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Publication numberUS20050153784 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/034,100
Publication dateJul 14, 2005
Filing dateJan 13, 2005
Priority dateJan 13, 2004
Publication number034100, 11034100, US 2005/0153784 A1, US 2005/153784 A1, US 20050153784 A1, US 20050153784A1, US 2005153784 A1, US 2005153784A1, US-A1-20050153784, US-A1-2005153784, US2005/0153784A1, US2005/153784A1, US20050153784 A1, US20050153784A1, US2005153784 A1, US2005153784A1
InventorsChristian Burgin
Original AssigneeBurgin Christian W.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Training aid for golfers
US 20050153784 A1
Abstract
A training aid for golfers visually indicates proper foot placement with respect to a golf ball and a selected golf club. The training aid includes a housing, a panel mounted on the housing, circuitry mounted in the housing, at least one ball sensor interconnected with the circuitry, and a light source mounted in the housing. The light source provides a visual guide indicating a proper distance for placement of a user's feet relative to a golf ball at a particular position. The panel includes a display, a club select button, a distance adjustment button, a depth adjustment button, a save button, and a card reader. The circuitry includes a processor and memory, a ball sensor interface, a light source interface, a mirror servo interface, and a toe marker servo interface. The training aid also includes a mirror servo, a toe marker servo, a battery holder, and a power interface.
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Claims(20)
1. A training aid for golfers, said training aid comprising:
a housing;
a panel mounted on the housing;
circuitry mounted in the housing;
at least one ball sensor interconnected with the circuitry; and
a light source mounted in the housing, the light source being configured to provide a visual guide indicating a proper distance for which a user is to place their feet relative to a golf ball at a particular position.
2. The training aid according to claim 1, wherein said housing is a substantially elongated rectangular housing.
3. The training aid according to claim 2, wherein said housing is approximately thirty inches long, six inches tall, and two inches wide.
4. The training aid according to claim 1, wherein said housing has a parallelogram base upon which is mounted a prism structure.
5. The training aid according to claim 1, wherein said panel includes a display.
6. The training aid according to claim 1, wherein said panel includes a club select button.
7. The training aid according to claim 1, wherein said panel includes at least one distance adjustment button.
8. The training aid according to claim 1, wherein said panel includes at least one depth adjustment button.
9. The training aid according to claim 1, wherein said panel includes at least one save button.
10. The training aid according to claim 1, further comprising a card reader mounted on the panel.
11. The training aid according to claim 1, wherein said circuitry includes a processor and memory.
12. The training aid according to claim 1, wherein said circuitry includes a ball sensor interface.
13. The training aid according to claim 1, wherein said circuitry includes a light source interface.
14. The training aid according to claim 1, wherein said circuitry includes a mirror servo interface.
15. The training aid according to claim 1, wherein said circuitry includes a toe marker servo interface.
16. The training aid according to claim 1, wherein said at least one sensor includes a ball sensor.
17. The training aid according to claim 1, wherein said light source is selected from the group consisting of tungsten, a halogen, quartz, low or high-pressure sodium, metal halide, mercury high intensity discharge bulbs, and a laser.
18. The training aid according to claim 1, further comprising a mirror servo.
19. The training aid according to claim 1, further comprising a toe marker servo.
20. The training aid according to claim 1, further comprising a battery holder or an AC-DC power interface.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/535,818, filed Jan. 13, 2004.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates to golf training aids, and particularly to a training aid for golfers that provides guidance to a golfer in achieving the proper stance when hitting a golf ball.
  • [0004]
    2. Description of Related Art
  • [0005]
    The game of golf is played by millions of people throughout the world with varying degrees of skill. Regardless of their expertise, they all share the common goal of improving their game. To this end industry has been diligent in developing devices, which might aid both the experienced and inexperienced golfer.
  • [0006]
    U.S. Pat. No. 2,575,668, issued Nov. 20, 1951 to Samuel N. Lemoyne, describes a device adjustable to the width of the stance of a golfer for determining the location at which the ball should be placed with reference to any particular club. The Lemoyne patent has a telescoping base which may extend to a length of twenty inches and is adjusted to the width of a golfer's stance. A rectangular indicator is selectively positioned along the length of the base, its position depending upon the specific club being used. The indicator is used as a guide for ball placement along the width of the golfer's stance.
  • [0007]
    U.S. Pat. No. 2,886,326, issued May 12, 1959 to Clifford E. Olds, describes a golfer's stance gauge having a telescoping foot spacing section and a ball positioning section extending forward from the foot spacing portion, the ball positioning section further comprising a telescoping portion which allows the ball positioning section to variably adjust to the specific requirements of individual clubs.
