Title:
Side spin inducing golf club
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ramped surface is added to the ball striking surface of the planar club face of the head of a golf club. The ramp diverges from the central portion of the club face to the heel or toe of the club so as to produce a side spin on a golf ball struck by the club head. Where the ramp diverges from the club face towards the toe of the club the spin will be counterclockwise. Where the ramp diverges from the club face towards the heel of the club the spin will be clockwise.



Inventors:
Seeley, Larry (Oshkosh, WI, US)
Application Number:
11/154398
Publication Date:
05/04/2006
Filing Date:
06/16/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B53/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HUNTER, ALVIN A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GODFREY & KAHN S.C. (Milwaukee, WI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A sidespin inducing golf club head comprising: a golf club body extending laterally from a hosel, and having a sole, a top surface, a heel, a toe, and a planar club face that intersects the sole at an acute angle, the planar club face having a top edge, a sole edge, a toe end and a heel end and a grooved area between the heel end and the toe end; and a ramp formed on the planar face of the club, which ramp intersects the grooved area of the club face along a line lateral to the intersection between the club face and the sole of the club, the ramp having a ramp surface that extends substantially to one of the ends of the club face and diverges from the plane of the club face as the ramp approaches the end of the club face, such that the ramp will introduce a side spin in one direction to a golf ball struck on the grooved area of the ramp and club face.

2. The club head of claim 1 wherein the ramp diverges from the club face in the direction of the toe of the club head.

3. The club head of claim 1 wherein the ramp diverges from the club face in the direction of the heel of the club head.

4. The club head of claim 1 wherein the ramp surface is a planar surface.

5. The club head of claim 1 wherein the ramp surface a curved surface

6. The club head of claim 1 wherein the club head and ramp are formed as a single piece of material.

7. The club head of claim 1 wherein the ramp is permanently attached to the club head.

8. The club head of claim 1 wherein the ramp is detachably secured to the club face by means of at least one releasable fastener.

9. A sidespin inducing golf club head comprising: a golf club body extending laterally from a hosel, and having a sole, a top surface, a heel, a toe, and a planar club face that intersects the sole at an acute angle, the planar club face having a top edge, a sole edge, a toe end and a heel end, and a grooved area between the heel end and the toe end; and a ramp formed on the planar face of the club, which ramp intersects the grooved area of the club face along a line substantially normal to the intersection between the club face and the sole of the club, the ramp having a ramp surface that has a shape that is a developable curved surface, so that the ramp surface has a loft angle that is the same as that of the planar club face, the ramp extending substantially to one of the ends of the club face and diverging from the plane of the club face as the ramp approaches the end of the club face, such that the ramp introduces a side spin in one direction to a golf ball struck on the grooved area of the ramp and club face.

10. The club head of claim 9 wherein the top surface of the club head is provided with an index line that will generally align the planar club face with a line to an intended target when the index line is aligned with the line to the intended target.

11. The club head of claim 9 wherein the ramp diverges from the club face in the direction of the toe of the club head.

12. The club head of claim 9 wherein the ramp diverges from the club face in the direction of the heel of the club head.

13. The club head of claim 9 wherein the club head and ramp are formed as a single piece of material.

14. The club head of claim 9 wherein the ramp is permanently attached to the club head.

15. The club head of claim 9 wherein the ramp is detachably secured to the club face by means of at least one releasable fastener.

16. A method for custom fitting the club head of claim 1 to a golfer who has a swing that produces an out-of-control hook or slice, comprising the steps of: having the golfer hit balls with a test club having a planar club face and not having a corrective ramp, determining the degree and causes of the hook or slice, and creating a formula for forming a ramp having the desired correction for the golfer's swing.

17. A method as recited in claim 16 further comprising the following steps between the determining step and the writing step: attaching to the test club a corrective ramp having a known degree of correction, having the golfer hit balls with the test club with the corrective ramp attached, noting the results of the correction, repeating the three preceding steps with corrective ramps having differing degrees of correction until the out-of-control hook or slice is sufficiently corrected

18. A method as recited in claim 16 wherein the ramp is formed by a machining process.

19. A method as recited in claim 16 wherein the ramp is formed by a casting process.

20. A method as recited in claim 16 wherein the ramp is formed by a forging process.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefits of provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/623,820, filed Nov. 1, 2004, titled Side Spin Inducing Golf Club Head

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to golf club heads. More specifically, this invention relates to a golf club head having a portion of the club face out of plane from the plane of another portion of the club face, configured to consistently induce a side spin in one direction to a ball struck on a grooved portion of the club face.

Golf clubs have typically been designed so that when a ball is struck by the club face on the grooved portion of the club face by a golfer using a “grooved” swing, the club face will not introduce a side spin on the golf ball.

A skilled golfer can intentionally introduce a side spin to a golf ball by adjusting his stance, or by adjusting his grip on the club, or by changing his swing, or a combination of the above. Golfers strive for a consistent “grooved swing.” Modifying the swing, grip, or stance to achieve a hook or slice by introducing side spin on the ball during club contact with the ball is harmful to maintaining a consistent “grooved” swing.

It is natural, when swinging a club or bat to pivot the shoulders and hips during the swing. A right handed golfer when using a hip and shoulder pivot will typically introduce a clockwise side spin to the ball as it is struck. The result is a flight path that curves to the right which is called a slice. Further, many “Sunday golfers” have a “flat swing” or a “baseball swing” that induces excessive sidespin on the ball producing an out of control slice. A cure for the out of control slice would be, for the Sunday golfer, what a cure for the common cold would be for a doctor.

The holy grail of Sunday golfers is to “get more distance and get rid of a slice”.

The prior art is replete with golf clubs that claim to improve the outcome of striking a golf ball with the club of their particular construction.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,267,690 to Salmon teaches a golf club head having a recess in the central portion of the club face and a ridge is along the top edge of the club. Both geometries are disclosed to increase the rotation of the golf ball around a horizontal axis and result in a higher flight of the ball and greater amount of back spin on the ball when landing than would be produced by a flat club face of the same loft.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,966,210 to Rozmus teaches a club face that has wings on each side of the center of the club face. The wings and club face are provided with a Teflon-coated or otherwise low friction surface to avoid putting any spin on a ball struck with the club.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,625,518 to Solheim teaches the use of a convex club face to counter the spin on a ball that is introduced by hitting the ball off the center of the club face.

The present invention relates to improvements to the apparatus described above, and to solutions to some of the problems raised or not solved thereby.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides a sidespin inducing golf club head. The club head includes a golf club body extending laterally from a hosel, and has a sole, a top surface, a heel, a toe, and a planar club face. The club face intersects the sole at an acute angle and has a top edge, a sole edge, a toe end and a heel end. A grooved area is formed between the heel end and the toe end. A ramp is formed on the club face and intersects the grooved area of the club face along a line that is lateral to the line of intersection between the club face and the sole. The ramp extends to one of the ends of the club face, and diverges from the plane of the club face as the ramp approaches an end of the club face. In contradistinction to the prior art, the effect of this arrangement of the ramp and club face is to introduce a side spin in one direction to a golf ball struck anywhere on the grooved area of the ramp and club face.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a golf club head that will impart a consistent side spin on a golf ball when the golf ball is struck on the grooved portion of the club face by a golfer using a golf swing that would not introduce a side spin on a golf ball when using a conventional club head.

Another object of this invention to provide modification of a conventional golf club head that will produce more distance from the club while getting rid of or greatly reducing the potential for the club to hit a slice.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a club head constructed according to a preferred embodiment of this invention.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the club shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of the club shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of the club head shown in FIG. 3, taken generally along line 4-4 thereof.

FIG. 5 is cross sectional view of the club head shown in FIG. 3, taken generally along line 5-5 thereof.

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view similar to FIG. 4, of a club head similar to that shown in FIG. 3, but constructed according to a different embodiment of the invention, wherein the divergence is in the opposite direction from that shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 is a horizontal cross section of a club head of this invention wherein the ramped surface is planar.

FIG. 8 is a horizontal cross section of a club head of this invention wherein the ramped surface is that same thickness as the thickness of the club head at the club face.

FIG. 9 is a horizontal section of a club head of this invention wherein the ramp is detachably secured to a club head by means of releasable fasteners.

FIG. 10 is a horizontal section of a club head of this invention wherein a blank ramp is formed integral with the club head.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a club head of this invention wherein a ramped surface is permanently secured to the club head.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a club head of this invention having a custom designed ramped surface.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the drawing figures, like numbers refer to like objects, and the proportions of some components have been modified to facilitate illustration.

