US 3199873 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 10, 1965 D. F. SURRATT GOLF PUTTER EQUIPPED WITH USER-POSITIONED SIGHTING MEANS Filed April 1, 196a INVENTOR DWlGHT F. SURRATT BY W ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,19,$73 GGLF PUTTER EQUEPPED WITH USER- PGSlTIONED SIGHTING MEANS Dwight E. Surratt, 137 Walnut St., Versaiiies, Ky. Filed Apr. 1, 1963, Ser. No. 269,561 3 Claims. (Cl. 273163) This invention relates to golf putters, and more particularly to an improved putter having a sighting structure tailored to the individual golfing characteristics of its user.
The provision of a sighting means in conjunction with the club head of a putter is old and in general has comprised either the use of a fixed elongated line or the like extending transversely of the upper surface of the club head or the use of an adjustable attachment to the club shaft or head. In the case of the first version, the club is provided with the sighting means without regard to the individual needs of its ultimate user, while in the second version the attachment may adversely affect the balance of the club, be considered illegal under rules of tournament golf, or be subject to maladjustment as when the putter is being stowed in a bag.
Experience has shown that each golfer has his own individual traits in addressing and putting the golf ball, much as a rifle marksman has similar traits in aiming his piece. When these traits are duly compensated by external means, a better performance either in putting or firing will result than when the traits themselves are stubbornly combated without the use of such external means. Whereas, in the case of the marksman, windage and elevation scales are provided, in the case of the golfer much less eihcient means have heretofore been available and it is a purpose of my invention to overcome such a deficiency.
One object of the invention is to provide an improved golf putter having a sighting means, the positioning of which is carried out by the user of the golf club, and the presence of which does not affect the balance of the club or its stowing capabilities.
Another object is to provide an improved golf putter having a sighting means on a top surface and a scuff ..eans on a sole surface serving to minimize head drag deflection which otherwise would detract from the reliability of said sighting means.
Other objects and advatages will become more apparent as the description proceeds and when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of one form of golf club embodying the invention.
FIG. 2 is a plan view taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1 and prior to bonding of the sighting stripe to the club.
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 and showing the sighting stripe in an initial testing position.
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 2 and showing the sighting stripe in a final bonded position.
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken on line 55 of FIG. 3 and to a larger scale, and
FIG. 6 is a plan view of a sighting stripe with portions broken away.
Referring first to FIGS. 1 and 2, the club head indicated generally at 10 as a righthand club, has attached thereto a shaft 11 and comprises a planar front face 12 adapted for contact with the golf ball. This club head is made of metal and includes a sole surface 13, a top surface 14 and a rear face 15. The invention is equally adaptable to lefthand clubs and in any event the club will possess a predetermined balance related to a cross section through the club head along the plane of equilibrium of the club as a whole when it is swung by the user, and as indicated by the dotted he EE in FIGS. 1 and 2. As will be understood, this cross section lies in the plane which at the instant of impact with the ball extends vertically and normally to the planar face 12 and as seen in FIG. 2 a substantial distance separates the edges of the front face 12 and the rear face 15 of the cross section established by this plane.
As a feature of the invention, I provide, for the purpose of increasing the reliability in usage of the sighting stripe, as will later appear, a scuff member 16 which may be formed integrally with, or rigidly attached to, the sole of the club head. This member may be either of a hollow construction, as illustrated, or may be solid as when additional weighting of the club head is desirable. The center of mass of this scuif member lies in the abovedefined cross section within the plane of equilibrium and the member in addition is all in one piece, has a convex surface facing the ground, and constitutes less than the entire sole surface 13 of the club head. Various geometric shapes satisfying these requirements may be employed, the truncated spherical shape as seen herein being shown by way of illustration and not of limitation.
Referring now to FIG. 6, the sighting stripe shown generally at 17 is made of coventional material and comprises an upper layer 13 of weather-resistant material such as an anodized aluminum colored on its upper surface and etched on its lower surface. Coated upon the etched surface is a layer of conventional pressure-sensitive adhesive in adapted to form a tight bond to metal and underlying the adhesive is a facing 2t of shielding material which is removed when the sighting stripe 17 is to be placed upon the club head. The forward end of the stripe is rounded and the side edges are parallel. In general, the thickness of the stripe may vary considerably, a thickness of about 0.010 inch being satisfactory, but it is an important feature of the invention that the length of the stripe be at least three times the width of the same and that the length of the stripe be less than the distance between the front face 12 and the rear face 15 of the club, as measured along the axis of the emplaced stripe.
The stripe may without departing from the invention, be afiixed to a generally fiat top surface 14 of the club head, but it is preferred for protection of the stripe and for improving its emplacement by the user, to provide a fan-shaped recess 31} in the top surface of the club, this recess being deeper than the stripe, for example, about 0.030 inch in depth, and also being symmetrical with respect to the plane of equilibrium cross section and lying inboard of the edges of the club head thus to provide walls 31, 32, 33 and 34 as seen in FIG. 2.
