Title:
Golf swing training device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The golf swing training device includes a mat and a plurality of guide members. The mat has a first set of spaced slots. Each of the slots receives a different guide member in a position adjustable manner. The positions of those guide members collectively define one boundary of a permissible golf club head swing path. Additional guide members are mounted on the mat, either in a second set of spaced slots in a position adjustable manner, or in a set of spaced openings in a non-position adjustable manner. The positions of the additional guide members collectively define the second boundary of the permissible golf club swing path.



Inventors:
Gegelys, Chris (Chester, NJ, US)
Application Number:
10/897796
Publication Date:
01/26/2006
Filing Date:
07/22/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LEGESSE, NINI F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EPSTEIN DRANGEL LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A golf swing training device comprising a mat and a plurality of guide members, said mat comprising a first set of slots, each of said slots of said first set of slots being adapted to receive a different one of said guide members in a substantially continuously position adjustable manner to substantially any position within said slot so as to define a first set of positions, said first set of positions collectively defining a boundary of a permissible golf club head swing path, and means for maintaining each of said guide members within said slot only in an upright position substantially perpendicular to the surface of said mat.

2. The device of claim 1 further comprising means for mounting said guide members in a second set of positions on said mat, said second set of positions collectively defining a second boundary for a permissible golf club head swing path.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein said means for mounting said guide members in a second set of positions comprises a second set of slots, each of said second set of slots being adapted to receive a different one of said guide members in a position adjustable manner.

4. The device of claim 2 wherein said means for mounting said guide members in said second set of positions comprises a set of openings, each of said openings being adapted to receive a different one of said guide members in a non-position adjustable manner.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein said slots in said first set of slots are substantially parallel to each other.

6. The device of claim 3 wherein said slots in said second set of slots are substantially parallel to each other.

7. The device of claim 2 wherein said boundary defined by said first set of positions is spaced from said boundary defined by said second set of positions.

8. The device of claim 3 wherein said first set of slots are spaced from said second set of slots.

9. The device of claim 4 wherein said first set of slots are spaced from said set of openings.

10. The device of claim 3 wherein each of said slots of said first set of slots is substantially aligned with a different one of said slots of said second set of slots.

11. The device of claim 4 wherein each of said slots of said first set of slots is substantially aligned with a different one of said openings.

12. The device of claim 1 wherein said mat has a front edge and wherein each of said slots of said first set slots is elongated in a direction substantially parallel to said front edge.

13. The device of claim 3 wherein said mat has a front edge and wherein each of said slots of said second set slots is elongated in a direction substantially parallel to said front edge.

14. The device of claim 4 wherein said mat has a front edge and wherein said openings form a row extending in a direction substantially perpendicular to said front edge.

15. The device of claim 1 wherein each of said guide members comprises a base and an upstanding guidepost mounted on said base.

16. The device of claim 15 wherein each of said slots has a given width and wherein said base is wider than said given width.

17. The device of claim 1 wherein each of said guide members comprises a rubber golf tee.

18. The device of claim 2 further comprising a golf tee and means for mounting said golf tee on said mat at a location aligned with said path.

19. The device of claim 18 wherein said golf tee mounting means comprises an opening.

20. The device of claim 18 wherein said golf tee mounting means is located proximate the middle of said path.

Description:

The present invention relates to a golf training device and more particularly a golf training device designed to assist a golfer in improving his or her swing.

Apparatus of various types for improving the accuracy of the swing of a golf club are known. Many have the common function of defining a swing path for the club head and providing feedback of some sort to the golfer as to how accurately the club head has traveled along the defined path. Such apparatus range from sophisticated, expensive electronic or mechanical devices to simple, inexpensive “low-tech” devices.

In the latter variety are included devices that mechanically define a path through which the club head must travel to achieve a desired ball trajectory. One such device is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,913,440 to Ellington. That patent teaches a golf club swing training device including a mat having an artificial grass surface. The mat is provided with a plurality of openings at predetermined locations. Upstanding swing guide members are arranged on the mat by inserting them into selected ones of the openings. The guide members can define different golf club swing paths, depending upon the placement of the guide members on the mat.

The golfer swings the club over the mat. If the club head deviates from the defined path as it travels over the mat, it hits one or more of the guide members, providing feedback to the golfer. Ellington teaches a mirror-image set of guide member placement locations to enable the device to be used by both left-handed and right-handed golfers.

