US20160346634A1 - Golf Clubs and Golf Club Heads - Google Patents

Golf Clubs and Golf Club Heads Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20160346634A1
US20160346634A1 US14/726,290 US201514726290A US2016346634A1 US 20160346634 A1 US20160346634 A1 US 20160346634A1 US 201514726290 A US201514726290 A US 201514726290A US 2016346634 A1 US2016346634 A1 US 2016346634A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
member
face
rear
torsion bar
ball striking
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US14/726,290
Inventor
David N. Franklin
Michael Wallans
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Karsten Manufacturing Corp
Original Assignee
Nike Inc
Priority date (The priority date 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 date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Nike Inc filed Critical Nike Inc
Priority to US14/726,290 priority Critical patent/US20160346634A1/en
Assigned to NIKE, INC. reassignment NIKE, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: WALLANS, MICHAEL
Assigned to NIKE USA, INC. reassignment NIKE USA, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: FRANKLIN, DAVID N.
Assigned to NIKE, INC. reassignment NIKE, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: NIKE USA, INC.
Publication of US20160346634A1 publication Critical patent/US20160346634A1/en
Assigned to KARSTEN MANUFACTURING CORPORATION reassignment KARSTEN MANUFACTURING CORPORATION ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: NIKE, INC.
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

Links

Images

Classifications

    • 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
    • A63B53/0487Heads for putters
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B53/00Golf clubs
    • A63B53/04Heads
    • A63B53/06Heads adjustable
    • 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
    • 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
    • A63B2102/00Application of clubs, bats, rackets or the like to the sporting activity ; particular sports involving the use of balls and clubs, bats, rackets, or the like
    • A63B2102/02Tennis
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2102/00Application of clubs, bats, rackets or the like to the sporting activity ; particular sports involving the use of balls and clubs, bats, rackets, or the like
    • A63B2102/04Badminton
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2102/00Application of clubs, bats, rackets or the like to the sporting activity ; particular sports involving the use of balls and clubs, bats, rackets, or the like
    • A63B2102/06Squash
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2102/00Application of clubs, bats, rackets or the like to the sporting activity ; particular sports involving the use of balls and clubs, bats, rackets, or the like
    • A63B2102/14Lacrosse
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2102/00Application of clubs, bats, rackets or the like to the sporting activity ; particular sports involving the use of balls and clubs, bats, rackets, or the like
    • A63B2102/18Baseball, rounders or similar games
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2102/00Application of clubs, bats, rackets or the like to the sporting activity ; particular sports involving the use of balls and clubs, bats, rackets, or the like
    • A63B2102/18Baseball, rounders or similar games
    • A63B2102/182Softball
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2102/00Application of clubs, bats, rackets or the like to the sporting activity ; particular sports involving the use of balls and clubs, bats, rackets, or the like
    • A63B2102/22Field hockey
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2102/00Application of clubs, bats, rackets or the like to the sporting activity ; particular sports involving the use of balls and clubs, bats, rackets, or the like
    • A63B2102/24Ice hockey

Abstract

Ball striking devices, such as golf clubs, have a head that includes a face member having a striking face and a rear side opposite the face, and a rear member positioned behind the face member and connected to the rear side of the face member. A connection assembly includes a torsion bar connected to the face member and the rear member, such that the torsion bar is the most rigid point of connection between the face member and the rear member. The torsion bar is configured to create a mass damping effect upon an impact on the face, such that the torsion bar exerts at least a counterclockwise torsional force on the face during the impact on the toe portion of the face and at least a clockwise torsional force on the face during the impact on the heel portion of the face, to create the mass damping effect.

Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The invention relates generally to ball striking devices, such as golf clubs and golf club heads, utilizing mass damping effects at impact. Certain aspects of this invention relate to golf club heads having a rear member configured to create a mass damping effect upon an impact on the face.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Golf clubs and many other ball striking devices can encounter undesirable effects when the ball being struck impacts the ball striking head away from the optimum location, which may be referred to as an “off-center impact.” In a golf club head, this optimum location is, in many cases, aligned laterally and/or vertically with the center of gravity (CG) of the head. Even slightly off-center impacts can sometimes significantly affect the performance of the head, and can result in reduced velocity and/or energy transfer to the ball, inconsistent ball flight direction and/or spin caused by twisting of the head, increased vibration that can produce undesirable sound and/or feel, and other undesirable effects. Technologies that can reduce or eliminate some or all of these undesirable effects could have great usefulness in golf club heads and other ball striking devices.
  • The present devices and methods are provided to address at least some of the problems discussed above and other problems, and to provide advantages and aspects not provided by prior ball striking devices of this type. A full discussion of the features and advantages of the present invention is deferred to the following detailed description, which proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY
  • The following presents a general summary of aspects of the invention in order to provide a basic understanding of the invention. This summary is not an extensive overview of the invention. It is not intended to identify key or critical elements of the invention or to delineate the scope of the invention. The following summary merely presents some concepts of the invention in a general form as a prelude to the more detailed description provided below.
  • Aspects of the disclosure relate to ball striking devices, such as golf clubs, with a head that includes a face member including a face having a striking surface configured for striking a ball and a rear side located opposite the striking face, with the striking face having a heel portion and a toe portion, and a rear member positioned behind the face member and connected to the rear side of the face member, with the rear member having a heel end and a toe end. A connection assembly connects the face member to the rear member, and the connection assembly includes a torsion bar having a first connection point connected to the face member and rotationally fixed with respect to the face member, and a second connection point connected to the rear member and rotationally fixed with respect to the rear member. The torsion bar is configured to create a mass damping effect upon an impact on the striking face, such that the torsion bar is configured to exert at least a counterclockwise torsional force on the face during the impact on the toe portion of the face and to exert at least a clockwise torsional force on the face during the impact on the heel portion of the face, when viewed from above, to create the mass damping effect.
  • According to one aspect, the torsion bar is the most rigid point of connection between the face member and the rear member.
  • According to another aspect, the torsion bar includes a pin having a non-circular cross-section and being fixedly connected to one of the face member and the rear member, and the connection assembly further includes a receiver in the other of the face member and the rear member. The receiver has a complementary non-circular cross-section and receives the pin therein, such that the non-circular cross-section of the pin and the complementary non-circular cross-section of the receiver rotationally fix the pin with respect to the receiver. In one configuration, the receiver may be a blind hole.
  • According to a further aspect, the head also includes a resilient material engaging the rear member and the rear side of the face member and positioned between a front side of the rear member and the face member on the heel end and the toe end of the rear member, where the resilient material has greater flexibility than the torsion bar. In one configuration, the resilient material is configured to be compressed between the rear member and the face member during the impact on the face.
  • According to yet another aspect, the torsion bar is welded to the face member at the first connection point and is welded to the rear member at the second connection point.
  • According to other aspects, the first connection point of the torsion bar may be positioned substantially equidistant from a heel edge and a toe edge of the face member, and/or the first connection point of the torsion bar may be generally aligned with a center of gravity of the face member or the rear member.
  • Additional aspects of the disclosure relate to ball striking devices, such as golf clubs, with a head that includes a face member having a striking face configured for striking a ball and a rear side opposite the striking face, with the striking face having a heel portion and a toe portion, and a rear member positioned behind the face member and connected to the rear side of the face member, with the rear member having a heel end and a toe end. A connection assembly connects the face member to the rear member, and the connection assembly includes a torsion bar connected to the face member and the rear member, such that the torsion bar is the most rigid point of connection between the face member and the rear member. The torsion bar is configured to create a mass damping effect upon an impact on the face, such that the torsion bar is configured to exert at least a counterclockwise torsional force on the face during the impact on the toe portion of the face and to exert at least a clockwise torsional force on the face during the impact on the heel portion of the face, when viewed from above, to create the mass damping effect. The torsion bar may be welded to the face member and/or the rear member in one configuration.
  • According to one aspect, the torsion bar includes a pin having a non-circular cross-section and being fixedly connected to one of the face member and the rear member, and the connection assembly further includes a receiver in the other of the face member and the rear member, receiving the pin therein. The receiver has a complementary non-circular cross-section, and the non-circular cross-section of the pin and the complementary non-circular cross-section of the receiver rotationally fix the pin with respect to the receiver.
  • According to another aspect, the face member further includes a wall extending rearwardly on a rear surface of the face member, and the rear member is connected to the torsion bar on a top side of the wall.
  • According to a further aspect, the face member further includes a wall extending rearwardly on a rear surface of the face member, and the rear member is connected to the torsion bar on a bottom side of the wall.
  • According to other aspects, the torsion bar is positioned substantially equidistant from a heel edge and a toe edge of the face member, and/or the torsion bar is generally aligned with a center of gravity of the face member or the rear member.
  • Further aspects of the disclosure relate to ball striking devices, such as golf clubs, with a head that includes a face member having a striking face configured for striking a ball and a rear side opposite the striking face, with the striking face having a heel portion and a toe portion, and a rear member positioned behind the face member and connected to the rear side of the face member, with the rear member having a heel end and a toe end. A connection assembly connects the face member to the rear member, and the connection assembly includes a pin having a first connection point connected to and rotationally fixed with respect to one of the face member and the rear member, and a receiver located on another of the face member and the rear member, with the pin further having a second connection point received within the receiver. A resilient material is positioned within the receiver, and the resilient material engages the pin and the receiver and separates the pin from the receiver, such that the resilient material permits the pin to create a mass damping effect by flexing the resilient material. The connection assembly is configured to create the mass damping effect upon an impact on the face, such that the resilient material is configured to be compressed at the toe end of the rear member during the impact on the toe portion of the face, and the resilient material is configured to be compressed at the heel end of the rear member during the impact on the heel portion of the face. The pin and the receiver may have complementary non-circular cross-sections in one configuration.
  • According to one aspect, the resilient material is a gasket connected to an inner surface of the receiver and defining an opening receiving and engaging the pin.
  • According to another aspect, the resilient material is a lining on the pin that engages an inner surface of the receiver when the pin is received within the receiver.
  • According to further aspects, the pin and the receiver may be positioned substantially equidistant from a heel edge and a toe edge of the face member, and/or the pin and the receiver may be generally aligned with a center of gravity of the face member or the rear member.
  • Other aspects of the invention relate to a golf club or other ball striking device including a head or other ball striking device as described above and a shaft connected to the head/device and configured for gripping by a user. The shaft may be connected to the face member of the head, and may form a golf putter in one configuration. Aspects of the invention relate to a set of golf clubs including at least one golf club as described above. Yet additional aspects of the invention relate to a method for manufacturing a ball striking device as described above, including connecting a rear member and/or a resilient material to a face member as described above.
  • Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the attached drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • To allow for a more full understanding of the present invention, it will now be described by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a top view of one embodiment of a ball striking device according to aspects of the present disclosure, in the form of a golf putter;
  • FIG. 2 is a cross-section view taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a top rear perspective view of another embodiment of a ball striking device according to aspects of the present disclosure, in the form of a golf putter;
  • FIG. 4 is a top view of the device of FIG. 3;
  • FIG. 5 is a side view of the device of FIG. 3;
  • FIG. 6 is a cross-section view taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 4;
  • FIG. 7 is a top rear perspective view of another embodiment of a ball striking device according to aspects of the present disclosure, in the form of a golf putter;
  • FIG. 8 is a top view of the device of FIG. 7;
  • FIG. 9 is a side view of the device of FIG. 7;
  • FIG. 10 is a cross-section view taken along lines 10-10 of FIG. 8;
  • FIG. 11 is a top view of another embodiment of a ball striking device according to aspects of the present disclosure, in the form of a golf putter;
  • FIG. 12 is a top view of another embodiment of a ball striking device according to aspects of the present disclosure, in the form of a golf putter;
  • FIG. 13 is a top view of another embodiment of a ball striking device according to aspects of the present disclosure, in the form of a golf putter;
  • FIG. 14 is a cross-section view taken along lines 14-14 of FIG. 13;
  • FIG. 15 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a connection assembly configured for use with a ball striking device according to aspects of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 16 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a connection assembly configured for use with a ball striking device according to aspects of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 17 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a connection assembly configured for use with a ball striking device according to aspects of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 18 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a connection assembly configured for use with a ball striking device according to aspects of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 19 is a side cross-section view of another embodiment of a connection assembly configured for use with a ball striking device according to aspects of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 20 is a top view of another embodiment of a ball striking device according to aspects of the present disclosure, in the form of a golf putter;
  • FIG. 21 is a top view of another embodiment of a ball striking device according to aspects of the present disclosure, in the form of a golf putter;
  • FIG. 22 is a top view of another embodiment of a ball striking device according to aspects of the present disclosure, in the form of a golf putter;
  • FIG. 23 is a top view of another embodiment of a ball striking device according to aspects of the present disclosure, in the form of a golf putter; and
  • FIG. 24 is a top view of another embodiment of a ball striking device according to aspects of the present disclosure, in the form of a golf putter.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • In the following description of various example structures according to the invention, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration various example devices, systems, and environments in which aspects of the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other specific arrangements of parts, example devices, systems, and environments may be utilized and structural and functional modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention. Also, while the terms “top,” “bottom,” “front,” “back,” “side,” “rear,” “primary,” “secondary,” and the like may be used in this specification to describe various example features and elements of the invention, these terms are used herein as a matter of convenience, e.g., based on the example orientations shown in the figures or the orientation during typical use. Additionally, the term “plurality,” as used herein, indicates any number greater than one, either disjunctively or conjunctively, as necessary, up to an infinite number. Nothing in this specification should be construed as requiring a specific three dimensional orientation of structures in order to fall within the scope of this invention. Also, the reader is advised that the attached drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale.
  • The following terms are used in this specification, and unless otherwise noted or clear from the context, these terms have the meanings provided below.
  • “Ball striking device” means any device constructed and designed to strike a ball or other similar objects (such as a hockey puck). In addition to generically encompassing “ball striking heads,” which are described in more detail below, examples of “ball striking devices” include, but are not limited to: golf clubs, putters, croquet mallets, polo mallets, baseball or softball bats, cricket bats, tennis rackets, badminton rackets, field hockey sticks, ice hockey sticks, and the like.
  • “Ball striking head” means the portion of a “ball striking device” that includes and is located immediately adjacent (optionally surrounding) the portion of the ball striking device designed to contact the ball (or other object) in use. In some examples, such as many golf clubs and putters, the ball striking head may be a separate and independent entity from any shaft or handle member, and it may be attached to the shaft or handle in some manner.
  • The term “shaft” includes the portion of a ball striking device (if any) that the user holds during a swing of a ball striking device.
