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Publication numberUS3810621 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 14, 1974
Filing dateSep 18, 1972
Priority dateSep 23, 1970
Publication numberUS 3810621 A, US 3810621A, US-A-3810621, US3810621 A, US3810621A
InventorsMills T
Original AssigneeMills T
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hosel-less wood type golf club
US 3810621 A
Abstract
A wood type golf club having a club head with a frontal striking surface, toe and heel portions, a bottom surface, and a top surface, the club head having a shaft receiving opening in the top surface at said heel portion and said top surface being a continuation of the general contour of the club head from the toe to the heel portions. The club head is provided on its bottom surface with a sole plate which is associated with a shaft retainer that is received in the shaft receiving opening in the club head. A shaft is received in the shaft retainer and secured therein.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[451 May 14, 1974 1 1 HOSEL-LESS WOOD TYPE GOLF CLUB [76] Inventor: Truett P. Mills, 1700 Second Ave., Tuscaloosa, Ala.

22 Filed: Sept. 18, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 289,799

Related US. Application Data [62] Division of Ser. No. 74,656, Sept. 23, 1970, Pat. No.

[52] US. Cl 273/80.2, 273/167 K, 273/174 [51] Int. Cl A631) 53/02 [58] Field of Search 273/67 C, 77 R, 80.2, 83, 273/167 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 713,845 11/1902 Braid et a1. 273/806 3,572,709 3/1971 Risher 273/802 1,585,294 5/1926 Link 273/808 2,018,723 10/1935 Hutchison 273/802 1,601,770 10/1926 Reach et a1... 273/804 1,574,213 2/1926 Tyler 273/174 X 1,895,417 1/1933 Lard 1. 273/804 1,902,660 3/1933 Nelson 273/8012 UX 1,930,204 10/1933 Judd et a1... 273/804 1,994,149 3/1935 Root 273/167 K UX Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Richard J. Apley Attorney, Agent, or FirmWe11ington M. Manning, Jr.

[57] ABSTRACT A wood type golf club having a club head with a frontal striking surface, toe and heel portions, a bottom surface, and a top surface, the club head having a shaft receiving opening in the top surface at said heel portion and said top surface being a continuation of the general contour of the club head from the toe to the heel portions. The club head is provided on its bottom surface with a sole plate which is associated with a shaft retainer that is received in the shaft receiving opening in the club head. A shaft is received in the shaft retainer and secured therein.

10 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures l-IOSEL-LESS WOOD TYPE GOLF CLUB CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Golf club design and manufacturing techniques have continued to improve throughout the years from the old wooden clubs employing a wood head and a wood shaft secured thereto to todays solid or laminated club head with a light metal alloy shaft or the like secured thereto. These clubs have been continually improved to provide more durable clubs, while aerodynamics has been given great consideration in club head design to improve efficiency of the clubs. Moreover, clubs are now custom made for the individual to provide proper weight, shaft flexibility, shaft length, and the like.

Other than a streamlined design, however, club head design has not progressed materially. Instead, club head design has become accepted as a standard, and developmental efforts have been directed to materials of construction. As set forth in the above referred to parent application, there is tremendous advantage to be had in removing the hosel area from the wood-type golf clubs. The term wood-type golf club does not necessarily refer to materials of construction, but to a type of golf club having an enlarged club head as opposed to a blade-type club head as is found in golf irons and putters.

The hosel area of the club head is that area on the club head that extends upwardly therefrom at the heel and, in some manner, receives the shaft. Removal of the hosel area has resulted in improvement in several areas. First, a substantial reduction is realized in the amount of wood or other material required to produce the club head. Secondly, the process for manipulating the raw materials during the manufacture of the club head is both shortened and simplified. Thirdly, removal ofthe hosel area from the club head greatly lessens the tendency of the club to develop torque during swinging, the result of which reduces the tendency of the club to twist out of the desired path of travel. Hence, the chances for the golfer to improve his game are greatly enhanced. Further, removal of the hosel area has directly attributed to improvement of the efficiency, i.e., distance obtained by the golf club during use. A further very important advantage is the fact that by removal of the hosel area from the club head, club head design and club assembly techniques may now expand to horizons heretofore unknown.

