US 3477720 A
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Nov. 11, 1969 0 SHAFIE SABA ALSO KNOWN AS JOSEPH SABA ADJUSTABLE HEAD ASSEMBLY FOR GOLF CLUB Filed Oct. 11, 1965 INVENTOR. F E QABA rug-9 M Amvamzus United States Patent Ofice 3,477,720 Patented Nov. 11, 1969 3,477,720 ADJUSTABLE HEAD ASSEMBLY FOR GOLF CLUB Shafie Saba, also known as Joseph Saba, Toledo, Ohio, as-
signor to Frances S. Saba and Sophie Secor, both of Toledo, Ohio Filed Oct. 11, 1965, Ser. No. 494,567 Int. Cl. A63b 53/06 US. Cl. 273--79 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A golf club construction featuring a universally shiftable lower blade which in its shifting moves linearly with respect to the shaft and, as well, arcuately by reason of complementary concave and convex surfaces and tongue and groove registration means formed on the shaft and blade; the construction also including locking means to hold the blade securely in a given desired position.
The present invention relates to a golf club construction. More particularly, the present invention relates to a construction which features a variable head arrangement of novel design. This variable head functions in a unique manner so as to permit the golfer using same to easily vary the angular attitude of the blade portion of the head assembly with respect to the linear axis of the handled shaft. At the same time, however, the golfer accomplishes a change in the balance of the club which corresponds closely with the feeling associated with changing from one club to another.
Golf, of course, is a well-known game and is conventionally played by a player using a plurality of individual clubs. Each of the clubs possesses a slightly different blade angle designed to yield a preselected distance. The blade angle may be spoken of in relationship to the linear axis of the handled shaft or in terms of its relationship with the ground. Viewed with respect to the ground, the smaller the angle between the blade and the ground, the more loft will be given the ball; while the greater the angle (approaching 90 or perpendicular to the ground), the less loft is given the ball. Thus, with the latter, the ball is propelled practically horizontally to the ground with only a slight loft. The theory of using a plurality of clubs is based on the idea that the golfer should develop a reasonably uniform swing and/ or stroke. When experience develops this to the ultimate, the selection of the club having a particular blade angle will yield very close to the distance desired since the angle of the club will determine the loft of the ball and consequently the horizontal distance traveled.
The head assembly of the present invention is generally directed to, and will be described primarily with reference to, that group of clubs known as irons. Irons are golf clubs composed of a shaft having a thin transverse metal blade extending from one end. The blade is usually at a preselected angle to the linear axis of the shaft, as viewed holding the shaft pointing to the ground with the blade resting on the surface of the ground. It should be kept in mind that the angle of the blade is not to be considered as changing with respect to a line normal to the golfers facing position but, rather, the change in angle of a given club is taken with respect to a vertical plane extending downwardly through the shaft on a line normal to the golfers facing position.
It is a particular object of the present inventionto provide a single club construction which embodies the function and capabilities of any one of the usual number of irons, e.g., at least eight, generally. The single club of this invention thus enables a golfer to play a conventional game of golf employing only the necessary number of woods desired (usually '3 or 4) and the single universal iron provided by the present invention.
Additionally, with respect to short courses (commonly called par 3 courses), the golfer need carry with him only the single club of the present invention or the single club embodying the construction of the present invention.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a head assembly construction for a golf club which is of uncomplicated design and is thereby capable of being manufactured with a minimum of difficulty.
It is likewise an object of the present invention to provide a golf head assembly which, though essentially universally adjustable, is of an uncluttered construction and design and therefore esthetically pleasing to the eye.
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a construction which is capable of being hand manipulated to change the angular attitude of the blade in an easy and trouble-free manner.
It is also an object of the present invention to provide a club in which the center of gravity changes as the blade angle is adjusted, thereby simulating the feel of a fixed head club of the same blade angle.
It is also an object of the present invention to provide a head assembly construction which features essentially universally variable blade angle and at the same time features locking arrangement which is positive in function once the proper angle or desired angle of the blade has been selected. That is, while the angle of the blade can be easily changed by the user, it is not subject to being accidentally changed during play.
The foregoing as well as other objects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the annexed sheet of drawings on which there is presented, for purpose of illustration only, a single embodiment of the present invention.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the three principal components constituting the adaptable golf head assembly of the present invention shown in disassembled relationship.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the components shown in FIG. 1 from the rear side; that is, the side of the blade opposite that which contacts the ball.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the same construction shown in FIG. 2, but from the front side of the blade.
