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Title:
Golf swing perfector
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A golf swing perfecter having, as a head end, a heavy conventional golf iron head and includes a hollow metal shaft that is bent oppositely, at spaced apart points therealong, to off-set outwardly a lower shaft section whereto the golf iron head is mounted. An upper shaft section is fitted with a grip that is formed from a flexible rubber like material and includes contoured depressions that are to accommodate a golfer's fingers closed therearound and has first and second elevated portions that are for fitting in the V areas between the golfer's thumb and forefinger, with the grip for exactly positioning the golfers hands relative to the hollow shaft and iron head.


Inventors:
Matzie, Kenneth W. (Indio, CA, US)
Application Number:
09/808971
Publication Date:
09/19/2002
Filing Date:
03/16/2001
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/219, 473/300, 473/204
International Classes:
A63B53/14; A63B69/36; A63B15/00; A63B49/08; A63B53/00; (IPC1-7): A63B69/36; A63B53/14
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Reid, Russell M. (Suite 277, Salt Lake City, UT, 84124, US)
Claims:

I claim



1. A golf swing perfecter comprising, a grip contoured for receiving and accommodating a golfer's hands closed therearound that is mounted onto an upper end of a hollow shaft; a hollow shaft whereto said grip is fitted having an upper section that is substantially straight and a lower portion that is off-set to said upper portion by two equal spaced apart bends, a first bend above followed by a second spaced apart bend below the shaft axis, off-setting said hollow shaft lower section from said hollow shaft upper section, and said hollow shaft upper and lower sections are straight and are parallel to one another; and a head end for attachment to a lower end of said hollow shaft lower section that is a conventional large iron golf head having a shank for conventional mounting to said hollow shaft lower section end.

2. The golf swing perfecter as recited in claim 1, wherein the grip is arranged for telescope mounting over the shaft upper portion end, and includes a plurality of finger-receiving grooves and a pair of spaced first and second raised portions extending outwardly, a first of which said raised portions extends outwardly from said grip in substantially the same direction as the as the head and said second raised portion is spaced therefrom and rotated from said first raised portion, and which said first and second raised portions have converging lateral sides that are to accommodate the sides of a persons thumb and forefinger positioned therealong, and are for positioned the golfer's hands relative to said hollow shaft and head.

3. The golf swing perfecter as recited in claim 1, wherein the off-set distance between said upper and lower straight section is approximately two and one half (2½) inches plus or minus one-quarter (¼) on an inch.

4. The golf swing perfecter as recited in claim 1, wherein the spacing distance between the first and second bends is approximately nine and one half (½) inches, plus or minus one-quarter (¼) on an inches, and the first and second bend angles are approximately twelve (12) degrees, plus or minus two (2) degrees, above and below, respectively, the axis of the shaft upper portion, providing a shaft effective length of approximately thirty-six and one half (36½) inches.

5. The golf swing perfecter as recited in claim 1, where the head is a conventional large iron club head having a weight of approximately nine point five (9.5) ounces.

6. The golf swing perfecter as recited in claim 5, wherein the golf club head is a number seven (7) iron.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of The Invention

[0002] This invention pertains to golf training devices, and more particularly to a golf swing training device whose use will train a golfer to execute an optimum golf club swing that has a desired extension, release and follow through.

[0003] 2. Prior Art

[0004] The present invention is in an improved golf swing trainer from an earlier golf swing trainer of Olsen, U.S. Pat. No. 4,511,147, that is a golf swing trainer having a weighted head. The trainer of the Olsen '147 patent provides a device that a golfer, by swinging the trainer a number of times daily, will imprint, on their mind a desirable golf swing with, with the golfer relaxed, and swings loosely, they will imprint a proper golf swing on their mind and body having the ideal upper body rotation and weight transfer as the swing progresses from a high arc to follow-through. While such trainer is a very effective tool for training a proper golf club swing, does not provide the golfer with the experience of hitting a golf ball as part of their execution of a proper golf swing. The present invention remedies this omission by a substitution of a large club head, preferably a large iron having an open face.

