US 3169022 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1965 E. A. KRETSINGER ,1
MEANS FOR INDICATING THE DISTRIBUTION OF A GOLFERS WEIGHT AT THE INSTANT 0F BALL IMPACT Filed April 10, 1962 '3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Elwood A. Krefslbger W F! It Q 1N VENTOR- o 56 BY I E Attornqs Feb. 9, 1965 E. A. KRETSINGER 3,
MEANS FOR INDICATING THE DISTRIBUTION 0F A GOLFER'S WEIGHT AT THE INSTANT 0F BALL IMPACT Filed April 10, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 SOUND RESR DE VICE (Tee-Off) 88 Fig. 5
INDICATOR FREEZING" DE VICE Weigh! F Responsive Variable 6 Capacitors R, F REcr was/4r l OSCILL. FILTER D/STRIB.
INDICATOR 4 l 80 R. F. Osc/LL- FILTER D. 6. Supply /00 fo Amplifier 94 Plate Cm'u/r I06 II? V A. C.
K: To Amplifier 6 96 Oscillator Tube Heaiers //0 To Thyrarron Heaters //8 To all AC. Lamp Terminals H2 /;;D.C. Lamp Terminals 1% ll .F Elwood A. Krefs/nger INVENTOR.
Ta Relay United States Patent Ofitice 3,169,022 Patented Feb. 9, 1965 3,169,022 MEANS FOR INDICATING THE DISTRIBUTIUN OF A. GOLFERS WEIGHT AT THE INSTANT F BALL IMPACT Elwood A. Kretsinger, 876 E. 12th St., Eugene, Oreg. Filed Apr. 10, 1962, Ser. No. 186,431 16 (Ilaims. (Cl. 273-183) This invention relates to apparatus for improving the skill of a sportsman through practice and more particularly, to a practice aid for golfers.
In sports Where a hitting action is involved, the athletes balance at impact is vital to his performance. This is particularly true in a sport like golf where there is a premium on propelling the ball a substantial distance by impact with the club. It has been authoritatively stated in connection with this sport, that every good player, regardless of size, must have perfect balance at impact so as to permit the player to hit the ball much harder. The average player, without proper balance, would be hitting the ball while on one foot or the other instead of both feet. Accordingly, it is essential that the player return to the original stance taken when addressnig the ball at the instant of impact therewith.
Even though the need for acquiring impact-balance is a conceded fact in golf instruction, heretofore no instructional aid was available to help the golfer in this regard. The club head when moving swiftly under control of the player, prevents even the practiced eye of a professional instructor to detect imbalance at impact. Accordingly, a primary object of the present invention is to provide a practice aid that will enable one to acquire skill in executing a natural swing and yet preserve an accurate record of balance or lack of it at the crucial instant of impact. Y
- Another object of the present invention is to provide an impact-balance indicating device in accordance with the foregoing objects, which will provide an instantaneous indication of the players changing weight distribution while addressing the ball prior to and up to impact.
A further object of the present invention is to provide apparatus for recording instantaneous distribution or load center location of a players weight between both feet and to preserve the weight distribution indication at the in stant of impact with the ball so as to provide information for corrective purposes. In. accordance with the foregoing objects, the apparatus of the present invention involves a pair of spaced load supporting pad assemblies adapted to support the golfers feet, a ball supporting platform assembly on which the ball is supported and a visual indicator and recorder unit located outside of the golfers swinging arc and electrically connected tothe supporting pad assemblies and the ball supporting platform assembly. The apparatus may be used either on a practice range with areal ball or indoors with a simulated ball and requires a source of electrical power for operation thereof. The player supporting pad assemblies constitute weight responsive variable capacitors each of which determines the frequency of a radio frequency 0scillator located in the recorder unit. Accordingly, as the golfers weight shifts between the' feet, the oscillators center or shift in weight between the pad assemblies. Accordingly, the number of indicator lamps illuminated on one or the other side of the center balance lamp, Will reflect the relative imbalance load center location or weight distribution of the player at each instant during the golf club swing. At the instant of impact, a sound responsive pickup device embedded in the ball supporting platform, is operative on the recorder unit to freeze the indicator lamp condition at the impact instant so as to preserve a record for the player of his imbalance if any at the instant of impact. A reset control is provided in order to restore the apparatus to its original operative condition for reuse. Also, adjustment controls are provided so as to accommodate players of different weights utilizing the apparatus.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts through, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of the various components of the apparatus of the present invention.
