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Publication numberUS20090029800 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/828,228
Publication dateJan 29, 2009
Filing dateJul 25, 2007
Priority dateJul 25, 2007
Also published asCA2637097A1
Publication number11828228, 828228, US 2009/0029800 A1, US 2009/029800 A1, US 20090029800 A1, US 20090029800A1, US 2009029800 A1, US 2009029800A1, US-A1-20090029800, US-A1-2009029800, US2009/0029800A1, US2009/029800A1, US20090029800 A1, US20090029800A1, US2009029800 A1, US2009029800A1
InventorsDavid D. Jones, Xiaojian Chen
Original AssigneeJones David D, Xiaojian Chen
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf Clubs and Methods of Manufacture
US 20090029800 A1
Abstract
Embodiments of golf clubs and methods of manufacture are generally described herein. In one embodiment, a golf club head is provided comprising a golf club head housing including a hollow portion having a cavity. A material can be inserted into the cavity to dampen a frequency response of walls of the hollow portion. The golf club head further comprises sight cues to assist a golfer to align the golf club head with a golf ball. Various other embodiments may be described herein and claimed.
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Claims(44)
1. A method of manufacturing a golf club head comprising:
providing a golf club head housing comprising:
a hollow portion having a cavity; and
a front end having an opening coupled to the cavity;
providing a face plate module comprising:
a strike face plate; and
an insert coupled to the strike face plate and sized to fit within the cavity; and positioning the face plate module into the cavity and the opening.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein:
positioning the face plate module further comprises:
positioning the insert into the cavity to change an impact sound created when a golf ball strikes the face plate; and
positioning the strike face plate into the opening.
3. The method of claim 1 wherein:
providing the golf club head housing further comprises:
providing the hollow portion to comprise a first material having a first density; and providing the face plate module further comprises:
providing the insert to comprise a second material having a second density lower than the first density.
4. The method of claim 1 further comprising:
providing a golf ball alignment feature; and
coupling the golf ball alignment feature to the hollow portion such that the golf ball alignment feature is (a) located adjacent to a top portion of the strike face plate and (b) substantially perpendicular to the strike face plate in the opening.
5. The method of claim 1 wherein:
providing the golf club head housing further comprises:
providing the hollow portion to further comprise sidewalls defining at least a portion of the cavity;
positioning the face plate module further comprises:
positioning the insert into the cavity such that the insert contacts the sidewalls; and
positioning the strike face plate into the opening.
6. The method of claim 1 wherein:
providing the golf club head housing further comprises:
providing the golf club head housing to be a putter head housing.
7. The method head of claim 1 wherein:
providing the golf club head housing further comprises:
providing the cavity to be narrower than the opening.
8. The method of claim 1, wherein:
providing the golf club head housing further comprises:
providing the housing to have at least a first aperture; and
the method further comprises:
injecting a first material through the first aperture into the cavity.
9. The method of claim 1 further comprising:
applying a coating into the cavity before positioning the face plate module into the opening.
10. A method of manufacturing a golf club head comprising:
providing a golf club head body comprising a chamber; and
coating one or more walls of the chamber with a material while leaving an interior portion of the chamber hollow.
11. The method of claim 10 further comprising:
closing the chamber after coating the one or more walls of the chamber by coupling a face plate to a front portion of the golf club head body.
12. The method of claim 11 further comprising:
providing an insert into the cavity before closing the chamber.
13. The method of claim 12 wherein:
the insert comprises a polymer material.
14. The method of claim 13 wherein:
the insert comprises a preform polymer material.
15. The method of claim 1 wherein:
the free plate is removable to facilitate inserting an additional material to further adjust a predetermined frequency response during contact of the golf club head with a golf ball.
16. The method of claim 10 wherein:
providing the golf club head body further comprises:
providing a recess on a top portion of the golf club head body.
17. The method of claim 16 further comprising:
