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Publication numberUS20020032075 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/953,008
Publication dateMar 14, 2002
Filing dateSep 10, 2001
Priority dateSep 11, 2000
Publication number09953008, 953008, US 2002/0032075 A1, US 2002/032075 A1, US 20020032075 A1, US 20020032075A1, US 2002032075 A1, US 2002032075A1, US-A1-20020032075, US-A1-2002032075, US2002/0032075A1, US2002/032075A1, US20020032075 A1, US20020032075A1, US2002032075 A1, US2002032075A1
InventorsMarlo Vatsvog
Original AssigneeVatsvog Marlo K.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf putter
US 20020032075 A1
Abstract
A golf putter includes a head supported by a generally straight shaft or a somewhat curved shaft. The head defines toe and heal cavities which may contain weight units or filler units. The weights and fillers may be rearranged to vary the overall weight of the head, and to vary the distribution of the weight front-to-back and side-to-side. A plurality of differently shaped solid faces and frame-type faces are available for attachment to the front portion of the head. The frame-type faces have inserts which vary in the shape of the impact surface and hardness of the material from which the face plate is made. An eye chart, used in conjunction with a laser mounted on the head of the putter, and a method of use provide information to the golfer about the suggested arrangement of the weights in the head of the club.
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Claims(6)
What is claimed is:
1. A kit of parts for putting a golf ball, comprising:
(A) a putter having a head carried by a shaft, the head defining toe and heal cavities;
(B) at least one solid face sized for attachment to a front surface of the head;
(C) a plurality of weights and a plurality of fillers, each weight and each filler sized to be carried within the toe and heal cavities defined in the head of the putter; and
(D) an eye chart having a chart surface, the chart surface having a center point of the eye chart flanked to the left and right by graduations.
2. The kit of parts for putting a golf ball of claim 1, further comprising:
(A) at least one frame-type face sized for attachment to the front surface of the head.
3. The kit of parts for putting a golf ball of claim 1, further comprising:
(A) a tool for replacing the faces on the head.
4. The kit of parts for putting a golf ball of claim 1, further comprising:
(A) a pouch sized to contain the at least two solid and the at least two frame-type faces, the plurality of weights, the plurality of fillers and the tool for replacing the faces on the head.
5. A kit of parts for putting a golf ball, comprising:
(A) a putter having a head carried by a shaft, the head defining toe and heal cavities and an indentation defined in the top and back portion of the head;
(B) at least two solid faces sized for attachment to a front surface of the head, at least one of the at least two solid faces having a flat impact surface and at least one of the at least two solid faces having a convex impact surface;
(C) at least two frame-type faces sized for attachment to the front surface of the head, at least one of the at least two frame type faces having an insert having a flat impact surface and at least one of the at least two frame type faces having an insert having a concave impact surface;
(D) a plurality of weights and a plurality of fillers, each weight and each filler having a cylindrical shape sized to be carried within the toe and heal cavities defined in the head of the putter;
(E) an eye chart having an A-frame support and a chart surface, the chart surface having a center point of the eye chart flanked to the left and right by graduations;
(F) a tool for replacing the faces on the head; and
(G) a pouch sized to contain the at least two solid and the at least two frame-type faces, the plurality of weights, the plurality of fillers and the tool for replacing the faces on the head.
6. A golf putter, comprising:
(A) a head carried by a shaft, the head defining a cavity;
(B) a solid face, attached to a front surface of the head, the solid face having an impact surface; and
(C) a weight carried within the cavity defined in the head of the golf putter.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCES

[0001] There are no applications related to this application filed in this or any foreign country.

BACKGROUND

[0002] In the sport of golf, putting is a critical part of the game wherein a ball hit with only minute errors in the direction or the magnitude of the force applied will result in extra strokes and a substantially worse score. Thus, it is critical that the putting game of every golfer be perfected to the degree possible.

[0003] In response to this need, a number of putter designs have been proposed and tested. Many of these putters have been designed with the intention of providing sufficient adjustability so that characteristics of the putter could be modified in a custom manner to accommodate the needs of a wide range of golfers. However, none have been able to simultaneously address enough of the variables which must be compensated for to result in the accuracy required for such a putter to gain wide-spread adoption.

[0004] As a result, in spite of the advances made by the prior art putters, there remains a need for an improved putter which provides a plurality of structures which synergistically interact to result in improved ball-handling capabilities.

SUMMARY

[0005] The present invention is directed to an apparatus that satisfies the above needs. A novel golf putter is disclosed that is more fully adjustable than prior art putters, and which provides structures and functionality not provided by such putters.

[0006] The golf putter of the present invention provides some or all of the following structures.

[0007] (A) A golf putter 10 includes a head 20 carried by a shaft 40. The head defines toe and heal cavities 34, 35 which may contain weight units 80 or filler units 90. An indentation 27 defined in the top and back portion of the head tends to result in a lighter head, the performance of which is more easily changed when weight units and filler units are substituted.

[0008] (B) A plurality of differently shaped solid face plates 60 are available for attachment to the front portion of the head. The solid face plates may have flat or convex impact surfaces, which tend to result in somewhat different performance. By interchanging the face plates, the golfer may select the face plate for best personal results depending on stroke style and course conditions.

[0009] (C) A plurality of differently shaped frame-type face plates 70 are also available for attachment to the front portion of the head. The frame type face plates have inserts which vary in the shape of the impact surface and hardness of the material from which the impact surface is made. Typically, the shape will be flat or concave, and the material will be softer than the solid face plates.

[0010] (D) A plurality of weights 80 and fillers 90 are cylindrical in shape and may be carried within the toe and heal cavities defined in the head of the putter. By substituting weights and fillers, the overall weight of the head may be varied. By moving the weighs to the toe cavity and the filler units to the heal cavity, or the reverse, the response of the putter may be altered. Similarly, by moving the weights toward the front or back of the putter, the response may also be altered.

[0011] (E) An eye chart 400 may be used in conjunction with a laser mounted on the head of the putter to gain information helpful to the golfer in deciding how to distribute the weights and fillers in the head of the putter. For example, where the mark of the laser on the chart surface of the eye chart is to the left/right of an acceptable parameter, more weight should be placed in the heal/toe cavity.

[0012] (F) A pouch 200 contains a plurality of solid and frame-type face plates, weights, fillers and a tool for replacing the face plates on the head of the putter. Due to changing weather and other conditions on the golf course, the golfer may want to replace one face plate with another face plate, or change the amount and distribution of the weights.

[0013] It is therefore a primary advantage of the present invention to provide a novel golf putter having a structure which allows the adjustment of the overall weight of the club and allows adjustment of the center of gravity between both the toe and heal of the club and between the front and back of the club.

[0014] Another advantage of the present invention is to provide a golf club which allows adjustment of the hardness of the face plate of the club, the shape of the face plate of the club and the angle of the face plate of the club with respect to both vertical and horizontal.

[0015] A still further advantage of the present invention is to provide a golf club and kit of parts including a plurality of face plates having different shapes and hardnesses, as well as an eye chart for use in determining the most appropriate face plate and the most appropriate weight distribution to be used.

[0016] Other objectives, advantages and novel features of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon examination of the specification and the accompanying drawings.

DRAWINGS

[0017] These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to the following description, appended claims, and accompanying drawings where:

[0018]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a version of the golf putter of the invention.

[0019]FIG. 2 is an enlarged exploded perspective view of the head of the putter, having the weight units, filler units, and club face plate removed for illustration.

[0020]FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the reassembled putter of FIG. 2, taken along the 3-3 lines, showing the club head enclosing the weight units, fill units and O-rings, as well as the club face plate attached to the club head.

[0021]FIG. 4 is an end cross-sectional view of a version of a solid face plate having a flat impact surface.

[0022]FIG. 5 is an end cross-sectional view of a version of a solid face plate having a convex impact surface.

[0023]FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a version of a face plate having a oriented at a slight cant to compensate for eye dominance.

[0024]FIG. 7 is an end cross-sectional view of a version of a frame-type face plate having a flat insert.

[0025]FIG. 8 is an end cross-sectional view of a version of a frame-type face plate having a convex insert.

[0026]FIG. 9 is a plan view of a pouch containing a number of solid and frame-type faces, weights and a tool for use in changing the faces and weights.

[0027]FIG. 10 is a plan view of the front portion of the eye chart.

[0028]FIG. 11 is a somewhat diagrammatic side view of the eye chart and the head of the golf putter having a laser mounted on it, illustrating the operation of the eye chart.

