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Publication numberUS20010046905 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/901,747
Publication dateNov 29, 2001
Filing dateJul 9, 2001
Priority dateFeb 4, 2000
Also published asCA2325961A1, CA2325961C, CN2437356Y, DE60020067D1, DE60020067T2, EP1127591A2, EP1127591A3, EP1127591B1, US6386989
Publication number09901747, 901747, US 2001/0046905 A1, US 2001/046905 A1, US 20010046905 A1, US 20010046905A1, US 2001046905 A1, US 2001046905A1, US-A1-20010046905, US-A1-2001046905, US2001/0046905A1, US2001/046905A1, US20010046905 A1, US20010046905A1, US2001046905 A1, US2001046905A1
InventorsBen Huang
Original AssigneeBen Huang
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf club grip
US 20010046905 A1
Abstract
A golf club grip made up of a composite strip that includes a first segment having a felt layer to the upper surface of which is bonded a polyurethane and a second segment having a felt layer to the upper surface of which is bonded a fabric fiber mesh by a coating of polyurethane. The mesh defines slip-resistant grooves in the polyurethane. One side edge of the first segment is adhesively attached to a side edge of the second segment. The strip is spirally wrapped about a resilient underlisting sleeve or directly about the handle of a golf club.
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Claims(20)
What is claimed is:
1. A golf club grip that includes an elongated composite strip, said strip comprising:
a first segment having a backing layer to the upper surface of which is bonded a layer of polyurethane;
a second segment having a backing layer to the upper surface of which is bonded a mesh formed of fabric fibers by means of a coating of polyurethane and with fibers of the mesh defining slip-resistant grooves in the upper surface of the polyurethane coating;
adhesive on the underside of the backing layers of the first and second segments; and
with a side edge of the first segment being adhesively attached along one of its side edges to a side edge of the other segment to define said strip.
2. A golf club grip as set forth in
claim 1
wherein the backing layers are felt.
3. A golf club grip as set forth in
claim 1
wherein the backing layers include an EVA.
4. A golf club grip as set forth in
claim 1
wherein some of the fibers extend longitudinally and the other of the fibers extend transversely with respect to the longitudinal axis of the second segment, and the longitudinally extending fibers are thicker than the transversely extending fibers and define said grooves.
5. A golf club grip as set forth in
claim 4
wherein the coating of polyurethane on the second segment is buffed to partially expose the longitudinally extending fibers.
6. A golf club grip as set forth in
claim 5
wherein the side edges of the polyurethane layers of the first and second segments are heat-compressed so as to define recessed reinforcement side edges and outwardly, and downwardly slanted skived side edges are formed along the length of the backing layer of such segments.
7. A golf club grip as set forth in
claim 6
wherein the adhesive of the backing layer of the first segment is initially covered by a peel-off tape that is scored along one side to define a band that covers a skived side edge of said backing layers, said band being removed for attachment to a recessed reinforcement side edge of the second segment.
8. A golf club grip as set forth in
claim 6
wherein the backing layers are of felt.
9. A golf club grip as set forth in
claim 6
wherein the backing layers include an EVA.
10. A slip-on golf club grip comprising:
a strip having a first segment that includes a backing layer to the upper surface of which is bonded a layer of polyurethane;
a second segment that includes a backing layer to the upper surface of which is bonded a mesh formed of fabric fibers by means of a coating of polyurethane and with fibers of the mesh defining slip-resistant grooves in the upper surface of the polyurethane coating;
adhesive on the underside of the felt layers;
with a side edge of one segment being adhesively attached along its side edge to a side edge of the other segment to define said strip; and
a resilient underlisting sleeve about which the strip is spirally wrapped and adhered.
11. The combination as set forth in
claim 10
wherein heat compressed radially inwardly extending reinforcement side edges are formed in the polyurethane layer of the segments along the length of the segments, and outwardly and downwardly slanted side edges are formed along the length of the felt-layer of the segments whereby when the strip is spirally wrapped about the sleeve to define said grip the underside of the adjoining recessed side edges are overlapped by the slanted side edges to define a water retarding joint between the adjoining side edges.
