US 3462155 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
,D. 1'. Pill Aug. 19, 1969 GOLF CLUB HAVING MEANS OF ALIGNING RELATIVE .TO A-usER' Filed'Julylo, .1967
, INIENTGR fla /Z [flak WW1 hm ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,462,155 GOLF CLUB HAVING MEANS OF ALIGNING RELATIVE TO A USER David T. Pelz, 13129 Oriole Drive, Beltsville, Md. 20705 Filed July 10, 1967, Ser. No. 652,097 Int. Cl. A63!) 53/00 U.S. Cl. 273-162 Claims ABSTRACT or THE DISCLOSURE Background of the invention The present invention relates to a golf club, and more particularly to a putter used for stroking a golf ball on or adjacent to a golf course green.
The golf club of the present invention is of the type generally referred to as croquet style putters which are swung in a generally pendulum-like manner between the legs of the golfer with the golfers feet being positioned astride the line of the putt.
An early form of this style of putter is disclosed in the prior art wherein the club shaft is forked to provide two portions which rest against the arms of the person using the club, with portions of the shaft being grasped at an intermediate portion by the hands of the person.-
With this type of arrangement, the hands and wrists of the person using the club are in an unnatural position and create muscle tension, which is undesirable while performing the putting stroke.
Additionally, although there is a mark on the club head indicating the center line thereof, there is no means for properly aligning the club each time it is used so that it is properly indexed with respect to the person using the club.
Furthermore, there is no means with an arrangement shown in the aforementioned patent for clearly indicating the line along which the ball will travel when the club is in a particular position.
A further development in this type of putter is illustrated in the prior art wherein the handle portions of the putter extend more or less horizontally when the putter is in striking position. This construction does not provide an aligning means for positively indexing the club with respect to the users body so that the club may be repositioned in exactly the same relative relationship to the users body each time it is used. This is an important consideration, since small variations in the initial position of the club with respect to the users body will result in considerable differences in the direction and speed of travel of the golf ball struck by the club. 7
The golf club shown in this latter-mentioned patent is provided with a pointer which enables the player to align the club head with the ball when the head is concealed by the players body when the club head is swung'between his legs, but there is no means for giving the user a good visual indication of the line along which the ball will travel after having been struck.
Additionally, neither of the putters discussed hereinbefore will provide top spin to the golf ball when it is ice struck, and this is a very desirable feature since it tends to maintain a true path of movement by the ball.
Summary of the invention In the arrangement of the present invention, the handle portion of the club is grasped within the two hands of the user with the arms of the user suspended in a vertical direction. The arms are then drawn back to move the club between the legs of the user, whereupon the arms are allowed to swing forwardly and freely so that the face of the club head may strike an associated golf ball. With this arrangement, the energy required by the user to control the position and direction of the club head during the putting stroke is significantly reduced to thereby decrease the susceptibility of the person from making an improper stroke due to an impediment in the stroke, the yips, quips, jerks, nerves, or other terms which describe the reaction of a person to a fear impulse sent from the brain. To be more specific, this reaction is similar to being completely unconscious for a period of a few milliseconds. Although a yip normally has a drastic elfect on a putt struck with a conventional club, i.e., struck by a player standing on one side of the intended line of a putt, with this new invention even if a yip occurs, the force of gravity (which is the primary force acting on the golf club during the unconscious period) is acting along the line of motion of the club, and thus will not affect the direction which the club head travels and therefore will not affect the direction of the putted ball.
With the arrangement of the present invention, a completely symmetrical motion or function of the left and right sides of the body employed in the putting stroke is obtained, and a balanced and true pendulum swing is employed using the outer race of the ball joint between the arms and the shoulders of the user as the fixed point of rotation. The putting stroke may be simply and easily executed with a minimum number of moving body parts.
With this pendulum style swing, no wrist break is required, and is thereby eliminated as an important factor in determining the initial direction of travel of the ball struck by the club.
An important feature of the present invention is the fact that aligning means is provided on the club head and on the shaft of the club which is adapted to be visually aligned by the person, using the club so that the club can be accurately indexed with respect to the body of the user so that the relative position of the club and the users body is the same each time the club is used. This accordingly eliminates any errors which may occur by improperly aligning the club with respect to the body during successive strokes with the club.
The striking face of the club slopes forwardly andupwardly when the putter is disposed in striking position and is so designed as to strike the associated golf ball above the center of mass thereof to thereby impart overspin to the ball which is highly desirable.
The sole of the club head is of such construction that the lowermost portion thereof is disposed at the medial part of the head with the sole sloping upwardly from such medial part of the head toward the sides thereof thereby enabling a vertical pendulum swing even on side hill putts as well as with level putts.
The arrangement of the shaft of the club of the present invention is such that the aforementioned aligning means can be properly aligned, and additionally when held in striking position, spaced portions of the club shaft cooperate with one another to provide a direction indicator means which clearly indicates to the user the path along which the ball will travel when struck by the striking face of the club head. These portions of the shaft extend for- 3 wardly of the ball when it is initially aligned with the club so as to overlie the path along which the ball will travel when struck. Also, a unique pointer effect is obtained due to the angle at which the two eyes of the user observe the separate portions of the shaft.
