US20060135277A1 - Golf club and practice arrangement - Google Patents

Golf club and practice arrangement Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060135277A1
US20060135277A1 US11351606 US35160606A US2006135277A1 US 20060135277 A1 US20060135277 A1 US 20060135277A1 US 11351606 US11351606 US 11351606 US 35160606 A US35160606 A US 35160606A US 2006135277 A1 US2006135277 A1 US 2006135277A1
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Prior art keywords
light
producing insert
golf club
target
surface
Prior art date
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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US11351606
Inventor
Bendict Marnocha
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LPI LLC
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Marnocha Bendict F
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B69/00Training appliances or apparatus for special sports
    • A63B69/36Training appliances or apparatus for special sports for golf
    • A63B69/3611Training appliances or apparatus for special sports for golf not used, see A63B69/36 and subgroups
    • A63B69/3614Training appliances or apparatus for special sports for golf not used, see A63B69/36 and subgroups using electro-magnetic, magnetic or ultrasonic radiation emitted, reflected or interrupted by the golf club
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B53/00Golf clubs
    • A63B53/04Heads
    • A63B2053/0416Heads with an impact surface provided by a face insert
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B53/00Golf clubs
    • A63B53/04Heads
    • A63B2053/0441Heads with visual indicators for aligning the golf club
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B69/00Training appliances or apparatus for special sports
    • A63B69/36Training appliances or apparatus for special sports for golf
    • A63B69/3676Training appliances or apparatus for special sports for golf for putting
    • A63B69/3685Putters or attachments on putters, e.g. for measuring, aligning

Abstract

A golf club including a shaft and a head attached to the shaft. A cavity is formed in the head and a removable light-producing insert is located within the cavity. A non-light producing insert is also provided so as to be selectively received within the cavity in place of the light producing insert.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • The present application is related to and claims priority to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/283,488, filed Nov. 18, 2005 and U.S. application Ser. No. 10/659,648, filed Sep. 10, 2003, both entitled “Golf Club and Practice Arrangements” and to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/409,463, filed Sep. 10, 2002, entitled “Laser Putt II,” and to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/447,593, filed on Feb. 14, 2003, entitled “Laser Putt III,” and to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/457,804, filed on Mar. 26, 2003, entitled “Laser Putt IV,” and to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/471,953, filed on May 20, 2003, entitled “Laser Putt V.” The subject matter disclosed in those applications are hereby expressly incorporated into the present application.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention related generally to golf, and more particularly to a golf club and practice arrangement utilizing same. More specifically, the invention relates to a golf club, and practice arrangement utilizing same, that facilitates development of proper club head aiming technique. It will be apparent to those of skill in the relevant arts that variations in the specific designs disclosed may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.
  • BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • One element of a proper golf shot is proper orientation or aim of the club head. It is important that the club head be properly oriented relative to the ball during set up. A proper golf swing or stroke will return the club head to the ball at substantially the same orientation adopted by the player during set up. Thus, it is important that the club head be properly oriented or aimed relative to a target along the desired line of ball flight or roll.
  • The most used club in golf is the putter. The most important and difficult task to accomplish with a putter is proper aim. In one embodiment, the present invention facilitates the development and practice of proper putter aim, one of the most important fundamentals in putting and one of the most difficult to master.
  • In certain embodiments, the present invention is intended primarily as a practice device which may be used both indoors and outdoors. However, the golf club of the present invention may be used in actual play on a course. This is desirable in that it eliminates the need to transfer learning from a practice device to an alternative club used in regulation play. In certain embodiments, the practice device/golf club of the present invention is well suited for both purposes, and may be used both to learn proper aim and alignment of the club, as well as in actual playing of the game of golf.
  • In one embodiment, the present invention includes a golf club comprising a shaft, a head attached to the shaft, a light-producing insert, and a non-light producing insert. The head has a ball-striking surface, an aperture formed in the ball-striking surface for allowing light to pass therethrough and a cavity formed in the head adjacent the aperture. The light-producing insert is configured so as to be operably and removably received within the cavity. The nonlight-producing insert is configured so as to be selectively received with the cavity in place of the light-producing insert. In one embodiment, the nonlight-producing insert is substantially equal in weight to the light producing insert and, in certain embodiments, may be substantially the same size and weight, and have substantially the same weight distribution, as the light-producing insert.
  • In certain embodiments, the ball striking face of the head comprises a translucent material disposed over the aperture. A prism, or lens, may be disposed in the aperture for transmitting light produced by the light-producing insert. The prism columnates a light beam produced by the light-producing insert such that the light beam forms a line on a surface, a portion of the light beam may be projected onto a surface of a target. In certain embodiments, the prism may be formed as part of the light-producing insert. In these or other embodiments, the aperture is located in an approximate midpoint of the ball-striking surface.
  • A switch may be provided to allow a use to selectively activate the light-producing insert.
  • The light-producing insert preferably includes a battery-powered laser device. The nonlight-producing insert may be formed of any material having an appropriate size, weight and weight distribution.
  • In a practice arrangement particularly well-suited for putting, the invention includes the combination of a golf club and a target. The subject golf club includes a shaft, a putter head attached to the shaft, a light-producing insert, and a nonlight-producing insert. The putter head includes a ball-striking surface, an aperture formed in the surface for allowing light to pass therethrough and a cavity formed in the putter head adjacent to the aperture. The light-producing insert is configured so as to be operably and removably received within the cavity in place of the light-producing insert.
  • The target includes a surface for reflecting at least a portion of a light beam produced by the light-producing insert to provide a visual indication of orientation of the putter head relative to the target. The target may include a surface which extends transversely to a target line defined by the light-producing insert. The surface may have a plurality of regularly-spaced marks thereon. A portion of the target may be configured so as to extend into a golf hole to secure the target in position relative to the hole. In one embodiment, a prism is provided to columnate a light beam produced by the light-producing insert such that the light beam forms a line on a putting surface between the putting head and the putting target. A portion of the light beam may also be projected directly to, and reflected by, a surface of the target.
  • The concepts disclosed are not limited to use with a golf club of the exact type illustrated in the drawings, but may be used with clubs of many shapes, sizes, or dimensions.
  • Additional embodiments, features and advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following description of the illustrated embodiments exemplifying the best mode of carrying out the invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of one embodiment of a golf club constructed in accordance with the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of one embodiment of a golf club and practice arrangement constructed in accordance with the present invention.
  • FIG. 3 shows a front view of a portion of one embodiment of a golf club constructed in accordance with the present invention.
  • FIG. 4 shows a side view of a portion of one embodiment of a golf club constructed in accordance with the present invention.
