Title:
Golf putters and a golf putting trainning aid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides an improved putter and putter training device or aid that assists a golfer in improving their putting stroke. In one embodiment of the invention a putter is provided featuring a putter head having a front surface and a rear surface, and at least one guide displaceable relative to the front surface from a first position wherein the guide extends forward of the front surface to a second position wherein the front surface of the putter head is unobstructed by the guide. In one embodiment the guide is displaceable through a bore provided in the putter head. In a further embodiment of the invention the guide is rotatably displaceable in relation to the putter head. In another embodiment of the invention, a putter incorporating features of the invention is illustrated, the putter comprising a putter head having a front surface and a rear surface, two guides extending from the front surface, and two guides extending from the rear surface. In a further aspect of the invention a putter training device or aid is provided. The putter training aid comprises a substantially planar body having two faces, one of the faces featuring a fastener to releasably secure the putter training aid to a putter head.



Inventors:
Koster, Richard R. (Carrying Place, CA)
Application Number:
11/196329
Publication Date:
02/09/2006
Filing Date:
08/04/2005
Assignee:
RBM Ltd. (Carrying Place, CA)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20010034274Portable soccer goal apparatusOctober, 2001Tulipani et al.
20060247077Internal structure sports stickNovember, 2006Deetz
20090312114Goif putter with a new type of gripDecember, 2009Chen
20070082765GOALPOST UPRIGHT VERTICALITY ADJUSTMENT SYSTEM AND METHODApril, 2007Hulbert
20070066419Wood-type golf clubMarch, 2007Matthew
20040209700Golf practice mat record sheetOctober, 2004Tiffin
20040157685Basketball training deviceAugust, 2004Hodges
20050288115Automated bowling system, controller and method of useDecember, 2005Popielarz et al.
20070167250Golf swing and training apparatusJuly, 2007Dean Jr.
20090062027GOLF CLUB SHAFT SIMULATION METHODMarch, 2009Sato
20080045362GAME MACHINE FOR PRACTICING PITCHINGFebruary, 2008Wu



Primary Examiner:
PASSANITI, SEBASTIANO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BERESKIN & PARR LLP/S.E.N.C.R.L., s.r.l. (TORONTO, ON, CA)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A putter comprising: a) a putter head having a front surface and a rear surface; and b) at least one guide displaceable relative to the front surface from a first position wherein said guide extends forward of the front surface to a second position wherein the front surface of the putter head is unobstructed by the guide.

2. A putter according to claim 1, wherein said putter head has at least one bore therein open to the front surface, said bore of a shape and configuration to receive therethrough said displaceable guide.

3. A putter according to claim 2, further comprising a locking mechanism adapted to lock said displaceable guide against relative movement within said bore at least when said dispacebale guide is in the second position.

4. A putter according to claim 3, wherein said locking mechanism comprises a threaded bore within said putter head that intersects with said at least one bore, and a threaded screw rotatably displaceable within said threaded bore, said threaded screw to engage said displaceable guide within said at least one bore when said locking mechanism locks said displaceable guide.

5. A putter according to claim 4, wherein said threaded bore is open to a bottom surface of said putter head.

6. A putter according to claim 2, wherein said at least one bore extends through the putter head to the rear surface.

7. A puffer according to claim 6, wherein said displaceable guide is of a length sufficient so that in one position a portion of said guide extends forward of the front surface and a further portion of said guide extends rearward of the rear surface.

8. A pufter according to claim 1, wherein said displaceable guide is two guides that are substantially parallel to each other.

9. A pufter according to claim 8, wherein the two guides extending forward of the front surface at an angle substantially perpendicular to the front surface.

10. A pufter according to claim 1, wherein the displaceable guide is rotatably secured to an upper surface of the pufter head.

11. A pufter according to claim 10, wherein the displaceable guide is rotatably displaceable from the first position wherein said guide extends forward of the front surface to the second position wherein the front surface of the pufter head is unobstructed by the guide.