FIG. 4 is an elevation view taken from the rear end of the blade showing the possible extended position of the blade as shown in solid outline, and the other in dotted outline for purposes of clarity. 1
Stated most distinctly, the construction of the present invention envisions an assembly comprising a ball-contacting blade, an adapter into which the bottom end of a handled club shaft fits, the blade and adapter having matching abutting surfaces which are curvilinear in contour taken with respect to the central axis of the blade length, said surfaces including a tongue and groove (key and keyway) registration or alignment arrangement, and
means for securing the blade to the adapter in any one of a number of angular attitudes as determined by slidingly moving said blade and adapter on their respective curvilinearly matching surfaces.
The specific nature of the construction will become more apparent from a detailed examination of the accompanying drawings in which reference numeral 11 identifies the blade, reference numeral 30 identifies the adapter and reference numeal 50 identifies the hand manipulated securement means. The blade 11, as shown in the figures, is a planar plate having a ball-contacting forward surface 12, an upper edge 13, a lower edge 14 and a butt (rear) end 15. The butt end 15 is of greater thickness than the forward ball-contacting portion 12. The rear surface 16 of the butt end 15 is of convex contour extending from the upper edge 13 to the lower edge 14. This butt end 15 also contains groove 17 which extends from the upper edge 13 to the lower edge 14 and a threaded hole 18 to the rear of the groove.
The adapter 30 is essentially a linear member having an upper end 37 and an offset base portioin 31. The latter base portion 31 features a concave facing surface 33 from which projects an elongate key, rail or tongue member 34, generally in line with the linear axis of the adapter. An elongate slot passageway 35 extends through the base 31. The upper end 37 of the adapter is adapted to connect with a typical handled golf shaft S, shown in dotted outline in the several figures.
The securement means 50 for holding the blade 11 and adapter 30 together is composed of a threaded stud 51 connecting integrally with a shouldered head 53 from which extends a stern-like handle 54. A lock washer 52 encircles the stud 51.
The assembled head components are best illustrated in FIG. 2. As can be seen, the concave face 33 of the adapter 30 and the convex surface 16 of the blade 11 are in flush abutment with the key or tongue member 34 firmly but slidingly riding in the groove 17. The latter acts as a guide as to relative movement of the adapter and the blade and, as a consequence, controls relative movement of the club S and the blade. Slot 35, being elongate, permits threaded engagement of the threaded stud 51 'with internally threaded hole 18, in either extreme relative position of the shaft 12 and adapter 30. See FIG. 4 for these two positions; one in solid outline and the other in dotted outline. Obviously, also due to the elongate nature of slot 35, positions intermediate these are also achievable. To secure the above-described elements together, one simply rotates the stem handle 54 in a clockwise or thread engaging fashion to bring the shouldered head 53 into clamping contact with the adapter, as shown in FIG. 4. Adjustment of the blade angle within the angular extremes, identified by the reference numeral 75 in FIG. 4, is simply achieved by counterclockwise rotation of the handle 54 to loosen the threaded engagement slightly, permitting the head 11 to move to the position as shown in dotted outline in FIG. 4 or downwardly into a more slanted position as shown in solid outline in FIG. 4, thence, turning the handle 54 clockwise to clamp the three components securely together. It is an important feature of the present invention that the tongue or key 34 fitting within the groove 17 insures firm or positive registration or alignment of the blade with respect to the shaft test operating via the adapter 30. Stated somewhat differently, the tongue and groove arrangement on the adapter and blade insure that the angular relationship between the vertical axis of the shaft and the central axis of the blade portion do not change. By the central axis is meant a line along the blade length. For example, the central axis would conform generally to the centermost of the series of parallel lines appearing on the face of the blade 12, as viewed in FIG. 3.
It is another particular feature of the present invention that the distribution of weight or balance of the club, particularly in the head region, is changed simultaneously with the adjustment of the blade angle, as viewed in FIGS. 3 or 4. Thus, looking at FIG. 4, it may readily be appreciated that the center of gravity for the blade 11 in its full outline position exerts a different influence on the shaft than in the position shown in dotted outline. As a consequence of this construction, the club head assembly at a particular angular adjustment closely simulates in weight and balance the actual fixed head club which it replaces.
Referring to FIG. 2, a guide feature is incorporated in the construction as embodied in lines 40 on the base end 31 of the adapter 30. These lines, in fact, represent reference characters identifying a conventional iron number which varies from 2-9, generally. These numerals (lines 40 in the drawings of FIG. 2.) may be conveniently lined up with an indicia or pointer 41 carried by the blade 11 proximate thereto.
The change in angular relationship of the blade 12 is also shown in FIG. 3 in terms of intersecting lines having an included angle of 75. The line Which is near vertical, that is, generally parallel with the shaft S, represents the position of the blade as shown in dotted outline in FIG. 4. The blade in such position, hitting the ball B, would be given very little upward loft. In contrast, the blade at the angle in FIG. 3, conforming to the blade in solid outline in FIG. 4, would impart an appreciable upward loft.
