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Publication numberUS3802709 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 9, 1974
Filing dateJul 26, 1971
Priority dateJul 26, 1971
Publication numberUS 3802709 A, US 3802709A, US-A-3802709, US3802709 A, US3802709A
InventorsV Elkins
Original AssigneeV Elkins
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf swing training apparatus
US 3802709 A
A system for analyzing the putting stroke of a golfer. A mirror is secured to the putter with the reflecting surface parallel to the putter front face. A beam of light is directed at the mirror with the reflection thereof being displayed on a screen having a chart formed thereon. Prior to the putting stroke, and after completing same, the golfer may actuate a switch to open and close the shutter of a camera, whereby a photograph of the light beam reflected on the screen may be obtained.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Paten 1 Elkins, Jr.

[ GOLF SWING TRAINING APPARATUS [76] Inventor: I Yance V. Elkins, Jr., 42, Hampton- Dr. Freehold, NJ. 07728 22 Filed: July 26,1971

[21 App1.No.: 166,194

52 U.s.c|...; 273/186A,273/35 A, 95/12 51 1m.c| ..A63b 69/36 581 Field of Search 273/186, 35, 26, 183, 163, .2j3/ t 3. 953 7 x [56] Y References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,194,563 7/1965 Mackniesh 273/186 A 2,223,849 12/1940 Fogler et al 273/186 A [111 3,802,709 [451 Apr. 9, 1974 Primary Examiner-George I. Marlo Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Allan Ratner [5 7] ABSTRACT A system for analyzing the puttingstroke of a golfer. A mirror is secured to the putter with the reflecting surface parallel to the putter front face. A beam of light is directed at the mirror with the reflection thereof being displayed on a screen having a chart formed thereon. Prior to the putting stroke, and after completing same, the golfer may actuate a switch to open and close the shutter of a camera, whereby a photograph of the light beam reflected on the screen may be obtained.

6 Claims, 3'Drawing Figures PMENIEDAPR slam 3.802.709


ATTORNEYS g oops SWING RAINI G APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention --This'invention relates to the field of art of systems and methods used in analyzing and instructing golfers in their swing. I

2. Prior Art When instructing a golfer on a proper swing, a professional watches the golfer swing and then tells him to vary certain movements. By trial and error, he assists the golfer in achieving more consistent results. In this way, the professional analyzes the golfers swing though the golfer himself can not see .the mistakes he is making to assist himself.

It has been known to use various optical methods, such as close circuit television, to photograph the golfer while heis swinging. The videotapes are played back for the golfer so that he can view his actualswing. However, the golfer is merely watching himself swing and there is no criteria for him to judge the manner in which he should have swung. During the swing, there are changes in body position and his timing with these changes taking place so quickly that it is very difficult for him to analyze his mistakes.

In other prior methods, a high speed still camera is used to photograph a golfer while he swings in front of a grid. The resultant forty or more still picturesare then analyzed. However, there is stillno way for the golfer to'interpret and translate his body movements and timing to an optimum.

' SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A system for analyzing a golfers putting stroke when he assumes a ball address stance with respect to a simulated ball or point and aims the putter at a target. A

mirror is secured to the putter and a light source shines a beam'of light parallel to a line between the target and the simulated ball. The image of the light beam is reflectedby' the mirror and is displayed on a screen havaddress stance. Golfer 11 squares himself up with respect to simulated ball 14 (called a point)-aiming at a target 12. Target 12 is approximately the size of a golf ball and is light in color and appears to the golfer as a point target. Target 12 may be approximately ten to fifteen feet from point 14. LineZl is defined as a straight line parallel to straight line 24 between point 14 and target 12.

A mirror 15 is mounted on shaft 10a of putter 10 with the square reflecting surface thereof being parallel to the club front-face 10b. The reflecting surface is preferably of substantially small area, as for example, one inch square.

