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Publication numberUS20030190975 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/407,153
Publication dateOct 9, 2003
Filing dateApr 3, 2003
Priority dateApr 4, 2002
Publication number10407153, 407153, US 2003/0190975 A1, US 2003/190975 A1, US 20030190975 A1, US 20030190975A1, US 2003190975 A1, US 2003190975A1, US-A1-20030190975, US-A1-2003190975, US2003/0190975A1, US2003/190975A1, US20030190975 A1, US20030190975A1, US2003190975 A1, US2003190975A1
InventorsJacques Fagot
Original AssigneeSkis Rossignol S.A.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf club head of iron or wood type
US 20030190975 A1
Abstract
Head (1) of a golf club of the “wood” or “iron” type, having a wall forming the striking face (2), at least one wall adjacent the wall forming the striking face (2), namely in particular the wall of the sole (3), and which also comprises an elastic leaf (12) one end (13) of which is fixed to one of the walls (6) adjacent the wall forming the striking face (2), and the free other end (14) of which presses the preload against the back face (11) of the wall of the striking face (2).
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Claims(11)
1. A head of a golf club of the “wood” or “iron” type, having a wall forming the striking face fixed to the rest of the head, at least one wall adjacent the wall forming the striking face, namely in particular the wall of the sole, and which also comprises an elastic leaf one end of which is fixed to one of the walls adjacent the wall forming the striking face, and the free other end presses the preload against the back face of the wall of the striking face.
2. The golf club head as claimed in claim 1, wherein the elastic leaf if based on metal, on carbon or on glass composite.
3. The golf club head as claimed in claim 1, wherein the elastic leaf is screwed, welded or bonded to the wall adjacent the wall forming the striking face.
4. The golf club head as claimed in claim 1, wherein the free end of the elastic leaf is curved.
5. The golf club head as claimed in claim 1, wherein the free end of the elastic leaf bears at, or in close proximity to, the sweet spot on the striking face.
6. The golf club head as claimed in claim 1, wherein the elastic leaf is fixed to the wall of the sole.
7. The golf club head as claimed in claim 1, and which is of the “wood” type.
8. The golf club head as claimed in claim 1, and which is of the “iron” type.
9. The golf club head as claimed in claim 1, and which comprises means for adjusting the force with which the leaf bears against the back face of the wall of the striking face.
10. A method of manufacturing a golf club head as claimed in one of claims 1 to 9, and which consists:
first of all, before fitting the plate that forms the wall of the striking face on the head, in fixing one end of the metal leaf to a wall adjacent the wall of the striking face,
then secondly, in fitting the wall of the striking face, elastically deforming the metal leaf,
then in fixing the plate that forms the wall of the striking face to the head.
11. The method of manufacturing a golf club head as claimed in one of claims 1 to 9, and which consists:
first of all, in producing a hollow head comprising the crown, lateral, rear walls and the wall comprising the striking face,
then secondly, in fitting the sole to which one end of the elastic leaf has already been fixed, on its interior wall, in such a way that the other end of the elastic leaf comes into contact with the wall of the striking face, experiencing a preload,
then finally in fixing the wall of the sole to the head.
Description
    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • [0001]
    The invention relates to the field of golf. It is aimed more specifically at a novel structure of the head of a golf club of the “wood” or “iron” type. The invention makes it possible to optimize the trampolining effects of the striking face.
  • PRIOR ART
  • [0002]
    In general, golf clubs the heads of which are initially made of solid wood before they were made even of hollow metal or of composite are known as “woods”.
  • [0003]
    The invention protects the type of clubs known as woods the interior of which is hollow. The striking face of these woods is relatively weakly inclined with respect to the vertical, which means that such clubs are dedicated to the taking of long shots.
  • [0004]
    More specifically, the head of a “wood” has an internal cavity delimited by various walls. One of these walls forms the striking face. Among the walls adjacent the one forming the striking face are the wall forming the sole and the side walls and a crown wall. The rear of the cavity is closed off either by a rear wall, which may be of various shapes, or by the prolongation of the various adjacent faces.
  • [0005]
    The invention is also of benefit to clubs known as “irons”. The head of an “iron” comprises a striking wall the front face of which forms the actual striking surface and the rear face of which may possibly be situated at the end of a cavity in the case of irons said to have “peripheral weighting”.
