US 3730529 A
A stroke indicating golf club operable for visually presenting the area of contact of the club head with the golf ball. The club is usable additionally for normal golfing. A plurality of pins extend fore and aft through the club head and are physically displaceable by ball contact to assume and retain a contact impression of the golf ball and the club head. The pins are repositionable for subsequent club strokes.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent. 1
Donofrio 451 May 1, 1973 STROKE INDICATING GOLF CLUB  Inventor: Donald E. Donot'rio, 304 N. York Road, Willow Grove, Pa. 19090  Filed: Dec. 10, 1971 [21 App]. N0.: 206,649
 US. Cl. ..273/186 A [5 l Int. Cl. ..A63b 69/36  Field of Search ..273/186, 194, 193,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,194,564 Swan ..273/l86 A INDICATING PINS 2,214,356 9/l940 Wettlaufer ..273/l86 A Primary ExaminerGeorge J. Marlo Att0rney-David H. Semmes 5 7] ABSTRACT A stroke indicating golf club operable for visually presenting the area of contact of the club head with the golf ball. The club is usable additionally for normal golfing. A plurality of pins extend fore and aft through the club head and are physically displaceable by ball contact to assume and retain a contact impression of the golf ball and the club head. The pins are repositionable for subsequent club strokes.
6 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTED H975 3,730,529
SHEET 1 or 2 INVENTOR DONALD E. DONOFRIO JMMM ATTORNEY PATENTEDHAY' H915 3, 730.529
SHEET 2 [1Fv 2 INDICATING PINS l liflllllilillllililllIilillilfllllllhlll HEEL OF INVENTOR DONALD E. DONOFRIO (QM Mm ATTORNEY STROKE INDICATING GOLF CLUB BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The game of golf requires a true golf stroke, or stroke grooving, which can be repeated by the golfer for best results. Accuracy or grooving of the stroke is required in order to perfect the swing and obtain maximum ball control. I-Ieretofore it has been difficult, if not impossible, for a golfer to analyze his stroke in the absence of another party such as a golf professional to watch the swing or stroke, and make appropriate analysis and suggestions. The present invention eliminates this requirement.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The invention provides a stroke indicating golf club usable by an individual golfer to practice his stroke repetitively and obtain a direct readout from the club head to ascertain if the ball is being stroked directly in the center of the club or to otherwise visually present the contact area between the ball and the club head. This is rendered possible by utilizing a plurality of pins mounted fore and aft in, and through, the club head in the direction of a stroke which are displaceable in the club head upon ball contact and provide a visual contact area impression. The impression thus obtained is used to analyze the stroke and, if required, to make corrections or adjustments of fundamental controls of the stroke, such as position of feet, hands and arms. The pins are repositionable for subsequent practice strokes and the user is enabled to perfect the stroke by making center contact with the ball on each swing.
The stroke indicating golf club of the invention provides a club head consisting of standard shapes, sizes and weights, with the addition of indicating pins which extend from the area in front of the club face through the club to the rear. When the club is used to strike a golf ball, the points of contact between the ball and club head will push pins into the club head. The club will retain the contacting indication and display this contact area at the rear and face of the club. This permits the golfer to make a standard golf shot and at the same time record the contact and make correction that will aid in the perfection ofthe game.
The club serves as both a practice club and a standard club, the pins when protruding out of the front face of the club will permit the club to function as a practice club, and with the pins pushed in flush with the face it will serve as a standard club.
Additional objects and advantages of the invention will be more readily apparent from the following detailed description of embodiments thereof when taken together with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a front view of a gold club head, a shaft being fragmentarily shown, of a driving or other wood club type embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the club head of FIG. 1 schematically depicting a golf ball contact and visual impact area indicating pins in the club head;
FIG. 3 is a schematic cross sectional view through the golf club head showing mounting and details of impact indicating pins;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 1 of a putter incorporating the invention;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 2 showing putter head and ball contact;
FIG. 6 is a schematic cross sectional view through the putting head of FIGS. 4 and 5;
FIGS. 7A-7E inclusive are schematic views of a putter head disclosing different conditions of club head and ball impact with the contact area being visually presented by the displaceable pins.
In FIG. 1 a golf club head 10 is shown which is of a type such as a driver or number 1 wood having the usual shaft 12, fragmentarily shown, attached thereto. The face 14 and rear of the club 16, and the overall club head construction are of a usual type. The club head is provided with an opening or cutout extending longitudinally therethrough in the direction of stroke, and opening through face 14 and rear 16 as shown in FIG. 3. This hole or opening is generally medially disposed between the top and bottom of the club face.
In the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3 a plurality of U- shaped pins 20 are inserted in and extend through hole 18. The pins 20 have a greater length than that of the hole 18 to permit extension beyond the front and rear faces of the club head. The fronts of the pins at 22 are closed. As will be seen a plurality of these pins extend transversely across the club head. A plurality of friction pins 24 are appropriately mounted in the club head in transverse direction or disposition, and are in frictional engagement with the outer surfaces of the legs of the U- shaped pins. A central pin 20A is preferably of a lighter or darker color, or otherwise distinguishable, than the Others of the pins to serve as a central marker for the face ball contact area. The friction pins preferably run from the heel to the toe of the club and serve to frictionally position or maintain the position of the U- shaped pins in the hole or opening.
