Tuesday, 17 March 2020 / Published in News

Thank you all, for your commitment to and support of Greater Houston Sports Club. We place the highest value on your patronage, your friendship, and most of all your health, safety, and well being.

All members are warmly welcomed and encouraged to come shoot and enjoy the club within the parameters of national, state, and local recommendations regarding social distancing and wellness standards, which include, but are not limited necessarily to:

  • Frequent and rigorous washing of hands.
  • Gathering in close proximity groups of no more than ten people.
  • Avoid shaking hands, touching your face, or direct physical contact with others.

In the interest of your health, safety, and well being as our membership, and in response to the developing COVID-19 situation and recommendations from national, state, and local health officials, Greater Houston Sports Club’s leadership team has made the following decisions regarding club operations, effective immediately, until further notice:

Social Distancing Guidelines

For the continued health and wellness of our members and staff:

  • Please do not congregate in the clubhouse.
  • Please move quickly and efficiently to check in at the Front Desk.
  • Please limit the number of people in the Gun Care Center to no more than ten at a time.
  • If you are waiting in line a the Front Desk, please maintain a distance of ten feet from each other.

Guests & Small Groups Suspended

  • Membership only shooting.
  • No guests / non-members allowed.
  • Small Groups are on hold / will be rescheduled.

Regular Business & Shooting Hours

  • GHSC business and gate hours remain the same.
  • GHSC will observe strict adherence to posted Shooting Hours:

·         Wednesday – Noon to Dusk

·         Thursday – Noon to Dusk

·         Friday – Noon to Dusk

·         Saturday – 9:00am to Dusk

·         Sunday – 9:00am to 6:00pm

·         Monday / Tuesday – Closed

Steak Night & Wine/Beer Sales

  • The Bar is closed, including all beer and wine sales.
  • Wednesday / Thursday Steak Night is currently on hold.

Browning Briley Announcement

  • Please look for an announcement later this week confirming the status of the 2020 B&B.

Once again, on behalf of Greater Houston Sports Club’s leadership team and staff, we want to express our immense appreciation to you, our membership, for your support, friendship, and patronage over the years and especially during this acutely trying time.

Please see below for links to developing national / local updates and resources regarding COVID-19.

Centers for Disease Control & COVID-19 / Houston Health Department & COVID-19

Monday, 09 March 2020 / Published in News

Written by: R.K. Sawyer

Greater Houston Sports Club (GHSC) hosted the 2019 Briley Blue Goose on Memorial Day weekend, from May 24 to 27. The weather was great all four days – sunny and warm, although a gusty onshore breeze made some of the targets more challenging than usual. The first RVs began trickling in on Wednesday, making the club’s steak dinner that night a little more festive than usual with the arrival of our guests. The tournament kicked off unofficially with the Thursday afternoon “50 for 50,” in which participants put up $50 for 50 doubles targets, the evening shoot-off under the lights determining who would win the pot. Organized and sponsored by Armour Strunk and John Barnes, it was a fun beginning to a great weekend. And everyone was a winner thanks to their great precision grilled steaks!

The Friday schedule this year was dedicated to the popular Buckle Race club tournament series. Now in its 6th year, GHSC’s Buckle Race was envisioned as a fun format to introduce competitive shooting without the pressure of a “big league” tournament. It succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. GHSC management came up with the idea to add the Buckle to the Blue Goose this year, dubbing it the Blue Goose Buckle Race, and it added a lot of energy to the already successful tournament. There was only one gauge allowed for the shoot – .410 – and it made for an interesting day as shooters chose from a flexible format of skeet, sporting clays, and/or 5-stand. Over 20 Buckle prizes were awarded, as well as cash for HOA, RU, and 3rd place.

Saturday was the kick-off for the Briley Blue Goose with its 400-target Main Event in 12, 20, and 28-gauge and .410-bore. The fun also included the May Madness Bracket, Golden Goose, and of course the club’s renowned evening buffets featuring mounds of Alaskan crab legs and giant shrimp. The morning opened with the 12-gauge event, with 20-gauge in the afternoon. At the end of Saturday’s 12-gauge shoot-offs, Tanner Bissell grabbed the Champion title with Robert Paxton RU. Saturday was hot, and although the targets were hooped to perfection, the wind kept in interesting. It was a testament to talent that as many as seven shooters were able to scratch out a perfect hundred straight.