providing a golf alignment feature in the recess.
18. The method of claim 17 wherein:
providing the golf alignment feature further comprises providing contrasting colors to facilitate viewing an indicia.
19. The method of claim 10 wherein:
coating one or more walls of the chamber further comprises applying one or more additional coatings to the one or more walls of the chamber to attain a predetermined frequency response during contact of the golf club head with a golf ball.
20. A method of manufacturing a golf club head comprising:
providing a body comprising a compartment with a first aperture;
providing a lid comprising:
an outer portion; and
an inner portion; and
coupling the lid to the first aperture such that the outer portion of the lid forms an outer portion of the body, and the inner portion of the lid extends into the compartment.
21. The method of claim 20 further comprising:
positioning a material between the inner and outer portions of the lid; wherein:
coupling the lid to the first aperture further comprises:
inserting the material into the compartment while coupling the lid to the first aperture.
22. The method of claim 21 wherein:
inserting the material into the compartment further comprises:
inserting the material into the compartment so that the material contacts at least one inner surface of the compartment.
23. The method of claim 22 wherein:
inserting the material into the compartment further comprises:
compressing the material while inserting the material into the compartment.
24. The method of claim 20 wherein:
providing the body further comprises:
providing the body to comprise a first surface and a second surface; wherein:
the first surface comprises the first aperture; and
the second surface comprises a second aperture;
providing the lid further comprises:
providing the inner portion to comprise a third aperture; and
coupling the lid to the first aperture further comprises:
aligning the third aperture to the second aperture while coupling the lid to the first aperture.
25. The method of claim 24 further comprising:
inserting a material into the compartment through the second aperture and through the third aperture.
26. The method of claim 25 wherein:
the material comprises a polymer.
27. The method of claim 25 wherein:
the material comprises a liquid.
28. The method of claim 23 further comprising:
providing a golf alignment feature on the outer portion.
29. The method of claim 28 wherein:
the golf alignment feature is further positioned in a recess on the outer portion.
30. A method of manufacturing a golf club comprising:
providing a body comprising a compartment with a first aperture;
providing a lid comprising:
an outer portion; and
an inner portion;
coupling the lid to the first aperture such that the outer portion of the lid forms an outer portion of the body, and the inner portion of the lid extends into the compartment;
providing a shaft; and
coupling the shaft to the body.
31. The method of claim 30 further comprising:
applying a coating to the compartment before coupling the lid to the first aperture.
32. The method of claim 30 further comprising:
providing a lid with a second aperture to access the compartment.
33. The method of claim 32 further comprising:
providing a first material through the second aperture into the compartment.
34. The method of claim 33 wherein:
the first material comprises a foam or a liquid.
35. The method of claim 30 further comprising:
coupling a first material to the inner portion, wherein the first material is sized to contact sidewalls of the compartment.
36. The method of claim 33 wherein:
the first material comprises a polymer.
37. The method of claim 30 further comprising:
providing a first material in the compartment before coupling the lid to the first aperture.
38. The method of claim 37 wherein:
the first material comprises a polymer, a foam, or a liquid.
39. A golf club head comprising:
a body comprising a compartment with an outer surface having a first aperture; and
a lid coupled to the first aperture and comprising:
an outer portion forming a portion of the outer surface of the body; and
an inner portion extending into the compartment.
40. The golf club head of claim 39 wherein:
the golf club head comprises a putter head.
41. The golf club head of claim 39 further comprising:
a coating on sidewalls of the compartment.
42. The golf club head of claim 39 further comprising:
a first material between the first and second portions of the lid and contacting sidewalls of the compartment.
43. The golf club head of claim 39 further comprising:
a golf ball alignment feature coupled to the body.
44. The golf club head of claim 39 wherein:
the body further comprises sidewalls defining at least a portion of the compartment; and
the inner portion contacts at least a portion of the sidewalls.
Description
TECHNICAL FIELD

