|Publication number||US20050054459 A1|
|Application number||US 10/918,415|
|Publication date||Mar 10, 2005|
|Filing date||Aug 16, 2004|
|Priority date||Aug 14, 2003|
|Publication number||10918415, 918415, US 2005/0054459 A1, US 2005/054459 A1, US 20050054459 A1, US 20050054459A1, US 2005054459 A1, US 2005054459A1, US-A1-20050054459, US-A1-2005054459, US2005/0054459A1, US2005/054459A1, US20050054459 A1, US20050054459A1, US2005054459 A1, US2005054459A1|
|Original Assignee||Oldenburg Jon E.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (17), Classifications (8), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims priority of copending U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/495,612 filed on Aug. 14, 2003.
This invention relates to golf clubs, and more particularly to the provision of means in or on a golf club for altering the “swing-weight,” or balance, of the club. The invention has particular reference to the selective alteration of the swing-weight of a golf putter.
In the golf industry, the term “swing-weight” refers to the relative distribution of the weight in a club, from the various components of the club (head, shaft, grip, tape, etc) which produce movements around a fulcrum that is established at twelve or fourteen inches from the butt end of the shaft. The preferred standard uses a fourteen-inch fulcrum. A conversion table is provided in the golf industry for indicating numerical swing-weights with alpha numeric code designations using the letters “A” to “G” and the numbers “0” and “9”, producing recognizable designations such as “C9” or “D0”. Reference is made to the websites www.bs-sports.com. Basics of golf club, and www.gcfs.com for additional details.
It is well known that variations in swing-weight produce variations in the “feel” of the club, and “feel” is a very important factor in club selection and performance and in the design and construction of custom-made clubs. Further, club manufacturers are able to introduce variations in swing-weights into their clubs by varying components in the manufacturing process, so that purchasers will have a selection to suit their taste and needs. Some manufacturers have provided head inserts of different specific gravities for varying the weights of club heads and thereby modifying the swing-weights of the clubs to suit individual users. For example, see www.serigraph.com website regarding inserts for clubs sold under the PING trademark.
The commonly used approaches for swing-weight adjustments are:
The present invention resides in a novel method, and apparatus for practicing the method, of altering the swing-weight of a golf club selectively preparatory to making a particular shot, or for use under a particular set of conditions leading the golfer to desire a change in swing-weight. The invention is particularly well suited for use in putters, to satisfy the needs of golfers who wish to change the swing-weight for various reasons, including variable environmental conditions affecting the “speed” of greens.
For thee purposes, the invention provides a movable weighted insert in the shaft of the club, preferably in the butt end portion thereof, and a mechanism for selectively adjusting the position of the weighted insert along the shaft and locking the insert in different selected positions. For compliance with the rules of golf, the mechanism can be made to be usable only in a manner that is visible to other players, so that those players will know about any adjustment. A separable adjustment tool preferably is provided, to be removable after adjustments are made, or the tool may be built into the club.
The apparatus for practicing the method may take various forms, basically comprising the weighted insert disposed in the hollow shaft of the golf club, and a means for positioning the insert in different selected positions within the shaft and holding it in the selected position during use of the club. The presently preferred apparatus comprises an expandable and contractible insert that is movable longitudinally of the shaft in the contracted condition, a connector for moving the insert in contracted condition to different longitudinal positions in the shaft, and a mechanism for selectively expanding and contracting the insert to fix the insert in a selected longitudinal position and to release the insert for movement to a different position. The preferred mechanism for these purposes is a screw mechanism actuated by a manually operable tool that is releasably connectable to the insert and serves as the connector for moving the insert to different selected positions. The tool is removed prior to play.
A second embodiment of the invention comprises an insert in the form of an internally threaded weight that is adjustably positioned within the hollow shaft on an elongated lead screw that extends through a selected range of possible adjustment for the insert and is designed to remain in place in the shaft, with one end of the screw accessible at the end of the shaft. The insert is non-rotatably mounted in the shaft, and the lead screw is rotatably supported in fixed bearings so as to move the weight along the screw in different longitudinal directions during turning of the screw in different directions. Inadvertent turning of the screw is prevented by frictional resistance in the bearings. A hand actuator is provided at the accessible end of the lead screw, preferably a hand crank that can be coupled releasably to the lead screw at an open end of the shaft. A rotating cap on the end of the shaft can serve the same function.
Other aspects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
As has been noted as background, an important characteristic of golf clubs is referred to as “swing-weight”, which refers to the relative distribution of the weight in a club, or its center of gravity along its length.
