PDA

View Full Version : gripping further back on the cue, Bob Jewett comment


ShootingArts
06-26-2010, 10:12 AM
I didn't want to derail the thread this was posted in but I've been wanting to ask about this, seems like a good time.


Quote from Bob's post in another thread:
Many snooker players -- who earn far more than pool players, on average at the top -- grip their sticks all the way at the end; they have no room to slip. Nearly every top carom player uses a rubber grip; their hands do not slip even with light grips.(end quote)

I shot like this most of the time I played every day, my grip hand very near the buttcap or on it. I have a fair amount of wingspan and this is where the grip hand naturally wanted to be it seemed. With my return to pool and desire to learn "the right way to play" I moved my grip hand forward to a more common grip. The last few times I played I have let my grip hand wander wherever it wanted to. Near the buttcap for most shots, moving ahead for soft shots needing a lot of touch. Been a few years since I changed to the forward grip and I may be getting the "any change effect" but I seem to be pocketing a little better. I'm left wondering, what are the advantages and disadvantages of gripping near the back of the stick?

Hu

Duane Remick
06-26-2010, 10:19 AM
I didn't want to derail the thread this was posted in but I've been wanting to ask about this, seems like a good time.


Quote from Bob's post in another thread:
Many snooker players -- who earn far more than pool players, on average at the top -- grip their sticks all the way at the end; they have no room to slip. Nearly every top carom player uses a rubber grip; their hands do not slip even with light grips.(end quote)

I shot like this most of the time I played every day, my grip hand very near the buttcap or on it. I have a fair amount of wingspan and this is where the grip hand naturally wanted to be it seemed. With my return to pool and desire to learn "the right way to play" I moved my grip hand forward to a more common grip. The last few times I played I have let my grip hand wander wherever it wanted to. Near the buttcap for most shots, moving ahead for soft shots needing a lot of touch. Been a few years since I changed to the forward grip and I may be getting the "any change effect" but I seem to be pocketing a little better. I'm left wondering, what are the advantages and disadvantages of gripping near the back of the stick?

Hu

I think that its "what works for You"
Some like hard tips, soft tips, layered tips...
Steel joint, radial pin, Ivory joint....
Meucci , Schon, Tascarella, ....
I've seen Players like David Matlock- butt of the cue is in the palm of His Hand- Play FLAWLESS,
Ive watched Luther LAssiter on Youtube- His Grip is right at the top of the wrap-Luther was one of the greatest Players EVER...
"Find out what works best for You, what most-comfortable and Gets The Best Results-CONSISTANLY :wink:

LAMas
06-26-2010, 10:25 AM
It is held that you should hit the CB as level to the slate as possible. If you hit it with your fore arm past perpendicular to the floor, the tip of the cue will be dipping down toward the slate - scrubbing/wiping the CB. If you hold the cue at the back, you will be hitting the CB with your fore arm more perpendicular to the floor and thus, the cue will be more level to the slate.

ShootingArts
06-26-2010, 10:30 AM
I think that its "what works for You"
Some like hard tips, soft tips, layered tips...
Steel joint, radial pin, Ivory joint....
Meucci , Schon, Tascarella, ....
I've seen Players like David Matlock- butt of the cue is in the palm of His Hand- Play FLAWLESS,
Ive watched Luther LAssiter on Youtube- His Grip is right at the top of the wrap-Luther was one of the greatest Players EVER...
"Find out what works best for You, what most-comfortable and Gets The Best Results-CONSISTANLY :wink:


Duane,

I do agree with what you are saying, just curious what folks see as the advantages and disadvantages. I've changed my opinion of a few things over the years and changed my way of doing a few things when there was fairly compelling reason to. So far it seems the further I move away from the way I did things thirty-forty years ago the worse I play. The more I return to old "flaws" the better I play. Could be like my personal flaws, I recognize I have a few but they are the oldest friends I have. I'd hate to lose them now! :D

Hu

matta
06-26-2010, 10:36 AM
What are the advantages and disadvantages of gripping near the back of the stick?

Hu



Depending on your setup, it can remove some elbow drop in your shot. If your hand is too far forward on the cue, you will have to drop your elbow to follow through.

This all depends on your current setup, but YES, it can help certain players to move their hand a little further back.

peteypooldude
06-26-2010, 10:43 AM
I like to think as long as the back arm is at 90 at cb impact,It depends on wingspan I would think,a tall and long arm player would naturally grip it further back

Philthepockets
06-26-2010, 10:44 AM
There are a few reasons I grip at the very end.
1)
It allows my stance and left arm to fall into a comfortable position ie slight bend in the left arm to put my bridge hand directly in front and very forward weight balance on my left foot. if you shorten the cue you would have to alter either the bend in your bridge arm or your body position.

2)longer bridge gives me better accuracy striking the cue ball and better follow through

3) it gives more forward balance of the cue.

DogsPlayingPool
06-26-2010, 10:54 AM
Grip towards the back or towards the front is not quite the way I'd look at it. Grip where your arm is pointed straight down at contact is the key factor as this is where the cue is most level. As was already pointed out this will vary depending on the players wing span.

CrownCityCorey
06-26-2010, 11:11 AM
Grip/hand placement is more about the balance point of a cue - IMO.

I have had the weight adjusted (to move the balance point) on my personal playing cue to and fro until my hand naturally falls where I want it to - ultimately having the proper (my ideal) average distance from bridge hand to cue ball.

TATE
06-26-2010, 11:40 AM
I didn't want to derail the thread this was posted in but I've been wanting to ask about this, seems like a good time.


Quote from Bob's post in another thread:
Many snooker players -- who earn far more than pool players, on average at the top -- grip their sticks all the way at the end; they have no room to slip. Nearly every top carom player uses a rubber grip; their hands do not slip even with light grips.(end quote)

I shot like this most of the time I played every day, my grip hand very near the buttcap or on it. I have a fair amount of wingspan and this is where the grip hand naturally wanted to be it seemed. With my return to pool and desire to learn "the right way to play" I moved my grip hand forward to a more common grip. The last few times I played I have let my grip hand wander wherever it wanted to. Near the buttcap for most shots, moving ahead for soft shots needing a lot of touch. Been a few years since I changed to the forward grip and I may be getting the "any change effect" but I seem to be pocketing a little better. I'm left wondering, what are the advantages and disadvantages of gripping near the back of the stick?

Hu

Pool and snooker are different games with an emphasis on different skills. Pool has a lot of room for error compared to snooker.

It can be a humbling experience for a pool player who thinks they are accurate to play snooker on a tight table! For "splitting the pocket" accuracy, snooker players have developed rigid, repeatable routines, where they try to use the same stance, head position, stroke, bridge, everything they can from shot-to-shot. If you watch Davis or O'Sullivan play you recognize how disiplined they are setting up for each shot.

I believe that snooker players have the highest level of repeatable stroke attainable in the cue sports. I imagine that pool players look sloppy to them, but I can also imagine they marvel at how we can subtly use the relatively generous pockets to change angles and achieve what sometimes looks like impossible position play.

Why at the back of the cue?

- One, it is a consistent placement. It's easy to find the back of the cue. Snooker players tend to use a pendulum stroke - the weight of the cue, especially a snooker cue, is back on the butt, so I believe this helps them feel the weight of the cue without restricting their stroke.

- Two, let's not forget that snooker cues are generally shorter and lighter than pool cues, and carom cues are shorter yet.

- Snooker players don't usually drop their elbows like pool players, so their grip placement is probably a little more critical to them.

I used to think a light, loose grip was a good thing in pool, but I had a lot of trouble with inconsistency in the power game. Since I've firmed up my grip, my power shots have gained new found life and accuracy. It took a while to adjust to a firmer grip, but I'm now pleased with the result.

Chris

Pushout
06-26-2010, 12:13 PM
There are a few reasons I grip at the very end.
1)
It allows my stance and left arm to fall into a comfortable position ie slight bend in the left arm to put my bridge hand directly in front and very forward weight balance on my left foot. if you shorten the cue you would have to alter either the bend in your bridge arm or your body position.

2)longer bridge gives me better accuracy striking the cue ball and better follow through

3) it gives more forward balance of the cue.

I'd agree with #1, more of a personal choice, but not with 2 or 3. A shorter bridge gives way more accuracy than a long one, Straight pool players would, I think, agree. A longer bridge gives the cue more chance to wobble. Why do you think it would give more forward balance?

DogsPlayingPool
06-26-2010, 12:28 PM
I'd agree with #1, more of a personal choice, but not with 2 or 3. A shorter bridge gives way more accuracy than a long one, Straight pool players would, I think, agree. A longer bridge gives the cue more chance to wobble. Why do you think it would give more forward balance?

That brings up a question. For the same reason that a longer bridge can produce more error from side to side movement, would not a longer backhand result in potentially the same thing?

Philthepockets
06-26-2010, 01:01 PM
I'd agree with #1, more of a personal choice, but not with 2 or 3. A shorter bridge gives way more accuracy than a long one, Straight pool players would, I think, agree. A longer bridge gives the cue more chance to wobble. Why do you think it would give more forward balance?


For me the longer bridge gives a more visual reference to how straight I push the cue through when feathering the ball. the short bridge gets me more off line and long potting is a pretty strong element of my game.
The weight on the bridge hand increases as you move the grip back giving a more forward balance.

