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Publication numberUS3070373 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 25, 1962
Filing dateMar 2, 1961
Priority dateMar 2, 1961
Publication numberUS 3070373 A, US 3070373A, US-A-3070373, US3070373 A, US3070373A
InventorsJohanson Frederic R, Mathews Donald K, Pell Kalman L
Original AssigneeJohanson Frederic R, Mathews Donald K, Pell Kalman L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Visual type swing indicator attachment for golf clubs
US 3070373 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1962 D. K. MATHEWS ETAL 3,070,373




my I

Dec. 25, 1962 D. K. MATHEWS EIAL 3,0 0,373


United States "P 3,070,373 Patented Dec. 25, 1962 fitice 3,070,373 VISUAL TYPE SWING INDICATOR ATTACHMENT FOR GOLF CLUBS Donald K. Mathews, 4878 Dublin Road, Columbus 21,

Ohio; Frederic R. Johanson, 1081 Hunter Ave., Columbus 1, Ohio; and Kalmau L. Pell, Genessee, Idaho Filed Mar. 2, 1961, Ser. No. 92,822 1 Claim. (Cl. 273-183) Our invention relates to a visual type swing indicator attachment for golf clubs. It has to do, more particularly, with a swing indicator attachment for any standard golf club which will indicate visually, mainly to the user of the club but also to an observer or teacher, whether or not his stroke with the club is correct or proper.

- Various types of swing indicatorshave been provided in the prior art to attempt to aid a golfer in correcting or improving his stroke. Many of these prior art devices havebeen embodied necessarily in special clubs and it is evident that the requirement for special clubs isnot desirable, both from'the standpoint of expense and the fact that-the practice would more desirably be with a standard club. Some of the practice clubs have included means for giving a visible signal but have been of such a nature that-they do not indicate effectively to the user of the club, the fact that his swing is proper or improper and if improper, the nature of the fault. Other of the practice clubs have included devices for giving an audible signal to indicate Whether or not the swing is proper and obviously an audible signal is not as reliable as a visual indication of the correct swing or the faulty swing. With an audible signal there is an indication of an improper swing but nothing to indicate the fault in the swing. It is, therefore, desirable to have some effective means for indicating to a golfer visually the nature of his swing so that if it is not proper, he can take measures to correct it. Our invention provides this means.

According to our invention we preferably provide our swing indicator in the form of an attachment capable of being attached to any standard club, the indicator being of such a nature that it will project a collimated or narrow concentrated beam of light in a generally downward direction from the club. The purpose of the light beam is to provide a visible indication or trace on the ground or surface on which the club user is standing and with which the ball is associated. This indication or trace shows the movement of the club head. This permits the observation and subsequent correction of any tendency on the part of the user to swing the club in a path conducive to the formation of a hook or slice. During the entire swing, the light beam traces a visible path and since this path becomes visible to the club user as the club approaches the ball hitting point, any deviation from a straight line approach to the ball is readily apparent. This deviation is the main cause of a hook or slice. Our attachment can be used by one person without having a second person present to act as an observer, although both the user and the observer can note the nature of the swing. The use of a ball, either of the standard or practice type, with a club equipped with our attachment is optional since the trace on the ground or other surface can be noted whether or not a ball is present.

In the accompanying drawings we have illustrated the preferred embodiment of our invention and in these drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view illustrating our attachment on a golf club before the attachment is accurately positioned thereon.

FIGURE 2 is an elevational view of the attachment.

FIGURE 3 is an elevational view of the attachment taken at right angles to that of FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged view showing the attachment on the club after it has been adjusted into proper operative position.

FIGURE 6 is a diagrammatic view illustrating how the attachment will illustrate to the user that his swing is proper. I

FIGURE 7 is a similar view but illustrating that the swing is faulty and is such as to produce a hook.

FIGURE 8 is a similar view but indicating that the fault is such as to produce a slice.

FIGURE 9 illustrates how the attachment may be applied properly to a different standard club.

FIGURE 10 is a diagram illustrating what an observer or teacher may see as the student swings his club.

