US 3352559 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov; 14, -1 967 E. A. LARSEN GOLF SWING TRAINING DEVICE eet l 3 Sheets-Sh l0 Filed July 20,- 1964 Nov. 14, 1967 A. LARSEN GOLF SWING TRAINING DEYICE s Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 20, 1964 T-EE Nov. 14, 1967 E. A. LARSEN 3,352,559
GOLF SWING TRAINING DEVICE Filed July 20, 1964 :5 Shets-Sheet 5 United States Patent 3,352,559 GOLF SWING TRAINING DEVICE Erling A. Larsen, 360 Cedar Ave., Ridgewood, NJ. 07450 Filed July 20, 1964, Ser. No. 383,701 4 Claims. (Cl. 273-187) This invention relates to a golfers aid and refers more particularly to a device for aiding a golfer in developing proper balance and rhythm or coordinated body movement when stroking.
In order for a golfer to strike a golf ball in the most effective manner, it is essential that he employ proper body balance throughout the entire stroke. Stated simply, body balance means the correct disposition of body weight at various points of the swing. Contrary to general belief, the golf swing is not made up of a series of separate body motions on the part of the golfer. Rather, it is a single, continuous, coordinated body motion made from a balanced position. Feet, legs, hips, arms and hands must all be employed by the golfer in proper sequence from a balanced position to strike the golf ball with force and accuracy. Thus, While stance, grip, backswing, hip action, foot control and hand and wrist action are components of a composite, the key to coordinating all these efforts is the ability of the golfer to keep his body weight properly disposed throughout the entire stroke. In order for many golfers to learn and develop a proper golf stroke, it is generally required that they receive instructions from a coach or pro. But even with instructions most player improve only slowly since the stroke is generally taught as a series of separate body motions, the golfer following the oral instructions of the coach. Furthermore, different coaches emphasize different motions as being more or less important to the swing, so that the golfer can easily become confused as to the strong points and weaknesses in his stroke. While most coaches can generally detect errors in the golfers head positioning, hands, elbows, hips, etc., it is most difficult to detect improper balance. In order to overcome some of the above-mentioned difiiculties, some prior art golfing aids have been developed. However, all of those prior art devices for developing the golf stroke function on the theory of developing one part of the swing only, as for example, the hip motion while as stated above, what the golfer really needs is a device which will enable him to observe, develop and improve his body balance and rhythm as he strokes.
It is, therefore, the primary objective of the present invention to provide a device which in use enables a golfer to develop and observe his body balance while stroking.
Another object is to provide a golfers aid for aiding a golfer in developing proper body balance which in use is responsive to the slightest deviation from proper balance so that the golfer is immediately appraised of his defect.
Another object is to provide a golfers aid for aiding a golfer in developing and improving his stroke.
Still another object is to provide a golfers aid which when used properly by the golfer, enables him to properly coordinate his body balance and motion as a single, smooth, continuous rhythmic effort thereby achieving maximum elfectiveness and effort in striking the golf ball.
Patented Nov. 14, 1967 A further object is to provide a golfers aid for aiding a golfer in developing proper body balance and a correct stroke which is simple and inexpensive in construction, adapted for indoor and outdoor use, and suited for developing a proper swing with both golfing woods and 110118.
A still further object is to provide a golfers aid which enables a golfer to develop proper body balance and rhythmic, coordinated body movement in a shorter time and at considerably less expense than heretofore possible when employing prior art training aids.
Other objects of the present invention will become apparent during the course of the following specification.
In achieving the aforementioned objectives of the present invention it was found advantageous to provide a golfers aid which comprises a base, a pedestal mounted on the base and a swivel or rotatable support carried by I the pedestal for supporting a footboard for tilting movement relative to the base. In use, the golfer stands on the footboard with the stance assumed when addressing the golf ball. If he sets himself properly, and equally distributes weight to both feet, the footboard will remain parallel with the base. Thereafter when the golfer takes his stroke, he shifts weight from the inside of both feet to the left heel, and if this shift is effected in the proper manner, the footboard will not undergo any appreciable tilt at any time. On the other hand, if the golfer does not press down with the inside portions of his feet to maintain his balance, or if he does not shift his weight properly from the inside of both feet to the left heel, the footboard will tilt forwardly to indicate absence of pressure on the feet or it will tilt in the direction of the right foot to indicate that the weight was not properly taken off this foot during stroking. To prevent undue tilting of the footboard rearwardly or in the direction of the left foot, the footboard is provided with stops which bear against the base and maintain the footboard substantially parallel to the base whenever the golfers balance is correct.
According to the invention, the footboard may be provided with means for actuating an audible or other signal whenever it is tilted in a manner indicating improper bal ance on the part of the golfer.
The invention will appear more clearly from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings showing by way of eX- ample preferred embodiments of the inventive concept.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of a golfers aid constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a front elevation of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view as taken along line IIIIII of FIGURE 1 FIGURE 4 is a partial section in elevation of the rotatable support used for supporting the footboard on the base;
FIGURE 5 is the same as FIGURE 2 except the footboard is shown in la forwardly tilted position indicating that the golfer has not maintained proper pressure on his heels during stroking;
FIGURE 6 is an end elevational view looking in the direction of arrow A, FIGURE 1, and shows the tilting of the footboard in the direction of the right foot result- 3 ing from the failure of the golfer to shift his weight to the left foot properly during stroking;
FIGURE 7 is a wiring diagram of the audible signal circuit energized when the golfer does not use proper balance during stroking and tilts the footboard;
FIGURE 8 is a perspective view of another form of construction of the golfers aid wherein the base is provided with an extension piece on which is mounted a golf tee; and
FIGURE 9 is a diagrammatic representation of the manner in which the golfer applies foot pressure to maintain proper balance during stroking.
FIGURE 10 is a sectional view of a different form of the golfers aid as taken along a cutting plane passing through the transverse axis thereof, some parts being shown in full.
FIGURE 11 is a perspective view of still another form of the golfers aid.
FIGURE 12 is a sectional view as taken along line XIIXII of FIGURE 11.
FIGURE 13 is a perspective view of the base member used in the construction shown in FIGURE 11.
Throughout the specification like reference numerals are used to'indicate like parts.
Referring in detail to the construction shown in FIG- URES 1 to 3, the golfers aid 10 comprises a substantially flat, elongated base 11 on which is mounted a pedestal 12, the pedestal carrying a universally rotatable ball 13 whereupon is supported elongated footboard 14, the footboard having the same general outline as the base. As seen in FIGURE 1, the pedestal 12 is located substantially at the center of the base sothat footboard 14 may be easily tilted in a number of directions if an unbalancing force is applied thereto by a golfer standing on the footboard. For assisting the golfer in assuming a correct stance when addressing the ball, the upper surface of footboard 14 is provided with footprint indicia 15 and 16, representing, respectively, the left and right feet of the golfer. The indicia which may be of the decalomania type are located symmetrically on each side of the longitudinal axis of the footboard and are equispaced from its transverse axis.
When the golfer strokes, it is necessary that he exert foot pressure and keep his body'weight on the heels and in the direction of flight of the golf ball (arrow B, FIG- URE 1). If he does this and therefore maintains proper balance, the footboard 14 will remain substantially parallel with base 11 as the footboard is provided with a stop 17 to inhibit footboard tilt to the rear and a stop 18' inhibiting tilt in the direction of the line of flight. The stops 17 and 18 which may be pegs or dowels and are of equal lengths, extend downwardly from the footboard almost contacting the base 11 when the footboard is parallel therewith. If the golfers balance is not properly maintained or he exerts pressure on the front of his feet or in a direction away from the line of flight, the footboard will tilt forwardly or in the direction of his right foot 16, this tilt being sufliciently pronounced to immediately indicate a condition of incorrect balance and being checked only when stops 19 and 20 carried by the footboard-14 and being, of lesser height (at least /2%") than stops 17' and 18, contact the base 11.
As seen in FIGURES 1 and 3, the footboard 14 may be provided on its underside with a number of blind holes 28 arranged along its longitudinal axis for the purpose of relocating stops 18 and 20. Similarly holes 29 may be arranged along the transverse axis for relocating stops 17 and 19. The relocator holes thus permit relocation of the stops so that players of varying skillmay set the stops to allow for a greater or lesser tilt.
As seenin FIGURE 4, pedestal -12' includes a flat lower portion 21 screwed to base 11, and a frusto-conically shaped body 22 to' which is fastened a retainer ring 23 for retaining universally rotatable ball 13, the ball riding freely on the ball bearings 24. of. a cup bearing 25'. Footboard 14 is provided with an annular ring insert 26 which rests on the universally rotatable ball 13 as shown thus providing for ready tilting of the footboard with respect to base 11 when an unbalancing force is applied thereto. In general, the footboard may be tilted in directions in three of the four quadrants (I-III, FIG. 1) formed by the intersecting longitudinal and transverse axes of the footboard. Tilt in the fourth quadrant is inhibited by stops 17 and 18.
To obviate rotation of footboard 14 in a plane parallel to base 11, angular retainer brackets 27 are connected at the front and rear of the base and extend upwardly a distance alongside the footboard as shown. inFIGURES l and 2. The retainer brackets 27 do not however interfere with tilting of the footboard.
In achieving the most effective stroke, the golfer must strive for proper body balance and rhythm. As used herein, balance means the ability to exert proper foot pressure and balance over the ball during all phases of the stroke by making proper use of the feet, and legs. Rhythm means coordinating the various movements re quired in the golf swing into one continuous fluid motion without generating unnecessary or undue stress at any part of the stroke. In generah rhythm is developed by keeping the-speed of back-swing and down-stroke substantially uni form. Any sudden or unrhythmicmovement will tilt the footboard.
With the foregoing in mind, the golfer 10 mounts the footboard 14 generally placing his right foot on indicia 16 and the left foot on indicia 15 although these foot positions are merely recommended since the player may position his feet according to his size, preference and type of shot to be practiced. For the beginner, an additional right foot position (not shown) may be indicated at the center of the footboard to facilitate mounting and dismounting without causing undue tilting. In any event it is necessary for. him to distribute his weight in such mannor that the footboard 14'1'emains parallel to base 11. The golfers initial motion: during the address and first partof the. backswing, will be away from the line of flight and thus it will be necessary for him to distribute his weight equally alongthe inside of both feet and on the heels to keep the footboard! from tilting. Only by exerting pressure downwardlyalong the inside of the left foot and an inward twisting pressure with the right heel as shown diagrammatically in FIGURE 9, can the golfer compensate for the shifting of weight and twisting of the.
hips to the right at the top of the backswing. To exert this pressure, the large muscles of both legs are used, the muscles being. stretched in the manner of an elastic band away from. the lineof flight while the feet remain stationary. When released, these stretched muscles speed weight transfer to the left, enabling the golfer to make a smooth rhythmic transfer to the left allowing a free pendulum movement. of the arms thereby increasing clubhead' speed and automatically bringing full power of the right side behind the shot. It will be readily understood that it is essential for the golfers full weight to be shifted onto the left foot well beforeimpactand, therefore, the initial motion in the downswing must start in the feet and not in. the hands. This is the critical phase of the stroke and if properly executed, a smooth rhythmic downswing follows naturally as contrasted with the forced motion inhering: to a delayed weight shift. By transferring full body weight along the inside of the left foot to the left heel, the clubhead speed is greatly increased since the hips will have been turned to the left and no longer impede the. descending arms. If the golfer applies foot pressure and shifts hisweight in accordance with the foregoing, the footboard will remain parallel to the base throughout the entire stroke and the golfer will rapidly develop skill in rhythmically transferring his weight in the manner essential to achieving a correct golf stroke.
On the other hand; if the golfer does not evenly distribute his weight at the beginning of the stroke, or if he does not transfer his weight prior to downswing, he will exert an unbalancing pressure on the right side of footboard 14 causing it to tilt downwardly at the right side and until stop 20 strikes the base 11 as shown in FIGURE 6. This tilting action immediately indicates to the golfer that his balance and rhythm were incorrect. Additionally, the base 11 may be provided with a normally open switch 30 which is closed by the stop 20 striking thereagainst (FIGURE 6). As seen in FIGURES 2 and 7, the switch 30 is electrically connected in series with a battery 31 and bell 32 carried in a suitable housing 33. Thus when the golfer tilts the footboard to the right, the switch 30 closes and bell 32 sounds as an audible signal to the golfer that he has not maintained proper balance.
It is also possible for the golfer to unbalance the footboard at any time during the stroke if he does not keep his Weight on the heels. Generally the failure to apply correct foot pressure results from incorrectly applying foot pressure with the forward part of the feet. In that event, the golfer will cause footboard 14 to tilt forwardly as shown in FIGURE and until stop 19 strikes the base. A switchbell arrangement 150 similar to that previously described may also be employed for signalling an improper forward tilting.
The golfing aid 40 illustrated in FIGURE 8 is the same as that previously described except that base 41 is provided with a frontally directed extension 42 on which is mounted a golf tee 43. Additionally, the upper surface of the footboard 44 is provided with intersecting longitudinal axis line XX and transverse axis line Y-Y which generally denote the axes about which the footboard will tilt if the golfer does not apply proper foot pressure or transfer his weight correctly during strokmg.
FIGURE illustrates a somewhat different form of golfers aid. In this embodiment, the base 11 carries front stop 19' and rear stop 17' for inhibiting tilt of footboard 14'. The undersurface of footboard 14' is provided with a blind opening 51 into which extends stop 17' for maintaining the footboard parallel to the base, while another blind opening 52 is provided for receiving stop 19 if the footboard is tilted by the golfer to the position shown in dashed lines. In this manner, the use of retainer brackets for preventing rotation of the footboard with respect to the base is made unnecessary as the stops engaging in the blind holes serve that function.
The cost of manufacturing the golfers aid is greatly reduced in the embodiment 60 shown in FIGURES 11 to 13. It includes a base comprising a continuous longitudinal member 61 to which is connected the transverse members 62, 63 by means of welding as at 64. The ends of member 61 are upturned at a right angle as at 65, 66 so that they constitute a left stop means and a shorter right stop means, respectively. Similarly, transverse members 62, 63 have their terminal portions upturned as at 72, 73 respectively so as to constitute front and rear stop means, the front stop means being shorter than the rear stop means. A pedestal 67 having a ball-like upper surface 68 is mounted on the members 61, 62, 63 as shown for supporting footboard 69 for tilting movement, the center of the footboard having an upstanding, parti spheroid bulge 70 for receiving the ball-like surface 68. The footboard 69 is provided with a number of upwardly stamped grooves 71 for receiving the various stop means 65, 66, 72, 73 and a downwardly depending, peripheral skirt 74 which may engage the stop means to prevent rotation of the footboard in a plane parallel to the base. Footprint indicia 75 may also be provided in the footboard. The golfers aid 70 functions in the same manner as the previously described embodiment 10. The particular advantage of this construction is that the footboard can be stamped from a steel sheet in a single operation, and the base formed by stamping with a minimum of welding for connecting together members 61-63 and pedestal 67.
It is seen from the foregoing that the golfers aid of the present invention is of considerable help to the golfer in recognizing the importance of proper weight disposition or balance and rhythm in stroking and mastering the fundamentals more quickly. By keeping the Weight along the inside of the feet and on the heels during the address and early backswing, the golfer will be easily able to maintain footboard 14 level. By exerting pressure through the inside of the legs to the inside of the feet, he soon learns to keep the footboard level at the top of the backswing and by smoothly transferring all weight to the left foot and heel he soon learns the correct pivot motion which must be completed before striking the ball.
While there is above disclosed but some embodiments of the golfers aid of the present invention it is possible to produce still other embodiments without departing from the scope of the inventive concept herein disclosed.
What is claimed is:
1. A device for aiding a golfer in learning to maintain proper balance and develop coordinated body movement when stroking a golf ball, said device comprising: a base; a pedestal mounted on the base; a ball member carried on top of the pedestal; a footboard on which the golfer may stand supported centrally on the ball member and lying in a plane spaced above said base, means permitting the front portion and one side portion of said footboard to tilt significantly downward from a horizontal plane toward said base in response to unbalanced stance forces exerted thereon by a golfer standing thereon and executing a golf swing; means for preventing the rear and other side portion of said footboard from tilting significantly downward from a horizontal plane toward said base in response to unbalanced stance forces exerted thereon by said golfer standing thereon and executing a golf swing, said last mentioned means comprising stop members extending between said base and said footboard and connected with one and engageable with the other; and means for preventing any pronounced rotation of said footboard about an axis perpendicular to said base and passing through the intersection of the longitudinal and transverse axes of said footboard.
2. A device in accordance with claim 1 wherein the upper surface of said footboard is provided with a pair of footprint indicia denoting the area thereon where the golfer should stand, said footprint indicia being located symmetrically on each side of the longitudinal axis of the footboard and equispaced from the transverse axis.
3. A device in accordance with claim 1 further comprising signal means operable in response to significant tilting of said front and one side portion from a horizontal plane toward said base, said signal means comprising separate switches mounted on said base, elements carried by said footboard adapted to actuate said switches when said footboard is significantly tilted downwardly as aforesaid, a separate source of electric current connected with each switch, and a bell series connected with each of said switches and each of said sources.
4. A device for aiding a golfer in learning to maintain proper balance and develop coordinated body movement when stroking a golf ball, said device comprising: an elongated rectangular base; a pedestal mounted on the base at the center thereof; a universally rotatable ball carried on top of the pedestal; a rectangular footboard on which the golfer may stand supported centrally on the universally rotatable ball and lying in a plane spaced above said base, means permitting the front portion and one side portion of said footboard to tilt significantly downward from a horizontal plane toward said base in response to unbalanced stance forces exerted thereon by a golfer standing thereon and executing a golf swing; means for preventing the rear and other side portion of said footboard from tilting significantly downward from a horizontal plane toward said base in response to unbalanced stance forces exerted thereon by said golfer standing thereon and executing a golf swing, said last mentioned means comprising at least two stop members carried by the footboard and engageable with said base, one of said stop members being located Onthe transverse axis and rear portion of saidfootboard, the other of said stop membersbeing located on the longitudinal axis andsaid other sideof said footboard, andmeans for preventing any pronounced rotation of said footboard about an axis perpendicular to. said base and passing through the intersection of the longitudinal and transverse axes of said footboard, said rotation preventing means comprising brackets connected with the margins of said base and extending upwardly therefi'om closely adjacent the margins of said footboard.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 819,472 5/ 1906 Thouverey 27257 5 1,509,750 9/1924 Campbell 27257 1,565,484 12/ 1925 McWhiIter 27257 2,714,007 7/ 1955 Jordan 27257 ANTON o. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner.
10 RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Examiner. G-. I. MARLO, Assistant Examiner.