US 3659855 A
A plastic golf club head is formed in two major parts, a body member and a face plate. Complementary dove-tail members are provided on the body member and face plate so that the face plate may be founded by sliding it onto the body member. To prevent movement therebetween when in position, a plastic insert plug is inserted in channels provided in both the body member and face plate in mutual registry. One or more plugs and complementary channels may be utilized. The plugs may be of any desired cross-section. However, when only one plug is utilized, it should preferably have a non-circular cross-section such as rectangular to prevent rotational movement of the face plate. Where two or more plugs are utilized, they may be of any cross-section. A screw is inserted through the body member and engaged in a threaded means provided either in the insert plug or in the body member. The structure permits ready changing of the face plate to provide the club head with various striking contours and angles. The insert plugs are preferably of the same cross-section as the entry ducts of the mold used for molding of the plastic heads, so that the "trees" from molding of the heads may be used for insert plugs.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Hardesty 154] GOLF CLUB HEAD AND NOVEL METHOD OF PRODUCING SAME  Inventor: Benjamin T. Hardesty, Fairlawn Village,
 Assignee: Shakespeare Company, Kalamazoo, Mich.
 Filed: Nov. 13, 1969 [21} Appl.No.: 871,291
Related US. Application Data  Division of Ser. No. 667,991, June 15, 1967, Pat. No.
[ 51 May 2, 1972 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATlONS 427,521 4/1935 GreatBritain ....273/79 963,652 7/1964 Great Britain ..273/l73 [5 7] ABSTRACT A plastic golf club head is formed in two major parts, a body member and a face plate. Complementary dove-tail members are provided on the body member and face plate so that the face plate may be founded by sliding it onto the body member. To prevent movement therebetween when in position, a plastic insert plug is inserted in channels provided in both the body member and face plate in mutual registry. One or more plugs and complementary channels may be utilized. The plugs may be of any desired cross-section. However, when only one plug is utilized, it should preferably have a non-circular crosssection such as rectangular to prevent rotational movement of the face plate. Where two or more plugs are utilized, they may be of any cross-section. A screw is inserted through the body member and engaged in a threaded means provided either in the insert plug or in the body member. The structure permits ready changing of the face plate to provide the club head with various striking contours and angles. The insert plugs are preferably of the same cross-section as the entry ducts of the mold used for molding of the plastic heads, so that the *trees" from molding of the heads may be used for insert plugs.
7 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures Patented May 2, 1972 3,659,855
3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Patented May 2, 1972 3 Sheets-Sheet B Patented May 2, 1972 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a division of U.S. Ser. No. 667,991, filed on Sept. 1967, now U.S. Pat No. 3,547,445.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Golf club heads of the wood type, i.e., drivers, brassies and spoons, have in the past been manufactured of wood. Golfers of the so-colled duffer" type generally purchase such clubs with pre-formed faces of standard slant or pitch and utilize them without modification. However, golfers of the expert, professional or semi-professional classes are not satisfied with the standard pitches provided by the manufacturer and invariably require that the pitch or curvature of the club be tailored to suit their tastes and style of play. In the case of clubs actually made of wood, the striking face may be altered by grinding or sanding to the proper pitch, and the finish of the face subsequently restored without difficulty. More recently, golf clubs of the wood type have been formed of moldable plastic materials. Such clubs have the advantage that they are more economical, stronger and more readily shaped since they may be formed automatically according to predetermined dimensions and forms. These clubs are suitable for use by those golfers who do not require re-working of the club face to their specifications. However, it has been found that clubheads molded of plastic materials, and particularly those containing glass fibers disposed through the plastic cannot be readily altered in pitch or shape of the striking face by simple processes as described above, since it is extremely difficult to restore a suitable finish to the altered surface in the plastic material after grinding or sanding. Moreover, to provide premolded clubs in all the various ranges of pitch and shape required by expert golfers would be prohibitively expensive.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide a golfclub head of the wood type which may be molded from suitable plastic materials. It is a further object to provide a golf club head of the type described comprised of a body member and a face plate, which face plate may be inexpensively molded in a large number of various pitches and contours and which face plate may be readily affixed to the body member or detached therefrom. It is a further object to provide a golf club of the structure described wherein the face plate may be securely affixed to the body portion by means of plastic plugs. It is an additional object to provide such a structure which is relatively inexpensive to produce. Additional objects will be apparent to one skilled in the art and still others will become apparent hereinafter.
