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Publication numberUS3770280 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 6, 1973
Filing dateJul 5, 1972
Priority dateJul 5, 1972
Publication numberUS 3770280 A, US 3770280A, US-A-3770280, US3770280 A, US3770280A
InventorsStraus H
Original AssigneeStraus H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf training and practice device
US 3770280 A
Abstract
A golf training and practice device for instructing a golfer to maintain his head in a fixed position during his golf swing is provided. The golf training and practice device comprises a headpiece for wear by a golfer using the training device, a support, and an electromagnet mounted on the support for releasably engaging a magnetic plate on the headpiece to hold the head of the golfer in a predetermined position and to indicate undesirable head movement during his golf swing. Either the magnetic plate or the electromagnet may be rotatably mounted to permit rotation of the golfer's head. Suitable electrical components may be provided so that (1) the electromagnet will be energized in response to the weight of a golf ball on a golf tee, and (2) the electromagnet will be de-energized upon displacement of the golf ball from the tee.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Straus 1 Nov. 6, 1973 GOLF TRAINING AND PRACTICE DEVICE [76] Inventor: Herman A. Straus, PO. Box 158, [57] ABSTRACT Norwich, Conn. 06389 [22] Filed: July 5, 1972 [2l] Appl. No.: 269,173

[52] US. Cl...... 273/183 B, 273/190 R, 273/195 A,

Primary ExaminerGeorge J. Marlo A golf training and practice device for instructing a golfer to maintain his head in a fixed position during his golf swing is provided. The golf training and practice device comprises a headpiece for wear by a golfer using the training device, a support, and an electromagnet mounted on the support for releasably engaging a magnetic plate on the headpiece to hold the head of the golfer in a predetermined position and to indicate undesirable head movement during his golf swing. Either the magnetic plate or the electromagnet may be rotatably mounted to permit rotation of the golfers head. Suitable electrical components may be provided so that (l) theelectromagnet will be energized in response to the weight of a golf ball on a golf tee, and (2) the electromagnet will be de-energized upon displacement of the golf ball from the tee.

12 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures GOLF TRAINING AND PRACTICE DEVICE The present invention relates to a golf training and practice device and, more particularly, to a golf training and practice device for use in instructing a golfer to maintain his head in a fixed position during his golf swing.

In the development ofa proper golf swing, it is fundamental that a golfer use his head as the fulcrum of his golf swing. Thus, it is important that the golfer maintain his head in a fixed position while taking his golf swing. The golfers head should not move either vertically or horizontally but should remain in a fixed position with the only movement being a turning of the head forward for sighting purposes or a turning of the head in either direction to accommodate the natural movements of his body.

Although golf training devices have been developed in the prior art for the purpose of controlling head movement by a golfer during his golf swing,.the prior art devices have been unnecessarily cumbersome and complicated in operation. In addition, the prior art devices have so restrained head movement by the golfer as to present considerable danger of injury to the golfer in the event of sudden head movement. Thus, it is desirable to provide a golf training and practice device that is relatively uncomplicated in both structure and operation. Further, it is highly desirable to provide a golf training and practice device that minimizes the possibility of injury to a golfer using the device.

In accordance with the present invention, a golf training and practice device comprises a headpiece for wear by a golfer using the training device, a support, and means mounted on the support for releasably engaging the headpiece to hold the head of the golfer in a predetermined position and to indicate undesirable head movement during his golf swing. In a preferred embodiment, the headpiece includes an element of magnetic material, and the means for releasably engaging the headpiece comprises an electromagnet. The preferred embodiment also includes a tee mechanism provided with control means responsive to placement of a golf ball on the tee mechanism for actuating the electromagnet.

The present invention provides a golf training and practice device that can be used to assist a golf instructor in teaching a beginner to develop a proper golf swing and in correcting the errors of a more experienced golfer to improve his golf swing. The device is also intended for use by a golfer without the presence of an instructor in obtaining practice to improve his golf game. The device permits the golfer to address his golf ball in the usual manner without a feeling of undue restriction.

The golf training and practice device maintains the head of the golfer in a predetermined position during his golf swing and only inhibits movements by the golfer that will impair the effectiveness of his golf swing. The device indicates undesirable head movement during the golf swing by tugging on the headpiece if the golfer sways leftward or rightward, forward or backward, or raises or lowers his body. The golfer is, however, free to turn his head without restriction and to perform correct body movements to achieve a proper golf swing.