Brief description of the drawing FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a person using the club according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side view illustrating the golf club of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a top view of the club shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an end view of the golf club shown in FIG. 2; and
FIG. 5 is the view presented to the eye of the user when the golf club is held in the striking position illustrated in FIG. 1.
Description of the preferred embodiment Referring now to the drawing wherein like reference characters designate corresponding part throughout the several views, a golfer is indicated by reference numeral G in FIG. 1 in the stance employed when utilizing the golf club of the present invention. It will be noted that the golfer has his feet spaced apart and is bent over at the waist with the right arm indicated by reference character RA, and the left arm LA hanging suspended from the shoulder sockets in a generally vertical direction. The golfers hands as seen in FIG. 1 support the golf club of the present invention indicated generally by reference numeral 10, the club being disposed in striking position for striking a ball B resting on the putting surface.
Referring particularly to FIGS. 2-4 inclusive, the putter includes a club head indicated generally by reference numeral 12 having a substantially planar striking face 14 disposed at the forward portion thereof. As seen especially in FIG. 2, the striking face slopes forwardly and upwardly when the putter is disposed in the striking position as illustrated in this figure, and the dimensions of the striking face are such that when it comes into contact with a ball with standard dimension, the striking face 14 will contact the ball above the center of mass thereof so as to impart overspin to the ball to hold it on line after it has been struck.
Referring particularly to FIG. 4, the sole portion or bottom of the club head includes a lowermost portion indicated by reference numeral which is disposed at the medial part or central part of the head. The sole portion slopes upwardly along portions 22 and 24 from the medial part of the club to the sides thereof so as to have the configuration as seen especially in FIG. 4. With this shape, the club of the present invention may be effectively used on side hill putts wherein the slope does not exceed the slope of portions 22 and 24 of the sole portion of the club head while employing the same pendulum swing in a vertical plane of the club as aforedescribed.
The club head includes a generally flat top portion having an aligning means in the form of an elongated index mark 32 formed thereon. This index mark may be formed in a variety of ways, and may for example comprise a groove formed in top portion 30, or it may comprise a strip of material painted or bonded thereon. In any event, as seen in FIG. 3, index mark 32 is of suflicient length to extend a substantial distance on opposite sides of the shaft hereinafter described as seen from above.
The club shaft includes a lower portion which extends forwardly and upwardly with respect to the striking face 14 of the club head. The lower terminal end 42 of lower portion 40 of the club shaft is suitably secured to the rear portion of the club head as by 'welding or the like.
The lower portion 40 of the club shaft joins with an intermediate arcuate portion 44 which in turn joins with an upper portion 46 of the club shaft, this upper portion as seen most clearly in FIG. 2 extending rearwardly and upwardly with respect to the striking face of the club head. It will be noted that the upper portion of the club shaft is disposed substantially entirely forwardly of the plane of the striking face -14.
Aligning means is formed on the upper portion of the club shaft and comprises a plurality of spaced index marks 50 disposed on the upwardly facing portion of this part of the club shaft so as to be readily visible from above by a person using the club. These index marks may comprise notches formed in the material of the club shaft, or may comprise indicia which are painted or bonded onto the material of the shaft. It is apparent that the index marks formed both on the club shaft and the top portion of the club head may be formed in any suitable manner for the purpose of the present invention.
As seen most clearly in FIG. 3, the handle portion of the present invention which is connected with the upper end of the club shaft comprises a generally U-shaped member 60 which is rigidly secured to the upper terminal end of the uper portion 50 of the shaft as by welding or the like as indicated by reference numerals 61. This U-shaped member 60 includes opposite end portions 62 and 64 which have hand-grip portions 66 and 68 of a conventional nature supported thereon.
When using the putter of the present invention, the hand-grip portions 66 and 68 are grasped by the right and left hands of the golfer as seen in FIG. 1 with the remaining portion of the golf club disposed in depending relation to the handle portions.
The two separate handle portions are spaced from one another a sufficient distance to allow the golfers hands to grip these portions, and at the same time they are spaced sufficiently close to one another that parts of the hands may be interengaged with one another to steady the golfers grip if desired.
When the club is held in the striking position as shown in FIG. 1, the separate handle portions extend substantially horizontally and are parallel with the intended direction of the line of the putting stroke.
Referring now to FIG. 5, the view that is presented to the golfers eye is illustrated as he is positioned over the club as seen in FIG. 1. The club head may be positioned a predetermined distance from the feet of the golfer to thereby obtain a proper spacing of the club head from the feet of the golfer. The golfer then looks downwardly and a predetermined one of the index marks 50' on the upper portion of the club shaft is aligned with the index mark 32 formed on the top portion of the club head.
A plurality of index marks 50' are provided so that the club may be used by golfers of different stature, and the golfer will select Whichever one of the index marks 50 which -is most suitable. This particular index mark may then be distinguished from the others as for example by placing paint in one of a plurality of notches 50. As seen in FIG. 5, the notch 50 has been so distinguished, and when the golfer is using the club, he will align the index mark 50' with the index mark 32 on the top portion of the club head. When the marks are aligned as seen in FIG. 5, and as observed by the golfer, the club is properly oriented fore and aft of the intended line of putt and along the intended line of putt.
