Shotgun Camp: Sea Island Shooting School

Sea Island, Georgia

Photo: Sully Sullivan

Shooters take aim over the marsh at Sea Island's sporting clays course

WHEN TO GO: Avoid the summer holidays if you want to beat the crowds.


WHAT TO EXPECT: Shots have been flying at the site of the Sea Island Shooting School since 1929, the year after Sea Island resort opened. Today, the sporting outfit is one of the most comprehensive in the South, offering skeet, trap, and five-stand shooting, as well as a ten-station sporting clays course tucked into the marsh just a golf-cart ride away. Four full-time instructors, the most junior of whom has been with the school for fourteen years, specialize in introducing beginners to proper form and shooting technique. Customized one-on-one and group lessons cater to all ages and skill levels: While adults can practice on the five-stand course, younger guests learn the basics on an air-rifle range that is one of the most consistently popular youth attractions at Sea Island. “Parents come in all the time and tell me that it’s all their kids have been talking about for the past year,” says director of outdoor pursuits Jon Kent.


TYPICAL DAY: Whether you’re a seasoned pro or coming in for your first lesson, you’ll need to call ahead and make an appointment. Lessons start at $100 an hour, but the details and duration are up to you. Outfitted with state-of-the-art Beretta and Caesar Guerini guns, you can learn to hit your first clay pigeon, walk the course with friends, or shoot five-stand until your shoulder is sore. And, this being Sea Island, you can head straight to the spa for a massage—or to the beach for some cooling off—just as soon as you’re done.


GETTING THERE: While the shooting school is one of the few facilities at Sea Island that is open to non-guests, it is conveniently located just a five-minute bike ride from the Cloister, the resort’s flagship hotel. Fly into the Brunswick or Jacksonville airport (roughly twenty and seventy miles away, respectively) and take either a rental car or a prearranged shuttle to Sea Island.