US 2846228 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
M. B. REACH 2,846,228 GOLF CLUB OF THE "IRON" TYPE Filed Oct. 20, 19 55 VENTOR ATTORNEY United States Patent GOLF CLUB OF THE IRON TYPE Milton B. Reach, Springfield, Mass. Application October 20, 1955, Serial No. 541,615 9-Claims. (Cl. 273-169) game ofgolf are definitely restrictedin shape and style.
Custom and demand have imposed limitations in shape to such point that the front elevational shapes -of the blades have become largely standardized with the height of the blade progressively increasing from the heel" toward with-the toe generally rounded rather sharply where-it m'eets the upper edge of the bladeand'more gently where it"i'rnerges: with the sole of the blade, and. with a hitting surface virtually standardized as-regards face marking and loft; In an eif'ort to effect desired weight distributions and to createappealing style differences to individualize the numerous'products of different manufacturers, club designershave therefore resorted to varying the contours and 'shapes of the back surfaces of the blades. instances these variations have been arbitrary, and have merely concentrated weight at anundesirable location.
- ('5) Furthermore, custom and demand have established that thefore and aft cross section of the blade must be rather wedge shaped so that the sole=portion is relatively thickiwhile the upper edge of the blade-is relatively'thin. Asa result; inmost s'uchirons, much of themass of the blade-is positioned-near the sole of the blade, instead of near. the sweet spot-that lies approximately at the'center' of the'length and height of the blade, and that is usually marked on the blade face in some fashion, and it will be recognized that many ofthe modifications of back-face design that. have been proposed tend even further toconcentrate the weightof the head near the sole thereof. Now to-obtaina satisfying f'eelfi transferringminimum impact shock to the handsof the player, the center of percussion of the headportion of theclub, swinging about thecenter: of flexureand torque oftheshaft, should coincideeas nearly-as possible withthe sweetspot, and to'thisendritgisdesirable that-"more of the weight of the head bedocated close to the level'of the sweet spot. Yet the shape limitations imposed by custom and demand places a substantial obstacle in the way of attaining 'thisde sideratum' by alteration of back-face contours.
' (c) A-lso custom and demand has-largely standardized" thefacezangleor loft of the irons, which are designated as Number 1, No. 2, etc,.irons, as the face angle: or"
loft is increased, and the accepted standardization has more or: less prescribed the size as well as the shape and loft' ofeachnumber, and has prescribed a range'of" Weights foreach number'iron, that embraces'as'much as a'three-fourths: ounce difierence between a light and heavy iron of a particular number, with one or more medium, or medium-light, or medium-heavy weights therebetween: Thus the normalvariants in iron golf heads,
from light to 'heavy, have a range of about of an ounce iu' each of the iron sequences-No. 2 starting at a lighter the toe of the blade,
In many ice base then No. 3; and the'higher numbers-having shorter shafts, more pitch, and Wider focus-startingat increasingly heavier bases. For these reasons, manufacturers have been faced with the necessity of producing several Weight variants in'eachsize 0r number'of golf irons, and since' the .cost of forging dies is high, the conventional practice is to rough'forge' the head for a given number iron somewhat oversize as compared to the finished weight of a heavy ironof such number, and to then grind and polish each head'toa predetermined light, heavy or intermediate weight, which practice involves considerable skill to maintain the prescribed curvatures and ridges and adds greatly to the cost of the club.
Accordingto the present invention, these problems are met by providing a club-head that may be forged-with allldies set to produce the lightest base weight, in a simple forging, .and in which. the intermediate andheavy. weights ofthe club are obtained ina simple and efficient manner. in theassembly, or as a custom feature.
(d) A great number. of golf irons currently are made of stainless steel. This is a hard, tough metal, costly in dies and-costly in labor operations. Sharp ridges and angles, which characterize many of .todays designs, quickly wear the forging dies and complicate. the polishing and stampingl'abor of the finishing operation.
