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Publication numberUS20090036228 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/856,950
Publication dateFeb 5, 2009
Filing dateSep 18, 2007
Priority dateAug 2, 2007
Publication number11856950, 856950, US 2009/0036228 A1, US 2009/036228 A1, US 20090036228 A1, US 20090036228A1, US 2009036228 A1, US 2009036228A1, US-A1-20090036228, US-A1-2009036228, US2009/0036228A1, US2009/036228A1, US20090036228 A1, US20090036228A1, US2009036228 A1, US2009036228A1
InventorsWataru Ban, Fumiaki Sato
Original AssigneeBridgestone Sports Co., Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of manufacturing golf club head and golf club head
US 20090036228 A1
Abstract
According to this invention, there is provided a method of manufacturing a golf cub head having a plurality of score lines on the face. The method of this invention includes the first forming step of forming grooves for the score lines on the face, and the second forming step of forming, uniformly along the longitudinal direction of the grooves by cutting into the edges of the grooves formed in the first forming step, notches having an arcuate cross-sectional shape.
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Claims(5)
1. A method of manufacturing a golf club head having a plurality of score lines on a face, comprising:
a first forming step of forming grooves for the score lines on the face; and
a second forming step of forming, uniformly along the longitudinal direction of the grooves by cutting into the edges, notches having arced cross-sectional shapes at both edges of the grooves.
2. The method according to claim 1, wherein in the second forming step, the notches are formed by cutting the edges of the grooves by a cutting tool while the face or the cutting tool relatively moves in a direction of forming the score lines.
3. The method according to claim 2, wherein a maximum cutting depth from the apex of the edge of the groove by the cutting tool in the second forming step is not greater than 0.1 mm.
4. A golf club head having a plurality of score lines on a face, wherein the score lines are formed by first forming grooves for the score lines on the face and forming, uniformly along the longitudinal direction of the grooves by cutting into the edges, notches having arced cross-sectional shapes at both edges of the grooves.
5. A golf club head having a plurality of score lines on a face, wherein the score lines include notches formed at both edges of the score lines uniformly along the longitudinal direction of the score lines and having arced cross-sectional shapes.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a golf club head and, more particularly, to score lines on the face.

2. Description of the Related Art

Generally, on the face of a golf club head, a plurality of straight grooves are formed parallel to each other in the toe-and-heel direction (e.g., Japanese Patent Laid-Open Nos. 10-248974 and 2005-169129). These grooves are called score lines, marking lines, face lines, or the like (to be referred to as score lines in this specification) . These score lines have an effect of increasing the back spin amount or suppressing a significant decrease in back spin amount of a shot in a case of a rainy day or a shot from the rough. As a method of forming score lines, for example, cutting, forging, or casting are used.

The width of a score line is narrow and, for example, that of a score line of a golf club head for competitions is determined to be 0.9 mm or less by the rule. It is not always easy to form a plurality of score lines to be straight and parallel to each other. For example, when forming score lines by cutting, the score lines may be slightly distorted due to the shake or wear of a cutting tool or distortion of the material of the face. In case of forging, score lines may be slightly distorted due to the influence of distortion of the material of the face. In case of casting, score lines may be slightly distorted due to shrinkage. When score lines are distorted, their outer appearance becomes poor, In addition, individual difference in performance between the products may occur,

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a golf club head having score lines with little distortion.

According to the present invention, there is provided a method of manufacturing a golf club head having a plurality of score lines on a face, comprising a first forming step of forming grooves for the score lines on the face, and a second forming step of forming, uniformly along the longitudinal direction of the grooves by cutting into the edges of the grooves formed in the first forming step, notches having an arcuate cross-sectional shape.

In the present invention, the grooves are formed in the first forming step, and the notches are formed by cutting into the edges of the grooves in the second forming step, thereby forming score lines having the notches. Since only the edges of the grooves are cut in the second forming step, the cut amount can be small. Accordingly, the shake or wear of a cutting tool or distortion of the material of the face is small, and therefore machining with a higher accuracy is possible. For the outer appearance or performance of the score lines which is influenced by the boundary portions of the score lines and face, since the notches which form the boundary portions can be machined with a higher accuracy in the second forming step, the machining accuracy of the score lines substantially increases. Therefore, a golf club head having score lines with little distortion can be provided.

