US 2786684 A
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March 25 1957 l.. F. MucclNo 2,786,684
GOLF BALLS Filed Dec. 22, 1953 TWM/MMV 294C ATTORNE YS myn/rola United States Patent O GOLF BALLS Louis F. Muccino, Rye, N. Y.
Application December 22, 1953, Serial No. 399,714
3 Claims. (Cl. 273227) This invention relates to golf balls.
This application is a continuation in part of my copending application Serial No. 384,421, filed October 6, 1953, and since abandoned.
The characteristics and construction of modern golf 'ballsv are controlled to a large extent by the rules of the official organizations which govern and control tournament play such as the United States Golf Association and the Professional Golfers Association, as well as by the habits, customs, preferences and prejudices of large numbers of experienced golf players.
Thus, by oicial rule the diameter of a tournament golf ball may not be less than 1.68 inches, and must weigh less than 1.62 ounces. Experience has shown that the nearer balls conform to these minimum and maximum limitations of diameter and weight, respectively, the longer their flight, `assuming always that balls are of generally similar construction and are tested under identical conditions. Thus, a ball having a diameter of 1.68 inches which weighs only 1.50 ounces would, when tested under identical conditions, travel less distance than a ballvof equal diameter and of similar construction which weighs the maximum permissible weight of 1.62 ounces. Consequently golf ball manufacturers, always seeking to produce balls which will travel they maximum distance, design their balls to appro-ach these minimum and maximum limitationsas closely as possible. A ball of maximum weight and minimum diameter has a specific gravity of approximately 1.25. And since the specific gravity of both rubber and balata which are the principal constituents of golf balls is less than l, it is obvious that constituents of higher specific gravity must somehow be incorporated in the ball if it is to achieve maximum permissible weight.
When we consider the requirements of golf players, the primary demand, of course, is for a long ball. Other thingsbeing equah-aball which will consistently travel a few yards further. its competitor will always be chosen. Eal'ance, .i..e. the uniform distribution of weight w'itihrespe'ct tothe -geornetriclcenter ofthe 'ba-ll, isalso important. An unbalanced ball will tend to deviate from the intended line of iiight, giving the effect of a slice or hool even though the ball may have been hit accurately. But when we depart from the factor of distance, which is accurately measurable, and the factor of balance, which is easily determinable, we approach a region of requirements which are somewhat mysterious in character since they are recognizable only-in the actual performance of a ball and testable only by the individual golfers reactions when the ball is driven. We refer to such characteristics or qualities as click, i. e. the sharp sound of the impact of the club head against the ball, feeh i. e. that which the golfer feels when the ball is struck, and lift or rise which has to do with the trajectory of the ball. A ball which rises properly follows a somewhat higher trajectory than otherwise. There is, so far, no adequate scientific explanation of these qualities, or of the constructional characteristics which produce them. But they are known to every experienced golfer and greatly-influence the selection of balls.
The problem of the manufacturer of golf balls is to produce a ball which falls withinl the official requirements as to diameter and weight, and which achievesV maximum ight within those limitations. Since this implies using the maximum permissible weight, the problem is complex, because experience has provenv that the addition of the constituents of high specific gravity required to attain maximum weight almost inevitably affects adversely some other desired quality such as balance, click, feel, or rise.
lt is an object of the present invention to providel a solution for this problem.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will appear hereinafter.
A preferred embodiment of the invention selected for purposes of illustration is shown in the accompanying drawings, inl whichk the figure is a vertical cross section through a golf ball.
ln the following specification, the usual terminology of the industry'will be adopted and used. as follows:
A golf ball willy be defined as a complete, finished ball, ready for play, comprising a balata (or gutta percha) cover, windings of rubber thread, or tape, or both, and a core'. The cover is usually coated with paint, enamel or lacquer.
A center will be defined as a golf ball from which the cover has been removed.
A core will be defined as an object, usually spherical, about which the windings are wound. In the case of a hollow core', the wall of the core which surrounds the cavity will be referred to as the core envelope.
In the past various expedients have been adopted as Ya meansvof increasing the specific gravity and weightof golf balls, and other expedients have been adopted in an effort to satisfy one or more of the other requirements demanded by golfers. At various times and in various types of balls powdered constituents of high specific gravity such as litharge, barium sulphate, zinc oxide and the like have been incorporated in the cover, or in the rubber threadfor tape, or in the core, or in all three.
The core of a golf ball is almost Valways made of rubber, sometimes solid and sometimes hollow. When hollow, the Cavity has sometimes been filled with a solid object of. high specic gravity such as steel or lead to provide the desired. increase inweight. At other times the cavity has been filled with liquid, paste, or gelatinous material, and frequently weighting constituents have been added to er incorporated in the liquid, paste, or gel'atinous material to provide thedesired increase in weigh-t.
Accordingto the. present invention I utilize a hollow core of resilient, elastic material such as rubber and `i .fill the coreV cavity witha multiplicity of discretemetall'ic particles ranging in size from metallic powder to small metal particles. Because of the high specific gravity of lead, I prefer to use metallic lead in the form of lead powder or in the form of small lead pellets, such, for example, as spherical lead shot. Preferably the volume of the cavity is calculated to be just sufficient to hold the metal required to supply the additional weight. A cavity having a diameter of from 3ft to 1/2 will ordinarily be found satisfactory to accommodate sufficient metallic particles to give the desired increase in weight, the exact diameter being dependent on whether the core envelope or any other part of the ball contains weighting material. if metal particles of lower specific gravity are used, a cavity of Somewhat larger volume will be required.
it is my theory that the use of a large number of small discrete metallic particles permits the core to be deformed when the ball is struck in much the same manner that a liquid filled core may be deformed. There.
fore, the use of a few metallic particles of large size which would tend to lock themselves in lixed position within the cavity is precluded. In general, at least a dozen particles are required, and in using the phrase a multiplicity of particles, I intend to indicate a nurnber in excess of this. Indeed, for best results, I prefer to use lead particles ranging in size from 100 mesh powder to spherical lead shot having a diameter not eX- ceeding .080 in which case the number of particles greatly exceeds twelve.
The wall thickness of the core envelope may be varied, as desired, depending on several considerations. For best results, I prefer to use a relatively thin wall, as from to 9j/46, so as to keep the diameter of the core as small as possible, thus increasing the amount of wound rubber tape or thread in the wall. However, if the diameter of the cavity is 7/16, which l have used successfully, and if the wall thickness of the core envelope is Ms, which l have also used successfully, the diameter of the core will be only 11/15. Many golf ball winding machines are incapable of winding so small a core. In such cases, the wall thickness of the core envelope may be increased, as necessary, for winding purposes. Other factors which may inuence the wall thickness of the core envelope are the matter of securing adequate adhesion of the two hemispherical cups of which the core envelope is customarily formed, and the matter of securing sullicient rigidity of the core, by freezing, to permit winding of the tape or thread thereon. The thinner the wall of the core envelope, the less rigidity is imparted by freezing, and in some cases, the wall thickness must be increased to secure the desired rigidity.
In the preferred form of the invention the metal particles are inserted alone in the cavity, and no liquid, paste or other Substance i's included for it appears to be advantageous to have the interstices between the particles filled with air which is compressible rather than with an incompressible liquid. However, in some cases, the use of a small quantity of liquid such as water which may easily be frozen may be desirable as -a means of obtaining a rigid core for winding without increasing the wall thickness of the core envelope. The use of such liquid also has some lubricating value which aids the relative move-.
ment of the particles when the ball is deformed when struck. In all cases, however, the metallic particles are in contact with and support each other within the cavity. They are not suspended in or supported by liquid and the quantity of liquid, if any, is less than sucient to fill the cavity.
Referring to the drawings, the rubber core envelope 1 is here shown as having a relatively thin Wall. The core cavity 2 is filled with a multiplicity of metallic particles 3, preferably lead shot having a diameter of approximately .04.
The core is completely encased by a thick layer 4 of rubber tape or thread which is wound around the core under rather heavy tension in accordance with usual practice. The resulting center is then covered by a cover 5 of balata or gutta percha which is molded under heat and pressure in accordance with usual practice.
I am aware of Knight U. S. Patent No. 1,192,831 which discloses what is frequently known as a liquid center ball in which a spherical rubber bag at the center of the ball is lled with liquid. The bag also contains one or more balls which are free to move about in the y liquid contained in the playing ball and which balls have a specific gravity greater than said liquid. One of the objects of having the ball or balls of the patent free to move about in the liquid`is to increase the back-spin effect, and freedom to move is the sine qua non without which this effect cannot be increased. The patented ball is, therefore, diierent both 'structurally and in function from thc ball ofthe present invention.
l am also aware of Evans et al. U. S. Patent No. 1,530,820 which discloses a ball having a center consisting of a spherical rubber envelope containing powdered metallic lead distributed throughout a liquid (a glueglycerine compound) of such high viscosity as to maintain the ead in suspension. In the patented ball, the liquid medium supports the lead particles, and lsaid particles are not in contact with each other and do not support each other within the cavity.
It will be understood that the invention may be variously modiiied and embodied within the scope of the subjoined claims.
I claim as my invention:
l. A golf ball of not less than 1.68 outside diameter comprising, in combination, a spherical hollow core envelope having a cavity therein, the outside diameter of said hollow core envelope being not greater than 13/16, a layer of rubber strands wound under tension around said core envelope to provide a center of not less than 1.5", a cover of no greater than usual thickness surrounding said layer of rubber strands, whereby the thickness of said layer of rubber strands lying between the core envelope and cover is greater than usual, and a multiplicity of discrete metallic lead particles filling the cavity of said hollow core envelope, said particles being in contact with and supporting each other within the cavity, the quantity of lead particles in said cavity being suicient to bring the total weight of the ball to approximately the maximum permissible weight of 1.62 ounces.
2. A golf ball according to claim l in which said particles are spherical lead pellets.
3. A golf ball according to claim 1 in which the wall thickness of said hollow core envelope is not greater than M3 and the diameter of said cavity is not in excess of 7/16?.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,192,831 Knight July 25, 1916 2,264,604 Young Dec. 2, 1941 2,376,084 Radford May 15, 1945 2,542,356 Radford Feb. 20, 1951