Title:
Golf putting training aid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A putting training device including a base adapted of be placed on a putting surface. Spaced apart fence members adjustably mounted on the top surface of the base define an alleyway of a length sufficient to include both the backswing, forward swing and follow through of a putting stroke. The front end of the alleyway is provided with a slot which extends through the thickness of the base, opens outwardly of the front end of the base, and is of a width which causes the golf ball placed in the slot to engage both the putting surface and the side edges of the slot. Reflective means on the base assists in head positioning. The structure of the device provides immediate indication to the golfer of errors.



Inventors:
Amerson, William R. (Suwanee, GA, US)
Application Number:
10/945170
Publication Date:
03/23/2006
Filing Date:
09/20/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FERNSTROM, KURT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PITTS & LAKE P C (P O BOX 51295, KNOXVILLE, TN, 37950-1295, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A golf putting training device comprising a planar base having a bottom surface and a top surface, a width dimension and a length dimension, a front and a rear end, first and second elongated fence members adjustably mounted in parallel and spaced apart relationship with one another on said top surface of said base and extending substantially along the entire length dimension of said base for selective positioning of said fence members apart from one another in a direction laterally and substantially perpendicular to said length dimension of said base, said fence members including respective upstanding surfaces which face one another to define an alleyway therebetween for the movement of a putter head along said alleyway, means defining a slot through the thickness of said base and opening outwardly of said front end of said base, said slot having a longitudinal centerline and substantially parallel side edges which are spaced apart from one another equidistantly from said centerline and by a distance slightly less that the diameter of a standard golf ball whereby a standard golf ball residing in said slot engages a putting surface beneath said base and each of said side edges of said slot, said slot terminating at its most inward end in a curved geometry which faces outwardly toward said front end of said base and at a location approximately half way between said front and rear ends of said base, a rectangular indicia on said top surface of said base at a location immediately adjacent said inward terminal end of said slot, the length dimension of said indicia being oriented perpendicular to the extended longitudinal centerline of said slot, and defining a pattern for alignment of a putter head between said fence members in perfect square alignment with said longitudinal centerline of said slot, an elongated indicia on said top surface of said base at a location coincident with said extended longitudinal centerline of said slot and extending from said rectangular indicia toward and terminating adjacent said rear end of said base, whereby said elongated indicia defines a guide for movement of a golf putter head between said fence members preparatory to the putter head striking a golf ball disposed within said slot, and a reflective surface overlying said base in that area of the top surface thereof which is bounded by said fence members and said rectangular indicia and terminating adjacent said rear end of said base.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein said rectangular indicia is of a contrasting color to the color of its surrounding environment.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein said reflective surface comprises a plastic mirror.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein said base is formed of a transparent plastic having ultraviolet ray resistance.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein the width dimension of said base is chosen to permit a golfer standing to one side of said base to freely observe their eyes reflected by said reflective surface and thereby align their head relative to said elongated indicia to thereby repeatedly position their head in the same position relative to said elongated indicia each time they practice putting a ball from said slot.

6. The device of claim 1 wherein each of said fence members comprise a rigid right-angled strip of a rigid material, one leg of said strip overlying said base and another leg of said strip defining said upstanding surface of a respective fence member.

7. The device of claim 6 wherein said upstanding surface of each fence member extends upwardly from said base by a distance of not less than 1.5 inches.

8. The device of claim 1 and including a smooth trim member extending about the perimeter of said base except in the area where said slot opens outwardly of said base.

9. The device of claim 1 wherein the perimeter of said slot is defined by a color which contrasts with the color of the surrounding environment of said slot.

10. The device of claim 1 and including a fibrous material covering each of said upstanding facing surfaces of said fence members.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates to golf training aids, and specifically to devices for training a golfer in the art of putting.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

In recent years, the nature of golf putting greens has changed in that the grass(es) currently used to construct a golf putting green provide a faster, smoother putting surface than has existed heretofore. Consequently golf putting. techniques have changed from the prior short stroke in which the golf ball was basically popped to send it along a target line, to a long sweeping smooth swing type stroke with considerable follow through.

