US 20060264268 A1
An underlisting sleeve for use with a golf club grip, the underlisting sleeve having a cap and a nipple. The underside of the cap is formed with a downwardly facing circumferential slot, the slot being partially defined by an edge configured to resist being outwardly flexed. The nipple is formed with an upwardly facing groove having an outer portion being defined by a flexible lip.
9. An assembly for use with a golf club, comprising:
a resilient sleeve formed with an integral cap at its upper end and with an integral nipple at its lower end, the sleeve further comprising a downwardly facing circumferential slot formed on the underside of the cap, the confines of the slot being partially defined by an edge configured to resist being outwardly flexed, and an upwardly facing groove formed in an upper portion of the nipple, an outer portion of the groove being defined by a flexible circumferential lip.
10. An assembly as in
11. A method of making an assembly for use with a golf club, the method comprising:
forming an underlisting sleeve having an upper end and a lower end;
forming an integral cap at the upper end of the sleeve;
forming a downwardly facing circumferential slot on the underside of the cap, the outer edge of the slot configured to resist being outwardly flexed;
forming an integral nipple at the lower end of the sleeve; and
forming an upwardly facing groove in the upper portion of the nipple, an outer portion of the groove being defined by a flexible lip.
12. A method as in
The application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/167,216 filed Jun. 11, 2002 pending.
The application hereby incorporates by reference U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/167,216 in its entirety.
The present invention relates to an improved grip assembly for golf clubs and other sporting equipment employing handles subject to shock when such devices are impacted.
It is well known that the shock generated by impact between a golf club and a golf ball can adversely affect muscle tissue and arm joints. The energy generated by such impact is usually of high frequency and short duration with rapid decay and which is often known as “impact shock.” Tight grasping of a golf club grip to keep it from slipping in a user's hands contributes to such impact shock.
The Applicant has previously developed resilient grips which successfully reduce or even eliminate impact shock to the muscle and arm joint of the users of golf clubs. See for example U.S. Pat. No. 5,797,813, granted to applicant Aug. 25, 1998. Such earlier grips utilize a polyurethane layer bonded to a felt layer to define a resilient strip, which is spirally wrapped around an underlisting sleeve, with such underlisting sleeve being slipped over the handle portion of a golf club shaft.
A problem encountered with such grips is the tendency of the spirally-wrapped resilient strip to unravel from the golf club handle when a golf club is removed form and inserted into a golf bag. This problem has existed since at least 1923 as evidenced by Howe U.S. Pat. No. 1,528,190 wherein the inventor stated:
My U.S. Pat. No. 6,386,989 discloses a golf club grip wherein the lower end of the resilient strip is restrained from unraveling from the underlisting sleeve by forming the upper portion of the nipple of the sleeve with a circumferential groove which receives the lowermost edge of the strip, after which an outer peripheral lip defined by the groove is folded upwardly over such lower edge. The lip snugly encompasses the strip's lower edge and retains the lower edge against unraveling from the sleeve and hence the handle of the golf club during play, as well as when a golf club is inserted into and removed from a golf bag.
The golf club grip of the present invention solves the problem of the upper end of the resilient strip of a golf club grip unraveling from the handle of a golf club during play and particularly when the golf club is removed from and inserted into a golf bag. Such problem is solved by forming the underside of the cap of the underlisting sleeve with a circumferential slot that snugly receives the upper edge of the resilient strip to prevent the strip from unraveling.
These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment which, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, illustrates by way of example the principles of the invention.
Referring to the drawings,
Referring now to
More particularly, strip S is fabricated from first and second individual segments S1 and S2 of different widths, with segment S1 preferably being wider than segment S2. Segment S1 includes a bottom backing layer, 30 (preferably of felt) having an inner or bottom surface which is adhered to the aforedescribed underlisting sleeve U. Segment S1 also includes a top layer of a suitable resilient plastic material, such as a smooth closed-pore polyurethane layer, generally designated 34, with the polyurethane layer being bonded to the upper surface of its adjacent bottom layer. The segment S1 may be formed with vertical air-passing perforations (not shown) such as described in my U.S. Pat. No. 5,645,501 issued Jul. 8, 1997. Segment S2 is similar in construction to segment S1 and includes an open-pored bottom backing layer, generally designated 36 (preferably of felt), having an inner or bottom surface which is adhered to underlisting sleeve U. Segment S2 also includes a top layer 40 of a suitable resilient plastic material such as polyurethane layer, with the polyurethane layer being bonded to the upper surface of its adjacent backing layer 36. The polyurethane layer of each strip segment S1 and S2 may be formed in a conventional manner by coating a felt strip with one or more solutions of polyurethane (e.g., polyester or polyether) dissolved in a dimethyl formamide (DMF), immersing the coated strip in water baths to displace the DMF and cause the urethane to coagulate, and finally driving off the water by the application of pressure and heat. In this manner, pores are formed in the polyurethane layer, while the underside of the polyurethane layer is bonded to the upper surface of the felt layer. The thickness of the polyurethane layer is preferably about 0.2-1.40 millimeters and the thickness of the felt layer is about 0.7-1.90 millimeters.
The felt layers 30 and 36 serve as backing layers for the polyurethane layer 34 and polyurethane coating 40 so as to provide strength for the polyurethane. The felt also cooperates with the polyurethane to assist in cushioning the shocks applied to a grip when a golf ball is struck by a golf club. It should be noted that other materials may be substituted for the felt as a backing layer to provide strength for the polyurethane and to cushion shocks, e.g., a synthetic plastic such as an ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer, commonly known as EVA. The felt may be fabricated of conventional suitable materials such as nylon, cotton, polyester or the like.
The entire underside of backing layer 30 of segment S1 is provided with an adhesive 54 initially covered in a conventional manner by a peel-away tape 56. Peel-away tape 56 includes a a thin band 56B (not shown) which can be pulled off the main body of tape 56 to expose adhesive 54 disposed on one edge of segment S1, while the tapes' main body remains on the adhesive covering the remainder of the segment S1.
Referring now to
It should be particularly noted that the upper area of polyurethane layer 40 of segment S2 inwardly of the recessed side edges may be embossed with depressed indicia I, such as the name of the manufacturer of the golf club grip. Such embossing serves not only as a decorative enhancement of the golf club grip, but additionally, the embossing process densifies the polyurethane layer 40 so as to reduce stretching of the second segment and thereby increase the hoop strength of the strip S. It is also desirable to mold the polyurethane layer 34 of segment S1 in a first color while polyurethane layer 40 of segment S2 is molded in a second color that contrasts with the first color. With this arrangement, a multicolored grip having a pleasing appearance will result when the strip S is spirally wrapped about an underlisting sleeve.
Referring now to
The spiral wrapping of the strip S about the underlisting U, and the positioning of the upper and lower edges of the strip within the slot 26 and groove 25 may take place when the underlisting sleeve is positioned upon a mandrel M in a conventional manner. After the strip has been secured upon the underlisting U, the sleeve and strip combination may be removed from the mandrel and slipped onto the handle portion of a golf club shaft.
It should be understood that various modifications and changes may be made with respect to the above-described embodiment without departing from the scope of the present invention. By way of example, the resilient strip may be of one-piece construction such as that shown in my aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 6,386,989, rather than the two segment construction described hereinabove.