  • “Integral joining technique” means a technique for joining two pieces so that the two pieces effectively become a single, integral piece, including, but not limited to, irreversible joining techniques, such as adhesively joining, cementing, welding, brazing, soldering, or the like. In many bonds made by “integral joining techniques,” separation of the joined pieces cannot be accomplished without structural damage thereto.
  • “Approximately” or “about” means within a range of +/−10% of the nominal value modified by such term.
  • In general, aspects of this invention relate to ball striking devices, such as golf club heads, golf clubs, putter heads, putters, and the like. Such ball striking devices, according to at least some examples of the invention, may include a ball striking head and a ball striking surface. In the case of a golf club, the ball striking surface may constitute a substantially flat surface on one face of the ball striking head, although some curvature may be provided (e.g., “bulge” or “roll” characteristics). Some more specific aspects described herein relate to putters and putter heads, although aspects described herein may also be utilized in wood-type golf clubs and golf club heads, including drivers, fairway woods, hybrid-type clubs, as well as iron-type golf clubs, other types of golf clubs or other ball striking devices, if desired.
  • According to various aspects of this invention, the ball striking device may be formed of one or more of a variety of materials, such as metals (including metal alloys), ceramics, polymers, composites, fiber-reinforced composites, and wood, and the devices may be formed in one of a variety of configurations, without departing from the scope of the invention. In one embodiment, some or all components of the head, including the face and at least a portion of the body of the head, are made of metal materials. It is understood that the head also may contain components made of several different materials. Additionally, the components may be formed by various forming methods. For example, metal components (such as titanium, aluminum, titanium alloys, aluminum alloys, steels (such as stainless steels), and the like) may be formed by forging, molding, casting, stamping, machining, and/or other known techniques. In another example, polymer or composite components, such as carbon fiber-polymer composites, can be manufactured by a variety of composite processing techniques, such as prepreg processing, powder-based techniques, injection molding, mold infiltration, and/or other known techniques.
  • The various figures in this application illustrate examples of ball striking devices and portions thereof according to this invention. When the same reference number appears in more than one drawing, that reference number is used consistently in this specification and the drawings to refer to the same or similar parts throughout.
  • At least some examples of ball striking devices according to this invention relate to golf club head structures, including heads for putter-type golf clubs. Such devices may include a one-piece construction or a multiple-piece construction. Example structures of ball striking devices according to this invention will be described in detail below in conjunction with FIGS. 1-24, and will be referred to generally using reference numeral “100.”
  • FIGS. 1-2 illustrate an example of a ball striking device 100 in the form of a golf putter, in accordance with at least some examples of this invention. The ball striking device 100 includes a ball striking head 102 and a shaft 104 connected to the ball striking head 102 and extending therefrom. The ball striking head 102 of the ball striking device 100 of FIGS. 1-2 has a face member 128 that includes a face 112 and a hosel 109 extending therefrom. The face member 128 may include one or more structures connected to and/or located behind the face 112 that may be referred to as part of a “body” of the golf club head 102. The ball striking head 102 also has a rear member 130 connected to the face member 128. In some embodiments, the head 102 may also have a resilient material 140 positioned between the face member 128 and the rear member 130, as shown in FIGS. 20-24 and described in greater detail below. The face member 128, the rear member 130, and the resilient material 140 (if present) may combine to define the golf club head body 107 in some embodiments. The shaft 104 may be connected to the body 107 at the hosel 109, as shown in FIG. 1, and may include a grip (not shown) in some embodiments. Any desired hosel and/or head/shaft interconnection structure may be used without departing from this invention, including conventional hosel or other head/shaft interconnection structures as are known and used in the art, or an adjustable, releasable, and/or interchangeable hosel or other head/shaft interconnection structure such as those shown and described in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2009/0062029, filed on Aug. 28, 2007, U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2013/0184098, filed on Oct. 31, 2012, and U.S. Pat. No. 8,533,060, issued Sep. 10, 2013, all of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties and made parts hereof.
  • For reference, the head 102 generally has a golf club head body 107 with a top 116, a bottom or sole 118, a heel 120 (also called a heel side or heel edge) proximate the hosel 109, a toe 122 (also called a toe side or toe edge) distal from the hosel 109, a front side 124, and a back or rear side 126. The shape and design of the head 102 may be partially dictated by the intended use of the device 100. In the club 100 shown in FIGS. 1-2, the head 102 has a wide, narrow or short face 112, as the club 100 is designed for use as a putter, intended to hit the ball short distances in a rolling manner. It is understood that the head 102 may be configured as a different type of ball striking device in other embodiments, including other types of putters or similar devices. In other applications, such as for a different type of golf club, the head may be designed to have different dimensions and configurations. If, for example, the head 102 is configured as a driver, the club head may have a volume of at least 400 cc, and in some structures, at least 450 cc, or even at least 460 cc. When configured as a fairway wood head, the club head may have a volume of at least 120-230 cc, and when configured as a hybrid club head, the club head may have a volume of at least 85-140 cc. Other appropriate sizes for other club heads may be readily determined by those skilled in the art.
  • The face 112 is located at the front 124 of the face member 128, and has a striking surface or ball striking surface 110 located thereon. The ball striking surface 110 is configured to face a ball in use (not shown), and is adapted to strike the ball when the device 100 is set in motion, such as by swinging. As shown, the ball striking surface 110 occupies most of the face 112. The face 112 may include some curvature in the top to bottom and/or heel to toe directions (e.g., bulge and roll characteristics), and may also include functional face grooves, as is known and is conventional in the art. In other embodiments, the surface 110 may occupy a different proportion of the face 112, or the face member 128 may have multiple ball striking surfaces 110 thereon. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-2, the ball striking surface 110 has little to no incline or loft angle, to cause the ball to roll when struck. In other embodiments, the ball striking surface 110 may have an incline or loft angle, to launch the ball on a trajectory, such as for a wood-type or iron-type club head. Additionally, the face 112 may have one or more internal or external inserts in some embodiments.
  • It is understood that the face member 128 and/or the hosel 109 can be formed as a single piece or as separate pieces that are joined together, and that the head 102 may have an external hosel 109 structure in one embodiment. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-2, as well as the embodiments shown in FIGS. 3-24, the face member 128, including the face 112 and potentially the hosel 109, are formed of a single, integral piece. In other embodiments, the face member 128 may be formed of multiple pieces, such as by using an insert to form all or part of the face 112, or a separate body member or members connected behind the face 112. Such multiple pieces may be joined using an integral joining technique, such as welding, cementing, or adhesively joining, or other known techniques, including many mechanical joining techniques, such as releasable mechanical engagement techniques. Further, the hosel 109 may also be formed as a separate piece, which may be joined using these or other techniques, or may be connected to the rear member 130. In an exemplary embodiment, the face 112 may include a face insert (not shown) that forms at least a portion of the ball striking surface 110, including inserts as described in U.S. Patent Application Publication 2010/0234127, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety and made part hereof.
  • The face member 128 in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-2 has a face portion 160 that defines at least a portion of the face 112 and a rearwardly-extending portion or rear portion 161 that extends rearwardly from the face portion 160. The face portion 160 generally defines at least a portion of the striking surface 110, which may also be partially defined by a face insert, if present. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-2, the rear side 127 of the face member 128 has a rear surface 131 opposite the striking surface 110. The rear side 127 may be partially or entirely defined on the face portion 160 of the face member 128 in one embodiment, and may be considered to be a rear surface of the face 112 in the configuration illustrated in FIGS. 1-2. The face portion 160 may also have one or more rear cavities (not shown) in the rear side 127 in one embodiment. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1-5, the face member 128 and the rear member 130 each forms at least a portion of the sole 118. Additionally, in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-2, the rear portion 161 has a significantly smaller width (heel-to-toe) than the face portion 160, but may have a different width (including near or equal to the width of the face portion 160) in another embodiment.
  • The ball striking device 100 may include a shaft 104 connected to or otherwise engaged with the ball striking head 102, as shown in FIG. 1. The shaft 104 is adapted to be gripped by a user to swing the ball striking device 100 to strike the ball, and may have a grip (not shown) for this purpose. The shaft 104 can be formed as a separate piece connected to the head 102, such as by connecting to the hosel 109, as described above. In other embodiments, at least a portion of the shaft 104 may be an integral piece with the head 102, and/or the head 102 may not contain a hosel 109 or may contain an internal hosel structure. Still further embodiments are contemplated without departing from the scope of the invention. The shaft 104 may be constructed from one or more of a variety of materials, including metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, or wood. In some exemplary embodiments, the shaft 104, or at least portions thereof, may be constructed of a metal, such as stainless steel, or a composite, such as a carbon/graphite fiber-polymer composite. However, it is contemplated that the shaft 104 may be constructed of different materials without departing from the scope of the invention, including conventional materials that are known and used in the art.
  • In general, the head 102 of the ball striking device 100 has a rear member 130 (which may also be referred to as a “weight member”) connected to the face member 128 at the rear side 127 of the face member 128, and the rear member 130 has a front surface 135 that faces and confronts the rear side 127 of the face member 128. In general, the rear member 130 is configured to create a mass damping effect upon impact of the ball on the striking surface 110, including an off-center impact. The rear member 130 may be connected to the face member 128 in a number of different configurations that permit the mass damping to occur between the rear member 130 and the face member 128, several of which are described below and shown in the FIGS. In other embodiments, the rear member 130 may be differently configured, and/or the head 102 may contain multiple rear members 130. For example, the rear members 130 as shown in the FIGS. may be divided into two, three, or more separate rear members 130 in another embodiment, which may be connected to the face member 128 in similar or different configurations. The rear member 130 in all embodiments may affect or influence the center of gravity of the head 102. Additionally, the rear member 130 (and other weight members described herein) may be made of any of a variety of different materials, which may be selected based on their weight or density. For example, the rear member 130 may be made from a metallic material such as stainless steel and/or tungsten, or may be made from other materials, for example polymers that may be doped with a heavier material (e.g. tungsten). The rear member 130 may also include portions that may be more heavily weighted than others, and may include weighted inserts or other inserts. FIG. 12 illustrates one embodiment where the rear member 130 has fixed weights 172 in the perimeter weighting portions 132, which are illustrated in this embodiment to be removable threaded weights, as well as one or more movable weights 173.
  • The rear member 130 may have various different dimensions and structural properties in various embodiments. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-2, the rear member 130 has a heel end 136 and a toe end 137, with a lateral width defined between the heel and toe ends 136, 137. The lateral width of the rear member 130 is the same or approximately the same as the lateral width of the face member 128, measured between the heel 120 and toe 122; however, in other embodiments, these widths may be different. Additionally, the rear member 130 has its mass distributed proportionally more toward the heel and toe ends 136, 137, so that the rear member 130 has increased mass at the heel and toe ends 136, 137 relative to the center portion 167. In one embodiment, the rear member 130 has enlarged portions 132 (also referred to as perimeter weighting portions) at the heel and toe ends 136, 137 that have increased size in at least one dimension relative to the center portion 167, such as the embodiment of FIGS. 1-2, where the heel and toe ends 136, 137 have a thickness (top to bottom) and a cross-sectional area that are greater than at the center portion 167. In this configuration, the rear member 130 includes two perimeter weighting portions 132 at the heel and toe ends 136, 137 and a recessed portion or thinned portion 133 having decreased top-to-bottom thickness at the center portion 167 of the rear member 130. The thicker ends 136, 137 and thinned portion 133 at the center of the rear member 130 are formed by recession of both the top surface 165 and bottom surface 164 of the rear member 130 in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-2, but may be accomplished by recession of only one of the bottom and top surfaces 164, 165 in other embodiments, or by other configurations. In other embodiments, the perimeter weighting members 132 may additionally or alternately have an enlarged width (front to rear). In another embodiment, increased weight at the heel and toe ends 136, 137 can be achieved by the use of heavier and/or more dense material at the heel and toe ends 136, 137 than at the center portion 167. For example, the heel and toe ends 136, 137 may have permanent or removable weights 172 as described herein, or the heel and toe ends 136, 137 may be formed of a different (i.e., more dense) material than the center portion 167. A combination of any of these above techniques for perimeter weighting may be used in further embodiments. This perimeter-weighted configuration can achieve greater perimeter weight distribution and increased moment of inertia for the club head 102 and for the rear member 130.
  • The rear member 130 in one embodiment may be positioned so that the CG of the rear member 130 is substantially aligned with the CG of the face member 128. In one embodiment, the CGs of the rear member 130 and the face member 128 are laterally aligned, and these respective CGs may additionally or alternately be vertically aligned in another embodiment. In one embodiment, the face member 128 may have alignment indicia (not shown) aligned with the CG of the face member 128 and/or the CG of the rear member 130; however this indicia may be absent or differently located in other embodiments.
  • The rear member 130 may have varying sizes and/or densities in different embodiments. For example, in one embodiment, the rear member 130 may make up about 25% or more of the total weight of the head 102, or about 25-45% of the total weight of the head 102 in another embodiment. In an example embodiment, the total weight of the head 102 may be about 340 g, with the rear member 130 having a weight of about 100 g.
  • The head 102 further includes a connection assembly 150 that connects the face member 128 to the rear member 130 in a configuration that permits the rear member 130 to create a mass damping effect upon an impact on the striking surface 110. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1-2, the connection assembly 150 includes a torsion bar 151 having a first connection point 152 connected to the face member 128 and a second connection point 153 connected to the rear member 130. The torsion bar is configured to generate a torsional force between the first and second connection points 152, 153 when the face member 128 begins to deflect rearward at the heel 120 or toe 122. The torsion bar 151 may be rotationally fixed with respect to the face member 128 at the first connection point 152, and/or the torsion bar 151 may be rotationally fixed with respect to the rear member 130 at the second connection point 153, in one embodiment. Additionally, in one embodiment, the torsion bar 151 may form the most rigid point of connection between the face member 128 and the rear member 130, and the embodiments in FIGS. 1-24 are configured in this way. In a further embodiment, the torsion bar 151 may be the only point of connection between the face member 128 and the rear member 130, as in the embodiments of FIGS. 1-10, 12-14, and 19.
  • The torsion bar 151 may be aligned or substantially aligned with the CG of the rear member 130 or the CG of the face member 128, or both. In one embodiment, the CGs of the rear member 130 and the face member 128 are laterally aligned, and the torsion bar 151 is laterally aligned with both of these CG's. Additionally, the torsion bar 151 and the CG's of the rear member 130 and the face member 128 are all substantially equidistant from the heel 120 and toe 122 of the face member 128 and/or substantially equidistant from the heel end 136 and toe end 137 of the rear member 130, in one embodiment. The embodiments in FIGS. 1-24 are all configured in this manner. Further, in one embodiment, the second connection point 153 may be substantially vertically aligned with the CG of the rear member 130 and/or the face member 128, such as in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-2. In other embodiments, the torsion bar 151 may not be aligned with the CG's of the rear member 130 and/or the face member 128. The “aligned” configuration as illustrated, e.g., in FIGS. 1-2 produces relatively equal responses on impacts more toward the heel 120 as compared to impacts more toward the toe. A configuration where the torsion bar 151 is not laterally aligned with the CG's of the rear member 130 and/or the face member 128 can produce greater or lesser responses for impacts toward the heel 120 as compared to impacts toward the toe 122. This differential response can be used for customization purposes, such as for a golfer with an off-balanced swing/stroke or based on the hitting pattern of the golfer.
  • In one example embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 1-2, the torsion bar 151 is in the form of a pin that is rotationally fixed to the face member 128 and the rear member 130. As used herein, two components may be considered to be “rotationally fixed” to each other if no significant rotation of one component with respect to the other can be accomplished without deformation (e.g., bending, twisting, flexing, etc.) of one or both components. It is understood that “deformation” may refer to elastic deformation, plastic deformation, fracture, or any other type of deformation. In various embodiments, this rotational fixing can be accomplished by a variety of different structures, including integral forming; a bonding and/or integral joining technique, such as welding, brazing, soldering, adhesive, etc.; a male/female connection using a friction-fit or interference fit; a male/female connection using a non-circular pin and receiver, various interlocking structures, such as a tab-and-slot structure or a gear tooth structure, various fasteners, as well as combinations of these structures and other structures that can accomplish rotational fixing. FIGS. 15-18 illustrate different embodiments of male/female connection structures that may be used, which are described in greater detail below. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-2, the torsion bar 151 is rotationally fixed to the face member 128 at the top and bottom ends of the torsion bar 151, forming two first connection points 152. The torsion bar 151 in FIGS. 1-2 is illustrated as being bonded (e.g., by butt-welding) at both ends to the rear portion 161 of the face member 128 to accomplish this rotational fixing. In other embodiments, the torsion bar 151 in FIGS. 1-2 may be connected in a different manner, such as using a non-circular pin-and-hole connection at one or both ends, or a different structure. In the configuration of FIGS. 1-2, the rear portion 161 includes a top member 161A and a bottom member 161B, with the torsion bar 151 spanning between the top and bottom members 161A, 161B, and the second connection point 153 with the rear member 130 being positioned between the two first connection points 152.
  • The second connection point 152 in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-2 utilizes a connection member 155 connected to the front surface of the rear member 130 and extending forwardly from the rear member 130, forming a T-joint weld connection with the torsion bar 151. The second connection point 152 is located at about a mid-length area of the torsion bar 151 and thus, this mid-length portion of the torsion bar 151 is rotationally fixed with respect to the rear member 130. The connection member 155 may be connected to the torsion bar 151 using a different structure in other embodiments, such as a pin extending through the torsion bar laterally (e.g., a clevis connection) or front-to-rear, a hole extending through the connection member 155 that receives the torsion bar 151, or other connection. Additionally, the connection member 155 is an integral portion of the rear member 130 in this embodiment, but may be connected to the rear member 130 in a different configuration in another embodiment.
  • The torsion bar 151 connected as shown in FIGS. 1-2 and described above is capable of twisting to permit the rear member 130 to create the mass damping effect upon impact on the striking face 110. The degree of mass damping created by the torsion bar 151, and the resultant degree of resistance to deflection of the face member 128 depends on many factors. For example, the mechanical properties and configuration of the torsion bar 151 affect the degree of twisting and deflection, including the dimensions of the torsion bar 151, such as thickness, cross-sectional area, or moment of area; material properties, such as shear modulus; rotational stiffness (which incorporates both structural and material properties); etc. As another example, the weight distribution and/or moment of inertia of the rear member 130, particularly relative to the position of the torsion bar 151, may also affect the degree of mass damping. The structure and properties of the torsion bar 151 and the rear member 130 can therefore be engineered to provide a desired amount of mass damping upon impacts. It is understood that the resilient material 140 and the properties thereof may also affect the degree of mass damping in an embodiment where the resilient material 140 is incorporated.
  • FIG. 20 illustrates another embodiment of a club head 102 that is identical to the head 102 in FIGS. 1-2, and which also includes a resilient material 140 located between the rear member 130 and the face member 128. In this embodiment, the head 102 includes two resilient members 145 that are each at least partially formed of the resilient material 140, with one resilient member 145 located at the heel 120 and another located at the toe 122. It is understood that an adhesive or other bonding material may be utilized to connect the resilient material 140 to the face member 128 and/or the rear member 130, and that other connection techniques may be used in other embodiments, such as mechanical fasteners, interlocking designs (e.g. dovetail, tab and slot, etc.) and others. The resilient material 140 may be connected to the face member 128, the rear member 130, or both, in various embodiments. The resilient material 140 may be a natural or synthetic rubber material, a polyurethane-based elastomer, or other elastomeric material in one embodiment, but may be a different type of resilient material in another embodiment, including various types of resilient polymers, such as foam materials or other rubber-like materials. Additionally, the resilient material 140 may have resiliency, such that the resilient material 140 compresses in response to an applied force, and returns to its previous (uncompressed) state when the force is removed. The resilient material 140 may further have some viscoelasticity, such that energy may be lost in returning to the uncompressed state. The resilient material 140 may have a strength or hardness that is lower than, and may be significantly lower than, the strength/hardness of the material of the face member 128 and/or the rear member 130. In one embodiment, the resilient material 140 may have a hardness of from 30-90 Shore A or approximately 30-90 Shore A. In another embodiment, the resilient material 140 may have a hardness of approximately 50-70 Shore A, or from approximately 70 Shore A to approximately 70 Shore D. The hardness may be determined, for example, by using ASTM D-2240 or another applicable test with a Shore durometer. In an example embodiment, the resilient material 140 may be a polyurethane-based elastomer with a hardness of approximately 65 Shore A. Further, in one embodiment, the resilient material may have compression properties (based on a 0.56 shape factor and determined using ASTM D-575) as follows: 30 psi for 5% deflection, 70 psi for 10% deflection, 110 psi for 15% deflection, 160 psi for 20% deflection, and 220 psi for 25% deflection. In one embodiment, the resilient material 140 may have sufficient resiliency to achieve at least half of a mass damping cycle before the ball leaves the face 112 during impact. Still further, the resilient material 140 may be any material described in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2013/0137533, filed Nov. 30, 2011, which application is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety and made part hereof.
  • The resilient material 140 may have a hardness and/or a modulus that is significantly smaller than the material(s) forming the face member 128 and the rear member 130. For example, in one embodiment, a resilient material as described herein (e.g., polyurethane or elastomer) may have a modulus (Young's) of up to 5000 MPa or 1000-5000 MPa, in various embodiments. Metal materials that may be utilized to make the face member 128 and/or the rear member 130 in one embodiment (e.g., stainless steel or titanium alloys) may have a modulus of 100-200 GPa. In various embodiments, a metallic material of the face member 128 and/or the rear member 130 may have a modulus that is at least 20× greater, at least 50× greater, or at least 100× greater than the modulus of the resilient material 140. An FRP or other composite material that may be utilized to make the face member 128 and/or the rear member 130 in one embodiment (e.g., carbon fiber reinforced epoxy) may have a modulus of at least 50 GPa. In various embodiments, a composite material of the face member 128 and/or the rear member 130 may have a modulus that is at least 10× greater, at least 20× greater, or at least 50× greater than the modulus of the resilient material 140. It is understood that the metallic and composite materials described above may form a portion, a majority portion, or the substantial entirety of the face member 128 or the rear member 130. Other materials having other moduli may be used in other embodiments.
  • The properties of the resilient material 140, such as hardness (or modulus) and/or resiliency, may be designed for use in a specific configuration. For example, the hardness and/or resiliency of the resilient material 140 may be designed to ensure that an appropriate degree of mass damping is created, which may be influenced by parameters such as material thickness, mass of various components (including the rear member 130 and/or the face member 128), intended use of the head 102, and others. The hardness and resiliency may be achieved through techniques such as material selection and any of a variety of treatments performed on the material that can affect the hardness or resiliency of the resilient material, as discussed elsewhere herein. The hardness and thickness of the resilient material may be tuned to the weight of a particular rear member 130 and/or the properties of the torsion bar 151. For example, heavier weights and/or more flexible torsion bars 151 may require harder resilient material 140, and lighter weights and/or stiffer torsion bars 151 may require softer resilient material 140. Using a thinner resilient material 140 may also necessitate the use of a softer material, and a thicker resilient material 140 may be usable with harder materials. In a configuration where the resilient material 140 is a polyurethane-based material having a hardness of approximately 65 Shore A, the resilient material 140 may have a thickness between the rear member 130 and the rear side 127 of the face member 128 of approximately 5 mm in one embodiment, or approximately 3 mm in another embodiment, and generally greater than approximately 1 mm (e.g., approximately 1-5 mm or 1-3 mm).
  • In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-2, as well as the other embodiments in FIGS. 11 and 21-24 discussed below, each resilient member 145 may be formed as a single, integral piece of the resilient material 140; however, the resilient member(s) 145 may be formed of separate pieces in various embodiments. The resilient member(s) 145 and/or the resilient material 140 may be formed of multiple components as well, including components having different hardness in different regions, including different hardness distributions. For example, the resilient member(s) 145 and/or the resilient material 140 may be formed of an exterior shell that has a different (higher or lower) hardness than the interior, such as through being made of a different material (e.g. through co-molding) and/or being treated using a technique to achieve a different hardness. Examples of techniques for achieving a shell with a different hardness include plasma or corona treatment, adhesively bonding a film to the exterior, coating the exterior (such as by spraying or dipping). If a cast or other polyurethane-based material is used, the resilient material 140 may have a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) film bonded to the exterior, a higher or lower hardness polyurethane coating applied by spraying or dipping, or another polymer coating (e.g. a thermoset polymer), which may be applied, for example, by dipping the resilient material into an appropriate polymer solution with an appropriate solvent. Additionally, the resilient member(s) 145 and/or the resilient material 140 may have different hardness or compressibility in different lateral or vertical portions thereof, which can create different mass damping effects in different locations. For example, the resilient member(s) 145 and/or the resilient material 140 may have a higher or lower hardness in proximate the heel 120 and/or the toe 122, which may be achieved by techniques described herein, such as treatments or use of different materials and/or separate pieces. In this configuration, the hardness of the resilient material 140 may be customized for use by a particular golfer or a particular golfer's hitting pattern. Similarly, an asymmetrical resilient member 145 may also be used to create different mass damping effects, by providing a larger or smaller amount of material at specific portions of the face member 128. Such an asymmetrical resilient member 145 may also be used to provide customizability. A variable-hardness or asymmetrical resilient member 145 may also be used in conjunction with an offset connection point, as discussed below, for further customizability. Other embodiments described herein may also employ a resilient material 140 that has a variable hardness or asymmetrical features. A single-component or multi-component resilient member 145 and/or resilient material 140 may be manufactured by co-molding, and may be co-molded in connection with the face member 128 and/or the rear member 130.
  • As seen in FIG. 20, and also in FIGS. 11 and 21-24, the resilient material 140 is connected between the rear member 130 and the face member 128. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1-2, the front surface 135 of the rear member 130 and the rear side 127 of the face member 128 are engaged by the resilient material 140. Additionally, the rear member 130 is spaced from the face member 128, and the resilient material 140 at least partially fills the spaces 142 between the front surface 135 of the rear member 130 and the rear side 127 of the face member 128. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 20-24, the resilient material 140 is substantially flush with the outer peripheries of the face member 128 and/or the rear member 130 around the adjacent portions of the periphery of the head 102. In other embodiments, the face member 128, the rear member 130, and/or the resilient material 140 (or portions of such members) may not be flush or substantially flush around at least a portion of the periphery of the head 102. The resilient material 140 may be positioned on both opposite lateral sides of the center of gravity (CG) of the face member 128 and/or the CG of the rear member 130, and may be symmetrically positioned on opposite lateral sides of these CG's, such as shown in FIGS. 11 and 20-24.
  • The rear member 130 may be configured such that a mass damping effect is created during impact, including an off-center impact on the striking surface 110. The resilient material 140 (if present) can serve to enable this mass damping effect during impact. Additionally, the rear member 130 may also be configured to resist deflection and/or twisting of the face member 128 upon impact of the ball on the striking surface 110. The rotational stiffness of the torsion bar 151 and the resiliency and compression of the resilient material 140 (if present) permits this mass damping effect to be produced. As described above, the mass of the rear member 130 exerts a torsional force on the torsion bar 151, and also compresses the resilient material 140 (if present), causing the torsion bar 151 and the resilient material 140 (if present) to create this mass damping effect. The torsion bar 151 exerts a torsional force on the face member 128 located at or near the first connection point 152, and the resilient material 140 (if present) compresses at the heel 120 or toe 122. It is possible that the resilient material 140 on the opposite side of the face member 128 as the impact occurs may also be in tension during impact as well, depending on the connection of the resilient material 140 with the face member 128 and the rear member 130. The resilient material 140 may compress and return to its uncompressed, or even beyond its uncompressed state, repeatedly after impact. Each compression-decompression cycle will be generally smaller than a previous cycle, if applicable, as a result of hysteresis losses within the resilient material 140, resulting in the mass damping effect. The actions achieving the mass damping effect occur between the beginning and the end of the impact, which in one embodiment of a golf putter may be between 4-5 ms.
  • In the embodiment as shown in FIGS. 1-2, the rear member 130 may achieve a greater or smaller mass damping effect depending on the location of the impact on the striking surface 110. For example, in this embodiment, upon an off-center impact of the ball centered on the heel side 120, the face member 128 tends to twist and deflect rearwardly at the heel 120. As another example, upon an off-center impact of the ball centered on the toe side 122, the face member 128 tends to twist and deflect rearwardly at the toe 122. As the face member 128 begins to deflect rearwardly, the mass damping effect created by the rear member 130 during impact resists this deflection. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1-2, on a heel-side impact, at least some of the mass damping effect may be created by the rear member 130 exerting an initial clockwise (viewed from above) torsional force located at the torsion bar 151 during impact. Likewise, on a toe-side impact, at least some of the mass damping effect may be created by the rear member 130 exerting an initial counter-clockwise torsional force located at the torsion bar 151 during impact. This initial torsional force typically has a moment that is opposed to the moment exerted about the torsion bar 151 by the impact of the ball on the face 112. The initial torsional force exerted by the torsion bar 151 may be as described above, however, the torsional force may cycle repeatedly after impact, i.e., cycling between clockwise and counterclockwise forces. Each cycle will be generally smaller than a previous cycle, if applicable, as a result of hysteresis losses within the post, resulting in the mass damping effect.
  • As described above, it is understood that the degree of potential moment causing deflection of the face member 128 may increase as the impact location diverges from the center of gravity of the face member 128. In one embodiment, the mass damping effect created by the rear member 130 may also increase as the impact location diverges from the center of gravity of the face member 128, to provide increased resistance to such deflection of the face member 128. In other words, the mass damping effect of the rear member 130 and the force exerted on the face member 128 by the rear member 130, through the torsion bar 151 and the resilient material 140 (if present), may be incremental and directly relative/proportional to the distance the impact is made from the optimal impact point (e.g. the lateral center point of the striking surface 110 and/or the CG of the face member 128, in exemplary embodiments). The mass damping effect between the rear member 130 and the face member 128 can reduce the degree of twisting of the face 112 and keep the face 112 more square upon impacts, including off-center impacts. Additionally, the mass damping effect can minimize energy loss on off-center impacts, resulting in more consistent ball distance on impacts anywhere on the face 112.
  • FIGS. 3-6 illustrate another embodiment of a ball striking head in the form of a putter-type golf club head 102, which contains many components and features that are similar to the features described above with respect to the head 102 of FIGS. 1-2. FIGS. 7-10 illustrate another embodiment of a ball striking head in the form of a putter-type golf club head 102, which contains many components and features that are similar to the features described above with respect to the head 102 of FIGS. 1-2. FIGS. 11-14 illustrate further embodiments of ball striking heads in the form of putter-type golf club heads 102, each of which contains many components and features that are similar to the features described above with respect to the head 102 of FIGS. 1-2. Further, FIGS. 20-24 illustrate embodiments similar or identical to the embodiments of FIGS. 1-10 and 12-14, each having a resilient material 140 positioned between the face member 128 and the rear member 130. Description of some such similar or shared components that have already been described above may be simplified or eliminated for the sake of brevity in the description below. Thus, the embodiments of FIGS. 3-14 and 20-24 are generally described herein with respect to the differences that exist between such club heads 102 and the embodiment of FIGS. 1-2. The club heads 102 of FIGS. 3-14 and 20-24 generally function in the same manner as described herein with respect to the head 102 of FIGS. 1-2. For example, the configurations of the heads 102 in FIGS. 3-14 and 20-24 may achieve mass damping effects between the rear member 130 and the face member 128 in a manner similar to that described herein with respect to the embodiment of FIGS. 1-2.
  • The club head 102 in the embodiment of FIGS. 3-6 is structurally similar to the club head 102 described above with respect to FIGS. 1-2, and generally may include any of the features (including alternate embodiments) described herein with respect to FIGS. 1-2. The face member 128 of the head 102 in FIGS. 3-6 has a rear portion 161 that is formed as a sole member extending rearward from the face portion 160 of the face member 128 and forming at least a portion of the sole 118 of the head 102. The rear portion 161 has a top surface 162 and a bottom surface 163 that forms a portion of the sole 118. The rear member 130 is positioned above the rear portion 161 and behind the rear side 127 of the face member 128, such that an underside 164 of the rear member 130 confronts the top side 162 of the rear portion 161 of the face member 128. The rear portion 161 of the face member 128 also serves as a support for the connection assembly 150 in this embodiment. The rear member 130 in the embodiment of FIGS. 3-6 is configured with perimeter weighting members 132 with a thinned portion 133 near the center.
  • As shown in FIGS. 5-6, the connection assembly 150 in this embodiment includes a torsion bar 151 is connected to the rear portion 161 and extends upwardly from the top surface 162 of the rear portion 161 to connect to the rear member 130. The torsion bar 151 in the embodiment of FIGS. 3-6 is configured as a non-circular (e.g., hexagonal) cross-section, and is connected to and rotationally fixed with the rear portion 161 of the face member 128 by being received in a complementary receiver 156 in the rear portion 161, to form the first connection point 152. The torsion bar 151 in this embodiment is also connected to and rotationally fixed with the rear member 161 by being received in a complementary receiver 156 in the rear member 130, to form the second connection point 152. The receiver 156 in the rear portion 161 of the face member 128 is a blind hole in this embodiment, and the receiver 156 in the rear member 130 extends completely through the rear member 130. The connections between the torsion bar 151 and the face member 128 and rear member 130 may further include a connection mechanism as described herein, such as a bonding material, fastener, etc. Alternate configurations for connection and/or rotational fixing can be used in other embodiments. The torsion bar 151 and the connection points 152, 153 are aligned laterally with the CG of the face member 128 and the rear member 130 in this embodiment.
  • The club head 102 in the embodiment of FIGS. 7-10 is structurally similar to the club head 102 described above with respect to FIGS. 1-2, and generally may include any of the features (including alternate embodiments) described herein with respect to FIGS. 1-2. The face member 128 of the head 102 in FIGS. 3-6 has a rear portion 161 that extends rearward from the face portion 160 of the face member 128, and the rear portion 161 has a top surface 162 and a bottom surface 163 that is spaced upwardly from the sole 118. The rear member 130 is positioned below the rear portion 161 and behind the rear side 127 of the face member 128, and the rear member 130 is suspended from the rear portion 161 of the face member 128. In this configuration, a top side 165 of the rear member 130 confronts the bottom surface 163 of the rear portion 161 of the face member 128, and the underside 164 of the rear member 130 forms a portion of the sole 118. The rear portion 161 of the face member 128 also serves as a support for the connection assembly 150 in this embodiment. The rear member 130 in the embodiment of FIGS. 7-10 is configured with perimeter weighting members 132 with a thinned portion 133 near the center. The thicker ends 136, 137 and thinned portion 133 at the center of the rear member 130 in this embodiment are formed by recession of the bottom surface 164 of the rear member 130 only.
  • As shown in FIGS. 9-10, the connection assembly 150 in this embodiment includes a torsion bar 151 is connected to the rear portion 161 and extends downwardly from the underside 163 of the rear portion 161 to connect to the rear member 130. The torsion bar 151 in the embodiment of FIGS. 7-10 is configured as a non-circular (e.g., hexagonal) cross-section, and is connected to and rotationally fixed with the rear portion 161 of the face member 128 by being received in a complementary receiver 156 in the rear portion 161, to form the first connection point 152. The torsion bar 151 in this embodiment is also connected to and rotationally fixed with the rear member 130 by being received in a complementary receiver 156 in the rear member 130, to form the second connection point 152. The receivers 156 in the rear portion 161 of the face member 128 and in the rear member 130 extend completely through the rear member 130. The connections between the torsion bar 151 and the face member 128 and rear member 130 may further include a connection mechanism as described herein, such as a bonding material, fastener, etc. A fastener 157 is illustrated as a retainer for the second connection point 153 in FIG. 10. Alternate configurations for connection and/or rotational fixing can be used in other embodiments. The torsion bar 151 and the connection points 152, 153 are aligned laterally with the CG of the face member 128 and the rear member 130 in this embodiment.
  • The club head 102 in the embodiment of FIG. 11 is structurally similar to the club head 102 described above with respect to FIGS. 3-6, and generally may include any of the features (including alternate embodiments) described herein with respect to FIGS. 3-6 (including features described with respect to FIGS. 1-2). The rear member 130 in the embodiment of FIG. 11 has an elongated base portion 170 that is elongated in the heel-toe direction, with two legs 171 extending from the base portion 170 toward the face member 128 at the heel and toe sides 136, 137 of the rear member 130. A resilient material 140 as described herein is configured as two resilient members 145 positioned between the legs 171 of the rear member 130 and the rear side 127 of the face member 128, and engages the legs 171 and the rear side 127 of the face member 128. The resilient material 140 functions as described herein with respect to creation of the mass damping effect.
  • The club head 102 in the embodiment of FIG. 12 is structurally similar to the club head 102 described above with respect to FIGS. 3-6, and generally may include any of the features (including alternate embodiments) described herein with respect to FIGS. 3-6 (including features described with respect to FIGS. 1-2). The rear member 130 in the embodiment of FIG. 12 has a plurality of weights, including one or more fixed weights 172 and/or one or more moveable weights 173. As shown in FIG. 12, the rear member 130 in this embodiment has two fixed weights 172 in the perimeter weighting portions 132, near the heel and toe ends 136, 137 of the rear member 130. These fixed weights are illustrated in this embodiment as removable threaded weights. These removable fixed weights 172 may be interchangeable with each other and with other weights 172 having different densities or weighting configurations, in order to adjust the weight distribution (i.e., CG, MOI, etc.) of the rear member 130. The fixed weights 172 may be in a different form in another embodiment, including various permanent and removable configurations, such as cavities that are filled with a weighting material, e.g., a polymer material doped with tungsten or other heavy material, weights 172 that are bonded to the rear member 130, weights that connect to the rear member using a fastener or other removable connection, etc. The embodiment of FIG. 12 also includes at least one moveable weight 173, which is positioned on a track 174 to allow sliding in the heel-toe direction in order to alter the weight distribution (i.e., CG, MOI, etc.) of the rear member 130. In other embodiments, the head 102 may include other moveable weights 173, such as additional weights 173 on the same track 174, additional tracks 174, and/or different orientations, including tracks 174 that may allow movement in the front-rear direction or other directions. It is understood that the weight(s) 173 may be moveable and fixable in the track(s) 174 via known mechanisms such as threading and clamping configurations, and may further be removable from the track(s) 174.
