Title:
GOLF BALL WITH COLORED IMPACT ZONE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf ball has colored lines emanating from colored visual impact zones of the ball to form a useful alignment tool as well as directional indicators. The visual impact zones are located on opposite ends of the golf ball. The utility of such a colored design on the golf ball aids the golfer in seeing the ball to improve with eye-hand coordination and proper alignment of the golfer's body to the ball in order to produce a better ball striking result.



Inventors:
Kang, John J. (Coto de Caza, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/550706
Publication Date:
04/24/2008
Filing Date:
10/18/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/280
International Classes:
A63B37/00; A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GORDEN, RAEANN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Haynes and Boone, LLP (IP Section 2323 Victory Avenue SUITE 700, Dallas, TX, 75219, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A golf ball, comprising: a colored first impact zone; and a colored second impact zone on the opposite side as the first impact zone, wherein the second impact zone is smaller than the first impact zone.

2. The golf ball of claim 1, further comprising: a colored first directional line emanating from the first impact zone and extending around the ball through the second impact zone; a colored second directional line emanating from the first impact zone and extending around the ball through the second impact zone, wherein the second directional line is orthogonal to the first directional line.

3. The golf ball of claim 2, further comprising: a colored third directional line emanating from the first impact zone and extending around the ball through the second impact zone; a colored fourth directional line emanating from the first impact zone and extending around the ball through the second impact zone, wherein the third directional line is orthogonal to the fourth directional line and wherein the third and fourth directional lines bisect the first and second directional lines.

4. The golf ball of claim 1, wherein the first impact zone is octagonal and the second impact zone is circular.

5. The golf ball of claim 1, wherein the color of first and second impact zones is selected from the group consisting of red, orange, reddish-orange, yellow, blue, black, and purple.

6. The golf ball of claim 3, wherein the third and fourth directional lines each comprise a parallel pair of thin colored lines.

7. The golf ball of claim 6, wherein the first and second impact zones and the first, second, third, and fourth directional lines are the same color.

8. The golf ball of claim 3, wherein the first and second directional lines are different from the third and fourth directional lines.

9. The golf ball of claim 8, wherein the difference is color.

10. The golf ball of claim 8, wherein the difference is shape.

11. The golf ball of claim 2, wherein the first directional line is a thick solid line and the second directional line is a thin broken line.

12. A golf ball, comprising: a colored first impact zone; a colored second impact zone on the opposite side as the first impact zone, wherein the second impact zone is smaller than the first impact zone; a colored first set of orthogonal directional lines emanating from the first impact zone and extending around the ball through the second impact zone; and a colored second set of directional lines emanating from the first impact zone and extending around the ball through the second impact zone, wherein the second set of directional lines bisects the first set of directional lines.

13. The golf ball of claim 12, wherein the first and second impact zones are of a different shape.

14. The golf ball of claim 13, wherein the first impact zone is an octagonal shape and the second impact zone is a circular shape.

15. The golf ball of claim 12, wherein the color of the impact zones and the color of the directional lines is selected from the group consisting of red, orange, reddish-orange, yellow, blue, black, and purple.

16. The golf ball of claim 12, wherein the second set of directional lines each comprise a parallel pair of thin colored lines.

17. The golf ball of claim 12, wherein the first and second impact zones and the first and second sets of directional lines are the same color.

18. The golf ball of claim 12, wherein the first set of directional lines is different from the second set of directional lines.

19. The golf ball of claim 18, wherein the difference is color.

20. The golf ball of claim 18, wherein the difference is shape.

21. The golf ball of claim 12, wherein the first set of directional lines comprises a thick solid line and an orthogonal thin broken line.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of Invention

The present invention relates to golf balls, and in particular, to visual designs on golf balls.

2. Related Art

Innovations in golf ball technology generally stem from improving its flight characteristics, such as distance or trajectory. However, these innovations do little for golfers with worsening or developing eye-hand coordination, such as elderly or youth golfers, respectively. For this segment of golfers, it is more imperative to see the ball and hit it cleanly in the right spot. Mis-hits, “shanks”, “topping”, and hitting the ball “fat” are all common errors due to improper ball striking. A golf ball that helps golfers see the ball more clearly can reduce the errors involved.

One type of golf ball innovation deals with improving sight lines for putting. Some of these types of innovations related to alignment for putting can be found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 676,506, 1,842,944, 2,709,595, 3,420,529, 3,753,565, 4,209,172, 4,235,441, 4,603,862, 5,564,707, 5,662,530, 6,004,223, 6,676,544, 6,739,980, and pending patent application Pub. No. 2003/0144068. However, all of these patents and pending application make one assumption—that the golfer is able to clearly see the lines. This, obviously, is not the case, due to factors such as poor vision, poor lighting (e.g., dusk or dawn), or poor playing conditions (e.g., cloudy, rainy, or windy). Further, the sight line in the aforementioned patents refer to putting alignment and not necessarily ball striking alignment for the golfer's full swing. Thus, these innovations have limited use, since they only aid in putting and not necessarily tee shots, chip shots, bunker shots, etc.

Another patent application involves patterns of colors on the golf ball (Patent Application Pub. No. US2006/0035723 A1). This application posits that the “symmetrical imprinting of a repeating pattern” aids the golfer in viewing the golf ball, and consequently “improves the ball-striking ability” of said golfer. However, repeating symmetrical patterns may not produce enough contrast with the golf ball's white background to enhance visual perception since a repeating pattern will mute out the white of the ball, thereby reducing the ability of the golfer to focus. Also, simply repeating symmetrical patterns cannot aid the directional alignment of the golfer to the golf ball, which is also critical for ball striking. If the golfer is not aligned properly, and has too “open of stance” (leading shoulder pointed right of the target), or too “closed of a stance” (leading shoulder pointed left of the target), direct impact of the ball will not equate to a proper ball strike.

Therefore, there is a need for a golf ball design that overcomes the disadvantages of conventional golf ball designs discussed above.

SUMMARY

According to one aspect of the present invention, a golf ball has a bright colored shape, termed as the impact zone, on two opposite sides of the golf ball. The shape creates a bright color contrast with the typical white background of the ball. Differing colors can be used so long as they are brightly colored. Hues of orange and red will typically produce the best contrast on the white background of the ball and the green of the grass. It is this color contrast that helps with the golfer's visual acuity. The shape does not have to be the same on each side, but can be. In one embodiment, the shape is an octagonal shape on one side and a circular shape on the other. Other shapes may include circular, square, triangle, or any multi-sided shape. The shapes may vary in size, but should be sufficiently large for easy identification by the golfer for best visualization. Having different size shapes for the impact zones enables golfers of any skill level to use the ball. For example, less skilled golfers or golfers with poor eyesight may choose to use the larger impact zone, while more highly skilled golfers or golfers with good eyesight may choose to use the smaller sized impact zone.

In other embodiments, the golf ball has directional lines emanating from the two impact zones, where the lines can have differing characteristics to help aid the golfer in forming a proper alignment or stance with the ball. In one embodiment, two orthogonal thick solid lines span the circumference of the ball, with two parallel thin lines each bisecting the thick solid lines and spanning the circumference of the ball. In another embodiment, a single broken line replaces one of the thick solid lines. Different types of lines and arrangements can be used for alignment with any type of golf shot, not just putting. The lines are preferably a bright color as well, such as the same color as the impact zones. However, the colors need not be same or even brightly colored.

Embodiments of the present invention and their advantages are best understood by referring to the detailed description that follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 shows one side of a golf ball according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows the opposite side of the golf ball of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows one side of a golf ball according to another embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 shows the opposite side of the golf ball of FIG. 3.

