Title:
Golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A methodology for the golfer to choose golf swing setup factors to be studied in order to determine each studied factor's influence on a set of output or performance factors. In this case, the output factors examined are distance and shape of the resulting shot. The golfer will complete a series of trials where setup factors are varied in a manner defined within a statistically-valid experiment. Completion of these various trials will result in the capability of the golfer to qualitatively select setup factor levels by observation of the golf shots or, secondly, to utilize statistical software to analyze the data resulting from the trials, resulting in a series of graphical or numeric recommendations for optimal results. The recommendations yielded by the software analysis will be a function of the preferential weightings of output factors (in this case, distance and shape) as provided by the golfer.



Inventors:
Nevogt, Glen R. (Fort Wayne, IN, US)
Application Number:
11/353285
Publication Date:
11/02/2006
Filing Date:
02/14/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SUHOL, DMITRY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Glen R. Nevogt (Fort Wayne, IN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme for an analytical tool to assist in the identification of optimized input factors resulting in improved performance as relates to golf, comprising: means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “golf grip”; means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “golf grip”, separately chosen to said means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “golf grip”; means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “alignment”; means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “alignment”, separately chosen to said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “alignment”; means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “club face alignment”; means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “club face alignment”, separately chosen to said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “club face alignment”; means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “golf ball position”; means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “golf ball position”, separately chosen to said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “golf ball position”; means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “leading toe position”; means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “leading toe position”, separately chosen to said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “leading toe position”; means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “reach”; means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “reach”, separately chosen to said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “reach”; means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “teeing height”; means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “teeing height”, separately chosen to said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “teeing height”; means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “trailing foot position”; means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “trailing foot position”, separately chosen to said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “trailing foot position”; means for providing the various combinations of input factor levels to be studied, selectively included to said means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “trailing foot position”, selectively included to said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “trailing foot position”, selectively included to said means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “teeing height”, selectively included to said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “teeing height”, selectively included to said means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “reach”, selectively included to said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “reach”, selectively included to said means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “leading toe position”, selectively included to said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “leading toe position”, selectively included to said means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “golf ball position”, selectively included to said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “golf ball position”, selectively included to said means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “club face alignment”, selectively included to said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “club face alignment”, selectively included to said means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “alignment”, selectively included to said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “alignment”, selectively included to said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “golf grip”, and selectively included to said means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “golf grip”; means for striking the golf ball so that the distance and path of the ball may be observed during the various trials defined within the experimental design matrix; means for enabling the golfer to observe results leading to categorization using the set of output factor categories and associated results, dynamically impacted to said means for striking the golf ball so that the distance and path of the ball may be observed during the various trials defined within the experimental design matrix; means for providing the general steps to be taken during the execution of the experimental design matrix leading to an ultimate determination of optimized inputs; means for creating the fractional factorial or full factorial experimental design matrices, performing the analysis of data using inputs as provided by the golfer, and providing tabular or graphical results, integrally embedded to said means for providing the various combinations of input factor levels to be studied; means for providing the discrete choices for results of the experimental trials to be used within the experimental design matrix, appropriately recorded to said means for providing the various combinations of input factor levels to be studied; means for showing the influence of the input factors being studied on the specific output factor of interest as well as interaction effects upon the output factor as well as an indication of statistical significance as determined by MINITAB, uniquely calculated to said means for creating the fractional factorial or full factorial experimental design matrices, performing the analysis of data using inputs as provided by the golfer, and providing graphical and numeric results; means for providing an visual indicator of the relationship between the discrete input variable factor levels and the average result of the associated output factor as determined by MINITAB, uniquely calculated to said means for creating the fractional factorial or full factorial experimental design matrices, performing the analysis of data using inputs as provided by the golfer, and providing graphical and numeric results; means for providing optimization results for input factors as determined by MINITAB, uniquely calculated to said means for creating the fractional factorial or full factorial experimental design matrices, performing the analysis of data using inputs as provided by the golfer, and providing graphical and numeric results; means for creating the experimental design matrix within MINITAB Statistical Software; means for identifying the most influencial input factors on the outputs as well as any important interactions between input factors as relates to the outputs as determined by MINITAB; means for identifying the average effect of the factor levels for each input factor on each output factor as determined by MINITAB; and means for defining the process to optimize each input factor being studied using MINITAB.

2. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “golf grip” comprises the “v”s formed by the thumb and index fingers of each hand point to the trailing shoulder strong or “test” golf grip.

3. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “golf grip” comprises the “v“s formed by the thumbs and index fingers of both hands point to the ear on the trailing side of the face weak or “normal” golf grip.

4. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “alignment” comprises the line formed by the tips of both feet points toward the target straight or “normal” alignment.

5. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “alignment” comprises a, for a right-handed golfer, the line formed by the tips of the feet point slightly right of target and for a left-handed golfer, the line will point to the left of the target closed or “test” alignment.

6. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “club face alignment” comprises the face of the golf club is pointed directly at the intended target “normal” club face alignment.

7. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “club face alignment” comprises the club face of the golf club is closed “test” club face alignment.

8. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “golf ball position” comprises the golf ball positioned at the inside of the leading foot's heel “normal” golf ball position.

9. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “golf ball position” comprises a golf ball positioned at the center of the stance “test” golf ball position.

10. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “leading toe position” comprises a leading toe is flared toward the target “normal” leading toe position.

11. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “leading toe position” comprises the leading toe is pointed straight outward “test” leading toe position.

12. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “reach” comprises the hands are below the chin at setup “normal” reach.

13. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “reach” comprises the hands are pushed outward at setup “test” reach.

14. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “teeing height” comprises an approximate one-quarter of the golf ball is above the clubface “normal” teeing height.

15. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “teeing height” comprises an approximate three-quarters of the golf ball is above the club face “test” teeing height.

16. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “trailing foot position” comprises the shoulders are aligned with the intended target and the tips of the feet form a line toward the target “normal” trailing foot position.

17. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing for a “test” level for the factor “trailing foot position” comprises a shoulders are aligned with target but trailing foot is dropped approximately four (4) inches from a line between the toes that would point toward the target “test” trailing foot position.

18. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing the various combinations of input factor levels to be studied comprises an experimental design matrix.

19. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for striking the golf ball so that the distance and path of the ball may be observed during the various trials defined within the experimental design matrix comprises a golf club.

20. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for enabling the golfer to observe results leading to categorization using the set of output factor categories comprises a golf ball.

21. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing the general steps to be taken during the execution of the experimental design matrix leading to an ultimate determination of optimized inputs comprises a general flow diagram.

22. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for creating the fractional factorial or full factorial experimental design matrices, performing the analysis of data using inputs as provided by the golfer, and providing tabular or graphical results comprises a MINITAB Statistical Software statistical analysis software.

23. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing the discrete choices for results of the experimental trials to be used within the experimental design matrix comprises a set of output factor categories and associated results.

24. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for showing the influence of the input factors being studied on the specific output factor of interest as well as interaction effects upon the output factor as well as an indication of statistical significance as determined by MINITAB comprises an output graph for main input effects and interactions.

25. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing an visual indicator of the relationship between the discrete input variable factor levels and the average result of the associated output factor as determined by MINITAB comprises an output graph for effects of input factors.

26. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing optimization results for input factors as determined by MINITAB comprises a graphical and numeric output of recommendations.

27. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for creating the experimental design matrix within MINITAB Statistical Software comprises a process for creating a fractional factorial design.

28. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for identifying the most influencial input factors on the outputs as well as any important interactions between input factors as relates to the outputs as determined by MINITAB comprises a process for generating a pareto of effects and interactions.

29. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for identifying the average effect of the factor levels for each input factor on each output factor as determined by MINITAB comprises a process for generating main effects plots.

30. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for defining the process to optimize each input factor being studied using MINITAB comprises a process for optimizing input factors.