Scott Lee
06-26-2010, 01:11 PM
peteypooldude...I agree with you, in principle, but it also depends on the length of your bridge. Many of the Filipino players shoot with a very long bridge, and hold their cues near the end. Almost none of them are even close to 6' or taller.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

I like to think as long as the back arm is at 90 at cb impact,It depends on wingspan I would think,a tall and long arm player would naturally grip it further back

ShootingArts
06-26-2010, 02:02 PM
I'm in and out today and have to run down the road a few hours right now with no time for individual replies until later but the wide range of thoughts and opinions that are being posted are exactly what I was hoping for. Everyone's thoughts and opinions are very much appreciated.

Thanks to everyone and please don't stop now!

Hu

crappoolguy
06-26-2010, 02:21 PM
As an aspiring professional snooker player, I have always been taught it is a cardinal sin to shorten down on the cue as this reduces follow through. I'm 5 10 and I use a 58.5 inch cue, holding it right at the end. Sometimes players may feel that on a softer shot choking up on the cue is necessary but I've been taught to simply shortern down on my backswing considerably instead. I hold the cue in the same place every time and follow through until I hit my chest no matter the speed. This improves your speed control greatly as all you do on every shot is pull the cue back as far as it need be and then accelerating through to your chest, the follow through is consistant. This helps snooker players focus 100% on the pot as the speed side of the shot becomes almost automatic.
Sorry for the slightly rambling post, I'm not so good with words :o

Dakota Cues
06-26-2010, 03:03 PM
As an aspiring professional snooker player, I have always been taught it is a cardinal sin to shorten down on the cue as this reduces follow through. I'm 5 10 and I use a 58.5 inch cue, holding it right at the end. Sometimes players may feel that on a softer shot choking up on the cue is necessary but I've been taught to simply shortern down on my backswing considerably instead. I hold the cue in the same place every time and follow through until I hit my chest no matter the speed. This improves your speed control greatly as all you do on every shot is pull the cue back as far as it need be and then accelerating through to your chest, the follow through is consistant. This helps snooker players focus 100% on the pot as the speed side of the shot becomes almost automatic.
Sorry for the slightly rambling post, I'm not so good with words :o

Seems like you're pretty good with words to me!

I think this is a great way to think about it, too. I remember Buddy Hall drilling the fact that every shot should be the same. I think you just said the same thing, and gave out a key to do it.

I have not watched a ton of snooker, but you said that you draw the cue back less on a softer shot. Do you also bring your bridge closer on those shots as well?

I have seen some instructors say that you need a longer bridge for power shot, due to the increased length of the backswing. But was wondering if YOU were taught in snooker to make a closer bridge when shooting softly?

randyg
06-26-2010, 03:40 PM
Grip/hand placement is more about the balance point of a cue - IMO.

I have had the weight adjusted (to move the balance point) on my personal playing cue to and fro until my hand naturally falls where I want it to - ultimately having the proper (my ideal) average distance from bridge hand to cue ball.

CORY: I know to each their own....BUT....This is a false statement:

"Grip/hand placementis more about the balance point of the cue."

SPF=randyg

crappoolguy
06-26-2010, 03:46 PM
Seems like you're pretty good with words to me!

I think this is a great way to think about it, too. I remember Buddy Hall drilling the fact that every shot should be the same. I think you just said the same thing, and gave out a key to do it.

I have not watched a ton of snooker, but you said that you draw the cue back less on a softer shot. Do you also bring your bridge closer on those shots as well?

I have seen some instructors say that you need a longer bridge for power shot, due to the increased length of the backswing. But was wondering if YOU were taught in snooker to make a closer bridge when shooting softly?

Believe me, you wouldn't be saying that if you knew how long it took me to go through my post to make it understanderble :p
In answer to your question, no. Same grip position, same bridge hand distance, same follow through, same acceleration through the ball no matter the shot. The only thing that changes is the backswing length. :)

DRW
06-26-2010, 04:33 PM
CORY: I know to each their own....BUT....This is a false statement:

"Grip/hand placementis more about the balance point of the cue."

SPF=randyg
Almost every old book on pool that I read, stated find the balance point and than move your grip hand behind that point so many inches. A couple of those books had the names of future hall of famer's as authors. Just goes to show, to each their own. Like when whats his name tried to say some of Ray Martin's 99 critical shots were wrong. Again, just goes to show. :wink:

TATE
06-26-2010, 04:45 PM
As an aspiring professional snooker player, I have always been taught it is a cardinal sin to shorten down on the cue as this reduces follow through. I'm 5 10 and I use a 58.5 inch cue, holding it right at the end. Sometimes players may feel that on a softer shot choking up on the cue is necessary but I've been taught to simply shortern down on my backswing considerably instead. I hold the cue in the same place every time and follow through until I hit my chest no matter the speed. This improves your speed control greatly as all you do on every shot is pull the cue back as far as it need be and then accelerating through to your chest, the follow through is consistant. This helps snooker players focus 100% on the pot as the speed side of the shot becomes almost automatic.
Sorry for the slightly rambling post, I'm not so good with words :o

So he's saying he uses the same form for all shots, with the backswing length being the only variable (for speed control).

This is pretty much what I thought. Snooker players need to have a highly repeatable stroke - and they've achieved this with their technique.

Pool players vary the backswing length too on certain shots, particularly very soft shots or very firm shots.

Chris

tom mcgonagle
06-26-2010, 04:53 PM
I have always played with my hand right at the end of my cue. Why I don't know. It just feels right. My track record is pretty good and I'm not about to change it. IT"S TO LATE FOR ME.

lfigueroa
06-26-2010, 05:02 PM
I didn't want to derail the thread this was posted in but I've been wanting to ask about this, seems like a good time.


Quote from Bob's post in another thread:
Many snooker players -- who earn far more than pool players, on average at the top -- grip their sticks all the way at the end; they have no room to slip. Nearly every top carom player uses a rubber grip; their hands do not slip even with light grips.(end quote)

I shot like this most of the time I played every day, my grip hand very near the buttcap or on it. I have a fair amount of wingspan and this is where the grip hand naturally wanted to be it seemed. With my return to pool and desire to learn "the right way to play" I moved my grip hand forward to a more common grip. The last few times I played I have let my grip hand wander wherever it wanted to. Near the buttcap for most shots, moving ahead for soft shots needing a lot of touch. Been a few years since I changed to the forward grip and I may be getting the "any change effect" but I seem to be pocketing a little better. I'm left wondering, what are the advantages and disadvantages of gripping near the back of the stick?

Hu


Great question, Hu.

I guess I grew up when there were only a few instructional books out there: Mosconi, Cottingham, Hoppe, Lassiter, and Mizerak.

I remember reading in Mosconi's two books that you had to find the balance point of the cue and then "slide your right hand back three to five inches from the balance point." And so, to this day, I play with a grip that ends up pretty much in the center of the leather grip on my cue. I've tried longer grips, but now, alas, I can't seem to make them work.

But honestly, I've always envied the guys with the longer grips. It seems like they get so much power, with relatively little effort.

Lou Figueroa

DogsPlayingPool
06-26-2010, 05:23 PM
This idea that gripping it further back allows for more power is interesting, but I'm not sure I go along with it because it is contrary to some things I've heard. For instance, one of the techniques I've heard about increasing power on the break is to actually move your grip hand forward on the cue. It has something to do with the fulcrum and where your muscles make more power.

Here's one example of this idea put forward by Colin Colenso:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW1tsONEI_U

Interesting topic for sure.

randyg
06-26-2010, 06:01 PM
Almost every old book on pool that I read, stated find the balance point and than move your grip hand behind that point so many inches. A couple of those books had the names of future hall of famer's as authors. Just goes to show, to each their own. Like when whats his name tried to say some of Ray Martin's 99 critical shots were wrong. Again, just goes to show. :wink:

I wonder what the modern day books reccomend.....:-)
SPF=randyg

ShootingArts
06-26-2010, 07:24 PM
I wonder what the modern day books reccomend.....:-)
SPF=randyg



Randy,

I'm just gathering thoughts and opinions in this thread. I'm not trying to judge any of them right now. This is also why I didn't put my thoughts out as a starting point. In R&D this is the original brainstorming session. All thoughts are welcome from the most structured to the most off the wall and everything in between. I'm glad to hear from snooker players, top pool players, all levels of players and of course instructors. Heck, even very very lucky bangers like myself.

Hu

Maniac
06-26-2010, 08:15 PM
Okay, this is my take on why I don't hold the cue all the way at the buttcap. I use a 61" cue. I am 6'1" with a large wingspan. When I finish my stroke I like my grip hand to find a "home" in my ribcage. If I held the cue far back beyond where my forearm is pointing straight down at the ground at cue ball contact, my follow through would be way longer than it should be when my grip hand hits "home". This would be the same problem for persons of slighter stature/wingspan that use a standard length cue.

Maniac

GaryB
06-26-2010, 10:00 PM
peteypooldude...I agree with you, in principle, but it also depends on the length of your bridge. Many of the Filipino players shoot with a very long bridge, and hold their cues near the end. Almost none of them are even close to 6' or taller.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

The Filipino players also seem to have extremely long fingers that they use to make very tight bridges with no wobble whatsoever.

The method that you and Randy teach makes the most sense to me. That is--the tip as close to the cue ball as possible and then the hand moved back on the cue until the forearm is perpendicular. Simple and effective.

ShootingArts
06-26-2010, 10:25 PM
Thanks for all of the replies so far. I've swapped to the new skin(for me) to multi-quote and try to put my thoughts on all the posts in one place. First off, every post is appreciated. Some were replies to each other and may not be quoted here but were read and appreciated.

My replies are in blue.


