US20160045792A1 - Golf club head - Google Patents

Golf club head Download PDF

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Publication number
US20160045792A1
US20160045792A1 US14/461,133 US201414461133A US2016045792A1 US 20160045792 A1 US20160045792 A1 US 20160045792A1 US 201414461133 A US201414461133 A US 201414461133A US 2016045792 A1 US2016045792 A1 US 2016045792A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
golf club
club head
graphmat
striking face
body
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Abandoned
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US14/461,133
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Marni Ines
Jonathan Hebreo
Gery M. Zimmerman
Michael E. Franz
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Acushnet Co
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Acushnet Co
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Priority to US14/461,133 priority Critical patent/US20160045792A1/en
Assigned to ACUSHNET COMPANY reassignment ACUSHNET COMPANY ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: FRANZ, MICHAEL E., HEBREO, JONATHAN, INES, MARNI, ZIMMERMAN, GERY M.
Assigned to KOREA DEVELOPMENT BANK, NEW YORK BRANCH reassignment KOREA DEVELOPMENT BANK, NEW YORK BRANCH SECURITY INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: ACUSHNET COMPANY
Publication of US20160045792A1 publication Critical patent/US20160045792A1/en
Assigned to ACUSHNET COMPANY reassignment ACUSHNET COMPANY RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS PREVIOUSLY RECORDED AT REEL/FRAME (034623/0720) Assignors: KOREA DEVELOPMENT BANK, NEW YORK BRANCH
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
    • 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
    • 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
    • A63B53/047Heads iron-type
    • A63B53/0475Heads iron-type with one or more enclosed cavities
    • 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
    • A63B2053/0433Heads 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
    • A63B2053/0433Heads with special sole configurations
    • A63B2053/0437Heads with special sole configurations with special crown configurations
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B53/00Golf clubs
    • A63B53/04Heads
    • A63B2053/045Strengthening ribs
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B53/00Golf clubs
    • A63B53/04Heads
    • A63B2053/045Strengthening ribs
    • A63B2053/0454Strengthening ribs on the rear surface of the impact face plate
    • 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
    • A63B60/00Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like
    • A63B2060/002Resonance frequency related characteristics
    • 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
    • A63B2209/00Characteristics of used materials
    • A63B2209/02Characteristics of used materials with reinforcing fibres, e.g. carbon, polyamide fibres
    • 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
    • A63B60/54Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like with means for damping vibrations

Abstract

A golf club head comprising a body having a heel side and a toe side, said body comprising a hosel located on a heel side of said boy and configured to engage a shaft, a striking face, a sole extending back from a bottom of said striking face, and a topline located at a top of said striking face, wherein said body is constructed from a metal material, and wherein said golf club head further comprises graphmat affixed to a rear surface of said striking face, said rear surface opposite a front surface of said striking face, said front surface configured to strike a golf ball.

Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • This present technology generally relates to systems, devices, and methods related to golf clubs, and more specifically to golf clubs incorporating graphmat in their construction.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED TECHNOLOGY
  • In order to improve the performance of a golf club, golf club designers have constantly struggled with finding different ways to construct golf clubs that hit a golf ball longer, straighter, and sound better. Designing a golf club that hits a golf ball longer may generally require an improvement in the ability of the golf club head to effectively transfer the energy generated by the golfer onto a golf ball via the golf club. Hitting a golf ball straighter, on the other hand, will generally require an improvement in the ability of the golf club to keep the golf ball on a relatively straight path even if the golf ball is struck off-center; as a golf ball that is struck at the center of the golf club head will generally maintain a relatively straight flight path.
  • Effectively transferring the energy generated by the golfer onto a golf ball in order to hit a golf ball further may be largely related to the Coefficient of Restitution (COR) between the golf club and the golf ball. The COR between a golf club and a golf ball may generally relate to a fractional value representing the ratio of velocities of the objects before and after they impact each other. U.S. Pat. No. 7,281,994 to De Shiell et al. provides one good example that explains this COR concept by discussing how a golf club head utilizing a thinner striking face may deflect more when impacting a golf ball to result in a higher COR; which results in greater travel distance.
  • Being able to hit a golf ball relatively straight even when the club strikes a golf ball at a location that is offset from the center of the striking face may generally involve the ability of the golf club to resist rotational twisting; a phenomenon that occurs naturally during off-center hits. U.S. Pat. No. 5,058,895 to Igarashi goes into more detail on this concept by discussing the advantages of creating a golf club with a higher Moment of Inertia (MOI), which is a way to quantify the ability of a golf club to resist rotational twisting when it strikes a golf ball at a location that is offset from the geometric center of the golf club head. More specifically, U.S. Pat. No. 5,058,895 to Igarashi utilizes weights at the rear toe, rear center, and real heel portion of the golf club head as one of the ways to increase the MOI of the golf club head, which in turn allows the golf club to hit a golf ball straighter. It should be noted that although the additional weights around the rear perimeter of the golf club head may increase the MOI of the golf club, these weights cannot be added freely without concern for the overall weight of the golf club head. Because it may be undesirable to add to the overall weight of the golf club head, adding weight to the rear portion of the golf club head will generally require that same amount of weight to be eliminated from other areas of the golf club head.
