Title:
Fitting method for a custom made putter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fitting method used to create a custom made putter includes determining the directional aiming tendency of the individual golfer, determining the club shaft length suited to the individual golfers and determining the lie angle between the putter shaft and the putter head suited to the individual golfer.



Inventors:
Currie, Kirk (Spring, TX, US)
Wright, Richard (Spring, TX, US)
Shannon, Michael (Montgomery, AL, US)
Application Number:
10/061640
Publication Date:
12/19/2002
Filing Date:
02/01/2002
Assignee:
CURRIE KIRK
WRIGHT RICHARD
SHANNON MICHAEL
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B59/00; A63B69/36; G01B5/00; A63B53/00; A63B53/02; (IPC1-7): A63B57/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BLAU, STEPHEN LUTHER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Alan R. Thiele (Dallas, TX, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A fitting method used to obtain measurements necessary create a custom made putter suited to the physiology of an individual golfer, said fitting method comprising the steps of: a. determining if an individual golfer's aim is to the left or to the right of a target line between the position of the ball and the hole; b. measuring the shaft length of a putter suited to the individual golfer; c. measuring the lie angle of a putter suited to the individual golfer.

2. The fitting method as defined in claim 1 wherein: steps b. and c. include the use of an adjustable fitting putter.

3. The fitting method as defined in claim 1 wherein step a. includes the use of a laser aiming device;

4. The fitting method as defined in claim 1 further including: d. checking the aim of the golfer with the custom made putter.

5. The fitting method as defined in claim 4 wherein step d. includes the use of a laser aiming device.

6. The fitting method as defined in claim 4 further including: e. adjusting the position of the golfer's feet with respect to the golf ball so that the golfer's putting stroke with said custom made putter begins between said target line and the golfer and ends between said target line an the golfer.

7. The fitting method as defined in claim 6 further including: f. adjusting the offset of the ball-striking face portion of the putter head from the long axis of the shaft.

8. The fitting method as defined in claim 7 further including: g. adjusting the loft angle of the ball-striking face portion of the putter head.

9. The fitting method as defined in claim 8 further including: h. adjusting the balance of the putter head off horizontal.

10. A fitting method used to create a custom made putter suited to the physiology of an individual putter suited to the physiology of an individual golfer, said fitting method comprising the steps of: a. determining if an individual golfer's aim is to the left or to the right of a target line between the position of the ball and the hole; b. measuring the shaft length of a putter suited to the individual golfer; c. measuring the lie angle of a putter suited to the individual golfer. d. causing the golfer to choose a club head design; e. causing the golfer to choose a club head material; f. causing the golfer to choose a grip type and size.

11. The fitting method as defined in claim 10 wherein steps b. and c. include the use of an adjustable fitting putter.

12. The fitting method as defined in claim 10 wherein step a. includes the use of a laser aiming device.

13. The fitting method as defined in claim 10 further including: g. checking the aim of the golfer with the custom made putter.

14. The fitting method as defined in claim 13 wherein step g. includes the use of a laser aiming device.

15. The fitting method as defined in claim 13 further including: h. adjusting the position of the golfer's feet with respect to the position of the golf ball so that the golfer's putting stroke with said custom made putter begins between said target line and the golfer and ends between said target line and the golfer.

16. The fitting method as defined in claim 15 further including: i. adjusting the offset of the ball-striking face portion of hte putter head from the long axis of the shaft.

17. The fitting method as defined in claim 16 further including: j. adjusting the loft angle of the ball-striking face portion of the putter head.

18. The fitting method as defined in claim 17 further including: k. adjusting the balance of the putter head off horizontal.

19. A fitting method used to create a custom made putter suited to the physiology of an individual golfer, said fitting method comprising the steps of: a. using a laser aiming device to determine if an individual golfer's aim is to the left or to the right of a target line between the position of the ball and the hole; b. using an adjustable fitting putter to determine the shaft length of a putter suited to the individual golfer; c. using an adjustable fitting putter to measure the lie angle of a putter suited to the individual golfer; d. using a laser aiming device to check the aim of the golfer with a custom made putter.

20. The fitting method as defined in claim 19 further including: e. adjusting the position of the golfer's feet with respect to the position of the golf ball so that the golfer's putting stroke with said custom made putter begins between said target line and the golfer and ends between said target line and the golfer.

21. The fitting method as defined in claim 19 wherein the following three steps are interposed between steps c. and d. individual golfer.

Description:

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/789,164, filed Jan. 24, 1997.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention pertains to golf putters; more particularly the present invention pertains to a fitting method to provide input for the manufacture of a custom made putter to suit the physiology of an individual golfer.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] There are three basic factors which impact the way a golfer putts a golf ball. These three basic factors are: (i) the physiology of the golfer's body, (ii) the psychology of the golfer's approach to putting, and (iii) the putter itself. Each of these three factors is interrelated to the other two factors.

[0004] Included in the physiology of the golfer's body are the golfer's skeletal and muscular structure, the golfer's eye-hand coordination, and the golfer's hearing.

[0005] Included in the psychology of the golfer's approach to putting golf includes the golfer's conscious and subconscious approach to moving a putter in such a way that the golfer's putting stroke imparts motion to a stationary golf ball across a green in a direction toward the hole on a golf course.

[0006] Finally, the dimensions and geometric relationships included in the specifications describing a putter make up the putter itself. It is the putter which implements the physiological and psychological aspects of hitting a golf ball.

[0007] A more detailed explanation of the physiological, psychological and putter factors associated with hitting a golf ball appear in the paragraphs which follow.

Physiology of the Golfer's Body

[0008] Skeletal and Muscular Structure—The skeletal size of a golfer's body (height, length of arms, width of shoulders, etc.) impacts the shape of a golfer's putting stroke. Each golfer's putting stroke is as unique and personal as his/her finger print. Similarly, the size and strength of a golfer's muscles can have a major impact on the geometry of a golfer's putting stroke.

[0009] Eye-Hand Coordination—The ability of a golfer to visually determine the location of the hole with respect to the location of the golf ball and then to properly move his/her arms and hands to aim the stroke of a putter so that the golf ball moves across the green toward the hole is a function of the eye-hand coordination of each individual golfer. Four factors affect the visual component of eye-hand coordination: (a) far sightedness, (b) near sightedness, (c) left eye dominance and (d) right eye dominance. Each one of these four factors or a combination of distance and directional factors will have a significant effect on the golfer's visual perception of the location of the hole—specifically, where the golfer believes he/she should aim the golf ball.

[0010] While the hole itself never moves on the green, the factors which impact on the vision of a human being may actually cause the visual perception of the location of a hole to a golfer to be different than its actual location on the green. In other words, the hole is not exactly where the golfer's eyes perceive that it is located.

[0011] Sound—The golfer's hearing or the ability to perceive the sound made by the striking face portion of the putter's club head as it hits the golf ball contribute to the feedback a golfer gets from the putter. The sound of a putter's head hitting a golf ball together with the golfer's visual picture of the head of a putter striking the golf ball and the impact forces transmitted from the putter's head up the shaft to the golfer's hands to provide the “feel” associated with a particular putter. In golf, as in any other sport, golfers seek to replicate the “feel” of a successful putting stroke from their putter each time that they play.

Psychology of the Golfer's Approach to Putting

[0012] The conscious approach of a golfer to the striking of a stationary golf ball to move it toward a hole on a golf course includes the golfer's many conscious thoughts such as: the assessment of the golf course's landscape which surrounds the green, the read of the slope and length of the green, the golfer's personal adjustment of the position of the putter's head with respect to the golf ball, and the triggering of the right muscle memory to move the putter along the path necessary to make the golf ball travel along a selected target line from its position of rest toward the hole.

[0013] The subconscious approach of a golfer to the movement of a putter to properly strike a stationary golf ball includes the underlying ability to envision the golf ball traveling along the target line to the hole, the ability to position one's body and hands to adjust the position of the putter's head's striking face to aim the putt toward the hole, and the ability to adjust the force with which the golf ball is struck to achieve the desired travel distance. The effect of the subconscious mind on a golfer's putting stroke may even cause the golfer to adjust those changes made in the golfer's conscious approach to striking a stationary golf ball. For example, some professional golfers have learned that successful putts are made by aiming for either the right edge or left edge of the hole. After a while, aiming to one edge of a hole or the other no longer becomes a conscious choice; rather it becomes part of the subconscious approach a professional golfer uses to line up a putt.

The Putter Itself

[0014] The specifications describing a putter include (from top to bottom):

[0015] 1. Grip type and size

[0016] 2. Shaft length

[0017] 3. Hosel length

[0018] 4. Club head:

[0019] a. Size and design

[0020] b. Material

[0021] c. Lie angle

[0022] d. Loft angle

[0023] e. Offset

[0024] f. Balance

[0025] The specifications of a putter are particularly important as many golf teaching professionals believe that individual golfers can dramatically improve their golf score if the golfer's putter is custom made to fit the size, the structure, and the strength of the golfer's body. Because each person's golf swing and physical capabilities are unique, custom made putters can maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of each golfer's unique putting stroke and physical capabilities. In general terms, maximizing the performance of an individual golfer can be obtained, in part, by adjusting the length of the putter's shaft and further by adjusting the spatial and geometric inter-relationships between the ball-striking surface on putter's head with respect to the putter's shaft. For many years, putter manufacturers made putters having only a predetermined shaft length, lie angle, and ball-striking face loft angle. It was then up to the individual golfer to make subtle conscious and subconscious changes to his/her putting stroke to use these prior art putters to properly direct the golf ball toward the hole.

[0026] Despite the many years that the game of golf has been played, many putter manufacturers have not thoroughly understood the complex spatial and geometric inter-relationships between the striking face portion of the putter's head and the putter's shaft. The next few paragraphs will lay the foundation for an understanding of these complex spacial and geometric inter-relationships. This understanding is necessary to more fully appreciate the fitting method for a custom made putter of the present invention.

The Parts of a Putter

[0027] 1. Grip type and size. The grip on the top of the shaft which contacts the golfer's hands is typically a rubber, leather, cork or plastic cover designed to fit securely over the uppermost end of the club shaft. Most putter grips include a flat surface. Golfers use the flat surface on the grip to orient the placement of their hands on the grip. Most golfers prefer the flat surface to be on the top of the putter's shaft so that it is oriented in a plane perpendicular to the striking face portion of the putter's head. A smaller number of golfers prefer an alternative placement of the flat surface. The diameter of a grip should be such that the golfer's fingers may comfortably wrap around that portion the grip to hold the putter securely while the golfer's body is properly positioned for a putting stroke. Thus, a golfer with small hands will use a smaller diameter grip and a golfer with large hands will use a large diameter grip.

[0028] 2. Shaft length. The shaft is the second major portion of the putter. A putter's shaft is typically a hollow metal tube. The shaft may also be solid. For example, in recent years solid putter shafts have been made from graphite. It is the adjustment of the length of the shaft portion of a putter which is primarily used to fit the putter to the height of an individual golfer.

[0029] 3. Hosel length. At the bottom of the putter's shaft is the hosel. The hosel connects the bottom of the putter's shaft to the putter's head. A particular design for a hosel is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,275,409 which is included herein by reference. The bottom of the club shaft may either be received in the top of the hosel or the top of the hosel may be inserted into the hollow interior of the putter's shaft. Alternatively, an interconnecting insert piece may be inserted in the top of the hosel and also into the hollow portion of the club shaft. Some golfers prefer a short hosel, while others prefer a long hosel. The hosel length affects the golfer's visual perception of the putter's head when it is lined up against a stationary golf ball in preparation for a putting stroke.

[0030] 4. Club head. At the lower end of the hosel is the putter's head. The putter's head includes a ball-striking face and a portion behind the ball-striking face to both support the ball-striking face and give weight to the putter's head. The angular orientation of the ball-striking face as it strikes a stationary golf ball determines the extent of vertical force imparted to the golf ball and thus the golf ball's lift off the green. The club head design of a putter may be a blade, a perimeter or heel-toe weighted club head, or a mallet style club head.

[0031] The material from which a putter's head is made imparts a certain “feel” to a putter as well as a distinctive sound on the impact of the ball-striking face with a stationary golf ball. As previously indicated, the feel of a putter is a significant part of the golfer's ability to properly hit the golf ball in a desired direction to the desired distance.

[0032] Further, the visual picture of the alignment of the putter's head with the golf ball is a significant contributing factor to the way a golfer positions the club head to aim his/her putt.

