US 3486755 A
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Dec.. 30, 1969 v w, R.. HQDGE 3,486,755
GOLF PUTTER WITH HEAD'ALIGNING MEANS Filed Nov. 16, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. M//LL/AM A6065 Bj/ yl i ATTORNEYS Dec. 30, 1969 w. R. HoDGE GOLF PLIJTTER WITH -HEAD ALIGNING MEANS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 16. 196e INVENTOR.
' l M//LL/AM fe #0065 y 2 q ATTORNEY BY @rw /A l @I S United States Patent O 3,486,755 GOLF PUTTER WITH HEAD ALIG'NING MEANS William R. Hodge, 2305 185th Place,
Lansing, Ill. 60438 Filed Nov. 16, 1966, Sel". No. 594,909 Int. Cl. A63b 53/ 00 U.S. Cl. 273-164 ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A golf ball putter with a head which slides on the putting surface presenting an upright front blade face to the ball and having a shaft at right angles to the blade face extending upwardly and rearwardly/'from the head to a grip that will be at a Acomfortable playing height when the head is in putting position on the putting surface and will also be sufficiently -behind the head so that a player can use the shaft as a sighting means. In using the putter, the player faces the cup, stands behind the ball and putter, aligns the shaft with the line of putt and slides the head over the green to impact the ball with the blade face. A T-square alignment effect is obtained and the head may have sighting indicia thereon coacting with the shaft to show when the -blade face is at right angles to the line of putt.
1 Claim BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention The field of art to which this invention pertains is a golf club, particularly a putter, with a head which slides on the ground and having a sighting shaft but free from movable parts.
Description of the prior art Conventional golf putters require a putting stance substantially at right angles to the line of putt and must be lifted from the putting surface and swung through an arc to impact the ball. Any slight rotation of the shaft during the swing will cause the putting face or blade tov swing appreciably from a right angle relation with the line of putt and any variation in height of the swing will affect the putt. Croquet mallet type putters, exemplified by the Schmidt U.S. Patent 2,843,384, dated July 15, 1958 and the Duden Patent 3,062,549, dated Nov. y6, 1962, have been provide-d to impr-ove the accuracy of conventional putters. To avoid lifting the club olf of the putting surface, cue stick type putters such as disclosed in the Fine U.S. Patent 3,220,730, dated Nov. 30, 1965 have been provided with wheels to roll over the green.
The prior art does not disclose a putter free from movable parts which slides over the putting surface in use and has a shaft inclined upwardly and rearwardly from the putting head to coact with the putting face in forming a T-square type sighting and aligning unit.
SUMMARY An important feature of this invention is the provision of a golf putter which eliminates any chance of error in an upright plane because it slides along the putting surface and minimizes error in the direction of the putt with a T-square alignment principle.
Another feature of the invention is the provision of a golf club which slides over the ground in use and has a ICC shaft serving as a sighting device and a grip on the end of the shaft which is at a convenient, comfortable putting position for the player when the head is on the ground.
An object of the invention is the provision of a golf club having a head which is not lifted from the ground in use and a shaft projecting from the head to a comfortable level and serving as a sighting device.
Another object of this invention is to provide a golf ball putter which slides along the putting surface in use and has a putting face and a shalft coacting to form a T- square aligning device.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a golf putter with a head having a large, smooth bottom sole with the leading and trailing edges relieved by rounding or tapering so that no scraping or roughing of the green occurs in the normal useage of the putter, an upright putting face and an upwardly and rearwardly inclined shaft coacting with indicia on the head to sight the line of putt.
Another object of the invention is to provide a putter which slides over the ground in use and permits the player to look at the cup when putting.
Another object of the invention is to provide a putter permitting the player to stand behind the ball facing the cup for sighting the putt during the putting stroke.
