Title:
Golf swinging training tool
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf swing training device made up of a golf club shaft connected to a disc shaped training body. The first and second sides of the disc are configured to provide increased resistance to swinging. The thickness of the training body, the length of the shaft and the handle all align along a single plane. When a golfer grasps the handle portion and swings the training device properly, the thickness of the training body remains within the plane and the resistance to the swing perceived by the golfer is minimized. When a golfer grasps the grasping portion and swings the device improperly, the thickness of the training device does not remain in this desired plane, and resistance to the swing is perceived.



Inventors:
Strite, Todd (Boise, ID, US)
Application Number:
10/286093
Publication Date:
05/20/2004
Filing Date:
10/31/2002
Assignee:
STRITE PRODUCTS (Boise, ID)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/226, 473/228, 473/257
International Classes:
A63B15/00; A63B69/36; (IPC1-7): A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LEGESSE, NINI F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Burdick Patents (Boise, ID, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A golf-swing training device comprising: a shaft having a first end with a handle portion connected thereto and extending along a length to a second end; and a training body connected to said shaft near said second end, said training body having a mass, a thickness, a first side and a second side each of said sides configured to provide an increased amount of resistance to swinging as compared to said thickness, said training device configured so that said thickness and said shaft align along a plane, said first side and said second side each being aligned generally parallel to said plane; whereby when a golfer grasps said handle and swings said training device properly said thickness remains within said plane and resistance perceived by said golfer is minimized, likewise when a golfer grasps and swings said training device improperly said thickness does not remain in said plane and resistance perceived by said golfer is increased.

2. The golf-swing training device of claim 1 wherein said mass of said training body is equal to a designated mass of a desired golf club head.

3. The golf-swing training device of claim 1 wherein said first side has a first length and said second side has a second length, said first length being generally greater than said second length; whereby when said training body moves through air in a path outside said plane said air travels over said surfaces creating a difference in pressure between said first side and said second side and causing said training body to be lifted toward said first side.

4. The device of claim 3 wherein said first side is generally convex and said second side is generally concave.

5. The device of claim 4 whereby said first side is configured so that when a portion of said thickness is directed toward said golfer during said swing said difference in pressure causes said training body to move toward said golfer.

6. A golf-swing training device comprising: a shaft configured to approximate the dimensions of a golf club, said shaft having a first end with a handle portion connected thereto and extending along a length to a second end; and a generally disc shaped training body connected to said shaft near said second end, said training body having a mass generally equal to a mass of golf club, a thickness, a first side and a second side; each of said sides configured to provide an increased amount of resistance to swinging as compared to said thickness; said first side being generally convex and said second side being generally concave, said training device configured so that said thickness and said shaft align along a plane, said first side and said second side each being aligned generally parallel to said plane; whereby when a golfer grasps said handle and swings said training device properly said thickness remains within said plane and resistance perceived by said golfer is minimized, likewise when a golfer grasps and swings said training device improperly said thickness does not remain in said plane and resistance perceived by said golfer is increased.

7. The golf-swing training device of claim 6 wherein said mass of said training body is equal to a designated mass of a desired golf club head.

8. The golf-swing training device of claim 6 wherein said first side has a diameter between nine and ten inches, said second side has a diameter between nine and ten inches, said thickness is between 2 and 3 inches, said first side further having a first length and said second side having a second length, said first length being generally greater than said second length; whereby when said training body moves through air in a path outside said plane said air travels over said first side and said second side creating a difference in pressure between said first side and said second side and causing said training body to be lifted toward said first side.

9. The device of claim 8 whereby said first side is configured so that when a portion of said thickness is directed toward said golfer during said swing said difference in pressure causes said training body to move toward said golfer.

10. A golf-swing training device comprising: a shaft having a first end with a grasping handle configured for grasping by a golfer and extending from said grasping handle along a length of between 35 and 47 inches to a second end; and a disc shaped training body fixedly connected to said second end of said shaft, said training body having a mass between 8 and 10 ounces, a thickness of approximately one and one half inches, a first side and a second side each side having a diameter between 9 and 10 inches, said first side being generally concave and said second side being generally convex, said training device dimensioned so that said thickness and said length of said shaft align along a plane, said first side and said second side each being aligned generally perpendicular to said plane whereby when a golfer grasps said grasping portion and swings said training device properly said training body remains within said plane and resistance perceived by said golfer is minimized, likewise when a golfer grasps and swings said training device improperly said training body does not remain in the same plane and the amount of resistance perceived by said golfer is increased.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention generally relates to golf training devices, and more particularly to a portable golf swing training device that can be used to improve both strength and technique.

[0003] 2. Background Information

[0004] In recent years, the sport of golf has acquired many new fans and participants. These persons, as well as more experienced golfers, soon learn that one of the keys to mastering the game of golf is developing a proper golf swing. In order to improve their swing, golfers are continuously attempting to find a training device that will enable them to train themselves to swing the golf club in the correct manner.

[0005] Swinging a golf club in a proper way requires training a variety of muscles to maintain the swing of the golf club in a proper plane, while also maintaining proper distance between the golfer and the end of the club. This proper positioning ensures that the appropriate portion of the club strikes the appropriate part of the ball at the appropriate position. When a properly positioned swing is executed, the ball will travel in a generally straight trajectory for a longer distance than when contacted by an improper golf swing. Proper swing technique enables golfers to improve their game by providing them with accurate and powerful drives, which in turn allows them to more accurately place their golf ball upon a green or in a hole.

[0006] One of the important points in practicing a golf swing is to ensure that the golf club follows the same plane from an up position through a down swing, through making contact with the ball and through the follow through. When this entire swing occurs in the same plane, much like the swinging of a pendulum, maximum accuracy and power can be achieved. However, when a golfer swings the club outside of this plane, the ability to drive the ball straight and accurately is diminished.

[0007] The ideal swing occurs when the golf club is swung in a generally straight plane with the face of the golf club in proper alignment. Turning the face of the golf club either inward or outward can cause the ball to veer to the right or to the left after being hit. Thus, another portion of training includes ensuring that the face of the club contacts the ball at an appropriate angle and that the golfer does not turn the golf club inward or outward from the proper plane while swinging the club.

[0008] Golfers generally engage in practice and exercise sessions to improve their technique and increase the strength of particular muscles used while playing. Some golfers may simply practice their swings by hitting practice wiffle-type balls in their backyard. Others may utilize a place designed for practicing their swing such as a driving range. Still others may utilize professional golf instructors or a computer based tracking system to assist them in correcting and improving their swing.

[0009] In addition to practice, a wide variety of devices have been developed for correcting and improving a person's golf swing. Most training devices principally revolve around two types of training, strength or resistance training and technique or skills training. The major drawbacks to most of these existing devices and methods include cost, size, difficulty of use, space required to use such devices, and a lack of effectiveness. Some of these devices include attachments that golfers place upon their body and which in turn limit the flexibility of the joints of the golfer's body. Typically, these devices are placed around a joint such as the wrist, and prevent the golfer from turning the golf club in an inappropriate direction. Other devices include cages or bars that are aligned with the desired plane and are intended to limit the direction from which a golf club can vary from the desired perfect plane of swing. However, these devices are limiting in that they are generally bulky, awkward and constricting of the user's natural range of motion. Furthermore, when these training aids are removed, a golfer generally does not know whether or not the swing without these devices is within the desired plane.

[0010] Another broad category of devices includes those that train the golfer by indicating when the golfer is performing incorrectly. Examples of these devices include devices where a portion of the shaft will fall off or make a vibrating sound during an improper swing. While these devices may be useful in indicating whether or not a person's swing follows a desired path, these devices are not generally useful in assisting a person to know what corrections need to be made to achieve the desired result. Furthermore, some of these devices are generally awkward, oddly shaped, difficult to use and do not always closely approximate the feel of an actual golf club.

[0011] The type of golf training aid selected by the user is dependent upon the needs and abilities of the particular individual, as well as several other factors. These factors include personal preferences, cost, comfort, as well as the area and locations in which the person will train or practice while utilizing these devices. In some situations, a variety of different aids may be needed in order to improve alternatively the person's swing plane, path, tempo and strength. Obtaining and using all of these training aids and utilizing each of them can be expensive and time consuming. Therefore, what is need is a training device that can be used by a variety of golfers in a variety of circumstances and which provides training for obtaining a proper golf swing. What is also needed is a device that performs these features that is relatively low cost, easily transportable and may be used in a variety of locations and situations such as in a person's home, in a motel room, or on the golf course. What is also need is a device that is relatively low cost, easily transportable and can be used as both a strength training aid as well as a technique correcting device.

[0012] Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a golf swing-training device that can be used to improve a user's swing, path and tempo. It is a further object of the invention to provide a device that provides these advantages as well as providing strength and resistance training for muscles used by golfers. It is a further object of the invention to provide a training device that can be used both as a strength training aid as well as a technique correcting device. It is another object of the invention to provide a device that provides for all of these capabilities that is also relatively low cost, easily transportable and can be used in a variety of locations.

[0013] Additional objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows and in part will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon examination of the following or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objects and advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0014] The present invention is a golf swing training device made up of a shaft having a first end with a grasping handle and extending from the grasping handle along a length to a second end. The shaft is generally proportioned to have a length equal to the length of a golf club and is connected to a disc shaped training body having a mass between ten and eight ounces and a thickness of approximately one and a half inches. The first and second sides of the disc each have a diameter between nine and ten inches and are configured to provide increased resistance to swinging. The first side being generally concave and the second side being generally convex.

[0015] The training device is configured so that the thickness of the training body, the length of the shaft and the handle all align along a single plane. The first and second sides of the disc are each aligned generally parallel to the plane so that when a golfer grasps the handle portion and swings the training device properly, the sides of the training body remain parallel with the plane and the amount of resistance to the swing perceived by the golfer is minimized. When a golfer grasps the grasping portion and swings the device improperly, the sides of the disc do not remain in this desired plane. The sides of the training device contact more air, and the amount of resistance perceived by the golfer is increased.

[0016] In addition, the configuration of the first and second sides of the device amplifies slight movements in the orientation of the device out of the desired plane during the swing. In addition to the changes in perceived resistance, this further notifies the user that the swing is out of alignment. The training device can also be used as a marker to show the positioning of the club throughout the swing and make an analysis of the user's swing motion more easily traceable by another party such as a golf coach. Turning the device so that the first or second side is perpendicular to the desired golf swing plane provides resistance training and enables the invention to be used as a strength-training device.

[0017] This invention can be used by a variety of golfers in a variety of circumstances, and provides adapted training for perfecting one's golf swing, including perfecting one's swing, path and tempo. This device is relatively low cost, easily transportable and may be used in a variety of locations and situations such as in a person's home, in a motel room, or on the golf course. The present invention also provides strength and resistance training for muscles used by golfers.

[0018] Still other objects and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in this art from the following detailed description wherein I have shown and described only the preferred embodiment of the invention, simply by way of illustration of the best mode contemplated by carrying out my invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of modification in various obvious respects all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and description of the preferred embodiment are to be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as restrictive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the present invention.

[0020] FIG. 2 is a side view of the present invention.

[0021] FIG. 3 is a rear view of the present invention.

[0022] FIG. 4 is a front view of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0023] While the invention is susceptible of various modifications and alternative constructions, certain illustrated embodiments thereof have been shown in the drawings and will be described below in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the specific form disclosed, but, on the contrary, the invention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims.

[0024] A first embodiment of a golf-training device made up of a training body attached to a golf shaft is shown in FIGS. 1-4.

[0025] Referring now to FIG. 1, a perspective view of a first embodiment of the present invention is shown. In this embodiment, the device 10 is comprised of a shaft 12 connected to a training body 20. The shaft 12 has a first end 14 and extends along a length to a second end 18. A training body 20 is connected to the second end 18. A handle 16 is located near the first end 14. The handle 16 may be made of any of a variety of materials, but is generally dimensioned and proportioned to approximate the handle and grip of a golf club. Thus, giving the user the feel of swinging a golf club while actually swinging the training device.

[0026] The distance from the first end 14 to the second end 18 is a length dimensioned to approximate the length of the sizes and types of clubs that are used by the golfer. Generally, this distance is between thirty-five and forty-seven inches, however these may be altered depending upon the necessities of the user. For an average sized person, a training device dimensioned to approximate a driver would have a length of about forty-three and one half inches, while a training device proportioned to approximate the dimensions of a five iron would have a length of about thirty-seven inches.

[0027] The training body 20 is attached to the shaft near the second end 18. The training body has a first side 22, a second side (not shown), a thickness 26 and a mass. The first side 22 and the second side (not shown) are dimensioned to be significantly larger than the thickness 26. The mass of the training body 20 is designed to approximate the mass of a desired golf club head. In this embodiment, the training body 20 has a mass between eight and ten ounces and a thickness 26 of approximately one and one half inches. Depending upon the specific club being approximated, a variety of different weights and masses can be used. For example, a disc approximating a five iron may have a mass of between 250-270 grams, while a disc approximating other irons or woods may have mass as low as 180 grams or masses even greater than 270 grams, depending upon the necessities of the user. Likewise, the thickness 26 of the training body 20 may be adapted according to desires of the user to more appropriately approximate the drag of the particular club head being used.

[0028] In this embodiment, the training body 20 is disc shaped. However, any shape where the first side 22 and the second side (not shown) provide a greater resistance to the swing than the thickness 26 of the device 10 may be used. Thus, when the device 10 is swung outside of the desired plane, a significant difference in air resistance is perceived. In this embodiment, this is accomplished by sizing the first 22 and second sides (not shown) to have significantly greater dimensions than the thickness 26. For example, in this embodiment the thickness 26 of the device is approximately one and one half inches and the first side 22 and second side (not shown) each have a diameter between nine and ten inches. The first side 22 is generally slightly convex and the second side (not shown) is generally concave. These dimensions provide the desired qualities of approximating the feel and swing of a five iron while also providing signaling when the swing is out of the proper plane.

[0029] Referring now to FIG. 2, a side view of the present invention is shown. The training device 10 is configured so that the thickness 26 of the training body 20, the shaft 12 and the handle 16 all align along a single plane. The first and second sides 22, 24 are each aligned generally parallel to the plane so that when a golfer grasps the grasping portion and swings the training device properly, the thickness 26 of the training body 20, the handle 16 and the shaft 12 all remain within the same plane. When the device is swung properly, the amount of resistance to the swing perceived by the golfer is minimal. When a golfer grasps the grasping portion and swings the device improperly, the thickness 26 of the training device does not remain in the same plane, the sides 22, 24 are no longer positioned parallel to the plane and these sides 22, 24 contact more air. When this occurs, the amount of resistance perceived by the golfer while performing the swing is increased. This increased resistance provides instant feedback to the golfer as to whether or not his/her golf swing is within the proper plane.

[0030] Depending upon the configuration of the training device, some slight variations in the golf swing from the ideal swing can result in drastic changes in the location and behavior of the device. This notifies the user that their swing is out of alignment.

[0031] Referring now to FIG. 3, a rear view of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is shown. In this embodiment, the second side 24 is shown to be generally slightly concave.

[0032] FIG. 4 shows the front view of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. The first side 22 shown in FIG. 4 is slightly convex. When the device is swung in a direction that is not in proper alignment, the first side 22 or second side 24 contacts more air than when the device is swung in a proper alignment, and increased resistance to the swing is perceived by the golfer swinging the device. Furthermore, in this embodiment the interaction of the airflow with the convex first side 22 and the convex second side 24 presents an amplified response to improper deviations from the proper swing plane.

[0033] In addition to the difference in air resistance perceived by the person using the device, the slightly convex portion 22 of the device provides a longer path for air to travel over, while the slightly concave side 24 of the training body provides a shorter distance for air to travel. This disparity in distances creates differences in air pressures surrounding the training disc. These differences in pressures will cause the training disc to alternatively rise up or dive down when the device is taken out of proper alignment with the desired swing plane. For example, when a golfer utilizing the device grasps the device in a position where the first side 22 is facing away from the golfer and performs a golf swing, a variety of results may occur.

[0034] In performing a swing, the golfer will first hold the device at the handle portion 16 and place the training body 20 of the device at a position approximating the location of a golf ball to be hit. The golfer will then raise the device 10 backwards until reaching a ready position with the device 10 over his/her head. The golfer will then swing the device 10 downward approaching the position of the ball to be hit, and follow the swing through the impact position to a finishing position above the golfer's head. If the golf swing is done properly, the thickness 26 of the training body is maintained in proper, planar alignment with the shaft 12 and the handle 16. In this configuration, the first and second sides 22, 24 will be aligned generally parallel to the direction of swing. When this occurs, the swing of the device will have minimal resistance and will follow the desired path.

[0035] If the golfer has an incorrect swing plane because, for example, they closes down their shoulders or rolls their wrists, their swing will result in an in to out motion. When this occurs, the second side 24 of the device will contact more airflow and an increase in resistance will be felt. In addition, this movement will cause air to flow over the training disc unevenly whereby air passing over the first side 22 will travel a longer distance than air traveling under the second side 24. This disparity in distances will correlate to a disparity in pressures and cause the disc to lift up and away from the swing plane and the golfer. This provides instant enhanced feedback to the person practicing the golf swing that the swing is out of proper alignment. Correction of this swing deficiency can be overcome by adjusting the swing or stance to eliminate the action.

[0036] If the golfer has a tendency to pull the club out of alignment by opening up their shoulders and swing the club in an out to in motion, this can also be amplified and brought to the golfer's attention. The golfer grasps the device 10 in a manner where the second side 24 is in proximity to the golfer and the first side 22 is located away from the golfer. The golfer swings the device 10. Deviation from the proper swing plane caused by turning the training body inward will be amplified and brought to the golfer's attention. In this circumstance, the profile of the training body 20 swung through the air creates a lower pressure side being closer to the golfer and a higher pressure being on the side away from the golfer. This difference in pressure causes the training device to be pushed in towards the golfer when the golf swing is inappropriately “opened up.”

[0037] By amplifying the errors in the golf swing, the golfer is able to receive instant feedback as to whether or not the swing is proper. This device also enables golfers to practice their swing in a way that does not disturb their timing or tempo, and ensures that the path that the club follows is no different from swinging a regular golf club. When swung properly, the training disc has the same mass and weight as the head of a golf club and provides no extra resistance. The length of the shaft between the training device is no different from the length of the shaft on the golf club and ideally the grips on the handles should be the same or nearly the same. Thus, while practicing, the golfer is able to closely approximate playing conditions. However, when the training device is swung improperly, the error is brought to the golfer's attention and appropriate correction can be made.

[0038] This training device can also be used as a marker to show the positioning of the club throughout the swing, and makes analysis of the user's swing motion more easily traceable by another party such as a golf coach.

[0039] Turning the device so that the first or second side is perpendicular to the desired golf swing plane enables the invention to be used as a strength-training device based upon the air resistance along the path of travel.

[0040] A variety of different uses and embodiments of the present invention can be created and are contemplated by this disclosure. The modifications include, but are not limited to modifying the lengths of the shafts to closely approximate the lengths of the desired clubs, modifying the masses of the discs to adapt to the desired masses of the club heads, utilizing a retractable shaft for ease of use and storage, utilizing a system of interchangeable heads and clubs, and other modifications.

[0041] This invention can be used by a variety of golfers in a variety of circumstances, and provides adapted training for perfecting one's golf swing, including perfecting one's swing, path and tempo. This device is relatively low cost, easily transportable and may be used in a variety of locations and situations such as in a person's home, in a motel room, or on the golf course. The present invention also provides strength and resistance training for muscles used by golfers.

[0042] While there is shown and described the present preferred embodiment of the invention, it is to be distinctly understood that this invention is not limited thereto but may be variously embodied to practice within the scope of the following claims. From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.