Title:
Golf club putter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf club putter that provides improved putter stroke control and feel, and increased power, while consistently imparting an overspin on a golf ball, is provided. The inventive golf club putter comprises a unitary, substantially bell-shaped putter head and an elongate shaft. The weight and design of the putter head serves to raise and shift the center of mass of the putter head toward its ball striking portion.



Inventors:
Pacinella, Daril A. (Westfield, MA, US)
Application Number:
10/156931
Publication Date:
12/05/2002
Filing Date:
05/28/2002
Assignee:
PACINELLA DARIL A.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/251, 473/256, 473/296, 473/314, 473/340
International Classes:
A63B53/04; A63B53/00; (IPC1-7): A63B69/36; A63B53/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DUONG, THANH P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOLLAND & BONZAGNI, P.C. (LONGMEADOW, MA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A golf club putter comprising a unitary, substantially bell-shaped putter head and an elongate shaft, wherein the putter head comprises: a ball striking portion and a double-tiered counterweight that extends laterally from the ball striking portion, wherein the shaft is connected directly to the double-tiered counterweight and extends at an angle upwards from the putter head.

2. The golf club putter of claim 1, wherein the putter head has a weight ranging from about 0.45 to about 0.57 kilogram.

3. The golf club putter of claim 1, wherein the ball striking portion of the putter head comprises a top and a bottom surface and a ball striking face having a length, wherein the ball striking face is located between the top and bottom surfaces, and wherein the top and the bottom surfaces taper away from the ball striking face toward the double-tiered counterweight.

4. The golf club putter of claim 3, wherein the ball striking face is milled to provide a smooth striking surface.

5. The golf club putter of claim 3, wherein the ball striking face is provided with a plurality of grooves or ridges, wherein the grooves or ridges extend horizontally across the entire length of the ball striking face.

6. The golf club putter of claim 1, wherein the double-tiered counterweight has an upper and a lower tier surface, wherein the upper tier surface tapers away from the ball striking portion of the putter head, and wherein the upper tier surface serves to raise and shift the center of mass of the putter head toward the ball striking portion of the putter head.

7. The golf club putter of claim 1, wherein the shaft has a first end that is contained within a shaft-receiving cavity or hole located in the upper tier surface of the double-tiered counterweight, and wherein the cavity or hole is closer to the ball striking portion than an opposing end of the putter head.

8. The golf club putter of claim 7, wherein the golf club putter further comprises an angled support member, wherein the angled support member is formed on the upper tier surface of the double-tiered counterweight and extends from the ball striking portion of the putter head to the shaft-receiving cavity or hole.

9. The golf club putter of claim 8, wherein the golf club putter further comprises an elongate groove that extends longitudinally along a top surface of the ball striking portion and the angled support member thereby forming a sight line to further guide a golfer in aligning the golf club putter with a pre-selected ball path.

10. The golf club putter of claim 1, wherein the putter head has a bottom surface with a substantially planar portion, and wherein the putter head further comprises a pair of stabilizer bars that are located on the substantially planar portion of the bottom surface of the putter head and that extend laterally from the ball striking portion.

11. The golf club putter of claim 10, wherein each stabilizer bar has opposing ends, and wherein the opposing ends of each stabilizer bar are tapered.

12. The golf club putter of claim 1, wherein the golf club putter is a conventional putter having a shaft measuring from about 0.84 to about 0.94 meter in length.

13. The golf club putter of claim 1, wherein the golf club putter is an elongated or armpit putter having a shaft measuring greater than 0.94 meter in length.

14. The golf club putter of claim 13, wherein the shaft comprises a plurality of readily detachable shaft sections.

15. A golf club putter comprising a unitary, substantially bell-shaped putter head and an elongate shaft, wherein the putter head has a weight ranging from about 0.45 to about 0.57 kilogram and comprises: a ball striking portion and a double-tiered counterweight that extends laterally from the ball striking portion, wherein the shaft is connected directly to the double-tiered counterweight and extends at an angle upwards from the putter head, wherein the double-tiered counterweight has an upper and a lower tier surface, and wherein the upper tier surface tapers away from the ball striking portion of the putter head and serves to raise and shift the center of mass of the putter head toward the ball striking portion.

