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View Full Version : Whatever happened to Hal Houle?



jjinfla
09-02-2003, 03:44 PM
I am reading Playing off the Rail and Hal is mentioned in there and was wondering what happened to him? He used to post here. Jake

Ken
09-02-2003, 07:36 PM
Hal made an appearance about 3 months ago. I assume he is lurking but I have no more info.
KenCT

jjinfla
09-03-2003, 06:44 AM
Ken, I am 1/3 of the way through re-reading Playing off the rail and it states that Tony Annigoni (the star road player) was coached by Hal. And Hal was also a tennis coach. Jake

charlieb
09-03-2003, 11:25 PM
Last I heard, about 9 months ago, he was having some health problems. I ran across his # about a week ago and will try calling him within the next couple of days. He is a real gentleman with a ton of knowledge. When I know I will post.

bluewolf
09-04-2003, 08:15 AM
Hal wrote me and offered to teach me an aiming system. I learned one but it gave me a headache. I still have to write him back to see if there is another one that might be better. Right now I just use the trial and error/feel thing.

I did like him very much though. Anyone know his email addie?

Laura

09-04-2003, 08:18 PM
FL, Hal Houle, Scott, Randy, DSAPOLIS..... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Looks like your pool groupie career is thriving /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif. Any luck ingratiating yourself to Fran and Carol after all these months?

Methinks that should complete your mission in life.

It will come about. They will thaw their artic chilliness soon. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Patience my grasshopper! Patience!


<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bluewolf:</font><hr> Hal wrote me and offered to teach me an aiming system. I learned one but it gave me a headache. I still have to write him back to see if there is another one that might be better. Right now I just use the trial and error/feel thing.

I did like him very much though. Anyone know his email addie?

Laura <hr /></blockquote>

wolfdancer
09-04-2003, 11:28 PM
Hal went back east, to Maine I believe. Hal has some serious health problems, but is a walking medical miracle.I know Hal personally, and he's a "delight", even if you don't believe in his system(s). Buy C.J.'s tape on his aiming system, and you'll see something similiar.
I know Tony better then Hal, if you count working for him, taking his son out for his first round of golf, and painting his Mom's apt, and a couple of Thanksgiving dinners. While Hal may have been "one" of Tony's instructors; he'd give the most credit to Ken Nagle, sadly departed.
"Troy" knew Hal well, but doesn't seem to post here anymore
...hope somebody has some news about Hal

Fred Agnir
09-05-2003, 06:11 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Hal went back east, to Maine I believe. <hr /></blockquote>Did he actually go? I think he's orginally from the southern Maine/NH area, but I believe he was talking about moving to Pennsylvania.

Fred &lt;~~~ suppose I could e-mail him

Wally_in_Cincy
09-05-2003, 07:17 AM
Hi everyone.

My name is yodelingwolf. My life is such an empty shell I find it necessary to spend my evening hours drinking cheap whisky and stalking bluewolf around a stupid message board. Please excuse my behavior. I would post under my real name but the embarassment would be too much to bear.

I will be back in a few days. Perhaps somewhere in my first 100 posts I may actually talk about pool.

Thanks,

yodelingwolf....yo de lay hee hooo

rise
02-23-2004, 08:25 AM
I met Hal Houle 3 years ago when I was just 18 years old. He was very nice on the phone and delight to meet in person. Hal taught me a simple cuestick aiming system he called "inch and an eighth," and it has worked very well for me so far. If anyone is interested, I'd like to learn/discuss more of Hal's systems.
-kevin

PS: he truely is a living miracle!

Ralph S.
02-23-2004, 10:20 AM
Okay, its time you all got the real scoop. Hal sent me an email about two weeks ago, saying that he was coming east to Pennsyllvania. He currently is residing in northern California. I am curious and am willing to see what the man has to offer. I spoke with him on the phone for a while after receiving his email. I had to call him, because he cant type well enough to carry a conversation using instant messenger.

I dont have any knowledge of prior health problems. All I can say is that Hal is doing fine, so it seems. I am fairly sure that he is lurking at the CCB. Maybe he will on day resume posting. He also mention aiming systems during our conversation, and inch and an eighth, was not one of them. Maybe it is the same as one he did mention, just called by a different name.