It is held that you should hit the CB as level to the slate as possible. If you hit it with your fore arm past perpendicular to the floor, the tip of the cue will be dipping down toward the slate - scrubbing/wiping the CB. If you hold the cue at the back, you will be hitting the CB with your fore arm more perpendicular to the floor and thus, the cue will be more level to the slate.

There are other things involved of course but I think your basic answer is to hold the cue where you need to for stroke timing, hitting the ball at the bottom of the stroke. Definitely can't say that is a bad thing!


Depending on your setup, it can remove some elbow drop in your shot. If your hand is too far forward on the cue, you will have to drop your elbow to follow through.

This all depends on your current setup, but YES, it can help certain players to move their hand a little further back.

An interesting point. My main concern with having the grip very far back is that it can harm stroke mechanics. Good point that moving the hand back can help mechanics too depending on other factors.


I like to think as long as the back arm is at 90 at cb impact,It depends on wingspan I would think,a tall and long arm player would naturally grip it further back

Body style does seem to be a big factor in grip location. Good point!

There are a few reasons I grip at the very end.
1)
It allows my stance and left arm to fall into a comfortable position ie slight bend in the left arm to put my bridge hand directly in front and very forward weight balance on my left foot. if you shorten the cue you would have to alter either the bend in your bridge arm or your body position.

2)longer bridge gives me better accuracy striking the cue ball and better follow through

3) it gives more forward balance of the cue.


Your post is of great interest. Obviously the rear grip has been incorporated into your entire stance and stroke. I think this is a key, not necessarily any single right way to do things but all of the components of an individual's set-up have to work together.



Grip towards the back or towards the front is not quite the way I'd look at it. Grip where your arm is pointed straight down at contact is the key factor as this is where the cue is most level. As was already pointed out this will vary depending on the players wing span.

This is the most universal opinion I believe. Hitting when the cue is most level. There are different ways to achieve this goal. I notice several very good players break the wrist back as one example so when they are at the bottom of their stroke the forearm is actually forward of perpendicular. The effect is identical however.


Grip/hand placement is more about the balance point of a cue - IMO.

I have had the weight adjusted (to move the balance point) on my personal playing cue to and fro until my hand naturally falls where I want it to - ultimately having the proper (my ideal) average distance from bridge hand to cue ball.

An interesting point. My cues are all fairly conventionally balanced. My 60 inch cue is balanced 21" from the bumper which is the same as 19" on a 58" cue. Moving my hand back I find I like the house cues with a balance point 17" from the rear of the 58" cues better. I haven't tried balance points further back since I have been playing with grip position.

ShootingArts
06-26-2010, 10:35 PM
Pool and snooker are different games with an emphasis on different skills. Pool has a lot of room for error compared to snooker.

It can be a humbling experience for a pool player who thinks they are accurate to play snooker on a tight table! For "splitting the pocket" accuracy, snooker players have developed rigid, repeatable routines, where they try to use the same stance, head position, stroke, bridge, everything they can from shot-to-shot. If you watch Davis or O'Sullivan play you recognize how disiplined they are setting up for each shot.

I believe that snooker players have the highest level of repeatable stroke attainable in the cue sports. I imagine that pool players look sloppy to them, but I can also imagine they marvel at how we can subtly use the relatively generous pockets to change angles and achieve what sometimes looks like impossible position play.

Why at the back of the cue?

- One, it is a consistent placement. It's easy to find the back of the cue. Snooker players tend to use a pendulum stroke - the weight of the cue, especially a snooker cue, is back on the butt, so I believe this helps them feel the weight of the cue without restricting their stroke.

- Two, let's not forget that snooker cues are generally shorter and lighter than pool cues, and carom cues are shorter yet.

- Snooker players don't usually drop their elbows like pool players, so their grip placement is probably a little more critical to them.

I used to think a light, loose grip was a good thing in pool, but I had a lot of trouble with inconsistency in the power game. Since I've firmed up my grip, my power shots have gained new found life and accuracy. It took a while to adjust to a firmer grip, but I'm now pleased with the result.

Chris

You covered a lot of ground here, all good info. The slightly off topic comments about grip are most interesting to me. I suspect the affection for the superlight grip is tied in to the pendulum stroke. It is the easiest fix for the normal issue of movement needed between the cue stick and elbow to accommodate the fairly short radius of all movement coming from the elbow. When I'm having trouble steering a very light grip can help however a slightly firmer grip and letting the shot dictate the grip seems to work best. A fairly light grip allows a pistol to be shot very fast. The grip will tighten enough to control the pistol while letting it float. I'm thinking a moderate grip may be better than a cradle for pool also and we will automatically make small adjustments for each shot.


That brings up a question. For the same reason that a longer bridge can produce more error from side to side movement, would not a longer backhand result in potentially the same thing?

I think it is a little bit of a double edged sword. The shorter distances mask the errors in stroke but doesn't fix them. With the longer distances the errors are more easily seen and corrected although they cost you in the short term. Of course if you always use a compact style the errors genuinely matter less.


For me the longer bridge gives a more visual reference to how straight I push the cue through when feathering the ball. the short bridge gets me more off line and long potting is a pretty strong element of my game.
The weight on the bridge hand increases as you move the grip back giving a more forward balance.

All good points. The rearward grip often results in the bridge moving further back too. The amount of weight on the bridge and grip hand do change too as you note. Seeing more of the stick beyond the bridge is a help aiming particularly with a closed bridge.



peteypooldude...I agree with you, in principle, but it also depends on the length of your bridge. Many of the Filipino players shoot with a very long bridge, and hold their cues near the end. Almost none of them are even close to 6' or taller.

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

I think the long bridge is probably a mistake for average shooters. No question that top shooters make it work very well. As noted above, a long bridge almost insures the grip hand moved back an equal distance. Good point!



As an aspiring professional snooker player, I have always been taught it is a cardinal sin to shorten down on the cue as this reduces follow through. I'm 5 10 and I use a 58.5 inch cue, holding it right at the end. Sometimes players may feel that on a softer shot choking up on the cue is necessary but I've been taught to simply shortern down on my backswing considerably instead. I hold the cue in the same place every time and follow through until I hit my chest no matter the speed. This improves your speed control greatly as all you do on every shot is pull the cue back as far as it need be and then accelerating through to your chest, the follow through is consistant. This helps snooker players focus 100% on the pot as the speed side of the shot becomes almost automatic.
Sorry for the slightly rambling post, I'm not so good with words :o

Believe me, you wouldn't be saying that if you knew how long it took me to go through my post to make it understanderble :p
In answer to your question, no. Same grip position, same bridge hand distance, same follow through, same acceleration through the ball no matter the shot. The only thing that changes is the backswing length. :)

Excellent posts. Like some of the earlier posts the things that interest me most are slightly off topic but are related to why you always grip to the rear. I am a big fan of accelerating the cue forward from a slow start so I think I understand what you are saying and agree. Thanks for a slightly different perspective from most pool players.


Almost every old book on pool that I read, stated find the balance point and than move your grip hand behind that point so many inches. A couple of those books had the names of future hall of famer's as authors. Just goes to show, to each their own. Like when whats his name tried to say some of Ray Martin's 99 critical shots were wrong. Again, just goes to show. :wink:

I have read that too but the players writing the books I read were all of fairly modest height. When I try to use the same points on the cue as they do the angles of my body are completely different. It is the same thing when they describe stance. Their beginning relationship to the pool table is different than mine. The old masters are certainly right far more than they are wrong but I think they don't explain themselves well sometimes or don't consider different body types. Anyone that has played at that level has a great deal of value to offer but sometimes we have to make some small adaptations I believe.

So he's saying he uses the same form for all shots, with the backswing length being the only variable (for speed control).

This is pretty much what I thought. Snooker players need to have a highly repeatable stroke - and they've achieved this with their technique.

Pool players vary the backswing length too on certain shots, particularly very soft shots or very firm shots.

Chris

Good summary and good comment about pool players and stroke length.

I have always played with my hand right at the end of my cue. Why I don't know. It just feels right. My track record is pretty good and I'm not about to change it. IT"S TO LATE FOR ME.

I'm finding that I work best with "if it feels good do it" too. I keep trying new stuff when it seems I should be spending my time polishing on old stuff.


Great question, Hu.

I guess I grew up when there were only a few instructional books out there: Mosconi, Cottingham, Hoppe, Lassiter, and Mizerak.

I remember reading in Mosconi's two books that you had to find the balance point of the cue and then "slide your right hand back three to five inches from the balance point." And so, to this day, I play with a grip that ends up pretty much in the center of the leather grip on my cue. I've tried longer grips, but now, alas, I can't seem to make them work.

But honestly, I've always envied the guys with the longer grips. It seems like they get so much power, with relatively little effort.

Lou Figueroa

We don't seem to need much power anymore or at least rarely. One of my biggest flaws is overpowering today's fast rails and fast cloth. I have to agree with your comment, the long strokes just plain look prettier and more effortless though. That is admittedly one reason I want to master a slip stroke too. Properly executed it is beautiful.



This idea that gripping it further back allows for more power is interesting, but I'm not sure I go along with it because it is contrary to some things I've heard. For instance, one of the techniques I've heard about increasing power on the break is to actually move your grip hand forward on the cue. It has something to do with the fulcrum and where your muscles make more power.

Here's one example of this idea put forward by Colin Colenso:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW1tsONEI_U

Interesting topic for sure.