This disclosure relates generally to golf club heads, and relates more particularly to golf club heads and methods of manufacturing a golf club head.

BACKGROUND

Golf clubs and specifically golf club heads of various designs have typically been developed to improve the functionality of a golfer's swing and resulting golf shot. While putting on a green towards a hole, many golfers suffer or are unable to consistently align and/or regularly hit a ball squarely such that the ball is directed towards the intended sight line of the golfer. Golf club design, and particularly golf club head design, may be used to optimize a golf club head's weighting scheme to overcome such inconsistencies. For example, a weighting scheme to adjust the center of gravity position and moments of inertia may mitigate a golfer's inconsistency problems. Strategically placed sight cues may further mitigate a golfer's inconsistency problem. Also, dampening elements may provide a better “feel” as well as provide an aesthetically pleasing sound, or defer an unpleasant sound, as the golf club contacts the ball.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an exploded top view of first and second portions of an exemplary golf club head according to a first embodiment of the golf clubs and methods of manufacture described herein;

FIG. 2 illustrates a front view of the first portion of the exemplary golf club head of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 illustrates an exploded top view of the first portion and a third portion of the exemplary golf club of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 illustrates a cross-section view of the first portion of the exemplary golf club head taken along a section line 4-4 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 illustrates a bottom view of the first portion of the exemplary golf club head of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 illustrates an assembled, perspective view of the exemplary golf club head of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 illustrates a cross-section view of the exemplary golf club head taken along a section line 7-7 in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 illustrates a cross-section view of an exemplary golf club head according to a second embodiment of the golf clubs and methods of manufacture described herein;

FIG. 9 illustrates a bottom view of an exemplary golf club head according to a third embodiment of the golf clubs and methods of manufacture described herein;

FIG. 10 illustrates a cross-section view of an exemplary golf club head according to a fourth embodiment of the golf clubs and methods of manufacture described herein:

FIG. 11 illustrates an exploded top view of an exemplary golf club head according to a fifth embodiment of the golf clubs and methods of manufacture described herein;

FIG. 12 depicts a flow diagram representation of one manner in which a golf club head may be manufactured;

FIG. 13 depicts a flow diagram representation of another manner in which a golf club head may be manufactured; and

FIG. 14 depicts a flow diagram representation of yet another manner in which a golf club may be manufactured.

For simplicity and clarity of illustration, the drawing figures illustrate the general manner of construction, and descriptions and details of well-known features and techniques may be omitted to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the golf clubs and their methods of manufacture. Additionally, elements in the drawing figures are not necessarily drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements in the figures may be exaggerated relative to other elements to help improve understanding of embodiments of the golf clubs and their methods of manufacture. The same reference numerals in different figures denote the same elements.

The terms “first,” “second,” “third,” “fourth,” and the like in the description and in the claims, if any, are used for distinguishing between similar elements and not necessarily for describing a particular sequential or chronological order. It is to be understood that the terms so used are interchangeable under appropriate circumstances such that the embodiments of golf clubs and methods of manufacture described herein are, for example, capable of operation in sequences other than those illustrated or otherwise described herein. Furthermore, the terms “contain,” “include,” and “have,” and any variations thereof, are intended to cover a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a process, method, article, or apparatus that comprises a list of elements is not necessarily limited to those elements, but may include other elements not expressly listed or inherent to such process, method, article, or apparatus.

The terms “left,” “right,” “front,” “back,” “top,” “bottom,” “side,” “under,” “over,” and the like in the description and in the claims, if any, are used for descriptive purposes and not necessarily for describing permanent relative positions. It is to be understood that the terms so used are interchangeable under appropriate circumstances such that the embodiments of golf clubs and methods or manufacture described herein are, for example, capable of operation in other orientations than those illustrated or otherwise described herein. The term “coupled,” as used herein, is defined as directly or indirectly connected in physically, mechanical, or other manner.

DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLES OF EMBODIMENTS

In one embodiment of golf club heads and methods of manufacture, a golf club head comprises a housing comprising a hollow portion further comprising a cavity. The housing also comprises a front end having an opening coupled to the cavity. The golf club head further comprises a face plate module having a strike face plate. An insert may be coupled to the strike face plate, and the insert may be sized to fit within the cavity. The strike face plate may further comprise printed indicia on the strike face portion of the strike face plate.

In another embodiment of golf clubs and methods of manufacture, a golf club body comprises a compartment having a first aperture. This embodiment further comprises a lid having an outer portion and an inner portion. The lid may be coupled to the first aperture such that the outer portion of the lid forms an outer portion of the golf club housing, and the inner portion of the lid extends into the compartment. In a related embodiment, a golf club shaft is coupled to the golf club body.

In another embodiment of golf clubs and methods of manufacture, a golf club head comprises a chamber. The golf club head comprises a coating on one or more walls of the chamber while leaving an interior portion of the chamber hollow.

In another embodiment of golf clubs and methods of manufacture, a golf club head comprises a first portion comprising a first material and having a strike face portion. The golf club head also comprises a second portion comprising a second material different from the first material. The second portion is coupled to and behind the strike face portion of the first portion while keeping the second portion exposed.

Turning now to the figures, and with specific reference to FIG. 1, in an embodiment of golf club heads and methods of manufacture, a golf club head 100 comprises a body or a housing 101 comprising a hollow portion 160 further comprising a cavity 170. The housing 101 comprises a front end 150 that may further comprise a front end opening 152 coupled to the cavity 170. In an exemplary embodiment, the housing 101 further comprises the cavity 170 to be narrower than the front end opening 152. In one exemplary embodiment, the housing 101 comprises a putter head housing.

In an embodiment of golf clubs and methods of manufacture, the golf club housing 101 further comprises a toe end 153 between the front end 150 and a back end 140. The housing 101 also comprises a heel end 155 between the front end 150 and the back end 140. The housing 101 further comprises sidewalls 130 and 132 between the toe end 153 and the heel end 155. The sidewalls 130 and 132 may partially define the cavity 170, and the sidewalls 130 and 132 may be substantially parallel to one another. The sidewalls 130 and 132 may also be substantially perpendicular to the front end 150. In an exemplary embodiment, the sidewalls 130 and 132 may be also be substantially perpendicular to a strike face portion 118 of a front face plate 114, to a golf ball alignment feature 323 (FIG. 3), and to a ground plane 299 (FIG. 2) when the golf club head 100 is at an address position. The housing 101 further comprises a bottom portion 215 (FIG. 2) substantially parallel to the ground plane 299 when the golf club head 100 is at an address position, and housing 101 further comprises a top portion 116 opposite the bottom portion 215.

In an embodiment of golf clubs and methods of manufacture, a golf club 600 (FIG. 6) comprises the housing 101 to additionally comprise a bore 195 to further couple to a shaft 697 (FIG. 6) and/or to a hosel 696 (FIG. 6). The shaft 697 may also first be coupled to the hosel 696 (FIG. 6) before being coupled to the bore 195. Moreover, the bore 195 may be located on an opposite side of housing 101 to facilitate a golf club head for an opposite handed golfer. Among the various embodiments described herein, the golf clubs and their methods of manufacture may be for putters, irons, drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, and/or other suitable types of clubs.

In an embodiment of golf clubs and methods of manufacture, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the housing 101 may further comprise recesses 120 and 122 in the top portion 116 to receive golf ball alignment features 324 and 326, respectively (FIG. 3). In an exemplary embodiment, the golf ball alignment features 324 and 326 (FIG. 3) are located adjacent to a top portion of the strike face plate 114 (FIG. 1) when the golf club head 100 is at an address position. The golf ball alignment features 324 and 326 (FIG. 3) may be substantially perpendicular to the strike face portion 118 of the strike face plate 114 in the front end opening 152. The golf ball alignment feature 326 (FIG. 3) may further comprise printed indicia 323 (FIG. 3) to assist a golfer to line up the golf club head 100 with a golf ball during a putting motion. Moreover, the golf ball alignment feature 326 (FIG. 3) may further comprise providing contrasting colors or patterns to facilitate viewing the printed indicia 323 (FIG. 3). For example, the printed indicia 323 (FIG. 3) can be a first color, and the other portions of the golf ball alignment feature can be a contrasting color.

In an exemplary embodiment, the alignment features 324 and 326 (FIG. 3) are closer to the top portion 116 of the strike face plate 114 than the bottom portion 215 of the strike face plate 114. The recesses 120 and 122 allow the alignment features 324 and 326 (FIG. 3) to be located closer to a golfer and closer to a middle of a golf ball as it is struck by the golf club head 100 so that the golfer has a clearer view of the alignment of the ball and the golfer's swing. In an exemplary embodiment, the alignment feature 326 (FIG. 3) is adjacent to a center or equator of a golf ball when the golf club head 100 is at an address position.

In this embodiment of golf clubs and methods of manufacture, still referring to FIG. 1, the golf club head 100 comprises a face plate module 110 having the strike face plate 114. The strike face plate 114 comprises the strike race portion 118 and a back face portion 119. The strike face plate 114 is sized to fit within the opening 152 in the front end 150. In an exemplary embodiment, the strike face plate 114 is removable from the housing 101 to facilitate inserting a material. For example, the material may be inserted into cavity 170 to adjust a frequency response as the golf club head 100 strikes a golf ball.

