US20120165111A1 - Apparatus for connecting a golf club shaft to a golf club head and golf clubs including the same - Google Patents

Apparatus for connecting a golf club shaft to a golf club head and golf clubs including the same Download PDF

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Publication number
US20120165111A1
US20120165111A1 US13/342,182 US201213342182A US2012165111A1 US 20120165111 A1 US20120165111 A1 US 20120165111A1 US 201213342182 A US201213342182 A US 201213342182A US 2012165111 A1 US2012165111 A1 US 2012165111A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
main portion
adjustment tube
adapter
rotation restrictor
apparatus
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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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US13/342,182
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Michael H.L. Cheng
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Cheng Michael H L
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Priority to US12/978,381 priority Critical patent/US20120165110A1/en
Application filed by Cheng Michael H L filed Critical Cheng Michael H L
Priority to US13/342,182 priority patent/US20120165111A1/en
Publication of US20120165111A1 publication Critical patent/US20120165111A1/en
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
    • A63B53/02Joint structures between the head and the shaft
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B53/00Golf clubs
    • A63B53/02Joint structures between the head and the shaft
    • A63B2053/022Joint structures between the head and the shaft allowing adjustable positioning of the head with respect to the shaft
    • A63B2053/023Joint structures between the head and the shaft allowing adjustable positioning of the head with respect to the shaft adjustable angular orientation
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B71/00Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00
    • A63B71/06Indicating or scoring devices for games or players, or for other sports activities
    • A63B2071/0694Visual indication, e.g. Indicia

Abstract

Apparatus for connecting a golf club shaft to a golf club head, including an adjustment tube, and golf clubs including the same.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 12/978,381, filed Dec. 23, 2010, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTIONS
  • 1. Field of the Inventions
  • The present inventions relate generally to golf clubs.
  • 2. Description of the Related Art
  • Golfers frequently customize their clubs to better suit their particular swing during the trial and error process commonly referred to as “fitting.” A golfer may try various shafts and club heads, as well as various face, loft and lie angles for each shaft and club head combination, during the fitting process. In order to accommodate such customization, various connector apparatus that releasably and adjustably mount club heads onto shafts have been proposed. The present inventor has determined that such apparatus is susceptible to improvement. For example, the present inventor has determined that conventional connector apparatus can create an unstable connection between the shaft and club head.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Detailed description of embodiments of the inventions will be made with reference to the accompanying drawings.
  • FIG. 1A is a side view of a golf club in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.
  • FIG. 1B is a partial section view of the golf club illustrated in FIG. 1A.
  • FIG. 2 is a side view of an adapter in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.
  • FIG. 3 is an end view of the adapter illustrated in FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 4 is a section view taken along line 4-4 in FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 5 is a side view of an angular adjustment tube in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.
  • FIG. 6 is an end view of the angular adjustment tube illustrated in FIG. 5.
  • FIG. 7 is another end view of the angular adjustment tube illustrated in FIG. 5.
  • FIG. 8 is a section view taken along line 8-8 in FIG. 5.
  • FIG. 9 is a side view of a tube lock in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.
  • FIG. 10 is an end view of the tube lock illustrated in FIG. 9.
  • FIG. 11 is a section view taken along line 11-11 in FIG. 9.
  • FIGS. 12A-12D are section and partial section views showing the assembly of a golf club in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.
  • FIG. 13 is a rear view of a portion of a golf club in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.
  • FIG. 14 is a top view of an adapter in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention showing the locations of various indicia around the perimeter of the adapter.
  • FIG. 15 is a top view of an angular adjustment tube in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention showing the locations of various indicia around the perimeter of the angular adjustment tube.
  • FIG. 16 is a partial section view of a portion of a golf club in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.
  • FIG. 17 is a side view of a tube lock in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.
  • FIG. 18 is an end view of the tube lock illustrated in FIG. 17.
  • FIG. 19 is a section view taken along line 19-19 in FIG. 17.
  • FIG. 20 is a section view of a portion of a golf club in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.
  • FIG. 21 is a section view of an angular adjustment tube in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.
  • FIG. 22 is a rear view of a portion of a golf club in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.
  • FIG. 23 is a side view of an angular adjustment tube in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.
  • FIG. 24 is an end view of the angular adjustment tube illustrated in FIG. 23.
  • FIG. 25 is another end view of the angular adjustment tube illustrated in FIG. 23.
  • FIG. 26 is a section view taken along line 26-26 in FIG. 23.
  • FIG. 27 is a rear view of a portion of the golf club head illustrated in FIG. 22.
  • FIG. 28 is a top view of the golf club hosel illustrated in FIG. 22.
  • FIG. 29 is a side view of an angular adjustment tube in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.
  • FIG. 30 is a side view of a tube lock in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.
  • FIG. 31 is a rear view of a portion of a golf club in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.
  • FIG. 32 is a side, cutaway view of an adapter in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.
  • FIG. 33 is an end view of the adapter illustrated in FIG. 32.
  • FIG. 34 is a side view of an angular adjustment tube in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.
  • FIG. 35 is an end view of the angular adjustment tube illustrated in FIG. 34.
  • FIG. 36 is another end view of the angular adjustment tube illustrated in FIG. 34.