  • FIG. 5 shows a top, cross-sectional view of a portion of one embodiment of a golf club constructed in accordance with the present invention.
  • FIG. 6 shows an illustrative example of a nonlight-producing insert used with the embodiment of FIG. 5.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of one embodiment of a golf club constructed in accordance with the present invention. Golf club 10 includes a shaft 12 and a head 14 which is attached to shaft 12. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the golf club head is specifically designed for use in putting. Head 14 includes a ball striking surface or “face” 16. An aperture 18 is formed in surface 16 for allowing light to pass from the inside of head 14 through surface 16, as will be explained in more detail below.
  • A prism, or lens, 19 is disposed within aperture 18. Prism 19 columnates a light beam produced by the light-producing insert so as to cause a portion of the beam to define a line along a surface in front of head 14. A cavity (see, for example, FIG. 4) is formed within head 14 for receiving a light-producing insert which is discussed and illustrated in additional detail in connection with FIGS. 3-5. Covering aperture 18 is translucent element 20 which may be formed, for example, of clear plastic. The purpose of element 20 is to provide a smooth surface along that portion of surface 16 which contacts a golf ball. Element 20 further serves to protect the light-producing insert discussed in more detail below.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a golf club 10, as used to practice alignment for a putting stroke. The arrangement of FIG. 2 includes, in addition to golf club 10, a target 22 which comprises a surface 24 having a plurality of regularly-spaced marks illustrated, for example, by marks 26 and 28 spaced thereon. A beam of light, illustrated by line 30 is produced by the light-producing insert of club 10 and projected along line 30 to target 22. At least a portion of the light beam is reflected off surface 24 of target 22 so as to be visible to the user of club 10. As noted above and discussed in greater detail below, a prism or lens is provided in the path of the light beam to “columnate” the beam so as to cause a portion of the beam to define a line along path 30. In addition to the line, a portion of the light beam is projected as a “dot” or short vertical line on surface 24, as is illustrated by reference numeral 32.
  • Target 22 is shown inserted into a hole 34 which may be a hole on a practice green or a regulation green, or another object in an indoor or outdoor setting. This invention allows the use to become accustomed to and practiced at aiming the ball striking surface 16 of the club 10 directly at target 22. The regularly-spaced marking on surface 24 of target 22, which in some embodiments may extend laterally from hole 34 to a greater extent than shown in FIG. 2, allow a user to aim at a target other than the center of the hole, if desired. This is often necessary to accommodate for irregular or uneven putting surfaces.
  • It should be noted that bright sunlight may cause the path of the light beam along line 30 to be obscured, or become very dim. In that even, the dot or short line 32 projected onto the surface 24 will still be visible to the user.
  • FIG. 3 shows a front view of a portion of one embodiment of a golf club constructed in accordance with the present invention. Shown in dashed lines behind translucent material 20 is a light-producing insert 36 which is disposed within a cavity formed in head 14. Insert 36 includes one or more batteries 38 which power a light producing source, such as a laser. The light-producing source produces a light beam which, in the embodiment illustrated, is projected from a central portion 40 of insert 36 through aperture 18 and prism 19, as is illustrated in FIG. 2. The beam is columnated or split so as to define a line on the generally-horizontal surface between club head 14 and a target, and so as also to project at least a portion of the beam onto a generally-vertical transverse element associated with the target.
  • FIG. 4 shows a side view of a portion of one embodiment of a golf club constructed in accordance with the present invention. Double-dashed line 42 represents a light beam produced by light-producing insert 36, as projected through aperture 18 and prism 19, and projected along a surface between club 10 and the target. A portion of the light beam, illustrated by double lines 44 is projected directly toward the target.
  • FIG. 5 shows a top, cross-sectional view of a portion of one embodiment of a golf club constructed in accordance with the present invention. Light-producing insert 36 is shown disposed within a cavity formed in head 14. In this embodiment, light producing insert 36 includes a laser, illustrated generally by element 46, powered by batteries 38. Relatively small lasers of the type which may be used in this invention are generally available, and are used in hand-held pointing devices, firearm aiming devices, and other applications. In the embodiment illustrated, prism 19 is shown as an integral portion of insert 36. In other embodiments, prism 19 may be separately mounted in aperture 18.
  • FIG. 6 shows an illustrative example of a nonlight-producing insert 50 used with the embodiment of FIG. 5. In the illustrated embodiment, insert 50 is substantially the same size and weight, and has substantially the same weight distribution, as light-producing insert 36. Insert 50 is designed to replace insert 36. This may be desirable in instances where club 10 is used in regulation golf play, or other instances in which the user does not wish to have light-producing insert 36 installed.
  • An access cover may be provided in the bottom, rear, or top of club head 14 to provide ready access to the internal cavity and to allow for easy interchange of inserts 36 and 50. The access cover may be secured by screws, or equivalent fasteners. In certain embodiments, either one or another of the access cover, the light-producing insert, and the nonlight-producing insert (or any combination thereof) may be provided with a “snap fit” to facilitate access to, removal of, and interchangeability of the inserts.
  • With further reference to FIG. 5, wires 52 are shown extending from insert 36 to an opening in head 14 which receives shaft 12. Wires 52 are also illustrated in FIG. 3. These wires extend up through shaft 12 to a switch which may be positioned, for example, immediately below a grip of club 10. The switch allows a user to selectively activate light-producing insert 36 to selectively project light beam 42/44, when desired. In an alternative embodiment, a switch may be provided, for example, on the sole or bottom of head 14 and operated by downward pressure on club 10. Other alternative positions and arrangements of a switch to activate light-producing insert 36 will be apparent to those of skill in the art.
  • Although the above description refers to a particular means, materials and embodiments, one skilled in the art can easily ascertain the essential characteristics of the present invention. Various changes and modifications may be made to adapt to various uses and characteristics without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Claims (17)

