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Publication numberUS3595583 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 27, 1971
Filing dateSep 3, 1968
Priority dateSep 3, 1968
Publication numberUS 3595583 A, US 3595583A, US-A-3595583, US3595583 A, US3595583A
InventorsJess Oppenheimer
Original AssigneeJess Oppenheimer
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Training device
US 3595583 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1,562,744 11/1925 Dillow Inventor Jess Oppenheimer 549 Moreno Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. 90049 Appl. Nov 756,932 Filed Sept. 3, I968 Patented July 27, 197] a TRAINING DEVICE 6 Claims, 25 Drawing Figs. US. Cl. 273/19] R, 273/26 C, 273/73 R, 273/54 8, 35/29 A, 273/186 A, 273/DIG, 21 Int. Cl A63b 69/36 Field otSearch 273/186,

183, 1911';651163,"ikslil'iaiji'ii9o, 189,54, 26,73; 35/29; 40/101355 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,103,502 12/1937 Webster 273/191 3,415,524 12/1968 Vickers 273/189 3,419,277 12/1968 Martin l v v l l i 273/189 3,462,156 8/1969 Gentry 273/186 (A) FOREIGN PATENTS 708,502 4/1965 Canada 273/188 Primary Examiner-George .1 Marlo Attorney-Nilsson, Robbins, Wills & Berliner ABSTRACT: A device for practicing a swing in which an elongate shaft is secured to extend forwardly of a person and a guy is pivotally secured to the shaft and to a forward portion of an instrument to be swung whereby to determine the arc of said swmg.

In other embodiments, the arc is determined by guiding elements including laterally extending supports, guy lines secured, forwardly and rearwardly of the user, extendible lines, rigid frameworks and combinations thereof. The disclose structure may be used in games such as golf, baseball, tennis, bowling and the like.

PATENTEU Jum nan SHiET 1 OF 4 PATENTEU JUL27 I971 SHEET 3 OF d TRAINING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION that are quite analogous to each other or in some cases are actually identical. This is particularly true with regard to games utilizing an arm swing such as golf, baseball, bowling, tennis,.

and the like. In each of these games, a uniformally executed arm swing is often the key to successful play. In tennis, such a swing is critical to the delivery of an effective serve; in bowling, such a swing is necessary for fine control of the ball; in baseball, a uniformly executed swing and smooth, efficient body control are required'for both hitting and pitching; in golf, such a swing and body control are critical to effective play.

A variety of methods have been devised for each of the foregoing games to aid a player to obtain or develop a proper swing. in many of such methods, efforts are made to control the path of the players arms or hands, or the club, bat, rachet or ball by means of some fixed or rotating device in which movements of the player are guided or forced with respect to rigging of some form located apart from the player. These devices have generally assumed that a uniform swinging motion could be obtained by forcing the player to swing his arms, hands, or instrument of play in a smooth arc uniplanar with respect to the ground. However, swings utilized in each of the foregoing games, because of the movement of the player's body, are made up of constantly varying compound planes (with respect to an exterior reference); accordingly, the foregoing devices do not generally succeed in significantly improving the player's swing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION the art in that it provides means for controlling a players motions to impart a swing made up of constantly varying com-' pound planes and which is an accurate representation of an effective and desirable swing. Various controlling devices for this purpose are provided which devices are affixed to the player so that as his body moves through the varying planes, the suspension center of the swing moves with him. Various ancillary devices are provided as well as devices allowing the exercise of muscles to enhance the player's ability to accomplish the swing. Devices are also provided that graphically demonstrate swing mechanics as a further aid to developing a correct swing. The invention will be particularly described with respect to a golf swing, but the general concepts and many of the mechanical embodiments are applicable to other athletic games, such as baseball, bowling, tennis, and the like, which require a uniformly smooth arm swing.

Thus, there is provided a swing device for attachment to a user including a support member, means for securing the support member to the user so that the support member extends from the user, and a swing guide disposed on the support member so as to be effectively spaced a predetermined distance from the user and cooperating with the support member at such distance to determine an are for the swing. By securing the support member to the shoulders of the user, a variety of devices can be attached thereto to aid the user in accomplishing a more effective swing. In particular embodiments, the guide means comprises a rigid member extending from the support member to a predetermined point in the vicinity of the user's hand and can be attachable thereat to the grip end portion of a golf club shaft. The guide means rotates about the point of extension from the support member so that the oppositeend thereof defines an arc of the swing, a pair of such rigid members can be provided in the form of arced members, each arced member having a first end positionable in the vicinity of the users hands and an opposite end disposed on the support member to be spaced a predetermined distance from the users shoulders. The guide members are slidable on the support member to guide the swing in defining an arc. The aforcnotcd first ends of the arc members are attachable to the grip end portion of a golf club shaft to thereby guide the golf club in an appropriate swing are.

