Title:
Golf putter with removeable inserts for altering the center of gravity of the putter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf putter including a plurality of physical and visual aids for assisting the golfer to more consistently assume a good head and body position and to better putt a golf ball toward a remote hole. The putter head is engaged with one of a plurality of detachable flanges. The flanges all have different lengths, weights and shapes and are selectively engaged with the putter head to change its center of gravity and thereby change the characteristics of the putter. The golfer selectively engages the appropriate one of the plurality of flanges to give the putter head the type of characteristics that best suit his personal putting abilities and deficiencies and is thereby aided in correctly and accurately striking the golf ball. Each of the detachable flanges is provided with a first reflective surface and a second non-reflective surface. The reflective surfaces are all provided with a second linear marking thereon. The second linear marker is alignable with a first linear marking on the putter head and with the remote hole toward which the ball is to be putted. The reflective surface is used during practice sessions to aid the golfer in correctly positioning his head and body. The selected flange is removed and rotated during USGA sanctioned golf games to present the non-reflective surface on the upper side of the club. The different flanges are quickly and easily engaged with the putter head, so the golfer may change the nature of the putter for each hole they encounter on the golf course.



Inventors:
Haack, Scott G. (Massillon, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/490209
Publication Date:
01/25/2007
Filing Date:
07/19/2006
Assignee:
OPTIX GOLF COMPANY, LLC (Massillon, OH, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/251, 473/252, 473/255, 473/340, 473/341
International Classes:
A63B69/36; A63B53/00; A63B53/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PASSANITI, SEBASTIANO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SAND, SEBOLT & WERNOW CO., LPA (AEGIS TOWER, SUITE 1100 4940 MUNSON STREET, NW, CANTON, OH, 44718-3615, US)
Claims:
1. A golf putter for use by a golfer to putt golf balls, said golf putter comprising: a shaft; a handle disposed at a first end of the shaft; a putter head disposed at a second end of the shaft, and wherein said putter head includes: a front wall having a front face adapted to strike the golf ball; a rear face; an upper surface and a lower surface; a mounting area; and a first and a second flange being alternatively mountable to the mounting area, the first flange being mounted thereto to cause the center of gravity of the putter head to be positioned in a first position; and the second flange being mounted thereto to cause the center of gravity of the putter head to be positioned in a second and different position.

2. The golf putter as defined in claim 1, wherein the putter head includes a pair of spaced apart legs extending rearwardly away from the rear face of the front wall; said legs defining a gap therebetween.

3. The golf putter as defined in claim 2, wherein the first and second flanges are sized to be selectively received within the gap between the legs.

4. The golf putter as defined in claim 3, wherein each of the first and second flanges is selectively removably mounted to at least one of the front wall and legs of the putter head.

5. The golf putter as defined in claim 1, wherein the first flange is of a first length and the second flange is of a second and different length.

6. The golf putter as defined in claim 1, wherein each of the first and second flanges has a terminal rearward end; and the terminal rearward end of the first flange is positioned inwardly of a rearmost edge of the mounting area when the first flange is engaged therein; and the terminal rearward end of the second flange is positioned outwardly beyond the rearmost edge of the mounting area when the second flange is engaged therein.

7. The golf putter as defined in claim 1, wherein the first flange is of a first weight and the second flange is of a second and different weight.

8. The golf putter as defined in claim 1, wherein the first flange is of a first shape and the second flange is of a second and different shape.

9. The golf putter as defined in claim 8, wherein a terminal rearward end of each of the first and second flanges is shaped in one of a V-shape, an inverted V-shape and a substantially circular shape.

10. The golf putter as defined in claim 1, wherein each of the first and second flanges includes a first reflective surface and a second non-reflective surface; and wherein each of said first and second flanges are selectively reversible so as to cause one of said respective first and second surfaces to face upwardly toward the golfer when said putter is positioned on the ground for striking the golf ball.

11. The golf putter as defined in claim 10, wherein each of said first and second flanges has an upper surface defining a recess therein; and wherein the first reflective surface comprises a mirrored insert disposed within said recess.

12. The golf putter as defined in claim 11, wherein the upper surface of the front wall includes a first linear marking that is disposed substantially at right angles to the upper surface; and said first linear marking is adapted to be lined up with a remote hole into which the golf ball is to be putted.

