Spending time with Big John

Big John Chandler is a USA Level 3 archery coach. He’s also an expert bow technician, an expert archer, and a good guy. I recently spent time with him at the Lake Oconee Golf and Archery in Eatonton, GA.


My principal issue, when I made the appointment with John, was I wanted to shoot a larger diameter arrow using my more expensive bow. I’d been using smaller diameter arrows. A few other bow techs explained all I needed to do was adjust my sight to compensate for the variance in diameter and not worry about my D loop placement. Their enlightenment didn’t match what I’d been taught in my physics classes. Could it be that these bow techs were better informed in physics than my impressively credentialed college professors?

Arriving at John’s shop we talked a bit. Then he started me off with a simple paper tuning shot. I regret not taking a picture to have shared here. It was clear the arrow, one of the larger diameter arrows, was indeed shooting cocked up to the right and not just a little. My physics professors were vindicated.

This Apex 7 looks like a toy in Big John’s hands

John took my bow and on closer examination discovered other equipment errors that frankly didn’t come as a surprise. He worked with me for three hours until satisfied that the bow was tuned as best as could be in the limited time available.

He’d work and then he’d watch me shoot. Then, he’d work some more and watch me shoot some more. Along the way he made observations and offered suggestions to improve my form.   The form errors were those mistakes easily noticed by an experienced coach. There was no debate from me regarding the adjustments he recommended.

The day sailed past and I needed to leave. It would have been nice to have stayed longer but I had to get home. Before I return to North Carolina I’ll try getting back to Eatonton to see if I can get some more of John’s time. It would be time well spent.