In the darts world there is a motto: "Life is too short to throw bad darts".

For the McCormick family of Katikati, darts are in their DNA. Through the generations they have spent the last 50 years manufacturing some of the world's best precision darts ensuring the professionals have the best.

The late John McCormick of Puma Darts - BOP Exporter of the Year in 2001.
The late John McCormick of Puma Darts - BOP Exporter of the Year in 2001.

This year marks Puma Dart's 50th anniversary manufacturing precision darts and dartboards from their factory in Henry Rd.

The late John McCormick launched Puma Dart Products in 1970. Known globally now as Shot Darts, the factory will be opening to the public on July 25.

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To help celebrate the milestone are two leading New Zealand dart pros Haupai Puha and John Kelly. The pair, sponsored by Shot Darts, will be here on the dart lane, giving hints and tips. Anyone who feels they're up to it can challenge the pros.

Top NZ professional darts player Haupai Puha is coming to Katikati to celebrate Shot Darts anniversary.
Top NZ professional darts player Haupai Puha is coming to Katikati to celebrate Shot Darts anniversary.

Shot Darts director Peter McCormick says the open day "is an excellent opportunity for our local community to come and visit and see what we do."

A CNC machine and plating plant will be running on the day so people can see first-hand their precision manufacturing and talk to the technicians.

"If you have been thinking about getting into playing darts, this is a brilliant time to come in and try different dart weights and grips and see how they feel in your hand. Our trained staff can talk you through how to find your perfect dart and the gear you need.

"Our Young Guns will be here too, so if you're thinking darts might be a good game for your kids or grandkids to try, bring them along — they will be sure to get the darts bug!"

Precision darts are manufactured in Katikati and used by champions around the world.
Precision darts are manufactured in Katikati and used by champions around the world.

Darts is fantastic for maths skills and gets the young folk off the screen games, plus it's a game that the whole family can play and enjoy.

Puma Darts has employed a lot of local people over the past 50 years. The team welcomes past staff members to come and see how manufacturing has changed over the years.

Peter says, all in all, it's a great way for us to connect with our local community.
"We really look forward to seeing everyone on the day!"

■ Shot Darts annual factory tour and garage sale, Saturday, July 25, 8am-1pm at 5 Henry Rd, Katikati.

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