Briley’s John Barnes organized Saturday evening’s Junior Fund Auction, and it is one that will go down club history. Always successful, this year broke all records, raising $6,000 for the effort. As Kevin put it, “the club will be able to fund a lot of Junior’s next year!” A warm thanks goes to organizer John Barnes; Briley, who donated a hand-built Model 1911 .45 pistol for the auction; and Benelli which donated a 12-gauge shotgun.

The next day saw the finish of Saturday’s 20’s and the 28-gauge Main Event. The string of perfect scores came to down Carter Wehrheim and Sheaffer Stanfill, 20-gauge Champion and RU, respectively, and in the .28-gauge Andre Torrens took the top title with Cameron Shuster RU. There were no perfect 100s in the always challenging .410 bore on Monday, but plenty of 99’s. In the end Robert Paxton nabbed the .410 HOA and Mark Villancourt the RU. After the barrels cooled Monday, the 2019 Briley Blue Goose HOA trophy went to Cameron Schuster’s 396 out of 400, with RU Caile Bradham only one target behind him.

GHSC members, Board of Directors and management team extend their congratulations to the winners, and wish to thank all of the participants, sponsor Briley, and the referees for making the 2019 Briley Blue Goose another special one. The club anticipates another great Blue Goose in 2020 and looks forward to seeing returning shooters and meeting new ones. More information is coming soon for the 2020 Briley Blue Goose, at www.Briley.com or www.greaterhosutonsportsclub.com.

Monday, 09 March 2020 / Published in News

Written by: R.K. Sawyer

Some curved, some sailed straight, others looped or angled, flashing orange, black, and chartreuse against a blue sky or deep green tree line. Thousands of registered targets were launched for 400 contenders vying for top honors at the Greater Houston Sports Club (GHSC) 2019 Diamond Classic, held this year from October 10 through 13. With the shoot sandwiched between the Southeast Regional Championship in South Carolina and the National Sporting Clays Championship in San Antonio, October was a busy but fun month for tournament shooters in the south.

This year it seemed summer gave way to autumn right in the middle of the Diamond Classic. As participants made their way to the club on Thursday, passing the blaze of banners honoring past Main Event champions on Champions Drive, temperatures climbed to the mid-90s. By the time they left Sunday the first cold front of the season had dropped temperatures by nearly 40. The weather kept things interesting throughout the four-day tournament, particularly fickle wind conditions that blew from nearly every point on the compass and varied from light to gusts of 25 mph.

The 1,000-target 2019 Diamond Classic kicked off on day one with the Prelim, FITASC, 5-Stand, 12-gauge, 20-gauge, 28-gauge, and .410 bore events, as well as the 100-target Legacy Cup Super Sporting Event and Clay Snooker qualifying round. The 200-target Beck & Masten Main Event was held Saturday through Sunday. With payouts of $5,000 for HOA, RU $2,500, 3rd $1,750, and a payout range for M-E 1st to 8th from $1,500 to $200, the top shooters had every reason to keep their eyes on the targets.

The Legacy Cup Super Sporting Event and Clay Snooker contests were decided on Saturday afternoon. With $50 payout back to class, 180 shooters participated in the popular Legacy Cup Super Sporting. Bobby Fowler took home the trophy and prize money with a score of 93, one target ahead of RU Clint Foster. Cory Kruse topped the Clay Snooker elimination rounds and grabbed the main purse. The top contenders were running neck and neck at the conclusion of the first day of the Main Event. Zachary Kienbaum was in front, his score of 90 just one target ahead of John Monroe and Bobby Fowler, who were tied for second.

Between the competition and the weather, participants were ready for a respite by Saturday evening, and GHSC was ready to deliver. The fun started with an auction for palettes of ammunition provided by Able Ammo and followed by the celebrated Diamond hospitality party. Some local shooters had a difficult decision to make – Saturday evening festivities or the first game of the Houston Astros play-offs? Those who chose food and spirits over baseball made a good choice, with the Astros losing to the Yankees by seven runs while the partygoers were feted with shrimp, bacon-wrapped chicken, to-die-for artichoke dip, and stuffed mushroom caps.

Sunday dawned clear and cool with light wind. It was perfect conditions for the final day of the Main Event and scheduled the shoot-offs. No shoot-off was needed in the Main Event, as Zach Kienbaum not only maintained his lead in day two but smoked the course, winning the HOA trophy and purse by a ten-target margin over RU Annabelle Ayres, who shot a 176. Bobby Fowler earned third, shooting a score of 175. Annabelle Ayres was a force to be reckoned throughout the Diamond, winning the Lady Champion spot by nine targets over RU Desirae Edmunds, and she took Junior Champion with a four-target lead in front of RU Austin Kiemsteadt.