  • Based on the two above examples, it can be seen that removing weight from various portions of the golf club head, which may include for example, the striking face, allows the weight removed to be placed at a more optimal location to increase the MOI of the golf club head. One of the earlier attempts to remove unnecessary weight from the striking face of a golf club can be seen in U.S. Pat. No. 5,163,682 to Schmidt et al. wherein the striking face of a golf club head has a variable thickness by making the part of the striking face that is not subjected to the direct impact thinner.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,425,538 to Vincent et al. shows an alternative way to remove unnecessary weight from the striking face of a golf club by utilizing a fiber-based composite material. Because fiber-based composite materials may generally have a density that is less than the density of traditional metals such as steel or titanium, the simple substitute of this fiber-based composite material alone will generate a significant amount of discretionary weight that can be used to improve the MOI of a golf club. Fiber-based composite materials, because of their relatively lightweight characteristics, tend to be desirable removing weight from various portions of the golf club head. However, because the durability of such a lightweight fiber-based composite material can be inferior compared to a metallic type material, completely replacing the striking face of a golf club with the lightweight fiber-based composite material could sacrifice the durability of the golf club head.
  • SUMMARY
  • The systems, methods, and devices described herein have innovative aspects, no single one of which is indispensable or solely responsible for their desirable attributes. Without limiting the scope of the claims, some of the advantageous features will now be summarized.
  • One aspect of the present technology is the realization that the prior art lacks a golf club head construction that saves weight, improves COR, and is sufficiently durable without sacrificing the sound and feel of the golf club head. Thus, there exists a need for a golf club head construction incorporating new and improved materials. The present technology is directed to golf clubs incorporating graphmat in their construction. Graphmat provides superior mechanical properties which improves the durability of the club and provides additional discretionary weight to improve golf club head performance. One non-limiting embodiment of the present technology includes a golf club head, the golf club head comprising a body having a heel side and a toe side, said body comprising a hosel configured to engage a shaft, a striking face, a sole extending back from a bottom of said striking face, and a topline located at a top of said striking face; wherein said body is constructed from a first material; and wherein said golf club head further comprises graphmat affixed to a rear surface of said striking face, said rear surface opposite a front surface of said striking face, said front surface configured to strike a golf ball.
  • In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said graphmat covers a majority of said rear surface of said striking face.
  • In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said graphmat is bonded to said body, and wherein said first material comprises metal.
  • In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said graphmat is affixed to an internal portion of said top line and an internal portion of said sole.
  • In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said graphmat comprises graphene oxide.
  • In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said graphmat comprises a composite comprising graphene and a polymer.
  • In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said graphmat comprises a plurality of layers of graphene.
  • An additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology includes a golf club head, the golf club head comprising: a body having a heel side and a toe side, said body comprising a hosel configured to engage a shaft, said body having a striking face, and a sole extending back from a bottom of said striking face; wherein said body is constructed from a first material; and wherein said golf club head further comprises graphmat affixed to a front surface of said striking face, said front surface configured to strike a golf ball.
  • In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said graphmat covers a majority of said front surface of said striking face.
  • In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said graphmat is bonded to said front surface, wherein said first material comprises metal.
  • In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said front surface of said striking face comprises a facial contour comprising plurality of scorelines formed in said striking face.
  • In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said graphmat is applied to an entirety of said facial contour of said striking face, wherein said graphmat extends into the interior of each of said plurality of scorelines.
  • In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said graphmat comprises graphene oxide.
  • In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said graphmat comprises a composite comprising graphene and a polymer.
  • In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said graphmat comprises a plurality of layers of graphene.
  • An additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology includes a golf club head, the golf club head comprising: a body comprising a hosel, a crown, a sole, and a striking face, wherein said hosel is configured to engage a shaft, wherein said striking face is located at a front of the golf club head, wherein said crown is located at a top of said golf club head and extends back from a top of said striking face, wherein said sole is located at a bottom of said golf club head and extends back from a bottom of said striking face; and graphmat affixed to an internal surface of said body.
  • In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said body is constructed of a metal material, wherein said graphmat covers a majority of a rear surface of said striking face, said rear surface opposite a front surface of said striking face, said front surface configured to strike a golf ball.
  • In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said body comprises an upper return and a lower return, wherein said graphmat is affixed to an internal surface of said upper return and said lower return, and wherein said graphmat is bonded to said body.
  • In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said graphmat comprises graphene oxide.
  • In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said striking face and said sole are constructed of a metal material, and wherein at least a portion of said crown is constructed of graphmat.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The accompanying drawings form a part of the specification and are to be read in conjunction therewith. The illustrated embodiments, however, are merely examples and are not intended to be limiting. Like reference numbers and designations in the various drawings indicate like elements.
  • FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a golf club.
  • FIG. 2A shows a perspective view of a metalwood type golf club head.
  • FIG. 2B shows a perspective view of an iron type golf club head.
  • FIG. 3A shows a cross sectional view of a metalwood type golf club head.
  • FIGS. 3B-3D show cross sectional views of various constructions of iron type golf club heads.
  • FIG. 4A shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a metalwood type golf club head including graphmat located on a backside of the face of the golf club head.
  • FIGS. 4B-D show cross sectional views of embodiments of various constructions of iron type golf club heads including graphmat located on a backside of each of the faces of the golf club heads.
  • FIG. 5A shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a metalwood type golf club head including graphmat located on a backside of the face of the golf club head and along a portion of the upper and lower returns of the golf club head.
  • FIGS. 5B-D show cross sectional views of embodiments of various constructions of iron type golf club heads including graphmat located on a backside of each of the faces of the golf club heads and along a portion of the top line and sole of the golf club heads.
  • FIG. 6A shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a metalwood type golf club head including graphmat located on a majority of an interior surface of the golf club head.
  • FIGS. 6B-D show cross sectional views of embodiments of various constructions of iron type golf club heads including graphmat located on a majority of an interior surface of the golf club heads.
  • FIG. 7A shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a metalwood type golf club head including graphmat located on a frontside of the face of the golf club head.
  • FIGS. 7B-D show cross sectional views of embodiments of various constructions of iron type golf club heads including graphmat located on a frontside of each of the faces of the golf club heads.
  • FIG. 8A shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a metalwood type golf club head wherein at least a portion of the golf club comprises graphmat.
  • FIGS. 8B-D show cross sectional views of embodiments of various constructions of iron type golf club heads wherein at least a portion of each golf club head comprises graphmat.
  • FIG. 9A shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a metalwood type golf club head made entirely of graphmat.
  • FIGS. 9B-D show cross sectional views of embodiments of various constructions of iron type golf club heads made entirely of graphmat.
  • FIG. 10A shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a metalwood type golf club head including graphmat located on a majority of an exterior surface of the golf club.
  • FIGS. 10B-D show cross sectional views of embodiments of various constructions of iron type golf club heads including graphmat located on a majority of an exterior surface of the golf club heads.
  • FIG. 11A shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a metalwood type golf club head including graphmat selectively located on portions of an interior surface of the golf club head.
  • FIGS. 11B-D show cross sectional views of embodiments of various constructions of iron type golf club heads including graphmat selectively located on portions of an interior surface of the golf club heads.
  • FIGS. 12A-C show plan views of an interior of various constructions of golf club heads including selective application of graphmat to interior surfaces of the golf club heads.
  • FIG. 13 shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of an iron type golf club head including graphmat on a frontside of the face of the golf club head.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • In the following detailed description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of the present disclosure. The illustrative embodiments described in the detailed description, drawings, and claims are not meant to be limiting. Other embodiments may be utilized, and other changes may be made, without departing from the spirit or scope of the subject matter presented herein. It will be readily understood that the aspects of the present disclosure, as generally described herein, and illustrated in the Figures, can be arranged, substituted, combined, and designed in a wide variety of different configurations, all of which are explicitly contemplated and form part of this disclosure. For example, a system or device may be implemented or a method may be practiced using any number of the aspects set forth herein. In addition, such a system or device may be implemented or such a method may be practiced using other structure, functionality, or structure and functionality in addition to or other than one or more of the aspects set forth herein. Alterations and further and further modifications of inventive features illustrated herein, and additional applications of the principles of the inventions as illustrated herein, which would occur to one skilled in the relevant art and having possession of this disclosure, are to be considered within the scope of the invention.
  • Other than in the operating examples, or unless otherwise expressly specified, all of the numerical ranges, amounts, values and percentages such as those for amounts of materials, moments of inertias, center of gravity locations, loft and draft angles, and others in the following portion of the specification may be read as if prefaced by the word “about” even though the term “about” may not expressly appear with the value, amount, or range. Accordingly, unless indicated to the contrary, the numerical parameters set forth in the following specification and attached claims are approximations that may vary depending upon the desired properties sought to be obtained by the present invention. At the very least, and not as an attempt to limit the application of the doctrine of equivalents to the scope of the claims, each numerical parameter should at least be construed in light of the number of reported significant digits and by applying ordinary rounding techniques.
  • Notwithstanding that the numerical ranges and parameters setting forth the broad scope of the invention are approximations, the numerical values set forth in the specific examples are reported as precisely as possible. Any numerical value, however, inherently contains certain errors necessarily resulting from the standard deviation found in their respective testing measurements. Furthermore, when numerical ranges of varying scope are set forth herein, it is contemplated that any combination of these values inclusive of the recited values may be used.
  • In describing the present technology, the following terminology may have been used: The singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to an item includes reference to one or more items. The term “plurality” refers to two or more of an item. The term “substantially” means that the recited characteristic, parameter, or value need not be achieved exactly, but that deviations or variations, including for example, tolerances, measurement error, measurement accuracy limitations and other factors known to those of skill in the art, may occur in amounts that do not preclude the effect the characteristic was intended to provide. A plurality of items may be presented in a common list for convenience. However, these lists should be construed as though each member of the list is individually identified as a separate and unique member. Thus, no individual member of such list should be construed as a de facto equivalent of any other member of the same lists solely based on their presentation in a common group without indications to the contrary. Furthermore, where the terms “and” and “or” are used in conjunction with a list of items, they are to be interpreted broadly, in that any one or more of the listed items may be used alone or in combination with other listed items. The term “alternatively” refers to a selection of one of two or more alternatives, and is not intended to limit the selection of only those listed alternative or to only one of the listed alternatives at a time, unless the context clearly indicated otherwise.
  • Features of the present disclosure will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. After considering this discussion, and particularly after reading the section entitled “Detailed Description” one will understand how the illustrated features serve to explain certain principles of the present disclosure.
  • Embodiments described herein generally relate to systems, devices, and methods related to golf clubs. FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a golf club 100. The metalwood type golf club 100 illustrated in FIG. 1 includes a shaft 120 with a grip 110 located on a proximal end of the shaft 120 and a head 200 located on a distal end of the shaft 120. FIGS. 2A-B and 3A-D illustrate golf club heads 200, 300 constructed of conventional materials including titanium and steel. The golf club heads 200, 300 illustrated in FIGS. 2A-B and 3A-D can be manufactured in a variety of ways which may include for example, casting, forging, welding, etc.
  • FIG. 2A shows a perspective view of a metalwood type golf club head 200. FIG. 3A shows a cross sectional view of the metalwood type golf club head 200 of FIG. 2A. The metalwood type head 200 includes a hosel 205, a crown 210, a sole 215, a skirt 220, and striking face 225. The hosel 205 is configured to engage the shaft 120. The striking face 225 is located at the front of the head 200 and has a heel side 230, closest to the hosel 205, and a toe side 235 opposite the heel side 230. The striking face 225 is configured to strike a golf ball. The crown 210 is located at the top of the golf club head 200 and the sole 215 is located at the bottom of the golf club head 200. The skirt 220 is the portion of the club head 200 connecting the sole 215 to the crown 210. The crown 210, sole 215, and skirt 220 generally extend rearward from the striking face 225 of the golf club head 200. Portions of the golf club head 200 adjacent the striking face 225 can be referred to as returns 240, 245. The golf club head has a lower return 245 and an upper return 240, as illustrated in FIG. 3A. The upper return 240 comprises the portion of the golf club head 200 which angles back from the striking face 225 to the crown 210 as well as a small portion of the crown 210 adjacent the striking face 225. The lower return 245 comprises the portion of the golf club head 200 which angles back from the striking face 225 to the sole 215 as well as a small portion of the sole 215 adjacent the striking face 225.
  • FIG. 2B shows a perspective view of an iron type golf club head 300. The iron type head 300 includes a hosel 305, a striking face 325, a topline 310, and a sole 315. The hosel 305 is configured to engage the shaft 120. The striking face 325 is located at the front of the iron type head 300. The striking face 325 includes a heel side 330, closest to the hosel 305, and a toe side 335 opposite the heel side 330. The topline 310 is located along the top of the striking face 325. The sole 315 is located at the bottom of the iron type head 300 extending back from the striking face 325.
  • FIGS. 3B-3D show cross sectional views of various constructions of iron type golf club heads 300B, 300C, 300D. FIG. 3B illustrates an open cavity iron type head 300B. The head 300B includes a top line 310B extending back from the top of the striking face 325B and a sole 315B extending back from the bottom of the striking face 325B. The head 300B also includes a face support rib 340B spanning at least a portion of the backside of the striking face 325B. The face support rib 340B can stiffen a portion of the face 325B, creating a more uniform COR profile across different portions of the striking face 325B of the head 300B, resulting in more uniform shot distances from a variety of impact locations. The face support rib 340B also splits the cavity of the head into an upper open cavity 350B and a lower open cavity 345B. In other embodiments, not illustrated, the head may not have a face support rib and the upper open cavity and lower open cavity can form a single open cavity.
  • FIG. 3C illustrates a semi-hollow iron type golf club head 300C. The head 300C includes a top line 310C extending back from the top of the striking face 325C and a sole 315C extending back from the bottom of the striking face 325C. The head 300C also includes a face support rib 340C spanning the backside of the striking face 325C. The head 300C also includes a back wall 365C offset rearward from the striking face 325C and spanning from the face support rib 340C to the sole 315C. The striking face 325C, face support rib 340C, sole 315C, and back wall 365C form a lower closed cavity 355C. The head 300C also includes an upper open cavity 360C above the face support rib 340C.
  • FIG. 3D illustrates a hollow iron type golf club head 300D. The head 300D includes a top line 310D extending back from the top of the striking face 325D and a sole 315D extending back from the bottom of the striking face 325D. The head 3005D also includes a back wall 375D offset rearward from the striking face 325D and spanning from the top line 310D to the sole 315D. The striking face 325D, top line 310D, sole 315D, and back wall 375D form a closed cavity 370D.
  • One way of improving golf club performance is to incorporate graphmat into the construction of a golf club head. Graphmat provides superior mechanical properties which improves the durability of the club and provides additional discretionary weight to improve golf club head performance. As used herein, “graphmat” is defined as any material comprising graphene which may include, for example, pure graphene, graphene oxide (GO), reduced graphene oxide (rGO), graphene/polymer composites, graphene oxide/polymer composites, reduced graphene oxide/polymer composites, etc. Graphene is a strong, hard material, which is flexible, conductive, and has a low density. Graphene comprises a single-atomic-layer honeycomb lattice of carbon atoms in a sp̂2 hexagonal bonding configuration. Graphene is known as the strongest material ever measured, with a Young's modulus of approximately 1 TPa. Graphene has excellent mechanical properties and high transparency.
  • As used herein, “graphmat” comprises either single layer or multilayer constructions of materials incorporating graphene. In some embodiments, graphmat comprises a plurality of layers of material incorporating graphene. In some embodiments, graphmat comprises a plurality of layers, each layer comprising the same material. In some embodiments, one or more layers can comprise a material different than that of another layer. In some embodiments, each of the layers can comprise graphene. In some embodiments, one or more of the layers may not comprise graphene.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 4-12, graphmat can be incorporated into golf club head construction to improve performance. In some embodiments, graphmat can be added to a backside of the striking face of a golf club head. FIG. 4A shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a metalwood type golf club head 200 including graphmat 400 located on a backside of the striking face 225 of the golf club head 200. FIGS. 4B-D show cross sectional views of embodiments of various constructions of iron type golf club heads 300B, 300C, 300D including graphmat 400 located on a backside of each of the striking faces 325B, 325C, 325D of the golf club heads 300B, 300C, 300D. In some embodiments, the majority of the golf club head 200, 300, 300B, 300C, 300D can be constructed of a metal material, such as titanium or steel. In other embodiments, the majority of the golf club head 200, 300, 300B, 300C, 300D can be constructed of another conventional material utilized to construct golf clubs. In other embodiments, the majority of the golf club head 200, 300B, 300C, 300D can comprise a composite material, which may include for example carbon fiber. By adding graphmat 400 to the construction of the golf club heads 200, 300, 300B, 300C, 300D, characteristics of the golf club head 200,300, 300B, 300C, 300D can be manipulated to improve performance. Graphmat 400 can increase stiffness and selective application to a backside of the striking face 225, 325, 325B, 325C, 325D can help to manipulate the coefficient of restitution (COR) characteristics and profile across the striking face 225, 325, 325B, 325C, 325D. Additionally, graphmat 400 is a resilient material such that its addition to the backside of the striking face 225, 325, 325B, 325C, 325D can increase durability, particularly the ability of the golf club head 200,300, 300B, 300C, 300D to strike numerous golf balls without failing.
  • Additionally, due to the high strength and stiffness of graphmat 400, along with its light weight, the metal portion of the striking face 225, 325, 325B, 325C, 325D can be made thinner, saving weight to be utilized elsewhere in the golf club head 200, 300, 300B, 300C, 300D. This discretionary weight can be used to create different features on the golf club head 200, 300, 300B, 300C, 300D, including but not limited to removable weights, adjustable weights, weight pads, deformable features, etc. In addition, the discretionary weight allows the golf club designer to position weight in different portions of the golf club head 200, 300, 300B, 300C, 300D and/or manipulate the location of the center of gravity (CG) of the head 200, 300, 300B, 300C, 300D. The discretionary weight can be utilized to increase the moment of inertia of the golf club head 200, 300, 300B, 300C, 300D, aiding in the golf club's forgiveness. The discretionary weight can be used to move the CG of the golf club head 200, 300, 300B, 300C, 300D and alter the golf ball spin characteristics produced by the golf club head 200, 300, 300B, 300C, 300D.
  • In regards to metal woods clubs specifically, such as the one illustrated in FIG. 4A, graphmat 400 can be utilized to alter and increase the sweet spot of the striking face 225. Graphmat 400 can be applied strategically to the back of the striking face 225 to create a larger portion of the striking face 225 which has a high COR, allowing the golfer to strike the golf ball slightly off center of the striking face 225 and still have preferable performance characteristics. In some embodiments, the graphmat 400 can be applied with a varying thickness to alter the stiffness profile of the striking face 225. In some embodiments, graphmat's increased strength and resilience can allow the designer to concentrate the stresses produced at impact into a tighter area around the perimeter of the striking face 225, increasing the size of the sweet spot and increasing performance, without decreasing durability.
  • In regards to iron golf clubs specifically, such as the ones illustrated in FIGS. 4B-4D, graphmat 400 can be utilized to manipulate the COR characteristics across the striking face 325B, 325C, 325D. Graphmat 400 can be applied to a backside of the striking face 325B, 325C, 325D to further control the stiffness profile of the face 325B, 325C, 325D, and thus alter the performance characteristics of the head 300B, 300C, 300D. Sometimes, it can be desirable to manipulate the COR characteristics across the striking face 325B, 325C, 325D of the golf club head 300B, 300C, 300D, such that the golf ball travels a similar distance once struck, even if the ball is hit at a variety of locations on the striking face 325B, 325C, 325D of the head 300B, 300C, 300D. This can be a desirable characteristic for golfers who don't always hit the ball in exactly the same spot and wish to be consistent with the distances they shoot with each of their iron type golf clubs.
  • Graphmat can be added to other portions of a golf club head in addition to a backside of the striking face as described above. In some embodiments, it may be advantageous to strengthen and/or lighten additional portions of the golf club head which may include for example, the upper and lower returns of a metalwood type golf club head or the top line and sole of an iron type golf club head. FIG. 5A shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a metalwood type golf club head 200 including graphmat 400 located on a backside of the striking face 225 of the golf club head 200 and along the internal surfaces of the upper return 240 and lower return 245 of the golf club head 200. In some embodiments, it can be advantageous to include graphmat 400 on the returns 240, 245 in addition the striking face 225. Advantages can include increased bonding area to ensure a strong bond between the graphmat 400 and the rest of the golf club head 200 as well as increased strength and durability along the edges of the striking face 225 and the returns 240, 245. FIGS. 5B-D show cross sectional views of embodiments of various constructions of iron type golf club heads 300B, 300C, 300D including graphmat 400 located on a backside of each of the striking faces 325B, 325C, 325D of the golf club heads and along an internal portion of the top line 310B, 310C, 310D and sole 315B, 315C, 315D of the golf club heads 300B, 300C, 300D. In some embodiments, it can be advantageous to include graphmat 400 on an internal surface of the top line 310B, 310C, 310D and sole 315B, 315C, 315D in addition the striking face 325B, 325C, 325D. Advantages to including graphmat 400 on the returns 240, 245 on a metalwood type golf club head 200 or the topline 310B, 310C, 310D and sole 315B, 315C, 315D of an iron type golf club head 300B, 300C, 300D can include increased bonding area to ensure a strong bond between the graphmat 400 and the rest of the golf club head 200, 300B, 300C, 300D as well as increased strength and durability, especially along the edges of the striking face 225, 325B, 325C, 325D.
  • In some embodiments, graphmat can be added to the interior surfaces of a golf club head. FIG. 6A shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a metalwood type golf club head 200 including graphmat 400 located on a majority of an interior surface of the golf club head 200. FIGS. 6B-D show cross sectional views of embodiments of various constructions of iron type golf club heads 300B, 300C, 300D including graphmat 400 located on a majority of an interior surface of the golf club heads 300B, 300C, 300D. Graphmat 400 applied to a majority of the interior surface of a golf club head 200, 300B, 300C, 300D can increase the strength and durability of a golf club head 200, 300B, 300C, 300D, while lightening the structure and providing more discretionary weight for additional features, manipulate the CG location, or increase the moment of inertia of the golf club head 200, 300B, 300C, 300D.
  • In some embodiments, graphmat can be added to the front surface of the striking face and configured to strike the golf ball at impact. FIG. 7A shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a metalwood type golf club head 200 including graphmat 400 located on a frontside of the striking face 225 of the golf club head 200. FIGS. 7B-D show cross sectional views of embodiments of various constructions of iron type golf club heads 300B, 300C, 300D including graphmat 400 located on a frontside of each of the striking faces 325B, 325C, 325D of the golf club heads 300B, 300C, 300D. In some embodiments, graphmat 400 may added on top of a smooth striking face 325B, 325C, 325D, as illustrated in FIGS. 7B-7D. Scorelines may be formed in the graphmat 400 to increase the backspin of the golf ball after being struck by the golf club head 325B, 325C, 325D. In some embodiments, scorelines 380C may be formed in the striking face 325C of the metal portion of the golf club head 300C, with a thin layer of graphmat 400 applied over the top of the of the striking face 325C and following the contour of the striking face 325C, including the scorelines 380C, as illustrated in FIG. 13. Since graphmat 400 is such a strong and durable material, either forming the scorelines in graphmat 400 or having a thin layer of graphmat 400 over and conforming to the scorelines 380C can help minimize scoreline edge wear over time, ensuring maximum spin produced by the golf club even after the golf club head 300C has struck many golf balls. Additionally, graphmat 400 on the frontside of the striking face 225, 325B, 325C, 325D can aid in durability of the golf club head 200, 300B, 300C, 300D. Finally, graphmat 400 on the frontside of the striking face 225, 325B, 325C, 325D can help with performance by lightening the striking face 225, 325B, 325C, 325D of the golf club 200, 300B, 300C, 300D, allowing for the weight to be used elsewhere in the construction of the golf club 200, 300B, 300C, 300D.
  • In some embodiments, various portions of the golf club head can be replaced with graphmat. FIG. 8A shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a metalwood type golf club head 200 wherein at least a portion of the golf club head 200 comprises graphmat. The metalwood type golf club head 200 illustrated in FIG. 8A is divided into several portions including a striking face 225, a crown 210, a sole 215, and a skirt 220. As illustrated in FIG. 8A, the striking face 225 can incorporate the upper return 240 and lower return 245 in a face cup design. In other embodiments, the upper return 240 can be incorporated into the crown 210 and the lower return 245 can be incorporated in the sole 215. In some embodiments, one or more of these portions can be constructed of graphmat. The graphmat portion of the golf club head can be attached to the rest of the golf club head 200 similarly to the attachment methods described above. In other embodiments, the golf club head 200 may not utilize a face cup construction and only the striking face 225 may be replaced with graphmat. FIGS. 8B-D show cross sectional views of embodiments of various constructions of iron type golf club heads 300B, 300C, 300D, wherein at least a portion of each golf club head 300B, 300C, 300D comprises graphmat. The iron type golf club heads 300B, 300C, 300D illustrated in FIGS. 8B-8D include striking faces 325B, 325C, 325D constructed of graphmat and attached to the rest of the golf club head. Replacing the striking face 325B, 325C, 325D with graphmat provides additional discretionary weight to place elsewhere in the golf club head 300B, 300C, 300D, which may for example, increase the moment of inertia of the golf club head 300B, 300C, 300D.
  • In some embodiments, a majority, or all of the golf club head can be constructed of graphmat. FIG. 9A shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a metalwood type golf club 200 head made entirely of graphmat. FIGS. 9B-D show cross sectional views of embodiments of various constructions of iron type golf club heads 300B, 300C, 300D made entirely of graphmat.
  • In some embodiments, a portion, a majority, or an entirety of the external surface of a golf club head can be covered in graphmat. FIG. 10A shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a metalwood type golf club head 200 including graphmat 400 located on a majority of an exterior surface of the golf club 200. FIGS. 10B-D show cross sectional views of embodiments of various constructions of iron type golf club heads 300B, 300C, 300D including graphmat 400 located on a majority of an exterior surface of the golf club heads 200. Graphmat 400 can provide an impermeable surface coating to protect the golf club head 200, 300B, 300C, 300D. Additionally, graphmat 400 is incredibly tough, and having an outer covering of graphmat 400 can increase the durability of the golf club head 200, 300B, 300C, 300D as well as keep it looking new over time. External layers of graphmat 400, such as those illustrated in FIGS. 10A-D, can replace conventional coatings, such as chrome, reducing weight. In addition, graphmat could be used for different external features such as medallions or weights.
  • In some embodiments, graphmat can be strategically attached to different portions of the golf club head to affect the acoustic qualities of the golf club head as it strikes a golf ball. FIG. 11A shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of a metalwood type golf club head 200 including graphmat 400 selectively located on portions of an interior surface of the golf club head 200. FIGS. 11B-D show cross sectional views of embodiments of various constructions of iron type golf club heads 300B, 300C, 300D including graphmat 400 selectively located on portions of an interior surface of the golf club heads 300B, 300C, 300D. FIGS. 12A-C show plan views of an interior of various portions 210, 225, 325 of golf club heads including selective application of graphmat 400 to interior surfaces of the various portions 210, 225, 325 of golf club heads. Graphmat 400 can act as a damping material and by strategically affixing graphmat 400 to various portions 210, 225, 325 of the golf club head, the acoustic signature of the head can be tuned to produce a more pleasing sound. Additionally, graphmat's high stiffness could be used to alter the acoustic qualities of the golf club head as it strikes a golf ball. In some embodiments, as illustrated in FIG. 11A and 12A, graphmat can be applied to a crown 210 or sole 215 of a metalwood type golf club head 200 to alter the sound emitted by the club head 200 upon impact. In other embodiments, as illustrated in FIGS. 11B-D and 12B-C, graphmat can be selectively applied to a backside of the striking face 325, 325B, 325C, 325D to strategically alter the stiffness of the face 325, 325B, 325C, 325D as well as altering the sound produced by the golf club head 300, 300B, 300C, 300D as it strikes a golf ball. In some embodiments, the golf club head can comprise ribs 500, as illustrated in FIGS. 12A-12C, constructed of graphmat running along a portion of the interior of the golf club head 200, 300, 300B, 300C, 300D. In some embodiments the ribs can be located on a backside of the face 225, 325, 325B, 325C, 325D. In some embodiments the ribs can be located on an interior portion of the crown 210. In some embodiments the ribs can be located on an interior portion of the sole 215, 315, 315B, 315C, 315D.
  • Graphmat can be affixed to a golf club head in a variety of ways. In some embodiments, the graphmat can be bonded to a metal portion of a golf club head. In some embodiments, the surface to which the graphmat is to be bonded can be prepared by roughening the surface. The roughening can be achieved through a variety of techniques, which may include for example, sanding, media blasting, chemical etching, etc. In some embodiments, the surface can be cleaned with a degreasing agent. In some embodiments, a corrosion inhibiting primer can be applied to the bonding surface prior to applying the graphmat. A variety of adhesives can be used to bond the graphmat to another portion of the golf club head, which may include, for example, epoxy, bismaleimide, cyanate ester, vinyl ester, polyester, acrylic, methracylate, polyurethane, silicone, etc. In some embodiments, the graphmat may be attached to a composite portion of a golf club head rather than a metal portion. In such embodiments, the graphmat can be bonded similar to the techniques described herein. In other embodiments, a co-curing or co-bonding process could be utilized to attach the graphmat to the composite portion of the golf club head.
  • In regards to the manufacture of graphmat, it is not easy to synthesize large-area, defect free graphene sheets because there are some defects due to graphene boundaries, point defects, and carbon rings with more or less than six carbon atoms. Freestanding graphene can be prepared by the mechanical exfoliation of graphene on the micro-scale with etching, photolithography from epitaxial growth, and the chemical vapor deposition growth of graphene.
  • Technical limitations of the scale-up of graphene production can also be addressed by using a precursor of graphene, graphite and/or graphene oxide. Graphene oxide (GO) is the oxidated form of graphene, consisting of oxygen functional groups on the basal plane and at the edges. Graphene oxide is approximately 1 to 1.3 nm thicker than that of monolayer graphene which measures approximately 0.34 nm thick. GO can be a precursor of graphene via chemical or thermal reduction methods. Oxygen-containing functional groups in GO are mostly eliminated by reduction processes to create a reduced form of graphene oxide (rGO) that mimics the properties of graphene. In general, there are various reduction methods, such as high-temperature thermal reduction, low-temperature chemical reduction, and irradiation-assisted reduction. Nanocomposites including graphene can also be useful. Nanosheets or nanoplatelets of graphene and its derivatives can be physically or chemically mixed with polymers to create graphene/polymer nanocomposites.