One of the aims of the-present invention is to enable said stainless steel, club-heads to be-produced by a simple. forging, without such sharp. ridges and angles, with consequent saving. of wear on the forging'dies, andttoenablesuch 'clubs to be finished to weight and. stampedor marked inta simple and inexpensive manner. While these-provisions are of particular value in connectionwith stainless: steel club heads,, theyalso contribute: to economy, to. a somewhat lesser, but percentagewise equally important extent, in the manufacture of cheaper clubs of softer, lower specific gravity steel, that are finishedby chrome plating;- and in the latter, connection. the invention.facil-- itates the attainingof proper club weight without undue bulk and without the inclusionof external reentrant angles difficult to-plate efi'iciently. Y i
Furthermore, when heads of metal of still less specific gravity become available, say of titanium, the heads may be die cast for economy, and by employing the features of the present invention, may be adjusted to proper. weight andi'feel without excessive departure from orthodox shapeand bulk;
(e). As above noted, the sweetnessof the-strokede pends to a considerable extent on having thecenter of; weight so locatedrelative tothepointof impact withrthe ball; thatlittl'e tendency toward sudden clockwise or coun terclockwise torquing of' the shaft, and little tendency to ward sudden longitudinalwave motion or vibration ofthe shaft is produced by the impact. If the .center of weight is too far toe-ward at impactthet-club. torques: counterc1ockwise, and as the. flattened-ball leaves theclubface, tends. to give 'it a hook 'producingspin; .if it is -too far: heelward; a. reverse, torquing, occurs,..tending togive the ball a"s1ice'' producing spin; if theweight is toolow; a torquel'is'produced' about the longitudinalfaxis of the club head, that creates a vibrational wavemotion traveling up the shaft; fiha lly, since the head.is.ofi center with.respect totheshaft, the mass of the head, during the, swing, tends to force the shaft to bend inwardly towardthefeet of. the playeryand thus to establish av'contact point forward of the. centrifugal orbit of the club- Inconventional clubs; thetliiie-iofgravity,determined by a plumb linedropped from; thegrip center across the clubfface, crosses such face inward toward the -heel'of. the-club. However,- the nature ofthe shafting, whether it.is.steel,. fibre iglass,- or/- flexible, stilt, or of special design, effects the centrifugallyclub in play. The present invention in a simple manner enables the line of gravity of the club to be so related to the nature of the shafting as to bring the contact point more nearly on the sweet-spot and on the gravity orbit of the club in play, as will hereinafter appear.
(1) Again, as ball manufacturers continue to become more precise and the technique of rubber thread winding improves and produces harder, more controllable balls, there is more impact shock to the club and any off-center of the club weight relative to the point of impact produces greater torsional and vibratory shock to the hands and fingers of the user. Yet the club, to conform to custom and usage and to obtain proper distance must have a rigid striking face, and cannot be too resiliently attached to the shaft, as the delicate sense of feel and control is lost. Another advantage of the present invention in its preferred form resides in establishing the desired weight distribution and maintaining the rigidity of the strking face and the sense of feel and control, while arranging for. vibration damping action of a part of the weight of the head, with consequent reduction in the shock transmitted to the shaft. Especially near the end of a long session of, say 72 holes of play. the cumulative effect of shocks transmited through the shaft, commences to increase the subconscious tension of the player, and to interfere markedly with the sense of ease, looseness, and feel that determines accuracy and quality of play in the short game around the putting green. Hence even a percentagewise reduction of such shocks may make a great difference in the players ability near the end of a long session of play.
(g) Finally, the maintenance of a complete stock of light, medium, and heavy clubs in the entire number sequence requires a considerable investment. By the present invention clubs may be stocked in what might be termed skeleton form and may be made to order on the spot, reducing inventory and shipping costs, in addition to the savings in the cost of manufacture above mentioned. 7
These and other advantages and objects of the present invention are attained by the improvements hereinafter set forth. The invention resides in the novel features and combinations exemplified or described in connection with the illustrative embodiment shown in the accompanying drawings and is defined in the appended claims.
In the drawings of the illustrative embodiment:
Fig. l is a front elevation of a club head embodying the invention, taken normal to the back face of the club.
Figs. 2, 3 and 4 are respectively end elevation and sectional views at the lines 22, 33 and 44 of Fig. 1 in the direction of the arrows.
Figs. 5 and 6 are fragmentary rear elevation and sectional views at the lines 5-5 and 66 of Fig. 2, in the direction of the arows.
Figs. 7 and 8 are sectional views similar to Fig. 6
of modified construction.
Fig. 9 is a gravity line diagram.
