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Publication numberUS20030170599 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/771,506
Publication dateSep 11, 2003
Filing dateJan 26, 2001
Priority dateJan 26, 2001
Publication number09771506, 771506, US 2003/0170599 A1, US 2003/170599 A1, US 20030170599 A1, US 20030170599A1, US 2003170599 A1, US 2003170599A1, US-A1-20030170599, US-A1-2003170599, US2003/0170599A1, US2003/170599A1, US20030170599 A1, US20030170599A1, US2003170599 A1, US2003170599A1
InventorsMonroe Hart
Original AssigneeMonroe Hart
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for providing golf instruction
US 20030170599 A1
Abstract
An apparatus and system for self-administration of physical activity instruction wherein an electronic alarm is worn on the operator to alert the operator when the operator has completed a physical activity in the proper manner. The alarm relies on a pressure contract switch which comes into contact with another portion of the operator's body, ground or an instrumentality involved in the physical activity. The alarm, unobtrusively positioned on the operator's body, is activated by the occurrence of a certain movement of the operator's body corresponding to the correct performance by the operator of the physical activity. Upon such performance, the alarm emits a signal that is readily understood by the operator that operator has correctly performed the physical activity. In situations where the physical activity can be broken down into several corresponding sequential body movements, several such alarms can be placed on the operator's body to monitor the sequential occurrence of such movements. In this manner, when the physical activity occurs, the system sensing when the proper movement, and hence property physical activity, has occurred will sequentially inform the operator of same. The lack of a signal(s) during sequential operation will also inform the operator what particular activity was not properly accomplished. In this manner, the operator can focus on the particular problem and take the necessary steps to correct the operator's deficiency(ies) in performing that aspect of the physical activity. To allow for differentiation by the operator during sequential use, the alarm incorporates a wide variety of audible signals from imitation of human voice with praises of correct performance to sound noise. The alarm system also incorporates the use of radio transmission of signal to an ear piece radio receiver worn by the operator to allow for unobtrusive operation of the system in the presence of others.
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Claims(17)
What is claimed is:
1) A physical activity training device worn by the user, comprising:
An alarm apparatus and an attachment apparatus that secures alarm apparatus to portion of the user's body that comes into physical contact with an object or an other portion of the body during the correct performance of a sports activity thereby activating the alarm apparatus which signals in real time to the user that the correct performance has taken place.
2) A physical activity training device as recited in claim 1 wherein said alarm apparatus comprises a container housing a signal generator connected to a portable power source by a switch.
3) A physical activity training device as recited in claim 2 wherein is said switch is pressure activated.
4) A physical activity training device as recited in claim 2 wherein the switch is activated by proximity detection.
5) A physical activity training device as recited in claim 2 wherein the signal generator emits an audible signal.
6) A physical activity training device as recited in claim 2 wherein the alarm apparatus further comprises of an signal receiver worn by the user to translate the signal emitted by the signal generator into information understood by the user
7) A physical activity training device as recited in claim 1 wherein the securing apparatus is reversibly attached to the alarm apparatus.
8) A physical activity training device as recited in claim 7 wherein the securing apparatus is a band of definite length and width.
9) A physical activity training device as recited in claim 8 wherein the band is made of elastomeric material.
10) A physical activity training device as recited in claim 7 wherein the securing apparatus is an elastomeric cup with an outside surface, and inside surface and a rim with an attachment strap connected to the rim.
11) A physical activity training device as recited in claim 10 wherein the cup has a pocket on the outside surface.
12) A method of instruction for physical activity comprising:
Moving at least a portion of the user's body in correct performance of a physical activity,
Contacting an alarm apparatus mounted on the body with the moving portion of the body in the correct performance of a physical activity;
Activating the alarm apparatus in the correct performance of a physical activity;
Emitting a signal in the correct performance of a physical activity; and
Understanding the signal to mean that a correct performance of physical activity had occurred
13) A method of instruction for physical activity of claim 12, wherein the alarm apparatus is attached to at least one location on the body selected from a group of locations comprising: the tip of the following shoe, the back of the neck, the following side of the waist, and the top of leading side of the chest.
14) A method of instruction for physical activity of claim 13, wherein the correct performance of the physical activity includes at least one action from a group of actions comprising:
Brushing the leading arm against the upper leading chest;
Contacting the elbow of the leading arm with the side of the following waist; and
Pivoting inward of the following foot up on to the tip of s toes.
15) A method of instruction for physical activity involving a movement of a body of a person conducting the physical activity comprising:
mounting an alarm apparatus upon the body;
moving at least a portion of the user's body in correct performance of a physical activity;
contacting an alarm apparatus with an object as result of moving at least a portion of the user's body in correct performance of a physical activity;
activating the alarm apparatus in the correct performance of a physical activity;
emitting a signal in the correct performance of a physical activity; and
understanding the signal to mean that a correct performance of physical activity had occurred.
16 A method of instruction for physical activity of claim 15 wherein the correct performance of a physical activity include the performance of an action form the group of actions comprising: raising the following foot into a generally vertical position by pivoting foot upward on to the tip of the foot; bringing the following elbow into the following side of the waist, the leading arm stretching across the top of the leading side of the chest, touching the golf club against the back of the neck.
17 A method of instruction for physical activity of claim 16 wherein the mounting of the alarm apparatus is done on at least one of the group of body sites comprising: back of the neck; the tip of the following foot, the upper portion of the leading chest; and the following side of the waist.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO A “MICROFICHE APPENDIX”

[0003] Not Applicable

BACKGROUND

[0004] 1. Field of the Invention

[0005] The present invention relates to the field of monitoring devices and training systems for providing instruction and feedback to individuals in sports training, in particular, for learning and developing the proper golf swing form.

[0006] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0007] Since golf's first appearance in the Scottish hinterlands, several centuries ago, the omnipresent challenge of the game, for beginner, casual and professional golfer alike has been and continues to be the tremendous difficulty in executing the proper form of a golf club swing. The proper form provides the golfer with enough physical control of the golf club and swing to enable the golfer to hit a golf ball in the desired direction and at the desired distance. The seemingly universal frustration in gaining the proper swing and control over the motion of a golf club is commonly attributed to the unnatural physical body position and physical actions a golfer is required to perform during the set up, initiation, and follow-through involved in properly swinging a golf club. It is widely recognized among the golfing community that the only way to conquer this problem is through painstaking, highly repetitious practice often under the tutelage of a golfing professional. Even under such training conditions, many would-be golfers fail to achieve adequacy, let alone mastery of a proper golf swing.