When the club is to be used for practice strokes, all of the pins are manually pushed forward to extend in a straight line forward of the face of the club head as shown for example in FIG. 7A. Upon impact of the club head and ball during a stroke as schematically shown in FIG. 2 those pins extending beyond the club face contacted by the ball will be rearwardly displaced and retained in the displaced position by means of the friction pins. FIG. 2 shows this condition of the pins follow ing ball contact during a stroke. By reference to FIGS. 7A-7E inclusive the result of different club head and ball contacts will be understood, although depicted with respect to a putter, and the displaced pins indicating the impact area between the head and ball B. In FIG. 7A no contact has as yet been made and the pins are aligned in a straight line. In FIG. 78 contact has been made substantially centrally of the club face in a proper manner. FIG. 7C shows contact of the ball with the toe of the putter, in 7D contact with the center of 1 the club head, and in 7E contact with the heel of the club head.
In the embodiment of FIG. 1 U-shaped pins are used, and this has been found necessary because of the tremendous force exerted on the club while driving.
As pointed out above the center pins of the indicating pins can be a lighteror darker color to further assist the golfer in determining the-stroke. Any pin shape such as T pins, U pins, L pins or straight pins can be used as indicator pins. In the shown embodiments the indicating pins are held firmly in place by frictional contact but other means of retention could be used such as slotting the pins, leaving them free to move in and out yet retained within the head, and other types of pressure contacts could also be used. Recommended materials for the pins are metal, such as aluminum, steel, etc., although the pins can be made of plastic, wood or other materials. Also a friction mount for the sliding pins made of magnetic plastic to form a package to hold the pins can be used.
In the embodiment of FIGS. 4-6 inclusive a putter head 26 is shown having an opening 28 in which a plurality of straight indicating pins 30 are frictionally positionally held by friction pins 32. Again a central pin 30A is distinctive from the others. The pins not con tacted by a ball retain their starting position thereby indicating the area of contact.
The function and uniqueness of the invention will be apparent from FIGS. 7A-7E inclusive of the drawings. FIG. 7A shows an indicating putter with the pins extending from the face of the club, a typical approach position prior to making a stroke. FIG. 7B shows the putter making contact with the ball, displacing the pins that it touched and not moving pins that it missed. FIG. 7C shows the retained indication ofa putt when the ball made contact with the toe of the putter. FIG. 7D shows the retained impression of the indicator putter where the ball was stroked correctly. FIG. 7E shows the retained impression of an indicating putter where the ball made contact with the heel of the club.
The purpose and function of the invention, as will be apparent from the foregoing, is to provide a practical means of judging the area of contact of the golf ball with the club head and at the same time retain the use of the same club for the normal golf game, thus providing the golfer with a means of practice and play for the improvement of his stroke, and therefore an improvement in his game.
Manifestly minor changes in the details of construction can be effected in the invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof as defined in and limited solely by the appended claims.
1. A stroke indicating golf club comprising:
A. a club head;
B. a plurality of pins positioned in a laterally extending row across the impact area thereof and displaceably extending longitudinally through said club head with respect to the direction of a golf stroke; and
C. position retaining means for said pins, said pins being adapted for positioning with ends exposed outwardly beyond the face of the club for ball engagement contact, and being rearwardly displaceable by ball impact to a rearward retained position visually indicating as a contour the impact area between a ball and head during a stroke of said club.
2. A stroke indicating golf club comprising:
A. a club head having a front including a ball contacting face and a rear; 1
B. a plurality of golf ball impact indicator pins positioned in a laterally extending row across the impact area of said face and displaceably mounted in fore and aft extending position in said club head and having lengths greater than the distance between the face and rear thereof and extending longitudinally through said club head;
C. means for displaceably retaining said pins in forceably disposed visual positions with respect to at least either said face or the rear of said club; and
D. said pins being selectively retractable to a flush position with said front face for normal gold club use or extendable therebeyond for ball engagement contact and being displaceable by ball impact to a rearward retained position visually indicating as a contour the impact area between a ball and head during a stroke of said club.
3. A stroke indicating golf club as claimed in claim 2, said club head having a transversely extending opening connecting the front and rear thereof, said pins in said row being slideably mounted respectively in said opening and displaceable fore and aft therein.
4. A stroke indicating golf club as claimed in claim 3, including pins in said club head transversely extending from the heel to the toe of said club head and in frictional engagement with said indicator pins for retaining said pins in forceably disposed visual positions with respect to said front and said rear.
5. A stroke indicating golf club as claimed in claim 4, wherein said indicator pins are U-shaped with said transversely extending pins being in frictional engagement with the legs thereof, and with forward closed ends adapted for ball contact.
6. A stroke indicating golf club as claimed in claim 2, wherein said pins include a center one having visual characteristics different from that of the other said pins whereby it is distinguishable from the others to serve as a central marker for the club face and ball contact area.