Title:
Golf clubs intended for use in putting
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf club, for example a putter, wherein at least a part of the striking face of the head comprises glass and/or wherein a plurality of shafts are attached to the head of the putter and, at their distal end or ends, to a single grip portion. The putter may improve a golfer's control over the direction in which the ball is propelled and/or the force with which the ball is struck.



Inventors:
Snowdon, Derek Albert (Welwyn Hertfordshire, GB)
Application Number:
11/018988
Publication Date:
05/19/2005
Filing Date:
12/21/2004
Assignee:
SNOWDON DEREK A.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B53/02; A63B53/04; A63B53/06; A63B53/10; A63B53/12; (IPC1-7): A63B53/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HUNTER, ALVIN A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HODGSON RUSS LLP (THE GUARANTY BUILDING 140 PEARL STREET SUITE 100, BUFFALO, NY, 14202-4040, US)
Claims:
1. 1-16. (canceled)

17. A golf club in the form of a putter wherein the entire head is a glass moulding.

18. A putter according to claim 17 wherein the notional extension of the centre line of the grip portion of the shaft passes through a point which lies at least about 2 cm. behind the striking face of the head of the putter.

19. A putter as claimed in claim 17 wherein the centre of mass of the head of the putter lies at least about 2 cm. behind the striking face of the head of the putter.

20. A putter as claimed in claim 17 wherein the centre of mass of the head and the notional extension of the centre line of the grip portion of the shaft lie in, or substantially in, a plane which is parallel to the plane of the striking face of the putter.

21. A putter as claimed in claim 17 wherein the striking face of the head of which lies substantially in the vertical plane when the putter is supported at its point of balance along its shaft.

22. A putter as claimed in claim 17 wherein the head is shaped generally in the form of a T wherein a cross bar of the T provides the striking face of the putter and an arm extends at substantially a right angle from the cross bar.

23. A putter according to claim 22 wherein a shaft extends from the arm and wherein the notional extension of the centre line of the grip portion of the shaft passes through a point which lies at least about 2 cm. behind the striking face of the head of the putter.

24. A putter as claimed in claim 22 wherein the centre of mass of the head of the putter lies at least about 2 cm. behind the striking face of the head of the putter.

25. A putter as claimed in claim 22 wherein a shaft extends from the arm and wherein the centre of mass of the head and the notional extension of the centre line of the grip portion of the shaft lie in, or substantially in, a plane which is parallel to the plane of the striking face of the putter.

26. A putter as claimed in claim 22 wherein a shaft extends from the arm and the striking face of the head of which lies substantially in the vertical plane when the putter is supported at its point of balance along the shaft.

27. A putter as claimed in claim 22 wherein the arm is a laminated structure.

Description:

This invention relates to golf clubs and in particular golf clubs intended for use in putting, hereinafter referred to as putters.

A well known problem in putting is that known colloquially as the yips, which is where the golfer freezes over the ball and has difficulty in commencing the backswing and therefore maintaining a smooth and rhythmic action. One result of this is a tendency to lose control over the direction in which the ball is propelled and/or the force with which the ball is struck.

GB-A-2335149 discloses a golfing putter which comprises a head, fabricated from brass, fixed to a shaft located in a hole, the head having a front surface for striking the golf ball, in which the upper face has a band coloured green to match the colour of green grass disposed along the edge between the upper and front faces. The front surface may also be coloured green. The golf putter helps golfers suffering from the “yips”.

This invention seeks to resolve or reduce this and other putting problems.

According to a first aspect of this invention, there is provided a golf club, such as a putter, wherein at least a part of the striking face of the head comprises glass.

By “glass” is meant herein a substance, usually but not necessarily transparent, lustrous, hard and brittle, made by fusing soda or potash or both with other ingredients and other substances of similar properties or composition.

According to a second aspect of this invention, there is provided a golf club, such as a putter, wherein a plurality of shafts are attached to the head of the putter and, at their distal end or ends, to a sole grip portion or to two grip portions. Preferably there are two shafts attached to the head of the putter although it is possible for somewhat more, for example three shafts, to be so attached. Where there are two shafts they may be attached in one of several configurations at their proximal ends. Thus, the two shafts may be attached to the head of the putter such that, in top plan, the line joining the points of attachment is generally parallel with the striking face. Alternatively, the two shafts may be attached to the head of the putter such that, in top plan, the line joining the points of attachment is generally orthogonal to the striking face. Furthermore, the two shafts may be attached to the head of the putter such that, in top plan, the line joining the points of attachment is neither parallel with, nor orthogonal to, the striking face. The shafts may be distinct each with a grip portion or they may be distinct but restrained together at the single grip portion. Alternatively, there may be a single shaft at the distal end which is bifurcated to provide two shafts as aforesaid at their proximal ends. It is particularly preferred that such a putter is also in accordance with the first aspect of this invention; that is, such a putter wherein at least a part of the striking face comprises glass.

Preferably the putter is one as aforesaid wherein the notional extension of the centre line of the grip portion of the shaft or shafts passes through a point which lies at least about 2 cm behind the striking face of the head of the putter. By the “grip” portion of the shaft or shafts is meant that portion of the shaft or shafts which is gripped by the golfer for the purpose of striking the ball. By the “striking face” of the head is meant the face of the head which is intended to strike the ball.

Preferably, the point through which said notional extension of the centre line of the grip portion of the shaft or shafts lies at least about 3.0 cm, and more preferably at least 3.5 or even 4 cm, behind the striking face. For practical reasons, however, it is unlikely to lie more than about 17 to 20 cm behind the striking face and it will be unusual for it to lie more than 15 cm behind that face.

It is also preferred that the centre of mass of the head of the putter lies at least about 2 cm, more preferably at least about 3.0 cm or even at least about 3.5 cm or even 4 cm, behind the striking face of the head of the putter. It has been found that this can assist in maintaining the plane of the face of the putter at the appropriate angle through the whole of the swing and follow-through of the putter and hence at the moment at which the ball is struck.

This is further assisted if the centre of mass of the head and the notional extension of the centre line of the grip portion of the shaft lie in, or substantially in, a plane which is parallel to the plane of the striking face of the putter.

As noted above, in the first aspect of this invention at least a part of the striking face is, and in the second aspect may be, made of glass. This has been found to improve the “feel” of the strike; that is to say, the reaction felt by the golfer at the moment when the striking face of the head of the putter makes contact with the ball.

The whole or at least a part of the head may be of laminated construction. A laminated construction enables ready attainment of any desired weight of the head and weight distribution within the head, e.g. by building up the head using layers of materials of differing specific gravity. For example, one or more of the layers, including that providing the striking face, may be made of glass and one or more of the other layers may be made from one or more other materials, e.g. wood, metal and/or synthetic material. Various kinds of woods, metals and/or synthetic materials may be used and the composition and kind (e.g toughened or not) of glass may also be varied from layer to layer. Further control of the overall weight of the head and the distribution of weight within the head may be achieved by choice of the thickness of each of the layers.

Alternatively, the head may be moulded from glass, e.g. as a single piece.

In one preferred embodiment, the head may be generally T-shaped in plan view wherein the cross bar provides the striking face and the shaft is, or one of the shafts may be, attached to the other arm. The cross bar may comprise a glass block or a laminate wherein the striking face is glass and the layers are arranged parallel to and behind the striking face. The other arm may comprise a laminate including one or more layers of glass between a pair of metal, e.g. steel plates, with the layers of the laminate extending generally at right angles to the plane of the striking face. Optionally the head may be provided with a sole plate, e.g. of metal, e.g. steel. On the other hand, the underside of the head may be formed with a slight curvature which is essentially symmetrical about the other arm. This has been found to facilitate use of the putter by players of differing height and/or differing length of arm.

The glass employed for the striking face and/or any other part of the head of the putter may be of any desired composition and may have been subjected to any suitable heat treatment, e.g for toughening. The glass may also contain one or more fillers, if desired, e.g for reinforcement and/or for further adjustment of the overall weight and balance of the head. Particulate and fibrous fillers may be used.

The invention will now be described in greater detail with reference to a preferred embodiment and with the aid of the accompanying drawings in which FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 are, respectively a front elevation, plan view and side elevation of a putter according to the invention. The drawings are not to scale; in particular the size of the head is exaggerated.

Referring to the drawings, the putter 2 comprises a head 4 attached to a shaft 6 having a grip portion 8. As best seen in FIG. 2, the head is generally T-shaped in plan view. The cross bar of the “T” comprises a first glass plate 10 which provides the striking face 12. To the centre of the back of the plate 10, and extending rearwards from and at right angles to said plate, is bonded a block 14 in the form of a laminate comprising a plurality of glass plates 16 (three are shown in the illustrated embodiment but more or less may be used) sandwiched between a pair of steel plates 18. To the lower face of the “T” is bonded a sole plate in the form of a trapezium—shaped steel plate 20. However, this sole plate can be omitted if desired.

The shaft 6 is attached to the head approximately immediately over the centre of mass 22 of the head, which in the illustrated embodiment lies about 6 cm behind the striking face of the club. The notional extension 24 of the centre line of the grip portion 26 of the shaft, shown as a broken line in FIG. 3, also lies about 6 cm behind the striking face of the head of the club and in the same vertical plane as the centre of mass 22. The arrangement is such that when the shaft is supported at the centre of balance of the club, the striking face 12 lies substantially in the vertical plane.

According to another aspect of the invention there is provided a putter wherein at least a part of the striking face of the head comprises a transparent or translucent glass. The transparency or translucency enables the golfer to confirm, for example, that the material behind the striking face is free from flaws such as bubbles or other imperfections which might cause a variation in its performance. The entire striking face may be of glass or the face may include an insert made of glass. If desired, the entire head may be made of glass and may be of laminated construction or a single piece moulding.