Tony G. Rivera won the FITASC Event HOA honors, his score of 90 besting RU Austin Kiemsteadt by two targets. In 5-Stand, Derrick Mein took the $500 HOA purse with a 93 over RU Zach Kienbaum’s 91. Jacob Cameron was the man to beat in the sub-gauge events, winning the Sub-Gauge Sporting HOA with a 274, as well as HOA spots in the 28-gauge and .410 bore. Paul McCormick was the 20-gauge champion.

GHSC’s target setters Mike Boire, Henry Velazquez, and Jason Menke knew what they were doing when they laid out the course for the 2019 Diamond Classic. They designed most of the target break points right in front of the shooter at less than 40 yards, with good visibility and no quick windows. GHSC Chief Operating Officer Kevin Dougherty says that, instead of setting long, difficult targets, the club focused on technical shots and transitions for the Main Event. There was one target, however, that most everyone was talking about ­– a rabbu on the east course. “Almost no one could hit it,” Kevin said, “and it was 25-yards and right in the front of the shooter. I don’t know what it was about that target, but I think we’re going to hear about that one for a while.” The wind was definitely a factor, particularly to shooters on Friday and Saturday morning. Kevin added that “We usually try to make the Diamond’s side events more shooter-friendly, but some of these surprised us with that wind!”

2019 marked the 17th consecutive year that GHSC has sponsored the Diamond Classic. From its inception with a single sponsor, $1,000 of prize money, and 100 registered shooters, it has grown into one of the nation’s best-attended venues. Keep your eye on the 2020 Diamond Classic – it will be combined with the Southcentral Regional Shoot as well as a leg of the NSCA FITASC Grand Slam Series. GHSC has added a fifth day to the tournament and scheduled the dates for September 2 to 6. The renamed Southcentral Regional Diamond Classic and FITASC Grand Slam will be a shoot to be remembered. Registration is already open at http://winscoreonline.com/shooter_registration_nsca.php?tournament_id=4428

GHSC members, Board of Directors, and management team wish to congratulate the winners and thank all the participants who attended this year’s Diamond Classic. A big thank you goes out to all of our sponsors as well – without them, it would not be possible to host this spectacular event. Very special thanks go to title sponsor Beck & Masten North Buick/GMC, and to Legacy Ford for sponsorship of the Legacy Cup Super Sporting Event. Dozens of other sponsors stepped up to provide tournament jackets, hats, hospitality tents, meals, the Saturday night party, and every one of the shooting events. We look forward to seeing all you this spring at the Browning-Briley, to be held at the club April 1 through 4, and again in the fall at the Southcentral Regional Diamond Classic and FITASC Grand Slam!

Monday, 09 March 2020 / Published in News

Written by: R. K. Sawyer & Jonathan Meyers

Greater Houston Sports Club (GHSC) kicked off the first of its ambitious 2019 competitive event schedule with the Browning-Briley (B&B), held from April 4 through 7. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the celebrated B&B and the second year GHSC has been event host. In addition to shoot sponsors Browning and Briley, Lincoln/Long Range returned as sponsor of the FITASC and 5-Stand, and White Flyer returned as patron of both Prelim events. A total of 525 competitors participated in the 4-day venue that offered a serious yet fun-filled schedule of events.

There were plenty of incentives for the field to shoot their best this year. At the top of the prize pile was a $4,000 payout for the Browning-Briley Main Event HOA spot, plus another $5,000 if the winner was shouldering a Browning. The runner-up cash prize was $2,500, with cash also awarded to 3rd place, Master, and Concurrent levels. In addition, the shoot offered options, trophies, and gift cards for Briley accessories. The Briley Sub-Gauge HOA payout was impressive as well, with an additional $1,000 thrown in if the winner was using Briley choke tubes. If you weren’t lucky with your score, you could still go home a winner if your ticket was drawn for the 20th Anniversary B&B commemorative Browning shotgun, the legendary ‘White Lightning’ with a set of custom Briley tubes. Or even one of the other 11 Browning shotguns at the Saturday night banquet drawing!

