US 3293755 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 27, 1966 R. H. CRONWELL PUTT DIRECTION FINDING METHOD INVETR RALPH H. CRONWELL Filed April 20, 1964 p ll z United States Patent Ofifice 3,293,755 PUTT DIRECTION FINDING METHOD Ralph H. Cronwell, 964 W. Villa Drive, Des Plaines, Ill. 60018 Filed Apr. 20, 1964, Ser. No. 360,885 3 Claims. (Cl. 3346) The present invention relates to an article and method for facilitating learning of the art of putting on a sloped or undulated green. This invention is characterized 'by utilizing gravity to position a direction indicating pointer, or the like, after first orienting the article with respect to an object or goal, such as a golf cup, for example. Thereafter, the article is repositioned to the first oriented position. The position of the pointer in respose will then indicate a .proper direction for putting a golf ball, whereby to facilitate learning and perfecting the putting stroke in the game of golf.
Putting greens on golf courses are designed with a certain minimum grade or slope so that rain water, as well as water from sprinklers, will drain away from the green and not remain to soften the turf excessively. The minimum grade maybe a small percent grade, on the order of one or two percent, for example, and the maximum grade desired for a green may approach a or 11 percent grade as a high value. Most green grades are usually kept between such values of slope. Still other greens are left as naturally undulated so that not too great an amount of earth need be moved in order to construct a proper foundation for the turf on the green.
A grade or slope approaching a 10 percent grade will rise about one foot in 10 feet of distance up the grade.
With a ball resting in such manner that the grade is transverse of the direction from the ball to the cup on the putting green, the balls will follow a curving path of travel from the point at which the ball has been stroked toward the cup. For short putts, the lateral distance of the path of travel of a ball is small, and for thirty to forty foot putts this transverse travel may be as much as three to four feet.
It has been ascertained that whether a putt be 10 feet long, for example, or a distance of 30 feet, the angle at which a ball must be stroked relative to the direct line of sight to the cup is the same to put the ball in a path of travel so the ball will reach the cup when struck with a proper amount of force. It is significant in connection with this invention and the method of using the article of manufacture comprising the invention, that the grade or slope transverse of the direction of the ball to the cup may be considered substantially constant for uniformly graded greens and for different distances from the cup, within reasonable tolerance, between the position of the ball and the cup. Because this relationship, regardless of distance of putt, is a function of a uniform grade, such uniformly graded greens can be putted very accurately by use of this article and the method of this invention. In addition, undulated greens can be read in a manner to be pointed out more fully below in the explanation of method of use of the article. With the device, it is evident that within the skill of the player, a rough approximation of the stroke direction may be had and likewise with suitable skill of the player, the stroke direction will become more accurately determined, and also obviously is influenced by physical factors influencing the path of travel of the ball which in turn depends upon the condition of the green.
A broad object of this invention is to provide a golf green, or the like, slope-reader for rendering quick and accurate readings.
Another object of this invention is to provide a new article of manufacture for enabling a golfer to accurately read a green and be provided with a direction line indicating the proper direction in which to stroke the ball even Patented Dec. 27, 1966 though this direction is not in the line of sight directly to the cup.
A further object of the invention is to provide a method of learning putting on sloping greens using an article of the kind set forth in the preceding object.
A further object of the invention is to provide a pendulum in an article of manufacture adapted to both align the article with the cup in the line of sight thereof and thereafter be moved by gravity upon rotation of the pendulum to a substantial vertical alignment of the top thereof and the pivot axis thereof whereby a pointer will be aligned with relationship to a referencesurface in accordance with the slope or grade of the surface contact.
A further object in keeping with the above objects is to provide means for maintaining the pendulum in a gravity-adjusted position while positioning same to another position of repose wherein the article is read whereby to attain a reading indicative of a line for stroking a golf ball, or the like.
A further object of the device and method used in connection therewith is to provide an article having indicia in percent of grade for enabling golf course architects, and the like, to ascertain grades readily.
Other objects and advantages of the article and method ofthis invention resides in the details of construction, the arrangement of parts and the way in which the article is used for learning the art of putting, and will be either obvious or pointed out in the following specification and claims when read in view of the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a diagram showing lines of sight and lines for stroking of a golf ball;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of this invention;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken on lines 3-3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged detailed view of a modification of the invention providing different friction means for maintaining the position of the pendulum upon rotation of the case containing same; and
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but showing a further modification for maintaining the position of the pendulum when the case therefor is moved.
Referring first to FIG. 1, a golf cup 10 may be placed suitably in the surface of a green having a downward grade in the direction of the arrow 11 of a value of approximately a 10 percent grade. A, golf ball 12 may be positioned 10 feet from the cup and a golf ball 14 may be positioned at 30 feet from the cup by way of example only. With the grade 11 being uniform for the surface of the green between the position of balls 12 and 14 with relationship to the cup 10, the balls need be putted respectively along lines of travel 15 and 16 and/or the S-shaped curve 16'. This line of travel presumes that the golfer has applied the proper force to cause the balls 12 and 14 to roll a distance sufiicient to reach the cup without too much extra force to drive it more than a few inches beyond as a maximum to attain the paths of travel 15 and 16.
In order toattain the paths of travel 15 and 16, the ball 12 must be stroked so as to roll initially along a line of sight 18, and the ball 14 must be stroked to roll along a line of sight 19. The article or instrument to be described below aifords such a reading of the greens. It is to be noted that the lines of sight 18 and 19 are parallel when the grade 11 is uniform in the direction shown and is a 10 percent grade. At the scale of the diagram of FIG. 1, the transverse distance adjacent the cup of the line of sight 18 and the line of travel 15 of the ball-12 is approximately one foot. The distance between the line of sight 19 and the transverse movement of the path of travel 16 of the ball 14 is about three feet. The ball 14 may follow the path of travel of the S-shaped curve 16' to the cup depending upon the contour of the green.
FIG. 2 shows an article 8 as comprising a pair of identical halves 20 and 21 that may be suitably secured together as by cement or a heat process, with many plastics. Although this device is not limited to construction from the plastics, it is preferred that at least the upper parts containing a pendulum 22 be transparent, or exposed in part, sufiiciently to permit reading of a line of sight 24 on the pendulum 22. The parts 20 and 21 each contain elongated bottom halves 25 and 26 which may be identical and when secured together by any suitable means forming a cylindrical base portion. It is not essential to the invention that a cylindrical shape be provided although this is a smooth shape and does not present any rough surfaces. It is desirable to carry the article about, so it is sized to fit into a golfers pocket, or a pocket in a golf bag. Accordingly, the article is preferably only about four inches wide by five inches total height for certain uses. Of course, other larger and smaller dimensions may be desirable for the article if it is to be used by golf course architects, or the like, to obtain grade readings at places other than green grades, for example.
A line of sight 24 on a pointer end of a pendulum 22 is adapted to cooperate with at least one reference indicia 27, which may be either at the top or bottom of the enclosure portions of the casing parts 20 and 21. The pendulum 22 is provided with any suitable pivots and, as shown, has conical pivots 30 on opposite sides thereof which can freely rock on edges of conical cavities 32 in the parts 20 and 21, as best shown in FIG. 3. In addition, FIG. 3 shows internal clearances 34in the case parts 20 and 21 on both sides of the pendulum when the same is in the position shown in FIG. 3. In this vertical position, the pendulum 22 is free to move by gravity around the pivot points 30 and 32 to take an alignment at an angle with the bottom surface and/ or line of contact 35 of contact of the parts 25 and 26. The article can be rotated in either direction of arrows 37 to a position substantially 90 away from the position shown in FIG. 3 in which either of points 38 may repose upon the surface of the green, shown in dotted lines at 40.
With the bottom surface 35 of the article in engagement with the surface 40, which in this example is a 10 percent grade, the line 24 will move to the broken line position 24a. For the purpose of aiding a golfer in putting by reading the green with this instrument 8, there is no need for indicia to show this 10 percent grade to use this device, as will appear more fully below in the description of the method of use of the article.
