US 3843122 A
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United States Patent [191 Florian 11] 3,843,122 [451 Oct. 22, 1974 I GOLF PUTTER HEAD  Inventor: Raymond J. Florian, 14440 Elwell, Beileville, Mich. [221 Filed: Dec. 27, 1971 211 Appl. No.: 211,954
[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 690,996 1/1902 Ransom 273/77 R 723,258 3/1903 Felton 273/78 1,116,022 11/1914 Cornwall 273/67 C 1,177,266 3/1916 Pedersen 273/67 C 1,459,810 6/1923 Wills 273/169 1,606,522 11/1926 Freedlander 273/67 c 1,627,848 5/1927 Hubbard 273/167 F 1,673,973 6/1928 Drevitson 273/173 X 2,051,083 8/1936 2,299,735 10/1942 2,460,435 2/1949 2,478,468 I 8/1949 3,042,405 7/1962 3,211,455 10/1965 3,390,881 7/1968 Senne 273/167 R X 3,582,081 6/1971 Caplan 273/171 FOREIGN PATENTS 0R APPLICATIONS 27,889 12/1906 Great Britain 273/81 8 1,008,972 11/1965 Great Britain 273/167 C 266,320 10/1964 Australia 273/169 14,169 6/1898 Great Britain.... 273/175 11,118 5/1901 Great Britain.... 273/80 A 303,290 Great Britain 273/169 Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Richard J. Apley Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Harness, Dickey & Pierce 57 ABSTRACT A golf putter comprised of a plastic putter head formed about a preselectedly weighted core structure,
an elongated shaft having a lower end connected to the putter head, and a grip portion located at an upper opposite end. The upper end of the shaft is suitably counterweighted to provide a weight balance point for the golf putter in proximity to the lower end of a paddle grip portion. The core structure is comprised of a tubular shaped element having weights located in opposite ends thereof, and a filler block located therebetween and including a rod member having an end portion supported by the element and connected at an opposite end to the shaft.
8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures GOLF PUTTER HEAD SUMMARY AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This disclosure relates generally to golf clubs, and more particularly to a golf putter having a novel plastic head construction.
In the US. Letters Patent to Raymond J. Florian, US. Pat. No. 3,679,207 entitled Golf Putter Construetion, an improved golf putter was disclosed for use with a modified croquet style of putting.
That disclosure is incorporated herein by reference, as the subject invention pertains to a modified golf putter head which may be advantageously utilized therewith. It will be appreciated, however, that the subject putter head is not limited to a modified croquet style putter, and could be used with any complementary shaft design for putting from any stance.
In the present invention the golf putter utilizes a novel head construction; therefore, it is a general object of the'present invention to provide a novel golf putter having an improved head construction.
I It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved golf putter for use with a modified croquet style of putting.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved golf putter having a weight balance point generally intermediate the length of the shaft and in proximity with the lower end of the grip, the paddle grip portion.
It is a further object of the subject invention to provide a novel core structure around which a plastic putter head may be molded.
It is still a further object of the subject invention to provide a novel core structure which is adapted to function as a heat sink during the molding of the plastic putter head to prevent uneven shrinking and cracking of the plastic material.
It is yet a further object of the subject invention to provide a putter head which may be preselectedly weighted.
It is another object of the subject invention to provide a golf putter wherein the angle between the shaft and the putter head may be minimally adjusted.
It is yet another object of the subject invention to provide a golf putter which is uniquely styled, strong in construction, and economical to manufacture.
Other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the subsequent description and appended claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a pictorial view of an exemplary golf putter of the subject invention;
FIG. 2 is a transverse cross-sectional elevation of the die and core structure utilized in fabricating the subject putter head;
FIG. 3 is a erosssectional plan view of the die and core structure taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged elevational view of the putter head illustrated in FIG. I; and
FIG. 5 is a transverse cross-sectional view of the enlarged putter head illustrated in FIG. 4, taken on the line 5-5 thereof.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRE EMBODIMENT With reference now to the drawings, as exemplary golf putter of the subject invention is indicated generally at 10, having a putter head 12 which includes an outward striking face 14 and an integral shank or neck portion 16. The putter 10 further includes an elongated shaft 18 having its lower end connected to the neck portion 16 and a grip portion 20 disposed at an opposite end thereof. For use in the modified croque style of putting, the grip portion 20 is elongated reistive to conventional putters, and includes an enlarged, generally flat paddle section 22 disposed at a lower end. The paddle section 22 is preferably formed of a soft durometer plastic and provides an enlarged surface area to assist in the alignment of the putter and which is adapted to be comfortably gripped and manipulated by one hand of the golfer. The upper end of the grip portion 20 may also be provided with a circumferentially enlarged surface area 24 of comfortable placement of the other hand when assuming the modified croque stance. Preferably, suitable counterweights (not shown) are located in the interior of the enlarged grip 24 for counterbalancing the weight of the putter head 12 and to provide a balance point, designated generally by the letter x, in proximity to the lower end of the paddle section 22.
As best observed in FIGS. 2and 3, the putter head 12 includes a prefabricated core structure 26 which is adapted to be supported in an injection molding die as shall hereinafter be described. The core structue 26 is comprised of an outer sleeve or casing 28, of generally rectangular cross section, which defines therein an axially extending rectangular shaped passage 30. Disposed within the passage 30 is a light weight wooden block 32 interposed between a pair of substantially identical metallic castings 34 and 36. the castings 34 and 36 are adapted to preselectedly weight the putter head 12, and are preferably formed from a relatively soft, heavy metallic material, such as lead or brass, which may be easily cold worked into the opposite ends of the passage 30 to retain the block 32 therein. The block 32 is preferably formed from kiln dried balsa wood and preferably includes an expansion relief structure such as an axially extending groove or slot 38 which serves as an expansion joint to compensate for swelling of the wood block 32 due to residual moisture. For additional retention of the castings 34 and 36, the outer ends of the sleeve 28 may be indented or crimped as illustrated at 39 in FIG. 3.
The core structure 26 further includes a rod member 40 which extends upwardly from the sleeve or casting 28. One end of the rod member 40 is supported in a bore 42 which extends inwardly and downwardly from an upper face of the sleeve 28 and substantially through the wood block 32. Preferably, the bore 42 is inclined by at least 10 with respect to the vertical axis of the head 12 for the purposes of ultimately projecting the shaft 18 in a direction toward the golfer. The rod 40 is selected from a suitable diameter stock of resilient deformable material, i.e., steel, such that it may be subsequently slightly bent to customize the angle between the shaft 18 and the putter I2 to suit the individual golfers requirements. In addition to being deformable, the rod 40 is also selected from a material which is a good heat conductor for purposes which will hereinafter be explained. To support the core structure 26 in a die assembly 48, a pair of lateral blind bores 44 and 46 are suitably located in one of the side faces thereof.
The die assembly 48 is comprised of a pair of complementary die halves 50 and 52, which define an interior pattern 54 for molding the putter head 12. The pattern 54 is selectively dimensioned relative to the core structure 26 to minimize the thickness of plastic material or shell formed therearound which reduces the possibility of uneven shrinking and cracking of the plastic during the cooling or setting operation. The complementary half 50 of the die assembly 48 includes a pair of support pins 56, 58 which are adapted to engage the blind bores 44 and 46, respectively, for supporting one side of the core structure 26. The half 50 also includes an ejector pin 60 having an enlarged head 62 which is slidably supported in a'counterbore 64 andserves to eject the final molded putter head 12 from the die assembly 48 after cooling.
The complementary half 52 of the die assembly 48 also has a pair of support pins 66 and 68 which are adapted to contact and support the opposing side of the core structure 26, and a pair of ejector pins 70 and 72 having enlarged heads 74 and 76 slidably disposed in counterbores 78 and 80, respectively therein. For die casting or injection molding of the putter head 12, the die assembly 48 alsohas a suitably located gate (not shown), and includes means for retaining and clamping the halves 50 and 52 in properly aligned closed relationship.
The pattern: 54 formed within the complementary halves 50 and 52 is preferably etched to provide an outer grained appearance to the putter head 12, and as best observed in FIG. 2, the lower surface of the pattern 54 is slightly tapered downwardly toward the center thereof which contributes in removing the putter head 12 from the die assembly 48 after molding. The side walls of each of the complementary halves 50 and 52 includes a pair of pad formations 82 and 84, respectively, which are adapted to form a pair of inset faces on opposite sides of the putter head 12. With respect to the upper portion of the pattern 54, an undercut 91 is provided which defines a pad section 90 on the head 12 from which the neck portion 16 extends upwardly.
To mold the putter head 12 of the present invention, the core structure 26 is located in complementary half 50 and the die assembly 48 and is supported by means of the support pins 56 and 58. The second complementary half 52 is then located in alignment with the half 50 to define the pattern 54 and has its support pins 68 and 70 in contact with the opposite side of the core structure. In this position the support pins 56 and 58 are seated in the bores 44 and 46. The halves 50 and 52 are then clamped together and a suitable plastic material, such as Acrylo-Nitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), is injected into the pattern 54 from the gate. in the closed position of the die assembly 48, it will be'noted that the upper end of the rod member 40 projects outwardly from the die assembly 48. The end of the rod member 40 extending from the die assembly 48 acts like a heat sink to transfer heat from the hot molded plastic, especially from the neck portion 16 which has the greatest thickness, and hence at which the 'g'rais'i possiblity of uneven shrinking or cracking of the putter head during the molding operation may occur. When the putter head 12 has sufficiently cooled, it is removed from the complementary halves 50 and 52 via actuation of the ejector pins 60, and 72. When the putter head 12 is sufficiently cooled, the holes formed by the support pins can be filled with any suitable filler material, such as plastic. I
The striking face 14 of the putter head 12 is preferably formed with a resilient, transparent, tinted, plastic insert with a molded pattern encased, and also a soft leather-like material may be attached having a durometer of around (Rockwell R scale). The material includes an adhesive backing on a rearward surface and may include a patterned design on the front surface such as illustrated in FIG. 4. The facing material is suitably cut to conform to one of the inset faces 86 and 88 and is adhered thereto, by means of the adhesive backing. In this regard it will be noted that the putter head 12 is adapted for either a right or left golfer as either of the inset faces 86 or 88 may be utilized for the striking face 14. With respect to the opposite inset face, an identification or information plate 94 can be disposed therein also by means of an adhesive backing. The identification plate 94 can be fabricated from a molded plastic stock of the like which further contributes to the appearance of the putter head 12.
With reference now to FIG. 4, the final form of the putter head 12 is illustrated as having slight arcuate lower surface 96 wherefrom the toe end surface 98 and the heel end surface 100 extend upwardly and slightly outwardly from opposite sides thereof. The neck portion 16 includes a pair of end walls 102 and 104 which extend arcuately upwardly from the slightly raised pad section and partially along the rod member 40. The shank or neck portion 16 further includes a rectangular shoulder 106 defined by a reducedsection portion 107 which extends further along rod member 40 and terminates in a second shoulder 108. The shoulders 106 and 108 and portion 107, and the upper portion of the rod member 40 are adapted to be connected with the lower end of a complementary shaft 18.
The lower end of the shaft 18 includes an internal aperture suitably dimensioned to snugly receive, with a slight interference fit, the portion 107. The lower end of the shaft 18 is preheated and is then press fitted onto the portion 107; a thermal setting adhesive is used to permanently hold the members together.
In the construction of the golf putter 12, as described, the angle of the shaft 18 with respect to the neck portion 16 can be selectively adjusted by permanently bending the rod 40 in the region of portion 107; it will be appreciated that the rod 40 is sufficiently small in cross section and the relatively thin plastic formation at the portion 107 permits such permanent adjustment.
As noted, the putter head 12, while being described for use with and having special utility with a shaft enhancing the modified croquet style of putting, is suitable for use with shafts of other constructions and could be used with a conventional shaft for use with a conventional style of putting.
While it will be apparent that the preferred embodiment of the invention disclosed is well calculated to fulfill the objects above stated, it will be appreciated that the invention issusceptible to modification, variation and change without departing from the proper scope or fair meaning of the subjoined claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A golf putter including a putter head and an axially extending shaft having a grip portion at the upper end and an inwardly extending passage located at the lower end, said putter head having an upper surface, a sole surface,,toe and heel portions and comprising a core structure including a sleeve of generally rectangular shaped cross-section having an upper wall, a lower wall, end portions and two side walls and having an internal passage which extends completely therethrough between said end portions, means for filling said internal passage including a block having a cross-section conforming to the cross-section of said internal passage and located therein, said block being of a light density material, first and second spaced inserts in said internal passage on opposite ends of said block and corresponding to said end portions of said sleeve, said inserts each being of a preselected weight to provide a predetermined weight to said putter head, said inserts being of substantially greater density than said block, weighting means located in the upper end of said shaft for counter-balancing said predetermined weight of said putter head and providing a weight balance point in proximity to the lower end of said grip portion, said core structure further including a downwardly extending, vertically inclined passage, said inclined passage being located substantially centrally between both said spaced inserts and said side walls of said sleeve and extending through the upper wall of said sleeve and at least partially into said block, a rod formed from a thermally conductive material and having a first end supported in said downwardly extending passage and an opposite end extending outwardly from the upper wall of said sleeve and connectably and telescopically located in said inwardly extending passage formed in said shaft, a plastic shell formed substantially entirely about said core structure and including a neck formation formed on the upper surface of said shell and at least a portion of said rod, said neck formation including a shoulder spaced between said upper surface of said shell and said opposite end of said rod for axially locating said lower end of said shaft relative to said rod, said neck formation and said shaft being located substantially centrally of said head in both a longitudinal and transverse direction, said head being substantially symmetrically configured about the neck, rod and shaft assembly in both a longitudinal and transverse direction, and a resilient striking face connected to at least one side surface of said shell.
2. The putter of claim 1 with said rod member being also constructed from a resilient, deformable material whereby the angle between said putter head and said shaft can be selectedly permanently adjusted.
ij The golf putter, as recited in claim 1 wherein said inserts are a pair of metal castings disposed in opposite ends of said sleeve.
4. The golf putter, as recited in claim 1 wherein said block is formed from a wood material and wherein said block includes an expansion joint.
5. The golf putter, as recited in claim 1 wherein said plastic shell is molded about said core structure and said rod member and with said rod member being made of a material having good heat conductivity, whereby said rod member functions as a heat sink during the molding operation.
6. The golf putter, as recited in claim 1 wherein said resilient striking face is formed from a material having a Rockwell R durometer hardness of approximately 75.
7. The golf putter, as recited in claim 1 wherein said lower end of said shaft is press fitted to said putter head about said rod member.
8. The putter, as recited in claim 1, which includes a flat paddle formation enlarged relative to the cross sectional dimension of said shaft and located at a lower end of said grip portion proximate said weight balance point.