The strike face plate 114 may further comprise printed indicia, 619 (FIG. 6) on the strike face portion 118 of the strike face plate 114. An insert 112 may be coupled to the back face portion 119 of the strike face plate 114, and the insert 112 may be sized to fit within the cavity 170. In an exemplary embodiment, the insert 112 may be located behind a center of the strike face plate 114. Moreover, the insert 112 may further comprise an insert width 117, and the insert 112 may be sized to fit within the cavity 170, and the insert width 117 may comprise substantially the same dimension as a cavity width 472 (FIG. 4) of the cavity 170. The configuration of the cavity 170 can vary from what is illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, 4, and 7. In this embodiment, regardless of the configuration of the cavity 170, the face plate module 110 comprises the insert 112 to fit into the cavity 170 such that the insert contacts the sidewalls of the cavity 170, and the strike face plate 114 fits into the front end opening 152.

In an exemplary embodiment, the face plate module 110 comprises the strike face plate 114 to comprise a first material having a first density, and the insert 112 may comprise a lower density material. The insert 112 may comprise a foam or polymer material, such as, for example, a urethane material. In other embodiments, the housing 101 and the insert 112 may be made of different materials having the same density, or the housing 101 may be made of a material having a lower density than the material used for the insert 112. In an exemplary embodiment, the insert 112 may further comprise apertures 183 and 184 that may align with apertures 180 and 182 to further allow additional material to be inserted into cavity 170 after the face plate module 110 has been inserted.

In an exemplary embodiment, the insert 112 may comprise a piece of foam or polymer that is slightly larger (at least in terms of width) than the cavity 170 and may need to be compressed to fit within the cavity 170 to ensure that the insert 112 contacts sidewalls of the cavity 170. This contact may dampen vibrations in the sidewalls 130 and 132 and change the sound of the golf club head 100 when a golf ball contacts the strike face plate 114.

In an exemplary embodiment, the insert 112 in the cavity 170 changes an impact sound created when a golf ball strikes the strike face plate 114. The impact sound may be different when the insert 112 is in the cavity 170 compared to when the insert 112 is not in the cavity 170. In an exemplary embodiment, the acoustics of the golf club head 100 may be adjusted to a predetermined frequency or sound regardless of the size of the golf club head 100. In addition or alternatively, the acoustics may be adjusted by altering the size of the insert 112 in the cavity 170, or the acoustics may be adjusted by the insert 112 comprising of different materials, or the amount of material that contacts sidewalls 130 and 132.

In this embodiment, FIG. 7 illustrates a cross-section taken along a section line 7-7 of FIG. 6 further showing the club head 100 comprising the face plate module 110 inserted in the housing 101. Moreover, the recesses 120 and 122 are shown to extend into housing 101 at the top portion 116, but the recesses 120 and 122 do not extend into the cavity 170.

In an exemplary embodiment, the cavity 170 comprises a coating on the interior walls of the cavity 170 before, after, or while positioning the face plate module 110 into the opening 152. For example, a first material 474 (FIG. 4) can be applied in the cavity 170 and can have first density, and the insert 112 of face plate module 110 can comprise a second material having a second density lower than or the same as the first density and also lower than a density of the housing 101. Other details of the first material 674 (FIG. 7) are explained hereinafter.

In this embodiment, for example, the lower density material for the insert 112 allows more mass to be used in a toe weight 157, a heel weight 148, and/or a rear weight 147 of the golf club head 100. This weight redistribution allows the golf club head 100 to have an acceptable mass that is not too heavy and may improve the moment of inertia by using, for example, a heavier rear weight 147. In an exemplary embodiment, there is a first air gap 141 between the toe weight 157 and the hollow portion 160, and there is a second air gap 142 between the heel weight 148 and the hollow portion 160. In this embodiment heel weight 148 and toe weight 157 are illustrated in an arcuate form, but heel weight 148 and toe weight 157 may comprise other dimensions, shapes, or configurations to provide specifically designed weighting, and to further adjust moments of inertia and the center of gravity, for the golf club head 100.

In another embodiment of golf clubs and methods of manufacture. FIG. 8 illustrates a cross-section view of a golf club head 800. The cross-section view of FIG. 8 for the golf club head 800 is similar to the cross-section view of FIG. 7 for the golf club head 100. The golf club head 800 comprises a housing 801 to have apertures 180 and 182 in recesses 120 and/or 122 at a top portion 816 of the housing 801 to allow injection of a first material through apertures 180 and 182 into a cavity 870 of the housing 801. In thus embodiment, the housing 801 comprises a bottom portion 815 having an access lid 871, wherein the lid 871 blocks access to the internal cavity 870. In this embodiment, housing 801 comprises access lid 871 having a outer lid portion 872 and an inner lid portion 876. The inner lid portion 876 may be coupled to the outer lid portion 872 defining a compartment 871, and the inner lid portion 876 may extend into cavity 870 through an aperture 878 of the bottom portion 215. In this embodiment, the inner lid portion 876 comprises apertures 886 and 887, and as the lid 871 is inserted into the cavity 870, apertures 886 and 887 align with apertures 180 and 182, respectively.

In an exemplary embodiment, the inner lid portion 876 may extend into the cavity 170 at least a portion of the height 879 of the cavity 870. The configuration of the lid 871 and its outer and inner lid portions 872 and 876, respectively, can vary from what is depicted in FIG. 8.

In yet another embodiment, a material 874 can be inserted into the compartment 873 between the inner lid portion 876 and the outer lid portion 872 before coupling or inserting the lid 871 to the aperture 878. The material 874 may comprise a preform material that may be inserted in the compartment 873. In this exemplary embodiment, the material 874 may contact at least one inner surface of the compartment 873. In an embodiment of golf clubs and methods of manufacture, the material 874 in the compartment 873 may need to be compressed while being inserted into the compartment 873.

In this embodiment, the housing 801 also comprises a recess 830 having a front end opening 852 at a front end 850 of house 801. A strike face plate 814 is inserted into the front end opening 852 and the recess 830. When assembled, golf club head 800 is similar to golf club head 100, as shown in FIG. 6.

In another embodiment of golf clubs and methods of manufacture, FIG. 9 illustrates a bottom view of a golf club head 900. The bottom view of the golf club head 900 in FIG. 9 is similar to the bottom view of the golf club head 100 in FIG. 1. The golf club head 900 comprises a housing 901 having a lid 971 in a bottom portion 915. The lid 971 can be similar to the lid 871 (FIG. 8) and further comprises apertures 983-985 to provide access to an internal cavity in the housing 901 similar to the cavity 870 in the housing 801 shown in FIG. 8, to allow injection of a first material into the internal cavity. Except for the addition of the apertures 983-985, the golf club head 900 can be similar to the golf club head 800 in FIG. 8. In another embodiment, the golf club head 900 can be the same as the golf club head 800 in FIG. 8, except that the golf club head 900 has the apertures 983-985 and does not have apertures 120, 122, 886, or 887 (FIG. 8). In a further embodiment, the golf dub head 900 does not have the apertures 983-983 or the apertures 120, 122, 886, 887, but instead has one or more apertures at through one or more of the sidewalls 130 and 132 of the housing 901. It the golf club head 900 does have the apertures 983-985, the configuration and quantity of the apertures 983-985 may vary from what is shown in FIG. 9.

In another embodiment of golf clubs and methods of manufacture, FIG. 10 illustrates a cross-section view of a golf club head 1000. The cross-section view of the golf club head 1000 in FIG. 10 is similar to the cross-section view of the golf-club head 100 in FIG. 4, but the golf club head 1000 is more similar to golf club head 800 (FIG. 8) than the golf club head 100 (FIGS. 1-7). The golf club head 1000 comprises a golf club head body 1001 and a coating 1074 in the cavity 870 of the golf club head 1000. The coating 1074 may be applied to one or more of the walls of the cavity 870 while leaving an interior portion of the cavity 870 hollow. In an exemplary embodiment, the thickness of the material may be varied to provide for resonant and/or acoustic tuning. The material of coating 1074 may be comprised of various materials such as those described herein, and for example, various polymers, foams, paints, gels, stickers, and the like. In an exemplary embodiment, the coating 1074 comprises a uniform thickness on all walls of the cavity 870, or the coating 1074 comprises a uniform thickness on all walls of the cavity 870, except for a lid, such as the lid 871 (FIG. 8). In another exemplary embodiment, the material is located only on the sidewalls of the cavity 870 that are perpendicular to the ground plane when the golf club head is at an address position, and the remaining hollow interior portion is at least a portion of the total volume of the cavity. In this embodiment, the coating 1074 may be sprayed onto the walls of the cavity 870 and then cured. However, other methods for applying material 1074 are contemplated, for example, painting, brushing, pouring, placing, gluing, and the like.