A collimated source of light 20 is mounted in front of thebase of a screen 25 and behind target 12. Light I face.

source 20 provides a beam of light 21 parallel to line 24 and perpendicular to the plane of screen 25 for reflection by mirror 15. The image of the reflected beam 26 is further optically reflected by and is displayed on screen 25 as a spot of light 28. Light spot 28 is of small size since the reflecting surface of mirror 15 is of substantially small area. 1

It will be understood that mirror 15 may have a concave reflecting surface rather than a flat reflecting surface shown in FIG. 1. Such a concave surface may have a focal lens equal to the distance between the mirror and screen 25. In this manner, a substantially small area spot of light 28 'would be displayed on the screen for ease in viewing. Such a concave mirror (not shown) would have the advantage of not requiring as collimated a light source as required by flat reflecting surface lSa.

Screen 25 is of sufficient cross-sectional dimension to display light spot 28 during a normal swing of putter 10.

For example, screen 25 may be 8 feet high and 10 feet wide. A grid 30 is formed on screen 25 having x and y coordinates with the lines forming the grid both in the x and y coordinates being separated by 2 inches. The center 30a of grid 30 (F0, y=0) indicates the point at which spot 28 shines when putter l0 is in its initial address position. That is, golfer 11 is in his ball address position and mirror 15 and the putter face 10b are parallel to screen 25.

' It will be understood that with putter l0 behind ball 14, light spot 28 shines in the minus y coordinate while when putter 10 is forward of ball 14, spot 28 shines in the plus y coordinate. Spot 28 in the plus x coordinate indicates that for right handed golfer l 1, club face 10b is man open position while the minus x coordinate indicates the club face is in a closed position. On the other hand, for a'left handed golfer, the plus x coordinate in dicates club face 10b in a closed position while the minus x coordinate indicates an open face. An increasing value in the plus x coordinate indicates an increasing club face opening while a decreasing value in the plus x direction indicates a relative closing of the club 'It will be understood that fora perfect putting stroke,

light spot 28 starts at the coordinates x=0, y=Q and I then moves along the y axis in the increasing y direction until the backstroke is completed. Spot 28 then continues back along the y axis through x=O, y=0 and then along the y axis in the increasing +y direction during the follow through. However, such a perfect putting stroke is rarely achievable.

In a more typical example, spot 28 may follow path 31 as shown into the fourth quadrant. Path 31 indicates for a right handed golfer an increasing open club face position until point 32 is reached which is the end of the backstroke. During the forward stroke along path 34, the club face begins closing as indicated by the decreasing value in the plus x direction. Spot 28 crossing the x axis indicates contact of the club face with ball 14 with club face being open an amount indicated by the grid scale. The remaining path indicates the follow through of putter 10 after the simulated ball is hit with the path going through the first and then into the sec- 0nd quadrant.

In the foregoing pattern indicated by paths 31 and 34, the ball will travel to the right of intended target 12 a distance that may be calibrated by the grid chart.

Another typical example of a path of spot 28 is illusforward stroke indicated by path 36, the golfer has overcompensated for his opening the face of the club by quickly closing the clubface. At the simulated point of contact on the x axis, the path of the light 'spot indicates that the club face has been actually substantially closed. Specifically, at the x axis with y= and x is some negative value indicating a closed club face. Accordingly, the simulated ball 14 would be hit-to the left of target 12'. It will be understood how the foregoing would be reversed for left handed golfers.

In order to retain or record the image of path 31, 34 in FIG. 2 and path 35, 36 in FIG. 3, a camera 40 may be used. For example, camera40 is focused on screen and the room in which the operation is taking place is dimly lit. Prior to the swing, golfer l1 actuates switch 41 to open the shutter of camera 40. At the termination of the swing, golfer 11 again actuates switch 41 to'close the shutter. By the use of a Polaroid camera, a picture may be immediately obtained. A grid formed on a I transparent material may be'placed on the developed picture to correspond with grid on screen 25. In this manner, the picture directly indicates the path of the stroke and all of the grid lines are present. This technique is particularly useful when agolfer is testing himself or is practicing his-putting stroke.

It will be understood that other methods of retaining the stroke path may be used. For example, a high light retentivity coating may be applied to screen 25.