  • FIG. 37 is a section view taken along line 37-37 in FIG. 34.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The following is a detailed description of the best presently known modes of carrying out the inventions. This description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the inventions.
  • The exemplary golf club 10 illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B includes a shaft 100 with a tip portion 102 and grip portion 104, a club head 106 that has a cylindrical hosel 108 and is adjustably and releasably mounted on the tip portion of the shaft, and a grip 110 carried on the grip portion of the shaft. Although the present inventions are not so limited, the exemplary golf club 10 is a “driver” and the club head 104 is a driver type club head. The present inventions are, however, equally applicable to any and all golf clubs including, but not limited to, all “woods,” “irons,” and “wedges.” The exemplary shaft 102 is a fiber reinforced resin composite shaft. Other suitable shafts include, but are not limited to, metal shafts.
  • The club head 106 is adjustably and releasably mounted onto the shaft 100 by way of a mounting apparatus 112 that is capable of positioning the club head at a variety of face angles, loft angles, lie angles and combinations thereof. The exemplary mounting apparatus 112 includes an adapter 114 that is secured to the shaft tip portion 102, an angular adjustment tube (or “adjustment tube”) 116 and a tube lock 118. As discussed in greater detail below with reference to FIGS. 2-12D, the adapter 114 may be permanently secured to the shaft 100 and used to bias the shaft at a predetermined loft and/or lie angle, the adjustment tube 116 may be used to fix the rotational orientation of the adapter and to bias the shaft at a loft and/lie angle that is combined with the adapter bias, and the tube lock 118 may be used to fix the rotational orientation of the adjustment tube relative to the club head 106.
  • It should be noted that, as used herein, a first structure is “adjustably” mounted (or secured) to a second structure if the first structure can be mounted in more than one orientation relative to the second structure, and a first structure is “releasably” mounted (or secured) to a second structure if the first structure can be decoupled from the second structure without excessive effort or destruction of either structure or the instrumentality that is securing the structures to one another. By contrast, “permanently” mounted (or secured) structures may not be separated from one another without excessive effort, destruction of either structure and/or destruction of the instrumentality that is securing the two structures to one another. Examples of instrumentalities that “permanently” secure structures to one another include high strength adhesives, such as epoxy and cyanoacrylate adhesives, and welds.
  • Turning first to FIGS. 2-4, the exemplary adapter 114 includes a cylindrical main portion 120 with top and bottom (or “longitudinal”) ends 122 and 124, a cylindrical lumen 126 within the main portion for the shaft 100 (FIGS. 1A and 1B), an adapter rotation restrictor 128 at the main portion bottom end, and a lip 130 at the main portion top end. The main portion 120 has a longitudinal axis A120, an outer surface 132 and an inner surface 134 that defines the cylindrical lumen 126. The cylindrical lumen 126, which has a longitudinal axis A126, is angularly offset (or “biased”) relative to the main portion 120 by an angle α. In other words, longitudinal axis A126 is not parallel to longitudinal axis A120. The shaft 100 is carried within the cylindrical lumen 126 when the golf club 10 is in the assembled state and will also be angularly offset from the main portion by angle α. Although not limited to any particular magnitude, angle α may range from an angle that is slightly greater than zero (e.g., about 0.125° or less) to 5° in some implementations, depending on club type, and is 1° in the illustrated implementation. The lip 130 will rest on the adjustment tube lip 150 (discussed below) when the adapter 114 is inserted into the adjustment tube 116 (FIG. 1B). The exemplary adapter rotation restrictor 128 is configured to mate with a rotation restrictor on the adjustment tube 116 in the manner described below.
  • The exemplary adapter 114 is also provided with an internal connector 136 (e.g. a threaded lumen) that may be connected to a bolt 170 (or other fastener) in the manner described below with reference to FIGS. 12C and 12D. In other implementations, such as that described below with reference to FIG. 16, the internal connector 136 may be omitted.
  • Referring to FIGS. 5-8, the exemplary adjustment tube 116 includes a cylindrical main portion 138 with top and bottom (or “longitudinal”) ends 140 and 142, a cylindrical lumen 144 within the main portion for the adapter 114 (FIGS. 1A and 1B), a first tube rotation restrictor 146 associated with the lumen, a second tube rotation restrictor 148 at the main portion bottom end, and a lip 150 at the main portion top end. The main portion 138 has a longitudinal axis A138, an outer surface 152 with a taper 153, and an inner surface 154 that defines the cylindrical lumen 144. The cylindrical lumen 144 has a longitudinal axis A144 and is angularly offset (or “biased”) relative to the main portion 138 by an angle β (as is the first tube rotation restrictor 146). In other words, longitudinal axis A144 is not parallel to longitudinal axis A138. Although not limited to any particular magnitude, angle β may range from an angle that is slightly greater than zero (e.g., about 0.125° or less) to 5° in some implementations, depending on club type, and is 1° in the illustrated implementation. The adapter 114 is carried within the cylindrical lumen 144 when the golf club 10 is in the assembled state and will be angularly offset from the adjustment tube main portion 138 by angle β, while the shaft 100 will be angularly offset from the adjustment tube main portion by the combination of angle α and angle β. The exemplary adapter lip 130, which is perpendicular to the adapter cylindrical main portion 120, will rest on the adjustment tube lip 150 when the adapter 114 is inserted into the adjustment tube 116 (FIG. 1B). In order to insure a proper fit, the top surface 156 of the adjustment tube lip 150 slopes at angle β. The first tube rotation restrictor 146 is configured to mate with the adapter rotation restrictor 128, and the second tube rotation restrictor 148 is configured to mate with a corresponding rotation restrictor 162 on the tube lock 118, in the manner described below.