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view taken substantially through a plane indicated by section line 2-2 in FIG- URE 1 illustrating the ball supporting platform assembly,
FIGURE '3 is a sectional view taken substantially through a plane indicated by section line 3-3 in FIG- URE 1 illustrating one of the player supporting pad assemblies. I
FIGURE 4 is a partial sectional view taken substan: tially through a plane indicated by section line 4--4 in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 5 is a diagrammatic illustration of the sys tern-of the present invention,
FIGURE 6 is a circuit diagram of the powersupply portion of the recorder unit.
FIGURE7 is a circuit diagram of the weight responsive control circuits through which weight distribution.
information is recorded or indicated by therecorder unit. FIGURE 8 is a circuit diagram of the indicator control circuit portion of the recorder unit.
FIGURE 9 is a circuit diagram of the impact responsive control circuit portion of the recorder unit.
Referring now to the drawings in detail,- it will be observed from FIGURE 1, that the apparatus of the present feed varying amounts of radio frequency energy into' of'thebalance-indicating lamp become sequentially 'illuminated in response to incrementalchanges in the static load invention generally referred to by reference numeral 10 includes four components. These components consist of two player supporting pad assemblies 12 and 14 disposed at fixedly spaced locations on the ground and large enough to respectively accommodate the feet of a player as indicated by dotted lines in FIGURE 1, a ball supporting platform assembly 16 and an generally referred to. by reference numeral 18. It will be observed that the recorder unit 18 is operatively connected to the pad assemblies 12 and 14 by electrical cable 20 and 22 while electrical cable 24 operatively connects the recorder unit to the ball supporting platform assembly 16. The pad assemblies 12 and 14 and platform assembly 16 :are located relative to each other so as to comfortably accommodate the swing of a player while the recorder unit 18 is disposed outside thearc of swing was to not interfere with the players shot.-- The recorder unit is however disposed within view of the playe'r' so that he can observe the' top indicating panel portion 26 thereof. Referring now to FIGURE 2 in particular, it will be observed that the ball supporting platform assembly 16 may be constructed of a hard wood base 28 or of any other suitable material, the bottom of which may be provided with ground anchoring spikeelements 3t). Disposed on the top surface of the base 28 is a layer of indicator or recorder unit carpeting 32 arranged to simulate the turf on an actual golf range. Accordingly, supported by the bracket 34 above the top of the platform assembly 16 is a plastic golf ball 36 in proper teed position. It will be appreciated of course, that the bracket and plastic golf ball may be replaced by a real supporting tee and golf ball. However, located below the golf ball 36 and embedded within sponge rubber material 38 is a carbon microphone or other suitable sound responsive pickup device 40 arranged to provide a signal in response to impact of a club head with the golf ball 36. Accordingly, an opening 42 is formed in the base 28 for receiving the material 38 with the pickup device 40 embedded there within. The opening 42 is closed on the bottom by means of a steel plate 44 secured to the base 28 by fasteners and on the top thereof by a perforated steel plate 46. The pickupdevice 40 is electrically connected by the cable 24 to the recording unit 13. A handle element 48 may be fastened to one side of the platform assembly to facilitate carrying thereof to any desired location. The ball supporting platform assembly 16 may thereby be located in proper relation to the pad assemblies 12 and 14 either on the golf range itself or indoors as desired;
Each of the pad assemblies 12 and 14 will be similar in construction to each other and will constitute weight responsive sensing units. Referring therefore to FIG- URES 3 and 4 in particular, it will be observed that each of the pad assemblies is constructed of a base portion 50 that may be made of hard wood and enclosed by a radio frequency shielding enclosure 52 that may be made of aluminum plate for example, exposing on the top of the pad assembly, a coating of turf-like material such as a corrugated rubber mat 54. The top surface of the pad assemblies may therefore be disposed at substantially the same level as the top surface of the platform assembly 16. The rubber mat 54 coats or covers an upper rigid plate member 