Column #556 THE BEST BOOK ABOUT DARTS EVER WRITTEN!

Sunday, April 1, 2018
Column 556
THE BEST BOOK ABOUT DARTS EVER WRITTEN!

I have more than 100 books about darts in my library.

Occasionally, I am asked to recommend one of them. I respond as one might expect. “Are you interested in a novel, a book about technique, a book by a legend about their journey to the top?”

Then I make a recommendation.

Recently, I read two relatively new books, both by Michael Winkler: The Fine Art and Technique of Darts and The Fine Art and Technique of Darts… Advanced. He is apparently about to offer a third book called The Theory of the Iron Law of the Triangle about what he has discovered to be the “Iron Laws” of darts which are “not up for negotiation or debate and must be followed to take your game to the highest level.”

I don’t have the words to convey how impressed I am with Michael Winkler.

Indeed I was so impressed with his writing and ideas that I read each of the books on technique twice and even highlighted key passages.

The next time anyone asks me for a recommendation I will without a moment’s hesitation be pointing them to Winker’s writing.

Winkler hails from that bastion of American darting prowess – Idaho Falls, Idaho. He plays in a league. He describes himself as a “gifted writer and darts professional.”

He has a nickname (which of course is as essential as a fancy shirt with a pocket if one is to be taken seriously as a darts authority) – Winknmeister Killshot Darts.

He describes his books as “definitely the most informative out there on advanced dart throwing.”

The books are based on “tens of thousands of hours studying, researching and participating.”

Winkler has also spent “tens of thousands of hours practicing the throw” and has “worn out my right knee, right ankle, right shoulder and right elbow.”

The first book is so popular (selling for $24.99 on “five different continents” and “selling out in France”) that he’s offering the copyright for $10,000, noting that it “has the potential to make hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

I’m not sure what more might be said to encourage players at every level to purchase these books. As already noted, I marked up my copies – highlighting and underscoring key passages and words of wisdom that I wanted to remember. I had intended to share some of Winkler’s insights in this space but don’t want to be called a “spoiler.”

So here is just one – it’s actually Winkler’s Iron Law #1…

Before you take your stance, focus only on the muscles you are going to use in your throw. Me personally, I focus on my latissimus muscle and my hand muscles. This is an Iron Law because no one can throw a dart without using muscles.

Is this not amazing stuff?

(Just a fun fact: there are 34 muscles in the human hand. Imagine ticking off in your head exactly which of these muscles you’re going to use each time you step to the line.)

Okay, here’s just one more…

(Kids in the UK) are taught the Iron Laws of Darts – the secrets of darts – as soon as they walk and talk. Heritage. (This is why) not one American has stood on the big stage at the PDC world championships.

Righty-o, mate!

Okay, okay – here’s another, the most important of all.

(Given the April 1 date of this column) you should disregard pretty much everything I have written above.

Winkler’s books are gibberish, riddled with inaccuracies and typos.

His knowledge of darts is borderline zero. His advice is nonsensical.

And for the record, if Winkler’s claim to have spent “tens of thousands of hours” studying and practicing is to be believed (and if by definition “tens of thousands” is at least 20,000 and he slept 8 hours a night, worked from 9 to 5 and did absolutely nothing else) he studied and practiced non-stop for almost 8 years!

That’s damn near as long as it might take to count the muscles in your hand.

Sorry Winknmeister Killshot Darts, but these books belong in the garbage. Once there, even the rats should avoid them.

If anybody really wants quality instruction on darts my recommendation is to check out Fundartmentals by Frank Pratt and F.M. Harris, Become Your Darts by Mike Orav, Good Darts by Gary Low and Darwin Nelson, The Arts of Darts by John Lowe, Darts: Skills – Tactics – Techniques by Patrick Chaplin, Mastering the Sport of Darts and Darts Beginning to End by George Silberzahn (and his Flight School tutorial) and John Part’s excellent six-part series, Part’s Darts.

If you are looking to read the stories by some of the sport’s legends search for books by Dave Whitcombe, Jocky Wilson, Bobby George, Phil Taylor, John Lowe, Eric Bristow, Leighton Rees, Tom Barrett, Wayne Mardle and Trina Gulliver. Or if you want to enjoy a riot of a read written by someone who has traveled and partied with most of these players seek out Howie Reed’s One Night, While out Drinking with the Fat Swede.

If you are just interested in a damn good read with a strong darts theme go out and find London Fields by Martin Amis. Nothing else comes close. Balling the Jack by Frank Baldwin and The Dart League King by Keith Lee Morris are also fun. And Justin Irwin’s Murder at the Dartboard is absolutely hilarious (a must read).

From the field,

Dartoid

 

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Dartoid
Author of the column that since 1995 has been featured by Bull’s Eye News, the American Darts Organization’s (ADO) Double Eagle and numerous other darts publications and websites around the globe.