31. A golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme for an analytical tool to assist in the identification of optimized input factors resulting in improved performance as relates to golf, comprising: the “v”s formed by the thumb and index fingers of each hand point to the trailing shoulder strong or “test” golf grip, for providing for a “test” level for the factor “golf grip”; the “v”s formed by the thumbs and index fingers of both hands point to the ear on the trailing side of the face weak or “normal” golf grip, for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “golf grip”, separately chosen to said strong or “test” golf grip; the line formed by the tips of both feet points toward the target straight or “normal” alignment, for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “alignment”; a for a right-handed golfer, the line formed by the tips of the feet point slightly right of target. for a left-handed golfer, the line will point to the left of the target closed or “test” alignment, for providing for a “test” level for the factor “alignment”, separately chosen to said straight or “normal” alignment; the face of the golf club is pointed directly at the intended target “normal” club face alignment, for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “club face alignment”; the club face of the golf club is “closed” “test”club face alignment, for providing for a “test” level for the factor “club face alignment”, separately chosen to said “normal” club face alignment; the golf ball positioned at the inside of the leading foot's heel “normal” golf ball position, for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “golf ball position”; a golf ball positioned at the center of the stance “test” golf ball position, for providing for a “test” level for the factor “golf ball position”, separately chosen to said “normal” golf ball position; a leading toe is flared toward the target “normal” leading toe position, for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “leading toe position”; the leading toe is pointed straight outward “test” leading toe position, for providing for a “test” level for the factor “leading toe position”, separately chosen to said “normal” leading toe position; the hands are below the chin at setup “normal” reach, for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “reach”; the hands are pushed outward at setup “test” reach, for providing for a “test” level for the factor “reach”, separately chosen to said “normal” reach; an approximate one-quarter of the golf ball is above the clubface “normal” teeing height, for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “teeing height”; an approximate three-quarters of the golf ball is above the club face “test” teeing height, for providing for a “test” level for the factor “teeing height”, separately chosen to said “normal” teeing height; the shoulders are aligned with the intended target and the tips of the feet form a line toward the target “normal” trailing foot position, for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “trailing foot position”; a shoulders are aligned with target but trailing foot is dropped approximately four (4) inches from a line between the toes that would point toward the target “test” trailing foot position, for providing for a “test” level for the factor “trailing foot position”, separately chosen to said “normal” trailing foot position; an experimental design matrix, for providing the various combinations of input factor levels to be studied, selectively included to said “test” trailing foot position, selectively included to said “normal” trailing foot position, selectively included to said “test” teeing height, selectively included to said “normal” teeing height, selectively included to said “test” reach, selectively included to said “normal” reach, selectively included to said “test” leading toe position, selectively included to said “normal” leading toe position, selectively included to said “test” golf ball position, selectively included to said “normal” golf ball position, selectively included to said “test” club face alignment, selectively included to said “normal” club face alignment, selectively included to said closed or “test” alignment, selectively included to said straight or “normal” alignment, selectively included to said weak or “normal” golf grip, and selectively included to said strong or “test” golf grip; a golf club, for striking the golf ball so that the distance and path of the ball may be observed during the various trials defined within the experimental design matrix; a golf ball, for enabling the golfer to observe results leading to categorization using the set of output factor categories, dynamically impacted to said golf club; a general flow diagram, for providing the general steps to be taken during the execution of the experimental design matrix leading to an ultimate determination of optimized inputs; a MINITAB Statistical Software statistical analysis software, for creating the fractional factorial or full factorial experimental design matrices, performing the analysis of data using inputs as provided by the golfer, and providing tabular or graphical results, integrally embedded to said experimental design matrix; a set of output factor categories and results, for providing the discrete choices for results of the experimental trials to be used within the experimental design matrix, appropriately recorded to said experimental design matrix; an output graph for main input effects and interactions, for showing the influence of the input factors being studied on the specific output factor of interest as well as interaction effects upon the output factor as well as an indication of statistical significance as determined by MINITAB, uniquely calculated to said statistical analysis software; an output graph for effects of input factors, for providing an visual indicator of the relationship between the discrete input variable factor levels and the average result of the associated output factor as determined by MINITAB, uniquely calculated to said statistical analysis software; a graphical and numeric output of recommendations, for providing optimization results for input factors as determined by MINITAB, uniquely calculated to said statistical analysis software; a process for creating a fractional factorial design, for creating the experimental design matrix within MINITAB statistical software; a process for generating a pareto of effects and interactions, for identifying the most influencial input factors on the outputs as well as any important interactions between input factors as relates to the outputs as determined by MINITAB; a process for generating main effects plots, for identifying the average effect of the factor levels for each input factor on each output factor as determined by MINITAB; and a process for optimizing input factors, for defining the process to optimize each input factor being studied using MINITAB.

32. The golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme as recited in claim 31, further comprising: an examples of alternate embodiments of the invention, for providing examples of how the invention may be applied to additional sports or games.

33. A golf performance improvement analysis method utilizing either fractional factorial or full factorial statistical analysis and an output factors weighting scheme for an analytical tool to assist in the identification of optimized input factors resulting in improved performance as relates to golf, comprising: the “v”s formed by the thumb and index fingers of each hand point to the trailing shoulder strong or “test” golf grip, for providing for a “test” level for the factor “golf grip”; the “v”s formed by the thumbs and index fingers of both hands point to the ear on the trailing side of the face weak or “normal” golf grip, for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “golf grip”, separately chosen to said strong or “test” golf grip; the line formed by the tips of both feet points toward the target straight or “normal” alignment, for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “alignment”; a for a right-handed golfer, the line formed by the tips of the feet point slightly right of target whereas for a left-handed golfer, the line will point to the left of the target closed or “test” alignment, for providing for a “test” level for the factor “alignment”, separately chosen to said straight or “normal” alignment; the face of the golf club is pointed directly at the intended target “normal” club face alignment, for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “club face alignment”; the club face of the golf club is closed “test” club face alignment, for providing for a “test” level for the factor “club face alignment”, separately chosen to said “normal” club face alignment; the golf ball positioned at the inside of the leading foot's heel “normal” golf ball position, for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “golf ball position”; a golf ball positioned at the center of the stance “test” golf ball position, for providing for a “test” level for the factor “golf ball position”, separately chosen to said “normal” golf ball position; a leading toe is flared toward the target “normal” leading toe position, for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “leading toe position”; the leading toe is pointed straight outward “test” leading toe position, for providing for a “test” level for the factor “leading toe position”, separately chosen to said “normal” leading toe position; the hands are below the chin at setup “normal” reach, for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “reach”; the hands are pushed outward at setup “test” reach, for providing for a “test” level for the factor “reach”, separately chosen to said “normal” reach; an approximate one-quarter of the golf ball is above the clubface “normal” teeing height, for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “teeing height”; an approximate three-quarters of the golf ball is above the club face “test” teeing height, for providing for a “test” level for the factor “teeing height”, separately chosen to said “normal” teeing height; the shoulders are aligned with the intended target and the tips of the feet form a line toward the target “normal” trailing foot position, for providing for a “normal” level for the factor “trailing foot position”; a shoulders are aligned with target but trailing foot is dropped approximately four (4) inches from a line between the toes that would point toward the target “test” trailing foot position, for providing for a “test” level for the factor “trailing foot position”, separately chosen to said “normal” trailing foot position; an experimental design matrix, for providing the various combinations of input factor levels to be studied, selectively included to said “test” trailing foot position, selectively included to said “normal” trailing foot position, selectively included to said “test” teeing height, selectively included to said “normal” teeing height, selectively included to said “test” reach, selectively included to said “normal” reach, selectively included to said “test” leading toe position, selectively included to said “normal” leading toe position, selectively included to said “test” golf ball position, selectively included to said “normal” golf ball position, selectively included to said “test” club face alignment, selectively included to said “normal” club face alignment, selectively included to said closed or “test” alignment, selectively included to said straight or “normal” alignment, selectively included to said weak or “normal” golf grip, and selectively included to said strong or “test” golf grip; a golf club, for striking the golf ball so that the distance and path of the ball may be observed during the various trials defined within the experimental design matrix; a golf ball, for enabling the golfer to observe results leading to categorization using the set of output factor categories, dynamically impacted to said golf club; a general flow diagram, for providing the general steps to be taken during the execution of the experimental design matrix leading to an ultimate determination of optimized inputs; a MINITAB Statistical Software statistical analysis software, for creating the fractional factorial or full factorial experimental design matrices, performing the analysis of data using inputs as provided by the golfer, and providing graphical and numeric results, integrally embedded to said experimental design matrix; a set of output factor categories and results, for providing discrete choices for results of the experimental trials to be used within the experimental design matrix, appropriately recorded to said experimental design matrix; an output graph for main input effects and interactions, for showing the influence of the input factors being studied on the specific output factor of interest as well as interaction effects upon the output factor as well as an indication of statistical significance as determined by MINITAB, uniquely calculated to said statistical analysis software; an output graph for effects of input factors, for providing an visual indicator of the relationship between the discrete input variable factor levels and the average result of the associated output factor as determined by MINITAB, uniquely calculated to said statistical analysis software; a graphical and numeric output of recommendations, for providing optimization results for input factors as determined by MINITAB, uniquely calculated to said statistical analysis software; an examples of alternate embodiments of the invention, for providing examples of how the invention may be applied to additional sports or games; a process for creating a fractional factorial design, for creating the experimental design matrix within MINITAB Statistical Software; a process for generating a pareto of effects and interactions, for identifying the most influencial input factors on the outputs as well as any important interactions between input factors as relates to the outputs as determined by MINITAB; a process for generating main effects plots, for identifying the average effect of the factor levels for each input factor on each output factor as determined by MINITAB; and a process for optimizing input factors, for defining the process to optimize each input factor being studied using MINITAB.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is a continuation-in-part application of U.S. provisional patent application, Ser. No. US60/594,500, filed Apr. 13, 2005, for GOLF PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT ANALYSIS METHOD UTILIZING EITHER FRACTIONAL FACTORIAL OR FULL FACTORIAL STATISTICAL ANALYSIS AND AN OUTPUT FACTORS WEIGHTING SCHEME, by Glen R. Nevogt, included by reference herein and for which benefit of the priority date is hereby claimed.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a method designed to identify input factors that have have the greatest influence on golf shot results and, more particularly, to distance the golf ball travels as well as the shape of the shot, or stated in another way, whether the ball curves left or right or neither left nor right but straight.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There is a myriad of methods taught by professional and other golf instructors to improve golf shot results of their students. Golfers may or may not use the services of these teachers. In many cases, the golfer uses many trial-and-error sessions to determine what golf grip, alignment, ball position and other factors that serve as setup inputs to their golf swing will yield improvement in outputs of the golf shot such as distance and shot shape. Shot shape is a term that describes whether a golf ball flies straight or curves in mid-air to the left or right. These teaching methods or trial-and-error related sessions do not generally use statistically-based methods and to be certain, do not use fractional factorial experimentation methods.

Golfers are frequently frustrated by the fact that persons teaching the golf setup and swing teach what works for the teacher to a greater extent than what will work for the individual golfer. Golfers' shots are influenced by many factors associated with themselves and the equipment they use such as physical attributes, golf club shaft rigidity, characteristics of the particular golf ball brand they use, swing speed, grip tension and many others. The number of potential combinations of these factors is very large. The ability to identify the significance of individual setup related factors as well as to determine the optimal “settings” of these significant factors is extremely problematic. Furthermore, it is extremely rare for any particular golfer to be able to identify specifically how inputs should be modified to increase the probability of obtaining a specific result as observed or measurable in terms of output factors such as distance and shape.