13. The golf putter as defined in claim 12, further comprising a second linear marking formed on the first reflective surface of each of the first and second flanges, said second linear marking being alignable with the first linear marking when the respective one of the first and second flanges is mounted in the mounting area.

14. The golf putter as defined in claim 1, wherein each of the legs includes a bore therein and said putter further comprises a plurality of weighted members selectively receivable within one or both of the bores of the legs.

15. A method of putting a golf ball into a remote hole, comprising: selecting one of a first and second flange for engaging into a mounting area in a putter head of a golf putter; said first flange being at least one of a different length, weight and shape relative to the second flange; engaging the selected one of the first and second flanges into the mounting area of the golf putter head; positioning a front face of the putter head adjacent a golf ball; aligning first linear marking on the putter head with the golf ball and a remote hole into which the golf ball is to be putted; checking the relative position of a second linear marking on the selected one of the first and second flanges with the first linear marking; aligning the first and second linear markings with each other; striking the golf ball with a front face of the putter head.

16. The method of putting a golf ball as defined in claim 15; wherein the step of engaging the selected one of the first and second flanges further includes the step of: detaching the selected one of the first and second flanges from the putter head; engaging the other of the first and second flanges with the putter head to alter the center of gravity of the putter head for a subsequent putting stroke.

17. The method of putting a golf ball as defined in claim 15, wherein the step of aligning the first and second linear markings includes one of the steps of: moving the handle of the golf club slightly away from the body of the golfer if the first linear marking is disposed closer to the golfer's body than is the second linear marking; and moving the handle of the golf club slightly toward the golfer's body if the first linear marking is disposed further from the golfer's body than is the second linear marking.

18. The method of putting a golf as defined in claim 15, further comprising the steps of: positioning the golfer's head over a reflective surface of the selected one of the first and second flanges; where said reflective surface has the second linear marking disposed thereon; aligning at least one of the golfer's eyes with the second linear marking prior to striking the ball.

19. The method of putting a golf ball as defined in claim 18, further comprising the steps of: providing a further plurality of flanges for selective engagement with the putter head; wherein each of the additional plurality of flanges has one of a different length, weight and shape to all of the other plurality of flanges and to both of the first and second flanges; selecting one of the plurality of flanges and engaging the same with the putter head to alter the position of the center of gravity of the putter head; playing a stroke; detaching the one of the plurality of flanges; and selecting another of the plurality of flanges and replacing the previously selected one of the plurality of flanges therewith.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/337,428 filed Jan. 23, 2006, which is a standard utility application that claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/702,131, filed Jul. 25, 2005, the entire specifications of which are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

This invention generally relates to golf clubs. More particularly, the invention relates to a golf putter. Specifically, the invention relates to a golf putter that includes a variety of visual aids useful for training the golfer to correctly position their head and body so as to more consistently putt well.

2. Background Information

Golfers are always trying to improve their game and, consequently, they are always seeking out aids, teaching tools, videos and programs that will assist them in improving their game and achieving their potential as a golfer. The golfer may utilize all of these resources yet still encounter problems when they are actually out on the course. Many amateurs presume that the most important part of the game is driving the ball to the green and they consequently spend a lot of their self-improvement efforts in correcting their strokes to minimize slicing or hooking of the ball and to drive the ball as far as possible. While these aspects of the game are important, most golfers tend to drop strokes when they reach the putting green. This is because the typical golfer tends to have little awareness of the position of their body, and especially their head, in relation to the position of the ball when they are putting. The golfer's stance and head position are extremely important in determining where the putted ball will land up once struck. Even if the golfer is aware that their head position and their stance are of great importance for the accuracy of their putt, they may not know if the stance they are actually assuming is correct and appropriate for viewing the correct line to the hole. Typical amateur golfers tend to position the putter head on the grass, glance up at the hole once or twice to try and ensure that they are putting the ball in the correct direction and then they strike the ball. On occasion, the position of the golfer's head relative to the putter head is accidentally correct and the putt is good. At other times, the golfer's head is not in a good position relative to the putter head and the putt is bad. The golfer is therefore inconsistent in their putting and their overall game is weakened.

