Beginners Course

Our beginners’ course is a chance for anyone new to the sport to join and learn the basics. Our course focuses on safety and technique, teaching new archers to shoot comfortably and with range safety in mind.

Sign-ups for the Beginners’ Course will open at the end of Freshers’ Week.

It consists of three 2.5-hour sessions, once per week, with the majority of the time (~2 hours per session) dedicated to shooting practice. 2 hours is the usual amount of time dedicated to shooting, even by seniors, so this should prepare you for shooting as a full member of our club!*
*you don’t have to stay for 2 hours when you’ve become a novice (post-beginners). You can shoot as often and for as long as you like.


Each session will build upon the previous, with training including:

  • Safety
  • Etiquette
  • Technique
  • Anchors
  • Aiming


  • Bow setup and takedown
  • Finger tabs and slings
  • Using and setting up a sight
  • Handling arrows.


  • Effective warmup and cooldown routines

Sessions will also include demonstrations of other bow styles, including:

Olympic Recurve
Full recurve setup with sights and stabilizers.
Recurve with no sights or stabilizers.
Bows made from wood or (usually) non-modern materials.
Mechanically-assisted bows with scopes and stabilizers.

Bows and Equipment

Please do not buy any equipment in anticipation of the beginners’ course. In order to easily and properly train you, we will provide equipment we are familiar with so we know exactly how we can help you.

You’ll be using wooden takedown recurve bows with a comfortable poundage (see jargon) between 14 lbs and 24 lbs, and aluminum arrows. We’ll help you select the correct arrows for your draw length, and a comfortable poundage for you to use.

Please keep a note of which bow and which arrows you use. Each bow has a quirky name so it’s easy to remember, and the arrows have different colors!

Coaching and Training

During each session, you’ll spend half the time shooting with a coach, and the other half waiting for your turn. During this non-shooting time, you get the fun of “clingy-bands”! These are large elastic bands that mimic the action of drawing and releasing, and you’ll be instructed on how to use them to practice. Take it from us seniors, they are very helpful.
We recommend, however, bringing a thick glove to wear so that the band doesn’t hit your hand. It doesn’t hurt, but it can get annoying after many releases.

You may have a different coach each session, so please note down what you have been working on at the end of each week. If you’re unsure, ask the coach you’ve been working with and they’ll happily tell you!

There’s no score requirement for you to become a novice (a non-beginner club member), just that you have attended each session and can shoot safely, so don’t worry if you feel like your scores are not good enough, there’s plenty of time afterwards for practice!