According to the invention, a mold is provided having a mold cavity in which a body member for a golf club head of the wood type may be molded. A channel is provided in the body member into which a plug may be inserted. The inlet duct leading to the cavity mold is so dimensioned that the tree" resulting from the molding process has a cross-sectional dimension adapted to serve as the plug and to be inserted in the channel provided in the body member. A face plate is also molded from a suitable plastic. During the molding processes, the face plate and the body member are provided with complementary dove-tail members horizontally disposed. The club head is assembled by sliding the face plate laterally onto the body member while engaging the dove-tail members. The plastic insert plug formed from the mold tree and cut to proper length is inserted through complementary channels provided in both the face plate and body member. The plug is affixed to the body member by suitable screw means. The resulting structure is a golf club head having a removable face plate which may be molded to the proper pitch and contour, and which may be readily affixed in place and securely held, and readily removed and replaced by face plates of other pitches and contours.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention in its preferred embodiment is illustrated by the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the golf club head of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a top view of the golf club head of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view showing modified means for affixing the face plate.
FIG. 5 is a top view of the golf club head of FIG. 4
FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of a club head similar to that of FIGS. 4 and 5, but having plugs of modified cross-section.
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of still another embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 8 is a top view of the golf club head of FIG. 7
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Reference is now made to the accompanying drawings for a better understanding of the invention, wherein all the parts are numbered and wherein the same numbers are used to refer to the same parts throughout.
In FIGS. 1-3 the club comprises a body member 40 having a shank 41, a shaft channel 42 and a binding 43. A face plate 44 is mounted on the body member by means of complementary dove-tail members 45, 46, and 47. A rectangular plug 48 is inserted in complementary channels 49 and 50 provided in the face plate 44 and body member 40, respectively. In this embodiment the plug is maintained in place by means of a screw 51 disposed in channel 52 provided in the rear of the body member 40 and engaged in either threads or a threaded insert provided in the end of the plug 48.
FIGS. 4-6 illustrate forms of the embodiment of FIGS. l-3 but using modified plug means. In FIGS. 4 and 5 two rectangular plugs 53 and 54 are utilized in spaced-apart relationship. Alternatively, plugs 55 and 56 of circular cross-section as shown in FIG. 6 may be used, as can plugs of any of a large number of cross-sectional forms such as oval, triangular, etc. The remainder of the structure of FIGS. 4-6 is substantially the same and comprises a body member 60, face plate 61, complementary dove-tail members 62, 63 and 64 and screws 65 and 66 retaining the plugs 53 and 54, or 55 and 56, respectively.
Still another embodiment is shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. This embodiment is similar to that of FIGS. I-3. In the embodiment of FIGS. 7 and 8, the club head comprises a body member 70, a shank 72, and a binding 73. A face plate 74 is mounted on the body member 70 by means of complementary dove-tail members 75, 76, and 77. An insert plug 78 is slideably positioned within a channel 79 provided in the body member 70 and a partial channel 80 provided in the face plate 74. The channel 79 should be at least as long as the insert plug 78 so that, prior to assembling the face plate, the plug may be entirely contained within the channel to a sufficient depth so that the end 81 of the plug is recessed below or flush with the end of the body member 70. This permits the face plate to be mounted on the body member by means of the dove-tail members without being impeded by the plug. In order to position the plug in place to engage the face plate, a screw 82 is provided which is positioned in a suitable channel in the body member and engaging a screw insert 83 mounted in an enlarged channel 84 provided in the body member 70.
To mount the face plate, the screw is retracted until the end 81 of the plug 78 has receded into the channel 79 so that said end no longer protrudes. The face plate is then mounted in a manner similar to that described with respect to the other embodiments. The screw 82 is then turned inwardly until it forces the plug 78 into the channel 80 provided in the face plate, thereby affixing the face plate in place. It is of course understood that plugs modified in form or number, as described above with regard to the previous embodiments, may also be utilized with respect to the embodiment of FIGS. 7 and 8.