[0033] Having now generally described the parts of a putter, a still further understanding of the fitting method and portable golf club customizing system of the present invention may be had by describing the various spatial and geometric adjustments which can be made to a putter to suit the body size, the body structure and the eye-hand coordination of an individual golfer. Because of the importance of the complex inter-relationships of some of the foregoing parts of a putter, one to another, these interrelationships will be explained in greater detail in the following paragraphs.

Shaft Length Over the Putter Head

[0034] The most basic spatial relationship is the length of the putter's shaft over the putter's head. The length of the putter's shaft determines the position of the golfer's body when making a putting stroke. Proper positioning of a golfer's body is essential to making the golf ball travel the desired distance along the target line to the hole.

The Offset of the Ball-striking Face Portion of the Putter Head From the Long Axis of the Shaft

[0035] The second spatial relationship between a putter's head and a putter's shaft is offset distance. The offset distance is the distance between the plane of the ball-striking face portion of a putter's head and an extension of the long axis of the putter's shaft. Shown specifically, in FIG. 2A, is a putter 100 having no offset distance. Therein it will be seen that the front edge of the hosel 102 is effectively parallel with the striking face 104 of the putter's head 106.

[0036] A slight offset 112 is shown in FIG. 2B. Therein it may be seen that an extension of the long axis 110 of the putter's shaft 118 is slightly ahead of the ball-striking face 104 of the putter's head 106. Further, in FIG. 2C, a even larger offset 114 is shown. The offset distance determines how the golfer aligns his visual picture of the golf ball 1000 with the striking face portion of the putter's head. This alignment has a significant effect on a golfer's putting stroke.

[0037] In addition to adjusting the visual picture of the putter's head 106 hitting the golf ball 1000, the size of the offset distance has a direct correlation to the size of the “sweet spot” on the striking face 104 of the putter's head 106. The “sweet spot” is the center of gravity of a putter's head in the toe-heel direction. As the offset distance increases, so does the size of the sweet spot. Thus, the larger the size of the sweet spot, the more stable the putter is when the ball contact point on the striking face portion of the putter's head 106 is away from the actual center of the sweet spot.

The Angle Between the Shaft and the Putter Head (Lie Angle)

[0038] In FIGS. 3A and 3B, the effect of the lie angle is shown. Specifically, in FIG. 3A, a putter's head 106 is shown wherein the lie angle needs to be decreased or flattened in order for the bottom surface 116 or more specifically the toe 118 of the putter's head 106 to be closer to the ground. In FIG. 3B is shown the opposite condition. Therein the lie angle bend must be increased in order for the heel 120 of the putter's head to be closer to the ground. While the standard lie angle bend is approximately 72°, the proper lie angle for an individual golfer depends both on the distance that the golfer stands from the golf ball 1000, the golfer's body position, and the golfer's arm and hand position. This distance, body position and arm and hand position all affect the golfer's visual picture of the intersection of the putter's head 106 with the golf ball 1000 just as the offset distance affects the golfer's visual picture of the intersection of the putter's head 106 and the golf ball 1000.

The Angle of the Striking Face Portion of the Putter Head Off Vertical (Loft Angle)

[0039] When the striking face 104 portion of a putter's head 106 hits a golf ball 1000 it should both slightly lift the golf ball 1000 with a vertical force component and impart translational force to the golf ball 1000 with a horizontal force component to move the golf ball 1000 closer to the hole. In putters, the ideal lift or loft angle is 2° to 4°. When a stationary golf ball 1000 is struck by the striking face 104 portion of the putter's head 106, which is angled between 2° to 4°, enough vertical force is imparted to the golf ball 1000 to lift it from the grass yet enough translational force is imparted to the golf ball 1000 to cause it to roll across the green toward the hole. This ideal condition is shown in FIG. 4A. Unfortunately, the spatial relationship between the putter's shaft 118 and the putter's head 106 caused by the posture of a golfer can have a dramatic effect on the loft angle of on the ball-striking face 104 portion of a putter's head 106 as it contacts the ball 1000. In FIG. 4B is shown a situation where the spatial relationship between the putter's shaft 118 and the putter's head 106 is a result of a rear press by a golfer. A rear press causes the actual loft angle to increase to 6° or more when the golf ball is hit. In FIG. 4C the opposite condition is shown. By an improper spatial relationship between the putter's shaft 118 and the putter's head 106, as a result of a forward press of a golfer, the loft angle has been decreased to 0° or even to a negative angle when the ball-striking face contacts the stationary golf ball 1000.

The Balance of the Putter Head Off Horizontal

[0040] If one were to place a finger at the point of balance on a putter's shaft 118 so that the weight of the shaft 118 and grip on one side of the balance point were effectively equal to the weight of the putter's head 106 and shaft 118 on the other side of the balance point, the putter's head 106 would turn and seek its own angular balance orientation with respect to the long axis 110 the shaft 118. For example, if the toe of the putter head 106 drops down, this is called toe-heavy balance. If the toe of the putter's head rotates upward, this is called heel-heavy balance. If the face 104 of the putter's head 106 remains horizontal this is called face balance. The balance orientation of the putter's head 106 with respect to the long axis of the putter's shaft 118 is particularly important for a golfer that has a decelerating putting stroke. For example, if the golfer's swing decelerates the putter's head 106 will tend to follow its heaviest part. A toe heavy balanced putter's head 106 will tend to follow the toe of the putter's head 106 and thereby change the angle at which the ball-striking face 104 of the putter's head 106 hits the stationary golf ball 1000. Similarly, a heel-heavy balanced putter's head 106 will tend to follow the heel of the putter's head 106 and change the angle at which the ball-striking face 104 hits a stationary golf ball 1000.

Existing Custom Made Putters

[0041] Unfortunately, in most commonly available prior art putters, it is usually impossible to precisely adjust the complex spatial and geometric relationships of the putter's head 106 with respect to the putter's shaft 118. Thus the golfer using these prior art putters must learn to modify the position of his/her body and his/her grip to adapt to the putter.

[0042] Some golfers elect to have their putters specially made to suit their putting stroke and style of play. Quite often these golfers are looking for a certain feel rather than for a correction in the spatial and geometric relationships of the putter's head to the putter's shaft to correct for their personal physiology, particularly, their eye-hand coordination. However, when these prior art, specially made, putters are first provided to the golfer the need often arises to make special adjustments or “fine tune” the putter to give the custom made putter a better feel which many golfers believe is the key to maximum performance. Accordingly, the specially made putter must be returned to the factory for adjustment or entirely remade. If the adjustments are incorrect or the adjustments affect other parts of the complex inter-relationships of the spatial and geometric aspects of putter design, the custom made putter may once again have to be returned to the factory to suit the tastes of the individual golfer.

[0043] None of the prior art customizing systems have attempted to adjust the spatial relationship of the striking face of the putter's head to the long axis of the putter's shaft to correct for any problems in the golfer's personal physiology, particularly eye-hand coordination. Nor have any prior art customizing systems sought to provide a portable system where a custom made putter suited to an individual golfer's physiology can be fabricated right on the golf course.

The Need in the Art

[0044] In U.S. Pat. No. 5,275,409, an improved hosel system is disclosed for use in golf clubs. This improved hosel system for making a custom golf club allowed the angular relationship of the putter's head to the putter's shaft to be easily and accurately adjusted. While this hosel system dramatically improved the feel of the putter in the golfer's hands when hitting a golf ball, it was also found that the disclosed hosel could be bent to customize the spatial and geometric relationship of the putter's head with respect to the putter's shaft. The need remained, however, to find a method to properly fit a putter to the physiology of an individual golfer.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0045] A system for properly fitting a putter to the physiology of an individual golfer includes fitting the four basic components of a putter: the grip, the shaft,; the hosel; and the putter's head—to an individual golfer. The present invention focuses primarily on matching the four basic components of a putter to the unique physiology of an individual golfer. In addition, the present invention includes determining how to bend the hosel to adjust the offset distance of the ball-striking face of the putter's head from the long axis of the putter's shaft, to adjust the lie angle between the long axis of the putter's shaft and the putter's head, to adjust the loft angle of the ball-striking face of the putter's head, and to adjust the rotational balance of the putter's head about the long axis of the putter's shaft.

[0046] Further, the fitting method of the present invention includes an assessment of the individual physiology of a golfer by first using an aiming device and second using an adjustable fitting putter. This assessment of the individual golfer's physiology is then used with a portable system for creating a custom made putter right on the golf course. The portable putter customizing system includes a vise which both secures the head of the putter in a known orientation and allows for custom bending of the hosel which mounts the putter's shaft to the putter's head.

[0047] The putter is customized by first imparting an offset distance bend in the hosel. Second, a lie angle bend is formed in the hosel. If desired, a loft angle bend may also be placed in the hosel. An adjustment may also be made to impart the proper balance in the putter's head. Once the necessary bends have been made in the hosel, the putter's shaft is cut to length and a grip is placed thereon. The putter is now ready for use by a golfer. However, if desired, the putter can be returned to the vise on the portable putter customizing system and “fine tuning” adjustments can be made to assure that the putter is exactly what the golfer needs to optimize the fit of the custom made putter to the physiology of an individual golfer. All bending and cutting adjustments can be done directly on the green so the golfer can try out his custom made putter under actual playing conditions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0048] A better understanding of the fitting method for a custom made putter of the present invention may be had by reference to the figures wherein:

[0049] FIG. 1A is a front perspective view of the portable golf club customizing system used to create the custom made putter of the present invention;

[0050] FIG. 1B is a rear perspective view of the portable golf club customizing system shown in FIG. 1;

[0051] FIGS. 2A, 2B and 2C are top plan views of various putter head offset distances with respect to the center line of a putter's shaft;

[0052] FIGS. 3A and 3B are rear elevational views of a putter showing its relationship to the ground with an improper lie angle bend;

[0053] FIG. 4A is a side elevational view of a putter having the proper loft angle;

[0054] FIG. 4B is a side elevational view of a putter having too large a loft angle;

[0055] FIG. 4C is a side elevational view of a putter having too small a loft angle;

[0056] FIG. 5 is a rear perspective view of the hosel bending vise;

[0057] FIG. 6 is a front perspective view of the hosel bending vise;

[0058] FIGS. 7A, 7B and 7 C are perspective views of the chucking blocks used to hold various styles of putter heads in the hosel bending vise;

[0059] FIG. 8 is a front perspective view of the fitting putter used for determining the lie angle and the shaft length for an individual golfer;

[0060] FIG. 9 is a rear perspective view of the hosel bending vise with the fitting putter positioned therein;

[0061] FIG. 10 is chart of settings used for adjusting the balance of the ball-striking face of the putter's head;

[0062] FIG. 11 is a front perspective view of the hosel bending vise showing the initial location of the putter's head of the putter to be customized;

[0063] FIG. 12A is a perspective view of the hosel bending vise showing the position of the bending pins after the completion of the clearance bend;

[0064] FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the operative end of the bending tool;

[0065] FIG. 14A and 14 B are perspective views, in partial section, of the engagement of the hosel with the putter's shaft;

[0066] FIG. 15 is a front perspective view of the hosel bending vise just prior to the initiation of the bend which establishes the offset distance;

[0067] FIG. 16 is a front perspective view of the hosel bending vise after completion of the lie angle bend;

[0068] FIG. 17 is a front perspective view of the hosel bending vise showing the adjustment of the loft angle;

[0069] FIG. 18 is a perspective view of the system used for holding the shaft of the putter, for sizing the length of the shaft, and placing the grip on the end of the shaft.

[0070] FIG. 19 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 18 with the putter inserted in the shaft engagement vise;

[0071] FIG. 20 is an exploded view of the shaft engagement vise;

[0072] FIG. 21A is a perspective view of the putter's shaft showing the application of the double sided tape;

[0073] FIG. 21B is a perspective view of the putter's shaft showing the installation of the hand grip;

[0074] FIG. 22A is a left side elevational view of the laser aiming device;

[0075] FIG. 22B is a bottom plan view of the laser aiming device; and

[0076] FIG. 22C is a top plan view of the laster aiming device.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0077] It has been found from hundreds of custom fittings of putters that the actual aim of the ball-striking face portion of a putter's head by the overwhelming majority of golfers is not such that a golf ball will move directly along the target line or the straight imaginary line drawn between the golf ball and the hole. This inability to accurately position the ball-striking face of a golf club to make contact with a stationary golf ball to cause the golf ball to travel along the target line is due, in part, to the visual component of a golfer's eye-hand coordination. The visual component of a golfer's eye-hand coordination results from a combination of far/near sightedness and left/right eye domination. Thus, while the golfer's hands will properly respond to what the golfer's eyes see, this response will be improper because the golfer's eyes are not seeing the hole in its true position on the golf course. As a result, the individual golfer either: (a) consistently misses puts to the right or to the left according to their individual vision, or (b) develops a compensating movement in their aim or in their putting stroke which actually directs the golf ball toward the actual target—which is away from the target perceived by the golfer's eyes.

[0078] Consistently missing putts to the right or to the left is the most common problem of infrequent golfers. Unfortunately, infrequent golfers do not get enough playing time to see the development of a consistent miss pattern. Those who play golf on a more regular schedule either consciously misaim the golf ball or subconsciously adjust their putting stroke to correct for their visual misperception of the true location of the hole on a golf course. Even in putts as short as 10 feet, the effect of far/near sightedness and left/right eye dominance becomes readily apparent.

[0079] In general, a left aiming golfer perceives the hole left of its true location. The spatial and geometric adjustment of the alignment of the putter's head to the putter's shaft to correct for this vision characteristic is greater offset distance and greater loft angle. By increasing the offset distance and the loft angle of the ball striking face portion of a putter's head, the golfer perceives that the ball striking face of the putter is closed or aimed in a direction between the target line and the golfer. The golfer's subconscious will make the appropriate correction and aim the striking face portion of the putter's head on the target line. The degree of directional alignment correction is determined by the size of the offset distance and the loft angle added to the striking face portion of the club head.

[0080] In general, a right aiming golfer perceives the hole farther away than it actually is and right of its actual location. The correction for this vision characteristic can be achieved by the reducing both the offset distance and the loft angle. By reducing both the offset distance (and in extreme cases creating onset) and the loft angle of the ball-striking face portion of the putter's head, it creates the optical illusion for the golfer that the putter face is open or aiming away from the target line. The golfer's subconscious mind will make the appropriate corrections and aim the putter on the target line. The degree of the correction is determined by the degree of the reduction of offset distance and loft angle.

Putter Fitting Method

[0081] The putter fitting method of the present invention is described according to its use for custom fitting a putter to an individual golfer.

[0082] Step 1: Observation of the Individual Golfer's Position, Aim and Stroke

[0083] Observe the individual golfer make several putts with his/her putter or a putter with standard specifications. The following specific putting stroke characteristics are to be specifically noted.

[0084] A. Aim—using an alignment aid such as the laser sighting device described below, determine where the individual golfer is directionally (left or right) aiming the golf ball with respect to the target line. In most cases, an imaginary straight line drawn perpendicular to the ball-striking face of the putter's head as positioned by an individual golfer will fall either to the left or to the right of the true target line to the hole, even if the golfer is only 10 feet away from the hole. This directional deviation away from the target line is caused by the natural tendency of human beings to be either left eye or right eye dominant.

[0085] B. Stroke—observe the shape of the stroke and the travel path of the putter's head with respect to the target line between the hole and the golf ball. One of three basic strokes paths may be observed because of the natural tendency of human beings to move the head portion of a putter club along a large arcuate path.

[0086] 1. Beginning at a position outside an extension of the target line behind the golf ball and ending at a position inside the target line in front of the golf ball.

[0087] 2. Beginning at a position behind the golf ball inside the target line and ending at a position outside the target line in front of the golf ball.

[0088] 3. Beginning at a position inside the target line behind the golf ball coming to a position which is square with the golf ball at the point of impact and ending at a position inside the target line.

[0089] C. Ball Position—Observe the distance of the golf ball with respect to the individual golfer's toe line while the golfer is setting up for the putt.

[0090] Step 2: Static Fit the Putter

[0091] A. Choose a putter head design. Though model selection is very personal, there are certain characteristics to each model which may compliment an individual golfer's style. The objective is to offer a variety of designs which are classified into one of the three basic styles to compliment an individuals' golfers style and a preference. A blade style putter head has a very sold feel, a simple traditional look and toe balance.

[0092] A perimeter or heel-toe weighted putter head typically includes added weights on the heel and the toe portions of the putter's head which gives it a unique look and a very solid feel.

[0093] A mallet head offers a very unique feel, a large visible alignment aid and a larger mass.

[0094] B. Choose a putter head material. Putter heads are manufactured from various materials such as steel, copper, aluminum, brass, bronze, and polymers. Each material provides its own unique feel, look, and sound when the ball-striking face portion of the putter's head hits the stationary golf ball. For many golfers this unique feel will determine the material to be used in the putter's head. The objective is to select a material which responds best with an individual's senses of feel, look, and sound.

[0095] C. Select a grip type and size. The golfer's hands contact the putter at the grip. Golfers with small hands may prefer a small diameter grip. The opposite may be true for golfers with larger hands. Some like a smooth gripping surface. Still others prefer a roughened gripping surface. Most grips include a flat surface to assist the golfer with aligning the ball-striking face in a plane perpendicular to the target line. Some golfers prefer this flat surface on the grip to be located on the top of the putter's shaft while still others prefer it along the side. Finally, some golfers hold the grip at the top, other hold it in the middle, and still others like to “choke up” and grab the grip at its bottom.

[0096] D. Measure the shaft length and lie angle. Using an adjustable fitting putter 300 as shown in FIG. 8, the individual golfer should comfortably position his/her body with respect to the golf ball. The shaft length and the lie angle between the fitting putter's head and the fitting putter's shaft is measured by locking in the settings on the adjustable fitting putter 300. More details concerning the use of the adjustable fitting putter 300 appear in the following paragraph.

[0097] Once a proper stance and position with respect to the golf ball have been achieved for an individual golfer, the best shaft length for the individual golfer and the best lie angle between the fitting putter's head 306 and the fitting putter's shaft 318 for the individual golfer are measured by locking in settings on an adjustable fitting putter 300. Lie angle and shaft length are interdependent. By using the adjustable fitting putter 300, it is easy to determine the best length of the putter's shaft 318 for an individual golfer. For example, some golfers want to have their arms fully extended and eyes over the golf ball. Others may want their arms bent and their eyes slightly in front of the golf ball. Still other golfers may assume a special stance to protect a bad back, a bad shoulder, or correct for some other physiological condition. Once the best length of the golf club shaft 318 has been determined, the bottom of the golf club head 304 is moved so that it is horizontally flat. This sets the lie angle between the fitting putter's shaft 318 and the fitting putter's head 304. By using a fitting putter 300 with an adjustable telescoping section 390 and an adjustable lie angle section 395, it is possible to obtain measurements of what geometry of a putter best suits an individual golfer.

[0098] Once the foregoing observations and measurements have been made, it is now possible to construct a custom made putter for an individual golfer using the portable putter customizing system described below.

The Portable Putter Customizing System—In General

[0099] A better general understanding of the putter fitting method of the present invention may be had by first referencing FIGS. 1A and 1B. Therein it may be seen that the golf club customizing system 10 which is used to create custom made putters includes a portable rollable cart 200 in which a variety of combinations putter heads, hosels and shafts 202 are contained in storage sleeves 201. Additionally, there is a place 204 for storing various types of grips 206. On top of the cart 200 is a vise 11 for bending the hosel portion 102 of the putter 100 and a system 800 for holding the shaft of the putter while it is cut to length. On the opposite end of the cart 200 is a small tool tray 208 in which the various tools needed for operation of the system 10 may be located. Also included in the system 10 is a fitting putter 300 (FIG. 8) which is used for obtaining the starting measurements necessary to custom fit a putter 100 to a particular golfer.

Construction of the Bending Vice

[0100] Shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 are perspective views of the golf club hosel bending vise 11. Note that the hosel bending vise 11 is built above a base plate 12. The base plate 12 provides the mounting for the two sliding block assemblies 30, 50 which impart the offset distance bend and the lie angle bend into the hosel 102 of the golf club 100.

[0101] Formed just above the base plate 12, in front of the bending systems 30, 50 is the mounting space portion 16 of the clamping system 20 in which the putter's head 106 is securely positioned to enable the accurate bending of the hosel 102. To assure proper positioning of the putter's head 106 in the mounting space 16, an abutment plate 21 is provided. The toe 118 of the putter's head 106 is placed in contact with the abutment plate 21. The ball-striking face 104 portion of the putter's head 106 engages an angled face 22. In the preferred embodiment, the angle of this surface is 3½° which matches the angle of the ball-striking surface 104 of the putter's head 106.

[0102] After the toe 118 of the putter's head 106 engages the abutment plate and the ball-striking face 104 portion of the putter's head 106 is in contact with the angled surface 22 a chucking block 23, as shown in FIGS. 7A, 7 B and 7 C is placed against the rear surface 120 of the putter's head 106. The chucking blocks 23, 23′ and 23″ includes a specially designed recess 24, 24′ and 24″ to accommodate corresponding types of putter heads. On the back of the clucking block 23, 23′ and 23″ is a circular bore 25, 25′ and 25″ which is sized to engage the end 26 of a threaded rod 27.

[0103] Once a chucking block 23, 23′ and 23″ has been placed behind the putter's head 106 the end 26 of the threaded rod 27 is moved into contact with the back of the chucking block 23, 23′ and 23″ by turning it through internally threaded stationary block 29. The hosel portion 102 of the putter 106 is now in a position where it can be accurately bent to custom fit a golf club to an individual golfer.

[0104] Recall that offset distance is the result of a bend in the hosel 102 which places an extension of the long axis 110 of the putter's shaft 118 a short distance in front of the plane of the ball-striking surface 104 portion of the putter's head 106. The offset bend sliding block assembly 30 is slidably mounted on the base plate 12. The offset bend sliding block assembly 30 is positioned by reference to a scale 48 formed on a base block 49 which is mounted on the base plate 12. The scale 48 provides the ability to measure the putter's hosel bending vice 11 for various offset bend angles. A recording of the offset distance bend angle settings for an individual golfer or any of the other measurements described herein will enable the duplication of any putter when the customized putter has been lost or damaged.

[0105] The sliding block portion 34 of the offset bend sliding block assembly 30 is moved along path 32 by turning a knob 44 which is attached to a threaded rod 42. The threaded rod 42 passes through a threaded hole in a stationary block 46 which is affixed to the base block 49. The sliding block portion 34 is then locked in position by tightening a cap screw 40 which threadably engages the base block 49. Tightening of the cap screw 40 assures that the sliding block portion 34 of the offset bend sliding block portion 34 is a first pin 38. It is the first pin 38 which provides the surface against which the hosel 102 of the putter 100 is bent to place an offset distance in the putter 100 between the long axis 110 of the shaft 118 and the striking face 104 portion of the putter head 106. If a short hosel 102 is used the pin 38 is placed in a lower pinhole 37.

[0106] By turning a knob 64, a threaded rod is caused to pass through an internally threaded hole in a stationary block 63. The stationary block 63 is affixed to the base block 49. The turning of the knob 64 causes the lie angle bend sliding block 54 to move along a path 52 over the base block 49. Positioning of the lie angle sliding block 54 is accomplished by reference to a scale 68 formed on the base block 49. A bending surface is provided by a second pin 58 which passes through a pinhole 56 in the lie angle sliding block 54. For short hosels 102 a lower pinhole 57 is also provided. A cap screw 60 is used to hold the lie angle sliding block 54 against the base block 49.

[0107] An extended angular gauge bar 70 projects upwardly from the lie angle sliding block 54. The extended angular gauge bar 70 is used to measure the proper bending of the putter's hosel 102 to the predetermined lie angle bend. At the bottom of the angular gauge bar 70 is a pointer 72 which is positioned near an arcuate scale 74. The angular gauge bar 70 is locked in position by tightening a threaded fastener 76 which passes through a hole formed in the angular gauge bar 70 and an ear 78 which extends upwardly from the lie angle sliding block 54.

[0108] The actual manufacture of a custom made putter is described in the paragraphs which follow.

[0109] Based upon the measured directional aiming tendency (either to the right or to the left) of the individual golfer determined by using a laser sighting device such as the one described below, the putter's hosel is bent for the appropriate offset distance and loft angle. Offset distance and loft angle are added for left aim tendencies, offset distance and loft angle are reduced for right aim tendencies. The exact size of the lie angle is determined by placing the fitting putter 300 in the bending vice 11 as shown in FIG. 9. By placing the toe 318 of the fitting putter's head 306 against the abutment plate 21, the angular gauge bar 70 can be moved so that it is parallel with the shaft 318 of the fitting putter 300. The position of the pointer 72 at the end of the angular gauge bar 70 against the arcuate scale 74 provides a reading of the size of the lie angle. The difference of the measured lie angle from the standard 72° is used to enter the chart 700 shown in FIG. 10 whose use will be explained below.

[0110] Next, the adjustment for the proper balance of the putter's head is determined. Specifically, some golfers may want the head 106 of their putter 100 to be face balanced, toe balanced or heel balanced. Most golfers prefer a face balanced putter head. With a face balanced putter head, there is equal distribution of weight on either side of the sweet spot. Because of the complex inter-relationships of putter head balance and loft angle, the face balance chart 700 shown in FIG. 10 is used. To determine a setting for the lie angle sliding block 54 against the scale 63, the lie angle determined from the reading on the arcuate scale 74, as previously explained, and the type of putter head and hosel combination are used to enter the face balance chart 700 shown in FIG. 10. The number extracted from the fact balance chart 700 is set on the bending vise II by moving the lie angle sliding block 54.

[0111] The shaft length for the putter to be customized is determined by matching up the length of the uncut shaft to the length of the shaft measured by the fitting putter. The shaft of the golf club being customized is marked so that it may be cut to the proper length using the length sizing equipment 800 on top of the cart 200.

[0112] The golfer's preferred grip is then affixed to the end of the putter's shaft. The type, size, and orientation of the grip should be determined by whatever provides the most comfortable feel to the golfer and the least amount of tension in the muscles of the golfer's hand and forearms.

[0113] The following detailed operational steps will provide a still better understanding of how the custom made putter may be customized using the portable putter customizing system.

[0114] First, the cap screw 40 is loosened. By turning the adjustment knob 44, the offset bend sliding block 34 is moved to impart the necessary bend in the hosel 102 to obtain the desired offset distance. The standard offset distance is indicated on scale 48 as 0. The preferred offset distance is the top edge of the putter's head 106 aligning with the long axis of 110 of the shaft 118. Each mark on the scale 48 represents a {fraction (1/16)}th inch change in offset distance. A total offset distance of ½ inch can be obtained. Once the desired setting of the sliding block 34 is made with respect to the scale 48, the cap screw 40 is tightened.

[0115] The next step involves assuring that the lie angle gauge bar 70 is at the desired angle. A standard lie angle is 72°. This standard lie angle is indicated on the arcuate guide scale 74 as 0. All other lie angle settings are represented as being degrees away from the standard 72° angle.

[0116] The third step is to loosen the cap screw 60 which holds the lie angle sliding block 54 in place. Using the putter head balance chart 700, it is then possible to determine the setting required to obtain the type of club head balance preferred by a particular golfer. By using the chart 700 shown in FIG. 10, a gauge 68 setting is found for a face balanced putter head. If the golfer desires a heel heavy putter head, the chart value is increased. By turning the adjustment knob 64, the lie angle sliding block 54 is moved to the desired setting against gauge 68 and then tightened in position by turning the cap screw 60.

[0117] In the fourth step, the bending pins 38, 58 are inserted into the appropriate pin holes. It may be seen that there are two pin holes for each of the two bending pins 38, 58. The top pin holes 36, 56 are for long hosels. The bottom pinholes 37, 57 are for short hosels.

[0118] The fifth step is to insert the putter head 106 into the bending vise 11. It is important that the ball-striking face 104 portion of the putter head 106 fits flush against the angle plate 22. The toe of the putter head 106 should contact the abutment plate 21.

[0119] The sixth step is to select the appropriate chucking block 23, 23′, 23″ to place against the rear surface 120 of the putter head 106. As shown in FIGS. 7A, 7 B and 7 C the shape of the chucking block 23, 23 and 23″ is dependent on the style of the putter head 106. By rotating the handle 28 the end of the threaded rod 27 is moved into the bore 25, 25′, 25″ on the back of the chucking block 23, 23′, 23″. The club to be customized is now in position for the bends to be made in the hosel 102. Proper placement of the putter head 106 in the vise 11 is shown in FIG. 11.

[0120] As shown in FIG. 12A, the seventh step involves attaching a bending tool 600 to the bottom of the shaft 118 and securing the bending tool 600 to the putter's shaft 118. As shown in FIG. 13, the end of the bending tool 600 includes a first recessed plate 602 and a keeper plate 604. A threaded rod 606 turned by a knob 608 into an internally threaded hole 610 in the first plate 602. The handle 614 which extends from the first plate 602 is used to impart force on the putter's shaft 118.

[0121] The recess 612 generally will fit loosely over the putter's shaft 118. To avoid possible damage to the putter's shaft 118, the bending tool 600 must be secured at the bottom of the putter's shaft 118, into which a solid insert from the hosel extends, as each bend is made. To understand why the location of the bending tool 600 on the putter's shaft 118 is important, reference is made to FIGS. 14A and 14B. In FIG. 14A a short hosel 102′ is shown extending upwardly from a putter's head 106. The upper portion 103′ of the hosel 102 extends into and is tightly fit into the interior of the putter's shaft 118. In FIG. 14B a long hosel 102 is shown. To minimize the weight of the hosel 102, its upper portion 103 is shorter. An extension 105, formed of a lightweight metal, mates with the upper portion 103. When the bending tool 600 is in place on the putter's shaft 118 it is important that the bending tool 60 surround the upper portion of the hosel 103, 103′. Otherwise, when force is placed on the handle 614, the putter's shaft 118 will crimp and the putter's shaft 118 will be ruined.

[0122] Referring back to FIG. 12A, a clearance bend is now made in the hosel by exerting force on the handle 614 which extends from the bending tool 600. This clearance bend is necessary so that the bending pins 38, 58 may be pushed through the pinholes 37, 57 until their ends touch. This is shown in FIG. 12B.

[0123] The ninth step involves imparting the offset bend into the hosel 102. This is accomplished by bending the hosel 102 with the bending tool 600 until the putter's shaft 118 is in a substantially vertical plane which is parallel to the vertical plane of the angular gauge bar 70. The beginning of the offset bend is shown in FIG. 15. A completed offset bend is shown in FIG. 12B.

[0124] The tenth step is to impart the lie angle bend into the hosel 102. This is done by rotating the bending tool 600 on the bottom of the putter's shaft 118 so that the hosel 102 may be bent to an angle so that the angle of the putter's shaft 118 matches the angle of the angular gauge bar 70. This is shown in FIG. 16.

[0125] If a loft adjustment is needed, the hosel 102 is bent as shown in FIG. 17. Specifically, the putter's shaft 118 is bent slightly forward or slightly backward to change the loft on the ball-striking face 104 portion of the putter's head 106.

[0126] The customized golf club is now removed from the vise 11 and provided to the golfer. Adjustments may be made by reinserting the putter's head 106 back into the hosel bending vice 11.

[0127] In the final steps, the shaft of the putter is cut to the desired length. As shown in FIGS. 18 and 19 the club head 106 is placed against a stop 502 on the top surface of the cart 200. The face 104 of the club head is aligned by comparison with vertical lines 504 marked on the stop 502. The shaft engagement vise 800 is used to secure the shaft 118 in position to be cut to length.

[0128] The construction of the shaft engagement vise 800 is shown in FIG. 20. A base plate 802 is secured to the top of the cart 200 by threaded fasteners 804. A pin 806 holds an eccentric cam 808 against the base plate 802. When the handle 810 causes the eccentric cam 808 to rotate, a first movable block 812 is moved toward a second stationary block 814. This compresses a flexible cradle 816 which may be made from rubber or plastic. The flexible cradle 816 is attached to the base plate 802 by threaded fasteners 818.

[0129] While the shaft 118 is secured in the shaft engagement vise 800 the shaft 118 is cut to length using a commonly available tubing cutting tool 400 as shown in FIG. 19. Next the grip 206 selected by the golfer is removed from the selection of grips in the tray 204 and attached to the end of the shaft 108. This is accomplished by applying double sided tape 402 to the end of the putter's shaft 118 as shown in FIG. 20. As shown in FIG. 21B the grip 206 is then slid over the double sided tape 402 by using an evaporative solvent. When the solvent has evaporated, the grip 206 will be securely attached to the putter's shaft 118.

[0130] Once the custom made club has been made to accommodate the observations and measurements of the individual golfer, the custom made club may be further “fine tuned” according to the following two steps:

[0131] A. Observe the golfer make several putts with the newly made custom putter. Once again, use the laser sighting device (described below) to determine the accuracy of the golfer's aim. Only small fine tuning adjustments should be necessary to place the golfer's aim squarely on the target line.

[0132] B. Observe the path of the golfer's putting stroke. Adjust the distance between the toe line of the golfer's front foot and the golf ball so that the putting stroke begins inside the target line, meets the golf ball perpendicular to the target line and ends inside the target line.

Laser Sighting Device

[0133] The laser sighting device 2000 depicted in FIGS. 22A, 22B, and 22C provides a precise method of determining an individual's putter aim by projecting a laser light beam perpendicular to the ball-striking face portion of the putter's head. A perfectly aimed putter would cause the laser light beam to fall squarely on the target line or the imaginary line between the golf ball and the hole.

[0134] The laser sighting device 2000 of the present invention includes two parts.

[0135] The first part is a precisely milled body 2001 which can be placed flush against the ball-striking face portion of the putter's head. The second part is a laser light assembly 2002 which projects a laser beam perpendicular to the ball-striking face portion of the putter's head. The laser light assembly 2002 is calibrated for alignment with respect to the milled body 2001 using both horizontal and vertical adjustment screws 2028.

[0136] The laser sighting device 2000 has a pointed end 2004 and a straight end 2006. Connecting the pointed end 2004 to the straight end 2006 is a body portion 2001 which has a top surface 2002 and a bottom surface 2018. Formed near the straight end 2006 of the body portion 2001 are two optional cutouts 2005 for ease of handling of the laser sighting device 2000. Along the top surface 2002 is a score mark 2008 which runs from the pointed end 2004 to the straight end 2006. Perpendicular to the top surface 2002 of the laser sighting device 2000, at the straight end 2006, is a ball-striking face mating surface 2010 which is constructed and arranged to be perpendicular to the score mark 2008 which is on the top surface 2002 of the laser sighting device. Supporting the body portion 2001 is a rear leg 2012 and two middle legs 2014, 2016. The three legs 2012, 2014, 2016 provide a space between the bottom surface 2018 of the laser sighting device 2000 and the surface upon which the laser sighting device 2000 rests. In this space, a laser light assembly 2022 is mounted. The laser light assembly 2022 is attached to the bottom of the laser sighting device 2000 by engagement of a laser mounting bracket 2024 at the rear of the laser light assembly 2022 with a laser mounting block 2020. The laser light assembly 2022 features an on/off switch 2026 and adjustments 2028 for aiming the laser beam as it passes through aperture 2030 at the end of the laser light assembly 2022 directed toward the pointed end 2004 of the laser sighting device 2000.

[0137] Once the laser sighting device 2000 has been placed against the ball striking surface of the putter's head, the laser assembly 2022 is turned on by engagement of the on/off switch 2026. The laser light beam passing through the aperture 2030 will follow a path parallel to the score mark 2008 on the top surface 2002 of the laser sighting device 2000 and provide an indication to the golfer where a line projected perpendicularly from the ball-striking face portion of the club head will lie relative to a target such as a hole or a simulated hole. By using the laser sighting device 2000, the golfer or teaching professional will be able to determine how much the ability of the golfer to aim a golf ball along the target line is affected by the golfer's right eye or left eye dominance.

[0138] The following steps are used to determine the accuracy of a golfer's aim using the laser sighting device 2000. 1

Step 1 -Choose a relatively flat surface on a putting green or, if inside, on a carpet. Place a
background target just behind a hole or a simulated hole.
Step 2 -At a distance of approximately 10-15 feet away from the hole or simulated hole,
instruct the individual golfer to position his/her putter to direct a putt toward the hole
or simulated hole.
Step 3 -Once the ball-striking face of the putter is aligned to the golfer's satisfaction, secure
the putter in place by stabilizing the putter's head to prevent movement of the
putter's head and replace the golf ball with the laser sighting device. Square the
laser sighting device to the ball-striking face of the putter by placing its back edge
flush against the ball-striking face of the putter.
Step 4 -Turn the laser light on to obtain an indication of the individual golfer's aim. To
obtain a precise assessment of an individual golfer's aim, check the golfer's aim
three to four times without having the individual golfer view the results. This
prevents the individual golfer from making subconscious directional aim
compensating adjustments.

[0139] Accordingly, the present invention provides easy to use method by which the measurements for a custom made putter may be determined and a custom made putter may be manufactured and “fine tuned” to the special needs of an individual golfer without having to rely on the capabilities of a special factory. Thus, a better fit of a custom made putter to the physiological needs of an individual golfer has been achieved and all waiting time for a custom made putter has been virtually eliminated.

[0140] While the fitting method of the present invention has been described according to its preferred and alternate embodiments, those of ordinary skill in the art will realize that other embodiments of the method of the present invention have now been enabled. Such other embodiments shall fall within the scope of the appended claims.