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Title:
Self-sticking pad for a golf club
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A strike indicator for a golf club with a face with a sweet spot that is a most desirable area on the face for impacting a golf ball is provided. The 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.


Inventors:
David, Tom (Nantucket, MA, US)
Application Number:
10/862539
Publication Date:
12/16/2004
Filing Date:
06/08/2004
Assignee:
Tom David, Inc. (Nantucket, MA)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/242, 473/237
International Classes:
A63B53/04; A63B69/36; (IPC1-7): A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VENABLE, BAETJER, HOWARD AND CIVILETTI, LLP (P.O. BOX 34385, WASHINGTON, DC, 20043-9998, US)
Claims:
1. A strike indicator for a golf club, the club having a face with a sweet spot that is a most desirable area on the face for impacting a golf ball, the indicator comprising: an energy absorbing material; and an adhesive backing attached to the energy absorbing material; wherein 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.

2. The strike indicator of claim 1, wherein the at least one edge demarks the area of the sweet spot such that the energy absorbing material covers the sweet spot when the indicator is attached to the face of the golf club.

3. The strike indicator of claim 1, wherein the at least one edge demarks the area of the sweet spot such that the energy absorbing material does not cover the sweet spot when the indicator is attached to the face of the golf club.

4. The strike indicator of claim 1, wherein the energy absorbing material and the backing form at least one strip.

5. The strike indicator of claim 4, wherein the energy absorbing material and the backing form two strips.

6. The strike indicator of claim 1, wherein the at least one edge defines a hole with a diameter that approximates the diameter of the golf ball.

7. The strike indicator of claim 1, wherein the at least one edge is an outer circular edge with a diameter that approximates the diameter of the golf ball.

8. The strike indicator of claim 1, further comprising a removable sheet protecting the adhesive backing prior to affixing the adhesive backing to the face of the golf club.

9. The strike indicator of claim 1, wherein the energy absorbing material includes cork.

10. The strike indicator of claim 1, wherein the energy absorbing material includes foam.

11. The strike indicator of claim 1, wherein the energy absorbing material includes felt.

12. A strike indicator for a golf club, the club having a face with at least one desirable area on the face for impacting a golf ball, the indicator comprising: an energy absorbing material; and an adhesive backing attached to the energy absorbing material; wherein the energy absorbing material and the backing have at least one edge for demarking the at least one desirable area 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.

13. The strike indicator of claim 12, wherein the club face has a heel and a toe, and the at least one desirable area is between the heel and the toe.

14. A method of manufacturing a strike indicator for a golf club, the club having a face with at least one desirable area on the face for impacting a golf ball, the method comprising: attaching an energy absorbing material to an adhesive backing; and defining at least one edge of the energy absorbing material and the adhesive backing for demarking the at least one desirable area when the indicator is attached to the face of the golf club so that there will be a noticeable absorption of energy when the golf ball impacts the energy absorbing material.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the defining step includes forming the energy absorbing material and the adhesive backing into at least two strips.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the priority of and incorporates by reference Provisional Application No. 60/477,058 filed Jun. 10, 2003.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] 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.

[0004] 2. Related Art

[0005] 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.

[0006] 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.

[0007] 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.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] 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.

[0009] 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.

[0010] 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.

[0011] 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.

[0012] 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.

[0013] A removable sheet protecting the adhesive backing prior to affixing the adhesive backing to the club face can be provided.

[0014] 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.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] 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.

[0016] FIG. 1 depicts an exemplary embodiment of the self-sticking pad according to the present invention.

[0017] FIG. 2 depicts another exemplary embodiment of the self-sticking pad according to the present invention.

[0018] FIG. 3 depicts another exemplary embodiment of the self-sticking pad according to the present invention.

[0019] FIG. 4 depicts a side view of the self-sticking pad shown in FIGS. 1-3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

[0020] 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.

[0021] Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a golf club head 1, which includes a club face 2 and lands 3 on the club face 2. A strike indicator 4 in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention is affixed to the club face 2, preferably with adhesive.

[0022] The indicator 4 can be sized and positioned to provide positive or negative feedback to a practicing golfer. As shown in FIG. 1, the indicator 4 can define a hole 5 to provide positive feedback when the golf ball strikes directly on the club face 2 anywhere in the region of hole 5. When the golf ball strikes club face 2 in the hole 5, no energy is absorbed by the indicator and the tactile sensation, flight of ball, and sound of impact are pure. Conversely, when the golf ball strikes the indicator 4, the tactile sensation and sound are deadened to some extent and the flight of the ball is noticeably affected. By adjusting the various factors associated with a golfer's swing, the golfer can maximize the incidents of the optimum swing by practicing with the instant feedback provided by the indicator.

[0023] Referring to FIG. 2, there is shown another exemplary embodiment that provides negative feedback for an optimum swing instead of positive feedback. In this embodiment, indicator 6 is placed approximately over the sweet spot of the club face.

[0024] Referring to FIG. 3, there is shown a further exemplary embodiment, wherein one indicator 10 is placed on the toe of the club face 2 and another indicator 11 is placed on the heel of the club face 2. Generally, the heel and toe of a club face provide a less than optimum golf ball striking position on the club face. The indicators 10, 11 will provide instant feedback to golfer as to whether the golfer strikes the ball on either the heel or toe of the club face 2. Of course, other sizes and shape of the indicator can be provided. For example, the indicator can be in the form of stripes to be placed on the appropriate areas of the club face.

[0025] As shown in FIG. 4, the indicator can include an adhesive backing 7 and an energy absorber 8. Optionally, the indicator can include a removable sheet to protect the adhesive backing from contamination prior to application on the club face. In a further embodiment, liquid adhesive can be applied directly to the energy absorber 8.

[0026] 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.

[0027] 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.

[0028] 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 FIGS. 1-3 depict the indicator on a driver or wood type of golf club, the indicator is also suitable for other types of golf clubs, such as, for example, irons, wedges and putters.

[0029] 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.