12. The combination as set forth in
claim 10
wherein some of the fibers extend longitudinally with respect to the longitudinal axis of the second segment and the other of the fibers extend transversely with respect to the longitudinal axis of the second segment, and the longitudinally extending fibers are thicker than the transversely extending fibers so as to form said grooves.
13. A golf club grip as set forth in
claim 12
wherein the coating of polyurethane on the second segment is buffed to partially expose the longitudinally extending fibers.
14. The combination as set forth in
claim 10
wherein the adhesive of the backing layer of the first segment is initially covered by a peel-off tape that is scored along one side to define a band that covers a skived side edge of said backing layer, said band being removed for attachment to a recessed reinforcement side edge of the second segment.
15. The combination of a golf club having a handle and a resilient grip wherein the resilient grip comprises:
a strip having a first segment that includes a layer of felt to the upper surface of which is bonded a layer of polyurethane;
a second segment having a layer of felt to the upper surface of which is bonded a mesh formed of fabric fibers by means of a coating of polyurethane and with fibers of the mesh defining slip-resistant grooves in the upper surface of the polyurethane coating;
with a side edge of one segment being attached adhesively along its side edge to a side edge of the other segment to define said strip;
a resilient underlisting sleeve about which the strip is spirally wrapped and adhered; and
with the sleeve being positioned upon the handle of the golf club.
16. The combination as set forth in
claim 15
wherein heat compressed radially inwardly extending reinforcement side edges are formed in the polyurethane layer of the segments along the length of the segments, and outwardly and downwardly slanted side edges are formed along the length of the felt-layer of the segments whereby when the strip is spirally wrapped about the sleeve to define said grip the underside of the adjoining recessed side edges are overlapped by the slanted side edges to define a water retarding joint between the adjoining side edges.
17. The combination of
claim 15
wherein some of the fibers extend longitudinally with respect to the longitudinal axis of the second segment and the other of the fibers extend transversely with respect to the longitudinal axis of the second segment, and the longitudinally extending fibers are thicker than the transversely extending fibers so as to form said grooves.
18. The combination of
claim 17
wherein the coating of polyurethane on the second segment is buffed to partially expose the longitudinally extending fibers.
19. In a method of making a golf club grip, the steps including:
providing a backing layer strip to the upper surface of which is bonded a mesh of fabric fibers by means of a coating of polyurethane, with the fibers of the mesh defining slip-resistant grooves in the upper surface of the polyurethane coating; and
buffing the polyurethane coating to partially expose some of the fibers.
20. A method as set forth in
claim 19
wherein some of the fibers extend longitudinally and the other of the fibers extend transversely with respect to the longitudinal axis of the backing layer strip, and the longitudinally extending fibers are thicker than the transversely extending fibers, with the longitudinally extending fibers being partially exposed by the buffing.
Description
    RELATED U.S. APPLICATION DATA
  • [0001]
    This application is a continuation in part of Ser. No. 09/497,750 filed by me Feb. 4, 2000, now U.S. Pat. No. ______, and a continuation in part of Ser. No. 09/709,684 filed by me Nov. 9, 2000, now U.S. Pat. No. ______.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates to an all-weather golf club grip for use under wet or dry playing conditions.
  • [0003]
    Applicant has previously developed resilient grips which successfully reduce shock to the muscle and arm joints of the users of golf clubs, tennis racquets, racquet ball racquets, baseball bats and other impact imparting devices. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,797,813 granted to applicant Aug. 25, 1998. Such earlier grips utilize a polyurethane layer bonded to a felt layer to define a strip which is spirally wrapped around the handle of a golf club, racquet or the like to conform to the external configuration or such handle. In certain of such grips the sides of the felt layer taper from the side edges of the strip and the polyurethane layer is formed with recessed reinforcement side edges which overlap to form a water retarding joint between the side edges of the strip as the strip is wrapped around the handle or over a resilient sleeve telescopically carried by the handle. A problem common to polyurethane-felt golf club grips is slippage of the grip when moisture accumulates thereon as from rainy or humid conditions or from perspiration. Such slippage can result in diminished control of the golf club resulting in misdirected shots thereby reducing the enjoyment of the game to the golfer.