However, the Ellington device has two major drawbacks. Adjustment of the width and/or curvature of the designed club head path in the Ellington device requires that the guide members be removed from the openings in the mat and then reinserted into other ones of the openings. Further, the guide members can only define those paths that are in accordance with the pre-set locations of the guide member receiving openings.

My device overcomes those disadvantages by providing means for continuously adjusting one and preferably both of the boundaries of the swing path within a limited range. That is accomplished through the use of position adjustable guide members that are received in one or more sets of spaced, parallel elongated slots. Each of the members is slidable to any position along the slot within which it is received.

In this way, the width and the contours of the boundaries of the desired golf club head swing path can be infinitely adjusted within a range defined by the slot length. Moreover, adjustments to the path width and curvature can be achieved by simple sliding the guide members along the respective slots, without the necessity of removing and replacing the guide members.

It is therefore, a prime object of the present invention to provide a simple “low tech” golf swing training device.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a golf swing training device in which the width and curvature of the desired golf club head swing path are continuously adjustable within a given range.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a golf swing training device in which the width and curvature of the desired golf club head swing path are adjustable without the necessity of removing and replacing the guide members.

In accordance with the present invention, a golf swing training device is provided including a mat and a plurality of guide members. The mat has a first set of slots. Each of the slots is adapted to receive a different one of the guide members in a position adjustable manner so as to define a first set of positions on the mat. The first set of positions collectively defines one of the boundaries of a permissible golf club head swing path.

Means are provided for mounting the guide members in a second set of positions on the mat. The second set of positions collectively defines a second boundary for the permissible golf club head swing path.

In one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the means for mounting the guide members in the second set of positions includes a second set of slots. Each of the slots of the second set of slots is adapted to receive a different one of the guide members in a position adjustable manner to define the second set of positions.

The slots of the first set of slots are spaced from the slots of the second set of slots. Each of the slots of the first set of slots is substantially aligned with a different one of the slots of the second set of slots.

In another preferred embodiment of the present invention, the means for mounting the guide members in the second set of positions includes a set of openings. Each of the openings is adapted to receive a different one of the guide members in a non-position adjustable manner so as to define the second set of positions. The slots of the first set of slots are spaced from the set of openings. Each of the slots of the first set of slots is substantially aligned with a different one of the openings.

Preferably, the slots of the first set of slots are substantially parallel to each other. Preferably, the slots of the second set of slots are also substantially parallel to each other.

The boundary defined by the first set of positions is spaced from the boundary defined by the second set of positions so as to define a permissible path for the swing of the golf club head.

The mat has a front edge. Each of the slots of the first set of slots is elongated in a direction substantially parallel to the front edge of the mat. Each of the slots of the second set of slots is elongated in a direction substantially parallel to the front edge of the mat. The openings form a row extending in a direction substantially perpendicular to the front edge of the mat.

Each of the guide members has a base and an upstanding guidepost mounted on the base. Each of the slots has a width. The base of each of the guide members is wider than the width of the slots.

Each of the guide members preferably takes the form of a rubber golf tee.

The device of the present invention also includes an additional opening. That opening is for mounting a golf tee on the mat at a location, aligned with the golf club head swing path.

To these and such other objects which may hereinafter appear, the present invention relates to a golf swing training device as described in the following specification and recited in the annexed claims, taken together with the accompanying drawings, wherein like numerals refer to like parts and wherein:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of a second preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken through one of the slots in the mat showing the structure of the guide member.

FIG. 1 shows the first preferred embodiment of the golf swing training device of the present invention. The device includes a mat 10 made of plastic or rubber material. Mat 10 is provided with a first set of elongated, spaced slots 12. Slots 12 are substantially parallel to each other and to the front edge 16 of mat 10. Mat 10 is also provided with a row of spaced openings 14 on the mat. The row of openings 14 extends in a direction generally perpendicular to front edge 16 of the mat, along the side edge 17. Each of the slots 12 is aligned with a different one of the openings 14.

Each of the slots 12 is adapted to receive a different guide member 18. The guide members in slots 12 define a first set of positions on the mat. Each of the openings 14 is adapted to receive a different guide member 18. In this embodiment, the guide members 18 in openings 14 define a second set of positions on the mat.

As seen in FIG. 3, guide members 18 each include a base 20. Base 20 is preferably circular and has a diameter that is larger than the width of the slot. Each of the guide members also has a guidepost 22 mounted on and extending upwardly from the center of base 20. Guideposts 22 are generally cylindrical in shape and have a cross-sectional diameter that is slightly smaller that the width of a slot.

Guide members 18 are received in slots 12 in a position adjustable manner. This permits the guide member to be moved at any position along the length of the slot without removing the guide member from the slot. Guide members 18 are received in openings 14 in a non-position adjustable manner. The location of the opening defines the position of the guide member received therein. Preferably, guide members 18 are standard rubber golf tees.

The positions of the guide members 18 in openings 14 collectively form one of the boundaries of the desired path of travel of the golf club head. In this embodiment, that boundary is a straight line. The positions of the guide members 18 in slots 12 collectively form the other boundary of the desired path of travel of the golf club head. In this embodiment, the location and curvature of that boundary is variable within the range of the length of slots 12.

FIG. 2 illustrates a second preferred embodiment of the device of the present invention. The embodiment of FIG. 2 is the same as that of FIG. 1 except that the openings 14 in the first embodiment are replaced with a second set of spaced, substantially parallel slots 24. In this embodiment, guide members 18 are received in slots 24 in a position adjustable manner so as to define the second set of positions. Slots 24 are spaced from slots 12 and like slots 12 are substantially parallel to front edge 16 of the mat. Each slot 24 is aligned with a different one of the slots 12.

The positions of the guide members in the first and second sets of slots define the width and curvature of the permissible golf club head travel path over the mat. The positions of the guide members in slots 12 collectively define one of the boundaries of the path. The positions of the guide members in openings 14 or in slots 24 define the other boundary. Because the guide members are position adjustable within the slots, the boundary collectively defined by the positions of guide members received in a set of slots can have an infinite variety of different curvatures, within the limits of the length of the slots.

When guide members 18 are inserted into openings 14, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the user has a guide and reference point to help complete the backswing. Most professional instruction teaches students to start the backswing by swinging on straight line directly behind the ball. By keeping the outer edge of the golf club head close to the row of guide members 18 in openings 14, the golfer has a visual aid to assist in swinging along this straight line. In addition, if the golfer pushes the club head off of the desired path, it will come into contact with one or more guide members, providing immediate feedback to the golfer.

Several inches across from the each of the guide members in openings 14 is a slot 12. The slot is wide enough to accommodate the upstanding guidepost 22 of a guide member 18 and is several inches in length. The guide members 18 received in slots 12 can be positioned to form either a straight line or a variety of arcs. The guide members in slots 12 are designed to help guide the golfer's downswing along a path that produces solid contact and accurate ball flight.

The top surface of mat 10 is preferably covered with artificial turf 26, as seen in FIG. 3. Further, a standard golf tee 28 may be received in an opening 30 situated along front edge 16 of the mat, in alignment with the desired golf club head swing path. Tee 28 is provided to support a golf ball 32 proximate the middle of the swing path, as seen in FIG. 1.

Most professional instruction teaches students to swing the club so that it approaches the ball on a path that is inside (or closer to the body) than the path used for the backswing. Current instruction teaches students that the club head should approach the ball on an inside path, be square at impact and come back to the inside on the follow through. By appropriately positioning guide members 18 in the slots 12, the user can create this type of downswing path. Moreover, when the boundary defined by the positions of the guide members in slots 12 and the boundary defined by the positions of the guide members in the openings 14 are considered together, a travel path is created to help guide the golf club head. If the club head strays from this path during the swing and hits one or more of the guide members 18, the golfer gets instant feedback. In addition, because the slots allow for a wide variety of position adjustment of the guide members, the travel path can be made sufficiently narrow to accommodate only a standard size iron or wide enough to accommodate oversized drivers.

The embodiment of FIG. 2 functions in the same manner but provides an additional degree of variability by permitting the setting of both of the boundaries of the travel path, due to the position adjustability of the guide members 18 in slots 24, as well as those in slots 12. That embodiment is ideal for more advanced training.

Although the mat 10 of the present invention can be of any convenient size, it is preferable that it be at least 12 inches wide by 24 inches long. However, larger size mats, for example, 48 inches by 48 inches, may be utilized when it is desirable to include a portion of the mat upon which the golfer can stand when using the device of the present invention.

It will now be appreciated that the present invention is a golf swing training device in which one or both of the boundaries of the permissible golf club head swing path along the surface of the mat can be continuously adjusted, within the range of the slot length, without the necessity for removing and replacing the guide members.

While only a limited member of preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed for purposes of illustrations, it is obvious that many variations and modifications could be made thereto. It is intended to cover all of those variations and modifications that fall within the scope of the present invention, as defined by the following claims: