US 3512417 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 19, 1970 A. P. ANELLO 3,512,417
GOLF DRIVING INDICATOR APPARATUS Original Filed Oct. 24, 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 May 19, 1970 I A. P. ANELLO 3,512,417
GOLF DRIVING INDICATOR APPARATUS Original Filed Oct. 24, 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 4 w 9 2; LL 6 Q W INVENTOR ANTHONY P. ANELLO May 19, 1970 A. P. ANELLO 3,512,417
GOLF DRIVING INDICATOR APPARATUS I Original Filed Oct. 24, I966 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 11/ 1/1 1/ 1 1111/1 III/ 1 III/ III/II III! Fig, l3
INVENTOR ANTHONY P. ANELLO Agar/g7 ATTORNEY United States Patent 0 3,512,417 GOLF DRIVING INDICATOR APPARATUS Anthony P. Anello, 3101 San Isidro, Tampa, Fla. 33609 Original application Oct. 24, 1966, Ser. No. 588,948, now Patent No. 3,453,889, dated July 8, 1969. Divided and this application Sept. 3, 1968, Ser. No. 770,463 Int. Cl. G011 5/02 U.S. Cl. 73-379 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A golf ball driving practice mechanism has a simulated golf ball supported on a platform and rows of closely spaced deflectable upright quills pivotally supported on opposite sides of the most effective ball driving path of a golf club head and may be moved in either of opposite directions to a deflected position should the path of the golf club deviate from normal. Any deflected quills are repositioned upright by depression of a reset treadle.
This is a division of application Ser. No. 588,948, filed Oct. 24, 1966, and now US. Pat. No. 3,453,889.
The present invention relates to apparatus for practicing golf ball driving and comprising a simulated golf ball which is struck with a golf club in the same manner as golf balls are driven on a golf course, and which apparatus indicates the effective ball driving force applied to the ball and also indicates deviations in the path of travel of the golf club head from the optimum path of travel.
It has been proposed heretofore to provide golf practicing apparatuses adapted to measure the effective forces applied to simulated golf balls by practice golf drives and which type of apparatus comprises a platform structure on which a golfer may stand and strike a simulated golf ball attached to an arm supported on a rotatable shaft connected with a tachometer or the like so that when the simulated golf ball is struck by the golf club the arm and shaft are rotated and the tachometer indicates the relative speed or the number of revolutions made by the shaft and thereby indicates the force of the particular golf ball drive.
A principal object of the present invention is the provision of a new and improved golf practicing apparatus of the general type mentioned having defiectable pin-like members projecting upwardly from the level on which the golfer stands and spaced apart at progressive intervals from opposite sides of the optimum path of the golf clul' during a ball driving stroke and which are moved to a deflected position by the club to indicate the direction and extent of deviation of the golf club outside its most effective path.
A further object of the invention is the provision of an improved golf practicing apparatus of the type described having means for repositioning any of the deflectable members which may have been moved to a deflected position. Preferably the means to reposition the defiectable members is actuated by a means for resetting the ball drive force indicator to a zero position.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description of a preferred form thereof, reference being made to the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of portable apparatus for practicing driving of golf balls and embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1 taken substantially on a plane through line 2-2 of FIG. 1 and looking in the direction of the arrows;
3,512,417 Patented May 19, 1970 "ice FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view taken substantially along line 4-4 of FIG. 2, but on a larger scale;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along line 5-5 of FIG. 4 and showing the apparatus inverted from the position shown in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along line 6-6 of FIG. 4 and inverted;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 7-7 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along line 8-8 of FIG. 2 and on a smaller scale;
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary view of certain parts shown in FIG. 8 and on a larger scale;
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along line 10-10 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 11 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along line 11-11 of FIG. 10 and on a larger scale;
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along line 12-12 of FIG. 10 and on a larger scale; and
FIG. 13 is a fragmentary view of certain parts of FIG. 10 shown in different positions and on a larger scale.
Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawings, an apparatus 10 is shown for use in practicing golf ball driving and which measuring the relative force imparted to a simulated golf ball and indicates inaccuracies of the path of travel of the head of the golf club used to strike the simulated golf ball. The apparatus comprises a portable platform structure 11 adapted to support a person standing at station 12 and which has a simulated golf ball 13 arranged to be struck with a golf club swung by the person standing at station 12 by swinging the club in a manner similar to that used in driving a golf ball in a game of golf. An indicator 14 is located on the platform 11 between the station 12 and the simulated ball 13 and it includes an upwardly facing dial 15 and an indicator pointer 16 by which the user of the apparatus can observe the relative force with which the simulated ball has been struck. The indicator 14 is adapted to be reset to zero by depressing a pedal or treadle 17 adjacent the indicator.