  • [0004]
    To reduce such slippage between a golf club grip and a golfer's hands there have been provided cord-type grips providing a roughened surface to the golfer's hands. Such cord-type grips however, feels stiff and uncomfortable to a golfer, particularly in dry weather conditions, although such grips afford reasonable slip-resistance between a golf club grip and a golfer's hands during wet playing conditions.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0005]
    Applicant has developed a shock resistant golf club grip usable under either dry or wet playing conditions which provides improved resistance against slippage between a golfer's hands and the grip. Such golf club grip permits a golfer to continue playing even during rainy or humid conditions and also minimizes the slippage effect of perspiration build-up on the golf club grip. The grip utilizes a strip which is spirally wrapped about a golf club handle. The side edges of the grip are skived and are also formed with recessed side edges which are overlapped to define a water retarding joint along such side edges. Additionally, unraveling of the grip relative to the golf club handle or underlisting sleeve is inhibited by the skived side edges and recessed reinforcement edges. The recessed reinforcement side edges also inhibit interference with other golf clubs when one of the clubs is removed from or placed within a golf bag.
  • [0006]
    A preferred golf club grip embodying the present invention utilizes a two-piece grip, one segment being of polyurethane-felt construction, and the other segment being of a polyurethane-fiber mesh construction. Each segment may be of a different width. The two segments may be of different colors so as to provide a golf club grip of a unique decorative appearance. The two segments are adhered together to define an elongated resilient strip. When the strip is installed on a golf club, the polyurethane-felt segment absorbs shocks and provides tackiness so as to inhibit slippage of a user's hand, while the polyurethane-fiber mesh segment provides additional friction to slippage of a golfer's hands on the grip, particularly under wet or humid conditions such as exist during rain. The polyurethane-fiber mesh segment affords a slip resistance similar to that of a conventional cord-type grip. A golf club grip embodying the present invention therefor embodies the advantages of a shock resistant polyurethane-felt grip with the advantages of a slippage resistant cord-type grip. In this manner, the golf club grip of the present invention provides maximum control of a golf club by a golfer under either wet or dry conditions. Such control is especially critical when a golfer takes a full swing of the golf club.
  • [0007]
    These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment which, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, illustrates by way of example the principles of the invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0008]
    [0008]FIG. 1 is a broken top plan view of a polyurethane-felt segment of a preferred form of golf club grip embodying the present invention.
  • [0009]
    [0009]FIG. 2 is a broken bottom view of the segment of FIG. 1, showing a portion of a protective quick-release tape being peeled from the underside of such segment.
  • [0010]
    [0010]FIG. 3 is a broken top plan view of a felt-polyurethane-fabric mesh segment of such golf grip.
  • [0011]
    [0011]FIG. 4 is a broken bottom view of the segment FIG. 3.
  • [0012]
    [0012]FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view taken in enlarged scale along line 5-5 of FIG. 2.
  • [0013]
    [0013]FIG. 6 is a vertical sectional view taken in enlarged scale along line 6-6 of FIG. 4.
  • [0014]
    [0014]FIG. 7 is a broken top view of a composite strip fabricated from the two segments shown in FIGS. 1-4 to be formed into a strip utilized in a golf club grip embodying the present invention.
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 8 is a broken view of the underside of the strip of FIG. 7.
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 9 is a broken top plan view of the strip of FIGS. 7 and 8 after such strip has been cut to define starting and trailing ends;
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 9A shows a protective strip being peeled from the starting edge of the strip.
  • [0018]
    [0018]FIG. 9B is a vertical sectional view taken in enlarged scale along line 9B-9B of FIG. 9.
  • [0019]
    [0019]FIG. 10 is a further enlarged view of the encircled area designated 10 in FIG. 6.
  • [0020]
    [0020]FIG. 10B is a vertical sectional view taken along line 10B-10B of FIG. 10.
  • [0021]
    [0021]FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an underlisting sleeve which receives the composite strip shown in the preceding figures.
