Many players today know Paul Lim as one of the premier soft tip darts players in the world, yet so many have had only a small glimpse of the man’s career in darts in recent years due to his continued success while competing at Dartslive international events. In the second edition of The Advice Series, I am sharing with you some of the introduction in his interview, as well as the player advice that he was gracious enough to take the time to complete for me for my book, The Ultimate Book of Darts.
Paul is a former military policeman and a former chef. He served his National Service in the Singapore Army between the ages of 18 to 21. He arrived in Britain for a course in cookery, studying at Battersea and Westminster Colleges in London and became a chef at the Chelsea Hotel in Knightsbridge. It was whilst he was in England studying that he was introduced to the game of darts. A few of the chefs were sharing an apartment, and they would go down to the local pub for a drink or two, and since he was not much of a drinker, he would throw some darts while we were there.
Paul has been playing darts since 1976 and credits his actual start in the steel tip game when he used to play in a pub called the Robin Hood, near Gunnersbury Station in London, Chiswick. It was not a league, but just a weekly knockout tournament. Players would buy in for 50 pence and the winner would get a bottle of whiskey, which gave him a lot to have in stock for Christmas and New Year’s.
Paul Lim, nicknamed the Singapore Slinger,will forever be remembered for being the first player to hit a perfect nine-dart finish during the Embassy World Professional Darts Championship (steel tip) in 1990 against Jack McKenna. It remained the only televised nine-dart game to have been achieved in either version of the world championships until 2009. The bonus prize of £52,000 was more than eventual tournament winner Phil Taylor claimed for becoming world champion. Paul is more well-known nowadays as one of the best soft-tip player in the world, even having a dart game programmed with his voice called “out on a Lim”.
Paul’s sponsors include DMC, who features his Paul Lim Signature dart; L-Style-he uses the carbon shaft and tear drop shaped flights; Doron, NKW.gram (shirts) and iDarts Fame. Paul is also a consultant for Dartslive, as well as one of their sponsored players.
When asked what advice he would give a new player, Paul shared 10 points of interest, as follows:
“Throwing darts is not a difficult thing to learn and do. But it is definitely tough to be good at. There are various points you need to look at if you are a beginner and want to learn the game or if you are an intermediate player and want to get better AND finally if you are a good player and wants to compete. But please bear in mind all these 3 steps (of want to be) strongly base on the foundation of your basic fundamental of throwing darts.
Be comfortable in all sense (i.e. the grip, the stance, the balance and the throw) you have to feel comfortable.
Cut down, as many movements of your body as possible, do not use your body to help throw the darts.
Learn the basic fundamentals of a simple throw, using your upper hand, the throw with the wrist break and follow through with the palm facing down at the finish point. The follow through is the most important.
Practice the follow through routine as much as you can, so that the throw becomes a memory (muscle memory). This will build consistency.
Understand the line of throw and the flight path of the dart to the target on the dartboard.
Do not find excuses of having no time to practice. All you need is 15 to 30 minutes of throwing and you can do it at home, so there are no excuses.
When playing a match, throw the same way like you do during practice whenever and whoever you are playing against.
Watch how your dart lands on the dartboard, because you can tell if you are releasing your darts properly or consistently from the way it sticks in the dartboard.
Do not try to be too careful throwing because in doing so you will throw differently. Just look at the target, set up and throw. The more you think and analyze your throw, the more damage there is. More simply, do not think too much.
And last, enjoy the game. Have fun regardless. This is supposed to be fun from the start, so have FUN…and enjoy the game.”