US 3462156 A
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Aug. 19, 1969 2w. GENT RY 3,462,155 I 'YGOLF PRACYTICEIDEVICE f 2 Shpets-Sh e et 1 Filed Jan. 23. 1968 Thar/bane VV. Gen/fly INVENTOR.
Arron/var Au' .19,1969 41. w. 51mm 3,462,156
GOLF PRACTICE DEVICE Filed Jan. 23. 1968' ZSheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
A TTO/FIVEY r/n/rmna 61904631- United States Patent 01 ice 3,462,156 Patented Aug. 19, 1969 3,462,156 GOLF PRACTICE DEVICE Thurmond W. Gentry, 902 Ridge St., Houston, Tex. 77002 Filed Jan. 23, 1968, Ser. No. 699,849 Int. Cl. A63b 69/36 US. Cl. 273-186 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE other end to the reel. The reel is attached to a stationaryobject such as the wall of a room.
The swivel joint includes a socket portion aflixed to the end of the handle and a mating ball portion integrally formed on one end of the cylindrical rod. The end of the socket portion has two longitudinal slots formed in its walls having widths slightly greater than the rod diameter. The sides of the first slot are radially positioned so that when the rod rides in this slot and the grip is held in the correct position for the beginning of the backswing the rod and cord lie in a straight line. The sides of the second slot are radially disposed so that when the rod rides in this slot and the grip is held in the correct position for the beginning of the forward swing the rod and cord lie in a straight line.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention is related to golf teaching and practicing devices. More particularly it is concerned with apparatus for teaching and practicing the proper swing of a golf club.
Description of the prior art The game of golf has become increasingly popular as man has acquired more leisure time. Of course, anyone who plays golf seeks to improve his game and to become a consistently good player.
One of the most important fundamentals of golf is the correct swing. Without a correct repeating swing, it is impossible for anyone to play good golf.
Many devices have been designed to aid in developing the proper golf swing. Some of the more pertinent ones are described in the following patents: 2,848,234T. 0. Brandon; 2,655,378A. D. Sheifer; 2,788,214C. D. Tilden; 3,083,016L. W. Sumegi. However, most devices of the prior art only assure that the club head swings in a generally proper arc. They do not teach or develop the proper wrist position throughout the entire swing. Improper wrist movement is one of the greatest errors of the weekend golfer. Nor do these devices teach the proper body and arm position in combination with Wrist position throughout the swing.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is designed to develop the proper swing and to enable the golfer to consistently repeat the correct swing. It is a simple device which may be economically manufactured and easily installed for indoor practice. Thus, the weekend golfer can practice his swing in his own home or office during the week with the assurance that on the weekend he can repeat that swing at the golf course.
Basically, the device includes the grip portion of a golf club shaft, a cylindrical rod attached to its lower end by a swivel joint, a preferably substantially constant tension spring reel, and a cord or line connected to the reel and the rod. The reel is attached at about door height to a stationary object such as a wall.
A socket at the lower end of the grip portion is formed with two longitudinal slots of a width slightly greater than the rod diameter. One of these slots is so arranged that when holding the grip as if properly addressing a ball the rod lies in this slot and is in line with the cord which is held in tension against the rod by the spring reel. An improper wrist position will automatically be detected since it would cause the rod to move out of alignment with the cord. The tension on the cord would then produce a torque about the grip axis tending to return it to the proper position.
The second slot is so arranged that as the golfer starts his backswing, the rod moves out of the first slot and I into the second slot so that again at the top of the backswing the proper position is attained when the rod and cord are aligned. Improper alignment is felt by the torque produced by the rod and the tension in the cord.
During the forward swing the rod returns to the first slot assuring the correct ball contact position. Not only is the proper wrist position assured with this device, but also proper arm and body position. Due to the tension exerted by the spring reel the golfer has a natural tendency to brace the right leg against swaying and keep his left arm straight. These, of course, are desirable results.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGURE 1 is an elevational view of one embodiment of the invention shown as it is used by a golfer.
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the handle and rod portion of one embodiment of the invention.
FIGURE 3 is an elevational end view of the handle and rod of FIGURE 2, and
FIGURE 4 is an elevational view in section of the socket member of the embodiment of FIGURES 2 and 3 taken along line 4-4 of FIGURE 3.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring first to FIGURE 1, one embodiment of the invention is shown being used by a golfer. The basic components include the grip portion 1 of a golf club shaft, a rigid cylindrical rod 2 attached to the lower end of the grip by a swivel joint 3 to be more fully described subsequently, a flexible cord 4 attached at one end to rod 2, and a spring loaded reel 5 to which the other end of cord 4 is attached.
Reel 5 is attached to a stationary object such as wall 6. It is desirable for reel 5 to be designed to exert a substantially constant pull on cord 4 regardless of how much of the cord 4 is wound up in the reel. Approximately five pounds of tension has been found to be suitable for the average man. It is also desirable that reel 5 be provided with means of adjusting its tension so that it may be adjusted for golfers of different strengths. -Reel 5 may be varied in its location with respect to the golfer. It has been found that a convenient location is about forty inches to the right and twenty-two inches behind the golfers right heel at approximately door height. This, of course, may be varied depending, among other things, on the golfers size, club length, and the design of the swivel joint 3 as will be more fully understood subsequently.
Looking now at FIGURES 2, 3, and 4, the arrangement of grip 1, rod 2, and swivel joint 3, will be described. Grip 1 is similar to the grip of any commercially available golf club. A line 10 may be marked on the grip to indicate its proper orientation when addressing an imaginary ball.
Swivel 3 includes a cylindrical socket member 11 rigidly attached in any suitable manner to the lower end of grip 1. Socket member 11, as shown in FIGURE 4, has a cylindrically shaped exterior. Its interior is defined by three cylindrical portions 12, 13, and 14 of respectively reducing diameters. The larger diameter portion 12 is made to fit over the lower end of grip 1. The diameter of cylindrical portion 13 is slightly greater than the diameter of a ball 20, integrally formed on the end of rod 2. The smallest diameter 14 is of a diameter slightly greater than the diameter of rod 2. Thus, rod 2 may be inserted through the interior of socket 11, from bottom to top as shown in FIGURE 4, until ball 20 and annular shoulder 15 arrest its further movement. Ball 20 may be rotatingly retained in this location by means such as a screw 16 which projects into cylindrical portion 13 or a plug (not shown) inserted into area 13.
The end of socket 11 is provided with two open end longitudinal slots 17 and 18 whose widths are slightly greater than the diameter of rod 2. The arrangement of slots 17 and 18 are important. The sides of slot 17 are radially disposed so that when a golfer stands in the position shown in FIGURE 1, properly addressing a ball 7, rod 2 lies in slot 17 and is aligned with cord 4. With the location of reel as earlier described the preferred location of slot 17 with respect to the end of socket 11 has been found to be approximately forty-five degrees above the horizontal in the upper left hand quadrant as shown in FIGURE 3. Of course, as has been stated previously, this angle can vary depending on the location of reel 5, the height of the golfer and other variables.
The position shown in FIGURE 1 would assure that the face of the golf club, if one were attached, would be square with ball 7. If the golfer rotates his wrists out of proper position rod 2 would rotate with grip 1, due to its close fit in slot 17. The disalignment of rod 2 with cord 4, as indicated by the dot-dash lines, would immediately be felt since the tension in cord 4 would produce a torque in the direction of arrow 9 tending to correct the position.
As the golfer moves from the address position into the backswing, cord 4 and rod 2 continue to maintain the proper wrist position. In addition, there is a natural tendency to brace the right leg against the tension exerted by reel 5, preventing improper swaying of the body. Further, the left arm tends to remain straight. These are, of course, fundamental requirements of good golf techniques.
