US 3438634 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 15, 1969 E. ROY 3,438,634
APPARATUS FORJDEPICTING EFFECTIVENESS OF GOLFERS SWING Fileduunezeyleev A Sheet of2 l N VENTOR.
April 15, 1969 E. ROY 3,438,634
APPARATUS FOR DEPICTING EFFECTIVENESS OF GOLFERS SWING Filed June 28, 1967 Sheet 2 of 2 I ii United States Patent Olhce 3,438,634 Patented Apr. 15, 1969 US. Cl. 273186 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A plurality of conductive plates are arranged on the face of a golf club, and each is electrically connected, through a cable, to a console on which a pictorial representation of the clubface is portrayed with lamps associated with segments of the clubface corresponding to these plates. A target ball is mounted on a flexible arm, and a contact'element on the target ball is electrically connected to the console by means of a conductor embedded in the flexible arm. Circuit means in the console illuminates one or more of the lamps in response to engagement between one or more of the plates and the contact element.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to devices for aiding golfers in perfecting their swing, and deals more particularly with an apparatus which gives the golfer an indication of the effectiveness of his swing.
Golf swing practice devices have been proposed heretofore wherein an object ball trips an electric circuit in response to swinging of a golf club. However, these devices have not been used to record the point of impact between the target ball and the club itself. For example, Patent No. 3,169,022 issued to Kretsinger records the weight distribution of the golfer at the instant of impact. The present invention on the other hand seeks to give the golfer a direct indication of the point of impact between his clubface and the ball rather than concerning him with questions of balance.
Patent No. 3,020,049 issued to McNeill shows a rather complex device for recording the path of movement of the golf club. McNeill shows means for recording the path taken by the golf club, from which information the probable path of movement of a real ball is extrapolated. The present invention on the other hand concentrates on the point of impact of the target ball with the clubface. It will be apparent from the description to follow that an extrapolation to yield a graphic display of the path taken by the ball might also be adapted for use with the present invention.
Patent No. 3,194,563 issued to Mackniesh discloses means for recording the angular orientation of the clubface with respect to a desired direction in which the ball or target is to be driven. Here again there is no showing of means for recording the point of impact of the target ball with the face of the golf club.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION From the prior art described hereinabove it will be apparent that these references do not show or suggest an apparatus for recording and visually presenting the area of impact between the target ball and the somewhat larger face of the golf club. The present invention provides such an apparatus and although a preferred embodiment is described and shown herein the invention is not so limited, but is at least as broad in scope as the several claims forming a part of this specification.
The general object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for use by golfers in practicing their swing, said apparatus providing a graphic indication of the precise area of impact between the clubface and an object or target ball.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a golfer swinging a club toward a target ball, both the club and target ball are electrically connected to a console upon which readout information is provided in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of the clubface of the golf club depicted in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a schematic view of the circuit means used in a preferred embodiment of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Turning now to the drawings in greater detail, FIG. 1 shows a golfer 10 in the process of swinging a golf club .12 which may comprise a conventional driver modified in the manner set forth hereinbelow. The golf club 12 is being swung so that the face of the club, indicated generally at 14, will engage a target or object ball 16.
As best shown in FIG. 2, the clubface 14- is provided with a plurality of conductive plates arranged in any convenient pattern. As shown five such plates are used but it will be understood that the invention is not so limited, and that two or more plates might be used to advantage. One plate 18 is located adjacent the toe of the club, another plate 20 adjacent the heel or shank portion of the club, and finally three plates 22, 24 and 26 are arranged one above the other in generally centered relation between the toe and heel plates 18 and 20 respectively. Each plate has associated therewith a wire, or conductor, which extends upwardly through the hollow club shaft and along a cable 30 which extends from the upper end of the club shaft to a console indicated generally at 32 in FIG. 1.
The target ball 16 preferably comprises a hollow hemispherical plastic member which is integrally carried on the outer, or free end portion, of a cantilevered arm 28 so that the golfer 10 can swing his club 12 against the object ball 16, causing the arm 28 to flex laterally and yield before the force of the swung club.
In accordance with the present invention, a conductive element 34 is embedded in the face of the object ball 16, and more specifically at the point which contacts the clubface 14, and a conductor 36 is molded in the arm 28 and electrically connects the element 34 with the console 32. A suitable support 38 is provided for supporting the opposite end of the arm 28 in cantilever fashion, and it will be apparent that the support 38 may comprise a part of the console 32 without departing from the scope of the present invention. Thus, the console 32 is electrically connected to each of the plates 18, 20, 22, 24 and 26, in the clubface and in addition is electrically connected to the element 34 on the object ball 16.
In accordance with the present invention circuit means is provided in the console for generating individual electrical signals when one of said plates contacts said element. Preferably, and as best shown in FIG. 3 said circuit means includes a source of electrical power, in the form of a DC battery 40, a plurality of silicon control rectifiers 42, 42 each of which is adapted to be biased in response to even a very slight current carried thereto by one of the wires associated with any one or more of the plates 18, 20, 22, 24 or 26-.
Display means responsive to these signals is provided for presenting a pictorial representation of the clubface, and more particularly of the impact area thereon to one swinging the golf club 12 into contact with the target 16. Preferably, said display means comprises a pictorial representation having segments which correspond to the conductive plates provided on the clubface. A plurality of electrically energizable lamps, each of which is mounted so as to illuminate one of said segments, is provided in said circuit means. Each of the lamps is adapted to be energized by one of said individual signals produced by the circuit means. More particularly, each of the lamps is provided in series with one of said silicon control rectifier, and all of said lamps and rectifiers are arranged in parallel with respect to one another so that DC power is continuously available at each of the silicon control rectifiers 42, 42 and to the contact element 34 on the simulated golf ball 16. Thus, whenever a conductive plate on the clubface 14 contacts the element on the target ball 16, electrical energy is conveyed to the bias side of the silicon control rectifier associated with a particular plate, and an associated lamp is illuminated even after the club has been swung past the object ball. It will be apparent, therefore, that after the golfer has taken a practice swing, he will have illuminated one or more of the lamps provided for this purpose on the console 32. Thus the golfer has a pictorial representation illustrating, in very concrete form, the point of impact between his clubface 14- and the object ball 16. Prior to taking another practice swing, the golfer need only depress the push button switch 46 momentarily in order to reset the silicon control rectifiers for a subsequent sequence of operation.
1. In combination, a golf club having a plurality of conductive plates arranged on the clubface, a target having a conductive element embedded therein, and circuit means electrically connected to each of said plates and to said element for generating individual signals when one of said plates contacts said element.
2. The combination as set forth in claim 1 and further characterized by display means responsive to said signals.
3. The combination as set forth in claim 2 and further characterized in that said display means comprises a pictorial representation of said clubface, said pictorial representation having segments which correspond to the conductive plates on said clubface, a plurality of electrically energizable lamps each of which is so mounted as to illuminate one of said segments, each of said lamps being energized by one of said individual signals produced by said circuit means.
4. The combination as set forth in claim 1 and further characterized in that said target comprises a simulated golf ball, and a flexible arm integrally connected at one end to said ball and having its opposite end supported cantilever fashion.
5. The combination as set forth in claim 4 and further characterized in that said conductive element comprises a contact carried by said ball, and said circuit means including a conductor connected to said contact element, said conductor being carried in part by said flexible arm.
6. The combination as set forth in claim 5 and further characterized by display means responsive to said individual signals for presenting a pictorial representation of said clubface to one swinging said golf club so as to bring one or more of said conductive plates into engagement with said contact element.
7. The combination as set forth in claim 6 and further characterized in that said circuit means includes a cable having a plurality of conductors each of which is connected to one of said plates on said clubface and extends upwardly through the shaft portion of said golf club, said cable being secured to the upper end of said shaft.
8. The combination as set forth in claim 7 and further characterized in that said circuit means comprises a source of electrical power, two conductors connecting said golf ball contact element in series to said power source, a plurality of silicon control rectifiers arranged in electrical parallel across said two conductors, and each of said cable associated conductors being arranged to selectively bias one of said rectifiers whenever an associated plate engages said golf ball contact.
9. The combination as set forth in claim 8 and further characterized in that said display means comprises a console having an upper surface on which said pictorial representation of said clubface is provided, said source of electrical power comprising a battery in said console, and manual means on said console for electrically resetting said silicon control rectifiers.
10. The combination as set forth in claim 1 and further characterized in that said circuit means includes a cable having a plurality of conductors each of which is connected to one of said plates on said clubface and extends upwardly through the shaft portion of said golf club, said cable being secured to the upper end of said shaft.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5/1942 Modine. 7/1965 Mackniesh.
GEORGE J. MARLO, Primary Examiner.