  • [0008]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,000,905, issued Jan. 4, 1977 to Milan J. Shirhall, describes a mat for guiding golfers in addressing the ball on which are indicated positions and angles for the feet, placement of the ball and guide lines to indicate the proper direction to be traversed by specific clubs. Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 4,164,352, issued Aug. 4, 1979 to John F. O'Brian, describes a training mat for golfers which includes an area of artificial grass from which a golf ball may be driven, and a foot placement area on which the golfer stands. The mat contains markings which enable the golfer to properly position their feet and the golf ball when using different clubs.
  • [0009]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,023,810, issued May 17, 1977 to Walter Lorang, describes a board on which the positions of the ball and the player's feet are designated for each club. The Lorang patent gives the player a scale of measurement for distances between himself and the ball and between his feet for each club. It also gives the player the angles for his feet and the relative positions between the target foot and the off-target foot as closer to or farther from the ball.
  • [0010]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,384,718, issued May 24, 1983 to Richard H. Cachola, describes a golf stance and swing practice device having three elongated flat strips adjustably interconnected by a hinged mechanism. The first strip is disposed generally with its longitudinal axis perpendicular, within a limited range of angles, to the longitudinal axis of the second and third strips. The third strip is mounted on the end of the first strip, and the first strip is mounted pivotally on the second strip at an adjustable distance from the third strip. The third strip provides an indexing arrangement for ball placement and direction of ball flight. The second strip has a scale for foot placement for appropriate stance and the first strip has a scale for providing reach for properly addressing the ball placed. The indexing arrangement for ball placement relative to the third strip consists of circles and lines disposed on the surface of the third strip. The third strip has a slot where attached on the end of the first strip such as to be longitudinally adjustable relative to the first strip. The first strip has a longitudinal slot where connected to the second strip for providing disposing the second strip at an appropriate distance from the third strip along the scale on the first strip. Angle markings are provided on the second strip where joined to the first strip, and on the first strip where joined to the third strip, for disposing the second and third strips at an angle relative to the first strip.
  • [0011]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,451,043, issued May 29, 1984 to Koji Ogawa et al., describes a golf trainer having magnetic sensors arranged in a bifurcated sensor case for detecting the passage of a golf club for measuring club speed. Additional devices for measuring both a golfer's club head speed and the elapsed time to complete his swing are described by Arthur A. White in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,477,079 and 4,630,829, issued Oct. 16, 1984 and Dec. 23, 1986, respectively.
  • [0012]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,203,453, issued Apr. 20, 1993 to Anthony R. Dirito, describes a golf stance device for locating the feet of a golfer properly with respect to a golf ball. The device is formed of an elongated flat strip of material such as plastic or metal adapted to rest upon the ground and a housed roll-up tape. The roll-up tape may be extended in a direction normal to the elongated strip toward a golf ball, providing a device having a member parallel with the golfer's line of sight properly displaced from the ball. Both the elongated strip of material and the tape have indicia assisting a golfer in positioning the device upon the ground and in obtaining a proper stance.
  • [0013]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,306,011, issued Apr. 26, 1994 to Robert O. Perry, describes a golf mat having groupings of indicia for indicating proper placement of ball and feet specific to a selected golf club. The club is selected by inserting a card into an optical reader using fiber optic cable to provide visual indications on the mat.
  • [0014]
    Two more golfer stance gauges are described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,335,915, issued Aug. 9, 1994 to Albert J. Baudier, and in U.S. Pat. No. 5,388,833, issued Feb. 14, 1995 to Hub W. Goyen Jr. Both of these patents disclose a base plate and an adjustable length ball position guide normal to and variably spaced on the base plate.
  • [0015]
    None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed. Thus, a training aid for golfers solving the aforementioned problems is desired.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0016]
    The present invention is a training aid for golfers. The training aid includes a housing, a panel mounted on the housing, circuitry mounted in the housing, at least one ball sensor interconnected with the circuitry, and a light source mounted in the housing, the light source being configured to provide a visual guide indicating a proper distance for which a user is to place their feet relative to a golf ball at a particular position.
  • [0017]
    The housing can be a substantially elongated rectangular housing, such as approximately thirty inches long, six inches tall, and two inches wide, or the like. The housing can also have a parallelogram base upon which is mounted a prism structure. The panel includes a display, a club select button, at least one distance adjustment button, at least one depth adjustment button, and at least one save button. A card reader is mounted on the panel.