There is therefore a need in the art for a device which will aid the golfer in more consistently and correctly positioning their head and assuming the correct putting stance.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The device of the present invention comprises a golf club, and more specifically a putter, that includes a plurality of physical and visual aids for assisting the golfer to more consistently assume a good head and body position for putting and to strike a golf ball more correctly and accurately. The club includes a putter head mounted on a shaft. The putter head is selectively engaged with any one of a plurality of detachable flanges. The flanges are all of different lengths, weights and shapes and are designed to change the center of gravity of the putter head when they are individually engaged therewith. The change in the center of gravity aids in helping the golfer to correctly and accurately strike the golf ball. Each of the detachable flanges includes a first reflective surface and a second non-reflective surface and all are also provided with a second linear marking that is alignable with a first linear marking on the putter head. The reflective surface is used during practice sessions to aid the golfer in correctly positioning his head by aligning his eyes along the second linear marker and aligning the first and second linear markers with a remote hole. The golfer uses this reflective surface to train himself to hold his head correctly. The reflective surface is not allowed, however, in United States Golf Association (USGA) sanctioned games. In order to bring the putter into compliance with USGA regulations, the selected one of the flanges is quickly and easily removed from the putter head, flipped over and reinserted into the putter head so that the non-reflective surface is facing upwardly. The putter of the present invention is also provided with spaced apart weight ports into which small weights may be inserted so as to balance the putter head and help the golfer hold the putter head in a correct orientation for successful putting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The preferred embodiments of the invention, illustrative of the best mode in which applicant has contemplated applying the principles, are set forth in the following description and are shown in the drawings and are particularly and distinctly pointed out and set forth in the appended claims.

FIG. 1 is a front view of a golfer using the golf putter with a reflective head insert in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the putter head showing a small section of the shaft of the club extending outwardly away from the putter head;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the golf putter head showing the removeable flange engaged with the putter head and having the reflective surface facing outwardly;

FIG. 4 is an exploded top view of the putter head; the removeable flange and the reflective insert;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional rear view of the putter head through line 5-5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional top view of the putter head through line 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a top view of the golf putter head with the removeable flange that has been rotated through 180° so that the non-reflective surface of the flange is facing upwardly;

FIG. 8 is a top view of a golf putter head in accordance with the present invention and showing a second embodiment of a removeable flange engaged therewith;

FIG. 9 is a top view of a golf putter head in accordance with the present invention and showing a third embodiment of a removeable flange engaged therewith;

FIG. 10 is an illustrative front view of the golf putter head with the toe of the putter head lifted off the ground;

FIG. 11 is an illustrative top view of the golf putter head of FIG. 10, showing the relative position of the first linear marking and second linear marking;

FIG. 12 is an illustrative front view of the golf putter head with the heel of the putter head lifted off the ground;

FIG. 13 is an illustrative top view of the golf putter head of FIG. 12, showing the relative position of the first linear marking and second linear marking;

FIG. 14 is an illustrative front view of the golf putter head correctly soled on the ground;

FIG. 15 is an illustrative top view of the golf putter head of FIG. 14, showing the relative position of the first linear marking and second linear marking;

FIG. 16 is a top view of a golf putter head in accordance with the present invention and showing a fourth embodiment of a removeable flange engaged therewith; and

FIG. 17 is a top view of a golf putter head in accordance with the present invention and showing a fifth embodiment of a removeable flange engaged therewith.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a golfer 10 holding a golf putter 12 in accordance with the present invention. Putter 12 includes a handle 16, a shaft 18 and a putter head 20. Putter head 20 is illustrated as soled on the ground 14, i.e., putter head 20 is disposed resting substantially horizontally relative to ground 14. Golfer 10 is illustrated standing with their head 21 and eyes 22 positioned correctly over putter head 20, so that golfer 10 is ready to most accurately putt the ball 23 into a remote hole (not shown).

Referring to FIGS. 2-6, and in accordance with a specific feature of the present invention, putter head 20 comprises a generally U-shaped base 24 that engages a removeable flange 26. Base 24 preferably is manufactured from aircraft-grade aluminum and flange 26 preferably is manufactured from stainless steel. The aircraft-grade aluminum gives the putting stroke a soft feel and gives the golfer optimum control of ball 23.