The parent application, in addition to teaching the hosel-less club head, discloses a sole plate and shaft retainer as are taught herein. The parent application, however, teaches the shaft retainer to be integral with or secured to the inner face of the sole plate while the instant application teaches an association therebetween.

The present invention thus extens beyond the original invention to provide a wood-type golf club having a club head with improved aerodynamic properties, all of the advantages discussed above with respect to the golf club disclosed and claimed in the parent application and different assembly techniques. It has now been determined that it is not necessary to secure the shaft retainer to the inner face of the sole plate. Instead, various and sundry arrangements may be employed wherein the shaft retainer is associated with the sole plate.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide a wood-type golf club having a club head with the hosel are removed and in which the shaft is attached to the club head by a shaft retainer-sole plate arrangement.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a wood-type golf club having a club head to which a shaft is secured at a heel portion within a shaft retainer where the shaft retainer is associated with a sole plate.

'a shaft receiving opening on said top surface at said heel portion, said top surface being a continuation of the general contour of the club head from said toe to said heel portions; a sole plate secured to said bottom surface; a shaft retainer associated with said sole plate and being received in said shaft receiving opening, and a shaft received in said shaft receiving opening andsecured therein.

More specifically, the present invention is directed to a golf club having a club head that has no upward projection or neck in which a shaft'is normally received. The club head instead receives a shaft retainer in the heel portion thereof with the shaft retainer being'oper atively associated with a sole plate secured to the bottom surface of the club head. The'shaft retainer is not integrally secured to the sole plate bywelding, brasing, or the like, but is merely associated with the sole plate in some fashion.

One preferred means of association between the shaft retainer and the sole plate is to'provide a sole plate having an opening therein in which a mating section of the shaft or shaft retainer resides so as to preclude rotation thereof. As such, the opening in the sole plate generally is non-circular and preferably is square, triangular, oval, or the like. In fact, the opening could be of any shape. If a circular openingis provided, then though the connection will provide additional solidarity to the shaft-club head connection, the shaft or shaft retainer should additionally be pinned or otherwise secured within the shaft retainer receiving opening against rotation. Hence, when the lower end of the 'shaft or shaft retainer is received within a non-circular shaped opening in the sole plate, the shaft will be precluded from rotation with respect to the sole plate in the event the shaft, once secured within the shaft retainer is twisted.

Many methods are available for securing the shaft retainer within the club head and for securing the shaft within the shaft retainer. For example, suitable adhesives such as epoxies may be employed alone or in conjunction with pins or screws. Threaded connection may also be employed and is preferred for securernent between the shaft and the shaft retainer. In other words, any suitable. means may be employed that will securely unite the various members of the club.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a conventional golf club employing a club head having a normal hosel and a sole plate affixed to the bottom of the club.

FIG. 2 is a'front elevational view of a portion of a golf club according to the teachings of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of a golf club produced according to the teachings of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of a portion of a golf club showing a further embodiment of the present inventron.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of a portion of a golf club showing another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of a club head having no hosel according to the teachings of the present inventron.

FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of a club head having no hosel according to the teachings of the present invention.

3 FIG. 8 is an end elevational view ofa club head having no hosel according to the teachings of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a top plan view of a sole plate according to the teachings of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is a top plan view of a sole plate having a shaft retainer associated therewith according to the teachings of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a side elevational view of a sole plate hav ing a shaft retainer associated therewith according to a further embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a top view of a golf club shaft retainer according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13 is a rear elevational view of a sole plate hav' ing a four way roll and having a shaft retainer asso ciated therewith.