At approximately the middle of the backswing, rod 2 begins to leave slot 17 and enter slot 18 since the sides of slots 17 and 18 merge with one another at the end of socket 11. They may come together in a smooth curved path as shown or in an intersection of planes. Slot 18 is so disposed that at the upper part of the backswing, shown by dotted lines in FIGURE 1, rod 2 and cord 4 are aligned when grip 1 is held in the proper position. In general, the correct position is attained when grip 1, and consequently the rest of the golf club shaft, if one were attached, is parallel to the intended shot line. For the location of reel 5 in the example previously stated, the preferred disposition of slot 18 with respect to the end of socket 11 has been found to be approximately sixty-seven degrees below the horizontal in the lower right hand quadrant as shown in FIGURE 3.
From the top of the backswing the forward swing is begun and continued through the imaginary point of contact with ball 7 as shown in FIGURE 1. During the forward swing, rod 2 leaves slot 18 and re-enters slot 17. Throughout the backswing and the forward swing the tension in cord 4 maintains the proper wrist position by keeping rod 2 aligned with cord 4. Of course, other socket and aligning means may be designed employing the same principles as the socket and slot construction described herein. The particular construction shown has been found to perform very satisfactorily.
Thus, it can be seen from the foregoing description that the simple economical, apparatus of the invention allows a golfer to practice and develop a correct repeating swing from address to follow-through. Furthermore, this may be done in a small space such as a normal room in a house.
Although only one preferred embodiment has been described, many modifications of the invention may be made by one skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention. It is, therefore, intended that the scope of the invention be limited only by the claims which follow.
1. A device for practicing the proper golf swing comprising tension means for continuously exerting tension on a flexible cord means upon movement of a first end of said flexible cord means to positions closer to and further from said tension means, flexible cord means having first and second ends, an elongate grip member, said flexible cord means having its first and second ends connected to one end of said grip member and said tension means, respectively, alignment indication means attached to said grip member for indicating improper movement of said grip member throughout said golf swing, said alignment indication means comprising a rigid rod having first and second ends, and a socket member rigidly connected to said one end of said grip member, said first end of said rod being connected to said first end of said flexible cord means, said second end of said rod being connected to said socket member, and means for permitting said rod to rotate about said one end of said grip only in a predetermined path so that when said grip member is properly held and swung as a golf club, said rod will rotate in said path and said flexible cord means and rod will remain in a straight line.
2. The device of claim 1 in which the second end of said rod is provided with an integral ball portion rotatingly retained in a hollow portion of said socket member, and said first end of said rod projects outwardly of said socket member, said rod being confined to rotation in said predetermined path by slot means communicating with both the exterior and interior of said socket member.
3. The device of claim 1 in which said socket member is hollow and provided with a longitudinal slot formed in its wall having a width slightly greater than the thickness of said rod, the sides of said slot being radially disposed and said slot accommodating said rod so that said rod is confined to rotate only in said slot.
4. The device of claim 3 in which said second end of said rod is provided with a ball rotatingly retained in said socket member.
5. The device of claim 1 in which said socket member is provided with two open end slots longitudinally formed in the socket member wall, the width of said slots being slightly greater than the thickness of said rod, said second end of said rod being adapted to swivel along a path defined by said slots, the sides of one of said slots being so radially disposed that when said grip member is held in the proper golf club grip and positioned for contact with a golf ball said rod is retained by said one slot in straight line alignment with said cord, the sides of the other of said slots being so radially disposed that when said grip member is held in the proper golf club grip and positioned near the top of the backswing said rod is retained in said other slot in straight line alignment with said cord.
6. The device of claim 5 in which said slots are adapted to provide smooth transition of said rod from one slot to the other throughout movement from address to backswing to forward swing positions.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 325,404 9/1885 Forest 272--81 2,848,234 8/1958 Brandon 273194 X GEORGE I. MARLO, Primary Examiner US. Cl. XJR.