Title:
Elongated golf putter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An elongated golf putter including a) a club head having a front face, a back surface, a top surface, a sole positioned on a bottom surface, a heel and a toe; b) a shaft having an upper part and a lower part which is attached to the head in a manner such that a projection of the longitudinal centerline of the shaft onto a vertical plane through the front face and the back surface of the head along the intended line of play diverges backward from the vertical at an angle from 0 degrees to 10 degrees; and c) a grip which is positioned on the upper part of the shaft.



Inventors:
White, Joseph H. (Bloomfield, NY, US)
Nicholson, Kerry L. (Orlando, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/325920
Publication Date:
07/05/2007
Filing Date:
01/05/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B53/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BLAU, STEPHEN LUTHER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Fred L. Denson (PO Box 801 14 East Main Street, Webster, NY, 14580, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An elongated golf putter for improving putting accuracy and consistency by imparting controlled top spin to a golf ball upon upswing contact, said golf putter comprising: a. a head having a front face, a back surface, a top surface, a sole positioned on a bottom surface, a first side comprising a heel, and a distal second side comprising a toe; b. a shaft having an upper part and a lower part which is attached to the head in a manner such that a projection of the longitudinal centerline of the shaft onto a vertical plane through the front face and the back surface of the head along the intended line of play diverges backward from the vertical at an angle from 0 degrees to 10 degrees; and c. a grip which is positioned on the upper part of the shaft.

2. The elongated golf putter of claim 1 wherein the projection of the longitudinal centerline of the shaft onto a vertical plane through the front face and the back surface along the intended line of play diverges backward from the vertical at an angle from 7 degrees to 10 degrees.

3. The elongated golf putter of claim 1 wherein the projection of the longitudinal centerline of the shaft onto a vertical plane through the front face and the back surface along the intended line of play diverges backward from the vertical at an angle from 8.5 degrees to 10 degrees.

4. The elongated golf putter of claim 1 wherein the grip is comprised of two sections that are separated by at least 1.5 inches.

5. The elongated golf putter of claim 1 wherein the length of the putter from the top of the grip along the axis of the shaft to the sole of the club is equal to or greater than the shoulder height of the golfer.

6. The elongated golf putter of claim 1 wherein the upper part and lower part of the shaft are detachably connected by threaded means.

7. The elongated golf putter of claim 1 wherein the projection of the longitudinal centerline of the shaft onto a vertical plane through the toe and heel diverges from the vertical toward the heel at an angle of at least 10 degrees.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an elongated or long handle golf putter that is designed for use with the trailing arm to improve putting consistency and accuracy.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Over the past several years, elongated putters have become widely used by golfers. The length of such putters generally is at least chest high or even greater than shoulder height. They have become increasingly popular because they provide golfers with greater control over their putting strokes. In using a putter of conventional length, a golfer relies upon the movement of the hands, wrists, arms and/or shoulders to control the movement of the shaft and club head during a putting stroke. Inherent human inconsistencies make it difficult for a golfer to replicate movement of these body parts which in turn causes inconsistencies in the golfer's putting game. Use of an elongated putter results in improved control of the putting stroke because a portion of the shaft is anchored against the body of the golfer. This reduces or eliminates errant movement of various body parts by enabling the wrists to remain locked, while enabling the hands, arms and shoulders to remain in a fixed position in relation to the shaft and to each other during the putting stroke.

Various types of elongated or long handle putters are described in the prior art. Such putters are generally designed to be positioned under the leading arm of the golfer. U.S. Pat. No. 5,209,474 by Voyer discloses an elongated putter having a club head attached to an elongated shaft by an offset connector. U.S. Pat. No. 5,544,879 by Collins shows a long handle putter with spaced apart weights positioned at a specific location on the head and an angled shaft that enters the head at a specific location. U.S. Pat. No. 5,649,870 by Harrison describes a long handle putter wherein the shaft has two sections. U.S. Pat. No. 5,785,608 by Collins describes an elongated putter having a shaft that is angled about 10° to about 20° toward the front face of the head and that also is angled about 10° to about 20° toward the club user. U.S. Pat. No. 5,947,837 by Perry discloses an elongated putter designed to create overspin on a ball. The structural arrangement of the putter includes T-shaped guide lines mounted on the housel to assist the golfer in lining up the putt.

Notwithstanding the many advantages associated with using a leading arm, elongated putter, there are significant disadvantages as well. When such putters are used by golfers with larger than average body midsections, the putting back stroke tends to become inconsistent because the swing arc of the putter is restricted or distorted by the golfers midsection. This can cause inconsistent results particularly with longer putts that require longer back swings because of the difficulty in repeating a good stroke pattern.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an elongated putter that improves putting consistency.

It is a further object of this invention to provide an elongated putter that is suitable for use by golfers with large midsections.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide an elongated putter that is easily transportable.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide an elongated putter that is usable for a variety of stances (open, closed, square, etc.) and a variety of postures (upright, leaning, etc.)

A further object of this invention is to provide a putter that will provide good overspin or topspin to a golf ball.

Still another object of this invention is to provide an elongated putter that is easily custom fit for a particular golfer.

Another object of this invention is to provide an elongated putter that is designed to enhance a golfer's ability to align and follow the path of a ball without movement of the golfer's head.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

These and other objects are accomplished by a novel elongated golf putter for use with a golfer's trailing arm rather than the leading arm. The shaft and head are configured in a manner such that their relative positions are defined by a specific and unique angle that causes a controlled topspin to be imparted to a golf ball upon upswing contact with the head. Good top spin is essential for putting accuracy and consistency because it is a significant factor in controlling the path of travel of the ball toward the hole. The head of the putter of this invention includes the usual face, back surface, top and bottom surfaces, bottom surface sole, heel and toe. The upper part of the shaft includes a grip while the lower part of the shaft is attached to the head. The manner in which the lower shaft is attached to the head is such that a projection of the logitudinal centerline of the shaft onto a vertical plane through the face and back surface of the head along the intended line of play diverges backward from the vertical at an angle from 0 degrees to 10 degrees. Also, the projection of the longitudinal centerline of the shaft onto a vertical plane through the toe and heel of the head diverges from the vertical toward the heel at an angle of at least 10 degrees.

