US 20070021229 A1
A golf putter including a plurality of visual aids for assisting the golfer to more consistently assume a good head and body position and to better putt a golf ball toward a remote hole. The putter head is engaged with any one of a plurality of detachable flanges that have any one of a number of different shapes. The shaped flanges are designed to aid the golfer in directing the golf ball toward a remote hole. The putter is provided with first and second linear markings to assist in soling the putter head. The second linear marking is disposed rearwardly of the first linear marking and at a position vertically above or below the first linear marking. When viewed from above, the first and second linear markings are aligned when the putter head is correctly soled and the golfer can sole the putter by aligning the first and second markings. The detachable flange may also include a first reflective surface and a second non-reflective surface. The reflective surface is used during practice sessions to aid the golfer in correctly positioning his head by aligning his eyes along the second linear marker. The flange is removed and rotated so that the non-reflective surface faces upwardly during USGA golf games. The putter may also be provided with spaced apart weight ports that receive small weights to balance the putter head and help the golfer hold it in the correct orientation for striking the ball well.
1. A golf putter for use by a golfer to putt golf balls, said golf putter comprising:
a handle disposed at a first end of the shaft;
a putter head disposed at a second end of the shaft, and wherein said putter head includes:
a front wall having a front face adapted to strike the golf ball; a rear face; an upper surface and a lower surface;
a mounting area; and
a flange removably mounted to the mounting area.
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20. A method of putting a golf ball into a remote hole, comprising:
providing a putter having a shaft with a handle disposed at a first end and a putter head disposed at a second end thereof; said putter head having a first linear marking and a second linear marking disposed thereon, said first and second linear markings being disposed at different heights relative to one another;
positioning the putter head adjacent a golf ball;
aligning the first linear marking on the putter head with the golf ball and a remote hole into which the golf ball is to be putted;
checking the relative position of the second linear marking relative to the first linear marking;
aligning the first and second linear markings with each other;
striking the golf ball with a front face of the putter head.
21. The method of putting a golf ball into a remote hole as defined in
moving the handle of the golf club slightly away from the body of the golfer if the first linear marking is disposed closer to the golfer's body than is the second linear marking; and
moving the handle of the golf club slightly toward the golfer's body if the first linear marking is disposed further from the golfer's body than is the second linear marking.
22. The method of putting a golf ball into a remote hole as defined in
positioning the golfer's head over a reflective surface on the putter head; where said reflective surface has the second linear marking disposed thereon;
aligning at least one of the golfer's eyes with the second linear marking prior to striking the ball.
23. The method of putting a golf ball into a remote hole as defined in
providing a plurality of flanges for detachable engagement with the putter head; wherein each of said flanges has a different shape;
selecting a first one of the plurality of flanges and engaging the same with the putter head;
selecting a second one of the plurality of flanges and replacing the first flange with the second flange.
24. The method of putting a golf ball into a remote hole as defined in
providing at least one of the plurality of flanges with a first reflective surface and a second non-reflective surface;
engaging the at least one of the plurality of flanges with the putter head so that one of the first and second surfaces faces outwardly toward the golfer;
detaching the at least one of the plurality of flanges from the putter head and rotating the same;
engaging the rotated flange with the putter head so that the other of the first and second surfaces faces outwardly toward the golfer.
This application is a standard utility application claiming priority from U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/702,131, filed Jul. 25, 2005, the entire specification of which is incorporated herein by reference.
1. Technical Field
This invention generally relates to golf clubs. More particularly, the invention relates to a golf putter. Specifically, the invention relates to a golf putter that includes a variety of visual aids useful for training the golfer to correctly position their head and body so as to more consistently putt well.
2. Background Information
Golfers are always trying to improve their game and, consequently, they are always seeking out aids, teaching tools, videos and programs that will assist them in improving their game and achieving their potential as a golfer. The golfer may utilize all of these resources yet still encounter problems when they are actually out on the course. Many amateurs presume that the most important part of the game is driving the ball to the green and they consequently spend a lot of their self-improvement efforts in correcting their strokes to minimize slicing or hooking of the ball and to drive the ball as far as possible. While these aspects of the game are important, most golfers tend to drop strokes when they reach the putting green. This is because the typical golfer tends to have little awareness of the position of their body, and especially their head, in relation to the position of the ball when they are putting. The golfer's stance and head position are extremely important in determining where the putted ball will land up once struck. Even if the golfer is aware that their head position and their stance are of great importance for the accuracy of their putt, they may not know if the stance they are actually assuming is correct and appropriate for viewing the correct line to the hole. Typical amateur golfers tend to position the putter head on the grass, glance up at the hole once or twice to try and ensure that they are putting the ball in the correct direction and then they strike the ball. On occasion, the position of the golfer's head relative to the putter head is accidentally correct and the putt is good. At other times, the golfer's head is not in a good position relative to the putter head and the putt is bad. The golfer is therefore inconsistent in their putting and their overall game is weakened.