With reference to the'drawings, our golf club attachment is illustrated generally by the numeral 20. It is capable of being applied to the shaft S of any standard golf club and as will later appear, is adapted to be adjusted in a predetermined manner relative to the head H thereof. The attachment includes a light source in a light tube 21 and energy may be supplied for this light source by means of a battery 22 connected thereto by flexible lines 23. However, if desired, a battery may be provided within the tube 21.

The attachment '20 includes a mounting bracket 25 which is to be clamped to the shaft S of the club by means of a spring clip 26 at the upper end thereof and a clamp 27 at the lower end thereof. The light tube 21 is removably mounted by means of spring clips 28 which are carried by a flat bar 29. This bar 29 is in flat contact with a fiat portion of the bracket 25 and is connected thereto by a pivot bolt 30 passing through aligning openings in the respective members. Thus, the bar 29 is adjustably swingable about the axis of the bolt 30. To clamp the bar in adjusted angular position, a clamp bolt 31 is provided and is positioned in an opening in the bracket 25 for cooperation with a slot or notch 32 in the bar 29 through which it is extended. Thus, the attachment can be adjusted angularly around the shaft S and be clamped in position by the clamp 27 and the axis of the light tube 21 can be adjusted in a plane substantially parallel with that of the axis of the shaft S by pivoting the bar 29 on the bracket 25. Thus, the light tube 21 is adjustable relative to the shaft S in two planes at right angles;

The light tube 21 is light-tight and has a source of light in the form of a socket 35 in its one end to which the wires 23 are connected and which receives an electric bulb 36. The opposite end of the tube is provided with a lens or lens system of a common type and illustrated schematically at 37 which will serve to converge, focus or collimate the light from the bulb 36 into a narrow 3 pencil-like beam which will provide a constant diameter spot or trace on the ground.

The light tube 21 is adjusted relative to the shaft S of the club in the manner indicated in FIGURE 5. The adjustment is such that the axis of the tube 21 and, therefore, that of the light beam L emitted therefrom will preferably be perpendicular or normal to the lower fiat surface or straight edge E of the club and, when such edge is in flat contact with the ground, will be perpendicular or normal to the surface G thereof. Although a standard wood head club is shown in FIGURE 5, it will be apparent that the attachment is similarly adjusted on any standard club, all of which will have a straight flat lower edge or surface E on the club head regardless of the loft of the head. FIGURE 9 illustrates the arrangement of the attachment on one of the standard iron clubs. Although it is preferred that the axis of the light beam L be perpendicular to the ground G and the club edge E, the attachment will function as long as the axis of the light beam is normal to the ground surface in a plane corresponding to or parallel with the axis of the club shaft, that is, in a forward and rearward direction relative to the observer) but not in a plane at right angles thereto, that is, in the plane corresponding to the direction of swing. The axis of the club is in a central vertical plane extending through the axis of the club shaft and through the center line of the club head.

The portion of the club path that is of principal interest is that foot or so immediately preceding the point of impact. If the light is so directed that the rays are perpendicular to the ground during this time, as indicated above, the vertical motion of the club will have no effect on the path traced. Then the resulting trace will indicate only the horizontal part of the club-head motion. Incorrect motion in this horizontal direction is the cause of a hook or slice.

The angle of the light beam L must be adjustable, as indicated, to allow for individual differences in height, arm length, etc., as reflected in different clubs for different users, if the light rays are to be perpendicular to the ground. The rays must be perpendicular to the ground as indicated above in order to render the vertical motion ineffective as far as the path trace is concerned. Failure to meet this requirement would result in a curved trace quite similar to that encountered during an improper approach to the ball.

There is one fundamental physiologic principle upon which our invention is based; because of this, learning the proper golf swing is greatly facilitated. The physiologic principle is that which permits the retina of the eye to hold a bright image for a moment after the stimulus has been presented (i.e. look at a bright light, then turn it off and the image will still be maintained by retina momentarily). This principle is referred to as a positive after image, or persistence of vision.

To illustrate how this principle becomes extremely important in learning a motor skill such as a golf swing, it becomes necessary to discuss briefly how a skill is learned. The principle of kinesthesis is employed in learning a new motor movement. Mechanisms embedded within muscles and tendons relay information to the brain regarding the relationship of man to his environment. Eyes, semicircular canals of ears, and mechanisms in soles of feet and joints (proprioceptors) assist one another in relaying information to the brain enabling man to stand and move in the direction he desires. This is called kinesthesis.