At the close of shooting business on Saturday, the familiar names of Bobby Fowler, Cory Kruse, and Justin Napier were at the top of the B&B Main Event scoreboard. On Sunday it was Cory, with a score of 193, who walked away with the 20th Anniversary B&B Main Event Champion spot. Bobby Fowler’s 189 nabbed him the Runner-Up (RU) title. Main Event Ladies HOA went to Haylyn Hanks with a 178, a comfortable nine targets in front of her nearest competitor, RU Meagan Harrington. In the Sub-Gauge Event, Gregory Nassar won HOA, posting a score of a 284, 12 targets ahead of RU Lyn Ward. Jo Ellen Collin repeated her performance of last year, again taking the Ladies Sub-Gauge HOA and smoking the nearest competitor by 25 targets.

Cory Kruse was on fire this year. Not only did he win the Main Event HOA, but also took top honors in the Lincoln/Long Range (LLR) 5-Stand, shooting a near perfect score of 99, and also the LLR FITASC Event. A pair of 97s tied Ed Arrighi and Nadim Nassir for second in the 5-Stand, and in FITASC Bayne Horne was named RU, his score tied with Cory’s and decided during Sunday’s tie breaker.

Haylyn Hanks earned the top spot in the LLR Ladies 5-Stand with Callan Seale RU. Haylyn was also named the LLR Ladies FITASC Ladies Champion after a tie breaker with RU Meagan Harrington. In the two B&B Super Sport competitions it was Justin Napier and Brandon Reising who took the Champion title with a 96 and 99 respectively. The RU title went to Ruben Spel in a tie-breaker and Jacob Cameron. The 100 target White Flyer Prelim 1 Champion was – you may have guessed it – Cory Kruse, his 99 one target in front of RU Steve Dickonson. Prelim 2 was almost as close, with Tom Sealy’s 99 two birds ahead of RU Logan Crane.

This year, after getting comfortable with nearly two weeks of sunny skies and comfortable temperatures, the weatherman made GHSC management a little nervous – rain was forecasted for three of the four days. Thursday in the early hours it poured, but stopped before the Prelims, 20- and 28-gauge Sporting and 5-Stand, the .410 bore Sporting, and Super Sporting events. The rest of the day was comfortable with only light winds and partly cloudy skies. Friday started with fog, light winds and no rain. For Saturday’s big guns the wind picked up from the south and the afternoon was warm, but the tourney dodged the rain bullet a third time. Saturday evening’s weather was perfect for the reception and banquet.

Returning shooters likely remember the Saturday shoot festivities from last year, when a cold front barreled through that delivered 25mph winds and a temperature drop of almost 35 degrees. This year it was no challenge to keep the reception’s crab cakes, truffle mashed potatoes, chutney-covered lamb lollipops, or tomato caprese skewers warm, and no one had to brave the elements to enjoy the banquet’s main course of beef marsala and chicken chardonnay with grilled asparagus and vegetable risotto.

But then there was Sunday. The morning started out sunny, although a black horizon quickly formed to the west that foretold what was to come. The worst of it hit about lunch time. Radios crackled the ‘come on in’ for the shooters before wind gusts topped more than 35 mph, blowing sheets of horizontal rain. It could have been a game closer, but after two hours the rain stopped. With the kind of fancy footwork GHSC is known for, the show went on. The last of the shoot-offs ran until about 7:00pm, a long day for both the club and the competitors.

Of the many high points from this year’s shoot, several are particularly memorable. One was the buzz on the field about the great target presentation, and it had to give Mike Boire a real sense of satisfaction in this, his first year as GHSC’s Operations Director. Another was the crowd reaction to Vietnam War medic and veteran Bruce Nied’s 28-gauge D-Class win. It was the Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipients personal best, and his score of 90 was 11 targets ahead of his nearest competitor.

GHSC was honored to host the 2019 20th Anniversary Browning-Briley. The club extends a sincere thanks to Browning and Briley, sponsors Lincoln/Long Range and White Flyer, and all the attendees who made the event a success. The 2020 B&B is sure to be as much fun as this year. Follow the event schedule at www.greaterhoustonsportsclub.com and be ready to register at www.winscoreonline.com!

Monday, 09 March 2020 / Published in News

Written by: R.K. Sawyer

For most Texans, fall officially kicks off on Labor Day weekend. No matter that temperatures are still in the mid to upper 90s with a “feels like” of well over 100 degrees – the Labor Day holiday marks the beginning of dove season, the kick off of college football, and it’s the weekend in which clubs across the state hold some of the best shotgunning tournaments of the year. Greater Houston Sports Club (GHSC) celebrated the holiday with its long-running Best of Texas NSSA tournament, held August 30 to Sept. 1.