[0008] In order to attempt to conquer the physical challenges presented by properly swinging a golf club, golfers must practice. The idea is for the golfer to practice with enough regularity and intensity to develop a “muscle memory” of the proper dynamics necessary in achieving a proper golf swing. Dedicated golfers attempt to develop a proper golf swing through regular practice that is further supplemented by other training methods such as reading instructional books, watching training videos, receiving advice from their friends and, best of all, by hiring a golf professional for lessons. The point of this effort is to gain insight sufficient enough to develop the proper dynamics necessary for producing a proper golf swing. Regular, intense practice then internalizes these dynamics into the golfer's swing through a muscle memory that will permit the golfer to execute a proper swing automatically.

[0009] Ideally, if the golfer enjoys the benefit of a golf instructor's expertise, the golfer will receive enough instruction and accompanying practice so that even when the golf instructor is not present, the golfer can remember the proper timing, placement, balance and physical movements of her body necessary for a proper golf swing form. Unlike the other training options mentioned, only the golf instructor is able to comprehensively advise the golfer on the numerous elements involved in swinging a golf club.

[0010] One problem with muscle memory is that it requires a great deal of time and practice to develop and to be naturally ingrained into a golfer's form and swing. Another problem is that improperly supervised or monitored, such “muscle memory” practice can unintentionally incorporate incorrect body position and motion. Thus, instead of improving the golf swing, the golfer is in fact practicing an incorrect element that can soon evolve into a bad habit. Bad habits are disastrous to a golfer's swing as they are often at the root of a golfer's problem and are notorious to correct even with professional assistance.

[0011] During unsupervised practice, the golfer will generally be entirely incapable of identifying and correcting the problem(s) with her swing because it requires a knowledgeable observer who is able to view parts of the golfer's body which are all but unobservable to the golfer herself. While videotaping oneself is an option is limited to one view and is often inappropriate for detecting subtle yet crucial nuances.

[0012] Many golfers also face the dual problems of time and financial constraints. Most golfers often do not have the time to invest in the tremendous amount of practice necessary to develop and perfect a proper golf swing. Many golfers also do not have the desire, or the economic security to be able to pay a golf instructor. Further, without the invaluable benefit of real time third party observation and instruction, golfers often practice their way into ruining their golf swing.

[0013] To solve these problems, the prior art offers some self-monitoring and teaching devices that attempt to provide real time feedback for golfers to use for instructional purposes. Of these inventions, many are awkward and uncomfortable as they are very obtrusive to the golfer and are very noticeable to third parties. As such these inventions would not be practical for use during an actual game of golf. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,861,688 issued to Butler is a simple device that sounds an alarm when activated by a pull cord switch. This body mounted device features a cord or string that is attached to the device and then anchored to another part of the body, the club or ground.

[0014] U.S. Pat. No. 4,392,830 issued to Salzman is a simple alarm device activated by connection of two external contact wires that are mounted on the golfer's shoulder. U.S. Pat. No. 5,324,038 issued to Sasser is an arm-worn device with a movable flap resting on the back of the golfer's hand. U.S. Pat. No. 5,586,94535 issued to Clay, U.S. Pat. No. 5,704,8465 issued to Johnson has appendage-mounted devices that are swung during the golf swing.

[0015] Other prior art features very complicated feedback systems, such as U.S. Pat. No. 5,221,008, which measures amount of pressure the golfer applies to her hands and feet during the swing and also uses equilibrium sensors to measure body position.

[0016] Primarily, most of these devices generally focus on one specific aspect of the golf swing and rather than a complete golf swing. Similarly, most of the prior art is restricted to alerting the golfer when improper form or action occurs during the swing.

[0017] What is required to address these shortcomings is a simple and effective training method and system for golfers. Such a method will unobtrusively measure, in real time, the particular physical activities of the golfer during a swing. This method will then notify the golfer when the golfer has performed a good golf swing or portion thereof.

[0018] It is well known that if a golfer performs the necessary swing techniques during a golf swing, the golfer will greatly increase the potential of completing a proper golf swing. When a golfer consistently executes the proper golf swing form, the golfer will inextricably control the placement, distance and trajectory of a golf ball. In order to best understand this concept, an explanation of the golf swing is required.

[0019] Prior to executing the golf swing, the golfer will “address the ball”. This is the pre-swing set up wherein the golfer assumes a proper grip on the club and positions her body and the golf club in relationship to the ball that is to be struck. In this standing position, the golfer's lateral axis is generally parallel to the golfer's shoulders. The golfer's longitudinal axis follows the golfer's spine to bisect the golfer's body into mirror images with the body side closest to the fairway being the “leading” side and body side furthest away from the fairway being the “following” side. The golfer's lateral axis, at this juncture, is generally parallel to the direction that the golfer wishes to hit the ball down the fairway.

[0020] Once the ball is addressed, the golfer is in a position to execute the golf swing. The golf swing itself requires two separate and distinct movements: the backward motion or “back swing” and the forward motion or “forward swing”. The back swing occurs when the golfer “coils and cocks” her body to swing the golf club back away from the ball and over the shoulder of the golfer's following side. In this forward swing, the golfer then uncoils her body to use its torque to hit and propel the golf ball.

[0021] The back swing is initiated when the golfer swings the golf club away from the ball, up and over her following shoulder. The club, marks the end of the back swing, when it comes to momentary resting position behind the golfer's head that is generally parallel to the golfer's lateral axis. To accomplish this positioning of the club, the golfer will rotate her upper body, torso and hips while her feet remain stationary in preparation of the forward motion. The elbow joint of the leading arm is held straight so that it brushes against the front upper portion of the chest on the leading side. This straight arm position against the chest forces the following arm to bend slightly, the proper form, which allows the golf club to be placed into the correct position behind golfer's head. This cocking movement positions the golfer's trunk, hips and legs so that they may provide the torque necessary for the proper execution of the forward swing.