  • The club head 102 in the embodiment of FIGS. 13-14 is structurally similar to the club head 102 described above with respect to FIGS. 1-2, and generally may include any of the features (including alternate embodiments) described herein with respect to FIGS. 1-2. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 13-14, the connection assembly 150 includes a torsion bar 151 that is rotationally fixed to the face member 128 at the top and bottom ends of the torsion bar 151, forming two first connection points 152. The torsion bar 151 in FIGS. 13-14 is illustrated as being bonded (e.g., by butt-welding) at both ends to the face member 128 to accomplish this rotational fixing. As shown in FIG. 14, the rear side 127 of the face member 128 has a rear cavity 154, and the torsion bar 151 is connected to top and bottom surfaces 154A,B of the rear cavity 154 and spans across the rear cavity 154. In other embodiments, the torsion bar 151 in FIGS. 1-2 may be connected in a different manner, such as using a non-circular pin-and-hole connection at one or both ends, or a different structure. Additionally, in the embodiment of FIGS. 13-14, the second connection point 153 with the rear member 130 is positioned between the two first connection points 152. The second connection point 153 in the embodiment of FIGS. 13-14 utilizes a connection member 155 connected to the front surface of the rear member 130 and extending forwardly from the rear member 130 to connect with the torsion bar 151. In this configuration, the connection member 155 extends into the rear cavity 154, and a portion of the connection member 155 is received in the rear cavity 154. The second connection point 153 in FIGS. 13-14 is located at about a mid-length area of the torsion bar 151, and the mid-length portion of the torsion bar 151 is rotationally fixed with respect to the rear member 130. As shown in FIGS. 13-14, the connection member 155 in this embodiment has a receiver 156 in the form of a hole extending completely through the connection member 155. The receiver 156 in this embodiment receives the torsion bar 151 therethrough, such that the torsion bar 151 extends completely through the connection member 155. The rotational locking in this embodiment is accomplished by complementary non-circular configurations of the torsion bar 151 and the receiver 156, although other rotational locking structures may be used in other embodiments. The connection member 155 may be connected to the torsion bar 151 using a different structure in other embodiments, such as other connections described herein.
  • FIGS. 15-19 illustrate various embodiments of configurations of torsion bars 151 and connections of said torsion bars 151 to other members (generally referred to using reference number 166), e.g., the face member 128, the rear member 130, or portions thereof. Generally, these embodiments create a rotational locking arrangement between the torsion bar 151 and the member 166 to which it is connected. It is understood that any torsion bar 151 described herein may use one of these configurations for connection to the face member 128 or the rear member 130, or may use one of these configurations for connection to both the face member 128 and the rear member 130, or may use two different configurations for connection to the face member 128 and the rear member 130, or may use another connection mechanism not illustrated in FIGS. 15-19. It is further understood that any of the embodiments described herein, including the embodiments in FIGS. 1-14 and 20-24, may utilize one or more of these connection mechanisms and/or any additional connection mechanisms that function to connect and/or rotationally lock the relevant components together, for example, any other connection mechanisms described elsewhere herein. For example, any of these connection mechanisms may further use additional components and/or techniques to secure the connection between the torsion bar 151 and the other member 166, including welding or other bonding material or technique, fasteners, locking members, friction or interference fit, etc.
  • FIG. 15 illustrates a connection assembly 150 where the torsion bar 151 is configured to be received in a receiver 156 on the other member 166, where both the torsion bar 151 and the receiver 156 have a complementary non-circular cross-section. The embodiments in FIGS. 3-14 illustrated herein are illustrated as using this configuration for at least one of the first and second connection points 152, 153. The complementary non-circular cross-sections rotationally lock the torsion bar 151 with the other member 166. In this embodiment, the torsion bar 151 and the receiver 156 are illustrated as having hexagonal configurations; however, it is understood that other non-circular configurations may be used, including both symmetrical (e.g., regular polygonal) and non-symmetrical configurations.
  • FIG. 16 illustrates a connection assembly 150 using complementary non-circular cross-sections, e.g., as described herein with respect to FIG. 15. In this embodiment, the torsion bar 151 and the receiver 156 have non-symmetrical cross-sections, with the torsion bar 151 having a tab or flange 158 and the receiver 156 having a corresponding notch 159 that interlocks with the tab 158. Other asymmetrical interlocking structures may be used, including tabs 158 and notches 159 that are differently configured and/or multiple tabs 158 and notches 159. This embodiment may therefore be considered to include at least one tab 158 and at least one slot 159 configured for engaging and/or receiving the tab 158. For example, the torsion bar 151 and the receiver 156 may have a large number of tabs 158 and notches 159 in one embodiment, such as a gear-teeth configuration.
  • FIGS. 17-18 illustrate connection assemblies 150 using a resilient material 146 positioned between and separating the torsion bar 151 and the receiver 156, such that the resilient material 146 permits the torsion bar 151 to create the mass damping effect by flexing the resilient material 146. The mass damping in these embodiments is at least partially provided by flexing of the resilient material 146, and in one embodiment, all or substantially all of the mass damping effect may be provided through flexing of the resilient material 146. The torsion bar 151 may also flex to provide some of the mass damping effect in some embodiments. In the embodiment of FIG. 17, the resilient material 146 is connected to an inner surface of the receiver 156 (e.g., a gasket or similar structure), and defines an opening 147 that receives and engages the torsion bar 151. In the embodiment of FIG. 18, the resilient material 146 is formed as a sleeve or lining 148 on the torsion bar 151 that engages the inner surface of the receiver 156. In both FIGS. 17 and 18, at least a portion of the resilient material 146 is positioned within the receiver 156 when the connection assembly 150 is assembled. Additionally, the resilient material 146 is initially connected to one of the torsion bar 151 and the receiver 156 before the torsion bar 151 is inserted into the receiver 156 in both FIGS. 17 and 18, although the resilient material may be subsequently connected to the other of the torsion bar 151 and the receiver 156 after the torsion bar 151 is inserted into the receiver 156. Further, the resilient material 146 and the corresponding components connected to and/or engaged by the resilient material may have non-circular cross-sections, such as in the embodiments of FIGS. 17-18. In other embodiments, the resilient material 146 and associated components may have different shapes, structures, and orientations. The resilient material 146 may be any resilient material discussed herein, including with respect to the resilient material 140 of FIGS. 11 and 20-24.
  • FIG. 19 illustrates a connection assembly 150 where the torsion bar 151 is integrally connected to the face member 128 and the rear member 130. It is understood that the torsion bar 151 in this embodiment, may be integrally connected to only one of the face member 128 and the rear member 130, and may be connected to the other using a different technique as described herein. In one embodiment, this integral connection can be formed by butt-welding or other welding configuration. In another embodiment, this integral connection can be formed by integrally forming the face member 128 and/or the rear member 130 with the torsion bar 151, such as by casting, forging, machining, or other integral forming technique or combination of such techniques.
  • FIGS. 21-24 illustrates additional embodiments of a club head 102 that are identical to the heads 102 in FIGS. 3-10 and 12-14, and which also includes a resilient material 140 located between the rear member 130 and the face member 128. The embodiment of FIG. 21 is substantially identical to the head 102 in FIGS. 3-6, and further includes the resilient material 140. The embodiment of FIG. 22 is substantially identical to the head 102 in FIGS. 7-10, and further includes the resilient material 140. The embodiment of FIG. 23 is substantially identical to the head 102 in FIG. 12, and further includes the resilient material 140. The embodiment of FIG. 24 is substantially identical to the head 102 in FIGS. 13-14, and further includes the resilient material 140. The resilient material 140 in these embodiments is generally configured and positioned in the same or similar manner as the resilient material 140 in the embodiment of FIG. 20, as described above. The configuration of the resilient material 140 in these embodiments may further include any of the additional or alternate features described herein.
  • It is understood that any of the embodiments of ball striking devices 100, heads 102, face members 128, rear members 130, and other components described herein may include any of the features described herein with respect to other embodiments described herein, including structural features, functional features, and/or properties, unless otherwise noted. It is understood that the specific sizes, shapes, orientations, and locations of various components of the ball striking devices 100 and heads 102 described herein are simply examples, and that any of these features or properties may be altered in other embodiments. In particular, any of the connecting members or structures shown and described herein may be used in connection with any embodiment shown herein, to connect the face member 128 and the rear member 130.
  • Heads 102 incorporating the features disclosed herein may be used as a ball striking device or a part thereof. For example, a golf club 100 as shown in FIG. 1 may be manufactured by attaching a shaft or handle 104 to a head that is provided, such as the head 102 as described above. As another example, a golf club 100 as shown in FIG. 1 may be manufactured by attaching a rear member 130 to a face member that is provided, such as the face member 128 as described above. “Providing” the head, as used herein, refers broadly to making an article available or accessible for future actions to be performed on the article, and does not connote that the party providing the article has manufactured, produced, or supplied the article or that the party providing the article has ownership or control of the article. In other embodiments, different types of ball striking devices can be manufactured according to the principles described herein. In one embodiment, a set of golf clubs can be manufactured, where at least one of the clubs has a head according to one or more embodiments described herein. Such a set may include at least one wood-type club, at least one iron-type club, and/or at least one putter. For example, a set may include one or more wood-type golf clubs and one or more iron-type golf clubs, which may have different loft angles, as well as one or more putters, with each club having a head 102 as described above and shown in FIGS. 1-24. The various clubs in the set may have rear members 130 that may be slightly different in shape, size, location, orientation, etc., based on the loft angle of the club. The various clubs may also have an added weight amount or weight distribution (including CG location) that may be different based on characteristics such as the type and loft angle of the club.
  • Different rear members 130 and different locations, orientations, and connections thereof, may produce different mass damping effects upon impacts on the striking surface 110, et seq., including off-center impacts. Additionally, different rear members 130 and different locations, orientations, and connections thereof, may produce different effects depending on the location of the ball impact on the face 112. Accordingly, one or more clubs can be customized for a particular user by providing a club with a head as described above, with a rear member 130 that is configured in at least one of its shape, size, location, orientation, etc., based on a hitting characteristic of the user, such as a typical hitting pattern or swing speed. Customization may also include adding or adjusting weighting according to the characteristics of the rear member 130 and the hitting characteristic(s) of the user. Still further embodiments and variations are possible, including further techniques for customization.
  • The ball striking devices described herein may be used by a user to strike a ball or other object, such as by swinging or otherwise moving the head 102 to strike the ball on the striking surface 110 of the face 112. During the striking action, the face 112 impacts the ball, and one or more rear members 130 may create a mass damping effect during the impact, in any manner described above. In one embodiment, the rear member(s) 130 may create an incrementally greater mass damping effect for impacts that are farther from the desired impact point (e.g. the CG). As described below, the devices described herein, when used in this or a comparable method, may assist the user in achieving more consistent accuracy and distance of ball travel, as compared to other ball striking devices.
  • The various embodiments of ball striking heads with rear members described herein can provide mass damping effects upon impacts on the striking face, which can assist in keeping the striking face more square with the ball, particularly on off-center impacts, which can in turn provide more accurate ball direction. Additionally, the mass damping effect can reduce or minimize energy loss on off-center impacts, creating more consistent ball speed and distance. The mass damping effect may be incremental based on the distance of the impact away from the desired or optimal impact point. Further, the resilient material may achieve some energy absorption or damping on center impacts (e.g. aligned with the center point and/or the CG of the face). As a result of the reduced energy loss on off-center hits, reduced twisting of the face on off-center hits, and/or energy absorption on center hits that can be achieved by the heads as described above, greater consistency in both lateral dispersion and distance dispersion can be achieved as compared to typical ball striking heads of the same type, with impacts at various locations on the face. The ball striking heads described herein can also provide dissipation of impact energy through the resilient material, which can reduce vibration of the club head and may improve feel for the user. Still further, the connection members can be used to control the weighting of the club head and/or the rear member. Other benefits can be recognized and appreciated by those skilled in the art.
  • While the invention has been described with respect to specific examples including presently preferred modes of carrying out the invention, those skilled in the art will appreciate that there are numerous variations and permutations of the above described systems and methods. Thus, the spirit and scope of the invention should be construed broadly as set forth in the appended claims.