The novel putter of the invention is particularly advantageous for use by golfers with large mid sections since the swing arc is not restricted or distorted by the mid section prior to club head contact with the ball. While the vast majority of elongated putters are used under the leading arm or in some cases under the chin, they do not produce good ball over spin when used under the trailing arm. This adversely effects putting accuracy and consistency.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an environmental elevation view of the elongated golf putter of this invention in the hands of a golfer.

FIG. 2 is a front view of the golf putter of this invention.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the golf putter of this invention.

FIGS. 4 through 6 are sequential elevation views illustrating a golfer using a golf putter constructed in accordance with the present invention to perform a putt.

FIG. 7 is a front view of a club head and lower shaft showing the angle of divergence from the vertical of a projection of the longitudinal centerline of the shaft onto a vertical plane through the toe and heel of the club head.

FIG. 8 is a side view of a club head and lower shaft showing the angle of divergence from the vertical of a projection of the longitudinal centerline of the shaft onto a vertical plane through the front face and back surface of the club head along the line of play.

FIG. 9 is a side view of the golf putter of this invention showing ball spin in relation to movement of the putter.

FIG. 10 is an exploded front view of the golf putter of this invention showing threaded shaft sections.

FIGS. 10A and 10B are enlarged views of the threaded shaft sections of the golf putter of this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As shown in FIG. 1, golf putter 2 includes head 4 which is attached to lower shaft 6. Upper shaft 8 contains upper grip 11 and lower grip 10 affixed to its surface. Lower grip 10 is grasped by the hands of golfer 16 while upper grip 11 is nested between the rib cage and trailing arm 66, i.e. the arm that is further from hole 14 than leading arm 68 of golfer 16. Upper grip 11 and lower grip 10 are spaced at least 1.5 inches apart.

FIG. 10 shows a shaft in which lower shaft 6 and upper shaft 8 are removably attached to each other by a set of threads 50 and 52 positioned on the outer and inner surfaces of the lower and upper shafts. The threaded joints allow the shaft to be separated into two sections for convenience during transportation and storage.

FIGS. 2 and 3 show an alternative embodiment where putter 2 includes shaft 60 which is a unitary structure. Single grip 58 is positioned around the surface of the upper part of shaft 60 while the lower part is attached to head 4.

As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, head 4 includes face or front surface 18, top surface 20, bottom surface with sole 22, heel 24, toe 26 and back surface 28. Neck 62 is connected to lower shaft 6 and head 4. In accordance with the USGA Rules of Golf, the distance from the top of neck 62 to sole 22 may not exceed 5 inches.

In accordance with the present invention, and as shown in FIG. 8, shaft 6 is attached to head 4 in a manner such that a projection of the longitudinal centerline 64 of shaft 6 onto vertical plane through face 18 and back surface 28 along the intended line of play, diverges backward from the vertical 46 at an angle of divergence 80 ranging from 0 degrees to 10 degrees and preferably from about 7 degrees to 10 degrees. The optimum range for angle of divergence 80 is from about 8.5 degrees to 10 degrees. Furthermore, as shown in FIG. 7, shaft 6 is also attached to head 4 in a manner such that a projection of the longitudinal centerline 64 of shaft 6 onto a vertical plane through toe 26 and heel 24 diverges from the vertical 44 toward the heel at an angle of divergence 78 of at least 10 degrees.

The unique positioning of the shaft in relation to its angle of divergence from a vertical plane lying in the direction of the line of play and from a vertical plane lying in the toe-heel direction of the club head allows increased control of the putter when the shaft is positioned under the trailing arm. This results in improved putting accuracy and efficiency when the putter is used in the manner demonstrated in sequential FIGS. 4, 5 and 6. During the backswing or take away, upper shaft 8 of putter 2 is anchored between trailing arm 66 and the rib cage of golfer 16 whose head 72 and hands 70 are positioned behind a vertical plane which passes through the ball and is perpendicular to the line of play. The position of the hands and head behind the ball is contrary to the conventional position used by golfers who use leading arm elongated putters. When addressing and striking the ball with elongated, leading arm putters, the head and hands are usually ahead of the ball. In accordance with the present invention, during the putting strike shown in FIG. 5, upper shaft 8 remains anchored between trailing arm 66 and the rib cage of golfer 16. Swing control is enhanced by the anchoring of the upper shaft since the wrists cannot be “broken” during either the back swing or the front swing. The position of the head allows the golfer to use peripheral vision to view the position of the ball and the line of play without moving the head. After ball 12 is contacted by club head 4 as shown in FIG. 6, the anchoring results in a more controlled and therefore improved follow through swing.

The angled configuration of the shaft in relation to the club head and the positioning of the shaft between the trailing arm and the rib cage of the golfer also result in improved control of ball top spin upon impact of the face of the club head with the ball. As previously discussed, controlled top spin is important with regard to a good ball roll toward the hole. As shown in FIG. 9, face 18 contacts ball 12 during the upswing portion of the stroke. Top spin or over spin 42 is imparted at the point of contact 76. The configuration of shaft 6 and head 4 results in good overspin upon contact with ball 12.

The invention has been described in detail with particular reference to certain preferred embodiments thereof, but it will be understood that variations and modifications can be effected within the spirit and scope of the invention.