It will be readily appreciated that the user, after hitting the ball from the tee or fairway, may easily and conveniently assess the lie of the golf ball after hitting and select or adjust the blade angle to that desired for the next shot as he leisurely walks down the fairway and approaches the ball. Actually, with a little experience, a greater degree of control can be achieved with the variable blade club of this invention than with regular clubs, since the layer is not limited to just eight blade positions numbering from the 2 iron to the 9 iron, but actually has a universal selection since the abutting surfaces of the elongate slot construction permit any desired blade angle to be selected by the player.
Examination of the device illustrated reveals the clean lines theroef, which permit it to be fabricated at a minimum of difficulty and consequently a minimum of expense. Thus, it will be appreciated that one using or acquiring a club in accordance with the present invention will, at a fraction of the cost, possess, in effect, a full complement of irons in a single unit.
The clean lines which are permissible by reason of the unique and novel inner action of the described components also provide an assembly which is not prone to becoming clogged with dirt or other foreign substances encountered in golf play, in the rough, in the woods, in the sand, or other unfavorable positions.
Although not shown in the drawings, it is possible, of course, to reverse the tongue and groove arrangement as shown in the drawings and described hereinabove. Thus, the tongue or key could be integrally formed on the blade, while the groove or keyway could be formed on the base portion of the adapter. Ideally, however, the construction is as illustrated in the drawings, since the base portion would otherwise have to be made more massive than in the present construction, upsetting the distribution of weight as between the two members with their present design.
Modifications may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims. Obvious variance of construction and substitutes in construction features are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims unless specifically excluded by the language thereof.
1. A golf club comprising:
a linear shaft having an upper hand-engaging end and a lower end, said shaft including a concave facing surface formed on said lower end and extending longitudinally of said shaft,
a horizontally extending blade having a shaft-engaging butt end, said butt end having a convex surface formed thereon which is nestably complementary to said concave facing surface on said lower shaft end,
tongue and groove means formed on said concave surface and convex surface, said means extending generally longitudinally of said shaft whereby said blade is shiftable longitudinally along said lower end, at the same time changing the angle of said blade, and
means for holding said lower end of said shaft and said blade with the surfaces in nonshifting surface abutment at any predetermined positioned taken longitudinally of said shaft lower end.
2. A golf club comprising a shaft and a golf-ball-contacting blade extending normally from one end of said shaft,
said blade being adjustable in its angular attitude to the shaft, said blade including a shaft attaching end of convex contour, a groove extending from an upper edge to a lower edge of said blade and a hole in said end,
said shaft featuring a lower end to which said blade is attached, said lower end featuring a concave facing surface matching said contoured shaft attaching end, said lower end including an integral tongue slidingly receivable in said groove and a vertically elongated slot, andsecurement means for said blade and said lower end, including a stud threadably engageable with said hole through said slot to bias said convex contour end and said concave surface into frictional engagement, said stud having means for controlling said frictional engagement whereby said blade is bodily slidable as a unit from one location to another longitudinally of said shaft by sliding contact of said convex contour and said concave facing surface curvilinear relationship guided by registering engagement provided by said tongue and groove. 3. In combination: (1) a linear golf club shaft having a lower end which includes:
(a) a major concave surface (33) extending longitudinally with respect to the shaft axis and (b) an elongate slot formed in said concave surface (33), said slot extending through said lower end and longitudinally with respect to the shaft axis,
(2) an elongate blade member (11) including:
(a) a face (12) for striking a golf ball defined between a top edge (13) and a lower edge (14),
(b) a butt end (15) on the side of said bladeopposite said ball striking face, said butt end ineluding:
(1) a convex surface (16) complementary to said concave surface, extending substantially from said top edge to said bottom edge, and
(2) a hole (18) formed in said butt end, said concave surface and convex surface having tongue and groove means (17 and 34) formed thereon extending longitudinally with respect to the longitudinal axis of said shaft, said tongue sliding in said groove as said concave and convex surfaces are in surface abutment whereby said blade member (11) is shiftable longitudinally of said shaft, thereby changing the angular relationship of the ball striking face (12) with the longitudinal axis of the shaft, and
(3) stud means (51) adapted to extend through said slot (35) and releasably engage said hole (18), precluding shift of said blade member when engaged.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,135,621 4/1915 Roberts et a1. 273-79 1,206,104 11/1916 Goodrich 273--79 1,529,959 3/1925 Martin 273-79 2,138,294 11/1938 Douglas 273--79 2,475,926 7/1949 Verderber 27379 ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner R. J. APLEY, Assistant Examiner