Other and further objects of this invention Will be apparent to those skilled in this art from the following detailed description and the annexed sheets of drawings which show several embodiments of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURE 1 is an illustrative side view of a player using the putter of this invention and showing the manner in which the putt is sighted;
FIGURE 2 is a front elevational view of the player of FIGURE 1 and showing in dotted lines an alternate convenient putting stance;
FIGURE 3 is an isometric view of the putter of this invention;
FIGURE 4 is a plan View of the putter illustrating the manner in which wide lateral movements of the shaft only have a small angular displacement effect of the putting face;
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged fragmentary side view of the putter showing the extent of the sliding bottom face of the head;
FIGURE 6 is a plan view, partly in section, taken along the line VI-VI of FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 7 is a vertical sectional view taken along the line VII-VII of FIGURE 6;
FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary plan view of a modified putter head with front and rear putting faces;
FIGURE 9 is a side elevational view of the modified putter of FIGURE 8 and illustrating the manner in which the back putting face is used; and
FIGURE 10 is a side elevational view of another modified putter according to this invention showing a bowed shaft enabling the putter head to be moved closely to the side board of a miniature putting green.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The putter 10 of FIGURES 1 to 7 has a head 11 which slides over the putting surface S, a shaft 12 extending upwardly and rearwardly from the head 11 to a grip 13 which may be conveniently and comfortably grasped 3 by a player P from a slightly crouching position behind the ball B and facing the cup C.
As shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, the player P addresses the ball B at a position considerably behind the ball and is able to sight the line of putt to the cup C as indicated at L in FIGURE 1 and to then align the putter 10 with reference to the sighting line L along the line L' with his head immediately above the shaft 12. As shown in FIGURE 2, the player P has a first stance with his legs straddling the club so that his body is immediately behind the shaft. As shown in dotted lines, however, the player P may take a putting stance with the putter 10 at his side. In either position, the head of the player is aligned with the shaft 12 to sight the putt. The putting stroke is a rearward sliding of the head 11 from the ball B along a line determined by the sight line L. The backward stroke is only sufficient to create an impact force against the ball on the forward or return stroke sufficient to impel the ball to the cup. The ball leaves the club head on impact and thus only has a single contact with the club.
Thus, in the use of the putter of this invention, the reference points of directions are the players eyes, the ball, and the intended path or target. Because the player can position himself substantially behind the ball, preferably about three feet or more, and in longitudinal alignment with the line of putt, the player in effect has a T-square tool to minimize misalignment. Since the club head rests on the putting surface errors in judgment of height are eliminated.
The head 11 is generally triangularly shaped in plan with an upright front end wall 14 at right angles to the shaft 12 and providing an upright putting face together with side walls 15 converging to a pointed apex 16. The sides 15 preferably have flat front end portions 15a at right angles to the front end face 14.
The head 11 provides a relatively large bottom wall or sole 17 which as shown in FIGURE 7 is preferably coated with a slippery covering such as Teflon 18 or the like. The forward end of the bottom 17 is curved upwardly at 17a to the bottom end of the front upright putting face 14. Likewise the rear end of the bottom 17 is curved upwardly at 17b to the apex 16. The upwardly curved ends 17a and 17b provide for smooth rockerlike sliding action of the putting head on the putting surface.
The top of the head 11 has an apex 19 near the front end thereof and the top slopes downwardly at 19a from this apex to the top edge of the putting face 14. The top also slopes downwardly at 19b from the apex 19 to the pointed end 16.
The head 11 may be composed of metal, wood, plastic, or any other rigid construction material of sufficient weight to have some momentum for imparting a putting thrust to the ball and for hugging the putting surface.
The shaft 12 may be in the form of a hollow metal tube and has its front end 20 securely and fixedly ernbedded in the head 11 as shown in FIGURE 7. The shaft enters the head through the downwardly sloping portion 19b of the top of the head behind the apex 19 and extends at an angle of about 45 relative to the bottom 17 of the head. As shown in FIGURE 6, the shaft 12 is aligned with the apex 16 at the exact transverse center of the head. The top of the head is preferably marked with an arrow or other sighting indicia 21. As shown in FIGURE 6, this arrow 21 has a head portion 21a in front of the shaft 12 and a tail portion 2lb behind the shaft 12.
