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Publication numberUS20040009829 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/196,019
Publication dateJan 15, 2004
Filing dateJul 15, 2002
Priority dateJul 15, 2002
Publication number10196019, 196019, US 2004/0009829 A1, US 2004/009829 A1, US 20040009829 A1, US 20040009829A1, US 2004009829 A1, US 2004009829A1, US-A1-20040009829, US-A1-2004009829, US2004/0009829A1, US2004/009829A1, US20040009829 A1, US20040009829A1, US2004009829 A1, US2004009829A1
InventorsAlan Kapilow
Original AssigneeKapilow Alan W.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf club head with interchangeable striking face-plates
US 20040009829 A1
Abstract
A golf club head having one or more easily attachable and detachable striking face-plates. A wood-type embodiment includes a hollow shell body and a striking face-plate removably attached to the body. A second wood-type embodiment includes a hollow shell body within which is a honeycomb assembly, and a striking face-plate removably attached to the body. An iron-type embodiment includes a body with an aperture therethrough and a striking face-plate removably attached to the body.
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Claims(14)
What is claimed is:
1. A golf club head comprising:
a body having an aperture; and
a striking face-plate having a front portion and a rear portion, the front portion having a striking face and a generally planar back surface, the rear portion having a generally planar front surface, the back surface of the front portion attached to and overlapping the front surface of the rear portion in a peripheral flange, the rear portion closely received within the aperture, the face-plate removably attached to the body.
2. The club head of claim 1 wherein the front and back portions have a plurality of holes therethrough.
3. The club head of claim 2, wherein the body is a wood-type body having a hollow shell.
4. The club head of claim 2, wherein the body is an iron-type body having the aperture therethrough.
5. A wood-type golf club head comprising:
a hollow shell body having a crown and a sole extending forwardly in a toe, the crown and toe determining a front aperture bounded by a circumferential rim with a recessed lip, the body further comprising first and second posts rigidly attached between the crown and sole, and a rearmost portion having a hole therethrough; and
a striking face-plate having a front portion and a rear portion, the front portion having a striking face and a generally planar back surface, the rear portion having a generally planar front surface, the back surface of the front portion attached to and overlapping the front surface of the rear portion in a peripheral flange, the rear portion closely received within the aperture so that the flange abuts the lip, the face-plate removably attached to the lip and posts.
6. The club head of claim 5 wherein the front and back portions have a first plurality of holes therethrough, and the crown has a second plurality of holes therethrough.
7. The club head of claim 5 wherein the striking face is inclined at an angle in a range from about 6 degrees to about 12 degrees.
8. A wood-type club head comprising:
a hollow shell body having a crown and a sole extending forwardly in a toe, the crown and toe determining a front aperture bounded by a circumferential rim with a recessed lip, the crown and sole determining a cavity, the body further comprising a rearmost portion having a hole therethrough;
a honeycomb assembly comprising a multiplicity of cells through which air may pass, having a preselected shape, size and wall thickness, the assembly closely received and rigidly disposed within the cavity between the crown and sole;
a striking face-plate having a front portion and a rear portion, the front portion having a striking face and a generally planar back surface, the rear portion having generally planar front and back surfaces, the back surface of the front portion attached to and overlapping the front surface of the rear portion in a peripheral flange; and
generally vertical first and second posts rigidly attached to the back surface of the rear portion, the rear portion closely received within the aperture so that the flange abuts the lip, the face-plate removably attached to the crown and sole.
9. The club head of claim 8 wherein the front and back portions have a first plurality of holes therethrough, and the crown has a second plurality of holes therethrough.
10. The club head of claim 8 wherein the striking face is inclined at an angle in a range from about 6 degrees to about 12 degrees.
11. The club head of claim 9 wherein the cell shape is hexagonal, the cell size is in a range from {fraction (1/16)}-inch to ⅛-inch, and the cell wall thickness is in a range from 0.001-inch to 0.003-inch.
12. The club head of claim 11 wherein the honeycomb assembly is made of an aluminum alloy.
13. An iron-type golf club head comprising:
a body having an aperture therethrough determined by a circumferential surface and circumscribed by a rim with a recessed lip, the body further comprising generally vertical first and second posts rigidly attached to the circumferential surface; and
a striking face-plate having a front portion and a rear portion, the front portion having a striking face and a generally planar back surface, the rear portion having generally planar front and back surfaces, the back surface of the front portion attached to and overlapping the front surface of the rear portion in a peripheral flange; the rear portion closely received within the aperture so that the flange abuts the lip, the face-plate removably attached to the posts.
14. The club head of claim 13 wherein the front and back portions have a plurality of holes therethrough.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates to golf wood-type and iron-type club heads, and more particularly to club heads with removably attachable, interchangeable striking face-plates so that a single club can be adapted to any of a variety of playing situations and user preferences by customizing the striking face with an appropriate plate.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Golf club heads are configured to accommodate hitting a golf ball using clubs called woods, irons, wedges and putters. A 1-wood, the driver, is used to propel a ball off a tee to initiate play of a hole, while other woods generally in the collection of numbers 2 to 14 are used to achieve various lengths when hitting from fairways. The name derives from when the body of such a club head was made of persimmon or a like material. Although modem wood-type club heads, so-called “metal woods,” typically have a stainless steel or aluminum shell (i.e., a crown and sole) and a titanium striking face, the name has persisted in common usage. Irons, which range from numbers 1 to 10, are designed to strike the ball once the golfer has gotten closer to the green where the hole (or cup) is located. Iron-type club heads typically have a flat, oblong shape and are volumetrically smaller than wood-type heads. Both wood- and iron-type club heads have a striking face which is canted back from vertical when the head is in the ball impacting position. The degree of inclination varies depending upon whether a club is intended for long distances (the low numbered woods and irons) or shorter distances (the higher numbered woods and irons). As club number increases, the degree of inclination from vertical increases resulting in a trajectory having a greater, specific loft angle. Both the length and loft of a club affect the distance and height of a shot. For example, when driving off a tee with a 1-wood, the relatively long shaft and almost vertical striking face provide a low trajectory and long distance; in contrast a 9-iron, with its shorter shaft and greater face inclination, provides a high trajectory and much shorter distance.