There is therefore a need in the art for a device which will aid the golfer in more consistently and correctly positioning their head and assuming the correct putting stance.
The device of the present invention comprises a golf club, and more specifically a putter, that includes a plurality of visual aids for assisting the golfer to more consistently assume a good head and body position for putting. The club includes a putter head mounted on a shaft. The putter head is engaged with any one of a plurality of detachable flanges that have any one of a number of different shapes. The shaped flanges are designed to aid the golfer in directing the golf ball toward a remote hole. The putter head is also provided with a first linear marking on its upper surface to help the golfer line the putter and ball up with the remote hole. The putter head furthers include a second linear marking disposed rearwardly and at a position vertically above or below the first linear marking. The second linear marking is provided to aid the golfer in soling the putter head, i.e., to help the golfer hold the putter head in a substantially horizontal position on the ground. This is accomplished by aligning the first and second linear markings with each other. As a further aid, the removeable flange provided preferably includes a first reflective surface and a second non-reflective surface. Both of the first and second surfaces are marked with a second linear marking which is used as described above. The reflective surface of the flange, however, is used to help the golfer assume the correct head position relative to the putter head. The golfer looks into the reflective surface and moves his head so that he can see the reflection of his eyes positioned along the second linear marking or slightly below the same The golfer uses this reflective surface to train himself to hold his head correctly. The reflective surface is not allowed, however, in United States Golf Association (USGA) sanctioned games. In order to bring the putter into compliance with USGA regulations, the flange can easily be removed from the putter head, flipped over and reinserted into the putter head so that the non-reflective surface is facing upwardly. The putter of the present invention is also provided with spaced apart weight ports into which small weights may be inserted so as to balance the putter head and help the golfer hold the putter head in a correct orientation for successful putting.
The preferred embodiments of the invention, illustrative of the best mode in which applicant has contemplated applying the principles, are set forth in the following description and are shown in the drawings and are particularly and distinctly pointed out and set forth in the appended claims.
Base 24 preferably is an integrally formed member having a front wall 28 and a pair of substantially parallel legs 30, 32 extending outwardly and rearwardly away from front wall 28. Legs 30, 32 are spaced a distance apart from each other and thereby define a gap 42 between them. Front wall 28 includes a front face 52 adapted to contact ball 23, a back face 54, an upper surface 46 and a lower surface 48. The shaft 18 of putter 12 extends upwardly and outwardly away from upper surface 46. Shaft 18 may be received within an aperture (not shown) in upper surface 46 or it may be welded to upper surface 46. A pair of spaced apart apertures 44 are provided in back face 54 of front wall 28 in the region disposed between legs 30 and 32. As may be best seen in
In accordance with one of the specific features of the present invention, upper surface 46 of front wall 28 includes a first linear marking 50 that is disposed substantially at right angles to front face 52 of putter 12. First linear marking 50 is adapted to be lined up with a remote hole (not shown) in which golfer 10 is attempting to sink his golf ball 23. First linear marking 50 preferably is in the form of a groove formed in upper surface 46 and extending between front face 52 and back face 54 of front wall 28. Alternatively, first linear marking 50 may comprise a ridge or a line that is physically marked on upper surface 46 in paint, ink or the like. First linear marking 50 preferably terminates in a small arrow-shaped protuberance 56 which extends rearwardly into gap 42.
In accordance with another specific feature of the present invention, flange 26 is removeably received in gap 42 and is detachably secured to base 24. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, flange 26 is secured to rear surface 54 of front wall 28. However, it will be understood that flange 26 could also be secured to one or both legs 30, 32 or to a combination of the legs 30, 32 and rear face 54 of front wall 28. Flange 26 comprises a housing 58, preferably having an inverted V-shaped back end 60, a substantially planar front end 62 and an intermediate portion 64 disposed between front and back ends 62, 60. Back surface 54 of front wall 28 may be provided with a recess shaped to receive the front end 62 of flange 26 therein. Both of the back end 60 and front end 62 of flange 26 extend laterally outwardly beyond intermediate portion 64 so that an indentation 65 is effectively formed on either side of housing 58. Intermediate portion 64 has an upper surface 64 a and a lower surface 64 b, with upper surface 64 a defining a recess 66 therein. Recess 66 is configured to retain a mirrored plate 68 therein. Both the recess 66 and mirrored plate 68 can be of any desired shape, but mirrored plate 68 preferably is retained within recess 66 by both an adhesive (not shown) and the flanges 64 c formed in intermediate portion 64 surrounding at least a portion of recess 66. Second linear marking 70 a is inscribed on mirrored plate 68. This second linear marking 70 a may be in the form of a centrally disposed groove or ridge or simply be a line that is physically marked on mirrored plate 68 in paint, ink or the like. Second linear marking 70 a is designed to be alignable with first linear marking 50 on front wall 28 when flange 26 is oriented in putter head 20 so that the reflective surface 66 faces upwardly and outwardly, as will be hereinafter described.