  • The exemplary adjustment tube 116 is also provided with apertures 158 a and 158 b through which a bolt 170 (or other fastener) may pass in the manner described below with reference to FIGS. 12C and 12D. Giving the range of possible angular orientations of the adjustment tube 116, the diameter of the aperture 158 b is larger than the diameter of the associated portion of the bolt 170 (or other fastener) in order to insure sufficient clearance during assembly. The apertures 158 a and 158 b may also be the same size in some embodiments. In embodiments that do not include such a fastener (e.g., the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 16), the apertures may be omitted.
  • Referring to FIGS. 9-11, the exemplary tube lock 118 includes a cylindrical wall 160 and a lock rotation restrictor 162 associated with the wall. The lock rotation restrictor 162 is configured to mate with the second tube rotation restrictor 148 in the manner described below. An aperture 164, through which a bolt 170 (or other fastener) may pass in the manner described below with reference to FIGS. 12C and 12D, may be provided. The diameter of the aperture 164 is larger than the diameter of the associated portion of the bolt 170 (or other fastener) in order to insure sufficient clearance during assembly. In embodiments that do not include such a fastener (e.g., the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 16), the aperture may be omitted.
  • The rotation restrictors 128, 146, 148 and 162 fix the rotational orientations of the adapter 114, adjustment tube 116 and lock 118 relative to one another and, as a result, the rotational orientations of angle α and angle β relative to one another and to the golf club head. The golf club head 106 will, therefore, be biased relative to the shaft 100 by the combination of angle α and angle β.
  • A wide varied of rotation restrictors may be employed. In the illustrated implementation, the rotation restrictors 128, 146, 148 and 162 are gear-like and include projections 166 and recesses 168. The respective configurations of the projections 166 and recesses 168 are such that the projections of one rotation restrictor (e.g. rotation restrictor 148) fit into recesses of the associated rotation restrictor (e.g. rotation restrictor 162) and vice versa. The number of relative rotational orientations of the adapter 114, adjustment tube 116 and tube lock 118 is dictated by the configurations of the rotation restrictors. In the illustrated implementations (including those described below with reference to FIGS. 22-37), there are eight projections 166 and eight recesses 168 and, accordingly, there are eight relative orientations of the adapter 114 and the adjustment tube 116 as well as eight relative orientations of the adjustment tube 116 and the tube lock 118. Thus, there are sixty-four combinations of the rotational position of angle α and the rotational position of angle β.
  • The number of indentations and recesses may be increased or decreased in other implementations and, although the number of possible relative orientations of the adapter 114 and adjustment tube 116 is equal to the number of possible relative orientations of the adjustment tube 116 and tube lock 118, the present inventions are not so limited. It should also be noted that the rotation restrictors are not limited to the illustrated gear-like configuration. By way of example, but not limitation, one or both of the rotation restrictors may be a geometric shape such as a square, triangle, or hexagon.
  • The exemplary rotation restrictors also have male/female relationships. To that end, the rotation restrictors 128 and 148 are respectively inserted into the rotation restrictors 146 and 162 when the recesses and protrusions are aligned. This relationship may be reversed in other implementations. It should also be noted that the adjustment tube 116 has two rotation restrictors, one male and one female, although the adjustment tube may be provided with two male rotation restrictors or two female rotation restrictors in other implementations. The manner in which the exemplary mounting apparatus 112 may be used to adjustably and releasably mount the club head 106 to the shaft 100 at the desired loft and lie angles is described below with reference to FIGS. 12A-12D.
  • Referring first to FIG. 12A, the tube lock 118 is positioned within the club head hosel 108 and permanently secured thereto by, for example, an epoxy adhesive or welding. In other implementations, the tube lock 118 may simply be an integral portion of the club head hosel.
  • The adjustment tube 116 is then inserted into the hosel 108. The outer diameter of the cylindrical main portion 138 is essentially identical to the inner diameter of the hosel 108 and, accordingly, there is a tight fit therebetween. It should also be noted that the club head 106 includes a taper 107 that is slightly greater than or equal to the adjustment tube taper 153. The adjustment tube 116 may then be rotated about the longitudinal axis A138 of the main portion 138 in order to position the cylindrical lumen 144 (which is biased at angle β) at one of the eight possible orientations, relative to the tube lock 118 and club head 106, where the projections 166 and recesses 168 of the rotation restrictors 148 and 162 are aligned. The adjustment tube 116 is then pushed toward the tube lock 118 until the rotation restrictor 148 is fully seated in the rotation restrictor 162 and the lip 150 abuts the top of the hosel as shown in FIG. 12B. Rotation of the adjustment tube 116 relative to the tube lock 118 is thereby prevented. However, as the assembly is not complete, the adjustment tube 116 may be pulled back, rotated, and pushed back into the tube lock 118 if desired.
  • In some instances, a resilient washer (e.g. a rubber washer) or other washer may be positioned at the end of the adjustment tube rotation restrictor 148 and the bottom inner surface of the tube lock 118. The washer prevents the bolt 170 (or other fastener) from easily falling out of the club head when loosened.
  • Next, as also shown in FIG. 12B, the adapter 114 is inserted into the adjustment tube 116. The shaft 100 will have been inserted into the adapter lumen 126, and permanently secured thereto with an adhesive or other suitable instrumentality, prior to the adapter 114 being inserted into the adjustment tube 116. The diameter of the adapter outer surface 132 is essentially identical to the diameter of the adjustment tube inner surface 154 and, accordingly, there is a tight fit therebetween. The adapter 114 (and shaft 100) may then be rotated about the longitudinal axis A120 of the main portion 120 in order to position the cylindrical lumen 126 (which is biased at angle α) and the shaft 100 at one of the eight possible orientations, relative to the adjustment tube 116, where the projections 166 and recesses 168 of the rotation restrictors 128 and 146 are aligned. The adapter 114 is then pushed toward the adjustment tube 116 until the rotation restrictor 128 is fully seated in the rotation restrictor 146 and the lip 130 abuts the top surface 156 of the adjustment tube lip 150 as shown in FIG. 12C. Rotation of the adapter 114 (and shaft 100) relative to the adjustment tube 116 is thereby prevented. However, as the assembly is not complete, the adapter 114 may be pulled back, rotated, and pushed back into the adjustment tube 116 if desired.
  • The assembly of the mounting apparatus 112 and, therefore, the golf club 10 is completed when the mounting apparatus is releasably anchored or otherwise releasably secured to the club head 106. In the exemplary embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-12D, the mounting apparatus 112 is releasably secured to the club head 106 by way of a bolt 170 (FIGS. 12C and 12D), which has a threaded portion 172 and a head 174, and a club head recess 176, which has an end wall 178 and an end wall aperture 180. The bolt head 174 may include an indentation (not shown) for a tool such as a screwdriver, Allen wrench or the like. The diameter of the end wall aperture 180 is smaller than the diameter of the bolt head 174. The bolt 170 is inserted through the end wall aperture 180, tube lock aperture 164 and adjustment tube apertures 158 a and 158 b, and is secured to the internal connector 136 on the adapter 114 via rotation of the bolt. In some instances, a lock washer may be positioned between the bolt head 174 and the recess end wall 178. Tightening the bolt 170 results in the bolt head 174 abutting the end wall 180, the adapter tube 114 being pulled tightly against the adjustment tube 116, and the adjustment tube being pushed tightly against the tube lock 118 in the manner illustrated in FIG. 12D, thereby completing the assembly of the mounting apparatus 112 and golf club 10. Should subsequent adjustment be desired, the user need only remove the bolt 170 to facilitate disassembly of the mounting apparatus 112.
  • In some implementations, a ferrule 182 may be positioned on the shaft 110 and abutting the adapter tube 114 for cosmetic purposes.
  • Another aspect of the assembly process is, as alluded to above, obtaining the desired rotational orientations of the adapter 114 and adjustment tube 116 relative to the club head 106. Referring to FIGS. 13-15, the club head 106 may be provided with a marker 184 that serves as a reference point. The marker 184 may be located on the heel 186, as shown, or any other suitable location. The adapter 114 and adjustment tube 116 may be provided with indicia corresponding to the effects of the various orientations of the adapter and adjustment tube (and the angles α and β. thereof) relative to the reference point. The adapter 114 and adjustment tube 116 in the illustrated implementation each have eight possible rotational positions relative to the marker 184. The indicia may be provided on the sides of the adapter lip 130 and adjustment tube lip 150, as shown in FIG. 13, or on the top of the lips. The overall configuration of the mounting apparatus 112, the orientation of the tube lock 118, and location of marker 184 are such that the indicia will be aligned with the marker at each rotational position of the adapter 114 and adjustment tube 116.
  • The indicia in the illustrated implementation includes letters “L,” “R,” “U,” “F” and dots therebetween. The respective positions of the exemplary indicia on the sides of the adapter lip 130 and adjustment tube lip 150 are shown in FIGS. 14 and 15. For both the adapter 114 and adjustment tube 116, alignment of the L with the marker 184 results in a more leftward shot (i.e. a more closed face and slightly higher loft), alignment of the R with the marker results in a more rightward shot (i.e. a more open face and slightly lower loft), alignment of the U with the marker results in a more upright lie, alignment of the F with the marker results in a more flat lie, and alignment with the dots results in a combination of the biasing associated with the adjacent letters. For example, aligning the Ls of the adapter 114 and adjustment tube 116 with the marker 184 would maximize the leftward bias without effecting the lie, while the orientations illustrated in FIG. 13 would result in slightly less bias to the left and a small increase in flat bias. It should also be noted that the biasing effect of the mounting apparatus 112 may be eliminated by aligning the L of the adapter 114 with the R adjustment tube 116.
  • Suitable materials for the mounting apparatus 112, e.g. the adapter 114, adjustment tube 116 and a tube lock 118, as well as the mounting apparatus 112 e and 112 f (and components thereof) described below, include but are not limited to 6061-T6 aluminum, 7075-T6 aluminum, 7075-T7 aluminum, titanium, and lightweight alloys of similar strength.
