I am a member of the APA, UPA and I have an issue that I can not figure out. I am ranked a 6 with the APA but recently dropped to a 4 I can not hit anything. Only thing that has changed is I bought a new 20oz. Mid $400 range McDermott cue with a G force shaft and Kamui tips and got rid of my inexpensive less than a $100 21oz. Brunswick nothing fancy cue. What's weird is I can switch to my other inexpensive 22oz. Elite Break cue and hit everything with great control of the cue ball.
I am hoping you can give me some explanation to this?
Sorry to hear you're "strugglin'".
My first guess is the weight. It's surprising how much difference there is in one ounce. I normally play with a 19.5 ounce cue and from time to time I can't hit a thing with it. I switch to my second favorite cue which weighs 20.5 and I'm right back in action. And in my case I have the same tip on both cues. A little heavier cue gives clearer feedback to your arm and lets you know where it is a little better. As your stroke improves with years of play and your "touch lightens" you may prefer a lighter cue but you have to have confidence in your cue; if that means 21 ounces so be it. Fine.
The first thing I would do is purchase some McDermott weight bolts so you can adjust the weight of the cue until it satisfies you. Of course, first take the butt cap off and find out what weight bolt is in your cue so you don't buy a second one of those. They're a few dollars a piece and you can change them yourself without special tools. Buy a few of them and experiment.
You don't say which hardness of Kamui tip you ordered or what kind of tip was on your old cue but tip hardness can *really* change the way a cue hits and even if you got a soft one it could be harder than what was on your other cue. I won't start a debate about what I think is the "best" tip but in high-end laminated tips I usually find the harder ones are not a good choice for non-professional players. It takes a pro-quality stroke to get the best out of a real hard tip. I've tried everything that was made up to a couple of years ago. When it comes right down to it I play best with a *soft* "Name-Brand" laminated tip. Better feel, more ball spin, more control. And I've had disastrous luck using really hard tips, they can kill my confidence and I'm all over the place; afraid to hit the ball miscuing... all of it.
But tips are more difficult to experiment with than weights. They're more expensive and you really should pay a professional to put one on your cue so you can't really go back and forth experimenting. If you don't get happy adding weight I recommend a softer tip, maybe even a cheap one or whatever you had on your old cue. I still have a spare shaft in my case with a Le Pro tip on it and I pull it out from time to time when I need a little different feel.
Of course anytime you change cues you have make friends with the new one but it sounds like you've got a bigger issue than that. Honestly though, every McDermott I've played with has hit well; and I played with one for several years back in the day. Great cue for the money. I'm betting that adding an ounce of weight or softening your tip (or both) will let you love hitting balls with yours.
Keep me posted or follow up if can offer more but that's where I'd start.
Play well and enjoy,