The term “developable curved surface” shall be understood to mean “a surface generated by a straight line moving along a curve or directrix while the straight line maintains an orientation parallel to its original orientation.”

The club head provided by this invention provides new capabilities to golfers. For the skilled golfer with a “grooved” swing, the club head permits him to put side spin on a golf ball without changing his stance, grip, or swing. For the golfer whose swing ordinarily produces side spin on a golf ball, the club head provided by this invention provides the capability of eliminating the side spin and/or putting a side spin in the opposite direction on the golf ball. For the golfer who wants to use longer clubs and a flat or “baseball” swing, the club head of this invention can eliminate and/or reverse the side spin that is attendant with such a swing style.

Referring now to FIGS. 1-5, a preferred embodiment of this invention is shown. A club head 1 has a club body 2 extending laterally from a hosel 3. The club head 1 has a bottom surface or sole 4, a top surface 5, an edge, referred to herein as a heel 6, which is proximal to the hosel 3, an edge, referred to herein as a toe 7, distal from the hosel, and a planar club face 8 that intersects sole 4 at an acute angle 9. Planar face 8 has a top edge 10 where the face intersects the top surface 5, a sole edge 11 where the face intersects the sole 4, a heel edge 13 where the face intersects the heel 6, and a toe edge 12 where the face intersects the toe 7. Part of the planar face 8 is a grooved area 14 between the heel edge 13 and the toe edge 12. It should be noted that the ball striking area of a club face is referred to as the “grooves” or the “grooved area” whether there are grooves present or not, just as the loft angle of the face of the club head is referenced to the plane of the sole even if the sole is a curved surface and that a line on the club face that is normal to the intersection between the club face and the sole is at the loft angle of the club relative to the plane of the sole.

According to the invention, a ramp 15 is formed on the planar club face 8 of club head 1. Ramp 15 intersects the grooved area 14 of club face 8 along a line 16 that is lateral to the intersection between club face 8 and sole 4. Ramp 15 extends to the toe edge 12 of face 8 and ramp surface 26 diverges from the plane of club face 8 as ramp 15 approaches toe edge 12.

The grooved area 14 of ramp 15 and club face 8 will introduce a side spin in counterclockwise direction (when viewed from the top) to a ball struck by the grooved area of club head 1.

In fact, any ramp that diverges from the club face towards the toe will impart a counterclockwise spin on a golf ball struck on the grooved area of the club. As shown in FIG. 6, in alternative embodiment of the invention, a ramp 20 on club head 21 diverges from planar club face 23 in the direction of heel 22. The ramp surface of ramp 20 is in the form of a convex curve. A ball struck in the ball striking area of the ramp 20 and club face 23 of club head 21 will develop a side spin in the clockwise direction when viewed from the top.

In FIG. 7, another alternative embodiment of the invention is shown, wherein club a head 29 has a planar club face 28. Club head 29 has a planar ramp surface 25 formed thereon. Ramp surface 25 diverges from club face 28 as ramp 25 approaches the toe 27 of club head 29.

Another alternative embodiment is shown in FIG. 8, where a ramp 30 of a club head 31 is planar and is of the same thickness as club head 31 is, at planar club face 33. Ramp 30 diverges from planar club face 33 in the direction of toe 32.

In the additional alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 9, a ramp 35 is detachably secured to a planar club face 38 of a club head 36 by means of releasable fasteners 39.

The above disclosures are enabling and would permit one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the club head of this invention without undue experimentation. To fulfill his obligation to disclose the best mode of practicing the invention, and not to limit the scope of the claims, the applicant is disclosing the following structures and limitations as the best mode of practicing the invention.

The club head of this invention is made of the same materials as those of which conventional club heads are made. The methods for forming the ramp and the ramp surface on the club head of this invention are nearly all the same methods as the methods used for forming the club heads themselves. The exception is that blank club head 51 of FIG. 10 is not present in prior art club heads because the side spin inducing club head of this invention is not present in the prior art.

The club head of this invention can be readily formed as a single piece by molding, machining or forging and the like. FIGS. 1-5 teach a single piece club head.

The club head of this invention can be formed by permanently attaching a ramp to the face of a conventional club head by adhesive bonding, welding or the like. FIG. 11 teaches a ramp 44 which is permanently attached to club head 46.

The club head of this invention can be formed by detachably securing a ramp to the club face of a conventional club head by the use of releasable fasteners such as threaded fasteners, pins, adhesives, and the like. FIG. 9 teaches a ramp detachably secured to a club face by means of releasable threaded fasteners.

To assist a golfer in aligning the club face with the intended line of flight, an index 45 can be provided on the top surface of the club as is shown on top surface 5 of club body 2 of FIG. 2 and top surface 47 of club head 46 of FIG. 11.

For golfers whose swings produce large hooks or slices, a corrective club head of this invention can be custom made to correct and even reverse the spin that the golfer is putting on the ball. The corrective club heads will not correct the golfer's swing, but they will improve the results obtained much as corrective eye glasses do not improve the patient's eyes but they do improve his vision.

EXAMPLE 1

A client to be fitted with custom club heads is given a club fitted with a club head 36 similar to that of FIG. 9 with which he hits a number of balls, permitting his problem to be diagnosed, and the degree of the problem measured from the results obtained. A corrective ramp similar to ramp 35 of FIG. 9 is decided upon, based upon the degree of the problem, and then attached to club head 36 to solve the client's problem. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the ramp surface 50 is a developable curved surface in that it is generated by a straight line 54 that moves along the prescribed curve 55 while maintaining an orientation parallel to the line of intersection 56 of blank ramp 52 with planar club face 53, thereby giving ramp surface 50 the same loft angle as the loft angle of planar club face 53.

EXAMPLE 2

A client to be fitted with custom club heads is given a club fitted with a club head 36 similar to that of FIG. 9 with which he hits a number of balls, permitting his problem to be diagnosed, and the degree of the problem measured from the results obtained. A corrective ramp similar to ramp 35 of FIG. 9 is then attached to club head 36 and additional balls are struck by the client. A series of tests may be conducted involving ramps with various degrees of correction, after which a prescription for a ramp surface such as ramp surface 50 of FIG. 12 is created. A blank club head such as club head 51 of FIGS. 10 and 12 having a blank ramp 52 formed on planar club face 53 is clamped in a tool and the corrective ramp surface 50 is machined or otherwise formed into blank ramp 52. In a preferred embodiment of the invention the ramp surface 50 is a developable curved surface in that it is generated by a straight line 54 that moves along the prescribed curve 55 while maintaining an orientation parallel to the line of intersection 56 of blank ramp 52 with planar club face 53 thereby giving ramp surface 50 the same loft angle as the loft angle of planar club face 53.

EXAMPLE 3

A client to be fitted with custom club heads is given a club fitted with a club head 29 similar to that of FIG. 7 with which he hits a number of balls, permitting his problem to be diagnosed, and the degree of the problem measured from the results obtained. A corrective ramp similar to ramp 25 of FIG. 7 is decided upon, based upon the degree of the problem, and the club head 29 is formed to solve the client's problem.

EXAMPLE 4

A client to be fitted with custom club heads is given a club fitted with a club head 31 similar to that of FIG. 8 with which he hits a number of balls, permitting his problem to be diagnosed, and the degree of the problem measured from the results obtained. A corrective ramp similar to ramp 30 of FIG. 8 is decided upon, based upon the degree of the problem, and the club head 31 is formed to solve the client's problem.

The physics of ramp design is beyond the scope of this disclosure. However, the principles are readily understood. When a golf ball is struck below center by a club face, it leaves the club face revolving around a horizontal axis. If a golf ball were to be struck directly to the side of center, the golf ball would leave the club face revolving about a vertical axis. The ramp of this invention is designed to strike a golf ball below and to one side of center of a golf ball so that the golf ball will leave the face of the club revolving about an axis that is the result of the combined spins provided by the loft of the club and the angle of the ramp. When the swing of a right handed golfer causes the ball to be struck below and to the left of center, the result is a slice. In these circumstances, the ramp correction is then designed so that the same swing will cause the ramp to strike the ball below center or below center and to the right of center, resulting in a straight shot or a controlled hook.

The applicant has provided enabling disclosures of his invention and the best mode of practicing the invention. He has provided several embodiments of the invention and variants thereof. However to disclose, illustrate and claim all the combinations of embodiments and their variants would greatly multiply the drawings and cause this description and the claims to become prolix. Therefore, it should be understood that the scope of this invention should not be limited to the embodiments disclosed and that the scope of this invention should only by limited by the scope of the appended claims and all equivalents thereto that would be made apparent thereby to one skilled in the art.