DESCRIPTION

[0029] Referring in generally to FIGS. 1 through 11, a kit of parts comprising a golf putter 10, alternative parts and other accessories constructed and assembled in accordance with the principles of the invention is seen. A preferred putter includes a head 20 supported by a generally straight shaft 40 or a somewhat curved shaft. The head defines toe and heal cavities 34, 35 which may contain weight units 80 or filler units 90. The weights and fillers may be rearranged to vary the overall weight of the head, and to vary the distribution of the weight front-to-back and side-to-side. A plurality of differently shaped solid faces 60 and frame-type faces 70 are available for attachment to the front portion of the head. The frame-type faces have inserts which vary in the shape of the impact surface and hardness of the material from which the face plate is made. An eye chart 400, used in conjunction with a laser mounted on the head of the putter, and a method of use provide information to the golfer about the suggested arrangement of the weights in the head of the club.

[0030] As seen in FIG. 1, a generally straight shaft 40 has a standard handle wrap 41 which provides the golfer with the proper grip. A straight shaft body 42 may be made of metal, graphite or other material. A lower end 43 of the shaft is attached to the head 20.

[0031] Optionally, the shaft may have curve, depending on the preferences of the golfer.

[0032] As seen particularly in FIGS. 1 and 2, the head 20 is carried by the shaft 40. Due to the orientation of the shaft, the head may be viewed to have top 25, bottom 26, toe and heal portions 21, 22, with the toe portion being further from the attachment point to the shaft. A solid or frame-type face plate 60, 70 may be attached to the front 23 of the head. An indentation 27 is defined in the top 25 and back 24 of the head, and tends to allow better control over the weight distribution of the head by reducing the overall weight of the head with the result being that the weights 80 are a greater percentage of the overall weight of the head.

[0033] As seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the head defines toe and heal cavities 34, 35 which may contain weight units 80 or filler units 90. As seen in FIG. 3, in a preferred embodiment the toe and heal cavities tend to be closer to the toe and heal portions of the head than to the center of the

[0034] As seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the head defines toe and heal cavities 34, 35 which may contain weight units 80 or filler units 90. As seen in FIG. 3, in a preferred embodiment the toe and heal cavities tend to be closer to the toe and heal portions of the head than to the center of the head. This positioning allows more control over the center of gravity of the head than would be possible if the cavities were more centrally located. The openings of the cavities are defined in the front surface 23 of the head of the club. The cavities are generally cylindrical, and in a preferred embodiment are sized to accommodate a total of three weights 80 or fillers 90 in each cavity.

[0035] A toe end peg 28 and a heal end peg 29 extend from the front surface 23 of the head, and are sized to fit into corresponding holes defined in the back surface of the replaceable face plates.

[0036] As seen particularly in FIGS. 2 and 3, a solid face plate 60 or frame-type face plate 70 may be attached to the front surface 23 of the head 20 of the putter. By replacing one face plate with another, the characteristics of the putter may be changed in a controlled manner.

[0037] To facilitate the attachment and removal of a face plate, the head defines toe and heal end notches 30, 32 which allow access by a tool such as a torque wrench, screw driver or nut driver to corresponding bolt holes 31, 33. A pair of fastening bolts 50, each having a threaded end 51 and smooth shaft 52, pass through the bolt holes in the front of the head and into threaded holes defined in the back side of the face plate. The head 53 is typically adapted for use with a torque wrench, screw driver or nut driver.

[0038] In a preferred implementation of the invention, a pair of indentations 66 are defined in the back of each face plate. The indentations are located in line with the toe and heal cavities 34, 35. The indentations are sized to accept the end of a weight 80 or filler unit 90 carried within the cavity. The indentations are typically {fraction (3/16)}″ deep, and incrementally greater in diameter than the weights and filler units.

[0039] As seen in FIGS. 1, 2, 4 and 5, a plurality of differently shaped solid face plates 60 are available for attachment to the front portion of the head.

[0040] As seen in the cross-sectional view of FIG. 4, the solid face plate may have a flat impact surface 61. Such a face plate is typically at approximately 4 degrees to vertical.

[0041] As seen in FIGS. 1, 2, 4 and 5, a plurality of differently shaped solid face plates 60 are available for attachment to the front portion of the head.

[0042] As seen in the cross-sectional view of FIG. 4, the solid face plate may have a flat impact surface 61. Such a face plate is typically at approximately 4 degrees to vertical.

[0043] Alternatively, as seen in FIG. 5, the solid face plate may have a convex impact surface 62, which tend to result in somewhat different performance. By interchanging the one face plate for another, the golfer may select the face plate for best personal results depending on stroke style and course conditions.