  • The present inventions are not limited to the bolt-based releasable anchoring of the mounting apparatus described above. To that end, the exemplary golf club 10 a illustrated in FIG. 16 is substantially similar to golf club 10 and similar elements are represented by similar reference numerals. Here, however, the mounting apparatus 112 a is releasably secured to the club head 106 a with a removable cap 188. There are a variety of ways to releasably secure the cap 188 to the club head 106 a. In the illustrated embodiment, threads 190 and 192 are provided on the outer surface of the club head 106 a and the inner surface of the cap 188. The cap 188 also has an abutment surface 194 that engages the adapter lip 130. The cap 188 drives the adapter 114 a into the adjustment tube 116 a, and drives the adjustment tube into the tube lock 118 a, as it is screwed onto the club head 106 a. If desired, the adapter 114 a, adjustment tube 116 a and tube lock 118 a may be provided without the internal connector 136 and apertures 158 a, 158 b and 164 (shown in FIG. 12C), and the club head 106 a may be provided without the club head recess 176 and end wall aperture 180. The exemplary cap 188 also has an aperture 196 for the shaft 100. Given the wide variety of possible angular orientations of the shaft 100, the diameter of the aperture 196 is larger that the diameter of the corresponding portion of the shaft 100. Also, the cap 188 will typically be positioned on the shaft 100 prior to permanently securing the adapter 114 a to the shaft.
  • Turning to FIGS. 17-19, the exemplary tube lock 118 b is essentially identical to tube lock 118 and similar elements are represented by similar references numerals. Here, however, the rotation restrictor 162 extends from top to bottom. The tube lock 118 b may be employed in, among others, the exemplary mounting apparatus 112 and 112 a. The tube lock 118 b may also be a separate structure that is attached to the club head (as shown) or an integral portion of the club head hosel.
  • In the exemplary embodiments described above, angle α and angle β are both non-zero, i.e. there is some possible biasing associated with both the adapter and the adjustment tube. In other implementations, the angle α may be zero and the angle β may be non-zero, or the angle α may be non-zero and the angle β may be zero.
  • It should also be noted that many of the cylindrical surfaces described herein may slightly tapered, i.e. slightly frusto-conical, if necessary or desired. For example, should the tip portion of the associated golf club shaft be tapered, the adapter lumen 126 (FIG. 4) may be slightly tapered. The main portion outer surface 132 (FIG. 2) and adjustment tube inner surface 154 (FIG. 8) may be slightly tapered. Should the associated golf club hosel be tapered, the adjustment tube outer surface 152 (FIG. 5) may be slightly tapered.
  • The locations of the rotations restrictors may also vary from the illustrated locations. For example, the adapter rotation restrictor 128 (FIG. 4) may be located on the exterior of the main portion 120 near the lip 130 and the adjustment tube rotation restrictor 146 (FIG. 8) may be located along the inner surface 154 inward of the lip 150.
  • Turning to FIG. 20, the tube lock 118 c, with a rotation restrictor 162 c, may be an integral portion of the exemplary club head 106 c and located at the top of the hosel 108 c. The adjustment tube 116 c is provided with a corresponding second tube rotation restrictor 148 c (in place of the rotation restrictor 148 in FIG. 8) as well as a first tube rotation restrictor 146 in the position illustrated in FIG. 8.
  • Various portions of the exemplary angular adjustment tube 116 (FIGS. 5-8) may be omitted. As illustrated for example in FIG. 21, the angular adjustment tube 116 d includes a main portion 138 d that is only long enough to accommodate the first and second rotation restrictors 146 and 148, and is significantly shorter than the length of the hosel. The first rotation restrictor 146 is biased to angle β as is described above.
  • Another exemplary golf club is generally represented by reference numeral 10 e in FIG. 22. The golf club 10 e includes a club head 106 that is adjustably and releasably mounted onto the shaft 100 by way of a mounting apparatus 112 e that is capable of positioning the club head at a variety of face angles, loft angles, lie angles and combinations thereof. The mounting apparatus 112 e is substantially similar to mounting apparatus 112 in form and function and similar elements are represented by similar reference numerals. For example, the mounting apparatus 112 e includes the adapter 114 (described above with reference to FIGS. 2-4) that is secured to the shaft tip portion 102 (FIG. 2). Here, however, the mounting apparatus 112 e includes an angular adjustment tube (or “adjustment tube”) 116 e and a tube lock 118 e that differ from the above-described adjustment tube 116 and tube lock 118 in the manner described below. Most notably, the adjustment tube 116 e and tube lock 118 e engage one another at the top of the club head hosel.
  • Turning to FIGS. 23-26, the exemplary adjustment tube 116 e is similar to adjustment tube 116 and similar elements are represented by similar reference numerals. For example, the adjustment tube 116 e includes a cylindrical main portion 138 with top and bottom ends 140 and 142, a cylindrical lumen 144 within the main portion for the adapter 114, a first tube rotation restrictor 146 associated with the lumen (e.g. the bottom end of the lumen), and a lip 150 at the main portion top end. The main portion 138 has a longitudinal axis A138, an outer surface 152, and an inner surface 154 that defines the cylindrical lumen 144. The cylindrical lumen 144 has a longitudinal axis A144 and is angularly offset (or “biased”) relative to the main portion 138 by the angle β discussed above. The first tube rotation restrictor 146 is also biased by the angle β. The exemplary adapter lip 130 will rest on the adjustment tube lip 150 when the adapter 114 is inserted into the adjustment tube 116 e (FIG. 22). In order to insure a proper fit, the top surface 156 of the adjustment tube lip 150 slopes at angle β. The first tube rotation restrictor 146 is configured to mate with the adapter rotation restrictor 128 (FIGS. 2-4) in the manner described above with reference to FIG. 12B.