SpiderMan
02-23-2004, 03:29 PM
Ralph,

I suspect that "inch and an eighth" is the same as the "ghost ball" method, and a lot of people teach/use it. 1-1/8 inches is half the diameter of a ball. You just point through the object ball at the pocket, note the point on the cloth that is 1-1/8" from the contact point on the object ball, and that point on the cloth represents the place where the "ghost ball" touches the table. If you can do this accurately, then you have the "geometrically-correct" aimpoint by shooting the cue ball to roll straight across this point. Of course, you still have to apply the standard corrections for throw, squirt, etc.

How do you measure 1-1/8"? Depending on your tip thickness and ferrule length, it may be pretty close to the distance from the crown of the tip to the back of the ferrule.

SpiderMan

jjinfla
02-23-2004, 04:15 PM
His name does pop up on my buddy list from time to time.

Jake

rise
02-23-2004, 09:05 PM
Very interesting concept, and I believe it is probably geometrically true, however that is not what Hal taught me. Although Hal used the same name, the system he taught me does not need to account for squirt nor do I have to find a point on the object ball to "aim," at.

Boy, just talking about his system makes me feel like Mr. Vague himself Hal Houle! /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> Ralph,

I suspect that "inch and an eighth" is the same as the "ghost ball" method, and a lot of people teach/use it. 1-1/8 inches is half the diameter of a ball. You just point through the object ball at the pocket, note the point on the cloth that is 1-1/8" from the contact point on the object ball, and that point on the cloth represents the place where the "ghost ball" touches the table. If you can do this accurately, then you have the "geometrically-correct" aimpoint by shooting the cue ball to roll straight across this point. Of course, you still have to apply the standard corrections for throw, squirt, etc.

How do you measure 1-1/8"? Depending on your tip thickness and ferrule length, it may be pretty close to the distance from the crown of the tip to the back of the ferrule.

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

Ralph S.
02-23-2004, 09:12 PM
Hello Spiderman. Hal mentioned two systems that he teaches for aiming. The names "inch and an eighth" and "ghost ball" were neither of them.

Troy
02-23-2004, 10:26 PM
I'm not going to get into another long-winded debate on the pro's and con's of Hal's aiming systems. However, I spoke with Hal not long ago and at close to age 80 he is not in the best health. His circulation in the legs has been a problem for quite a while and is now giving him more trouble than ever. He mostly stays off his feet, only getting around for maybe an hour at a time tops. He's been talking about heading East for a couple years but has yet to even make the start of the trip. By the way, "inch and an eighth" is only used by Hal while saying it's half a ball diameter and "ghost ball" is only used while denouncing it as a valid aiming system.

Troy

SpiderMan
02-24-2004, 10:28 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ralph S.:</font><hr> Hello Spiderman. Hal mentioned two systems that he teaches for aiming. The names "inch and an eighth" and "ghost ball" were neither of them. <hr /></blockquote>

Ralph,

Check the post several lines prior by "rise":

**************** Posted by "rise" **********************
I met Hal Houle 3 years ago when I was just 18 years old. He was very nice on the phone and delight to meet in person. Hal taught me a simple cuestick aiming system he called "inch and an eighth," and it has worked very well for me so far. If anyone is interested, I'd like to learn/discuss more of Hal's systems.
-kevin
************************************************** *******

SpiderMan

SpiderMan
02-24-2004, 10:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote rise:</font><hr> Very interesting concept, and I believe it is probably geometrically true, however that is not what Hal taught me. Although Hal used the same name, the system he taught me does not need to account for squirt nor do I have to find a point on the object ball to "aim," at.
<hr /></blockquote>

I imagine there are many ways to explain it, depending on what makes sense to the people involved. How exactly did Hal present it to you? The system he outlined in our telephone conversations was not geometrically correct for all shots. It would get you in the ballpark, but the balls went in because your own experience automatially "corrects" the system. Hal couldn't understand/acknowledge this, so I had to give up on the conversations. I do think he was sincere, and believed his system was geometrically correct, but it can be easily shown to be "only close" with a pencil and paper.