16. A golf club putter comprising a unitary, substantially bell-shaped putter head and an elongate shaft, wherein the putter head has a weight ranging from about 0.45 to about 0.57 kilogram and comprises: a ball striking portion and a double-tiered counterweight that extends laterally from the ball striking portion, wherein the double-tiered counterweight has an upper and a lower tier surface, wherein the upper tier surface tapers away from the ball striking portion of the putter head and serves to raise and shift the center of mass of the putter head toward the ball striking portion, and wherein the shaft has a first end that is contained within a shaft-receiving cavity or hole located in the upper tier surface of the double-tiered counterweight, and wherein the cavity or hole is closer to the ball striking portion than an opposing end of the putter head.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/294,376, filed May 30, 2001.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention generally relates to golf club putters, and more particularly relates to a novel golf club putter which provides improved putter stroke control and feel, and increased power, while consistently imparting an overspin on a golf ball.

BACKGROUND

[0003] The game of golf has increased in popularity in recent years and, as a result, the golf club market has seen an influx of new, novel, and ornamental golf club designs touted to improve or enhance your golf game.

[0004] As is well known, improving or enhancing your golf game requires, among other things, reducing the number of putts taken on the green. A player must consistently and accurately propel a golf ball across a path on the green that leads to the cup. In other words, a player must properly setup and aim the putter, and then execute an even and consistent putting stroke. To setup a putt, a player will study the topography of the green between the golf ball and the cup, where putting stroke consistency may be hampered by grass or by other surface obstructions. The player will then choose a path along which he or she wishes the ball to be directed. Next, the player will position him or herself in correct relation to the golf ball, typically facing perpendicular to the intended ball path. The player will then align the putter face with the intended path, while assuring that the bottom of the putter head is level with the putting surface or green. The player will then strike the ball with an even and consistent putting stroke, with a force necessary to propel the ball to at least the rim of the cup.

[0005] When striking the golf ball, it is important to impart an overspin on the ball. Golf balls imparted with an overspin will hug the green and are, as a result, more likely to follow the path intended by the player.

[0006] Prior art golf club putters are typically either heel and toe weighted, sole weighted, or center and top weighted. While known to possess larger “horizontal” sweet spots, imparting an overspin on a golf ball using either a heel and toe weighted putter or a sole weighted putter, is difficult. If not stroked perfectly, then backspin or sidespin will be imparted on the golf ball which causes the putt to move off line and spin out. With center and top weighted putters, it is easier to impart an overspin, but more difficult to properly align the putter face with the intended ball path and to effect an even and consistent putting stroke. In other words, a player, when using a center and top weighted golf club putter, is more likely to “push” the putter off of the intended path to the right or “pull” the putter off the intended path to the left.

[0007] A need therefore exists for a golf club putter which is easy to align and control, and which serves to consistently impart an overspin on a golf ball.

[0008] It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide such a golf club putter.

[0009] It is a more particular object of the present invention to provide a golf club putter which not only provides improved feel and stroke control while consistently imparting an overspin on a golf ball, but which also provides increased power.

SUMMARY

[0010] The present invention therefore provides a golf club putter comprising a unitary, substantially bell-shaped putter head and an elongate shaft, wherein the putter head comprises: a ball striking portion and a double-tiered counterweight which extends laterally from the ball striking portion,

[0011] wherein the shaft is connected directly to the double-tiered counterweight and extends at an angle upwards from the putter head.

