5 quick steps on how to built your own american horseshoe pitching course
So spring is around the corner and many may be considering building an American course. Balder's HSK gives you a quick guide on how!
Step 1 - Location
Find a good place that is as flat as possible, count on a length of 14-16 meters at least to fit two pitch zones (stakes are placed 40 feet apart) . If you are short of space, you can settle for a single pitch zone and around 13 meters. If you can choose, position the course so that the sun does not interfere with the throw as much as possible. Think about when you will usually pitch, is it morning sun, evening sun, etc.
Step 2 - The border
Find a good piece of wood that can serve as a border. You can have without, but it is nice to frame the course and that it provides some protection if the course is used by beginners. Balder's HSK chose a timber with about the dimension of 12x12 cm. Keep in mind that the timber is quite hard hit by weather such as wind and rain, maybe snow!. We choose to oil the timber with a "Roslags mahogany", a mixture of tar, linseed oil, turpentine and carbon black.
Step 3 - Stake
Dig a pit according to the correct dimensions (see dimension picture). Get 2 strong 10 liter buckets, mix cement and fill the buckets and run down about 70-80 cm long iron stick with 2 cm in diameter. The stick should protrude about 38 cm and have a slight slope. However, the stick can theoretically also be set straight, but there is an advantage with inclination. When the cement has dried, place the buckets in the holes.
Step 4 - Fill the pits
Before filling the pits with sand, do not forget to put a ground cloth underneath to avoid weeds. The pits can also be built with clay (which is what you most often compete with), but sand works excellently as a training pit and requires less maintenance.
Step 5 - Order home shoes
Now is the time to buy home shoes! If you are a beginner, you will find that there are many different shoes to choose from (which is not the case with our Swedish "track horseshoe pitching", as we only have 1 model). Depending on the style you pitch with, flip style, "1 1/4" shoe or "1 3/4", you also choose shoes. Please note that the shoes are approved by the NHPA (National Horseshoe Pitching Association) if you want to compete with them. You can read more about the styles, technique and game rules here:
Step 6 - Lets Go!
Now just start pitching and do not forget to keep track of your % of "Ringers"! ;) Practicing horseshoe pitching is a difficult task, regardless of whether you practice the Swedish or American way, that requires patience and perseverance. At the same time, it can be practiced only for fun during a summer evening. You can read more about how to train horseshoe pitching here: https://www.baldershsk.com/post/how-to-practise-horseshoe-pitching