US 3325169 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
F- MACKNlESH June 13, 1967 3,325,169
GOLFER'S HEAD MOVEMENT RESTRAINING DEVICE RENDERED NON-RESTRAINING AT BALL IMPACT Flled Aug 10, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 F'IG.4
E 7' By FRANK MKCA NI SH A 7' TORNEVS United States Patent 3,325,169 GQLFERS HEAD MGVEMENT RESTRAINING DE- VICE RENDERED NON-RESTRAINING AT BALL IMPACT Frank Mackniesh, 25812 Salem Road, Huntington Woods, Mich. 48070 Filed Aug. 10, 1964-, Ser. No. 388,382 Claiins. (Cl. 273-190) This invention relates to golf training and/or practice devices, and more particularly to a mechanism for positioning and holding the golfers head during the golf swing.
While there are many different elements that contribute to a perfect golf swing, such as correct positioning of the feet with relation to the ball, correct grip of the hands on the club, etcetera, one of the prime essentials to a correct swing is the correct positioning of the body torso and head throughout the swing. A beginning golfer is almost invariably told to keep his head down to achieve a proper swing. However, keeping the head down is not an end in itself, but rather results in the advantageous result of keeping the body in proper position throughout the swing. It would be more appropriate to say that the head should be kept stationary throughout the swing. There is definitely a tendency for an inexperienced golfer to jerk his head up and pull his entire body away from the ball during the down swing, and this action of course can bring disastrous results. However, it is just as important to keep the head, and hence the entire body, from shifting from side to side during the swing.
To swing a golf club properly, the body must be pivoted about a generally vertical axis during the back swing as the weight is shifted from the left foot to the right foot, for a right-handed golfer. This pivoting is accomplished by the golfer rotating his hips and bending his left knee slightly during the back swing. When this is done, during the down swing and follow through the body will automatically uncoil, i.e., the hips will turn, and the arc of the swing will be proper. However, if the golfers head and body moves sideways or laterally with respect to the aforementioned vertical axis, during the back swing, during the down swing, the tendency will be to move the body back to its normal or original position. Thus the golfers body during the down swing will be moving with respect to the stationary ball which he is trying to hit, and the results will usually be quite unsatisfactory. This lateral movement of the body is usually referred to as sway. By forcing the golfers head to remain stationary during the swing, the entire torso is constrained to remain stationary with respect to the golf ball being swung at. The golfers head is held down so that he keeps his eye on the ball during the swing. More importantly, his head and body are held against lateral movement during the back swing, forcing him to pivot his hips about an imaginary vertical axis, rather than shifting his entire body laterally.
It is therefore a general object of the invention to provide a mechanism operable to retain the golfers body in a preselected position during the golf swing.
Another object is the provision of a device of the character above described incorporating features of adjustability which will permit use of the device by golfers of various heights and reaches, and also permit adjustment for various club lengths used by the same golfer. As an example, a golfer stands in a different position with respect to the golf ball he is going to hit when swinging a driver than when swinging a short iron.
It is therefore a concomitant object to provide a device which will permit the golfer to repeatedly position himself properly with respect to the ball for any given golf club he wants to use. For example, if the golfer de- *ment on the sleeve 26 as termines his proper position to use a five iron, and sets the device accordingly, he may at any time repeat this setting of the device and be assured that he is again properly positioned for that particular club.
A further object is the provision of a simple and inexpensive golf training device having means for retaining the golfers head and body in a predetermined position throughout the golf swing, which means is automatically releasable when the golf ball is struck by the club head to allow the golfer to thereafter move his head and watch the flight of the golf ball, and also permit the golfer to follow through in his swing after striking the ball without constraint.
Other objects, advantages and meritorious features will more fully appear from the following specification, claims and accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a golf training device embodying my invention showing a golfer ready to swing a golf club with the device positioned engaging the golfers head;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation, partly in section, of the golf training device shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a partial elevation taken in the direction of the arrows 3-3 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an electrical schematic wiring diagram of control means for operating the golf training device electrically;
FIG. 5 is a partial side elevation similar to FIG. 2 of the golf training device showing a set-up whereby the device is actuated mechanically; and
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional View taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 5.
Referring more particularly to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a golfer G positioned holding a golf club C in preparation to swing the golf club and strike the simulated golf ball comprising a part of the golf training device generally indicated at 10. The training device 10 in general comprises a base assembly 12, a cap assembly 14, and an upright standard 16.
As shown in FIGS. 2 and 5, the prises a plate-like base member 18 having at opposite corners thereof supporting feet or the like 20 which rest upon the ground or floor shown at F .and support the device in a stable condition. Secured to the plate '18 is a ball support 22 which may be of any suitable construction. In the drawings, the ball support is shown as comprising a brush-like ball support having bristles 24 upon which the ball rests.
Upstanding from the base plate 18 is the assembly 16 which comprises an elongate sleeve 26 substantially vertically disposed, the lower end of the sleeve 26 being rotatably received in a bushing or the like 28 which is secured to the base plate '18 as by welding. A set screw 30 may be provided to retain the sleeve 26 within the bushing 28 in proper position. Disposed within the sleeve 26 with its lower end resting on the base 18 is a coil spring 32. Also disposed within the sleeve 26 is an elongate rod 34 which carries at its upper and lower ends respectively integral plug portions 36 and 38. Sleeve 26 is provided with a pair of elongate slots 40 and 42, and each of the plugs 36 and 38 is provided with a transverse extending therethrough and projecting through a respective slot 40 and 42. Thus rod 34 is capable of limited vertical movement within the sleeve 26 within the limits defined base assembly 12 comby the length of the slots 40 and 42, and guided in its movement by the inner engagement of the pins 44 and 46 within the slots '40 and 42. Secured against axial moveby being welded thereto is a collar member 48 and surrounding the sleeve 26 and bearing against the lower end of the collar member 48 is a hold down sleeve 50. Sleeve 50 is provided with a cut-away portion 52, and when the sleeve 50 is rotated to the posipin 44 and 46 respectively tion shown in FIG. 2, the pin 46 can move vertically within the slot 42 uninterrupted by the sleeve 50. Sleeve 50 will be described in greater detail with respect to the slightly modified construction as shown in FIG. 5.
Projecting laterally from the sleeve 50 as shown in FIG. 2 is a bracket 54 provided with a vertical aperture therethrough within which is slidably positioned the leg portion 56 of L-shaped rod 58, the arm of the rod 60 projecting substantially horizontally and having mounted at its outer end a grommet or the like 62 carrying a ballsuspending member 64 to the lower end of which is secured a simulated golf ball 66 resting upon the golf ball support 22. The golf ball-suspending member 64 may be of any convenient material, such as a stout twine or cord.
In the upper portion of FIG. 2 is shown the cap assembly 14, which includes a head-engaging cap-like member 68 adapted to engage and hold stationary the golfers head during the swinging of the golf club. Cap 68 may be lined with a soft material such as foam rubber or the like to make it more comfortable for the wearer. Surrounding sleeve 26 at a suitable level is the support sleeve 70 held in position on the sleeve 26 by the pin 44, to opposite ends of which project through the support sleeve 70. Extending laterally from the sleeve 70 is a telescopic arm comprising the members 72 and 74, the latter being telescopically received within the former, there being provided a set screw 76 for retaining the member 74 in any selected position of adjustment. The outer end of the member 74 is provided with a reinforcing block or the like 78 having an aperture opening transversely therethrough to accommodate elongate cap-supporting rod 80 slidably received therein and carrying at its lower end the cap 68, which may be secured thereto as by a screw 82. A set screw 84 threadably received Within the block 78 bears against the rod 80 to retain the rod and the cap 68 in any selected vertical position within the limits of adjustment.
As shown in FIG. 1, when the golfer using the device takes his stance with the club C in his hand the cap assembly 14 is adjusted both vertically and horizontally through the means described above to position the cap member 68 engaging the head of the golfer G as shown. The cap 68 when locked in position will keep the golfers head stationary throughout the back swing and the down swing, and will be released as described hereinbelow to permit the golfer to move his head after the simulated golf ball 66 has been struck by the head of the golf club C. This permits the golfer to watch the flight of the golf ball and also to complete the follow-through of the swing without restriction.
Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, it can be seen that the pin 46 is coupled through the block 38 to the rod 34 which extends vertically through the sleeve 26, terminating at its upper end in the plug 36 within which is secured the pin 44. Pin 44 carries sleeve 70, which is a part of and carries with it the :cap assembly 14. The rod 34 is held downwardly within sleeve 26 by engagement of the pin 46 with the structure to be described herebelow, compressing the spring 32, which urges the rod assembly upwardly in the sleeve 26 as shown in FIG. 2. In FIG. 3 there is shown a bracket 86 secured to the member 28 adjacent the lower end thereof and having an ear 88 projecting therefrom to which is pivotally secured a latch arm 90 provided with a tooth 92 adapted to engage over the pin '46 holding the rod 34 downwardly against the tension of the spring 32 in the sleeve 26. Pivotally connected to the arm 90 is the plunger 94 of a pole-type solenoid S, which may be mounted on the bracket 86 in any convenient fashion. Upon actuation of the solenoid S, the plunger 94 will be attracted into the solenoid, unlatching the tooth 92 from the pin 46, and allowing the rod 34 and the cap assembly 14 connected thereto to rise vertically within the sleeve 26 under the urging of the coil spring 32. Mounted at the upper end of bracket 86 is a normally closed switch 96 having projecting therefrom an actuating pin 98 whereby upon depression of the pin 98 the switch contacts of the switch 96 will be opened. Projecting laterally from the upper end of the latch arm is a pin 100 aligned with the switch-actuating pin 98, and upon pivotal movement of the arm 90 in a clockwise direction as shown in FIG. 3 upon energization of the solenoid S, pin 100 strikes and shifts pin 98 to open the contacts of the switch 96.