  • The exemplary adjustment tube 116 e also has a second tube rotation restrictor 148 e. The second tube rotation restrictor 148 e is associated with the main portion top end 140 and is configured to mate with a corresponding rotation restrictor 162 e (discussed below) on the tube lock 118 e. Although not limited to any particular rotation restrictor, the rotation restrictor 148 e is gear-like and include projections 166 and recesses 168. The projections 166 are located on the exterior of the main portion 152, and extend radially outwardly from the main portion exterior and downwardly from the top end 140 and lip 150. The recesses 168 here are simply the spaces (or “gaps”) between the projections 166. The bottom of the recesses 168 is the exterior of the main portion 152.
  • As illustrated for example in FIGS. 27 and 28, the tube lock 118 e is associated with the top of the hosel of the club head 106 e. The tube lock 118 e may be integrally formed with the club head (i.e., a one-piece, unitary structure), or may be a separate structure that is secure to the club head. The exemplary tube lock 118 e includes a cylindrical wall 160 e and a rotation restrictor 162 e associated with the wall. The tube lock rotation restrictor 162 e is configured to mate with the second tube rotation restrictor 148 e and, to that end, includes a corresponding plurality of projections 166 and recesses 168. The projections 166 extend upwardly from the cylindrical wall 160 e and the recesses 168 are simply the spaces (or “gaps”) between the projections 166. The tube lock 118 e also defines an aperture 164 e that is aligned with the hosel 108 and through which the adjustment tube 116 e may pass as it is inserted into the hosel.
  • Referring again to FIGS. 23-26, the lower region 139 of the cylindrical main portion 138, i.e., the region that is coextensive with the first tube rotation restrictor 146, may have a reduced outer diameter (as shown) to reduce the weight of the adjustment tube 116 e, or may have the same outer diameter as the remainder of the main portion. The bottom portion of the hosel 108 will have an inner diameter that is approximately the same as the outer diameter of the main portion lower region 139. The bottom end 158 b of the cylindrical main portion 138 is open. As such, when the golf club 10 e is being assembled, a bolt or other fastener may be inserted into the internal connector 136 of the adapter 114 in the manner illustrated in FIGS. 12C and 12D.
  • Although the exemplary projections 166 and recesses 168 are generally rectangular in shape, the present inventions are not so limited and other shapes may be employed. Referring for example to FIG. 29, the exemplary adjustment tube 116 f includes a rotation restrictor 148 f with trapezoidal projections 166 f and recesses 168 f. A corresponding tube lock 188 f (FIG. 30), with a rotation restrictor 162 f that has trapezoidal projections 166 and recesses 168, may be associated with a club head.
  • Another exemplary golf club is generally represented by reference numeral 10 g in FIG. 31. The golf club 10 g includes a club head 106 that is adjustably and releasably mounted onto the shaft 100 by way of a mounting apparatus 112 g that is capable of positioning the club head at a variety of face angles, loft angles, lie angles and combinations thereof. The mounting apparatus 112 g is substantially similar to mounting apparatus 112 in form and function and similar elements are represented by similar reference numerals. For example, the mounting apparatus 112 g includes the tube lock 118 and 118 b that are described above with reference to FIGS. 9-11 and 19. Here, however, the mounting apparatus 112 g includes an the adapter 114 g, which is secured to the shaft tip portion 102 (FIG. 2), and an angular adjustment tube (or “adjustment tube”) 116 g that differ from the above-described adapter 114 and adjustment tube 116 in the manner described below. Most notably, the adapter 114 g and the adjustment tube 116 g engage one another at the top of the club head hosel. Also, both of the rotation restrictors on the adapter 114 g are on the exterior of the adapter and neither rotation restrictor is located within the lumen.
  • Referring to FIGS. 32 and 33, the exemplary adapter 114 includes a cylindrical main portion 120 with top and bottom (or “longitudinal”) ends 122 and 124, a cylindrical lumen 126 within the main portion for the shaft 100, an adapter rotation restrictor 128 g at the main portion top end and a lip 130. The main portion 120 has a longitudinal axis A120, an outer surface 132 and an inner surface 134 that defines the cylindrical lumen 126. The cylindrical lumen 126, which has a longitudinal axis A126, is angularly offset (or “biased”) relative to the main portion 120 by the angle α discussed above. The shaft 100 is carried within the cylindrical lumen 126 when the golf club 10 e is in the assembled state and will also be angularly offset from the main portion 120 by angle a. The exemplary adapter 114 g is also provided with a reduced diameter portion 129 that has an internal connector 136 (e.g. a threaded lumen) that may be connected to a bolt 170 (or other fastener) in the manner described above with reference to FIGS. 12C and 12D.
