Bristol Bowmen and
Golden Phoenix Archers


A Robin Hood shot. That's where one arrow goes down another arrow.

© Dave Nicholson 2006.

A 'Robin Hood' is where one arrow lands in the end of another arrow already in the target. Sadly this ruins both arrows, but it looks impressive.

The one above was achieved by Andy Friend on the 7 yards practice range at Wales Archery.

This is a very difficult distance as the arrow is still spinning from leaving the bow.

The optimum distance is 15 yards. However, as this is not a distance which is usually shot, most 'Robin Hoods' occur at 20 yards.

If you are a returnee and do not need to undertake the beginner's course, please contact David Smith, either by 'phone 0117 927 6479, email coaching@bristolanddisabledarchers.org.uk to arrange a time to come and meet us.

Update – Wednesday 7 June 2017: 7.15pm

We have no places left for our 2017 courses and are not yet taking applications for our 2018 courses. In January 2018 we will advertise on this page the date and time at which we will start taking applications for our May 2018 courses. Meanwhile please read through the rest of this section as it gives details of the information we will need from you when you apply and how the applications will be processed:

We run courses on Saturday afternoons and, if we have enough interest, on Wednesday evenings. In addition to filling the courses we always take some names in reserve as we generally find we do have a small number of people who either do not meet the deposit payment date, or become unavailable to take their place due to a change in their circumstances. Anyone who accepts a reserve place, but does not make it onto the course, will be automatically offered a place on the next available course, prior to the list opening for general applications.

For full details of the course times please see the lessons section, below. While we will accept juniors in year 7 and below on the Wednesday evenings, due to the courses being run during term time (and the May holiday week), we prefer that they attend on Saturdays. We therefore allocate target places specifically for younger juniors on Saturdays.

When you apply, please make sure that you include the information detailed in points 4 and 5, below.

Once you have been notified that you have a place on the course we will require a deposit of half the course fee (£15 per person) from you within a week of booking.. This deposit is non-refundable. You will be given details of how to pay this once you have been offered a place on the course.

You will then need to attend a measuring session in late March/early April. You will need to bring the balance of monies and a completed application form with you to this session. You will be advised of the date and time once your deposit has been received, it is, however, likely to be a Thursday evening in the club house at our outdoor venue. We will endeavor to time this meeting outside of the school holidays, however, due to the potential of needing to buy new equipment before the course starts, we cannot guarantee this. If you cannot make this session, alternative arrangements will be made. Under no circumstances should forms and/or money be sent to the rugby club.

If you miss either of these dates, without contacting us beforehand, you will lose your place on the course and any monies already paid will be forfeit.

Please make sure that you read the course suitability and lessons sections as well as the notes below before applying for a place on the course.

  1. The minimum age at which we allow children to start the beginners' course is 8.
  2. Children who will be 8 before 1 May in the year of their beginner's course can be added to the list once it re-opens however they cannot start their lessons until their eighth birthday.
  3. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
  4. To be added to the list we will need your name, address and telephone number and for anyone under the age of 18, date of birth and parental contact details. Please see points one and two, above, regarding minimum age.
  5. Please also state whether you can attend on Saturdays or Wednesdays or both and if you have a preference as to which of the days you prefer, please also state that.
  6. Names will be added to the list on a strictly first come, first served basis, bearing in mind point five, above.

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All our courses are run by qualified coaches who have been CRB/DBS (police) checked and have undertaken child and vulnerable adult protection courses. The coaches are supported by a team of experienced club helpers who all have also been CRB/DBS (police) checked.

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We are always heavily over-subscribed and those of us providing the lessons give our time, free of charge, to teach people who are genuinely interested in taking up target archery long-term.

Who our courses are suitable for:

  • People who intend, should the lessons meet their expectations, to go on and join the club at the end of the course. We accept that there is always the potential for 'life to get in the way'; so that you may not, after all, join, but we require that you start the course with the intention of doing so. If you simply want to try out archery, we suggest you try somewhere like the Avon Ski and Action Centre at Churchill, North Somerset.

Who our courses are not suitable for:

  • People who wish to progress to field archery. We do not have a field archery course and in order to take part in field archery, junior archers have to be shooting competently at 50 yards and adult archers at 80 yards. We therefore suggest that you try a club like Bath Archers, who have a field archery course and should be better able to meet your long-term aspirations.
  • Young people wishing to use the course solely to meet a requirement of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme (D of E). Our courses are not of long enough duration to meet the D of E requirements and we therefore cannot sign-off your sheets. If you are genuinely interested in target archery and intend to join the club long-term, so that the D of E is simply a by-product, our courses are suitable for you.

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According to the rules of our governing body, Archery GB, a person is allowed to shoot six times before joining a club, this is for insurance purposes.

If you are under the age of 18, we will need the consent of a parent or guardian for you to shoot with us.