A roughened interior surface 42 is shown on each of the surfaces interior of the parts 20 and 21 of the article adjacent the pivot cavities 32. Similar roughened surfaces 44 are provided on both sides of the pendulum so that the same can be mounted in either direction even though only one side of the article 8 is transparent for attaining a useful article for a putting aid, or a grade reading device, or the like. When the article is rotated around the line of contact 35 in the direction of arrows 37, after only a few degrees of tilting which will not change the reading of the line 24 on the pendulum 22, the cones 30 will ride into the cavities 32 and the roughened surfaces 42 and 44 will engage each other to prevent any rotation of the pendulum. In addition to this,
the heavy bottom part 46 of the pendulum will engage cavities 32a are different from the cavities 32 in that each present edges 50 which will frictionally engage the sides of the cones 30a after only a few degrees of movement of the pendulum to frictionally lock the cones 30a with the cavities 32a. Such construction can eliminate roughened surfaces, and the article presents a different appearance and may be more desirable for some uses of the article 8. Of course, the bottom of the pendulum 22a can likewise contact the insides of the casing further to prevent relative rotation of pendulum 22a when the article 8 is rotated in the direction of arrows 37, FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 shows a modification of an article 9 comprising at least one different casing part 55 preferably provided with an open window 56 or a flexible wall, or the like, into which an operators thumb or finger can extend to cause engagement of the bottom portion 46 of the pendulum 22 with internal side surfaces of the article 9. The pivot 58 may be a metal pin for more rugged construction and the article itself may be larger than the articles previously described which are, in preferred form, sized to fit a golfers pocket, or a pocket in the golf bag.
The article 9 in FIG. 5 carries grade percentage indicia 60 which, in cooperation with the end of the pointer 61 of the pendulum 22 may read grades up to a 30 percent grade, for example. Of course, a greater distance of reading can be provided by wider case parts in this device, if such is desirable.
A golf course architect can use this article 9 without having to stoop down excessively to attain a grade reading. The bottom 35 may be set on a grade that may be the side of a bunker or a sand trap, or the like, to determine this type grade as well as the grades of greens. With the surface 35 in engagement of a surface to be read, and the pendulum in repose in a vertical position, the thumb or finger of the user can be placed through the window 56, or compress the flexible area 46, at at least one side of the article so as to frictionally engage the area 46 of the pendulum 22 with the other side of the case containing the pendulum. The article 9 can then be lifted up for reading at a convenient level.
Method of using the article FIGURE 1 diagrammatically represents two putt lines of travel by broken lines 15 and 16 respectively for 10 foot and 30 foot putts. Lines 18 and 19 represent a proper line of sight on a transverse ten percent grade for stroking the golf ball to attain the paths of travels 15 and 16 when the ball is stroked with a proper amount of force. To establish the lines of sight 18 and 19, the article 8 is placed with one side flat upon the green with the transparent side 20 or 21 thereof facing upwardly and with the mark 24 on the pendulum pointer 22 aligned with one or more of the marks 27 upon the casing 20 or 21, or both. Similarly the article 9 shown in FIG. 5 can also be thus used and the open window 56 is of assistance because the line 61 thereof can be aligned manually with the zero grade mark 60, and can be thus held while the user aligns the mark 61, FIG. 5, or as in use of article 8, mark 24, FIG. 2, to point directly toward the golf cup 10 along a line of sight 65, FIG. 1.
It is further convenient to aid in long putts, on the order of 20 feet and over, to lay the handle of the putter, in alignment with the marks 61, FIG. 5 or 25, FIG. 2, to further assist in establishing the proper direction toward the cup by bending down at a viewing point below the ball 14 and using one eye only to sight along the line 24 or 61, as well as the handle of the golf club. With this method, a very accurate alignment can be attained directed to the green numbering stick, not shown, retained in the center of the cup 10.
With the article so layed upon the surface of the green, the article can be carefully rotated on the bottom portions 25 and 26 until the line of contact 35 at the bottom thereof is in contact with the surface and the pendulum within the article is vertical and free to rotate under the influence of gravity. Gravity may move the mark 24, FIG. 2, to the dotted line position 24a when the line of contact 35 contacts the green surface 40 with substantially only the weight of the article maintaining such engagement of the article upon the surface.
After the pendulum 46 has ceased to oscillate, which oscillation can be arrested quickly with the article shown in FIG. 5, the case is laid back to the initial position of the repose with the marks 27 still in alignment between the ball 14 and the cup 10. The pointer 24, however, will be in alignment with line 24a and will point along the line of sight 19 for a 30 foot putt, for example.
For practice purposes, a marker, such as a coin or the like, may be placed at a point 66 and will be positioned approximately three feet from the cup in this particular example. The golfer can then stroke the ball 14 in the direction of the marker 66. If the ball is stroked with proper force to reach the cup substantially spent in speed, the ball should at least be close to the cup when the green is uniform and the condition of the turf thereon of ordinary texture and condition. It has been found possible to rather consistently sink long putts. For putts, of ten feet for example, the same steps as above are taken and the marker placed at a point 68 about a foot from the cup for the 10 foot percent transverse grade. The putted ball is directed toward the marker 68 and will follow the path if putted with proper force. If has been found that such putts can be made consistently in one stroke by using the above-described method.
