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Flyin-Q
03-15-2003, 05:59 PM
Hello All. I need some advice. I've been playing pool now for 15+ years. More seriosly the last Three. I'm in the top 10 in our local VNEA League. But not sure how I'd compare handicap with the APA league. Anyway, I'm just wondering, Ever since I started playing pool I have ALWAYS used the open Bridge. In fact the only time I ever hold the cue different is on the break when I lay the shaft on the rail and split it with two fingers.

Since I put a Valley bar box in my house last year and have been reading and studing to improve my game. I see most all the "pros" use the closed bridge on many shots.

I here the closed bridge is better for a lot of shots. I really don't know why though. I very seldom ever miscue. I can draw the length of the table. And pretty good at long thin cuts. My weaker points are banking and getting the cue ball to end up exactly were I want it. But they are coming along quite well also. I guess I'm just wondering if I'm Missing out on something by not using the closed bridge, do I really need to practice it when I feel I can do with out. The reason I hate it so much is that I don't like my big fingers in the way of aiming my shots and looking down the shaft. I do a lot of hunting and I wouldn't like my finger between the sights of my rifle either. I get way down on my stick when I shoot (Unshaved whiskers on chin will rub on the stick). I have never had an instructor or coaching help by anyone who was really that much better of a player than I am or new how to teach the Game(Don't get me wrong I know there are a million of you out there)

Anyway, Hope you can understand what I'm trying to say here. Any comments, sugestions or help will be much appriciated.

Flyin-Q

03-15-2003, 06:47 PM
My compliment sir, an excellent question. Since the 1800's, the English & Snooker have played open hand bridge on every shot, and Americans have played a variety of closed looped bridges on everything, never using a open hand. 3-cushion billiards, has always been totally closed loop bridge.

A Mexician star, a decade ago, came out & played beautiful 3-cushion open handed, proving it could be done. The English Snooker players are the world's best potters of the ball, proving there must be some advantage to this. The Americans simply ignored this, and the teachers or writers told you only ball bangers & beginners use this bridge because they have yet to learn the correct closed loop.

As pool is becoming more of a international sport, and as control of this sport begins to shift out of America in to Asia, and as the top stars begin to travel abroad & see how other stars perform, the open hand bridge is making amazing inroads into the games of many top pool stars today. They have discovered, there are many advantages to this method.

What I teach is a dozen different bridge variations from the basic open hand bridge, where you can cue low or high, I even teach to draw with a fist, no bridge. I ask my students to learn it & use it, and tell them, the open hand bridge is not a beginner bridge, it is the preferred bridge, of the finest players on earth, English snooker players, who put pool players in this country to shame.

I tell my student, on every cut, short or long, to use open hand, because you have a perfect sight line, not blocked by fingers in the loop. I teach a closed loop screw, stab or draw, and I firmly believe all follows should be closed loop, because the shaft will fly up into the air, because no fingers hold it down. OK, the hit, the arrow is gone, so what if the cue flys up, I understand this, but I teach a very long follow through, with the cue hitting & rising, and to maintain this attack angle, it can only be achieved with the closed loop.

My advice sir, it yes, intergrate it into your game, in a limited way at first, and never follow using it. I teach a lot of Snooker methods, having studied for years, why & how, their skills are so far ahead and above those of us American pool players. This is just one example of this, you can begin to use with great success.
Best Wishes,
Fast Larry Guninger www.fastlarrypool.com (http://www.fastlarrypool.com)
Shoot straight, innovate, no fear, and never give up.
VENI, VIDI, VICI.....

Flyin-Q
03-15-2003, 07:08 PM
Hey Larry,

Thanks for the advice, Makes Sence on the follow. To keep my shaft from poping up on a follow Stroke I have been applying some down preasure with my stroking hand.(Especially on a long harder Stroke). I have noticed that it tends to mess up my stroke (Not quite as Smoooth).

Appriciate the Help! Anyone Else?

Love da game.

Flyin-Q

03-15-2003, 08:38 PM
Dear Q, I love da game too dude, that is what all unites us as brothers. Fast Larry

03-15-2003, 10:46 PM
Flyin, if it works for you, you don't have to change it. I started with an open bridge also and then tried the closed. It was definitely akward at first but then it felt great. Many of the top pros use the open like Allison Fisher and I think Jeanette Lee. The reasons I prefer the closed- I feel like I have a much tighter control over the cue, like fast larry said it keeps the cue from flying up off follow shots, I also believe it prevents miscues and sliding off on extreme english shots. Yes many people like to be able to stare straight down the shaft as they shoot but this doesn't bother me.