[0022] Once the back swing is complete, the golfer initiates the forward swing. The motion of the forward swing can be divided into three phases: the downward swing, the upward swing and the follow-through.

[0023] In the first phase of the forward swing, the golf club is moved downward, back across the front of the golfer's body towards the golf ball, essentially reversing the path that the golf club followed during the back swing. During this downward phase of the forward swing, the golfer's following elbow and upper arm are kept as close to the following side of the golfer's waist as is feasibly possible. This positioning of the following elbow and upper arm works to anchor the pivoting action of the following arm as the elbow of the leading arm remains straight throughout this phase of the forward swing. The position of the following elbow and upper arm help ensure that the form of the downward phase of the forward swing occurs properly. The term used to describe this body position is “pocket change slot”. This term is attributed to motion which brings the following elbow so close to the golfer's following pant's pocket that the elbow brushes against the pant's front pocket, or “pocket change slot”.

[0024] When the club head makes contact with the golf ball, the second phase, the “upward swing” of the forward swing begins. As the golfer's body continues to uncoil, the energy of the body's torque is transferred onto the golf ball. To facilitate this uncoiling, the golfer moves her legs forward as she pivots on her hips. This movement propels the golf club in an arc around the golfer's front, progressing from the “following” side to the “leading” side. The club causes the golf ball to initially move forward and upwards in unison with the golf club's face.

[0025] If this upward swing is done correctly, the foot and toe of the following leg will naturally turn inward in compliment of the overall body motion executed by the golfer. This turning and lifting of the following foot is commonly referred to as the “high toe” position. The transition into the high toe position indicates that the hips have turned fully and correctly into the proper position required for the forward swing.

[0026] As the club is swung during the forward stroke over the leading side of the golfer's body, the golf ball breaks contact with the golf club's face. At this point, the golf ball's power and trajectory are set and the club slides out from under the golf ball to continue on in its forward arc around the front of the leading side of the golfer's body. Once the ball breaks contact with the golf club's face, the third phase of the forward stroke, also known as the “follow-through” begins.

[0027] The follow-through helps to ensure that the golfer is correctly turning her hips through the golf swing and that the longitudinal centerline of her body is generally vertical. During the follow-through, the golf club continues an upward arc along the leading edge of the golfer's body until the club comes to a final, gentle rest on the back of the golfer's neck, over the leading shoulder. Allowing the golf club to finish in such a position prevents the golf club from being swung too far away from the golfer's body during the third phase of the forward stroke. A properly executed follow-through prevents the golfer from transitioning the body into an unbalanced position. If the golfer were to fail to perform a proper follow-through, the golfer would be unable to maintain her balance during the high toe position that is present in the second and third phase of the forward stroke.

[0028] In the event that the transformation from the back swing into the forward swing is not done properly, the golfer will use only her arms and hands to transfer power to the golf ball. The result would be a substantial power loss normally provided by the torque captured from the coiling of the golfer's body. This failure will negatively impact the ball's power and trajectory to further impact upon the ultimate direction and distance of the ball's flight. Further, without this proper transition, the golfer will result in an uncontrolled and unbalanced motion that will prevent an execution of the proper golf swing.

[0029] In many such instances, a failure at any one if not more of these phases, will result in the golfer improperly hitting the golf ball or missing the golf ball entirely. These are actions which are well known to cause not only mental and physical stresses to golfers, but extremely poor play as well.

[0030] Therefore, there is a need for a simple, unobtrusive, easy to wear and operate training device and system that can provide golfers with real time monitoring of the proper execution of the golf swing's four key movements: maintaining a straight leading arm across the chest during back swing; maintaining the following elbow/upper arm close to the following side of the waist during the first phase of the forward swing also known as the “pocket change slot” position; raising and pivoting of the following foot upon the toe tips also known as the “high toe” position; and the resting of the club shaft against the back of the neck at the completion of the swing.

[0031] Real time monitoring of these four key movements, whether separately or in continuous sequence, during a golf swing, will affirmatively inform the golfer when the key movements are correctly performed. An apparatus and system that provides such a positive, real time, feedback monitoring of golf swing actions will, when used on a regular basis, allow the golfer to develop and maintain the proper muscle memory of the key movements when such monitoring is not in use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0032] The invention is a self-administered physical activity instruction device and system comprising of alarm apparatus and a attachment apparatus, and a method of using same. The alarm apparatus comprises of a container with an outside surface and an inside portion. The inside portion encompasses a signal generator and a power source while the outside surface mounts an on/off switch, a signal selection switch and at least one pressure activated switch. The attachment apparatus is used to comfortably, non-obtrusively and reversibly secure the invention to various locations on a golfer's body.

[0033] The alarm apparatus's signal generator comprises of electronic circuitry powered by the portable power source such as a battery, both of which are housed within the inside portion. The electronic circuitry is connected to the battery by an on/off switch, with the pressure sensitive switch and the signal selection switch connected to the electronic circuitry. The activation of the on/off switch allows the power source to energize the circuitry while the operation of the pressure activated switch causes the completion of the circuit of the signal generator to emit a signal that the operator can receive, readily distinguish and understand.

[0034] In the preferred embodiment, a signal generator would be designed for each one of the four key movements of the golf swing (across the leading upper chest; “pocket change slot”: and “high toe”; and the “back of the neck”) so as to issue a set of signals specific to that movement. The set of signals would include a buzzing or noise type signal as well as verbal signal. The verbal signal would duplicate human speech (ie “good work, you made the “high toe””) to praise the golfer for the proper completion of the proscribed movement (ie the “high toe”). Each signal generator's set of signals would be readily distinguishable by the golfer from the other sets of signals issued by other alarm apparatii monitoring other key movements of the golf swing.

[0035] In an alternative embodiment of the invention, one signal generator would be used for all four key movements. This signal generator would have the circuitry to issue four different and distinguishable sets of signals with each signal set comprising of both noise and voice-type signals. Each signal set would be correspond to one of each of the four key movements. The selection switch would set which of the four sets of signals the signal generator would issue for the corresponding key movement. The selection switch would have the additional capacity to select within a chosen set of signals whether the signal generator would issue a spoken-type or noise-type signal.

[0036] A further embodiment would have the signal generator capable of transceiving a radio signal to allow a wireless, remote, one-way communication by the invention to the golfer for enhanced privacy. This embodiment would require the signal generator to have the electronic circuitry additionally comprise of at least two parts, a radio transmitter housed within the container to transmit an R/F signal and a separate radio receiver ear piece worn by the golfer to receive the R/F signal. The ear piece would convert the r/f signal into a comprehensible audible signal to be received by the user. In this manner, the R/F signal generator would restrict receipt of the signal to just the golfer wearing the alarm apparatus, thereby avoiding any distraction to other golfers in the vicinity.

[0037] Regardless of the method of signal generation, the alarm apparatus would be constructed to have a small a footprint as possible for ease of attachment and to be capable of emitting upon activation a readily understood and distinguishable signal that would correspond to a correctly executed specific key movement being practiced by the golfer.

[0038] The attachment apparatus would allow the invention to be reversibly attached to the four areas of the golfer's body: the back of the head; the following side of the waist; across the top of the chest on the leading portion of the chest; and that tip of the following shoe. Only one alarm apparatus would be attached at each site. The golfer, depending on which action she wanted to monitor, would attach a single device at the specific site. The attachment apparatus would have securing device to reversibly attach one alarm apparatus to the attachment apparatus.

[0039] One embodiment of the attachment apparatus would comprise of an elastomeric band of a determined width and length for attaching the alarm apparatus to the following waist, back of the neck and leading portion of the upper chest. The ends of elastomeric band would have a securing device such as hook and loop to permit the ends of the band to be reversibly and adjustably secured together. The hook and loop securing system could also be used to reversibly attach the ends of the elastomeric band. In this manner, the band can be adjustably attached by the golfer to the various parts of the golfer's body. When wrapping the elastomeric band around her waist, the golfer could secure the band to the waist by using the hook and loop. This will permit the golfer to position securing device of the attachment apparatus correctly onto the following side of the golfer's waist. This would place the alarm apparatus in the proper position for the “pocket change slot” action of the forward stroke.

[0040] Similarly, by placing the elastomeric band upon the golfer's head, so that the securing band runs up around the golfer's forehead and then runs down the back of the golfer's neck, the golfer will be able to securely mount the alarm apparatus upon the back of her neck. This would position the first portion in place for the follow-through action when the golf club is brought back to rest upon the back of the golfer's neck. The elastomeric band could be used to secure the alarm apparatus to the leading front of the chest. The golfer could then attach the first portion of the device onto the band, using hook and loop, in the proper position for the leading upper arm during the back swing action.

[0041] For attachment to the golfer's following foot, in anticipation of the “high toe” action, an elastomeric cup with attached elastomeric securing strap would be used. The elastomeric cup could be placed over the toe of the following shoe with the securing strap running from one edge of the cup to the other edge of the cup. This securing strap would be stretched over the back of the shoe to firmly hold the cup in place over the toe area of the golfer's following shoe. To reversibly secure the alarm apparatus to the top of the elastomeric cup, the cup would feature a topside mounted pocket with the pocket's opening facing the tip of the cup. The pocket would be stretched to snugly & to reversibly receive the alarm apparatus. In another embodiment, the elastomeric cup would feature on its top a hook and loop to attach to a hook and loop securely attached to the back of the alarm apparatus The attachment apparatus for the following shoe would be designed to project the alarm apparatus which would feature the pressure switch on the edge of the switch projecting out of the pocket so that when the following foot/shoe is vertically pivoted up onto the toe, into the “high toe” position, the pressure switch on the first portion of the alarm apparatus would come into direct contact with the ground to activate the device's circuitry.

[0042] Alternatively, another embodiment of the attachment apparatus for the back of the neck could be the use of a cap or a hat. This attachment apparatus could be a semi-rigid plastic flap attached to the bottom portion of the back of the cap or hat so that it descends down upon the back of the neck. A securing device such as hook and loop could be used to reversibly attach the alarm apparatus onto the flap.

[0043] The method of instruction is to have at least one device positioned on the golfer. The golfer will decide on which of the four (one, some or all) enumerated sites that she wishes to use to practice the corresponding movements. This will allow the golfer to receive positive feedback concerning any one of the four primary actions involved in the golf swing. When the golfer has successfully practiced one of the four actions, the device can be repositioned on the golfer's body to monitor one of the three remaining actions pertaining to the golf swing. This process being continued until all four of the primary actions have been successfully practiced. For instance, in practicing the follow-through action, the golfer would place the elastomeric band, or alternatively the attachment cap, onto her head and secure the first portion of the device onto the attachment means. After energizing the device by the on/off switch on the first portion, the golfer can practice the follow-through action. In operation for example, when the golf club comes to the proper position in the follow-through action, resting on the golfer's neck, the pressure from the weight of the golf club activates the first portion's pressure sensitive switch thereby activating the circuitry to generate an audible signal. The audible signal would inform the golfer that the follow-through was successfully performed. This signal could be a noise signal such as a ‘beep’ sound or verbal sound such as a praise, “good swing completion.” The golfer could then continue to practice that action or reposition the securing means and the first portion to other parts of the golfer's body for practicing the other three remaining actions: straight leading arm across the chest during back swing; maintaining elbow close to the waist on the following side of the waist during the first phase of the forward swing (also known as the “pocket change slot”); and raising and pivoting of the following foot upon the toe tips (also known as the “high toe”). In this manner, the golfer can practice each of the four primary actions until such time that the golfer has developed proper “muscle memory” has been achieved for each action of the proper golf swing.

[0044] After achieving adequate muscle memory by practicing with just one device attached to different parts of the body, the golfer can then attach all four of the alarm apparatii simultaneously to each of the four relevant points on the golfer's body. Using the selector switch to set each alarm apparatus to emit the chosen type of distinguishable signal device such as a tone or verbal signal, the golfer can begin practicing all four actions in one swing of the golf club. In this manner, as the golfer practices a full golf swing, each of the four devices can emit distinguishable signals in sequence as the proper execution of the different key movements occurs. The failure to perform the monitored proper action causes an individual alarm to issue a signal which provides the golfer with an indication that she failed to properly perform one or more of the key movements of the golf swing. By determining which signal was not emitted, and hence which alarm apparatus was not activated, the golfer will know which key movement was not correctly performed. The golfer would then know to take corrective practice measures until all four selected signal are emitted during the golf swing. By repeating this method, the golfer will be able to build a muscle memory of all four key movements through a full cycle of the golf swing. This method will allow the golfer to practice a correct golf swing without the presence of a golf instructor. Once the muscle memory of the golfer has progressed to a level wherein all four signals are sounding, in the proper order on a consistent and repeated basis, the golfer will be able to remove the invention and undertake her golf game with a confidence that she has acquired a correct form of the golf swing.

[0045] It is an object of the present invention to provide a simple, easy to use golf teaching apparatus and system that informs the golfer, when a proper form of a golf swing is achieved during the execution of a golf swing.

[0046] It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus of golf instruction that does not rely on the presence of a golf instructor.

[0047] It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus of golf instruction that allows the golfer to use just one apparatus at a time, located at different parts of the golfer's body, to concentrate on perfecting the form and action of the golf swing involving that body part.

[0048] It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus of golf instruction that uses an apparatus to emit several different audible signals so that multiple apparati may be simultaneously operated by the user.

[0049] It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus of golf instruction that can focus the golfer's attention upon the four primary stances and actions integral to the proper execution of a golf swing.

[0050] It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus of golf instruction that addresses the four stances utilized during the golf swing to ensure that proper completion of the four stances occurs during a correctly executed golf swing.

[0051] It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus of golf instruction that utilizes four stances during the golf swing to ensure that completion of the four stances results in a properly executed golf swing and allows the golfer to practice/monitor proper execution on an individual stance or in combination with practice/monitoring of the other stances.

[0052] It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus of golf instruction that can emit a signal that can only be received by the user.

[0053] It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus of golf instruction to provide a real time means of monitoring a golf swing execution.

[0054] It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus of golf instruction that can be used during practice or during the playing of a golf game.

[0055] It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus of golf instruction that provides positive feedback to the golfer practicing her golf swing.

[0056] It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus of golf instruction that is adjustable so the invention may be universally used by golfers regardless of the golfer's size or physical dimensions.

[0057] It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus of golf instruction that can be used by either a novice, to learn a correct golf swing, or by an experienced golfer, to correct faults in her golf swing.

[0058] It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus of golf instruction that is self-contained.

[0059] It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus of golf instruction that is portable and is not physically connected to anything other than the golfer.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0060] The novel features that are considered characteristic of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its structure and its operation together with the additional object and advantages thereof will best be understood from the following description of the preferred embodiment of the present invention when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

[0061]FIGS. 1A through 1D is a diagrammatic illustrations of various steps in a back swing.

[0062]FIGS. 2A through 2D is a diagrammatic illustrations of various steps in the downward swing of the forward swing.

[0063]FIGS. 3A through 3C is a diagrammatic illustration of various steps in the upward swing and follow-through of the forward swing.

[0064]FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the invention as worn by the golfer during the commencement of the swing.

[0065]FIG. 5 is a cut-away perspective drawing of the alarm apparatus used for the leading upper chest, following waist and back of neck positions.

[0066]FIG. 6 is a cut-away perspective drawing of the embodiment of the alarm apparatus for the “high toe” position.

[0067]FIG. 7 is a perspective drawing of the attachment apparatus embodiment that is used for the upper leading chest, following waist and back of neck positions.

[0068]FIG. 8 is a perspective drawing of the alternate embodiment of the attachment apparatus embodiment that is used for the back of neck position.

[0069]FIG. 9 is a perspective drawing of the embodiment of the attachment apparatus used for the “high toe” position.

DESCRIPTIONS OF THE NUMBERING OF THE DRAWINGS

[0070]1 Invention

[0071]10 Golfer

[0072]11 Club

[0073]12 Lateral axis

[0074]13 Longitudinal Axis

[0075]14 Leading Side of the Body

[0076]15 Following Side of the Body

[0077]16 Golf Ball

[0078]17 Following Shoulder

[0079]18 Leading Shoulder

[0080]19 Leading Upper Chest

[0081] Following Waist

[0082]21 Following Foot

[0083]22 Leading Arm

[0084]23 Following Elbow/Upper Arm (“Pocket Change Slot”)

[0085]24 Back of the Neck

[0086]25 “High Toe” Position

[0087]30 Alarm Apparatus

[0088]31 Container

[0089]32 Inside of the Container

[0090]33 Outside of the Container

[0091]34 Top of the Container

[0092]35 Bottom of the Container

[0093]36 Leading Edge of the Container

[0094]37 Signal Generator

[0095]38 Pressure Activated Switch

[0096]39 On/off Switch

[0097]40 Signal Selector Switch

[0098]41 Electronic Circuitry

[0099]42 Battery

[0100]43 Removable Cover

[0101]44 Speaker

[0102]45 Protective Tip, Leading Edge

[0103]50 Attachment Apparatus

[0104]51 Securing Device, Container

[0105]52 Securing Device, Attachment Apparatus

[0106]53 Band

[0107]54 Ends

[0108]55 Securing Section

[0109]56 Cup

[0110]57 Strap

[0111]58 Pocket

[0112]59 Pocket Opening

[0113]60 Hat

[0114]61 Flap

[0115]62 Lower Edge, Flap

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0116] Now referring to FIGS. 1A through 3C, to best understand the invention, generally referenced by numeral 1, as an apparatus and as a system used for self-administered golf instruction, it is necessary to review how the proper golf swing can be accomplished. If a golfer, generally referenced by numeral 10, properly executes the necessary four key movements during the golf swing, the likelihood that the golfer 10 will make an effective, complete golf swing is greatly increased, and correspondingly will greatly increase the golfer's 10 control, power, trajectory and placement of the golf ball 16.

[0117] As shown in FIG. 1A, the golfer 10, prior to commencing the golf swing, will “address the ball” by taking up a proper grip on the club 11 and position herself and club 11 in proper relationship to the golf ball 16 which is to be hit. In this standing position, the golfer 10 can be seen as having a lateral axis 12 which is parallel to the golfer's shoulders and a longitudinal axis 13 which follows the golfer's spine to bisect the golfer's body into mirror images with the side of the body which is closet to the fairway being the leading side, generally referenced as numeral 14, while the side of the body furthest away from the fairway being the following side, generally referenced as numeral 15. The golfer's lateral axis 12 at this time is generally parallel to the direction that the golfer 10 wishes to hit the ball down the fairway.

[0118] Once the “addressing” is completed, the golfer 10 will undertaken the commencement of the golf swing. The golf swing is comprised of two distinct movements, the rearward motion used to cock the golfer's body is known as the back swing, as shown in FIGS. 1A through 1B; and the second motion, known as the forward swing, as shown in FIG. 2A through FIG. 3C, which is used to propel the golf ball 16 down the fairway.

[0119] The back swing occurs when the golfer 10 moves the club 11 back away from the golf ball 16 and towards the following side 15 of the body. During the back swing, the golfer 10 rotates his upper body, torso and hips, to swing the club 11 up and over the following shoulder so the club shaft is behind the golfer's head. During this process, the leading arm 22 is kept straight so that it brushes against the upper portion of the leading upper chest 19. This straight arm position against the leading upper chest 19 forces the following arm 23 to properly bend slightly to allow the club 11 to assume the correct position behind the golfer's head. This movement is essentially “cocking” the golfer's body, particularly the trunk, hips and legs of the golfer 11 so as to provide the torso torque power during the execution of the forward stroke.

[0120] As shown in FIGS. 2A through 3C, once the rearward motion of the back swing is completed, the golfer 11 begins the forward motion or forward swing of the golf swing. The forward swing can be broken down generally into three phases, the movement of the club 11 from the position of rest at the back swing through to initial contact with the golf ball 16, the movement from contact with the golf ball 16 through the powering of the golf ball 16 by the club 11, the movement from where the golf ball 16 leaves contact with club 11 to where the club 11 comes to rest over the leading shoulder 18 and against the back of the neck 24 of the golfer 10.

[0121] During the commencement of the first phase of the forward stroke when the club 11 is swung down to meet the golf ball 16, the golfer's following elbow and upper arm 23, is swung as close as possible along the following side of the golfer's waist 20 and held there until the club 11 comes in contact with the ball 16. This following arm 23 position helps anchor the stabilizing action of the following arm 23 as the leading arm 22 is kept straight through this portion of the swing. The following upper arm/elbow 23 position helps ensure that the first phase of the forward swing occurs properly. The following elbow/upper arm 23 position has the nickname, the “pocket change slot” since the elbow of following arm 23 comes close to the golfer's pants pocket to hit the “pocket change slot”.

[0122] During the second phase, the golfer 10 contacts the golf ball 16 with the club 11, the club 11 powers the golf ball 16, the golf ball 11 leaves contact with the club 11 and the golfer 10 continues to swing the club 11 over the leading shoulder 18 until the shaft of the club 11 comes to rest over the back of the neck 24 of the golfer 10. During this phase, the golfer 10 moves her legs, pivoting her hip, torso, and shoulders so as to uncock her body. In doing so, the golfer 10 unleashes the full power of the torque of the golfer's torso and of the golfer's legs to add the true force which powers the flight of the golf ball 16.

[0123] If not done correctly, the golfer 10 uses only her arms and shoulders, which have less muscle power than the torso and legs, to power the golf ball 11. The result is an under powering of the ball flight and a corresponding shortened ball trajectory.

[0124] To ensure that her legs move correctly to turn the hips, the proper form of the swing will result in the golfer 10 lifting her following foot 21 so that it turns inward and pivots up onto the tip of the toes into a vertical position. This foot placement ensures that the hips have turned fully and correctly into the proper position. This proper following foot 21 placement, in reference to the following foot 21 standing vertically on the tips of the toes, is nicknamed the “High Toe” position, as generally referenced by numeral 25.

[0125] To also ensure that the golfer 10 is turning her hips correctly, in that her longitudinal axis 13 or the centerline of her body is generally vertical, the golfer 10 completes the arc and swing of the club 11 over the leading shoulder 18 so that the shaft of the club 11 comes to a final rest against the back of the golfer's neck 24. In doing so, the golfer 10 ensures that she has not swung the club 11 too far away from her body at the end of the swing, resulting in an unbalanced body position. By not achieving the proper back of the neck 24 form, the golfer 10 would not be able to maintain her balance during the high toe position 25.

[0126] The invention 1 provides a simple, unobtrusive, easy to wear and operate, self-administered physical activity instruction device and system that, when attached to the golfer 10, can provide real time self-monitoring of the proper execution of the four key movements of the golf swing: a) maintaining a straight leading arm across the leading upper chest 19 during the back swing; b) a swinging of the following elbow/upper arm 23 as close top the following side of the waist 20 [“pocket change slot”] as possible; during the forward swing; during the upward swing and follow-through of the golf swing c) the raising and pivoting inward movement of the following foot 21 upon the toe tips [“high toe” 25] and d) completion of the swing with the gentle resting of the shaft of the club 11 against the “back of the neck” 24.

[0127] Real time monitoring of these four activities, either separately or in continuous sequence during a golf swing, could affirmatively inform and teach the golfer 10 when such key movements are correctly performed. This capability would give the golfer 10 the necessary positive feedback to develop muscle memory of the key movements needed for the proper execution of the golf swing. Once the muscle memory is obtained for all four key movements, the golfer, when such monitoring is not in use, could undertake a proper execution of the golf swing.

[0128] The invention 1 is comprised of an alarm apparatus, generally referenced by numeral 30, and an attachment apparatus, as generally referenced by 50.

[0129] The alarm apparatus 30 is comprised of a container 31 whose inside, generally referenced by numeral 32, houses a signal generator, generally denoted as numeral 37 and the portable power source, such as a battery 39, for the signal generator 37 and an outside surface 34 which mounts at least one pressure activated switch 38, an on/off switch 39 and a signal selector switch 40. The signal generator 37 comprises of electronic circuitry 41, of the type well known to those versed in the art, that is connected to the portable power source by the on/off switch 39 which when closed energizes the electronic circuitry 41. The power source can be a accessible through a removable cover 43 on the outside of the container 31.