[0044] As seen in FIG. 3, where the combined length of the weights 80, fillers 90 and the O-ring 100 slightly exceeds the length of the toe and heal cavities 34, 35, the face plate 60 or 70 may be deformed slightly, resulting in a small gap 65, due to the tension applied by the bolts 50.

[0045] As seen in FIGS. 7 and 8, a plurality of differently shaped frame-type face plates 70 are also available for attachment to the front portion of the head. The frame-type face plates have permanently installed inserts which vary in the shape of the impact surface. In a preferred implementation, a plurality of differently shaped frame-type face plates 70 may be provided, each having a face loft angle of 3, 4 or 5 degrees.

[0046] As seen in FIG. 8, a slightly convex surface is preferred in other conditions.

[0047] The hardness of the material from which the insert is made may be varied to better suit different conditions. For example, in slightly wet conditions, a harder insert material, such as hard plastic 72 may be preferred. Alternatively, in dry conditions, a softer insert 71, made of a softer material, such as rubber, may be preferred.

[0048] A plurality of weights 80 and fillers 90 are cylindrical in shape, having cylindrical sidewalls 81, 91 and circular ends 82, 92. A combination of weights and fillers may be carried within the toe and heal cavities defined in the head of the putter.

[0049] By substituting weights and fillers, the overall weight of the head may be varied. Varying the overall weight of the putter may be advantageous to customize the putter for larger or smaller golfers, or to adjust the force with which the ball is stuck. In general, where the golfer has a

[0050] By substituting weights and fillers, the overall weight of the head may be varied. Varying the overall weight of the putter may be advantageous to customize the putter for larger or smaller golfers, or to adjust the force with which the ball is stuck. In general, where the golfer has a tendency to under-shoot the hole, the overall weight should be increased; where the golfer has a tendency to over-shoot the hole, the overall weight should be reduced.

[0051] Similarly, by moving the weights toward the front 23 of the head 20 of the putter, i.e. into the positions adjacent to the face plate, the response may also be differentiated from the response achieved by moving the weights to the rear of the putter and installing filler units in the positions adjacent to the face plate.

[0052] As seen in FIGS. 10 and 11, an eye chart 400 may be used in conjunction with a laser 410 mounted on the head of the putter. The eye chart addresses the issue that the golfer may be left or right eye dominate, and this may cause the putt to tend to result in error to either the left or the right. The error introduced by eye dominance may be corrected by putting more weight in either the toe or heal cavity. This allows the golfer to avoid introducing poor form into the stroke intended to compensate for the eye dominance.

[0053] A preferred eye chart 400 includes an A-frame support 401 and a chart surface 402. A center point 403 of the eye chart is flanked to the left and right by graduations 404 that are typically marked by numbers or other indicia.

[0054] By using a laser and the eye chart, the golfer may gain information helpful in deciding how to distribute the weights and fillers in the head of the putter. For example, where the golfer has a tendency to putt too far to the right, this error may be corrected by placing more weight in the toe cavity 34 of the club than is put into the heal cavity 35 of the club. Similarly, where the golfer has a tendency to putt too far to the left, this error may be corrected by placing more weight in the heal cavity of the club than is put into the toe cavity of the club.

[0055] By using the eye chart, the golfer may determine if there is a tendency based on eye dominance to putt too far to either the left or right. This is a more accurate method than actually putting on a green, since subtle non-planar areas that may be present in even the most level-looking putting greens. These non-planar areas may introduce putting error which is mistakenly interpreted as being caused by the dominance of one eye over the other. dominance to putt too far to either the left or right. This is a more accurate method than actually putting on a green, since subtle non-planar areas that may be present in even the most level-looking putting greens. These non-planar areas may introduce putting error which is mistakenly interpreted as being caused by the dominance of one eye over the other.

[0056] To use the eye chart, the golfer first lines up the putt, aiming at the center of the target in the eye chart. Once the golfer has aimed the shot, the golfer holds the putter motionless and avoids further viewing of the eye chart. An assistant then removes the ball and mounts a small battery operated laser 410 on the head of the putter. The laser beam 411 should then strike the eye chart. Where the beam is within 1.5 graduations of the center point 403 on the eye chart, the golfer probably does not have sufficient eye dominance to warrant correction. Where the beam is greater than 1.5 graduations to the left or right of the center of the eye chart, some correction may be warranted.

