US20060058112A1 - Golf club head with a weighting system - Google Patents

Golf club head with a weighting system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060058112A1
US20060058112A1 US11/225,847 US22584705A US2006058112A1 US 20060058112 A1 US20060058112 A1 US 20060058112A1 US 22584705 A US22584705 A US 22584705A US 2006058112 A1 US2006058112 A1 US 2006058112A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
club head
golf club
head according
recesses
sleeves
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US11/225,847
Inventor
Greg Haralason
Robert Boyd
Tim Reed
Clive Roberts
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Adams Golf IP LP
Original Assignee
Greg Haralason
Boyd Robert M
Tim Reed
Clive Roberts
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Priority to US61019904P priority Critical
Application filed by Greg Haralason, Boyd Robert M, Tim Reed, Clive Roberts filed Critical Greg Haralason
Priority to US11/225,847 priority patent/US20060058112A1/en
Publication of US20060058112A1 publication Critical patent/US20060058112A1/en
Assigned to ADAMS GOLF IP, LP reassignment ADAMS GOLF IP, LP ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: REED, TIM, MR., ROBERTS, CLIVE, MR.
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B53/00Golf clubs
    • A63B53/04Heads
    • A63B53/0466Heads wood-type
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B60/00Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like
    • A63B60/02Ballast means for adjusting the centre of mass
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B53/00Golf clubs
    • A63B53/04Heads
    • A63B2053/0408Heads with defined dimensions
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B53/00Golf clubs
    • A63B53/04Heads
    • A63B2053/0408Heads with defined dimensions
    • A63B2053/0412Volume
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B53/00Golf clubs
    • A63B53/04Heads
    • A63B2053/0433Heads with special sole configurations
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B53/00Golf clubs
    • A63B53/04Heads
    • A63B2053/0491Heads with added weights, e.g. changeable, replaceable
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2209/00Characteristics of used materials
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B53/00Golf clubs
    • A63B53/04Heads
    • A63B53/047Heads iron-type
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B53/00Golf clubs
    • A63B53/04Heads
    • A63B53/0487Heads for putters

Abstract

A golf club head includes a club head body having a plurality of recesses and a plurality of weight members shaped and dimensioned for selective placement within the recesses.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is based upon U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/610,199, entitled “GOLF CLUB HEAD WITH A WEIGHTING SYSTEM”, filed Sep. 16, 2004.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The invention relates to a golf club head employing a removable weighting system.
  • 2. Description of the Prior Art
  • Over the past twenty years, metal wood type golf club heads have replaced solid wood club heads. The metal wood type golf club heads offer the opportunity to enhance the striking characteristics of the club head by shifting the weight distribution within the club head, altering the materials from which the metal wood type golf club head is manufactured and increasing the overall size and “sweet spot” of the club head without substantially increasing the weight of the club head.
  • Current oversized driver heads commonly exceed 300 cc in volume and are conventionally manufactured from lightweight alloys, for example, titanium alloys. In an effort to enhance the striking characteristics of these relatively large club heads, weights are often added at various internal and external locations along the club head to improve, based upon personal preferences of a golfer, the launch angle and flight trajectory of a golf ball. The weight members are commonly manufactured from high-density materials.
  • However, mass produced clubs are manufactured with a weight distribution chosen to assist a large range of golfers. The weight distribution of a mass produced golf club may, therefore, be too heavy or too light. In addition, the weight distribution may be positioned too far toward the striking face, too far toward the rear of the club head, too far toward the toe of the club head or too far toward the heel of the club head to suit individual golfers.
  • As such, a need exists for a golf club head that allows a golfer to fine tune the weight of the club head for his or her swing. Attempts have been made in the prior art to achieve such a goal. However, none of these prior attempts have been successful in providing a reliable weighting system that is not adversely affected by use of the club head, for example, by vibrations imparted to the club head during use. The present invention provides a golf club offering a selectively removable weighting system that provides for reliable and secure attachment of a plurality of weight members to a club head such that a golfer may readily customize his or her golf clubs to enhance performance by specifically tuning the golf club head for producing a desired launch angle and/or flight trajectory.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a golf club head including a club head body having a plurality of recesses and a plurality of weight members shaped and dimensioned for selective placement within the recesses.
  • It is also an object of the present invention to provide a golf club head wherein the club head is a metal wood type club head and the club head body is substantially hollow.
  • It is another object of the present invention to provide a golf club head wherein the club head body includes a sole, a crown, a toe, a heel and a hosel, and the recesses are formed in the sole.
  • It is a further object of the present invention to provide a golf club head wherein the club head body includes four recesses positioned about the club head body.
  • It is also another object of the present invention to provide a golf club head wherein the club head body has a volume of approximately 460 cc and the plurality of weight members have a total mass of approximately 24 g.
  • It is also a further object of the present invention to provide a golf club head including sleeves positioned within the recesses.
  • It is still another object of the present invention to provide a golf club head wherein the sleeves are adhesively secured within the recesses.
  • It is also an object of the present invention to provide a golf club head wherein the sleeves are composed of aluminum.
  • It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a golf club head wherein each sleeve has a mass of less than approximately 10 g.
  • It is also another object of the present invention to provide a golf club head wherein each sleeve has a mass of less than approximately 5 g.
  • It is still another object of the present invention to provide a golf club head wherein each sleeve includes a coupling member for selectively securing weight members thereto.
  • It is a further object of the present invention to provide a golf club head wherein each sleeve includes internal threading shaped and dimensioned to receive threading of the weight member.
  • It is also an object of the present invention to provide a golf club head wherein threading of the sleeves and weight members includes a wedge ramp.
  • It is another object of the present invention to provide a golf club head wherein each weight member is composed of a head having a threaded shaft extending therefrom.
  • Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description when viewed in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which set forth certain embodiments of the invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a bottom perspective view of the golf club in accordance with the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a front view of the golf club shown in FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 is a detailed cross sectional view of a first embodiment of a weight member secured within a recess in the sole of the club head body.
  • FIG. 4 is a detailed cross sectional view of a second embodiment of a weight member secured within a recess in the sole of the club head body.
  • FIG. 5 is a top view of a weight member in accordance with the present invention.
  • FIG. 6 is an enlarged broken sectional view of the thread of the recess and shaft when in free-running relation to each other.
  • FIG. 7 is a view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 6 after the shaft has clamped with a minimum of holding force.
  • FIG. 8 is a view of the structure illustrated in FIG. 7, when a substantial pressure has been applied on the recess to cause the thread of the recess to advance to the right until thread engagement occurs.
  • FIG. 9 is a view of structure, similar to that illustrated in FIG. 6, with only the shaft having the root of the thread provided with a sloping surface.
  • FIG. 10 is a view of structure, similar to that illustrated in FIG. 9, with only the nut having the root of its thread provided with a flat surface.
  • FIG. 11 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view of an alternate construction of the locking thread form of the present invention, as shown in a free-running condition.
  • FIG. 12 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view of the thread form shown in FIG. 11 after a partial loading has been applied thereto.
  • FIG. 13 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view of the thread form shown in FIGS. 11 and 12 after substantially complete loading has been applied thereto.
  • FIG. 14 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view, similar to FIG. 11, of still another alternate embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 15 is an alternate embodiment of a club head in accordance with the present invention.
  • FIG. 16 is a cross sectional view of the club head shown in FIG. 15 along the line XVI-XVI.
  • FIG. 17 is a cross sectional view of the club head shown in FIG. 15 along the line XVII-XVII.
  • FIG. 18 is a bottom view of a club head in accordance with an alternate embodiment, wherein sleeves are employed in the coupling of weight members to the club head body.
  • FIG. 19 is a bottom view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 18 with the sleeves secured within the recesses of the club head body.
  • FIG. 20 is a perspective view of a golf club with releasable weighting members in the butt end of the club.
  • FIG. 21 is a perspective view showing the hexahedron in which the club head's center of gravity may be moved in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIGS. 22 and 23 show alternate embodiments in accordance with the present invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein. It should be understood, however, that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, the details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as the basis for the claims and as a basis for teaching one skilled in the art how to make and/or use the invention. Since various similar embodiments are disclosed herein, the same reference numerals are used for different embodiments where the structure being referenced is similar.
  • With reference to FIGS. 1 to 5, a golf club head 1 is shown. The golf club head 1 includes a club head body 2 and a removable weighting system 3 for selective attachment to the club head body 2. In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the club head is a metal wood type club head and is, therefore, a generally hollow body formed of various metals known to those skilled in the art. Although a driver is disclosed in accordance with a preferred embodiment, the underlying concepts of the present invention could be applied to fairway woods and hybrid i-woods without departing from the spirit of the present invention.
  • The club head body 2 is preferably formed of metal, for example, a titanium alloy, although those skilled in the art will appreciate that a variety of materials may be used without departing from the spirit of the present invention. The club head body 2 includes a striking face 4, a sole 5, a crown 6, a toe 7, a heel 8 and a hosel 9 to which a shaft 27 is secured.
  • The weighting system 3 includes a plurality of selectively removable weight members 28 shaped and dimensioned for attachment within recesses 29 formed in the sole 5 of the club head body 2. In accordance with the present invention, a plurality of weight members 28 of various weights are provided with the club head 1, allowing a user to selectively choose the weight members 28 for use in optimizing the weight distribution characteristics of the golf club head 1. Although the preferred club head disclosed herein shows a weighting system in which two recesses are respectively provided adjacent the heel and toe of the club head for attachment of two weight members, other weighting variations may be employed without departing from the spirit of the invention.
