Title:
GOLF SWING TRAINING AID APPARATUS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf swing training apparatus includes an elongated shaft having a clamp attached to an end thereof, which is adapted to be removably attached to the shaft of a golf club so that the training apparatus shaft and the golf club shaft are disposed in spaced apart parallel relation. The training apparatus elongated shaft has first and second shafts slidably disposed for telescopic length adjustment.



Inventors:
Paredes, Christopher Paul (Vacaville, CA, US)
Perez Jr., Charles B. (Venice, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/164305
Publication Date:
06/08/2006
Filing Date:
11/17/2005
Assignee:
THE LICENSING GROUP, INC. (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/226, 473/227, 473/239
International Classes:
A63B69/36; A63B53/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PASSANITI, SEBASTIANO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KELLY & KELLEY, LLP (WOODLAND HILLS, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A golf swing training aid apparatus, comprising: an elongated shaft; and a clamp attached to an end of the elongated shaft and adapted to be removably attached to a shaft of a golf club such that the elongated shaft and golf club shaft are disposed in spaced apart and parallel relation to one another.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the elongated shaft is adjustable in length.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the elongated shaft comprises a telescopic shaft.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the telescopic shaft comprises a first shaft slidably disposed within a second shaft, and means for locking the first and second shafts relative to one another.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein the locking means comprises a spring loaded pin extendable from the first shaft through an aperture of the second shaft.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the elongated shaft includes a grip at an end opposite to the clamp.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the clamp comprises an attachment block having first and second jaws adapted to securely grasp the golf club shaft therebetween.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the first jaw is selectively movable relative to the second jaw.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the second jaw is formed integrally with or fixed to the attachment block.

10. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the first jaw is operably connected to a manual lever adapted to selectively move the first jaw toward and away from the second jaw.

11. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the first and second jaws include protective inserts.

12. The apparatus of claim 7, including weights removably attachable to the attachment block.

13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the attachment block includes apertures configured to removably receive the weights therein.

14. A golf swing training aid apparatus, comprising: an adjustable length shaft having a grip at one end thereof; and an attachment block at an end of the shaft generally opposite the grip and including first and second jaws adapted to removably lock onto a shaft of a golf club such that the adjustable length shaft and the golf club shaft are disposed in spaced apart and parallel relation to one another.

15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the adjustable length shaft comprises a telescopic shaft including a first shaft slidably disposed within a second shaft, and means for locking the first and second shafts relative to one another.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the locking means comprises a spring loaded pin extendable from the first shaft through an aperture of the second shaft.

17. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the first jaw is selectively movable relative to the second jaw which is formed integrally with or fixed to the attachment block.

18. The apparatus of claim 17, wherein the first jaw is operably connected to a manual lever adapted to selectively move the first jaw toward and away from the second jaw.

19. The apparatus of claim 14, including weights removably attachable to the attachment block.

20. The apparatus of claim 19, wherein the attachment block includes apertures configured to removably receive the weights therein.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to golfing devices. More particularly, the present invention relates to a golf swing training aid apparatus.

It is well-known for golfers to use swing trainers for aids to develop consistency, strength, flexibility and club-head speed. Typically, such aids are in the form of adding additional weight to the golf club or providing a substituted weighted golf club which is intended for training and strengthening, but not for hitting balls.

There exist donut weights which are inserted over the shaft of the golf club so as to rest on the club head. The golfer then swings his or her club and the weight increases the golfer's flexibility, strength and club head speed. However, such donuts and the like have various disadvantages. For example, the donut can slide along the shaft while swinging, creating a changing center of gravity and creating an out of balance club which is awkward. Moreover, the donut can damage the club by scratching the shaft or damaging the club head to shaft connection as the weight is typically disposed at the end of the club.

It is possible to weight existing golf clubs by attaching metal tape, inserting sand or lead pellets into the shaft, etc. However, this renders the club useless as an actual golf club, and instead converts the club to a training aid. Moreover, in order to have a driver swing aid as well as an iron swing aid requires the conversion of two different clubs. Furthermore, most golfers are not inclined to take the time and effort to convert old golf clubs in this manner.

