US 20030045368 A1
A training aid has a light beam generator (10) adjustably mounted to a universal joint fixture (14) which is in turn held by a support strip (18) in outwardly spaced relation away from a golfer's cap bill (36) with the assistance of a spring clip (20). In use, the generator (10) is adjusted to project a spot or beam onto the ground or a golf ball. On a golfer swinging a club at the light beam spot, any unwanted body or head movement is immediately indicated to the golfer by movement of the light beam spot. Preferably, the generator (10) is a laser beam generator.
1. A golf swing training aid for mounting to a golfer's cap, comprising:
a light beam generator;
a rodlike member having a first end secured to the generator and a second end with a generally spherical terminus;
a universal joint fixture having a hollow interior for receiving the spherical terminus adjustably frictionally engaged therein and the remainder of the rodlike member extending outwardly through a first opening in the fixture;
a support strip having a first end portion affixed to the fixture; and
a spring clip affixed to a second end portion of the support strip.
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 1. Background of the Invention
 The present invention relates generally to apparatus for aiding a golfer to determine certain dynamic aspects of his golf swing, and, more particularly, to such apparatus for indicating whether or not undesirable swaying occurs during swinging of a golf club.
 2. Description of Related Art
 A persistent problem in the game of golf is to swing a golf club without swaying or moving off the ball significantly. It might be thought that after making a swaying movement during swinging that a counter movement could be made leaving the player in a correct position to strike the ball with the club. However, experience has shown a sway and counter-sway technique provides far from consistent results. Also, it is common experience that a player can be swaying a considerable amount and not realize it. Still further, one individual may just swing going back away from the ball and have little or no sway coming down into the ball. On the other hand, another individual may sway in both directions, or just sway coming down into the ball. Allied problems to lateral swaying are yanking the head upward or moving it downward during the swing. In all of these body and/or head movements, the result is an inconsistent striking of the ball and high game scores.
 It is, therefore, a desideratum to provide means for informing a player when there has been an undesirable movement of the body, head or both during a swing that should be eliminated to improve the player's facility in striking the ball.
 In the practice of the invention there is provided a light-weight laser beam generator located on one end of a rod, the other end of which is located within a universal joint fixture enabling adjustable positioning throughout a substantial solid angle. The fixture is, in turn, removably secured to the bill of a head cap (e.g., player's cap) with the rod and laser beam generator hanging downwardly.
 In use, the player adopts a stance with respect a ball, for example, and manually positions the laser beam so that it projects onto the ball. Then, while keeping the eyes on the lighted spot on the ball, the player swings the club attempting to strike the ball. Any significant movement of the head, body or both while swinging will be instantly seen by the player, and as well the movement direction. The player is now able to correct his swing to remove the undesirable sway. Alternatively, depending upon the ground plane condition, the laser beam may be projected directly onto the ground plane (e.g., mat, floor) and proceed as before.
 These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent upon reference to the following detailed description and upon reviewing the attached drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective of the invention shown mounted to the bill of a golfer's cap;
FIG. 2 shows an enlarged, partially sectional view of a first embodiment of the universal fixture and adjacent apparatus;
FIG. 3 shows a player with laser beam adjusted to provide a marker spot on game ball prior to a test swing; and
FIG. 4 is a second form of universal fixture.
 With respect now to the drawings, the invention is seen to include a light beam generator 10 affixed to one end of a rodlike member 12, the opposite end of which is adjustably received within a universal joint fixture 14. The fixture, in turn, is secured to the outer end 16 of a support strip 18, the other end of which is fixed to a finger-operated spring clip 20 (e.g., alligator clip). As shown, the clip with all of the associated apparatus is removably mounted onto the forward edge portion 22 (so-called bill) of a cap 24, such as a cap worn by a golfer, for example.
 As can be seen best in FIG. 2, the universal joint fixture 14 includes a body member 26 including a hollow generally spherical interior 28. The body member also has an opening 30 in what will be a lower wall of the fixture during use for receiving a part to be described. Although other materials may be found satisfactory, to date nylon has been found to be the best material from which to construct the member 26.
 The support strip 18 has its outer end portion secured to the top portion 32 of the body member 26 by a threaded screw 34, or alternatively a rivet. The other end of the strip 18 has the finger-operated clip 20 secured thereto with the clamping jaws thereof being free for gripping actuation of the cap bill 36.
 The rodlike member 12 includes an enlarged generally spherical terminus 40 at one end with the remainder being cylindrical and including a threaded portion 42 at the opposite end. The relative dimensions of the spherical terminus and the hollow interior 28 of the body member are such that the angular extension of the rodlike member can be adjusted over a wide solid angle A to assume any of a large number of fixed relative positions.
 On assembly, the rodlike member passes through the bottom opening 30 of the body member 26 so that the spherical terminus 40 rests within the hollow interior 28 of the body member frictionally engaging the body member inner walls. Finally, the support strip 18 is secured to the top portion 32 by the screw 34.
 For the ensuing description of use of the golf swing aid, reference is made to FIG. 3. A golfer 44 with a club 46 in hand and standing conveniently adjacent a golf ball 48 resting on the ground, places the golf cap on his head and assembles the described apparatus onto the cap bill. Then, positioning the body properly for making a good swing, the player adjusts the light beam generator 10 to direct a beam onto the ball, after which the swing is initiated and completed. In the event, the beam moves substantially off the ball, the player is thus immediately informed that a sway or undesirable head movement has occurred, and the direction of the same. Alternatively, the light beam may be emitted directly onto the ground and the club swung so as to just miss the ground while moving through the light beam. Still further, in the event of limited space or indoor practice, a simulated swing without a club may be executed to good advantage and the test just described is achieved.
 Although a light beam made by a typical incandescent light source may be used, best results have been achieved to date using a laser beam generator.
 For the ensuing description of an alternative embodiment of a universal joint fixture 50, reference is made to FIG. 4. As shown there, the joint fixture includes a body member 52 having a hollow interior 54. An opening 56 in what is the lower wall of the body member during use and a top plate 58 which is so-dimensioned as to enable it to be snapped into fixed covering relation over a further top opening 60 with the outer edge received within a slot 62 in the body member inner wall. A rodlike member 64 which can be identical to the member 12 is assembled to the member 46 as in the first described embodiment. Instead of the spheroidal terminus 40, the terminus 66 can be ovoid or eggshaped.
 Although the present invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that those skilled in the appertaining arts may contemplate modifications that come within the spirit of the invention as described and within the ambit of the appended claims.