In accordance with the present invention, the apparatus 10 comprises generally a weighted insert, indicated generally at 25, disposed in the hollow shaft 12, and means for positioning the insert in different selected positions within the shaft, herein in the butt end portion thereof, to vary the swing-weight of the shaft selectively. This enables the golfer to make fine adjustments that the golfer deems desirable for particular golfing conditions, and is intended primarily for use in varying the swing-weight of putters for different conditions of the greens, and can be accomplished with a relatively simple, lightweight mechanism that does not adversely affect the performance of the club.
More specifically, in the illustrative first embodiment of the apparatus 10, the insert 25 is a generally cylindrical elongated weight with an outside diameter slightly less than the inside diameter of the shaft, and may have a slight taper matching the taper of the inside surface 27 of the shaft, when the shaft is tapered. This insert is adjustably positioned within the shaft by means of an expansion and contraction mechanism within the insert, indicated generally at 28 in
As can be seen most clearly in
The connector tool 29 is a manual actuator for the expansion and contraction mechanism 28 and comprises an elongated stem in the form of a rod 40 that is smaller than the interior of the butt portion of the shaft 12. This rod is long enough to reach into the shaft from the butt end 13 and become engaged at its inner end with the expansion and contraction mechanism 28, wherever it is within the range of adjustment designed for the insert 25. A handle 41 is mounted on the outer end of the rod 40 to facilitate gripping and turning of the rod, and the inner end has a releasable connection 42 for engaging the expansion and contraction mechanism. Herein, this releasable connection is a simple square socket 43 in the end of the head 39, the right end in
Two peripheral grooves 48 preferably are formed in the insert, around both sleeve halves 30, as shown in
The connector tool 29 has a releasable longitudinal coupling for engagement with the insert 25 to move the latter along the shaft to selected longitudinal positions while in the contracted condition. A simple and convenient coupling for this purpose is a spring-loaded ball detent 50 on one side of the socket driver 44, as shown in
A modified embodiment of the apparatus 10 is shown in
Each of the expansion nuts 65 and 68 has wedge-shaped cam wings 74 on its opposite sides, and each cam wing has upper and lower inclined cam surfaces 75 and 77 that are engageable with opposed inclined cam surfaces 78 and 79 on the split sleeve. These surfaces are designed to expand the split sleeve evenly along the entire length as the expansion nuts are drawn into the sleeve ends by the screw 61 and the cam wings 74 are simultaneously drawn into engagement with the opposed cam surfaces 78 and 79. This also compresses and loads the spring 67 between the expansion nuts.
As the screw 61 is turned in the opposite direction to spread the expansion nuts, assisted by the spring 67, the cam surfaces permit the sleeve to contract, assisted by the ring 72. The result is smooth and uniform expansion and contraction of the insert. In other respects, the modified embodiment is the same as the first embodiment, and corresponding parts are indicated by the same reference numbers used in the first embodiment.
To mount the lead screw 82 on the shaft 12 in this manner, two bearings 85 and 87 are fitted tightly in the shaft at the opposite ends of the screw, and permit rotation of the screw while preventing longitudinal motion.
On the outer, or left, end of the screw at the end 13 of the shaft, is a head 88 that forms a releasable coupling for driving engagement with the hand crank 84. The crank, which may have a grip 89 at its free end, has a drive socket 90 for fitting over the head 88 as shown in
It will be seen from the foregoing that the present invention provides different relatively simple and lightweight apparatus for adjustably positioning a weighted insert within the shaft of a golf club to vary the swing-weight of the club selectively and easily when desired. It also will be seen that the apparatus that have been disclosed satisfy the requirement that such adjustment be visible to other players. Apart from this requirement, the hand crank of
While the steps in the method of the invention should be evident from the foregoing descriptions of the mechanisms, the following will provide a functional summary of the steps of the method. The initial steps are: providing a weighted insert to be fitted into the elongated hollow shaft of the golf club, and providing a means in the shaft for adjustably positioning the insert within a selected portion of the shaft in different selected positions, different mechanisms have been disclosed for this purpose. The preferred location of the insert and the mechanism is the butt end portion of the shaft, within the twelve to fourteen inches of the butt that typically are disposed on one side of the fulcrum 18 when swing-weights are measured on a device of the kind shown in
Although different embodiments have been disclosed and described in detail herein, it will be apparent that modifications and changes may be made by those skilled in the art within the scope of the invention.
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|U.S. Classification||473/297, 473/316|
|International Classification||A63B53/14, A63B53/16|
|Cooperative Classification||A63B53/16, A63B53/145|
|European Classification||A63B53/14W, A63B53/16|
|May 12, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ALDILA, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:OLDENBURG, JOHN E.;REEL/FRAME:016881/0150
Effective date: 20040812
|Mar 10, 2008||AS||Assignment|
|Sep 17, 2010||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ALDILA, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION;REEL/FRAME:025008/0052
Effective date: 20100917
|Nov 7, 2012||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:ALDILA GOLF CORP.;REEL/FRAME:029258/0208
Effective date: 20120608