The answer to this question will indeed be different for everyone and will also depend on the length of cue you play with. The key is to find the pool cue balance point so that you know where to grip it.
To find the balance point, take your index finger and balance the cue stick on it so that it teeters on its own. Once it is balanced, take a mental note of the point on the cue stick where your finger was holding it and use this as your balance point or reference point. In general, but depending on how tall you are, you should grip the cue at least six inches back from the balance point towards butt end of the cue stick.
Shorter players should place their grip hand slightly closer to the balance point we found earlier, while taller players should put their gripping hand a greater distance away from the balance point.
- MrPhilHarmonic from Freehold, NJ on 7/27/2009 8:14:14 AM
This article is a little generalized in my opinion. The point at which you grip the pool cue can change quite drastically depending on the type of shot you are executing.
The article refers to approx 6" from the point of balance, which would be fine if everything were perfect, but as we know, we are often faced with difficult or awkward shots, which make it necessary to shorten or lengthen the point on the cue where it is held.
Maybe I'm being too analytical though as common sense (and physical makeup) will determine what is right for you. Namely, if your cue ball is near or against the rail (cushion), shorten the grip towards the tip end of the cue, and if you are stretching for a distance shot without using the bridge (rest), lengthen the grip towards the back of the cue. This is why some pros (like Karen Corr) use extensions on their cues instead of the more awkward bridge.
Power shots generally need a slightly longer bridge than normal shots as you need a little more back-swing to get the power. Don't compromise follow through though! Likewise, touch stuns need a shorter more controlled stroke.
Eventually, you will find it comes down to one thing that will perfect all of these, PRACTICE!
- POPS from Dallas, TX on 12/12/2009 10:05:13 AM
What a "fantastic" description of what NOT TO DO. This statement is totally ignorant. What does the "balance point" of my cue have to do with anything? Very poor information.
In most standard shots, we cradle (grip) the cue stick where we can form our 90 degree angle. When our cue tip is resting very close to the cue ball, our cradle hand should be directly below our elbow. Period!
BCA Master Instructor
- MrPhilHarmonic from Freehold, NJ on 2/2/2010 11:32:47 AM
Dear Mr Goettlicher,
Not sure where to begin here as you obviously have misunderstood my comment. You say,
When our cue tip is resting very close to the cue ball, our cradle hand should be directly below our elbow. Period!
Ok. Show me where I contradicted this statement!
I totally agree with the 90 degree thing. I was simply referring to where to grip the cue. And by the way, I prefer your "cradle", that is a very good description. I was not implying as to what angle the arm should be to the cue! I think any decent player would agree, the closer the arm is to being perpendicular with the cue, the better. This was in fact what I was trying to say.
I think you will agree that we cannot always have the same amount of cue in front of our bridge, therefore the position of where we "cradle" the cue has to change to allow us to form that 90 degree angle, ideally suited to the shot. Yes?
So, please don't call my statement ignorant. I am actually agreeing with you. Had you taken the trouble to really read what I said, I don't think you would have said the somewhat hurtful things you did.
Also, regarding the balance point... All cues have a balance point, some forward, and some toward the rear. This helps give the cue its "feel" and "power". To grip the cue forward of this balance point is somewhat ruinous to the shot as the cue will then fly upward in the air, spoiling any follow through and ruining the shot. So if anything, "cradle" the cue further back, even though it is more uncomfortable. Missing the shot would be a lot more uncomfortable!
I hope this satisfies. With respect.
- POPS from Dallas, TX on 4/3/2010 2:29:31 PM
My apologies Phil.
- fe2manz from Joleit, IL on 5/29/2010 11:46:31 AM
I agree with the statement as far as it goes, but you might want to mention the importance of "feel" to a player when selecting a cue as well. I realize this steps out of the precise question of finding the balance point, but it always pains me to see someone pay a few hundred dollars on a cue and then realize later that they had no idea what "balance point" meant before they bought it, and now they either have to get it reworked or replaced.
If someone doesn't like a cue or can't get "a good feel" with a cue stick, then they should find another cue and start from the balance point.
Sometimes, some cues just don't feel right, but starting from the balance point and adjusting form there you should find one comfortable for an individual. I have often found people who didn't show progress admitting that they "couldn't get comfortable" and this almost always goes back to finding a new cue, and then we move back from the balance point to get to where they are comfortable.
- Zeke from Northern, VT on 12/31/2010 9:54:58 AM
I agree with Randy. The "balance point" of a cue stick is totally irrelevant here.
By mentioning it at all, a point of confusion is inserted where none need exist.
- Rock from Santa Barbara, CA on 12/30/2012 4:25:17 PM
Thank you guys. I'm a newbie and I picked up a cue about a month ago. Santa brought me one for Christmas.
Realizing that I have little to go on, I like the feel and balance of it.
My game has actually started to take off already. From this article and the responses here, I have learned that I naturally hold the cue at the correct point for given shots. I will be spending lots of time on this site learning. In due time I will hire an instructor.