Multiple elements involved so when we say one thing like moving the grip hand further back generates more power or less it is still dependent on other factors. With the grip hand further back and a bridge so short that the arm is still extended then the speed and power may indeed be less. If the bridge, stroke, and grip work together the hand further back can generate increased speed and control. Of course if they don't work together the grip further back can cobble up everything too.



Okay, this is my take on why I don't hold the cue all the way at the buttcap. I use a 61" cue. I am 6'1" with a large wingspan. When I finish my stroke I like my grip hand to find a "home" in my ribcage. If I held the cue far back beyond where my forearm is pointing straight down at the ground at cue ball contact, my follow through would be way longer than it should be when my grip hand hits "home". This would be the same problem for persons of slighter stature/wingspan that use a standard length cue.

Maniac

This seems to be the reason for everyone's placement of their grip hand, it is part of a total package. I'm thinking that it might indeed be the best answer too, everything including grip placement has to work together.



My toy shop is nearing completion once again and I think I'll make myself some toys to try. One is another 60" cue with the wrap running all the way to the butt cap. Cutting my own wrap groove and wrapping it myself I can run a linen wrap as far as I want too. I think I'll do something I don't care for and put a weight bolt in this cue too so I can move the balance point as far back as I want to. I have also wanted to build myself a very long cue to try, 64"-66". Not with a long shaft, probably a three piece cue. I'm also going away from the layered tips and very hard ferrules, returning to milk duds and either a very short ferrule or a fairly soft ferrule.

I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel as much as go back to what I used most effectively, a 60" house cue with a milk dud on it. I do want a hinge in it but I'll keep it as close to a one piece cue as possible.

Thanks again for all posts, quoted or not, and please feel free to keep the thread going. It has been a huge help to my thinking about the grip already plus I got a few unexpected bits of information as a bonus.

Hu

LAMas
06-26-2010, 11:39 PM
There might be another reason to hold the cue far back and that would be that any sideways motion in you stroke would have less effect than if you held the cue far forward. Cecil Tugwell held his cue far back and he was very accurate.

CrownCityCorey
07-01-2010, 01:59 PM
CORY: I know to each their own....BUT....This is a false statement:

"Grip/hand placementis more about the balance point of the cue."

SPF=randyg

That's pretty vague...

If you wish to contradict, explain yourself.

cuetechasaurus
07-01-2010, 02:51 PM
That's pretty vague...

If you wish to contradict, explain yourself.

I was thinking the same thing....first of all you stated it as your opinion, then he says that your opinion is a "false statement", and he doesn't bother to explain why.

Randy it would be nice if you would explain your reasoning, that was pretty rude.

ShootingArts
07-01-2010, 04:05 PM
I was thinking the same thing....first of all you stated it as your opinion, then he says that your opinion is a "false statement", and he doesn't bother to explain why.

Randy it would be nice if you would explain your reasoning, that was pretty rude.


To be fair to Randy, I did ask that the thread not be about contesting each other's opinions after he made the first post. The thread has ran it's course as far as the original objective now and if Randy sees this and chooses to respond with the basis of his different viewpoint I'm more than fine with that. I do much appreciate that Randy remained quiet at the time to let me gather as much input as possible from everyone that wanted to comment.

Thanks again to everyone and a special thanks to RandyG for understanding and cooperating with what I was trying to do. The thread helped me exactly as I hoped it would plus gave me some unexpected bonuses.

Hu

CarlB
07-01-2010, 04:16 PM
**Opinion**

The grip is just like a golf swing, any stance, baseball swing, or *Insert sport action here*

It is one part of a whole as far as your shot goes. It is something that your body will adjust to, you will get comfortable making shots. then someone comes up and says, "no, no, hold the cue this way." then your uncomfortable and trying to learn how to make shots over again.

There is a slight science and logic however to your arm being bent at a 90 degree angle. It allows for maximum "hinge" without moving your upper arm so your tip moves straight back and forth. It allows you to keep the same stroke, take back, and follow through.

My take on it is it wouldn't matter where you are gripping the actual cue, if you prefer a longer bridge and you grip further back, and vice versa.

But the fact still remains that 90 degrees allows for minimal vertical tip movement during a stroke.

You wouldn't want a short bridge with the cue gripped way back, or a long bridge holdind up higher, that would just look funny.

**Opinion**

Carl Bekowitz

lfigueroa
07-01-2010, 05:07 PM
That's pretty vague...

If you wish to contradict, explain yourself.


I would also like to hear the explanation, because I think there is something to the balance issue for some players.

Lou Figueroa

lfigueroa
07-01-2010, 05:12 PM
**Opinion**

The grip is just like a golf swing, any stance, baseball swing, or *Insert sport action here*

It is one part of a whole as far as your shot goes. It is something that your body will adjust to, you will get comfortable making shots. then someone comes up and says, "no, no, hold the cue this way." then your uncomfortable and trying to learn how to make shots over again.

There is a slight science and logic however to your arm being bent at a 90 degree angle. It allows for maximum "hinge" without moving your upper arm so your tip moves straight back and forth. It allows you to keep the same stroke, take back, and follow through.

My take on it is it wouldn't matter where you are gripping the actual cue, if you prefer a longer bridge and you grip further back, and vice versa.

But the fact still remains that 90 degrees allows for minimal vertical tip movement during a stroke.

You wouldn't want a short bridge with the cue gripped way back, or a long bridge holdind up higher, that would just look funny.

**Opinion**

Carl Bekowitz


I think you can get pretty good any which way. Guys shoot great opposite-handed, one-handed, behind-the-back, shooting with a bridge, etc. When younger (and more limber) I could actually shoot pretty good shooting with the cue between my legs :-)

But for your average Joe, I think the truth is closer to: there is an optimal setup for you. Find it and you will not only play better, more consistently -- you will cut eons off your learning curve.

Some guys set up different each time they come to the table, or are often indiscriminately changing something like their grip. Sometimes, these are the same guys that have been playing every day for years, yet never seem to get any better.

Lou Figueroa

CarlB
07-01-2010, 05:23 PM
I think you can get pretty good any which way. Guys shoot great opposite-handed, one-handed, behind-the-back, shooting with a bridge, etc. When younger (and more limber) I could actually shoot pretty good shooting with the cue between my legs :-)

But for your average Joe, I think the truth is closer to: there is an optimal setup for you. Find it and you will not only play better, more consistently -- you will cut eons off your learning curve.

Some guys set up different each time they come to the table, or are often indiscriminately changing something like their grip. Sometimes, these are the same guys that have been playing every day for years, yet never seem to get any better.

Lou Figueroa
I can agree with this. :D (how often do you hear that on the forums. lol)

mullyman
07-01-2010, 05:31 PM
You know, Hu, I too hold my cue at the far end, usually on the butt cap. But, I'm 6'1 and with a wide stance it's unavoidable unless I want to feel pinched into my stance. I thought to rectify this problem that I would go with a 59in cue. Guess what, I still hold my cue pretty much at the far end. I just can't shoot with my hand on the grip area. I feel like I'm playing in a sardine can if I push everything forward like that.
MULLY

CrownCityCorey
07-01-2010, 07:17 PM
You know, Hu, I too hold my cue at the far end, usually on the butt cap. But, I'm 6'1 and with a wide stance it's unavoidable unless I want to feel pinched into my stance. I thought to rectify this problem that I would go with a 59in cue. Guess what, I still hold my cue pretty much at the far end. I just can't shoot with my hand on the grip area. I feel like I'm playing in a sardine can if I push everything forward like that.
MULLY

I am 6'4" and had the same experience; as I went from 58"-60" cues, I was still holding it all the way in the back - getting farther and farther away from my work.

I am settled in now with 59" cue (30" shaft), and have simple adjusted the weight/balance to achieve my desired average distance from my work (e.g. cueball).

For me heavy/dense forearm woods (e.g. Ebony or Cocobolo) are a must to get it all to work out - with a Maple forearm, the cue ends up @ 21+ oz (affecting my desired swing speed) and my hand all the way at the back of the cue. I will run out of cue before it feels right.

LAMas
07-01-2010, 08:07 PM
But... Mosconi said a few inches behind the balance.

I open bridge on most shots and I hold the cue further back so that the shaft doesn't lift during my stroke...but then again that's just me.:smile:

PaulieB
07-01-2010, 09:39 PM
I have nothing extremely useful to add to this post, so jump over this post now ... you have been warned!

Comparing snooker players earnings to pool players earnings and trying to base it on their grip placement, stroke, or even their favorite type of music is a false comparison. It's the same as saying red cars get more speeding tickets. Most sports cars are red, most people that buy sports cars tend to speed, people who tend to speed more get tickets. It has nothing to do with the color of the car yet people make that extrapolation. Top snooker players make more than top pool players because snooker is way more popular in the countries in which there are snooker tournaments, hence larger payouts and earnings.

That minor point being made ... I know someone around my area that spent a good amount of money changing their wrap from leather to lizard skin and swore it made him play better. The funny thing is, every single shot I've ever watched him take has him holding the cue below the wrap. I just never had the heart to point it out to him, hehe.

pt109
07-02-2010, 12:36 AM
**Opinion**



You wouldn't want a short bridge with the cue gripped way back, or a long bridge holdind up higher, that would just look funny.

**Opinion**

Carl Bekowitz

Buddy Hall shot pretty good with this style. (short bridge - right hand near the butt plate)
And Jimmy Moore and Cornbread were similar as they slipped on their
final stroke...although their bridge was a bit longer.

