Hunter's clays is what the British originally called the game. In fact, when Brister first brought the game over from England, thats what he called it, but it really didn't stick, so they substituted Sporting for Hunter's and the rest is history. The original concept was for a course to duplicate shots that would typically be encountered in the field. The game was basically a course set up on the various "shooting grounds" and was used by the English shotgun manufacturers as a training facility for their clients. Once it became a competitive sport, most resemblances to actual field conditions vanished. No more low gun requirements, rediculously long targets (that a good instructor would advise most clients form taking at live game) and it became a game of optical illusional whit between the target setter and the shooter.
The bottom line is that if you can find a clays course that cater's to hunter's clays, it is one of the more realistic courses and a valuable training tool.
I feel slightly sorry for a man who has never patterned his gun, who has no idea how far his chosen load will retain killing penetration. But I'm extremely sorry for the ducks he shoots at beyond the killing range of his gun and load - Bob Brister