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Publication numberUS3622161 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 23, 1971
Filing dateApr 10, 1969
Priority dateApr 10, 1969
Publication numberUS 3622161 A, US 3622161A, US-A-3622161, US3622161 A, US3622161A
InventorsHarold Keppen
Original AssigneeHarold Keppen
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for practicing golf strokes
US 3622161 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Unite States Patent lnventor 1 1 Harold nn 3,343,343 9/1967 Stanko 273/186 5910 Fox Lake RM, Mclienry. 60050 3,359,005 12/1967 Cameron 273/186 x 1 1 pp 814,971 3,444,741 /1969 Burcz 273/185 D x [22] Filed Apr. 10, 1969 I patenmd No 23, 1971 Prlmary Exam1n erGeorge J. Marlo A!rorney-Merr|am, Marshall, Shaplro & Klose [54] g zcg GOLF STROKES ABSTRACT: A training device for golfers includes a frame supported on shock-absorbmg coll springs. Wtthm the frame 15 [52] US. Cl- 273/186 R, a depresgible flap member which has its front end secured to 273/195 R the frame by a hinge and its rear end secured to the frame by a [51] Int. Cl A631: 69/36 i f coil s rings. The extent to which the flap member is Field Search 273/183, depressed, upon impact by a golf club, is made evident to the 1 204, golfer by an indicia carrying strip located below the flap member. As the fla member is depressed, the stri moves [561 Rderences cued relative thereto and the indicia thereon may be viewed UNITED STATES PATENTS through a slot in the flap member. Mounted on the rear end of 1,383,876 7/1921 Sullivan 273/186 the flap member is a golf ball-supporting element adapted to 1,594,359 8/1926 Estabrook 273/195 be moved about a vertical axis, upon impact by a golf club. 1,669,204 5/1928 MacCallum 273/185 D Longitudinally extending panels on opposite sides of the flap 1,798,983 3/1931 Parsons 273/185 D member are adapted to be displaced if impacted by a golf 2,400,019 5/1946 Page1..... 273/197 X club. Displacements of the various movable members provide 3,194,565 7/1965 Schroer 273/186 an indication ofthe nature ofthe golfer's club swing.

PATENTEDNUV 2 3 |97| SHEET 3 BF 4 QM aw. WWW W %W q wm INVENTOe ffwmfin ge a vemv ry/ i ak H. g N

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7Q C: PERFECT HEEL HIT T m J? Zr 9 29 BEL E CLUB FACE WRONG STANCE WRONG SWING 8a CLUB FACE WRONG 5L5 ar]? 20 2;; WRISTS WRONG TOP OF SWING WRONG AIM WRONG yw/a lfi ge vpew 8) MM and. TTOPIVV-S DEVICE FOR PRACTICING GOLF STROKES SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to devices for practicing golf strokes and more particularly to a practice device which includes structure for indicating to the golf player whether or not he is hitting the golf ball squarely, whether his swing deviates from a predetermined swing path and where the golf club is hitting the ground (or other ball-supporting surface) relative to the golf ball.

The device includes a horizontally disposed member on which is mounted an element for holding a golf ball. The ballholding element is mounted for rotation about a vertical axis and is constructed so that it remains in a first position when the golf ball is struck squarely but rotates to a displaced, second position when the player fails to hit the ball squarely. Rotation of this element is limited to an angle which permits a displaced element to return to substantially its first position when hit squarely.

The ball-holding element is mounted in front of the rear end of the horizontally disposed member which is depressible in response to being hit, with the depth of the depression depending upon the location at which the member is hit. An indicator, actuated by depression of the member, shows the relative location at which the member is hit.

Panel-type indicators, located on each side of the horizontally disposed member, are deflectible, in response to being struck on a panel side adjacent the member, from a relatively straight, relatively closed position to a variety of displaced positions. Deflection of the panels occurs when there is a deviation of a golf club swing from a swing centered on a predetermined path extending from the rear end to the front end of the horizontally disposed member and defined by the sides of the latter. The particular position to which the panels are displaced depends upon the manner in which the swing deviates from a swing centered on the predetermined path.

The device is useful for practicing hitting the golf ball squarely or for practicing deliberate books or slices. The device is useful for practicing swings centered on a predetermined path or swings deviating therefrom. The device is also useful in practicing deliberately hitting behind the ball or hitting to the green" and is useful in showing the mistakes made when hitting the ball extra hard.

The device shows to the golfer essentially what happens on every stroke.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective of a golfer practicing with a device constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of an embodiment of a device in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the device;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 4--4 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 5-5 in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 6-6 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary plan view of a portion of the device;

FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken along line 9-9 in FIG. 6;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary plan view of a ball holding element forming part of the device;

FIG. 11 is a sectional view taken along line 11-11 in FIG. 9; and

FIGS. 12-20 are diagrammatic plan views showing how the device indicates various kinds of strokes.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring initially to FIG. 1, indicated generally at 12 is a device, constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, for practicing golf strokes. Practice device 12 includes a horizontally disposed member 35 mounting an element 14 for holding a golf ball 15 hit by a club 16 wielded by a golfer 11 using device 12 to practice golfstrokes. Practice device 12 rests on the ground 13.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 6, there is illustrated an embodiment of the invention in which device 12 is used in connection with a hole 21 in ground 13. The top of device 12 is essentially level with the top of ground 13.

Received within hole 21 is a box 20, and mounted on the bottom of the box are a pair of crossmembers 22, 22 each underlying a pair of conventional coil-spring shock absorbers 23, 23 for supporting a frame indicated generally at 24.

Referring to FIGS. 2-6, frame 24 includes a front end portion 30, a rear end portion 31 and side portions 33, 34. The four frame portions 30-34 define a rectangular frame within which is located horizontally disposed, depressible flap member 35 having a front end 36, hingedly connected to frame front end portion 30 by a hinge 38, and a rear end 37 yieldingly connected to frame rear end portion 31 by a pair of coil springs 39, 39 each having one end connected at 40 to the bottom of frame rear end portion 31 and another end connected at 41 to the bottom of flap member 35, near rear end 37 thereof. A front portion of each spring 39 is received within a channel element 42 attached to the bottom of flap member 35 near rear end 37 thereof.

Ball holding element 14 is mounted on flap member 35 near rear end 37 thereof. When a golf club 16 strikes a ball 15 supported atop element 14 (FIG. 7), the downward component of the force striking the golf ball is absorbed by depressible flap member 35 which pivots downwardly about the axis of hinge 38, against the urging of coil springs 39, 39 which subsequently return the flap member to the horizontal disposition indicated in FIG. 6.

Located adjacent rear end 37 of flap member 35 is ramp means 45 beveled upwardly from rear end 37 toward ballholding element 14. If the approach of a golf club 16 to golf ball 15 is too low, the golf club will strike ramp means 45 causing flap member 35 to be depressed to a lower depth than it would be depressed if the approach of a golf club were at the correct level.

The further back on ramp means 45 the golf club 16 strikes, the lower flap member 35 is depressed; and an indicator, to be described subsequently, actuable by the depression of flap member 35, shows relatively how far behind golf ball 15 the golf club is hitting.

If the golf club is hitting extremely far behind the golf ball, the golf club will strike frame rear end portion 31 and the blow from this will be absorbed by shock absorbers 23, 23 located below frame rear end portion 31 (FIG. 6). To assist the shockabsorbing action, frame rear end portion 31 is beveled upwardly, at 47, toward flap member 35.

Referring to FIGS. 2-3 and 6-9, practice device 12 includes an indicator 50 for showing the location of where the golf club hits relative to the golf ball. Indicator 50 includes a slot 51, in the flap member, extending frontwardly from a location adjacent ball-holding element 14. Located directly below slot 51 is indicia means 52 in the form of an elongated strip extending lengthwise from the rear end of flap member 35 toward the front thereof. A portion of strip 52 is visible through slot 51 at all times. The rear portion of strip 51 is attached at 53 to the bottom of frame rear end portion 31, and a front portion of strip 52 is attached by a coil spring 54 to the bottom of flap member 35 forwardly of slot 52. Referring to FIG. 9, opposite edge portions of strip 51 are received within respective grooves 55, 55 of guide members 56, 56 attached to the bottom of flap member 35. X

When flap member 35 is depressed, guide members 56, 56 press downwardly on strip 52. Because the rear portion of strip 52 is fixed at 53, while the front portion is movable against the pull of coil spring 54, engagement of the strip by downwardly depressed guide members 56, 56 causes a relative movement of the strip from front to rear through grooves 55.

To a golfer 11 standing in the position indicated in FIG. 1, the portion of strip 52 visible through slot 51 changes as. flap member 35 is depressed. The more fiap member 35 is depressed, the greater the change in that portion of strip 52 which is visible through slot 51. A frontward portion of strip 52 which would not be visible when flap member 35 is in the raised horizontal disposition of FIG. 6 would be visible when the flap member is in the depressed disposition of FIG. 7. The further the depression of flap member 35 the more frontwardly is the portion of strip 52 which becomes visible through slot 51.

The indicia on strip 52 can be in the form of different colors on the top surface of strip 52. For example, referring to FIG. 8, the strips rearward portion 57 can be colored green, and the strips forward portion 58 can be colored white with a dividing line 60 therebetween.

Typically, when flap member 35 is in the horizontal disposition of FIG. 6, only green indicium 57 would be visible.

When the golf ball is hit by a correct swing, and flap member 35 is depressed, both the green and white indicia, 57, 58, would be visible and dividing line 60 would be at marker one of several markers 580-591 located atop flap member 35 adjacent slot 51.

If the golf club hits behind the golf ball, on ramp means 45 of flap member 35, the flap member would be depressed more than on a correct hit, and dividing line 60 would be further rearwardly, e.g. at marker 59c. The more flap member 35 is depressed, the further rearwardly is dividing line 60.

Thus, depending upon the depth of depression of the rear end of the flap member, there is a change in the portion of the indicia means which is visible through slot 51, the change being coordinated with the depth of depression of the rear end of flap member 35.

In the absence of ramp means 45 on flap member 35, and if the top of flap member 35 was at dash-dot line 46, a golf club swing which was too low would stub against element 14; and this would not depress flap member 35 or actuate indicator 50. Thus ramp means 45 is important to the actuation of the indicator.

Other types of indicators, actuable upon depression of member 35, may be used. For example, depression of member 35 to various depths could close various electrical contacts for turning on various lights for indicating the relative distance between the holding element and where the golf club hits the flap member.

Flap member 35 and indicator 50 are also useful in practicing hitting to the green, i.e. obtaining a reverse spin on the ball to impede its rolling forward when it hits the green. This is accomplished by pinching the ball between the club and the ball-supporting surface before the ball is lifted into flight by the club. In such a situation, the bottom of the swing is forward of the ball, and flap member 35 would be struck forward of ball-holding element 14 with indicator 50 providing an appropriate indication (e.g., line 60 at indicium 59a).

Flap member 35 and indicator 50 are also useful for practicing deliberately hitting behind the ball, to simulate a sand trap situation, for example.

Referring to FIG. 2, a dash-dot line 63 indicates a golf club swing centered along a predetermined path extending from rear end 37 to front end 36 of flap member 35 and defined by opposite sides 61, 62 of the flap member. Device 12 includes structure for indicating whether the golf club swing follows or deviates from straight, centered swing 63.

Referring to FIGS. 2-4, frame side portions 33, 34 include innermost edges 65, 66 each spaced from side edges 62, 61 respectively, of flap member 35. Resting atop frame side portions 33, 34, and slidable thereon, are horizontally disposed panels 69, 70 having respective depending portions 67, 68 located in the spaces between the frame side portions 33, 34 and the flap member side edges 62, 61. Panels 69, 70 each extend along a respective side edge 62, 61 of flap member 35 and the panel sides 73, 74 adjacent member 35 are beveled upwardly away from the member. The outermost edges 71, 72 of downwardly extending portions 67, 68 are spaced inwardly from the innermost edges 65, 66 of frame side portions 33, 34. The movable panels 69, 70 are mountable in a relatively straight, relatively closed position spaced apart so that the distance therebetween at their respective beveled sides 73, 74 is slightly greater than the width of the club head being used for practice.

A straight, centered golf club swing, such as 63 (FIG. 2), will not hit either panels 69, 70, and their relative disposition to each other and to flap member 35, following such a stroke, is shown in FIG. 12. Various types of deviation from a straight, centered swing are indicated by deflection of the panels to various displaced positions shown in FIGS. l3, l4, 16, 17, 19 and 20; and these will be subsequently discussed in greater detail.

Referring now to FIGS. 6-7 and 9, ball-holding element 14 comprises wall means 80, composed of resilient material such as rubber, having an upper surface 79 for supporting golf ball 15. Wall means 86) surrounds a hole 81 for receiving the bottom portion of the golf ball, as indicated in FIG. 6.

Element 14 includes a rear surface 82 beveled upwardly toward upper surface 79 of wall means 80. The ball-holding element is mounted for rotation about the vertical axis of a shank 83 extending downwardly from wall means 80, through an opening 84 in a recess 85 in flap member 35, terminating inside a bearing located below flap member 35. A cross pin 87 extends radially through a lower portion of shank 83 below flap member 35 and above bearing 90. Located between a plate 92 at the bottom of wall means 80 and a bearing member 91 at the bottom of flap member recess 85, and surrounding shank 83, is shock-absorbing means in the form of a coil spring 86 which absorbs the downward component of the force of a golf club striking element 14.

When the ball on element 14 is hit squarely by a club following path 63 in FIG. 2, element 14 will remain in the centered first position indicated in full lines in FIG. 10; i.e., the element will not rotate about the vertical axis of shank 83, and beveled rear surface 82 will remain in facing relation to rear end 37 of flap member 35. If the ball on element 14 is not hit squarely, the beveled rear surface 82 will be hit at one side thereof, causing element 14 to be rotated either clockwise or counterclockwise, about its vertical axis of rotation, to a displaced position (dash-dot lines in FIG. 10) which indicates to a golfer that he did not hit the ball squarely.

Rotation of ball-holding element 14 about the vertical axis of shank 83 is limited by the engagement of cross pin 87 with either one of a pair of stops 88, 88 each having a generally triangular horizontal cross section and sandwiched between flap member 35 and bearing 90. Stops 88, 88 are held in place by respective threaded fasteners 89, 89 each engaging flap member 35 from below and fastening thereto, in ascending order, guide members 56, S6, bearing 90 and stops 88, 88.

The angle through which ball-holding element 14 can rotate may be adjusted by loosening threaded fasteners 89, 89 and rotating stops 88, 88 about the vertical axis of a respective fastener 89, 89 to vary the angle of a stop face 94, engaged by cross pin 87, relative to the axis of shank 83.

It is desirable to limit the rotation of ball-holding element 14 from its first position (full lines in FIG. 10), in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction, to no more than 30 and preferably no more than 20. When element 14 is in a displaced position (dash-dot lines in FIG. 10) within these angular limits it will return substantially to its first position (solid lines in FIG. 10) upon being hit squarely. This arrangement eliminates the necessity of manually rotating a displaced ballholding element back to its first position.

Ball holding element 14 and its associated mounting structure are also useful for practicing deliberate hooks (curve to left in direction of green) and slices (curve to right in direction of green) and will indicate to the golfer whether he is or is not hooking or slicing.

FIGS. 12 through 20 show how the indicators reflect various types of swings, whether deliberate or undesirable or both.

FIG. 12 shows how the device indicates a perfect swing.

FIG. 13 shows how the device indicates a swing in which the ball is hit by the heel of the club.

FIG. 14 shows how the device indicates that the ball is hit by the toe of the club.

FIG. 15 shows how the device indicates that the swing is straight but the club face is closed.

FIG. 16 shows how the device indicates an open stance.

FIG. 17 shows how the device indicates both an inside to outside" swing and a closed club face. FIG. 18 shows how the device indicates that the wrists are not breaking in time.

FIG. 19 shows how the device will indicate an outside to inside" swing and an open" club face.

FIG. 20 shows how the device indicates a closed stance or an incorrect aim.

Frame 30-34, flap member 35 and panels 69, 70 may be composed of conventional structural materials, such as wood or plastic; and they may be covered with a weatherproof, faderesistant material, such as conventional outdoor carpeting.

The foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only, and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom, as modifications will be obvious to those skilled in the art.

What is claimed is:

l. A device for practicing golf strokes, said device comprismg:

a horizontally disposed member having front and rear ends;

an element including means for holding a golf ball;

means mounting said element on said member, in front of i the rear end thereof, for rotation about a vertical axis and against rotation about a horizontal axis;

and means, including stop means for limiting the angle of rotation of said element about its vertical axis, for indicating whether a swung golf club strikes the golf ball squarely or not squarely.

2. A device as recited in claim 1 and comprising:

panel means, located on each side of said member, for indicating the deviation of a golf club swing from a swing centered on a predetennined path extending from the rear end to the front end of said member and defined by the sides of the member;

and means mounting said panel means for horizontal movement in a direction transverse to said predetermined path.

3. A device as recited in claim I and comprising:

wall means, on the ball-holding element, having an upper surface for supporting a golf ball;

a rear surface, on the ball-holding element, beveled upwardly toward said upper surface of the wall means;

and means mounting the ball-holding element for rotation about a vertical axis between a centered first position, in which said rear surface on said element is disposed in facing relation to the rear end of said horizontally disposed member, and a displaced position in which said rear surface on the element is angularly displaced from said first recited disposition.

4. A device as recited in claim 3 and comprising:

means for limiting rotation of the ball-holding element to an angle no greater than about 30 from said centered position, to permit a displaced element to return substantially to its first position when hit squarely.

5. A device as recited in claim 1 and comprising:

a rear surface, on the ball-holding element, beveled upwardly in a frontward direction;

and shock-absorbing means between the ball-holding element and the member.

6. A device for practicing golf strokes, said device comprisa frame having front and rear end portions;

a horizontally disposed flap member having front and rear ends;

means depressibly mounting said flap member on said frame;

said mounting means comprising means hingedly connecting said front end of the flap member to said front end portion of the frame and spring means yieldingly connecting said rear end of the flap member to said rear end portion of the frame;

a golf ball-holding element;

and means mounting said ball-holding element on the flap member in front of the rear end thereof.

7. A device as recited in claim 6 and comprising a slot, in said member, extending frontwardly from a location adjacent the ball-holding element;

indicia means, in the form of a strip, located directly below said slot;

a portion of said indicia means being visible through said slot at all times;

and means, responsive to depression of said member, for changing the portion of the indicia means which is visible through said slot and for coordinating the visible portion of the indicia means with the depth of said depression;

said last recited means comprising means mounting said strip for movement in a rearward direction below said slot in response to depression of said flap member.

8. A device as recited in claim 7 and comprising:

ramp means, on said flap member, beveled upwardly from the rear end of the flap member toward the ball-holding element.

9. A device as recited in claim 6 wherein:

said frame includes a rear end portion located rearwardly of said flap member and beveled upwardly toward the flap member;

and shock-absorbing means supporting at least said rear end portion of the frame.

10. A device as recited in claim 6 and comprising:

ramp means, on said flap member, beveled upwardly from the rear end of the flap member toward the ball-holding element;

said frame including a rear end portion located rearwardly of said flap member and beveled upwardly toward the flap member;

and shock-absorbing means supporting at least said rear end portion of the frame.

11. A device for practicing golf strokes, said device comprising:

a frame having front and rear end portions;

a horizontally disposed flap member having front and rear ends;

means including means connecting the front end of said flap member to the front end portion of said frame, depressibly mounting the flap member on said frame;

a slot in said flap member;

a golf ball-holding element mounted on said member in front of the rear end thereof;

strip means having front and rear ends, located below said slot, for indicating the extent to which said flap member is depressed;

and means mounting said strip means for movement in a rearward direction below said slot in response to depression of the flap member.

12. A device as recited in claim 11 wherein said mounting means for said strip means comprises:

prising:

a horizontally disposed member having front and rear ends;

a golf ball-holding element mounted on said member in front of the rear end thereof;

panel means, located on each side of said member, for indicating the deviation of a golf club swing from a swing centered on a predetermined path extending from the rear end to the front end of said member and defined by the sides of the member;

and means mounting said panel means for horizontal movement in a direction transverse to said predetermined path.

14. A device as recited in claim 13 wherein:

said panel means comprises a pair of horizontally disposed panels each extending alongside a respective side edge of said member;

manner in which the swing deviates from a swing centered on said predetermined path. 15. A device as recited in claim 14 wherein: the panel side adjacent said member is beveled upwardly away from the member.

i i i I! i

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1383876 *Jan 12, 1920Jul 5, 1921Sullivan Paul CGolf-practicing means
US1594359 *Dec 4, 1924Aug 3, 1926Estabrook Thomas WPractice board
US1669204 *Jan 25, 1928May 8, 1928Maccallum William A FGolf practice device
US1798983 *May 18, 1929Mar 31, 1931Joseph W GrahamGolf register
US2400019 *Dec 20, 1944May 7, 1946Louis W PagelGame apparatus
US3194565 *Jun 3, 1963Jul 13, 1965John B SchroerIndicator device actuable by the movement of a golf club head between two spaced strips on a mat
US3343843 *Oct 26, 1964Sep 26, 1967Stanko John ASimulated golfing turf in which divot depressions may be produced and studied
US3359005 *Feb 25, 1964Dec 19, 1967Alexander CameronImage projector actuable by golf ball rotation to indicate direction and intensity of golf stroke
US3444741 *Oct 16, 1967May 20, 1969Burcz Melvin EArt of golf training
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4875685 *Apr 1, 1988Oct 24, 1989Ballinger Kedric LGolf practice apparatus
US5417427 *Oct 25, 1993May 23, 1995Doane; Maurice S.Golf training device
US5458336 *Oct 5, 1994Oct 17, 1995Miller; OmerGolf practice aid
US6106406 *Jun 20, 1996Aug 22, 2000Jouan; DominiqueGolf practice device
US6902494Feb 13, 2004Jun 7, 2005Dov FrishbergGolf practice device
US8118685 *Jul 16, 2009Feb 21, 2012Claudio MongeGolf swing practice device
US20110014989 *Jul 16, 2009Jan 20, 2011Claudio MongeGolf swing practice device
WO1997000711A1 *Jun 20, 1996Jan 9, 1997Dominique JouanGolf practice device
WO1999056838A1 *Apr 30, 1999Nov 11, 1999Montalembert Bernard DeGolf training set
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/262
International ClassificationA63B69/36
Cooperative ClassificationA63B57/0018, A63B69/36
European ClassificationA63B69/36