Buddy had a Bludworth made with the linen wrap going almost to the
butt plate...i had Mike Johnson make me one like it..it's great

enzo
07-02-2010, 12:58 AM
i didn't read through this entire thread, but this subject has caught my interest over the years. if it hasn't already been mentioned, gripping further toward the butt on the cue will reduce any given lateral movement in your stroke. in other words, if your back hand moves 1/8 of an inch laterally if your back hand is on the butt, and say you mishit the cueball by 2mm. Well, if your back hand was further toward the front of the cue, with that same 1/8 inch lateral movement, the mishit would be greater than 2mm (eg 2.5mm).

mullyman
07-02-2010, 01:04 AM
But... Mosconi said a few inches behind the balance.

I open bridge on most shots and I hold the cue further back so that the shaft doesn't lift during my stroke...but then again that's just me.:smile:

Don't the old instruction books from that era suggest gripping 3 to 4 fingers behind the balance point? I seem to remember seeing that somewhere. I can't do it though.
MULLY

Dakota Cues
07-09-2010, 11:42 PM
CORY: I know to each their own....BUT....This is a false statement:

"Grip/hand placementis more about the balance point of the cue."

SPF=randyg

I'll take a shot at this, then expand on it to fit the OP.

Basically what this is saying, and correctly so, is that the cue's balance point does NOT change in relation to your hand placement.

By that I mean that if a cue balances at 19" from the butt cap, then it does so regardless of whether you grip the cue at the butt cap or in the middle of the wrap.

What changes is the mechanics, and thus the feel of the cue during the stroke. By mechanics, I mean your length of stroke, follow through, etc. By feel, I just mean that if, for example, a cue feels a little butt heavy when held towards the middle of the wrap, it will feel *less* butt heavy if you grip it at the butt cap. This is because more (or in this case ALL) of the butt is now in front of your hand and is being "Pushed".

Now back to the original question and how this applies - I think that this just shows that what feels right to you, probably IS right for you!

ShootingArts
07-10-2010, 07:28 AM
I'll take a shot at this, then expand on it to fit the OP.

Basically what this is saying, and correctly so, is that the cue's balance point does NOT change in relation to your hand placement.

By that I mean that if a cue balances at 19" from the butt cap, then it does so regardless of whether you grip the cue at the butt cap or in the middle of the wrap.

What changes is the mechanics, and thus the feel of the cue during the stroke. By mechanics, I mean your length of stroke, follow through, etc. By feel, I just mean that if, for example, a cue feels a little butt heavy when held towards the middle of the wrap, it will feel *less* butt heavy if you grip it at the butt cap. This is because more (or in this case ALL) of the butt is now in front of your hand and is being "Pushed".

Now back to the original question and how this applies - I think that this just shows that what feels right to you, probably IS right for you!



You are right, the perception of the weight of the cue changes hugely with fairly small movements of the grip. It doesn't matter that the cue is 58-60" long, the grip hand is only a few inches from the balance point the way most people grip the cue. Moving the grip two inches further back may be a 50% change in the distance from the balance point making the cue feel hugely different. This is very obvious when moving the hand forward bunting. Get your hand forward of the balance point and the cue will come up off of an open bridge if you try to shoot normally. You have to apply a little down pressure on the tip end with the grip or use a closed bridge.

From something I saw in another post, interesting to see that almost no idea is really new. I favor wrapless cues because I don't like the feel of my hand on two surfaces and my hand often ends up half on and half off of the wrap on wrapped cues. I've been meaning to wrap one pretty much all of the way back to the buttcap and try it. I see I'll be in good company if I do!

Hu

Craig Fales
07-10-2010, 07:38 AM
I didn't want to derail the thread this was posted in but I've been wanting to ask about this, seems like a good time.

Quote from Bob's post in another thread:
Many snooker players -- who earn far more than pool players, on average at the top -- grip their sticks all the way at the end; they have no room to slip. Nearly every top carom player uses a rubber grip; their hands do not slip even with light grips.(end quote)

I shot like this most of the time I played every day, my grip hand very near the buttcap or on it. I have a fair amount of wingspan and this is where the grip hand naturally wanted to be it seemed. With my return to pool and desire to learn "the right way to play" I moved my grip hand forward to a more common grip. The last few times I played I have let my grip hand wander wherever it wanted to. Near the buttcap for most shots, moving ahead for soft shots needing a lot of touch. Been a few years since I changed to the forward grip and I may be getting the "any change effect" but I seem to be pocketing a little better. I'm left wondering, what are the advantages and disadvantages of gripping near the back of the stick?

Hu
I've never seen anyone using a "slip stroke". I will always believe it's a figment of peoples imagination if they think they see or do it themselves.

ShootingArts
07-10-2010, 08:18 AM
I've never seen anyone using a "slip stroke". I will always believe it's a figment of peoples imagination if they think they see or do it themselves.


Craig,

I've seen video of a few people, done right it looks like their arm is made out of rubber or that they at least have an extra joint or two in their arm. I watched a little video BlackJack sent me over and over for thirty minutes or more of a player using a slip stroke, it just seemed like magic. As noted, I have played with it and I had a local shortstop trying it when he passed by my table while I was playing with it.

Seems I am in permanent building mode since Katrina, I'll be building my forth and hopefully final shop in a couple years. One of the plans is to have room for a pool table. If that comes to pass I will spend some time on the slip stroke. It is a very useful stroke to have in your arsenal.

Oddly enough I found it fine for some delicate shots. Get the stroke speed and rhythm right on the practice strokes and then the final stroke can be exactly the same as the practice strokes except allowing the hand to slip back a little on the final backstroke. This makes the tip hit the cue ball on the next "practice stroke" while maintaining exactly the same stroke speed, rhythm, and pattern as before. On these shots the follow through is only the amount of the slip stroke less the distance you set up from the cue ball to begin with when addressing the cue ball.

Follow through is not a requirement with a slip stroke. Things like soft draw shots where I normally use a long follow through to be sure I hit the cue ball cleanly and exactly as intended, I can only follow through the same length as my practice strokes in congested areas, the tip might not go all the way through the area where the cue ball was at. Other times on long straight shots I usually do add a follow through but I think I'll drop that if and when I develop a slip stroke, it isn't really needed.

There is always more than one way to skin a cat. Note Jesse Allred's jacked up one handed shooting. When it seems a perfect stroke would be most important with no bridge to somewhat straighten a stroke he locks the elbow and uses that shoulder joint so often condemned by the pendulum folks and he uses his wrist.

I'm not advocating the slip stroke for others. It is beautiful done correctly, it is fun, and it is effective for many shots. All three are good reasons for me to work with it. I'm a bit of a sucker for trying to keep almost lost skills alive anyway.

Hu

poolpro
07-10-2010, 08:40 AM
CORY: I know to each their own....BUT....This is a false statement:

"Grip/hand placementis more about the balance point of the cue."

SPF=randyg


I do not think this is vague at all! I also agree 100%

As has already been said, you should grip your cue so that your arm is perpendicular to the floor when the cue tip is at the cue ball. This will be determined by your wingspan and the length of your bridge. The balance of the cue will have ZERO effect on this.

Quick question to those in this camp- After playing with your cue for many years and developing your specific mechanics including bridge length and grip placement. do you throw all that out the window if someone hands you a different cue? Seriously, let's say you left your cue at home ( or you have a tip pop off, etc) do you now find the balnace point and completley change your grip placement for this new cue? What about your bridge length, do you change that too? After drilling in your mechanics and practicing them to become automatic and repeatable, do you let a cue dictate how you will play? Does this seem like a good idea?

I am well aware that mosconi as well as others have stated to grip at or about the balance point. Some great players have also used a side arm stroke ( usually as a result of learning the game at a young age), should you do this?

How would you feel if you go to your doctor and he makes it known that he learned all he needed to know about the medical profession from the available information in 1945? Let's be honest here for a minute. Many things, including pool instruction, have come a long way in the last 40 years or so. That is what Randy was saying ( in far less words than I) in his comment about what the new books might say.

You can ALWAYS find examples of very good or great players who have some quirks or even what some would consider bad mechanics. Does this mean that we should TEACH this as the correct way? USUALLY when advice is asked for, it is in the context of what is the BEST or most efficient way to achieve X.

I have never heard someone ask "If I wanted to practice very hard and overcome certain mechanical errors and compensate for less than ideal fundamentals, How should I do....":grin:


The fact remains that MANY players even great ones learned very informally and made certain characteristics their own and still have achieved a great level. They play great pool IN SPITE of their mechanics, not because of them! They have still put in enough time to hone their game and have a very repeatable and consistant stroke, but that DOES NOT mean it is how someone who is seeking the correct and most efficient way to do things should be encouraged to do them.


Well, I think I have more or less said EXACTLY what Randy said. He was able to do it in far less words than I. It seemed like for some, it was not clear enough, or wanted to have a much longer explanation. I think this is long enough, yes?


poolpro<---------- rarely at a loss for words.:thumbup:




Jw

ShootingArts
07-10-2010, 09:40 AM
I do not think this is vague at all! I also agree 100%

As has already been said, you should grip your cue so that your arm is perpendicular to the floor when the cue tip is at the cue ball. This will be determined by your wingspan and the length of your bridge. The balance of the cue will have ZERO effect on this.

Quick question to those in this camp- After playing with your cue for many years and developing your specific mechanics including bridge length and grip placement. do you throw all that out the window if someone hands you a different cue? Seriously, let's say you left your cue at home ( or you have a tip pop off, etc) do you now find the balnace point and completley change your grip placement for this new cue? What about your bridge length, do you change that too? After drilling in your mechanics and practicing them to become automatic and repeatable, do you let a cue dictate how you will play? Does this seem like a good idea?

I am well aware that mosconi as well as others have stated to grip at or about the balance point. Some great players have also used a side arm stroke ( usually as a result of learning the game at a young age), should you do this?

How would you feel if you go to your doctor and he makes it known that he learned all he needed to know about the medical profession from the available information in 1945? Let's be honest here for a minute. Many things, including pool instruction, have come a long way in the last 40 years or so. That is what Randy was saying ( in far less words than I) in his comment about what the new books might say.

You can ALWAYS find examples of very good or great players who have some quirks or even what some would consider bad mechanics. Does this mean that we should TEACH this as the correct way? USUALLY when advice is asked for, it is in the context of what is the BEST or most efficient way to achieve X.

I have never heard someone ask "If I wanted to practice very hard and overcome certain mechanical errors and compensate for less than ideal fundamentals, How should I do....":grin:


The fact remains that MANY players even great ones learned very informally and made certain characteristics their own and still have achieved a great level. They play great pool IN SPITE of their mechanics, not because of them! They have still put in enough time to hone their game and have a very repeatable and consistant stroke, but that DOES NOT mean it is how someone who is seeking the correct and most efficient way to do things should be encouraged to do them.


Well, I think I have more or less said EXACTLY what Randy said. He was able to do it in far less words than I. It seemed like for some, it was not clear enough, or wanted to have a much longer explanation. I think this is long enough, yes?


poolpro<---------- rarely at a loss for words.:thumbup:




Jw

Left everything you said in there since it is all true enough except with one little caveat. Chances are that a player's cue was originally selected because the balance point suited his bridge and grip lengths or that his bridge and grip lengths were originally influenced by the balance point of his cue or the house cues he played with before owning a cue.

Minor differences in balance points mean little particularly if you already grip the cue a significant distance from the balance point on shots where the cue ball location lets you choose bridge length and grip point. I think we have all tried to play with a badly out of balance cue at one time or another and know how bad that stinks though!

Hu

poolpro
07-10-2010, 11:08 AM
Left everything you said in there since it is all true enough except with one little caveat. Chances are that a player's cue was originally selected because the balance point suited his bridge and grip lengths or that his bridge and grip lengths were originally influenced by the balance point of his cue or the house cues he played with before owning a cue.

Minor differences in balance points mean little particularly if you already grip the cue a significant distance from the balance point on shots where the cue ball location lets you choose bridge length and grip point. I think we have all tried to play with a badly out of balance cue at one time or another and know how bad that stinks though!

Hu

Thanks for the reply.

I am not going to disagree with your basic point. Obviously how a cue feels in your hand will affect your decision to buy/play with it. I personally believe that a cue's balance is a very important factor of it's feel. Assuming I am actually able to try out a cue before buying it, I rarely even ask what the weight is, I am more concerned with how it feels in my hand. A large part of that is how it is balanced. Two cues can have the exact same overall weight, but one will feel lighter than the other one.

As far as cue charactristics, there is the "hit" which is how it feels at the moment of contact- which is mostly what kind of feedback get transmitted to your hand. Then there is how the cue feels in your hand the rest of the time ( meaning every moment that you are NOT contacting the ball). Balance is prob one of the biggest factors here. Sometimes I will LOVE the hit of a cue, but not care for the way it feels in my hand, and sometimes the opposite is true! I evaluate cues separately on these points, then take the cue as a whole.


However, the rest of my post dealt with the genral ideas that " so and so does it this way, Are you going to tell me he is wrong? He is a top player.." etc. etc. I hear this kind of talk all the time and I do not feel it is a fair argument at all. Assuming you have the same amount of talent, time invested , experience, and work ethic of that player, then YES you absolutely CAN do it just like that and have great results! Then there are the rest of us! Time is better spent without having to overcome obstacles and bad habits ( especially self imposed ones!) and being able to focus on other more productive aspects of the game. In other words... this game is hard enough, why do you want to make it more challenging?

Besides, for every anomaly of a top player, there are 20 or more with textbook ( or damn close) fundamentals. So by the same logic, if showing ONE player is proof of a less than ideal form as acceptable, than there is 20 times the proof AGAINST it! You do not get to ignore a mountain of evidence and focus on a single rock to prove your point.




I will say one more thing though. I feel that saying a cue should dictate where you grip it, to me, is like saying that the shoes you wear should dictate what your proper stance should be! Different footwear will have different "feels" and even heights! Could you imagine someone making a comment about someone's stance and replying " Well, I AM wearing Nike's, and as everyone knows they use a 3/8" foam padding. So I adjust my stance accordingly to compensate for that difference."


I am not going to agree with that kind of thinking. If everyone is happy with letting their cue tell them what proper fundamentals are, that is fine. I just will not be going over to that camp.


Jw

ShootingArts
07-10-2010, 12:45 PM
Thanks for the reply.

I am not going to disagree with your basic point. Obviously how a cue feels in your hand will affect your decision to buy/play with it. I personally believe that a cue's balance is a very important factor of it's feel. Assuming I am actually able to try out a cue before buying it, I rarely even ask what the weight is, I am more concerned with how it feels in my hand. A large part of that is how it is balanced. Two cues can have the exact same overall weight, but one will feel lighter than the other one.

As far as cue charactristics, there is the "hit" which is how it feels at the moment of contact- which is mostly what kind of feedback get transmitted to your hand. Then there is how the cue feels in your hand the rest of the time ( meaning every moment that you are NOT contacting the ball). Balance is prob one of the biggest factors here. Sometimes I will LOVE the hit of a cue, but not care for the way it feels in my hand, and sometimes the opposite is true! I evaluate cues separately on these points, then take the cue as a whole.


However, the rest of my post dealt with the genral ideas that " so and so does it this way, Are you going to tell me he is wrong? He is a top player.." etc. etc. I hear this kind of talk all the time and I do not feel it is a fair argument at all. Assuming you have the same amount of talent, time invested , experience, and work ethic of that player, then YES you absolutely CAN do it just like that and have great results! Then there are the rest of us! Time is better spent without having to overcome obstacles and bad habits ( especially self imposed ones!) and being able to focus on other more productive aspects of the game. In other words... this game is hard enough, why do you want to make it more challenging?

Besides, for every anomaly of a top player, there are 20 or more with textbook ( or damn close) fundamentals. So by the same logic, if showing ONE player is proof of a less than ideal form as acceptable, than there is 20 times the proof AGAINST it! You do not get to ignore a mountain of evidence and focus on a single rock to prove your point.




I will say one more thing though. I feel that saying a cue should dictate where you grip it, to me, is like saying that the shoes you wear should dictate what your proper stance should be! Different footwear will have different "feels" and even heights! Could you imagine someone making a comment about someone's stance and replying " Well, I AM wearing Nike's, and as everyone knows they use a 3/8" foam padding. So I adjust my stance accordingly to compensate for that difference."


I am not going to agree with that kind of thinking. If everyone is happy with letting their cue tell them what proper fundamentals are, that is fine. I just will not be going over to that camp.


Jw

Thanks for your posts, I do appreciate the careful thought you have given them!

I think if you look at the very elite players you will find most have individual quirks. I just watched Shane play a live match less than an hour ago. On his break and many shots he was practice stroking Bustamonte style with the cue tip aiming extremely low left. I don't know how long he has been doing that, first time I ever noticed it was today. I don't think the quirks make players great, obviously they don't keep them from being great either. Rhetorical question not expecting you to dig and answer but if you select your current top ten players I think you will find known quirks in at least half of their games.

Shoes may not change your stance but they can certainly change your stride if you are a runner. They can cripple a runner even. Maybe not permanently but for months. Been there and done that. Wrecked months of training with the newest wonder shoe back around '93. About stance, I do wonder now. I wore medium heeled cowboy boots throughout my gambling years. True story, when I moved to a smallish city and had to special order boots to fit it took me three weeks to learn how to walk in tennis shoes again after over twenty years in boots! I wonder if I would play better if I broke out my cowboy boots instead of the walking shoes I play in now? Sheeyit! Scotty plays pretty sporty in cowboy boots maybe that's what I need!

A player doesn't necessarily say that I'm going to move my hand to right here on this cue because of the balance point. However they do over time usually grip a cue in a sweet spot over and over given a choice. That sweet spot has a ton to do with where the cue balances to suit the player I think.

Joking aside we seem to share the same viewpoint about copying other players. Nothing wrong with trying something we see somebody doing, foolish to lock into it as "the one true right way" because so and so does it and he's a playing motorscooter.

When I came back to pool three or four years ago after pretty much a twenty year break from pool I went with the equipment other modern players were using even though I despised a tink every time I hit a cue ball. I'm going back to a softer tip, softer ferrule, other changes to what worked for me. I am also changing my style a bit. This thread was started precisely to avoid a wrong turn if someone could give a concrete reason why I shouldn't grip a cue further back. I have seen some thoughts back and forth but no real deal breaker. Hard to argue that I'm not more comfortable at the table with my hand further back and I seem to be pocketing more balls. That may be because of genuine better mechanics for me or it may simply be because I am more comfortable.

Hu

Siz
07-11-2010, 09:07 AM
Apologies for the late post to a thread that may have run its course (over recent weeks I have not been able to give this forum the attention it deserves); but I think that there is one point that is still worth making.

Hu – I would not be surprised if consciously changing your grip position has had a negative impact on your game. For someone of your experience, surely the best approach is to first get happy with the other parts of your stance, alignment etc and then and then let the hand grip the cue where it wants. To do anything else is to let the tail wag the dog.