As shown in FIGURE 3, this tail of the arrow is hidden from the view of the player when the shaft 12 is aligned correctly as illustrated at L' in FIGURE 1, Thus, the player knows that when the tail of the arrow is not visible, he has correctly positioned the putting face 14 at right angles to the line of putt.
As shown in FIGURE 4, the grip end 13 of the shaft 12 may be swung laterally through wide arcs without appreciably moving the putting face 14 of the head 11 from right angle relation with the line of putt. If the ball B is impacted at the transverse center of the putting face 14, little or no deviation from the true line of putt will occur even through there is Wide angulation of the gripping end of the shaft.
As shown in FIGURE 5, the bottom 17 of the head 11 rests fiatly on the putting surface S along a s-ubstantial front-to-rear dimension. Since the club head 11 has a substantially equilateral triangular shape, the width contact of the bottom 17 with the putting surface S is also substantial. The putting head may be about 31/2 wide and three or rnore inches deep and the sole 17 is therefore in the nature of a flatiron for smooth sliding on the putting surface. As also shown in FIGURE 5, when the sole 17 is on the putting surface, the putting face 14 extends perpendicularly from this surface and contacts the ball B at the equator of the ball. Thus, the putting face 14 is sufficiently high to extend above the equator of the ball but terminates below the top of the ball so that the player will have full sighting vision of the ball during the putt. With the head 11 resting on the putting surface S, the 45 inclination of the shaft 12 will position the grip 13 upwardly and rearwardly beyond the head at a convenient putting level for the player P and also sufficiently behind the ball to insure accurate sighting. The shaft may, of course, be provided in different lengths to suit different players but a shaft length of about 30 measured from the top of the head to the end of the grip is quite convenient. The grip may be composed of leather, rubber, or any suitable material conventionally used for golf club grips.
In the modification of FIGURES 8 and 9, the putter 10a has a modified head 11a but the same shaft 12 as hthe putter 10. The head 11a is substantially identical with the head 11 except that the apex 16 of the head is cut off to provide an up-right back wall 22 parallel with the putting face 14 and providing a second putting face which, as shown in FIGURE 9, can be used to retract the ball B back to the cup C when the putt has moved the ball slightly beyond the cup. Thus, the player may stand belhind the cup and draw the head of the club back toward him to impact the face 22 against the ball and sink the putt with a backward motion. The alignment with the shaft, of course, can also be used to provide an accurate reverse putt.
In the modification shown in FIGURE 10, the putter 10c has the same head 11 as the putter 10 but the shaft 12a is bowed so as to extend substantially vertically upward from the club head at 12b and then extend rearwardly and upwardly at 12C to the grip 13. This bowed shaft 12a permits the putter 10c to be used on miniature putting courses 23 having a bottom board 24 providing the putting surface S and side walls or boards such as 25 providing guards for maintaining the ball within the putting area. The vertical portion 12b of the shaft permits the head 11 to be moved very close to the wall 25.
It will, of course, be Kunderstood that other variations and modifications may be made without departing from the T-square ground engaging golf club principle of this invention.
1. A golf putter adapted to be used by a player from a Crouching position behind the ball and facing the cup including: a head having a large sole for sliding over the putting green,
upwardly curved forward and rearward ends on said sole provided for a rocker-like sliding action on the putting green,
a shaft extending upwardly and rearwardly from the head,
a blade face on the front of the head at right angles to the shaft, and
sighting means on the top of the head extending under References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 6 3,068,011 12/1962 Sand 273-174 2,781,197 2/1957 Wiley 273-169 XR FOREIGN PATENTS 1,459,095 10/1966 France.
RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner IP. E. SHAPIRO, Asssit-ant Examiner 1,334,189 3/1920 Swanson 273-168 2,820,638 1/1958 Morrison 27a-164 U.s. C1.X.R. 3,319,962 5/1967 summers 273-167 XR 10 T13-80,813, 168