As is customary, the club head is provided with indicia indicating to the user the plane of equilibrium cross section within which lies the center of percussion, commonly called the sweet spot, and this indicia may be placed on the face 12 as seen at 35 in FIG. 1 or may be placed on the wall 31 as seen at 35 in FIG. 2. Accordingly, in carrying out the invention and being provided with the described putter and the described sighting stripe the user first cleans the recess 39, removes the facing 20 from the sighting strip and then gently lays the stripe in place, with the axis normal to the face 12 and with the rounded forward end in line with the indicia and disposed inboard of the front face of the club and lying in the plane of equilibrium cross section. Then as indicated diagrammatically in FIG. 3 the rounded front end in the region 37 is pressed down with a single firm, but brief, touch as by the eraser of a pencil. Thereafter, a light tacking pressure is briefly applied to the stripe in the region 38 again using the pencil eraser and at a distance of about two thirds of the length of the stripe from the front end thereof.
The user then practices putting for a suficient number of trials, using the thus temporarily empla'ced sighting stripe aimed straight at the cup, until it can be determined whether with the users normal traits of sighting, holding of the club, and method of addressing the ball, the balls generally roll toward the center of the cup, to the left, or to right thereof. If it is found that the sighting stripe as first emplaced is satisfactory, then the temporary bond between the stripe and the metal surface of the club head is converted to a fixed bond by pressing the stripe firmly against the club head with light pressure beginning at the rounded front end and moving rearwardly along the strip, this being followed by several similar passes, each of which applies heavier pressures. However, should the trials indicate, for example, that the balls tend to roll toward the left of the cup when the stripe is emplaced as shown in FIG. 3, the user then would gently lift the stripe from the club head in the region 38 pivot it about the region 37 and retacl: the stripe temporarily in the region 39 (FIG. 4) the rear end of the stripe thus being angularly displaced in a direction away from the club shaft. After further trials to prove this new or some better positioning, the stripe then would be pressed into fixed bonded contact in the manner above noted. Conversely, if the trials had indicated that the balls tended to roll toward the right of the cup, the stripe would have been pivoted in a direction toward the club shaft.
Among the traits of the average golfer is a tendency at times to drag the putter sole along the grass of the green especially when the green is not horizontal. Such dragging, even when the sighting stripe has been properly employed, may cause torsional deflection of the front face 12 of the club as when contact with the grass is made by the toe or heel of the club head. By employing my scuff member 16 in conjunction with employment of the sighting stripe this tendency can be largely compensated since the portion of the scuff member farthest removed from the sole of the club is located in the plane of equilibrium cross section and the front end of the sighting stripe itself is located in that same plane of equilibrium cross section. Due to its convex shape along axes both parallel to and normal to the front face of the club, the area of contact of the scuff member with the ground is limited. Thus the provision of the scuff member which will determine the point of contact of the club head with the ground, if such contact occurs, and which mitigates any tendency for torsional deflection of such ground-contacting club head serves to increase the reliability of use of the above-described sighting stripe.
Having thus described my invention, it will be apparent to thoseskilled in the art that modifications of the same may be resorted to without departing from the true spirit of the same or from the scope of the appended claims.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States, is:
1. A golf club of the class described comprising a club head and a shaft connected thereto, said head having a planar front face, a rear face, a top surface and a sole surface, said top surface having a shallow fan-shaped recess therein, bounded by a continuous wall portion extending downwardly from the top surface of said head and with the narrower end of said recess being located adjacent said front face, and an elongated sighting stripe disposed in said recess and being adapted for affixing to the bottom surface of said recess by the user of the club and in accordance with his individual golfing characteristics, said recess having a depth greater than the thickness of said stripe and having a width sufficient to permit angular lateral adjustment of said stripe when disposed in said recess, said stripe comprising a thin member having a length at least three times its width and including a pressure-sensitive adhesive material on its underside characterized by its ability to form a tight weather-resist ant bond to the bottom surface of said recess upon application of appropriate pressure thereto, said stripe being adapted for angularly adjustable contact with the bottom surface of said recess following application of a comparatively light bonding pressure thereto and for fixed contact therewith following the establishing of the optimum sighting relation by the user of said club and the subsequent application of a comparatively heavy bonding pressure to said stripe.
2. A golf club as defined in claim 1 including a scuff member supported on said sole surface, the center of mass of said scuff member lying in the vertical plane passing through the center of mass of the club head as a whole when it is swung by the user, said scuff member being in one-piece and having a convex ground-facing surface adapted to touch the ground with a limited area of contact during the dragging of the club thereacross when striking a golf ball, thereby to mitigate any tendency for torsional deflection of said club while travelling in a direction established by said sighting stripe.
3. A golf club as defined in claim 1 wherein said stripe comprises a rounded forward end and parallel side edges extending rearwardly from said forward end.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS D. 130,590 12/41 McWhirter.
1,485,272 2/24 Kinsman 273-464 1,969,086 8/34 Luckett 273-163 2,503,505 4/50 Miller 273-163 2,708,579 5/55 Hugman 273-174 X 2,878,586 3/59 Ohlsson 16 3,033,574 5/62 Partridge 273-163 3,042,409 7/62 Johnson 273-464 3,077,350 2/63 Koorland 273164 0 DELBERT B. LOWE, Primary Examiner.