[0130] Pressure upon the pressure activated switch 35 completes the energized circuit to allow the electrical circuitry 41 to generate and transmit to the golfer 10, a recognizable and distinguishable signal. The electrical circuitry 41 allows for the generation of at least two types of signals, noise/buzzing audible signals and audible verbal signal replicating human speech. The selection of the signals can be accomplished by the signal selector switch 40.

[0131] Accordingly, in the preferred embodiment, the electrical circuitry 41 encompasses a sound alarm system, such as a simple piezo alarm with an speaker 44, whereby pressure upon the pressure activated switch 38 during the proper execution of the corresponding key movement during the golf swing completes the circuit to create an audible signal such as a buzzing sound that is readily heard and comprehended by the golfer 10 that she had correctly completed that corresponding key movement. Alternatively, when the golfer 10 selects the verbal signal, the alarm apparatus 30 would sound a phrase, for example “nice going, you properly hit the “pocket change slot” when the golfer 10 correctly positions the following upper arm/elbow 23 in the following side of the wait 20 during the down swing. The circuitry needed to emit verbal or sound signals is well known to those versed in the art.

[0132] In the preferred embodiment, the signal generator 37 for each application of the invention would emit a set of signals (both noise and verbal types) that would correspond to the proper performance of a specific key movement of the golf swing. The set of signals, emitted by a particular alarm apparatus 30 to denote the performance of a corresponding key movement, would be readily distinguishable by the golfer 10 from other three sets of signals that could be emitted by the other signal generators 37 of the other alarm apparati 30 monitoring the other key movements.

[0133] In the preferred embodiment, whereby the invention 1 would monitor only one specific key function of the golf swing, the signal generator 37 of the alarm apparatus 30 would emit only one set of signals for specific key movement of the golf swing. The selection switch 40 for the signal generator 37 would be used to select a noise-type signal or a verbal-type signal emission.

[0134] In the alternate embodiment, whereby the alarm apparatus 30, would have a signal generator 37 that could be capable of emitting four different sets of signals, one set for each of the four key movements, the selector switch would be a dual dial, dual purpose switch. One dial of the selector switch 40 would control which type of signal (noise or verbal) would be emitted, while the other dial would select one of the four sets of signals. In this embodiment, one manufacture of the alarm switch using this multi-signal set alarm generator 37 could allow the invention 1 the flexibility of using the alarm apparatus of the same design to monitor more than one key movement. A golfer 10 could use the same type of alarm apparatus 30 worn on the following waist, back of the neck, leading upper chest. Accordingly, a single type of signal generator 37, being capable of producing multiple sets of signals, could be used for various applications of the alarm apparatus 30 thus simplifying the manufacturing process of the alarm apparatus 30.

[0135] A further embodiment of the signal generator 37 would encompass additional electronic circuitry 41, well known to those versed in the art, to transceive an radio frequency (R/F) signal upon activation. The electronic circuitry 41 would further comprise of a radio transmitter and a radio receiver. Upon activation of the alarm apparatus 30 by the proper execution of the corresponding key movement by the golfer 10, the radio transmitter would emit a R/F signal. The radio receiver and corresponding power source is compact enough to fit in an ear piece worn by the golfer. The radio receiver would convert the R/F signal into an correspondingly distinguishable and understandable audible signal for receipt by the golfer 10. The described earpiece based radio receiver and power supply is well known to those versed in the art. In another embodiment of the radio receiver is the use of wireless head phone set could also be utilized by the golfer 10. The alarm apparatus 30 in using wireless remote one-way private communication to the golfer 10 would be able to emit a signal that could only be heard by the golfer 10 so as not to distract other golfers in the vicinity.

[0136] Regardless of the transmission method of signal generation (R/F, sound or both), the invention 1 would be constructed to emit a distinguishable signal for the proper execution of a particular key movement of the golf swing. All of the above described signal generation methodology and circuitry are well known by those skilled in the art.

[0137] The placement of the pressure activated switch 38 on the outside 33 of the container 31 would depend on the where the alarm apparatus 30 is placed on the golfer 10. For activation of the alarm apparatus 30 by movement of the golfer 10 that occurs at the back of the head 24, the side of the following waist 20, across the top of the leading portion of the chest 19, then the pressure activated switch 35 would be placed on the top 34 of the container 31. The bottom 35 of the container 31 would mount the securing device 51 of the container so as to reversibly attach the alarm apparatus 30 to the securing device 52 of the attachment apparatus 50. The attachment apparatus 50 would be positioned on the golfer 10 so as to hold the alarm apparatus 30 in the proper relative position.

[0138] For activation of the invention 1 that occurs by the following foot 21 rising up on it's tip for the “High Toe” position 25, the pressure activation switch 38 would be placed on the leading edge 42 of the alarm apparatus 30. Additionally, the leading edge 36 would feature a guard comprising of a protective tip 45 that would prevent premature activation of the pressure activation switch 38 thus ensuring the alarm apparatus activation only when the “High Toe” position 25 had been fully reached.

[0139] As shown in FIGS. 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9, the three types of attachment apparatus 50 would allow the alarm apparatus 30 to be reversibly & comfortably attached to the four areas of the golfer's person identified as contact points for necessary action: a) the back of the neck 24, b) the side of the following waist 20, c) leading upper chest 19 and d) the tip of the leading foot for the “High Toe” position 25.

[0140] For attachment of the alarm apparatus 30 to the waist, the chest and back of the neck, the attaching apparatus would be an elastomeric band 53 of determined width and length. The ends 56 of the band 53 would adjustably and reversibly secured to one another through such securing section 57 as hook and loop and the alike so as to provide the band with an adjustable circumference. The band 53 would have a securing device 52 on its outer circumference to reversibly engage the securing device 51 mounted to the bottom 35 of the container 31.

[0141] For securing the alarm apparatus 30 to the side of the following waist 20, the band 53 would be wrapped around the entire waist, attached and positioned so that the band's securing device 52 would be positioned on the side of the following waist 20 for properly locating the alarm apparatus 30 in the “pocket change slot” position.