[0012] The foregoing and other features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] Preferred embodiments of the invention are disclosed in the following description and in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0014] FIG. 1 is a partial side view of the golf club putter of the present invention;

[0015] FIG. 2 is a top view of the putter head of the inventive golf club putter;

[0016] FIG. 3 is a front view of the putter head shown in FIG. 2, showing the ball striking portion;

[0017] FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the putter head shown in FIG. 2; and

[0018] FIG. 5 is a front view of the inventive golf club putter.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0019] The golf club putter of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which preferred embodiments of the subject invention are shown. The present invention should not, however, be construed as limited to the illustrated embodiments set forth herein.

[0020] Referring initially to FIG. 1, a partial side view of the golf club putter of the present invention is shown and designated by the reference numeral 10. Golf club putter 10 generally comprises a putter head 12 and an elongate shaft 14.

[0021] As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, putter head 12 is a unitary structure, which has a substantially bell-shaped perimeter, and which generally comprises a ball striking portion 16 and a double-tiered counterweight 18.

[0022] Putter head 12 may be constructed of any suitable material, including, bronze, steel, or composite materials (e.g., die cast zinc alloy), and is slightly heavier than conventional putters. The total weight of putter head 12 preferably ranges from about 0.45 to about 0.57 kilogram (kg).

[0023] Putter head 12 preferably measures from about 7.6 to about 8.9 centimeters (cm) in overall or total length, from about 9.5 to about 10.2 cm in width at ball striking portion 16, and from about 5.1 to about 6.4 cm in width at opposing end 19. The maximum height of putter head 12 ranges from about 2.5 to about 3.8 cm at ball striking portion 16, while the minimum height of putter head 12 ranges from about 0.8 to about 1.9 cm at opposing end 19.

[0024] As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, ball striking portion 16 of putter head 12 comprises a ball striking face 20, and beveled top and bottom surfaces 22, 24 having rounded corners 26a,b,c,d. Preferably, beveled surfaces 22, 24 each form a 10° angle with respect to ball striking face 20.

[0025] In a more preferred embodiment, ball striking face 20 measures from about 9.5 to about 10.2 cm in length, and from about 1.6 to about 1.9 cm in height.

[0026] In yet a more preferred embodiment, ball striking face 20 is provided with a plurality of grooves or ridges 28 which extend horizontally across the entire length of ball striking face 20, thereby providing a softening effect which serves to improve grip or spin imparted to the ball. It is noted that ball striking face 20 may also be milled to provide a smooth striking surface.

[0027] The double-tiered counterweight 18 of putter head 12 extends laterally from ball striking portion 16. As best shown in FIG. 1, opposing surfaces 30, 32 of counterweight 18 taper towards longitudinal axis “A.”

[0028] The double-tiered counterweight 18 of putter head 12 has an upper and a lower tier surface 34, 36. Upper tier surface 34 tapers away from ball striking portion 16 before extending laterally for from about 5.7 to about 7.3 cm from ball striking portion 16. Upper tier surface 34 then tapers towards lower tier surface 36.

[0029] Upper tier surface 34 serves to raise the center of mass of putter head 12 above the center of a golf ball. As such, when putter head 12 strikes a golf ball, the ball will rotate in a counterclockwise direction (i.e., overspin), resulting in a more consistent or truer roll of the golf ball with vastly reduced skidding or bouncing after impact. Upper tier surface 34 also serves to shift the center of mass of putter head 12 toward the ball striking portion 16, which further contributes to the overspin placed upon the golf ball upon impact.

[0030] Lower tier surface 36 extends laterally for from about 1.6 to about 1.9 cm from upper tier surface 34, and preferably measures from about 0.8 to about 1.9 cm in overall or total height.

[0031] Lower tier surface 36 acts as a visual alignment means which serves to improve target alignment.