The club must then be aligned from side to side or in a direction extending substantially perpendicular to the intended line, and it will be noted that when seen from above, the lower portion of the shaft 40 will appear as two separate portions 40a and 40b due to the fact that the lower portion of the shaft is being viewed by the two spaced eyes of the golfer with the upper portion of the shaft 46 being interposed between his eyes and the lower portion of the shaft.
Accordingly, as seen in FIG. 5, the lower portion of the shaft will actually seem to be V-shaped with the apex of the V being disposed at the point where the upper and lower portions of the shaft come together. Accordingly, the portions 40a, 40b and 46 as seen in FIG. 5 form a pointer-like illusion extending along the line of the putt and being disposed forwardly of the striking face of the club head so that the golfer is given an accurate representation of the direction in which the ball will travel when struck by the face of the club head.
The upper portion 46 of the club shaft is positioned as seen in FIG. 5 until it appears to be substantially midway between portions 40a and 40b with these latter portions appearing symmetrically on either side of the upper shaft potrion 46. When these portions are disposed as seen in FIG. 5, the club is properly positioned in a substantially vertical position beneath the person using the club.
By aligning the club in the manner as discussed hereinabove, the golf club can be very accurately indexed with respect to the golfers body so that it will be in substantially the same relative position each and every time it is used.
It is apparent from the foregoing that there is provided according to the present invention a new and novel golf club which permits a true pendulum putting stroke to be made. Overspin is imparted to the ball struck by the club, and the club provides a positive indication of the path along which the ball will travel after being struck. Means is provided for accurately indexing the club with respect to the body of the golfer so that the club may be repreatedly properly aligned each time it is used.
As this invention may be embodied in several forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof, the present embodiment is therefore illusrative and not restrictive, and since the scope of the invention is defined by the appended claims, all changes that fall within the metes and bounds of the claims or that form their functional as well as jointly cooperative equivalents are therefore intended to be embraced by those claims:
1. A golf club comprising a club head having a substantially planar striking face, said club head including a top portion having aligning means thereon, a club shaft including a lower portion connected with said club head and extending forwardly and upwardly with respect to said striking face when the golf club is in striking position, said club shaft also including an upper portion which extends rearwardly and upwardly with respect to said striking face when the golf club is in striking position, aligning means on said upper portion of the club shaft and cooperating with the aligning means on said top portion Of the club head to enable the golf club to be properly aligned with respect to a person using the golf club, and a handle portion connected with said upper portion of the club shaft and defining two spaced gripping portions adapted to be manually grasped, said spaced gripping portions extending substantially horizontally when the golf club is in striking position.
2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said aligning means on the top portion of said club head comprises at least one index mark thereon, said aligning means on the upper portion of said club shaft comprising at least one index mark thereon adapted to be visually aligned with the index mark on the top portion of the club head.
3. Apparatus as defined in claim 2 including a plurality 6 of index marks formed on said upper portion of the club shaft.
4. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said striking face extends forwardly and upwardly when the putter is in striking position to impart overspin to a golf ball contacted by said striking face.
5. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said club head includes a sole portion, the lowermost portion of said sole portion being disposed at the medial part of said club head, the sole portion sloping upwardly and to the sides of said club head from said medial part of the club head.
'6. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein the upper portion of said club shaft is disposed substantially entirely forwardly of the plane of said striking face.
7. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said two spaced gripping portions of the handle portion are disposed substantially parallel with one another and parallel with the direction of the line of stroke to be made with the club head, said aligning means on the top portion of said club head comprising at least one elongated index mark formed thereon, said aligning means on the upper portion of said club shaft including a plurality of index marks formed thereon, said last index marks being of less length than said index mark on the top portion of said club head.
8. Apparatus as defined in claim 7 wherein said upper portion of the club shaft is disposed substantially entirely forwardly of the plane of said striking face.
9. Apparatus as defined in claim 7 wherein said striking face slopes forwardly and upwardly when the putter is disposed in striking position so as to impart top spin to a golf ball struck by said striking face.
10. Apparatus as defined in claim 7 wherein said club head includes a sole portion, the lowermost portion of said sole portion being disposed at the medial part of the club head, said sole portion sloping upwardly from said medial part of the club head and to the sides thereof.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 792,631 6/1905 Taylor 273--164 1,603,850 10/ 1926 Keating. 1,868,286 7/1932 Grieve 273-174 1,919,221 7/1933 lanes 27381.3 2,204,974 6/ 1940 Strasser 27381.3 3,035,839 5/ 1962 Coglianese. 3,042,409 7/1962 Johnson 273--164 3,062,549 11/1962 Duden 273-81.3
FOREIGN PATENTS 7,550 1900 Great Britain. 739,403 1955 Great Britain.
ANTON O. OCHSLE, Primary Examiner P. E. SHAPIRO, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 273-80, 81.3, 167