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Publication numberUS3841641 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 15, 1974
Filing dateAug 31, 1972
Priority dateAug 31, 1972
Publication numberUS 3841641 A, US 3841641A, US-A-3841641, US3841641 A, US3841641A
InventorsR Bennett
Original AssigneeR Bennett
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Putter
US 3841641 A
Abstract
A putter has a shaft with a head at one end thereof. The head includes a front face for striking a golf ball and two pivot points opposite the front face. The head also includes a bottom surface, at least a portion of which is adapted to rest on a putting green. The angle between the front face and a straight line defined by the pivot points is substantially equal to the angle between the shaft and a normal to the putting green. The putter is first placed in a prone position, whereupon the golfer sights down the shaft and then pivots the putter about the pivot points to an upright position. The putter has thereby been automatically aligned.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Bennett 51 Oct. 15, 1974 21 Appl. No.: 285,228

[52] U.S. Cl 273/164, 273/80 C, 273/167 G [51] Int. Cl A63b 53/00 [58] Field of Search 273/77 R, 79, 80 C, 164, 273/167-175, 183 D, 186 R, 193 R, 194 R, 194 A [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,535,707 4/1925 Barnes 273/79 3,035,839 5/1962 Coglianese 273/164 3,037,770 6/1962 Palmer 273/164 X 3,143,349 8/1964 Maclntyre.... 273/164 X 3,226,123 12/1965 Roraback..... 273/164 3,328,032 6/1967 Griswold 273/164 3,392,977 7/1968 De Lacey 273/l68 3,448,981 6/1969 Anweiler 273/167 G 3,595,582 7/1971 Chapman 1 273/164 X D137,814 5/1944 Newsome.... 273/167 D UX D208,984 10/1967 I-Iuelsman 273/167 D UX FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 6/1901 Great Britain 273/167 F 186,522 10/1922 Great Britain 273/164 OTHER PUBLICATIONS Golf Rules in Pictures, by .I. C. Dey, Jr., The U.S. Golf Assn., 1970, Rule 2.

Macgregor Golf Goods, 1927, pgs. 17, 21, 23, 24 and 26.

Primary Examiner-Richard J. Apley Attorney, Agent, or FirmPrangley, Dithmar, Vogel, Sandler and Stotland [5 7 ABSTRACT A putter has a shaft with a head at one end thereof. The head includes a front face for striking a golf ball and two pivot points opposite the front face. The head also includes a bottom surface, at least a portion of which is adapted to rest on a putting green. The angle between the front face and a straight line defined by the pivot points is substantially equal to the angle between the shaft and a normal to the putting green. The putter is first placed in a prone position, whereupon the golfer sights down the shaft and then pivots the putter about the pivot points to an upright position. The putter has thereby been automatically aligned.

1%. C eims lt r wins Fi re PUTTER BACKGROUND'OF THE INVENTION As any golfer will attest, a significant facet of the game is the ability to putt accurately. There are many ways of putting and aligning a putt. One of the most prevelant is first to analyze the lie of the ball relative to the hole and decide upon a direction for the ball to travel to fall into the hole. In making such analysis, the golfer .will walk around the immediate area of the ball and often walk around to the other side of the hole so that it is between himand the golf ball. Usually he will return to a position behind the ball and crouch down to align the putt and decide upon a direction in which the ball should travel to drop into the hole. After making some mental notes, he gets up and assumes the usual ball-addressing position. Attempting to recall the mental notes made while crouching behind the ball, he

will wiggle the putter accordingly until the face of the putter head is perpendicular to the direction decided upon. However, often he will not have translated his mental notes precisely or will have forgotten them completely, and the ensuing putt will go astray.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION It is therefore an important object of the present invention to provide an improved putter.

Another object is to provide a putter by which auto-- automatic alignment features along with a very low center of gravity.

A still further object is to provide a putter head which has automatic alignment features that can be modified to accommodate the idiosyncrasies of a particular golfer.

Yet a further object is to provide a putter which has an automatic alignment surface on the rear thereof, but which has features enabling the putter to be used alternatively by placing it in front of the ball during alignment of the putt.