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a conventional wood-type golf. club as shown in the prior art, generally indicated as 15. This conventional golf club has a hosel 16 that has been formed thereon to receive a shaft 17. Additionally, a frontal striking area 18 and a sole plate 19 are also shown. In the conventional sense, the sole plate 19 serves no purpose other than reducing wear on the bottom surface of the slub head. A hole must be drilled into the hosel 16 of the conventional club head into which the shaft 17 is inserted. The connection therefore is between the wooden club head 15 and metal shaft 17 which can be split, broken or worn in the hosel area which has only a thin shell of wood therearound. Such wear and tear accounts for some ninetyfive per cent of the damage that occurs to golf clubs.

Further, a plastic sleeve or ferrule 21 generally overlies the hose] and conforms to the taper of the hosel or provides a continuation of the taper of the hosel. Sleeve 21, in some cases, is, however, replaced with a thread wrapping.

FIG. 2 comparatively illustrates a golf club produced according to the present invention to that of the prior art as shown in FIG. 1. The golf club of the present invention is provided with a club head generally indicated as that has no pre-formed hosel area. Instead, club head 20-is provided with a frontal striking surface 22, a toe portion 23, a heel portion 24, a bottom surface 25 and a top surface 26. As can best be seen in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, the club head according to the present invention has a shaft opening 27 in the top surface 26. Note, however, that the top surface does not turn upwardly to form a hosel. but is a continuation of the general contour of the club head from the toe portion V DESCRIPTION OF THE SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS 23 to the heel portion 24.

Removal of the hosel or neck area of the club head 20 thussubstantially reduces the amount of wood or other desired material that is required to produce the club head. Moreover, historically, golf club manufacturers have been limited in design and manufacturing techniques by the hosel or neck. Now, however, club head design may expand into horizons heretofore unknown. For example, a symmetrical club head may be manufactured which would permit use of the club head for the manufacture of a right hand or left hand club. The shaft receiving opening would just be drilled on the opposite side of the club head for a left hand club.

A preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 3. The club head 20 is provided with a shaft receiving opening 27 extending therethrough at an angle. A sole plate 32, as may best be seen in FIG. 9, has a plurality of fastening member openings 33 therein and a shaft retainer receiving opening 35 therein. Sole plate 32 is secured to the bottom surface 25 of club head 20 by a plurality of fastening members 34 such as screws which are received in openings 33. A shaft retainer 31 is received in opening 27 of club head 20 and is secured therein in any suitable manner such as by adhesives. Shaft retainer 31 is shown to have internal threads 37 extending therealong. For a right hand club, left hand threads 37 should be employed and for a left hand club, right hand threads 37 should be employed.

Sole plate 32 has a receiving opening 35 as set forth above. Opening 35 preferably has a non-circular shape. Likewise, the bottom cross section 31' of shaft retainer 31 should have a non-circular or other shape that matches and snugly fits opening 35. A tight fit between the shaft retainer 31 and opening 35 of sole plate 32 or shaft 40 (as described hereinafter) and opening 35 is preferred. Hence, when shaft retainer 31 is in place, the bottom 31' thereof will reside within and mate with opening 35 of sole plate 32. As such, when sole plate 32 is secured to the bottom surface 25 of club head 20, relative rotation between shaft retainer 31 and club head 20 is precluded. While any shape is suitable, a circular shape is not as suitable for opening 35 and bottom 31' of shaft retainer 31, as are an oval, triangular or rectangular shape which are preferred. A shaft 40 is received within shaft retainer, 31 as shown in FIG. 3. Shaft 40 is shown to have threads 41 along the lower end thereof. Threads 41 of shaft 40 are received by threads 37 of shaft retainer 31 so as to secure shaft 40 to club head 20. As mentioned above, however, any suitable means may be employed to secure shaft 40 to club head 20. To finish the golf club, a metal or plastic ferrule, washer or the like 42 may be placed over shaft 40 and secured to club head around shaft receiving opening 27.

A further embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 4. A club head 420 is shown having a shaft receiving opening 427 therein, and a sole plate 432 secured to the bottom surface 425 thereof. The receiving opening 435 in sole plate 432 receives a like shaped end 441 ofa shaft 440 instead ofa shaft retainer 431. Opening 435 in sole plate 432 and lower end 441 of shaft 440 may be any shape as discussed above, but are preferably non-circular in shape as to prevent relative rotation between shaft 440 and club head 420.

Hence, shaft retainer 431 merely abuts sole plate 432 1 and is not secured thereto, though it is not necessary for shaft retainer 431 to even abut sole plate 432. Shaft retainer 431 is shown to have a smooth inner surface 437 while shaft 440 is likewise smooth along its length. Hence, shaft 440 may be secured within shaft retainer 431 by adhesive, pins or the like.

FIG. 5 shows still a further embodiment of the present invention. Club head 520 is shown to have a shaft receiving opening 527 therein. A sole plate 532 is shown secured to the bottom surface 525 of club head 520 by a plurality of screws 534. A shaft retainer 531 is received withn opening 527 of club head 520 and suitably secured therein. Shaft retainer 531 is shown to have a smooth inner surface 537 in which a shaft 540 resides. Shaft 540 is secured within shaft retainer 531 and club head 520 by a countersunk pin or screw 539. Screw 539 is headless and after being countersunk, the remaining space therebehind is filled in with a suitable filler to smooth the surface of the club head. In FIG. 5, shaft 540 is illustrated as passing through retainer 531 and abutting sole plate 532. There may, however, be no connection between sole plate 532 and shaft 540 or retainer 531. As such, sole plate 532 prevents club head 520 from splitting in the event of shock thereto.

As may be seen in FIGS. 1] and 12, the sole plate 32 may have a projection 32' extending upwardly therefrom. Projection 32 is ofa shape that mates with a like shaped inner surface 31' of shaft retainer 31 to prevent relative rotation therebetween. Further sole plate 32 may have any shape or roll according to the desired shape wanted for the bottom of the club head. It is, however, an advantage for the woods, especially the fairway woods, to employ a sole plate having a fourway roll as shown in FIG. 13.

Removal ofthe hose] or neck area from the club head also removes weight from the heel portion of the club head. Hence, weight may now be better distributed behind the hitting area of the club head to improve the balance of the club. Further, the golf clubs produced according to the teachings of the present invention will also be much easier to repair in the event of damage thereto than the presently available clubs.

Having described the present invention in detail, it is obvious that one skilled in the art will be able to make modifications and adaptations thereto without departing from the scope of the invention. Accordingly. the

scope of the present invention should be governed by the claims appended hereto.

What is claimed is:

l. A wood type golf club comprising:

a. a club head having a frontal striking surface, toe

and heel portions, a bottom surface and a top surface, said club head defining a shaft receiving opening on said top surface at said heel portion, said top surface having a continuous generally convex contour from said toe to said heel portions;

b. a sole plate secured to said bottom surface, said sole plate having a shaft receiving opening ofa predetermined shape therein, said shaft receiving opening in said sole plate being smaller than said shaft receiving opening in said club head;

0. a shaft retainer received in said opening in said club head; and

d. a shaft passing through said shaft retainer and being secured therein, a lower portion of said shaft extending through said shaft retainer having a cross section of a predetermined shape and being received in said opening in said sole plate, said predetermined shapes of said portion of said shaft and said opening cooperating to preclude against rotation of said shaft with respect to said club head.

2. The wood type golf club as defined in claim 1 wherein said sole plate substantially covers the bottom of the club head.

3. The wood type golf club as defined in claim 1 wherein the shaft receiving opening in the sole plate and the bottom cross section of the shaft are rectangular.

4. The wood type golf club as defined in claim 1 wherein the shaft receiving-opening in the sole plate and the bottom cross section of the shaft are triangular.

5. The wood type golf club as defined in claim 1 wherein the shaft receiving opening in the sole plate and the bottom cross section of the shaft are oval.