[0057] In general, correction due to left or right eye dominance may be made by either adjusting the distribution of weight between the toe cavity 34 and the heal cavity 35 or by using a canted face plate 63, such as that seen in FIG. 6.

[0058] Where the correction is to be made by distribution of the weights and the mark of the laser on the target is to the left of an acceptable parameter, more weight should be placed in the heal cavity than the front cavity. Similarly, where the mark of the laser on the target is to the right of an acceptable parameter, more weight should be placed in the front cavity than the front cavity. As a result of the non-symmetrical weight distribution, the travel of the ball is corrected for any error resulting from the dominance of one eye over the other.

[0059] Alternatively, a canted face plate can be used to correct the error introduced by eye dominance. When installed on the head of a putter, the impact surface of the canted solid face plate seen in FIG. 6 may be made one or more degrees in either direction from a plane parallel to the front 23 of the head of the putter. Stated differently, the toe or heal end of the face plate may be thicker, resulting in an impact surface that is canted with respect to the back 24. As a result of this angle, the travel of the ball is corrected for any error resulting from the dominance of one eye over the other. the back 24. As a result of this angle, the travel of the ball is corrected for any error resulting from the dominance of one eye over the other.

[0060] A pouch 200, having a plurality of pockets 201 and a closing flap 202, contains a plurality of solid face plates, frame-type face plates, weights, fillers and a tool for replacing the faces on the head of the putter. In a preferred embodiment, the solid face plates would include those having a flat impact surface and a convex impact surface. Similarly, the frame-type face plates would include a combination of flat and convex shapes made of medium hard and softer materials. One or more face plates with a canted impact surface may also be included. Due to changing weather and other conditions on the golf course, the golfer may want to replace one face plate with another face plate, or change the amount and distribution of the weights.

[0061] The previously described versions of the present invention have many advantages, including a primary advantage of providing a novel golf putter having a structure which allows the adjustment of the overall weight of the club and allows adjustment of the center of gravity between both the toe and heal of the club and between the front and back of the club.

[0062] Another advantage of the present invention is to provide a golf club which allows adjustment of the hardness of the face plate of the club, the shape of the face plate of the club and the angle of the face plate of the club with respect to both vertical and horizontal.

[0063] A still further advantage of the present invention is to provide a golf club and kit of parts including a plurality of faces having different shapes and hardnesses, as well as an eye chart for use in determining the most appropriate face plate and the most appropriate weight distribution to be used.

[0064] Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail and with reference to certain preferred versions, other versions are possible. For example, while examples of preferred putter include specific numbers of weights and fillers, a similar putter could be designed using an alternative number of weights and fillers. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the

[0065] Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail and with reference to certain preferred versions, other versions are possible. For example, while examples of preferred putter include specific numbers of weights and fillers, a similar putter could be designed using an alternative number of weights and fillers. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of the preferred versions disclosed.

[0066] In compliance with the U.S. Patent Laws, the invention has been described in language more or less specific as to methodical features. The invention is not, however, limited to the specific features described, since the means herein disclosed comprise preferred forms of putting the invention into effect. The invention is, therefore, claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the proper scope of the appended claims appropriately interpreted in accordance with the doctrine of equivalents.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7309297Dec 1, 2006Dec 18, 2007Ray SolariInside weight system for golf mallets or blades
US7452285 *Dec 28, 2006Nov 18, 2008Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc.Weight kit for golf club head
US7604548Dec 19, 2008Oct 20, 2009Karsten Manufacturing CorporationWeighted club heads and methods for forming the same
US7744485Apr 10, 2008Jun 29, 2010Karsten Manufacturing CorporationGolf putter heads and removable putter weights
US7811178Jun 16, 2006Oct 12, 2010Prince Sports, Inc.Golf head having a ported construction
US7909707 *Feb 15, 2008Mar 22, 2011Lon KleinGolf club head
US7993215Mar 22, 2007Aug 9, 2011Gregory E. SummersProducing golf clubs
US8591352 *Dec 20, 2010Nov 26, 2013Sri Sports LimitedGolf club head
US8636607Jun 26, 2009Jan 28, 2014Allesandro Marco RennaPutter head
US20110152001 *Dec 20, 2010Jun 23, 2011Tomoya HiranoGolf club head
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/334
International ClassificationA63B53/06, A63B53/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2053/0491, A63B2053/0416, A63B53/065, A63B53/0487
European ClassificationA63B53/06P, A63B53/04P