Th summary, there is provided a putter for use on a putting green, comprising a shaft having an axis, a head at one end of the shaft, the head including a front face for striking a golf ball and two pivot points opposite the front face, there being a first predetermined angle between the front face and a straight line through the pivot points, the head including a bottom surface having a portion which is tangent to an imaginary surface that coincides with the surface of the putting green when the putter assumes a predetermined balladdres'sing position, there being a second predetermined angle between the axis of the shaft and a normal to the imaginary surface, the second predetermined angle being substantially equal to the first predetermined angle, whereby the putter is used by first positioning it in a prone position so that the pivot points are on the green and the shaft is aligned with a proposed direction of travel of a golf ball and then pivoting the putter about the pivot points to said predetermined 2 ball-addressing position in which the bottom surface portion is on the green and thereby automatically causing the front face to be perpendicular to the proposed direction of travel of the golf ball.

With the foregoing and other objects in view which will appear as the description proceeds, the invention consists of certain novel steps and certain features of construction, and a combination of parts hereinafter fully described, illustrated in the accompanying drawings, and particularly pointed out in the appended claims, it being understood that various changes in the steps and in the form, proportion, size and minor de tails of the structure may be made without departing from the spirit or sacrificing any of the advantages of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For the purpose of facilitating an understanding of the invention, there is illustrated in the accompanying drawings a preferred embodiment thereof, from an inspection of which, when considered in connection with the following description, the invention, its mode of construction, assembly and operation, and many of its advantages should be readily understood and appreciated.

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective vview of a fragmentary portion of a putter incorporating therein the features of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view on an enlarged scale of the putter of FIG. 1; a

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the putter head and the fragmentary portion of the shaft;

FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view of the putter;

FIG. 4A is a view in vertical section taken along the line 4A--4A of FIG. 4;

FIG. 4B is a view in vertical section taken along the line 4B--4B of FIG. 4;

FIG. 5 is a view in vertical section taken along the FIG. 9 is an enlarged bottom view of the putter head as it lies on the putting green when in its alignment condition.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Turning now to the drawings, there is illustrated a putter l0 incorporating therein the features of the present invention. The putter 10 comprises a shaft 12 which may be, for example, an elongated hollow tube. Provided at one end of the shaft 12 is the usual grip I3 which provides a means for gripping or holding the putter 10. Secured to the shaft 12 at the other end thereof is a putter head 14.

. The putter head 14 is defined by a heel 16 at one end thereof and a toe 18 at the other end thereof. Te bot tom surface 20 of the head 14 extends from the heel 16 to the toe l8 and defines the entire bottom of the head 14. The bottom surface 20 includes a portion 21 which is substantially flat and is adapted to rest on a putting green. The rest of the bottom surface 20 is curved upwardly, that is, away from the portion 21. Specifically, that portion of the bottom surface 20 in the region of the heel 16 is curved upwardly, as is that region of the bottom surface 20 near the toe 18. However, it is not necessary that the bottom surface 20 have any region which is flat.

The head 14 has a top surface 22 which slopes downwardly from the front of the head 14 toward the rear, whereby the thickness or height of the head 14 adjacent to the front thereof is substantially greater than the thickness or height of the head 14 near the rear thereof. The slope of the top surface 22 at the heel 16 of the putter head 14 is substantially less than the slope of the top surface 22 in the region of the toe 18; in

other words, as shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B, the region of the top surface 22 at the heel 16 forms an angle with the bottom surface 20 less than the angle between the surfaces 20 and 22 at the toe 18. The bottom surface 20 mates with the top surface 22 in the region of the heel 16 along an edge 24 which has a slight lateral curve. Similarly, the bottom surface 20 mates with the top surface 22 in the region of the toe 18 along an edge 26 which is also slightly curved laterally. The top surface 22 thus has a gentle flow so as to give the head 14 a very attractive appearance.