In other embodiments, the guide means includes pulley means and a line therefor secured exteriorly of the device and extending through the pulley means to attach to the grip end portion of the golf club shaft at a point below the user's grip, that is, between the grip and club head. Such a device enhances the players ability to cock and uncock his wrists. The line can be secured between the users feet, advantageously at spaced right and left side points therebetween so as to extend to opposite-side pulleys on the shouldered support member. Alternatively, the lines can be positioned behind the users feet to thereby exert a backward pull on the user during a golf swing. Means can be advantageously provided for taking up slack in one or more ofthe lines.

In still other embodiments, the support member is secured to extend from the users chest forwardly thereof and the guide means includes a guy flexibly secured to the shaft at a point thereon a predetermined distance from the users chest. The guy is flexibly securable to an instrument to be swung, e.g. a golf club, to space the instrument from the shaft, the spacing and distance determining the arc of swing of the member.

In still further embodiments, the swing guide means comprises a line that is extendible from the shouldered support member. The are is determined by having the user pull a predetermined length of line from the support member in executing his swing. Restraining means on the line can be provided. It will be noted that in many of the foregoing embodiments, arc-defining means are disposed on the support member and positionable on opposite sides of the users shoulders. Arcs are defined having substantially equal radii from centers separated by substantially the width of the user's shoulders.

In other embodiments, the inclination ofa shouldered support member is maintained by providing an exterior reference means and guide means extending thereto from the support member. The guide means are cooperable with the exterior reference means to substantially maintain the desired inclination throughout a swing movement.

In further aspects of the invention, the foregoing concepts and principles are embodied in other useful devices. Thus, an exerciser is provided utilizing a restrained line extending from the support member. In another device, a swing simulator is provided which demonstrates a correct swing and which is useful for instruction or as an amusement device. In this latter embodiment, a pair of rigid arced members are provided having a common portion therebetween and disposed on opposite sides of a support member which, in turn, is disposed atop a vertical shaft. The arced members are slidable on the support member to define arcs having substantially equal radii from spaced centers separated by a shoulder distance that is substantially less than the distance between the opposite ends of the support member. Upon rotation of the vertical shaft, the arced members are slidably displaced to thereby define the arcs. A simulated golf club can be provided having the grip end portion of its shaft pivotally attached to the common portion of the arced members. Simulated arms can be provided extending from the support member at shoulder" distance from each other.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a swing device embodying various principles of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a detailed view of one embodiment utilized to maintain the inclination of the user's shoulders,

FIG. 3 is a perspective'view ofa swing device utilizing arced members and guy lines in a particular embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 3, in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view ofa swing device utilizing arced members and guy lines in an alternative embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 is a side, perspective view of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an alternative arc-forming device of this invention;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 8-8 of FIG. 7, in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 9 is a closeup plan view of one portion of the device depicted in FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 10-10 of FIG.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an embodiment of this invention utilizing an extendible line;

FIGS. 12A'-12F are perspective views in use sequence of an alternative swing device of this invention;

FIGS. l3A-13F are perspective views in use sequence ofa manikin device illustrating the operation of this invention; and

FIGS. 14A and 14B are perspective, partially cross-sectional, views of the manikin of FIGS. 13A-13F and illustrating a swivel mechanism therefor.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIG. 1, a golf swing device is illustrated in which a pair of rigid arced members 10 and 12 are disposed on a shoulder bar 14 secured by a harness 16 to the back ofa user 18. The arced members 10 and 12 are joined at a common portion 20 which, in turn, is pivotally attached to the grip end portion ofa golf club shaft 22just below the point at which the user holds the golf club. Operation of the arced members will be further detailed below with respect to the description of FIGS. 3 and 4. The user is positioned on a platform 24 which has an upright, adjustable (by means not shown), column 26 extending vertically therefrom. Referring additionally to FIG. 2, an upright rod 27 is connected to the column 26 through a horizontal swivel joint 28 and this supports a cantilever 29 through a vertical swivel joint 30. Another vertical swivel joint 31 is connected to the other end of the cantilever 29, but swivels on an axis normal to the axis of the first vertical swivel joint 30. A relatively short rod 32 is connected to the cantilever 29 through the end swivel 31 to swing downwardly therefrom. The opposite end of the rod 32 is provided with a slot 33.