When any one of these receptors is eliminated it becomes increasingly difiicult to learn motor movements, especially those which require an extremely high degree of motor coordination, as does the golf swing. For example, the eyes cannot be used by either student or instructor effectively in the golf swing because the club moves too rapidly to give a clear picture as to what is happening. Our invention leaves a trace on the retina momentarily, permitting the student to employ the eyes in assisting him to learn the swing. In this manner the student is allowed to observe whether or not the clubhead is following the proper path. The eyes seeing the correct path of the club-head assist the learner to perform the movement repeatedly in the proper manner. The proprioceptors are therefore conditioned more readily in this extremely fine movement. We might say he learns the proper feel (kinesthesis) of the movement with the air of the eyes. In this way, an additional and extremely important cue source (the eyes) has been made available through the use of our invention.

Employing these two basic physilogic principles, characteristic of retina and kinesthesis, our invention will permit the student to see his faults. This will be evident from a comparison of FIGURES 6 to 8 where the fullline arrows A indicate the trace of the light beam on the ground and the broken-line arrows B indicate the paths of the ball resulting from hitting the ball after'swinging in the manner indicated. The light trace will be slightly behind the club and the path of the club is indicated by the arrows C in these figures. For example, when the swing is executed straight through, as indicated by the arrow A in FIGURE 6, the trace will be perceived as a straight line or flash on the ground. A hook would result from the swing indicated in FIGURE 7 and would be perceived as a trace or flash on the ground indicated by the arrow A which arcs outwardly from the club-user and produces the resulting path of the ball indicated by the arrow B. On the other hand, a slice would result from the swing indicated in FIGURE 8 and which would be perceived as a trace or flash on the ground indicated by the arrow A which arcs inwardly toward the club-user and which would produce the resulting path of the ball indicated by the arrow B.

In addition, when the student is swinging in a darkened area, thev beam of light from our golf club attachment will allow an instructor or observer to observe the complete swing by the student. The instructor would maintain the trace of the club-head path momentarily on his retina thereby enabling more accurate analysis of the student or performers swing. The instructor is thereby allowed better opportunity to observe what the student is doing incorrectly. The ideal swing is in a continuous arc vertical to the plane of the center of gravity of the.

golf ball. This observation by the instructor is illustrated by the diagram in FIGURE 10. When the swing is proper, the instructor will see almost a continuous smooth circle of light, as indicated at a. If the swing is not proper, that is, twisted forwardly or rearwardly, the light will trace an ovoid path as indicated by the broken line b.

If it is erratic, the light trace will depart from a circle as indicated at c.

It will be apparent from the above description that we have provided a simple and inexpensive attachment for standard golf clubs which will greatly aid the club-user in learning the faults of his swing so that it can be corrected. As indicated, the attachment is readily adaptable to any standard club and is applied immediately behind and upwardly of the club-head to provide a light beam directed generally downwardly and directly behind the club-head. The attachment may be mounted so that the light tube is at the leading or trailing side of the shaft but always so that the axis of the beam is normal to the flat lower edge of the club at least in the plane forwardly and rearwardly of the observer which passes through the center line of the club-head and the axis of the club-shaft.

According to the provisions of the patent statutes, the principles of this invention have been explained and have been illustrated and described in what is now considered to represent the best embodiment. However, it is to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claim, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically illustrated and described.

Having thus described our invention, What We claim is:

In combination with a golf club having a shaft with a head on its lower end at an angle thereto and with the head having a flat lower surface at an angle to the longitudinal axis of the shaft, a light projecting means attached to the club shaft and positioned at an angle to the longitudinal axis of the club shaft so as to project a light beam downwardly with the axis of such beam normal to the fiat surface of the club head.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Dilthey Mar. 6, 1917 Walter July 31, 1917 Hannaford May 18, 1937 Russell Aug. 9, 194-9 Barrus et al Apr. 2, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain Oct. 5, 1916

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U.S. Classification473/220, 340/686.2, 362/102, D21/759, D26/51
International ClassificationA63B69/36
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/3614
European ClassificationA63B69/36C2