Protruding upwardly from the top surface 22 and toward the heel 16 is a hosel 28, which has a reduced end portion 30. The reduced end portion 30 frictionally engages in the shaft 12. Usually an adhesive is used to furnish a secure and permanent interconnection between the shaft 12 and the hosel 28. The axis of the shaft 12 is aligned with, and is a continuation of, the axis of the hosel 28.

The head 14 has a front face 32 which is preferably inclined slightly toward the shaft 12, so as to be tilted upwardly when the putter is in the ball-addressing position; The front face 32 defines a striking surface for striking a golf ball to move it in a selected direction on a putting green. The head l4 further comprises a rear surface, which, in the form illustrated, consists of a pair of spaced-apart rear surface regions 34 and 36. The regions 34 and 36 are coplanar and define an imaginary surface which intersects the front face 32. An arcuate recess 38 is formed in the rear surface between the rear surface regions 34 and 36. The recess 38 has a curvature which corresponds generally to the curvature of a golf ball. The recess 38 is defined by a vertical surface 40 that is arcuate, the directrix of which is substantially parallel to the shaft 12. The recess 38 also includes a flared surface 42 which extends from the vertical surface 40 and intersects the bottom surface 20. The flared surface 42, therefore, effectively reduces the width of the flat portion 21 of the bottom surface 20.

There is a first predetermined angle 44 (FIG. 3) between the front face 32 and the imaginary surface defined by the rear surface regions 34 and 36. There is also a second predetermined angle 46 (FIG. 2) between the axis 12a of the shaft 12 and a normal to the flat portion 21 of the bottom surface 20. The first and second angles 44 and 46 are substantially equal. Throughout the detailed description and the claims appended thereto, the phrase substantially equal should be taken to mean exactly equal insofar as it is technically possible from a manufacturing standpoint. As previously explained, the bottom surface need not have a flat portion 21, in which case the angle 46 would be between the shaft axis 12a and a normal to an imaginary surface that coincides with the surface of the putting green when the putter 10 assumes the balladdressing position depicted in FIG. 2.

Turning to FIGS. 6-9, the use of the putter 10 will be described. The golfer studies the lie of his ball 50 and its position relative to the hole 53 on the putting green 52. In accordance with usual practice, the golfer crouches behind the putter 10 which is, in turn, placed in a prone position behind the ball 50, as shown in FIG. 6. The shaft 12 is used as a sighting means and is so positioned as to be aligned with the proposed path of travel 54 of the golf ball 50. In the example shown in FIG. 6, the putting green 52 is assumed to be perfectly flat whereby the path of travel 54 of the golf ball 50 to the hole 53 will be a straight line. The shaft 12 of the putter 10 is then shifted back and forth until it is aligned with the proposed path of travel 54. This is done by sighting down the length of the shaft 12. It will, of course, be appreciated that the putting green usually is not perfectly flat, and there will be what is commonly referred to as a break, so that the ball 50 does not roll along a straight path, but, rather, will curve in one or more directions as it rolls toward the hole 53. For ex ample, if the righthand side of the green 52 (above the hole 53, as viewed in FIG. 6) slopes downwardly to the left-hand side of the green (below the hole 53, as viewed in FIG. 6), then the golfer would decide on a proposed path of travel 54 to the right of the hole 53 (above the hole 53, as viewed in FIG. 6). To compensate for such slope, the shaft 12 would be shifted to place it in alignment with such proposed path of travel.

As is best seen in FIG. 9, the rear surface regions 34 and 36 rest on the green 52 during the alignment procedure. Because of the width of the putter 10, the shaft 12 may slope downwardly, as shown in FIG. 7, when the grip 13 is resting on the green 52, although such downward slope is not necessary. The golfer will normally hold the grip 13 and move the putter 10 back and forth until the shaft 12 is aligned with the proposed direction of travel.

The golfer then pivots the putter 10 in the direction shown in FIG. 7 about the surface regions 34 and 36 which, therefore, function as pivot points. When the shaft 12 has reached'the upright, ball-addressing position indicated by the phantom lines in FIG. 7, the golfer will have simultaneously walked around to the usual position for putting. As shown in FIG. 8, the front face 32 will automatically be perpendicular to the proposed direction of travel 54 of the ball 50. The golfer needs to make no adjustments, since the putter 10 is now perfectly aligned. He then takes a stroke in the usual fashion, causing the ball 50 to traverse the selected direction of travel.