According to the present invention, there is provided a golf club head having a plurality of score lines on a face, wherein the score lines are formed by first forming grooves for the score lines and forming, uniformly along the longitudinal direction of the grooves by cutting into the edges of the grooves, notches having an arcuate cross-sectional shape.

According to the present invention, there is provided a golf club head having a plurality of score lines on a face, wherein the score lines include notches formed at both edges of the score lines uniformly along the longitudinal direction of the score lines and having an arcuate cross-sectional shape.

Other features of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of an exemplary embodiment with reference to the attached drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a view showing the outer appearance of a golf club head 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a sectional view of a score line 20 in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction (toe-and-heel direction), and its partially enlarged view;

FIG. 3A is a schematic view illustrating an example of a case in which a first formed groove is cut by an NC milling machine;

FIG. 3B is a view showing an example of the sectional shape of a first formed groove 20′ formed in the first forming step;

FIG. 4A is a view illustrating a machining example of a case in which a cutting tool 4 a is used which simultaneously machines notches 21 at both edges of the first formed groove 20′;

FIG. 4B is a view illustrating a machining example of a case in which the notch 21 is machined by relatively inclining the rotation axis Z of a cutting tool 4 b with respect to the face 10;

FIG. 5A shows tables of the measurement data of the score lines of an example of the present invention;

FIG. 5B shows tables of the measurement data of the score lines of a comparative example; and

FIG. 6 is a table showing the measurement results of the actual measurement values of the groove widths (groove widths W1 in FIG. 2) of the score lines and the evaluations of the machinabilities and test shot results obtained when the edge angle (angle θ2 in FIG. 3B) of the first formed groove and a notch angle θ1 (FIG. 2) changed.

DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 is a view showing the outer appearance of a golf club head 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1 shows an example in which the present invention is applied to an iron golf club head. The present invention is suitable for short iron golf club heads and wedge iron golf club heads, e.g., golf club heads with a loft angle of 40 to 70 (both inclusive) and a head weight of 260 g to 320 g (both inclusive). However, the present invention is also applicable to wood or hybrid golf club heads.

The golf club head 1 has a plurality of score lines 20 formed on its face 10. The respective score lines 20 are straight grooves extending in the toe-and-heel direction and parallel to each other. In this embodiment, the respective score lines 20 are arranged at regular intervals (same pitch) but they may be arranged at irregular intervals. FIG. 2 shows a sectional view of the score line 20 in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction (toe-and-heel direction), and its partially enlarged view. In this embodiment, the sectional shapes of the score lines 20 are the same except in two end portions in the longitudinal direction. The score lines 20 have the same sectional shape.

In this embodiment, the sectional shape of the score line 20 is an almost trapezoid. However, the sectional shape of the score line 20 is not limited to this, and may be an almost square or triangle. In this embodiment, the sectional shape of the score line 20 is symmetric. Notches 21 having an arcuate cross section are formed in the edges (boundary portions with the face 10) of the score line 20 uniformly along its longitudinal direction. In this embodiment, the notches 21 have an arcuate sectional shape corresponding to a part of a circle with a radius r, but they may have an elliptically arcuate sectional shape.

The tangent (the tangent to the circle with the radius r, in this embodiment) to the arcuate cross section of the notch 21 at a boundary point P1 of the notch 21 and face 10 forms an angle θ1 with the face 10. The angle θ1 influences a friction force between a golf ball and the face 10 which is produced upon a shot. When the notch 21 is formed so as to increase the angle θ1, the back spin amount of a golf ball can increase, but the golf ball is easily damaged. Conversely, when the notch 21 is formed so as to decrease the angle θ1, the back spin amount of a golf ball decreases, however, damage to the ball can be prevented.

The method of forming the score lines 20 will be described next. In this embodiment, upon forming the score lines 20, grooves for the score lines 20 are first formed on the face 10 (first forming step). These grooves will be referred to as first formed grooves, hereinafter. The edges of the first formed grooves are cut so as to form the notches 21 (second forming step), thereby finishing the score lines 20.

Upon cutting for forming the notches 21, an NC (numerically controlled) milling machine can be used to perform cutting with a higher accuracy. The first formed grooves may be formed by, e.g., any of cutting, forging, and casting. Since the notches 21 are formed after the first formed grooves, cutting is desirable. Particularly when the notches 21 are formed using an NC milling machine, it is desirable to cut the first formed grooves by using the same NC milling machine. A case in which the same NC milling machine is continuously used to form the first formed grooves and the notches 21 will be described below.

FIG. 3A is a schematic view illustrating an example of a case in which a first formed groove is cut using an NC milling machine. A golf club head 1′ without the score lines 20 is fixed to the NC milling machine via a jig 2. Note that in this embodiment, a case in which the face 10 is integrally formed with the golf club head is described. However, a face member which forms the face 10 and the head body may be prepared as separated members and joined together. In this case, the face member is fixed to the NC milling machine to form the score lines 20.

The NC milling machine includes a spindle 3 which is rotatably driven around the axis Z. A cutting tool (end mill) 4 is attached to the lower end of the spindle 3. After setting the plane coordinates of the face 10 in the NC milling machine, the spindle 3 is rotatably driven. The face 10 (golf club head 11) or cutting tool 4 is moved relatively in a formation direction dl of the score lines 20 to mill the face 10, thereby forming a first formed groove. When one first formed groove has been formed, the cutting tool 4 is separated from the face 10. After that, the cutting tool 4 is moved relatively in a direction perpendicular to the formation direction d1 of the score lines 20, and the next first formed groove is formed. In this manner, the first formed grooves are sequentially formed. The positions of the respective first formed grooves are numerically controlled in accordance with design data. FIG. 3B is a view showing an example of the sectional shape of a first formed groove 20′ formed in the first forming step.

When all the first formed grooves have been formed, the notches 21 are then machined. At this time, the cutting tool 4 is changed to a ball mill or the like. FIG. 4A illustrates a machining example of a case in which a cutting tool 4 a is used which simultaneously machines the notches 21 at both edges of the first formed groove 20′. FIG. 4B illustrates a machining example of a case in which the notch 21 is machined by relatively inclining the rotation axis Z of a cutting tool 4 b with respect to the face 10. In this case, it is required to use an NC milling machine which can adjust the relative inclination angle of the rotation axis Z with respect to the face 10. In either case, the sectional shape of the notch 21 depends on the distal shape of the cutting tools 4 a or 4 b. The angle θ1 in FIG. 2 depends on the distal shape of the cutting tool 4 a or 4 b and the cutting position.

Each notch 21 is formed by moving the face 10 (golf club head 1′) or cutting tool 4 a or 4 b relatively in the formation direction dl (FIG. 3A) of the score lines 20, as in the case of the first formed groove 20′, so as to mill the edge of the first formed groove 20′. The positions of the respective notches 21 are numerically controlled in accordance with design data. When the notches 21 have been completely formed, the score lines 20 having the sectional shape shown in FIG. 2 are completely formed. Note that after that, the surface of the face 10 may be cut as the surface finish of the face 10.

In this embodiment, as described above, the first formed grooves 20′ are formed, and then the notches 21 are formed by cutting into the edges of the first formed grooves 20′, thereby forming the score lines 20 having the notches 21. In forming the notches 21, since only the edges of the machined first formed groove 20′ are cut, the cut amount can be small. Accordingly, the shake or wear of the cutting tool or distortion of the material of the face 10 is small, and therefore machining with a higher accuracy is possible. For the outer appearance or performance of the score lines 20 which is influenced by the boundary portions of the score lines 20 and face 10, since the notches 21 which form the boundary portions can be machined with a higher accuracy, the machining accuracy of the score lines 20 substantially increases. Therefore, the golf club head 1 having the score lines 20 with little distortion can be provided. As a secondary effect, the back spin amount of the golf ball and its susceptibility to damage can be adjusted by the degree of the angle θ1 in FIG. 2.

Note that when cutting the notches 21, the small cut amount is desirable in order to improve the machining accuracy and reduce the wear of a cutting tool. Accordingly, the maximum cut depth from the apex of the edge of the first formed groove 20′ by a cutting tool is desirably, e.g., 0.1 mm or less. More specifically, in FIG. 3B, it is desirable to form the notch 21 within the range of a phantom circle C having an apex P2 of the edge of the first formed groove 20′ as the center and a radius of 0.1 mm.

EXAMPLES

FIG. 5A shows the measurement data of the score lines of an example of the present invention, and FIG. 5B shows the measurement data of the score lines of a comparative example. For the score lines of the example, first formed grooves and notches were formed using an NC milling machine. The groove depth of the first formed groove was set to 0.45 mm (design value); the edge angle (angle θ2 in FIG. 3B), 60 (design value); and the groove width (W2 in FIG. 3B), 0.8 mm. The notch was formed to correspond to the arc of a circle with a radius of 0.2 mm (design value) and to have the angle θ1 (see FIG. 2) of 35 (design value) The score lines of the comparative example were formed by casting such that they had no portion corresponding to the notch of the example (the same shape as the first formed groove of the example). The groove depth of the score line of the comparative example was set to 0.45 mm (design value); the edge angle, 60 (design value); and the groove width, 0.7 mm (design value).

In FIGS. 5A and 5B, “groove width and measurement position (mm)”, indicates the actual measurement values of the groove widths at a plurality of positions on the score line, which is the groove width W1 in FIG. 2 for the example. In this embodiment, three score lines were set as measurement targets. Each of 0 and 1 to 4 indicates the measurement position. A phantom line (line L1 in FIG. 1), which passes the point of contact of the golf club head with the ground upon soling the golf club head and is perpendicular to the score lines, is set as a reference (measurement position=0). The positions away from the line L1 toward the toe side are denoted by sign −, and those away from the line L1 toward the heel side are denoted by sign +. For example, “+1” indicates a position which is shifted from the line L1 by 1 mm toward the heel side, and “−2” indicates a position shifted from the line L1 by 2 mm toward the toe side.

A standard deviation (same groove) indicates the standard deviation of the groove widths at the respective positions on the same score line, and a standard deviation average value (same groove) indicates the average value of the standard deviations (same groove) of four score lines. An error range (same groove) indicates the difference between the maximum value and minimum value of the groove widths at the respective positions on the same score line, and an error range average value (same groove) indicates the average value of the error ranges (same groove) of four score lines.

A standard deviation (between grooves) indicates the standard deviation of the groove widths at the same position on the respective score lines, and a standard deviation average value (between grooves) indicates the average value of the standard deviations (same groove) of all the measurement positions. An error range (between grooves) indicates the difference between the maximum value and minimum value of the groove widths at the same position on the respective score lines, and an error range average value (between grooves) indicates the average value of the error ranges (between grooves) of all the measurement positions.

Referring to the measurement data shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B, the accuracy of groove width of the score lines of the example is much higher than that of groove width of the score lines of the comparative example. Particularly, there is a significant difference between the data between grooves.

FIG. 6 is a table showing the measurements of the actual measurement values of the groove widths (groove widths W1 in FIG. 2) of the score lines and the evaluations of the machinabilities and test shot results obtained when the edge angle (angle θ2 in FIG. 3B) of the first formed groove and the notch angle θ1 (see FIG. 2) changed. Twelve golf club heads (Nos. 1 to 12) were measured and evaluated. For golf club head Nos. 1, 2, and 12, only first formed grooves were machined without notches.

In FIG. 6, “in first formation” indicates the groove width (W2 in FIG. 3B) of the first formed groove, the design value of the edge angle (angle θ2 in FIG. 3B), and the evaluation of the machinability. “After notch formation” indicates the actual measurement value of the groove width (W1 in FIG. 2), the design value of the notch angle θ1 (see FIG. 2), and the evaluation of the machinability. “Test shot result” indicates the test shot result obtained by using each golf club head.

As in golf club head Nos. 3 to 11, when the edge angle θ2 of the first formed groove and the notch angle θ1 change, score lines having a plurality of types of groove widths can be obtained. When the notches are formed in the edges of the score lines, not only the machining accuracy of the score lines can improve but also the degree of freedom of groove width design can increase.

As for the machinability of the first formed groove, since golf cub head Nos. 1 and 2 have the large angle θ2, its machinability was not very good because of the draft. Golf club head Nos. 3 to 12 had no particular problem. Accordingly, from the viewpoint of the machinability of the first formed groove, the angle θ2 is desirably smaller than 85. Upon machining the notch, when the edge angle θ2 of the first formed groove is small, the shake of the cutting tool and cutting resistance are small. This is desirable, however, if the edge angle θ2 is too small, the sectional area of the groove becomes small. This undesirably causes a low spin tendency (tendency for back spin to decrease) in case of a shot from rough or the like. Therefore, the edge angle θ2 of the first formed groove is desirably 60 to 80.

As for the machinability of the notch, golf club head No. 5 had the excessively small angle θ1 so that it was difficult to attain a satisfactory accuracy. Therefore, from the viewpoint of the machinability, the angle θ1 is desirably 20′ or more.

As for the test shot result, the large notch angle θ1 is desirable from the viewpoint of an increase in spin amount of a ball, however, the ball is easily damaged. Golf club head No. 9 easily damaged the ball. Golf club head No. 8 rarely damaged the ball. Accordingly, from the viewpoint of an decrease in damage to the ball, the notch angle θ1 is preferably smaller than 65 and, more preferably, is equal to or smaller than 60. Golf club head No. 5 had a low spin amount of the ball. Accordingly, from the viewpoint of a spin amount of a ball, the notch angle θ1 is preferably 20 or more.

Accordingly, from the viewpoints of the machinability, spin amount, and a decrease in damage to a ball, the notch angle θ1 is desirably 20 to 60 (both inclusive) . Note that a significant decrease in spin amount sometimes occurred in case of a shot from rough when using golf club head No. 12, but that did not occur in the same situation when using golf club head Nos. 1 to 11. This is presumably because golf club head No. 12 has the small angle θ2 and the small groove volume with which the head readily caught the grass.

While the present invention has been described with reference to exemplary embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the disclosed exemplary embodiments. The scope of the following claims is to be accorded the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent structures and functions.

This application claims the benefit of Japanese Patent Application No. 2007-202216, filed Aug. 2, 2007, which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US20050043113 *Jan 26, 2004Feb 24, 2005Mann James A.Variable scoreline golf club groove configuration
US20050085315 *Oct 13, 2004Apr 21, 2005Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc.Golf club head having improved grooves
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7674188Nov 16, 2007Mar 9, 2010Bridgestone Sports Co, Ltd.Golf club head
US7677990Nov 26, 2007Mar 16, 2010Bridgestone Sports Co., Ltd.Golf club head
US7691007Jan 4, 2007Apr 6, 2010Bridgestone Sports Co., Ltd.Golf club head
US7798917Oct 31, 2006Sep 21, 2010Bridgestone Sports Co., Ltd.Golf club head
US7798918 *Sep 18, 2007Sep 21, 2010Bridgestone Sports Co., Ltd.Method of manufacturing golf club head and golf club head
US7815521Dec 1, 2006Oct 19, 2010Bridgestone Sports, Co., Ltd.Golf club head
US7905798 *Aug 11, 2008Mar 15, 2011Karsten Manufacturing CorporationGolf club head and method of manufacturing
US8562456Oct 22, 2010Oct 22, 2013Sri Sports LimitedGolf club head
US8602911Jul 8, 2010Dec 10, 2013Karsten Manufacturing CorporationGolf club heads with grooves and methods of manufacture
US8814720 *Aug 18, 2009Aug 26, 2014Karsten Manufacturing CorporationGolf club heads with grooves and methods of manufacture
US8834291Mar 17, 2011Sep 16, 2014Bridgestone Sports Co., LtdGolf club head
US8845455Aug 30, 2012Sep 30, 2014Bridgestone Sports Co., LtdGolf club head and method of manufacturing the same
US20090325728 *Aug 18, 2009Dec 31, 2009Karsten Manufacturing CorporationGolf club heads with grooves and methods of manufacture
CN102039038A *Oct 22, 2010May 4, 2011住胶体育用品株式会社高尔夫球杆头
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/331, 29/558
International ClassificationA63B53/04
Cooperative ClassificationY10T29/49996, A63B53/04, A63B2053/0445, A63B53/047, A63B53/0466, A63B2053/0408
European ClassificationA63B53/04M
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 30, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: BRIDGESTONE SPORTS CO., LTD., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BAN, WATARU;SATO, FUMIAKI;REEL/FRAME:020181/0214
Effective date: 20071009