US 2447967 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
R. STONE Q 2,447,967
GOLF CLUB Filed Sept. 16, 1944 Patented Aug. 24, 1948 MN I TED.
STATES This invention relates to golf clubs and more particularly to a novel type of clubhead designed to eliminate much of the-difficulty experienced by-theaverage golfer in handling the different typesof clubsnow in general use and thus to increase his proficiency and consequently the pleasure and attraction of the game for the player. This application is a continuation-in-part of my prior application Serial No.515,945, filed December 28, 1943,-which has become abandoned.
The usual set of golf clubsinclu'des-two distinct types of clubs commonly referred to as Woods and irons and of quite difierent characteristics. For example, in the present le-club set there are four wood clubs of graduated loft with relatively long shafts or handles andbulky wood clubheads, and nine irons (exclusive of the putter) which are also graduated inloft but are provided with'rela tivel short handles and clubheads of quite different shape and size as compared with the woods. Hence-although the entire set of clubs is pro-" gressively graduated as to loft and'length it com prises in fact two distinct sets of clubs. For ex ample, it is a matter of common knowledge that even the expert may hit wellwith the woods one day and the irons the next day, but-not with the woods and irons onthe same day, The difference between the two'types of clubs is further illustrated by the generallyaccepted theory that the player should hit up with the Woods and down with the irons," i. e., that the position of the ball'with respect to the-path of movement of of the clubhead should be at thebottm=ofthe arc with a wood but in advance ofthe bottom of the arc with an irons The shape and appearance of the club undoubt: edly has much to do with the proficiency with whic'hit is used by the average player. From the standpoint of the golf swing the bulky-head of the wood club inspires-the desirable mental impulse to swing rather than to hit or chop, and provides the feelof adequate power in the impact of the clubhead with the ball. These im-- pressions result from dimensions which,although varying somewhat, have become standardized within narrow limits for the normal or average wood club for both menand women. The length of the normal wood clubhead as measured on a horizontal line vertically midway of the face from the toe-to the back'of the hosel above the heel-is. almost invarialc'ilyin" the range of 4 inches inthe driver to 3 /2 inches in the shortspoon. The depth of the clubhead; measured vertically at the facefrom the sole to-the-horizontal-plane of the top of the face; similarlyranges from-1% inches tol /i inches.- The breadth, measured-Onasole and'the back of the clubhead, similarly rangesfrom 3 "inches to 2% inches. Reference hereinaf-ter-to the bulkofthenormal wood clubhea-d will be understood to refer to a "clubhead of -dimansions within these ranges.
On-the-other hand, theincreasing loft in a set' of clubs has made it impracticable-to extendthe woods much beyond the usual No. 4, because the heads and hosels cannot bemade strong enough to Withstand impacts with the ball and turf and sufficien-tly blade-like to cut divots. This is true in spite'of the fact that the iron cannotbe-made te -have the desir able shape and-'bulkof the wood because the-greater weight of the metal would make the club too-heavy. Although heavier than the Woods..--(u'sual1y about 15-1-6 02."), the iron comprises little more than a blade on the end of a stick; The effect on theplayer is wellillustrated by-the fact that. the No. 4 wood is generally consideredone of the easiest ofalhclubs to use where as the No. 1 iron, the next *club'in the set with threeor' four degrees greater loft, is probably the most?- difiicult club to use properly. Although most manufacturers have discontinued. the No. 1 iron, the same difficulties are encountered in the use of the.N-o..2 and No.3 irons. These difficulties are usually charged to the straight faces of these irons,.:although actually they have greater loft than'the:woods. At the other extreme, the blade of the No; 9 iron is so nearly horizontal as to give the impression: that there r is little or no vertical area for contact with the ball, with the result that'its: consistently successful use is rare outside the ranks; of the experts;
Aside from the foregoing matters; steel faces are tobe preferredto wood faces for maximumresiliency; as "shown by the vaunted feel" of the wooden-shafted iron, the wood shaft being shock absorbing and the player sensing through his hands only-a'cushion-like impact with the ball and the ball getting away fast. With steel shafts,-however, this desiredfeel is lost due to the vibration of the clubhead which travels up the shaft, stingingthe players hands. For this reason the steel shafts of irons have been coated With'"Ce1lu1oid or similar material to deade'nrth'e vibration.
One of the objects of the invention is to provide a novel golf clubhead such that every club of .a complete set may have a bulk and shape similar to that characteristic of the usual wood club as compared with the usual iron.
Another object is to provide a novel golf clubhead such that all of the clubs of a set may be substantially identical except for progressively changing loft and preferably also length and weight, the usual distinction between woods and irons being eliminated and a truly matched and properly graduated set of clubs provided.
A further object is to provide a novel golf clubhead with a metal blade and a shock-absorbing body secured thereto for minimizing or eliminating vibration in the shaft or handle, the clubhead being designed to bring the combined weight of the blade and shock-absorbing body within the weight of practical clubheads of any desirable loft while at the same time providing a shock-resisting face protecting the shock-absorbing body against breakage.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will appear more fully hereinafter.
Broadly speaking, a clubhead embodying the invention comprises a shock-resisting metal blade, preferably of iron or steel, with a shaped shock-absorbing body secured to the back of the blade and extending rearwardly to provide a clubhead having substantial bulk approximating that of the normal wood club. Such a club has the appearance of the usual wood club, although it may have the metal face and loft of any iron of the usual set. The player is naturally impelled to swing this club in the same manner as a wood club, with the same sense or feel of clubhead momentum as it swings through the point of impact with the ball. Moreover, all such clubs have the advantages of the maximum resilience of the metal blade plus the sense or feel of impact obtained with the wood-shafted iron, the shock-absorbing body deadening vibrations and making it unnecessary to coat the shaft.
In making such clubs, it is necessar to maintain the weight of the club within narrow limits. The weight of wood clubs, for example, has been standardized through experience at about 13% ounces, of which 7 ounces are due to the clubhead and hosel. Experience has shown that a variation in weight of as little as /4 ounce is substantial, and that a clubhead weighing as much .as 8 ounces is much too heavy. If a metal blade or face were used in a clubhead of normal size and shape, the weight of the clubhead would be substantially increased due to the much greater specific gravity of the metal as compared with the wood that it replaced. Hence the weight of the remaining portion of the clubhead behind the blade (1. e., the shock-absorbing body) must be decreased correspondingly.
The specific gravity of the suitable shock-absorbing materials, such as wood itself, hard rubber, paper pulp and various molded plastics, varies considerably but in all cases is very much less than that of the metal of the blade. This being the case, and since experience has shown that coring out of clubheads is unsatisfactory as a means of reducing weight, it is accordingly necessary to effect a substantial reduction in the amount of material in the shock-absorbing body as compared with the normal wood club, even though the blade is preferably made relatively thin. Preferably this reduction is accomplished by shaping the shockabsorbing body as described below and illustrated in the drawings so that the clubhead appears to the player to have a bulk approximating that of the normal wood club and also comprises a substantial amount of shock-absorbing material behind and over the area of the metal blade, but at the same time tapers away from the blade to lighten the clubhead and maintain its weight within the desired limits while also facilitating the use of the club.
In the case of the iron club, where the metal club-head is somewhat heavier than a wood clubhead as indicated above, the addition of .a shockabsorbing body behind the blade is impractical without first thinning the blade to about half its usual thickness and weight. Then, however, a shock-absorbing body having the characteristics mentioned above can be-added while keeping the weight of the club within the desired limits.
Thus a complete set of clubs can be made having graduated loft corresponding to the present woods and irons and capable of making all of the necessary shots, while at the same time all clubs throughout the set are characterized by a metal blade backed up by a shock-absorbing body as described above and usable with exactly the same swing, etc.
The distribution of weight in the clubhead is also of importance. In iron clubs the greatest weight is usually at the bottom or sole of the clubhead, the player hitting down with the club as explained above. With wood clubs, where the player hits up, the tendence on the contrary is to center the weight of the club behind the sweet spot or point at which the ideal impact with the ball should be made. In other words, the weight is often centered behind the face of the club at a point which is about midway of the vertical depth of the club face, as evidenced for example by the common use of lead inserts in the back of wood clubheads. In appearance, feel, and
; manner of use, a club embodying the present invention belongs to the category of Wood clubs, regardless of loft, but thepreponderance of the weight of the clubhead is near the bottom or sole of the club below the horizontal plane through the center of the club face. On impact this weight tends to carry through below the ball, tending to impart back-spin rather than over-spin and contributing to the power of the shot.
Other features of the invention will be described in detail hereinafter in connection with the several embodiments of the invention which are illustrated in the drawings, but it is to be expressly understood that said drawings are for purposes of illustration only and are not to be construed as a definition of the limits of the invention, reference being had to the appended claims for this purpose.
In the drawings,
Fig. l is a perspective view of a clubhead embodying the invention;
Fig. 2 is a section on the line 2--2 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a perspective view of another clubhead embodying the invention;
Figs. 4 and 5 are sections on the lines 44 and 55 of Fig. 3;
Fig. 6 shows .another clubhead embodying the invention;
Fig. 7 is a section on the line 1-1 of Fig. 6; and
Fig. 8 shows still another embodiment of the invention.
Referring first to Figs. 1 and 2, the clubhead comprises a metal hosel or shank I and metal blade 2, preferably of iron or steel, and a shockabsorbing body 3, preferably of molded plastic, which is suitably securedto the back of the blade and extends rearwardly to provide a clubhead having substantial bulk approximating that of the normal wood club. In this embodiment the body 3 is secured to the blade 2 in part by mold- .5 ing l.17hB"ZD12JStlC material around knob's 14; which arewmade integral with or secured 'in anysisuitable wayto' the bladegasby-Welding, said rknobs preferably having retaining heads 15. Thet low'er edge ofith'e-lbladefie -thickened to .adjust theezweight of 1 the:clubhead and also to provide a sole flange indicated by the dotted :line -6' in Fig. 12-. Prefer.- ably this thickened flange is shorter than the blade and the plastic material "is: molded around itsends for further strengthening the connection between the body 3 and blade 2.
-Figs. 3,- Wand 5-illustrate another methodpf securing the shock-absorbingbody to theblad'e. The periphery of the blade l is surrounded bya thin flange 6 which at the top-extends rearwardIyfrom the top of th'e blade and at the bot- -tom joins the sole 9; the flange andsele: forming a- 'taperedsocket in whichthe body 10 is molded and securely held. The soleQ-may'have a rear wai'd continuation'or' extension flange as shown a't -H and the flange B at the top of-theclubhead may be similarly extended-at i2, these extensions iurther-securing-the bodyto the blade. A-colored spot or plug l3 may then beinserted inan opening 'in-the extension it of thetop flange to indicate or identify the typeof club. Av similar spot-is shown-in Fig. 1 in the top central portion of the body 35- Additionally the body is molded around th'e -en'dsof thesole' flange 9 as described. above inconnection with Figs-l and 2. With these provisions'it is unnecessary to use means such as the knob iof Fig. 1 to secure the body tothe blade.
T-heblades 2 and l of Figs-l and 3 provide shock-resisting faces which completely cover the shock absorbingmaterial and prevent breaking or-splitting-thereof, the flanges of'the-blade l of Fig.3 being particularly adaptedito protect the edges of the shock-absorbing body and. prevent cracking or chipping. At the same time the shock-absorbing body covers the entire area of the. blade with a substantial thickness which minimizes vibration and provides a sense or feel of impact likethatof the wood-shafted iron.
Rearwardly of the'blade the shock-absorbing body in both of the above embodiments tapers to a rounded tail M (Figs. 1 and 2) or I5 (Figs. 3 and 5), andas' shown by Fig; 5 the shockabsorbing body also taperswin' vertical thickness toward the tail. This shape tends to decrease wind-resistance and to facilitate steering of the clubhead and prevent wobbling in the swing. :As viewed by the player, that is, in plan, the clubheadgives the impression of bulk which is obtainedv from the normal wood clubhead, being about the same or only slightly less in length and depth-with a breadth of about half its length. 'Also the clubhead is generally triangular in 'shape (see Fig. 2), the apex of the triangle formed by the tail being in a line perpendicular to the center of'the face of the club and aiding the player in ilining'up his swing with the balland the desired direction of flight. The location of the colored spot on this perpendicular line serves to increase the efiect.
The taper of the shock-absorbing body need not necessarily be uniform to secure the above advantages. InFigs; 1- 5, the moldedipastic body has greater specific gravity than wood, for example, and is curved inwardly rather abruptly behind the blade and then tapers more slowly to the tail. This shape reduces the amount of material in the body, but might not be necessary with a lighter material.
The embodiments described above have a loft of"v aboutmoi, thus morresponding; approximately XZOTI'GHGI N o: 4 wood onto the -N0. .'1'iron.. Do-main.- .tain "the weight zwithin :the desired' limits, and yet provide: a: shock-absorbing body: of f substantial bulk; the-:metalbla'de- .(seeiFig. .5) is; relatively thin overzamost .of tits :area-uasicompared with the bladecof: the :usualiron 1 club,tbe-ing thickened :only ast-ithe "sole portion as shown at t6. to provide :a IPEQPOIICI'BIMICQ of weightat" the "bottom of the clubhead asdescribed above. Thus the blade tapers from a:relatively thick portion at the sole orcibottom of theclub" face to a relatively thin 'p'ortiomat the top =of the club face, although-the taper is not necessarily uniform. Preferably the thitkness is substantially uniform along any horizontalsection through the blade; however, to =minimize thed'anger of hooking or slicing.
Figs. 6' and 7"illustrate the application-of the above principles tda clubof greater loft; for example, to aclub-havingaloft of and'corre sponding to" the usual niblick. Here the plan area covered by the face of the blade is-much greater than in Figs 1-5, due to its greaterinclination, and a larger part of the-shock-absorb ing' body isbeneath the blade as seen by the player. Nevertheless enough ofit projects behind the blade to give the impression of bulk" as explained above, as well as the advantages 'of 'the tail in lining up the shot and swing.
Referring to 'thesefigures; the blade l T is shown providedwith a sole'extension l8, flange I9, and flange extension ZOsurrounding the colored'sp'ot 21; being similar 'in'thes'e ,respects to Figs. 3*5. The shock-absorbing 'body '22, preferably of molded plastic, is applied'to the back of thebl'ade and tapers vertically and also rearwardly to La roundedta'il'23 which projects behind the blade. Since the spaceavailable for the shock-absorbing body is. substantially less than in Figs. 1-5, its
weight is correspondingly less and the weight of the'metal blade is therefore substantially greater than in Figs. 1-5.. As shown by Fig. '7', the top of theblade is relatively thin, being comparable to the blade of Figs. 1-5,,butthe blade increases in thickness more rapidly. toward its bottom onsole and contains substantially more metal than in Figs. 1- 5.
As shown in Fig. 7,. the sole. of the blade is preferably rounded upwardly toward the leading edge of. blade at 24 to minimize digging in and consequent loss of follow-through.
'In the foregoing embodiments, the blade is shown integral with the shank or. hosel, the union between the two beingof. the goose-neck type. Fig.3 illustrates the method of attaching such clubheads to their shafts, the shank or1-hosel25 beinghollow .to receive the end of the shaftlli. -It will be understood, howeventhat theshaft. can be secured.to -theiclub-head in other ways, as by extending it. intothe shock-absorbing body with .orwithout connectionto the metal blade.
Fig. 8 illustrates by way of example a-olub in which thershaft ZFLextends into the molded plastic body 28; passing through ahollow shank- EQ rising from a flange 3fl =which extends rearwardly from the top of the metal blade 31 at a point near the heelof.-the club The shaft '27 is pinned to the shank at: 32;. and apin 33 near the end lo-fthe shaft is embedded in the plastic body 28. The end of the shaft terminates at the sole of the clubhead about midway between the heel and toe.
While the treatment of the face of the club may vary, it is preferred that the face have two visible oblique lines bounding a central scored area, the oblique lines crossing the face from top to bottom and spreading apart toward the bottom. Faces having these characteristics are illustrated by Figs..1, 3 and 6. By making the distance between the oblique lines at the top of the face about three-fourths of the distance between them at the bottom of'the face, the lines serve as guides for intentional hooking or slicing shots. For example, by "opening the club face until the line nearest the heel points directly at the target, the player may gauge accurately the proper cut for a slice which hits the target. Conversely, by closing the club face until the line nearest the toe points directly at the target, the player may gauge accurately a targethitting hook. The oblique lines may be indicated by a raised portion of the club face, as in Figs. 1 and 3, or simply by scoring the club face. The scoring between the oblique lines may take any desired form, and the end portions of the face beyond the oblique lines should preferably be left smooth.
Where plastic material is used for the shockabsorbing body, it may be any of the well known materials which can be molded and cured by pressure and/or heat to form a hard solid mass. Examples are phenolic condensation products of the Bakelite" type, methyl and ethyl methacrylate, etc.
It will be observed that clubheads embodying the present invention have approximately the dimensions of the normal wood clubhead as defined above. Preferably the dimensions of the club face should be 3 to 4 inches in length and about 1 /2 inches in depth, thus conforming to the normal ranges stated above. The breadth of the clubhead measured tothe tail should be approximately half the length of the club face. For example, it may be 1 /2 to 1% inches in clubs of low loft, and in club-s of high loft such as the niblick, it may increase somewhat, say to 2 to 2 inches.
It will be observed that a club head embodying the present invention eliminates weight at the toe and shank of the club and concentrates weight directly behind and largely below the sweet spot at which the ball should be struck for perfect results. Moreover, unlike the usual iron in which the sweet spot is nearer the shank than the toe of the club, the sweet spot due to this redistribution of weight is in the center of the hitting surface. These results are secured by controlling the shape and size of the sole flange which, as will be apparent, may be made in one piece with the club face or built up thereon by added metal to suit the preference of the clubmaker.
As stated above, the invention enables the manufacture of a complete set of clubs all of the same type and general characteristics, although varying in weight, loft and length. As an example, such a set may comprise ten clubs beginning with a loft of 10 in No. l and increasingin loft 5 with each club through No. 9 which accordingly has a loft of 50, the tenth club being the putter. These clubs are graduated in weight, the weight of No. 1 being 13 /2 ounces for example and each succeeding club through No. 9 being ounce heavier. They are also graduated in length, No. 1 being say 42 inches long and each succeeding club through No. 9 being shortened one inch. Such a set is completely and properly matched and graduated for distance over the usual range of a set. It eliminates the present distinction between woods and irons, combining the best features of both types in each club of the set.
It will be understood that the invention is not restricted to the foregoing examples and that it may be embodied in other forms which may ocour to those skilled in the art. Reference should therefore be had to the appended claim for a definition of the limits of the invention.
What is claimed is:
A golf clubhead comprising a metal shank having an opening for insertion of the end of a shaft, a metal blade formed as an integral continuation of the shank, the forward striking face of said blade being inclined rearwardly and upwardly to provide loft, with the upper part of the blade and the juncture thereof with the shank lying to the rear of the forward edge of the shank, and a shock-absorbing body of heat-curable plastic material cured against and in intimate contact with the back of said blade and anchored on rearward projections therefrom so that said body is protected against impact with the ball and forms with said blade and shank an integral olubhead, said body projecting rearwardly from the blade beyond its upper edge and being shaped to form with said blade a clubheacl having substantial bulk behind the blade, said blade being thinner and of substantially less weight than the blade of a club-head of the iron type having the same loft and substantially the same striking face dimensions, and the weight of said body being approximately equal to the difference in weight between said blades so that the total weight of said clubheads is approximately equal.
WILLIAL/I RIDGELY STONE.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS OTHER REFERENCES Publication, The Crawford McGregor and Canby Company, Dayton, Ohio. Catalog 33, 1930, page 6. Copy available in 273/77.
Number D. 27,190 D. 83,07 '7 581,331 723,534 727,819 732,136 823,082 1,396,470 1,509,429 1,617,096 1,976,324 1,981,085 2,056,335 2,346,617