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Publication numberUS20020115502 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/681,179
Publication dateAug 22, 2002
Filing dateFeb 12, 2001
Priority dateFeb 12, 2001
Publication number09681179, 681179, US 2002/0115502 A1, US 2002/115502 A1, US 20020115502 A1, US 20020115502A1, US 2002115502 A1, US 2002115502A1, US-A1-20020115502, US-A1-2002115502, US2002/0115502A1, US2002/115502A1, US20020115502 A1, US20020115502A1, US2002115502 A1, US2002115502A1
InventorsRoger Fountain
Original AssigneeRoger Fountain
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable weight golf putter
US 20020115502 A1
Abstract
An adjustable weight golf putter for striking a golf ball having a shaft for holding by a golfer, a putter head mounted on a distal end of the shaft, and a plurality of putter faces that attach to a front surface of the putter head. The putter faces releasably connect to the putter head. The putter face is the striking surface of the golf ball. The putter faces have different weights that are selected for particular putting conditions. In this way, a golfer may alter the putter weight depending on playing conditions while maintaining a consistent putting stroke.
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Claims(16)
What is claimed is:
1] An adjustable weight golf putter for striking a golf ball having a shaft adapted for holding by a golfer, a putter head mounted on a distal end of the shaft, and a plurality of putter faces that attach to a front surface of said putter head, adapted for releasably connecting to the putter head for striking said golf ball, at least some of said putter faces having different weights selected for particular putting conditions, so that a golfer may alter the putter weight depending on playing conditions while maintaining a substantially consistent putting stroke.
2] An adjustable weight golf putter as set forth in claim 1 wherein each putter face has a surface formed for striking the golf ball to induce rolling motion of the golf ball over a putting surface.
3] An adjustable weight golf putter as set forth in claim 2 wherein one of each of the putter faces and the base has an undercut longitudinally extending rail, and the other of each of the putter faces and the base has a channel formed therein, the rail being adapted for sliding reception in the channel for releasably connecting the putter face to the base.
4] An adjustable weight golf putter as set forth in claim 3 further comprising a spring-loaded ball detent within one of each of the putter faces and the base and a cooperating recess in the other of each of putter faces and the base, the detent being adapted to engage the recess for holding each putter face in place on the base.
5] An adjustable weight golf putter as set forth in claim 1 wherein the putter face comprises an attachment post extending laterally outwardly from one of each of the putter faces and the base, the other of each of the putter faces and the base including an opening therein sized for receiving the attachment post for attaching the putter face to the base.
6] An adjustable weight golf putter as set forth in claim 5 wherein one of each of the putter faces and the bases include an alignment post extending laterally outwardly therefrom, the other of each of the putter faces and the base having a groove therein for receiving the alignment post.
7] An adjustable weight golf putter as set forth in claim 6 wherein the putter face is adapted to engage the base in a first position and, after engagement, to rotate to a second position for locking onto the base.
8] An adjustable weight golf putter as set forth in claim 6 wherein the attachment post has a pin passing generally transversely therethrough and is longer in length than the width of the attachment post, the pin being disposed to lock the putter face to the base in said second position.
9] An adjustable weight golf putter as set forth in claim 8 wherein each putter face has the attachment post associated therewith and the opening is associated with the base.
10] An adjustable weight golf putter as set forth in claim 5 wherein one of each of the putter faces and the base further comprises a latch bar mounted thereon for movement into and out of engagement with the attachment post for releasably locking the putter face on the base.
11] An adjustable weight golf putter as set forth in claim 10 wherein each putter face has the attachment post associated therewith and the opening is associated with the base.
12] An adjustable weight golf putter as set forth in claim 11 wherein each putter face further comprises a guidepost, extending laterally outwardly from the putter face, said base having an opening therein sized for receiving the guidepost for guiding the putter face into alignment with the base.
13] An adjustable weight golf putter as set forth in claim 5 wherein the attachment post is associated with the putter face and includes a spring-loaded plunger adapted for releasable locking engagement with the base.
14] An adjustable weight golf putter as set forth in claim 13 wherein the putter face has recesses in said inward side thereof, and wherein the base includes guideposts attached to the base and receivable in the recesses to locate the putter face with respect to the base.
15] An adjustable weight golf putter for striking a golf ball as set forth in claim 1 wherein at least some of the putter faces are made of different materials having different densities.
16] An adjustable weight golf putter as set forth in claim 1 wherein at least some of the putter faces are made of different materials having different hardnesses.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to golf putters and more particularly to an adjustable weight golf putter.