  • With the use of a well-dispersed GO solution, it is possible to prepare thin GO films on various substrates. Thin GO films and thick GO papers have interlocked layered structures of GO sheets. The layered structure leads to great mechanical strength and flexibility, even for films with sub-micrometer thicknesses. Such GO films show an elastic modulus of 207.6 GPa, which is lower than that of graphene but still very high. Thin GO films can be prepared with the Langmuir-Blodgett, drop-casting, dip-coating, spraying, electrophoresis, and spin-coating methods. Thickness of the film can be controlled via GO concentration adjustment and by number of coating cycles. Graphene oxide can easily be dispersed into aqueous polar solvents (i.e. water) due to its hydrophilic nature.
  • Additionally, layer-by-layer (LBL) self-assembly on polymers is a useful method for preparing barrier GO/polymer films. Using LBL self-assembly, nanometer thick GO layers can be achieved by the adsorption of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes on a polymeric substrate. GO has negative charges on the surfaces; therefore, GO can be used to form a thin barrier film with polycations with LBL deposition.
  • In describing the present technology herein, certain features that are described in the context of separate implementations also can be implemented in combination in a single implementation. Conversely, various features that are described in the context of a single implementation also can be implemented in multiple implementations separately or in any suitable sub combination. Moreover, although features may be described above as acting in certain combinations and even initially claimed as such, one or more features from a claimed combination can in some cases be excised from the combination, and the claimed combination may be directed to a sub combination or variation of a sub combination.
  • Various modifications to the implementations described in this disclosure may be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the generic principles defined herein may be applied to other implementations without departing from the spirit or scope of this disclosure. Thus, the claims are not intended to be limited to the implementations shown herein, but are to be accorded the widest scope consistent with this disclosure as well as the principle and novel features disclosed herein.

Claims (20)

We claim:
1. A golf club head, the golf club head comprising:
a body having a heel side and a toe side, said body comprising a hosel configured to engage a shaft, a striking face, a sole extending back from a bottom of said striking face, and a topline located at a top of said striking face;
wherein said body is constructed from a first material; and
wherein said golf club head further comprises graphmat affixed to a rear surface of said striking face, said rear surface opposite a front surface of said striking face, said front surface configured to strike a golf ball.
2. The golf club head of claim 1, wherein said graphmat covers a majority of said rear surface of said striking face.
3. The golf club head of claim 2, wherein said graphmat is bonded to said body, and wherein said first material comprises metal.
4. The golf club head of claim 2, wherein said graphmat is affixed to an internal portion of said top line and an internal portion of said sole.
5. The golf club head of claim 4, wherein said graphmat comprises graphene oxide.
6. The golf club head of claim 4, wherein said graphmat comprises a composite comprising graphene and a polymer.
7. The golf club head of claim 4, wherein said graphmat comprises a plurality of layers of graphene.
8. A golf club head, the golf club head comprising:
a body having a heel side and a toe side, said body comprising a hosel configured to engage a shaft, said body having a striking face, and a sole extending back from a bottom of said striking face;
wherein said body is constructed from a first material; and
wherein said golf club head further comprises graphmat affixed to a front surface of said striking face, said front surface configured to strike a golf ball.
9. The golf club head of claim 8, wherein said graphmat covers a majority of said front surface of said striking face.
10. The golf club head of claim 9, wherein said graphmat is bonded to said front surface, wherein said first material comprises metal.
11. The golf club head of claim 8, wherein said front surface of said striking face comprises a facial contour comprising plurality of scorelines formed in said striking face.
12. The golf club head of claim 8, wherein said graphmat is applied to an entirety of said facial contour of said striking face, wherein said graphmat extends into the interior of each of said plurality of scorelines.
13. The golf club head of claim 9, wherein said graphmat comprises graphene oxide.
14. The golf club head of claim 9, wherein said graphmat comprises a composite comprising graphene and a polymer.
15. The golf club head of claim 9, wherein said graphmat comprises a plurality of layers of graphene.
16. A golf club head, the golf club head comprising:
a body comprising a hosel, a crown, a sole, and a striking face, wherein said hosel is configured to engage a shaft, wherein said striking face is located at a front of the golf club head, wherein said crown is located at a top of said golf club head and extends back from a top of said striking face, wherein said sole is located at a bottom of said golf club head and extends back from a bottom of said striking face; and
graphmat affixed to an internal surface of said body.
17. The golf club head of claim 16, wherein said body is constructed of a metal material, wherein said graphmat covers a majority of a rear surface of said striking face, said rear surface opposite a front surface of said striking face, said front surface configured to strike a golf ball.
18. The golf club head of claim 17, wherein said body comprises an upper return and a lower return, wherein said graphmat is affixed to an internal surface of said upper return and said lower return, and wherein said graphmat is bonded to said body.
19. The golf club head of claim 18, wherein said graphmat comprises graphene oxide.
20. The golf club head of claim 16, wherein said striking face and said sole are constructed of a metal material, and wherein at least a portion of said crown is constructed of graphmat.
US14/461,133 2014-08-15 2014-08-15 Golf club head Abandoned US20160045792A1 (en)

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