  • The exemplary adapter 114 g also has rotation restrictor 128 g, associated with the main portion top end 122, that is configured to mate with a corresponding rotation restrictor 146 g (discussed below) on the adjustment tube 116 g. Although not limited to any particular rotation restrictor, the rotation restrictor 128 e is gear-like and include projections 166 and recesses 168. The projections 166 are located on the exterior of the main portion 132, and extend radially outwardly from the main portion exterior and downwardly from the top end 122 and lip 130. The recesses 168 here are simply the spaces (or “gaps”) between the projections 166. The bottom of the recesses 168 is the exterior of the main portion 132.
  • Turning to FIGS. 34-37, the exemplary adjustment tube 116 g is similar to adjustment tube 116 and similar elements are represented by similar reference numerals. For example, the adjustment tube 116 g includes a cylindrical main portion 138 with top and bottom ends 140 and 142, a cylindrical lumen 144 within the main portion for the adapter 114, a second tube rotation restrictor 148 associated with the lumen (e.g. the bottom end of the lumen), and a lip 150 at the main portion top end. The main portion 138 has a longitudinal axis A138, an outer surface 152, and an inner surface 154 that defines the cylindrical lumen 144. The cylindrical lumen 144 has a longitudinal axis A144 and is angularly offset (or “biased”) relative to the main portion 138 by the angle β discussed above. The first tube rotation restrictor 146 g is also biased by the angle β. The wall thickness of the main portion 138 and second tube rotation restrictor 148 is about 1.0 mm to 2.0 mm at its thinnest region in the exemplary embodiment.
  • The exemplary adjustment tube 116 g also has a first tube rotation restrictor 146 g. The first tube rotation restrictor 146 g is associated with the top of the lip 150 and is configured to mate with the corresponding rotation restrictor 128 g on the adapter 114 g. Although not limited to any particular rotation restrictor, the rotation restrictor 146 g is gear-like and include projections 166 and recesses 168. The projections 166 are located on, and extend upwardly from, the top of the lip 150. In order to insure a proper fit, the top surfaces of the lip 150 and the free ends of the projections 166 (as a group) both slope at angle β. The recesses 168 are simply the spaces (or “gaps”) between the projections 166. The bottom end 158 b of the adjustment tube 116 g is open. As such, when the golf club 10 g is being assembled, a bolt or other fastener may be inserted into the internal connector 136 of the adapter 114 g in the manner described above with reference to FIGS. 12C and 12D.
  • Although the exemplary projections 166 and recesses 168 illustrated in FIGS. 32-37 are generally rectangular in shape, the present inventions are not so limited and other shapes may be employed. For example, as noted above with reference to
  • FIGS. 29 and 30 trapezoidal projections and recesses may be employed. Also, although the adjustment tube 116 f has a male rotation restrictor 148 that is inserted in the corresponding rotation restrictor 162 on the tube lock 118 (FIGS. 9-11), this relationship may be reversed.
  • Although the present inventions have been described in terms of the preferred embodiments above, numerous modifications and/or additions to the above-described preferred embodiments would be readily apparent to one skilled in the art. It is intended that the scope of the present inventions extend to all such modifications and/or additions. Moreover, the present inventions include golf clubs having a shaft, a club head, and the apparatus described above and claimed below.

Claims (29)

1. An adjustment tube for use with a golf club shaft adapter having an adapter rotation restrictor and a golf club head with a hosel having a hosel rotation restrictor, the adjustment tube comprising:
a main portion defining first and second longitudinal ends, an exterior and a main portion longitudinal axis;
a lumen, within the main portion and adapted to receive the golf club shaft adapter, defining an opening associated with the first longitudinal end of the main portion and a lumen longitudinal axis that is not parallel to the main portion longitudinal axis;
a first main portion rotation restrictor, on the exterior of the main portion and associated with the first longitudinal end, configured to engage the adapter rotation restrictor; and
a second main portion rotation restrictor, on the exterior of the main portion, configured to engage the hosel rotation restrictor.
2. An adjustment tube as claimed in claim 1, wherein the main portion has a cylindrical outer surface.
3. An adjustment tube as claimed in claim 1, wherein the lumen comprises a cylindrical lumen.
4. An adjustment tube as claimed in claim 1, wherein the lumen longitudinal axis and the main portion longitudinal axis are angularly offset by an angle of about 5 degrees or less.
5. An adjustment tube as claimed in claim 1, wherein the second main portion rotation restrictor is associated with the second longitudinal end of the main portion.
6. An adjustment tube as claimed in claim 1, the first main portion rotation restrictor includes a plurality of circumferentially spaced projections that extend axially away from the first longitudinal end of the main portion.
7. An adjustment tube as claimed in claim 6, wherein
the circumferentially spaced projections define free ends; and
the free ends of the projections together define a slope that is angularly offset from the main portion longitudinal axis by an angle of about 5 degrees or less.
8. An adjustment tube as claimed in claim 6, wherein the circumferentially spaced projections are substantially rectangular in shape.
9. An adjustment tube as claimed in claim 6, wherein the circumferentially spaced projections are substantially trapezoidal in shape.
10. An adjustment tube as claimed in claim 1, wherein the main portion defines an outer diameter, the adjustment tube further comprising:
a lip, defining an outer diameter that is greater than the outer diameter of the main portion, located between the first longitudinal end of the main portion and the first main portion rotation restrictor.