[0002] Conventionally, golfers carry a golf putter during a golf outing for striking a golf ball on a putting green to roll the golf ball into a cup. A typical golfer carries one golf putter of constant weight and adjusts his or her putting stroke to suit varying green conditions.

[0003] Green conditions can vary significantly, depending on many factors including, but not limited to, grass length, moisture, and wind. Conventionally, golfers adjust their putting stroke according to green conditions. By using several different putting strokes adapted to various green conditions, golfers may find it difficult to compensate for all green conditions. Because green conditions may vary from green to green on a single golf course, a golfer may make many putting stroke adjustments during one round of golf. These adjustments may lead to an inconsistent putting stroke.

[0004] A consistent putting stroke is advantageous over an inconsistent putting stroke, creating a consistent and uniform feel as the golf putter strikes the ball. A golfer having a consistent putting stroke on greens with various conditions may be better able to place the ball in the cup with fewer putts than with an inconsistent putting stroke. Conventional golf putter designs attempt to increase the consistency of a golfer's putting stroke. For illustration of the prior art, see U.S. Pat. No. 3,220,733 (Saleeby), U.S. Pat. No. 3,680,868 Jacob), U.S. Pat. No. 5,230,509 (Chavez) and U.S. Pat. No. 5,275,413 (Sprague). Unfortunately, none of these previous inventions allow golfers to compensate for varying green conditions with a golf putter having an adjustable weight serving a dual purpose as the striking surface.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] Among the several objects and features of the present invention may be noted the provision of an adjustable weight golf putter that permits ready attachment of putter faces of different weights and hardnesses; the provision of an adjustable weight golf putter that permits putter face replacement without tools; and the provision of an adjustable weight golf putter that permits a golfer to maintain substantially the same putting stroke for all green conditions.

[0006] Generally, an adjustable weight golf putter is used for striking a golf ball and has a shaft adapted for holding by the golfer. A putter head is mounted on a distal end of the shaft and a plurality of putter faces can attach to a front surface of the putter head. The putter faces releasably connect to the putter head. The putter faces have different weights selected for particular putting conditions, so that a golfer may alter the putter weight depending on playing conditions while maintaining a substantially consistent putting stroke.

[0007] Other objects and features will be in part apparent and in part pointed out hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008]FIG. 1 is a front elevation of a typical adjustable weight golf putter of the present invention;

[0009]FIG. 1A is a perspective of an adjustable weight golf putter having a longitudinally extending rail and channel design;

[0010]FIG. 2 is a front elevation of the putter shown in FIG. 1A with a putter face removed from a putter base and rotated forward to show a back side thereof;

[0011]FIG. 3 is a section of the putter taken in a plane including line 3-3 of FIG. 1A, with a thicker putter face shown in phantom;

[0012]FIG. 4 is a front elevation of an adjustable weight golf putter having a bayonet design with the putter face removed from the putter base and rotated forward to show a back side thereof;

[0013]FIG. 5 is a rear elevation of the putter of FIG. 4 illustrating movement of the putter face between a first and a second position;

[0014]FIG. 6 is a rear elevation of the putter of FIG. 4, with the putter face in a second position;

[0015]FIG. 7 is a front elevation of an adjustable weight golf putter having a latch bar with the putter face removed from the base and rotated forward to show a back side thereof;

[0016]FIGS. 8 and 9 are perspectives of the putter shown in FIG. 7 illustrating two positions of the latch bar;

[0017]FIG. 10 is a front elevation of an adjustable weight golf putter having a spring-loaded plunger attachment post with the putter face being removed from the base and rotated forward to show a back side thereof;

[0018]FIG. 11 is a rear elevation of the putter of FIG. 10 with the putter face attached to the base; and

[0019]FIG. 12 is a fragmentary top plan view of the adjustable weight golf putter in FIG. 11 with portions removed to show the spring-loaded plunger in a first and second position.

[0020] Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0021] Referring now to the drawings and specifically to FIG. 1, reference character 21 generally indicates a golf putter of the present invention. The adjustable weight golf putter 21 has a putter head 23 mounted on a distal end 25 of a shaft 27. Referring to FIGS. 1A, 2 and 3, the putter head 23 includes a base 29 a and a front surface 31 for attachment of a plurality of putter faces 33 a-d. Each putter face 33 a-d may have a different weight appropriate for particular putting conditions, so that a golfer may alter putter weight depending on playing conditions, while maintaining a consistent putting stroke.

[0022] It is envisioned that the putter faces 33 a-d may be made of materials of different hardnesses and/or densities. Thus, besides changing the weight, the putter faces 33 a-d can change the tactile feedback of the putter faces striking the ball to suit a particular golfer or playing conditions. Conceivably, any material readily attachable to the respective bases 29 a-29 d may be used for the putter faces 33 a-d. For instance, the putter faces 33 a-d could be made of steel, aluminum, brass, rubber, or plastic (such as nylon or Delrin®). Moreover, the faces 33 a-d may be formed with various types of textual or graphical material, such as advertising slogans, trademarks, photographs or drawings. The replaceable nature of the faces 33 a-d make them particularly useful for promotional use and as gifts.

[0023] The putter faces 33 a-d each have a front striking surface 34 shaped for contacting the golf ball and inducing rolling motion of the golf ball over the green (FIGS. 1 and 3). The rear surfaces 36 of each of the faces 33 a-d connect to the front surface 31 of the bases. The base 29 a is constructed for receiving a plurality of putter faces 33 a, one at a time.

[0024] FIGS. 1A-3 show the adjustable weight golf putter 21 having a tongue-in-groove type connection. A putter face 33 a has an undercut, longitudinally-extending rail 35. The base 29 a has a mating channel 37 constructed to receive the rail 35. A viewing window 39 in the base 29 a allows the golfer to see the rail 35 as it slides onto the channel 37. The golfer can slide the putter face 33 a into the base 29 a without the assistance of tools. To attach the face 33 a to the base 29 a, the golfer aligns the rail 35 with an open end of the channel 37 and slides the face longitudinally until the face aligns with the base. The putter face's rail 35 and the base's channel 37 have angled sidewalls 41 that cooperate with one another as the golfer slides the face onto the base to hold the putter face from movement relative to the base. The base 29 a may alternately be formed without a viewing window 39, such that the putter 21 appears solid as viewed from the rear of the putter (not shown). Without the viewing window 39, the solid area on the rear of the base 29 a may be used for branding or marking the putter 21 with text, pictures or other information.

[0025] Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, a spring-loaded ball detent, generally indicated 43, fits within the base 29 a. A ball 45 of the detent 43 protrudes from a detent cylinder 46, threadably received in the channel 37. As the golfer slides the putter face 33 a completely onto the base 29 a, the ball 45 engages a cooperating recess 47 in the rail 35 of the putter face. The cooperating recess 47 and spring-loaded ball detent 43 combine to hold the putter face 33 a against longitudinal sliding motion with respect to the base 29 a. The spring-loaded ball detent 43 and cooperating recess 47 may be positioned for engagement anywhere along the base 29 a and putter face 33 a, so long as they engage one another when the putter face 33 a is aligned with the base 29 a. The spring-loaded ball detent 43 comprises a coil spring 49 that fits within the detent cylinder 46 in the base 29 a. The spring 49 is compressed within the detent cylinder 46, between an inner end 50 of the detent cylinder and the ball 45. An outer end 51 of the detent cylinder 46 is crimped radially inward to retain the ball 45 within the cylinder. The thickness T of the putter face 33 a can vary, thus varying the weight of the putter 21. In the preferred embodiment, as shown in FIG. 2, the putter face 33 a and base 29 a are of similar size and shape; however, the face may be differently sized and shaped than the base without departing from the scope of the invention.

[0026] Referring to FIG. 3, the spring-loaded ball detent 43 engages the recess 47. The golfer releases the putter face 33 a from the base 29 a without the assistance of tools by performing the attachment steps in reverse. First, the golfer applies enough force to the face 33 a, in a longitudinal direction opposite to the attachment direction, to overcome the spring force of the spring-loaded ball detent 43, forcing the ball 45 into the detent cylinder 46. The golfer then slides the face 33 a longitudinally along the mating channel 37 until the rail 35 disengages the channel 37.

[0027] Referring now to FIG. 4, a second embodiment of the putter 21, a bayonet putter face 33 b has an attachment post 53 extending perpendicularly outward from the rear surface 36 of the putter face 33 b. A putter base 29 b has a circular opening 57 with a slot 58 sized for receiving the attachment post 53. An alignment post 59 also extends laterally outward from the rear surface 36 of the putter face 33 b. The alignment post 59 engages an arcuate groove 61 of the base 29 b. A pin 63 passes transversely through the attachment post 53. The pin 63 extends from either side of the attachment post 53, for retaining the putter face 33 b within the base 29 b as described below. Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, attaching the face 33 b to the base 29 b is a simple process that does not require tools. A golfer aligns the attachment post 53 and pin 63 with the opening 57 and slot 58 in the base 29 b so that the attachment post and pin can pass completely through the opening and slot. The putter face 33 b is held at an angle with respect to the base 29 b so that the pin 63 aligns with the slot 58. Once inserted, the golfer rotates the face 33 b in a clockwise direction about the axis of the post 53 (as shown in FIG. 5) to bring the putter face 33 b into alignment with the base 29 b. As the putter face 33 b is rotated, the alignment post 59 slides into the base's arcuate groove 61. FIG. 6 depicts the putter head 23 after the putter face 33 b is attached to the base 29 b and locked in place. As the putter face 33 b rotates about the attachment post's axis, the pin 63 rotates past the slot 58 to engage the face. As the alignment post 59 travels along the arcuate groove 61, an interference fit between the arcuate groove 61 and alignment post 59 holds the face 33 b in the proper position. The arcuate groove 61 has its greatest depth at its entrance point 67 and narrowest at its end 69, creating the interference fit between the alignment post 59 and groove as the post moves toward the end of the groove. As this occurs, the fit between the putter face 33 b and base 29 b becomes more snug due to the changes in depth of the arcuate groove 61, alignment post 59 and attachment post 53 with transversely-passing pin 63, drawing the putter face towards the base 29 b. Once the alignment post 59 travels the full length of the arcuate groove 61, the alignment post limits face 33 b rotation. In this position, the pin 63 is not aligned with the slot 58, and the face 33 b is attached to the base 29 b.

[0028] Releasing the putter face 33 b from the base 29 b is performed without the assistance of tools. The golfer simply performs the attachment process in reverse. The golfer rotates the putter face 33 b so that the alignment post 59 moves out of the arcuate groove 61 in a direction opposite to the attachment process. The golfer continues rotating the putter face 33 b until it is at an angle to the base 29 b where the transversely-passing pin 63 and the slot 58 are aligned, allowing the golfer to grasp the putter face 33 b and pull the attachment post 53 with transversely-passing pin 63 through the base opening 57 and slot 58.

[0029] A putter of another embodiment having a hinged-latch putter 71 head configuration is shown in FIGS. 7-9. An attachment post 73 and a guidepost 75 extend perpendicularly outward from a hinged-latch putter face 33 c for engagement with a base 29 c. The attachment post 73 has an annular groove 79 and is positioned in the center of the face 33 c. The guidepost 75 is positioned on the end of the face, farthest from the shaft 27. The attachment post 73 and guidepost 75 locations along the putter face 33 c may change without departing from the scope of the present invention.

[0030] The base 29 c has an opening 81 sized for receiving the attachment post 73 and a hole 83 sized for receiving the guidepost 75. A latch bar 85 is rotatably mounted on the base 29 c for engagement with the annular groove 79 to secure the putter face 33 c onto the base 29 c.

[0031] Referring to FIG. 8, the putter head 23 is shown with the attachment post 73 inserted through the opening 81. The latch bar 85 is in an open position so that the putter face 33 c is not secured to the base 29 c. FIG. 9 depicts the putter head 23 having the latch bar 85 in a second position. When engaged, the latch bar 85 secures the putter face 33 c to the base 29 c by holding the attachment post 73 within the opening 81. The latch bar's bottom portion 87 is curved for engagement with the annular groove 79. The latch bar 85 fits within the annular groove 79 and is suitably shaped to conform to the annular groove.