In view of the foregoing description of the invention, other uses of the system and method will become apparent. One use is for analyzing the swing of a golfer with another person such as an instructor doing the analysis. Ari-additional use is to allow a golfer to prac tice his swing and by viewing the resultant pattern to improve his stroke. A third use is to determine the consistency in which a golfer lines up his putts.

light source 20 turned off. The putter would be held in that position and the light source turned on. A record is made of the position of spot 28 on screen 25. The above operation would be repeated five or ten times with each time the golfer approaching simulated ball 14- and aiming at target 12 as a new putt. In this way, it can be determined if the golfer is able with his present putter. to consistently aim at the target.

What is claimed is:

1. A system for analyzing the putting stroke of a golfer comprising a generally horizontal putting surface, a putter,reflecting means secured to said putter for reflecting a beam of light normal to the ball striking face when said putter is held in position at the beginning of a golf ball putting stroke, a source of a beam of light positioned to project a beam of light normal to said striking face at the beginning of a golf ball putting stroke for reflection by said reflecting means, a screen for displaying an image of the light beam reflected by said light reflecting means, the plane of said screen being substantially-normal to said putting surface, and

3. The system of claim 2 'in which said chart has grid.

lines forming coordinates for indicating the relative positions of saidimage of said reflected light beam.

4. The system of claim 2 in which there is provided means for recording the'display of said reflected light beam image that occurred during the putting stroke.

5. The system of claim 4 in which said recording 7 means is a camera operable for taking a photograph during said putting stroke.

6. The system of claimv 1 wherein said putting surface includes a point simulating a golf ball and a putting target.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2223849 *May 4, 1939Dec 3, 1940Little Inc AMeans for analyzing motion
US3194563 *Jul 11, 1962Jul 13, 1965Mackniesh FrankMeans for indicating the position of a golf club head striking face at the instant of ball impact
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3953034 *Apr 7, 1975Apr 27, 1976Nelson Rodney LLaser beam golf swing training device
US4341384 *Feb 23, 1981Jul 27, 1982Thackrey James DGolf swing diagnostic apparatus
US4708343 *Nov 1, 1985Nov 24, 1987Ambrosio Louis J DApparatus for baseball batting practice
US4997189 *Feb 28, 1990Mar 5, 1991Perkins Sonnie JPutting teaching and learning apparatus and method
US5029868 *Nov 15, 1990Jul 9, 1991Cloud Marion MGolf practice device
US5207429 *Aug 22, 1992May 4, 1993Taracan Pty Ltd.Club aiming unit
US5213331 *Apr 30, 1992May 25, 1993Frank AvanziniGolf training putter
US5324039 *Nov 10, 1992Jun 28, 1994Sun Mountain Sports, Inc.Putter alignment system
US5330188 *Nov 21, 1991Jul 19, 1994Reimers Eric WPutter alignment system
US5374063 *Apr 21, 1993Dec 20, 1994The Zelar Corp.Golf apparatus
US5435562 *Mar 9, 1994Jul 25, 1995Stock; SuzanneGolf club laser alignment device
US5452897 *Dec 16, 1992Sep 26, 1995Sceptre Golf CompanyLaser aided putter alignment system
US5692966 *Nov 14, 1996Dec 2, 1997Wash; Stephen G.Golf putting training device
US6837799 *Oct 3, 2003Jan 4, 2005Acushnet CompanyPutter with alignment system
US7153216 *Aug 4, 2003Dec 26, 2006Norm PressleyPutter alignment training system
US8007368Oct 1, 2009Aug 30, 2011Karsten Manufacturing CorporationMethods, apparatus, and systems to identify address position of golf club heads
US20040072631 *Oct 3, 2003Apr 15, 2004Cameron Donald T.Putter with alignment system
US20110081979 *Oct 1, 2009Apr 7, 2011Solheim Karsten DMethods, Apparatus, and Systems to Identify Address Position of Golf Club Heads
WO1993009856A1 *Nov 18, 1992May 27, 1993Reimers Eric WPutter alignment system
U.S. Classification473/222, 396/430
International ClassificationA63B69/36, A63B69/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2225/12, A63B24/0003, A63B2220/807, A63B69/3614
European ClassificationA63B69/36C2, A63B24/00A
Legal Events
Nov 28, 1986AS06Security interest
Effective date: 19861125
Nov 28, 1986ASAssignment
Effective date: 19861125