Flange 26 has an upper side 26a and a lower side 26b, with the upper side 26a including a reflective surface, as will be hereinafter described, and the lower side 26b including a non-reflective surface. Flange 26 can be selectively removed from base 24, flipped over through over 180° and reinserted into base 24, depending on whether the golfer wants the reflective surface or non-reflective surface facing outwardly away from the ground 14 and toward his eyes 22. Typically, flange 26 would be retained in base 24 with the reflective surface facing upwardly during practice sessions. During an actual game, flange 26 would be reversed so that the non-reflective surface would face upwardly so that the putter would meet the rules and regulations of the USGA.

Base 24 preferably is an integrally formed member having a front wall 28 and a pair of substantially parallel legs 30, 32 extending outwardly and rearwardly away from front wall 28. Legs 30, 32 are spaced a distance apart from each other and thereby define a gap 42 between them. Front wall 28 includes a front face 52 adapted to contact ball 23, a back face 54, an upper surface 46 and a lower surface 48. The shaft 18 of putter 12 extends upwardly and outwardly away from upper surface 46. Shaft 18 may be received within an aperture (not shown) in upper surface 46 or it may be welded to upper surface 46. A pair of spaced apart apertures 44 are provided in back face 54 of front wall 28 in the region disposed between legs 30 and 32. As seen in FIGS. 4 & 5, a bottom wall 40 extends rearwardly away from front wall 28 and proximate the lower surface 48 thereof. Bottom wall 40 preferably is generally triangular in shape and extends into gap 42. The outermost side edge of each leg 30, 32 preferably is tapered inwardly so that putter head 20 has an aerodynamic profile that allows air to flow more fluidly over and around putter head 20. Legs 30, 32 terminate in terminal ends 76 and 78 respectively. The bottom wall 40 terminates in an apex 40a that is disposed a distance inwardly of terminal ends 76, 78 of legs 30, 32.

In accordance with one of the specific features of the present invention, upper surface 46 of front wall 28 includes a first linear marking 50 that is disposed substantially at right angles to front face 52 of putter 12. First linear marking 50 is adapted to be lined up with a remote hole (not shown) in which golfer 10 is attempting to sink his golf ball 23. First linear marking 50 preferably is in the form of a groove formed in upper surface 46 and extending between front face 52 and back face 54 of front wall 28. Alternatively, first linear marking 50 may comprise a ridge or a line that is physically marked on upper surface 46 in paint, ink or the like. First linear marking 50 preferably terminates in a small arrow-shaped protuberance 56 which extends rearwardly into gap 42.

In accordance with another specific feature of the present invention, flange 26 is removeably received in gap 42 and is detachably secured to base 24. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, flange 26 is secured to rear surface 54 of front wall 28. However, it will be understood that flange 26 could also be secured to one or both legs 30, 32 or to a combination of the legs 30, 32 and rear face 54 of front wall 28. Flange 26 comprises a housing 58, preferably having an inverted V-shaped back end 60, a substantially planar front end 62 and an intermediate portion 64 disposed between front and back ends 62, 60. Back surface 54 of front wall 28 may be provided with a recess shaped to receive the front end 62 of flange 26 therein. Both of the back end 60 and front end 62 of flange 26 extend laterally outwardly beyond intermediate portion 64 so that an indentation 65 is effectively formed on either side of housing 58. Intermediate portion 64 has an upper surface 64a and a lower surface 64b, with upper surface 64a defining a recess 66 therein. Recess 66 is configured to retain a mirrored plate 68 therein. Both the recess 66 and mirrored plate 68 can be of any desired shape, but mirrored plate 68 preferably is retained within recess 66 by both an adhesive (not shown) and the flanges 64c formed in intermediate portion 64 surrounding at least a portion of recess 66. Second linear marking 70a is inscribed on mirrored plate 68. This second linear marking 70a may be in the form of a centrally disposed groove or ridge or simply be a line that is physically marked on mirrored plate 68 in paint, ink or the like. Second linear marking 70a is designed to be alignable with first linear marking 50 on front wall 28 when flange 26 is oriented in putter head 20 so that the reflective surface 66 faces upwardly and outwardly, as will be hereinafter described.