[0005] Many different wood-type club head configurations which provide a novel striking face are known in the related art. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,319,149 B1 to M. C. W. Lee discloses a head having a striking face-plate encased in a ring, serving as an expansion joint, attached to the shell. Between the crown and face is a bridge made of hard and soft metals which reduces impact vibrations. U.S. Pat. No. 6,238,300 B1 to L. Y. Igarashi discloses a head having a striking face with a double-wall construction of inner and outer face-plates. The inner plate is solid or perforated and can include center ribs or other weight distributing and strengthening features. The conventional outer plate is fabricated of a high strength material such as titanium. U.S. Pat. No. 6,165,080 to R. M. Salisbury discloses a head having a striking face with horizontal grooves running from the toe toward the heel, and a wide air inlet slot. An air passage including a venturi section extends through the head from the slot to an outlet slot on the head rear side. U.S. Pat. No. 5,497,993 to S. S. Shan discloses a head having a recessed striking face into which is set a panel including a metallic mesh reinforced on its back side by radial ribs. Flexible material is used to block up the open spaces in the mesh. U.S. Pat. No. 4,681,322 to G. T. Straza et al. is directed to a head having a fiber insert containing a honeycomb structure filled with a solidified resilient resin. Alternatively, a metallic honeycomb structure is fitted within a horizontal slot in the front face of the insert.

[0006] Iron-type club head configurations providing a novel striking face are also known in the related art. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,944,614 to J. M. Yoon discloses a head including a body having a loop frame, horizontal plates and vertical supports. The striking face is formed by horizontal plates attached to the toe and heel. The plates and frame form cavities which allow air flow and the vertical supports provide rigidity to the plates. U.S. Pat. No. 5,735,755 to K. Kobayashi discloses a head having a rear surface with small cavities disposed in a honeycomb-like configuration within a large cavity determined by a metal frame.

[0007] Striking face configurations suitable for both wood- and iron-type club heads are also known in the related art. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,772,529 to T. L. Ruth, Jr. discloses hollow body wood and iron heads having a metal mesh striking face and a top-of-head mesh structure. U.S. Pat. No. 5,681,227 to D. Sayrizi discloses heads having a striking face with an “egg crate” insert having vaned holes separated by thin walls. U.S. Pat. No. 3,847,399 to W. R. Raymont discloses heads having a striking face with a honeycomb structure behind and integral to the face back surface.

[0008] The evolution of golf club design over the past fifty years has brought about many innovations which have enhanced the length and accuracy of the average golfer's game. Among these have been steel and graphite shafts, longer shafts, metal wood club heads, oversized club heads, and perimeter weighting of irons. A player in the market for a new set of clubs, whether woods or irons or both, can now choose among a large number of manufacturers and a bewildering number of models, each promising the latest and best in technological advances. But once a choice is made, the buyer must live with the consequences. Heretofore there has been no opportunity to easily adapt clubs, and particularly club heads, to meet the playing conditions of a particular course on a particular day or to permit modifications satisfying changing personal preferences. For example, the angle of inclination of the striking face of a driver is in a range between six and twelve degrees. On a windy day a player may want his tee-shots to have a lower loft than on a calm day so as to lessen the effect of cross-wind on ball trajectory. Or he may wish to be able to select among different striking face materials for iron shots, e.g., using a material which adheres to the ball at impact in a manner resulting in a desired amount of backspin. Or she may wish to modify the aerodynamic behavior of an oversized club head by adjusting the rate at which air flows through the head during the downswing. Or he may wish to be able to remove the face plate from a wood to adjust the distribution of weight within the shell, or to easily repair or replace a cracked face-plate.

[0009] None of the references in the related art appear to have disclosed the inventive concept of interchangeable striking face-plates for a wood- or iron-type club head. The concept is analogous to customizing the stringing of a tennis racket, selecting the string material (gut or nylon), the pounds of tension, and the type and placement of shock absorbing devices. Ideally, such club heads should have rigidity and strength comparable to conventional heads and should incorporate aerodynamic features which reduce drag.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

[0010] In view of the limitations of the related art, it is an object of the present invention to provide a wood- or iron-type club head which allows a golfer to easily replace one striking face-plate with another, thereby adapting the club head to any of a variety of playing conditions and personal preferences such as changing the striking face pattern or material to provide a desired amount of stiffness at impact, modifying grooving on the striking face to fine-tune the amount of backspin imparted to a ball, and adjusting the rate of ram air venting through the club head.

[0011] Another object of the invention is to provide a wood- or iron-type club head having aerodyanmic flow features which reduce drag.

[0012] A further object of the invention is to provide a wood- or iron-type club head with rigidity and strength comparable to conventional club heads.

[0013] Other objects of the invention will become evident when the following description is considered with the accompanying drawing figures. In the figures and description, numerals indicate the various features of the invention, like numerals referring to like features throughout both the drawings and description.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0014] These and other objects are achieved by the present invention which in one aspect provides a golf club head including a body having an aperture and a striking face-plate having a front portion and a rear portion. The front portion has a striking face and a back surface, and the rear portion has a front surface. The back surface of the front portion is attached to and overlaps the front surface of the rear portion in a peripheral flange. The rear portion is closely received within the aperture, and the face-plate is removably attached to the body.

[0015] In another aspect the invention provides a wood-type golf club head including a hollow shell body having a crown and a sole extending forwardly in a toe. The crown and toe determine a front aperture bounded by a circumferential rim with a recessed lip. The body further includes two posts rigidly attached between the crown and sole, and a rearmost portion having a hole. The club head further includes a striking face-plate having a front portion and a rear portion. The front portion has a striking face and a back surface, and the rear portion has a front surface. The back surface of the front portion is attached to and overlaps the front surface of the rear portion in a peripheral flange. The rear portion is closely received within the aperture so that the flange abuts the lip. The face-plate is removably attached to the lip and posts.

[0016] In still another aspect the invention provides a wood-type club head including a hollow shell body having a crown and a sole extending forwardly in a toe. The crown and toe determine a front aperture bounded by a circumferential rim with a recessed lip, the crown and sole determine a cavity, and the body further includes a rearmost portion with a hole. The club head further includes a honeycomb assembly which is closely received and rigidly disposed within the cavity between the crown and sole. The club head firther includes a striking face-plate having a front portion with a striking face and a back surface, and a rear portion having front and back surfaces. The back surface of the front portion is attached to and overlaps the front surface of the rear portion in a peripheral flange. Rigidly attached to the back surface of the rear portion are two posts. The rear portion is closely received within the aperture so that the flange abuts the lip. The face-plate is removably attached to the crown and sole.

[0017] In yet another aspect the invention provides an iron-type golf club head including a body having an aperture therethrough determined by a circumferential surface and circumscribed by a rim with a recessed lip. The body further includes two posts rigidly attached to the circumferential surface. The club head further includes a striking face-plate having a front portion with a striking face and a back surface, and a rear portion having front and back surfaces. The back surface of the front portion is attached to and overlaps the front surface of the rear portion in a peripheral flange. The rear portion is closely received within the aperture so that the flange abuts the lip. The face-plate is removably attached to the posts.

[0018] A more complete understanding of the present invention and other objects, aspects and advantages thereof will be gained from a consideration of the following description of the preferred embodiments read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings provided herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of a wood-type golf club head according to the invention.

[0020]FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the FIG. 1 club head including a hollow shell having a crown with a plurality of air exhaust holes, and a perforated striking face-plate removably attached to posts rigidly disposed between the crown and sole.

[0021]FIG. 3 is an exploded side view of the FIG. 1 club head for a driver wherein the face-plate has, alternatively, a “low loft”, “medium loft,” or “high loft” configuration.

[0022]FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the FIG. 1 club head along the lines 4-4.

[0023]FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a wood-type golf club head according to the invention.

[0024]FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of the FIG. 5 club head including a hollow shell containing a honeycomb assembly, and a perforated striking face-plate with posts attached to its back surface, removably attached to the crown and sole.

[0025]FIG. 7 is an exploded side view of the FIG. 5 club head for a driver wherein the face-plate has, alternatively, a “low loft”, “medium loft,” or “high loft” configuration.

[0026]FIG. 8 is a sectional view of the FIG. 5 club head along the lines 8-8.

[0027]FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an iron-type golf club head according to the invention.

[0028]FIG. 10 is an exploded perspective view of the FIG. 9 club head including a circumferential frame and a perforated striking face-plate removably attached to posts rigidly attached to the frame.

[0029]FIG. 11 is an exploded side view of the FIGS. 9, 10 club head.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0030] While the present invention is open to various modifications and alternative constructions, the preferred embodiments shown in the drawings will be described herein in detail. It is to be understood, however, there is no intention to limit the invention to the particular forms disclosed. On the contrary, it is intended that the invention cover all modifications, equivalences and alternative constructions falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.

[0031] Where used herein the term “removably attached” means that the two major parts referred to (e.g., a club head shell-type body and a striking face-plate) are easily and conveniently detachable. Where used herein, the word “attached” means that the two parts referred to are either fabricated in a single piece, or welded or glued together. However, other forms of attachment may be suitable, consistent with simplicity of manufacture and reliability of operation.

[0032] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a wood-type club head 20 acccording to a first embodiment of the present invention includes a hollow shell body 22 having a crown 24 with an interior surface 24S and a sole 26 extending forwardly in a toe 28 proximate to an interior surface 28S, the crown and toe determining a front aperture 30 bounded by a circumferential rim 32 with a recessed lip 32L. Body 22 further includes first and second posts 34, 36 rigidly attached between surfaces 24S and 28S. Posts 34, 36 have a cruciform shape and, respectively, a hole 34H, 36H tapped to receive a screw. Alternatively, other shapes having an enlarged mid-portion are feasible. Crown 24 includes therethrough a plurality of exhaust holes 38.

[0033] Referring to FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4, club head 20 further includes a striking face-plate 40 having a front portion 42 with a striking face 44, and a generally planar back surface 46 attached to a front surface 48 of a slightly smaller rear portion 50 (see FIG. 3) sized to be closely received within aperture 30. Surface 46 overlaps surface 48 in a peripheral flange 52 which abuts lip 32L. Portions 42 and 50 have therethrough a first plurality of air flow holes 54, a second plurality of holes 56 which align with corresponding tapped holes 58 in rim 32, and two holes 60 which align with tapped holes 34H, 36H. Face-plate 40 is removably attached to body 22 by screws 62 received within the tapped holes. By way of example, FIG. 3 shows three striking face-plates 40L, 40M, 40H, having a succesively greater inclination angle, which provide for a driver, respectively, a low, medium and high loft angle. Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, body 22 further includes a rearmost portion 64 having a hole 66 therethrough which is an outlet for ram air entering through holes 54. Air is also expelled through the holes 38 in crown 24.

[0034] Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, a wood-type club head 120 according to a second embodiment of the invention includes a hollow shell body 122 having a crown 124 and a sole 126 extending forwardly in a toe 128. The crown and toe determine a front aperture 130 bounded by a circumferential rim 132 with a recessed lip 132L, and the crown and sole determine a body cavity 134. Crown 124 and sole 126 include, respectively, first and second housings 136, 138 and 140, 142 having tapped bores 144. Crown 124 further includes therethrough a plurality of exhaust holes 146. Within cavity 134 is a honeycomb assembly 150 adapted to be closely received and rigidly disposed between the crown and sole. Assembly 150 has a multiplicity of hexagonal cells and preferably is made of an aluminum alloy with high strength and stiffness such as type 5052 or 5056. Preferably, the cell size is in a range from {fraction (1/16)}- to ⅛-inch, and the cell wall thickness is in a range from 0.001- to 0.003-inch. Alternatively, the assembly may be made of another high strength, high stiffness material such as bias weave fiberglass phenolic. Assembly 150 strengthens and stiffens body 122.

[0035] Referring to FIGS. 5, 6, 7 and 8, club head 120 further includes a striking face-plate 160 having a front portion 162 with a striking face 164, and a generally planar back surface 166 attached to a front surface 168 of a slightly smaller rear portion 170 having a back surface 172 sized to be closely received within aperture 130 (see FIG. 7). Surface 166 overlaps surface 168 in a peripheral flange 174 which abuts lip 132L. Rigidly attached to back surface 172 are first and second posts 176, 178 which provide rigidity to the face-plate. Preferably, assembly 150 abuts the posts to further stiffen the face-plate. Portions 162 and 170 have therethrough a first plurality of air flow holes 180 and a second plurality of holes 182 which align with the tapped bores 144 in housings 136, 138, 140, 142. Face-plate 160 is removably attached to body 122 by screws 184 received within the bores. FIG. 7 shows three striking face-plates 160L, 160M, 160H, having a successively greater inclination angle, which provide for a driver, respectively, a low, medium and high loft angle. Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, body 122 further includes a rearmost portion 190 having a hole 192 therethrough which is an outlet for ram air entering through holes 180. Air is also expelled through the holes 146 in crown 124.

[0036] Referring to FIGS. 9, 10 and 11, an iron-type club head 200 according to a third embodiment of the invention includes a body 202 having an aperture 204 therethrough determined by a circumferential surface 204S and circumscribed by a rim 206 with a recessed lip 206L. Body 202 further includes generally vertical first and second posts 208, 210, each rigidly attached to surface 204S. Posts 208, 210 have a bar shape and, respectively, holes 208H, 210H tapped to receive a screw. Club head 200 further includes a striking face-plate 220 having a front portion 222 with a striking face 224, and a generally planar back surface 226 attached to a front surface 228 of a slightly smaller rear portion 230 (see FIG. 11) sized to be closely received within aperture 204. Surface 226 overlaps surface 228 in a peripheral flange 232 which abuts lip 206L. Consistent with mechanical integrity and rigidity, the face-plate should cover substantially all of the body 202. Portions 222 and 230 have therethrough a first plurality of air flow holes 234 and two holes 236 aligned with tapped holes 208H, 210H. Face-plate 220 is removably attached to body 202 by screws 238 received within the tapped holes.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7594865Dec 21, 2006Sep 29, 2009Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc.Golf club head
US7604550 *Dec 12, 2007Oct 20, 2009Marvin Kirk CurrieSand wedge with an interchangeable faceplate
US8033931Aug 7, 2009Oct 11, 2011Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc.Golf club head
US8133135Jun 18, 2008Mar 13, 2012Nike, Inc.High moment of inertia wood-type golf clubs and golf club heads
US8157668Apr 21, 2010Apr 17, 2012Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc.Golf club head
US8187116Jun 23, 2009May 29, 2012Nike, Inc.Golf clubs and golf club heads
US8221260Feb 4, 2010Jul 17, 2012Nike, Inc.High moment of inertia wood-type golf clubs and golf club heads
US8398506Mar 24, 2010Mar 19, 2013Nike, Inc.Golf clubs and golf club heads
US8409028Apr 16, 2012Apr 2, 2013Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc.Golf club head
US8545343 *Oct 7, 2011Oct 1, 2013Nike, Inc.Golf club head or other ball striking device with slotted face mask
US8550935Jul 16, 2012Oct 8, 2013Nike, Inc.High moment of inertia wood-type golf clubs and golf club heads
US8556745 *Oct 16, 2009Oct 15, 2013Marvin Kirk CurrieGolf club with an interchangeable faceplate
US8740719Apr 2, 2013Jun 3, 2014Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc.Golf club head
US8915798 *Mar 12, 2014Dec 23, 2014Callaway Golf CompanyPutter face insert
US20100234121 *Oct 16, 2009Sep 16, 2010Marvin Kirk CurrieSand wedge assembly with an interchangeable faceplate
US20140194220 *Mar 12, 2014Jul 10, 2014Callaway Golf CompanyPutter face insert
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/342, 473/345
International ClassificationA63B53/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63B53/04, A63B2225/01, A63B2053/0416, A63B59/0088, A63B2053/0454, A63B2209/00, A63B49/06, A63B53/047, A63B2053/0437, A63B53/0466, A63B2053/0462
European ClassificationA63B53/04