I first became aware of the game of darts when I was about 13 years of age.
My father played in a local pub comp in Sydney’s Western Suburbs. Before long both my parents were playing, in men’s, women’s and mixed competitions. Eventually a dartboard was setup in the garage, and both my parents would play & practice at home as well. It was a couple of years before I actually started playing but at around 15 I found a set of darts on the bench in the garage, and so it began. My parents promoted the fact that it would improve my maths. I thought it was BS, but it’s actually true at a subconscious level.
I find I play shots and already have alternatives planned, without thinking, especially at the finishing end of a game.
I didn’t get into league play until I turned 18 and could legally go into a club; the ‘old’ guys said they were throwing me in at the deep end by putting a ‘green’ kid into Division 2 in his first year. It really messed with them when, at the end of the season we made the grand final and I was only put into a Triples game and a Doubles game. The then captain explained to me that I was not experienced enough to play singles in a pressure environment. I finished the triples game with a peg of 160, and outscored my doubles partner and finished both doubles legs.
I stayed with that team for a few years, great people to play with. The mix of characters was amazing, all very different players all offered different learning opportunities. I also joined a mixed team as the 4th man. During my early years my dream was to play at the Australian national level.
For me, my dream was a series of disappointments, the biggest let down was making the state doubles play offs, only to have my doubles partner not show up on the day.
In the 1980’s I was in a team that played in the Sydney Western Super League. That was a big reality check for me, I thought I was a good player, I clearly thought I was better than I really was.
In the two rounds that we played in the first season, I was drawn to play a guy called Kevin White in the singles both rounds. Kevin was at that time, Australian Champion and he gave me a master class in darts both times, but the thing that stuck with me all these years later was he was good, really good, but he was quiet spoken, and a thorough gentleman, and the comment he made after the second game, “keep practicing and you’ll get there”.
Over the early years I always knocked on the door, but just fell short.
After I married and we started a family, I put competition darts on hold. Up to then I was playing 5 nights a week, and needed to make time for the new additions.
I ended up having a 30 year hiatus from competition, but never lost the love and passion for the game. Above all, I always had the interest in the game played at the highest level, and the tools of the trade. Where ever we lived we always had a dartboard up, there was always a set of darts at hand to play a game or throw to relieve stress or focus on other things.
I came from a darting family and before long, my son followed in my footsteps and he now plays on a league team as well, he’s a solid player and, we both actually play in the same team. I don’t play anywhere near as aggressively as I used to as a young guy. Now days my game is more strategic and planned depending on the opponent. I’ve had varied success, I’ve thrown 14 dart legs (I think there was even a 12 dart leg in a grand final game a few years ago that we won 6-0) and 15 dart legs when the pressure was on.
Now I play more for the love of the game (but it’s still great to win!).
Over the past few years I’ve won a number of Association events, and raked in titles at club level, usually against more fancied opponents who think I’m old or past it. I let them all believe whatever they want! ????
I love my social nights and play at a number of Western Suburbs Clubs. I’m known to many people in the league I play in, although only my family knows that I moonlight writing for my friends at Deadeye.
I’m active in a few online Dart forums both locally and internationally, and take an active interest in what’s new.