Claims (25)

What is claimed is:
1. A ball striking device comprising:
a face member having a striking face configured for striking a ball and a rear side opposite the striking face, the striking face having a heel portion and a toe portion;
a rear member positioned behind the face member and connected to the rear side of the face member, the rear member having a heel end and a toe end; and
a connection assembly connecting the face member to the rear member, wherein the connection assembly comprises a torsion bar having a first connection point connected to the face member and rotationally fixed with respect to the face member, and a second connection point connected to the rear member and rotationally fixed with respect to the rear member,
wherein the torsion bar is configured to create a mass damping effect upon an impact on the striking face, such that the torsion bar is configured to exert at least a counterclockwise torsional force on the striking face during the impact on the toe portion of the striking face and to exert at least a clockwise torsional force on the striking face during the impact on the heel portion of the striking face, when viewed from above, to create the mass damping effect.
2. The ball striking device of claim 1, wherein the torsion bar is the most rigid point of connection between the face member and the rear member.
3. The ball striking device of claim 1, wherein the torsion bar comprises a pin having a non-circular cross-section and being fixedly connected to one of the face member and the rear member, and the connection assembly further comprises a receiver in the other of the face member and the rear member, the receiver having a complementary non-circular cross-section and receiving the pin therein, wherein the non-circular cross-section of the pin and the complementary non-circular cross-section of the receiver rotationally fix the pin with respect to the receiver.
4. The ball striking device of claim 3, wherein the receiver comprises a blind hole.
5. The ball striking device of claim 1, further comprising a resilient material engaging the rear member and the rear side of the face member and positioned between a front side of the rear member and the face member on the heel end and the toe end of the rear member, wherein the resilient material has greater flexibility than the torsion bar.
6. The ball striking device of claim 5, wherein the resilient material is configured to be compressed between the rear member and the face member during the impact on the striking face.
7. The ball striking device of claim 1, wherein the torsion bar is welded to the face member at the first connection point and is welded to the rear member at the second connection point.
8. The ball striking device of claim 1, wherein the first connection point of the torsion bar is positioned substantially equidistant from a heel edge and a toe edge of the face member.
9. The ball striking device of claim 1, wherein the first connection point of the torsion bar is generally aligned with a center of gravity of the face member.
10. A golf putter comprising the ball striking device of claim 1, wherein the ball striking device is a golf putter head, and a shaft connected to the ball striking device.
11. A ball striking device comprising:
a face member having a striking face configured for striking a ball and a rear side opposite the striking face, the striking face having a heel portion and a toe portion;
a rear member positioned behind the face member and connected to the rear side of the face member, the rear member having a heel end and a toe end; and
a connection assembly connecting the face member to the rear member, wherein the connection assembly comprises a torsion bar connected to the face member and the rear member, wherein the torsion bar is the most rigid point of connection between the face member and the rear member,
wherein the torsion bar is configured to create a mass damping effect upon an impact on the striking face, such that the torsion bar is configured to exert at least a counterclockwise torsional force on the striking face during the impact on the toe portion of the striking face and to exert at least a clockwise torsional force on the striking face during the impact on the heel portion of the striking face, when viewed from above, to create the mass damping effect.
12. The ball striking device of claim 11, wherein the torsion bar comprises a pin having a non-circular cross-section and being fixedly connected to one of the face member and the rear member, and the connection assembly further comprises a receiver in the other of the face member and the rear member, the receiver having a complementary non-circular cross-section and receiving the pin therein, wherein the non-circular cross-section of the pin and the complementary non-circular cross-section of the receiver rotationally fix the pin with respect to the receiver.
13. The ball striking device of claim 11, wherein the torsion bar is welded to the face member and the rear member.
14. The ball striking device of claim 11, wherein the torsion bar is positioned substantially equidistant from a heel edge and a toe edge of the face member.
15. The ball striking device of claim 11, wherein the torsion bar is generally aligned with a center of gravity of the face member.
16. The ball striking device of claim 11, wherein the face member further comprises a wall extending rearwardly on a rear surface of the face member, and wherein the rear member is connected to the torsion bar on a top side of the wall.
17. The ball striking device of claim 11, wherein the face member further comprises a wall extending rearwardly on a rear surface of the face member, and wherein the rear member is connected to the torsion bar on a bottom side of the wall.
18. A golf putter comprising the ball striking device of claim 11, wherein the ball striking device is a golf putter head, and a shaft connected to the ball striking device.
19. A ball striking device comprising:
a face member having a striking face configured for striking a ball and a rear side opposite the striking face, the striking face having a heel portion and a toe portion;
a rear member positioned behind the face member and connected to the rear side of the face member, the rear member having a heel end and a toe end; and
a connection assembly connecting the face member to the rear member, wherein the connection assembly comprises a pin having a first connection point connected to and rotationally fixed with respect to one of the face member and the rear member, and a receiver located on another of the face member and the rear member, the pin further having a second connection point received within the receiver; and
a resilient material positioned within the receiver, the resilient material engaging the pin and the receiver and separating the pin from the receiver, wherein the resilient material permits the pin to create a mass damping effect by flexing the resilient material,
wherein the connection assembly is configured to create the mass damping effect upon an impact on the striking face, such that the resilient material is configured to be compressed at the toe end of the rear member during the impact on the toe portion of the striking face, and the resilient material is configured to be compressed at the heel end of the rear member during the impact on the heel portion of the striking face.
20. The ball striking device of claim 19, wherein the resilient material is a gasket connected to an inner surface of the receiver and defining an opening receiving and engaging the pin.
21. The ball striking device of claim 19, wherein the resilient material is a lining on the pin that engages an inner surface of the receiver when the pin is received within the receiver.
22. The ball striking device of claim 19, wherein the pin and the receiver have non-circular cross-sections.
23. The ball striking device of claim 19, wherein the pin and the receiver are positioned substantially equidistant from a heel edge and a toe edge of the face member.
24. The ball striking device of claim 19, wherein the pin and the receiver are generally aligned with a center of gravity of the face member.
25. A golf putter comprising the ball striking device of claim 19, wherein the ball striking device is a golf putter head, and a shaft connected to the ball striking device.
US14/726,290 2015-05-29 2015-05-29 Golf Clubs and Golf Club Heads Abandoned US20160346634A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US14/726,290 US20160346634A1 (en) 2015-05-29 2015-05-29 Golf Clubs and Golf Club Heads