56 arranged to be uniformly displaced under load. Disposed on top of the base member 50 below the upper rigid plate member 56, is a lower plate member 58 that may be made of aluminum for example. Dielectric material such as yieldable sponge rubber 60 will therefore be disposed between the upper plate member 56 and the lower plate member 58 in order to establish between the plate members, a capacitive impedance which is linearly variable for example by 32 micromicrofarads for each increase in load or weight applied to the upper plate member 56. Terminal post members 62 and 64 are respectively connected to the plate members 56 and 58 as more clearly seen in FIGURE 4 to which conductive leads are connected from the electric cable that operatively connects the pad assembly 12 for example to the recorder unit 18. The lead connections to the terminal post members 62 and 64 are therefore protectively disposed within a guard formation 66 so as to protect the terminal posts from contact. Each of the pad assemblies may also be provided with ground engaging spike elements 68 and a handle element 70 for purposes similar to that described with respect to the platform assembly 16. The pad assemblies 12 and 14 and the platform assembly when interconnected with the recorder unit 18 will be operative to perform the functions and accomplish the objectives of the present invention as hereinbefore indicated.
Referring therefore to FIGURE 5, the operating principles underlying the apparatus of the present invention will become apparent. It will be observed then, that the player supporting pad assemblies 12 and 14 constituting the weight distribution sensor units of the system, in the form of variable capacitors, are respectively connected to radio frequency oscillator units 72 and 74 for respectively controlling the frequency thereof and hence the energy tuned-coupled to units 76 and 78. The oscillator outputs are therefore respectively connected through rectifier and filter units 76 and 78 to a weight distribution indicator or display device 80 through amplifier circuits 82 and 84 respectively. Accordingly, a visual representation of the players imbalance or weight distribution will be provided as for example on the indicator panel portion 26 of the recorder unit 18. At the instant of impact or tee-off, a signal is provided by the sound responsive device 86 located in the platform assembly 16 and operative through an indicator freezing device 88 to hold the weight distribution indicator at its condition at the instant of impact while at the same time, the sound responsive device operates through a disabling device 90 to disable the oscillator units 72 and 74 in order to render the indicator 8h non-responsive to subsequent variations in weight distribution. The system may thereafter be restored to its original weight responsive condition by a reset device as will hereafter be explained.
Referring now to FIGURES 6, 7, 8 and 9, the control circuitry necessary to perform the functions of the system described in FIGURE 5 will become apparent.
The recorder unit 18 must therefore house a power supply portion as illustrated in FIGURE 6 which includes a transformer device 92 having a plurality of primary winding elements 94, 96 and 98 all connected in parallel to a pair of 117 v. A.C. powerlines through an on-off switch 1% and a safety fuse 102 respectively. The trans former device 92 includes a plurality of secondary windings 104, 106, 108, 11th and 112. The secondary windings 1194 and 1116 are operatively connected to a rectifier and filter circuit 114 for supplying D.C. voltage to a plurality of amplifier plate circuits through line 116. The secondary winding 168 constitutes an AC. power supply to the heater elements of a plurality of amplifier and oscillator tubes. The secondary winding on the other hand, constitutes an AC. supply to a plurality of heater elements of thyratron tubes. Finally, the secondary winding 112 constitutes the AC. power supply to AC. lamp terminals through lead 118, and is also connected to a plurality of rectifier and filter circuits for supplying D.C. voltage to a plurality of D.C. lamp terminals through conductors 122. In the exemplary embodiment of the present inven tion, five such conductors 122 are illustrated for the purpose of energizing ten indicator lamps 124 on opposite sides of a center balance indicating lamp 126 symmetrically arranged on opposite sides of the indicating panel 26 as seen in FIGURE 1. The secondary winding 112 also constitutes the AC powe supply to a rectifier and filter circuit 128 supplying D.C. voltage through conductor 130 to relay circuits to be hereafter described.