The severalobjects and advantages of the invention, in the illustrative embodiment shown, are attained by forming the head for a given iron number, with a metal skeleton of generally conventional shape, but with a considerable area of its back face reentrantly deeply recessed, and somewhat lighter than the lightest weigh head for said club member. The recess is preferably of generally ovate shape and generally concentric with the shape of the back face of the club head. Secured in the ovate recess is a polyfunctional ovate filler member, that in the form shown carries stamping or marking on its outer face, the weight and weight distribution of which combines with the single head skeleton to produce a light, heavy or intermediate weight iron of given gravity orbit, and the resiliency of which, in the preferred embodiment, accomplishes a measure of shock absorption, particularly when the wall between the recess and the front face of the club is made relatively thin as compared to the area of the recess. When the filler is formed of weighted natural or synthetic rubber, as is preferred, it is preferably vulcanized to the walls of'the recess, and preferably has the club markings or trade mark, or both, lithographed or formed in intaglio or relief, on or in a metal or plastic plate that is secured by adhesive, vulcanization or other suitable means to the insert, which preferably has a beaded edge that embraces the plate and isolates it from contact with the metal of the head skeleton.
In the form shown in Figs. 1-4, the club head of the iron type, when completed, has the normal, accepted wedge shape with no excrescences or protuberances therefrom. It comprises a metal body including a conventional hosel 10 and a metal blade having the usual inclined front face 11, preferably having thereon suitable scoring 12, and a suitable target 13 marking the sweet spot or bent striking area of the blade face; the usual back face 14 of lesser inclination; the usual relatively wide sole area 15; and the usual narrower upper edge 16.
The metal club head body, however, is peculiar in that it has in its back face 14 a recess 20 of substantial area in which is secured a weighting means 21, that prefer-. ably fills the recess substantially flush with the back. face 14 of the club, defined by the marginal or framing portions of the metal body.
The recess 20, as best indicated in dotted lines in Figs. 1 and 2, has at the rear face 14 a generally ovate shape (see Figs. 5-8) that extends throughout a major part of the height of the back face and a major part of the length thereof, is generally concentric with the perimeter of the back face 14, and is framed by the marginal metal areas 14. As shown in Figs. 2, 3 and 4, the recess preferably flares outwardly toward the back face 14, which reduces the wear on dies, and has an inner wall 20a that generally parallels the front face 11 of the metal body, defining therewith an area that is relatively thin compared with its height and width. Such area, for example, may be approximately ,43 inch thick, and have a height averaging about /4 of an inch,
and a length of say, two to three inches.
The weighting means 21, as shown, is secured in the recess 20. 21 is composed of a natural or synthetic rubber matrix (specific gravity about 1.00) heavily loaded either throughout its body, or in predetermined parts thereof, with a heavy filler or particulate material, for example, litharge (yellow lead oxide, PbO, specific gravity about 9.37). With, say, a 70% loading of the litharge a composition is obtained having a specific gravity of about 9.1, which is considerably heavier than iron or steel (s. g. about 7.7) and even more weighty as compared to light metals such as titanium (s. g. 4.9). While other materials may be employed in the broader aspects of the invention, a resilient weighting means, and more especially a weighted rubber composition, is especially advantageous, as it may be bonded to the metal body by vulcanization or the like, and has the capability of absorbing impact shock transmitted to it by the'relatively thin area defined by the front face 11 and inner wall 20a, thereby measurably reducing the shock transmitted directly through the hosel 10 and shaft 30 (Fig. 9) to the hands and fingers of the player.
The weighting means 21, especially when formed of rubber composition, may be prefabricated in either vulcanizable or vulcanized condition, in weights that vary as much as A of an ounce between them, and may be assembled with the metal body and be secured therein by cementing or vulcanization to custom-fit a single, standard, metal body to the demand of the particular player for a light, intermediate, or heavy club of a particular number, or the vulcanizable composition may be supplied in pasty form and be filled into the cavity 20 with a In its preferred form the weighting means As above noted, the weighting element 21 is preferably provided with a marginal bead 21a (Figs. 35) and is face 14. When the weighted element 21 is of uniform composition, and of the shape shown in Figs. 1-5, a larger sweet spot, thus to reduce vibration of the shaft in the fingers.
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 range of equivalency of the claims are intended to be included therein.
ing an inner wall spaced from the front face of the club head, said inner wall and front face defining an area 3. A golf club head according to claim 2, said resilient weight filling said recess to a point substantially flush with said back face.
4. A golf club head according to claim 1, said resilient ing compositions comprise moldable compositions and are molded into said recesses, the recesses serving as part of the molds.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS