US 3387844 A
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June 11, 1968 w. SHIPPEE GOLF CLUB WITH PERCUSSION CHAMBER PLENUM Filed Nov. 18, 1964 INVENTOR WINSOR $HIPPEE ATTORNEYS 3,387,844 GULF CLUB WITH PERCUSSIQN CHAMBER PLENUM Winser Shippee, 30 E. 9th St, New York, N.Y. Fiied Nov. 18, 1964, Ser. No. 412,091 2 Claims. ((11. 2.7377) ABSTRACT UP THE DISCLGSURE This invention relates to improved goif clubs, and more particularly, to putters and chipping irons which permit greater control over balis being hit with them.
Modern golf balls are hard, unyielding objects quite unlike their bouncy predecessors of a few decades ago, mainly because the filament within todays ball is wound much tighter, under greater tension and often around a steel core. Ball covers are of harder materials and similarly under great tension. Considerable force, therefore, is necessary to compress a current-model ball. That is desirable because it means greater recoil or unloading of the compressed ball after impact by a clubhead, and recoil is an important factor in the distance a ball can be driven. Thus the harder a ball is, or the higher its compression, the greater is its status and esteem in the eyes of golfers. Balls are advertised, and properly so, as high tension, long distance balls. Golfers can swing freely, as hard as they can at such balls and drive them great distances.
On the other hand, high compression, hard golf balls have the disadvantage in frequent situations of not being readily controllable, especially by the average golfer, in the sense that the player cannot feel his stroke during impact of the club against the ball. Recurring situations when that is true are chipping onto a green and putting. In both those instances, maximum distance and full, powerful swings of the club are rarely important; control of distance and control of direction are the fundamentals of the game when close to the cup.
Since power is a reduced factor, the impact of a chipping iron or a putter against the ball is a relatively light one and there is practically no compression of the ball. For that reason the golfer perceives little or no feel of the impact. That is, he cannot sense the stroke to judge whether he hit the ball properly. It is difficult for him to develop knowledge, for use in preparing for, and executing future shots, of how hard and where on the club head to hit the ball to send it to a certain distance and direction. And closely related to feel is the sense developed by hearing the sound of the clubs impact with the ball.
An object of this invention is to provide improved golf clubs. Another object is to provide golf clubs which enable golfers to have greater control over modern golf balls. A further obect is to provide improved putters and chipping irons for more accurate play of the short game. Still another object is to provide golf clubs which enable golfers to make greater use of their sense of sound to improve their game. Other objects will be in part discussed and in part apparent in the remainder of the disclosure.
I have found that golfers can better control their shots, in terms of distance and accuracy, by using clubs which nite States Patent permit them to sense by feel and sound the impact of the club head against the ball. This is particularly true of putts and chips. Such clubs have resilient impact faces and percussion chambers in their heads so that relatively mild impacts between the club and ball are elastic in degrees more or less functionally related to the power transferred from the club to the ball. The resilient club face is compressed, or displaced, considerably more by the impact than the hard, high tension ball. The chamber serves to dampen, smooth and control the movement of the face, and the club as a whole provides a greater sense of feel to the golfer as well as a sound whose tone and quality are related to the accuracy and power of the stroke.
Golfers will appreciate the value of being able to feel their shots by fine, discernible degrees and to hear them, and the potential of thereby improving their quality of play.
Several points are worthy of note about the sound of the impact between the ball and the club head. The sound produced by the resilient face and the air-cushion behind it can be characterized as a pleasantly mellow, reverberating bong. In addition to seeing and feeling a good shot, the player can hear it as well, bringing into play a third physical sense. The appealing tone itself adds enjoyment to playing golf. Furthermore, the bong is demonstrably useful when practicing. The clubs tone provides a critical means to appraise the users stroking of the ball. Variations in tone clearly signal departures from a true swing. If the ball is struck from other than the center of the club face, the tone will be discernibly different and mufiied. Likewise, too loud or too soft a sound will indicate deviation from that amount of power, delivered by the swing of the club, to stroke the ball a desired distance. The consistency developed by correlation of sound to quality of shot can lead to more skillful putting.
