The Basics Behind A Bridge in Pool
When you first approach a table with a cue stick it is in your best interest to decide what kind of bridge to use. A bridge is an extension of your hand that you lay the cue stick on to make your shot. I have always favored an open bridge, in other words it floats free on my knuckles. I know there are players who chose to use a closed bridge. They curl their index finger over the cue stick. This may seem confusing but your bridge makes all the difference in the world.
I do use a closed bridge often times when I am doing a “stop shot” or “draw shot” because it allows me to use maximum control over my cue. However, I normally shoot with an open bridge. This means that my left hand is sitting free on the felt to allow for optimum English. I am able to shoot without impedance when I am maneuvering my cue into English, top, or left, right, you get the idea.
I see players who shoot with a closed bridge all the time and miss because they have limited themselves to certain English. When your bridge is open it allows you to maneuver the cue stick freely. Also, being closer to the ferrule makes a cleaner shot. The ferrule is the white tip at the top of your cue stick. It is where the cue tip attaches to the pool stick. If you hold the cue stick further away from the ferrule you are running the risk of shooting a shot that is too loose, wild, or out of control. Think of your cue stick like a rifle and your body should be set on top of the cue. Almost as if you were looking down the sights of a gun.
If you were shooting a gun you would have your left hand set steady. If you don’t there is a chance of kick in the gun you are shooting, whether it‘s a 30.06 or a shotgun. The same holds true for your bridge in pool. If your bridge isn’t steady there is a chance that the cue will swing out of control. Hence, you miss your shot, and at this point the shot may be critical. Tighten your bridge and you tighten your game.
A solid bridge is a very, very key element to a strong pool game. It is probably one of the first things a player should learn to master to win a game. I can always tell a weak player by their bridge. If it is open and floating wildly I know they don’t have control over their game.