It should be appreciated that like reference numerals are used to identify like elements illustrated in one or more of the figures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

According to one aspect of the present invention, a golf ball has two impact zones, both of differing sizes and shapes to match the golfer's experience level and eye-hand coordination. Experienced golfers may only need the smaller target, whereas beginners or older golfers may want the larger impact zone. In both cases, the impact zones aid the golfer to see the golf ball by way of the color contrast between the impact zone and the golf ball background. The zone color can be any bright color so long as there is a clear contrast to the golf ball background, which is typically white, but not necessarily limited to just white. According to another embodiment, colored sight lines emanate from the impact zones to aid the golfer with alignment and/or stance.

FIGS. 1 and 2 show one embodiment of a golf ball 100 according to one embodiment. FIG. 1 shows one side of golf ball 100 with a larger impact zone 102. As shown, impact zone 102 is an octagonal shape, but other shapes, such as circular or multi-sided shapes may also be suitable, such as triangle, square, hexagonal, etc. In one embodiment, the color of impact zone 102 is a reddish orange, but any bright color that provides a clear color contrast to the ball may be used, such as red, orange, blue, purple, black, etc. The greater the degree of color contrast, the better the visual perception of the golf ball. The larger the shape, the better target is provided for the beginner golfer so long as the shape does not exceed the total area of the white background on that hemisphere of the golf ball.

Also, as shown in FIG. 1, golf ball 100 has two directional lines 104 at right angles from each other and two directional lines 106 at right angles from each other and bisecting directional lines 104. Directional lines 104 and 106 emanate from impact zone 102 and span across the circumference of golf ball 100. This embodiment shows four sets of directional lines; however, in other embodiments, here can be as few as three and as many as eight. More than eight directional lines will have a blurring effect that will deter from visual focus. Each set of directional lines may be different in character from the directional lines immediately adjacent to that line (i.e., next directional set rotating the golf ball either left or right). The different characteristics can be a thicker line, dotted line, different colored line, different number of lines, etc. In this embodiment, directional lines 106 comprise a pair of thin lines. Directional lines 104 and 106 may be the same color as impact zone 102 or they can be of a different color. The directional lines aid the golfer to align his feet a body with the golf ball to produce a better ball strike.

FIG. 2 shows the opposite side of golf ball 100 and rotated 90 degrees along the y-axis from the view in FIG. 1. Golf ball has a smaller impact zone 200 from that of impact zone 102. The smaller impact zone can be used by more highly skilled golfers, while the larger impact zone can be used by less skilled golfers, ones with lesser eyesight, and/or in low visibility conditions. Impact zone 200 is shown as a small circle with the same color as impact zone 102 and directional lines 104 and 106. In other embodiments, the shape can be different, such as an oval, square, triangle, or any other multi-sided shaped. Directional lines 104 and 106 also emanate from impact zone 200 and extend across the ball to impact zone 102.

FIGS. 3 and 4 show a golf ball 300 according to another embodiment of the present invention, with FIG. 3 showing one side of golf ball 300 with large impact zone 102 and FIG. 4 showing the opposite side of golf ball 300 rotated 90 degrees about the y-axis having smaller impact zone 200. The only difference with this embodiment is that one set of directional lines 104 of FIGS. 1 and 2 is replaced with a dotted line 302, which is the same color as directional lines 104 and 106, but need not be.

Thus, with designs of the present invention, namely a large colored impact zone and a smaller colored impact zone on the opposite side, a golfer has aids in striking the ball. Studies have shown that children's eye-hand coordination in sports is improved with color contrast. For example, the Pediatric Clinics of North America stated, “Specific visual skills that help children succeed in sports include clarity, good color and contrast vision, and well developed eye tracking of motion.” (http://vision.about.com/od/sportsvisioncare/f/eyehand.htm) By also including directional lines, the golf ball provides additional aids for ball and/or stance alignment.

Although the invention has been shown and clearly depicted, various other changes, additions and omissions in the form and detail thereof may be made therein without departing from the intent and scope of this invention. Examples of different embodiments include, but are not limited to, different line types or shape forms or size. Thus the invention is limited only by the following claims.





 
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