In order to accomplish the above-described operation, it is necessary that the angles 44 and 46 be substantially equal. In other words, the closer the shaft 12 is to being perpendicular to the portion 21 of the bottom surface 20, the more nearly the imaginary plane defined by the rear surface regions of 34 and 36 is parallel to the front face 32. In one embodiment of the invention, the angles 44 and 46 were 20. Of course, the farther the shaft 12 deviates from being perpendicular to such portion 21, the greater the deviation of such imaginary plane is from being parallel to the front face 32. The shaft 12 thus may have a medium lie which is what is depicted in the drawings; or it may have an upright lie, meaning that the shaft 12 is more nearly perpendicular to the portion; or it may have a flat lie, meaning that the shaft is less perpendicular to such portion 21.

Once the putter 10 has been tilted to its upright position, so that the face 32 is perpendicular to the proposed direction of travel 54, the putter 10 is in a position for putting, as previously explained. However, the shaft 12 may be tilted forwardly counterclockwise, as viewed in H6. 2) or rearwardly (clockwise) to achieve the most comfortable position for the golfer. Such tilting motion is possible because the bottom surface 20 in the regions of the heel 16 and the toe 18 are upwardly curved.

Referring to H6. 2, the putter it) assumes a predetermined orientation when it is in the ball-addressing position shown. When the putter K is tilted to the upright position shown, it will tend to assume a predetermined position with respect to any flat surface, whether or not the bottom surface 20 includes a flat portion 21. The portion (or even point) of the bottom surface 20 which naturally contacts the putting green 52 when the putter is tilted to its upright position is tangent to an imaginary surface that coincides with the surface of the putting green 52 when the putter 10 is in the balladdressing position.

Although the rear surface regions 34 and 36 in the above-described embodiment to be spaced from the surface of the putting green 52 when the putter it) is in the upright, ball-addressing position, it is to be understood that the bottom surface can be so contoured that the lowermost points of the surface regions 34 and 36 contact the surface of the putting green 52, both in the prone and upright positions of the putter 10. In that case, such points of the surface regions 34 and 36 themselves provide the pivot points to pivot the head 14 from the prone position in which the surface regions 34 and 36 contact the green 52 to the upright position in which the bottom surface 20 contacts the putting green.

The recess 38 reduces the quantity of material necessary for construction of the putter head M. Such recess also reduces the mass of the head M centrally, so that a greater proportion of the mass is present in the regions of the heel l6 and the toe 18. Such mass distribution has proved highly effective. The recess 38 is defined partially by the flared surface 42 which reduces the width of the flat portion 21 of the bottom surface 20. This improves the stability of the putter 10, as it is pivoted from the prone position to the upright position by minimizing the tendency of the head M to rock as it is being so pivoted.

Another advantage of the recess 38 is that it reduces the size of the rear surface to two small rear surface regions 34 and 36. ln manufacturing the head 14, these rear surface regions 34 and 36 may be ground to achieve the selected value of the angle 44. In certain instances, it may be desirable to have some difference between the angles 44 and 46. For example, the golfer may have some idiosyncrasy in his putting stroke, which causes the ball to veer one way or the other, rather than in the selected direction. Such idiosyncrasy can be compensated for by changing the angle 44. The regions 34 and 36 can easily be ground to obtain the desired angle, since the regions are small in area.

Although the putter 10 is designed to be used primarily as described with reference to FIGS. 6-9, it may be used in the normal way of simply sighting the putt while in a crouched position, then addressing the ball and f1- nally putting. In such case it is usual for the golfer to place the putter in front of the ball and shifting it until the striking face is perpendicular to the proposed direction of travel. The recess 38 is shaped to accommodate the front of a ball while in such position. In this manner, the putter it) may be brought up next to the ball, despite the presence of a pivoting surface consisting of the rear surface regions 3% and 36.