Golf putting training aids known to the present inventor fail in one or more aspects such as failure of the aid to provide adequate means for developing the golfer's putting swing to the currently desired putting stroke. In particular, among other things, the known putting training aids fail to provide the necessary close guidance of both the back swing and the forward swing, with follow through, of the putter. In training a golfer to put, squaring of the head of the putter with the desired path of the putted ball is very important. Many prior art devices emphasize this factor, but these prior art devices fail to provide for the many other aspects that accompany a long, sweeping, smooth putting stroke with follow through.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

In the present invention, there is provided a golf putting training device including a base adapted of be placed on a putting surface. Spaced apart fence members adjustably mounted on the top surface of the base define an alleyway of a length sufficient to include both the backswing, forward swing and follow through of a putting stroke. The front end of the alleyway is provide with a slot which extends through the thickness of the base, opens outwardly of the front end of the base, and is of a width which causes the golf ball placed in the slot to engage both the putting surface and the side edges of the slot. The slot terminates inwardly from the front end of the base by a distance sufficient to provide for substantial travel of the ball along the slot before it exits the slot after having been struck by a putter head, thereby giving the golfer an immediate reading on whether the ball has been struck correctly, that is with the head of the putter square with the desired line of swing of the head. Further, the present device includes a mirror-type surface with an associated guide line, along that portion of the device which is associated with the back swing and that portion of the forward swing prior to striking of the ball, thereby providing a means by which the golfer may establish a proper position in which their eyes are directly over the centerline of the swing path of the putter head, hence providing training of the golfer in the proper positioning of their body for carrying out a proper putting stroke.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, contrasting coloring of certain portions of the training aid assist the golfer in the training effort.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a perspective front view of one embodiment of a putting training aid embodying various of the features of the present invention:

FIG. 2 is a top view of one embodiment of a putting training aid embodying various aspects of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of the putting training aid depicted in FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is an elevation view of the rear end of -the putting training aid depicted in FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

Referring initially to FIG. 1, in the depicted embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a base 10, which in the depicted embodiment is planar and rectangular in geometry and includes a bottom surface 12 adapted to permit the base to rest on a putting surface 14, a front end 16, a rear end 18 and a top surface 20.

As seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the base is provided with a slot 22 through the thickness of the base and which extends from an inboard terminus 24 of curved geometry at a location approximately half way between the front and rear ends of the base. This slot includes a longitudinal center line 26 and extends forwardly of the base and opens outwardly of the front end of the base. In a preferred embodiment, this slot is of a width slightly less than the diameter of a standard golf ball (1.680 inches diameter per U.S. Golf Association)(FIG. 2) causing it to reside within the slot with the ball in engagement both with the putting surface and with the opposite side edges 30, 32 of the slot. A slot width of about 1.5 inches is preferred. This construction of the slot permits the ball to be struck and propelled along the length of the slot for a distance, and period of time, which allows the golfer to visually observe any irregularities in the desired path of the struck ball before the ball leaves the putting aid. These observations may thereafter be correlated by the golfer with the path of the ball after its leaves the putting aid, thereby providing the golfer with feedback information useful in correcting subsequent putting strokes.

To further aid the golfer in establishing their putter head swing. path, the base is provided with first and second fence members 34 and 36, respectively, which are mounted on the top surface of the base. Both fence members are disposed parallel with and equidistantly from the longitudinal centerline 26 of the slot and with one fence member on each of the opposite sides of the centerline. In the depicted embodiment, each fence comprises a length of angled rigid material, such as aluminum or strong plastic and includes a base leg 38 and a fence leg 40. The base leg of each fence member is mounted on the base as by means of thumb screws 42 which pass through the base leg and through a respective slot 43 in the base leg of the fence such that the lateral spatial separation distance between the fence members define an alleyway 45 which may be selected to accommodate various shapes and/or putter head lengths in the alleyway and between the opposing fences. In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, this spatial separation between the fences is chosen such that the putter head can readily travel between the fence members when the putter head is maintained square with the rearwardly extended longitudinal centerline of the slot, but if the putter head deviates from such square relationship, as by canting of the putter head, the effective length of the putter head is increased and the putter head will bind or tend to bind between the fence members. The degree of such binding partially will be a function of the extent to which the putter head is out of the desired squareness, thereby giving the golfer an immediate notification that their initial position of the putter head at the commencement of a back swing is incorrect and/or their swing is not properly following a path which is parallel with the longitudinal centerline of the slot. This feature of the invention further gives the golfer an immediate notice that their putter head alignment and/or their swing needs correction during that portion of the swing prior to the striking of a ball disposed in the slot.

As a further feature of one embodiment of the present invention, that inner face 44 of each fence member 34 which faces the opposite one of the fence members 36 is provided with a covering of a fibrous or similar material 46, e.g., felt, velvet or like material, for protection of a putter head against damage due to it striking a fence member and/or prevention of metal to metal contact between a putter head and a fence member.

To assist the golfer in initial alignment of the putter head square with respect to the longitudinal centerline of the slot, there is provided rectangular indicia 48 disposed immediately rearwardly of the inboard terminus 24 of the slot. This indicia may be of many forms, but one suitable form is a dark colored relatively narrow stripe which extends perpendicularly between the opposite fence members.

Additionally, in a preferred embodiment of the present device, the inventor provides an elongated indicia 50 which is coincident with the extended longitudinal centerline of the slot and extends from the rectangular indicia rearwardly of the base to terminate short of the rear end of the base. As with the rectangular indicia, this elongated indicia may be in the form of a colored narrow stripe. Since this elongated indicia 50 lies along the extended longitudinal centerline of the slot and equidistantly between the fence members, it serves as a guide to the golfer for the positioning of their eyes directly over the longitudinal centerline of the slot, such position having been found to be optimal for correctly stroking a golfing put. To further assist the golfer in this alignment of their eyes over the device, the present inventor provides a reflective surface 52 (FIG. 2) which extends from approximately the rectangular indicia, between the fence members and terminates short of the rear end of the base. By this means, when the golfer is positioned with their head extending over the device, they can see the reflection of their eyes and make any adjustment necessary to ensure proper eye alignment with the longitudinal centerline of the slot, which is the desired path of swing of the putter from beginning to the end of the putting stroke. Still further, a desired, the outline of the slot may be emphasized by a contrasting colored frame 60, e.g., paint, about the slot outline.

In one embodiment of the present device, the base is formed from a sheet of ⅛th inch thick transparent Lexan® plastic, 12 inches wide and 24 inches long. In this embodiment, the slot is 1.5 inches wide and 10.75 inches long (deep) and centered between the opposite side edges 54, 56 of the base. Each fence member is formed from 1/16 inch thick aluminum angle strips, 21.5 inches long with each leg being 1.5 inches wide. In this embodiment, the rectangular indicia comprises a strip of red tape adhered to the top surface of the base. The reflective surface comprises a plastic mirror which is 5 inches wide and 7 inches long. Further, the outer side edges of the base, other than the slot opening, are lined with a rounded protective soft trim 58 of a plastic material. This same trim is applied to the uppermost edges 60, 62 of the fence members.

As noted, the fence members of the present device extend both rearwardly of and forwardly of the point of impact of the putter with a ball disposed in'the inboard terminal end 24 of the slot 22. This construction is important in ensuring that the golfer continues the putting swing in a follow through fashion after striking the ball. This factor assists in training the golfer to include in the stroke a follow through which is substantially equidistant with the back swing, a technique which has been found to enhance the accuracy of delivery of the ball to the intended target.

Whereas the present invention has been described in specific terms and conditions, etc. one skilled in the art will recognize acceptable variations and it is intended that the invention be limited only as set forth in the claims appended hereto.