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United States Patent m
US005518243A [li] Patent Number: 5,518,243  Date of Patent: May 21,1996
 WOOD-TYPE GOLF CLUB HEAD WITH IMPROVED ADJUSTABLE WEIGHT CONFIGURATION
 Inventor: John T. Redman, Port St. Lucie, Fla.
 Assignee: Zubi Golf Company, Port St. Lucie, Fla.
 Appl. No.: 523,498
 Filed: Sep. 1,1995
Related U.S. Application Data
Primary Examiner—Sebastiano Passaniti Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Quarles & Brady
A wood type golf club having a weight system on the club head including a cavity, weights and a weight distributor therein. The weight distributor includes an array of apertures designed to receive spherical weights positioned in apertures to adjust the center of the mass of the club head in accordance with particular swing characteristics of a golfer using the golf club. The cavity and the weight distributor are located at the lower back of the club head and substantially behind the ball striking face and when attached are oriented in a manner as to give the appearance of a one piece club head and maximize the weight distribution affect relative for the ball striking face. The weight distributor is a one piece unit which provides easy mounting and dismounting of the weight system.
8 Claims, 2 Drawing Sheets
U.S. Patent May 21,1996 Sheet 2 of 2 5,518,243
WOOD-TYPE GOLF CLUB HEAD WITH
IMPROVED ADJUSTABLE WEIGHT
CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED 5
This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 08/377,691, filed on Jan. 25, 1995, now pending.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION 10
The present invention relates to golf clubs and, in particular, to wood-type golf clubs having an improved weight distribution system. The wood-type golf club can be a driver or numbered wood. The wood-type golf club can be made of 15 an aluminum, steel, titanium, graphite, or any other material or combination of materials presently available or developed in the future.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 20
It is well known to individually weight a golf club head in accordance with the specific characteristics of the golfer using the club. Customizing a golf club head by weight is particularly useful due to the wide variety of different shaft 25 materials and flexes available to the golfer. Golf equipment manufacturers have always been extremely limited in custom fitting a golfer with a club or clubs to fit the particular individual. To custom fit a club, manufacturers have few options, including adjusting the length of the club, the size 3Q of the grip, the flex of the shaft, the loft angle and the lie angle.
The most efficient way to fit a club to an individual is to have the proper head weight for that particular individual and for the other club characteristics. Some players may 35 require more weight toward the toe of the club head while other players may require more weight toward the heel of the club head depending on the particular swing characteristics of the individual. Since club heads are mass produced by manufacturers, the weighing of the club heads is always very 40 similar and usually can only be easily adjusted by adding lead tape to the outside of the finished product or by adding lead powder to an internal cavity of the club head. In the case of the lead tape, a golfer is able to add weight to any part of the outside of the club head and in the case of adding lead 45 powder the golfer usually has only one option of where to add the powder. However, in both cases the addition of the extra weight adds weight to the club head which changes the flex of the shaft, the kick point, and the swingweight of the club. With these changes in the overall playability of the 50 club, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to custom fit a golf club to an individual.
There have been many attempts to weight a golf club head in the prior patent art. For example, the Bassin U.S. Pat. No. 3,096,982, shows a golf club which may be adjustably 55 weighted using a plurality of weights which are dispersed in a plurality of pockets to vary the weight of the head. The Beat U.S. Pat. No. 1,543,691, shows a golf club head which uses cylindrical aluminum carriers to hold and position weights within the club head. The Churchwood U.S. Pat. 60 No. 4,085,934, shows a golf club having an impact block located in the club head having a plurality of openings into which rod-shaped weights are slidably inserted in specific positions to adjust the weight of the club head. The Gordas U.S. Pat. No. 4,008,896, shows a weight adjuster assembly 65 that includes an elongated tube disposed in an elongated cavity in the club head that is substantially parallel to the ball
striking surface of the head. The Kobayashi U.S. Pat. No. 4,811,949, shows a hollow space for receiving a weight adjusting member at the outer surface of the sole. The Legh U.S. Pat. No. 863,728, shows a golf club head with a lead weight placed directly behind the ball striking face. The Reach U.S. Pat. No. 2,332,342, shows an adjustable weight distribution system for irons with weights directly behind and as part of the striking face of the irons.
The prior art demonstrates a collective approach to adjustable weight distribution in wood-type club heads in which the weights are arranged near the striking face of the club and oriented horizontally or otherwise secured in an awkward, multi-part construction with cover plates or other securing members.
These designs not only make adjustments difficult and less effective, but also interfere with the ability to retain a hollow area behind the striking face for feel and forgiveness considerations, particularly of importance in wood-type clubs.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a golf club head which may be finely tuned to the shaft to individually fit a golfer whereby the center of gravity and/or sweet spot of the club head may be adjusted to match the golfer's particular swing characteristics, resulting in longer, more accurate golf shots. The present invention contemplates using a weight distributor having a plurality of apertures structured to receive individual weights. The weight distributor of the present invention is located at the back end of the club head, and thereby gains advantage and effect in the distance of the adjustable weights from the striking face of the club and rests in a pre-formed cavity that extends from the sole of the club and forms part of the sole of the club. The weight distributor itself is preferably in the shape of a D and may be removably secured to the club by screws or other fasteners that permit convenient mounting and dismounting. Alternatively, the weight distributor can be in the shape of a horseshoe or any other similar type design.
The weight distributor is constructed to form a cup-like structure that hold weights in their position when held upright. The weight distributor is preferably constructed to have a bottom surface that acts as a sole to provide a stop point for the weights when they are inserted into the apertures of the weight distributor. The apertures may include rubber or other elastic inserts to securely hold the weights against an elastic cushion lining the cavity that the weight distribution engages.
Once removed, the existing weight distribution may be altered to move the bulk of the weight more toward the toe or towards the heel or anywhere in between as well as toward and away from the striking face. This allows the golfer to correctly fit the club head to his swing characteristics without altering the playability of the shaft, or changing the swingweight or overall weight of the club.
Among the objectives of the present invention is the provision of a golf club which may be customized to the swing characteristics of an individual golfer. Another object is the provision of a golf club head in which the club head may be adjustably weighted in a simple and efficient manner. Another object is the provision of a weighted golf club head in which the center of gravity and center of percussion may be adjusted relative to the center of the ball striking face to accommodate swing characteristics of a particular golfer. Another advantage is to maximize the weight distribution