Scott Lee
03-15-2003, 11:40 PM
Flyin Q...It was mentioned that none of the American pros use an open hand bridge, and that no American instructors teach this. This is simply not true, and if you watch any pro tournament, you will see numerous pros switching back and forth from open to closed bridges, depending on the shot and the situation. A closed bridge is advocated on some shots where a powerful stroke is needed. This is because occasionally when stroking the cueball very hard the tip may "jump" off your bridge hand a little from "bouncing" off the CB. A closed bridge eliminates this, and allows a smooth, straight stroke through the CB. However, many players, myself included, can use an open hand bridge on ANY shot, including the break. The basic key is the loose grip. A tight grip on the cuestick will inadvertantly cause the cue to be lifted off of your bridge hand, where the tip ends up pointed into the air, instead of finishing down near or on the cloth. With a loose grip, you can play either way...but for many players, they feel more secure in their straight followthrough stroke, with a closed hand bridge. Like was already mentioned, the top snooker players and many 3-C players do play exclusively with an open hand bridge. For me personally, it probably 60/40 open to closed. Use what works best for you!

Scott Lee

bigbro6060
03-16-2003, 04:18 AM
Larry mate, i'm actually quite surprised that someone like yourself who is so firmly entrenched in the american pool scene would give English snooker players such a wrap!

i'm from Australia so we have equal exposure to pool and snooker. I personally play 85% like a snooker player, the only difference being my front leg being more forward rather than to the left. But yes i use an open bridge and shoot with chin on cue just like a snooker player. I personally don't see any advantage of the closed bridge other than the break shot, but i guess that's because i'm used to the open bridge

bluewolf
03-16-2003, 06:11 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Scott Lee:</font><hr> Flyin Q...It was mentioned that none of the American pros use an open hand bridge, and that no American instructors teach this. This is simply not true, and if you watch any pro tournament, you will see numerous pros switching back and forth from open to closed bridges, depending on the shot and the situation. A closed bridge is advocated on some shots where a powerful stroke is needed. This is because occasionally when stroking the cueball very hard the tip may "jump" off your bridge hand a little from "bouncing" off the CB. A closed bridge eliminates this, and allows a smooth, straight stroke through the CB. However, many players, myself included, can use an open hand bridge on ANY shot, including the break. The basic key is the loose grip. A tight grip on the cuestick will inadvertantly cause the cue to be lifted off of your bridge hand, where the tip ends up pointed into the air, instead of finishing down near or on the cloth. With a loose grip, you can play either way...but for many players, they feel more secure in their straight followthrough stroke, with a closed hand bridge. Like was already mentioned, the top snooker players and many 3-C players do play exclusively with an open hand bridge. For me personally, it probably 60/40 open to closed. Use what works best for you!

Scott Lee <hr /></blockquote>

Scott,

I use a closed bridge almost exclusively. I primarily use the open bridge when I have to shoot off handed or have to stretch. I noticed that Dr D, who is a very good player, uses an open bridge. Randy g told us the benefits of the open bridge. It is something that I will eventually work on. Fast, once again brought up its benefits. Even though you, scott, brought up many things to me and so did randy, sometimes 3 is the charm.

What is interesting to me is that most of the men pros are using a closed bridge predominantly, while most of the women pros are using the open bridge. I have also noticed that more of the woman have a modified snooker stance.Assuming from Larry's post that most snooker players use the open bridge I wonder if that is the reason that most of the women use this bridge.

Anyway, it is food for thought.

Laura

03-16-2003, 01:53 PM
Dear Scott, nice post, even if you did virtually copy mine word for word, nice to see you are finally learning something from me here. Copy what I write, you will be right now all of the time, and I will stop arguing with you.
Hang around, more may rub off on you. Wonder Dog just made a couple of new posts on the board, maybe you can tail in behind him also?????????????

Big Bro 6060, Good day mate, let's get together, toss down some Fosters &amp; put a shimp on da barbie. After we eat, let's play some snew-ka, I love that game.
You said I give Snooker a wrap, here, that means I knock the game &amp; or the players, and I am sure you meant just the opposite of that.

