US 3866922 A
A golf putter is provided with a putting head, at least a portion of which is transparent or translucent plastic, and which has an alignment indicating means imbedded therein which permits a correct alignment to be established between the putter face and the ball and which presents the golfer with a visible indication of the direction a ball will travel when stroked by the putter. A weight means is also incorporated in the putter head to provide satisfactory impact imparting characteristics.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Marci et a1.
[ Feb.18, 1975 1 GOLF PUTTER WITH IMBEDDED ALIGNMENT INDICATOR  Inventors: Vincent C. Marci, 236 Maryal Dr.;
James E. Osborn, 486 Belment Dr.; David F. Watkins, 828 Via Maria, all of Salinas, Calif. 93901 22 Filed: Nov. 24, 1972 21 App1.No.:309,200
 US. Cl 273/164, 273/167 F  Int. Cl A63b 53/04  Field of Search...273/77 R, 163 R, 164, 167- l75,273/183 D, 194 R, 194A  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,420,946 6/1922 Rodwell 273/164 1,454,267 5/1923 Challis et al. 273/164 X 1,901,562 3/1933 Main 273/169 1,917,774 7/1933 Ogg et al.... 273/167 F 2,121,295 6/1938 Jennings 273/163 R 2,346,617 4/1944 Schaffer 273/169 X 3,043,596 7/1962 Ehmke 273/173 X 3,134,596 5/1964 Boznos 273/173 TRANSPARENT OR TRANSLIJCENT 3,390,881 7/1968 Senne 273/173 3,408,074 10/1968 Antonious 273/169 X 3,582,081 6/1971 Caplan 273/171 D58,209 6/1921 Bacheller ..273/164 UX FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 211,781 12/1957 Australia 273/167 J 328,823 5/1930 Great Britain 273/163 R Primary Examiner-Richard J. Apley Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Phillips, Moore, Weissenberger, Lempio & Strabala 57 ABSTRACT A golf putter is provided with a putting head, at least a portion of which is transparent or translucent plastic, and which has an alignment indicating means imbedded therein which permits a correct alignment to be established between the putter face and the ball and which presents the golfer with a visible indication of the direction a ball will travel when stroked by the putter. A weight means is also incorporated in the putter head to provide satisfactory impact imparting characteristics.
4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures GOLF PUTTER WITH IMBEDDED ALIGNMENT INDICATOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Golf putters are traditionally fabricated with metal putter heads. Metal putter heads are durable and have sufficient weight to impart adequate momentum to propel golf balls for distances along putting greens. Since metal heads are used on the numbered angled irons for hitting golf balls over longer distances it is logical that golf club manufacturers have been used to working with metal and have simply applied their know how to the manufacture of putters. It has been believed, also, that other types of materials, e.g., plastic, would not be hard enough to serve as putter heads. Metal putter heads have, however, not always allowed golfers to readily ascertain the sweet spot, a spot at which a true and straight stoke will be obtained; and such sweet spots have been very narrow per se. To compound the problem, precise putting is a requirement for any good golfer because low scores are made on the greens.
External markings have been used to indicate the approximate center of gravity of metal putters to locate the sweet spot, Further, external markings have also been used to indicate the correct alignment between a putter face and the sides of a golf ball. Such external markings have helped golfers achieve truer putting but have sometimes interferred with the overall stroking motion; the putter would concentrate on hitting the golf ball at the sweet spot and would accomplish this objective but would not be concentrating enough on the overall stroke and would impart a twist or a sideways motion that would send the ball off a true course. The sideways motion was also introduced because the location of a sweet spot would not guarantee a true stroke since the direction a golf ball travels depends on the direction the mass of the putter head is moving and not solely on the point of contact. Thus, it would be desirable to indicate that direction as well as establish a correct alignment between the putter face and a golf ball.
The rigidity of the metal in metal putting heads does not permit the sweet spot to be broadened much beyond the center of gravity. A material having a resilient striking characteristic such as plastic is capable of having a broader sweet spot designed into a striking surface. By shaping the rearward side of a golf head, by weighting the interior of the head in a particular manner, and by selecting a plastic material having good impact characteristics yet high resiliency the sweet spot can be broadened. It would be desirable, then, to fabricate a golf putting head from an impact hard but inherently resilient plastic material having enough inherent mass to impart adequate momentum to a golf ball.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a putter fabricated from a transparent or translucent plastic material and having an externally visible alignment indicating means imbedded therein to permit a correct alignment to be established between a putter face and a golf ball and to present the golfer with a visible indication of the direction a ball will travel when stroked by the putter.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a putter fabricated from a transparent or translucent plastic material and having an identifiable and broad sweet spot.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide a putter of impact hard transparent or translucent plastic material with an imbedded weight to provide adequate momentum to the putter during the putting stroke.
It is an additional object of this invention to provide a transparent or translucent plastic putter having an imbedded alignment indicating means wherein the approximate center of the sweet spot of the putter is externally visible as well as the location at which the sides of a golf ball will line up perpendicular to the putter face if a true alignment is achieved.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a more complete understanding of the golf putter of the present invention reference may be had to the accompanying drawings which are hereby incorporated by reference and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a golf putter head fabricated from a transparent or translucent material, shown in phantom, with an imbedded alignment indicating means and imbedded weight means;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the golf putter of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a side view of the golf putter of FIG. 1.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Advantageous putting characteristics are obtained by fabricating a golf putter from impact hard yet resilient light transmitting, i.e., transparent or translucent plastic material. An alingment indicating means and a weight means are imbedded in the putter head. The alignment indicating means is visible from above so the golfer can obtain the proper alignment between putter face and the balland the direction the ball will travel when stroked by the putter as well as the approximate center of the sweet spot." The weight means provides adequate momentum to the ball so it will travel as far as desired along the putting green and is integrally connected to the putter handle to give the golfer a better feel of the putting head when he is executing his stroke. It is shaped to provide as broad a sweet spot as possible.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The structure of the putter of the present invention can be seen by reference to FIG. 1 in which the outline of the plastic putter head is indicated by the phantom form 10. A weight means, shown generally as metal weight 11, is completely encased in the putter form 10. Metal weight 11 is integrally connected with the handle 14 of the putter with the bottom portion of the handle being partially encased in an extension 9 of the plastic putter form 10.
The shape of the preferred embodiment of the weight means may be seen from the plan view of FIG. 2. Metal weight 11 comprises a body portion 15, a heel 12 (connected to the putter handle) and a toe 13. The body 15 is considerably narrower than the toe l2 and heel 13 so the open space bounded on three sides by these portions of the weight means defines a window, as viewed from above, in which an alignment indicating means 20 may be placed. It can be seen that the shape of putter form 10 conforms generally to the shape of metal weight 11 in that slanted surface 16 fits over body portion 15 while raised contour 7 fits around alignment indicating means 20. The front side of putter from 10 is generally flat and provides a generally flat putter face 8, although, the putter face may vary up to ten degrees in either direction from the vertical.
The relation of alignment indicating means 20 to metal weight 11 is shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. Alignment indicating means 20 is raised above the upper surface of metal weight 11 by stanchion 23 so that alignment indicating means 20 is high-lighted by the recessed frame of the window formed by the three sides of body 15, toe l3, and heel 12. In other embodiments, it would be possible to position the alignment indicating means within the window but the raised positioning facilitates differentiation of the alignment indicating means from the weight means. The golfer will be able to distinguish the alignment indicating means from the weighted insert since his depth perception will tell him that the alignment indicating means is closer; the alignment indicating means will stand out. It is also possible to assist differentiation by using a scored surface for the alignment indicating means or by coloring the alignment indicating means with a color that stands out as against the appearance of the weight means and that is clearly visible through the transparent or translucent putter head. It is also important to configure alignment indicator 21 so that it is the dominant, eye catching feature of the alignment indicating means 20. Thus, as seen in FlG. 2, alignment indicator 21 covers a much larger surface area and has a greater impact on the eye than ball edge locators 22. Since alignment indicator 21 serves the three-fold function of indicating the proper alignment of putter face to the ball, the direction a ball will travel when stroked by the putter and of indicating the approximate center of the sweet spot, the rendering of the center indicator as the most prominent feature of the putter allows the golfer to be aware simultaneously of proper alignment of putter face to ball, the ball travel direction and the approximate center of the sweet spot.
In explanation of the functionality of the alignment indicator 21 it should be understood that the sweet spot of a putter is the location at which the ball should ideally be hit to obtain optimum impact characteristics. It is not a specific location butis the range along a putter face within which a ball can be hit without imparting twisting or oblique forces. Alignment indicator 21 indicates only the approximate center of the sweet spot of the putter of the present invention.
In the plastic putter of the present invention, the sweet spot is broadened by incorporating a toe 13 which is heavier than the heel 12. Thus, if the ball is hit at the exact point of alignment indicator 21 or slightly on the toe side of alignment indicator 21 a solid stroke will result. Sufficient mass backs up the swing so that a twisting or off line stroke is less likely to result. The mass of impact hard yet inherently resilient plastic which fills that portion of the window not filled by the alignment indicating means tends to compensate for off center point of contact, i.e., there is a more uniform momentum vector on the putter face around the indicator 21 than on ordinary metal putters. Slight mistakes A since the edges of the ball should line up with side 10- caters 22. The alignment indicator 21 will tell him how to align the putter face so it squarely hits the ball. Once set, the golfer will move the putter away from the ball and swing through it to execute his stroke. There are no external markings on the putter to confuse the golfer while he executes the stroke; he concentrates on the stroke and not on the alignment indicating means 20. The lack of external markings also makes the putter more aesthetically appealing. The use of a resilient but impact hard plastic gives the golfer a better feel during the follow through portion of the stroke.
While the invention has been described in connection with specific embodiments thereof, it will be understood that it is capable of further modification, and this application is intended to cover any variations, uses or adaptations of the invention following, in general, the principles of the invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which the invention pertains and as may be applied to the essential features hereinbefore set forth, and as fall within the scope of the invention and the limits of the appended claims.
1. A golf putter head of a generally elongated type having a generally flat putter face, comprising: 7
a putter head fabricated from a light transmitting material and having an externally visible alignment indicating means completely imbedded therein for indicating the proper alignment between the putter face and a golf ball, said putter head having a weight means imbedded therein to provide said putter with satisfactory impact imparting characteristics and to broaden the sweet spot on said putter face, said weight means comprising a homogeneous member including a toe portion having greater mass than a heel portion thereof and a body connecting said toe and heel portions, said toe and heel portions each extending forwardly from said body towards said putter face to define a sight window adjacent said putter face as viewed from above, said heel portion being adapted for attachment to a putter handle, said alignment indicating means being positioned in said window, said indicating means including an elongated alignment indicator positioned perpendicularly to said putter face approximately adjacent the sweet spot on said putter face and a generally arcuate strip terminating in pointed tips in said window adjacent said putter face, each of said tips being equal distance from said indicator on either side thereof.
2. The putter head in accordance with claim 1 wherein said alignment indicating means is positioned above the level of the upper'surface of said weight means.
3. The putter head in accordance with claim 2 wherein the portion of said alignment indicating means viewable from above has an uneven texture to facilitate differentiation from the background.
4. The putter head in accordance with claim 3 wherein said alignment indicating means is integrally connected to said weight means.