The shoulder bar 14 has a curved member 35 arcing rearwardlyfrom a central portion thereof. The curved member 35 defines an elliptically shaped are section and gets small in all dimensions toward its free end. The curved member fits into the rod slot 33. Its inner arc represents the corresponding part of a circle rotating about a point immediately beneath the center of the back of the users neck. To start, the user puts the arced member 35 through the slot 33. As he rotates his shoulders to the right, the arced member 35 rides in the slot 33, holding him in a fixed plane. As he swings to the left, the arced member 35 rides in the slot 33 until its dimension is such that it can come free of the slot 33.

Each swivel can be rotated to a desired position and then locked in place by wing screws 37 and nuts 39 extending through slotted extensions 41 therefor. The horizontal swivel 28 controls the horizontal position of the user and can be set for a closed or open stance. The first vertical swivel controls the angle of tilt of the swing. The second vertical swivel 31 controls the flatness or uprightness of the swing. By suitable adjustment ofthe three swivels 28, 30 and 31, the user may be put into any attitude. The cantilever 29 is seated within a pocket 43 (shown in shadow) in the forward part of the first vertical swivel 30. It is held therein by a screw 43 adjustable against a ramped channel 45 in the surface of the cylindrical cantilever 29 to allow a few degrees of play. The swivel 30 and ramp screw 43 are set so that at address position,the forward part of the swivel 30 is in its extreme counterclockwise position and cannot turn any further counterclockwise during the backswing. However, the first move of the downswing would be to rotate the playable" partof the swivel a few degrees (as adjusted by the instructor) clockwise; When the swivel 30 reaches the end of its play on the downswing it becomes fixed but has shifted the plane of the downswing so that the player strikes the ball correctly.

Referring to FIG. 3, a more detailed view of the arced swing guide members 10 and 12 is shown along with a further embodiment utilizing guy lines 38 and 40 as further swing aids. With respect to the player, the left-hand arced member 10 is a curved rod, the curve being drawn from a point 42 immediately behind theplayers right shoulder and with a radius of curvature substantially equal to the distance between such point and the point of attachment 20 of the arced member 10 to the golf club shaft 22. Similarly, the right-hand (with respect to the player) arced member 12 is a curved rod, its curve being drawn from a point 44 directly behind the players left shoulder. The radius of curvature of the left-hand arced member 12 is also substantially equal to the distance between a point 44 behind the players left shoulder and the point 20 of attachment of the arced member 12 to the golf club shaft 22. Such point of attachment 20 constitutes a common portion between the arced members 10 and 12. The curves defined by the arced members 10 and 12 have substantially equal radii from centers separated by substantially the width of the shoulders. It has been discovered that by having a user wear a mechanical device that causes him to move his arms in duplication of such curves, all of the basic motions of a professionally smooth golf swing can be obtained.

The curves defined by the arced members 10 and 12 are parts of the same circle, but, as noted, have centers separated by the width of the shoulders. The radii of each circle is slightly longer than the length of the users am so that the common portion 20 of the arced members 10 and 12 is pivotally attachable to the grip end of the golf club shaft 22 at a point just below the users grip. In an alternative embodiment, the shoulder bar 14 does not substantially extend beyond the shoulders and the arced members 10 and 12 are attachable to the arms of the user a few inches below the elbow, e.g.', by a suitable brace that can be strapped to the arm. Since they are secured below the elbow of each of the arms would remain straight during the appropriate part of the swing but would be permitted to otherwise bend, but the golf club shaft 22 would be free from restraint to be held only by the user's hands. In other alternative embodiments, the radii for the arced members 10 and 12 can be based on a distance from the shoulder to the wrist only which would put the common portion of the arced members at the wrists. The common portion can be attachedto a swivel plate having means for gripping the end of the club shaft.

Referring to FIG. 4, a cross-sectional view of the connection between the shoulder bar 14 and arced member 12 is shown. The connection with arced member 10 is opposite, but otherwise identical. A swivel member 46 is provided which swivels on a base 48 therefore attached to the shoulder bar 14. The swivel member 46 has an opening (shown in shadow 50) therethrough through which the arced member 12 extends. A stop 52 secured to the arced member 12 at a point near the end thereof prevents the arced member 12 from sliding out of the opening 50 in the swivel member 46. A pulley 54 extends from and is secured to the swivel member 46 as a guide for one of the guy lines 40 as will be further detailed below. The extreme tip of the arced member 12 has a cap 56 thereon of a low friction material.