[0005] In training with the invention, the golfer not only conditions their mind and body to perform an optimum golf swing, they also learn to control that swing so as to properly strike a golf ball and see the results of that perfect swing. By learning to control their swing, the invention teaches the golfer to strike a golf ball so as to produce a low or high ball angle of flight, to impart side spin or rotation to the ball to curve its flight path, and the effect of not striking under the ball, or topping the ball. The golf swing perfecter of the invention thereby provides a golfer with a training device for not only conditioning their mind and body to execute the actions as are required to produce an optimum golf swing, it further conditions the golfer by their striking an actual golf ball, to control that “perfect” golf swing to make a “perfect” shot.

[0006] Like the Olsen '147 patent, the invention includes a golf club grip for properly positioning their hand around the grip, and also utilizes a club shaft, that is bent at like angles to the golf club shaft of the '147 patent, and performs the same function of displacing the club head weight away from the golf swing center line.

[0007] While the golf swing perfecter of the invention can be used alone, it is preferred to that in be used sequentially with and after training with the trainer of Olsen '147, with the golfer applying their learned golf swing to hitting a golf ball as a further refinement of their over all game.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] It is a principal object of the present invention in a golf swing perfecter to provide a training device where the golfer applies their learned golf club swinging skills to actually hitting a golf ball, improving their game play.

[0009] Another object of the present invention in a golf swing perfecter is to provide a golf swing training device that can be used alone or in combination with the trainer of the Olsen '147 patent to condition a user, exercising with the device only a few minutes a day, to swing a club so as to have a swing that will meet a golf ball at an optimal attitude and propel the ball to where the golfer has aimed it.

[0010] Another object of the present invention in a golf swing perfecter is to provide a trainer that is used to train a golfer's swing by a proper hand positioning and weighted club head off-set to the club shaft, that provides a dynamic interaction where the individual actions or elements as make up a desirable golf swing are trained into the golfer, and includes a controlled striking of a golf ball with the trainer head for the golfer to practice controlling their swing by simulating the different shots as make up a golf game.

[0011] Still another object of the present invention in a golf swing perfecter is to provide, by a golfer swinging the trainer as they would a standard golf club, a dynamic training of the golfer's swing starting with: proper hand placement on the club grip, club extension at the top of their swing and with their weight on their back foot; release, as the club face travels to engage the swing perfecter head with a golf ball, with the weight shifting so as to be evenly distributed; follow-through as the club is swung past where the ball was and with the weight shifting to their forward foot; and with the flight of the golf ball observed by the golfer who will then appropriately adjust their swing to propel the ball a desired distance and direction.

[0012] Still another object of the present invention in a golf swing perfecter is to provide a golf swing training device that is easy and entertaining to use, and enables a golfer to develop a desirable golf club swing and to train that golfer to control that swing by hitting a golf ball, with the golfer utilizing the observed flight of which golf ball to adjust their swing so as to learn to strike the ball at an optimum point of the club head face and at a desired speed to drive the ball a desired direction and distance.

[0013] In accordance with the above objects, the present invention provides a golf swing training device that, like a conventional golf club, includes a hand grip fitted onto one the end of a shaft that ends in a head, that is preferably a heavy iron golf club head. The shaft is bent at spaced intervals to off-set a lower end thereof from the axis of the shaft upper portion, and which shaft lower end has a golf club end that is preferably an over size iron having an open face, such as a seven (7) iron weighing from seventeen (17) to seventeen point five (17.5) ounces. The hand grip fitted is onto the shaft upper end and is contoured to have finger grooves and thumb supports built therein to accommodate and properly position a golfer's hand closed therearound. The spaced shaft bends are at like complementary angles to bend the lower shaft out from the axis of the shaft upper portion and then back to a parallel attitude with the axis of the shaft upper portion. The bends are spaced apart a distance to provide a direct off-set of the club head end from what would be the axis of a conventional golf club, also known as the golf club effective center line.

[0014] Thereby, with a golfer gripping the device grip end and performing a golf swing, the off-set head provides a castering effect at a point in the golf swing where the club head has swung through the bottom of the swing and just below where the head would contact a golf ball, providing an accentuation to the left and right side extension of the golfer's body and a rolling action of the golfer's hands, one over the other, known as the “release” point. With the perfecter, a golfer both trains their body and mind to perform an optimum golf swing and culminates that swing by hitting a standard golf ball, wiffle ball, or the like, and observes the flight of which ball to, in practice, adjust that swing to strike the ball at a location on the club face and with appropriate force to where the ball will travels to a desired location.

