Have you ever heard of “squirt”?
It is amazing to me that many experience players have never even heard of squirt or know what it is. If you are a novice then this will keep you from developing some bad habits, and if you are already familiar with pool then this will help to correct some of those bad habits you may have developed.
Squirt is when the ball travels on a line that is not parallel to the axis of the cue stick. When trying to administer English you have to strike the cue ball off center, this results in the cue ball taking a course that is not directly in line with the cue stick. Most players always assume the cue ball to travel on a path that is in line with the cue stick. However, this is only the case if the center of the ball is struck.
The amount of squirt, or the amount of angle the ball travels at, depends largely on the cue stick and the amount of English being applied to the ball. It will sometimes appear that softer hits have less squirt, this could be just because the curve of the ball will bring it back to the original line.
Yes you heard me right. The cue stick that you use will change the amount of squirt. This is why players like their own personal sticks, they have become familiar with them. Some players may be unconscious to the difference but still prefer their own personal cue just the same.
It depends a lot on the head of the cue stick. If it is has more of a rounded tip then you are going to see less of an angle from the shot. If the cue stick is completely flat on the tip then you will see much more angle.