the west end of the site is Archery Field. It’s a nice piece of land carved out of Golden Gate Park just for archers or those wanting to begin learning archery.
The field has nine hay bales for attaching targets to and is open to the public for archers of all levels. You should bring your own archery equipment; however, there’s a place nearby to rent the pieces if needed. Be advised, though; it operates on a first-come, first-serve basis, so you may have to wait for your turn.
My buddy and I did have to wait for a shooting lane, so we pulled out the thermos, filled a couple of tin cups, and went over a few pointers about archery. The Park and Recreations of California do offer archery lessons at Golden Gate Park for those interested.
Redwood Bowmen Archery Club
What began as a day trip of driving around the San Francisco area turned into a two-day archery adventure.
We left San Francisco and headed east across the bay to Oakland. We stopped for some lunch, and while we finished up, my comrade suggested looking online for a nearby archery range. So with a couple of clicks on my phone, I found Redwood Bowmen Archery Club.
When we arrived at the field, we found a well-maintained property of 35 acres nestled in the California hills. It’s open to the public from dawn till dusk and has beginner lessons available. There aren't equipment rentals, so be sure to bring your own.
Pasadena Roving Archers
We headed south five hours to Pasadena from Oakland; we got some dinner, enjoyed a few nightcaps at a hotel, and called it a night.
The next morning we headed to Pasadena Roving Archers located in the City of Pasadena Public Park. It’s open during the week from sunup to sundown for those that have their own equipment. It’s available on weekends to the public after 2:30 PM.
These are a few of the places my friend and I visited while on our little excursion. If you haven't tried archery and are thinking about it, my advice is to give it a try. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have been enjoying it ever since.
I should advise you that due to the COVID situation, California has some very stringent restrictions on businesses, so if you decide to try these locations, please call ahead.