Referring now to FIGURE 7 in particular, it will be observed that each of the variable capacitor sensing units constituted by the pad assemblies 12 and 14, are connected to the control grid 132 of an oscillator tube 134 through a resistance-capacitance impedance 136 in an oscillator circuit 138 of the tapped inductance type. Each of the oscillator circuits 138 is therefore provided with a tapped inductance 140 connected to the cathode 142 of the oscillator tube 134 While the plate 144 is connected through a resistor 146 to the D.C. plate supply through a disabling switch to be hereafter described, by means of the conductor 148. The oscillatory circuits 138 are thereby tuned so that the plate circuit of the oscillator tubes 134 when supplied with D.C. voltage through the disabling switch will sustain radio frequency oscillations the frequency of which is controlled by its associated variable capacitor sensing unit 12 or 14. Resonant circuits comprising inductance windings 150 and weight adjustment capacitors 151 are tuned so as to couple linearly varying amounts of energy to the rectifier and filter circuit units 76 and 74 thereby supplying a variable D.C. rectified voltage through conductors 152 and 154 to the inputs of two banks of amplifier circuits corresponding to the two groups of indicator lamps 124 disposed on opposite sides of the center balance indicating lamp 126.
Referring therefore to FIGURE 8, it will be observed that the weight responsive control voltage supplied by the conductors 152 and 154 are connected to two groups of ampifier tubes 156. Each group of such amplifier tubes 156 is therefore provided with control grid elements 158 having interconnected therebetween, low voltage cells 160 so as to provide a graduated grid bias. Accordingly, the interconnected control grids 158 of each group of amplifier tubes 156 are connected to the associated input line 152 or 154 by a higher voltage cell 162 arranged thereby to amplify the input signal through the lines 152 and 154 in a sequential and incremental manner. The plate element 164 of each of the amplifier tubes 156 is therefore connected to the DO. plate supply line 116 through resistors 166. Each of the plate elements 164 is also connected through a voltage cell 168 to a control grid 170 of a thyratron lamp controlling tube 172. Accordingly, the thyratron tubes 172 of each group are sequentially rendered conductive and non-conductive in response to incremental increases and decreases in the input signal voltage supplied through the lines 152 and 154. The indicating lamps associated with each of the lamp controlling thyratron tubes 172 are therefore connected through adjustable resistors 174 to the plate element 176 of the thyratron tubes. Thus, when a thyratron tube 172 is rendered conductive by control voltage applied to the control grid 170, current will flow from the A.C. supply line 118 normally connected through the relay switches 178 engaging the A.C. contact terminals 180 associated with two indicator lamps 124 from each of the two groups on either side of the center balance indicating lamp 126.
Each of the switch members 178 is therefore electrically connected to a resistance-capacitive load 182 which will be operative to effect the suppression of switching transients and to effect energization of the indicator lamps 124 and extinction thereof under thyratron grid control. Thyratron current is limited by the adjustable resistors 174 to control lamp brilliance while grid control may be adjusted by the adjustable capacitors 151' connected for manual control by two control knobs 184 and 186. Accordingly, the control knob 184 may be adjusted so that the extreme end indicator lamp 124 on the left side of the indicator panel 26 as seen in FIGURE 1, may just begin to glow when all of the weight of a player is placed on the left foot for maximum loading of the pad assembly 12. Similar adjustment may be made with the control knob 186 so that the extreme end indicator lamp 124 on the right side of the center lamp 126 may just begin to glow when all of the weight of the player is placed upon the pad assembly 14. From the foregoing, it will be apparent that when the weight of the player is balanced between the two pad assemblies, all of the indicator lamps will be extinguished so as to indicate by means of the center lamp 126, a balanced condition. Shifting of the weight to one side or the other will sequentially cause illumination of the indicator lamps'until all of the lamps on one side are illuminated indicating all of the weight is on one of the pad assemblies. Thus, a mere glance at the indicating panel 26 of the recorder unit 18, will in dicate the imbalance condition of the player at any instance.
