Title:
Iron clud head
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An iron club head includes a striking plate for striking a golf ball and a body. The body includes an elastically deformable thin wall. An opening is defined in a front side of the body and surrounded by the thin wall. The striking plate is bonded in the opening. The thin wall has a thickness smaller than that of the striking plate. When the iron club head hits a golf ball, a momentum of striking generated as a result of hitting the golf ball causes elastic deformation of the striking plate and the thin wall to increase an overall deformation of the iron club head.



Inventors:
Huang, Chung-yung (Kaohsiung Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
10/845105
Publication Date:
11/17/2005
Filing Date:
05/14/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/342, 473/349, 473/350, 473/335
International Classes:
A63B53/04; A63B59/00; (IPC1-7): A63B53/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PASSANITI, SEBASTIANO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Joe McKinney Muncy (Fairfax, VA, US)
Claims:
1. An iron club head comprising: a striking plate adapted to strike a golf ball; and a body including an elastically deformable thin wall, an opening being defined in a front side of the body and surrounded by the thin wall, the striking plate being bonded in the opening; wherein the thin wall has a thickness smaller than that of the striking plate; and wherein when the iron club head hits a golf ball, a momentum of striking generated as a result of hitting the golf ball causes elastic deformation of the striking plate and the thin wall to increase an overall deformation of the iron club head.

2. The iron club head as claimed in claim 1, wherein the thickness of the thin wall is between 0.5 mm and 2.0 mm.

3. The iron club head as claimed in claim 1, wherein the thickness of the striking plate is between 2.0 mm and 3.5 mm.

4. The iron club head as claimed in claim 1, wherein the iron club head further comprises a weight member fixed to an inner face of the thin wall at a position behind a lower portion of the striking plate.

5. The iron club head as claimed in claim 4, wherein a weight ratio of the body and the weight member is smaller than 5.5.

6. The iron club head as claimed in claim 1, wherein the iron club head further comprises a weight member integrally formed on an inner face of the thin wall at a position behind a lower portion of the striking plate.

7. The iron club head as claimed in claim 6, wherein a weight ratio of the body and the weight member is smaller than 5.5.

8. The iron club head as claimed in claim 1, wherein the thin wall has a closed rear side.

9. The iron club head as claimed in claim 1, wherein the thin wall has a rear side, the rear side of the thin wall having an opening in an upper section thereof.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an iron club head. In particular, the present invention relates to an iron club head including a body and a striking plate having a thickness greater than that of the body to improve the overall elastic deforming capacity of the iron club head.

2. Description of Related Art

FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings illustrate a typical iron club head comprising a body 1 and a striking plate 2. The body 1 includes an annular wall 101 delimiting an opening 102, with a hosel 104 extending from a side of the body 1 for engaging with a shaft (no shown). The striking plate 2 is supported by a stepped portion 103 of the opening 102. The body 1 and the striking plate 2 are generally engaged together to form an iron club head by means of welding, brazing, insertion, bonding, or screwing. When striking a golf ball with the iron club head, the striking plate 2 hits the golf ball and then deforms. The golf ball is driven by the momentum imparted from the iron club head.

In the typical conventional iron club head, the thickness of the annular wall 101 of the body is larger than 3 mm, while the thickness of the striking plate 2 is smaller than 3 mm. The body 1 is generally made from a material having a high Young's modulus while considering the overall strength of the iron club head. Nevertheless, the elastic deforming capacity of the body 1 is reduced when the body 1 has a relatively large thickness or the body 1 is made of a material with a relatively high Young's modulus. The coefficient of restitution of the body 1 is thus adversely affected. The coefficient of restitution of the conventional iron club head is between 0.74 and 0.76. Conclusively, the overall elastic deforming capacity of the iron club head is in proportion with thin thickness and low Young's modulus of the striking plate 2.

The body 1 could become a sort of a damper due to low elastic deforming capacity, absorbing part of the momentum and reducing the overall striking effect. On the other hand, the striking plate 2 bonded to the stepped portion 103 is surrounded by the annular wall 101. Thus, the elastic deforming area of the striking plate 2 cannot be effectively expanded.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide an iron club head including a body and a striking plate having a thickness greater than that of the body to improve the overall elastic deforming capacity of the iron club head.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with an aspect of the present invention, an iron club head includes a striking plate for striking a golf ball and a body. The body includes an elastically deformable thin wall. An opening is defined in a front side of the body and surrounded by the thin wall. The striking plate is bonded in the opening. The thin wall has a thickness smaller than that of the striking plate.

When the iron club head hits a golf ball, a momentum of striking generated as a result of hitting the golf ball causes elastic deformation of the striking plate and the thin wall to increase an overall deformation of the iron club head.

The thickness of the thin wall is preferably between 0.5 mm and 2.0 mm. Thickness of the striking plate is preferably between 2.0 mm and 3.5 mm.

In an embodiment of the invention, a weight member is fixed to an inner face of the thin wall at a position behind a lower portion of the striking plate. In another embodiment of the invention, a weight member is integrally formed on an inner face of the thin wall at a position behind a lower portion of the striking plate. A weight ratio of the body and the weight member is preferably smaller than 5.5.

In an embodiment of the invention, the thin wall has a closed rear side. In another embodiment of the invention, the thin wall has a rear side, and the rear side of the thin wall having an opening in an upper section thereof.

Other objects, advantages and novel features of this invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a conventional iron club head;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the conventional iron club head;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of an iron club head in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the iron club head in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a schematic side view illustrating deformation of the iron club head while striking a golf ball;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view illustrating a modified embodiment of the iron club head in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view illustrating another modified embodiment of the iron club head in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 8 is a sectional view of the iron club head in FIG. 7.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, an iron club head in accordance with the present invention comprises a body 1, a striking plate 2, and a weight member 3. The body 1 includes an elastically deformable thin wall 11 and an opening 12 in a front side of the body 1. The thin wall 11 includes an open front side and a closed rear side and surrounds the opening 12 in the front side of the body 1. A hosel 13 extends from a side of the body 1 for engaging with a shaft (not shown). The thin wall 11 has a thickness t1 preferably between 0.5 mm and 2.0 mm, most preferably 0.7 mm and 1.5 mm. The thickness t1 of the thin wall 11 may be uniform throughout the thin wall 11 or varied within a range. The coefficient of restitution (COR) of the thin wall 11 can be increased by means of reducing the thickness t1 of the thin wall 11. Thus, adverse affection to the elastic deformation and momentum resulting from the damping effect of the material of the thin wall 1 is eliminated and/or obviated. In a case that the body 1 is made of a metal or alloy having a Young's modulus smaller than 3×107 psi, the COR of the elastically deformable thin wall 1 is further increased. Preferably, the material for the thin wall 11 is selected from the group consisting of titanium having a Young's modulus of 1.72×107 psi, brass/bronze having a Young's modulus of 1.70×107 psi, aluminum having a Young's modulus of 1.0×107 psi, magnesium having a Young's modulus of 6.0×106 psi, and alloys thereof.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the striking plate 2 is made of titanium alloy (such as 6A1-4V Ti alloy), stainless steel (such as 174 ph stainless steel, 355 stainless steel, or 455 stainless steel), carbon steel (such as 4130 carbon steel), or special steel (such as maraging steel). The striking plate 2 has a thickness t2 preferably between 2.0 mm and 3.5 mm, most preferably between 2.3 mm and 3.0 mm. Namely, the thickness t2 of the striking plate 2 is larger than that t1 of the thin wall 11. The striking plate 2 is usually bonded to the open front side of the body 1 by means of welding.

The weight member 3 is made from a metal with a relatively high specific gravity, such as a W—Fe—Ni alloy. The weight member 3 is fixed by welding or embedding to an inner face of the thin wall 11 at a position behind a lower portion of the striking plate 2. The weight member 3 compensates the weight reduction resulting from the use of the elastically deformable thin wall 11. Further, the weight member 3 can be used to adjust the overall weight of the iron club head. Preferably, the weight ratio of the body 1 to the weight member 3 is smaller than 5.5.

The body 1 of the iron club head thus constructed can be deemed as a spring that follows the Hook's Law. Namely, when the iron club head hits a golf ball, the body 1 is compressed and flexes like a spring, storing the kinetic energy of the swing. When the golf ball is leaving away from the iron club head, the energy stored in the body 1 is imparted to the golf ball, resulting in a farther flight of the golf ball. The coefficient of restitution of the iron club head in accordance with the present invention is between 0.77 and 0.83.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, since the thickness t1 (preferably 0.7 mm-1.5 mm) of the thin wall 11 of the body 1 is smaller than that t2 (preferably 2.0 mm-3.5 mm) of the striking plate 2, when the striking plate 2 is welded in place at a position “w”, the striking plate 2 and the body 1 synchronously and elastically deform via the welding position w. Namely, when the iron club head in accordance with the present invention hits a golf ball 4, the striking plate 2 firstly comes in contact with the golf ball 4, resulting in a reward deformation in a main striking area 21 of the striking plate 2. The thin wall 11 of the body 1 elastically deforms synchronously via the welding position w. Elastic deformation of the thin wall 11 allows the momentum of striking to be fed back to the striking plate 2 and to the golf ball 4. Further, since the damping caused by the thin wall 11 is smaller, the momentum of striking imparted to the body 1 is less likely to be absorbed. As a result, most part of the momentum of striking can be fed back to the golf ball 4 by the iron club head via synchronous elastic deformation. The golf ball 4 is thus effectively stricken.

FIG. 6 illustrates a modified embodiment of the iron club head in accordance with the present invention. In this embodiment, the weight member (now designated by 14) is integrally formed on the inner face of the thin wall 11 at a position behind the lower portion of the striking plate 2. The location of the weight member 14 would not interfere with the main elastic deforming area of the thin wall 11. Thus, the thin wall 11 can be used to effectively feed the momentum of striking back to the striking plate 2, increasing the overall elastic deforming capacity and improving the striking effect.

FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate another modified embodiment of the iron club head in accordance with the present invention. In this embodiment, the rear side of the thin wall 11 is also open. Namely, the body 1 includes a through-hole (not labeled) extending from the front side of the thin wall 11 through an upper section of the rear side of the thin wall 11. Thus, by means of removing the material from the upper section of the rear side of the thin wall 11, the weight of the upper section of the body 1 is reduced (see the opening 14 in the upper section of the body 1). Namely, the overall center of gravity of the iron club head is lowered. The weight member 3 is made from a metal with a relatively high specific gravity, such as a W—Fe—Ni alloy. The weight member 3 is fixed by welding or embedding to an inner face of the thin wall 11 at a position behind a lower portion of the striking plate 2 without interfering with the main elastic deforming area of the thin wall 11. Similar to the above embodiments, the thin wall 11 can be used to effectively feed the momentum of striking back to the striking plate 2, increasing the overall elastic deforming capacity and improving the striking effect.

While the principles of this invention have been disclosed in connection with specific embodiments, it should be understood by those skilled in the art that these descriptions are not intended to limit the scope of the invention, and that any modification and variation without departing the spirit of the invention is intended to be covered by the scope of this invention defined only by the appended claims.