Examination of golf-related magazines and books reveal what is purported to be the “magic” solution for all golfers. Of course, these magic solutions tend not to be tailored to the needs of individual golfers as determined by physical attributes or equipment used.

Several golf-improvement-related inventions have received patents and these inventions generally involve the use of some hardware-related-solution. Patents and a relevant Internet document follow:

Internet Document

“Golf Simulator Swing Analysis”, DeadSolidGolf. http://www.deadsolidgolf.com/swingAnalysis.html

Internet Web Site

www.customgolfsetup.com

This web site is operated by the inventor and is established as a commercial site. The fractional factorial methodology is sold as an “eBook” and is based upon the content of provisional patent No. US60/594,500 that was filed on Apr. 13, 2005.

Patent Document NumberInventor
US 2002/0031753 A1Yanai et al.
US 2003/0207718 A1Perlmutter
US 2004/0106460 A1Lee et al.
4,515,365Horikoshi et al.
5,118,112Bregman et al.
5,419,562Cromarty
5,694,340Kim
5,697,791Nashner et al.
5,772,522Nesbit et al.
5,779,555Nomura et al.
5,792,000Weber et al.
6,042,492Baum
U.S. Pat. No. 6,254,492 B1Taggett
U.S. Pat. No. 6,638,175 B2Lee et al.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,757,572 B1Forest

Foreign Patent Document NumberCountry & Date
10-43349Japan, February 1998
WO 03/009680 A1W.I.P.O., February 2003

Upon review of the referenced documents, it can be seen that continuous variable data analysis systems have been the subject of earlier patent and Internet documents.

In stating problems associated with previous solutions, the inventor has not validated these previous solutions and includes editorial comments based upon engineering experience. Firstly, a generic comment is warranted. Whenever a hardware-related solution is involved, the accuracy, resolution and repeatability of the hardware measurement systems will contribute to the quality of the outputs. In that regard, any system that relies upon machine-based measurements will be subject to the capabilities of the specific measurement system used. In this regard, solutions that are independent of machine-based measurements, but rather, are based upon statistical analysis and the golfer's personal observations, will be more reliable.

Simply stated, when a golfer observes the result of a shot and is given the opportunity to quantitatively categorize the result, the inventor believes this to be a feature. The current invention uses the golfer's best judgment in categorizing and capturing results.

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a method for a golfer to study the influence of multiple golf swing setup factors.

It is another object of the invention to provide the golfer with a recommendation that is customized to attributes particular to that golfer such as physical size, strength, swing speed, ball type, and golf clubs used.

It is another object of the invention to use a scientific approach to providing the best possible set of recommendations with regard to golf setup-related factors.

It is another object of the invention to provide a method that may be repeated if and when factors influencing the golfer's performance such as physical ailments, age, strength or equipment significantly change.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a methodology for the golfer, a golf teacher or coach to choose golf swing setup factors to be studied in order to determine each studied factor's influence on a set of output or performance factors; in this case, the output factors examined are distance and shape of the resulting shot. The golfer will complete a series of trials where setup factors are varied in a manner defined within a statistically-valid experiment. Completion of these various trials will result in the capability of the golfer to qualitatively select improved setup factors by observation of the golf shots or, secondly, to utilize statistical software to analyze the data resulting from the trials, resulting in a series of graphical and/or numeric recommendations for optimal results. The recommendations yielded by the software analysis will be a function of the preferential weightings of output factors (in this case, distance and shape) as provided by the golfer. In simple terms, the recommended setup will very likely change, depending upon the relative weightings the golfer assigns to distance and shape.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A complete understanding of the present invention may be obtained by reference to the accompanying drawings, when considered in conjunction with the subsequent, detailed description, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front view of a strong grip or grip in the “test” position;

FIG. 2 is a front view of a weak grip or grip in the “normal” position;

FIG. 3 is a right side view of an alignment in the “normal” position;

FIG. 4 is a right side and elevated view of an alignment in the “test” position;

FIG. 5 is a top view of a golf club blade angle in both the “normal” and “test” positions;

FIG. 6 is a front view of a golf ball position in the “normal” position;

FIG. 7 is a front view of a golf ball position in the “test” position;

FIG. 8 is a top view of a leading toe in the “normal” position;

FIG. 9 is a top view of a leading toe in the “test” position;

FIG. 10 is a right side and elevated view of a reach in the “normal” position;

FIG. 11 is a right view of a reach in the “test” position;

FIG. 12 is a left view of a teeing height in “normal” position;

FIG. 13 is a left view of a teeing height in the “test” position;

FIG. 14 is a right side and elevated view of a trailing foot in the “normal” position;

FIG. 15 is a right side and elevated view of a trailing foot in the “test” position;

FIG. 16 is a tabular view of a fractional factorial experimental design matrix for five (5) input factors and two (2) output factors;

FIG. 17 is a flow diagram describing basic steps associated with the invention, including input factors that may be studied, the experimental design matrix that needs to be created within MINITAB® Statistical Software and the outputs as rendered by the MINITAB statistical software after output performance factor weighting decisions are made by the golfer;

FIG. 18 is a tabular view of a set of output factors and associated results for the golf swing setup analysis process;

FIG. 19 is a tabular view of an example of the completed experimental design matrix generated by MINITAB. MINITAB® and the MINITAB logo® are registered trademar

FIG. 20 is an example of an output graph generated by the statistical analysis software showing the influence of the input factors being studied on the specific output factor of interest and also an indication of statistical significance as well as any interaction effects. Bar length indicates relative influence;

FIG. 21 is an example of an output graph generated by the statistical analysis software showing the relative influence of the main input factors being studied on the specific output factor of interest;

FIG. 22 is an example of an output graph generated by the statistical analysis software showing the recommended settings in which to place the input factors being studied to achieve the weighted outputs as chosen by the golfer;

FIG. 23 is a non-comprehensive set examples of alternate embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 24 is a set of specific instructions regarding how to create the experiment within MINITAB;

FIG. 25 is a set of specific instructions for generating a pareto chart of effects;

FIG. 26 is a set of specific instructions for the generation of main effects plots; and

FIG. 27 is a set of specific instructions for the generation of the final optimization recommendations.

For purposes of clarity and brevity, like elements and components will bear the same designations and numbering throughout the Figures.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 is a front view of a strong grip or grip in the “test” position. If the golfer chooses to study the effect of the golf grip on golf shot distance or shape, the golfer will use either the strong or “test” golf grip 10 or weak or “normal” golf grip 12, as directed in the individual rows of the experimental design matrix 42. This particular grip would be used whenever the matrix indicates that the “test” grip should be used, also known within the matrix as grip level “1”. A grip is strong when, as the hands are placed on the golf club 21, the “V”s formed between the thumb and index finger of each hand points toward the trailing shoulder. Within the verbiage of this invention, “trailing” will always mean “farther away from the target” than the analogous body part. “Leading” will always mean “closer to the target” than the analogous body part. In this regard, the trailing shoulder is the shoulder farthest away from the target.

FIG. 2 is a front view of a weak grip or grip in the “normal” position. If the golfer chooses to study the effect of the golf grip on golf shot distance or shape, the golfer will use either the strong or “test” golf grip 10 or weak or “normal” golf grip 12, as directed in the individual rows of the experimental design matrix 42. This particular grip would be used whenever the matrix indicates that the “normal” grip should be used, also known within the matrix as grip level “−1”.

FIG. 3 is a right side view of an alignment in the “normal” position. If the golfer chooses to study the effect of alignment on golf shot distance or shape, the golfer will use either the straight or “normal” alignment 14, or the closed or “test” alignment 16, as directed in the individual rows of the experimental design matrix 42. This particular alignment would be used whenever the matrix indicates that the “normal” alignment should be used, also known within the matrix as alignment level “−1”.

FIG. 4 is a right side and elevated view of an alignment in the “test” position. If the golfer chooses to study the effect of alignment on golf shot distance or shape, the golfer will use either the straight or “normal” alignment 14, or the closed or “test” alignment 16, as directed in the individual rows of the experimental design matrix 42. This particular alignment would be used whenever the matrix indicates that the “test” alignment should be used, also known within the matrix as alignment level “1”.

FIG. 5 is a top view of a golf club 21 blade angle in the “normal” and “test” positions. When the matrix requires that a “test” golf club blade angle be used, also designated by a “1”, the golfer would close the face of the club slightly, on the order of five (5) to 10 degrees. When the matrix requires that a “normal” golf club blade angle be used, also designated by a “−1”, the golfer at setup would hold the face of the club pointing directly at the intended target. “Normal” club face alignment 18 and “normal” golf club blade angle are used synonymously, as are “test” club face alignment 20 and “test” golf club blade angle.

FIG. 6 is a front view of a golf ball 46 in the “normal” golf ball position 22. This ball position is located between the feet, at a normal distance from the golfer, and immediately inside the heel of the leading foot. This ball position will be used whenever the matrix requires that a “normal” or “−1” ball position level be used.

FIG. 7 is a front view of a golf ball 46 in the “test” golf ball position 24. This ball position is located between the feet, at a normal distance from the golfer, and is fairly centered between the feet. This may also be referred to as being in the middle of the stance. This ball position will be used whenever the matrix requires that a “test” or “1” ball position level be used.

FIG. 8 is a top view of a leading toe in the “normal” position. A “normal” leading toe position 26 will not be pointed straight outwards when the golfer is ready to initiate the backswing but rather, will be flared toward the target at an angle of as much as 45 degrees from straight outward. This will effectively limit the extent to which the golfer is able to turn their trunk, hips and shoulders during the backswing. The normal leading toe will be required whenever the leading toe position is being studied and the matrix requires a normal or a “−1” level.

FIG. 9 is a top view of a leading toe in the “test” position. A “test” leading toe position 28 will be pointed straight outwards when the golfer is ready to initiate the backswing. This will effectively increase the extent to which the golfer is able to turn their trunk, hips and shoulders during the backswing. The test leading toe will be required whenever the leading toe position is being studied and the matrix requires a test or a “1” level.

FIG. 10 is a right side and elevated view of a reach in the “normal” position. A “normal” reach 30 is one in which the hands, when on the golf club grip, are directly below the chin. This is referred to as a neutral hand position. The normal reach will be required whenever reach is being studied and the matrix requires a normal or a “−1” level.

FIG. 11 is a right view of a reach in the “test” position. A “test” reach 32 is one in which the hands, when on the golf club grip, are extended beyond directly below the chin or extended beyond the neutral hand position. The test reach will be required whenever reach is being studied and the matrix requires a test or a “1” level.

FIG. 12 is a left view of a teeing height in “normal” position. “normal” teeing height 34 has approximately one-quarter of the golf ball 46 above the face of the club. This factor will apply to what are commonly referred to as “woods”, rather than “irons”, and will apply only to the first shot of a given hole. That is to say, it will apply when a ball is placed upon a golf tee, and when a wood is used (the “wood” may be made of metal). The “normal” factor level will be required when teeing height is one of the factors being studied and when the matrix requires a normal or “−1” factor level.

FIG. 13 is a left view of a teeing height in the “test” position. “test” teeing height 36 has approximately three-quarters of the golf ball 46 above the face of the club. This factor will apply to what are commonly referred to as “woods”, rather than “irons”, and will apply only to the first shot of a given hole. That is to say, it will apply when a ball is placed upon a golf tee, and when a wood is used (the “wood” may be made of metal). The “test” factor level will be required when teeing height is one of the factors being studied and when the matrix requires a test or “1” factor level.

FIG. 14 is a right side and elevated view of a trailing foot in the “normal” position. A “normal” trailing foot position 38 is one where the toes of both feet form a line along the intended alignment. Both the tips of the feet, the hips and the shoulders will be aligned with one another. This trailing foot position will be required when trailing foot position is one of the factors chosen to be studied and when the matrix requires a normal or “−1” trailing foot position.

FIG. 15 is a right side and elevated view of a trailing foot in the “test” position. A “test” trailing foot position 40 is one where the toes of both feet do not form a line along the intended alignment but rather, the trailing foot is pulled directly backward by approximately four (4) inches. The tips of the feet will not be aligned with the hips and the shoulders. The hips and the shoulders will remain in alignment with each other and will align with the intended initial flight direction of the golf ball 46. This trailing foot position will be required when trailing foot position is one of the factors chosen to be studied and when the matrix requires a test or “1” trailing foot position.

FIG. 16 is a tabular view of a fractional factorial experimental design matrix 42 for five (5) input factors and two (2) outputs. It should be noted that FIG. 16 is only one example of the experimental design plan that may be created by the statistical software. As this is a “one-half fractional factorial design”, it has 16 rows or trials included in the experiment. A full factorial for five factors and two levels each would have 32 rows. This is determined by two levels for each factor raised to the fifth power, which equals 32; therefore, a one-half fractional factorial design has one-half of 32 rows, or 16 rows. The statistical software may establish many potential combinations of these five factors at two levels each. FIG. 16 is the one that was generated in this particular case. This is an important point to make in defining the scope of the invention. Any such experimental design generated by the MINITAB Statistical Software for one-half fractional factorial designs is equally valid. It is not a requirement that the specific combinations of factors as seen in FIG. 16 be used. Rather, any such experimental design generated by the software is considered to be as equally valid as any similar design, that is, a one-half fractional factorial design such as the one seen in FIG. 16 is equally valid as any other one-half fractional factorial design using two levels each of five factors as generated by the MINITAB software.

FIG. 17 is a general flow diagram 48 describing the basic steps associated with the invention, including input factors to be studied, the experimental design matrix 42 that needs to be created within MINITAB Statistical Software and the outputs as rendered by the MINITAB Statistical Software after factor weighting decisions are made by the golfer.

FIG. 18 is a tabular view of a set of set of output factor categories and associated results 52 for the golf swing setup analysis process.

FIG. 19 is a tabular view of an example of the completed experimental design matrix generated by the statistical analysis software.

FIG. 20 is an example of an output graph for main input effects and interactions 56 generated by the statistical analysis software showing the influence of the input factors being studied on the specific output factor of interest and also an indication of statistical significance as well as any interaction effects. Interactions or interaction effects of inputs occurs when the change in an output response from the normal level to the test level of one factor is not the same as the change in output response at the same two levels of a second factor. That is, the effect of one factor is dependent upon a second factor.

FIG. 21 is an example of an output graph for effects of input factors 58 generated by the statistical analysis software showing the relative influence of the main input factors being studied on the specific output factor of interest. This graph specifically indicates the average of the output factor being studied at each input level of each input factor being studied. This graphical output is an excellent indicator to the golfer regarding which discrete level of each input factor (normal or test) will provide a preferred result.

FIG. 22 is an example of a graphical and numeric output of recommendations 60 generated by the statistical analysis software showing the recommended settings in which to place the input factors being studied to achieve the weighted outputs as chosen by the golfer. In reality, the input factors are not discrete factors. They are actually continuous in nature and the purpose of this graphical output is to provide the recommendation for how the golfer should set each factor being studied at setup to achieve the set of output factor categories as weighted by the golfer. In the experimental design matrix 42, the two input levels to be tested are “−1” or “normal” and “1” or test. As can be seen in FIG. 22, and by way of example, the recommended output for the leading toe is −0.3902. A recommendation of “0” would be translated to mean half-way between “−1” and “1”, which means the leading toe would be positioned half-way between the “normal” and “test” positions. We will refer to this as “neutral”. In the case of the recommendation being “−0.3902”, the recommendation is that the leading toe be placed 39 percent of the way toward the normal position from the neutral position.

FIG. 23 is an example of alternate embodiments of the invention. While the primary embodiment of associated figures and elements included within relate to a golf setup optimization process utilizing a five (5) factor, two (2) level, one-half fractional factorial experimental methodology (16 rows for five factors), alternate embodiments of the invention would include additional input factors and alternate experimental designs, including, three factor levels, other than five input factors and two output performance factors, and full factorial designs.

Alternate embodiments of the invention would relate to sports other than golf, where performance-related factors are influenced by “set-up” related (static) or dynamic input factors that may be subjected to the experimental methodologies as referenced herein. While the scope of potential alternate embodiments are too lengthy to include a comprehensive list, examples of alternate embodiments of the invention are provided in FIG. 23, which includes pitching a baseball, where gripping the ball is a function of fingers spacing and position of fingers relative to the baseball's seams among other factors and where output factors would include the amount the ball curves and the velocity of the pitch; batting in baseball where input factors would include the amount the batter crouches, foot position and hand placement on the bat among many other potential input factors and where the output factors would include power, batting average and the ability to hit various types of pitches. Additionally, shooting a jump shot or a free throw in basketball would be associated with input factors including hands position on the basketball, elbow position and body orientation with respect to the basketball goal and where output performance factors would include, amongst others, percentage of shots made and alignment of shot with respect to the goal. Alternate embodiments of the invention would include, but not be limited to, the brief number of examples provided in FIG. 23. Swimming, tennis, football and soccer are additional examples of sports that will clearly include input factors related to arm, leg, hand and body positions that will directly reflect alternate embodiments of the invention.

An additional alternate embodiment of the invention includes the ability of the golfer to make a qualitative determination of appropriate “set points” for the input factors based strictly upon observation while executing the various trials defined within the experimental design matrix 42. That is to say, a certain combination of factors may allow the golfer to draw the golf ball 46 when, historically, the golfer has not been able to draw the ball. The golfer would very likely wish to note this set up combination for future use, when a shot on the golf course requires a draw. Although the input factors may not have been optimized in accordance with a primary goal of the invention, nevertheless the golfer will realize a benefit in improved skills by way of executing the experimental design matrix 42.

FIG. 24 is a set of specific instructions for a process for creating a fractional factorial design 64 within MINITAB Statistical Software.

FIG. 25 is set of specific instructions for a process for generating a pareto of effects and interactions and resulting graphical outputs 66.

FIG. 26 is a set of specific instructions for a process for generating main effects plots and resulting graphical outputs 68.

FIG. 27 is a set of specific instructions for a process to optimize input factors and obtain graphical and numeric outputs 70. The methodology as described in the invention uses a value of “−1” for the normal factor level and “1” for the test factor level of each input factor included within the experimental design matrix 42. The invention allows the golfer to identify a level for each factor studied that results in improvement in set of output factor categories, either manually by execution of the individual rows of the experimental design matrix 42 and resulting visual observation or by use of MINITAB statistical analysis software, in which case, recommended factor levels are provided as well as a determination of optimum factor levels, based upon a definition of weighting factors as provided by the golfer. These optimum input factor levels reflect the fact that they are, in fact, continuous variables; therefore, the optimized values will take the value of the “normal” factor level, the “test” factor level, or any value between the two. That is to say, they may take a value other than the ‘normal” or ‘test” discrete levels used during execution of the experimental design. Stated another way and for example, the recommended level for grip may be strong, weak, or somewhere between strong and weak.

While the invention uses the terms “normal” and “test” input factor levels, this is not to imply that one is, in practice, more normal than the other. The two terms are used only to differentiate one factor level from the other for each input factor.

Since other modifications and changes varied to fit particular operating requirements and environments will be apparent to those skilled in the art, the invention is not considered limited to the example chosen for purposes of disclosure, and covers all changes and modifications which do not constitute departures from the true spirit and scope of this invention.

Having thus described the invention, what is desired to be protected by Letters Patent is presented in the subsequently appended claims.