[0142] The band 53, in order to secure the alarm apparatus 30 to the leading upper chest 19, would be wrapped around the upper portion of the chest so as to position the securing device 52 of the band 53 and hence the alarm apparatus 30 over the leading upper chest 19.

[0143] The band 53 to attach the alarm apparatus 30 could be wrapped around the golfer's head so that the band 53 would run up around the golfer's forehead and then run down along the back of the golfer's neck 24. The band 53 would be positioned so that the securing device 52 of the band would engage the securing device 51 of the container 31 so as to hold the alarm apparatus 30 at the back of the neck 24 of the golfer 10.

[0144] An alternative embodiment of the attachment apparatus 50 for the back of the neck 24, would be the use of a hat 60 onto which a top edge of a semi-rigid plastic or cloth flap 61 is attached to the bottom portion of the back of the hat 60. The positioning of the flap 61 would allow it to descend from the hat 60 over the back of the neck 24. The flap 61 would be of sufficient length so the lower edge 62 of the flap 61 could be comfortably tucked under the rear collar of the shirt of the golfer 10. This tucking of the lower edge 62 would help prevent the flap 61 from flailing around during the golf swing thereby distracting the golfer 10. The flap 61 would feature on it's outer surface a securing device 52 to reversibly engage the securing device 51 on the bottom 35 of the alarm apparatus container 31.

[0145] For attachment of the alarm apparatus 30 to the shoe placed on the following foot 21, an elastomeric cup 56 with an elastomeric securing strap 57 could be used. The cup 56 would be placed over the toe of the shoe and the securing strap 57 would slip over back of the shoe to hold the cup 56 in place over the toe of the shoe. When the alarm apparatus 30 is mounted to the shoe tip, the pressure activated switch 38 is so positioned that when the shoe is vertically pivoted inward and up onto the toe, the pressure activated switch 38, guarded by the protective tip would only come into contact with the ground to activate the alarm apparatus 30 when the following foot had come into the full “high toe” position 25.

[0146] The securing device 51 for the attachment apparatus, such as hook and loop, would be positioned on the top of the cup 56 to reversibly engage the securing device 51 so as to position the alarm apparatus 30 to the top of toe portion of the shoe on the following foot 21. The attachment apparatus securing device 52 could also be a pocket 58 whose pocket opening 59 faces the tip of the following shoe. The pocket 51 is the preferred embodiment for the attachment apparatus securing device 52 since the alarm apparatus 30, once inserted in the pocket, would not be dislodged away from the tip of the shoe during repeated impact of the pressure activated switch 38 with the ground.

[0147] The method of instruction for the invention is to have the golfer 10 decide on which aspect of the golf swing needs to be improved. This will determined which key movement of the golf swing tie a) straight leading arm across the leading upper chest 19 during back swing; b) a maintaining of the following elbow/upper arm in the following side of the waist 20 during the first phase of the forward swing [“pocket change slot’]; c) a raising and pivoting of the following foot upon the toe tips [“high toe” position 25]; and/or d) the resting of the shaft of the club against the back of the neck 24 at the completion of the swing} needs to be worked on. Once the golfer 10 decides which key movement(s) needs to be practiced, she will then select the corresponding alarm apparatus applications. In this way, the golfer 10 can utilize the appropriate invention 1 application(s) to focus the practice on those selected stances until such time that the golfer 10 has obtained a proper muscle memory has been achieved for the practiced stance.

[0148] With the novice golfer, the best way to first start using the invention 1 is to first use the invention 1 to concentrate only on one key movement of the swing, master that key movement, then move onto the remaining key movements of the golf swing. Once all the movements of the swing had been worked on to achieved proper muscle memory, denoted by improvement in the golf swing, the novice golfer could simultaneously wear four alarm apparatuses 30, with each alarm apparatus 30 set to monitor a specific key movement of the golf swing. Each alarm apparatus emitting one signal distinguishable from the signals emitted from the other alarm apparatii 30 being worn by the novice golfer. Novice golfer, having selected a distinguishable signal for each of the four alarm apparatii, would be able to understand from the signals emitted during a practice golf swing when she had correctly preformed the required golf swing key movements, ie one, several, all or none.

[0149] The novice golfer could practice a full golf swing and by monitoring the progression of different signals during the activation sequence of the swing, would be able to determine in real time what areas of the four contact points were completed or missed. Using the signal information from the invention, the novice would be able to determine what aspect of her golf swing was missing and further concentrate on correcting the deficiency.

[0150] Through this method, the novice golfer would be able to build a muscle memory of all four key movements through the full cycle of the golf swing. Once muscle memory of the novice golfer had progressed to where all four signals were received in the proper order on a consistent and repeated basis, the novice golfer could then remove the invention 1 and undertake the game of golf in confidence that she had obtained a correct form of the golf swing.

[0151] The experienced golfer would most likely need only to concentrate on one or two aspects of the golf swing. As such, the experienced golfer during practice would only use one or two of the apparatus applications to correct any deficiency in the golf swing.

[0152] For both the novice and the experienced golfer, the invention 1 could be used unobtrusively during a golf game to provide self-monitoring of the golfer's golf swing to allow for self-correction of any noted deficiencies.

[0153] Although the present invention has been described with particular reference to certain preferred embodiments, variations, alterations, modifications of the present invention may be effected by one skilled in the field of art while remaining within the intent and scope of the following claims:

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7652386 *Apr 30, 2008Jan 26, 2010Bionic Power Inc.Method and apparatus for harvesting biomechanical energy
US7659636Apr 30, 2008Feb 9, 2010Bionic Power Inc.Methods and apparatus for harvesting biomechanical energy
US8299634Aug 10, 2006Oct 30, 2012Bionic Power Inc.Methods and apparatus for harvesting biomechanical energy
US8487456Oct 10, 2012Jul 16, 2013Bionic Power Inc.Methods and apparatus for harvesting biomechanical energy
US8736087Sep 1, 2011May 27, 2014Bionic Power Inc.Methods and apparatus for control of biomechanical energy harvesting
WO2009129141A2 *Apr 10, 2009Oct 22, 2009Wortman A AlexGolfer training device
Classifications
U.S. Classification434/252
International ClassificationA63B69/36
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2071/0625, A63B69/3608
European ClassificationA63B69/36B