  1. 1. A golf club, comprising:
    a shaft;
    a head attached to the shaft, said head comprising a ball striking surface, an aperture formed in the surface for allowing light to pass therethrough, and a cavity formed in the head adjacent the aperture;
    a light-producing insert configured so as to be operably and removably received within the cavity; and
    a non-light-producing insert, configured so as to be selectively received within the cavity in place of the light-producing insert.
  2. 2. The golf club of claim 1, wherein the non-light-producing insert is substantially equal in weight to the light-producing insert.
  3. 3. The golf club of claim 1, wherein the non-light-producing inset has substantially the same size, weight and weight distribution as the light-producing insert.
  4. 4. The golf club of claim 1, wherein said ball striking surface comprises a translucent material disposed over said aperture.
  5. 5. The golf club of claim 1, further comprising a prism disposed in said aperture for transmitting light produced by said light-producing insert, wherein said prism columnates a light beam produced by said light-producing insert such that said light beam forms a line on a surface between the head and a putting target.
  6. 6. The golf club of claim 5, wherein a portion of said light beam produced by said light-producing insert is projected directly to, and is reflected by a surface of the target.
  7. 7. The golf club of claim 1, wherein said light-producing insert comprises a prism to columnate a light beam produced by said light-producing insert to form a line on a surface between the head and a target, wherein a portion of said light beam produced by said light-producing insert is projected directly to, and is reflected by a surface of the target.
  8. 8. The golf club of claim 1, further comprising a switch for allowing a user to selectively activate the light-producing insert.
  9. 9. The golf club of claim 1, wherein the aperture is located at an approximate midpoint of the ball-striking surface.
  10. 10. The golf club of claim 1, wherein said light-producing insert comprises a battery and a laser.
  11. 11. The golf club of claim 1, wherein at least one of the light-producing insert and the non-light-producing insert is secured within the cavity by a snap fit.
  12. 12. A practice arrangement for putting, comprising the combination of a golf club and a target, the golf club comprising:
    a shaft;
    a putter head attached to the shaft, said putter head comprising a ball striking surface, an aperture formed in the surface for allowing light to pass there through, and a cavity formed in the putter head adjacent the aperture;
    a light-producing insert configured so as to be operably and removably received within the cavity; and
    a non-light-producing insert, configured so as to be selectively received within the cavity in place of the light-producing insert; and
    the target comprising a surface for reflecting at least a portion of a light beam produced by the light-producing insert to provide a visual indication of orientation of the putter head relative to the target.
  13. 13. The practice arrangement of claim 12, wherein said target comprises a surface which extends transversely to a target line defined by the light-producing insert, said surface having a plurality of regularly-spaced marks thereon.
  14. 14. The practice arrangement of claim 12, wherein said target includes a portion configured to extend into a golf hole to secure the target in position relative to the hole.
  15. 15. The practice arrangement of claim 12, further comprising a prism disposed in said aperture for transmitting light produced by said light-producing insert, wherein said prism columnates a light beam produced by said light-producing insert such that said light beam forms a line on a surface between the putter head and the target.
  16. 16. The practice arrangement of claim 12, wherein said light-producing insert comprises a prism to columnate a light beam produced by said light-producing insert to form a line on a putting surface between the putter head and the target.
  17. 17. The practice arrangement of claim 12, wherein at least one of the light-producing insert and the non-light producing insert is secured within the cavity by a snap fit.
US11351606 2002-09-10 2006-02-10 Golf club and practice arrangement Abandoned US20060135277A1 (en)

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US10659648 US20040092327A1 (en) 2002-09-10 2003-09-10 Golf club and practice arrangement
US28348805 true 2005-11-18 2005-11-18
US11351606 US20060135277A1 (en) 2003-09-10 2006-02-10 Golf club and practice arrangement

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US11351606 US20060135277A1 (en) 2003-09-10 2006-02-10 Golf club and practice arrangement

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US28348805 Continuation 2005-11-18 2005-11-18

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US11466541 Continuation-In-Part US20060281579A1 (en) 2002-09-10 2006-08-23 Golf club and practice arrangement

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US20060135277A1 true true US20060135277A1 (en) 2006-06-22

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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
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US20110124430A1 (en) * 2008-05-07 2011-05-26 David Raymond Hicks Golf putters
US20110224014A1 (en) * 2010-03-12 2011-09-15 Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Golf putter head including a cantilevered alignment aid

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
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US20110124430A1 (en) * 2008-05-07 2011-05-26 David Raymond Hicks Golf putters
US20110224014A1 (en) * 2010-03-12 2011-09-15 Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Golf putter head including a cantilevered alignment aid
US8128505B2 (en) 2010-03-12 2012-03-06 Wilson Sporting Goods Golf putter head including a cantilevered alignment aid

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