12. A pufter according to claim 11, wherein the displaceable guide is two guides.

13. A pufter training aid comprising: a) a substantially planar body having two faces, one of the faces having a fastener thereon to releasably secure the pufter training aid to a pufter head; and b) at least one guide extending from the body and in substantially in the same plane as the body.

14. A putter training aid according to claim 13, wherein said at least one guide is two guides extending from the body, the two guides are substantially parallel to each other.

15. A putter training aid according to claim 14, wherein the two guides are substantially perpendicular to a length defined by the body.

16. A putter training aid according to claim 13, wherein said at least one guide is two guides extending from one side of the body and two guides extending from an opposite side of the body.

17. A putter training aid according to claim 16, wherein the two guides extending from one side of the body are substantially parallel to each other and the two guides extending from the opposite side of the body are substantially parallel to each other.

18. The putter training aid of claim 13, wherein at least a portion of the other face of the body is adapted to receive advertisement.

19. A putter comprising: a) a putter head having a front surface and a rear surface; b) two guides extending from the front surface; and c) two guides extending from the rear surface.

20. A putter according to claim 19, wherein the two guides extending from the front surface are substantially parallel to each other and the two guides extending from the rear surface are substantially parallel to each other.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/599,315, which was filed on Aug. 5, 2004, and the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to golf putters, and to related training and practice devices that improve a golfer's putting stroke. Specifically, this invention relates to devices that provide visual and physical guidance to the golfer, aiding and training in aligning the putter relative to the golf ball, and more particularly, aligning the front surface or strike face of the putter so that it is at substantially right angles to the stroke line.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

For a typical golfer, putting can account for 40% of all shots taken in a round of golf. Accordingly, putting is one of the most important aspects of the game of golf. One of the major reasons that putts are missed is that the putter's strike face is not kept square to the ball and the stroke line. Many devices have been developed to help a golfer improve their putting stroke. Typically, these devices take the form of alignment markers placed on the putter or on the ball to facilitate striking the ball on a true line towards the intended goal. Many of these alignment devices involve alterations to the putter head that place alignment devices in front of the strike face of the putter.

The United States Golf Association (USGA) has rules governing the game of golf. USGA rules bar the use of an alignment device extending in front of the strike face of the putter head. This means that many of the alignment devices developed, which involve alterations to the putter head, violate the USGA rules and can only be used during practice and not during actual play.

However, each golf putter model typically has unique weighting and balancing that affects its performance. Golfers normally require significant use and practice to become comfortable with the feel of a particular putter. There would therefore be an advantage to being able to use the same putter for practice, as well as for actual play.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a putter comprising a putter head having a front surface and a rear surface, and at least one guide displaceable relative to the front surface from a first position wherein the guide extends forward of the front surface to a second position wherein the front surface of the putter head is unobstructed by the guide.

In one embodiment illustrated the putter head has at least one bore therein open to the front surface, the bore of a shape and configuration to receive therethrough the displaceable guide. In an illustrated embodiment of the invention, the at least one bore extends through the putter head to the rear surface. The displaceable guide is of a length sufficient so that in one position a portion of the guide extends forward of the front surface and a further portion of the guide extends rearward of the rear surface.

Moreover, a locking mechanism is provided that is adapted to lock the displaceable guide against relative movement within the bore, at least when the dispacebale guide is in the second position. The locking mechanism can comprise a threaded bore within the putter head that intersects with the at least one bore. Further, the locking mechanism can include a threaded screw rotatably displaceable within the threaded bore. The threaded screw engages the displaceable guide within the at least one bore when the locking mechanism locks the displaceable guide. In the embodiment illustrated the threaded bore is open to a bottom surface of the putter head. The invention is not intended to be limited to such a position, however.

In one embodiment illustrated the displaceable guide is two guides that are substantially parallel to each other. Moreover, the two guides extend forward of the front surface at an angle substantially perpendicular to the front surface. Further, the two guides are spaced from one another a distance sufficient to receive therebetween a golf ball.