The body member of the invention may be formed of any moldable plastic material, such as phenolic molding compounds, polypropylene, polycarbonate resins, epoxy resins, polyester resins, polyurethane resins, and many others known in the art. In order to enhance the strength of the body member, a molding compound containing randomly dispersed glass fibers may be utilized. Since, in the preferred method for forming the present golf club heads, the plugs are formed of the trees or flashing left over in the molding process, they will of course be of the same material as the body member. However, plugs may be formed separately and may then be of any suitable material, not necessarily the same as that of the body member.
The face plate may be molded of the same material as the body member, or, alternatively, may be molded of a different compound. The material preferably but not necessarily contains glass fibers randomly disposed to increase the impact resistance of the material.
The golf club head of the present invention has many advantages over those known in the art. It has advantages over wooden heads in being stronger, less subject to cracking and chipping, and more readily prepared by molding. It has a number of advantages over even prior art club heads made of plastic materials in that an entire detachable face plate is provided which is sufficiently inexpensive so that it may be molded by the manufacturer in a large variety of pitches and shapes. The correct preformed pitch may be chosen by the expert golfer, obviating the need for grinding the club head to the proper pitch. This is extremely important in the case of club heads made of plastic materials, since it is difficult to grind down such a club head and subsequently provide a suitably finished surface. The invention provides a novel means for affixing the face plate to the body member by a combination comprising complementary dove-tail members and a plastic plug which is secured to the body member and disposed in a channel provided in the face plate and prevents movement of the face plate. Moreover, in the improved method for forming the body member, the mold for forming the body member is so arranged that the entry duct for the plastic material is contoured to the same cross-sectional dimensions as the channel which is provided in the body member for the plug, and the plug may then be formed from the tree as a by-product of the molding process, thus reducing the cost of the plug.
The plug may be formed in any desirable shape. When a single plug is used it should preferably have a non-circular crosssection, as for example rectangular, to prevent rotational movement of the face plate. Where two plugs are used, they may be of any shape, including circular, since the presence of two spaced-apart plugs will in itself prevent rotational movement of the face plate. The end of the piug should preferably complement the contour of the face plate in the embodiments in which the plug end is exposed.
It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the exact details of construction, operation, or exact materials or embodiments shown and described, as obvious modifications and equivalents will be apparent to one skilled in the art, and the invention is therefore to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.
1. A golf club head of the wood type having a body member and a face plate each comprised of a plastic composition and contoured to provide complementary dove-tail members slideably affixing said face plate to said body member, a solid insert plug slideably received in a channel provided within said body member, said face plate being provided with a recess in coextensive relationship with said channel, said plug directly but removably engaging the face plate in said recess and holding the face plate in place, and partially extending into said body member from the side thereof contiguous with said face plate; screw insert means within said channel at a central portion of said body member; and screw means passing through said body member from the side thereof opposite that con tiguous with said face plate and adapted to readedly engage said screw insert means and to hold said insert plug in engage ment with the face plate.
2. A golf club head in accordance with claim 1 wherein said screw insert means is rigidly mounted in said channel; said face plate is provided with a recess on the back side thereof; one end of said solid insert plug is adapted to removably engage with said recess; and said screw means is adapted to hold said solid insert plug in substantial engagement with said recess.
3. A golf club head in accordance with claim 2 wherein said insert plug has a rectangular cross-section.
4. A golf club head in accordance with claim 3 having at least two insert plugs slideably received in their respective channels.
5. A golf club head in accordance with claim 2 wherein said insert plug has a round cross-section.
6. A golf club head in accordance with claim 1 wherein said screw insert means is situated in said solid insert plug and engages with said screw means; said recess in the face plate is provided with an opening transversely there through, and said solid insert plug is slideably received by said channel through said face plate and having an outer end substantially flush therewith.
7. A golf club head in accordance with claim 6 wherein said insert plug has a rectangular cross-section.