View Full Version : The 75 cent ghost ball aimer

12-23-2006, 02:15 PM
I'm returning to the game after a 30+ year hiatus, so I am having to relearn a lot. Aiming is a particular issue, as I am no longer flexible enough to get my face down over the cue to aim.

I see that there are some commercial ghost ball aimers out there, including a laser version, at considerable price.

I have had my best aiming training sessions with a two component ghost ball trainer, consisting of: a) a 1.5" PVC pipe schedule 40 coupler, and b)Scotch Post-It (TM) tabs (the red plastic tabs about an inch wide used to mark pages in a document, not the paper type).

The PVC coupler has an outer diameter of 2.25 inches (conveniently the same as a billiard ball) and costs about 75 cents. The post-it tabs I have sitting around the house anyway.

I position the coupler in the ghost ball position, and place the post-it tab on the table so that the corner is in the center of the coupler. This is the target point, and the PVC coupler can then be removed, leaving the red tab in place. The post-it tabs flatten out real well, and cause very little deflection when the cue ball rolls over it. They adhere well to the cloth, but do not stick or leave any residue. I aim for the corner of the tab that I positioned as the target. When the shot is over, pick up the post-it, or use it to position the exact same shot again.

It has the usual ghost ball limitations, like missing a pocket even though the aim was good (throw). But, for me this has been a good and cheap system to retrain my aim.

Might work for others, too.Can't beat the price. Take a ruler to the store with you to make sure the coupler you buy does have a 2.25 inch outer diameter.

12-23-2006, 10:05 PM
We have had a zillion threads on aiming. Thats not an exaggeration! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif We have had reflections, 3 points, 5 points, a myriad of Hal Houle's sytems, proportional, on amd on, etc, etc etc,........and on to infinity- and thats not an exaggeration! /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
If you were to spend 2 hours a day for a week, hitting only 1/2 ball shots, you would learn and be able to predict the path of the OB on a 1/2 ball shot- for any ball on the table. You aim 1/2 ball and you will be able to see the path of the OB. [ but who wants to only hit 1/2 ball shots for a week!]It starts off as a rough guide but is refined with years of practice.
Lets say you have done the required practice and you are faced with a cut to the right, roughly 1/2 ball. You aim 1/2 ball, see the path of the OB, see thats its missing the pocket and adjust accordingly, ie thicker or thinner. Its THAT simple.!
If you do the same practice on 1/4 you can predict 1/2 ball and 1/4 ball. If you can do that, aiming is not a problem. Its boring and repetative but it must be done. I think most people who have problems with aiming just haven't done the practice or practiced in the right way.

Aiming isn't the problem in playing good pool, its hitting what you are aiming at! /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif Any Pro will tell you that.
The most difficult thing to do, IMO, is learning how to use a cue. This IMO is a lifelong quest to get the cue to do what you want it to do.
Its the cue that pots the balls!

12-24-2006, 01:20 PM
Thanks for the idea. Along the lines Qtec is indicating, if you want to relearn the cut angles quickly and efficiently, I think you also need a method of setting up the shots so that you're not practicing random cut angles, but rather a small finite selection such as 7/8 ball, 3/4-ball, 5/8-ball, 1/2-ball, etc. There is a way of doing this more accurately than eyeballing it. You can use something like this or perhaps you've figured out a better way:


In theory, you can eliminate throw by hitting with full follow (natural roll on the cueball) or full draw at a medium speed of 7-8 mph. For reference, lag speed is about 5 mph on a 9' table. You don't actually elimintate throw, but what little you get is itself almost completely cancelled by something else. And this, by coincidence, happens at all cut angles. It'll provide a baseline or "nominal" case from which you can then see the effects of different cueball spins and speeds more clearly.


12-24-2006, 02:10 PM
I karnt see how most of the trainers that i hear about could help anyone much. I like what Q and Jim said. And i could add a few thorts of my own.

Pace. U will find that the speed of the impact affects the angle (less friction and hence less throw at higher speed).

Left n Right. U will find that the natural halfball pot to the left will look a different angle to the natural angle to the right (koz of faulty perception) -- and, koz, for another thing, it probably iz different (due to bad cueing).

Range. The seperation between qball and OB, and the range from the OB to the pocket, will affect the percieved angle, and the actual angle probably (due to faulty perception and faulty cueing).

So, there are at least 8 or 16 sets of half ball angles to be remembered. And this is just for yor balls on yor table with yor lighting. Gets worse. madMac.

12-27-2006, 09:10 AM
The only value I see from any training device is a source of income for the endorser or manufacturer. In essence the training device uses the method of repetition and that can be accomplished without the training device.

12-27-2006, 04:22 PM
I would disagree with the above, as I think that knowing the aiming point improves one's ability to recognize it when the device is not used.

Regardless of your thoughts on devices in general, at 75 cents, you aren't getting swindled. Especially if you like to keep some spare plumbing parts around.