6. The wood type golf club as defined in claim 1 wherein the shaft is adhesively secured within said shaft retainer.

7. The wood type golf club as defined in claim 6 wherein the adhesive is an epoxy.

8. The wood type of golf club as defined in claim 1 wherein the shaft is secured within said shaft retainer by a pin.

9. The wood type golf club as defined in claim 1 comprising further a member received around said shaft and resting atop and being secured to said club head.

10. The wood type golf club as defined in claim 1

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US713845 *Sep 24, 1902Nov 18, 1902William BraidGolf-stick.
US1574213 *Apr 3, 1923Feb 23, 1926Tyler Ralph GGolf club
US1585294 *Apr 18, 1924May 18, 1926Thomas E Wilson & CompanyGolf club
US1601770 *May 12, 1926Oct 5, 1926Spalding & Bros AgGolf club
US1895417 *Nov 19, 1930Jan 24, 1933Metallic Shaft CompanyGolf club
US1902660 *Aug 22, 1931Mar 21, 1933Nelson Hans PPony polo mallet
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US1994149 *Jun 15, 1932Mar 12, 1935Root Arthur AGolf club
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5042806 *Dec 29, 1989Aug 27, 1991Callaway Golf CompanyGolf club with neckless metal head
US5163682 *Sep 4, 1991Nov 17, 1992Callaway Golf CompanyMetal wood golf club with variable faceplate thickness
US5280923 *Sep 11, 1992Jan 25, 1994Lu Clive SGolf club design
US5318300 *Nov 2, 1992Jun 7, 1994Callaway Golf CompanyMetal wood golf club with variable faceplate thickness
US5351958 *Aug 26, 1993Oct 4, 1994Callaway Golf CompanyParticle retention in golf club metal wood head
US5429358 *May 25, 1993Jul 4, 1995Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc.Golf club and methods of assembling and disassembling same
US5452890 *Mar 7, 1994Sep 26, 1995Bingman; GeorgeGolf club head having protecting insert
US5474296 *May 31, 1994Dec 12, 1995Callaway Golf CompanyMetal wood golf club with variable faceplate thickness
US5556097 *Dec 20, 1994Sep 17, 1996Kabushiki Kaisha Endo SeisakushoHollow club head with welded hosel
US5575723 *Mar 15, 1995Nov 19, 1996Daiwa Seiko, Inc.Golf club with cushion material between shaft and head
US5632695 *Mar 1, 1995May 27, 1997Wilson Sporting Goods Co.Golf clubhead
US6012989 *Oct 22, 1997Jan 11, 2000Saksun, Sr.; JohnGolf club head
US6077172 *Nov 1, 1996Jun 20, 2000Butler; ByronMetal wood golf club head having a shaft attachment at the sole
US6244976 *Dec 29, 1999Jun 12, 2001Callaway Golf CompanyIntegral sole plate and hosel for a golf club head
US6368230 *Oct 11, 2000Apr 9, 2002Callaway Golf CompanyGolf club fitting device
US6890266May 23, 2003May 10, 2005Karsten Manufacturing CorporationMethods and apparatus for a metal wood-type golf club
US7281985Aug 24, 2004Oct 16, 2007Callaway Golf CompanyGolf club head
US7934999May 18, 2009May 3, 2011Callaway Golf CompanyWood-type golf club head with adjustable sole contour
US8012034Apr 27, 2011Sep 6, 2011Callaway Golf CompanyWood-type golf club head with adjustable sole contour
US8517851Mar 3, 2011Aug 27, 2013Callaway Golf CompanyWood-type golf club head with adjustable sole contour
USRE38605May 25, 2001Sep 28, 2004Karsten Manufacturing CorporationGolf club with different shaft orientations and method of making same
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/309
International ClassificationA63B53/04, A63B53/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B53/02, A63B53/04
European ClassificationA63B53/02, A63B53/04
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 16, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: CITICORP NORTH AMERICA, INC., AS AGENT
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SPALDING & EVENFLO COMPANIES, INC.5750A NORTH NOOVER BLVD., TAMPA, FL. 33630, A CORP. OF DE.;REEL/FRAME:005249/0749
Effective date: 19900103