A weighted golf club referred to by the trademark Momentus™ is well-known in the golfing industry. The Momentus™ is a specially designed golf club which is heavier than a normal golf club. While performing adequately well as a golf club training and strengthening aid, it also has various drawbacks. A golfer must purchase three different training clubs, i.e., a driver, an iron and a putter at a cost of approximately $100.00 each. The training clubs are offered only in a single length which is slightly shorter than a standard club, so as to swing above the ground a few inches. However, this does not accommodate golfers of various sizes. Moreover, an even shorter training club is offered for indoor use.

There are instances when only the front arm (in the case of a right-handed golfer, the left arm) is desired to be trained and strengthened. For example, a golfer may injure this arm. Moreover, this front arm is the arm which provides the strength and power to the swing, the trailing arm merely holding the club so as to assist in directing the club and also to maintain the balance of the golfer. However, using such clubs as the Momentus™ training aid or even a single modified golf club renders it very awkward to train a single arm. The other arm is left to hang or flap unnaturally as the golfer swings back and forth with the leading arm.

Accordingly, there is a continuing need for a golf club swing training aid which overcomes the disadvantages of the prior art. The present invention fulfills these needs and provides other related advantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention resides in a golf swing training aid apparatus which is usable with an existing golf club, whether the golf club be a “wood”, “iron” or “putter”. The golf swing training aid apparatus of the present invention is designed to accommodate golfers of different sizes and strengths, while enabling the golfer to use both arms in a natural manner.

The apparatus of the present invention generally comprises an elongated shaft having a clamp attached to an end thereof. The clamp is adapted to be removably attached to a shaft of a golf club such that the shaft of the training aid and golf club shaft are disposed and spaced apart in parallel relation to one another.

Typically, the elongated training aid shaft includes a grip at an end thereof opposite the clamp. Preferably, the elongated shaft is adjustable in length. For example, the elongated shaft may comprise a telescopic shaft having a first shaft slidably disposed within a second shaft. Means are provided for locking the first and second shafts relative to one another, such as a spring loaded pin extendable from the first shaft through an aperture of the second shaft.

The clamp, in a particularly preferred embodiment, comprises a block having first and second jaws adapted to securely grasp and lock onto the golf club shaft. Typically, one jaw is formed integrally with or fixed to the block, while the other jaw is selectively movable toward and away from the other jaw. The movable jaw is operably connected to a manual lever adapted to selectively move the first jaw toward and away from the second jaw. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the first and second jaws include protective inserts so as not to damage the golf club shaft.

The block may be weighted, or includes weights removably attachable thereto. For example, the block may include apertures configured to removably receive weights therein.

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings illustrate the invention. In such drawings:

FIG. 1 is an environmental perspective view of a golf swing training aid apparatus, attached to a golf club in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a block of the training aid, with a clamp thereof in a closed and locked position.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 2, but illustrating the clamp in an unlocked and open position.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along line 4-4 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along line 5-5 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is a partially exploded perspective view of the block of the present invention incorporating a vertical pin and weight to selectively modify the weight of the apparatus of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a partially exploded view of another block of the present invention, illustrating the use of weighted screws, in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a partially fragmented and exploded perspective view of yet another block illustrating yet another manner of selectively modifying the weight of the training aid apparatus.

FIG. 9 is an environmental perspective view similar to FIG. 1, showing another golf swing training aid apparatus embodying the present invention connected to a golf club.

FIG. 10 is an enlarged perspective view of area “1 0” of FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a partially fragmented perspective view of the training aid apparatus of FIGS. 9 and 10, in an open position.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 11, but illustrating the training aid apparatus in a closed position.

FIG. 13 is a rear perspective view of the training aid apparatus of FIG. 12.

FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along line 14-14 of FIG. 11.

FIG. 15 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along line 15-15 of FIG. 12.

FIG. 16 is an enlarged perspective view of the telescoping shaft shown in FIG. 9.

