US 3419277 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 31, 1968 c. a. MARTIN 3,
GOLFER'S ARM POSITIONING DEVICE COMPRISING ELBOW BEND RESTRAINING MEANS Filed May 31. 1966 INVENTOR. CLARENCE- B. MARTIN TIM-66M M d mui ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,419,277 GOLFERS ARR I POSITIONING DEVICE COMPRIS- ING ELBOW BEND RESTRAINING MEANS Clarence B. Martin, P.(). Box 8277, Greenville, S.C. 29604 Filed May 31, 1966, Ser. No. 553,958 8 Claims. (Cl. 273-189) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A device for guiding the leading arm of a golfer during the backswing portion of a club swing, in order to assure that proper coordination is obtained. Restraint is imposed against bending of the leading arm at the elbow upon the leading arm reaching the top of the backswing, while the elbow is free to bend during a normal follow-through. Movement of the leading arm against the torso in a rearward direction is restrained in order to assure coordination of a turning movement of the torso with movement of the leading arm.
For purposes of this application and discussion of my invention, the use of the term leading arm of the golfer refers to that arm which is the forward arm of the golfer along the intended direction of travel of the golf ball, i.e. a right-handed golfers left arm and a left-handed golfers right arm.
Maximum power in hitting a golf ball is obtained where there is proper coordination of a turning movement of the torso of the golfer, and particularly the shoulders, with movement of the golfers arms during the backswing and downswing. Additionally, accuracy and power require that the leading arm of the golfer be maintained in an extended position at the address of the ball, during the initial movement from address into the backswing, and throughout the backswing and downswing, in order to establish and maintain a correct swing plane and a maximum radius for the path of travel of the clubhead.
Heretofore, golfers attempting to master this technique have encountered difficulties in coordinating the actions required, as reflected by the poor shots characterizing a dulfer. Principal difiiculties have been proper coordination of the turning movement of the shoulders and torso, and distortions of the swing plane and clubhead path introduced as a result of bending the elbow of the leading arm at the top of the backswing.
In attempts to assist golfers in overcoming such diificulties, various traning aids have heretofore been proposed. Certain of these training aids rigidly encircle the elbow of the leading arm, to preclude any bending movement of the elbow at any time. Other devices, in the form of harnesses, rigidly secure the leading arm of the golfer against any lateral movement with respect to the shoulders of the golfer.
Such training aids are of little assistance in overcoming the aforementioned difiiculties, inasmuch as the aids themselves introduce distortions in the golfers action due to the restraints imposed. More particularly, the restraint of the elbow of the leading arm from any bending movement and the restraint of the leading arm from any lateral movement with respect to the shoulders, while possibly assuring an approximately correct position at one point in a golf swing, entirely prohibit the movements necessary at certain stages of a natural and correct swing and followthrough, during which lateral movement of the arm with respect to the shoulders and bending of the elbow is required.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a control or training device to be worn by a golfer which positions the leading arm of the golfer during the backswing so that the golf club is in position to describe the proper are for contact with the ball but permits free movement of the leading arm during the downswing, contact with the ball, and follow-through to overcome the disadvantages of prior training aids.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a training device to be worn by the golfer which properly positions the hands of the golfer with respect to the torso during address of the golf ball prior to the commencement of the golf swing.
Some of the objects of the invention having been stated, other objects will appear as the description proceeds when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 includes a front and side view of a golfer wearing the training device of the present invention and in position of address of a golf ball prior to commencement of the golf swing;
FIGURE 2 is a front and side view of a golfer showing the position of the golfers leading arm at the top of the backswing and the position of the training device at that point of the swing;
FIGURE 3 is a back view of a golfer showing the position of the golfers body and arms at the top of the followthrough and the position of the training device at that point of the swing;
FIGURE 4 is a partial close-up view of a golfer in position of address as seen in FIGURE 1 and showing the details of the training device of the present invention;
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of the golf training device worn by the golfers in FIGURES 1 through 4 and forming the subject matter of the present invention;
FIGURE 6 is a partial cross-section of the device seen in FIGURE 5 taken along line 66 thereof; and
FIGURE 7 is a partial view of the device seen in FIG- URE 5 showing the details of the arm encircling band member of the device.
With reference to the drawings, the golf training device is shown designed for a right-handed golfer and is worn about the left shoulder of the golfer. It is to be understood that a left-handed golfer would be provided with the reverse of the structure shown in the drawings.