' The use of an electromagnet in the preferred embodiment enables the golfer to pull himself away from the tion has the advantage of eliminating the fear of personal danger or discomfort to the golfer that would exist if the headpiece were fastened more rigidly to the device.

By practicing with the device, the golfer can train himself to maintain his head over the golf ball until the ball has been impacted by his golf club and to use his head as the fulcrum of his golf swing. Once a new golfer has been instructed in the basic fundamentals of the golf swing and the necessary body movements, he can practice without supervision to eliminate possible feelings of self-consciousness, thus minimizing the time required to learn and achieve skill in his golf swing.

The device of the present invention is capable of use either indoors or outdoors. In addition, the golf training and practice device is provided with adjustable features to enable persons differing widely in physical attributes to use the device. Further, the device can be used by either righthanded or lefthanded golfers.

The accompanying drawings illustrate a preferred embodiment of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. a

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a golf training and practice device constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention including a base, a mat on the base for supporting a golf ball, a support column extending upward from the base for supporting an electromagnet, and a headband including an element of magnetic material for wear by a golfer using the device.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the mat of FIG. 1 illustrating a tee mechanism for supporting the golf ball.

FIG. 3 illustrates the tee mechanism of FIG. 2 in detail.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of the support column and electromagnet of FIG. 1 illustrating an adjusting mechanism for mounting the electromagnet on the support column.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the adjusting mechanism of FIG. 4 illustrating a swivel for connecting the electromagnet to the adjusting mechanism.

FIG. 6 is'a side elevation view of the adjusting mechanism of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is an enlarged perspective view of the headpiece of FIG. 1 illustrating a plate of magnetic material for engagement with the'electromagnet.

Referring to FIG. 1, the golf training and practice device includes a rectangular base 20 of plywood or other suitable material mounted on a frame comprising a plurality of elongated wooden members 21. A plate 22 is mounted along one edge of base 20 and is secured to the base by a pair of bolts 23. As shown in FIG. 2, base 20 is provided with a rectangular opening 24. g

The golf training and practice device includes a support or column 25 comprising'a lower rod 26 extending upwardly from plate 22, and an upper rod 28 connected by a coupling 30 to lower rod 26 and inclined relative to the lower rod. A pair of guys 32 and 34 are connected to coupling 30 and anchored on opposite sides of base 20 to steady support column 25.

A preferred embodiment of the golf training and practice device includes means located on the base for supporting a golf ball. As shown in FIG. 1, the golf ball support means is embodied as a mat 36 slidably mounted'on base 20. Referring to FIG. 2, mat 36 includes a plate 38 of metal or other rigid material having a carpet-like covering 40 of rubber or other resilient material to provide a surface from which a golf ball may be driven with a golf club. A pair of T-shaped handles 39 project upward from plate 38 to enable the golfer to slide the plate across base 20 by engaging the handles with his golf club. In addition, mat 36 includes a tee mechanism, generally 42, extending downward into opening 24 provided in base 20 and having a tee 44 projecting upward through an opening 45 provided in carpet-like covering 40.

In accordance with the invention, the golf training and practice device includes a headpiece for wear by a golfer using the training device. Referring to FIGS. 1 and 7, in a preferred embodiment, the headpiece comprises a headband 48 of non-magnetic material, e.g., plastic or non-magnetic stainless steel, a strap 50 of non-magnetic material extending between opposite sides of the headband, and an element of magnetic material in the form ofa circular plate or disc 52. The material of disc 52 is preferably soft iron or other material which is readily and strongly attracted by a magnet and which loses its magnetism promptly when it is not in a magnetic field.

As shown in FIG. 7, disc 52 includes a raised edge 54 extending around its periphery. Headband 48 includes an adjusting strap 56 to permit the headband to be adjusted to heads of different sizes. The headband can be lined with a foam material to provide comfort for the golfer.

In accordance with the invention, the golf training and practice device also includes means mounted on the support for releasably engaging the headpiece to hold the head of the golfer in a predetermined position and to indicate undesirable head movement during his golf swing. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, this means comprises a magnet mounted above the base to engage the element of magnetic material of the headpiece upon movement of the golfer into a position to address the golf ball. As shown in FIG. 1, an electromagnet 60 is mounted on rod 28 of the support column by an adjusting mechanism 62. The electromagnet, when energized, engages plate 52 of the headpiece to hold the head of the golfer in a fixed position during his golf swing. Raised edge 54 (FIG. 7) of plate 52 prevents the electromagnet from slipping off the edge of the plate.

Referring to FIG. 5, electromagnet 60 includes a pair of parallel cores 64 and 66 on which a pair of magnetic windings 68 and 70, respectively, is provided. The electromagnet is mounted on a U-shaped or horseshoe frame 65 rigidly fastened to a rod 72 centered between and parallel to cores 64 and 66 of the electromagnet. Rod 72 is rotatably mounted within a recess provided in a block 74 to provide a swivel connection between electromagnet 60 and adjusting mechanism 62 to permit the golfer to turn his head in either direction prior to his impacting the golf ball with his golf club.

In an alternative embodiment,'the swivel connection between the electromagnet and adjusting mechanism can be eliminated and the element of magnetic material can be rotatably mounted on the headpiece. This alternative embodiment can be achieved by fastening frame 65 (FIGS. and 6) directly to block 74 and by rotatably mounting plate 52 (FIG. 7) on strap 50. In this alternative embodiment, the rotatable plate permits the golfer to turn its head in either direction prior to impact of the golf ball by his golf club.

Adjusting mechanism 62 (FIGS. 4 and 5) comprises a first pair of arms 76 and 78 pivotally connected to a second pair of arms 80 and 82 by a first bolt 84 extending through corresponding openings provided in the arms. A second bolt 86 extends through additional openings provided in arms 76 and 78 and through an opening provided in block 74 to support the block for pivotal movement about the axis of the bolt. A third bolt 88 extends through additional openings provided in arms 80 and 82 and through an opening provided in an extended end 90 of rod 28 of support column 25 to pivotally connect arms 80 and 82 to the support column. The two pairs of arms in adjusting mechanism 62 and block 74 permit the adjustment of electromagnet 60 to a desired height and thus allow the golf training and practice device to accommodate golfers of different height.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, control means responsive to placement of the golf ball on the golf ball support means is provided for actuating the electromagnet. Referring to FIG. 3, the control means is embodied in tee mechanism 42 as a snap action electric switch 92 including a plunger-like actuator 94 and a lever 96 which supports tee 44 and is mounted for pivotal movement relative to the switch 92 by a pivot pin 98 received in openings provided in a pair of L- shaped mounting brackets 100 and 102. The mounting brackets are connected by a pair of spacers 104 and 105. Switch 92 is mounted in the space between brackets 100 and 102 by means of bolts 106 or other suitable fastening elements.

, Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the horizontal portions of L-shaped brackets 100 and 102 are mounted on plate 38 beneath carpet-like covering 40 and the vertical portions of the L-shaped brackets are received in a rectangular opening provided in the plate. The vertical portions of L-shaped brackets 100 and 102 are also re ceived-in rectangular opening 24 provided in base 20. Rectangular opening 24 is sufficiently large to allow lateral movement of the tee mechanism upon sliding of mat 36 across base 20.

Lever 96 (FIG. 3) is normally urged into an upward position by means of a compression spring contained internally within switch 92 and used to bias actuator 94 upward. If desired, an additional external spring can be provided to supplement the operation of the spring built into switch 92. A tee holding block 108 provided with a vertical opening 110 is located within recesses 112 and 114 formed in the vertical portions of L- shaped brackets 100 and 102, respectively.

Tee 44 is made of tough rubber or rubber like material and is essentially a tube having a flange 116 formed at its lower end. When inserted in opening 110 of block 108, tee 44 is free to move upward until restricted by its flange 116. The tee rests on lever 96 and its weight is not sufficient to depress the lever or to prevent the lever from returning to its normal upward position after it has been depressed.

When a golf ball is placed on tee 44, a sufficient downward force results to depress lever 96 and to actuate switch 92 via actuator 94. The switch is connected in series with electromagnet 60 and a low voltage, direct current source, e.g., one or more dry cells or batteries (not shown). If support column 25 is constructed of conductive material, e.g., metal, it can serve as a ground conductor for the electromagnet. In this case only one wire, e.g., conductor 120 (FIG. 4), is required to complete the electrical circuit with switch 92 and the low voltage, direct current source. Upon displacement of the golf ball from tee 44, lever 96 returns to its normal upward position to disengage actuator 94 and deenergize the electromagnet.