  • [0006]
    As is known, and this is true of woods and irons, the striking face is the face which makes impact with the ball. This impact preferably occurs at the center of the striking face, also known as the sweet spot, so as to minimize the vibration transmitted up the shaft and so as to optimize the trajectory of the ball.
  • [0007]
    Given the forces exerted at the time of impact, the striking face has a tendency to deform, and the lesser its thickness, the more it will do so. This deformation toward the inside of the cavity of the head generates a trampolining effect which contributes to accelerating the ball. It is known that the official regulations laid down by golfing federations are seeking to limit this trampolining effect, so as to prevent performance from being excessively influenced by the mechanical properties of the hardware, for example by mounting the striking face with a certain latitude for movement relative to the head, by inserting elastic elements, as described in document U.S. Pat. No. 5,505,453.
  • [0008]
    Various constructional steps have already been proposed in order to make progress in this direction. Thus, a certain number of solutions consist in equipping the inside of the cavity with an element able to block the deformation of the striking face, after a predetermined deformation travel. Such solutions are described in particular in documents U.S. Pat. No. 6,165,081, JP 81 502 30, JP 2001-238988, U.S. Pat. No. 6,299,547 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,499,814.
  • [0009]
    These solutions make it possible only to limit the deformation of the striking surface but have no influence on the trampolining effect. In addition, the disadvantages associated with these solutions lie in the fact that the deformation of the striking face is altered abruptly when the back of the striking face comes into contact with the element placed for that purpose in the cavity. This discontinuity in the deformation of the striking face may cause certain vibrations to arise.
  • [0010]
    It has also been proposed for the back of the striking face to be equipped with elements in the form of bridges forming springs, so as to modify the intrinsic stiffness of the striking face. Such a solution is described in particular in document JP-110 42 302. Such a construction is relatively complicated because it combines the bending effect with the warping effects of a leaf constrained at its ends. The deformation and therefore the elastic effect of such an embodiment are very random.
  • [0011]
    Other devices have also been proposed to influence the deformation of the striking face. Thus, it is possible for the head to be equipped with a free mass, which is kept in contact with the back face of the striking face by a resilient device. Upon impact with the ball, this additional mass detaches from the striking face and moves toward the back of the head. This “beater” effect transfers some of the energy of the impact to the additional mass. These devices have the disadvantage of generating significant vibration and have no real influence on the trampolining effect, because the latter is determined solely by the inherent characteristics of the striking face, once the additional mass detaches therefrom. Such devices are described for example in documents U.S. Pat. No. 5,911,637, JP 05269224, JP 02-131788.
  • [0012]
    One of the objectives of the invention is to give the striking place an ability to deform which is relatively controlled in spite of the fact that the thickness of the striking face is relatively small.
  • [0013]
    Another objective of the invention is to give the club head a structure that allows the deformation of the striking face to be adjusted, while at the same time being easy to manufacture.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0014]
    The invention therefore relates to a head of a golf club of the “wood” or “iron” type. In a known way, such a head has a wall which forms the striking face, fixed to the rest of the head, and at least one wall adjacent the wall forming the striking face. Among these adjacent walls are, in particular, the sole wall and the lateral and crown walls, and a rear wall in the case of woods.
  • [0015]
    According to the invention, the head is one which also comprises an elastic leaf one end of which is fixed to one of the walls adjacent the wall forming striking face, and the free other end of which bears with preload against the back face of the wall of the striking face.
  • [0016]
    In other words, the head according to the invention includes a spring-forming leaf which is firmly fixed, for example by screwing or welding, to the sole or alternatively the lateral walls or the crown wall in the case of a wood. The other end of this leaf exerts load on the internal face of the wall of the striking face without being fixed to this wall. In that way, during the deformation movements of the striking face, the end of the spring leaf remains in contact with the back of the striking face, and therefore produces a continuous and progressive effect. The region of contact between the leaf and the striking face can move slightly without generating excessive stresses in the actual wall of the striking face. As the spring leaf is fixed only at one of its ends, its stiffness is practically constant regardless of its deformation.
  • [0017]
    In addition, such a device, by limiting the vibrations of the striking face, makes it possible to correct the sound resulting from impact of the ball on the club.