The platform 11 may be of any suitable construction and it includes a panel 18 supported above the ground or floor by two rear corner supports 20, only one of which appears in the drawings, and a pair of wheels 21 which are suitably attached to a box structure 22 secured to the panel 18 at the other end of the panel. The box structure 22 supports and encloses certain parts of the apparatus, as is described more fully hereinafter. The wheels 21 permit easy transportation of the apparatus to a desired position for use. Preferably, the upper surface of the panel 18 has a suitable skid resistant surface.
The simulated golf ball 13, sometimes referred to herein as a ball, is disposed centrally of a generally rectangular opening 23 in the panel 18, and four sets of vertically extending deflectable pins or quills 24, 25, 26 and 27 are positioned so as to lie on opposite sides of the path of the head of a golf club swung in an arc to obtain the optimum impact with the ball 13. The quills 24-27 are also located forwardly and rearwardly of the ball 13 with respect to the direction in which the ball is driven by the golf club so that one or more of the pins or quills will be deflected should they be hit with the head of the golf club traveling in other than the optimum path of travel. Thus, the deflected pins will indicate to the golfer any deviations from the correct path of travel of the club head during a driving stroke. When the treadle 17 is depressed to reset the indicator 14 to zero, the quills 2427 are returned to upright position should they be deflected.
The simulated ball 13 and the pins 24-27 are supported in the box structure 22 which has an open top, opposite side walls 30, 31, a bottom wall 32 and end walls 33, 34. The box 22 is suitably attached to the underside of the panel 18 in registration with the opening 23.
The simulated ball 13 is formed of a molded rubber member having a shank portion 35, an end portion of which is gradually flared to a semi-spherical end or ball form 36. The rubber is molded about a steel cable and the end of the cable within the ball 36 being looped so as to firmly secure the rubber to the cable.
The simulated ball structure 13 is attached to a rotatable shaft 41 which extends transversely of the box 22 and is supported therein by suitable antifriction bearings 42, 43 which are secured to the side walls 30, 31 respectively. The cable 40 has a portion 44 extending from the shank 35 of the simulated ball structure 13 and through a transverse opening through the shaft 41. The shank 35 is encased in an end portion of a metal sleeve 45 which has a transverse opening in the sides thereof through which the shaft 41 extends. The cable portion 44 is embedded in a lead plug 46 which is molded in the lower end of the sleeve 45, as viewed in FIG. 2, so that the cable is firmly secured to the sleeve end. The plug 46 is such that the simulated ball structure 13 is dynamically balanced about the axis of the shaft 41 and when the ball is struck by a golf club swung in a simulated golf ball drive, the ball and shaft will be rotated without appreciable vibration.
It will be observed that the gradual increase in diameter of the shank 35 to the ball like form 36 presents a relatively smooth surface which cannot catch the club head and tend to wrench the club from the hands of the person using the apparatus. Furthermore, the major portions of the ball structure 13 above the shaft 41 is of rubber which can be flexed and thereby withstand tremendous blows without damage thereto.
Because of the dynamic balance of the ball structure 13 on the shaft 41, some difliculty would be experienced in positioning the ball in position for striking with a golf club. According to the present invention, means are provided which tend to position the ball portion 36 upright when the shaft 41 is stationary or almost so, but which means are dynamically balanced when the ball and shaft are rotated rapidly. In the form shown, the shaft 41 extends through the bearing 43 in an opening in the wall 31 and a drum shaped member 47 having an axial opening receives the extended end portion of the shaft and is attached thereto. The circular wall 50' of the member 47 is cylindrical in form except for an eccentric portion 51, best seen in FIG. 3. A round core 52 is provided inside the member 47 and is spaced from the insides of the wall 50 and forms with the wall 50 an annular passage 53 having a pocket 54 at the eccentric portion 51. A body of mercury 55 is contained in the passage 53 and normally tends to collect in the pocket 54 when the shaft rotates slowly so that when the shaft comes to rest the mercury will cause the shaft to be positioned with the pocket 54 below the center of the shaft. The member 47 is positioned on the shaft 41 so that the pocket 54 is on the side of the shaft opposite the side on which the ball portion 36 is disposed. When the shaft 41 is rotated at a moderate rate or faster, the mercury is distributed about the passage 53 to dynamically balance the member 47 about the axis of the shaft so that no vibration will occur. To counterbalance the Weight of the eccentric portion 51, a weight 56 is disposed opposite thereto so that the member 47 is dynamically balanced.
