Patrick Chaplin: Book & Product Reviews

The Art of Darts

John Lowe Reveals ‘The Art of Darts’

The Art of Darts by John LoweJohn Lowe’s eagerly awaited darts tuition book The Art of Darts is to be published by Hodder & Stoughton at the end of May.

John said “It is almost four years since I first realised that the sport of darts was badly in need of a comprehensive manual that would help the beginner and the professional alike and so I have written The Art of Darts.” He added, “I believe The Art this book once bought would never be loaned - always owned - and an on-going source of self help to all darts players.”

This important instructional work is written in a way to make it easy reading and simple to understand. It is relevant to all levels of play and not only shows the beginner the correct stance, grip and release but shows all players how to build the self-confidence needed to be more than just proficient at this most popular of sports.

John said, “I believe The Art of Darts will be enjoyed by everyone who owns a copy. I am convinced that it will never be left on the shelf. Players will carry it wherever they go so that when part of their game breaks down, a quick search through the pages will soon reveal the solution to the problem.

When I wrote the book, my intention was always clear. I had to bring a book to the market place that catered for everyone, traditional steel tip players and soft tip players alike. The basic method of throwing darts is quite simple, but the secret is to make sure you have those basic lessons in place from the start. If you think that your individual style and performance are fixed and will never change, think again. In The Art of Darts I show you how to make changes, changes you never believed possible; changes that will improve your standard of play beyond all expectation.”

Writing The Art of Darts has given John immense pleasure. He said, “I have enjoyed the process from inception to fruition and clearly I am thrilled that such a prestigious publishing house as Hodder & Stoughton has seen the tremendous potential of my book and taken it on board.”

The Art of Darts will be published on 28th May by Hodder and Stoughton and will be available from all good bookshops and via www.amazon.co.uk.

February 2009

The Art off Darts Book Review - David King

The Art of Darts by John Lowe I have read and covered quite a number of dart related books over recent years and to hear a new book ‘The Art of Darts’ written by John Lowe is due on the market soon whetted my appetite immensely.

John Lowe has won hundreds of dart tournaments including three Embassy World Darts Championships in three different decades. He is an ambassador to darts like no other player. Less flamboyant than a lot of professional dart players on the circuit John gained the nick name of ‘Old Stone Face’ due to his concentration and focus on every shot he made with his darts. He was the first dart player to record a perfect 9 501 dart finish on TV earning him a massive £102,000 for his effort.

John has played and still plays competitive darts for over thirty years. Hearing that John was bringing his experience of the sport out in a book that covers the beginners basics to how to become a professional player seemed to me a must buy publication. But can one book span both the beginners’ basics and also satisfy the experience player considering a professional career in the sport?

Firstly let’s not judge the book by its cover! But personally the cover seems to have been deliberately given a nostalgic appearance i.e. something you have seen on the bookshelves for forty years and I don’t think it does the book justice in the modern era of darts. I hope a bright dust cover is being introduced to make it stand out from the Dicken’s novels that are on the shelves.

The book is of not of standard size approximately 5 ¼” x 7 ½” handy to carry with you as John may put it. 180 pages including intro might be deliberate or just coincidence i.e. 180 the maximum three dart score on a dart board. The first 62 pages starts with the beginners guide to darts covering everything from choosing a set of darts, flights and stems, the standard grip, throwing stance and a few practise routines. I would have liked a few more competitive practise routines included here but the book hurriedly moves onto the ‘Master Class’ design and is targeted at dart players wanting to progress in the sport. Here John is at his best giving answers and advice on how to take the next steps in the sport even to the extent of questioning your own ability to succeed at the very high level an important point when the financial outlay may be more than most think. John covers this all even to the extent on how you may approach a possible sponsor to cover some of the expenses. John also provides an introduction letter and full interview advice, which I am sure some will find useful!

During the course of reading the book I always had in the back of my mind John saying:

Players will carry it wherever they go so that when part of their game breaks down, a quick search through the pages will soon reveal the solution to the problem.’

For a beginner maybe yes, but what John does reveal is his views and experiences at different parts of his career some good, some not so good and how to cope and analyse them. It may not be what you might expect as this book is not fully a manual, rather a father figure giving his words of wisdom about life as a professional darts player and how to become a professional darts player. There are few, if any, better to give good clean advice.

The book was not what I was fully expecting but it gave a few insights into the commitment required and what to do should you have the ability to become a professional player.