11. An adjustment tube as claimed in claim 1, wherein the second main portion rotation restrictor includes a plurality of projections and a plurality of recesses.
12. An apparatus for use with a golf club shaft, the apparatus comprising:
a golf club head including
a hosel having a top end and a bottom end, and
a hosel rotation restrictor associated with the hosel;
an adapter including
an adapter main portion defining first and second longitudinal ends, an exterior and a main portion longitudinal axis,
an adapter lumen, within the adapter main portion and adapted to receive the golf club shaft, defining an opening associated with the first longitudinal end of the main portion and a lumen longitudinal axis that is not parallel to the main portion longitudinal axis, and
an adapter rotation restrictor at the first longitudinal end on the exterior of the adapter main portion; and
an adjustment tube including
an adjustment tube main portion defining first and second longitudinal ends, an exterior and a main portion longitudinal axis,
an adjustment tube lumen, within the adjustment tube main portion and adapted to receive the adapter, defining an opening associated with the first longitudinal end of the adjustment tube main portion and a lumen longitudinal axis that is not parallel to the main portion longitudinal axis,
a first adjustment tube rotation restrictor, on the exterior of the adjustment tube main portion and associated with the first longitudinal end, configured to engage the adapter rotation restrictor, and
a second adjustment tube rotation restrictor, on the exterior of the main portion, configured to engage the hosel rotation restrictor.
13. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein the hosel rotation restrictor is located at the bottom end of the hosel.
14. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein the hosel rotation restrictor includes a plurality of projections and a plurality of recesses.
15. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12, further comprising:
an internal connector associated with the second longitudinal end of the adapter main portion.
16. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein the adapter lumen longitudinal axis and the adapter main portion longitudinal axis are angularly offset by an angle of about 5 degrees or less.
17. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein the adapter rotation restrictor includes a plurality of circumferentially spaced projections that extend outwardly from the main portion.
18. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein
the adapter main portion defines an outer diameter and includes a lip located at the first longitudinal end of the adapter main portion, the lip defining an outer diameter that is greater than the adapter main portion outer diameter; and
the adapter rotation restrictor includes a plurality of circumferentially spaced projections that extend outwardly from the adapter main portion and extend from the lip toward the second longitudinal end of the adapter main portion.
19. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein the adjustment tube lumen defines an adjustment tube lumen diameter; and
the adapter main portion defines an adapter main portion outer diameter that is substantially equal to the adjustment tube lumen diameter.
20. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein
the hosel defines a hosel inner diameter;
the adjustment tube main portion defines an adjustment tube main portion inner diameter and an adjustment tube main portion outer diameter that is substantially equal to the hosel inner diameter; and
the adapter main portion defines an adapter main portion outer diameter that is substantially equal to the adjustment tube main portion inner diameter.
21. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein the adjustment tube lumen longitudinal axis and the adjustment tube main portion longitudinal axis are angularly offset by an angle of about 5 degrees or less.
22. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein the second adjustment tube rotation restrictor is associated with the second longitudinal end of the adjustment tube main portion.
23. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12, the first adjustment tube rotation restrictor includes a plurality of circumferentially spaced projections that extend axially away from the first longitudinal end of the adjustment tube main portion.
24. An apparatus as claimed in claim 23, wherein
the circumferentially spaced projections define free ends; and
the free ends of the projections together define a slope that is angularly offset from the adjustment tube main portion longitudinal axis by an angle of about 5 degrees or less.
25. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein
the adjustment tube main portion defines an outer diameter and includes a lip that defines an outer diameter that is greater than the adjustment tube main portion outer diameter, the lip being located between the first longitudinal end of the adjustment tube main portion and the first adjustment tube rotation restrictor.
26. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein the second adjustment tube rotation restrictor includes a plurality of projections and a plurality of recesses.
27. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein
the adjustment tube includes a bottom end; and
the adjustment tube includes an aperture that extends from the adjustment tube lumen to the bottom end.
28. An apparatus as claimed in claim 27, further comprising:
means for releasably securing the adapter and adjustment tube to the golf club head.
29. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein
the first adjustment tube rotation restrictor and the adapter rotation restrictor are respectively configured such that they can be engaged with one another at a plurality of different rotational orientations; and
the second adjustment tube rotation restrictor and the hosel rotation restrictor are respectively configured such that they can be engaged with one another at a plurality of different rotational orientations.
US13/342,182 2010-12-23 2012-01-02 Apparatus for connecting a golf club shaft to a golf club head and golf clubs including the same Abandoned US20120165111A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

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US12/978,381 US20120165110A1 (en) 2010-12-23 2010-12-23 Apparatus For Connecting A Golf Club Shaft To A Golf Club Head And Golf Clubs Including The Same
US13/342,182 US20120165111A1 (en) 2010-12-23 2012-01-02 Apparatus for connecting a golf club shaft to a golf club head and golf clubs including the same

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US13/342,182 US20120165111A1 (en) 2010-12-23 2012-01-02 Apparatus for connecting a golf club shaft to a golf club head and golf clubs including the same

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US12/978,381 Continuation-In-Part US20120165110A1 (en) 2010-12-23 2010-12-23 Apparatus For Connecting A Golf Club Shaft To A Golf Club Head And Golf Clubs Including The Same

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