The training device consists of a harness 11 which has chest and back plates 12 and 13 constructed of suitable lightweight material such as molded plastic or aluminum. The plates are shaped to conform to the shoulder of the wearer and their undersides are provided with a cushion material 14, such as plastic foam or rubber, to provide for the comfort of the wearer. To facilitate donning the harness, the two plates 12 and 13 are preferably pivotally connected along the shoulder line by a hinge 15 and a torso encircling belt 16 secures the lower part of the plates about the golfers rib cage.
Supported by and extending from the chest plate 12 of the harness 11 is an elongate member 17 consisting of a pair of fiat plates 17:: and 17b which are longitudinally adjustable by wing nuts and bolts 18 which engage mating apertures in the adjoining ends of the plates.
Located on the outer portion of plate 17b is an arm band 21 which is composed of a flexible material, such as molded polyethylene, which is secured to plate 17b by suitable fastening means, such as a rivet, and may be adjustably secured about the upper portion of the golfers leading arm by a pair of cooperating friction-gripping surfaces 23-, 24 located on opposing faces of the overlapping ends of the band 21. The friction surfaces 23, 24 may be of the type material and construction as disclosed in US. Patent 2,717,437.
As seen in FIGURE 7, the arm band 21 may be circumferentially adjusted to provide proper contact with the upper portion of the leading arm of the golfer.
The elongate member 17 is attached to the chest plate 12 of the harness 11 by a hinged member 31, one leaf of which, 3111, is secured to the chest plate and the other leaf of which, 31b, is pivotally secured to the elongate member 17 by a bolt or rivet 32 (FIGURE 6). The hinged member 31 permits pivotal movement of the elongate member 17 in two directions, one substantially longitudinally of the torso of the wearer (FIGURE 4) and the other substantially laterally of the torso of the wearer.
Extending outwardly from leaf 31a of the hinged member is a stop arm 35 (FIGURE 6), which contacts leaf 31b at a point of pivotal movement of the member 17 to limit lateral movement of the member with respect to the harness chest plate 12. The contacting face 35a of the stop arm preferably is beveled at an angle approximately 15 degrees to a line normal to the face of the chest plate 12, which properly positions the arm of the golfer, as will be explained.
The lower edge of plate 17a is provided with a tab 41 which extends at a right angle thereto and is so positioned that the tab 41 contacts the chest portion of the harness to limit the downward longitudinal movement of the elongate member with respect to the torso of the wearer.
The golfers movements which are controlled by the training device may best be described by reference to FIGURES 1-4 which show the device being worn by a golfer and the position of the various elements of the device at different points in the golfers swing. When the golfer assumes the position of address of the ball (FIG- URES 1 and 4), the tab 41 of the elongate member rests against the chest plate 12 of the harness 11 and prevents the leading arm from moving further downward with respect to the torso of the golfer. By limiting the downward movement of the leading arm in this manner, the golfers hands, in gripping the golf club, are positioned so that the golfers body is the proper distance from the ball during address. Although the angle at which the elongate member 17 and tab 41 contact the chest plate 12 may vary, it has been found that an angle of approximately 30 degrees between plate 12 and the longitudinal axis or the elongate member 17 properly positions the average size golfer with respect to the golf ball.
As the golfer begins his backswing, the elongate member 17 contacts stop arm 35 and prevents lateral movement of the golfers leading arm beyond a point approximately 15 degrees past the midline of the torso of the golfer, which point has been found to be the most comfortable to the average golfer and still produce the desired arc of swing of the golfers arms to bring the club head into contact with the ball.
As the "golfer continues the backswing (FIGURE 2), the torso or upper portion of the body is thus properly rotated to bring the hands and arms to the correct position at the top of the backswing.
The training device provides another important control feature. As seen in FIGURE 4, the elongate member 17 lies along the inner side of the upper portion of the leading arm with the arm band 21 positioned, by adjusting the length of the elongate member 17, to encircle the upper arm at a point just above the elbow. When the golfer moves to the top of the backswing (FIGURE 2) the arm band 21 moves relative to the leading arm to a position over the elbow. In this location the elbow is effectively locked to substantially prevent relative movement between the lower and upper portions of the arm, thus preventing premature break of theelbow before the golfers hands are brought into the downswing.