Better understanding of the invention can be had by referring to the accompanying drawings wherein FIGURE 1 is a perspective view showing a woodenheaded putter;
FIGURE 2 is a vertical section taken along the line 2--2 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a vertical section taken along the line 33 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is a vertical section showing a putter according to another embodiment of the invention;
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view showing a striking plate of the putter in FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 6 is a perspective view showing a doublefaced iron putter;
FIGURE 7 is a vertical section taken along the line 7-7 of FIGURE 6;
FIGURE 8 is a vertical section taken along the line 88 of FIGURE 7; and
FIGURE 9 is a vertical section of a putter similar to the one shown in FIGURE 6 showing another embodiment of the invention, and like numerals in the drawings indicate identical or generally similar elements.
FIGURES l to 5 illustrate the invention as particularly adapted to wooden-headed putters, although it will be appreciated the invention is similarly applicable to drivers and fairway Woods. For the reasons above-mentioned, however, the advantages of the invention are especially attainable with putters and chipping clubs.
The putter 10 shown in FIGURES 1 to 4 has a shaped head 12 from one side of which a shank 14 extends. Contained within the head 12 is a plenum or percussion chamber 16. The chamber 16 is drum-like and can be formed in any of a number of ways. Illustratively, in FIGURES 2 and 3 the plenum 16 is formed by a three-dimensional block v(hollow) 18, or box. The box-like percussion device 18 is inset into a recess in the club head 12 provided for it. Conventional means can be used to retain the block 18 in the head. A variety of materials can be used for the box 18 construction. Various metals are suitable. Plastics or synthetic resins are especially suitable for ex ample, Fiberglass and Mylar. Wood is advantageously employed also, for example, in the form of the thin multi-ply laminates. FIGURE 4 shows another way to form the plenum 16, that is, by machining a cavity or recess directly in the club head 12. The opening in the head surface is covered by a striking plate or face plate 20 such as the one shown in FIGURE 5. Materials mentioned for construction of the box-type 18 chamber are also suitable for the face plate 20. It will be noted the side 18a of the block 18 shown in FIGURE 3 forms the club face, and has the same purpose and function as the striking plate 20.
One construction and design of a double-faced iron putter a is shown in FIGURES 6 to 8. The head 22 is metal, for example, iron, brass, aluminum, alloys, etc, and is shaped to provide club faces 24 on opposite sides for use by both left and right handed players. A shank 14 leading to the shaft and grip (not shown) of the club 10a projects from the head. A cavity is machined in the head 22 to provide the percussion chamber or plenum 16. Covering over the openings in the head 22 formed by the cavity and forming the club faces 24 are the resilient striking plates 25. The plates or faces 25 are analogous to those (18a and of the wooden-headed putters and can be made from the types of materials previously mentioned. However, in view of the current rules of The United States Golf Asociation prohibiting inserts in metal-headed clubs, the face plate will ordinarily be of the same material as the metal club head, and integrated thereto by conventional means.
It will be observed that a small bore or perforation 26 penetrates the club head 22 to form a passage between the plenum 16 and the atmosphere. Such a bore 26 is optional, and provides venting for the chamber 16 to give a somewhat deeper and more audible tone or bong than a hermetic plenum. A bore can be provided in the woodenheaded clubs as well. By keeping the size of the bore small, the effective damping action of the plenum 16 on the club face movement is not lost even though the chamber communicates with the atmosphere.
FIGURE 9 depicts another double-faced iron putter having further embodiments of the invention. The head 28 of the putter 10b is distinguished in that the striking faces are unitary parts of the head, that is, the faces are not separate elements bonded or integrated to the head. A tubular structure 28a having approximately a rectangular cross section forms the basic part of the head 28. The percussion chamber 16 is formed by the interior walls of the tube 28a and by closure pieces at the ends 28b of the tube. A shaft 14b is connected to the head 28 with a bracing fillet 30. The vertical walls of the tube 28a are the striking faces of the club, and are made thin enough to provide the desired degree of resiliency.
A further feature of the invention provided by the club illustrated in FIGURE 9 is the pipe organ effect. That is, by using a hollow shaft 14b extending into the plenum 16, the effective volume of the percussion chamber is greatly increased, and a highly resonant column of air in the shaft 1415 provides great depth and audibility to the sound of the club face impact against a ball. The reverberations within and emanating from the hollow handle 14b enhance both the sense of feel and the sound. An opening in the shaft, for example, at the end opposite the head 28 and preferably camouflaged by a porous insert, adds to the organ-like effect.
The invention is adaptable for a single-faced iron putter, and methods of incorporating percussion chambers and resilient striking faces in such clubs are similar to and will be apparent in light of the foregoing disclosure. In like manner the invention can advantageously be 4. adapted to chipping and other irons which differ from putters principally in shaft length and the degree of pitch, or loft, of the club head.