FIG. 17 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along line 17-17 of FIG. 16, illustrating a spring pin stop used in adjusting the length of the telescoping shaft.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As shown in the accompanying drawings for purposes of illustration, the present invention resides in a golf club swinging aid apparatus, generally referred to by the reference number 10 in FIGS. 1-8 and by the reference number 68 in FIGS. 9-15. The apparatus 10, 68 is attachable to a shaft 12 of an existing golf club 14. Thus, the golfer can attach the apparatus 10 or 68 of the present invention to any existing golf club 14 owned by the golfer without having to purchase several swing training aids. As will be more fully discussed herein, the apparatus 10 of the present invention also enables the golfer to train and strengthen one arm, while swinging the other arm in a natural manner.

With reference to FIG. 1, the training aid apparatus 10 of the present invention is illustrated as attached to a driver or “wood” golf club 14. As is well-known in the art, golf clubs typically include a shaft 12 comprised of metal or composite materials. The length of the shaft 12 depends upon the skill and height of the golfer and varies between golfers. At one end of the shaft 12 is disposed a club head 16. At the opposite end of the shaft 12 is a handle 18, typically in the form of a leather or synthetic grip.

With continuing reference to FIG. 1, the training aid apparatus 10 of the present invention is comprised of an attachment block 20 attachable to the shaft 12 of the user's golf club 14. An elongated training aid handle or shaft 22 extends upwardly from the block 20 in spaced-apart relation with respect to the shaft 12 and grip 18 of the golf club 14. Preferably, the training aid apparatus 10 also includes a grip 24, typically leather or synthetic material or other grip material known in the golf industry. In a particularly preferred embodiment, as will be described more fully herein, the shaft 22 is adjustable in length so as to accommodate golfers of different heights.

With reference now to FIGS. 2-5, the attachment block 20 includes a clamp 26 for removably attaching the training aid apparatus 10 to the shaft 12 of the user's golf club 14. In a particularly preferred embodiment, as illustrated, the clamp 26 includes a fixed jaw 28 which is formed with the block 20, and a slidable jaw 30 which is selectively movable toward and away from the fixed jaw 28. In this manner, shafts 12 of different diameter can be accommodated. Preferably, protective inserts 32 and 34 line the inside of the jaws 28 and 30 so as not to scratch, mar or otherwise damage the surface of the golf club shaft 12. In the event that such inserts 32 and 34 are comprised of elastomeric material, they can also facilitate the gripping of the golf club shaft 12 by the clamp 26.

The slidable jaw 30 can be moved into a locked position using any known means. In a particularly preferred embodiment, as illustrated, the inner or slidable jaw 30 is connected to a rod 36 that slides within a passageway 38 of the attachment block.

The slidable jaw 30 can be moved toward and away from the fixed jaw 28 by any well-known means. For example, a cam lever 40 operably attached to the end of rod 36 may be pivoted upwardly to slide jaw 30 toward jaw 28, and downwardly to move the jaw 30 away from the jaw 28. The end of the cam lever 40 adjacent to the housing 20 can include an irregular or cam surface so as to effectuate the movement of the rod 36 as such. Alternatively or in addition thereto, a compression spring (not shown) can be disposed within passageway 38 so as to surround rod 36 and bias the jaw 28 toward the fixed jaw 28. The cam lever 40 would then be used to pull the rod 36 toward the end of the housing toward the cam lever 40 and away from jaw 28 in order to release the golf club shaft 12. Of course, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that other manual means of slidably moving jaw 30 toward and away from jaw 28 are feasible and contemplated by the present invention. In fact, the jaws 28 and 30 may both be movable, or another clamping arrangement provided. The important aspect of the present invention is that the golf club shaft 12 can be removably received by the training aid apparatus 10 such that the elongated shaft 22 of the apparatus 10 and the golf club shaft 12 are spaced apart from one another in a generally parallel relationship so that the golfer's hands can grasp both grip 18 of the golf club 14 and the grip 24 of the training aid apparatus 10 and make a swinging motion.

The attachment block 20 is of sufficient length so as to create a space between the grips 18 and 24 of the golf club 14 and the training aid apparatus 10 such that a golfer can grasp each grip 18 and 24 comfortably. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the attachment block 20 also includes an aperture 42 which is designed to receive the end of the elongated shaft 22 of the training aid apparatus 10. A set screw 44 or the like may be used to removably insert the shaft 22, such that shafts of different lengths can be accommodated by the training aid apparatus 10 to accommodate golfers of different heights. Alternatively, as will be more fully discussed herein, the shaft 22 is adjustable in length, such as being telescopic in nature so as to accommodate golfers of different heights.

With reference now to FIG. 6, the training aid apparatus 10 of the present invention is further capable of having a modifiable weight, so as to serve to increase the strength and swing speed of the golfer. In one embodiment of the present invention, an aperture 46 is formed in the attachment block 20, which is designed to receive a pin 48. One or more ring weights 50 accept the pin 48 therethrough. A head 52 of the pin 48 is of enlarged diameter so as to contact the upper surface of the uppermost ring weight 50. The pin 48 may be threadedly received within the attachment block 20 or, as illustrated, a thumb screw 54 or the like is extended through the block 20 and into contact with the pin 48 to hold the pin 48 in place. The amount of weight of the apparatus 10 is modified by adding additional ring weights 50, or ring weights 50 of increasing weight substituted for those of lesser weight.

With reference now to FIG. 7, yet another attachment block 20′ is illustrated which is similar to that described above, with the exception that internally threaded aperture 56 is formed in the block 20′. Externally threaded bolts 58 and 60 can be threadedly inserted into the aperture 56 so as to supply weight to the block 20′. The weight can be altered by removing a bolt 58 or 60 and substituting a bolt of greater or lesser weight. The bolt may be comprised of different materials, or an upper unthreaded portion of the bolt can be enlarged so as to supply additional weight thereto, as illustrated in FIG. 7. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the upper ends of the bolts 58 and 60 can include beveled edges to facilitate manual insertion or insertion by a wrench or the like, or include a socket so as to be threaded into the block 20′ by a screwdriver or the like.

With reference now to FIG. 8, yet another block 20″ is illustrated. In this embodiment, a series of slots are formed in the block 20″. Weights 64, such as the illustrated ring weight, are selectively inserted into the slot 62. A pin 66 or the like is inserted through an aperture 68 of the block 20″ and through the aligned apertures of the one or more weights 64 so as to retain them in place within the block 20″. Weights 64 can be added or removed as necessary in order to increase or lessen the weight of the apparatus 10.

In use, the golfer's golf club 14 is attached to the apparatus 10 by inserting the golf club shaft 12 into the clamp 26 of the training aid apparatus 10 and moving jaw 28 toward jaw 30 and into a closed and locking position around the shaft 12. Typically, the attachment block 20 is attached to the golf club shaft 12 at a level wherein the grips 18 and 24 of the training aid apparatus 10 and golf club 14 are generally aligned with one another. However, it will be realized that the training aid apparatus 10 can be positioned along any length of the golf club shaft 12 as desired. Weight is added to or removed from the block 20-20″, as discussed above. The golfer then grasps each grip 18 and 24 and swings the golf club 14 and training aid apparatus 10. The training aid apparatus 10 of the present invention improves the flexibility in the golfer's arms, shoulders and back. The weighted apparatus 10 also provides strength training for the golfer's hands, arms, shoulders and back—the important muscles of the golf swing. Increasing the club weight also aids the golfer in improving his club head speed, which can improve the distance the ball is hit with a regular golf club. As the golfer is able to swing both arms, balance and feel of the golf swing is mimicked.

With reference now to FIGS. 9-15, another training aid apparatus 68 embodying the present invention is illustrated. The general purpose and function of this apparatus 68 is similar to that illustrated and described above, namely, providing a golf swing training aid attachable to a golf club 14. Although a “wood” golf club 14 is illustrated in FIG. 9, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the golf club 14 could alternatively be an iron or event a putter. The training aid apparatus 68 includes an elongated shaft 70, which is preferably adjustable in length, as will be more fully described herein. One end of the shaft 70 includes a handle in the form of a grip 72, such as leather wrap or traditional golf grip. An attachment block 74 defining a clamping mechanism is attached to the other end of the shaft 70.

With reference now to FIGS. 16 and 17, although the shafts 22 and 70 illustrated and described above may be removably attached to the attachment blocks 20 and 74, respectively, such that shafts of different lengths to accommodate different golfers can be provided, in a particularly preferred embodiment, the shaft 70 is adjustable in length. In a particularly preferred embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 16 and 17, the shaft 70 is of a telescopic nature. That is, a first shaft 76 having a first diameter is slidably received into a second shaft 78 of a larger internal diameter, as illustrated. A guide 80 may be disposed at the end of the second shaft 78 for facilitating the insertion and slidable movement of the first shaft 76 with respect to the second shaft 78. A depressible button or pin 82 extends through an aperture of the first shaft 76. The pin 82 is biased outwardly by a spring 84 disposed within the first shaft 76. The second shaft includes a plurality of spaced apart apertures 86 sized to receive the pin 82 therethrough when aligned with the depressed pin 82. This locks the first shaft 76 relative to the second shaft 78. In order to adjust the length, the user manually pushes the pin 82 into the first shaft 76, and slides the first and second shafts 76 and 78 relative to one another until the desired length is achieved. The pin 82 then extends outwardly through a selected aperture of the second shaft 78 so as to lock the first and second shafts 76 and 78 relative to one another. Of course, it will be appreciated that other means of providing a shaft of adjustable length which can be selectively locked in place are also contemplated by the present invention.

With reference again now to FIGS. 9-15, the clamp 74 includes a block 88 attached to the shaft 70 and defining a first fixed jaw 90. A second jaw 92 is slidably movable relative to the first jaw 90 so as to clamp or lock a golf club shaft 12, as illustrated in FIG. 15.

A manual lever 94 is operably connected to the slidable jaw 92 such that as it is actuated, the jaw 92 moves toward and away the fixed jaw 90. More particularly, a pin 96 extends through the block 88 and the first jaw 92. The manual lever 94 is rotatably attached to an end of the pin 96 adjacent to a surface of the jaw 92. The end of the lever 98 adjacent to the slidable jaw 92 includes a beveled or cam exterior surface which engages with the jaw 92 as the lever 94 is pivoted so as to slide the jaw 92 either toward or away from the fixed jaw 90 of block 88, as illustrated. More particularly, as the lever 94 is lifted upwardly, the cam surface 98 engaged the jaw 90 to and causes it to move away from fixed jaw 90, so as to permit a golf club shaft 12 to be inserted or removed between the jaws 90 and 92, as illustrated in FIG. 14. However, as the lever 94 is moved downwardly, or toward block 88, the cam surface 98 engages the jaw 92 and causes it to slide toward the fixed jaw 90, to clamp and lock into place a golf club shaft 12, as illustrated in FIG. 15. An elongated aperture or slit 100 formed in the jaw 92 permits this movement relative to pin 96. The jaw 92 may include an insert 102, or otherwise be machined at the location abutting the cam surface 98, so as to engage the cam surface 98 and facilitate the sliding movement. Moreover, the jaw 92 preferably includes guides 104 and 106 which extend over top and bottom edges of the block 88 and facilitate the sliding movement of jaw 92.

Although two clamps 20 and 74 have been illustrated and described in detail, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the important aspect of the clamps 20 and 74 is the removable grasping of the golf club shaft 12 to the training aid apparatus 10 or 68 in such a manner that the golf club shaft 12 is spaced apart from and generally parallel to the shafts 22 or 70 of the apparatus 10 or 68. Thus, clamps of varying configurations are contemplated by the present invention. The important aspects of the present invention are that the golfer can grasp the grip 18 of the golf club 14 and the grip 24 or 72 of the apparatus 10 or 68, and swing with both hands. The training aid apparatus 10 or 68 may be so as to improve flexibility and strength in the golfer's hand, arms, shoulders and back. Of course, it will be realized by those skilled in the art that the increased weight also aids the golfer in improving his or her club head speed, which can improve the distance the ball is hit with a regular golf club.

Although several embodiments have been described in detail for purposes of illustration, various modifications may be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited, except as by the appended claims.