Shotgun sports

Zac and Erica Womack, new owners of Silverleaf Shotgun Sports in Guthrie, pose with their Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Remington.

Located on 160 acres in Guthrie is Silverleaf Shotgun Sports, a facility that offers shooting clay sports including Skeet and Trap. New owners Zac and Erica Womack, who are originally from Tulsa, acquired the facility in October 2018 and are continuing to host corporate and fundraising events as well as being open to the pubic two days per week. 

One goal for Silverleaf, which originally opened in 1998, is to become an Olympic training facility.

“This is the 21st year of being open,” Zac said. “Every day is a learning experience.”

Silverleaf offers Sporting Clays, Skeet, Trap, 5-Stand and Wobble Trap. At this facility, Sporting Clays is the most popular shotgun discipline which is sometimes referred to as “golf with a shotgun” since the shooter moves through stations on a course and may use a golf cart.

Edmond resident Jim Fulmer enjoys going to Silverleaf and praises the Womacks for their hospitality. Fulmer, who is recently retired from the state in public finance, talked about the facility and the sport of shooting clays.

“I have been shooting for a little over a year,” Fulmer said. “I really got hooked.”

As a life-long golfer, Fulmer spoke of golf’s extended time commitment as compared to the shooting clay course which is about about a mile and takes approximately an hour to an hour and a half for a round. There are 12 stations on each course and he shoots a round of 100 clays.

“There are three sporting clay courses,” Fulmer said. “I rotate between those courses. It is a great escape for me.” 

 

OLYMPIC-CERTIFIED TRAINING FACILITY

When the Womacks purchased Silverleaf they intended to make it an Olympic training facility as Zac is considered accomplished and has a stellar background in shooting shotguns. Zac began shooting competitively at the age of 13. 

“I was on the Junior Olympic shotgun team for almost four years,” Zac said. “I would shoot 250 shells about five to six days a week.”

While on the Junior Olympic shotgun team, Zac earned a World Cup spot which took him to Cyprus to represent the USA! Shotgun team. His hard work and achievements led to a college scholarship.

“I also received a full-ride scholarship to Midland University in Nebraska,” Zac said.

After he stopped competing Zac wanted to start a clay shooting range in Tulsa and grow the sport. When Silverleaf became available the couple quit their jobs — he in sales, she in the dental industry — to purchase the facility and move to Guthrie.

“We are trying to become the first Olympic training center in Oklahoma for shotgun sports,” Zac said. “We will need to raise $150,000-$200,000 in sponsorships. We are still looking for our first sponsor.”

As a show of thanks to financial sponsors, Silverleaf will display a sign which will read “Olympic dreams provided by ….” The sponsorship money will pay for the changes needed in order to comply with the required regulations. Silverleaf’s general contractor is working with Olympic coaches and USA Shooting to ensure the courses are built to specification. Once the money is raised, the plans can be finalized and the improvements will begin.

SILVERLEAF FUNDRAISING EVENTS

The Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce, INTEGRIS Health Edmond and the Lazy E are among the local organizations that have fundraising events at Silverleaf. The Edmond Kiwanis Club is one group that holds a yearly fundraiser at Silverleaf for the Children’s Hospital Foundation. Al Warren, who is on the Board of the Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, talked about the event held earlier this year and the money raised for the hospital over the past eight years.

“We have raised $160,000 for Children’s Miracle Network,” Warren said. “That is a nice amount for this small group.”

Approximately 140 were in attendance at this year’s event with 108 playing the courses. Event proceeds will help the Children’s Hospital Foundation pediatric and endocrinology programs at the Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center.

“Many attendees would rather wear jeans and boots than tuxedos,” Warren said.

Some who come to the fundraisers own guns that cost anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000 and like shooting guns while raising money for a good cause. The money raised by the Kiwanis Club for the Children’s Hospital makes sure that no sick child has to leave the state, that top doctors are brought to our state and that no child is turned away, he said.

In addition to raising money for the community with four major fundraisers a year, the Edmond Kiwanis Club supports many community groups in a variety of ways. The  major focus of Kiwanis Clubs is sponsoring high school Key Clubs where student members perform community service projects like cleaning up parks, collecting clothing and organizing food drives. The youth learn leadership skills by planning projects, running meetings, and holding elected leadership positions. The Key Club is an international, student-led organization that gives members opportunities to provide service, build character and develop leadership.

With fundraising and corporate events scheduled far in advance, sometimes up to a year, the Olympic Training Facility plans underway, and building the business, the Womacks stay busy. The Womacks, who also recently had a child, said they are happier than ever and looking forward to the future.

“We hope to grow our family along with our business while helping grow shooting sports in Oklahoma,” Zac said.

Silverleaf, located at 8513 S. Douglas Blvd. in Guthrie, is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Members may also shoot on most Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Due to inclement weather and a busy corporate schedule, a call prior to intended arrival is recommended.