There is shown in FIG. 4 a schematic wiring diagram of an electronic circuit operable to actuate the golf practice device. Referring momentarily to FIG. 2, the simulated golf ball 66 rests upon the ball support 22, which is provided with a vertical aperture 162 opening therethrough immediately underneath the ball 66. At the lower end of the aperture 102 there is positioned a light responsive photocell PC connected in the circuit of FIG. 4. When the simulated ball 66 is struck by the club head, it swings about the rod 58 on the grommet 62, uncovering the aperture 162, and permitting light to strike the face of the light-sensitive photocell PC. To insure actuation of the photocell PC when the ball 66 moves uncovering the aperture 102, a source of light may be provided shining downwardly into the aperture 102. Such light source has not been shown in the drawings, as the photocell PC is normally sensitive enough to be actuated by normal sunlight in the event the practice device is used outdoors.
While the device of FIG. 2 has been shown with a captive golf ball 66 suspended from the device, it will be obvious to one skilled in the art that a standard, unfettered golf ball may be used in the event the device is set up outdoors, or in an area provided with suitable equipment to interrupt the flight of the ball, such as an indoor practice range with canvas backstops or the like. The release mechanism of the electronic device is operated by light striking the photocell PC, so either a captive or free ball may be placed over the aperture 102 and hit with the golf club. If an unfettered ball is used, it enables the golfer to watch the actual path of flight, so that he can correct any slight errors in his golf swing, depending on his Observances of the ball in flight.
Turning back to FIG. 4, it can be seen that the control may be powered by a standard battery B connected in the circuit, and a potentiometer R also provided, the latter being connected to a transistor T in the circuit. The transistor T is connected in series with the solenoid S and the switch 96. The potentiometer R is adjusted so that with the simulated ball 66 in place, that is with the photocell PC dark, insufficient current flows through the transistor to actuate it. However, when the ball 66 is moved, allowing light to pass to the photocell PC, more current is passed through the transistor T, energizing the coil of the solenoid S to attract the plunger 94 and the arm 98 to release the pin 46 and allow the cap assembly 14 to shift vertically upwardly. Thus as soon as the golfer G strikes the ball 66 with the club C light is received on the photocell PC, energizing the circuit of FIG. 4 to raise the cap 68 from the golfers head. Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, when the solenoid S is energized to pivot arm 90 clockwise pin 100 engages actuating pin 98 to actuate switch 96, opening the switch contacts. Therefore, as soon as the arm 90 has travelled a sufiicient distance to release the pin 46, the switch contacts 96 are opened, de energizing the circuit, and thus the energization of the circuit is substantially momentary.
Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, there is shown a construction slightly modified from that previously described, in which the release mechanism for the cap assembly is mechanical, rather than electronic. The structure shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 is identical to that shown in FIG. 2 except that the bracket 86 and the components carried thereby shown in FIG. 3 have been eliminated. For mechanical actuation, the sleeve 50 is rotated on the sleeve 26 to a position shown in FIG. 5 where the lower end of the sleeve 56 shown at bears against the pin 46 t0 hQl t e rod assembly 34 downwardly against the coil spring 32. The vertical wall of the cut-out 52 in the sleeve 50 is positioned immediately laterally adjacent the pin '46, as shown most clearly in FIG. 6, so that slight rotation of the sleeve 50 about the sleeve 26 will expose the cut-out 52 and allow the pin 4-6 to move vertically within the slot in the sleeve 26 to raise the cap assembly 14. The ball support rod 58 is connected to the sleeve Stl via the member 54 and as the ball 66 is struck by the golf club C, a counter-clockwise force is exerted on the rod 58, as shown in FIG. 6, pivoting the sleeve 50 in a clockwise direction, uncovering pin 46 to allow the pin to move vertically under the urging of the spring 32.