Among the various embodiments described herein, the coating 1074 may be applied before or after a strike face plate, such as strike face place 814 in FIG. 8, is inserted into the front end opening 852 and/or before or after a lid, such as the lid 871 in FIG. 8, is inserted into the cavity 870. In another exemplary embodiment, coating one or more walls of the cavity 870 further comprises applying subsequent coatings to attain a preferred frequency response during contact of the golf club head 1000 with a golf ball.

The first material 474 (FIG. 4) can be similar to the coating 1074. In this embodiment, the golf club head 100 in FIG. 1 can also be modified to use the concepts described herein for the golf club head 1000 in FIG. 10. For example, the strike face plate 114 of FIG. 1 can be modified by eliminating the insert 112 and the coating 1074 (FIG. 10) or 474 (FIG. 4) can be injected or otherwise inserted into the cavity 170 (FIG. 1) through the front end opening 152 and/or the apertures 180 and 182.

In another embodiment of golf clubs and methods of manufacture, FIG. 11 illustrates an exploded, top view of a golf club head 1100. The exploded, top view of the golf club head 1100 is similar to the exploded, top view of the golf club head 100 in FIG. 3. The golf club head 1100 comprises a first portion 1109 comprising a first material and having a strike face plate 114 and a cavity 1170. As illustrated in FIG. 11, the cavity 1170 has an opening at a top portion of the golf club head 1100. The golf club head 1100 also comprises a second portion 1108 comprising a material different from a material of the first portion 1109.

In this embodiment, the first portion 1109 may be coupled to the second portion 1108, and the second portion 1108 of the golf club head 1100 may be coupled to and behind the strike face plate 114 at the back face portion 119 of the first portion 1109 of the golf club head 1100 while keeping the second portion 1108 of the golf club head 1100 exposed in the open cavity 1170. In one embodiment, the second portion 1108 is referred to as a lid.

In an exemplary embodiment, the material of the first portion 1109 comprises a greater density than the material of the second portion of 1108. In this embodiment, the second portion 1108 comprises a polymer, and the first portion 1109 comprises a metal. The lighter weight polymer of the second portion 1108 contacts at least one of the sidewalls of the cavity 1170 in a similar way and for a similar reason as how and why the inset 112 (FIG. 1) contacts the sidewalls of the cavity 170 (FIG. 1) and/or how and why the material 874 (FIG. 8) contacts the sidewalls of the cavity 870 (FIG. 8). In another embodiment, the first portion 1109 material may be less dense than the second portion 1108 material.

In one exemplary embodiment, the second portion 1108 comprises golf alignment indicia 323. In this embodiment, the second portion 1108 comprises recesses similar to the recesses 120 and 122 shown in FIG. 1, and further comprises the golf ball alignment features 324 and 326 that fit in the recesses 120 and 122 (FIG. 1). In one embodiment, the sidewalls of the cavity 1170 may comprise a coating similar to the coating 1074 shown in FIG. 10. In this embodiment, the second portion 1109 may be spaced away from the sidewalls of the cavity 1170.

In a different embodiment, the alignment indicia 323 and/or alignment features 323 and 326 are integral with the second portion 1108. In this embodiment, the second portion 1108 does not include the recesses similar to recesses 120 and 122 (FIG. 1).

Among the various embodiments described herein, the materials disclosed for the coating, such as the first material 674 (FIG. 4) and/or the coating 1074 (FIG. 10), may further comprise a liquid, for example a liquid polymer. The liquid may be selected based upon its properties to remain in a liquid form or to harden into a solid. In one example, a liquid polymer may be introduced into a cavity 170 and allowed to cure using time, heat, and/or UV light.

With reference to FIG. 12, in an embodiment of golf clubs and methods of manufacture, a method 1200 comprises providing a golf club head having a cavity (a block 1210). The golf club head of the block 1210 may be similar to the golf club head 100 shown in FIGS. 1-7, the golf club head 800 of FIG. 8, the golf club head 900 of FIG. 9, the golf club head 1000 of FIG. 10, and/or the golf club head 1100 of FIG. 11. The method 1200 further comprises inserting a material into the cavity (a block 1220). The material of the block 1220 may be similar to the insert 112 of the face plate module 110 of FIG. 1, the material 874 of FIG. 8, a coating similar to the coating 1074 of FIG. 10, and/or the second portion 1108 of FIG. 11. Moreover, the inserting step in the block 1220 may be similar to the face plate module 110 inserted through a front end 150 opening 152 of FIG. 1, injecting or spraying a material through apertures 180 and 182 in FIGS, 1, 3, 7, and 8, injecting or spraying a material through apertures 983-985 in FIG. 9, and or inserting the second portion 1108 into the cavity 1170 in FIG. 11.

