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Title:
Mini-face blade putter with variable weighting
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A golf putter head (10, 110) having an elongate flat blade (16, 116) for contacting a golf ball. The elongate flat blade (16, 116) is of narrow thickness. The putter head (10, 110) has a contact area between the blade (16, 116) and a golf ball which is linear, and of narrow width. The contact area on the golf ball is horizontal in orientation and usually spans a dimple diameter. The golf putter head (10, 110) has small and large weight inserts (17A, 17B, 117B) which can be secured in slots (24, 25) on the bottom of the blade (16, 116) to allow for various weighting configurations.


Inventors:
Johnson, Lanny L. (Okemos, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/050062
Publication Date:
06/16/2005
Filing Date:
02/03/2005
Assignee:
JOHNSON LANNY L.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B53/04; A63B53/06; A63B53/02; (IPC1-7): A63B53/04
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ian C. McLeod;McLead & Moyne, P.C. (2190 Commons Parkway, Okemos, MI, 48864, US)
Claims:
1. A golf putter head comprising an elongate flat blade with a width defined between a front edge used for striking a golf ball in an essentially linear contact area horizontal to the ground and an opposed back edge, a length defined between a toe edge extending from the front edge to the back edge of the blade and an opposed heel edge, and a thickness defined between a top side bordered by the edges and an opposed bottom side, the top side of the blade having an opening into which a shaft can be affixed and the bottom side having two or more slots extending along the width of the blade adapted to receive weight inserts.

2. The putter head of claim 1 wherein the blade further comprises projections in the top side of the blade bordered by ledges which protrude along the width of the blade.

3. The putter head of claim 2 having a toe projection disposed towards the toe edge and a heel projection disposed towards a heel edge of the putter head.

4. The putter head of claim 3 wherein the ledge of the toe projection protrudes from the top side of the blade near an intersection of the toe edge and the front edge and extends to the back edge of the blade, and the heel projection protrudes from the top side of the blade near an intersection of the heel edge and the front edge and extends to the back edge of the blade.

5. The putter head of claim 3 wherein the toe projection and the heel projection on the top side of the blade are essentially rectangular and extend along the width of the blade.

6. The putter head of claim 1 wherein the toe end and heel end are convexly curved outward from front edge to back edge.

7. The putter head of claim 1 wherein the front edge is sharp, pointed, flat, or curved from the top side to the bottom side of the blade.

8. The putter head of claim 7 wherein the front edge is curved with a radius of curvature less than a radius of the golf ball.

9. The putter head of claim 1 wherein the thickness of the front edge of the blade is less than about 0.25 inch (6.4 mm).

10. A golf putter head comprising: (a) an elongate flat blade with a width defined between a front edge used for striking a golf ball in an essentially linear contact area horizontal to the ground and an opposed back edge, a length defined between a toe edge extending from the front edge to the back edge of the blade and an opposed heel edge, and a thickness defined between a top side bordered by the edges and an opposed bottom side, the top side of the blade having an opening into which a shaft can be affixed and the bottom side having two or more slots extending along the width of the blade; and (b) two or more weight inserts, each weight insert removably secured in one of the slots so as to engage the slot by one or more fastening means attached in holes in the slots in the bottom side, of the blade, wherein the weight inserts provide the putter head various weighting configurations.

11. The putter head of claim 10 wherein the blade further comprises projections in the top side of the blade bordered by ledges which protrude along the width of the blade.

12. The putter head of claim 11 having a toe projection disposed towards the toe edge and a heel projection disposed towards a heel edge of the putter head.

13. The putter head of claim 12 wherein the ledge of the toe projection protrudes from the top side of the blade near an intersection of the toe edge and the front edge and extends to the back edge of the blade, and the heel projection protrudes from the top side of the blade near an intersection of the heel edge and the front edge and extends to the back edge of the blade.

14. The putter head of claim 12 wherein the toe projection and the heel projection on the top side of the blade are essentially rectangular and extend along the width of the blade.

15. The putter head of claim 10 wherein the toe end and heel end are convexly curved outward from front edge to back edge.

16. The putter head of claim 10 wherein the front edge is sharp, pointed, flat, or curved from the top side to the bottom side of the blade.

17. The putter head of claim 16 wherein the front edge is curved with a radius of curvature less than a radius of the golf ball.

18. The putter head of claim 10 wherein the thickness of the front edge of the blade is less than about 0.25 inch (6.4 mm).

19. A golf putter head comprising: (a) an elongate flat blade with a width defined between a front edge used for striking a golf ball in an essentially linear contact area horizontal to the ground and an opposed back edge, a length defined between a toe edge extending from the front edge to the back edge of the blade and an opposed heel edge, and a thickness defined between a top side bordered by the edges and an opposed bottom side, the top side of the blade having an opening into which a shaft can be affixed and the bottom side having two or more slots extending along the width of the blade; (b) two or more weight inserts, each weight insert removably secured in one of the slots so as to engage the slot by one or more fastening means attached in holes in the slots in the bottom side of the blade, wherein the weight inserts provide the putter head various weighting configurations; and (c) a runner provided on the bottom side of the blade wherein during putting, the runner acts to space the bottom side of the blade from the ground.

20. The putter head of claim 19 wherein the runner extends between the front edge and the back edge of the blade.

21. The putter head of claim 19 wherein the runner is a convexly rounded semicircular protrusion extending from the blade.

22. The putter head of claim 19 wherein the blade further comprises projections in the top side of the blade bordered by ledges which protrude along the width of the blade.

23. The putter head of claim 22 having a toe projection disposed towards the toe edge and a heel projection disposed towards a heel edge of the putter head.

24. The putter head of claim 23 wherein the ledge of the toe projection protrudes from the top side of the blade near an intersection of the toe edge and the front edge and extends to the back edge of the blade, and the heel projection protrudes from the top side of the blade near an intersection of the heel edge and the front edge and extends to the back edge of the blade.

25. The putter head of claim 23 wherein the toe projection and the heel projection on the top side of the blade are essentially rectangular and extend along the width of the blade.

26. The putter head of claim 19 wherein the toe end and heel end are convexly curved outward from front edge to back edge.

27. The putter head of claim 19 wherein the front edge is sharp, pointed, flat, or curved from the top side to the bottom side of the blade.

28. The putter head of claim 27 wherein the front edge is curved with a radius of curvature less than a radius of the golf ball.

29. The putter head of claim 19 wherein the thickness of the front edge of the blade is less than about 0.25 inch (6.4 mm).

30. A golf putter comprising: (a) a shaft having a proximal end and an opposed distal end; (b) a grip affixed upon the proximal end of the shaft; (c) an elongate flat blade with a width defined between a front edge used for striking a golf ball in an essentially linear contact area horizontal to the ground and an opposed back edge, a length defined between a toe edge extending from the front edge to the back edge of the blade and an opposed heel edge, and a thickness defined between a top side bordered by the edges and an opposed bottom side, the top side of the blade having an opening into which the distal end of the shaft is affixed and the bottom side having two or more slots extending along the width of the blade; and (d) two or more weight inserts, each weight insert removably secured in one of the slots so as to engage the slot by one or more fastening means attached in holes in the slots in the bottom side of the blade, wherein the weight inserts provide the putter various weighting configurations.

31. The putter of claim 30 wherein the blade further comprises projections in the top side of the blade bordered by ledges which protrude along the width of the blade.

32. The putter of claim 31 having a toe projection disposed towards the toe edge and a heel projection disposed towards a heel edge of the putter head.

33. The putter of claim 32 wherein the ledge of the toe projection protrudes from the top side of the blade near an intersection of the toe edge and the front edge and extends to the back edge of the blade, and the heel projection protrudes from the top side of the blade near an intersection of the heel edge and the front edge and extends to the back edge of the blade.

34. The putter of claim 32 wherein the toe projection and the heel projection on the top side of the blade are essentially rectangular and extend along the width of the blade.

35. The putter of claim 30 wherein the toe end and heel end are convexly curved outward from front edge to back edge.

36. The putter of claim 30 wherein the front edge is sharp, pointed, flat, or curved from the top side to the bottom side of the blade.

37. The putter of claim 36 wherein the front edge is curved with a radius of curvature less than a radius of the golf ball.

38. The putter of claim 30 wherein the thickness of the front edge of the blade is less than about 0.25 inch (6.4 mm).

39. A method of assembling a golf putter head comprising: (a) providing a putter head having an elongate flat blade with a width defined between a front edge used for striking a golf ball in an essentially linear contact area horizontal to the ground and an opposed back edge, a length defined between a toe edge extending from the front edge to the back edge of the blade and an opposed heel edge, and a thickness defined between a top side bordered by the edges and an opposed bottom side, the top side of the blade having an opening into which a shaft can be affixed and the bottom side having two or more slots extending along the width of the blade, and two or more weight inserts adapted to be secured into one of the slots so as to engage the slot by one or more fastening means attached in holes in the slots in the bottom side of the blade, wherein the weight inserts provide the putter head various weighting configurations; (b) arranging two or more of the weight inserts in a desired configuration; and (c) securing the weight inserts in place with the fastening means.

40. The method of claim 39 wherein a small weight insert is secured in the slot towards the back edge of the blade.

41. The method of claim 39 wherein a large weight insert is secured in the slot towards the back edge of the blade.

42. The method of claim 39 wherein a large weight insert is secured in the slot towards the back edge of the blade and a small weight insert is secured in the slot towards the front edge of the blade.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 10/672,185, filed Sep. 26, 2003.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

(1) Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to golf equipment, and more particularly to golf putter heads. Specifically, the present invention relates to a golf putter head having an elongate blade. More specifically, the invention relates to a golf putter head having an elongate flat blade with variable weighting.

(2) Description of the Related Art

The traditional putter has a vertical blade with a flat surface and a vertical height usually one inch (25 mm) or greater. Subsequent traditional putters have a similar geometry on the face allowing for flat, convex, but not concave faces. The contact surface is often distinguished by the shape of the mass behind the vertical face. There have been putters with curved contact faces from heel to toe on the putter. This feature is permissible under United States Golf Association (U.S.G.A.) rules. There also have been putters that are totally cylindrical in geometry. Existing putters come in many sizes and geometries. There is often heel to toe weighting to resist the turning of the vertical positioned putter blade.

The rules of golf equipment are controlled by the U.S.G.A. for America. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R. & A.) is the governing authority for the rules of golf in more than one hundred affiliated nations. More recently, in a written ‘statement of principles’ published jointly by the R. & A. and the U.S.G.A., it was acknowledged that, “History has proved that it is impossible to foresee the developments in golf equipment which advancing technology will deliver.” However, both the R. & A. and the U.S.G.A. remain vigilant when considering the equipment rules. The main objective of U.S.G.A. Rules 4 and 5 and Appendices II and III is to protect golf's best traditions, to prevent an over-reliance on technological advances rather than skill, and to ensure that skill is the dominant element of success throughout the game. Therefore, any club design must consider these rules if the club is to be deemed legal by the governing authorities of golf. Any putter must be compatible with the U.S.G.A. rules of golf in regards to being plain in shape, with runners that do not extend into the face, a width that is greater than the depth, a face without concavity, a face angle of no more than fifteen degrees, and an angle of shaft to the head of ten degrees incline or greater. There is no rule regarding the vertical depth of the face of the putter.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,165,076 to Cella teaches a putter with the blade face formed with a longitudinal edge, which is the normal ball striking component of the golf club, being located above the center line of the ball in blade striking position. On the reverse side of the blade there is provided a secondary ball striking edge located below the center line of the ball.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,467,987 to Perkins et al. teaches a golf putter having a club head with a striking face comprising a striking edge defined by at least two substantially planar surfaces which engages a golf ball at a point below the center of the golf ball.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,464,598 to Miller teaches a golf club with a wedge face, a rounded sole, and a putting face located along a blade area between the wedge face and a front portion of the rounded sole. The putting face is located at a height above the crown of the rounded sole so that the putting face strikes a golf ball above the equator of the ball to impart top spin when putting.

U.S. Design Pat. No. D396257 to Spano teaches an ornamental design for a golf club head. It is not clear from the drawings how the club is used.

Japanese Patent Publication No. 8-150233 to Hotta et al. discloses a golf putter having a thin-plate head portion. The thin-plate head portion can have protrusion constructed of a very light-weight material on the bottom surface or top and bottom surfaces of the thin-plate head portion, but does not provide variable weighting of the putter.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,529,202 to Jacobsen discloses a golf club head suitable for use on putting surfaces having a generally planar blade member with disc-like members which provide a predetermined weight to the toe and heel ends golf club head.

While the related art describes alternative ways to address improving putter performance, there is still a need for a superior solution.

OBJECTS

Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide a putter with a geometry such that the contact area between the putter and the ball at impact is linear and essentially horizontal. It is further an object of the present invention to provide a putter head having variable weighting. These and other objects will become increasingly apparent by reference to the following description and the drawings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a golf putter head comprising an elongate flat blade with a width defined between a front edge used for striking a golf ball in an essentially linear contact area horizontal to the ground and an opposed back edge, a length defined between a toe edge extending from the front edge to the back edge of the blade and an opposed heel edge, and a thickness defined between a top side bordered by the edges and an opposed bottom side, the top side of the blade having an opening into which a shaft can be affixed and the bottom side having two or more slots extending along the width of the blade adapted to receive weight inserts.

In further embodiments the blade further comprises projections in the top side of the blade bordered by ledges which protrude along the width of the blade. In still further embodiments the putter head comprises a toe projection disposed towards the toe edge and a heel projection disposed towards a heel edge of the putter head. In preferred embodiments the ledge of the toe projection protrudes from the top side of the blade near an intersection of the toe edge and the front edge and extends to the back edge of the blade, and the heel projection protrudes from the top side of the blade near an intersection of the heel edge and the front edge and extends to the back edge of the blade. In further preferred embodiments the toe projection and the heel projection on the top side of the blade are essentially rectangular and extend along the width of the blade. In further preferred embodiments the toe end and heel end are convexly curved outward from front edge to back edge. In further embodiments the front edge is sharp, pointed, flat, or curved from the top side to the bottom side of the blade. In still further embodiments the front edge is curved with a radius of curvature less than a radius of the golf ball. In still further embodiments the thickness of the front edge of the blade is less than about 0.25 inch (6.4 mm).

The present invention provides a golf putter head comprising: (a) an elongate flat blade with a width defined between a front edge used for striking a golf ball in an essentially linear contact area horizontal to the ground and an opposed back edge, a length defined between a toe edge extending from the front edge to the back edge of the blade and an opposed heel edge, and a thickness defined between a top side bordered by the edges and an opposed bottom side, the top side of the blade having an opening into which a shaft can be affixed and the bottom side having two or more slots extending along the width of the blade; and (b) two or more weight inserts, each weight insert removably secured in one of the slots so as to engage the slot by one or more fastening means attached in holes in the slots in the bottom side of the blade, wherein the weight inserts provide the putter head various weighting configurations.

In further embodiments the blade further comprises projections in the top side of the blade bordered by ledges which protrude along the width of the blade. In still further embodiments the putter head comprises a toe projection disposed towards the toe edge and a heel projection disposed towards a heel edge of the putter head. In preferred embodiments the ledge of the toe projection protrudes from the top side of the blade near an intersection of the toe edge and the front edge and extends to the back edge of the blade, and the heel projection protrudes from the top side of the blade near an intersection of the heel edge and the front edge and extends to the back edge of the blade. In further preferred embodiments the toe projection and the heel projection on the top side of the blade are essentially rectangular and extend along the width of the blade. In further preferred embodiments the toe end and heel end are convexly curved outward from front edge to back edge. In further embodiments the front edge is sharp, pointed, flat, or curved from the top side to the bottom side of the blade. In still further embodiments the front edge is curved with a radius of curvature less than a radius of the golf ball. In still further embodiments the thickness of the front edge of the blade is less than about 0.25 inch (6.4 mm).

The present invention provides a golf putter head comprising: (a) an elongate flat blade with a width defined between a front edge used for striking a golf ball in an essentially linear contact area horizontal to the ground and an opposed back edge, a length defined between a toe edge extending from the front edge to the back edge of the blade and an opposed heel edge, and a thickness defined between a top side bordered by the edges and an opposed bottom side, the top side of the blade having an opening into which a shaft can be affixed and the bottom side having two or more slots extending along the width of the blade; (b) two or more weight inserts, each weight insert removably secured in one of the slots so as to engage the slot by one or more fastening means attached in holes in the slots in the bottom side of the blade, wherein the weight inserts provide the putter head various weighting configurations; and (c) a runner provided on the bottom side of the blade wherein during putting, the runner acts to space the bottom side of the blade from the ground.

In further embodiments the runner extends between the front edge and the back edge of the blade. In still further embodiments the runner is a convexly rounded semicircular protrusion extending from the blade. In further embodiments the blade further comprises projections in the top side of the blade bordered by ledges which protrude along the width of the blade. In still further embodiments the putter head comprises a toe projection disposed towards the toe edge and a heel projection disposed towards a heel edge of the putter head. In preferred embodiments the ledge of the toe projection protrudes from the top side of the blade near an intersection of the toe edge and the front edge and extends to the back edge of the blade, and the heel projection protrudes from the top side of the blade near an intersection of the heel edge and the front edge and extends to the back edge of the blade. In further preferred embodiments the toe projection and the heel projection on the top side of the blade are essentially rectangular and extend along the width of the blade. In further preferred embodiments the toe end and heel end are convexly curved outward from front edge to back edge. In further embodiments the front edge is sharp, pointed, flat, or curved from the top side to the bottom side of the blade. In still further embodiments the front edge is curved with a radius of curvature less than a radius of the golf ball. In still further embodiments the thickness of the front edge of the blade is less than about 0.25 inch (6.4 mm).

The present invention provides a golf putter comprising: (a) a shaft having a proximal end and an opposed distal end; (b) a grip affixed upon the proximal end of the shaft; (c) an elongate flat blade with a width defined between a front edge used for striking a golf ball in an essentially linear contact area horizontal to the ground and an opposed back edge, a length defined between a toe edge extending from the front edge to the back edge of the blade and an opposed heel edge, and a thickness defined between a top side bordered by the edges and an opposed bottom side, the top side of the blade having an opening into which the distal end of the shaft is affixed and the bottom side having two or more slots extending along the width of the blade; and (d) two or more weight inserts, each weight insert removably secured in one of the slots so as to engage the slot by one or more fastening means attached in holes in the slots in the bottom side of the blade, wherein the weight inserts provide the putter various weighting configurations.

In further embodiments the blade further comprises projections in the top side of the blade bordered by ledges which protrude along the width of the blade. In still further embodiments the putter head comprises a toe projection disposed towards the toe edge and a heel projection disposed towards a heel edge of the putter head. In preferred embodiments the ledge of the toe projection protrudes from the top side of the blade near an intersection of the toe edge and the front edge and extends to the back edge of the blade, and the heel projection protrudes from the top side of the blade near an intersection of the heel edge and the front edge and extends to the back edge of the blade. In further preferred embodiments the toe projection and the heel projection on the top side of the blade are essentially rectangular and extend along the width of the blade. In further preferred embodiments the toe end and heel end are convexly curved outward from front edge to back edge. In further embodiments the front edge is sharp, pointed, flat, or curved from the top side to the bottom side of the blade. In still further embodiments the front edge is curved with a radius of curvature less than a radius of the golf ball. In still further embodiments the thickness of the front edge of the blade is less than about 0.25 inch (6.4 mm).

The present invention provides a method of assembling a golf putter head comprising: (a) providing a putter head having an elongate flat blade with a width defined between a front edge used for striking a golf ball in an essentially linear contact area horizontal to the ground and an opposed back edge, a length defined between a toe edge extending from the front edge to the back edge of the blade and an opposed heel edge, and a thickness defined between a top side bordered by the edges and an opposed bottom side, the top side of the blade having an opening into which a shaft can be affixed and the bottom side having two or more slots extending along the width of the blade, and two or more weight inserts adapted to be secured into one of the slots so as to engage the slot by one or more fastening means attached in holes in the slots in the bottom side of the blade, wherein the weight inserts provide the putter head various weighting configurations; (b) arranging two or more of the weight inserts in a desired configuration; and (c) securing the weight inserts in place with the fastening means.

In some embodiments a small weight insert is secured in the slot towards the back edge of the blade. In further embodiments a large weight insert is secured in the slot towards the back edge of the blade. In still further embodiments a large weight insert is secured in the slot towards the back edge of the blade and a small weight insert is secured in the slot towards the front edge of the blade.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a top view of a putter head (10) of the present invention having toe and heel projections (22, 23) bordered by a curvilinear ledges (22A, 23A).

FIG. 2 illustrates a back view of the putter head (10) showing runner (18) and large weight inserts (17B) secured under the blade (16).

FIGS. 3-5 illustrate bottom views of the putter head (10) with small weight inserts (17A) and large weight inserts (17B) attached in different weighting configurations. FIG. 3 illustrates the putter head (10) having both small weight inserts (17A) and both large weight inserts (17B) secured in the slots (24, 25). FIG. 4 illustrates the putter head (10) having large weight inserts (17B) secured towards the back edge (16B) in the slots (24, 25). FIG. 5 illustrates the putter head (10) having small weight inserts (17A) secured towards the back edge (16B) in the slots (24, 25).

FIG. 6 illustrates a bottom view of the putter head (10) without any weight inserts (17A, 17B) attached in the slots (24, 25) showing holes (21) for attachment.

FIG. 7 illustrates a cross-sectional view of putter head (10) taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 3 showing small weight inserts (17A) and large weight inserts (17B) attached with screws (19) in holes (21) in the heel slot (25).

FIG. 8 illustrates a top view of another putter head (110) of the present invention having a rectangular toe projection (122) and a rectangular heel projection (123).

FIG. 9 illustrates a back view of the putter head (110) having rectangular toe projection (122) and a rectangular heel projection (123).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

All patents, patent applications, government publications, government regulations, and literature references cited in this specification are hereby incorporated herein by reference in their entirety. In case of conflict, the present description, including definitions, will control. Definitions for the following terms are provided to promote a further understanding of the present invention.

The term “contact area” as used herein refers to the area on either a putter blade or a golf ball where there is contact between the ball and the putter blade.

The term “proximal” as used herein refers to the direction or portion of a putter near to the golfer when in use.

The term “distal” as used herein refers to the direction or portion of a putter away from the golfer when in use.

The term “front” or “face” as used herein refers to the edge of the putter head used as a striking surface for contacting a golf ball during putting. Some putters having a central shaft can be used in a right or left handed fashion under U.S.G.A. rules. Right handed designations are used herein with reference to the Figures, however left handed uses and configurations are encompassed by the present invention.

The term “back” as used herein refers to the side of the putter head opposed to the front striking face.

The term “toe” as used herein refers to the side of the putter head which is distal to the golfer when putting.

The term “heel” as used herein refers to the side of the putter head which is proximal to the golfer when putting.

The term “horizontal” as used herein refers to an orientation parallel the ground upon which the golf ball lies.

The term “vertical” as used herein refers to an imaginary line which is normal to the horizontal plane of the ground upon which the golf ball lies.

The term “fastening means” as used herein refers to any means known in the art of fastening, including screws of a number of types, bolts, pins, and clips. One preferred fastening means is an Allen screw.

The term “weight inserts” as used herein refers to any of a variety of solid materials having a size and shape capable of being removably secured by a fastening means within a slot in the putter head, which can have a wide range of densities and masses. Preferably the weight inserts, are constructed of a variety of metals having different densities, however the weight inserts can be constructed of lighter materials.

The golf putter head of the present invention comprises an elongate flat blade which has a width defined between a front edge used for striking a golf ball and an opposed back edge. The length of the blade is defined between a toe edge, which extends from the front edge to the back edge of the blade and an opposed heel edge. The thickness of the blade is defined between a top side, bordered by each of the edges, and an opposed bottom side nearest to the ground when putting. The top side of the blade has an opening, into which a shaft can be affixed. The shaft can be affixed to the putter head by welding or any means known in the art. Optionally the shaft is affixed using a hosel. The bottom side of the blade has two or more slots, adapted to receive weight inserts, which extend along the width of the blade. Two or more weight inserts can be secured into one of the slots by one or more fastening means attached in holes in the slots in the bottom side of the blade. The weight inserts provide the putter head various weighting configurations. Preferred weighting configurations place the center of mass of the putter head towards the back of the putter head (posterior) and towards the bottom side of the blade (inferior). The total weight of the putter head can be adjusted by adding or removing the weight inserts.

A first embodiment of the putter head 10 of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1-7. In this embodiment, the putter head 10 includes an elongate flat blade 16 with a runner 18. The elongate flat blade 16 includes a front edge 16A and an opposed back edge 16B. A convexly rounded toe edge 16C extends from the front edge 16A to the back edge 16B of the blade. On an opposite side of the blade a convexly rounded heel edge 16D extends from the front edge 16A to the back edge 16B of the blade. A thickness of the blade 16 is defined between a top side 16E, bordered by each of the edges, and an opposed bottom side 16F. The front edge 16A of the blade 16 used as a striking face for contacting a golf ball between the ends defined by toe edge 16C and heel edge 16D, and the parallel top side 16E and bottom side 16F.

The blade 16 is not flat on the top side 16E, but rather has a toe projection 22 and a heel projection 23 which are disposed towards the periphery of the putter head adjacent to the toe edge 16C and heel edge 16D, respectively. On the top side 16E of the blade 16, the toe projection 22 protrudes from the top side 16E of the putter head 10 at curvilinear toe ledge 22A. The toe projection 22 extends along the length of the blade 16 from the convexly rounded toe end 16C to a curvilinear toe ledge 22A. The curvilinear toe ledge 22A curves back from the intersection of front edge 16A and toe edge 16C to back edge 16B, extending the width of the putter head. At the rounded heel end 16D of the top side 16E is a heel projection 23 which protrudes from the top side 16E of the putter head 10 at a curvilinear heel ledge 23A. The heel ledge 23A curves back from the intersection of front edge 16A and heel edge 16C to back edge 16B, extending the width of the blade 16. The toe projection 22 and heel projection 23 provide the putter head 10 peripheral toe-heel weighting for stability and posterior weighting.

An indented sighting line 20 extends along the width of the blade 16 centrally with respect to the length of the blade 16 from front edge 16A to the back edge 16B. The sighting line 20 is useful for alignment of the putter head 10 when addressing the golf ball. Optionally, a runner 18 is attached to the bottom side 16F of the blade 16. The runner has an convex outer surface 18C projecting from the bottom side 16F of the blade 16 from a front end 18A near the front edge 16A of the blade 16 to a back end 18B near the back edge 16B of the blade 16. The outer surface 18C of runner 18 keeps the blade 16 the proper distance from the putting surface, and allows for a smooth swinging movement during the stroke.

FIGS. 3-5 illustrate a bottom view of the putter head 10 showing various weighting configurations for the putter head 10. FIGS. 3 and 7 illustrate a heavily weighted putter head configuration of the putter head 10 wherein small weight inserts 17A are secured by Allen screws 19 towards the front edge 16A of the blade 16 in both the toe slot 24 and the heel slot 25. In addition large weight inserts 17B are secured by Allen screws 19 towards the back edge 16B of the blade 16 in both the toe slot 24 and the heel slot 25. This configuration results in maximal weighting of the putter head 10. FIG. 4 illustrates a moderately weighted putter head configuration having only large weight inserts 17B secured by Allen screws 19 in the holes 21 and situated towards the back edge 16B of the blade 16 in both the toe slot 24 and heel slot 25. This configuration results in posterior, inferior weighting of the putter head 10 and moderate weighting. FIG. 5 illustrates a lightly weighted putter head configuration having only small weight inserts 17A secured by Allen screws 19 in the holes 21 and situated towards the back edge 16B of the blade 16 in both the toe slot 24 and heel slot 25. This configuration results in posterior, inferior weighting of the putter head 10 and light weighting. FIG. 6 illustrates a bottom view of the putter head 10 without either the small weight inserts 17A or the large weight inserts 17B in either the toe slot 24 or the heel slot 25. This result in the lightest putter head 10 configuration.

A second embodiment of the putter head of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 8-9. In this embodiment, the putter head 110 includes an elongate flat blade 116 with a runner 118. The elongate flat blade 116 includes a front edge 116A and an opposed back edge 116B. A convexly rounded toe edge 116C extends from the front edge 116A to the back edge 116B of the blade. On an opposite side of the blade a convexly rounded heel edge 116D extends from the front edge 116A to the back edge 116B of the blade. A thickness is defined between a top side 116E, bordered by each of the edges, and an opposed bottom side 116F. The front edge 116A of the blade 116 used as a striking face for contacting a golf ball between the ends defined by toe edge 116C and heel edge 116D, and the parallel top side 116E and bottom side 116F.

The blade 116 is not flat, but rather has a toe projection 122 and a heel projection 123 towards the periphery of the putter head adjacent to the toe edge 116C and heel edge 116D, respectively. The toe projection 122 protrudes from the top side 116E of the putter head 110. Near the rounded toe end 116C of the top side 116E is a rectangular toe projection 122 raised from the top side 116E of the putter head 110 at a toe ledge 122A and extending the width of the putter head 110. At the rounded heel end 116D of the top side 116E is a rectangular heel projection 123 raised from the top side 116E of the putter head 110 at a heel ledge 123A and extending the width of the putter head 110. An indented sighting line 120 extends along the width of the blade 116 centrally with respect to the length of the blade 116 from front edge 116A to the back edge 116B. The toe projection 122 and heel projection 123 provide the putter head 110 peripheral toe-heel weighting for stability.

The sighting line 120 is useful for alignment of the putter head 110 when addressing the golf ball. Optionally, a runner 118 is attached to the bottom side 116F of the blade 116. The runner has an convex outer surface 118C projecting from the bottom side 116F of the blade 116 from a front end 118A near the front edge 116A of the blade 116 to a back end 118B near the back edge 116B of the blade 116. The outer surface 118B of runner 118 keeps the blade 116 the proper distance from the putting surface, and allows for a smooth swinging movement during the stroke. On the bottom side 116F of the blade 116 is a toe slot 124 near toe edge 116C and a heel slot 125 near heel edge 116D, each extending the width of the putter head 110 and adapted to receive small weight insert (not ,shown) and large weight inserts 117B. This allows for various weighting configurations identical to those shown for the first embodiment of the putter head 10 as illustrated in FIGS. 3 through FIG. 6 described previously.

The elongate flat blade 16, 116 of the putter head 10, 110 is a thin horizontal rounded rectangle with distance from heel edge 16D, 116D to toe edge 16C, 116C (length) approximately twice the distance from front edge 16A, 116A to back edge 16B, 116B (width). The dimension ratios can vary, however the length is greater than the width by U.S.G.A. rules. A top side 16E, 116E of the elongate flat blade 16, 116 can be attached to the distal end of a shaft. The putter head of the present invention can be attached to any shaft known in the art. The shaft (not shown) can be of any type, including a “belly putter” type (not shown), which is longer than a traditional putter, and allows for a style of putting where the proximal end of the putter is stabilized on the player's belly. In some embodiments, the shaft can be of a long putter type. Any grip known in the art can be fitted to the shaft. In some embodiments, the shaft is of a traditional short length, at least longer than approximately 18 inches (457 mm). In further still embodiments, the shaft is relatively long, which makes it ideal for a pendulum style of golf stroke.

The golf putter head 10, 110 can be affixed to a distal end of any shaft on the top side 16E of blade 16 in opening 26 such that the projection of the shaft 12 onto the vertical plane through the front edge 16A of the blade 16 is 10° or more. In further embodiments, the shaft is attached to the blade 16 in opening 26, 126 such that the projection of the shaft 12 upon a vertical plane through the toe edge 16C of the blade 16 is 20° or less. The elongate flat blade 16 is attached to a distal end of the shaft near the center of the of top side 16E, 116E of the blade. The distal end of a shaft is inserted in the opening 26, 126 in the top side 16E of the blade 16 at or near a central sighting line 20. In other embodiments, the shaft is attached to the top side 16E, 116E of the blade 16, 116 through a single plain neck or socket. The length along the neck or socket axis in these embodiments, following any bends, is approximately 5.0 inches (127 mm) or less. The overall length of a golf putter from proximal end of the shaft to the outer surface 18C, 118C of runner 18, 118 is at least approximately 18 inches (457 mm).

After striking a golf ball with the putter head 10, 110 the contact area on the golf ball and on the blade 16, 116 are small. The contact area on the golf ball and on the blade 16, 116 are both linear with a narrow width, and are also horizontal in orientation. Additionally, the contact area on the ball usually spans the dimple diameter on the golf ball without entering the dimple concavity, so that direction of roll is not influenced by the dimple concavity. In further embodiments of the putter head 10 of the present invention the front edge is flat, convex, or sharp. The putter head 10, 110 has a contact area between the blade 16, 216 and the golf ball which is linear and of narrow width. The contact area on the golf ball is horizontal in orientation. Additionally, the contact area on the ball usually spans the dimple diameter. While not wishing to be held to any one theory, the contact area allows the reduction in the release time of the ball from the front and thereby the ball starts rolling in less time. Additionally, the horizontal and linear contact area geometry can create a dominant resultant direction of the ball to one plane, while with conventional putters the contact area is circular which thereby allows for 360° of directional course tracking of the ball.

The geometry of the elongate flat blade 16, 116 allows for various angles of approach and positions of contact. The elongate flat blade 16, 116 can strike the ball along the center of the ball or off-center of the ball. The angle of approach allows control of roll of the ball. Striking the ball in upward or downward angles of approach can result in straight tracking of the ball, especially when compared to conventional putters. The putter heads 10, 110 can strike the ball in upward or downward angles of approach with little bounce. A golf putter having the putter head 10, 110 can work well off the fringe of the green, and can have a smoother roll when a forward press is used.

The putter head 10, 110 can be constructed of any metal including, but not limited to, aluminum, brass, and stainless steel. Alternatively, the putter heads can be made of any other natural or synthetic material. The putter head of the present invention includes embodiments having further bottom posterior weighting. The weight of the putter head is transmitted to a horizontal narrow striking area by adjusting the center of gravity. Merits of the preferred embodiments having variable weighting is that they allow for posterior and/or inferior weighting, and adjustable weighting by varying the materials used and the thickness of the weight inserts 17A, 17B, 117B. The center of mass of the putter head 10, 110 can be shifted from the centerline along the length, width or thickness of the putter head 10, 110 by configuration of the weight inserts 17A, 17B, 117B. In a preferred embodiment, the weight inserts 17A, 17B, 117B each are drilled and counterbored for attachment using Allen screws 19, 119 as fastening means. In preferred embodiment of the putter head 10, 110, the total weight is about 350 grams with no added weight inserts 17A, 17B, 117B to about 425 grams with all of the weight inserts 17A, 17B, 117B. In preferred embodiments the weights 17A, 17B, 117B can be added to increase the total weight of the putter head 10, 110 in 25 gram increments. In these embodiments, the center of mass can be located such that there is a posterior and inferior weighting.

While the present invention is described herein with reference to illustrated embodiments, it should be understood that the invention is not limited hereto. Those having ordinary skill in the art and access to the teachings herein will recognize additional modifications and embodiments within the scope thereof. Therefore, the present invention is limited only by the Claims attached herein.





 
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