At the instant of impact, the pickup device 40 embedded within the platform assembly 16 will producea voltage signal in the impact responsive circuit 184 as shown in FIGURE 9 'which is inductively coupled through the transformer 186 to the control grid 188 of a pickup control thyratron tube 190 through a range controlling adjustable resistor 192. An on-ofi' switch 194 is provided in the impact responsive control circuit 184 in order to operatively disconnect the pickup device when desired. Thus, the thyratron tube 190 is rendered conductive in response to the sound of impact in order to provide a conductive path from the plate 196 to the cathode 198 and thereby complete an energizing circuit through a normally closed reset switch 200. The reset switch 200 is therefore connected in series with a control relay coil 206 by conductor 204. Coil 206 is in turn connected by condutor 208 to the DC. relay supply line 130. When relay coil 206 is energized, the DC. supply line is connected-through relay switch 179 (FIG. 8) to conductor 205 and hence to relay coil 202 (FIG. 9) which is thereby placed in parallel with coil 206. It will therefore be apparent, that the relay coil 206 will first become energized to thereby actuate switches 178 and switch 179 followed by energization of relay coil 202 to actuate the disabling switch 210. Actuation of the ganged relay switches 178 will be operative to disconnect the indicating lamps 124 from the A.C. supply line 118 through the contacts 180 and connect the lamps through the DC. contact terminals 212 to the DC. lamp supply lines 122. Accordingly, grid control is denied to the control grids 170 of the lamp controlling thyratron tubes 172 thereby insuring that those tubes already conducting, will remain conductive from the DC. supply and cannot be extinguished. Accordingly, the associated indicator lamps 124 Will also remain illuminated after impact. At the same instant of impact, energization of the relay coil 202 will cause the disabling switch 210 to open and thereby cut-off the DC. plate supply from the plate circuits of the oscillator tubes 134. A heavy bias is thereby presented on the lamp controlling thyratron grids 170 to prevent subsequent firing of any non-conductive tubes. 7
It will therefore be apparent from the foregoing, that up until impact, the indicator lamps 124 will provide an instantaneous indication of the players imbalance by sequential illumination of thet lamps in response to incremental variations in the static weight distribution of the player. At impact, the visual indication will be maintained and the oscillator circuits disabled so that the recording unit is no longer responsiveto variations in weight distribution. An accurate record is thereby maintained of the players imbalance both as to direction and amount at the instant of impact. the apparatus to itsweight responsive condition, it will only be necessary to open the reset switch 200 which is of the momentary type whereby the DC. supply is cut-oti from the pickup responsive thyratron tube 190 causing that the foot pad sensor units 12 and 14 will be designed to provide a natural give to the golfers feet and still produce linear increments in capacitance variation for golfers of diiferent sizes and weights. The 10% increment interval in weight shift reflected by the indicator lamps 124 hereinbefore mentioned, should provide sufficient precision in connection with instructing the average golfer to improve impact-balance. It will be appreciated how: ever, that any increase in precision required may be achieved pursuant to the principles of the present invention by increasing the number of lamps and reducing the increment interval in reflecting direction and degree of imbalance. p
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. An impact-balance indicator for sportsman practice or the like comprising, static load responsive means for providing instantaneous indications of uneven Weight distribution and means responsive to impact for rendering said static load responsive means non-responsive after im- When it is desired to restore pact while maintaining the instantaneous indication thereof at impact.
2. The combination of claim 1, including reset means operatively connected to the impact responsive means for restoring said static load responsive means to a responsive condition. I i
3. An impact-balance indicator for golf practice or the like comprising, weight responsive capacitor means variable in capacitance in accordance with weight distribution, oscillator means operatively connected to said capacitor means for producing variable energy outputs in accordance with capacitive variations of the capacitor means, distribution indicating means operatively connected to said oscillator means for providing a sequential visual representation of incremental changes in weight distribution, sound responsive means operatively connected to the distribution indicating means for holding said visual representation of the distribution indicating means at the instant of impact, and disabling means operatively connected to the sound responsive means for rendering the oscillator means inoperative after impact.
