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dmgwalsh
12-31-2004, 04:49 PM
I just got a Willie Hoppe book and he talks about and there are pictures of his standard bridge with the middle left finger folded so that the second knuckle is on the table.

I tried this a little and it seems kind of interesting. Do any of you people use this kind of bridge?

Also , the inside of the last joint of his index finger closes onto the inside of the last joint of the thumb. Myself, I had been sort of closing the tips of these two fingers together, making my loop a little loose, which I think helps contribute to an unsteady bridge hand. What do you guys think?

Rod
12-31-2004, 09:05 PM
If i read this right it is a fist type of bridge. I know and have known people that play this way. I vagely remember his bridge but that isn't importatant. What is important,your bridge needs to be stable. That is normally done with a tripod, three contact points on the table. If that is not possible then two are used, if that is not possible then one or none is used. LOL

Even great players may have an unorthodox bridge but rest assured there standard bridge is very stable. You may not see what is happening under there fingers but I'll bet they have three contact points for normal shots.

The three standard points are, the palm, middle finger, and the baby finger. If a shot can not be played that way you improvise.

For what it's worth, this tripod works in cordination with your body tripod. That is your bridge hand, left and right foot. Stability is the name of the game, otherwise who knows what direction your stroke is going. Use a bridge that gives you the best chance of hitting the c/b exactly where you intended.

Rod

Terry
01-01-2005, 06:09 AM
Hi Rod,

Willie shows the fist bridge in his book and says that it is used for short or nip draw shots. I think the bridge that Dennis is talking about is what Willie calls the standard bridge which has his baby finger,ring finger and thumb resting on the table with his middle finger tucked under and his bridge loop is made with different parts of his thumb and index finger, not the tips of his finger and thumb,so his loop is tighter on the shaft than the loop we see today. I use a variation of this bridge the odd time when I need to draw the CB full table and the CB is almost against the left long rail and I can't use my normal bridge without jacking up, this variation allows me to get lots of draw and use a level stroke. Terry

JimS
01-01-2005, 07:43 AM
I think there are many players who curl the middle finger under and I don't think it matters either way. It's just a personal preference.

CC does this and then he'll let that middle finger tap the table while practice stroking. If memory serves Corey Deuel also has this element in his set-up. It's my take that tapping that middle finger while practice stroking may help to relieve nervous tension that tends to build in the body....or it may not /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

The loop in the closed bridge is used to keep the cue from moving off-line and spoiling the aim, especially on forcefull shots, and therefore the loop needs to be snug. If the loop is loose then a person might as well be shooting with an open bridge and have the benefit of being able to aim without the impediment caused by the closed bridge fingers in front of the cb.

Edit: come to think of it maybe it's CC's and/or Corey's ring finger that is curled under and taps? Oh well.

Cane
01-01-2005, 11:01 AM
dmgwalsh, I use this type of closed bridge out of necessity. My ring finger is size 15, so you can imagine how big my middle finger is. A "standard" closed bridge won't allow me to hit the cue ball low without elevating the cue. My bridge length is only about 7" on most shots, so curling my middle finger under does two things for me; it allows me to hit low on the cue ball without elevating and, at least for me, it makes my closed bridge super steady. Everything is just "locked" to the playing surface for me using that bridge.

I had to run out and grab a cue to see, but the tip of my index finger also locks on the last joint of my thumb. It does make for a good tight loop.

Also, just had Billie measure something for me. When I use an open bridge, I curl both my middle and ring fingers under, both second knuckles on the table. Talk about a spread out bridge, there are 6 1/2" between the tip of my little finger and my index finger spread on the table. Again, I do this because I feel more "locked" to the playing surface. I'm one of those that uses closed bridge for any center ball or lower hit and open for any above center ball hit.

Later,
Bob

dmgwalsh
01-02-2005, 06:24 AM
Thanks everyone for your responses.
Terry- you are right. It was not the nip draw bridge which had all the knuckles on the table, but what Hoppe called the standard bridge which just had the middle knuckle on the table.
It seems like the "middle knuckle under" variation is something some of you do. Maybe I'll play with it at some point. It feels very secure when I try it. As I am presently working on loosening my grip hand, and wrist, while not dropping the elbow and following through, I'll hold off on that particular change for now.

As far as the tighter loop question, what I get from the various responses is that it should be firm enough not to allow the cue to waver during stroking. This is all tied in with how true the stroke is to begin with. I think I do need to firm up the bridge hand a little and will try working that in.

I'm wondering, however, how much pressure do I apply without slowing down the loose gripped stroke. Time to experiment.
Dennis

monkeydude20
01-02-2005, 03:57 PM
I've also seen that same bridge used by old time players. I personally use a regular old open bridge and it seems to work just fine for me. I know it does for Allison Fisher and Karen Corr both. Use whatever comes naturally to you.
Jk /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

DavidMorris
01-02-2005, 09:28 PM
Karen and Allison come from snooker, where open bridges are more common. Bigger tables and smaller balls & pockets require greater accuracy. Because open bridges allow an unobstructed sight line along the top of the cue, they are generally considered more accurate or easy to aim. Also notice their square stance and chin nearly contacting the cue (I swear sometimes I see Allison's chin actually moving as it rides the cue), another form common to snooker.

As you say, as long as you are comfortable shooting from an open bridge, and it works for you on a variety of shots, stick with it. But I always recommend a closed bridge for most shots when I'm working with a beginner because of stability and less chance of "losing" the cue on the stroke. It also prevents the common beginner flaw of lifting the cue up off the hand of an open bridge as you stroke the ball, rather than following straight through.

I do use open bridges on some shots, such as some rail shots or when shooting over a ball, but use a closed bridge for virtually anything else. To each his own though, I know some very good players who shoot with an open bridge because they found it awkward to train their fingers to form a closed loop, so they never bothered to practice it. For me, it comes natural, I find myself forming closed bridges with my bridge hand when I'm not playing pool, if you can believe that... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Chris Cass
01-03-2005, 11:30 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JimS:</font><hr> I think there are many players who curl the middle finger under and I don't think it matters either way. It's just a personal preference.

CC does this and then he'll let that middle finger tap the table while practice stroking. If memory serves Corey Deuel also has this element in his set-up. It's my take that tapping that middle finger while practice stroking may help to relieve nervous tension that tends to build in the body....or it may not /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

The loop in the closed bridge is used to keep the cue from moving off-line and spoiling the aim, especially on forcefull shots, and therefore the loop needs to be snug. If the loop is loose then a person might as well be shooting with an open bridge and have the benefit of being able to aim without the impediment caused by the closed bridge fingers in front of the cb.

Edit: come to think of it maybe it's CC's and/or Corey's ring finger that is curled under and taps? Oh well. <hr /></blockquote>

Hi Jim,

It is the ring finger and yes sometimes it does tap. The tapping indicates that your in the right brain mode and not thinking analytically. If I do catch it I'll stop it and get it to freeze without movement. I really don't want this to occur but it just does. There's no controlling it and it's involentary movement. Like the back leg kicking up when breaking. fwiw

Regards,

C.C.

JimS
01-04-2005, 06:23 AM
I hear you Chris. I've noticed that the little finger on my bridge hand tends to stick up and wiggle or tap when I'm on auto pilot. Kinda like when I'm sipping tea /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

dr_dave
01-05-2005, 03:55 PM
This is probably controversial, but I think an open bridge is better for most shots. It doesn't look as fancy as the wide variety of closed bridges people use, and it is a lot easier to learn (even for beginners), but I think that's why some people think it isn't any good. An open bridge:

- provides unobscured view of the stick, for aiming and establishing the stroking direction.

- is very stable, even at fairly large heights (with the heel of the hand on the table and the hand cupped).

- keeps the stick centered and unrestricted in the V-shape through the entire stroke, even with significant shaft taper (this is not the case with all closed bridges).

Also, many great players trained in the snooker world (e.g., Allison Fisher and Karen Corr) use an open bridge for most of their shots. To me, this is fairly good evidence that an open bridge might be better. Accuracy is much more important in snooker than in pool (because of the huge table and small pockets), so they must be using an open bridge for a reason. Food for thought.

There are some shots (e.g., power shots, especially power follow) where a closed bridge might be more effective, but I think many people discount the open bridge without having valid reasons.

What do you guys think (especially the instructors out there)?