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US14/726,290 US20160346634A1 (en) 2015-05-29 2015-05-29 Golf Clubs and Golf Club Heads

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20160346634A1 true US20160346634A1 (en) 2016-12-01

Family

ID=57396967

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US14/726,290 Abandoned US20160346634A1 (en) 2015-05-29 2015-05-29 Golf Clubs and Golf Club Heads

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (1) US20160346634A1 (en)

Citations (26)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2222534A (en) * 1939-12-06 1940-11-19 Howard T Harris Golf putter
US3516674A (en) * 1967-12-28 1970-06-23 James Anthony Scarborough Golf putter
US4871174A (en) * 1986-05-31 1989-10-03 Maruman Golf Co., Ltd. Golf club
US5275413A (en) * 1992-12-17 1994-01-04 Tom Sprague Golf club with supplement portion
US5344151A (en) * 1993-08-11 1994-09-06 Anderson Bartley D Golf putter head
US5716290A (en) * 1996-08-22 1998-02-10 Hustler Golf Co. Balanced putter with top spin facility
US5993324A (en) * 1998-06-27 1999-11-30 Gammil; Alex R Frame design golf putter head
US20020025859A1 (en) * 2000-08-24 2002-02-28 Finn Charles A. Golf putter having spaced weight member
US20040018886A1 (en) * 2002-07-24 2004-01-29 Burrows Bruce D. Temporary golf club shaft-component connection
US20050049078A1 (en) * 2003-08-25 2005-03-03 Bridgestone Sports Co. Ltd. Putter head
US6991555B2 (en) * 2003-06-17 2006-01-31 John Sanders Reese Frame design putter head with rear mounted shaft
US20060148585A1 (en) * 2005-01-04 2006-07-06 Vinton Philip G Golf putter heads
US20070142123A1 (en) * 2005-12-20 2007-06-21 Sports Source, Inc. Golf putter having adjustable center of gravity
US20070259735A1 (en) * 2006-05-04 2007-11-08 Kyle Beckman Golf club head with aiming device
US7566276B2 (en) * 2006-04-14 2009-07-28 Dogleg Right Corporation Multi-piece putter head having an insert
US20100167836A1 (en) * 2008-12-25 2010-07-01 Bridgestone Sports Co., Ltd. Putter head and putter head set
US20100184527A1 (en) * 2009-01-21 2010-07-22 Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc. Golf club head
US20110021287A1 (en) * 2009-07-23 2011-01-27 Tucker Sr Richard B C Golf club with interchangeable faces and weights
US20120122607A1 (en) * 2010-05-14 2012-05-17 Reinberg Richard D Golf Putter Head and Putter
US20130157774A1 (en) * 2011-12-18 2013-06-20 Yung-Shen Chen Golf putter
US20130178307A1 (en) * 2012-01-09 2013-07-11 W Cubed, LLC Golf Putter Systems
US20130203522A1 (en) * 2011-08-23 2013-08-08 Nike, Inc. Putter Heads and Putters
US20150080147A1 (en) * 2013-09-19 2015-03-19 Acushnet Company Putter with integral sightline and sole plate
US20150335966A1 (en) * 2013-09-19 2015-11-26 Acushnet Company Putter with integral sightline and sole plate
US20160129321A1 (en) * 2014-11-10 2016-05-12 Dunlop Sports Co. Ltd. Golf club head
US20160129320A1 (en) * 2014-11-10 2016-05-12 Dunlop Sports Co., Ltd. Golf club head

Patent Citations (26)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2222534A (en) * 1939-12-06 1940-11-19 Howard T Harris Golf putter
US3516674A (en) * 1967-12-28 1970-06-23 James Anthony Scarborough Golf putter
US4871174A (en) * 1986-05-31 1989-10-03 Maruman Golf Co., Ltd. Golf club
US5275413A (en) * 1992-12-17 1994-01-04 Tom Sprague Golf club with supplement portion
US5344151A (en) * 1993-08-11 1994-09-06 Anderson Bartley D Golf putter head
US5716290A (en) * 1996-08-22 1998-02-10 Hustler Golf Co. Balanced putter with top spin facility
US5993324A (en) * 1998-06-27 1999-11-30 Gammil; Alex R Frame design golf putter head
US20020025859A1 (en) * 2000-08-24 2002-02-28 Finn Charles A. Golf putter having spaced weight member
US20040018886A1 (en) * 2002-07-24 2004-01-29 Burrows Bruce D. Temporary golf club shaft-component connection
US6991555B2 (en) * 2003-06-17 2006-01-31 John Sanders Reese Frame design putter head with rear mounted shaft
US20050049078A1 (en) * 2003-08-25 2005-03-03 Bridgestone Sports Co. Ltd. Putter head
US20060148585A1 (en) * 2005-01-04 2006-07-06 Vinton Philip G Golf putter heads
US20070142123A1 (en) * 2005-12-20 2007-06-21 Sports Source, Inc. Golf putter having adjustable center of gravity
US7566276B2 (en) * 2006-04-14 2009-07-28 Dogleg Right Corporation Multi-piece putter head having an insert
US20070259735A1 (en) * 2006-05-04 2007-11-08 Kyle Beckman Golf club head with aiming device
US20100167836A1 (en) * 2008-12-25 2010-07-01 Bridgestone Sports Co., Ltd. Putter head and putter head set
US20100184527A1 (en) * 2009-01-21 2010-07-22 Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc. Golf club head
US20110021287A1 (en) * 2009-07-23 2011-01-27 Tucker Sr Richard B C Golf club with interchangeable faces and weights
US20120122607A1 (en) * 2010-05-14 2012-05-17 Reinberg Richard D Golf Putter Head and Putter
US20130203522A1 (en) * 2011-08-23 2013-08-08 Nike, Inc. Putter Heads and Putters
US20130157774A1 (en) * 2011-12-18 2013-06-20 Yung-Shen Chen Golf putter
US20130178307A1 (en) * 2012-01-09 2013-07-11 W Cubed, LLC Golf Putter Systems
US20150080147A1 (en) * 2013-09-19 2015-03-19 Acushnet Company Putter with integral sightline and sole plate
US20150335966A1 (en) * 2013-09-19 2015-11-26 Acushnet Company Putter with integral sightline and sole plate
US20160129321A1 (en) * 2014-11-10 2016-05-12 Dunlop Sports Co. Ltd. Golf club head
US20160129320A1 (en) * 2014-11-10 2016-05-12 Dunlop Sports Co., Ltd. Golf club head

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US8277337B2 (en) Iron head
US9566483B2 (en) Golf club head with undercut
US7056228B2 (en) Golf club head providing enhanced acoustics
US6569029B1 (en) Golf club head having replaceable bounce angle portions
US8366567B2 (en) Golf club head
US8062150B2 (en) Iron-type golf club
AU617305B2 (en) Perimeter weighted iron type golf club head with complementary intermediate weighting system
US5346219A (en) Golf putter head
JP5937688B2 (en) Golf club head or other ball striking device having a slot with a face mask
EP2429665B1 (en) Golf club head or other ball striking device having a reinforced or localized stiffened face portion
US7018304B2 (en) Putter head
US8147353B2 (en) Iron-type golf club
US8435135B2 (en) Golf club head or other ball striking device having removable or interchangeable body member
US8900064B2 (en) Putter heads and putters
US8333668B2 (en) Golf club with optimum moments of inertia in the vertical and hosel axes
US5766093A (en) Golf putterhead
US5967903A (en) Golf club head with sandwich structure and method of making the same
US8157673B2 (en) Iron-type golf club
US20050049081A1 (en) Golf club head having internal fins for resisting structural deformation and mechanical shockwave migration
EP2646123B1 (en) Golf club heads or other ball striking devices having distributed impact response
US7892111B2 (en) Golf club heads with a plurality of stress zones and methods to manufacture golf club heads
JP5913393B2 (en) Golf club head having a replaceable head
US7244188B2 (en) Multi-piece golf club head with improved inertia
CN102625723B (en) Golf club head or other ball striking device having impact-influence body features
US8506415B2 (en) Putter heads and putters including polymeric material as part of the ball striking surface

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: NIKE, INC., OREGON

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WALLANS, MICHAEL;REEL/FRAME:039565/0997

Effective date: 20160801

Owner name: NIKE USA, INC., OREGON

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:FRANKLIN, DAVID N.;REEL/FRAME:039566/0135

Effective date: 20160720

Owner name: NIKE, INC., OREGON

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:NIKE USA, INC.;REEL/FRAME:039566/0219

Effective date: 20160802

AS Assignment

Owner name: KARSTEN MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, ARIZONA

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:NIKE, INC.;REEL/FRAME:041823/0161

Effective date: 20170127

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION