US 2774600 A
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' Dec. 18, 1956 M. B. REACH ANTI-NICK'ING GOLF CLUB Filed Feb. 25, 1954 m m, y M n W ATTORN E 15 United States Patent Office I 2,774,600 Patented Dec. 18, 1956 ANTI-NICKING GOLF CLUB Milton B. Reach, Springfield, Mass.
Application February 25, 1954, Serial No. 412,494 4 Claims. (01 273-174) This invention relates to golf clubs and aims to provide a golf iron of improved construction and'utility.
In playing the iron stroke in golf the front edge of the club, which in the line caused by the juncture of the face plane and the sole plane, when properly played, passes under the equator of the ball, in the downward sweep of the club and takes up the divot (i. e. cuts through the turf or soil) after the face of the club is in contact. In the case of a faulty swing, commonly termed topping, the edge of the club may hit the ball first, and this usually results in a cut, nicked or badly marred ball (an expensive item of play).
Furthermore, as just mentioned, in the proper play of an iron the leading edge passes into the earth after the face contacts the ball, and this edge becomes subject to the frictional wear of turf or soil conditions. Hidden gravel, for instance, will produce nicks, the edge between the striking face and the sole of the club is roughened, and balls, club shafts, and other articles forcibly contacting the roughened edge suffer accordingly.
Again, when a club has been played and is replaced in the bag (sometimes with careless force) the top edge of its blade strikes the front edges and soles of other clubs and such top edge thus in turn, becomes marred.
The present invention has for a principal object the provision of a golf iron that eliminates or reduces one or more of the above mentioned difiiculties. Other objects and advantages contributing to the general object, will be apparent from the following descriptions of an illustrative embodiment of the invention. The invention resides in the improved club herein described, and in the method of producing the same, and is more particularly pointed out in the appended claims.
In the accompanying drawings of the illustrative embodiment Fig. 1 is a front elevation of a golf iron embodying the invention.
Fig. 2 is a plan view thereof from below.
Fig. 3 is a cross section thereof taken on the plane 33 of Fig. 1 looking in the direction of the arrows.
In the form shown in the drawings the club is typical of any one of the irons used for the iron shots in the game of golf. Such irons usually have a flat front face and a flat rear face 11 converging upwardly to the top or top edge of the club at 12. The bottom face of the club 13, called the sole, extends from the front to the back of the club. Its juncture with the front face forms the edge or front edge of the club head 14. The edge 14 and all other junctures of the several planes defining the club faces are usually slightly rounded. In conventional manufacture the club head is forged oversize and ground down to the proper size and weight.
With the conventional club it is the edge 14 that digs into the turf in the proper stroking of the ball, and that strikes and cuts or mars the ball in the event of a topping stroke, and it is the impact between the top 12 of a club being inserted in a bag and the edge 14 and sole 13 of another club, already inserted in the bag, that causes additional damage to the club heads.
In accordance with the present invention, the edge 14 of the club head, and preferably also the entire sole area 13 therebehind, is formed of rubber-like resilient plastic or elastic material. Natural rubber or synthetic elastic or resilient plastic materials, preferably of a consistency similar to that of automobile tire casings, is employed, and when the term elastomer is used hereinafter it is to be understood as including any such rubbery materials.
Thus, in the illustrative embodiment the club head in overall outline is conventional, and has a rounded heel portion 15, a rounded toe portion 16, asubstantially flat front striking face 10, a back face 11 and a substantially flat bottom sole area,'each extending from the heel portion 15 to the toe portion 16. Further, in the form shown, the sole area is recessed to receive an insert 13 of resilient rubber-like material with its front edge flush with the front face 10 of the club head. Preferably the insert 13, as viewed in Fig. 2, is substantially coextensive with the sole area of the club, and in addition, the insert 13 is preferably formed along its front edge with a flange 13a extending upwardly for a short distance in the front face of the club head, i. e. for a distance substantially greater than the depth of the rubber on the sole area, but
- terminating below the normal striking area of the face 10.
As a rule a sole-insert thickness of about is preferred, with a flange about deeper, or 7 deep overall.
Since the edge of the club at 14 is thus covered with or formed of soft resilient rubbery elastomer, it does not cut, mar or nick a ball when the ball is topped" or struck with the edge 14 of .the club head rather than with the central portion of the metal striking face 10.
