Title:
Golf club head having a thin-type cover plate structure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf club head includes a golf club head body and a cover plate mechanically connected thereto. The golf club head body provides with a striking plate and at least one assembling opening. The cover plate provides with a reinforcing outer edge and a relatively thin shell portion. The reinforcing outer edge is partially arranged on an outer periphery of the relatively thin shell portion of the cover plate. In assembling, the reinforcing outer edge of the cover plate securely connects with an inner periphery of the assembling opening of the golf club head body.



Inventors:
Lo, Lai-fa (Taoyuan City, TW)
Application Number:
11/138380
Publication Date:
11/30/2006
Filing Date:
05/27/2005
Assignee:
Fu Sheng Industrial Co., Ltd.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B53/00
View Patent Images:
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20080051229LACROSSE CONNECTOR SYSTEMFebruary, 2008Devoe et al.
20070219024Dribbling and ball control sports training system and methodSeptember, 2007Allegre



Primary Examiner:
PASSANITI, SEBASTIANO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Joe McKinney Muncy (Fairfax, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A golf club head having a thin-type cover plate structure, comprising: a golf club head body including a striking plate and at least one assembling opening; and a cover plate including a reinforcing outer edge and a relatively thin shell portion, said reinforcing outer edge delimiting a sectional or entire outer periphery of said relatively thin shell portion, and said reinforcing outer edge having a thickness greater than that of said relatively thin shell portion; wherein the thickness of said reinforcing outer edge being not greater than 2.0 mm and the thickness of said relatively thin shell portion being not greater than 1.0 mm; and wherein said reinforcing outer edge of the cover plate being received in the assembling hole of the golf club head body.

2. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 1, wherein the assembling opening of the golf club head body is selectively arranged on a crown portion, a sole portion, a skirt portion or a rear portion.

3. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 1, wherein the cover plate is selected from a group consisting of a crown plate, a sole plate, a side cover plate and a rear cover plate.

4. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 1, wherein the assembling opening of the golf club head body further provides with a stepped inner periphery to support the reinforcing outer edge of the cover plate.

5. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 4, wherein the stepped inner periphery of the assembling opening of the golf club head body has a width equal to, small or greater than that of the reinforcing outer edge of the cover plate.

6. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 4, wherein the stepped inner periphery of the assembling opening of the golf club head body further provides with an upraised portion to snap-connect with the reinforcing outer edge of the crown plate.

7. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 4, wherein the stepped inner periphery of the assembling opening of the golf club head body further provides with an annular groove; correspondingly, the reinforcing outer edge of the cover plate provides with an annular protrusion which serves to engage with the annular groove of the assembling opening.

8. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 1, wherein the cover plate further includes at least one reinforcing rib arranged on an inner surface of the relatively thin shell portion for reinforcement.

9. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 8, wherein the reinforcing rib of the cover plate connects with the reinforcing outer edge.

10. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 8, wherein a point of the cover plate so configured the reinforcing rib having a thickness equal to, smaller or greater than that of the reinforcing outer edge.

11. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 8, wherein a direction of the reinforcing rib being oriented in a line not substantially parallel to a surface of the striking plate of the golf club head body.

12. A golf club head having a thin-type cover plate structure, comprising: a golf club head body including a striking plate and at least one assembling opening, said assembling opening having a stepped inner periphery; and a cover plate including a reinforcing outer edge and a relatively thin shell portion, said reinforcing outer edge substantially abutting against said stepped inner periphery of the assembling opening of the golf club head body while the cover plate being received in the assembling hole of the golf club head body; wherein said reinforcing outer edge of the cover plate being corresponding to said striking plate of the golf club head body to bear a striking stress exerting from said striking plate while striking a golf ball; and wherein said reinforcing outer edge of the cover plate being securely connected with the stepped inner periphery of the assembling opening of the golf club head body for reinforcement by welding, brazing, adhesion, snap-connecting or some other suitable fastening means.

13. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 12, wherein the assembling opening of the golf club head body is selectively arranged on a crown portion, a sole portion, a skirt portion or a rear portion.

14. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 12, wherein the cover plate is selected from a group consisting of a crown plate, a sole plate, a side cover plate and a rear cover plate.

15. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 12, wherein the stepped inner periphery of the assembling opening of the golf club head body has a width equal to, small or greater than that of the reinforcing outer edge of the cover plate.

16. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 12, wherein the stepped inner periphery of the assembling opening of the golf club head body further provides with an upraised portion to snap-connect with the reinforcing outer edge of the crown plate.

17. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 12, wherein the stepped inner periphery of the assembling opening of the golf club head body further provides with an annular groove; correspondingly, the reinforcing outer edge of the cover plate provides with an annular protrusion which serves to engage with the annular groove of the assembling opening.

18. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 12, wherein the cover plate further includes at least one reinforcing rib arranged on an inner surface of the relatively thin shell portion for reinforcement.

19. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 12, wherein the reinforcing rib of the cover plate connects with the reinforcing outer edge.

20. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 12, wherein a point of the cover plate so configured the reinforcing rib having a thickness equal to, smaller or greater than that of the reinforcing outer edge.

21. The golf club head having the thin-type cover plate structure as defined in claim 12, wherein a direction of the reinforcing rib being oriented in a line not substantially parallel to a surface of the striking plate of the golf club head body.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a golf club head having a thin-type cover plate structure. Particularly, the present invention relates to the cover plate providing with a reinforcing outer periphery thereof to connect with a golf club head body. More particularly, the present invention relates to the reinforcing outer edge of the cover plate connecting with an assembling opening of the golf club head body so as to intensify an assembled relationship and reliability between the cover plate and the golf club head body.

2. Description of the Related Art

One thin-type golf club head structure is described in Taiwanese Patent No. M256,210, entitled “golf club head body having a thin-type crown plate.” TWN No. M256,210 discloses a golf club head body and a thin-type crown plate mechanically connected thereto. The golf club head body includes a striking plate separately or integrally formed thereon. The golf club head body further includes an assembling opening at its crown portion. In assembling, the thin-type crown plate can be received and mounted in the assembling opening by welding or brazing. The thin-type crown plate has a thickness lesser than 0.7 mm and the hardness greater than HRC 35.

One such thin-type golf club head structure is also described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,429,879, entitled “Sole Plate Internal Suspension in Metal Shells to Form Metal Woods,” which discloses a thin-type club head body and a thin-type sole plate mechanically connected thereto. The thin-type club head body includes a striking plate formed at its front side. The thin-type club head body further includes an assembling opening at its sole portion. In assembling, the thin-type sole plate can be received and mounted in the assembling opening.

Typically, ferrous or nonferrous metal with high hardness is widely selected and used to manufacture a cover plate such as a crown or sole plate in the golf club head industry. A thickness of the cover plate may be further reduced in aiding elastic deformation of the cover plate or maximizing dimensions of the golf club head if the structural strength is insured. A number of design limitations exist for the thin-type cover plate. For example, as the thickness of the cover plate is reduced, a connecting outer periphery of the cover plate also becomes relatively thinner and weaker. This is particularly insufficient to stiffen the connecting outer periphery of the thin-type cover plate. In welding or brazing operation, cracks disadvantageously occur in connection areas of the thin connecting outer periphery of the cover plate brazing or welding to an inner periphery of an assembling opening of the golf club head body. The thin-type cover plate so connected may be fallen off from the assembling opening of the golf club head body after long-term use. Such practice may, however, cause degradation of quality and a shortened useful life of the golf club head.

Hence, there is a need for modifying and improving the entire structure of the thin-type cover plate for connecting with the golf club head body. To this end, reinforcing the connecting outer periphery of the cover plate alleviates such undesired results.

The present invention intends to provide a golf club head having a thin-type cover plate structure, wherein a cover plate providing with a reinforcing outer edge delimiting a relatively thin shell portion. The reinforcing outer edge of the cover plate is connected with an assembling opening of a golf club head body in such a way to mitigate and overcome the above problem.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary objective of this invention is to provide a golf club head having a thin-type cover plate structure, wherein a cover plate providing with a reinforcing outer edge connecting with an assembling opening of a golf club head body. Accordingly, the reinforcing outer edge of the thin-type cover plate in accordance with the present invention can stiffen the entire structure of the golf club head and increase reliability of an assembled relationship of the golf club head.

The secondary objective of this invention is to provide the golf club head having a thin-type cover plate structure, wherein the cover plate providing with a reinforcing outer edge and at least one reinforcing rib. Accordingly, the reinforcing outer edge and reinforcing rib in accordance with the present invention can further stiffen the entire structure of the cover plate.

The golf club head in accordance with an aspect of the present invention includes a golf club head body and a cover plate mechanically connected thereto. The golf club head body provides with a striking plate and at least one assembling opening. The cover plate provides with a reinforcing outer edge and a relatively thin shell portion. The reinforcing outer edge is partially arranged on an outer periphery of the relatively thin shell portion of the cover plate. In assembling, the reinforcing outer edge of the cover plate securely connects with an inner periphery of the assembling opening of the golf club head body.

In a separate aspect of the present invention is that the cover plate is selected from a crown or sole plate.