Sleeve 28 is provided with a pair of rigid fingers 112 and 114 spaced circumferentially around the sleeve and extending substantially rigidly therefrom as shown in FIG. 6. When the downwardly projecting leg 56 of the ball support rod 58 abuts the finger 112, the sleeve 50 is rotated to its position holding pin 46 against upward movement. The other finger 114 serves to limit the rotation of the sleeve 50 and the connected structure by abutment of the rod portion 56 thereagainst. To set the device for operation, the cap assembly 14 is pulled downwardly manually, and the sleeve 50 is rotated in a counterclockwise direction as shown in FIG. 6 until the rod portion 56 abuts the finger 112, at which point the lower end 110 of the sleeve 50 blocks the pin 46 in its downward position, and the simulated golf ball 66 is properly positioned upon the supporting mat 22. The cap assembly 14 has been previously adjusted horizontally and vertically to be correctly positioned for the particular physical characteristics of the golfer G. As the golfer G swings the golf club C, his head and body are held stationary by the cap 68, during the back swing and down swing, and as the head of the golf club C strikes the ball 68 sleeve 50 is rotated, allowing pin 46 upward movement, which in turn raises the cap assembly 14, allowing the golfer to raise his head. Thus upon impact of the golf club with the ball, the cap assembly is released from the golfers head. It will be apparent from an examination of FIG. 3 that with the device equipped with the electronic actuating means, all that need be done to set the device for operation is for the golfer to pull the cap assembly 14 downwardly into engagement with his head, at which point the projecting pin 46 slides over the latch 92 and is held thereby until actuation of the solenoid S to pivot the latch arm 90.
As can be seen from an examination of FIG. 2, for example, horizontal adjustment is accomplished by the telescopic members 72 and 74, and vertical adjustment by the member '80. As the adjustment of these members will be different for any individual depending upon the club used, suitable indicia may be applied to members 74 and 80 so that they may be repositioned correctly for a given club again and again. For example, the sleeve 74 and rod 80 may be marked with the number (eg 2 wood, 4 iron) of the club to be used for that particular setting, and then the device may be repositioned at that exact setting whenever the particular club is to be used.
What I claim is:
1. A golf practice device comprising, in combination: a base; a rigid elongate sleeve upstanding from the base; spring means within the sleeve adjacent the lower end thereof; an elongate rod positioned within the sleeve for movement between upper and lower positions with the spring means bearing against the lower end of the rod biasing the latter to its upper position in the sleeve, releasable latch means for retaining the rod in its lower position depressing the spring means; a cap assembly extending generally horizontally away from a sleeve carried -by said rod and including a depending head-engaging member; a golf ball adapted to be positioned on the base; and control means coupled to said latch means responsive to the movement of the golf ball off said base to release the latch means, permitting upward movement of said rod and cap assembly by the spring means.
2. The invention defined in claim 1 characterized in that said cap assembly comprises a telescopically adjustable arm coupled at one end to said rod and at the opposite end to said head engaging member, and lock means for locking said arm in any selected position.
3. The invention defined in claim 2 characterized in that said head engaging member is vertically adjustably mounted on the end of said adjustable arm.
4. A golf practice device comprising, in combination: a base; an upright elongate sleeve rigidly upstanding from the base; a coil spring positioned in the sleeve resting on said base; an elongate rod positioned within the sleeve for slidable movement therein between upper and lower positions, said spring means bearing against the underside of the rod urging the same to its upper position; a cap assembly carried by said rod adjacent its upper end including a cap member spaced from the sleeve adapted to engage the head of a golfer; releasable latch means coupled to the rod holding the rod and connected cap assembly in a lower position against the tension of said spring; a golf ball on said base; and mechanical connecting means between said golf ball and said latch means to shift the latch means to its release position upon movement of said golf ball.
5. A golf practice device comprising, in combination: a base having a light-conducting aperture therethrough; an upright elongate sleeve rigidly upstanding from said base; an elongate rod slidably shiftable within the sleeve between upper and lower positions; spring means bearing against the underside of said rod urging the latter to its upper position in the sleeve; releasable latch means coupled to the rod normally retaining the rod in its lower position; a cap assembly coupled to the upper end of the rod extending laterally therefrom and including a cap member adapted to engage the head of a golfer when the rod is in its lower position; a golf ball adapted to be positioned on said base covering said aperture; and electric control means coupled to said latch means and including a light-sensitive element positioned to receive light through the aperture in said base upon movement of the golf ball off said aperture in the base, said light-sensitive element being responsive to the light to actuate said control means to release said latch.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 12/1916 Rhind 273 1/1953 Jenks 273-190