IMHO for any individual, the optimum position of the grip hand will primarily depend on three factors:

The length of the bridge;
The length of the cue;
The stance.

There are other influences, eg whether at the ’set’ position your forearm is vertical or slightly in front of vertical; whether your wrist is held straight down or perhaps cocked slightly forward. But the effect of these is usually relatively minor.

The influence of bridge length and cue length have been covered earlier in the thread; but the influence of the stance has not. And while the reason why snooker players tend to hold the cue further back is partly their longer bridge (generally preferred on the bigger tables, and partly their shorter cue (usual length 57”-58”), the typical snooker stance also plays a big part.

The reason why stance is so important is that there can be a huge effect on effective ‘wing span’ coming from how much you push the shoulder of your bridging arm forwards, the shoulder of your cuing arm back, and from how much you rotate your collar bone relative to the line of the shot.

To illustrate the effect of this twisting and stretching, I remember the snooker player Steve Davis once saying that when he stands up and holds both his arms out straight in front of him, after years of playing snooker the bridging arm reaches a good 2 inches further than the cuing arm.

It is also very noticeable that if you watch novice snooker players who imitate more experienced players by getting down low on the shot and holding the cue near the end, you will see that their cuing arm is way back from the vertical. This is because they have not yet started to twist their upper body in the way that more seasoned players have become accustomed to. Again this illustrates the relationship between body position and where you grip the cue.

So assuming that you have reasonably good fundamentals, changing your grip position is likely to either result in your forearm rest position changing or in your stance / alignment changing. I said earlier, I think that this is the tail wagging the dog, and quite likely to give an overall negative effect.

Actually this is a particular case of a general phenomenon that I have found makes the analysis of the billiard stroke very complicated – and often very controversial. This is that different parts of the technique are interconnected. In many cases if you change one thing, you affect something else. What’s more the interconnectedness of seemingly distinct components is sometimes not at all obvious. But that is probably a subject for another thread.

ShootingArts
07-11-2010, 10:22 AM
Apologies for the late post to a thread that may have run its course (over recent weeks I have not been able to give this forum the attention it deserves); but I think that there is one point that is still worth making.

Hu – I would not be surprised if consciously changing your grip position has had a negative impact on your game. For someone of your experience, surely the best approach is to first get happy with the other parts of your stance, alignment etc and then and then let the hand grip the cue where it wants. To do anything else is to let the tail wag the dog.

IMHO for any individual, the optimum position of the grip hand will primarily depend on three factors:

The length of the bridge;
The length of the cue;
The stance.

There are other influences, eg whether at the ’set’ position your forearm is vertical or slightly in front of vertical; whether your wrist is held straight down or perhaps cocked slightly forward. But the effect of these is usually relatively minor.

The influence of bridge length and cue length have been covered earlier in the thread; but the influence of the stance has not. And while the reason why snooker players tend to hold the cue further back is partly their longer bridge (generally preferred on the bigger tables, and partly their shorter cue (usual length 57”-58”), the typical snooker stance also plays a big part.

The reason why stance is so important is that there can be a huge effect on effective ‘wing span’ coming from how much you push the shoulder of your bridging arm forwards, the shoulder of your cuing arm back, and from how much you rotate your collar bone relative to the line of the shot.

To illustrate the effect of this twisting and stretching, I remember the snooker player Steve Davis once saying that when he stands up and holds both his arms out straight in front of him, after years of playing snooker the bridging arm reaches a good 2 inches further than the cuing arm.

It is also very noticeable that if you watch novice snooker players who imitate more experienced players by getting down low on the shot and holding the cue near the end, you will see that their cuing arm is way back from the vertical. This is because they have not yet started to twist their upper body in the way that more seasoned players have become accustomed to. Again this illustrates the relationship between body position and where you grip the cue.

So assuming that you have reasonably good fundamentals, changing your grip position is likely to either result in your forearm rest position changing or in your stance / alignment changing. I said earlier, I think that this is the tail wagging the dog, and quite likely to give an overall negative effect.

Actually this is a particular case of a general phenomenon that I have found makes the analysis of the billiard stroke very complicated – and often very controversial. This is that different parts of the technique are interconnected. In many cases if you change one thing, you affect something else. What’s more the interconnectedness of seemingly distinct components is sometimes not at all obvious. But that is probably a subject for another thread.



Siz,

A whole lot better later than never! You are someone else I can count on for excellent posts. You are absolutely right that focusing on one portion of the way we shoot ignoring that everything is interconnected is a major error. A real issue for me is that 20 years and fifty pounds later I can't maintain the low stance I once used. I have worn a beard for forty years now and for very long fine cut shots I used to get down and slide the cue along the right side of my jaw with the beard making an excellent sliding surface. There is a jowl there instead of a jaw now and if I got that low it would take half the guys in the pool room to straighten me back up again!

My stance has to be higher now, not an option. Twisting a lot in my stance is also no longer an option. However it seems that I should have made minimum changes to the rest of my set-up to accommodate these physical issues and kept most of the rest of my style. I treat bar boxes a lot more casually than I do the nine footers cowboying things to my heart's content. My game usually jumps most amazingly, a genuine jump not just the expected jump going from the nine footer to the bar box.

Even on the nine foot tables I have more fun and make more balls just bending over and shooting the balls. When I get in the "right stance" with my fore arm perpendicular to the floor and everything in the "right" orientation I shoot like crap. Heaven help me if I try to use any of the aiming methods taught on this forum! Eyeballing works, trying to quantify how I aim in any way doesn't.

Speaking of everything interconnected, the pendulum stroke seems to need a fairly low stance. When I get low for a few shots the pendulum works OK. When I return to my normal higher stance the pendulum then feels far less stable than letting the whole arm work naturally.

Seems that like many others I'm going to have to throw convention out the window and let my body align and work how it wants to, not conform to some somewhat abstract concept of what right is.

Hu

TX Poolnut
07-11-2010, 10:27 AM
Well put Hu!

Blackjack
07-11-2010, 10:11 PM
m. I watched a little video BlackJack sent me over and over for thirty minutes or more of a player using a slip stroke, it just seemed like magic. As noted, I have played with it and I had a local shortstop trying it when he passed by my table while I was playing with it.


Hu,

The man in that video was the late great Pat Howey, aka poolshark52. If you would like, I can send you more video - Pat was a pleasure to watch, a pleasure to talk to, and a pleasure to play with.

Pat Howey - Side Pocket Break (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXa5d6hIAyg)

Baxter
07-12-2010, 12:18 AM
Where my grip hand is on the cue is dependant upon the type of shot I'm hitting, my bridge length for the shot selected, and the power I want to hit it with. On delicate shots that demand exact precision, and follow shots, I bridge closer to the CB and "choke up" on the cue, with my hand at nearly the top of the wrap. I tend to use a medium length bridge with a medium length grip (middle of the wrap) for most shots. For shots I need to hit harder (usually draw, table-length draw/stop/kill, and breaks), I'll use a longer bridge and adjust my grip to the bottom of the wrap.

That's just what I do, but my forearm/elbow is generally at 90 degrees on impact. I personally like to finish my stroke tip down on almost all shots except follows.

I also use an open bridge on almost all my shots except shots hit below center and sometimes shots with extreme english. But that also depends on the power I put into the stroke. I tend to stroke soft, so I love the open bridge, but on shots hit hard I use a closed bridge (which are usually draw shots). On the break I use a rail bridge regardless of the game. I'll give up 6-12 inches from headstring in exchange for the stability of the rail bridge, even breaking 8 ball on the big tables. That could be because I have small hands though.

ShootingArts
07-13-2010, 07:53 AM
Hu,

The man in that video was the late great Pat Howey, aka poolshark52. If you would like, I can send you more video - Pat was a pleasure to watch, a pleasure to talk to, and a pleasure to play with.

Pat Howey - Side Pocket Break (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXa5d6hIAyg)


David,

Sorry for the slow reply, I missed the last couple of posts in this thread. I'd much like to see more of Pat Howey playing, I thought that was who you had sent video of but I wasn't sure enough to put the name out there. I was also thinking that you had looked for the particular clip you had sent me showing the slip stroke from the right side awhile back without finding it though.

What some people fail to understand is that the beauty and pleasure in some activities justify the effort to learn them much like playing a musical instrument solely for your own pleasure. The slip stroke certainly isn't a must to play great pool but it is obvious to me at least that it isn't a hindrance. I want to master it or at least become reasonably competent just because it is a skill I admire. I also have a feeling that while it seems counter-intuitive that it might also aid in gaining "touch" something I have lost with the newer superfast cloth and rails and admittedly a lot less time on the table than when I was young and pool was the center of my world.

Working on the slip stroke also changed my normal stroke a little, to my benefit. I didn't keep practicing the slip stroke and lost that benefit over time. Regularly practicing the slip stroke might be a great "drill" even if I don't use it as my primary stroke in a game.

Hu

ShootingArts
07-13-2010, 08:05 AM
Where my grip hand is on the cue is dependant upon the type of shot I'm hitting, my bridge length for the shot selected, and the power I want to hit it with. On delicate shots that demand exact precision, and follow shots, I bridge closer to the CB and "choke up" on the cue, with my hand at nearly the top of the wrap. I tend to use a medium length bridge with a medium length grip (middle of the wrap) for most shots. For shots I need to hit harder (usually draw, table-length draw/stop/kill, and breaks), I'll use a longer bridge and adjust my grip to the bottom of the wrap.