[0032] A substantially cylindrical cavity or hole 38 is provided in the upper tier surface 34 of the counterweight 18 for receiving a first end 40 of elongate shaft 14. The substantially cylindrical cavity or hole 38 is located closer to ball striking face 20 than opposing end 19. In a preferred embodiment, the substantially cylindrical cavity or hole 38 is located approximately 2.5 cm from ball striking face 20, and measures from about 0.8 to about 1.3 cm in depth, and from about 0.8 to about 1.3 cm in width.

[0033] An angled support member 42 is formed on the upper tier surface 34 of the double-tiered counterweight 18 and extends from the ball striking portion 16 to the shaft-receiving cavity or hole 38. The angled support member 42 serves to laterally offset elongate shaft 14 a predetermined distance (e.g., 2.5 cm) from the ball striking portion 16, and further serves to provide shaft 14 with an offset angle of from about 5 to about 15°, relative to a normal or perpendicular configuration between shaft 14 and upper tier surface 34.

[0034] An elongate groove 44 extends longitudinally along a top surface of the ball striking portion 16 and the angled support member 42, for forming a sight line along the ball striking axis of the putter head 12 to further guide a golfer in aligning the putter 10 with a pre-selected ball path.

[0035] FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the putter head 12 showing a pair of tapered stabilizer bars 46, 48 located on a substantially planar portion 50 of bottom surface 52 of putter head 12. Stabilizer bars 46, 48 are preferably tapered at opposing ends 54a,b, 55a,b, and serve to allow putter head 12 to stabilize through impact and further allow for smoother movement of head 12 over a horizontal surface. Moreover, and as will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art, stabilizer bars 46, 48, in conjunction with rounded corners 26c,d of beveled bottom surface 24 of ball striking portion 16, reduce the likelihood of putter head 12 being impeded by grass or minor obstructions on the horizontal surface upon which the golf ball rests.

[0036] FIG. 5 is a side view of a preferred embodiment of the golf club putter 10 of the present invention. Elongate shaft 14 is mounted on the upper tier surface 34 of the double-tiered counterweight 18 and extends upwardly at an offset angle of 14°, relative to a normal or perpendicular configuration between shaft 14 and upper tier surface 34.

[0037] Shaft 14 is preferably constructed of metal or composite materials such that the straightness, bending and twisting properties are in conformance with the United States Golf Association (hereinafter “USGA”) requirements for golf club design. In a preferred embodiment, a conventional tubular steel shaft is used to construct elongate shaft 14. The length of shaft 14 may range from about 0.84 to about 0.94 meter (m) for conventional putters, or greater than 0.94 m for elongated or armpit putters.

[0038] In a more preferred embodiment, shaft 14 is adapted to extend at least far enough to contact the outer arm portions of a golfer's leading arm during putting.

[0039] In yet a more preferred embodiment, shaft 14 is constructed of a plurality of readily detachable shaft sections 58a,b, which can be inserted for interference fits into the ends of each other, to reduce the length of the golf club putter 10 for ease of handling, for example, during traveling.

[0040] Shaft 14 is provided with at least one grip 60. Grip 60 is constructed of a material which is preferably a leather material, or which comprises natural rubber and/or an elastomeric material, and which is in accordance with the rules of the USGA. Grip 60 may be of any length, but preferably extends approximately 0.7 m.

[0041] In a most preferred embodiment, shaft 14 measures 1.44 m in length and is provided with two grips 60a,b. Grip 60a extends along a portion of shaft section 58a, and defines a medial stabilization portion for receiving a golfer's hands, while grip 60b extends downward from end 62 along a portion of shaft section 58b, and defines an upper stabilization portion for being received in the crook of the golfer's arm, during putting.

[0042] As alluded to above, the golf club putter of the present invention 10 represents a significant improvement over both conventional and elongate or armpit putters. The double-tiered counterweight design coupled with the increased weight of the putter head provides not only increased power but also improved control and feel to a golfer, while consistently imparting an overspin on a golf ball.

[0043] Although this invention has been shown and described with respect to detailed embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and detail thereof may be made without departing from the spirit of the claimed invention.