As mentioned briefly above, many greens on some of the more difiicult golf courses are intentionally undulated to try the skill of expert golfers. The articles 8 and 9 are particularly useful in such conditions where reverse undulations may occur between a position of the golf ball 14, for example, and the cup 10. For example, if the downward slope is transverse and directed to the left, in FIG. 1, for a portion of the distance between the ball 14 and the position of the ball 12, different readings may be taken to find the point change in direction of an undulation which may be downward and toward the right between the position of the ball 12 and the cup 10. The slope finder can be placed in different positions to conveniently find the point of changeover, and a reference marker 68 be placed at such point.
Under such conditions, an expert golfter would not putt initially toward the position of the marker 66, but would putt toward an intermediate marker 68 but with sufficient speed applied to cause the ball to pass the point 12 in substantially the opposite direction from the path of travel 15 so that the arc of travel from the point 12 to the cup 10 would be opposite in curvature to the line of travel 15. To aid in determining the proper direction of travel of the ball 14, a golf club handle can be properly aligned at the point 12, substantially as described above.
A novice golfer, by using these devices 8 and 9, can attain skill in putting by following instructions, such as the diagram FIG. 1 for example, in a much shorter period of time. Golfers having little slope perception faculties further may be assisted by use of these articles and methods.
While I have shown and described in detail different presently preferred modifications and uses of the article and method, obviously other modifications and uses will occur to others working in the art. Accordingly, I ,wish not to be limited in my invention only to the specific embodiments and uses shown and described, but by the scope of the appended claims.
1. A method of facilitating putting a golf ball into a cup on sloped greens comprising the steps of providing a pendulum with flat-sided support having a green surface contacting edge, providing the support and pendulum with reference indicia at a angle with respect to said edge, laying the support in a first position of repose on the flat side thereof on the green with the pendulum indicia in registry with the support indicia and With the indicia pointed toward the cup in the green, rotating the pendulum to vertical position around the edge of the support permitting the pendulum to move by gravity to a second position of repose indicative of the slope of the green, rotating the support back around said edge to the first position of repose on the green while preventing relative movement of the pendulum with respect to the support, and putting a golf ball in the direct-ion then indicated by the second position of repose of the pendulum whereby to compensate for lateral roll of the golf ball due to slope of the green.
2. A method of facilitating putting a golf ball into a cup on sloped golf greens and the like, comprising the steps of providing a pendulum with a fiat-sided support having a green surface contacting edge, providing the support and said pendulum with reference indicia, the indicia on said support being at a 90 angle with respect to said edge and aligned with the pivot of said pendulum, laying the support in a first position of repose on the flat side thereof on the green with the pendulum indicia in registry with the support indicia and with the indicia pointed toward the cup in the green, rotating the pendulum to a vertical position around the edge of the support permitting the pendulum to move by gravity to a second position of repose indicative of the slope of the green, rotating the support around said edge back to the first position of repose on the green while preventing relative movement of the pendulum with respect to the support, and putting a golf ball in the direction indicated by the pendulurn indicia in the second position of repose of the pendulum whereby to compensate for lateral roll of the golf ball due to slope of the green to thereby facilitate learning in the art of putting.
3. A method for facilitating putting on sloped golf greens and the like, comprising the steps of providing a pendulum in the vertical leg of a T-shaped support, providing the support and pendulum with reference indicia at a 90 angle with respect to a green contacting surface on the crossbar of the support, laying the support on the green with the pendulum indicia in registry with the support indicia and with same pointed toward the cup in the green, rotating the pendulum to vertical inverted-T-position around the line of contact of the cross-bar of the support with the green thus permitting the pendulum to move by gravity to a position of repose, rotating the support back to its initial position on the green while preventing relative movement of the pendulum with respect to the support, and putting a golf ball in the direction last indicated by the pendulum whereby to compensate for lateral roll of the golf ball due to transverse slope of the green.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 458,012 8/1891 Bransford 33-2151 X 1,132,349 3/1915 Hurd 33 215.1 1,373,336 3/1921 Knapp 33-2151 1,498,631 6/1924 Korlickf 2,694,865 11/1954 L6 Pera 33-2151 3,182,401 5/1965 Stevens 33-46.05
LEONARD FORMAN, Primary Examiner.
SAMUEL S. MATTHEWS, Examiner.