In an embodiment of golf clubs and methods of manufacture, turning to FIG. 13, a method 1300 for manufacturing a golf club head further comprises providing a golf club head having a cavity (the block 1210), inserting a material into the cavity (the block 1220), and providing golf alignment cues for a golfer (a block 1330). As an example, the golf alignment cues of the block 1330 may be similar to the golf alignment features 324 and 326 of FIG. 3 and/or the printed indicia 323 of FIG. 3.

In an embodiment of golf clubs and methods of manufacture, turning to FIG. 14, a method 1400 for manufacturing a golf club comprises providing a golf club head having a cavity (the block 1210), inserting a material into the cavity (the block 1220), providing golf alignment cues (the block 1330), and coupling the golf club head to a golf club shaft (a block 1440). As an example, the golf club shaft of the block 1440 may be similar to the golf club shaft 697 of FIG. 6. The coupling step of the block 1440 may include taping, adhering, welding, swaging, or other suitable techniques.

Although a particular order of actions is depicted in FIGS. 12-34, these actions may be performed in other temporal sequences. For example, the actions depicted FIGS. 12-14 may be performed sequentially, concurrently, or simultaneously. Also, the block 1330 may be performed before the block 1220 or after the block 1440, and the block 1440 may be performed before the block 1220 and/or the block 1330.

The providing actions in the described methods of FIGS. 12-34 may include designing and/or manufacturing a golf club head. As an example, housing 101 in FIG. 1 may be manufactured using a metal casting process. Furthermore, as an example, the described methods may be used to manufacture the other aspects of the housing 101 described with reference to FIGS. 1-7.

The disclosure of embodiments of golf clubs and methods of manufacture is intended to be illustrative of the scope of golf clubs and methods of manufacture and is not intended to be limiting. For example, in one embodiment, a golf club head may have one or more features of FIGS. 1-11, with or without the other features described with reference to FIGS. 1-11. Other permutations of the different embodiments having one or more of the features of the various figures are likewise contemplated. It is intended that the scope of golf clubs and methods of manufacture shall be limited only to the extent required by the appended claims.

The golf clubs and methods of manufacture discussed herein may be implemented in a variety of embodiments, and the foregoing discussion of these embodiments does not necessarily represent a complete description of all possible embodiments. Rather, the detailed description of the drawings, and the drawings themselves, disclose at least one preferred embodiment of golf clubs and methods of manufacture, and may disclose alternative embodiments of golf clubs and methods of manufacture.

All elements claimed in any particular claim are essential to golf clubs or methods of manufacture claimed in that particular claim. Consequently, replacement of one or more claimed elements constitutes reconstruction and not repair. Additionally, benefits, other advantages, and solutions to problems have been described with regard to specific embodiments. The benefits, advantages, solutions to problems, and any element or elements that may cause any benefit, advantage, or solution to occur or become more pronounced, however, are not to be construed as critical, required, or essential features or elements of any or all of the claims.

Moreover, embodiments and limitations disclosed herein are not dedicated to the public under the doctrine of dedication if the embodiments and/or limitations: (1) are not expressly claimed in the claims; and (2) are or are potentially equivalents of express elements and/or limitations in the claims under the doctrine of equivalents.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8083611 *Nov 5, 2008Dec 27, 2011Sri Sports LimitedPutter-type golf club head
US8313393Aug 6, 2010Nov 20, 2012Citrus County Association for Retarded Citizens, Inc.Putter with ball marker
US8480513Dec 24, 2008Jul 9, 2013Sri Sports LimitedPutter-type golf club head
US20120115628 *Nov 8, 2011May 10, 2012Woods Derek ChristopherGolf club
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/346, 29/428, 29/530, 29/527.4, 473/340
International ClassificationA63B53/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63B53/04, A63B2053/0491, A63B2053/0416, A63B2209/00, A63B53/0487, A63B59/0092, A63B2053/0441, A63B2053/0433
European ClassificationA63B53/04, A63B53/04P
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 26, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: KARSTEN MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, ARIZONA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:JONES, DAVID D.;CHEN, XIAOJIAN;REEL/FRAME:019614/0330
Effective date: 20070723