‘The Art of Darts' - 'A master class with 3-Time World Champion’ published by Hodder and Stoughton is on general release at all major book outlets from 28th May 2009.

David King

The Art of Darts - Dartoid's Review

It seems that John Lowe is angling to publish as many books as he’s won tournaments. His fifth book – The Art of Darts (Hodder and Stoughton) – hit the stands on May 28 to mixed reviews.

Some have taken issue with the cover.

The Art of Darts by John Lowe

Others have pointed out a typographical error or two and a mistaken reference to Canada’s John Part having won only two world championships, suggesting the book was rushed.

Some have observed that much of the information in the book can be found on the Internet.

Others claim the book is too basic. Still others feel much of the material is too advanced and only of value to aspiring darts professionals.

Of course, everyone is entitled to an opinion. Probably all of the book’s detractors are experts who, in their 30-year professional darts careers, have won more than 1,000 tournaments including three world championships and picked up a £102,000 for recording a perfect game on television.

I liked the book. What can I say? I’m just a dumb-ass who writes puerile crap and has never won shit. Ask SEWA’s Erik McVay or the handful of people who still post at his darts forum.

But I have been around the sport a fair while and I do tell it like it is.

I think Lowe’s cover is classy and the size unique. It’s different. No, there are not photographs but there are pencil sketches throughout the book that more than edequately illustrate the key points. Curiously or perhaps not surprisingly, the drawings all look like Lowe. You can tell because the little pencil sketch man is losing his hair.

While short, the book is perfectly succinct – not a word is wasted. It’s a tutorial that, surely, will be of value to any new convert to the sport as well as many who hope to advance to the professional ranks. I know that, once upon a time, I asked myself every single question that Lowe addresses. But there wasn’t a (good) book with the answers.

In the first 63 pages, everything a beginner or even a struggling seasoned player might contemplate is covered. Sure, there are other books that expound on how to select a dart, hold it, throw it, practice, correct problems, and win – but I know of none other that manages to explain all of this in terms that are so crystal clear.

And there are some bits that I’ve not come across elsewhere. For example, there’s useful advice on how to deal with air conditioning – a problem that is particularly pronounced for darts enthusiasts who find themselves in front of a board in tropical climates. It’s certainly advice I will employ – although, unlike Lowe, I’m not sure I will go so far as to actually take my pants off.

Now that was puerile!

In the second half of the book – in the Bonus Masterclass section – Lowe speaks to those among us who aspire to the professional level. And all of us have wondered... just what we might accomplish were we able to dedicate ourselves full time to the craft.

For most, the main obstacle is money. We have to work. We have to eat. At the end of the day, no amount of skill, ambition, commitment or self confidence is going to get us around the country and world to compete where necessary to break into the elite ranks.

Obtaining (and retaining) sponsorship is the answer and Lowe explains how to approach the process in terms that, while basic, are right on the mark. Obtaining sponsorship is about more than selling yourself; it’s about demonstrating to the potential sponsor what the benefit is to them in investing in you. Lowe explains how it’s done – and how over the years he’s worked his system to win sponsorships from Citizen Watches of Japan to Central Resorts Hotels of Thailand to Unicorn, and many others.

Leagues that can’t obtain local support – or even find tag board sponsors for tournaments – would do well to take instruction from Lowe on how to get the job done. It’s about making a professional approach and showing the prospect value for their money.

In the Bonus Masterclass section there is a very interesting chapter on how to manage jet-lag which – take it from someone who travels the world constantly – is spot on. Forget Melatonin and any other voodoo concoction or system. Follow Lowe’s advice here and I assure you – whatever the purpose of your travels, you will arrive and wake up the next day as fresh as the day you departed.

There is also a Bonus Masterclass chapter on how to “Tune You Body and Reap the Rewards” but I skipped that bit.

All in all, The Art of Darts has something for everybody.

You may not like the cover.

You may not like the graphics.

You may think the book is too basic or too advanced.

But you will find something of value. That is guaranteed.

And because the tutorial is presented in such a simple to understand manner you can be assured that whatever tidbits you find useful to your game will be easy to apply and certain to improve your standard of play.

So stop making excuses to not buy an inexpensive book written by an expert and chock-full of what you think you already know. Improve your game. Go here and git ‘er done today: The Art of Darts at Amazon.com.

From the field,

Dartoid

Copyright © by Dartoids World All Rights Reserved.

Published on: 2009-June-8

Reproduce with permission © 2009 Patrick Chaplin

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