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Archery in Golden Gate Park

By all rights archery should be a much more popular sport than it is. The game is so simple that a beginner can learn the basics in an hour, yet so challenging that serious athletes take years to master its skills. It's fun, it's relatively inexpensive, and nailing a bull's-eye with bow and arrow is one of the great simple thrills of sport -- as satisfying as draining a 12-foot putt or hitting a jumper from the top of the key. There is no more pleasant way to spend a gorgeous Saturday afternoon than on the archery field at the west end of Golden Gate Park, and there is no one more capable of teaching you the joy of the sport than Arman Garrett of Golden Bay Archery Academy. Garrett is a natural teacher, low-key and friendly, unfailingly patient, and attentive to each student's progress. To his credit, he keeps the preliminaries to a minimum, so his students start shooting within minutes, learning the proper technique step by step. An hour-and-a-half private lesson on Saturday is $35; group lessons are available in a four-week package for $120.

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