In a further separate aspect of the present invention is that the reinforcing outer edge is partially arranged on an outer peripheral section of the relatively thin shell portion of the cover plate adjacent to a striking plate of the golf club head body.

In a yet further separate aspect of the present invention is that the golf club head body includes a stepped inner periphery of the assembling opening to connect with the reinforcing outer edge of the cover plate.

In a yet further separate aspect of the present invention is that the assembling opening of the golf club head body includes a stepped inner periphery and an upraised portion thereof to connect with the reinforcing outer edge of the cover plate.

In a yet further separate aspect of the present invention is that the assembling opening of the golf club head body includes a stepped inner periphery and an engaging groove thereof to snap-connect with an engaging protrusion of the reinforcing outer edge of the cover plate.

In a yet further separate aspect of the present invention is that the cover plate includes a plurality of reinforcing ribs arranged on the relatively thin shell portion.

In a yet further separate aspect of the present invention is that the reinforcing rib is selected from a group consisting of a curve rib, a straight rib and a V-shaped rib.

In a yet further separate aspect of the present invention is that the reinforcing rib of the cover plate is running from a toe end to a heel end.

In a yet further separate aspect of the present invention is that the reinforcing rib of the cover plate is running from a front end to a rear end.

Further scope of the applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description given hereinafter. However, it should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating preferred embodiments of the invention, are given by way of illustration only, since various will become apparent to those skilled in the art from this detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description given hereinbelow and the accompanying drawings which are given by way of illustration only, and thus are not limitative of the present invention, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a partially cutaway, exploded perspective view of a golf club head having a thin-type crown plate structure in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded, partially enlarged cross-sectional view of the golf club head having the thin-type crown plate structure in accordance with the first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an assembled, partially enlarged cross-sectional view of the golf club head having the thin-type crown plate structure in accordance with the first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a partially cutaway, exploded perspective view of the golf club head having the thin-type crown plate structure in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an exploded, partially enlarged cross-sectional view of the golf club head having the thin-type crown plate structure in accordance with the second embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is an assembled, partially enlarged cross-sectional view of the golf club head having the thin-type crown plate structure in accordance with the second embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a partially cutaway, exploded perspective view of the golf club head in modifying the thin-type crown plate structure in accordance with a third embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is another partially cutaway, exploded perspective view of the golf club head in modifying the thin-type crown plate structure in accordance with the third embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is another partially cutaway, exploded perspective view of the golf club head in modifying the thin-type crown plate structure in accordance with the third embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a partially cutaway, exploded perspective view of the golf club head having the thin-type sole plate structure in accordance with a fourth embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is an exploded, partially enlarged cross-sectional view of the golf club head having the thin-type sole plate structure in accordance with the fourth embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 12 is an assembled, partially enlarged cross-sectional view of the golf club head having the thin-type sole plate structure in accordance with the fourth embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring initially to FIG. 1, a golf club head generally includes a golf club head body member designated numeral 1 and a crown plate member (i.e. cover plate) designated numeral 2. The golf club head can be selected from a group consisting of a wood-type club head, an iron-type club head and a putter-type club head. In the following embodiments, the thin-type cover plate structure in accordance with the present invention shall be only applied to the wood-type club heads. It will be understood that the cover plate structure applied to the iron-type or putter-type club head in accordance with the present invention is omitted.

Referring again to FIGS. 1 and 2, the construction of the golf club head body 1 shall be described in detail. The golf club head body 1 is a monolithic body, and constructed from materials selected from a group consisting of metal, nonmetal and alloy. In particular, the golf club head body 1 so constructed from nonmetal can be formed either from similar or dissimilar materials. The golf club head body 1 includes a striking plate 11 and a hosel 12. Both of the striking plate 11 and the hosel 12 has a conventional configuration and is integrally formed on the golf club head body 1 or connected to the golf club head body 1 by welding, brazing, snap-connecting, screw-connecting, adhesion or some other fastening means. The golf club head body 1 further provides with an assembling opening 13 on a crown portion in place. In the illustrated first embodiment, the assembling opening 13 is integratedly formed on a crown portion of the golf club head body 1. The assembling opening 13 of the golf club head body 1 further includes a stepped inner periphery 131 continuously or discontinuously formed therein. The assembling opening 13 of the golf club head body 1 serves to receive the crown plate 2 which will be further described more fully below.

Still referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the construction of the crown plate 2 shall be described in detail. In the first embodiment, the crown plate 2 is dimensioned to receive in the assembling opening 13 of the golf club head body 1. The crown plate 2 may be constructed from materials selected from a group consisting of metal, nonmetal and alloy. The cover plate 2 includes a relatively thin shell portion 21 and a relatively thick reinforcing outer edge 22. The reinforcing outer edge 22 is located on an inner surface of the crown plate 2. Surrounding the relatively thin shell portion 21 is the reinforcing outer edge 22. The relatively thin shell portion 21 has a thickness smaller than that of the reinforcing outer edge 22. The thickness of the reinforcing outer edge 22 is preferably not greater than 2.0 mm, and more preferably not greater than 1.0 mm. The thickness of the relatively thin shell portion 21 is preferably not greater than 1.0 mm, and more preferably not greater than 0.7 mm. Preferably, the width of the reinforcing outer edge 22 of the crown plate 2 is substantially equal to that of the stepped inner periphery 131 of the assembling opening 13 of the golf club head body 1.

Turning now to FIGS. 2 and 3, the assembling operation of the golf club head body 1 and the crown plate 2 shall be described in detail. In assembling, the crown plate 2 is received in the assembling opening 13 of the golf club head body 1 by the reinforcing outer edge 22 engaging with the stepped inner periphery 131 of the assembling opening 13. To reinforce the stepped inner periphery 131 of the assembling opening 13 and the relatively thin shell -portion 21 of the crown plate 2, the reinforcing outer edge 22 of the crown plate 2 engages with the stepped inner periphery 131 of the assembling opening 13 of the golf club head body 1. The crown plate 2 can selectively connect with the assembling opening 13 of the golf club head body 1 by tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, laser welding, plasma welding, electron beam welding, brazing, adhesion, snap-connecting or some other suitable fastening means. When the reinforcing outer edge 22 is so configured to stiffen the structure of the crown plate 2, it may alleviate causing such a crack in the welding process or after long-term use. This results in intensifying an assembled relationship of the golf club head body 1 and the crown plate 2. Furthermore, when the reinforcing outer edge 22 is so configured to stiffen the structure of the crown plate 2, it permits reducing the thickness of the relatively thin shell portion 21 as thin as possible but the relatively thin shell portion 21 is relatively rigid and strong to withstand normal usage in striking a golf ball. Advantageously, the overall thickness of the crown plate 2 may be further reduced in aiding elastic deformation of the crown plate 2 or maximizing entire dimensions of the golf club, head 1 if forming the reinforcing outer edge 22 insures the structural strength of the golf club head body 1 and the crown plate 2 at the same time.

Turning now to FIGS. 4 through 6, reference numerals of the second embodiment of the present invention have applied the identical numerals of the first embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1. The construction of the golf club head structure in accordance with the second embodiment of the present invention has similar configuration and same function as that of the golf club head structure of the first embodiment and detailed descriptions may be omitted.

Still referring to FIGS. 4 through 6, in comparison with the first embodiment, the reinforcing outer edge 22 of the crown plate 2 of the second embodiment is partially arranged on an outer peripheral section of the relatively thin shell portion 21 of the cover plate 2 adjacent to the striking plate 11 of the golf club head body 1. As a result, there is only a section of the crown plate 2 having the reinforcing outer edge 22 to directly bear a striking stress exerting from the golf club head body 1. In an alternative embodiment, the reinforcing outer edge 22 of the crown plate 2 can be extended to other outer peripheral section of the relatively thin shell portion 21 of the cover plate 2. This results in reinforcing and simplifying the entire structure of the crown plate 2. Furthermore, the stepped inner periphery 131 of the assembling opening 13 of the golf club head body I includes an upraised portion 132 to snap-connect with the reinforcing outer edge 22 of the crown plate 2. In initially assembling, the reinforcing outer edge 22 of the crown plate 2 may be fittingly engaged with the upraised portion 132 of the assembling opening 13 of the golf club head body 1. This further results in increasing an assembling reliability of the golf club head body 1 and the crown plate 2.

Turning now to FIGS. 7 through 9, reference numerals of the third embodiment of the present invention have applied the identical numerals of the first embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1. The construction of the golf club head structure in accordance with the third embodiment of the present invention has similar configuration and same function as that of the golf club head structure of the first embodiment and detailed descriptions may be omitted.

Referring again to FIGS. 7 through 9, in comparison with the first embodiment, the crown plate 2 of the third embodiment includes a plurality of reinforcing ribs 23 arranged on the inner surface of the relatively thin shell portion 21 in addition to the reinforcing outer edge 22. The reinforcing ribs 23 serve to reinforce the relatively thin shell portion 21 of the crown plate 1 even though they may complicate the entire structure of the crown plate 2. A point of the cover plate 2 so configured the reinforcing rib 23 has a thickness which can be adjusted to be equal to, smaller or greater than that of the reinforcing outer edge 22 but must be greater than that of the relatively thin shell portion 21. The reinforcing outer edge 22 of the crown plate 2 has a width smaller than that of the stepped inner periphery 131 of the assembling opening 13. Alternatively, the reinforcing outer edge 22 of the crown plate 2 has a width greater than that of the stepped inner periphery 131 of the assembling opening 13.

The configuration of the reinforcing ribs 23 can be designed for changing in various shapes. Preferably, the reinforcing ribs 23 connects with the reinforcing outer edge 22 of the cover plate 2. As best shown in FIG. 7, the reinforcing ribs 23 are formed from a set of curve ribs and substantially arranged in parallel each other. Each of the curve reinforcing ribs 23 runs from a toe end to a heel end. In another embodiment, as best shown in FIG. 8, the reinforcing ribs 23 are formed from a set of straight ribs and substantially arranged in parallel each other. Each of the straight reinforcing ribs 23 runs from a front end to a rear end. In yet another embodiment, as best shown in FIG. 9, the reinforcing ribs 23 are formed from a set of V-shaped ribs and substantially arranged in parallel each other. Each of the V-shaped reinforcing ribs 23 runs from a toe end to a heel end. Preferably, directions of the reinforcing ribs 23 are oriented in a line not substantially parallel to a surface of the striking plate 11. As such, on the one hand the reinforcing ribs 23 serve to reinforce the relatively thin shell portion 21 of the crown plate 2, and on the other hand they cannot affect a high degree of elastic deformation in the relatively thin shell portion 21 of the crown plate 2 while striking a golf ball (not shown).

Turning now to FIGS. 10 through 12, reference numerals of the fourth embodiment of the present invention have applied the identical numerals of the first through third embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 1, 4 and 7-9. The construction of the golf club head structure in accordance with the fourth embodiment of the present invention has similar configuration and same function as that of the golf club head structure of the first embodiment and detailed descriptions may be omitted.

Referring again to FIGS. 10 through 12, in comparison with the first through third embodiments, the golf club head body 1 of the fourth embodiment further provides with an assembling opening 13′ on a sole portion in place. The assembling opening 13′ of the golf club head body 1 further includes a stepped inner periphery 131′. The assembling opening 13′ of the golf club head body 1 serves to receive the sole plate (i.e. cover plate) 2′. As has been discussed in the first through third embodiments, the sole plate 2′ in accordance with the fourth embodiment has the same configuration and function, and, for the sake of clarity, detailed descriptions of the sole plate 2′ may be omitted.

In the fourth embodiment, the stepped inner periphery 131′ of the assembling opening 13′ of the golf club head body 1 further provides with an annular groove 132′. Correspondingly, the reinforcing outer edge 22′ of the sole plate 2′ provides with an annular protrusion 221′ which serves to engage with the annular groove 132′ of the assembling opening 13′. In initially assembling, the annular protrusion 221′ of the reinforcing outer edge 22′ of the sole plate 2′ is engaged in the annular groove 132′ of the assembling opening 13′ of the golf club head body 1 so as to increase assembled reliability therebetween. Subsequently, the sole plate 2′ can selectively connect with the assembling opening 13′ of the golf club head body 1 by tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, laser welding, plasma welding, electron beam welding, brazing, adhesion, snap-connecting or some other suitable fastening means.

In an alternative embodiment, it will be understood that the assembling hole of the golf club head body can be modified and changed in positions such as a skirt portion or a rear portion to receive various types of the cover plates each having the reinforcing outer edge. Correspondingly, the cover plate can be selected from a group consisting of a side cover plate and a rear cover plate. This results in an increase of assembled reliability between the golf club head body and the cover plate due to the reinforcing outer edge of the cover plate connected with the stepped inner periphery of the assembling opening of the golf club head body.

As has been discussed above, due to the relatively thin outer periphery of the thin-type cover plate, assembled relationship of the conventional golf club head structure may be weakened and assembled reliability of the conventional golf club head structure cannot be insured. Conversely, the reinforcing outer edge 22 of the cover plate 2, 2′ in accordance with the present invention, as shown in FIGS. 1, 4, 7 and 10, can aid in stiffening the assembled structure of the golf club head body 1 and the cover plate 2. Consequently, the golf club head body 1 and the cover plate 2 can perform a high degree of flexibility in elastic deformation while striking a golf ball (not shown).

Although the invention has been described in detail with reference to its presently preferred embodiment, it will be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that various modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention, as set forth in the appended claims.