The 2019 Best of Texas was fully subscribed with 150 shooters. In keeping with event tradition, plenty of food and fun were planned to accompany the serious side of the competition. Friday evening was Chicago hot dog night, and steaks were on the menu for Saturday. Shotgunning diversions included the Best of Texas Bracket, consisting of 32 single eliminations as competitors whittled their way down from 12-gauge to .410-bore until the final pair standing faced-off on the Sunday shoot-off. Just as popular was the Gold Cup, a game that provided a new twist to the skeet sport. Sponsored by GHSC members Goldie Teltschick and Danny Barraco, the 100-round non-registered 20-gauge event presented every traditional single target, for the purposes of this game, as a report pair instead. With half the purse going back to class, there was plenty of incentive to play to win.

There were plenty of incentives to shoot straight in the Main Events I through V, as well. The Event champion purse weighed in with a $500 payout, runner-up (RU) $350, and 3rd place netted $250. The Event V HOA Champion purse was $1,000, with RU $750, and 3rd place $500. Individual class winners were provided a separate purse, plus there were additional winnings for handicapped options, an optional purse, and a category for Champ of Champs.

The festivities began on Friday with the 100-target Doubles and Gold Cup Rotations. After a nice morning, the afternoon heated up to the mid-90s – not a surprise! Just as hot were the scores – two 100 straight were shot in the Doubles by Riley Chaddock and Cody Sergeant, marking Cody’s first ever Doubles 100. The shoot-off decided the winner, with Riley Chaddock earning the Event Champion title, and Cody Sergeant RU. Brandon Cade took home the 3rd place purse.

Saturday weather was a carbon copy of Friday as the day opened with Event I 12-gauge and Event II 20-gauge rotations. At the end of the day the scoreboard racked up dozens of perfect scores – 28 shooters with 12-gauge 100s, and 24 in the 20-gauge to be exact – followed by razor-thin shoot-off margins. In the 12-gauge, the winner laurels went to Champion Todd Bender with Runner Up (RU) Nick Ballentine, and 3rd going to Clay Baldwin. Todd dominated the 20-gauge competition as well, followed by RU Andrew Peter, and Jacob Young nabbing the 3rd place purse.

On Saturday afternoon participants gathered to witness one of skeet’s oldest traditions, in which any shooter who breaks their first 100 straight, in any gauge, is acknowledged by the spectators before a group is invited to the field to shoot the hat they were wearing to commemorate the event. This year four Best of Texas shooters participated in this special honor. Cody Sergeant shot his first 100 in Doubles, Robin Woods locked up his first 100 in 12-gauge, and Wesley Oldham – all the way from New Zealand – broke his first 100 in 20-gauge. Twelve-year-old Cooper Oliver shot his first perfect score in 12-gauge – and then followed it by his first 100 in 20-gauge!

No rain but plenty of heat greeted Sunday shooters with a schedule that included the 28-gauge and .410 Events. There were more 100s across the board, with a total of 16 shot in the 28-gauge, and 4 in the .410. Carter Wehrheim ruled the small-bore competition, taking the Event Champion spot in both .28-gauge and .410. Close on heels in the .28-gauge Event was RU Paul Giambrone III and Billy Williams with a 3rd. Cody Sargeant took the RU honors, and Robert Lindley 3rd in the .410-bore.

Everyone following the scoreboard knew the HOA Event was going to be close. There was great shooting all weekend across every class, and three shooters – Cody Sergeant, Billy Williams, and Lauren Burge – each had 300 x 300 going into the final show down. When the smoke cleared, Cody Sargeant was the one who never flinched, taking top honors as HOA Champion. Including the Doubles Event, Cody shot his first ever a perfect 500 x 500. Caile Bradham’s 398 earned him the HOA RU trophy, and Paul Giambrone III took 3rd with a 397. Lauren Burge, who shot a 397, won both the HOA Lady Champion trophy and HOA Junior Champion spot.

GHSC once again hosted a knockout Best of Texas program, mixing some shotgunning fun in with the sanctioned competition. The GHSC Board of Directors, management team, and membership wish to congratulate the winners and thank all the participants who attended this year’s Best of Texas. The club invites shooters to the 2020 Best of Texas, which next year will be held in November after the World Shoot in San Antonio. More information will be coming to soon!