The lower surface 64 b of flange 26 has a non-reflective surface. Lower surface 64 b is also provided with a central groove, ridge or line that serves as a second linear marking 70 b. This second linear marking 70 b is designed to be alignable with first linear marking 50 on front wall 28, when flange 26 is flipped over in putter head 20 so that the non-reflective surface faces upwardly, as will be hereinafter described.
Flange 26 is secured to base 24 by a plurality of fasteners 72 that are inserted into holes 74 in front end 62 of flange 26 and then into threaded apertures 44 in rear face 54 of front wall 28. As may be best seen in
In accordance with another specific feature of the present invention, each leg 30, 32 includes a longitudinal bore 34, 36 (
The golfer can therefore use the relative positions of first linear marking 50 and second linear marking 70 a to quickly determine whether he has soled the putter head 20 or if he has to adjust its position to sole it. The adjustment is accomplished by simply pushing the shaft 18 slightly away from his body or pulling the shaft slightly toward his body. Pushing the shaft 18 of club 12 slightly away from his body will lower toe portion 20 a and pulling shaft 18 slightly toward his body will lower heel portion 20 a. As both the upper and lower surfaces 64 a, 64 b of flange 26 include a second linear marking, namely 70 a or 70 b, the alignment or non-alignment of first linear marking 50 with the relevant one of second linear marking 70 a or 70 b, can immediately tell the golfer how to adjust the orientation of putter head 20 if he is in a practice session or if he is playing an actual game.
It is envisaged that putter 12 might be sold as a base 24 that may be selectively engaged with one or more of a plurality of differently shaped flanges such as flanges 26, 126 and 226 shown in
The golfer can train himself to correctly position his head by utilizing the mirrored inserts 68, 168 or 268 provided on any of the shaped flanges 26, 126 and 226. For instance, when the mirrored insert 68 of flange 26 is facing upwardly on putter head 20, the golfer will be able to see the reflection 22 a of one or both of his eyes 22 in insert 68. When putter head 20 is properly soled on ground 14, the golfer would move his head until the reflection 22 a of his eyes 22 is disposed along second linear marking 70 a or just slightly below second linear marking 70 a. Repeated positioning of his head in this manner will help the golfer train himself to correctly position his head under circumstances where the flange 26 is positioned with the non-reflective surface facing upwardly and toward him.
Putter 12 is also designed so that the golfer can add weights 38 into one or the other or both of the bores 34, 36 in legs 32, 30 in order to balance putter head 20 and thereby reduce his tendency to hold the putter head with either the toe portion 20 a or heel portion 20 b out of contact with ground 14. Alternatively, if the golfer finds that he plays better with the putter in a slightly unbalanced mode, he can add one or more weights to one or the other bore 34, 36 to cause the putter head 20 to be more easily held in the toe-up or heel-up position. The golfer can also utilize the relative positioning of first linear marking 50 and second linear marking 70 a or 70 b to determine how to habitually hold putter 12 if they wish to play with the putter head in the toe-up or heel-up position. If they wish to play with putter head 20 in toe up position, then shaft 18 is pulled slightly toward the body to ensure that first linear marking 50 is positioned closer to the body than is second linear marking 70 a or 70 b. If the golfer wishes to play with putter head in the heel up position, then they push shaft 18 slightly away from their body to move first linear marking 50 so that it lays further from their body than does the second linear marking 70 a or 70 b.
The golfer is trained by frequent and regular use of the alignment mechanism, i.e., the first and second linear markings 50, 70, to consistently position their head relative to the putter head 20; and to position the putter head 20 in a particular manner relative to the ground; and to line up a putter head with the ball and with a remote flag/hole. Regular use of the weights 38 also help the golfer more consistent hold the putter at a particular angle. Essentially, all of these aids help the golfer develop his muscle memory by helping him to consistently position his body and most specifically position his shoulders, head and eyes relative to the putter head.
It will be understood that while flange 26 is shown as being reversibly connected to said front wall 28, flange 26 could alternatively be connected to one or both legs 30, 32 or to said legs and said front wall. Furthermore, while the preferred embodiment has shown the flange 26 mounted within a gap 42 defined between legs 30, 32, flange 26 could alternatively be mounted in a recess formed in the putter head rearwardly of front wall 28.
In the foregoing description, certain terms have been used for brevity, clearness, and understanding. No unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the requirement of the prior art because such terms are used for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed.
Moreover, the description and illustration of the invention is an example and the invention is not limited to the exact details shown or described.