  • [0018]
    To improve the properties of this contact, it is possible to make provision for the free end of the elastic leaf to be curved, so that contact between the leaf and the striking face is tangential.
  • [0019]
    In practice, it will be preferable for the free end of the elastic leaf to bear in close proximity to the optimum point of impact on the striking face. To put it another way, the metal leaf exerts a force behind the sweet spot.
  • [0020]
    For an iron with peripheral weighting which therefore has an open cavity, the constrained end of the leaf may be fixed to the bottom part forming the sole or to the upper or lateral flange contributing to the peripheral weighting. In the case of a wood, this end may be fixed to any one of the walls delimiting the closed cavity. The elastic leaf may be made of metal or of glass composite or alternatively still of carbon.
  • [0021]
    The club head according to the invention may be produced using various methods. Thus, a first method of manufacture may consist:
  • [0022]
    first of all, before fitting the plate that forms the wall of the striking face on the head, in fixing one end of the metal leaf to a wall adjacent the wall of the striking face,
  • [0023]
    then secondly, in fitting the wall of the striking face, elastically deforming the metal leaf,
  • [0024]
    then finally in fixing the plate that forms the wall of the striking face to the head.
  • [0025]
    In other words, it is by fixing the plate that forms the wall of the striking face to the head that the metal leaf is placed under tension.
  • [0026]
    In an alternative form of embodiment designed specifically for woods, the method may consist in:
  • [0027]
    first of all, in producing a hollow head comprising the crown, lateral, rear walls and the wall comprising the striking face,
  • [0028]
    then secondly, in fitting the sole to which one end of the elastic leaf has already been fixed, in such a way that the other end of the elastic leaf comes into contact with the wall of the striking face, experiencing a preload,
  • [0029]
    then finally in fixing the wall of the sole to the head.
  • [0030]
    In other words, in this alternative form, it is while the sole is being fitted that the elastic leaf is deformed to exert the characteristic force on the back of the striking face.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • [0031]
    The way of achieving the invention and the advantages that stem therefrom will become clearly apparent from the description of the embodiments which follow, with support from the attached figures in which:
  • [0032]
    [0032]FIG. 1 is a brief perspective view of a head of a golf club of the “wood” type.
  • [0033]
    [0033]FIG. 2 is a view in section of the head of FIG. 1, on the roughly vertical plane II-II′.
  • [0034]
    [0034]FIG. 3 is a view in section of the head of FIG. 1, on the roughly horizontal plane III-III′, mid-way up the head.
  • [0035]
    [0035]FIGS. 4 and 5 are sectional views similar to FIG. 2, showing the way in which the head according to the invention is mounted, according to two alternative forms of embodiment.
  • [0036]
    [0036]FIGS. 6 and 7 are vertical sections through the heads of two clubs of the “iron” type, produced according to two different embodiments.
  • EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION
  • [0037]
    As already mentioned, the invention relates to a golf club head (1). FIG. 1 depicts a head of the “wood” type. Such a head comprises a striking face (2), a sole (3), lateral faces (4, 5), a crown face (6) and a back wall (7) defined in the continuity of the lateral faces (4, 5), of the crown face (6) and of the sole (3). The striking face is fixed rigidly to the rest of the head, for example by welding around its periphery. This head (1) also comprises a hosel (8) intended to accommodate, inside a housing (9), the shaft of the club.
  • [0038]
    Traditionally, the striking face (2) has a horizontally scored surface. The point (10) situated on the striking face and corresponding to the optimum point of impact is generally known as the sweet spot.
  • [0039]
    In the form illustrated in FIG. 2, it can be seen that the sole (3) has a metal leaf (12) fixed by one of its ends (13), for example by screwing. This screwing may be done as in the embodiment illustrated through the sole by at least one screw visible on the external face of the sole (3).
  • [0040]
    The screw-fastening system may also allow the tension with which the elastic leaf bears against the back (11) of the wall comprising the striking face (2) to be adjusted via a slot made in the sole (3) (not depicted).
  • [0041]
    Nonetheless, this end (13) of the leaf (12) may be fixed on the internal face of the sole (3) by other means, particularly by welding or by bonding. This elastic leaf (13) is made of a relatively elastic material, typically spring steel, or of an aluminum alloy of the ZicralŽ type, or alternatively of KevlarŽ, carbon or glass composite.