  • With regard to the amount of moveable weight contemplated for use in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the exact amount of weight will vary depending upon the size of the head and the length of the shaft. However, for a head of approximately 460 cc with a 46 inch shaft the total head mass will be in the range of the 192 g to 198 g with a moveable mass of approximately 24 g (that is, the combined weight of the weight members 28 selectively secured to the club head body 2). As such, the weight members 28 must be carefully utilized to optimize the striking characteristics of the club head 1 by shifting only a small portion of the total weight of the club head 1. However, and as those skilled in the art will certainly appreciate, it is important that the total mass of the club remain constant so the overall feel of the club is not altered as one moves the weight members about the club head.
  • A preferred embodiment of the present invention is disclosed herein in conjunction with a metal wood type club head. However, it is contemplated the weighting system of the present invention may be employed in conjunction with other golf club heads without departing from the spirit of the present invention. For example, the concepts underlying the present invention may be employed in conjunction with irons and putters without departing from the spirit of the present invention.
  • More particularly, and with regard to the weighting system 3, each weight member 28 is composed of a head 30 having a threaded shaft 31 extending therefrom. The head 30 is formed from a high-density material and, as will be discussed below in greater detail, the shaft 31 is formed from a material providing durability characteristics enhancing secure attachment to the recesses 29 formed within the sole 5 of the club head body 2.
  • In accordance with a preferred embodiment, the recesses 29 are positioned at various locations far from the center of gravity of the club head 1. By positioning the recesses 29 at positions far from the center of gravity, preferably as far from the center of gravity as reasonably possible, one is able to greatly alter the weighting characteristics of the club head 1 through the utilization of smaller weights; that is, the farther from the center of gravity a weight is positioned on the club head, the greater its affect is on the change in the center of gravity.
  • As the coupling shaft 31 of each weight member 28 has external threading 12 formed therealong, the recesses 29 formed within the sole 5 of the club head body 2 similarly include internal threading 10. The threading 10, 12 employed along the shaft 31 and the recesses 29 is specifically designed to provide for secure attachment of the weight member 28 to the sole 5 in a manner resisting loosening of the weight member 28 due to use of the club head 1. The threads 10, 12 of the recesses 29 and shaft 31 employ a specific thread profile which enhances connection of the shaft 31 within the recess 29. The threading employed is substantially disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,171,012 to Holmes, entitled “LOCKING THREAD CONSTRUCTION”, which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • In accordance with a first embodiment, and with reference to FIG. 3, the sole 5 is provided with a ridge 32 shaped and dimensioned for the positioning of the head 30 of the weight member 28. A gasket 33 is also provided for positioning between the head 30 of the weight member 28 and the sole 5. Each of the recesses 29 includes a nut 34 welded to the internal surface of the club head 1 in alignment with an aperture 35 formed in the sole 5. In accordance with an alternate embodiment, and with reference to FIG. 4, the sole 5 is provided with an in-molded gasket 33 positioned between the head of the weight member 28 and the sole 5. The recesses 29 are composed of a threaded boss 36 integrally formed with the sole 5 of the club head body 2.
  • In accordance with the present invention, and as will be discussed below in greater detail, the threads 10, 12 formed along the recesses 29 of the sole 5 and the shaft 31 of the weight member 28 employ a wedge ramp. When ramp load is applied during assembly, the thread profile locks the threaded shaft 31 of the weight member 28 in place by drawing the crests of the shaft thread 12 tightly against the recess thread 10. This thread profile prevents transverse movement of the threaded shaft 31 of the weight member 28 with respect to the threading 10 of the recesses 29 to create a virtually “wedge-locking” of the threaded joint.
  • In general, utilization of the thread profile employed in accordance with the present invention improves preload locking, mates with a variety of male threading profiles, increases resistance to vibration induced thread loosening, eliminates the need for lock washers, thread adhesives, crimping etc., provides more even load distribution, reduces fatigue failure and provides for selective release of the threaded weight member shaft from within the recess.
  • More particularly, and with reference to FIGS. 6 TO 14, various embodiments of the thread profile employed in accordance with the present invention are disclosed. The thread profile used in accordance with the present invention is disclosed herein with reference to one of the weight member/recess combinations, and those skilled in the art will appreciate that the disclosure provided herein equally applies to the other recesses and weight members employed in accordance with the present invention.
  • In accordance with a preferred embodiment, and with reference to FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, the weight member shaft 31 is formed with an external thread 12. The thread 12 is shaped and dimensioned to engage internal threads 10 formed along the recess 29 within the sole 5 of the club head body 2. The shaft 31 is preferably, although not necessarily, constructed from hardenable steel, while the recess 29 within the sole 5 is formed from relatively softer or more deformable material then the shaft 31. It should be understood that the shaft 31 could also be constructed from soft steel but is preferably constructed of hardenable steel. As conventional with threads of the buttress type, the threads 10, 12 of the recess 29 and shaft 31 have one flank thereof at a substantial angle while the opposing flanks thereof have a very small angle relative to the axis of the shaft 31 or recess 29. The threads 10, 12 of both the recess 29 and the shaft 31 have the root flattened in a manner to provide a flat surface or ramp which slops relative to the thread axis; the flat 16 at the root of the recess 29 is disposed at an angle of approximately 22.5° relative to the thread axis while the flat 17 at the root of the shaft thread 12 is disposed at an angle of approximately 30° from the axis of the thread.
  • It should be noted that the angles mentioned above will vary with the degree of hardness of the material from which the shaft 31 and recess 29 are fabricated, and that when these elements are fabricated so as to be of similar or identical hardness, the angles of the flats, or ramps, 16, 17 are preferably equal or approximately equal.
  • When the recess 29 is in the position illustrated in FIG. 6 with the crown 19 of its thread 10 disposed adjacent to the corner 21 of the shaft 31 between the flat surface 17 of the sloping face 22, the recess 29 is free running on the thread 12 of the shaft 31 and is freely rotatable toward the left until the recess 29 strikes the weight member 28, whereupon the continued rotation of the recess 29 will cause the crowns 19 and flats 16 to move to the right engaging the flat sloping surface 17 and the crown 23, respectively, and causing the softer metal of the crown 19 to deform. With reference to FIG. 7, the crown 23 of the shaft 31 is illustrated as contacting the sloping flat 16 of the recess 29 as would occur when an approximately 50 foot-pound force is exerted on a one half inch shaft 31, thereby providing a substantial degree of contact between the threads which lock the recess 29 in position along the shaft 31.
  • When an increased torsional force is applied to the recess 29, an even greater degree of contact will occur between the ramps 16, 17 and the crowns 19, 23 until the faces of the recess thread 10 engage the faces of the shaft thread 12, as shown in FIG. 8, which would occur, for example, when a one-half inch shaft is subjected to a 90 foot-pound load. This provides an even greater degree of contact between the crowns 19, 23 and the flat sloping surfaces 16, 17. Under these conditions any relative lateral movement between the recess 29 and shaft 31 is positively prevented so as to assure against loosening thereof. The locked condition will exist until such time as a positive force is applied to unscrew the recess thread 10 from the thread 12 of the shaft 31 and thereby cause the respective threads to reach the position illustrated in FIG. 6, whereupon the recess 29 is again free running toward the end of the shaft thread 12.
  • Referring to FIG. 9, an alternate embodiment of the thread profile is disclosed. In accordance with this embodiment, the shaft 31 is the same as the shaft above described with regard to FIGS. 3 to 6 while the thread 10 of the recess 29 has no flat areas 16 in the thread root thereof. As a result, the crown 19 of the recess 29 will contact the flat sloping surface 17 at the root of the shaft 31 to provide the locking of the recess 29 on the shaft 31 when sufficient pressure has been applied to the recess 29 after the elements 14 have been clamped together.
  • A similar result is obtained when the relationship of the threads is that illustrated in FIG. 10. In this arrangement, the thread 10 of the recess 29 has the flat 16 thereon while the shaft 31 has no flat in the toot area. When the recess 29 is subjected to a predetermined degree of axial loading, further rotation of the recess 29 will cause the crown 23 of the shaft thread 12 to contact the flat surface 16 of the recess thread 10, thereby producing distortion or penetration of the ramp 16 of the soft recess metal to a degree commensurate with the amount of pressure (torque) which is applied. When a substantial pressure is applied, the faces of the recess thread 10 will advance into engagement with the facing surfaces of the thread 12 of the shaft 31, as described above.
  • In any of the examples herein illustrated, it will be noted that the engagement of the crowns of one or both threads with the sloping ramp or ramps at the roots of the opposing threads will produce the deformation or distortion of the soft metal of the recess or both the recess and shaft, with the result that no lateral movement between the recess and shaft will occur, which in turn assures against loosening of the shaft and recess after assembly thereof.
  • FIGS. 11 to 14 illustrate alternate embodiments of the locking thread form of the present invention wherein the thread form is operatively associated with Standard, i.e., American or Unified, type threads, and wherein the thread form may be provided on either of two threaded elements and operatively associated with the other threaded element which may be of conventional construction. In particular, FIGS. 9 to 11 illustrate a locking thread form 100 shown in association with a pair of threaded elements 102 and 104. By way of example, the threaded element 102 may consist of a recess, while the threaded element 104 may consist of a shaft. The threaded element 102 is formed with a Standard thread form 106, each thread of which comprises converging flanks 108, 110 defining a crest 112 and having a root area 114. Similarly, the threaded element 104 is formed with a Standard thread form 116, each thread of which comprises flanks 118, 120, a crest 122 and a root area 124.
  • In accordance with the principles of the present invention, each of the root areas on the threaded member 104 is formed with an inclined ramp 126 that is analogous to the afore described ramps 16. The ramps 126 are oriented at an angle with respect to the axis of the threaded elements 102, 104, which angle is selected so as to assure positive engagement of the crest 112 therewith upon application of loading to the elements 102, 104 and consistent with modern manufacturing tolerances.
  • More particularly, it has been found that optimum locking ability of the elements 102, 104 can be achieved without sacrificing any strip strength thereof by making the axial length of the ramps 126 equal to approximately 0.020 inches and designing the angle thereof relative to the axis of the elements 102, 104 such that approximately one-half the maximum tolerance between the elements 102 and 104, plus a safety factor of approximately 0.002 inches, is taken up in the aforesaid axial distance of 0.020 inches.
  • By way of example, for a Standard ⅜-inch recess and shaft having 16 threads per inch, the maximum acceptable diameter limit is 0.3750 inches and the minimum acceptable diameter limit is 0.3595 inches. Taking the difference between these limits, i.e., 0.3750 inches-0.3595 inches results in 0.0155 inches which, when added to the aforementioned safety factor of 0.002 inches (which accommodates for tool wear, etc.) equals 0.0175 inches, and one-half of 0.0175 inches equals 0.0087 inches. The angle whose tangent equals 0.0087/0.020 is 23.5°. Therefore, the optimum angle at which the ramps 126 should be located relative to axis of the elements 102, 104 where it is desired to take up approximately one-half the total maximum tolerance between the aforementioned size and class threaded elements in a distance of 0.020 inches is 23.5°. It will be appreciated, of course, that such angle α will vary in accordance with changes in either the safety factor, class threads, number of threads per inch, or diameter of threaded elements.
  • By properly selecting the angles of the ramps 126, lateral movement between the elements 102, 104 upon applying preselected loading thereto is effectively precluded, thereby assuring that the elements 102, 104 will remain in their respective locked positions once they are moved from their free-running relation shown in FIG. 11 to either the partially loaded position shown in FIG. 12 or the completely loaded position shown in FIG. 13. While various preferred angles are acceptable in accordance with the present invention, it has been found that angles up to and in excess of 35° are effective in many combinations. It is believed that the practical upper limit is about 45°.
  • FIG. 14 illustrates a slightly modified embodiment of the thread form shown in FIGS. 11 to 13 wherein the inclined ramps are located on the female element (recess) instead of the male element, as is the case with the thread form shown in FIGS. 11 to 13. In particular, the locking thread form shown in FIG. 13 is generally designated by the numeral 150 and is shown in operative association with threaded elements 152 and 154, which may consist of a recess and shaft, respectively. The elements 152, 154 are provided with Standard threads 156 and 158, respectively, with the root area of the thread 156 being formed with inclined ramps 160, as hereinabove described. The angles at which the ramps 160 are inclined relative to the axis of the elements 152, 154 are selected in accordance with the above example of the angle of the ramp 126 so as to minimize relative lateral movement between the elements 152, 154 and hence provide for optimum locking ability within the range of acceptable commercial tolerances. Thus, it will be seen that the principles of the present invention are applicable when either the male or female member is provided with the locking thread form, and that the other member need not have any special form other than the Standard form, thereby providing for universality of application. The embodiments shown in FIGS. 6 to 10 may be considered to be preferable to the embodiments shown in FIGS. 11 to 14 insofar as strip strength is concerned, although the strip strength of Standard thread forms can be improved by slightly increasing the length of the threads.
  • As those skilled in the art will certainly appreciate, a highly specific threading technique is disclosed above in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention. However, those skilled in the art will also appreciate that certain features of the present invention may be achieved through the utilizing of different coupling techniques without departing from the spirit of the present invention. For example, the weight members may be selectively coupled through the utilization of different threading structure, other coupling structures, or threading structures that employ a washer in conjunction with the threaded members.
  • Referring to FIGS. 15, 16 and 17 an alternate club head configuration is disclosed. As with the club head discussed above, the golf club head 200 includes a club head body 202 and a removable weighting system 203 for selective attachment to the club head body 202.
  • The club head body 202 is preferably hollow and is formed of metal, for example, a titanium alloy, although those skilled in the art will appreciate that a variety of materials may be used without departing from the spirit of the present invention. The club head body 202 includes a striking face 204, a sole 205, a crown 206, a toe 207, a heel 208, a hosel 209 to which a shaft 227 is secured and a rear wall 211.
  • The weighting system 203 includes a plurality of selectively removable weight members 228 shaped and dimensioned for attachment within recesses 229 formed in the sole 205 and rear wall (or skirt) 211 of the club head body 202. In accordance with the present invention, a plurality of weight members 228 of various weights are provided with the club head 200, allowing a user to selectively choose the weight members 228 for use in optimizing the weight distribution characteristics of the golf club head 200. Although a preferred club head disclosed herein shows a weighting system in which four recesses are respectively provided for attachment of four weight members, other weighting variations may be employed without departing from the spirit of the invention.
  • In accordance with a preferred embodiment, the recesses are positioned at various locations far from the center of gravity of the club head. By positioning the recesses at positions far from the center of gravity, preferably as far from the center of gravity as reasonably possible, one is able to greatly alter the weighting characteristics of the club head through the utilization of smaller weights; that is, the farther from the center of gravity a weight is positioned on the club head, the greater its affect is on the change in the center of gravity.
  • In accordance with this embodiment four weight members are employed. However, and as demonstrated with the various embodiments disclosed herein, the number of weight members may be varied depending upon the function and design of the club head. A discussed above, the exact amount of weight will vary depending upon the size of the head and the length of the shaft. However, for a head of approximately 460 cc with a 46 inch shaft the total head mass will be in the range of the 192 g to 198 g with a moveable mass of approximately 24 g. As such, the weight members must be carefully utilized to optimize the striking characteristics of the club head by shifting only a small portion of the total weight of the club head. Further, and as discussed above, it is important that the total mass of the club remain constant so the overall feel of the club is not altered as one moves the weight members about the club head.
  • Each weight member 228 is composed of a head 230 having a threaded shaft 231 extending therefrom. The head 230 is formed from a high-density material and, as discussed above with regarding to the specific threading criteria, the shaft 231 is formed from a material providing durability characteristics enhancing secure attachment to the recesses 229 formed within the sole 205 and rear wall 211 of the club head body 202.
  • As with the embodiment discussed above, the coupling shaft 231 of each weight member 228 has external threading 212 formed therealong and the recesses 229 formed within the sole 205 and rear wall 211 of the club head body 202 similarly include internal threading 210. The threading 210, 212 employed along the shaft 231 and the recesses 229 is specifically designed to provide for secure attachment of the weight member 228 to the sole 205 in a manner resisting loosening of the weight member 228 due to use of the club head 200. The threads 210, 212 of the recesses 229 and shaft 231 preferably employ the same thread profile as discussed above with regard to FIGS. 6 to 14, which enhances connection of the shaft 231 within the recess 229, although other threading and coupling techniques may be employed without departing from the spirit of the present invention. The threading employed is substantially disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,171,012 to Holmes, entitled “LOCKING THREAD CONSTRUCTION”, which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • As discussed above, the threads 210, 212 formed along the recesses 229 of the sole 205 and rear wall 211 as well as the shaft 231 of the weight member 228 employ a wedge ramp. When ramp load is applied during assembly, the thread profile locks the threaded shaft 231 of the weight member 228 in place by drawing the crests of the shaft thread 212 tightly against the recess thread 210. This thread profile prevents transverse movement of the threaded shaft 231 of the weight member 228 with respect to the threading 210 of the recesses 229 to create a virtually “wedge-locking” of the threaded joint.
  • With reference to FIGS. 18 and 19, yet a further embodiment in accordance with the present invention is disclosed. This embodiment is substantially similar to that disclosed with reference to FIGS. 15, 16 and 17, but employs a series of sleeves 333 positioned within the recesses 329 along the sole 305 and rear wall 311 of the club head body 302. The sleeves 333 are fixed into the club head body 302 of the golf club head 300 and shaped and dimensioned for selective coupling with the weight members 328. The sleeves 333 are designed for optimizing mass properties in conjunction with the utilization of repositionable weight members as discussed above. In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the sleeves 333 are adhesively bound within the recesses 329, although other coupling techniques are contemplated within the spirit of the present invention.
  • In accordance with the implementation of a threading structure as discussed above, each sleeve 333 will have internal threads 310 formed therein such that the club head body 302 need not be machined for the creation of the desired threading. However, those skilled in the art will appreciate the use of sleeves as disclosed herein need not be employed in conjunction with the specific threading technique disclosed above, but may be implemented with a variety of coupling techniques for the secure attachment of weight members thereto.
  • In accordance with a preferred embodiment, the recesses are positioned at various locations far from the center of gravity of the club head. By positioning the recesses at positions far from, preferably as far from the center of gravity as reasonably possible, one is able to greatly alter the weighting characteristics of the club head through the utilization of smaller weights; that is, the farther from the center of gravity a weight is positioned on the club head, the greater its affect is on the change in the center of gravity.
  • It is further contemplated the sleeves may have be tapered or not, the sleeves can range in any size in order to meet weight requirements, the sleeve can be cast, molded or machined, and the centerline of the aperture passing through the sleeve can range from 0 degrees to 90 degrees relative to the striking face of the club head. In addition, the sleeves may have threads or no threads, employ a mechanical locking device and/or have a surface finish or no surface finish.
