No, not ‘Q-tips’ for cleaning your ears and NOT a discussion of the best tips for your cues. There are two very important things about the relationship between the leather tip on your cue stick and the cue ball on the table. ONE is the fact that the actual contact area between the tip and ball is a spot that is only 3-4 millimeters in diameter. Close to the size of the circle on a ‘red circle’ cue ball.
Why should you care? Because if you want a stop shot but you end up hitting the cue ball just 2-3mm lower than you wanted to, you’ll end up with a draw shot. Likewise, if you really needed a DRAW shot and you hit the cue ball just 2-3mm too high, you’ll be disappointed that you only got a stop shot. You should begin to understand why it is so important to control your stroke better: sometimes missing your desired contact point on the cue ball by a couple of millimeters means the difference between success and failure in your shot.
So if a person who’s been trained in the SPF method tells you you need ‘two tips of left or right english’, do you think they’re talking about moving your cue tip 12 to 13 mm left or right? NO. 3-4mm – AT MOST – is one ‘tip’ of english, follow or draw.
What’s the other important fact? If you stroke/strike the cue ball with the tip on your cue stick, the time that they are in contact with each other is about 1/1000 of a second. Your eye blink is 4 times longer than that. WHY is that important? Let’s just say that it explains why ‘fake’ follow-through on any shot is pointless because the cue ball was ‘gone’ from the stick in less than an eye-blink. More on this in the discussion of ‘FINISH’.