I do nothing but rave on &amp; admire the great Snooker players of the world, and you can go back to a recent post, where I rated the top 3 greatest cueists of all time, and Hoppe got my vote for 2nd, Mosconi/Greenleaf for 3rd, my pick was down under, Walter Lindgrum for the number one greatest cueist of all time. Study his record, then you will know. He was the Great one, The great potter of English Billiards. I have films of him playing &amp; doing trick shots.

The stance I teach is in my l9ll book by the English billiards player John Roberts. I teach the secret of what made Joe Davis the greatest potter of his generation, his actual secret, and when the student learns it, they are astounded, and you cant find this in any book in America.

I teach the advanced positional techniques of high runs used at Snooker which I have adapted to 9 ball.

I teach it is ok to hold the cue on the butt, like snooker players do. I teach plant &amp; shoot in 3 seconds, like snooker players do.
I have to stop now, I am giving it all away, and there is much more. I have spent years, in deep study, watching the greats on tape, run centuries, or running a 127, to find out and to understand, why their skills were so much higher than that of our pool players. Miz, Rempe, our greats went over the pond to get into that big money &amp; got killed, wiped out, it was ugly. Our best pool player, cant beat the l00th ranked snooker player over there.

I found all of the answers, I understand them, and I teach those secrets, to my students in my Pool School. I even teach them several 3-cushion secrets, no pool player knows about. I turn out a hybrid, but oh what a great hybrid, and can they play. I only ran a century once on a 12', never got to play the game that much, but I was good for a 50, any time I came up.
American Snooker on the 10' tables with the big pockets is almost pool. The damn balls have numbers on them, and are too big, 2 l/8" You don't really understand snew-ka, until you get on a 12' table, with the 2 l/6" ball, and those tight pockets, run 50 on that, and you are a great potter of the ball. I used to carry a 16 oz cue, with a thin shaft &amp; a 10mm tip, just for Snooker. Going down from a pool l3mm to 10mm, took a little time to adjust to. Playing snooker, makes you a better overall player, because it makes you make a finer tighter aim in order to pot, and you must learn now to hit the facings to pot, you just cant shoot at a fuzzy ball and a fuzzy pocket like pool players do, or you wont have much success at Snooker. You just dont slop balls in, this game is all skill, little luck. Every morning, I would put a rack of pool balls on a l0' American snooker table, and run 30, not 30 in a row, but make 30 balls, mostly shooting long hard shots, not taking any easy or straight in shots. I got to where I could shoot the pool ball down table 9' close to the rail with a tad of pace on the OB &amp; pot the pot the bloody ball in clean, when I began to do that, I knew I was in dead punch. I would then go over to the pool table &amp; the pockets would look like water buckets, it was how can you miss something that big.

The first time I saw a top snooker match, I saw Jimmy White run ll5, I was so stunned, I wanted to go out and buy a dress. I could not believe, these people were so far ahead of us, it was depressing. The along comes Stephen Hendry &amp; he is even better. I did not think you could get any better than Steve Davis, boy was I wrong. Fast Larry Guninger www.fastlarrypool.com (http://www.fastlarrypool.com) Pot straight, innovate, no fear, and never give up. VENI, VIDI, VICI............

Troy
03-16-2003, 02:20 PM
It really is a shame you think so little of yourself and have such a small ego... /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fast Larry:</font><hr> Dear Scott, nice post, even if you did virtually copy mine word for word, nice to see you are finally learning something from me here. Copy what I write, you will be right now all of the time, and I will stop arguing with you. Hang around, more may rub off on you. <hr /></blockquote>

Flyin-Q
03-16-2003, 03:08 PM
Scott Lee, I was hoping you would respond to my question, Thank you also for the advice. I'm going to start practicing the closed bridge at home but I'm going to bet it will be a while before I'm going to be comfortable with it on any tough shots in any tourny or league play. I think I'm convinced that I should have it in my Game at least on some shots. Another reason I don't like the closed bridge is that it seems there is so much more friction on the shaft as it slides through my fingers. I Hate powder or what it does to my shaft after awhile. With my open bridge I make a very small V with my thumb and the cue will actully run down the top of my thumb nail on one side. I really like how smooth this feels. Does this make sence. Thanks Again.

Flyin-Q

Barbara
03-16-2003, 03:33 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Dear Scott, nice post, even if you did virtually copy mine word for word, nice to see you are finally learning something from me here. Copy what I write, you will be right now all of the time, and I will stop arguing with you.
Hang around, more may rub off on you. Wonder Dog just made a couple of new posts on the board, maybe you can tail in behind him also?????????????
<hr /></blockquote>

Oh boy. Here we go.