  • Although aluminum sleeves are employed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the sleeves can be made from a variety of metallic or non-metallic materials, such as, engineering plastics, ceramics, composites, or any form of metallic material (for example, titanium) or a combination of above materials (for example, an injection molded sleeve having a plastic body and metallic threads). Regardless of the sleeve material and the manufacturing process, the sleeves are preferably manufactured to have a density of less that 5 g/cm3. In addition, it is contemplated the sleeves may weigh as little as 0.001 g. However and in accordance with a preferred embodiment, the sleeves are manufactured from aluminum and weigh preferably less than 10 g and more preferably less than 5 g.
  • It is contemplated the sleeves will be fixed within the recesses of the club head using epoxy, brazing, mechanical locking, Key way, Swedging, or threading. The sleeve could also be fixed and inserted into the club head either from an internal or external entrance point. It is further contemplated the sleeves can have an intermediate material between the sleeve and the major body of the golf club head. The sleeves themselves may also be formed in a multi-layer configuration with various materials making up the layers of the sleeve.
  • Although four sleeves are disclosed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the exact number of sleeves may be varied without departing from the spirit of the present invention. For example, it is contemplated 1 sleeve may be used or as many as 8 sleeves may be used. In addition, it is contemplated the recess(es) of the club head into which the sleeve(s) enter can be tapered or not, the sleeve(s) may be used in conjunction with club heads with lofts ranging from approximately 0 degrees to approximately 60 degrees and the sleeve(s) may be used in conjunction with club heads having a volume range between approximately 125 cc and 470 cc (or more).
  • As with the previous embodiments, the present embodiment with sleeves is capable of moving the center of gravity in all three planes. When applied to a golf club head of approximately 460 cc with a 46 inch shaft and a total head mass of the 192 g to 198 g with a moveable mass of approximately 24 g, the present embodiment allows one to adjust the striking characteristics of the club head in a previously unknown manner. In particular, the moment of intertia may be varied from approximately 4000-4800 g cm2. In addition, and with reference to FIG. 21, it allows for heel to toe movement (Xcg) from approximately 0.010 inches to approximately 0.200 inches, front to back movement (Zcg) from approximately 0.010 inches to approximately 0.225 inches and up and down movement (Ycg) from approximately 0.0 inches to approximately 0.175 inches. This movement defines a hexahedron in which the center of gravity may be positioned. The features of the present invention allow for the center of gravity to be located with hexahedron having an area of 0.008 inches3.
  • The sleeves reduce the cost of manufacturing by making it unnecessary to match the club head with threading required for attachment of the weight members. In addition, the sleeves can be made out of different materials enabling a number of weight combinations to change the mass properties of a golf head. Further, the sleeves can be replaced after excessive wear. The sleeves also reduce major club head body weight by reducing excessive material that has to be used to support the weight members. The sleeves also reduce weight in the manufacture of the club head, allowing for the shifting of more weight through the use of the various weight members provided in accordance with the present invention. Because of the various materials that may be used in the manufacture of the sleeve, they may be designed to reduce vibrations between the weight members and the club head and enhance the overall coupling of the weight members to the club head. In addition, the use of sleeves in accordance with this embodiment allows for versatility in the design of a metal wood type club head while providing added security for the weight members being secured to the club head.
  • Referring to FIG. 20, in an effort to enhance the weight distribution of the club heads, and thereby allow for the addition of more adjustable weight at the club head without altering the overall “feel” of the club, it is contemplated that releasable weight members 340 (for example, a 15 g weight) may be secured to the butt end 342 of the golf club 344. By positioning weight members 340 at the distal end of the golf club 344, the overall weight distribution of the golf club 344 is altered in a manner allowing the addition of more weight at the club head 300 thereof. With the potential for placing additional weight at the club head of the golf club, greater flexibility is provided as a golfer attempts to move the removable weights about the club head as mote weight may be shifted from side to side without substantially altering the general feel of the club. While the utilization of releasable weights at the butt end of the golf club is disclosed in conjunction with a particular club head embodiment, this concept could certainly be applied to a variety of club constructions without departing from the spirit of the present invention.
  • As briefly mentioned above, the use of sleeves in accordance with the disclosed embodiment enhances manufacturing of the club head. In particular, it is contemplated such a club head would be manufactured by first casting or stamping the club head with the recesses in place. Thereafter, the previously manufactured sleeves are placed within the recess and adhesively bound thereto. By applying the sleeves to the rough recesses, machining of the recesses and the surrounding area is not required and the cost of manufacturing is reduced. Once the sleeves are set in position, the club head is ready for final processing and attachment to a shaft.
  • In accordance with an alternate embodiment, and respectively with reference to FIGS. 22 and 23, the concepts of the present invention may be applied to metal wood type club heads 402 having a crown 406 manufactured from a composite and secured to a metal body 411 in a manner known to those skilled in the art or the concepts may be applied to metal wood type club heads 502 wherein both the crown 506 and skirt 511 are manufactured from a composite secured to a metal sole plate 505 in a manner known to those skilled in the art. Regardless of the alternate embodiment employed, the metal wood type club head would also include weighting members secured to the club head body (potentially via the sleeves when employing the concepts of the invention disclosed with reference to FIGS. 18 and 19) in the manner discussed above with regard to the various disclosed embodiments.
  • Although the preferred embodiments of the present invention as disclosed herein ate with reference to a metal wood type club head, in particular, a driver, it is contemplated the weighting system of the present invention may be employed in conjunction with other golf club heads without departing from the spirit of the present invention. For example, it is contemplated the underlying concepts may be applied to metal woods and hybrids having volumes from approximately 125 cc to 470 cc (or more) and encompassing drivers, fairway woods and hybrid i-woods. It is further contemplated the concepts underlying the present invention may be employed in conjunction with irons and putters without departing from the spirit of the present invention.
  • Although the various embodiments disclosed above employ from 2 to 4 weight members, it is contemplated the total number of weight members employed within the spirit of the present invention may be varied to suit specific needs of the golf For example, it is contemplated the number of weight members incorporated into a club head may vary from 2 to 8 (and similarly with reference to the embodiment disclosed in FIGS. 18 and 19, the number of sleeves employed will similarly vary to suit the number of weight members employed). In addition, although the above embodiments disclose the moveable weight employed in accordance with the present invention preferably being 24 g, it is contemplated the moveable weight may be between approximately 4 g and approximately 40 g without departing from the spirit of the present invention.
  • While the preferred embodiments have been shown and described, it will be understood that there is no intent to limit the invention by such disclosure, but rather, is intended to cover all modifications and alternate constructions falling within the spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims (27)

1. A golf club head, comprising:
a club head body including a plurality of recesses;
a plurality of weight members shaped and dimensioned for selective placement within the recesses.
2. The golf club head according to claim 1, wherein the club head is a metal wood type club head and the club head body is substantially hollow.
3. The golf club head according to claim 1, wherein the club head body includes a sole, a crown, a toe, a heel and a hosel, and the recesses are formed in the sole.
4. The golf club head according to claim 3, wherein the club head body includes two to four recesses positioned about the club head body.
5. The golf club head according to claim 1, wherein the club head body has a volume of approximately 460 cc and the plurality of weight members have a total mass of approximately 24 g.
6. The golf club head according to claim 5, further including sleeves positioned within the recesses.
7. The golf club head according to claim 6, wherein the sleeves are adhesively secured within the recesses.
8. The golf club head according to claim 6, wherein each of the sleeves has a density of less than 5 g/cm3.
9. The golf club head according to claim 6, wherein the sleeves are composed of aluminum.
10. The golf club head according to claim 6, wherein each sleeve has a mass of less than approximately 10 g.
11. The golf club head according to claim 10, wherein each sleeve has a mass of less than approximately 5 g.
12. The golf club head according to claim 6, wherein each sleeve includes a coupling member for selectively securing weight members thereto.
13. The golf club head according to claim 6, wherein each sleeve includes internal threading shaped and dimensioned to receive threading of the weight member.
14. The golf club head according to claim 13, wherein threading of the sleeves and weight members includes a wedge ramp.
15. The golf club head according to claim 13, wherein each weight member is composed of a head having a threaded shaft extending therefrom.
16. The golf club head according to claim 1, wherein each weight member is composed of a head having a threaded shaft extending therefrom.
17. The golf club head according to claim 11, wherein the recesses include internal threading shaped and dimensioned to receive the threading of the weight members.
18. The golf club head according to claim 17, wherein threading of the recesses and weight members includes a wedge ramp.
19. The golf club head according to claim 1, further including sleeves positioned within the recesses.
20. The golf club head according to claim 19, wherein the sleeves are adhesively secured within the recesses.
21. The golf club head according to claim 19, wherein the sleeves are composed of aluminum.
22. The golf club head according to claim 19, wherein each sleeve has a mass of less than approximately 10 g.
23. The golf club head according to claim 22, wherein each sleeve has a mass of less than approximately 5 g.
24. The golf club head according to claim 19, wherein each sleeve includes a coupling member for selectively securing weight members thereto.
25. The golf club head according to claim 19, wherein each sleeve includes internal threading shaped and dimensioned to receive threading of the weight member.
26. The golf club head according to claim 25, wherein respective threading of the sleeve and weight members includes a wedge ramp.
27. The golf club head according to claim 25, wherein each weight member is composed of a head having a threaded shaft extending therefrom.
US11/225,847 2004-09-16 2005-09-14 Golf club head with a weighting system Abandoned US20060058112A1 (en)

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