Playing a safety is how smart pool players play.
My dad was unbelievable at safeties. If he missed a shot he had such great cue ball control he would leave no shot for you. Then, after you missed your shot he gets ball in hand, runs the table, and collects his money. I’ve seen people go double or nothing against him and he breaks and runs the table or makes a nine ball shot and collects his Money. The look on the faces of the guys he played was priceless.
The first 8-ball tournament I was in I think I was 13 or 15 years old. It was best out of three for the final match and the guy I was playing was damn good.
He had 3 balls left and I had one.
I called safety, and he got lucky and made one ball then missed the next. I again had to play safe. He missed his next shot, then I made my last ball. I then missed the shot on the eight ball.
Even my dad thought that was it.
The guy missed, and I had to play safe on the eight ball. He missed again but yet again, there was no shot for me so I took another safety. After about five or six safeties, the guy yells out "how many safeties can this kid play?".
I remember the old timers got up and came over to him and said "as long as the kid keeps making them, he can play as many as he wants".
My opponent finally had one ball left and he missed it. I got ball-in-hand and made the eight ball.
So yea, making use of safeties is just smart playing.