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View Full Version : Using open or closed bridges based on position



bigalerickson
02-21-2004, 05:38 PM
This post I am sure has come up before, but I am a bit curiouss.

I have played all my life with an open bridge, and three days ago, I just closed it for some reason and found much better control of the cue ball. Increasing my cue ball position significantly, but I lost my consistent pocketing of balls. 3 days later I am still struggling with whether I should keep forcing the switch as im still missing some pockets when I normally wouldn't?

What are you opinons on using both, depending on position? Obviously, directly in front another ball, or up against the rail an open bridge will be the way to go. Are there other times I should revert back to the old way? e.g. on the nine or the eight (depending on the game) i am not almost subconciously going to back to an open bridge because all I have to do is pocket the ball and am not worried about where the cue ball ends up.

Your thoughts are always appreciated.

Kato
02-21-2004, 06:15 PM
For me it requires no thought, it just happens.

Kato

Keith Talent
02-21-2004, 10:35 PM
Years ago, I used to think only bangers used an open bridge ... but along the way I noticed a lot of good players using it for longer cut shots when they were just rolling the cb, and also for precision on simple stop shots ... particularly straight pool players. For myself, I also found that flat-hand works better for those sorts of shots -- and a closed bridge when you need to juice up and/or power the cb.

In other words, open bridge for shots requiring a short stroke and closed for longer strokes.

tateuts
02-21-2004, 11:02 PM
I don't know what the experts say, but here is what I think. I play most shots with a closed bridge. I believe that an open bridge is better than a poorly made closed bridge, but a well made closed bridge is hard to beat for cue ball control. There should be no lateral movement of the shaft in the closed bridge.

I think closed bridges are better for most shots. I think open bridges are advantageous for shots where you have to stretch, for most rail shots, for shots that require extemely precise aim, and for very soft shots.

Lately I've also been doing this. On long shots that require both speed and very precise aim, I'll use a closed bridge set up long - at least 14" from the cue ball. I can still sight down the shaft like an open bridge, but stroke the cueball like a closed bridge. I'm pretty happy with the results. It's kind of like the best of both worlds.

Chris

JimS
02-22-2004, 10:04 AM
The only expert advice I've gotten on this subject was about 3 years ago, when I came back to the game after about 40 yrs of not playing. I took a few lessons from Jeff Carter.

He told me to use a tight closed bridge any time I had to use force on the cue ball. The rest of the time he said to use an open bridge because it's easier to aim.

I've seen that advice repeated on this and other discussion boards frequently.

I think the bottom line is that you have to use your own judgement. I try to error on the safe side and use a good, tight, closed bridge most of the time and learn to aim well using that technique.

Scott Lee
02-22-2004, 10:11 AM
Alex...You know my position on this. Either is okay...it's more how you swing the stick through the CB. Good players swap back and forth at will, with no loss of precision or execution. However, as has been mentioned, it is definitely an advantage to using a closed hand bridge, when shooting power shots, such as the break. Overall, I play more closed hand bridge shots than open. Snooker players are the opposite...they play more open hand bridge. Carom players are nearly all closed bridge on most shots.

Scott Lee

CaptMorgan
02-22-2004, 04:58 PM
I personally think it's just a matter of comfort, I find myself using both with no real reason other than that's what's comfortable for that shot. I probably use an open bridge more often than not but I really couldn't tell you why except for that's what's comfortable for me to use. I started playing young and found the closed bridge hard to manipulate with little hands so I've just kinda never really made the switch, but I will go closed bridge on a lot of shots but couldn't really tell you why other than comfort level.

Dagwood
02-22-2004, 05:48 PM
Alot of the bridge selections on my shots are unconsciouslly made. The only time I really think about what kind of bridge to use is when I'm against a rail at an angle, and I have to find the most comfortable bridge for the position. I would have to say though that in retrospect, I use an open bridge on shots that are either (a) long and somewhat straight, and don't need power, but rather touch (b) any routine shot (c) jacked up over a ball...but use a closed bridge when any amount of extreme english needs to be applied, or it needs to be hit with a fair amount of pace. It's all situational, and what I'm feeling at the time. I would imagine that sometimes I'll hit the same shot with both different bridges numerous times in a night.

An observation though...in watching Mike Zuglan play, he tends to use a closed bridge when he's somewhat out of stroke and struggling, but you can tell when he catches gear when he starts shooting most of his shots with an open bridge.

Dags

pooltchr
02-23-2004, 06:43 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> I think closed bridges are better.....for shots that require extemely precise aim
Chris

<hr /></blockquote>
Chris,
Just wondering how many shots you come up on that don't require precise aim?

02-23-2004, 11:02 AM

tateuts
02-23-2004, 11:12 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> Just wondering how many shots you come up on that don't require precise aim?
<hr /></blockquote>

Because of angle and distance, some shots have far less margin for error than others. I shouldn't have to inform you of that since you're an instructor. Maybe you missed that page in the manual.

Chris

-- Choke, Gag , Puke , Freeze!

bluewolf
02-23-2004, 12:46 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Kato:</font><hr> For me it requires no thought, it just happens.

Kato <hr /></blockquote>

That is me too. No conscious thought.Do both but never analyzed why and when I used one or the other.

Laura

Rod
02-23-2004, 02:01 PM
Most all of my shots are with a closed bridge. On thinner cuts sometimes I'll use an open bridge for a better view of the c/b. The cue really doesn't do the aiming per-say, since point of contact and where the cue is aimed are two different lines. The exception would be on shots that have little angle and without side english.

