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Publication numberUS20040176179 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/382,280
Publication dateSep 9, 2004
Filing dateMar 5, 2003
Priority dateMar 5, 2003
Also published asWO2004078267A2, WO2004078267A3
Publication number10382280, 382280, US 2004/0176179 A1, US 2004/176179 A1, US 20040176179 A1, US 20040176179A1, US 2004176179 A1, US 2004176179A1, US-A1-20040176179, US-A1-2004176179, US2004/0176179A1, US2004/176179A1, US20040176179 A1, US20040176179A1, US2004176179 A1, US2004176179A1
InventorsJoseph Johnson
Original AssigneeJohnson Joseph B.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Offset or curved golf club
US 20040176179 A1
Abstract
The present invention discloses a golf club having a bend between a straight shaft and a straight club grip wherein the club grip is sufficient in size to accommodate both hands of the golfer. The bend of the golf club is in the direction of the user and allows the user to maintain a natural grip in order to produce pendulum-like swing. The golf club reduces the strain and stress on the wrists and hands of the user in order to reduce the user's distraction level and enhance the user's performance in the game of golf.
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Claims(19)
What is claimed is:
1. A golf club, comprising:
a club head;
a shaft attached to the club head; and
a handle attached to the shaft, wherein the handle attaches to the shaft so that the handle is offset in the direction of a user, wherein the handle accommodates a first hand and a second hand of the user.
2. The golf club of claim 1, wherein the handle is straight.
3. The golf club of claim 2, wherein the handle is offset from the shaft in the direction of the user at an angle of from about five degrees to about sixty degrees.
4. The golf club of claim 3, wherein the handle is perpendicular to an axis for the path of the club head.
5. The golf club of claim 4, wherein the handle is from about 10 inches to about 22 inches long.
6. The golf club of claim 1, wherein the golf club is a putter.
7. A golf club, comprising:
a shaft having a first end and a second end;
a club head attached to the first end of the shaft;
a shaft adaptor attached to the second end of the shaft; and
a club grip attached to the shaft adaptor, wherein the shaft adaptor is bent in the direction of a user to form an angle between the shaft and the club grip, wherein the club grip accommodates a first hand and a second hand of the user.
8. The golf club of claim 7, wherein the club grip is straight.
9. The golf club of claim 8, wherein the angle between the shaft and the club grip is from about five degrees to about sixty degrees.
10. The golf club of claim 8, wherein the angle between the shaft and the club grip is from about thirty degrees to about sixty degrees.
11. The golf club of claim 10, wherein the user grips the club grip using a first hand and a second hand in a conventional golf grip.
12. The golf club of claim 10, wherein the handle is from about 10 inches to about 22 inches long.
13. A golf club, comprising:
a club head; and
a shaft having a first segment and a second segment, wherein the first segment is attached to the club head, wherein the second segment of the shaft is bent in the direction of a user at a junction of the first segment and the second segment, wherein the second segment is sufficient in length to accommodate a first hand and a second hand of the user.
14. The golf club of claim 13, wherein the first segment of the shaft is straight.
15. The golf club of claim 14, wherein the second segment of the shaft is straight.
16. The golf club of claim 15, wherein the first segment of the shaft and the second segment of the shaft are located in a plane that is perpendicular to an axis of the path of the club head.
17. The golf club of claim 16, wherein the second segment of the shaft is bent in the direction of the user at an angle from about five degrees to about sixty degrees.
18. The golf club of claim 16, wherein the second segment of the shaft is bent in the direction of the user at an angle from about thirty degrees to about sixty degrees.
19. The golf club of claim 18, wherein the second segment of the shaft is bent toward the user so that the user grasps the second segment of the shaft with a conventional golf club grip.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates generally to a sporting product and more specifically to a golf club having a bend such that the handle is angled toward the user in such a way as to allow both hands to be placed on the straight handle.