[0032] After a golfer has inserted the attachment post 73 and guidepost 75 through the respective base openings 81 and 83, the latch bar 85 is rotated downward toward the base 29 c. With the latch bar 85 within the annular groove 79, the base 29 c secures the face 33 c. Friction between the latch bar 85 and the annular groove 79 holds the latch bar in the annular groove until the golfer releases the latch bar by rotating it upward away from the base 29 c.

[0033] Releasing the putter face 33 c from the base 29 c is performed without the assistance of tools. The golfer performs the attachment process in reverse. The golfer simply opens the latch bar 85 and removes the putter face 33 c from the base 29 c by pulling the putter face 33 c away from the base 29 c. After the attachment post 73 travels fully through the base's opening 81, the putter face is fully released from the base 29 c.

[0034] A spring-loaded plunger 89 embodiment is shown in FIGS. 10-12. This putter embodiment comprises a base 29 d and a face 33 d. An attachment post 95 extends laterally outwardly from the rear surface 36 of the putter face 33 d. The attachment post 95 comprises a spring-loaded plunger, generally indicated 97, for releasable engagement with the base 29 d. The plunger 97 has an outer cylinder 99 and an inner cylinder 101. The outer cylinder 99 is knurled (not shown), improving grip for manipulating the plunger 97. A locking pin 103 extends laterally through the attachment post 95 with portions extending from either side of the post. The locking pin 103 helps secure the putter face 33 d to the base 29 d, as discussed in detail below. The putter face 33 d includes two recesses 105 designed for engaging two guideposts 107 extending laterally from the base 29 d. The guideposts 107 are positioned on opposite ends of the base 29 d. The base 29 d also includes an opening 109 sized and shaped to accept the putter face's attachment post 95.

[0035] Attaching the face 33 d to the base 29 d is a simple process that does not require tools. The golfer aligns the putter face attachment post 95 with the cooperating base opening 109 and the base guideposts 107 with the cooperating face recesses 105. After the attachment post 95 is fully inserted into the base opening 109 and the base guideposts 107 reside in the putter face recesses 105, the putter face 33 d and base 29 d are in flatwise engagement with one another. The golfer then grasps the spring-loaded plunger's outer cylinder 99 and pulls the outer cylinder 99 outward while twisting. After the golfer twists and releases the plunger 97, a spring 111 pulls the locking pin 103 firmly against the base 29 d. The friction created between the locking pin 103 and the base 29 d holds the plunger 97 in its locked position, thus securing the face 33 d to the base 29 d (FIGS. 11 and 12). FIG. 12 is a partial cutaway section showing a first unsecured position and a second secured position in phantom.

[0036] Releasing the putter face 33 d from the base 29 d is performed without the assistance of tools by performing the attachment process in reverse. The golfer overcomes the friction force between the locking pin 103 and the base 29 d by grasping and pulling the spring-loaded plunger's outer cylinder 99 outward while twisting until the locking pin 103 aligns with the base opening 109. Once aligned, the golfer simply pulls the putter face 33 d and attachment post 95 through the base opening 109.

[0037] It is envisioned that the putter faces 33 a-d may be made of materials of different hardnesses and/or densities. Thus, more than changing the weight, the putter faces 33 a-d can change the tactile feedback of the putter face striking the ball to suit a particular golfer or playing conditions. Conceivably, any material readily attachable to the respective bases 29 a, 29 b, 29 c, 29 d may be used for the putter faces 33 a-d. For instance, the putter faces 33 a-d could be made of steel, aluminum, brass, rubber, or plastic (such as nylon or Delrin®).

[0038] In view of the above, it will be seen that the several objects of the invention are achieved and other advantageous results attained.

[0039] When introducing elements of the present invention or the preferred embodiment(s) thereof, the articles a, an, the and said are intended to mean that there are one or more of the elements. The terms comprising, including and having are intended to be inclusive and mean that there may be additional elements other than the listed elements.

[0040] As various changes could be made in the above without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description and shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6988956Feb 22, 2005Jan 24, 2006Sc2, Inc.Adjustable golf club
US7204765Oct 20, 2005Apr 17, 2007Sc2, Inc.Adjustable golf club
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/334
International ClassificationA63B53/06, A63B53/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63B53/065, A63B2053/0491
European ClassificationA63B53/06P