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Publication numberUS3625517 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 7, 1971
Filing dateNov 10, 1969
Priority dateNov 10, 1969
Publication numberUS 3625517 A, US 3625517A, US-A-3625517, US3625517 A, US3625517A
InventorsJohn E Durnack
Original AssigneeJohn E Durnack
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf putter with center of mass aligned with shaft axis
US 3625517 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

nited States Patent [72] Inventor John E. Durnack 88-56 195th St., Hollis, N.Y. 11423 [21] Appl. No. 875,454 [22] Filed Nov. 10, 1969 [45] Patented Dec. 7, 1971 Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 712,849, Mar. 13, 1968, now abandoned. This application Nov. 10, 1969, Ser. No. 875,454

[54] GOLF PUTTER WITH CENTER OF MASS ALIGNED WITH SHAFT AXIS 1 Claim, 3 Drawing Figs.

[52] U.S.Cl 273/167 F, 273/80 C, 273/167 A, 273/168 [51 Int. Cl A63b 53/04 [50} Field of Search 273/80 C. 167-175, 77 R; D34/5 (9) [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS D. 195,135 4/1963 Green D34/5 2,550,846 5/1951 Milligan 273/167 3,194,564 7/1965 Swan 273/168 X 1,541,126 6/1925 Dunn 273/167 A 3,567,227 3/l97l Panks 273/80 C FORElGN PATENTS 7,550 0/1900 Great Britain 273/l67 340,579 l/l93l Great Britain 273/l74 Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Richard J. Apley Anorney- Kane, Dalsimer, Kane, Sullivan and Kurucz head.

PATENTEDDEC H971 I 3625517 WITH THE SHAFT CENTER OF MASS ALBAED ATTORNEY i 24 I 24 WI 1 HM F lGZ F/G. 3

INVENTOR aw 5. oven/xxx BY I GOLF PU'I'IER WITH CENTER OF MASS ALIGNED WITH SHAFI AXIS CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation-in-part of my previously filed application, Ser. No. 712,849 tiled on March 13, 1968, and now abandoned and incorporates by reference all of the subject matter of that previously filed application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the game of golf when the ball is lying on the green or in slightly taller grass in the fringe surrounding the green and it must be stuck with a putter in order-to properly advance it toward the hole, there are several deleterious effects which may occur due to the structure of the putter itself which consequently may cause an undesirable result. For example, if the undersurface of the putter strikes the ground prior to contact with the ball, commonly known as stubbing the grass before making contact with the ball, the ball will be improperly struck and will not roll smoothly in the direction of the hole.

In the putters commonly utilized today, the contacting sur-' face of the underside of the putters extend virtually the entire length of the undersurface thereof so that contact with the ground may occur at any point along the undersurface of the putter. Therefore, if there is a slight bump or projection extending upward from the ground at any point on the ground within the length of the putter, stubbing may occur. Furthermore, should the golfer himself execute an incorrect stroke so that the blade does contact the ground prior to hitting the ball due to his particular stroke of the putter, there will be contact between the entire undersurface of the putter and the ground which would create a strong stubbing force. Therefore, it would be extremely advantageous in the art, if a putter could be provided where there is only minimum contact between the undersurface of the head of the putter and the ground at any time either prior, during or after the stroke.

A second problem which is quite prevalent with putters in use today is the presence of a torsion effect which occurs when the ball is struck by a portion of the putter remote from the axis of the center of mass of the club. For example, the weight is commonly distributed unifonnly across the blade of the putter so that the majority of weight is not concentrated adjacent the vertical axis of the shaft or the extension of that axis down through a portion of the head of the club. In such an instrument, if the ball is struck with a remote tip of the head of the putter, the force at that point in conjunction with the weight of the putter will result in a turning or torque action of the putter head and consequent rotation of the club in the golfer's hand if the club is not held tightly enough which could cause the ball to be struck at an undesired angle and consequent directing of the ball in an undesired line of travel. In order to overcome this problem, the golfer often grips the club too tightly so that he loses the feel of contact between the club head and the ball and the force of contact directed from the club head to the ball cannot be easily gauged correctly. Furthermore, if he grips the club in a loose manner, in order to take advantage of the feel and impart the proper force to the ball depending upon the distance of the ball from the hole, and the ball is not struck at the center of mass of the club head, the developed torque will turn the shaft in the golfers hands as the club head turns with the result that the completion of the stroke results in the ball being directed in an incorrect direction of travel.

