When did getting low on the cue happen?

livemusic

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It seems the greats of old stood much more upright over the cue ball. When did this change, with modern players sighting almost like down a rifle? Was there some great that did this and everyone copied it? Does any modern pro stand pretty upright?
 

jimmyco

NRA4Life
Silver Member
How low is low?
How old is old?
 

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measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Back in the old days when straight pool was king and most of the game was played 1/2 table it's easier to see angles and the clearance between balls by standing more upright.
The closer the cue ball is to the object ball the more upright I stand.
As the shot gets longer I get lower.
It's just the way I do it.
I grew up playing mostly straight pool in the early '60's.
Yeah I'm that old.
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Back in the old days when straight pool was king and most of the game was played 1/2 table it's easier to see angles and the clearance between balls by standing more upright.
The closer the cue ball is to the object ball the more upright I stand.
As the shot gets longer I get lower.
It's just the way I do it.
I grew up playing mostly straight pool in the early '60's.
Yeah I'm that old.
This is exactly as I remember it as well - I almost never saw anyone low on the cue in the 60s - Seems like the 80s advent of the 9 ball popularity brought in a new wave of low on the cue pool stances - Mike Zuglan taught me low on the cue as he liked to have his eyes on the same plane as the aiming point on the balls with less of a sight angle from eyes to OB contact point.
Guys with glasses did not like the low on the cue stance because their eye sight picture was always above where their eyeglass lenses sat on their nose bridge If you stood upright to shoot - you could look down more through your eyeglass lenses - so I transitioned to contact lenses and a low on the cue stance. People started selling "pool" eyeglasses and they still do today. The idea is to keep your eyesight to the cue behind the eyeglass lenses while in your lower shooting stance with oversize lenses.
 

kling&allen

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Back in the old days when straight pool was king and most of the game was played 1/2 table it's easier to see angles and the clearance between balls by standing more upright.
The closer the cue ball is to the object ball the more upright I stand.
As the shot gets longer I get lower.
It's just the way I do it.
I grew up playing mostly straight pool in the early '60's.
Yeah I'm that old.

I think that's an excellent answer. I checked a few photos and it makes sense. Here's Greenleaf lining up for a short shot:
1609520563371.png


And here's Greenleaf aiming for a table-length shot, with his chin low and near the cue:

1609520656362.png
 

justadub

Rattling corners nightly
Silver Member
This is exactly as I remember it as well - I almost never saw anyone low on the cue in the 60s - Seems like the 80s advent of the 9 ball popularity brought in a new wave of low on the cue pool stances - Mike Zuglan taught me low on the cue as he liked to have his eyes on the same plane as the aiming point on the balls with less of a sight angle from eyes to OB contact point.
Guys with glasses did not like the low on the cue stance because their eye sight picture as always above where their eyeglass lenses sat on their nose bridge If you stood upright to shoot - you could look down more through your eyeglass lenses - so I transitioned to contact lenses and a low on the cue stance. People started selling "pool" eyeglasses and they still do today. The idea is to keep your eyesight to the cue behind the eyeglass lenses while in your shooting stance with oversize lenses.
Switching to pool glasses helped me a whole lot...
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It seems the greats of old stood much more upright over the cue ball. When did this change, with modern players sighting almost like down a rifle? Was there some great that did this and everyone copied it? Does any modern pro stand pretty upright?
I’m curious if pro snooker players got lower on the cue 50+ years ago, before most pro pool players started getting low on the cue?
 

Geosnookery

Well-known member
Snooker:
Almost a century apart. World’s best billiard player ‘back then’ and world’s best male and female billiard players today. It’s the only way I’ve ever played for 52 years.
 

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Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Here is what Edwin Kentfield thought was a good stance. His book on billiards was printed from 1839 into the 1880s, and was the standard. He knew about squirt and swerve and pivot point.

PLAYER1.GIF


Here is John Roberts, Jr. from 1902. Like Kentfield, his game was English billiards, which doesn't require as much accurate pocketing as snooker.

Scan20210101_0001.jpg


Here is Joe Davis from his 1929 book. It was about billiards rather than snooker, but he was already a pretty good snooker player. He was also more or less blind in his right eye. He was the snooker champion for a few decades.

Scan20210101.jpg

Here is the suggestion on stance from a basic US how-to-play booklet from 1948. It was published by the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America. Quite a ways behind Joe.

PLAYER2.GIF
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
Here is what Edwin Kentfield thought was a good stance. His book on billiards was printed from 1839 into the 1880s, and was the standard. He knew about squirt and swerve and pivot point.

View attachment 579957

Here is John Roberts, Jr. from 1902. Like Kentfield, his game was English billiards, which doesn't require as much accurate pocketing as snooker.

View attachment 579960

Here is Joe Davis from his 1929 book. It was about billiards rather than snooker, but he was already a pretty good snooker player. He was also more or less blind in his right eye. He was the snooker champion for a few decades.

View attachment 579958
Here is the suggestion on stance from a basic US how-to-play booklet from 1948. It was published by the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America. Quite a ways behind Joe.

View attachment 579959
Note all those open bridges.... just saying ;)
 

kling&allen

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Phelan in his 1850 book (Billiards without a Master) likewise shows an upright stance:

1609534855397.png


So does Collender in 1880 (Modern Billiards):

1609534977780.png
 

Protractor

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I’m curious if pro snooker players got lower on the cue 50+ years ago, before most pro pool players started getting low on the cue?
FWIW, I was no pro but in 1970 I had just started playing pool and snooker at college. No instructor or books, just watched the better guys and most of them were low on the cue so that is how I started and still shoot most shots.
 

Lawnboy77

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Snooker:
Almost a century apart. World’s best billiard player ‘back then’ and world’s best male and female billiard players today. It’s the only way I’ve ever played for 52 years.
I remember reading a book from the local library back in the mid 70’s by a famous Aussie Snooker player named Horace Lindrum, and from what I remember that “Gun sight aim technique” was standard operating procedure for those guys. It made sense to a young Kentucky boy who loved firing rifles.

Don’t ask me how a library in rural KY got their hands on a book written by an Aussie snooker player, but it was very much appreciated by this old country boy.
 

Cameron Smith

is kind of hungry...
Silver Member
Here is what Edwin Kentfield thought was a good stance. His book on billiards was printed from 1839 into the 1880s, and was the standard. He knew about squirt and swerve and pivot point.

View attachment 579957

Here is John Roberts, Jr. from 1902. Like Kentfield, his game was English billiards, which doesn't require as much accurate pocketing as snooker.

View attachment 579960

Here is Joe Davis from his 1929 book. It was about billiards rather than snooker, but he was already a pretty good snooker player. He was also more or less blind in his right eye. He was the snooker champion for a few decades.

View attachment 579958
Here is the suggestion on stance from a basic US how-to-play booklet from 1948. It was published by the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America. Quite a ways behind Joe.

View attachment 579959
I came here looking for this post! I remember reading that it was around the turn of the century is when most young professionals in English Billiards had their chin on or near the cue for most shots. I want to say around 1905 or 1910.
 

kling&allen

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Even as late as 1913, Maurice Daly's popular billiards book (in the US) had photos only of upright stances:

1609552494149.png
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Silver Member
Ronnie Allen was a billiard genius....and he did what he felt the shot required.
When he played pool, he looked like a pool player of his time.
When he played snooker, he looked like a snooker player.
When he played 3-cushion, he looked like a carom player.
 
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