  • [0042]
    This leaf (12) has another end (14) which is free and comes into contact with the interior face of the wall forming the striking face (2). In the form illustrated, the end (14) of the leaf (12) is curved so that contact between the leaf (12) and the back surface (11) of the wall of the striking face (2) is tangential with respect to the curvature of the end (14) of the leaf. Such a construction allows the end (14) to slide slightly with respect to the wall (11) of the striking face (2).
  • [0043]
    It can be seen that the region (15) of contact between the end (14) of the leaf (12) and the wall of the striking face (2) is situated near the sweet spot (10), that is to say behind the ideal point of impact of the ball.
  • [0044]
    As illustrated in FIG. 3, the elastic leaf (12) may have a certain width that may vary according to the influence that the stiffness of the leaf is to have on the performance of the head. In an embodiment which has not been depicted, the leaf may have several points of contact.
  • [0045]
    Thus, in alternative forms, not depicted, the leaf may be wider than is illustrated in FIG. 3. The region (15) of contact between the leaf (12) and the wall (11) of the striking face (2) may also be curved in both directions, so that contact takes place over a region that is narrower than the overall width of the leaf. In general, the stiffness and deformation properties of the leaf can be tailored by using geometries and structures designed according to the need.
  • [0046]
    As regards its stiffness properties more specifically, it is important that the leaf (12) exert a permanent force on the wall of the striking face (2), even when the striking face is unstressed. Put another way, the leaf (12) is preloaded and exerts force.
  • [0047]
    [0047]FIG. 4 illustrates a method of manufacturing a head according to the invention. Thus, the leaf (22) may first of all be fixed to the plate (23) that is intended to form the sole. Once the plate comprising the striking face (2) has been fitted to the rest of the head (1), the plate (23) is fitted, deforming the leaf (22), and this generates the preloading force characteristic of the invention. The plate (23) is then secured, for example by welding, to the rest of the head (1).
  • [0048]
    In another alternative form of embodiment, the leaf (32) is first of all screwed or more generally fixed to the plate (23) forming the sole. This securing may take place either after the plate (23) has been fixed to the head or alternatively beforehand, in the same way as illustrated in FIG. 5. When the sole is not formed from a separate plate, but forms an integral part of the rest of the head (1), the leaf (22) is then fixed by screwing or welding to the internal wall forming the sole (23).
  • [0049]
    As illustrated in FIG. 5, before the striking face (2) is fitted, the leaf (32) is in its state of rest, without preload. As the striking face (2) is fitted, the leaf (32) is deformed and pushed back into the cavity. The striking face (2) is then welded or more generally fixed to the rest of the head in such a way that the leaf (32) exerts the characteristic preloading force.
  • [0050]
    [0050]FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate the use of the invention on clubs of the “iron” type. More specifically, the club head (40) illustrated in FIG. 6 has a wall (43) bearing the striking face (42) situated forward. This head (40) also comprises a rear cavity (48) the end of which consists of the back face (41) of the wall (43). The end (41) of the cavity (48) is delimited peripherally by, at the bottom, the sole (44) and a peripheral band the top part (45) of which is illustrated in FIG. 6. According to the invention, the leaf (49) may be fixed by one of its ends (46) to the upper face of the sole (44), the other end (47) of the leaf (49) bears with preload against the back face (41) of the wall (43).
  • [0051]
    The arrangement of the leaf (49) can be altered as illustrated in FIG. 7 in which it can be seen that the leaf (59) is fixed by its end (56) to the top part (45) of the peripheral band.
  • [0052]
    It will be noted that the golf club head according to the invention has the advantage that the characteristic leaf exerts a permanent force on the striking face which influences the deformation of this striking face as soon as it impacts with the ball. This influence is continuous and can be adjusted through the choice of the leaf geometry.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification473/346
International ClassificationA63B53/04, A63B59/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B60/54, A63B53/04, A63B2053/0433, A63B2053/0416, A63B53/0466, A63B53/047
European ClassificationA63B53/04
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 12, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: SKIS ROSSIGNOL S.A., FRANCE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:FAGOT, JACQUES;REEL/FRAME:014063/0330
Effective date: 20030416