The fact that the top surface 22 is inclined downwardly and toward the rear lowers the center of gravity of the head 14. This is a highly desirable characteristic, since the lower the center of gravity, the better the swinging action.

Although the putter is illustrated as being of the center shafted type, that is one in which the shaft 12 is secured to the head M at a point immediate to the heel l6 and the toe 18, it should be understood that other types of putters can utilize the invention herein described. For example, the putter 110 may be the kind in which the shaft is secured to the head 14 at or very near the heel 16. Although the shaft 12 is shown to be straight, the shaft or hosel 28 can be bent.

The bottom surface 20 apart from the portion 21, by being curved, facilitates use of the putter 10 on a surface which is not horizontal. Thus, if the golfer has a downhill lie, the heel 16 will be nearer to the green 52; whereas, if he has an uphill lie, the toe 18 will be nearer to the green 52.

The putter head 14 may be made by one of a number of methods, such as casting, forging, etc. lt may be constructed of any suitable material such as plastic or brass.

Existing putters may be modified to incorporate the automatic alignment features. A suitably-formed rear member can be provided which is attachable to a standard putter. Such member would have a rear surface thatdefmes pivoting means.

It is believed that the invention, its mode of construction and assembly, and many of its advantages should be readily understood from the foregoing without further description, and it should also be manifest that, while a preferred embodiment of the invention has been shown and described for illustrative purposes, the structural details are, nonetheless, capable of wide variations within the purview of the invention, s defined in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A putter for use on a putting green, comprising a shaft having an axis, a head at one end of said shaft, said head including a front face for striking a golf ball and two pivot points opposite said front face, there being a first predetermined angle between said front face and a straight line through said pivot points, said head including a bottom surface having a portion which is tangent to an imaginary surface that coincides with the surface of the putting green when the putter assumes a predetermined ball-addressing position, there being a second predetermined angle between the axis of said shaft and a normal to said imaginary surface, said first and second predetermined angles being substantially equal and being substantially greater than zero degrees, whereby said putter is used by first positioning it in a prone position so that said pivot points are on the green and said shaft is alignedwith a proposed direction of travel of a golf ball and then pivoting said putter about said pivot points to said predetermined ball-addressing position in which said bottom surface portion is on the green, thereby automatically causing said front face to be perpendicular to the proposed direction of travel of said golf ball.

2. The putter set forth in claim 1, wherein said shaft is substantially straight.

3. The putter set forth in claim 1, and further comprising a grip at the other end of said shaft.

4. The putter set forth in claim 1, wherein said head has a heel and a toe and said shaft is attached to said head at a region between said heel and said toe.

5. The putter set forth in claim 1, wherein the center of gravity of said head is below the geographical midpoint thereof.

6. The putter set forth in claim 1, wherein said head has a heel and a toe which are curved in the direction toward said shaft so as to be curved upwardly when said putter is in said ball-addressing position.

7. The putter set forth in claim 1, wherein the rear portion of said bottom surface is flared toward said shaft to reduce the area of contact of said bottom surface with the putting green.

8. The putter set forth in claim 1, wherein said first and second predetermined angles are about 9. A putter for use on a putting green, comprising a shaft having an axis, a head at one end of said shaft, said head including a front face for striking a golf ball and a rear face, there being a first predetermined angle between said front face and said rear face, said head including a bottom surface having a portion which is tangent. to an imaginary surface that coincides with the surface of the putting green when the putter assumes a predetermined ball-addressing position, there being a second predetermined angle between the axis of said shaft and a normal to said imaginary surface, said first and second predetermined angles being substantially equal and being substantially greater than zero degrees, whereby said putter is used by first positioning it in a prone position so that said rear face is on the green and said shaft is aligned with said proposed direction of travel of a golf ball and then pivoting said putter to said predetermined ball-addressing position about the juncture between said rear face and the bottom surface until said bottom surface portion is on he green, thereby automatically causing said front face to be perpendicular to the proposed direction of travel of said golf ball.