In operation, the golfer adjusts headband 48 to be comfortable and secure on his head. After securing the headband, the golfer assumes the proper stance on base fortaking his golf swing. He then adjusts the position of electromagnet 60 to contact plate 52 on headband 48.

The golfer then places a golf ball on tee 44. As explained above, the weight of the golf ball depresses operating lever 96 to actuate switch 92 and energize electromagnet 60. He then returns to the correct position for addressing the golf ball and guides plate 52 into contact with electromagnet 60. Alternatively, the golfer may have another person place the golf ball on tee 44 to avoid the necessity of moving away from the electromagnet.

The golfer can then adjust the position of the golf ball by using his golf club to contact handles 39 on mat 36. Alternatively, he can have another person move the mat to locate the golf ball in the desired position.

During his golf swing, the head of the golfer is maintained in a fixed position by electromagnet 60 which is energized to hold plate 52 until the golf ball is displaced from tee 44. In the event that the golfer moves his head vertically or horizontally from the fixed position, he will notice a holding force on his headband. The bolding force exerted by electromagnet 60 is sufficient to resist a slight pull resulting from movement of his head and thus warns the golfer if he is making undesirable head movement during his golf swing. It is possible, however, for the golfer to pull himself away from the energized electromagnet without undue discomfort.

Thus, the device has the advantage to the golfer of eliminating the fear of personal danger or discomfort that would exist if the headband were fastened more rigidly to the training device.

The pull exerted by electromagnet 60 on plate 52 can be regulated by changing the number of dry cells used in the series circuit or by varying the voltage of a direct current source used in the circuit. The pull can thus be varied from a gentle attraction of plate 52 by electromagnet 60 to an attraction so strong that it is difficult to pull the plate away from the electromagnet. The ability to control the attraction of the electromagnet for the plate is an advantageous feature for a beginner to enable him to overcome possible fear of personal danger or discomfort when the device is first used. In addition, it permits a golfer to regulate the ridigity with which the headpiece is held to suit his personal preference.

Upon impact of the golf ball by the golf club to displace it from tee 44, lever 96 is biased upward to disengage actuator 96 of switch 92 and to de-energize electromagnet 60. The de-energization of the electromagnet releases the golfer from the holding action on plate 52 of his headband so that he is free to move his head and body in any direction without restraint.

The golf training and practice device can be modified by reducing the size of base 20 to permit the golfer to stand on the ground or other surface. In addition, the

device can be modified to permit support column 25 to be driven directly into the ground or to be supported independently in some other manner. When base 20 is independent of the surface on which the golfer stands and is not connected to'the support column, the base can be supported on a sloping surface or inclined to stimulate actual conditions encountered in a golf game, e.g., when the golfer is required to swing at the golf ball from a point above or below it or when the golf ball has an uphill or downhill lie. The modifications do not affect the principles of operation of the golf training and practice device.

Although the headpiece of the preferred embodiment of the golf training and practice device is illustrated as comprising headband 48 and strap 50 for supporting plate 52 of magnetic material, it is clear that any type of head gear thatis capable of supporting the plate of magnetic material can be used. Thus, for example, a normal head covering such as a hat or helmet made of non-magnetic material can be used in place of the headband to practice the principles of the present invention.

Further, the tee mechanism of the preferred embodiment of the golf training and practice device can be modified so that when the golf ball is placed on tee 44 a slight downward pressure is also required, in addition to the weight of the golf ball, to depress operating lever 96 to actuate switch 92. This design can be achieved by using a snap action switch having a slightly heavier spring. In this embodiment the weight of the golf ball is sufficient to maintain operating lever 96 in a depressed position, although it is not sufficient to depress the lever without an additional downward push by the person placing the golf ball on the tee.