  • [0022]
    [0022]FIG. 12 is a vertical sectional view taken along line 12-12 of FIG. 11.
  • [0023]
    [0023]FIG. 13 is a broken side elevational view showing a composite strip embodying the present invention being wrapped around the underlisting sleeve of FIGS. 11 and 12 to form a golf club grip embodying the present invention.
  • [0024]
    [0024]FIG. 14 is a broken side elevational view showing the lower end of the strip of FIG. 13 being secured to the lower portion of the underlisting sleeve.
  • [0025]
    [0025]FIG. 15 is a vertical sectional view taken in enlarged scale along line 15-15 of FIG. 13.
  • [0026]
    [0026]FIG. 16 is a horizontal sectional view taken along line 16-16 of FIG. 15.
  • [0027]
    [0027]FIG. 17 is a horizontal sectional view taken along line 17-17 of FIG. 15.
  • [0028]
    [0028]FIG. 18 is a perspective view showing a golf club grip embodying the present invention applied to the handle of a golf club.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • [0029]
    Referring to the drawings, a preferred form of grip G embodying the present invention utilizes an elongated composite two-piece strip S which is spirally wrapped around a golf club handle as shown in FIGS. 13, 14, and 18. Such strip may also be applied to the handle of other imparting devices (not shown) such as a tennis racquet. The strip S is fabricated from first and second individual segments S1 and S2 of different widths, with segment S1 preferably being wider than segment S2. As shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 5, segment S1 includes a bottom backing layer (preferably of felt), generally designated 30, having an inner or bottom surface 31. Segment S1 also includes a top layer of a suitable resilient plastic material, such as a smooth polyurethane layer, generally designated 34, with the polyurethane layer being bonded to its adjacent bottom layer in a conventional manner. The segment S1 may be formed with vertical perforations 35 such as shown in my U.S. Pat. No. 5,645,501 issued Jul. 8, 1997.
  • [0030]
    As shown in FIGS. 3, 4, 6, 10 and 10B segment S2 may be formed of a bottom backing layer 36 (preferably of felt) having an inner or bottom surface 37. A mesh M formed of fabric fibers 38 a and 38 b is laid over backing layer 36, with a coating of polyurethane 40 bonding the fibers to the top of the backing layer 36. The longitudinally extending fibers 38A will preferably be of a larger diameter than the transversely extending fibers 38B with respect to the longitudinal axis of segment S2. For example, the longitudinal fibers may have a diameter of 0.04-0.75 mm and the transverse fibers have a diameter of 0.05-0.25 mm, however, the longitudinal and transverse fibers may be substantially equal in diameter. The felt layers 30 and 36 and the fabric fibers 38A and 38B may be fabricated of conventional suitable materials such as nylon, cotton, polyester or the like.
  • [0031]
    The felt layers 30 and 36 serve as backing layers for the polyurethane layer 34 and polyurethane coating 40 so as to provide strength for the polyurethane. The felt also cooperates with the polyurethane to assist in cushioning the shocks applied to a grip when a golf ball is struck by a golf club. It should be noted that other materials may be substituted for the felt as a backing layer to provide strength for the polyurethane and to cushion shocks, e.g., a synthetic plastic such as an ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer, commonly known as EVA.
  • [0032]
    The polyurethane layers of each strip segment may be formed in a conventional manner by coating a felt strip with one or more solutions of polyurethane (e.g. polyester or polyether) dissolved in a dimethyl formamide (DMF), immersing the coated strip in water baths to displace the DMF and cause the urethanes to coagulate, and finally driving off the water by the application of pressure and heat. In this manner, pores (not shown) are formed in the body of the polyurethane, while the underside of the polyurethane layer is bonded to the upper surface of the felt layer. The thickness of the polyurethane layer is preferably about 0.2-0.8 millimeters and the thickness of the felt layer is about 0.6-1.40 millimeters.
  • [0033]
    A suitable arrangement for coating felt and fabric mats with liquid polyurethane is disclosed in my U.S. Ser. No. 09/497,750 filed by me Feb. 4, 2000, now U.S. Pat. No. ______. In such arrangement, attached together felt and fabric mesh mats are carried by a guiding cloth secured to the front end of the mats from a supply roller to a receiver roller. The guide cloth extends over a coating roller positioned below a polyurethane dispensing nozzle with liquid polyurethane. The guiding cloth then moves the mats through a water bath over a plurality of rollers so as to coagulate the liquid polyurethane. The thickness of the polyurethane layer should be sufficient to cover and impregnate the fibers of the mesh. The mats are then carried through a water cleaning bath by rollers. After the polyurethane has cured, the mats can be cut into the elongated segments S2. The polyurethane serves to bond-together the felt layer and the mesh fibers. Referring now to FIG. 10B, it will be noted that the larger fibers 38A of the fabric mesh serves to form a parallel corrugations or slip-resistant grooves 39 in the outer surface of the cured polyurethane as the polyurethane cures. It is important to note that the surface of polyurethane 40 in FIG. 10B can be buffed to a degree to partially expose the fabric fibers 38A to increase friction between golfers' fingers and grip to reduce slippage, as shown in FIG. 17A. The partially exposed fibers will resemble the cords of a cord-type grip in both feel and appearance. Such buffing may be accomplished as by rotating a brush made of a suitable fabric or other textile against the surface of the polyurethane.
  • [0034]
    Referring again to FIG. 5, the side edges of the polyurethane layer of segment S1 are formed with sidewardly and outwardly extending reinforcement side edges 45 and 46 as by means of power-rotated heated rollers which compress and therefore densify the side edges of the polyurethane layer 34. A suitable heated roller apparatus is disclosed in my Ser. No. 08/940,796, now U.S. Pat. No. ______. Alternatively, the recessed reinforcement side edges may be formed by a heated platen as shown in my U.S. Pat. No. 5,797,813. Similarly, the side edges of the polyurethane layer 40 of segment S2 are formed with sidewardly and outwardly extending reinforcement side edges 47 and 48. As shown in FIG. 5, the side edges of the bottom backing layer 30 of segment S1 have been skived to form outwardly and upwardly slanted side edges 50 and 52. Referring now to FIG. 2, the underside of backing layer 30 is provided with an adhesive 54 initially covered in a conventional manner by a peel-away tape 56. Peel-away tape 56 includes a score line 56A over skived edge 50 which defines a thin band 56B which can be pulled off the main body 56C of tape 56 to expose adhesive 54 disposed on such skived edge while the main body of the tape remains on the adhesive covering the remainder of the segment S1. Preferably, slanted skived edge 50 of backing layer will be shorter than the other slanted side edge 52. Referring now to FIG. 6, the side edges of the backing layer 36 of segment S2 have been skived to form outwardly and upwardly slanted side edges 53 and 54. As shown in FIG. 6, the entire underside of backing layer 36 is then provided with an adhesive 58 initially covered in a conventional manner by a peel-away tape 59 shown in FIG. 4.
  • [0035]
    To combine segments S1 and S2 into strip S, tape band 56B is peeled off the underside of segments S1 to expose adhesive 54. Recessed side edge 47 of segment S2 is then adhered to the skived side edge 50 of segment S1, as shown in FIGS. 7, 8, and 9B to define strip S. The strip is then cut on both ends to create starting and trailing edges, as shown in FIG. 9.
  • [0036]
    Referring to FIGS. 11 and 12, there is shown a resilient rubber-like underlisting sleeve U about which strip S is spirally wrapped to form grip G. Underlisting sleeve U is fabricated of synthetic plastic foam or rubber utilizing a perforated integral cap 61. Below the cap 61 there is formed a starting groove 62. The lower end of the sleeve is formed with an integral nipple 66. The upper portion of nipple 66 is provided with an upwardly-facing circumferential groove 68 defined by circumferential lip 69. Underlisting sleeve U is similar to that described in my aforementioned patent application Ser. No. 09/497,750, now U.S. Pat. No. ______.