Heads for metal clubs can be made in a number of conventional ways, such as by milling, machining, casting and extruding.
The percussion chamber construction forms a drumlike device having at. least one resilient Wall or face for contacting golf balls. A distinct cushioning of the face is provided by fluid, such as air, contained within the plenum and makes possible the use of very thin, resilient faces which, in turn, give greater feel of the impact.
ber communicates with the atmosphere, similar damping is provided. Air is slowly ejected when the face is depressed, and when the face recoils a slight vacuum in the plenum slows the return movement of the face. The action of the face during a stroke cannot strictly be considered vibration. A function of the plenum, in fact, is to dampen and minimize the tendency of the face to vibrate.
It is to be understood that the foregoing disclosure is to illustrate the invention and specific embodiments thereof, and that numerous changes and various modifications will be apparent to persons skilled in the art in light of the disclosure without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
1. An improved golf club capable of providing greater, accuracy and enjoyment through high sensibility of the impact of the club against a golf ball during stroking of the ball due to feeling of the impact transferred through said club and due to hearing of the sound of the impact, which golf club comprises an elongated shaft of stifliy flexible material, hand gripping means at one end of said shaft by which. a golfer can hold and use said club, a rigid club head at the opposite end of said shaft for stroking a golf ball, a thin stiffiy flexible impact face on said club head for contacting a golf ball stroked with said club, said impact face being set at a pre-determined angle to said shaft to provide loft for a ball stroked with said club commensurate with the shaft length and club head size based on the designed range of distance for said club, a hermetically sealed percussion chamber plenum within saidclub head whose interior volume is a substantial portion of the total volume of said club head, said impact face forming one wall of said plenum whereby upon impact of said impact face of said club head against a golf ball said impact face is deformed inwardly into said plenum within which the force of said impact is initially partially absorbed substantially elastically by compression of the fluid contained therein, both to dampen said impact and to minimize vibration of said impact face, and thereafter said absorbed force is re-exerted against said impact face and through it against the golf ball, and a small opening in said club head into said percussion chamber plenum which serves to dampen further the impact of said force of impact by reducing the amount of compression of the fluid within said plenum, whereby the amount of force absorbed and rc-exerted against the golf ball is reduced, and which serves to provide a more audible tone of the impact.
2. An improved golf club capable of providing greater accuracy and enjoyment through high sensibility of the impact of the club against a golf ball during stroking of the ball due to feeling of the impact transferred through said club and due to hearing of the sound of the impact, which golf club comprises an elongated shaft of stiflly flexible material, hand gripping means at one end of said shaft by which a golfer can hold and use said club, a
rigid club head at the opposite end of said shaft for stroking a golf ball, a thin stiffiy flexible impact face on said club head for contacting a golf ball stroked with said club, said impact face being set at a pre-determined angle to said shaft to provide loft for a ball stroked with said club commensurate with the shaft length and club head size based on the designed range of distance for said club, a hermetically sealed percussion chamber plenum within said club head whose interior volume is a substantial portion of the total volume of said club head, said impact face forming one wall of said plenum whereby upon impact of said impact face of said club head against a golf ball said impact face is deformed inwardly into said plenum within which the force of said impact is initially partially absorbed substantially elastically by compression of the fluid contained therein, both to dampen said impact and to minimize vibration of said impact face, and thereafter said absorbed force is re-exerted against said impact face and through it against the golf ball, said shaft being hollow substantially along its length, a small opening into said hollow shaft adjacent the end attached to said club head, which opening opens into said percussion chamber plenum, and a small opening into said hollow shaft adjacent the opposite end, which shaft and said openings therein serve to dampen further the impact of said force of impact by reducing the amount of compression of the fiuid within said plenum whereby the amount of force absorbed and 'reexerted against the golf ball is reduced, and which serves to provide a more audible tone of the impact.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,167,106 1/1916 Palmer 273-471 1,336,671 4/1920 Backus 273--175 1,359,220 11/1920 Beamer 273-78 1,854,548 4/1932 Hunt 27378 1,907,134 5/1933 Weiskopf 273-78 3,042,405 7/ 1962 Solheim 273-78 3,211,455 10/1965 Hyden 27378 2,686,056 8/1954 Oquist 273167 FOREIGN PATENTS 24,274 1898 Great Britain. 211,781 12/ 1957 Australia.
ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner.
R. I. APLEY, Assistant Examiner.