If you are a casual player who goes down to the pool hall as a once a week league player, or you go to the senior center four times a week to play, or if you are an avid bar table player - nope, don't consider owning your set of pool balls. There is no reason to waste your money, simply because you would never have any place to use them.
On the other hand, if you frequent a pool hall several days a week, or spend more than four hours a week playing pool on decent tables, or study and practice drills from instruction books, you should have your own set of pool balls. And, you should have the best set that you can afford to buy. You want to buy a set that at least matches the quality of balls used in well-maintained pool halls around the world. For the cue ball, get the measles ball with the 6 red spots.
When you do get your own set, you can keep them in their original box as long as the box condition holds up. There are carrying cases of various qualities from the most basic box with handles to tooled leather plush cases with padded cradles.
Keep these balls in the trunk of your car. If you live in an area with below freezing conditions in the winter or above 110 degrees in the summer, it is a good idea to bring them into the house. Otherwise, you can keep them there out of sight but ready to pull out on a moment's notice.
The reasons to have your balls are many:
- Sometimes you are at a pool hall where they don't take good care of the sets. You pick up the house set and place them under the table, then use your own balls.
- Many people have home tables, but for one reason or another, got the cheap set of balls. Bring yours in and you might convince your friend to get a good set.
- Many places such as senior centers, YMCAs, kids camps, hotels, apartments, condos, etc. have tables but the balls are in terrible condition.
- Sometimes you can find a table, but no balls.
Don't forget the simple pride of ownership you get when you bring in a good set to use instead of whatever was there. And there also are the sounds of appreciation and admiration from friends. Your own set of balls in the car is proof of your dedication to playing at your best.
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