  • [0037]
    To spirally wind strip S around underlisting sleeve U, the tip of the starting edge tongue 70 of the strip is first inserted in the starting groove 62 of the sleeve. The strip is then wrapped about one and one half times around the upper or butt end of the sleeve to provide a smooth configuration of the strip on the sleeve as shown in FIG. 13. With continued reference to FIG. 13 and additionally to FIG. 15, as the strip S is wrapped around the underlisting sleeve U the underside of the skived side edges of segment S1 overlap the recessed reinforced side edges of segment S2, respectively, such edges being secured together in a water-tight manner by adhesives 54 and 58. With this arrangement, the skived side edges of segment S1 covers the recessed side edges of segment S2 so that the fingers of a golfer pressing on segment S2 press the strip S1 firmly against the underlisting to inhibit unraveling of the strip from the underlisting. The use of slanted side edges 50 and 52 having different width permits a more pleasing longitudinal profile of the completed grip G, while the narrower slanted edge 50 reduces the amount of felt cut-off the layer thereby maintaining the strength of the completed strip A, conventional collapsible mandrel MA may support the underlisting sleeve U as the strip S is wrapped therearound. After the strip S is spirally wrapped about the underlisting sleeve U, the backing layers 30 and 36 provide a firm anchoring means between the sleeve and the underside of the strip.
  • [0038]
    When the lower edge of the strip S has been spirally wound to a position on underlisting sleeve U wherein its lower edge is disposed in approximate horizontal alignment with the lower portion of nipple groove 68, the lower end portion of the strip is urged into the confines of the groove by temporarily expanding the peripheral lip 69 formed outwardly of the groove so as to admit the lower edge of the strip into the groove. When the lip snaps back to its original position, such lip will securely retain the lower end of the strip within the nipple. The completed sleeve and strip combination may then be removed from the mandrel MA in a conventional manner. Such underlisting sleeve U and strip S combination will define a preferred form of slip-on golf club grip embodying the present invention. Additionally, it is possible to spirally wrap the strip S directly about the handle of a golf club or other impact imparting device. It is also possible to make segments S1 and S2 of contrasting colors to enhance the appearance of the grips, and to reverse the materials and width of segments S1 and S2.
  • [0039]
    From the foregoing description it will be apparent that golf club grips embodying the present invention provide both the shock absorbing, resilient qualities and tackiness of a polyurethane-felt grip and the non-slip characteristics of a conventional cord-type grip.
  • [0040]
    Various modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Accordingly, it is not intended that the invention be limited, except by the appended claims.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6666777Aug 28, 2002Dec 23, 2003Lamkin Corp.Partial cord golf grip and method of making same
US8499487Jun 18, 2012Aug 6, 2013Ben HuangFishing pole grip
US8518505Apr 2, 2010Aug 27, 2013Ben HuangMulti-layered grip
US8590205Nov 17, 2010Nov 26, 2013Ben HuangExchangeable handle for use with a fishing pole
US8617664 *Aug 11, 2011Dec 31, 2013Ben HuangMulti-polymer grip member
US8734267Jun 28, 2013May 27, 2014Ben HuangSleeve member for use in golf club grips and the like
US8845448Feb 23, 2012Sep 30, 2014Ben HuangSingle panel golf club grip
US8966809Apr 19, 2013Mar 3, 2015Ben HuangMulti-layered grip and method of making a sleeve for a grip
US9090307 *Apr 2, 2010Jul 28, 2015Ben HuangGrip for the handle of an article
US9114295Jan 25, 2013Aug 25, 2015Ben HuangGrip
US9144716May 1, 2013Sep 29, 2015Ben HuangPanel grip with cut-outs and inserts
US20040043827 *Aug 11, 2003Mar 4, 2004Lamkin CorporationMethod of making partial cord golf grip
US20100269626 *Apr 2, 2010Oct 28, 2010Ben HuangGrip for the handle of an article
US20110113673 *Nov 17, 2010May 19, 2011Ben HuangExchangeable handle for use with a fishing pole
US20110293902 *Dec 1, 2011Ben HuangMulti-polymer grip member
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/300
International ClassificationA63B53/14, A63B49/08
Cooperative ClassificationA63B49/08, A63B53/14, A63B60/14
European ClassificationA63B53/14