Best book for beginner

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
McGoorty by Byrne is a great book. Great entertainment!
Barry Stark has made well over 100 educational videos available on YouTube. A real trove of knowledge.


Just got to part three of McGoorty. These books of factual fiction or fictional fact often have more truth in them than books billed as truth. I can relate to McGoorty. Been there, the good and the bad. The book is a lot like listening to Kris Kristofferson's Sunday Morning Coming Down. Been there, done that, glad it is a long ways behind!

Hu
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
I'm afraid most of the books out there even the ones that are often touted are pretty much more just collectibles. They can't possibly compete with what's current and on video and youtube. "A picture is worth a thousand words" as they say.


Books, video of other people, these things can help but you really need a good instructor. Second choice is good video of yourself to analyze. Often what we think we do isn't what we are doing.

One trick long before video was common, I found full power shots would reveal flaws. When firing table length shots and they come back to the tip before you can move it, you have the stroke grooved. When I could do that a half-dozen times in a row I knew it was going to be a tough night for somebody besides me even if I never hit another shot that hard!

Hu
 

middleofnowhere

Registered
Books, video of other people, these things can help but you really need a good instructor. Second choice is good video of yourself to analyze. Often what we think we do isn't what we are doing.

One trick long before video was common, I found full power shots would reveal flaws. When firing table length shots and they come back to the tip before you can move it, you have the stroke grooved. When I could do that a half-dozen times in a row I knew it was going to be a tough night for somebody besides me even if I never hit another shot that hard!

Hu
Pat Fleming told me this and I found it to be true myself. Watching video of yourself is almost as good as a session of practice. I had a video of me running like 120. It was perfect, never out of line, a really picture perfect run. I swear to god, I could sit through that video before playing and start out in dead stroke. It was like I had warned up for a half hour. It is pure mental practice and it works.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
Pat Fleming told me this and I found it to be true myself. Watching video of yourself is almost as good as a session of practice. I had a video of me running like 120. It was perfect, never out of line, a really picture perfect run. I swear to god, I could sit through that video before playing and start out in dead stroke. It was like I had warned up for a half hour. It is pure mental practice and it works.


Yes, I was thinking about showing your flaws but watching your good work is a help too, especially right before play. I shot many a shot and played many a game both from the past while I was rolling down the road alone looking for the next place with a pool table. I was as hungry as a wolf when I went in the door and ready for whatever action was to be had!

A sweet run of 120 would be nice to watch. If it was mine I would have worn out the tape back in the days of VHS.

Hu
 

SeniorTom

Active member
Bump this thread.
Are books pretty much a thing of the past with most people, with YouTube videos and the like out there? It doesn't seem like there are many new updated versions coming out anymore. I was looking for a book that dealt with cue ball control and had charts/diagrams in them to follow.
 

OKDog

Registered
My opinion, if you have played on a table enough to know you need a book you need more practice. Once you understand the basic of cue ball movement you need more on table practice than a book. I would suggest watching "The hustler" and "The color of money" for inspiration to get to a table. It took like 20 years of casual play to "get it" and I still am a average bar player but I can tell everyone else how they should play.. lol
 

NathanDetroit

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Bump this thread.
Are books pretty much a thing of the past with most people, with YouTube videos and the like out there? It doesn't seem like there are many new updated versions coming out anymore. I was looking for a book that dealt with cue ball control and had charts/diagrams in them to follow.
The author used the name Johnny Holiday. Hi run and continuous Hi run.
 

VarmintKong

Cannonball comin’!
Are books pretty much a thing of the past with most people...
I would certainly hope not. I gifted my nephew my copy of 99 Critical shots at Christmas. There’s a dorm at Notre Dame that is hopefully practicing those shots in the common room right now.

I also recently bought a copy of Play your best Straight Pool. Course I don’t use a cell phone either. I have a home phone with an answering machine and will return your call at my earliest convenience.
 
If you want to learn the game from the ground up you need a good instructor who is good at working with beginners. This is usually NOT a pro. Yes, a pro can teach draw and follow. He can teach spin. But in my experience a true beginner need to work on fundamentals. Someone knowledgeable to watch and correct stroke flaws. These are sometimes minor.
The best I have worked with s RandyG. Lives in Texas. I think he runs a clinic in Maryland one or twice a yer. There are some others. I have not personally not worked with dr dave, but everything I have seen and read of his gives me impression he could do a great job. Lives in Colorado. Tor Lowry lives just outside vegas.
Randy Goettlicher(Get Liquor) is out of Dallas but travels for classes if you have a group. He said business is booming when I talked to him a couple of weeks ago. I've met a couple of people here in Austin who have taken his class and both spoke well of the experience. He wrote the rules for the BCA and he and his wife invented Scotch Doubles.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Bump this thread.
Are books pretty much a thing of the past with most people, with YouTube videos and the like out there? It doesn't seem like there are many new updated versions coming out anymore. I was looking for a book that dealt with cue ball control and had charts/diagrams in them to follow.
Byrne has a series of cue ball control shots in his Standard Book. He also covers kicking systems. The Wagon Wheel drill is from a book by Ted Brown. My columns have lots of drills and there are lots more on Dr. Dave's website.
My opinion, if you have played on a table enough to know you need a book you need more practice. Once you understand the basic of cue ball movement you need more on table practice than a book. I would suggest watching "The hustler" and "The color of money" for inspiration to get to a table. It took like 20 years of casual play to "get it" and I still am a average bar player but I can tell everyone else how they should play.. lol
Maybe if you spent a little time with Willie Mosconi, George Fels, Robert Byrne, Ray Martin, and a few others, you would have gotten there a little faster.

There are lots of things in books that some players consider to be "secrets". What's sadder, someone who can't read or someone who won't?
 

VVP

Registered
Bump this thread.
Are books pretty much a thing of the past with most people, with YouTube videos and the like out there? It doesn't seem like there are many new updated versions coming out anymore. I was looking for a book that dealt with cue ball control and had charts/diagrams in them to follow.
Dr. Dave's book "The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards" is absolutely a great book for beginners. It's the book I started with and it's better than videos because you can take your time and understand what you read. One thing I don't like is the "ghost ball" principle/teaching albeit some great pros like Rodney Morris and Corey Deuel teach it. The GOAT Efren said don't use ghost ball ... always look at the object ball. I guess ghost ball could be used as a starting principle to get a basic understanding, but you need to get off of it quick, imo.
 

DeeDeeCues

Well-known member
Byrne's books are a wealth of knowledge.

Ray Martin's 99 critical shots is a study in things one of the best used in actual games.

If you are anything like I was when I was young, it wasn't the mechanics or knowledge of shooting that hold you back, it is knowledge of yourself. The two books that helped me were both written in the seventies:

Sports Psyching--will teach you about what kind of competitor you are and your motivation for competing. I found out that I would rather look good losing than look bad winning. Immensely powerful to realize and helped me change without causing inner conflict.

The Inner Game of Tennis--was recommended to me by the world's #1 female foosball player (she may well have been the best female to ever play--love you and miss you, Moya). The book will teach you how to learn, how to find the zone, and why the zone feels so easy, but is so hard to get into. It teaches how the best effort can come from no effort. The book is widely regarded amongst professionals in all sports and often in business. Pete Carol has had pro football players read it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bbb

DeeDeeCues

Well-known member
Dr. Dave's book "The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards" is absolutely a great book for beginners. It's the book I started with and it's better than videos because you can take your time and understand what you read. One thing I don't like is the "ghost ball" principle/teaching albeit some great pros like Rodney Morris and Corey Deuel teach it. The GOAT Efren said don't use ghost ball ... always look at the object ball. I guess ghost ball could be used as a starting principle to get a basic understanding, but you need to get off of it quick, imo.

Ghost ball is good because it gives a very visual aiming point that can easily be imagined. It is more accurate than any person who should be using it exclusively. Paying attention to where and why it fails is necessary, but the fact that it fails in certain circumstances doesn't make it irrelevant.
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
i would advise(FWIW) to go with 99 critical shots and robert byrnes standard book of pool and billiards. by the time you have shot a lot of the shots in martin's book light bulbs will be coming on(hopefully). if you can and do master the 99 critical shorts you'll be a happy camper.
Nobody can master all of those shots. I greatly admire Ray and I’ve taken a lesson from him, but of my recollection of that book, a number of the latter ones I would rate as high risk low percentage shots. Some of them are shots that even a 1970s pro level 14.1 player like Ray would have avoided playing in a crucial 14.1 match situation.
 

Cornerman

Cue Author...Sometimes
Silver Member
I am not strictly a beginner. Began playing late 60s and stopped 1972. Now, I've been playing APA for five years. SL5 in both with trips to 6 and back in 9ball.

So, if I decide to take a rest/art, what book should I read first?

Right now, I am starting "Cue Tips" by Raftis.

Suggestions
99 Critical Shots
Byrne’s Standard Book
 

VVP

Registered
Ghost ball is good because it gives a very visual aiming point that can easily be imagined. It is more accurate than any person who should be using it exclusively. Paying attention to where and why it fails is necessary, but the fact that it fails in certain circumstances doesn't make it irrelevant.
It's all about building muscle memory. For ME I prefer to lock on an object and develop where to look on that object rather than looking for a ghost 👻 😀 I find that only for very large cut angles I might have to look outside the edge of the ball. To each his own, whatever works. I am just stating my opinion as an amateur so no one has to listen to me 😁
 
Top