[0002] Modifications to the traditional shape and structure of the average golf club to accomplish various results have been attempted previously. The hopeful result of each modification is the enhanced performance of the user on the golf course. Several references disclosing golf clubs with bent handles include U.S. Pat. No. 148,805 to Liolich et al; U.S. Pat. No. 256,824 to Ward et al; U.S. Pat. No. 1,201,728 to Henry & Wells; U.S. Pat. No. 1,979,174 to Robertson; U.S. Pat. No. 2,132,219 to Pirie; U.S. Pat. No. 2,212,651 to Sanderson; U.S. Pat. No. 2,949,304 to Williams; U.S. Pat. No. 4,269,412 to Hughes; U.S. Pat. No. 4,625,965 to Mullins; U.S. Pat. No. 5,127,650 to Schneller; U.S. Pat. No. 5,374,064 to Barber; U.S. Pat. No. 5,452,891 to Thomas; U.S. Pat. No. 5,454,564 to Kronogård; U.S. Pat. No. 5,595,385 to Jablonski; U.S. Pat. No. 5,616,087 to Bothwell; U.S. Pat. No. 5,746,661 to Murphy; U.S. Pat. No. 5,792,002 to Bothwell; U.S. Pat. No. 6,190,266 to Pamias. The golf clubs disclosed in these patents are bent awkwardly and/or require the user's hands be placed in the awkward positions.

[0003] Within the current state of the art, there appears to be a lack of appreciation for the preference of the golfer to be in a proper position to swing the club and do so comfortably. What is needed then is a structural modification to the traditional golf club which allows a golfer to avoid uncomfortable positioning of the wrists and hands.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The present invention is generally related to the game of golf. With regard to putting in the game of golf, a very common putting stance requires that the golfer position himself/herself such that his or her eyes are over the golf ball. Such a putting stance promotes a more consistent putting stroke due to the visibility provided by such stance. Having one's eye over the ball is a must if the golfer is going to see the line of the putt clearly. Otherwise, he/she is looking at the line of the putt from an odd angle, which will distort the golfer's perception and lead to missed putts. The traditional straight putters, currently available today, may prevent a golfer from maintaining this putting stance for reasons such as posture, limberness, arthritis, or other medical conditions. It is additionally possible that golfers may attain such a putting stance but find it to be very uncomfortable. The result is that such discomfort and awkwardness leads to distraction which may result in missed putts, or other poor golf shots.

[0005] This golf club is designed in such a way so as to allow the golfer to use the same grip that he or she would use on a conventional shaft-straight grip golf club, except that with this invention, there are certain advantages including comfort and the ability to have one's eyes over the ball when using the golf club to strike the golf ball.

[0006] The present invention provides a golf club having a club grip, or handle, which is sufficient in size to accommodate the placement of both of the hands of the golfer. The golf club is bent so that the club grip is positioned in the direction of the golfer. The shape of the present golf club is intended to allow the golfer to enter a golf stance in which his eyes are directly above the ball. In such a conventional golfing stance, the axis of the shaft must differ from the axis of the club grip. By bending the club grip toward the golfer, the golfer can maintain the conventional golf stance while also maintaining comfortable positioning of his/her arms and hands. As described herein, the axis of the club grip as well as the length of the shaft may be modified to fit the personal preferences of the golfer.

[0007] In certain embodiments, the present invention provides a golf club having a club head, shaft, and a straight handle, or club grip. The handle may have a length of from about 10 inches to about 22 inches. The handle, or club grip is bent, or offset, in the direction of the user at an angle of from about five degrees to about 60 degrees. In certain embodiments, the angle is from about thirty degrees to about sixty degrees. In certain embodiments, the golf club may be a putter. In other embodiments, a shaft, having different segments, may be bent toward the golfer to provide the handle, or club grip, to be grasped by the golfer. The present invention allows a golfer to use all of the conventional golf club grips or natural grips used on a standard golf club. Although the handle of the golf club is bent toward the golfer, the golf club is not bent or angled in a lateral direction.

[0008] Use of the present invention does not require the golfer to adjust his/her hands and wrists into awkward positions in order to bring the putter head below their eyes in the normal putting stance. The present invention allows a golfer to maintain the putting stance without drastically changing the posture while putting. When the golfer is comfortable within the putting stance, he/she has a greater probability of executing a pendulum-like stroke and making the putt. Again, the present invention promotes the natural angle to the wrist while gripping the club.

[0009] Accordingly, one object of the present invention is to provide a golf club which allows a user to maintain a conventional golf stance without distraction due to lack of comfort.

[0010] Another object of the present invention is to provide a golf club which is bent toward a user, in order to present a club grip sufficient in size to accommodate both hands of a user.

[0011] A further object of the present invention is to provide a golf club which significantly enhances the comfort of the user and allows a better performance on the golf course.

[0012] Still another object of the present invention is to provide a golf club which removes the awkward positions of the hands and wrists of the user which result when the user places his/her eyes above the golf ball which will be hit.

[0013] Another object of the present invention is to provide a golf club which allows a user a more comfortable grip according to the natural positioning of the hands and wrists.

[0014] Still another object of the present invention is to provide a club handle that allows the user's hands to be substantially along the same plane.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015]FIG. 1 is a drawing of a user 10 holding a traditional golf club 12 with a natural grip, while positioned with his eyes above the golf ball 14. The club head 18 is not in position to strike the golf ball 14.

[0016]FIG. 2 is a drawing of a user 10 holding a golf club 16 of the present invention with a natural grip, while positioned with his eyes above the golf ball 14. The club head 18 is properly positioned to strike the golf ball 14.

[0017]FIG. 3 shows a side-view of an embodiment of the present invention, a golf club 16. The hatched lines represent the axes of the club grip 22 and the shaft 20. The angle Z represents the angle between the axis of the shaft 20 and the axis of the club grip 22.

[0018]FIG. 4 is a rear-view of an embodiment of the present invention in which the vertical axes of the shaft 20 and the club grip 22 are perpendicular to the axis of the path of the club head 18.

[0019]FIG. 5 shows an embodiment of a method of producing a bend in the present invention between the shaft 20 and the club grip 22 by using a shaft adapter 24.

[0020]FIG. 6 shows an embodiment of the present invention in which the shaft 20 is directly connected to the club grip 22 by methods of adhesion commonly known in the art.

[0021]FIG. 7 is a drawing of a user 10 holding a golf club 16 of the present invention with a natural grip, while positioned with his eyes above the golf ball 14. The angle between the club grip 22 and the shaft 20 is approximately sixty degrees. The club head 18 is properly positioned to strike the golf ball 14. The hatched lines represent the axes of the club grip 22 and the shaft 20. The angle X represents the angle between the true vertical axis 26 and the axis of the club grip 22.

[0022]FIG. 8 is a drawing of a user 10 holding a golf club 16 of the present invention with a natural grip, while positioned with his eyes above the golf ball 14. The angle between the club grip 22 and the shaft 20 is approximately forty degrees. The club head 18 is properly positioned to strike the golf ball 14. The hatched lines represent the axes of the club grip 22 and the shaft 20. The angle X represents the angle between the true vertical axis 26 and the axis of the club grip 22.

[0023]FIG. 9 is a drawing of a user 10 holding a golf club 16 of the present invention with a natural grip, while positioned with his eyes above the golf ball 14. The angle between the club grip 22 and the shaft 20 is approximately twenty degrees. The club head 18 is properly positioned to strike the golf ball 14. The hatched lines represent the axes of the club grip 22 and the shaft 20. The angle X represents the angle between the true vertical axis 26 and the axis of the club grip 22.

[0024]FIG. 10 is a drawing of a user 10 holding a golf club 16 of the present invention in which the club grip 22 is extended in length.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0025] The present invention is a golf club having a grip which allows a user to comfortably hold and maneuver the golf club while maintaining a proper golf stance in which the eyes of the user are located directly above the golf ball. As further described herein, the invention provides the advantages of enhanced comfort for the user and enhancement of control of the golf club which results in improved golf scores.

Proper Anatomical Grip

[0026] The present invention provides a golf club 16 which reduces the stress, strain, and awkwardness associated with the use of a traditional golf club having a straight shaft and a straight club grip. Based upon the anatomy of the human wrist and hand, the most comfortable manner for grasping a cylindrical object, such as a golf club, is demonstrated on FIG. 1. More specifically, when a user 10 maintains the conventional putting stance in which his or his eyes are directly over the golf ball 14, the club head 18 is not in the proper location to strike the golf ball 14. Such a natural grip, which is proper based upon human anatomy, reduces stress and strain on the wrists and hands of the user 10. When the stress and strain of the wrists and hands are reduced, then the distraction level of the user 10 also decreases.

[0027] Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a user 10 holding a traditional golf club 12. Clearly, the natural and comfortable position of the wrists and hands results in a positioning of the traditional golf club 12 such that it is not in position to strike the golf ball 14.