But not. Scott's got more class in his little pinky than Larry has, period.

Barbara

bigbro6060
03-16-2003, 05:13 PM
Larry mate, yes here in AUstralia, giving someone a wrap means giving them kudos, a sign of admiration, respect

so yes i meant you were giving the snooker players a comment of respect /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
03-17-2003, 07:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fast Larry:</font><hr>
.....The first time I saw a top snooker match, I saw Jimmy White run ll5, I was so stunned, I wanted to go out and buy a dress......<hr /></blockquote>

There you go again.

Perk
03-17-2003, 09:50 AM
Flyin-Q,

Good luck with the conversion. I went through the conversion from strictly open bridge to using both frequently approx a year ago. At first it will be difficult, and you will blame some misses to it. I agree with everything that has been said pretty much. Personally, if you are using touch shots, cuts, or any shot where you can get a good hand plant for a bridge, keep using the open bridge. I agree with the posts that mentioned follow or power using the closed bridge. If you are going to stroke firmly or powerfully, closed bridge will help your stroke remain consistent with your intentions.

As with any game where you make changes, there will be a slight drop in your game before it gets better. This will be frustrating, but the light at the end of the tunnel will be brighter than it is now. My game has gotten better, and now I can shoot with a higher consistency than before, and I do not even realize that my finger is curled over the cue.

Kato
03-17-2003, 10:06 AM
I use both the open and closed bridge, sometimes favoring one of the other. I think it's important to be comfortable of every shot you take.

Kato

Deeman
03-17-2003, 10:28 AM
I use both bridges but only for the last 10 years or so. It was just more common for players to use a closed bridge until we saw some of the success of the European players.

Dee

wolfsburg2
03-17-2003, 12:50 PM
i find that when i am shooting well i use a closed bridge almost exclusively. when i get into a slump though, i use an open bridge 50% of my shots, it usually helps me out of my slump

Scott Lee
03-17-2003, 04:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Flyin-Q:</font><hr> Another reason I don't like the closed bridge is that it seems there is so much more friction on the shaft as it slides through my fingers. I Hate powder or what it does to my shaft after awhile. With my open bridge I make a very small V with my thumb and the cue will actully run down the top of my thumb nail on one side. I really like how smooth this feels. Does this make sence. Thanks Again.

Flyin-Q <hr /></blockquote>

Flyin-Q...Fran made a very good post about this problem recently, that I had not taken into consideration. That post was about sweaty hands, but probably is important here too. She mentioned that sometimes when it seems like there is too much friction, or pressure on the bridge, it can create a "sweaty" hand problem. This isn't exactly what you're describing, but it could be part of it. I would say to open up the area around your closed bridge, either by making the circle between the thumb and forefinger a little bigger, or rotate your wrist a little, which should alleviate the "friction" you are describing. Using a pool glove will also take the "friction" out of the equation, but may result in less "feeling" of the shaft through your fingers. IMO, a pool glove is a cheap and easy way to eliminate problems of the cue sliding easily through the closed bridge. Hope this helps.

Scott Lee

03-18-2003, 01:34 AM
I've played both US pool and UK snooker (12 feet and match pockets). I use both closed and open. I have no clear idea why or when I use which. I do know that the closed one is more flexible for excess spin shots, but don't really know if it affects any in my game. I see no point in learning the closed bridge if it's unnatural to you. Just look at Steve Davis playing top pool on the Cardiff tapes, all snooker-like.

I haven't actually played snooker a lot for a while, but when I get down to it and start practicing those full table length straight in blue balls, I assume I always play them with the classic open bridge. Snooker is good practice for the rigid stance and pin-point accuracy needed. For example, I naturally grip the cue a little tight (compared to when I play pool) when I play snooker, as do most (snooker) pros. And the stance needs to be tight too.

Flyin-Q
03-18-2003, 04:57 PM
Just want to thank everyone for helping me out on this. I really liked to hear every ones opinion. Since I found this forum it has been kind of addicting. I spend time reading it when I should be getting my paper work done or actually practicing my pool game. I feel I have learned a ton from all the threads I've read and am grateful that people are willing to share their knowledge and experiences. I know it has helped my game, pick my Q, take care of my table and Q. ect.ect. And at times I find this to be quite humorous.

Love da Game

Flyin-Q