  • [0018]
    The circuitry includes a processor and memory, a ball face interface, a light source interface, a mirror servo interface, and a toe marker servo interface. The sensor is a ball sensor and the training aid also includes a mirror servo, a toe marker servo, and a battery holder or an AC-DC power interface.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0019]
    FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a training aid for golfers according to the present invention.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 2 is a top view of the training aid shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the training aid shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional side view of the training aid shown in FIG. 1 that shows the light source, variable pitch mirror and the reflected light beam.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 5 is a block diagram of circuitry for the training aid shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0024]
    Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0025]
    The present invention is training aid for golfers. The invention disclosed herein is, of course, susceptible of embodiment in many different forms. Shown in the drawings and described herein below in detail are preferred embodiments of the invention. It is to be understood, however, that the present disclosure is an exemplification of the principles of the invention and does not limit the invention to the illustrated embodiments.
  • [0026]
    Referring to the drawings, a training aid for golfers according to the invention is generally designated as 100. The training aid 100 is configured for use on a driving range, and serves as a visual guide to indicate the proper distance of a golfer's feet 114 relative to a golf ball 116, and the proper depth of the ball 116 within the stance of the golfer. For the purpose of this application the depth of the ball is the distance from a golfer's forward toe 112 on a first line 148 formed by the golfer's feet 144 to a second line 138 from the ball 116 drawn normal to the first line 148.
  • [0027]
    The training aid 100 can be configured as having a housing 102 mounted on a pair of feet 144. The housing 102 is shown in a substantially elongated rectangular manner. For example, the housing 102 can be dimensionally configured as approximately thirty inches long, six inches tall, and two inches wide, or the like. However, the housing 102 may also be formed in other configurations, such as in the form of a housing with a parallelogram base upon which is mounted a prism structure. The training aid housing 102 may also be formed in other configurations as desired.
  • [0028]
    As shown in the drawings, the training aid 100 has a pair of feet 144 which are adapted to rest squarely on the surface of the ground. The housing 102 has a top surface 146, a bottom, a front, a rear, a left side, a right side, and a length defined by the left and right sides. Mounted on the top surface 146 of the housing 102 are controls and indicators for operation of the training aid 100. The controls and indicators are wired to circuitry within the housing 102. The circuitry may be formed as an electronic circuit mounted on a printed circuit board, the details of which are described below.
  • [0029]
    The training aid 100 is may be pre-set for right-handed golfers as well as left-handed golfers. An arrow 132 disposed on the top cover 146 indicates the direction in which a golf ball 116 will be hit. Although the training aid 100 is configured for either a left or right-handed golfer, the training aid 100 may be configured to have the capability of reading the golfer preferences from a removable storage device 128. Switches 120, 122, and 124 on the top cover of the housing 102 are provided for altering the default setting of the training aid 100.
  • [0030]
    A club select control 120 allows a user to select any club from within a full set of golf clubs with which to practice. A display 118 serves to indicate the selected club. The display 118 may be configured in the form of a liquid crystal display (LCD), a light emitting diode (LED) display, or the like. A card reader 142 is mounted on the front cover 146 and is configured to removably receive the computer readable storage device 128. The storage device 128 can contain stance information specific to a particular golfer for each club in a standard golf club set. Stance information for each club includes the distance 138 from the ball to a line 148 formed by the user's feet, as well as the depth 140 of the ball to the golfer's leading toe. When initially configured, the storage device 128 can contain a default set of parameters, which can be altered by the manual distance control 122 and depth control 124 on the top cover 146. At any time the user may save the current settings to the storage device 128 by depressing a save button 126. The illustrated positions shown for the locations of the various switches, buttons, arrows, etc., may be varied as desired and may be positioned on any side of the housing 102.
  • [0031]
    A ball-sensing panel 106 is mounted on the front surface of the housing 102 and is electrically interconnected with the circuitry inside the housing. The ball-sensing panel 106 serves to determine the coordinates of the ball 116 relative to the front of the housing 102 via one or more ball sensors 106. Short range, low powered sensors, capable of detecting the position a ball up to three feet in front of such a ball sensor(s) 106 are known in the art, and serve to measure the distance 134 between the ball 116 and the front of the housing 102, as well as the distance 136 between the ball 116 and the right side of housing 102.
  • [0032]
    Upon detection of the ball 116, and based upon the selected club and the stance information stored on the storage device 128, a horizontal beam of light 108, approximately the length of the housing, is projected and focused through a horizontal lens 104 mounted to the front surface of housing 102, creating a lighted line 108 on the ground, parallel to the housing 102. The distance from the line 108 to the housing 102 is determined by the sum of the detected distance 134 of the ball 116 to the housing 102 and a stored value corresponding to the optimal distance 138 for foot placement from the ball 116 to a line formed by the user's feet. Furthermore, a visual marker 110, having a distinct color from the remaining portion of the lighted light 108 indicates the proper depth 140 of the ball within the golfer's stance.
  • [0033]
    The visibility of the line 108 and the differentiation of the forward toe marker 110 from the remainder of the line 108, will vary depending upon several factors which include the distance 138, the intensity of the light source 304 within the housing 102, the optical characteristics of the lens 104, and the level of ambient light.
  • [0034]
    The training aid 100 can be powered by one or more rechargeable and/or non-rechargeable battery(s), which are received by a battery holder 130. Alternatively, the training aid 100 may include a AC-DC power module thereby allowing a driving range to permanently install the training aid 100 without the necessity of replacing and/or recharging batteries. Although ball sensing logic for the ball sensor(s) 106 may always be enabled, it is preferable to have this logic user activated by a switch both to save power as well as to prevent inadvertent triggering.
  • [0035]
    The housing 102 contains an elongated light source 304, the light source having a length substantially equal to the length of the housing 102, as shown in FIG. 3. The light source 304 generates a high intensity beam of substantially white light and may be one of any known high intensity light bulbs, including tungsten, halogen, quartz, low or high-pressure sodium, metal halide, mercury high intensity discharge bulbs, or the like. The light source 304 may also be configured as a laser light source to enhance precision of the illuminated line and indicator light. The light source 304 can be mounted in the bottom of the housing 102 and is electrically connected to the circuitry in the housing 102.
  • [0036]
    As described above, the circuitry in the housing 102 can be configured as electronic circuitry mounted on a printed circuit board 314. Such a circuit board 314 can be mounted to the rear of the inside of the housing 102. FIG. 5 illustrates the electronic circuitry that controls the operation of the training aid 100. The electronic circuitry includes a processor 502, memory 504, a ball sensor interface 506, a light source interface 508, a mirror interface 510, and a toe marker interface 512. All controls and indictors mounted on the top surface of the housing 102 are monitored or controlled by the processor 502.
  • [0037]
    The mirror interface 510 electrically communicates with the mirror servo 306 and is under control of the processor 502. The mirror servo 306 controls the pitch of a mirror 302. As best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the mirror servo 306 is connected to linkage rod 312, which in turn is connected to the mirror 302. Pivotally mounted above the light source 304, the mirror 302 has a length and a width, the length and width defining a plane, the mirror having an axis of rotation within the plane along the length. A pivot rod 316 mounted behind the mirror 302 extends beyond the left and right sides of the mirror and is received by mounting hardware mounted to the housing 102.
  • [0038]
    When illuminated, the light source 304 projects a horizontal beam of light towards the elongated mirror 302, the pitch of which is controlled by the mirror servo 306 and the connected linkage rod 312. The mirror 302 reflects the light beam at an angle determined by the processor 502 and focuses the light through lens 104 forming a line 108 at a predetermined distance 138 in front of the ball 116 parallel to the housing 102.
  • [0039]
    The toe marker interface 512 communicates with the toe marker servo 308, which positions a toe marker lens 310, disposed between the light source 304 and the mirror 302, at a calculated position along the length of the light source 304. The toe marker lens 310 is a red or otherwise visually distinct colored filter, which serves to provide a narrow and discernable different colored portion 110 of the lighted line 108. The marker lens 310 is advanced to the proper horizontal position via the servo 308 which operates a screw mechanism 320. Pulley mechanisms as well as other mechanisms are known to those skilled in the art for advancing an object to a desired location along a desired track. Furthermore, other methods are available for differentiating a portion of the lighted line 108 such as aiming a stationary laser at a variable positioned mirror.
  • [0040]
    While the invention has been described with references to its preferred embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teaching of the invention without departing from its essential teachings.
Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7914392Jun 8, 2007Mar 29, 2011Deane O. ElliottGolf practice system, method and apparatus
US9416959Mar 15, 2013Aug 16, 2016Donald SpinnerIlluminated golf
US20070243942 *Jun 8, 2007Oct 18, 2007Elliott Deane OGolf practice system, method and apparatus
WO2008088778A3 *Jan 14, 2008Sep 25, 2008Deane O ElliottGolf practice system, method and apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/131
International ClassificationA63B69/36
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2225/15, A63B2024/0031, A63B24/0021, A63B69/3667, A63B69/3658
European ClassificationA63B69/36M, A63B69/36E, A63B24/00E