That's just what I do, but my forearm/elbow is generally at 90 degrees on impact. I personally like to finish my stroke tip down on almost all shots except follows.

I also use an open bridge on almost all my shots except shots hit below center and sometimes shots with extreme english. But that also depends on the power I put into the stroke. I tend to stroke soft, so I love the open bridge, but on shots hit hard I use a closed bridge (which are usually draw shots). On the break I use a rail bridge regardless of the game. I'll give up 6-12 inches from headstring in exchange for the stability of the rail bridge, even breaking 8 ball on the big tables. That could be because I have small hands though.

The players that were old players in the sixties and seventies that I copied moved their hands around on the cue stick for different shots. It's a method that certainly has value. I do it sometimes with excellent results but it is one more thing I don't do consistently anymore. Things like this are why I say I need to spend my time rebuilding my old game instead of trying to learn one new thing after another that pops up on the forum.

You pointed out something else I am a big believer in, the break off of the head rail. If we need to for the angle breaking off of the side rail is OK and on one side it works well, side depending on if you are left or right handed. When breaking from the kitchen though, I find it makes much more sense for me to give up a few inches of extra travel on the cue ball and gain the stability of the rail and another even more valuable asset in my opinion. When we break from the headstring in the kitchen the motion of our body is fairly constricted. When we break from the head rail we are much freer to move and increase both speed and accuracy.

Hu

lfigueroa
07-13-2010, 01:51 PM
I do not think this is vague at all! I also agree 100%

As has already been said, you should grip your cue so that your arm is perpendicular to the floor when the cue tip is at the cue ball. This will be determined by your wingspan and the length of your bridge. The balance of the cue will have ZERO effect on this.

Quick question to those in this camp- After playing with your cue for many years and developing your specific mechanics including bridge length and grip placement. do you throw all that out the window if someone hands you a different cue? Seriously, let's say you left your cue at home ( or you have a tip pop off, etc) do you now find the balance point and completely change your grip placement for this new cue? What about your bridge length, do you change that too? After drilling in your mechanics and practicing them to become automatic and repeatable, do you let a cue dictate how you will play? Does this seem like a good idea?

I am well aware that mosconi as well as others have stated to grip at or about the balance point. Some great players have also used a side arm stroke ( usually as a result of learning the game at a young age), should you do this?

How would you feel if you go to your doctor and he makes it known that he learned all he needed to know about the medical profession from the available information in 1945? Let's be honest here for a minute. Many things, including pool instruction, have come a long way in the last 40 years or so. That is what Randy was saying ( in far less words than I) in his comment about what the new books might say.

You can ALWAYS find examples of very good or great players who have some quirks or even what some would consider bad mechanics. Does this mean that we should TEACH this as the correct way? USUALLY when advice is asked for, it is in the context of what is the BEST or most efficient way to achieve X.

I have never heard someone ask "If I wanted to practice very hard and overcome certain mechanical errors and compensate for less than ideal fundamentals, How should I do....":grin:


The fact remains that MANY players even great ones learned very informally and made certain characteristics their own and still have achieved a great level. They play great pool IN SPITE of their mechanics, not because of them! They have still put in enough time to hone their game and have a very repeatable and consistant stroke, but that DOES NOT mean it is how someone who is seeking the correct and most efficient way to do things should be encouraged to do them.


Well, I think I have more or less said EXACTLY what Randy said. He was able to do it in far less words than I. It seemed like for some, it was not clear enough, or wanted to have a much longer explanation. I think this is long enough, yes?


poolpro<---------- rarely at a loss for words.:thumbup:




Jw



What happens is that the balance point can easily affect your PSR in subtle ways that you might not even notice... except for the part that you're not making as many balls, or your position play is constantly off. Conversely, the reason you might *really* like a particular cue is because it just, somehow, makes you play better. That could be the balance point at work helping your setup, or maybe even something like the wrap materiel (different subject).

I know there are some guys out there that can pull a house cue off the wall and play great. But most of us aren't like that and so we often stick (haha) to one cue and learn, perhaps subconsciously, how to make that particular cue work with our personal mechanics. If you commit to a particular cue, then chances are you're going to have to fiddle with your mechanics some to get the most mileage out of any particular cue. If given a different cue, are you going to throw all your PSR and mechanics out the window? No, of course not. But chances are you're going to have to adjust to the different cue. And depending how attuned you are to your own mechanics and the level of play you're at, you could be able to easily adjust. But... if you're not tuned in to how and why you play the way you do, you might not ever fully adjust to a new cue.

As to stuff like the forearm being perpendicular to the floor, there are a whole slew of excellent players out there that have their forearm forward of perpendicular. (Everyone is going to have a slightly different optimal setup -- that's why there are almost no two pros that look the same at the table.) Saying *everyone* should do that is silly.

Lou Figueroa

Baxter
07-14-2010, 10:58 PM
The players that were old players in the sixties and seventies that I copied moved their hands around on the cue stick for different shots. It's a method that certainly has value. I do it sometimes with excellent results but it is one more thing I don't do consistently anymore. Things like this are why I say I need to spend my time rebuilding my old game instead of trying to learn one new thing after another that pops up on the forum.

You pointed out something else I am a big believer in, the break off of the head rail. If we need to for the angle breaking off of the side rail is OK and on one side it works well, side depending on if you are left or right handed. When breaking from the kitchen though, I find it makes much more sense for me to give up a few inches of extra travel on the cue ball and gain the stability of the rail and another even more valuable asset in my opinion. When we break from the headstring in the kitchen the motion of our body is fairly constricted. When we break from the head rail we are much freer to move and increase both speed and accuracy.

Hu

I agree completely. I break off the head rail for all games with a triangle rack. I break off the side rail (right handed, right side for me) playing 9 ball. I used to break off the string, and my break was spotty at best. I'd drop a ball 20% if I was lucky. Switched to the rail bridge, and now I drop balls with my standard break spot on most tables 40%. Tables I know, at least 75%. I attribute all of that to the consistency I found using the rail bridge. I can hit the exact spot on the headball, exact spot on the cueball, with 80% power almost every time. It's funny actually, because last week I tried to break off the string just to see what would happen, and all I managed to do was bash my grip hand on the edge of the table. That hurt like hell, and all it did was reinforce that I should be breaking off the rail.

Deadon
07-15-2010, 01:44 PM
ShootingArts;

One of the best threads for information and opinions in a long time. Nice to see some thoughtful responses. To stimulate things I will bring up a couple of points, not real far off topic.:)

A well executed slip stroke is a thing of beauty. A number of the older players used it often and some of the pros today still use it to a smaller degree. Denny Searcy comes to mind. His effortless (looking), stroke moved the QB around the table like few then or since could do. BTW, Efren will sometimes use a small slip stroke.

As far as "potting" balls, champion snooker players had no chance on a 6x12 playing payball with the likes of Denny, Richie, Cole etc. They could not match the pocketing ability of the American players. Ask Grady, he will tell you what happened when they came to Cochrans to "give it a go". So when you get to technique, maybe the snooker style is best suited to that game, and not necessarily pool. Some aspects are certainly transferable, but are others that beneficial? Like adjusting bridge lengths(per earlier post).

Relative to the grip location, you must also consider stance. Not only do you want the cue to be level at the time of contact with the QB, but you also want your arm to be going through the most powerful part of the movement. The most accurate and powerful part of the arm movement is generally accepted when the forearm(FA) and upper arm(UA) are around a 90% angle.

Hence, cue level, upper arm level, forearm at 90%. As you get lower on the ball, the FA and UA angle gets less because the shoulders are dropped as you get lower. It only natural to adjust your grip hand backward to maintain the strength curve in your stroke. We have all experienced hitting the QB early or late and had that funny feeling. A little higher stance, ala Luther Lassiter, Mosconi, Mike Massey, Buddy Hall and many others, keeps everything at 90s.

Thoughts?

duckie
07-15-2010, 02:30 PM
Angle of attack is the angle of the cue as it comes into contact with the CB and continues with the follow thru.

A level cue as a angle of attack of 0 degree, where as being jacked over a ball, the angle of attack maybe 45 or more degree.

I've been playing with different angle of attacks to see the affects it has on the angle of the spin on the CB. Say right english or is it spin, anyway, at a angle of attack of 0 degees the CB spin is going to be level with the table.

Now, changing the angle of attack also changes the angle of the spin on the CB. Do the above, but instead this time raise the butt of your cue up some and stroke straight. Since your are hitting and stroking through the cue ball at a angle, that is the angle the spin on the CB will be.

I've been able to use this to great success.

So, keeping your cue always level really limits what you can do with english or is it spin.

Baxter
07-15-2010, 02:35 PM
Keeping your cue level is one of the fundamentals of a good stroke. A level cue will allow you to apply english with consistency. Using english without a level cue and your deflection will be a lot greater and unpredictable.

TATE
07-15-2010, 03:00 PM
Siz,

A whole lot better later than never! You are someone else I can count on for excellent posts. You are absolutely right that focusing on one portion of the way we shoot ignoring that everything is interconnected is a major error. A real issue for me is that 20 years and fifty pounds later I can't maintain the low stance I once used. I have worn a beard for forty years now and for very long fine cut shots I used to get down and slide the cue along the right side of my jaw with the beard making an excellent sliding surface. There is a jowl there instead of a jaw now and if I got that low it would take half the guys in the pool room to straighten me back up again!



OK, enough of the teasing, I want to see a picture of you.

Chris