Referring back to FIG. 3, a pair of curved bearings 58 and 60 are provided, one at each of the ends of the shoulder bar 14. Each bearing has a base portion 62 and a curved bearing surface 64 thereon. The curved bearings 58 and 60 are positioned so that with both arms fully extended, the arced memis not extended far enough for a proper address of the ball, then the tips of both arced members and 12 will abut the edge 66 of the respective bearing to prevent a swing movement of the arced members 10 and 12 in either direction.

Atproper address, the golfers left shoulder is higher than his right shoulder and there is a slight bend in his right arm. Accordingly, the left arced member will be locked with its tips sliding against the bearing surface 64 of the left curved bearing60 and rotating via the swivel member 46 thereat. The i right arced member 12 will be released to slide. On the downswing, as soon as the midpoint of the swing (in relation to the shoulders, i.e., when the hands and arm are fully extended) is reached, the left arced member 10 will be free to slide through the opening 50 in its swivel member 46 while the right arced member 12 will be prevented from sliding by the bearing 58 thereat but will be free to rotate.

A locking screw (not shown) is provided on lock swivel member 46 to press on the arced rods so that, when desired, neither rod can slide. This facilitates pitching and putting. The player can then use only his wrists, or a combination of shoulder and wrist motion. A lock screw (not shown) is also provided disposed through the club shaft to press on the common portion and thereby lock the swivel point thereat to block out wrist motion when desired. The player would then use only his shoulders or arms.

For greater flexibility of use, a plurality of swiveled attachment points can be provided on the arced members 10 and 12 near the common portion 20 so that the club shaft 22 can be attached on either side of the junction. For example, if attachment is on the right arced rod, thehands would be prevented from hitting downward on iron shots, even after the junction of the two arced rods had passed bottom and started up the other side.

Referring to both FIGS. 3 and 4, a cable system is provided wherein guy lines 38 and 40 are threaded through the pulleys 54 on the shoulder bar 14 and attached to the ground and to the golf club shaft 22. The pulleys are preferably enclosed but the guy line 38, which urges the player's left arm downwardly. 'At the same time, since the point of attachment 70 on the golf clubshaft 22 is now higher than, or at least as high, the grip portion of the shaft 22, it pulls on that point of attachment 70 to urge an uncocking of the wrists. As the left shoulder raises, this pulling action continues and the left arm swings downwardly with the wrists uncocking'. At a point somewhere below waist high, the dropping arm and uncocking wrists equalize the tension between the two sides of the cable system. From this point on, the left end of the shoulder bar 14 can no longer pull on the left arm because the cable is no longer taut around the pulley 54 thereat. This is the point popularly known as the release, and release of tension is what occurs; there is no more'pull and the entire arm-hand-club assembly, having been started vigorously on its downward path, is released to continue swinging through. In effect, the shoulders substantially stop at this point and the arms and hands keep moving through the ball. When the arms and hands and club have swung to a point almost to waist height on the follow through side of the golfer, the right cable system becomes taut again and pulls the golfers shoulders into the follow through with the right shoulder going downward and the left upward to execute a perfect follow through. By controlling the path of the arms and hands through the arced members 10 and 12 and by controlling the pull of the shoulders through the cable system guy lines 38 and 40, the player is forced to properly release the club.

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, an arrangement similar to that of FIG. 3 is depicted except'that the cable system is arranged so as to be secured at a point behind the player, directly in line with the base of his neck at address. Thus, a pair of guy lines 74 and 76 are provided which can be connected directly to the ground in back of the player, or can be connected thereat to spring-loaded reels 78 and 80, respectively, which, in turn, are connected to the ground or to a platform 82 therefor. This arrangement is useful to correct a variety of swing defects. The

' pull exerted on the players right shoulder as he raises it on the any form of pulley can be utilized including simple spools or even notched rods. Both guy lines 38 and 40 are secured to the ground, or to a base on which the player stands, between the players feet. One of the guy lines 38 is secured at a point of attachment 68 at the player's right heel, extending from there to the opposite-side pulley 54 and from there to a point of attachment 70 on the golf club shaft 22 which is just below the point of attachment of the common portion 20 of the arced members 10 and 12.Similarly, the other guy line 40 is secured to the ground at a point of attachment 72 thereto at the player's left heel extending from there to the opposite-side pulley 54, off the user's right shoulder, and from there to the point of attachment 70 on the golf club shaft 22.