The lower surface 64b of flange 26 has a non-reflective surface. Lower surface 64b is also provided with a central groove, ridge or line that serves as a second linear marking 70b. This second linear marking 70b is designed to be alignable with first linear marking 50 on front wall 28, when flange 26 is flipped over in putter head 20 so that the non-reflective surface faces upwardly, as will be hereinafter described.

Flange 26 is secured to base 24 by a plurality of fasteners 72 that are inserted into holes 74 in front end 62 of flange 26 and then into threaded apertures 44 in rear face 54 of front wall 28. As seen in FIGS. 4 & 5, fasteners 72 preferably are Allen screws that are rotatable by way of an Allen key (not shown) that is inserted through apertures 61 in back end 60 of housing 58. When fasteners 72 are rotated in a first direction, they secure flange 26 to base 24. When fasteners 72 are rotated in a second direction, they release flange 26 from base 24. When flange 26 is secured to base 24, the back end 60 of flange 26 preferably is substantially continuous with the terminal ends 76, 78 of legs 32, 30 respectively, so that putter head 12 has an aerodynamic trailing edge. Flange 26 is secured to base 24 in such a manner that when legs 30, 32 are resting on ground 14, flange 26 is held a spaced distance above bottom wall 40 (FIG. 5) resulting in less drag on the putter 12 as the stroke is executed. This distance is ideally around 4/10 inch.

In accordance with another specific feature of the present invention, each leg 30, 32 includes a longitudinal bore 34, 36 (FIG. 6) configured to receive one or more weights 38 therein. The weights 38 provided may be of any suitable size, such as around 15g or 30g each, and one or more weights 38 may be selectively inserted into one or both bores 34, 36. This enables golfer 10 to balance putter head 20 in a manner that is pleasing to the golfer. Weights 38 preferably include a threadable portion 38a (FIG. 6) that engages an internally threaded portion 34a, 36a of bore 34, 36 respectively. Each weight 38 may be provided with a recess (not shown) which allows it to be inserted or removed by an Allen wrench. It should be noted that the gap 42 formed between legs 30 and 32 in conjunction with weights 38 results in a putter head with an increased moment of inertia and a center of gravity that is positioned about 1.4″ from the club face. This reduces the backspin in the golf ball 23 and results in a smoother stroke.

Referring to FIG. 8, there is shown a differently shaped flange 126 for engagement in putter head 20. Flange 126 has an upper surface having a shaped mirrored insert 168 including a second linear marking 170a. Flange 126 has a V-shaped back end 162, the apex 162a of which is disposed inwardly of the terminal ends 76, 78 of legs 32, 30. All other components of flange 126 are substantially identical to that of flange 26, including the feature that the lower surface (not shown) of the flange 126 has a non-reflective surface and a second linear marking thereon. Back end 162 of flange 126 is again substantially continuous with terminal ends 76, 78 of base 24.

FIG. 9 illustrates yet another shape of flange which is indicated generally at 226. Flange 226 includes a peripheral wall 262 that is not substantially continuous with terminal ends 76, 78 of legs 32, 30. Flange 226 includes an upper surface having a mirrored insert 268 therein and a lower surface (not shown) that is non-reflective. As with previous embodiments, flange 226 is easily removed by unscrewing the Allen screws (not shown) that secure it to the base 24. It will be understood that any suitably shaped flange can be received within the gap 42 between legs 30, 32 of base 24 without departing from the spirit of the present invention.

Referring to FIGS. 10-15, putter 12 is used in the following manner. (It should be noted that the specific elements of the putter head, save for the front wall and reflective insert, have been removed from these figures for the sake of clarity.) When the golfer is preparing to putt, he places putter head 20 on the ground 14. Normally, the golfer would not be able to determine very easily if the putter head was soled or not, i.e., if the putter head 20 was lying with both the toe portion 20a and heel portion 20b in contact with the ground 14. As will be described hereinafter, the putter 12 of the present invention solves this problem.

FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate the situation where toe portion 20a is out of contact with ground 14 and as a consequence, from the viewpoint of the golfer, the first linear marking 50 lies closer to the golfer than does the second linear marking 70a. The non-alignment of first linear marking 50 and second linear marking 70a tells the golfer that he does not have putter head 20 soled properly. The fact that the first linear marking 50 is disposed closer to the golfer than the second linear marking 70a, lets the golfer know that toe portion 20a is lifted off ground 14.