Rod

pooltchr
02-23-2004, 02:14 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> Because of angle and distance, some shots have far less margin for error than others. I shouldn't have to inform you of that since you're an instructor. Maybe you missed that page in the manual.

Chris

-- Choke, Gag , Puke , Freeze! <hr /></blockquote>
Alright, Chris...I was just trying to make a point that you should be aiming as precisely as possible on every shot in order to control the cue following the shot. You are right, there is a larger margin for error on close shots, but that error can cause a lot of problems if it lets the cue get away. Didn't mean to be a smart a$$. My apology.

UWPoolGod
02-23-2004, 02:28 PM
I have found that on most of my stroke shots I'll use a closed bridge...even semi stroke shots. But if I am just hitting a lot of follow and have to come back down table without english I'll use an open bridge. Kind of like snooker.

Jay M
02-23-2004, 02:52 PM
Basic rule of thumb for me is to use a closed bridge for any shot that allows me to place my bridge hand flat on the playing surface. As soon as the edge of my palm is off the surface, it's an open bridge. (Masse's are done with a closed bridge, but I VERY rarely shoot those in a serious game.

Some examples of times with an open bridge are:

Stretching for a shot (and too lazy to get a bridge)
Rail shots and shots where you have your hand sitting along the edge of the rail.
Shooting over a ball
Jump Shots

Pretty much any other time is closed bridge.
Jay M

DoomCue
02-23-2004, 03:30 PM
When I was learning to play, I was told that I should learn to use a closed bridge because it's more stable and less prone to sideways movement of the cue (plus only bangers use an open bridge /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif). I never did get comfortable playing topspin with the closed bridge, so I'd use the open for top and closed for draw and centerball.

After playing for a few years, I made a conscious decision to go with one or the other because I firmly believe consistency in all things pool-related is very important (e.g., head alignment, stance, grip, bridge length, etc.). I chose to go with the open bridge because of my inability to get comfortable playing topspin with the closed bridge.

Another thing I could never get comfortable doing, even though at one time I did use the closed bridge quite a bit, was using the closed bridge for breaking. I'm one of the few players I know who breaks with an open bridge. I can't think of any pros who do, except for maybe Loree Jon Jones, but she's not exactly a power breaker.

I made my decision based on dabbling a bit in snooker (but by no means am I a snooker player!) and watching snooker. A great majority of snooker players never use a closed bridge. Since snooker is a game requiring a high degree of accuracy, this led me to believe that a closed bridge probably doesn't aid in accuracy (since most snooker players don't use a closed bridge), and might actually detract from precision (otherwise, snooker players would use the closed bridge more often).

I guess if only bangers use open bridges, I'm a banger. Of course, I'm a 9-baller, so I guess I'm a banger by definition already, since 9 ball is a game for bangers.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

-djb

rocky
02-23-2004, 03:37 PM
I took lessons from Allison last year (august) and she complained about my open bridge alot. Told me it was the cause of my short draw, and a million other things!

tateuts
02-23-2004, 03:47 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr> Alright, Chris...I was just trying to make a point that you should be aiming as precisely as possible on every shot in order to control the cue following the shot. My apology. <hr /></blockquote>

Sorry I snapped at you - all's well.

Chris

Fred Agnir
02-24-2004, 08:05 AM
I use both, and at this stage I use whatever seems the right one for that shot. And understand that to say open vs. closed is very misleading. If you include various rail bridges, jacked up bridges, the fist bridge, open vs. open V, closed tripod, etc. you really are talking about a matrix of 8 or more bridges. So, IMO, it would be wise to have a handle on all of them.

I think the normal progression is something like this:

Beginner: open bridge
Intermediate: closed bridge
Advanced: open and closed bridges

Something like that.

Fred

pooltchr
02-24-2004, 09:13 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> Sorry I snapped at you - all's well.

Chris <hr /></blockquote>

No Harm, No Foul.
Steve

Bob_Jewett
02-24-2004, 02:24 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bigalerickson:</font><hr> ...
I have played all my life with an open bridge, and three days ago, I just closed it for some reason and found much better control of the cue ball. Increasing my cue ball position significantly, but I lost my consistent pocketing of balls. 3 days later I am still struggling with whether I should keep forcing the switch as im still missing some pockets when I normally wouldn't?
...
<hr /></blockquote>
I suspect that you have major flaws in your fundamentals, but it's impossible to be sure without seeing you play.

Most people who first attempt to make a closed bridge can manage only a pitiful, floppy imitation, and many never get beyond that. Is there any daylight between your fingers
and the stick when you close your bridge? If so, you haven't yet made a closed bridge in the style of Mosconi.

The only reason to make a closed bridge is if your grip hand is doing something bad. For most players, the grip hand does something bad, so they have to use a closed bridge.

There is a snooker player where I play who uses an open bridge on all shots. If he has to draw the cue ball a table length and a half (on a 12-foot table), he will use an open bridge. His draw -- both amount and accuracy -- are better than 99.9% of all pool players, and power draw seems to be the most difficult stroke for an open bridge to control.

My back hand is not as well-behaved as his, so if I crank up the speed, I have to use a closed bridge.

The purpose of the bridge hand is to accurately control the position of the front of the cue stick. An open bridge is better for several reasons already mentioned, provided that the stick is well controlled.