When the ball 13 is struck by a swinging golf club, the force with the ball is struck causes the shift 41 to be driven through a number of rotations proportional to the degree of the effective force applied to the ball. The pointer 16 of the indictaor 14 is swung in an are over the indicator dial 15 through an angular movement which is proportional to the number of revolutions made by the shaft 41. According to the present invention, the pointer 16 is moved by a pneumatically driven motor supplied by air from a pump driven by rotation of the shift 41. By this arrangement damaging or shocking forces are not transmitted to the delicate parts of the indicator.
In the form of the invention shown, a reciprocating air pump 60 is attached to a bracket 61 secured to the box wall 31 by screws 62. As best seen in FIG. 6, the pump 60 comprises a flat circular chamber 63 formed by a dish-shaped member 64 and a flat circular plate 65 secured across the open side thereof. A rubber diaphragm 66 has its periphery secured between the confronting edges of the member 64 and plate 65, and a plunger 67 is attached to the center of the diaphragm and extends through an opening through the plate 65.
The bottom wall 64 of the chamber 63 has an inlet port 70 and an outlet port 71. An air inlet tube 72 is connected with the inlet port 70' through a check valve 73, which admits air from the tube to the chamber, and a tube 74 is connected with the outlet 71 through a check valve which permits air to pass from the outlet into the tube. The details of the check valves 73, 75 are not shown as they are of well known construction. Suffice to say, when the diaphragm 66 is oscillated by the plunger 67, air is drawn into the chamber 63 through the tube 72 and check valve 73 and is expelled from the chamber through the check valve 75 into the tube 74.
The plunger 67 is reciprocated to actuate the diaphragm 66 by a crank 76 provided on the end of the shaft 41, which extends beyond the member 47, by a connecting rod 77 interconnecting the crank with the plunger. A cylindrical housing 80, secured to the plate 65, forms a guide for the plunger 67. Preferably, tube 72 is curled upwardly and its open end is located so as to prevent the entrance of water, dirt and the like into the pump.
The air forced by pump 60 through the tube 74 drives a pneumatic motor 1 which in turn moves the pointer 16. As best shown in FIG. 5, the motor 81 comprises a cylindrical chamber 82 which is supported on an arm 83 of the bracket 61. The cylinder 82 contains a piston 84 to which a piston rod 85 is attached and which rod projects through a guide opening through the end wall 86 of the cylinder. The piston 84 has an O ring seal 87 thereabout which provides a sliding air seal between the edges of the piston and the walls of the cylinder. The bottom wall 88 of the cylinder has an opening 89 communicating with the tube 74 so that the air discharged by the pump 60- enters the cylinder beneath the piston 84 and moves the piston towards the opposite end of the cylinder. It is apparent that the extent of movement of the piston 84 is determined by the number of revolutions made by the shaft 41 which drives the pump 60.
The pointer 16 of the indicator 14 is attached to a pin 91 which is suitably journaled in the frame 92 of the indicator and the pin extends through an opening through the panel 18 and is adapted to be oscillated about its axis by an arm 93 attached thereto which is connected by linkage to the piston rod 85. This linkage comprises an arm 95 which has a crank portion 96 journaled in lugs 97 of a bracket 100 secured to the underside of the panel 18 and which crank portion has an arm 101 which is linked to the arm 93 by a link 102 pivoted to the arms which it interconnects.
The extended end of the arm 95 is pivotally attached to the upper end of the piston rod 85, and when the piston 84 moves upwardly in the cylinder 83 by air entering the cylinder through tube 74, the pointer 16 is swung across the face of an indicator dial 15 from a zero position. The zero position of the pointer 16 corresponds to the lowermost position of the piston 84 in the cylinder 82 and the piston is returnable to this position by depression of the treadle 17. The indicator 14 is urged towards the zero position by a wire cantilever spring 108 one end of which is secured to the underside of the bracket 100 by a screw 109. a
Preferably, suitable guide bars and a cross beam attached to the upper end of the piston rod 85 may be provided to guide the piston rod in vertical, non-rotating movements; however, for sake of clarity, this expedient has not been shown.
The treadle 17 is attached to the end of a rod 104 which extends through an opening in the panel 18 and the lower end of which is pivotally attached to an arm 105 of a rocker shaft 106, one end of which is supported in a bearing bracket 107 secured to the underside of the panel 18 and the intermediate portions of which are journaled in bearing brackets 110', 111 likewise supported on the underside of the panel. The outer end of the rocker shaft 106 extends through an operating in the box wall 31 and has a crank arm 112 attached thereto. The rocker shaft 106 is biased to one angular position by a compression spring 113 interposed between the treadle 17 and the panel 18, as clearly seen in FIG. 2, and which urges the treadle upwardly.
The arm 95 has a rod 114 pivotally attached thereto and which slidably extends through an opening in an arm 115, and the extended end of the rod has an enlargement 116 which cannot pass through the opening in the arm. Thus, when the arm 115 is swung from a raised position, as shown in full lines in FIG. 4, to its lowermost position, as seen in dotted lines, the arm 95 is forced downwardly, which in turn moves the piston 84 to its lowermost position in the cylinder 82. When the arm 115 moves to its raised position, the rod 114 remains lowered by reason of the sliding relationship of the rod and arm, as best seen in FIG. 8, arm 115 is pivoted to bracket 110 by a pin 119.
The arm 115 is connected with the rocker shaft 106 by an arm 117 attached to the shaft, and a link rod 118 which moves the arm in accordance with the rocking of the shaft 106. Thus, when the treadle 17 is depressed, the arm 115 swings to draw arm 95 downwardly and return the piston 84 to its lowermost position. To permit overtravel of the rocker shaft 106 relative to the arm 115, a lost motion connection is formed between the arm 117 and the link rod 118. This connection is formed by an end portion of the rod 118 extending through an opening in the arm 117 and having a compression spring 119 between the arm and rod, as shown in FIG. 9.
It will be appreciated that in lowering the piston 84 in the cylinder 82 the air beneath the piston must be expelled and for this purpose the tube 74 has a branch 123 which has an open end forming a valve port 124 which when open permits air from the bottom of the cylinder 82 to pass freely to atmosphere. The port 124, however, is normally closed by a rubber valve member 125 which is carried on a lever 126 pivotally supported on the lower end of a shaft 127 which is journaled in the bracket 61 and in a second bracket 130 secured to the wall 31 of the box 22. The lever 126 is biased to close the valve member 125 on the port 124 by a tension spring 128 connected between the bracket 83 and the lever. The shaft 127 is adapted to be turned by a crank arm 131 thereon which is engaged by a earn 132 attached to the rocker shaft 106. Preferably, a roller 133 is supported on the crank arm 131 to reduce friction between the cam and the crank arm. Thus, when the treadle 17 is depressed to return the indicator 14 to its zero setting, the valve 125 is swung by arm 126 from the port 124 to permit the piston 84 to freely expel the air from therebeneath as it is moved to the lower end of the cylinder.
Referring to the sets of pins or quills 24-27, the sets each comprise three wire-like elements each having enlarged flattened areas 140, as seen in FIG. 10. These flat areas each have openings through which a support shank 141 extends. The shanks 141 are secured in nuts 142 attached to the walls 30, 31 of the box 22, and referring particularly to FIG. 11, the shanks each have a head 143 at the extended end thereof. The outermost quill of the sets of quills abut the inner face of the head 143 and a friction collar 145 engages the opposite side of the quill to provide friction to hold the quill to whatever position it is moved. The intermediate quill on the shank 141 is between the collar 145 and a second friction collar 146. The innermost quill abuts the collar 146 and is urged thereagainst by a compression spring 147 surrounding the shank 141 and reacting against the nut 142. The quills are free to rotate on the shank 141 supported thereby to the extent permitted by the friction collars 145, 146 and the spring 147. The collars 145, 146 may move axially on the shank but are prevented from rotary movement by set screws 150 entering a longitudinal groove 151 on the shanks. Thus, should the club head move out of the proper path for striking the simulated ball 13 one or more of the pins or quills 24-27 will be deflected and remain deflected so as to indicate the extent of the misdirection of the club head.
In order to restore any of the deflected pins 24-27 to their upright and operative positions at the end of each practice stroke, the lower ends 153 of the quills are formed to lie adjacent one another as seen in FIG. 11, and these portions project through aligned slots 154, 155 formed through the yoke walls 156, 157 of two nested elongated channel members 160, 161. It will be understood that two sets 164 and 165 of channel members 160, 161 are provided and that the end portions 153 of the quills 24 and 26 extend into slots 154, 155 of the set 164 and the end portions of quills 25, 27 extend into slot 154, 155 of the set 165. The channel members 160, 161 have their open sides facing downwardly and each set of members is supported for longitudinal movement a pair of pins 166, 167 which are secured to the walls 30, 31 respectively, and project laterally beneath the respective sets of channel members. The outer ends of the pins 166, 167 are turned upwardly and extend into the open sides of the channel members and each pin has a head 170 which overlies inwardly projecting side edge portions 171, 172 formed in channel members 160.
It will be seen, particularly by reference to FIGS. 10 and 13, that if the channel members 160, 161 are shifted in opposite directions from their positions shown in FIG. 10 to their positions shown in FIG. 13, i.e. with the memher 160 shifted to the right and member 161 to the left, by equal amounts, the portions 153 of any quill out of vertical will be moved to a vertical position by either of the end edges 174, 175 engaging it to a vertical alignment with the quill pivot pin 141.
The channel members 160, 161 are adapted to be shifted as described, by depression of the treadle 17 and for this purpose, a shaft is rotatably supported at its ends in suitable bearings, not shown in detail, attached to the inside of walls 30, 31 of the box 22. The shaft 180 has two sets of lugs 181, 182 to which one end of links '183, 184 are pivotally attached and the opposite ends of which links are pivotally attached to the ends of the channel members 160, 161, respectively. Thus, when the shaft 180 is oscillated, the channel members 160, 161 are shifted in opposite directions to raise any of the deflected quills to a vertical position.
The shaft 180 is rocked or oscillated by the rocker shaft 106, when the treadle 17 is depressed, through a link 185 which interconnects the arm 112 and an arm 186 on the shaft 180.
It will be appreciated that with the sets of quills 24-27 aligned as shown, the number of quills of any set which are deflected by the golf club will indicate the extent of deviation of the path of the club head in any given ball driving swing of the club, and depending upon which sets of quills arfe deflected, the type of deviation is readily discernible.
Preferably, the opposite end portions of the opening 23 in the panel 18 are bridged by rubber pan ls 190, 191 so that the club head will not be damaged should it be swung lower than proper.
It will be seen that by my invention a golf driving practicing machine is provided which accurately indicates the force of the drive, is dynamically balanced and yet permits gravitational positioning of the simulating ball structure, provides a fixed reading of the force as well as indicating misdirection of the golf club head and which mechanism may readily be reset by one operation.
Although but one form of the invention has been described, it is apparent that other forms, modifications, and adaptations thereof can be provided all falling Within the scope of the claims which follow.
1. In an apparatus for practicing driving golf balls, means for supporting a golf ball or the like in a given position and level, a plurality of closely spaced normally vertically extending quills disposed to one side of said ball, means pivotally supporting said quills for deflection in opposite directions from a vertical position by the head of a golf club deviating from a given ball striking path, means to return said quills from a deflected position to vertical position comprising spaced shoulder means on opposite sides of each of said quills, and means to move said shoulder means towards and away from one another to engage the respective quills and move said quills to an upright position, said shoulder means normally being disposed in a position out of range of movement of the respective quills.
2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 in which said means for supporting said quills includes friction means to support said quills individually in deflected positions from vertical.
3. Apparatus as defined in claim 2 in which said means for supporting said quills comprises a pivot pin extending through aligned openings in a plurality of adjacent aligned quills and normal to the axes of said quills, an abutment on one end of said pin for limiting movement of said quills axially along said pin, means to secure said spacers in nonrotative position on said pin and free to move axially thereof, and spring means urging said quills and spacers along said pin towards said abutment.
4. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 including means to move said shoulder means simultaneously towards one another to engage and move deflected quills to vertical position.
5. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 in which a plurality of quills are arranged side by side and spaced apart, said shoulder means comprising edges of apertures in patelike members arranged to move in a generally horizontal plane in opposite directions, the lower portions of said quills extending between said edges, and means to reciprocate said plate-like members in opposite directions, for engaging said lower portions of quills in deflected positions, the end of one reciprocating stroke adapted to move said edges to a position in which the quills engage thereby are substantially vertical.
6. Apparatus as defined in claim 5 in which said portions of said quills extend below said means to pivotally support said quills.
7. Apparatus as defined in claim 5 in which certain of said lower portions of said quills are offset from the upper portions thereof and are relatively closely spaced.
8. Apparatus as defined in claim 5 in which said platelike members comprise two elongated strips slidably positioned for longitudinal movement relative to one another and having said apertures normally aligned, and means to reciprocate said strips for moving the edges thereof to restrict parallel planes extending along opposite sides of said quills respectively and parallel to the pivoted axes of said quills.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,684,576 9/1928 Conner 273186 XR 2,712,939 7/1955 Harp 273186 2,801,857 8/1957 Strunk 273-186 3,018,109 1/1962 Starck 273 186 3,107,920 10/1963 Strunk 273-186 3,113,780 12/1963 Livingstone 273l86 JERRY W. MYRACLE, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.