The invention in its broader aspects is not limited to the specific details shown and described, and additional modifications may be made in the details of the golf training and practice device without departing from the principles of the present invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A golf training and practice device, comprising: I

a headpiece. for wear by a golfer using the training device;

a support; and

means mounted on said support for lockingly and releasably engaging said headpiece to hold the head of the golfer in a predetermined position and to indicate undesirable head movement during his golf swing, the characteristics of said headpiece and said locking engagement being such as to permit said locking engagement to be released upon said headpiece being pulled away from the device without undue force in response to movement of the golfers head. v

2. The golf training and practice device of claim 1, wherein: Y 1

said headpiece includes an element of magnetic material; and

said means for lockingly and releasably engaging said I headpiece comprises a magnet for engagement with said element. 3. The gold training and practice device of claim 2, wherein said support includes:

a base; I

a support column extending upward from said base;

and

an adjusting mechanism mounted on said support column for supporting said magnet in an adjustable position relative to said base.

4. The golf training and practice device of claim 3,

which includes:

a swivel device coupling said magnet to said adjusting mechanism to permit rotation of said magnet relative to said adjusting mechanism.

5. The golf training and practice deviceof claim 2,

wherein:

said headpiece comprises a headband including a strap of non-magnetic material extending between opposite sides of said headband; and

said element of magnetic material comprises a plate of magnetic material mounted on said strap.

6. The golf training and practice device of claim 5, wherein said plate of magnetic material includes a raised edge extending around its periphery for preventing said magnet from sliding off the edge of said plate.

7. The golf training and practice device of claim 1, which includes:

a base; and

means located on said base for supporting a golf ball.

8. The golf training and practice device of claim 7, wherein said means for supporting the golf ball comprises:

a mat slidably mounted on said base; and

a tee projecting upward from said mat.

9. The golf training and practice device of claim 7,

wherein:

said headpiece includes an element of magnetic material; and

said means for releasably engaging said headpiece comprises an electromagnet mounted above said base to engage said element upon movement of the golfer into a position to address the golf ball.

10. The golf training and practice device of claim 9, which includes:

control means responsive to placement of the golf ball on said golf ball support means for actuating said electromagnet.

11. The golf training and practice device of claim 10, wherein said golf ball support means includes a tee and said control means comprises:

a switch including an actuator for controlling energization of said electromagnet; and

a lever supporting said tee and mounted for pivotal movement relative to said switch to engage said actuator and energize said electromagnet upon placement of the golf ball on said tee and to disengage said actuator and de-energize said electromagnet upon displacement of the golf ball from said tee.

12. The golf training and practice device of claim 9, wherein: 7

said element of magnetic material is rotatably mounted on said headpiece.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2626151 *Jan 28, 1949Jan 20, 1953Jenks George M TroutmanGolf practicing apparatus
US3325169 *Aug 10, 1964Jun 13, 1967Frank MacknieshGolfer's head movement restraining device rendered non-restraining at ball impact
US3423096 *Dec 2, 1965Jan 21, 1969Tone Richard NGolf practice device
US3599982 *Apr 8, 1969Aug 17, 1971Int Recreation Products IncGolf-practice mat
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3880431 *Aug 13, 1974Apr 29, 1975Swanson Earl EGolf training and practice device
US4302014 *Apr 21, 1980Nov 24, 1981Shull Michael SGolf training device
US4513972 *May 2, 1983Apr 30, 1985Empie John EGolfer's head movement restraining device
US4998731 *May 14, 1990Mar 12, 1991Bowen John HGolf putting and swing aid for practice
US5004243 *Oct 16, 1989Apr 2, 1991Dlouhy Stephen JGolf practice apparatus
US5087047 *Mar 12, 1991Feb 11, 1992Mcconnell John PGolf training method and apparatus
US5993323 *Aug 26, 1998Nov 30, 1999Golf Tutor, Inc.Golf training apparatus
US6077169 *Jan 19, 1999Jun 20, 2000Florian; Raymond J.Portable instructional golf station
US6805641Oct 2, 2001Oct 19, 2004Shawn P. PopeGolf swing training apparatus, and method of using same
US8133127 *Jul 20, 2009Mar 13, 2012Synder Terrance WSports training device and methods of use
WO1992016268A1 *Feb 28, 1992Oct 1, 1992John P McconnellGolf training method and apparatus
WO2004018056A1Aug 15, 2003Mar 4, 2004Adrian CookApparatus for use in training
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/209
International ClassificationA63B69/36
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/3608
European ClassificationA63B69/36B