3-CUSHION BILLIARDS – A MARVELOUS TRAINING TOOL!!
I have been asked many times what contributed to my foundational understanding of pool more than anything else. In 1967 I had my 1st encounter with 3-cushion billiards and discovered a special attraction to the value and beauty of this magnetic and challenging discipline.
The knowledge I have acquired over the years from 3-cushion billiards has provided special “transfer agents” to pocket billiards. I started to realize the mathematical and physical properties on the carom table that could be applied to the pool table. Primary of these was the use of the common denominator on “all” tables (carom or otherwise); namely – length being twice the width. This geometric normality from one table to the next allowed the “diamonds” (sights) to be used for calculating specific system “track lines” and “angles”. Subsequent book and video productions by my wife and me under RACK UP A VICTORY titling highlight these “secret systems” of the carom art converted to the pool table. Banking and “kicking” became my passion in this conversion process, along with a revelation of special “artistic” principles and insights.
An additional feature of carom play that renders tremendous wisdom for pocket billiards is in the use of “English” or “side spin” plus controlled “dead” ball or “vertical line” cue tip placements. The relationship of the mathematical with this physical amenity allows for the connection of a cue ball from the object ball contact (point A) to a 1st cushion contact (point B), and then to point C, point D, and beyond. All of this is extremely valuable to help an aspiring student in any billiard discipline…to grow in their personal skill level, mental confidence, and an understanding of the movement of the “round spheres” across the table.
A final note of reward lies in the “abstract” or creative nature of 3-cushion. The opportunity to “draw a picture” or “painting a portrait” of the shot at hand opens a whole new dimension of approach and realized beauty within the execution process. The blending of “left brain” concepts with this “right brain” association will surely take any player to new heights of any desired cue sport activity.
The purpose to all this is revealed in the offensive weapon of making or hitting an object ball to avoid giving “ball in hand”, which for most top players is a sure formula to defeat. Another positive benefit to this mathematical certainty is in the playing of position from one ball to the next. On a defensive note, but just as effective, this knowledge allows for playing safeties when “making a shot” is not an option.
I would wholeheartedly recommend that anyone wanting to become proficient at the game of pocket billiards to engage in the “carom” arts with a proper mentor. This will help an individual learn in the right sequence and in the understanding of the complexities and yet exciting mysteries contained in the “carom” arena. In lieu of finding a “carom” table and someone excited about teaching you some “key” shots, a review of my book and/or videos is a suitable replacement, but never like the “real” thing.
Personally, I consider it an extreme blessing to have encountered 3-cushion in my formative years and in which I am still able to enjoy playing. I pray every person will experience this “special” joy in his or her billiard journey.
Best Victories…the “carom” and “pocket” way…always!!