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Diamond System and Related Terminology
Thu, Apr 27th, 2017

The diamonds on a pool table consist of nine diamonds and eight segments length-wise. Along with five diamonds and four segments width-wise. Yes, the pockets are included in the count. Having that two-to-one relationship is very important for geometric accuracy. Connecting the diamonds lead to learning the proper angles, this will helps you understand how the cue ball will bounce off the cushions in order to produce the desired impact.

Here are different types of shots you can take using the diamond system.

The diamond formula is easy to understand and remember so be sure to use it in every shot.

A = S - F

A= Aim or your point of contact
S= Start or your starting point
F= Finish or where your cue ball will end up

Bank Shot

What is a bank shot? A bank shot occurs when you score a shot by banking a ball off a cushion into a pocket. So you see just how much the diamond system can be of aid to bank shots.

Kick Shot

What is a Kick Shot? When doing a kick back shot you are first making contact with the cushion then, the desired ball. Sometimes it is necessary for you to do a kick shot mainly because your opponents ball has blocked your view and you have no other option.

2 Rail Kick Shots

Yes, this means exactly what it sounds like. Hitting two or more rails in order to hit the object ball. This is where pairing segments and diamonds come in handy.

Billiard Trick-Shot Artist The Inventor
Mon, Apr 24th, 2017

Do you like being amazed? check out these mind-bending trick-shots with pro-trickster Charles Lakey "The Inventor." Not much is known about Lakey for he keeps his personal life private although we do know that he enjoys challenging his billiard loving friends to a friendly game of pool and is always popping up on People Are Awsome compilations on youtube such as the one below. To learn more follow Charles on Facebook.

Introducing The Billiard Diamond System
Thu, Apr 20th, 2017

What is the diamond system?

Have you noticed most of the billiard tables you've ever seen have decorative inlaid looking diamonds, circles or even custom shapes, around the frame of the table? Did you ever wonder why they are there?

As a billiard novices, you've probably admired and wondered what the diamonds around a billiard tables purpose is. Even if you had an idea of their purpose, you also knew that it takes a lot of practice and even a little math to become adequate in their use.

Yes, the diamond system has been around a very long time and is the most widely-used billiard system. Its use will reduce the need for guesswork in your shots, improve accuracy and overall performance in each game.

How to Use the Diamonds on a Pool Table:

Let's start with the basics. Knowing the location of your diamonds and segments.

Meet Hall of Fame Jean Balukas
Mon, Apr 17th, 2017

Jean Balukas was born in 1959 in Brooklyn, New York. Jean was introduced to play when she was 4 years of age. Her parents had strategically bought a 9-foot pool table for their home in hopes that it would keep her four brothers out of local pool rooms.

Jean's father Albert and his business partner Frank McGown owned a forty-eight-table pool hall called The Ovington Lounge in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn.

At 5 and 6 years of age, she would practice pool after family dinners. A common misconception is that her dad taught her how to play pool but the truth is he didn't play. Frank, her dad's partner was a professional player but he didn't teach her how to play either. According to her, she was self-taught, she learned how to play at home since she didn't feel comfortable playing at pool halls especially since it was still uncommon to see women players. Balukas was known as "trailblazer, a child prodigy, a loner who rebelled against dress codes for women—the pool equivalent of Billie Jean King"

At just 9 years Jean placed 5th in the 1969 U.S. Open straight pool championship and placed 4th and 3rd respectively in the following two U.S. Opens. From that early start, Jean completely dominated women's professional pool during the 1970s and 1980s.

Balukas won the U.S. Open seven years in a row from 1972 through 1978, accumulating six world championship titles, had well over 100 professional competition first-place finishes with 38 majors to her name, had a streak of 16 first-place finishes in women's professional tournaments, and was the only woman to compete on equal footing with men in professional play in her era.

She quit the sport amidst controversy in 1988 while at the height of her ability, due to a dispute over her conduct in a match at the World Open Nine-ball Championship of that year.

Jean Balukas was introduced into the BCA Hall of Fame in 1985. Making Jean the second woman in the BCA Hall of Fame. If you read our previous blog titled Meet the Hall of Fame Dorothy Wise you've probably made the connection when Jean was 13-year-old she took her first championship win against Dorothy, bringing Dorothy's 5-year-winning streak come to a close.

Meet The Hall of Fame Dorothy Wise
Wed, Apr 12th, 2017

Dorothy was born in Spokane, Washington in 1914. Once she was married, Dorthy learned to play pool from her husband who managed billiard parlors in several cities around the West Coast. At the time billiards was still mainly a male dominated sport and so, when Dorothy first started playing pool professionally there were few national tournaments for women.

Dorothy was involved in many local and state tournaments awaiting an opportunity to further her billiard career. In 1967 the BCA staged the first National tournament for women. Dorothy husband Jimmy, watched her win the first national championship that year but died later that same year. She won and kept winning for the next five years. Losing the title in 1972 when she played in the finals against 13-year-old child prodigy Jean Balukas.

Dorthy became a member of the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 1981 becoming the first woman to be made a member.

Meet The Hall of Fame Willie Hoppe
Mon, Apr 10th, 2017

Whose billiard career was one of the longest in the sport of billiards. With a peculiar stroke, Willie Hoppe became a child prodigy.  He could barely reach the table standing on a box Willie would reach over and take shots. As an adult, he became an internationally renowned American Carom Billiard Champion. Winning 51 world titles between 1906 and 1952. After winning the world title in 1952, Hoppe retired as a competitive player and became a goodwill ambassador for the sport. Hoppe conducted a series of exhibition matches there after making his performance at the White House in 1911 the highlight. Hoppe died in 1959 leaving behind his legacy in the billiard world.

About the BCA Hall Of Fame
Thu, Apr 6th, 2017

The purpose of the Billiard Congress of America stands to honor outstanding players of the international billiard community who thought their competitive career through skill and or dedication have enriched the billiard sport.

The BCA has two categories first, The greatest Players which is reserved for people who have competed professionally with a minimum of 20 years under their belts and have won at least one national or world cue sports title recognized but the BCA or another sanctioning body.

The second category is called The Meritorious Service which is reserved for people who have made lasting, memorable and important contributions to billiards, even though they may or may not have distinguished themselves as competitors.

The first person to be placed on in the BCA Hall of fame is Ralph Greenleaf. Ralph, was an American professional pool and carom billiards player who lived from 1899-1950. Ralph, was recognized for his charisma and natural showmanship, a twenty-time World Pocket Billiards Champion, whose dominated the sport during his heyday. Ralph won his first pocket billiard championship in 1919 and his last in 1937 and was inducted into the hall of fame in 1966.

The Wood Species Used at GW
Mon, Apr 3rd, 2017

Learn a bit about the wood species GW uses on pool tables, shuffleboards, and much more. Remember, If you are interested in custom materials or custom fine furniture please give us a call and chat with our Pro's today!

Common Name(s): Canadian rock-hard maple, Hard Maple, Sugar Maple, Rock Maple

Distribution: North America, Canada

Color/Appearance: Hard Maple lumber is most commonly nearly white to an off-white cream color.

Grain/Texture: Grain is generally straight, but may be wavy. Has a fine, even texture.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Comments: In tree form, Hard Maple is usually referred to as Sugar Maple, and is the tree most often tapped for maple syrup!

Common Name(s): Red Alder, Western Red Alder

Distribution: Coastal western North America

Color / Appearance: Red Alder tends to be a light tan to reddish brown; color darkens and reddens with age.

Grain / Texture: Grain is generally straight, with a moderately fine, uniform texture.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Comments: Red Alder is the most abundant hardwood in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, and is a commercially important lumber.

Common Name(s): California Black Oak, Kellogg Oak

Distribution: Western United States

Color / Appearance: Oak has a light to medium reddish-brown color, though there can be a fair amount of variation in color.

Grain/Texture: Have medium-to-large pores and a fairly coarse grain.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Comments: Hard, strong, and moderately priced, Red Oak presents an exceptional value to woodworkers.

Golden West uses about 5% oak today, due to over saturation of the market in the past.

Common Name(s): Lodgepole Pine, Shore Pine

Distribution: Western North America

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is light reddish/yellowish brown, sapwood is yellowish white.

Grain/Texture: Straight grained with medium texture.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.

Comments: So named because Native Americans used poles of this tree species for tipis and lodges.

Used on The GW Montana

Common Name(s): Mountain Hemlock

Distribution: Northwest coast of North America

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is light reddish brown. Sapwood may be slightly lighter in color but usually, isn't distinguished from the heartwood. The conspicuous growth rings can exhibit interesting grain patterns on flat-sawn surfaces.

Grain/Texture: Grain is generally straight, with a coarse, uneven texture.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.

Comments: Hemlock generally has narrow growth rings.

Used on The GW Keystone


Name: Claro Walnut, California Black Walnut

Distribution: Eastern United States

Color/Appearance: Heartwood can range from a lighter pale brown to a dark chocolate brown with darker brown streaks. Color can sometimes have a grey, purple, or reddish cast.

Grain / Texture: Grain is usually straight, but can be irregular. Has a medium texture and moderate natural luster.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Comments: It would be hard to overstate Black Walnut's popularity among woodworkers in the United States. Its cooperative working characteristics, coupled with its rich brown coloration puts the wood in a class by itself among temperate-zone hardwoods. To cap it off, the wood also has good dimensional stability, shock resistance, and strength properties.

Common Name(s): Teak, Burmese Teak

Distribution: Native to southern Asia; Widely grown on plantations throughout tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Color / Appearance: Heartwood tends to be a golden or medium brown, with color darkening with age.

Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, though it can occasionally be wavy or interlocked. Coarse, uneven texture and moderate to low natural luster. Raw, unfinished wood surfaces have a slightly oily or greasy feel due to natural oils.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Comments: Sometimes called Burmese Teak, this name is used to differentiate natural-grown trees (typically from Myanmar, aka Burma) from Teak grown on plantations. Used extensively in India and within its natural range for centuries, Teak has grown into a worldwide favorite. With its superb stability, good strength properties, easy workability—and most of all, its outstanding resistance to decay and rot—it's no wonder that Teak ranks among the most desired lumbers in the world.


Name(s): Rosewood

Distribution: A slow-growing, hardy deciduous rosewood tree native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southern Iran. Is native to the foothills of the Himalayas. It is primarily found growing along river banks below 900 meters (3,000 ft) elevation but can range naturally up to 1,300 m (4,300 ft).

Color/Appearance: The heartwood is golden to dark brown; the sapwood, white to pale brownish white. Rosewood is among the finest timbers. It is the wood from which 'mridanga', the Rajasthani percussion instrument, are often made.

Grain/Texture: Presence of hints of coarse grains with the shiny and silky smooth texture, compared to the glossy finish of artificial polishes.

Comments: The Rosewood tree is prized for its dark red heartwood. Rosewood is a tropical hardwood with a tight, even grain. Rosewood is heavy and hard, but relatively easy to work with. Rosewood has a strong sweet smell, which persists over many years, even in furniture that may be hundreds of years old. Amazingly, just scratching or refinishing antique furniture will release the smell of roses thus the name.

wood database
tree plantation

3 Types of Games In Billiards
Thu, Mar 30th, 2017

The history of billiards is long and very rich. The game has been played by kings and commoners, presidents and mental patients, ladies, gentlemen and hustlers alike. It evolved from a lawn game similar to the croquet played sometime during the 15th century in Northern Europe and probably in France. Game-play was moved indoors to a wooden table with green cloth to simulate grass, and a simple border was placed around the edges. The balls were shoved, rather than struck, with wooden sticks called "maces." The term "billiards" is derived from French, either from the word "billart," one of the wooden sticks, or "bille," a ball.

The cue stick was developed in the 1600s. When the ball lay near a rail, the mace was very inconvenient to use because of its large head. In such a case, the players would turn the mace around and use its handle to strike the ball. The handle was called a "queue" meaning "tail." We went on to calling the sticks "cues".

Tables originally had felt vertical walls for rails and their only canton was to keep the balls from falling off. They resembled riverbanks and even used to be called "banks." Players discovered that balls could bounce off the rails and began deliberately aiming at them. Thus a "bank shot" was born.

Billiard equipment improved rapidly in England after 1800, largely because of the industrial revolution. Chalk was used to increase friction between the ball and the cue stick even before cues had tips. The leather cue tip, with which a player can apply sidespin to the ball, was perfected by 1823. English visitors showed Americans how to use spin, which explains why it is called "English" in the United States but nowhere else. (The British call it "side"). The Two-piece cue arrived in 1829. Slate became popular as a material for table beds around 1835. Goodyear discovered vulcanization of rubber in 1839 and by 1845 it was used to make billiard cushions. By 1850, the billiard table had essentially evolved into its current form.

The dominant billiard game in Britain from about 1770 until the 1920s was English Billiards or Billiards was and still is played with three balls and six pockets on a large rectangular table.

Another game played on a table is Snooker, a complex and colorful game combining offensive and defensive aspects and played on the same equipment as English Billiards but with 22 balls instead of Three. The British appetite for Snooker is approached only by the American passion for baseball; it is possible to see a Snooker competition every day in Britain.

Billiard in The United States:

How billiards came to America has not been positively established. There are tales that it was brought to St. Augustine by the Spaniards in the 1580s but researchers failed to reveal any trace of the game there. A number of American Cabinetmakers in the 1700s turned out exquisite billiard tables, although in small quantities. The game spread throughout the colonies. Even George Washington was reported to have won a match in 1748. By 1830, despite primitive equipment, public rooms devoted entirely to billiards appeared. The most famous of them was Bassford's, a New work Room that catered to stockbrokers. Here a number of American versions of billiards were developed.

Eight-Ball was invented shortly after 1900; Straight Pool followed in 1910. Nine-Ball seems to have developed around 1920. The most commonly played pool game is Eight

-Ball, played against other players. The goal is to get all your balls in the pockets before your opponent does.

While billiards has developed through history it's waged a constant battle of respectability. Producing an environment in which men, women, experts, and novices can come together meeting socially for one of the many friendly games played on a Billiard Table.

Be sure to come into our showroom and pick up your very own copy of  Billiards The Official Rule & Record Book. The Billiard Congress of America works with the World Pool and Billiard association to set rule standards for all related games. In addition, this book holds biographies of great BCA Hall of Fame members from the over 50-year history of the BCA. This book was the source of information for this blog. Thank you.

Why Golden West Billiards is the Best!
Mon, Mar 27th, 2017

Why is Golden West Billiards the best in crafting custom matching game room pieces of furniture such as a billiard table, snooker tables, shuffleboard, game tables, and stools.

Golden West Billiards, MFG. is a family owned and operated company which started manufacturing in the late 1960's! So, you know that GWB applies their accumulated knowledge and experience to produce exquisite parallel furniture.

Your game room, basement, garage, family room, loft, or man can have a matching theme that will provide a luxurious but inviting atmosphere for your friends and family for years to come.

Related Article

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How to Chalk Your Cue The Right Way

Shooting Basics

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