All lessons take place at our outdoor venue, Keynsham Rugby Football Club. For details of how to find us please see the 'location' page.


  • Lessons will start as early in May as the weather and events at the rugby ground permit. They will continue through until everyone has completed the course.

You will need to attend a minimum of five, and maximum of six sessions, within a course to be offered club membership. If bad weather, genuine illness or unavailability of the ground or coaches reduces the number of available Saturdays or Wednesdays to less than five, top-up sessions will be offered on mutually convenient Sundays.


Saturday course

  • Saturdays weeks one and two from 1.30pm to 4.00 pm.
  • Saturdays week three onwards from 1.00pm to 4.00 pm.
  • Sunday 'top-ups', if needed, from 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm.

Wednesday course

Please note: Wednesday lessons will only take place if demand is high enough and we have sufficient club members to run them.

  • All weeks, 6.00 pm until dusk or 9.00 pm, whichever is earlier. Younger children may leave at 8.00 pm, if appropriate.
  • Sunday 'top-ups', if needed, from 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm.


  • Full course of five or six lessons: £30.00.

New for 2017 lessons: Generally the course will finish at some point in June. Due to changes at a national level we can now be flexible as to when we start charging the reduced July to September price. For those joining our clubs after completing our beginners' course, you can now pay the 1 July price as soon as you finish your course in June instead of having to wait until July to be eligible for the reduced fee. In addition, if you join the club within one month of completing the course, you will receive a £15.00 discount off your renewal at 1 October that year. If you do not renew your membership, the discount will be forfeited. For details of the cost of joining please see the 'fees' page.


Once you have been offered a place on the course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £15.00. The balance of the money and a completed enrolment form (see below) will be required around a month later.

Please note: If you miss either of the dates you will lose your place on the course and any monies already paid will be forfeit. Even if you have paid in full, if you do not submit your enrolment form by the required date, you will lose your place. The form is your insurance cover and, in the case of people under the age of 18, it is also the parental consent form, therefore without this, you will not be allowed to shoot.

You will be advised of the details of the address to send the monies and completed form to, once you have been offered a place.


You will need to print out and bring the beginner's logbook with you to every lesson (see below). This acts both as your record and allows the coaches to keep track of what elements of the course still need covering.

Why not give archery a go, we might just turn you into the next Robin Hood (see the picture on the right).

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We provide all the equipment you need and if you do join, you can carry on using this equipment for the first three months of your membership, at no extra charge, provided that it is not needed for another beginner. If you wish to carry on using our equipment after this three month period, we will charge you £1 per session to use a bow and £2 per session for arrows. Again this is provided that the equipment is not needed by another beginner.

In addition to the beginner's draw-weight bows, we have a very limited number of heavier (stronger) bows that are available for new members. While these would never be needed by beginners, arrows of the correct length may be. Use of these heavier bows is subject to the same usage terms and conditions as detailed for the beginners bows in the above paragraph.

However if you already have your own equipment and would prefer to use this, we would need to check it over before you use it the first time, to make sure that it meets current safety standards.

Once you have become a member, if you wish to shoot at our indoor venue, you will need to provide all your own equipment, as other than targets, we keep no club equipment there.

Please do not to be tempted to purchase your own equipment until you have tried a few types of bows. Make sure that you take a knowledgeable person with you when you do go to buy your first bow and arrows.

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Winter – At this time of the year, it's lots of layers of close fitting clothes. You can't wear anything bulky or with zips, chest pockets etc as these can catch in the bow string.

If you have shoulder length or longer hair, bring something to tie it back with. If the wind blows and your hair whips forward, again it can catch in the bow string, which can be extremely painful.

For the feet, wear something good and solid and waterproof. Although we don't shoot in the rain, the grass is wet at this time of year anyway and it can be very muddy.

Summer – Again you need to wear a close fitting top to stop the bow string catching. Although it may be tempting for the men not to wear a top at all, don't do it. If you have a hairy chest, it is very easy for the string to wrap in the hairs. This hurts – a lot – as one of our club members can confirm.

As in the winter, shoulder length or longer hair needs to be tied back.

For the feet, you need to wear flat shoes or trainers. Sandals do not provide a firm enough base to balance your body, nor do they provide adequate protection.

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Bring something non-alcoholic to drink. Even in winter you can start to dehydrate. If this happens your shooting becomes inaccurate. Likewise, if shooting all day, bring food with you.

Please note – Mixing alcohol with archery is potentially very dangerous, therefore if you have had even one drink, please do not attempt to try and shoot. If we suspect that you have had any alcohol we will not let you shoot.

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Once you have completed your beginner's course, if you wish to continue, you must join. For this we need you to complete the membership application form and pay the appropriate fees.

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Created: 27 December 2006
Updated: 11 September 2017

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Golden Phoenix Archers