Since'rubbery elastomer is much more highly resistant to abrasion or impact with stones or metal surfaces than metal, the edge 14 and the other parts of the sole 13 and lower edge of the face 10 that are thus elastomer covered do not become nicked and chipped in use of the club.
Further, since the edge 14, and preferably the entire sole area 13, is elastomer covered, when the club is inverted in the bag and other clubs are then inserted, a relatively soft resilient surface is presented for impact by the top edges of the other clubs and interclub nicking and chipping is thus avoided.
In addition, by the flanged construction 13a backed up by the metal abutment afforded by the underlying portion of the metal club head, chances of tearing loose of the insert 13 are minimized.
Furthermore, the elastomer coating of the front edge and sole area of the club head cushions impacts thereof against obstructions during the taking of a divot, rendering it practical to die-cast the metal portions of the club head to final size in a single operation if desired, although, the metal portion of the club head may be forged if preferred.
In manufacturing the club head any suitable procedure may be employed for securing the elastomer insert to the club head. A particularly desirable method of forming the club consists in first forming the metal portion of the head with the sole and edge recess, preferably by die-casting, the surfaces being tapered to facilitate removal from the dies, as shown. The surfaces of the recess may then be brass plated or otherwise treated to promote bonding of the rubber material thereto. The elastomer, preferably a vulcanizable rubber, is then compounded and molded into the recess or cavity under heat and pressure. The rubber or plastic may be directly moulded into the prepared recesses under a suitable pressure operation or it may be preformed in a separate molding operation and thereafter cohesively united to the metal head in its working position. In this form of assembly a club manufacturer, lacking a rubber manufacturing department, may purchase these parts at remote points, store under suitable conditions and assemble as needed. With vulcaniz'ing stock, the temperatures and pressures employed for forming tire casings, rubber-tometal spring shackles, etc. may be employed. The vulcanized insert, molded flush with the surrounding areas of the club head, is thus firmly bonded in the recess, and the club may be shafted and used as soon as the vulcanizing operation is completed.
While there have been described herein what are at present considered preferred embodiments of the invention, .it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that many modifications and changes may be made therein without departing from the essence of the invention. It is therefore to be understood that the exemplary embodiments are illustrative and not restrictive of the invention, the scope of which is defined .in the appended claims, and that all modifications that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are intended to be included therein.
1. A golf club of the iron type with a head having a metal striking face .and a resilient elastomer sole portion, said elastomer sole portion extending from the lower edge of the striking face toward the back of said club head, said sole portion having a flange extending along and lying flush with the lower edge of said striking face, and said head having a metal abutment behind said flange.
2. A golf club with a head comprising heel and toe portions and extending therebetween a rigid front striking face, a back face spaced therefrom, and a bottom sole area; said club head having a resilient elastomer insert with a sole portion extending throughout its sole area from said front face to said back face and from said heel portion to said toe portion; said insert having a face portion extending upwardly from said sole portion and terminating flush with said front striking face and forming the facial edge of the club head therebelow from the heel portion to the toe portion thereof.
3. A golf club of the iron type comprising a metal head, said head having a recessed sole area, a recessed front face area contiguous thereto and extending upwardly therefrom and below the normal striking area of the front face, and an elastomer insert filling said recessed areas and bonded therein, said insert filling said recesses flush with the surrounding areas of the club head and extending upwardly in the front face of the club head for a distance substantially greater than the depth of the sole area recess,.but terminating below the normal striking area of the club head.
4. A golf club with a head of rigid material presenting a rigid normal striking face for engaging with the ball, said rigid head having an elastomer filled sole recess thereof extending from the heel area of the head lengthwise along the sole and upwardly into the toe area of the club to a point intermediate the sole and the top of the club head, said elastomer filled sole recess having a vertical extension in the front face of the club head below the rigid normal striking face thereof, and also extending in said front face curvilinearly around the toe of the club.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 550,976 Jennings Dec. 10, 1895 1,049,266 Rivers Dec. 31, 1912 1,436,579 Dayton Nov. 21, 1922 1,602,567 Colwell Oct. 12, 1926 1,946,208 Hampton Feb. 6, 1934 2,014,829 Young Sept. 17, 1935 2,328,583 Reach Sept. 7, 1943 2,429,351 Fetterolf Oct. 21, 1947