This application claims the priority of and incorporates by reference Provisional Application No. 60/477,058 filed Jun. 10, 2003.
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates generally to a strike indicator for a golf club face, and more particularly to self-sticking pad for indicating the strike accuracy of a golfer.
 2. Related Art
 When playing golf, it is important to swing a golf club in a fashion which provides for maximum control over the direction and distance that the golf ball travels upon impact with the golf club. Several elements enter into a golfer's swinging techniques, such as stance, grip, backswing, down-swing, pivoting of the body, shifting of the body weight and location of impact of the golf club face against the golf ball. The lattermost element is extremely important because the shape, weight and balance of the head of a golf club is not uniform throughout the area which may potentially strike the golf ball. The most desirable area of the golf club face to strike the ball is known as the “sweet spot.” The distance of impact from the sweet spot will affect the direction and distance that the golf ball will travel.
 In order to determine the location of impact of a golf ball on a golf club face, golfers have generally relied upon observation of the flight of the golf ball after impact and upon the tactile sensation felt in the golfer's hands and forearms to generate a subjective impression. This method is extremely inaccurate and does not provide the golfer with sufficient information concerning the location of impact to allow him to adjust his swing to compensate for flaws in a previous swing.
 Golfers have also examined the faces of their clubs after impact for some indication of the location of impact, such as dirt particles or grass stains which may have been transferred from the golf ball to the club face upon impact. This method is also unreliable since such dirt and grass markings are usually not made on golf clubs and when they are made, it is difficult to distinguish one marking from another.
 These and other objects are solved by a strike indicator in accordance with the present invention. The strike indicator includes an energy absorbing material and an adhesive backing attached to the energy absorbing material. The energy absorbing material and the backing have at least one edge for demarking the area of the sweet spot when the indicator is attached to the face of the golf club so that there will be a noticeable absorption of energy when a golf ball impacts the energy absorbing material. The indicator can be in the form of a self-sticking pad.
 Generally, the golf club face has desirable and undesirable striking areas. Positive striking areas provide the most beneficial ball strike and include the “sweet spot” as the optimum strike position. On the other hand, desirable strike areas provide less advantageous results and can include areas removed from the sweet spot, such as the toe and heel.
 The indicator can be sized and positioned such that energy is absorbed only when the golf ball strikes either a desirable striking area or an undesirable striking area.
 The indicator can absorb energy to affect one or more of the following characteristics: the flight of the ball; the tactile sensation of the golfer; or the sound of the golf ball striking the club head.
 According to an exemplary embodiment, the indicator can define an opening that is centered on the sweet spot when the indicator is applied to the club face. This would provide positive feedback for an optimum strike. Alternatively, a circular shaped indicator, for example, can be placed on the sweet spot to provide negative feedback. A further embodiment can include an indicator in the form of strips placed in the appropriate areas of the club face, for example the heel or toe of the club face, to provide positive or negative feedback.
 A removable sheet protecting the adhesive backing prior to affixing the adhesive backing to the club face can be provided.
 Further features and advantages of the invention, as well as the structure and operation of various embodiments of the invention, are described in detail below with reference to the accompanying drawings.
 The foregoing and other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following, more particular description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numbers generally indicate identical, functionally similar, and/or structurally similar elements.
 A preferred embodiment of the invention is discussed in detail below. While specific exemplary embodiments are discussed, it should be understood that this is done for illustration purposes only. A person skilled in the relevant art will recognize that other components and configurations can be used without parting from the spirit and scope of the invention.
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 The energy absorber can be cork. However, other materials can be used. For example, foam, plastic, felt or any material that can provide “noticeable absorption” of energy during the golf ball strike can be used. By “noticeable absorption,” it is meant that the sound of the impact of the golf ball on the region of the club face containing the indicator material is clearly different from the sound of the impact on that portion of the club face not containing the indicator material. Similarly, the tactile feel transmitted through the shaft of the club to the hands of the golfer is clearly different when the ball impacts the region of the club face containing the indicator material relative to the tactile feel when the impact is on the portion of the club face not containing the indicator material. Further, the flight of the ball can also be affected by the indicator material.
 Although the indicator can be used on any type of club face, the indicator is particularly effective for putting and chipping. Because the impact of the ball on the club face during putting and chipping is less than other types of golf shots, the noticeable absorption of energy by the indicator is more easily noticed by the golfer during putting and chipping.
 The indicator should preferably be durable enough to withstand multiple strikes while adhering to the club face. However, the golfer should be able to remove the indicator easily after use without defacing the club face or leaving any adhesive residue. Although
 While various embodiments of the present invention have been described above, it should be understood that they have been presented by way of example only, and not limitation. Thus, the breadth and scope of the present invention should not be limited by any of the above-described exemplary embodiments, but should instead be defined only in accordance with the following claims and their equivalents.