Gary “Robin Hood” Ward and his trusty arrow. Photo: Pacific Bowmen
A real-life Errol Flynn was born on the 2018 Pan Pacific Masters Games field archery range this weekend when Wellington Point’s Gary Ward (62) spectacularly split an opponent’s arrow from 23 metres.
Scoring a bullseye directly through another person’s arrow is a rare feat indeed, hence the term ‘shooting a Robin Hood’ when it’s achieved.
In fact, until Gary and his trusty bow came along, a Robin Hood hadn’t been scored in competition at the Pacific Bowmen Range at Reedy Creek in 30 years.
The sharpshooter says luck and the ability to “empty your head” played their parts in his scoring the archery equivalent of a golf hole-in-one.
“But I was pretty happy with it; the trick is you can’t have anything else going through your mind, you just have to focus totally on where you want to hit,” he said.
Gary says field archery is a thought sport, and advocates shooting with a clear mind.
“The part of the sport I really like is the psychology of it; you just have to empty your head,” he said.
“It’s a mental thing where you have to switch on when you get in front of the target.
“You can’t concentrate the whole way around because you’d be mentally drained at the end of the day.”
And Gary’s hole-in-one analogy isn’t just a throw away comparison.
“You practise technique and shot sequence similar to golf where you repeat the same thing over and over and over and you try to execute every shot identically,” he said.