SpiderMan

rise
02-25-2004, 03:49 AM
Spidey,
Hal's system works, not just in the ballpark, down the middle of the pocket everytime. I used to use the "ghost ball" or "find the contact point" method, but the day I met Hal the whole way I played pool changed.
Once Hal taught me the basic concept, Hal would get down on the table and cover the pocket with his arms so I couldnt see it. His system denounces the need to look at the pocket at all. It was VERY VERY VERY difficult to learn his system initially because I had to fight my mind/body's natural tendency to go back to looking at the object ball and find the contact point. To this day, when I miss pocketing the object ball, it is almost always because I changed my stroke last minute. When using Hal's system it feels completely unnatural, because one has to fight the previous
ingrained methods of aiming.


To anyone who emailed me about Hal, sorry I havent emailed you back, I'm a little slow at getting back to my emails /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote rise:</font><hr> Very interesting concept, and I believe it is probably geometrically true, however that is not what Hal taught me. Although Hal used the same name, the system he taught me does not need to account for squirt nor do I have to find a point on the object ball to "aim," at.
<hr /></blockquote>

I imagine there are many ways to explain it, depending on what makes sense to the people involved. How exactly did Hal present it to you? The system he outlined in our telephone conversations was not geometrically correct for all shots. It would get you in the ballpark, but the balls went in because your own experience automatially "corrects" the system. Hal couldn't understand/acknowledge this, so I had to give up on the conversations. I do think he was sincere, and believed his system was geometrically correct, but it can be easily shown to be "only close" with a pencil and paper.

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

jason
02-25-2004, 06:23 AM
Could any of you e-mail the basis of Hal's aiming system. I live in the U.K. and can't really get a hold of him. My e-mail is one_pocket_jason@yahoo.co.uk. Any help would much be appreciated. Thanks /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

daviddjmp
02-29-2004, 05:43 PM
He came into watch our straight pool league for a while on Saturday. This is in Dublin, California. He started to have a conversation with me, but I was in the middle of a match, so I had to forego speaking with him, as it is hard enough to concentrate for me as it is, with the music and all. He left before I was finished, I would have liked to talk with him at length. Someone down there today told me he is a killer pool instuctor, is that true?

charlieb
03-01-2004, 11:23 PM
I spent one afternoon wiith Hal several yrs ago. For the next 2 wks I saw the line better than I ever had and I mean immediately! Unfortunately I had to go overseas for 5 wks and was unable to play or practice. When I came back I didn't see things quite as well and resorted to old habits. At that time his wife was working in the Newport Beach area and he was going to come down after his annual sojurn across the US to the East Coast and back through So.Calif. Unfortunately he encountered severe leg problems in the early part of his trip and had to return to No. Calif. I have talked him a couple of times since but not for over 11/2 yrs. Right or wrong I do know 2 things--he is an old time gentleman--and I have not seen the balls so well since. Edge to edge, edge to 1/4, edge to 1/2. Quarter to edge etc. Hal help! I'm going to find his # tomorrow and maybe have to go up to No. Calif.

pooltchr
03-02-2004, 07:13 AM
I got an e-mail from him a couple of weeks ago. He said he was in California, but planning on visiting the Carolinas in a couple of months. Hopefully, we will be able to ge together during his visit. I look forward to meeting him, more so since reading some of the posts here.

Troy
03-02-2004, 08:57 AM
Hal's number is 1-510-581-3010.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote charlieb:</font><hr> I'm going to find his # tomorrow and maybe have to go up to No. Calif. <hr /></blockquote>

Cane
06-04-2004, 02:01 PM
I just joined the board yesterday, and searching the threads came across this one... I'm a little behind in posting (only three months... not long once you're on the downhill side of the life cycle).

In any case, Hal is alive and well and still living in the Bay Area. He is moving to PA in September. I talk to Hal on the phone on an almost daily basis (I think we've talked 5 or 6 times in the past week, not daily, but sometimes twice a day). He does have some health issues with his hip and legs, but there's nothing wrong in his brainbox, which is a vast database of pool knowledge, not just precision aiming systems, but everything pool.

Later,
Bob

Chris Cass
06-04-2004, 02:45 PM
I got an email from him about a mth ago saying he would be in the area but then another about two weeks ago saying he couldn't make it. He told me to call him and requested that I had a table I could work on while on the phone.

He's an awful nice guy to try to help anyone and on his dime. I've heard he's short on patients but with something so simple to get that's understandable. From what I've heard it's a good way to see things. I'm for the guy.

Regards,

C.C.