[0015] Still other benefits and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art to which it pertains upon a reading and understanding of the following detailed specification.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] The invention may take physical form in certain parts and arrangement of parts, and a preferred embodiment of which will be described in detail in this specification and is illustrated in the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof:

[0017] FIG. 1 is a frontal view of a golf swing perfecter of the invention;

[0018] FIG. 2 is a frontal view of the golf swing perfecter lower portion showing off-set bends and with angles and distances identified by letters;

[0019] FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of the golf swing perfecter grip;

[0020] FIG. 4 is a rear elevation view of the golf swing perfecter grip;

[0021] FIG. 5 shows a golfer swinging the golf swing perfecter that is at the bottom of the golfer's swing, with the head shown at a point that is just below a golf ball whose edge is shown just above the perfecter head, wherefrom the swing will progress with the head to strike the ball on an upward line, beginning the release;

[0022] FIG. 6 shows a top plan view sectional view of FIG. 5 showing the club head face striking, at the center thereof, the golf ball of FIG. 5, and showing, in broken lines, the ball being struck near the shank of the club head and near the club head face outer end; and

[0023] FIG. 7 shows a top plan view of the golfer driving the ball different distances as by swinging the golf swing perfecter at different speeds.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0024] A golf swing involves moving a head of a golf club, either an iron or wood, into contact with a golf ball, with club head then traveling up from where the ball was, as a follow through. In a proper swing, the club head will move from an apogee point at the top of the golfer's swing, through a uniform arc to a perigee point that is slightly below and behind the bottom of the golf ball. The head continues to move upwardly into engagement with the ball, to optimally strike the ball at the club head “sweet spot” that is approximately the club head center of mass. The ball will then travel upwardly and outwardly in an arc, with the height of the ball flight determined by the force applied to the ball through the club head, and by the slope of the club face. With the distance the ball travels depending upon the vertical height that the ball obtains and the force applied by the club head striking the ball. The cited Olsen '147 patent provides a tool for teaching an optimal golf swing. Whereas, the golf swing perfecter, in addition to functioning a swing training device, further provides for training a golfer to control that optimum swing so as to optimally strike a golf ball such that the golf ball will travel to where the golfer aims it.

[0025] As set out above, the invention in a golf swing perfecter is useful as an adjunct to training with the trainer of the Olsen '147 patent, or can itself function as a golf swing trainer and also provides for teaching the golfer to control their swing so as to properly hit a golf ball, utilizing that learned swing.

[0026] Like the Olsen '147 patent, the golf swing perfecter 10, shown in FIG. 1, includes a contoured hand grip 11 that is fitted onto a top end of a hollow bent shaft 12 and, unique to the invention, includes an oversize golf club head 13 that is fitted onto the bent shaft 12 lower end. Shown best in FIGS. 3 and 4, like the Olsen '147 patent, the golf swing perfecter hand grip 11 is arranged with appropriate ridges and depressions to receive and properly position a golfer's hands closed therearound. With the preferred grip, the golfer, in swinging the perfecter 10, experiences minimal muscle tension and maximum muscle interaction such that they can develop a proper second lever rotation as their hands rotate over one another in the swing follow-through. To provide for hand positioning and finger gripping, for example, for a right handed golfer, the grip 11, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, includes a top V-shaped section 14 that a right handed golfer aligns the junction of their left hand between their thumb and forefinger with. The golfer rests their forefinger in groove 15, and fits their middle to little finger in grooves 15a, 15b and 15c, respectively. The golfers right hand is positioned below their left hand with a grip lower V-shaped section 18 receiving the golfer's right hand, fitted thereto, with the V end fitting into the area of the right hand between the thumb and forefinger. The golfer then positions their thumb on a downwardly sloping section 16, and their forefinger fitted into groove 17, fits their right hand middle fingers into grooves 17a and 17b, such that their little finger overlaps the index and middle fingers of their left hand. The V shaped section 14 is substantially in the line of the shaft 12. In practice, the golfer wraps his fingers around the grip 11, and fits their fingers and thumbs in the grooves and to the V-shaped sections, as described above, and is thereby provided with a comfortable and correct positioning of their hands to the grip 11. The proper grip provides a minimum muscle tension and allows the golfer to develop a maximum second lever release velocity as they swing the perfecter 10 through and beyond an area where a golf ball is located, as discussed later herein.