As the downswing begins, the leading arm moves in the swing plane with the clubhead following the preferred path of travel toward the ball, and the arm band 21 maintains the left arm substantially in the extended position. As the clubhead travels through the location of impact with the golf ball, the arm band 21 moves relative to the leading arm to a position encircling the upper portion of the arm and frees the elbow for movement. At the same time the leading arm is guided in movement toward the target by the hinge member 31, and subsequent to impact, guided into a proper follow-through due to the cooperation of the lateral and longitudinal pivotal actions.
It is believed apparent from the discussion above that my invention provides a golf training device which effectively guides the leading arm of a golfer through movements which are properly coordinated with other portions of the golfers body to obtain a preferred golfing technique, without imposing unnecessary restraints which would distort the necessary action of the golfers body.
In the drawings and specification there have been set forth preferred embodiments of the invention and, although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation, the scope of the invention being defined in the claims.
1. A device for controlling the position of the leading arm of a golfer relative to his torso during the backswing portion of a club swing and comprising:
a chest plate,
means for securing said chest plate to the upper part of a golfers torso,
a rigid elongated member adapted to be positioned along the inner side of the upper part of the golfers leading arm,
means for securing one end of said elognated member to the golfers arm,
pivotal means for pivotally coupling the other end of said elongated member to said chest plate so that said elongated member may be moved relative to said chest plate only about first and second substantially perpendicular related pivotal axes, said first pivotal axis permitting movement of said elongated member substantially longitudinally of the golfers torso and said second pivotal axis permitting movement of said elongated member laterally of the golfers torso, and
stop means for restricting the extent of permissable lateral movement of said elongate member about said second pivotal axis.
2. A device according to claim 1 wherein said means for securing said chest plate to the upper part of the golfers torso comprises a harness including a belt fastened to said chest plate and adapted to encircle the golfers chest.
3. A device according to claim 1 wherein said means for securing said elongated member to the golfers leading arm comprises a circular band mounted on said elongate member and adapted to loosely encircle the golfers leading arm.
4. A device according to claim 3 wherein said arm band has a predetermined width and is mounted on said elongated member at a distance from said pivotal axes so that said arm band is adapted to loosely encircle the upper portion of the leading arm of the golfer while the golfer is in the position of address to a golf ball and to be displaced along the leading arm to a position encircling the elbow joint of the leading arm as that arm moves rearwardly and laterally across the golfers torso during a backswing, said arm band functioning upon encircling the elbow joint to restrain bending of the golfers leading arm at the elbow.
5. A device according to claim 1 and further comprising stop means for restricting the extent of permissible longitudinal movement of said elongated member about said first pivotal taxis to thereby limit the extent to which the upper portion of the golfers leading arm may be lowered upon the golfer assuming the position of address to a golf ball.
6. A device according to claim 5 wherein said longitudinal movement restricting means comprises a projecting 5 tab on said elongated member positioned for engaging said chest plate.
7. A device vaccording to claim 1 wherein said pivotal means comprises a first leaf member secured to said chest plate and a second leaf member hingedly connected to said first leaf member and to said other end of said elongated member and further wherein said lateral move ment restricting means comprises a block disposed between said leaf members for restricting the extent of relative movement permitted therebetween.
8. A device for controlling the position of the leading arm of a golfer relative to his torso during the backswing portion of a club swing and comprising:
a rigid elongated member having a length corresponding to that required to extend from a point adjacent the shoulder joint of a golfers leading arm to a point adjacent the elbow joint thereof,
means for mounting said elongated member in position along the leading arm including pivotal means secured to said elongated member at one end thereof 20 and adapted to be mounted on the torso of a golfer adjacent the shoulder joint of the golfers leading arm for permitting pivotal movement of said elongated member relative to the golfers torso about first and second substantially perpendicularly related pivotal axes, said first and second pivotal axes respectively permitting movement of said elongated member longitudinally and laterally of the golfers torso and,
an arm encircling band of predetermined width mounted on said elongated member at a predetermined distance from said one end and adapted to be secured loosely encircling the leading arm of the golfer, said predetermined width and distance being such that said band is adapted to encircle the upper portion of the golfers leading arm while the golfer is in the position of address to a golf ball and to be displaced along the leading arm to a position encircling the elbow joint of the leading arm as that arm moves rearwardly and laterally across the golfers torso during a backswing, said arm encircling band functioning while encircling the elbow joint to restrain bending movement thereof.
ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner.
25 GEORGE J. MARLO, Assistant Examiner.