[0028] Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a user 10 in a golf stance such that the eyes of the user 10 are located directly above the golf ball 14. The user 10 is holding the present invention, a golf club 16, which has a club head 18, a shaft 20, and a club grip 22, also called a handle. The golf club 16 allows the user 10 to comfortably position his/her hands on the club grip 22 while maintaining a golf stance in which the eyes of the user are located directly above the golf ball 14. In certain embodiments, the club grip 22 has a length of from about 10 inches to about 22 inches. In certain embodiments, the club grip 22 will be 10 to 12 inches in length. In alternate embodiments, a club grip 22 shorter than 10 inches may be applicable in smaller clubs, including children's clubs. Alternatively, it is foreseeable that longer handles would be utilized in other putter constructs including the “belly putter,” as shown in FIG. 10, and the long putter, where the golfer anchors the putter to his/her mid-section and his/her breast bone, respectively. The golf club 16 has a bend located between the shaft 20 and the club grip 22 which allows the club head 18 to be properly positioned to strike the golf ball 14.

[0029] It should be noted that all of the methods used to prepare the bend in the golf club 16 between the shaft 20 and the club grip 22 produce a club grip 22 sufficient in length to accommodate both hands of the user 10. The club grip 22 of the present invention is intended to be used as a traditional club grip. This means that it is intended that such conventional two-handed putting grips, including, but not limited to, the interlocked grip, the over-lapped grip, the baseball grip, and the cross-handed grip should be used. Additionally, the bend between the shaft 20 and the club grip 22 may be accomplished by introducing a bend into the club grip 22, rather than introducing the bend into the shaft 20.

[0030] It should be noted that the bend should be located at the end of the shaft 20 which is closest to the club grip 22, as shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 5, and 6.

[0031] In addition to angular adjustments of the bend between the shaft 20 and the club grip 22, the length of the shaft 20 will vary depending upon the height of the user 10 to fit the personal preferences of the user 10. Modifications to the length of the shaft 20 are accomplished as known by those of ordinary skill in the art.

The Proper Angle for Repositioning the Club Grip

[0032] The proper angle of the axis of the club grip 22 relative to the axis of the shaft 20 will vary depending upon the angle the axis of the shaft 20 varies from the true vertical axis 26. As the axis of the shaft 20 angles more and more away from the true vertical axis 26 and towards the golfer, the angle between the axis of the club grip 22 and the axis of the shaft 20 will diminish. As best seen in FIGS. 7-9, if the same axis of the club grip 22 is used with three different axes of shafts 20, which vary in angle from the true vertical axis 26, the relative angle of the axis for the club grip 22 to the axis of the shaft 20 will vary accordingly. The constant in FIGS. 7-9 is that the angle between the axis of the club grip 22 and the true vertical axis 26 remains the same. More specifically, this angle, referred to as angle X, will of course vary per individual based on their personal preference, but will remain the same regardless of the shaft.

[0033] The angle between the axis of the club grip 22 and the true vertical axis 26 is between about thirty degrees and sixty degrees. However, in practice, this invention should accommodate the personal preference of any golfer. Accordingly, in alternate embodiments, the angle between the axis of the club grip 22 and the true vertical axis 26 is between about five degrees and fifteen degrees. In still other alternate embodiments, the angle between the axis of the club grip 22 and the true vertical axis 26 is between about fifteen degrees and thirty degrees.

[0034] If the user 10 is relatively comfortable with the conventional golf club, where there is no angle between the shaft and the grip, then a small angle between the club grip 22 and the shaft 20 from about five degrees to about thirty degrees will likely be preferred. On the other hand, medical conditions, posture, arthritis, or other conditions may prevent the user 10 from being comfortable with the conventional golf club and, therefore, may require greater angular adjustments. In such an instance, the angle between the axis of the shaft 20 and the axis of the club grip 22 may be more pronounced. In certain embodiments, angle between the axis 20 of the club grip 22 and the axis of the shaft 20 is between about thirty degrees and forty degrees. In other embodiments, the angle between the axis of the club grip 22 and the axis of the shaft 20 is between about forty degrees and fifty degrees. In still other embodiments, the angle between the axis of the club grip 22 and the axis of the shaft 20 is between about fifty degrees and sixty degrees. When such medical conditions are present, it is preferred that the angle between the axis of the club grip 22 and the axis of the shaft 20 is between about forty-five degrees and sixty degrees. This invention should allow for all preferences and all angles necessary to achieve a level of comfort with the golf club 16.

[0035] As best seen in FIG. 3, the club grip 22, also called a handle, is positioned at an angle relative to the shaft 20 of the golf club 16. The axis of the club grip 22 is represented by the hatched markings. The axis of the shaft 20 is indicated by the vertical hatched markings. The specific angle, called angle Z, at which the axis of the club grip 22 is positioned relative to the axis of the shaft 20 is dependent upon the size and comfort preferences of the user 10. However, as mentioned above, it is also important to consider angle X, which is the angle between the axis of the club grip 22 and the true vertical axis 26. In certain embodiments, angle Z, which represents the angle at which the club grip 22 is bent, or displaced, relative to the shaft 20 may be from about five degrees to about thirty degrees. In alternate embodiments, the angle at which the club grip 22 is bent, or displaced, relative to the shaft 20 may be from about five degrees to about ten degrees. In alternate embodiments, the angle at which the club grip 22 is bent, or displaced, relative to the shaft 20 may be from about ten degrees to about twenty degrees. In still alternate embodiments, the angle at which the club grip 22 is bent, or displaced, relative to the shaft 20 may be from about twenty degrees to about thirty degrees. In other alternate embodiments the angle Z of displacement of the club grip 22 from the axis of the shaft 20 may be from about sixty degrees to about ninety degrees. In a preferred embodiment, when the user 10 is of average height and ordinary comfort preferences, angle Z is from about thirty degrees to about sixty degrees. However, the club can be either custom made or premade at different sizes based upon the size of the user.

[0036] Although the golf club 16 is bent such that the club grip 22 is positioned toward the user 10, the club grip 22 is not moved in a lateral direction. As best seen in FIG. 4, when the golf club 16 is viewed from the rear, the club grip 22 remains aligned with an axis which is parallel to that of the face of the club head 18. Accordingly, the vertical axis of the club grip 22 and the axis of the path of the putter face are perpendicular. Stated another way, the axis of the club grip 22 and the axis of the user's natural grip are parallel.

Method of Producing a Bend Between the Straight Shaft and the Straight Club Grip

[0037] The bend between the shaft 20 and club grip 22 may be accomplished as described herein. It should be noted that the shaft 20 may be constructed of graphite, steel, titanium, or other material commonly used in the shaft of a golf club. Further, the club grip 22 may be constructed of materials suitable for the construction of the shaft 20, or other materials which are commonly used in the construction of a grip on a golf club.

[0038] In certain embodiments, the club grip 22 and the shaft 20 may be connected by using a shaft adapter 24. As best seen in FIG. 5, a club grip 22 is attached to a shaft 20 by using a shaft adapter 24 for connection. The shaft adapter 24 may be attached to both the club grip 22 and the shaft 20 by any method commonly known by one of ordinary skill in the art. Examples of such attachment include, but are not limited to, screws, glues, soldering, mechanical fitting, joining by size, and other methods of friction adherence. The shaft adapter 24 may be constructed of any material which would be used for the construction of the shaft 20 or the club grip 22, including, but not limited to, graphite, steel, and titanium. Subsequent to connection, the shaft adapter 24 may or may not be readily visible to the user.

[0039] As best seen in FIG. 6 the bend between the club grip 22 and the shaft 20 may be accomplished by directly connecting the club grip 22 to the shaft 20 at an angle. The direct connection may be accomplished by using materials known to one of ordinary skill in the art of attaching golf club shafts to golf club heads or golf club grips to golf club shafts. Such means for connecting include, but are not limited to, screwing, gluing, soldering, mechanically fitting, joining by size, physical adhesion, and chemical adhesion.

[0040] In still other embodiments of the present embodiments the club grip 22 may actually be an extension of the shaft 20. Accordingly, the bend between the club grip 22 and the shaft 20 is accomplished by bending the shaft 20 in order to produce the desired angle. In such an embodiment, the shaft 20 has a first segment and a second segment. The first segment of the shaft 20 is the straight segment between the club head 18 and the bend. The second segment of the shaft 20 is the segment bent toward the user 10. The second segment of the shaft 20 can also be called a club grip 22, or handle. Methods of permanently bending golf club shafts are known in the art and the particular method of bending is not critical to the present invention. For example, a golf club shaft may be bent by normal aluminum and other material treatment.

[0041] This patent application incorporates by reference all patents, references, and publications disclosed herein.

[0042] Thus, although there have been described particular embodiments of the present invention of a new and useful Offset or Curved Golf Club, it is not intended that such references be construed as limitations upon the scope of this invention except as set forth in the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7357729 *Feb 24, 2006Apr 15, 2008Berokoff Andrew JGolf club
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/316
International ClassificationA63B53/10
Cooperative ClassificationA63B53/10, A63B2208/12, A63B59/0055
European ClassificationA63B53/10