[0027] Also, like the trainer of the Olsen '147, the golf swing perfecter 10 of the invention includes a bent shaft 12, as shown best in FIG. 2, that has upper and lower bends 12a and 12b, respectively, formed therein. The angles of bends 12a and 12b are identified as E and F, and are preferably the same angle. One bend is formed above the other bend that is formed below the plane of the shaft 12. So arranged, the upper and lower portions of the shaft 12 are off-set from one another a distance C. Which distance is taken from the shaft end to a club effective center line. Preferably the length A of the shaft 12, taking into account the bends 12a and 12b, will be approximately that of a conventional golf club, and the length D of the shaft section between the bends will be such as to provide the desired off-set, shown as distance C. The distance B from the bend 12b to the shaft end, that is fitted within a neck 20 of the club head 13, is selected to provide a visual reference to the golfer to simulate a straight shaft golf club. In practice, a distance of two and one half (2½) inches is preferred as distance C, Providing an off-set from the club shaft effective center line. For the preferred off-set a length of thirty six and one half (36½) inches is selected for length A, plus or minus one quarter (¼) inch. The angles at 12a and 12b, identified as E and F, are preferably each twelve (12) degrees, plus or minus two (2) degrees, and a distance of nine and one quarter (9¼) inches, plus or minus one quarter (¼) inch, is selected as the preferred distance between which bends 12a and 12b, identified as D. So arranged, the desired two and one half (2½) inch off-set is obtained, that, in conjunction with the arrangement of head 13, as set out herein below, will induce a properly timed release action, or second lever hand rotation, for training the release aspect of the golfer's swing.

[0028] The club head of the Olsen '147 patent is intended to provide a weighted club end presenting a minimum air resistance during swinging, and is not intended for use in actually striking a golf ball. Accordingly, the Olsen head is formed from a section of round bar stock, that is preferably iron or steel, and is bent to approximate the general shape of an “iron”, is open across its center and is preferably coated with a plastic material. The Olsen head is formed such that its weight or mass is centered further from the shaft connection than would be the weight or mass of a conventional club head, and is significantly heavier than such conventional club head, either a wood or an iron. In practice, the Olsen head weighs approximately thirteen (13) ounces, plus or minus one (1) ounce. The weight of which Olsen head and its distribution to produces a required torquing action to train the golfer, who swings the trainer, to perform the desired second lever effect portion of a preferred golf swing. Further, to provide a moment arm arrangement at the head end so as to encourage head rotation during release, the open head of the Olsen '147 patent is elevated at a toe end. The toe end thereby provides a moment arm above the horizontal from that of a conventional club head, to encourage the described head rotation during release.

[0029] The trainer of the Olsen '147 patent, with its greater head weight than that of a conventional golf club, and its off-set from the club shaft axis, and with the greater shaft length, provides, when swung, a castering effect, with the right wrist rolling over the left. Also, the swing includes an accentuated extension and compression of the sides of the golfer's body, as the club head is swung through a full arc of travel. With, during follow-through, the weight of the trainer head tends to hold the swing longer in the line of the ball flight, causing the swing to finish high, with such a finish commonly known as a “Ben Hogan” finish.

[0030] In practice, the trainer of the Olsen '147 patent, is swung by a golfer for fifteen to twenty minutes a day to develop the desired golf swing. With such regular use, any golfer can improve their swing. However, the Olsen trainer fails to teach a coordination of the improved swing with actually hitting a golf ball.

