US 3912277 A
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United States Patent 11 1 1111 3,912,277
Pelz Oct. 14, 1975  GOLF CLUB 3,194,564 7/1965 Swan 273/186 A 3,516,674 6/1970 Scarborough 273/171  Inventor g Y if: ai i gg 3,582,081 6/1971 Caplan 273/171 rlve, e v1 e,
 Filed: July 22, 1974 Primary Examiner-George J. Marlo pp NO 490 909 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Nicholas J. Aquilino S Cl 273 186 273 l 273  CT  U- H7 A golf club including an attachment having alternate  int C12 A63B 69/36 A63B 53/06 use positions on the club head. In a first position, a  Fieid 273/186 171 172 pair of spaced elements of the attachment defines a 175 4 restricted area of the club striking face whereon the user must strike the ball while practicing. In the sec-  References Cited ond use position, the normal striking face is unobstructed for normal playing but the mass and weight of UNITED STATES PATENTS the attachment is still present so that the player will 53 B continue to experience the feel of the club to which he 7,82 193 oste o h be t d i i 3,021,141 2/1962 Polsky et a1. 273/186 A as come accus Ome n prac 1C ng 3,039,776 6/1962 Faini 273/194 A 8 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures US. Patent 001. 14, 1975 Sheet 1 012 3,912,277
US. Patent Oct. 14-, 1975 Sheet 2 of2 3,912,277
GOLF CLUB BACKGROUND OF INVENTION The present invention relates to a golf club which can be used both as a practice device and as a normal club in accordance with United States Golf Association rules and particularly to a putter type golf club.
There are a number of known golf putter clubs which include integral or detachable projections on the face of a putter. For example, the U.S. Pat. Nos. to Faini 3,039,776 and Delaceg 3,392,977 both show putters having projections at either end of the putter blade to aid in alignment.
The patent to Polsky U.S. Pat. No. 3,021,141 discloses the use of a detachable bumper arrangement whereby an off center hit ofa golf ball will cause a pronounced variance from the desired line of travel.
The U.S. Patent No. to Swan 3,194,564 shows an arrangement similar to the Polsky et al patent wherein a pair of pins are inserted in the putter face to define the ball striking areas.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a golf club head particularly for a putter type club which overcomes the disadvantages of the prior art and enables a putter type golf club to be used as a practice device or a conventional putter. The putter includes an attachment mounted across the striking surface of the putter face to define a restricted area of the club striking face where a golf ball may be properly struck when the putter is used as a practice device. The attachment is preferably spaced equidistant from the center of percussion or what is commonly known as the sweet spot" of the putter blade and at such a distance apart to permit room for the striking of a golf ball when the ball is struck at the center of percussion of the blade. This arrangement permits the ball to move on a trajectory and line of travel normal to the putter blade. when the putting stroke is'such so as to strike the ball on the center of percussion of the blade; however, when the putter blade is stroked in such a way that a ball would be struck significantly off of a line defining the center of percussion, the ball will hit the attachment to cause an extreme variation from the intended line of flight.
When the putter is to be used in a conventional manner, the attachment is mounted in a position away from the putter blade face, preferably at the rear of the putting head, thereby presenting a normal club face for striking a golf ball. Alternately, an insert having similar weight and mass distribution characteristics to the attachment may be used as a replacement while maintaining the characteristics of the practice version of the putter.
In this manner, the putter may be used as both a normal putter and as a practice device without changing the essential feel or weight characteristics of the putter. More specifically, both the total weight and the center of percussion location are identical for the practice and normal configurations. The putter also retains essentially the same streamlined appearance whether used as a practice device or normal putter.
Among the objects of the present invention arethe provision of a putter type golf club which can be used as a practice device or a conventional putter while maintaining the identical weight and swing characteristics whichever way the putter is used, the provision of a putter which is used as a practice device or conventional putter while maintaining essential visual characteristics when used in either manner and the provision of a putter which when used as a practice device will provide an immediate and apparent indication that-the ball has been struck at a point other than the center of percussion.
These and other objects will become apparent in' view of the following specification and accompanying drawings. I
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 illustrates a front elevational view of a putter employing the present invention in a practice configuration;
FIG. 2 is atop plan view of the putter of FIG. 1 showing two positions of impact'with a golf ball;
FIG. 3 is abottom view of the putter of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the putter of the present invention;
FIG. 5 is a bottom perspective view of the putter in a normal configuration;
FIG. 6 is a view of an alternate embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 7 is a top plan view of FIG. 6 taken along line 77;
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a third embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 9 is a sectional view of FIG. 8 taken along line 99;
FIG. 10 is a front elevational view of a fourth embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 11 is a top plan view of FIG. 10.
DESCRIPTION OF- THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIGS. 1 to 4 illustrate one embodiment of the putter of the present invention. The putter is generally designated by the numeral 10, It will be appreciated the drawings show only the head section of the putter; how-.
ever, the club includes a conventional shaft and grip.
The putter head is modified by a slot 14 cut into the.
bottom of the putter head behind the striking face 11 of the blade and is at a location where it is symetrical about the center of percussion or sweep spot of the putter. Two smaller slots 16 and 18 are cut completely across the lower portion of the putter face perpendicular to and in communication with the slot 14. The slot 14 is provided with a threaded bore 20 adapted to receive a screw 21.
An attachment 12 is formed ofa rectangular plate 23 which fits into the corresponding slot 14 cut out of the bottom of the putter head. The attachment 12 includes two members 22 extending from the ends of the rectangular plate 23, each of which supports one of a pair of vertically upstanding bars 24 which lie across and project from the striking face 11 of the putter blade. The shape of attachment 12 is not critical, but may be any convenient shape or size as long as it can be readily mounted on and removed from the putter head. However, an important feature of the invention is that the mass of the attachment 12 is symetrical about its center in order that when it is fit into the slot 14, it is symetrical with the center of percussion of the putter and reversal of the attachment 12 does not alter the weight and/or swing characteristics of the club. The attachment 12 is secured by a-screw 21 which engages the threaded bore in the putter head, but any suitable fastening means may be used. By way of example, two or more screws or clamps may be used. Also, the attachment is shown as being detachable from the putter head; however, it may be permanently mounted on a spring biased post so it may be turned without the necessity of completely detaching the attachment from the club head.
When the putter is used as a practice device, the rectangular plate 23 of the attachment 12 is placed in the slot 20, the members 22 fit into the smaller slots 16 and 18 and the'bars 24 project vertically across the striking face 11 of the putter face equidistant from the center of percussion of the putter head. The distance between the bars is designed to permit a golf ball to be struck at the center of percussion, or nearly so, without interference with either of the vertical bars. However, if the putter is stroked in such a way to produce a striking of the ball significantly displaced either side of the center of percussion, the ball will be struck by one of the bars 24 which will cause a pronounced variance in the line of travel of the ball from normal. In this way, any stroke differing from a near perfect stroke will not provide a proper striking of the ball and subsequent straight line of travel.
When the putter is used as a conventional club for normal playing, as illustrated in FIG. 5, the position of the attachment 12 is reversed in the slots l4, l6 and 18 and the bars 24 project into a rearward portion of the putter, away from the hitting face 11 of the putter blade. With this arrangement, the weight and mass characteristics of the putter remain essentially the same as when the putter isused for practice because the attachment 12 is symetrical about the center of percussion and the player will continue to experience the same feel of the club to which he has become accustomed to in practicing when using the club for normal play.
FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate an alternate embodiment of the invention used as a practice device. The attachment takes the form of a pair of members 60 and 62 which generally conform to the shape of the club 64. The members 60 and 62 are positioned at either end of the putter blade so as to form a limited or restricted hitting area on the striking face 65 of the blade. As with the previously described club, the members 60 and 62 are shaped to form the restricted striking area which is symetrical about the center of percussion of the putter. Screws 68 are shown as the means of securing the members 60 and 62; however, it will be appreciated any suitable fastener may be employed.
When the putter is used in a normal manner, the members 60 and 62 are secured to the back of the putter so as to be symetrical with the center of percussion of the club. This position is shown in phantom in FIG. 7. This arrangement of the members also creates a heel-toe weighting characteristic for the putter which is popular among prior art putters.
FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate another alternate form of the invention for use with a mallet head type of putter 80. ln this embodiment, the attachment 82 may take the same essential form as the member 12 shown with respect to the embodiment of FIGS. 1 to 5. The putter 80 is modified in order to provide slots and a pair of holes 84, as shown in the sectional view of FIG. 10, which are adapted to receive the vertical bars 86 of the attach-.
ment 82. In other respects, the structure and use of the putter is the same as the embodiment described above.
FIGS. 10 and 11 show still another embodiment of the invention. A putter includes an attachment in the form of a pair of vertically upstanding bars 102 and 104 which are attached directly to the striking face 106 by suitable fastening means such as screws 108 to form the restricted striking area. The bars 102 and 104 are mounted on the rear of the putter 100, as shown in phantom in FIG. 11, when the club is used for normal golf playing.
It will be appreciated that the invention is not restricted to the particular putter shapes or the attachments shown and described in the invention. Also, the attachments may be secured by a key latch or other fastening means in place of screws. Also, the attachments may be mounted on the face of club head in both the practice and normal configurations as long as the normal configuration complies with United States Golf Association rules.
The invention is not limited to putter type golf clubs and may be equally applicable to conventional iron or wood type golf clubs using the same principles described by the invention.
Therefore, the embodiments shown should not be regarded as limiting the scope of the invention. Various changes and modifications may be made which will fall within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A golf club selectively usable for practicing golf or for playing the game of golf comprising in combination a club head having a ball striking face and said striking face having a center of percussion, a unitary attachment for the club head of predetermined mass having two positions of use on the club head relative to said ball striking face, said attachment including spaced elements which in a first of said two positions of use project forwardly of said ball striking face on opposite sides of said center of percussion to thereby form a restricted practice target area on said ball striking face, said unitary attachment in the second of said two positions of use having said spaced elements disposed away from said striking face so that the entire striking face including the center of percussion is clear and without irregularities and therefore adapted for regular play, the total mass of said attachment and said club head remaining the same in either of said two use positions of the attachment so that the user of the club will experience the identical club feel when practicing or playing golf, and interengaging coupling means on the club head and attachment for securing the attachment to the club head in either of said two use positions.
2. A golf club as defined in claim 1, wherein said club is of the putter type and said unitary attachment comprises a bar-like body portion, and said spaced elements are secured to opposite ends of said body portion and project beyond at least one side thereof.
3. A golf club as defined in claim 2, and said club head having a bottom face and said bottom face being recessed to receive said unitary attachment in either of said two positions of use with the attachment substantially flush with said bottom face.
4. A golf club as defined in claim 3, and the recess in the bottom face of the club head including a longitudinal section'receiving said bar-like body portion and a pair of transverse sections receiving said spaced elements, said transverse recess sections extending through said ball striking face and the rear side of said club head.
5. A golf club as defined in claim 3, and the recess in the bottom face of the club head extending through said ball striking face adjacent the bottom of the club head and having a pair of deep recess portions inwardly of the ball striking face to receive said spaced elements in one of said two use positions of the attachment.
6. A golf club as defined in claim 2, and said spaced elements also projecting beyond a'second side of the bar-like body portion and generally at right angles to the first-named projecting direction of said elements.
leasably in said recess.