The Drag Shot

Written by Mark Finkelstein

The Drag Shot-a good technique to know. I just finished playing in another Predator event at Master's Billiards in Queens. What a great event!

I am truly amazed by Tony Robles and Jerry Tarantola. We all owe them a thank you for the wonderful things they do for our pool community. What is truly amazing is that not only do they organize our tournaments and capture us in pictures and words, but they also play at the top level. Wow! Thank you so much. By the way, if you aren't playing in these tournaments you are missing out on some excellent competition and a chance to improve your game.

Here is a situation that I saw come up two or three times in this tournament, and not played correctly.


Diagram 1

It looks deceptively simple. Roll slowly off the right side of the one and hide the cue ball. Well, what happens if you roll the ball slowly is that is might drift off, or carry more speed than you want and break free. I saw this twice in one day. The correct way to play this shot is with a low left drag shot. This is the type of shot that you slide the cue ball across the table and at the last second, it stops its backspin, slides and then rolls slowly forward. The slight left english adds to the kill effect. This gets the one out of there and nestles the cue ball right up on the 4 and 6.

Here is another example of using the drag shot.


Diagram 2

In this diagram, we have to pocket the 1 and don't go too far down the table to be able to get on the two for the three. The drag shot works well here. I might use some left or right english on the cue ball depending on how the rails are playing and where I want the cue ball to end up. Remember though the with a drag shot, the cue ball tends to grab on to the object ball and throw it down. Make sure you aim for a little thinner hit.

Finally, here is an example of how a drag shot gives you the best chance to pocket a shot.


Diagram 3

How can we cinch the nine. We know that if we roll it slow, we have the best chance to pocket the 9, however, the shot could drift off or we might get more throw than we want. If we hit the cue ball hard, we won't get any roll off, but we may rattle the nine because we overhit it. The clever solution here is to use the drag shot. The stronger hit takes out the roll off problem, and the drag slows the cue ball down so that the shot isn't overhit. The only draw back is to make sure you compensate for the collision induced throw you get from the drag shot.

Play around with this shot. It comes up in a lot of situations and solves so sticky problems on the table.

See you on the road.

About The Author: Mark Finkelstein is a professional pool player, a BCA Master instructor, an American Cue Sports (ACS) level 4 instructor, and house pro at Slate Plus in New York. Mark can be reached via phone at 347-545-1916, email at nycpool<at_char>gmail<dot_char>com or thru his website at www.mfpool.com.

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Author Info - Mark Finkelstein