10. The putter set forth in claim 9, wherein a recess is formed in said rear face to accommodate at least a portion of the golf ball, whereby the putter may be aligned by placing it in front of the golf ball so that a portion of the golf ball is in said recess in such a manner that the front face is perpendicular to the proposed direction of travel, whereafter said head may be shifted to a position immediately behind the golf ball preparatory to putting.

11. The putter set forth in claim 9, wherein said rear face includes two relatively-small coplanar and spaced regions.

12. The putter set forth in claim 11, and further comprising a recess in said rear face, the rear of said bottom surface being upwardly flared in the region of said recess to minimize the thickness of said portion of said bottom surface that contacts the putting green.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1535707 *Oct 29, 1920Apr 28, 1925Barnes HeffronGolf club
US3035839 *Nov 2, 1960May 22, 1962Michael W CoglianeseGolf club
US3037770 *Jun 17, 1959Jun 5, 1962Palmer John SGolf club
US3143349 *Apr 25, 1961Aug 4, 1964Norwalk Truck Lines IncGolf club head having two weight receiving recesses to individually vary the weight of the toe and heel portions
US3226123 *Oct 12, 1962Dec 28, 1965Roraback Harry GBalanced golf club head including flat alignment shoulder between reduced toe and thickened heel
US3328032 *Mar 9, 1965Jun 27, 1967Stanley M GriswoldGolf club with face aligning and orienting means
US3392977 *Jun 6, 1966Jul 16, 1968Robert J. De LaceyCombination putter and iron golf club
US3448981 *Sep 16, 1966Jun 10, 1969Anweiler Donald MGolf club
US3595582 *Feb 19, 1969Jul 27, 1971Chapman Loyal HGolf putter
GB186522A * Title not available
GB190112743A * Title not available
Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *Golf Rules in Pictures, by J. C. Dey, Jr., The U.S. Golf Assn., 1970, Rule 2.
2 *Macgregor Golf Goods, 1927, pgs. 17, 21, 23, 24 and 26.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3954265 *Oct 10, 1974May 4, 1976Taylor David LBalanced golf club
US4000902 *Jan 15, 1976Jan 4, 1977Sonnie Joseph PerkinsGolf putter with in-line aiming and directional control capabilities
US4464845 *Sep 13, 1982Aug 14, 1984Bubelo Vilya VMethod of heat- and moisture treatment of articles, for example, concrete articles, and an apparatus for accomplishing same
US4484746 *Apr 21, 1982Nov 27, 1984Brill Edward FGolf putter
US5335914 *Apr 13, 1993Aug 9, 1994Progroup, Inc.Golf club head
US5588922 *Dec 12, 1994Dec 31, 1996Callaway Golf CompanyIron golf club head with forwardly divergent interior recess
US5588923 *Apr 6, 1995Dec 31, 1996Callaway Golf CompanyGolf club head with attached selected swing weight composite
US5605511 *Dec 6, 1994Feb 25, 1997Callaway Golf CompanyGolf club head with audible vibration attenuation
US5626530 *Jun 7, 1995May 6, 1997Callaway Golf CompanyGolf club head with sole bevel indicia
US5704849 *Apr 25, 1995Jan 6, 1998Callaway Golf CompanyGolf club head with audible vibration attenuation
US5749795 *Oct 16, 1995May 12, 1998Callaway Golf CompanyIron golf club head with dual intersecting recesses
US5776010 *Jan 22, 1997Jul 7, 1998Callaway Golf CompanyWeight structure on a golf club head
US6080069 *Jan 16, 1998Jun 27, 2000The Arnold Palmer Golf CompanyGolf club head with improved weight distributions
US6471601Jan 21, 2000Oct 29, 2002Acushnet CompanyGolf club sole configuration
US6645085Jul 22, 2002Nov 11, 2003Acushnet CompanyGolf club sole configuration
EP0691143A1 *Jun 22, 1995Jan 10, 1996Callaway Golf CompanyGolf club heads
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/249, 473/251
International ClassificationA63B69/36
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/3685
European ClassificationA63B69/36P2