After the golfer addresses the ball, he starts his backswing with his shoulders, arms and hands moving to the right. At a point just below waist high, the raising right shoulder pulley 54 causes,the guy lines 40 to begin pulling his left arm upward toward the shoulder bar 14 and, at the same time, urging a cocking of the wrists since it is attached to the club shaft 22 below the point of attachment 20 of the arced members 10 and 12. There has been enough motion initiated prior to this point to cause the arms and hands and club to continue up into the full-swing position with the wrists cocked and the left arm as near to the shoulder bar 14 as it can get. While the foregoing action is taking place, an opposite effect is occurring in the left arm cable system. At the start of the backswing, the lower left shoulder gives slack in the guy line 38 so that there is no tension on the cable system. As the top of the backswing is approached, however, the left arm raising across the players chest takes up this slack so that at the top of the backswing all of the slack is out of the left cable system. The player is now poised with a relaxed right cable system and a taut left cable system ready to go into his downswing. As the downswing starts, there is an immediate pull on the left cable system via backswing urges him slightly to the left which keeps him from swaying to the right on the backswing. As he starts his downswing by raising his left shoulder, the cable system pulls against this same point, which prevents him from swaying to the left on his downswing. In addition to keeping him from swaying in either direction, the pulling point urges the player backwards which properly keeps his weight back on his heels. The exact place of attachment of the guy lines 74 and 76 depends on the particular player and can be adjusted by the golf instructor. It can be moved more to the right if the player sways to the left, or vice versa. in a refinement, the players left side reel 80 is spring-loaded to take up slack as it develops. Thus, on the downswing, his left arm would be urged downwardly from the right shoulder while his hands would be urged to uncock, giving the player the correct feel of how to bunch his muscles in a correct golf swing. The total amount of slack taken up can be controlled by known mechanisms and means can be provided so that the instructor can adjust the amount of slack for the particular player.

Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, a simplified arc-forming device is depicted. A shoulder bar 84 is utilized which is substantially shorter than the shoulder bar 14 described above and is secured to the players shoulders by a harness 86 therefor. A shoulder brace 88 is attached to the left end of the shoulder bar 84 (for a right-handed player) and is positioned over the players left shoulder. A stud 90 projects forwardly from the shoulder brace 88 and serves as a pivot point for-an arc defining member 92. This member 92 comprises an upper rigid rod 94 attached by means of a swivel joint 96 to a lower rigid rod 98. A tubular sleeve 100 is slidably disposed on the upper rigid rod 94 by means of a spring 102 suspended between the stud 90 and bottom of a slot 104 in the sleeve 100. The sleeve 100 I is so situated that with only slight force against the spring 102,

extension 106 from the sleeve to a curved bearing 108. Referring additionally to FIGS. 9 and 10, the bearing 108 is similar to the curved bearings 58 and 60 described above with respect to FIG. 3. It has a base portion 110 and a bearing surface 112 which bears against the upper edge of the extension 106 from the sleeve 100. The lower end of the lower rigid rod 98 is removably attached to a golf club shaft 22 and is pivotally secured at l 14 to a pointjust below its grip end.

In operation, as the player brings his left arm up to his right shoulder, the sleeve extension 106 is forced downwardly by thecam action of the bearing surface 112 to slide the sleeve 100 over the swivel joint 96 and causes the arc-defining member 92 to become rigid. This causes the players left arm to be absolutely straight during his backswing. On the downswing, the players left arm is rigid until he has again reached the address position whereupon the spring bias moves the sleeve extension 106 upwardly against the bearing surface 112 to free the lower rigid rod 98 from restraint. The left arm can then bend in execution of the follow through.

Referring to FIG. 11, another embodiment of this invention is illustrated wherein the means for guiding the swing comprises an extendible line 116. The support member 118 is a rod secured to the player's shoulders by means of a harness 120. A tension-adjustable reel 122 is attachable to the support member 118 at any point along the end 124 that extends from the players right shoulder. The line 116, which can be of cord, rope, wire, or other such flexible material, extends from the reel to a point 128 just below the grip end ofa golf club shaft 22. In operation, on the downswing, an effect similar to that achieved by the arced member device of FIG. 3 is obtained with this embodiment if the player is told to pull a certain amount of line 116 out of the reel before making contact with the ball. In order to do this, the player will have to urge his shoulders to stay up and to the right while urging his hips and arms to the left. Unless he achieves an effective downswing, he will not be able to pull out the desired amount of line 116.

By pulling the line 116 out of the tension-adjustable, e.g. spring-loaded, reel 122, the user is utilizing one set of muscles to pull down and to the left while using another set of muscles to hold the reel 122 and shoulder bar 118 up and to the right, In this regard, the device constitutes an effective exerciser to train the muscles to readily and easily make the desired motions for a proper downswing. The same principle can be applied to exercise the other muscles of the body. Thus, in another embodiment hereof, an exerciser is provided wherein a support member such as 118 is secured to the user with a line such as 116 extendible therefrom and restrained by m means such as the spring-loaded reel 122. The rod 118, or similar support, can be attachable to any part of the body and in any attitude by means of a series of snaps, hooks or clasps distributed all over an article of clothing. In one manner of use, the rod 118 can be attached across the hips and the arms used to pull the cord upwardly from the reel. In another manner, a reel can be placed on the shoulder bar 118 and another on the users waist so that bending and then standing up would have to be done against the pull. In still another manner of use, a reel can be attached to the shoulder bar and another to a bar held across the bottom of the userfeet.

Referring to FIGS. 12A--F, another embodiment of this invention is depicted in which a shaft 136 is secured, by a harness 138, to the players chest so as to extend forwardly thereof at an angle which, when the player is assuming a proper address stance, causes the shaft 136 to be horizontal or parallel to the ground. Adjustment means 140 is provided to adjust the angle so that, in order to maintain the rod horizontal, the player would have to be bent over more for short irons and less for woods and long irons. The shaft 136 has an offset and return 142 therein to enable the players left arm to move up close to his chin at the top ofa backswing. A guy, which in this case is a rod 144, but which may be flexible cord, rope, etc., is flexibly attached at 146 to a sleeve 148, which sleeve 148 is slidable along the shaft 136 and securable at any point thereon to lie directly over the head 150 of the particular club being used or can extend from a point nearer the player. The guy or vertical rod 144 is flexibly attached, at 152, to the club head 150 or can be attached to the hosel. The flexible couplings 146 and 152 can be a ball-socket joint or merely a flexible piece of leather to allow great freedom of movement in any direction. Thus, the club head can move in any axis in relation the the horizontal shaft 136, but it must always remain the same distance from it, i.e., the length of the vertical rod 144.

In operation, as the player begins his backswing, he starts with his arms and-hands, which can move the club head a limited amount along an are which moves inside and upward. This move is soon limited by his shoulders. To continue the move, the player must begin to move his shoulders, which starts to move the center of the swing (the point on the horizontal shaft 136 directly above the club head 150 at address). From this point on, the player can keep the club head moving by rotating his shoulders on as vertical a plane as possible (tilting). However, this move is soon limited and to continue, the player must rotate his body on a horizontal plane around a vertical axis which passes through a point midway between his shoulders at the back of his neck. During this time, the club head, 150, must remain the same distance from the horizontal shaft 136 as determined by the length ofthc vertical rod 144. Various movements of the players feet, legs, hips, cooking of wrists, etc., all then become merely adjusting moves to allow the club head to get back to where he wants it while he is maintaining the position of his head in space. At the top of the backswing, the shaft 136 which was horizontal at address is pointing almost directly away from the target and in an upward direction. In other words, all elements of the swing are moving in relationship through a changing series of planes. The total effect between the club head 150, horizontal shaft 136 and vertical rod 144 is the same as though everything were still and the club head was swinging in a circle on a vertically directed plane around the horizontal shaft.

On the downswing, the reverse action takes place. The players tilted position holds the horizontal shaft 136 back to the right so that it doesn't reach a point directly over the ball before the club head reaches the ball. It can readily be seen that if the first move from the top of the backswing was to turn the shoulders to the left, the horizontal shaft would almost immediately be over the ball while the club head would still be over the right shoulder. There would be no time to get the club head down to the ball or even near it, and any effort from this point on would have to move the club head to the outside and down, thus sending the ball on a slicing path. The vertical rod 144 causes the club head to make a full are around the horizontal shaft 136 in order to get back to the ball. Accordingly, in order to bring the club head 150 to the ball before the horizontal shaft 136 arrives thereover, the horizontal shaft 136 must be maintained as far to the right as possible, while the club head is carrying the vertical rod 144 down and around it. The effect achieved is properly known as waiting for the club head. In order to keep the horizontal shaft 136 to the right, the hips must turn to the left. Eventually, of course, the body reaches a point past which it can no longer turn and tilt, and the shoulders must then rotate to the left to stand-the player upright. The more supple a person is, the more he can delay the time when the horizontal shaft 136 is over the ball; the longer the horizontal shaft 136 is to the right, the more time to swing the club head 150 in a smashing arc. Generally the most powerful swing is one in which the club head 150 reaches the ball furthest ahead of the shaft 136.

As noted, the vertical rod 144 is attached via a flexible coupling 146 to a sleeve 148 which can be positioned at various locations along the horizontal shaft 136. For putting and chipping, means can be provided to allow the vertical rod 144 to swing only in a path to the horizontal of the shaft 136, assuring that the club head will make a straight back and straight forward path if the player keeps the horizontal shaft stationary. Any movement of the horizontal shaft 136 can be immediately seen, as it moves against the view of the ground.

Thus, a member with a very shallow arc, but otherwise similar to the bearing 108 depicted in FIGS. 9 and 10 may be placed at 90 to the horizontal shaft 136. The top of the vertical rod 144 can then be positioned to move long this member, giving the player an are which keeps the club head 150 much closer to the ground than possible by just swinging the club head around the horizontal shaft 136.

The foregoing devices embody certain principles which can be illustrated by the manikin depicted in FIGS. l3A-F. The manikin consists ofa generally vertical column 154 extending from a base 156 therefor and is rotatable thereon. At the top of the manikin shaft 154, a beam 158 is securely affixed respect to the golf at impact, when the common portion 174 of Y the curved members 166 and 168 reaches the bottom of the I swing it continues in its changing planes (this portion 174 is making one move in relation to the shoulder beam 158, but

thereto. A central portion 159 of the beam 158 represents a golfer's shoulders. Material can be draped from the shoulder portion to the midsection of the shaft in representation of a torso, or such representation can be accomplished by means of plastic built up on the shaft and beam. An oval member 160 is centrally located on the beam 158 in representation of golfers head and is secured by aswivel joint 157 (FIG. 14A) to a support beam 159 atop a shaft 161 from the base 156. A pair of studs 162 and 164 are provided, one on each end of the beam 158. A pair of curved members 166 and 168 are disposed on the studs 162 and 164, respectively, by means of curved slots 170 and 172, respectively, extending from one end of each curved member to the other end. The curved members 166 and 168 are joined in a common portion 174 to which is pivotally attached the grip end portion of a simulated golf club shaft 176.

The relationship of the studs 162 and 164 and curved member slots 170 and 172 is such that one or the other of the the shoulder beam 158 is turning in relation to the ground and also tilting), and this action whips the golf club 176 around and through in order tocatch up with the common portion 174. It doesnt catch up with the common portion 174 until about waist" height in the follow through. The whipping action gives strength to the drive and the manikin very pictorially and effectively demonstrates this fact.

Referring now to FIGS. 14A and 14B, a refinement is illustrated by means of which the plane of the downswing is shifted fromthat of the backswing to prevent the club from coming into the ball from an outside position. The manikins head is supported by a universal joint, e.g. a short length of leather 1 57 or a ball and socket. The column 154 is cut into two sections 163 and 165, at 155, at an angle on the plane of the curved members can slide past one stud while the other curved member rotates about the other stud. The slot curves have substantially equal radii from centers that are separated by a distance that is substantially equal to the shoulder length. A pair of simulated arms 161 and 163 extend from the ends of the shoulder" 159 to the grip end of the golf club shaft 176 above the common portion 174 of the curved members 166 and 168.

The curved members 166 and 168 and beam 158 are substantially equivalent to the arced members 10 and 12 and shoulder bar 14, respectively, of the device depicted in FIG. 3. However, whereas in the device depicted in FIG. 3, motive power is supplied by the player supporting the device, the motive power for the manikin is obtained by manually or automatically twisting the shaft clockwise which in turn lifts the right (with respect to the manikin) shoulder stud 162. The right shoulder stud 162 pulls on the end of the slot 170 of the right curved member 166 and by centrifugal force, the right member 166 swings upwardly and to the right, sliding past the right shoulder stud 162 while the left curved member 168 rotates, via the end of slot 172, about the left shoulder stud 164. This motion is depicted in FIGS. 13B and 13C. It will be seen that the pivotally attached golf club 176 swings, by centrifugal motion, into a backswing in a manner remarkably similar to the backswing executed by a human golfer. At the top of the backswing, the downswing is initiated by a twist of the column 154 in the opposite direction. This action causes the left shoulder stud 164 to pull upwardly and backwardly on the end of the left curved member slot 172. The assembly of curved members 166 and 168 thereby shifts downwardly riding on the left shoulder stud 164 as a center. At a certain point, about waist" high, centrifugal force causes the right curved member 156 to slide past the right shoulder stud 162 to complete the downswing as depicted in FIG. 13D. At the bottom of the swing (with respect to the common portion 174, but not with respect to the golf head), the two shoulder studs 162 and 164 areagain located at the top ends of the respective curved member slots 170 and 172. From this point on, the assembly of curved members 166 and 168 rides on the right shoulder stud 162 as a center and swings through with the left curved member slot 172 moving past the left shoulder stud 164 for the follow through. The entire movement causes the club to go through a series ofconstantly changing planes. With shoulder" beam 158, but steeper. A central dowel 167 is secured in the lower section and extends into a pocket 171 in the upper section 163. The upper column section 163 rotates around the central dowel 167 for a rotational distance that is limited by an offset dowel 169. The offset dowel 169 is secured in the lower section 165 and extends into a limit slot 173 in the upper section. At address, the column is lined up to rotate as a unit on the backswing. The first move of the downswing is obtained by counterclockwise rotation of the upper column section 163 which rotates about the central dowel 167 until limited by the offset dowel 169 and slot 173. At this point, the entire column 154 rotates counterclockwise, but the plane of swing has changed to the desired downswing angle. 7

As previously noted, the foregoing embodiments have been described with respect to the game of golf. However, many of the principles are equally applicable to other sports and games which require the smooth motion of an-extended arm. For example, in baseball, the player stands much more upright, but the same principles apply. The device depicted in the drawings can be utilized with only minor modification involving merely repositioning the bearings 58, 60 or 108 in FIGS. 3l0 to ac commodate a more horizontal swing. With respect to the device depicted in FIG. 13, the shaft 136 is situated quite upright'going up and out from the players chest. However, just as in golf, the vertical rod 144 is attached to the chest shaft 136 at a point directly above the far end of the bat with the batters arms fully extended. The player controls the height of the swing by bending his body more or less and the vertical rod 144 assures that he must extend both arms fully to get the bat through.

In tennis, the equivalent of the shoulder bar 14, for example, would extend vertically and be strapped to the players chest to guide the player's arm in making a serve. With respect to the device depicted in FIG. 13, the equivalent of the horizontal shaft 136 would extend upward and to the right from the right shoulder of the player. The vertical rod 144- would attach to the far end of the racket at a point directly above the point of attachment to the right shoulder. The player would have to extend his arm fully to swing the racket through.

In bowling, the device is depicted in FIGS. 3l0 can be utilized by strapping the shoulder bar 14 across the players right shoulder (for right-handed player) so that the shoulder bar extends from back to front horizontally thereover, connection being made to a suitable point on the right-hand as by a glove. With respect to the device of FIG. 13, the shaft 136 would be disposed straight out from the bowlers right shoulder and the vertical rod 144 would attach to the shaft 136 at a point close to the shoulder and directly over the right hand to a point at the knuckle on the back of the right-hand glove.

I claim:

1. A practice device for use by a person in swinging an instrument, comprising:

an instrument to be gripped by a person for swinging thereof.

thereof; 3. The devicelof claim 2 wherein said shaft has sufficient an ckmgate Shaft and means for Securing one end of said length to extend to a point vertically over said clubhead at adshaft to a'person to extend said shaft forwardly of the perdress. 5 4. The device of claim I wherein the angle at which said a l shaft is securable to said user's chest is adjustable. means for pwotally Securmg guy to a forwardly extcnd' 5. The device of claim I wherein the shaft has an offset and ing part of Said to Said instrument at a return therein, adjacent said one end, of such extent as to Spaced a substantial distance forwardly from the grip allow a user's arm to pass thereunder during a normal swing.

thereon whereby to determine the arc of swing of said instrument at a predetermined distance from said shaft. 2. The device of claim 1 wherein said instrument is a golf club and said guy is pivotally secured to the clubhead or hose],

6. The device of claim I wherein said guy is a rigid rod extending from said shaft to said instrument.

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U.S. Classification473/215, 473/229, 273/DIG.210, 473/452, 434/252, 473/63
International ClassificationA63B69/36
Cooperative ClassificationY10S273/21, A63B69/3608
European ClassificationA63B69/36B