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Publication numberUS20020016213 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/681,995
Publication dateFeb 7, 2002
Filing dateJul 5, 2001
Priority dateJul 7, 2000
Publication number09681995, 681995, US 2002/0016213 A1, US 2002/016213 A1, US 20020016213 A1, US 20020016213A1, US 2002016213 A1, US 2002016213A1, US-A1-20020016213, US-A1-2002016213, US2002/0016213A1, US2002/016213A1, US20020016213 A1, US20020016213A1, US2002016213 A1, US2002016213A1
InventorsDouglas Templeton
Original AssigneeTempleton Douglas L.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multiple feedback putting guide and method
US 20020016213 A1
Abstract
The present invention provides a putting guide for providing both physical and acoustical feedback of the proper putting stroke. The putting guide is comprised of a guide rail, a base, and securing receptacles. The guide rail is defined at an angle substantially perpendicular relative to the plane of the base to enable a golfer to practice a linear putting stroke. The securing receptacles extend through the base for receipt of a securing device. The putting guide is also provided with elastomeric end caps to hold the guide off an indoor putting surface which can dampen the aural feedback of the guide.
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Claims(7)
1] A putting guide for providing both physical and acoustical feedback of the proper putting stroke, the putting guide comprising:
a metallic guide rail defined at an angle of about 90 degrees relative to the plane of the base such that the guide rail is substantially vertical;
a base;
securing receptacles extending through the base for receipt of a securing device; and,
elastomeric end caps covering each end of the said metallic guide rail.
2] The putting guide of claim 1 wherein the guide rail further comprises an upper surface having calibration markings to provide visual feedback of the proper putting stroke.
3] A method of providing physical and acoustical feedback during practice of the proper putting stroke with a putter, the method comprising the steps of:
selecting metal bar stock with sufficient acoustical properties that an audible signal will be created through sliding contact with a putter; and
shaping the bar stock such that a guide rail is provided for contacting the putter throughout the putting stroke to physically guide the putter into the proper putting stroke.
4] The method of claim 3 wherein the bar stock is shaped such that the guide rail is substantially vertical.
5] The method of claim 3 further comprising the step of providing calibration markings on the secured guide rail to provide visual feedback on the backswing of the putting stroke.
6] A method of practicing a proper putting stroke using the putting guide of claim 1, the method comprising the steps of:
placing the putting guide on a putting surface; aligning the putting guide with a target;
securing the putting guide to the putting surface by inserting the securing device through the securing receptacles; and
performing the putting stroke while maintaining the putter against the guide rail of the putting guide such that both physical and acoustical feedback is received.
7] A method of practicing a proper putting stroke using the putting guide of claim 1, the method comprising the steps of:
placing the putting guide on a smooth indoor surface;
aligning the putting guide with a target; and
performing the putting stroke while maintaining the putter against the guide rail of the putting guide such that both physical and acoustical feedback is received.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of provisional application U.S. Ser. No. 60/216,867 filed Jul. 7, 2000.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to a putting guide for practicing the golf putting stroke. More specifically, the present invention relates to a putting guide that provides physical, visual, and audible feedback to the user in order to improve the user's putting stroke.

[0003] Not only is putting one of the most important parts of a golfer's game, but it is also one of the most difficult skills to master. A proper putting stroke requires precision in the golfer's grip, stance, backswing, downswing, followthrough, club speed, club direction combination, and club face at impact. Imprecision in anyone of the above swing variables can adversely affect the putt. For example, a slight deviation in the club face or club direction will cause the struck ball to deviate from its intended path. Thus, in order to eliminate variances in the numerous swing variables, it is imperative that the golfer develop a consistent and repeatable putting stroke.

[0004] Practicing of the putting stroke enables the golfer to develop precision in the combination of the swing variables. The golfer must continually correct the swing variables until the desired stroke is attained. Once attained, the putting stroke must be continually repeated to develop muscle memory, at which point the stroke becomes natural and is consistently repeatable.

[0005] To date, several devices exist which provide the golfer with physical feedback regarding the putting stroke during practice. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,109,685 to Fonseca et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 5,393,065 to LeQuyea provide putting practice devices comprised of a base plate and a pair of guide rails. The base plate in both devices is intended to be placed on top of the putting practice surface and the guide rails help to keep the putter in linear alignment. As the golfer practices the stroke, if the travel of the putter begins to deviate from a proper linear stroke, the putter head or heel will strike the guide rails and be forced back into proper alignment. The golfer thereby develops physical feedback during the practice of the putting stroke.

[0006] Although the golfer is able to practice the proper linear putting stroke with the Fonseca et al. and the LeQuyea devices, a drawback to each device is that the elevation of the putter in relation to the actual putting surface is skewed. Each device requires that the guide rails be mounted onto a base plate. Regardless of whether the base plate is solid or soft, the putter must be elevated to account for the thickness of the base plate. Even though the thickness may be seemingly insignificant, the putting stroke is an extremely precise stroke that is affected by such variances.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 5,024,442 to Sindelar, Sr. provides a putting practice device that provides physical feedback to the golfer and avoids the above mentioned problem associated with a base plate. The Sindelar, Sr. patent provides an elongated training aid including lengthwise adjacent and coextensive guide surfaces on its opposite sides. The training aid is affixed directly to the practice putting surface and the golfer uses the guide surfaces to direct the putter during the stroke. The putter heel is held against one of the guide surfaces and is moved along the guide surface throughout the putting stroke. One of the guide surfaces is vertical to enables golfers to practice a linear putting stroke, while the other guide surface is an inclined surface enabling golfers to practice an “in to in” (or “in and up”) method of putting in which the golfer takes the putter head to the inside and slightly up on the back swing, returns to the ball and brings the putter in and up on the follow through. By continually practicing the putter stroke with the heel of the putter guided by the training aid, the golfer receives physical feedback and is able to develop muscle memory for the stroke.

[0008] Although providing physical feedback (and some visual feedback in the form of calibration markings) to the golfer, none of the above mentioned patents offer any acoustical feedback. The Fonseca et al. and LeQuea devices are not intended to provide any acoustical feedback. The putter head is intended to remain clear of the guide rails. The guide rails function to provide physical feedback when the putter deviates from proper alignment. Further, any acoustical signal originating from the putter head striking the guide rails is dampened by the attachment of the guide rails to the base plate. Similarly, the Sindelar, Sr. device is not intended to provide acoustical feedback. The structural geometry of the Sindelar, Sr. training aid is such that any acoustical signals originating from the sliding of the putter head across the guide surfaces is significantly dampened. Further, in a preferred embodiment, the Sindelar Sr. device is comprised of a material inherently having poor acoustical properties, namely, plastic.

[0009] There exists, therefore, a need for a putting practice device which combines physical and visual feedback with acoustical feedback. Combining the types of feedback simultaneously would enable the golfer to more quickly and more efficiently attain the proper stroke. Because the proper stroke would be reinforced physically, visually, and audibly, the development of the desired muscle memory would occur at a more rapid rate.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0010] A preferred embodiment of the present invention provides a putting guide for providing both physical and acoustical feedback of the proper putting stroke. The putting guide is comprised of a guide rail, a base, and securing receptacles. The guide rail is defined at an angle of about 90 degrees relative to the plane of the base such that the guide rail is substantially vertical. The securing receptacles extend therethrough the base for receipt of a securing device.

[0011] Additional feedback is provided in the form of visual feedback by having calibration markings placed on the upper surface of the guide rail. The golfer can visually inspect the amount of backswing and compare with the distance the struck ball travels to better gauge putting distances.

[0012] Another preferred embodiment of the present invention provides a method of providing physical and acoustical feedback during practice of the proper putting stroke with a putter. A secured guide rail is provided for contacting the heel of the putter throughout the putting stroke to physically guide the putter into the proper putting stroke. The guide rail is manufactured of metallic material such that the contact between the heel of the putter and the guide rail throughout the putting stroke results in an audible signal varying in intensity relative to the force and amount of contact. Thus, both physical and audible feedback are received by the golfer.

[0013] Other objects, and the advantages, of the present invention will be made clear to those skilled in the art by the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0014]FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the putting guide of the present invention.

[0015]FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the putting guide of the present invention.

[0016]FIG. 3 is a side plan view of a preferred embodiment of the putting guide of the present invention.

[0017]FIG. 4 is a top view of a preferred embodiment of the putting guide of the present invention in alignment with a practice hole.

[0018]FIG. 5 is a side view of a preferred embodiment of the putting guide of the present invention shown with a putter.

[0019]FIG. 6 is a front perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the putting guide of the present invention shown with a putter.

[0020]FIG. 7 is a side plan view of a preferred embodiment of the putting guide of the present invention illustrating the acoustical characteristics.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0021] FIGS. 1-3 illustrate a preferred embodiment of the putting guide of the present invention. FIG. 1 illustrates a front perspective view, FIG. 2 illustrates a rear perspective view, and FIG. 3 illustrates a side plan view. The putting guide (indicated generally as 1) is a metallic bracket type device comprised of a guide rail 10 and a base 12. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the putting guide 1 is formed from annodized aluminum alloy 6063 about 30 inches long, 1 inch wide and 1 inch high. However, one skilled in the art will recognize that other 6000 series alloys or other metals having acoustical properties can be used to advantage and remain within the purview of the invention.

[0022] The guide rail 10 of the present invention has a guide surface 14 and a top surface 16. The guide surface 14 is used to guide the putter head (not shown) throughout the putting stroke. The top surface 16 has calibration marks 20 which provide visual feedback to enable the golfer to determine putting distance based upon the amount of backswing of the putting stroke. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the guide rail 10 is defined at an angle of about 90 degrees relative to the plane of the base 12 such that the guide rail 10 is substantially vertical. With the guide rail 10 substantially vertical, the guide surface 14 is substantially vertical enabling the putting guide 1 to be used to practice the linear putting stroke.

[0023] One skilled in the art will recognize that having the guide rail 10 defined at an angle of about 90 degrees relative to the base 12 of the putting guide 1 enables golfers to practice a linear putting stroke in which the putter travels substantially parallel with the intended direction of travel of the golf ball. With modern “face weighted putters”, a linear putting stroke is preferred over older techniques such as the “in to in” or “in and up” methods.

[0024] The base 12 of the putting guide 1 is substantially perpendicular to the guide rail 10. The base is comprised of a ground surface 22, securing receptacles 26, and an upper surface 24. The ground surface 22 interacts with the putting practice surface (i.e., the practice green, the practice mat, the ground, etc.) such that the putting guide 1 is provided with stable footing. The ground surface 22 can additionally be comprised of a frictional surface such as a rubber backing to prevent inadvertent movement of the putting guide 1.

[0025] The securing receptacles 26 are holes extending therethrough the upper surface 26 of the base 12 and are defined by the base 12. The securing receptacles 26 extend from the upper surface 24 through the base 12 to the ground surface 22. The securing receptacles 26 are for the receipt of a securing device 30, such as a golf tee or pin, used to firmly secure the putting guide 1 to the practice surface in the alignment being practiced.

[0026] Additionally, the preferred embodiment is provided with elastomeric end caps 27 at each end of the guide 1 that serve to hold the guide base 12 off the floor when used indoors to prevent the acoustical resonance of the base from being damped by the floor, thereby assuring the appropriate aural feedback to the user. These end caps also serve to resist movement of the putting guide 1 while the user practices putting on an indoor slick surface.

[0027] One skilled in the art will recognize that the base 12 must be of sufficient weight to prevent the putting guide 1 from toppling under the weight of the guide rail 10. Additionally, the base 12 must be of sufficient weight to prevent the putting guide 1 from toppling due to incidental contact by the putter. However, if the weight alone is not sufficient, the securing device 30 inserted through the securing receptacles 26 will assist the base 12 in preventing the device from toppling. The preferred embodiment is formed with ⅛th inch aluminum that is anodized to provide a protected surface to provide long service in all varieties of climate.

[0028] In use, the putting guide 1 is first placed upon the practice putting surface and aligned with a target. FIG. 4 provides a top view illustration of the putting guide 1 in alignment with a golf hole 50. The putting guide 1 is aligned with the hole 50 such that a perfectly linear stroke that strikes a ball placed at the point of impact 34 will result in the ball traveling into the hole 50. To acquire the proper alignment, after the putting guide 1 is placed upon the practice putting surface, a securing device 30 is inserted through one of the two receptacles 26 such that the putting guide 1 can still be rotated about the axis of the inserted securing device 30. A putt is performed and based upon the results of the putt, the putting guide 1 is rotated to adjust for any deviation from the target. Once the target is reached (i.e., the ball goes into the hole), another securing device 30 is inserted into the other securing receptacle 26 to maintain the alignment of the putting guide 1.

[0029] It should be understood that, as mentioned above, the ground surface 22 of the putting guide 1 can also be provided with a frictional surface such as by attaching a rubber insert to the ground surface 22. The frictional surface can be used in conjunction with the securing devices 30, or can be used to maintain the alignment of the putting guide 1 without the necessity of the securing devices 30 depending upon the composition of the practice putting surface. All such modifications are intended to fall within the purview of the invention.

[0030] Once aligned, the putting guide 1 is ready for repeated practice of the putting stroke. To illustrate, FIGS. 5 and 6 show the putting guide 1 in use with a putter (indicated generally as 40). FIG. 5 illustrates a side view and FIG. 6 is a front perspective view. The putter 40 being used in conjunction with the putting guide 1 is comprised of a head 42 affixed to a shaft 44. The head 42 of the putter 40 has a toe 46 and a heel 48. It will be understood that the putter 40 shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 is intended for illustration purposes only and not intended to be limiting on the scope of the invention. One skilled in the art will recognize that any number of putters can be used to advantage with the present invention.

[0031] As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, to practice the putting stroke, the golfer places the heel 48 of the putter against the guide surface 14 of the guide rail 10. Keeping the heel 48 in contact with the guide surface 14, the putter 40 is moved throughout the putting stroke. The putter 40 is first pulled backward to perform the backswing and then moved forward striking the ball and then continuing into the followthrough of the stroke. By maintaining contact between the heel 48 of the putter 40 and the guide surface 14, the golfer is provided physical feedback. The physical feedback is a result of the guide rail 10 keeping the putter 40 in linear alignment. By repeatedly practicing the stroke and maintaining continual contact between the heel 48 of the putter 40 and the guide surface 14, the golfer develops muscle memory of the proper stroke.

[0032] Additionally, maintaining contact between the heel 48 of the putter 40 and the guide surface 40, provides the golfer with acoustical feedback. The acoustical feedback is the result of the heel 48 of the putter 40 imparting a vibrational force on the guide rail 10. As shown in FIG. 7, the bracket shape of the putting guide 1 is such that constant forces upon the guide rail 10 result in the guide rail 1 vibrating (as shown by the dashed lines) as the heel 48 of the putter 40 moves along the length of the guide surface 14. The vibration results in the production of sound waves whose intensity varies with the force existing between the heel 48 of the putter 40 and the guide surface 14. A proper putting stroke results in a substantially uniform audible signal received by the golfer.

[0033] As discussed above, the putting guide 1 of the present invention is made of a metallic substance. In a preferred embodiment, the putting guide 1 is comprised of an annodized aluminum. The metallic construction allows the putting guide 1 to provide the proper acoustical feedback due to the interaction between the metallic guide surface 14 and the heel 48 of the putter 40. However, one skilled in the art will recognize that the present invention is not so limited.

[0034] Referring back to FIGS. 5 and 6, the golfer also receives visual feedback from the calibration markings 20 located on the top surface 16 of the guide rail 10. By visually inspecting the amount of backswing on a particular stroke and then comparing the backswing with the distance the ball travels, the golfer is given visual feedback pertaining to putting distance.

[0035] Thus, the guide rail 10 provides the golfer with physical, acoustical, and visual feedback simultaneously. Receiving the three types of feedback simultaneously acts to further reinforce the combination of variables necessary to produce a proper putting stroke. As such, the golfer is able to more quickly determine the proper putting stroke and is then able to more efficiently continue to practice the same.

[0036] Although described in terms of the preferred embodiments shown in the figures, those skilled in the art who have the benefit of this disclosure will recognize that changes can be made to the individual components thereof and to their manner of use which do not change the manner in which the putting guide achieves the intended result. For example, depending upon the golfer's preference, rather than using the guide rail 10 to guide the putter through contact with the heel of the putter, the guide rail could equally be used to advantage to guide the putter through contact with the toe of the putter. This alternative manner of use merely requires the golfer to orient the putting guide 1 accordingly. If used in such a manner, the putting guide 1 will still provide physical, visual, and acoustical feedback to the golfer. All such changes are intended to fall within the scope of the following non-limiting claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7217198 *Jul 13, 2001May 15, 2007Brooks Roger JGolf putting practice aid
US7766763 *Nov 20, 2008Aug 3, 2010Momentus GolfPutting track
US8398501Sep 25, 2008Mar 19, 2013William Bradford PriesterMuscle training apparatus and method
US8597133 *Mar 16, 2006Dec 3, 2013William B. PriesterMotion training apparatus and method
US8827843May 23, 2012Sep 9, 2014William B. PriesterMuscle training apparatus and method
US20130184096 *Feb 17, 2012Jul 18, 2013Chen Giant Technic Co., Ltd.Golf putting training aid
US20140113737 *Oct 18, 2013Apr 24, 2014Anthony ZagameGolf Swing Training Device
WO2003097182A1 *May 13, 2003Nov 27, 2003Helmut ChaluppaPutting trainer
WO2007109387A2 *Feb 16, 2007Sep 27, 2007William B PriesterMotion training apparatus and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/257, 473/261
International ClassificationA63B69/36
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2071/024, A63B2071/0694, A63B69/3644, A63B2071/0625, A63B69/3676
European ClassificationA63B69/36P