FIGS. 12 and 13 illustrate the situation where heel portion 20b is out of contact with ground 14. In this instance, first linear marking 50 is disposed further away from the golfer than is second linear marking 70a. This tells the golfer that the heel portion 20b is lifted off the ground 14.

FIGS. 14 and 15 illustrate the situation where putter head 20 is correctly soled on ground 14. The golfer can tell the putter head is correctly positioned because first linear marking 50 lies in complete alignment with second linear marking 70a.

FIG. 16 illustrates a putter head 20 that is engaged with a fourth embodiment of a removeable flange, which flange is generally indicated at 326. Flange 326 is secured to rear surface 54 of front wall 28 of base 24. However, it will be understood that flange 326 could also be secured to one or both legs 30, 32 or to a combination of the legs 30, 32 and rear face 54 of front wall 28. Flange 326 is substantially identical to flange 26 except that flange 326 is at least one of a reduced size and different weight to flange 26. When flange 326 is engaged with base 24, the V-shaped back end 360 of flange 326 terminates a distance inwardly from terminal ends 76, 78 of base 24. Flange 326 includes a mirrored plate 368 on an upper surface thereof and is non-reflective on a lower surface (not shown). As with previous embodiments, flange 326 is provided with a second linear marking 370a that serves as an extension of first linear marking 50 on front wall 28. Flange 326 may be either lighter or heavier than flange 26. The different length and weight of flange 326 relative to flange 26 allows the golfer the opportunity to change the center of gravity of putter head 20 and to thereby alter the characteristics of the putter. The center of gravity of putter head 20 can be shifted forwardly toward front face 52 by using flange 326. The center of gravity of putter head 20 can be shifted rearwardly toward terminal ends 76, 78 by using flange 26. This is especially useful in pendulum type motions and different loft angles. If putter 12 has a face 52 with negative loft (e.g., −6 degrees) then switching the center of gravity from the front to the back or from the back to the front of the putter head 20 by engaging the appropriate flange 26 or 326 therewith may be beneficial to the golfer's game. If the golfer drags putter 20 straight back and straight through the ball, he might find that the ball rolls better when the center of gravity of putter head 20 is somewhere between the front face 52 and middle section A-A′ of the putter head 20. If the golfer has a pendulum motion to their backswing, then moving the center of gravity of putter head 20 to between the middle section A-A′ and terminal ends 76, 78 may be beneficial. The golfer is therefore able to select the appropriate size and weight flange 26, 326 to change the center or gravity of the putter head. The position of the center of gravity of the putter head 20 may also make a difference in the roll of the ball depending on whether the golfer positions the ball off his front foot or in the middle of his stance. It would be beneficial to position the center of gravity in the middle section A-A′ or just off the front face 52 of putter 12 by selecting a shorter flange 326 if the golfer places the ball more toward his front foot. This way the club face will stay parallel to the ground and will tend to strike the ball squarely at impact. If the golfer places the ball in the middle of his stance, then the center of gravity of putter head 20 would be more beneficially positioned toward the terminal ends 76, 78 of head 20. This could be achieved by selecting a longer flange 26. This will create a more pendulum-like action, allowing the club to strike the ball on the upstroke and will tend to eliminate “blocking” or striking the ball on the downstroke, which tends to cause hopping/skipping or backspin in the struck ball.

FIG. 17 illustrates a fifth embodiment of flange, being the flange indicated generally at 426. Flange 426 is substantially identical to the flange 226 shown in FIG. 8, except flange 426 is again of a diminished size and different weight to flange 226. Flange 426 includes a peripheral wall 462 that is not substantially continuous with terminal ends 76, 78 of legs 32, 30. Peripheral wall 462 terminates a distance inwardly of terminal ends 76, 78 of base 24. Flange 426 includes an upper surface having a mirrored insert 468 therein and a lower surface (not shown) that is non-reflective. Mirrored insert 468 also includes a second linear marking 470a that aligns with the first linear marking 50 on base 24. As with previous embodiments, flange 426 is easily removed by unscrewing the Allen screws (not shown) that secure it to the base 24 and this makes it easy for the golfer to switch between various length, weight and shape flanges and to thereby change the putting characteristics of his putter. It would be beneficial if the golfer places the ball to more toward his front foot, then shifting the center of gravity of the putter head to proximate the middle section B-B′ or just off the front face 52 can be achieved by selecting a shorter flange 426. The golfer could have provided to him a range of shorter flanges that are of different weights. In this instance, selecting one of the shorter but heavier flanges 426 will cause the movement of the center of gravity to be even more pronounced.

If the golfer places the ball in the middle of his stance, then the center of gravity of putter head 20 would be more beneficially positioned toward the terminal ends 76, 78 of head 20. This could be achieved by selecting a longer and/or heavier flange 26. This shift in the center of gravity will create a more pendulum-like action, allowing the club to strike the ball on the upstroke and will tend to eliminate “blocking” or striking the ball on the downstroke.

It is envisaged that putter 12 might be sold as a base 24 that may be selectively engaged with any one of a plurality of flanges that are manufactured in different shapes, weights or lengths. The golfer would then select a first-shaped flange of his choice and attach the same to the base 24. If he decides that the selected first-shaped flange is not helping him in the manner he desires, he could simply detach the first-shaped flange and replace it with a second-shaped flange. The golfer might alternatively select a different length or weight of flange to purposefully change the center of gravity of the putter head 20 to compensate for or enhance his putting style.

The golfer can train himself to correctly position his head by utilizing the mirrored inserts 68, 168, 268, 368 or 468 that is provided on any of the shaped flanges 26, 126, 226, 326 and 426. For instance, when the mirrored insert 68 of flange 26 is facing upwardly on putter head 20, the golfer will be able to see the reflection 22a of one or both of his eyes 22 in insert 68. When putter head 20 is properly soled on ground 14, the golfer would move his head until the reflection 22a of his eyes 22 is disposed along second linear marking 70a or just slightly below second linear marking 70a. Repeated positioning of his head in this manner will help the golfer train himself to correctly position his head under circumstances where the flange 26 is positioned with the non-reflective surface facing upwardly and toward him.

Putter 12 is also designed so that the golfer can add weights 38 into one or the other or both of the bores 34, 36 in legs 32, 30 in order to balance putter head 20 and thereby reduce his tendency to hold the putter head with either the toe portion 20a or heel portion 20b out of contact with ground 14. Alternatively, if the golfer finds that he plays better with the putter in a slightly unbalanced mode, he can add one or more weights to one or the other bore 34, 36 to cause the putter head 20 to be more easily held in the toe-up or heel-up position. The golfer can also utilize the relative positioning of first linear marking 50 and second linear marking 70a or 70b to determine how to habitually hold putter 12 if they wish to play with the putter head in the toe-up or heel-up position. If they wish to play with putter head 20 in toe-up position, then shaft 18 is pulled slightly toward the body to ensure that first linear marking 50 is positioned closer to the body than is second linear marking 70a or 70b. If the golfer wishes to play with putter head in the heel up position, then they push shaft 18 slightly away from their body to move first linear marking 50 so that it lays further from their body than does the second linear marking 70a or 70b.

The golfer is trained by frequent and regular use of the alignment mechanism, i.e., the first and second linear markings 50, 70, to consistently position their head relative to the putter head 20; and to position the putter head 20 in a particular manner relative to the ground; and to line up a putter head with the ball and with a remote flag/hole. Regular use of the weights 38 also help the golfer to more consistently hold the putter at a particular angle. Essentially, all of these aids help the golfer develop his muscle memory by helping him to consistently position his body and most specifically position his shoulders, head and eyes relative to the putter head.

It will be understood that while flange 26 is shown as reversibly connected to said front wall 28, flange 26 could alternatively be connected to one or both legs 30, 32 or to said legs and said front wall. Furthermore, while the preferred embodiment has shown the flange 26 mounted within a gap 42 defined between legs 30, 32, flange 26 could alternatively be mounted in a recess formed in the putter head rearwardly of front wall 28.

In the foregoing description, certain terms have been used for brevity, clearness, and understanding. No unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the requirement of the prior art because such terms are used for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed.

Moreover, the description and illustration of the invention are an example and the invention is not limited to the exact details shown or described.