4. The combination of claim 3, including reset means operatively connected to the sound responsive means for rendering thereof inoperative in order to restore the oscillator means and distribution indicating means to operative conditions.
5. An impact-balance indicator for golf practice or the like comprising, a pair of weight responsive pad assemblies disposed adjacent to each other for supporting the weight of a sportsman and sensing distribution of said weight therebetween, a ball support platform assembly for mounting a ball above a level even with that of the pad assemblies, impact responsive means embedded in the platform assembly to provide a signal at the instant of impact with said ball and recorder means operatively connected to said pad and platform assemblies for providing an instantaneous indication of weight distribution between said pad assemblies prior to impact and maintaining the instantaneous indication of weight distribution at the instant of impact thereafter.
6. The combination of claim 5, wherein each pad assembly includes, upper rigid plate means uniformly displaceable under load lower plate means spaced therebelow, yieldable dielectric means disposed between said upper and lower plate means to establish a capacitive impedance therebetween variable as a linear function of displacement of the upper plate means and enclosing shielding means exposing an upper surface of the upper plate means coated with turf-like material.
7. The combination of claim 6, wherein said recorder means includes a plurality of indicator lamps symmetrh cally disposed on opposite sides of a balance lamp, and lamp energizing means operatively connecting said indicator lamps to the pad assemblies to sequentially illuminate and extinguish the lamps in response to incremental increases and decreases in load on each of said pad assemblies.
8. The combination of claim 7, including adjustment means operatively connected to said lamp energizing means for illuminating all of said lamps on one side of the balance lamp in response to maximum load applied to one of the pad assemblies associated with said indicating lamps on said one side of the balance lamp.
9. The combination of claim 8, wherein said impact responsive means includes sound pickup means mounted in the platform assembly and operatively connected to the lamp energizing means to maintain those indicator lamps illuminated at impact energized after impact while thereafter preventing illumination of other indicator lamps.
10. The combination of claim 5, wherein said recorder means includes a plurality of indicator lamps symmetrically disposed on opposite sides of a balance lamp, and lamp energizing means operatively connecting said indicator lamps to the pad assemblies to sequentially illuminate and extinguish the lamps in response to incremental increases and decreases in load on each of said pad assemblies.
11. The combination of claim 10, wherein said impact responsive means includes sound pickup means mounted in the platform assembly and operatively connected to the lamp energizing means to maintain those indicator lamps lamps illuminated at impact energized after impact while thereafter preventing illumination of other indicator lamps.
12. The combination of claim 11, including adjustment means operatively connected to said lamp energizing means for illuminating all of said lamps on one side of the balance lamp in response to maximum load applied to one of the pad assemblies associated with said indicating lamps on said one side of the balance lamp.
13. A device for indicating the weight distribution of a sportsman at the instant of impact of a club being swung including, static load responsive means rendered operative for continuously sensing changing weight distribution, means responsive to impact for rendering the static load responsive means inoperaitve, and means for recording the weight distribution as sensed by the static load responsive means when rendered inoperative.
14. The device as set forth in claim 13 further including, reset means operatively connected to the impact responsive means for selectively rendering the static load responsive means operative.
15. A device for indicating the location of load center for changing static loads at fixedly spaced locations comprising, load responsive means rendered effective to continuously and simultaneously sense static loads at the re spective spaced locations, display means operatively connected to the load responsive means for providing a visual indication of change in the location of the load center, and means operatively connected to said display means for recording the location of the load center indicated at a predetermined instant while the static loads are changing.
16. The device as set forth in claim 15 wherein the means for recording comprises, means for rendering the load responsive means ineffective at said predetermined instant, and means operative at said predetermined instant to preserve the visual indication of the display means.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 111,959 -2/71 McDowell 340272 406,709 7/89 Dawson 340272 1,569,766 1/26 McArdle 273183 2,445,839 7/48 Newman et a1 273-483 X 2,656,720 10/53 Sonnett 273185 X 2,784,000 3/57 Simjian 273185 X 2,986,937 6/61 Chapman 273-186 X 3,109,654 11/63 Comitz 273183 DELBERT B. LOWE, Primary Examiner.