[0031] The invention recognizes a need to apply the improved golf swing to actually hitting a golf ball, and to this end, the golf swing perfecter was developed that is preferably for use as an additional golf swing training tool for use with the Olsen trainer. Through, it should be understood, the golf swing perfecter 10 of the invention can be used alone, with a golfer swinging it in the same matter as the trainer of the Olsen '147 patent. The head 13 of the perfecter 10, as shown best in FIG., is preferably a large iron having a weight of approximately nine point five (9.5) ounces, and its center of mass is closer to the shaft 12 lower end than is the center of mass of the head end of the trainer of the Olsen '147 patent. While the golf swing perfecter 10 can be used alone, it is preferred that it be used in conjunction with training with the trainer of the Olsen '147 patent.

[0032] The golf swing perfecter 10, shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 5 through 7, includes the head 13 that has a body 19 with a shank or stem 20 that is for mounting onto a club shaft end. The body 19 essentially has the shape of a standard large iron, and a seven (7) iron has been used in practice as the perfecter head. Which large seven (7) iron has a high or elevated toe end 21 that is like the shape of the head of the trainer of the Olsen '147 patent and, accordingly, provides for an outward weight mass concentration encouraging head rotation during release. With the weight distribution of the body 19 between the shank 20 and toe 21 providing a club head center of mass that is the club “sweet spot”, illustrated as a broken circle at 22 in FIG. 2. The center of mass, or “sweet spot” being the location where the head face should optimally strike the center of a golf ball, to drive the ball. Which center of mass or “sweet spot” 22 is approximately centered between a point 20a of the outer edge of the shank 20 and the outer point 21a on the toe edge of the body 19. The points 20a and 21a are aligned with a line therebetween being parallel to, and approximately one half (½) inch from, a head 19 bottom edge 19a. It being the object, both in practice with the golf swing perfecter 10 and in play with conventional golf club, to impact a golf ball at the “sweet spot” on a club face.

[0033] In practice with the golf swing perfecter 10, as shown in FIG. 5, a golfer 24, performs the learned club swing to guide the perfecter head 13 to a perigee point in the swing that is just below a golf ball 25. Continuing the swing, the club will be on an upward path as it strikes the golf ball, with the ball being contacted by the club head face at the head 13 face center of mass 22, or “sweet spot”, as shown in broken lines in FIG. 2. The head 13 then moves through the ball, the golfer's body shifting from one side to the other as the club travel through a full arc of travel, finishing high. In practice with the golf swing perfecter 10, the golfer 24 is conditioned to control their swing to reach the swing perigee just before the ball and to optimally contact the ball with the head 13 face center of mass 22. As shown in FIG. 6, where the face of the head 13 strikes the golf ball 25 at the center of mass 22, the ball will be propelled at a right angle off of the head face, following an optimum flight path 26. However, should head make contact with the golf ball at a point towards the head shank 20, illustrated as broken line golf ball 25a, the flight path will be angled to the left, shown as broken line path 26a. Or, should the head contact the golf ball towards the head toe end 21, illustrated as broken line golf ball 25b, the flight path will be angled to the right, shown as broken line path 26b. Accordingly, less than optimum contact of the head 13 face with golf ball 25 will be noted by the golfer 24, who with continued practice, will re-condition their swing to regularly optimally strike golf ball 25.

[0034] As with training the golf swing to optimally strike a golf ball, that swing also needs to be controlled to strike the golf ball with a force that is appropriate to drive the ball a desired distance, as illustrated in FIG. 7. FIG. 7 shows the golfer 24 swinging the golf swing perfecter 10 at different velocities or speeds, identified as Va, Vb, and Vc, to drive the golf ball 25 successively greater distances 27a, 27b and 27c, by their controlling the speed of their golf swing.

[0035] Accordingly, with the regular use of the golf swing perfecter 10, either alone or in conjunction with the trainer of the Olsen '147 patent, the golfer conditions their body to produce the described optimum golf swing, and with continued practice with the golf swing perfecter 10, by hitting golf balls 25, the golfer 24 trains their swing to control both the direction and distance of the flight of golf ball 25.

[0036] A preferred embodiment of a golf swing perfecter of the invention has been shown and described above. It will, however, be apparent to one knowledgeable or skilled in the art that the above described embodiment may incorporate changes and modifications thereto without departing from the general scope of this invention. Which invention therefore is intended to include all such modifications and alterations in so far as they come within the scope of the appended claims and/or a reasonable equivalence thereof.