In a further embodiment of the invention the displaceable guide is rotatably secured to an upper surface of the putter head. In particular, the displaceable guide is rotatably displaceable from the first position wherein the guide extends forward of the front surface to the second position wherein the front surface of the putter head is unobstructed by the guide.

As in the first embodiment the displaceable guide is two guides extending forward of the front surface and spaced from one another a distance sufficient to receive therebetween a golf ball.

Further, for all embodiments of the invention, alignment markers can be placed on the putter head as a further visual aid.

Also, for all embodiments of the invention, the putter head includes recesses therein adapted to receive weighted portions.

In another embodiment of the invention, a putter incorporating features of the invention is illustrated, the putter comprising a putter head having a front surface and a rear surface, two guides extending from the front surface, and two guides extending from the rear surface.

In this embodiment, the two guides extending from the front surface are substantially parallel to each other, but also the two guides extending from the rear surface can be substantially parallel to each other. Moreover, the two guides extending from the front surface are spaced from one another a distance sufficient to receive therebetween a golf ball. Further, the two guides extending from the front surface are at an angle substantially perpendicular to the front surface.

In a further aspect of the invention a putter training device or aid is provided. The putter training aid comprises a substantially planar body having two faces, one of the faces having a fastener thereon to releasably secure the putter training aid to a putter head, and at least one guide extending from the body and in substantially in the same plane as the body.

In an embodiment illustrated, the putter training aid has two guides extending from the body substantially parallel to each other. Moreover, the two guides are substantially perpendicular to a length defined by the body.

In a further aspect two guides extend from one side of the body of the putter training aid and two guides extend from an opposite side of the body. The two guides extending from one side of the body are substantially parallel to each other and the two guides extending from the opposite side of the body are substantially parallel to each other. Moreover, the guides are substantially perpendicular to a length defined by the body.

Further, the fastener of the putter training aid can comprise, for example, but not limited to, a fastening agent, or a magnetic planar material, or other suitable fastener.

As an added benefit, the putter training aid is adapted to receive advertisement on at least one face of the body, and usually the opposite face to where the fastener is located.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a training putter incorporating features of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a top view of the training putter shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of preferred putter of the present invention;

FIG. 3a is a perspective view of an alternative aspect of the present invention, first shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the present invention, first shown in FIG. 3 in a conforming position;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 5-5 from FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a top view of the present invention shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 7A is a perspective view of another preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 7B to 7G are top views of the present invention shown in FIG. 7A in various configurations;

FIG. 8A is a perspective view of another preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8B is a top view of the present invention shown in FIG. 8A;

FIG. 8C is a bottom view of the present invention shown in FIG. 8A;

FIG. 8D is a perspective view of the present invention shown in FIG. 8A in use with a putter; and

FIG. 8E is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention in use with a putter.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 a training putter incorporating features of the invention is shown. The training putter 10 comprises a putter head 12 attached to a shaft 14. The putter head 12 has a front surface 16 and a rear surface 18, two guides 20, 22 extending from the front surface 16, and two guides 24, 26 extending from the rear surface 18.

In the embodiment illustrated, the two guides 20, 22 are substantially parallel to each other. Further, for the embodiment illustrated, the two guides 24, 26 are substantially parallel to each other. As seen in FIG. 2, guides 20, 24 are arranged so that they appear as a continuous aligned guide 28 at one side 30 of the putter head 12, whereas guides 22, 26 are arranged so that they appear as a continuous aligned guide 32 at the other side 34 of the putter head 12.

Further, in the embodiment illustrated, the guides 20, 22 are at an angle substantially perpendicular to the front surface 16, or, in other words, at an angle that is substantially normal to the strike face 38 of the putter head 12. Similarly, the guides 24, 26 are at an angle substantially perpendicular to the rear surface 18.

Guides 20, 22 assist a golfer by providing a visual reference, aiding the golfer in aligning the strike face 38 of the putter head 12 relative to the golf ball 36, and more particularly, aligning the strike face 38 of the putter head 12 so that it is at substantially right angles to the stroke line indicated by arrow 40 in FIG. 2. The visual reference also aids the golfer in aligning the golf stroke with an intended target, such as the hole. Guides 24, 26 can enhance the visual reference by extending the visual guide both in front of and to the rear of the putter head 12.

The guides 20, 22 and 24, 26 can extend a number of distances from the putter head 12 that would be convenient to a golfer. Moreover, guides 20, 22 can be an equal distance from the front surface 16, and guides 24, 26 can be an equal distance from the rear surface 18. However, in the embodiment illustrated, guides 24, 26 extend a distance from the putter head 12 greater than guides 20, 22. This can provide the putter head 12 with the proper weighting and balancing, as well as provide the golfer with a more effective visual reference.

As understood by someone skilled in the art, varying the extension or distance of the guides 20, 22 and 24, 26 from the front surface 16 and rear surface 18, respectively, can change the weighting and balancing of the putter head 12. Moreover, varying the extension or distance of the guides 20, 22 and 24, 26 from the front surface 16 and rear surface 18, respectively, can also change the visual reference provided to the golfer.

Moreover, guides 20, 22 are laterally spaced from one another a distance sufficient to receive therebetween a golf ball 36. This distance selected is designed to force the golfer to strike the golf ball 36 in the center of the strike face 38.

The putter head 12 can be used with a shaft 14 of any shape, size or length. As would be understood by someone skilled in the art, the shaft 14 may be attached to the putter head 12 at any location. However, in the embodiment illustrated, the shaft 14 is attached to the putter head 12 at a point between guides 20 and 24 to one side 30 of the putter head 12.

The putter head 12 can also include alignment markers 42a, 42b, 42c, which may be placed anywhere on the putter head 12. In the embodiment illustrated, alignment markers 42a, 42b, 42c are placed on the upper surface 44 of the putter head 12 adjacent to the strike face 38 and adjacent to front edges 46, 48 of guides 20, 22, respectively. Typically, the location of the alignment marker 42a located adjacent to the strike face 38, is directly above the center point of the strike face 38, which is the desired point of optimal contact for striking the golf ball with the putter head 12. Alignment markers 42a, 42b, 42c provide further visual assistance to a golfer.

The putter 10 as described allows a golfer to practice a pendulum stroke. A pendulum stroke requires the golfer to take the putter head 12 straight back, stop and reverse the stroke (as indicated by arrows 40 in FIG. 2), all the while keeping the strike face 38 square to the golf ball 36, and in alignment with the intended target. The visual references described for in the present invention with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 aids the golfer with the pendulum stroke, and particularly, the guides 20, 22, supplemented by the guides 24, 26, and further supplemented by alignment markers 42a, 42b, 42c. The guides 20, 22 also train the golfer to hit the ball at the center point of the strike face 38. The guides 20, 22 and 24, 26 and in one aspect aided with the alignment markers 42a, 42b, 42c can assist in keeping the golfer's head and eyes directly over the top of the golf ball 36. By increasing a golfer's concentration and stroke awareness a smooth pendulum stroke can be executed by the golfer while maintaining a still head, square body and locked arms and shoulders. Continued practice with the training putter 10 of this invention improves the golfer's muscle memory and recall of the golfer, thereby improving putting skill.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 to 6, a further embodiment of the present invention is shown. Putter 110 shown in FIG. 3 can embody the feature of the invention described in relation to FIGS. 1 and 2, but also conforms the the United States Golf Association (USGA) rules governing the game of golf., and particularly the USGA rules that bars the use of an alignment device extending in front of the strike face of the putter head.

In particular, putter 110 comprises a putter head 112 connected to a suitable shaft 114. The putter head has a front surface 116 and a rear surface 118, and at least one guide 120 displaceable relative to the front surface 116 from a first position wherein the guide 120 extends forward of the front surface 116 (as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 3a), to a second position wherein the front surface 116 of the putter head 112 is unobstructed by the guide 120 (as illustrated in FIGS. 4-6).

The putter head has at least one bore 150 therein open to the front surface 116 as at 152. The bore 150 is of a shape and configuration to receive therethrough the displaceable guide 120. In the embodiment illustrated, the bore 150 extends through the putter head 112 to the rear surface 118. The displaceable guide 120 is of a length sufficient so that in one position (for example FIGS. 3 and 3a) a portion 154 of the guide 120 extends forward of the front surface 116. For the alternative aspect shown in FIG. 3a, the guide is of a length sufficient that a further portion 156 of the guide 120 extends rearward of the rear surface 118 in addition to the portion 154 extending forward of the front surface 116.

In the embodiment illustrated there are two displaceable guides 120 and 122. A bore 158 is also provided of a shape and configuration to receive therethrough displaceable guide 122, all as has been described previously in relation to bore 150 and displaceable guide 120. Moreover these two guides are substantially parallel to each other as illustrated, however, it can be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the guides 120, 122 need not be parallel to one another. Further, as illustrated, the guides 120, 122 extend forward of the front surface 116 at an angle substantially perpendicular to the front surface 116.

As discussed for the training putter 10 illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the guides 120, 122 for putter 110 are spaced from one another a distance sufficient to receive therebetween a golf ball 136.

Further, in the embodiment illustrated, displaceable guides 120, 122 are of tubular shape. However, the displaceable guides 120, 122 can have other shapes such as, for example, but not limited to, rectangular, square or triangular prism. In such embodiments, the shape of respective bores 150, 158 is also changed to correspond to the shape of the guides.

Further, displaceable guides 120, 122 are typically of a single piece construction. However in other embodiments, not shown, displaceable guides 120,122 may be composed of two or more pieces. For example, one piece of displaceable guide 120 may form portion 154, and another piece may form portion 156.

As previously mentioned, USGA rules bar the use of an alignment device extending in front of the strike face of the putter head. Accordingly, as shown in FIGS. 4-6, the displaceable guides 120, 122 can be displaced to a position wherein the front surface 116 of the putter head 112 is unobstructed by the guides 120, 122. In particular, as illustrated, the front edges 146, 148, respectively, of guides 120, 122 are generally flush with the front surface 116.

A locking mechanism 160, as best illustrated in FIGS. 1-5, is provided that is adapted to lock the displaceable guides 120, 122 against relative movement within the respective bores 150, 158. The locking mechanism ensures that when the displaceable guides 120, 122 are in the second position (with the respective front edges 146, 148, respectively, of guides 120, 122 generally flush with the front surface 116-as illustrated in FIGS. 4-6), the displaceable guides are fixed in that position. This ensures that the displaceable guides will be maintained in a non-obstructing configuration to comply with the USGA rules.

As illustrated, the locking mechanism comprises threaded bores 162, 164, each one corresponding to displaceable guides 120, 122, respectively. Threaded bores 162, 164 are formed within the putter head 112 and intersect with the corresponding bores 150, 158. Further, the locking mechanism 160 can include threaded screws 166, 168, rotatably displaceable within the resective threaded bores 162, 164. The threaded screws 166, 168 engage the respective displaceable guides 120, 122 within bores 150, 158 when the locking mechanism locks the displaceable guide.

In the embodiment illustrated the threaded bores 162, 164 are open to a bottom surface 170 of the putter head 112, and are at an angle substantially perpendicular to the bottom surface 170. Typically, the threaded screws 166, 168 would be headless to allow them to mate into respective threaded bores 162, 164. This leaves the bottom surface 170 of the putter head 112 smooth. A suitable implement (not illustrated) is inserted within the respective openings in the bottom surface 170 of the putter head 112 to rotate the threaded screws 166,168.

As best illustrated in FIG. 5, when threaded screws 166, 168 are tightened, an end 172 of the threaded screws (of threaded screw 166 as shown in FIG. 5) engages the side of the displaceable guides (guide 120 as illustrated in FIG. 5) locking the displaceable guide in position within the respective bore 150, 158 (for FIG. 5, guide 120 is shown locked in position within bore 150). As such, the displaceable guides can be locked or anchored into a position as shown in FIGS. 3 or 3a (a training position), or in a position as shown in FIG. 4 (a conforming position as putter head 112 in this figure complies with the USGA rules), or in any intermediate positions as desired.

Accordingly, through appropriate loosening and retightening of the threaded screws 166, 168, the respective displaceable guides 120, 122 can extend from the front surface 116 of the putter head 112 by different distances, allowing a golfer's visual reference to be altered and thereby changing the golfer's training as they improve. After much repetition, the putter head may be maintained by the golfer in the configuration shown in FIG. 4, as the golfer no longer needs to have the guides extend from the front surface.

In the training configuration as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 3a, the putter 110 has the same beneficial effects on the golfer's putting stroke as those of the putter 10, illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. The primary difference between the putter 10 and the putter 110, is that the guides 120, 122 of putter 110 are displaceable so that they can be moved to a position as shown in FIG. 4, wherein the guides no longer obstruct the front surface 116 of the putter head 112. This allows the same putter to be used for practice, developing muscle memory and recall, then used under USGA rules to play an official round of golf.

Although one locking mechanism has been described in relation to the figures, it can be appreciated that other forms of locking mechanisms can be suitable, such as, for example, but not limited to, a friction fit between the guides 120,122, and respective bores 150, 158.

As would be understood by someone skilled in the art, the shaft 114 can be of any shape or dimension that may accommodate the putter head 112. Moreover, the shaft 114 can be attached to the putter head 112 at any location.

In other embodiments, not shown, putter head 112 can have alignment markers similar to alignment markers 42a, 42b, 42c, placed on putter head 12 and illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2.

Referring now to FIGS. 7A to 7G, another embodiment of the present invention is shown. In this embodiment a putter 210 is illustrated having a putter head 212 suitably attached to a shaft 214. For this embodiment, the displaceable guides 220, 222 are rotatably secured to an upper surface 244 of the putter head 212. In particular, the displaceable guides 220, 222 are rotatably displaceable from the first position wherein the guides extends forward of the front surface 216 (as illustrated in FIGS. 7C-7E) to the second position wherein the front surface 216 of the putter head 212 is unobstructed by the guides (as illustrated in FIGS. 7A, 7B, 7F and 7G).

For the embodiment illustrated, the putter head 212 is shaped substantially like a rectangular prism, with clipped edges 274, 276, and a half-disc 278 extending off the rear face 218. The putter head 212 can also have cavities 280 to receive weights (not illustrated) to improve the weighting and balancing of the putter 210. However, as understood by someone skilled in the art, the putter head 212 may be of any shape or dimension that can accommodate the displaceable guides 220, 222.

Again, putter head 212 may also be used with shafts 214 of any suitable shape, size or length. Further, the shaft 214 may be attached to the putter head 212 at any location, as desired.

Still referring to FIGS. 7A-7G, displaceable guides 220, 222 as illustrated are shaped substantially like a rectangular plate, with clipped edges 282, 284. The clipped edges 282, 284 allow the guides 220, 222 to rotate around pivots 286, 288, respectively, between the various positions illustrated in FIGS. 7A to 7G. For example, the displaceable guides 220, 222 may be set flush with the front surface 116 in a variety of positions, as illustrated in FIGS. 7A, 7B, 7F or 7G; perpendicular to the front surface 216, as illustrated in FIG. 7E; and at various other angles including, but not limited to, those illustrated in FIGS. 7C, 7D, and 7E. In other embodiments, not shown, the guide wings may take any shape, including, for example, but not limited to triangular.

Displaceable guides 220, 222 are attached to the putter head 212 at respective pivots 286, 288 by respective axles 290, 292. Examples of suitable axles or other guide attachments, include, for example, but not limited to, bolts or screws, but may be any means of fastening the guides 220, 222 to putter head 212, while permitting the guides to rotate.

Further, as illustrated in FIG. 7A, displaceable guides 220, 222 sit on upper surface 244 of the putter head 212. In this configuration the displaceable guides 220, 222 contribute to, but do not obstruct, the forward surface 116 and strike face 238 of the putter head.

In other embodiments, not shown, putter head 212 can have alignment markers, similar to alignment markers 42a, 42b, 42c, placed on putter head 12 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

Putter head 212 operates to improve a golfer's putting in a fashion substantially similar to putter head 112 illustrated in FIGS. 3-6. The primary difference being that the displaceable guides 220, 222 rotate to the different positions, allowing the golfer to adjust the guides 220, 222 to different tolerances between the guides and the golf ball 236, as desired. Further, by rotating the guides 220, 222 to the various positions allows the putter 210 to be used for both training and for actual use (in compliance with USGA rules for an unobstructed putter strike face).

As illustrated in FIGS. 8A to 8D a further aspect of the invention shown in the form of a removable putter training device 300 or aid. The putter training device 300 comprises a substantially planar body 302 having two faces, an upper face 304, and a lower face 306. For the embodiment illustrated lower face 306 has a fastener 308 thereon to releasably secure the putter training device 300 to a suitable putter head 312 (as illustrated in FIG. 8D).

Putter training device 300 has at least one guide 320 extending from the body 302 and in substantially in the same plane as the body. For the embodiment illustrated, the putter training device 300 has two guides 320, 322 extending from the body substantially parallel to each other. Moreover, for the embodiment illustrated the two guides 320, 322 are substantially perpendicular to the length (a longitudinal axis) defined by the body 302. In a similar manner, for the embodiment illustrated, two guides 324, 326 extend in an opposite direction from the body 302, again substantially parallel to one another and substantially perpendicular to the length (longitudinal axis) defined by the body 302.

Further, the fastener 308 of the putter training device 300 can comprise, for example, but not limited to, a fastening agent such as an adhesive, for example, glue, two-sided tape, a magnetic strip or any combinations thereof.

In an alternative embodiment, not shown, the putter training device 300 can be made of a magnetic material, allowing it to fasten to the top face of the putter head 312 through magnetic attraction. Alternatively, in this embodiment, or where a magnetic fastener is used, the putting training aid can also be used as a refrigerator magnet.

As an added benefit, the putter training device 300 is adapted to receive advertisement on at least one face of the body, and usually the opposite face to where the fastener is located. For the embodiment illustrated, upper surface 304 can be imprinted with indicia (not illustrated) such as advertisements, logos, and trade marks from, for example, but not limited to, a sponsor of a golf tournament. This makes putter training device 300 desirable as a give away for corporate sponsors at tournaments.

The removable putter training device 300 may be made of, for example, but not limited to, plastic, metal, a magnetic material or any other suitable material. Further, putter training device 300 can be of alternative shapes, for example, but not limited to, ā€œCā€ shaped in configuration, providing guides to only one side of the putter head 312.

As would be obvious to anyone skilled in the art, the putter 310 (shown in FIGS. 8D and 8E) used can be any putter capable of accommodating removable putter training device 300. Further, as can be appreciated from FIGS. 8D and 8E, putter training device 300 can have portions 394 (as shown in FIGS. 8A-8D) that can be removed, or feature a break line (shown detached as at 396 in FIG. 8E) to accommodate the locations of various shafts 314 on putter head 312. However, putter training device 300 can be altered in other manners necessary to accommodate the positions of shaft 314 on putter head 312.

In other embodiments, not shown, putter training device 300 can have alignment markers similar to alignment markers 42a, 42b, and 42c as provided on putter head 12 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

The putter training device 300 improves the golfer's putting skills in a substantially similar fashion to that previously described. The primary difference being that putting training device 300 can be easily added and removed to any putter 310 used by a golfer. Once attached to a putter head 312, as illustrated in FIGS. 8D or 8E, the guides 320, 322 and 324, 326 provide the golfer with visual alignment reference as previously discussed.

While the above description provides example embodiments, it will be appreciated that the present invention is susceptible to modification and change without departing from the fair meaning and scope of the accompanying claims. Accordingly, what has been described is merely illustrative of the application of aspects of embodiments of the invention. Numerous modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein.





 
Previous Patent: Pool cue systems

Next Patent: Golf putter