In the golfing world, it is also well known that a golf ball with overspin coming in contact with the hole will have a tendency to enter the hole if it comes in contact with any portion of the rim of the hole. It is also well known that overspin is imparted to a golf ball if it is struck above the horizontal centerline of the ball so that it is desirable for the golfer to make contact with the golf ball above the centerline of the ball to impart overspin to the ball. Therefore, it would be advantageous to employ a head on the putter which contains a striking point, or is commonly known in the golfing world as the sweet spot" on the head of the putter, where proper contact with the golf ball may be encountered so that it achieves the desired direction of travel. This sweet spot" or point of contact should be as near as possible to the center of mass to the putter to minimize the torque effect as discussed above and should also be a sufiicient distance above the ground so that it may contact the golf ball on its upper half and impart an overspin to the golf ball to thereby achieve the desired effect on the ball as it rolls toward the hole and comes in contact therewith.

An additional advantage of having the sweet spot or point of contact as high as possible on the hitting face of the head of the putter comes into play when the ball is resting in the fringe on the edge of the green adjacent to the closely cut green surface. When the ball is in this position, it is resting in somewhat taller grass and is often somewhat elevated from the ground. By having the point of contact on the head of the putter as high as possible when the putter rests down in the grass there is less danger of hitting beneath the ball which results in an improper hitting effect and path of travel of the ball.

Furthermore, by having minimum contact between the undersurface of the putter head and the ground when it is resting in the fringe, the danger of stubbing the putter in the tall grass is also greatly minimized. It is readily apparent that this problem is even more prevalent when the ball is in the fringe than when it is on the green.

Consequently, by having a center of mass or hitting point on the putter head which is at a maximum distance from ground level and having minimum contact between the undersurface of the putter blade and the ground, the above physical problems existent in the putting stroke are at least alleviated if not completely eliminated. Additionally, by concentrating the center of mass about the vertical axis of the shank and the extension of that axis, the above discussed danger of excessive torque during the hitting action would also be alleviated.

Therefore, a putter which is structurally designed to take advantage of the above discussed advantageous features would be extremely helpful to the golfer in assuring that he properly strikes the golf ball when it is resting on the green or in the adjacent fringe area.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION With the above discussion in mind, it is among the primary objectives of this invention to provide a golf club in the form of a putter which is constructed to minimize the danger of excessive contact between the undersurface of the putterhead and the ground during the putting stroke, minimize the danger of excessive torque being imparted to the putter during the putting stroke to cause turning of the club in the hands resulting in a misdirection of the ball subsequent to the putting stroke, and to provide an optimum hitting point on the putter head which assists in imparting overspin to the golf ball when it is struck and facilitates the proper contact between the putter and the golf ball when the ball is resting in the fringe adjacent to the green. Furthermore, the putter of this invention is constructed so as to provide a greater substantially torquefree hitting area on the putter head so that the ball may be struck on any point within this area on the head of the putter without imparting an excessive torque to the club which could result in the deleterious aftereffects discussed above. Furthermore, a putter is provided which has identical opposing faces on the putter head so that it may be used as both a right handed and left handed golf club.

In summary, a golf club is provided which includes a shaft having an upper end with a gripping surface thereon and a lower end. A head which has a shank portion extending upwardly therefrom intermediate its ends is adapted to be connected to the lower end of the shaft to form the resultant golf club. Additionally, the head has a striking face thereon. An arcuate recess is present on the undersurface of the head and an upward projection extends from the upper surface of the head. The recess and the projection are proximal to the vertical axis and the extension of that axis of the shank portion of the head.

With the above objects, among others, attention is directed to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:

FIG. I is a side elevation view of a putter embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional top view thereof taken along the plane of line 22 ofFIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is an end elevation view thereof.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIGS. 1-3 of the drawings disclose a golf club which embodies the general principles of the invention. As shown, the club includes a shaft 21 with a gripping surface on its upper end (not shown) and its lower end connected to the shank portion 22 of the head 23. A shank 22, as shown, may be constructed integrally with the remainder of head portion 23 and extends upwardly therefrom. Shank 22 may be connected to the lower end of shaft 21 in any convenient manner such as by means of sleeve 24 having a recess therein to receive shaft 21 in tight frictional engagement therewith. Once the connection has been made, the golf club is completely assembled and ready for use.

The angle at which shank 22 and shaft 21 in alignment therewith extend upward from the remainder of head 23 is a matter of choice. This depends upon the desire of the individual golfer in regard to how he likes the putter positioned with respect to his feet and the angle at which he wants the shaft to extend from head 23 into his hands. In fact, shaft 21 need not extend its entire length in axial alignment with shank 22 but may be bent with respect thereto with the configuration once again being dependent upon the desire of the particular golfer who is going to use the putter 20.

The remainder of head 23 other than shank 22 has the general configuration of a foot which facilitates the desirable features of its construction. Head 23 contains two hitting surfaces 25 and 26 on opposed sides of head 23 and of substantially the same configuration. Both surfaces 25 and 26 will work equally well as hitting faces for the putter and therefore the club may be used as either a right-handed or lefthanded club.

As previously stated, the bottom portion of head 23 resembles a foot in shape and this is facilitated by providing a recess 27 on its undersurface inten'nediate the ends of head 23. Recess 27 is located proximal to and substantially in alignment with the extension of the vertical axis of shank 22 as shown. Complementary to recess 27 is a projection 28 extending from the upper surface of head 23 and terminating in shank 22 in the upward direction. Consequently, the removal of material from head 23 in forming recess 27 is complemented by an increase in material to form upward extension or projection 28 on head 23. It will be noted from the drawings that preferably at least one half of the material forming head 23 is concentrated in the portion 29 of head 23 which is proximal to the vertical axis of shank 22 and the extension in the downward direction of that axis. By concentrating the majority of the material of head 23 in this area, the torque effect on the club during the hitting action is minimized as will be discussed in detail below.

It can also be seen in FIG. 1 how the most desirable hitting point on the hitting face or surface of head 23 is located in general alignment with the vertical axis of shank 22 and is represented by the most desirable hitting point on the putter or what is commonly known as the sweet spot" 30. This point 30 is the ideal position on the club face with which to contact the ball during the putting stroke to obtain the most desirable effects in rotation and path of travel of the ball subsequent to the putting stroke.

When putter 20 is grounded behind the ball prior to the putting stroke, only two relatively small portions 31 and 32 of the undersurface of the putter head 23 come in contact with the ground. These points 31 and 32 and are located at the terminal ends of 27 and represent the apexes of a curvilinear sur' face on the undersurface of head 23 which then extends in an arcuate configuration toward the extremities of the head in an upward direction to form curved end portions 33 and 34 which as shown do not contact the ground during the putting stroke, It will also be noted that one end portion 33 is considerably greater in length than the other end portion 34. The reason for this particular feature is manifold and one particular advantage will be discussed in detail below.

The particular structural features of the head portion as outlined above have considerable advantages when the putter is actually utilized during the putting stroke. For example, with the majority of the material massed adjacent to the vertical axis of shank 22, the majority of the weight of the putter is located adjacent to that area which minimizes the resultant torque effect often present during a putting stroke. In fact, it is even more effective if the actual sweet spot" 30 is located on the vertical axis of the shank and shaft in alignment therewith. With the majority of the weight of the head located in area 29, when the ball is struck with any portion of head 23 in that particular area, there is very little turning or torque effect on the shaft of the club. Therefore, there is little danger of turning of the head during the follow through in the putting stroke and consequently little danger of the ball being misdirected in its path of travel. Additionally, if the ball is struck at either tip end 33 or 34 of the hitting face 25, since the majority of the weight is centrally located on head 23, there will be only a small turning moment since the turning moment is dependent upon the amount of weight and its distance from the center of rotation which is along the vertical axis previously discussed. Therefore, there is little danger that the club will be turned in ones hands with a normal grip even if the ball is struck at the extremities of hitting surface 25. The club head will tend to retain its direction of travel and complete the proper stroke direction imparting the proper path of travel to the ball being struck. By concentrating approximately at least half of the weight in the head 23 proximal to the axis of the shank and the extension of that axis, the danger of turning of the shaft in ones hand is greatly alleviated. In fact, if the sweet spot" or hitting center of the head is positioned on the above-mentioned axis, there is virtually no turning movement present and the ball will be struck true and straight.

By having head 23 in the shape of a foot with the instep portion being formed by recess 27 and the end portions 33 and 34 having a curved undersurface the point of contact between the bottom of head 23 and the ground is minimized. In fact, it will only contact the ground at points 31 and 32 on its undersurface. The area of contact is naturally dependent upon the angle of curvature at that point. In this manner, the danger of stubbing the club head is alleviated since there are only two points of contact and the remainder of the golf club is spaced from the ground.

Furthermore, by shaping head 23 so that a projecting portion 28 is substantially vertically aligned with recess 27 and proximal to the axis of shank 22 and its extension, the center of mass of this portion of the head is raised from the ground a significant amount. This naturally raises the point of contact between the head 23 and the ball since the sweet spot" or hitting center is generally proximal to the center of mass of the head. Therefore, by removing a portion of the weight of the head by forming recess 27 and providing additional material as projection 28, the center of this mass area is represented by point 30 on the head which is at a higher horizontal point with respect to the ground than the central horizontal axis of the hitting surface 25 of blade 23 including end portions 33 and- By raising the point of contact 30 on the hitting surface, it achieves the effect of striking the ball above its centerline and imparting overspin to the ball which, as discussed above, is extremely desirable in putting since the overspin will tend to roll the ball into the hole when the ball comes in contact with any portion of the hole.

Furthermore, by having a higher hitting position on hitting surface 25, when the ball is lying in the fringe area around the green, the ball will be struck more positively with a normal stroke of the club since the head will rest down in the grass contacting the ground on points 31 and 32. At this position, the point of contact which is ideally point 30 will still be relatively centrally located with respect to the ball and will facilitate the provision of a positive stroke of the ball by the club 20. Naturally it should be kept in mind that the presence of this higher hitting center on hitting face 25 also minimizes the danger of stubbing the putter blade in the fringe area which is considerably rougher in terrain than the actual green itself.

By achieving this more positive hitting action with the structure of head 23 as described in this invention, there is no necessity to grip the club too tightly to compensate for the torque effect which causes the golfer to lose the proper feel between the golf club and the ball during the stroking action. Furthermore, there is no danger that the torque effect will adversely affect the putting stroke if the club is gripped too loosely due to the minimization of that effect by the structure of the club. In this manner, the above-discussed problems of putting are alleviated by the putter described herein.

An additional feature which is readily apparent from the structure of the putter as shown in FIGS. 1-3 is the fact that two identical hitting faces 25 and 26 in opposed and parallel relationship are present on head 23 so that putter 20 may be utilized in both a right-hand a left-hand manner for striking the ball. This naturally makes the putter available for both right-handed and left-handed golfers as well as permitting a right-handed golfer to use the putter in a reverse manner should his ball be located in a position which would make a normal right-handed stroke virtually impossible.

An additional advantage of the structure of the putter of this invention is the provision of the short rear end portion 34 on the hitting surface whereby the majority of weight at this end of the putter is in the portion proximal to the axis extending through shank 22 and vertically downward through head 23. With this structure, by striking the ball in the area between the vertical axis and rear end portion 34, it has been found that a force will be imparted to the golf ball so that it will tend to retain its line of travel even when positioned on the green in what is known as a side hill line. Normally, the tendency of the ball in this position is to tend to curve to the downhill side of the hole when struck by the putter. However, when struck with the putter of this invention in the manner just described, the putt will tend to retain its direct line of travel to the hole due to the spin imparted to the ball thereby minimizing the amount of curve of the ball downhill below the hole. Therefore, by utilizing the putter in this manner, the golfer need not compensate as greatly for the normal break or roll of the green and can hit the ball more directly toward the hole itself which is a considerable advantage in the art of putting.

Thus the aforementioned objects and advantages are most effectively attained. Although one preferred embodiment of this invention has been disclosed in detail herein, it should be understood that this invention is in no sense limited thereby; and its scope is to be determined by that of the appended claims.

lclaim:

1. An elongated blade putter comprising: a shaft having an upper end with a gripping surface thereon and a lower end, a head having a shank portion extending upwardly therefrom intermediate the ends thereof and having a striking face thereon, the shank portion adapted to be mounted to the lower end of said shaft to thereby form the golf club, the head having an arcuate recess on its undersurface and an upward projection disposed intermediate the heel of the club head and approximate center of the club head extending from the upper surface thereof, said recess and said projection being aligned with the shaft axis and the extension thereof of the shank portion of the head, the arcuate recess formed intermediate the ends of the head and along the longitudinal axis of the blade extending across the entire cross section undersurface of the head, each end of the recessed arcuate undersurface of the head terminating in a contact point for the head with the ground, the undersurface then continuing in a curved configuration away from the ground to assist in forming curved end portions on said head so that when the putter is in the hitting position the undersurface of its head will only contact the ground at two points determined by the small portions of the undersurface of the head adjacent to the recessed portion thereof, the striking area of the head being aligned with the shaft axis and the extension thereof of the shank thereby minimizing the torque effect when a ball is struck and alleviating the danger of turning of the club head during the stroke causing subsequent misdirected hitting of the ball, and the distribution of the weight of the projection and the recess aligned substantially with the shaft axis and the extension thereof of the shank in substantial alignment locating the center of mass of the head with respect to the ground at a position above the geometric horizontal axis of the head so that the striking point of the head with a ball upon proper contact at the point of the center of mass of the head will be on the upper portion of the ball and will consequently impart top spin to the ball subsequent to the striking thereof.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4325550 *Aug 1, 1980Apr 20, 1982Stan Thompson Golf Club CompanyPutter with shaft axis focussed at blade keel
US4966369 *May 23, 1989Oct 30, 1990Griffin Roy NPositive rotational stability putter
US5131656 *Sep 16, 1991Jul 21, 1992Frank KinoshitaImpulse performance putter
US5253868 *Jun 1, 1992Oct 19, 1993Baumann Peter EGolf club putter
US5257807 *Aug 3, 1992Nov 2, 1993Baumann Peter EGolf club putter
US5290035 *Apr 23, 1992Mar 1, 1994Hannon Richard HBalanced golf putter
US5380009 *Mar 30, 1994Jan 10, 1995Henry-Griffitts, Inc.Notched golf club face
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US8360897Jul 18, 2011Jan 29, 2013Acushnet CompanyInterchangeable shaft system
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US8517856Aug 6, 2012Aug 27, 2013Acushnet CompanyInterchangeable shaft system
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US8622848Mar 9, 2012Jan 7, 2014Acushnet CompanyInterchangeable shaft and club head connection system
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US8777771Aug 6, 2012Jul 15, 2014Acushnet CompanyInterchangeable shaft system
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Classifications
U.S. Classification473/313, 473/340
International ClassificationA63B53/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B53/0487, A63B2053/0433, A63B53/007
European ClassificationA63B53/00P, A63B53/04P