Title:
Center-of-gravity shafted golf putter and method of making same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf putter has a club head body coupled to a shaft such that one end of the shaft is substantially coincident with the center of gravity—in three axes—of the club head body. The shaft may be rigidly coupled to the shaft via a hosel. Further, the club head body may comprise at least two materials: one material (e.g., aluminum) for a front portion of the club head body, and another material (e.g., tungsten) for a back portion of the club head body.



Inventors:
Haines, Derek W. (Beaverton, OR, US)
Jones, David D. (Glendale, AZ, US)
Application Number:
11/206337
Publication Date:
02/22/2007
Filing Date:
08/17/2005
Assignee:
Karsten Manufacturing Corporation (Phoenix, AZ, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/340
International Classes:
A63B53/00; A63B53/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BLAU, STEPHEN LUTHER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KARSTEN MANUFACTURING CORPORATION (PHOENIX, AZ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A golf putter comprising: a club head including a body with a center of gravity, said body having a front face, a heel region and a toe region; a shaft having a terminus, wherein said shaft being coupled to said club head body so that said terminus is substantially coincident with said center of gravity of said club head body.

2. The golf putter of claim 1, wherein said shaft is rigidly coupled to said club head body via a hosel that extends outwardly from said club head body.

3. The golf putter of claim 1, wherein said club head body comprises a first material and a second material.

4. The golf putter of claim 3, wherein said club head body has a front portion and a back portion, and wherein said front portion comprises said first material, and said back portion comprises said second material.

5. The golf putter of claim 4, wherein said first material is less dense than said second material.

6. The golf putter of claim 5, wherein said first material is aluminum, and said second material is tungsten.

7. A method of making a golf putter comprising: forming a club head body; computing the center of gravity of said club head body; providing a shaft having a terminus, securing said shaft to said club head body so that said shaft terminus is substantially coincident with said center of gravity of said club head body.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein said forming step includes forming the club head body of at least two materials.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein said forming step further includes forming the club head body with a first portion made of one material and a second portion made of another material.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to golf equipment and, in particular, to a golf putter having its shaft terminating at the center of gravity of its club head.

The position of the putter club head with respect to the position and length of the shaft greatly affects the balance and “feel” of the putter. When the face of the club head is brought into contact with a golf ball, the kinematic behavior of the club head is to a large extent dependent upon the position of the center of gravity of the club head body with respect to the axis of the shaft. Prior art golf club heads have incorporated some form of balancing with respect to this center of gravity. U.S. Pat. No. 4,010,958, issued to Long, discloses a club head where the shaft axis is at or adjacent to the center of mass of the club head to reduce twisting of the club head along a single axis (i.e., a vertically oriented axis corresponding to an “upright” member configured to accept the shaft). Long does not disclose, however, the position of the endpoint of the shaft with respect to the center of gravity of the club head. That is, while some prior art club heads have been designed to optimize weight distribution and minimize twisting, none have been designed with a full appreciation of the role that center of gravity plays in all three club head dimensions.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a golf putter having a club head body coupled to a shaft such that one end of the shaft is substantially coincident with the center of gravity—in three axes—of the club head body. In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, the shaft is rigidly coupled to the club head body via a hosel. In accordance with another embodiment, the club head body comprises at least two materials: one material (e.g., aluminum) for the face and front region of the club head body, and another material (e.g., tungsten) for the back region of the club head body.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1A, 1B and 1C are side, front, and top views, respectively, of a golf putter according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the golf putter shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B and 1C; and

FIG. 3 is a top view of an alternative golf putter; and

FIG. 4 is a side view of a golf putter according to another embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a golf putter having a club head body coupled to a shaft such that one end of the shaft is substantially coincident with the center of gravity—in three axes—of the club head body.

FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 1C show side, front, and top views of a putter club head in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 2 depicts perspective view of the same club head. With reference to FIG. 2, a golf putter club head 100 includes a body 102 having a front face 112, a bottom surface or “sole” 114, a heel region 106, and a toe region 104. Body 102 is attached to a shaft 110 either directly (i.e., seated within a generally cylindrical bore formed in body 102), or via a suitably configured hosel 108 shown in FIG. 4 extending outwardly from body 102. Shaft 110 has a lower end 111 (or “terminus”) which is preferably positioned such that it is substantially coincident with the center of gravity 130 of body 102 in all axes, as shown in FIGS. 1A-1C. Therefore, the club head body 102 is “multi-balanced.”

In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, club head body 102 comprises a single material (e.g., aluminum, steel, titanium, etc.). In an alternate embodiment, body 102 comprises at least two materials. As shown in FIG. 3, body 102 may include a front portion 304 made of one material (e.g., aluminum), and a back portion 302 made of a second material (e.g., tungsten).

Referring again to FIG. 2, body 102 generally comprises any suitable metal, plastic, composite material, or combination thereof selected in accordance with various criteria as described in further detail below. In accordance with one embodiment, for example, body 102 comprises a metallic material having a relatively high density, e.g., titanium or a high-purity titanium alloy (e.g., commercial grade 2 titanium) having a density of approximately 3.0 g/cm3 to 7.0 g/cm3.

Depending upon the selected material or materials, body 102 may be fabricated using any suitable process now known or later developed, including a variety of conventional casting methods such as investment-casting, powdered-metal processing, and/or metal machining. In one embodiment, body 102 is formed via a suitable casting process and thereafter milled to finish the various exposed surfaces.

Body 102 is defined by any suitable club head shape depending upon any number of factors, including, for example, putter type, desired moment of inertia (e.g., the polar moment of inertia around an axis normal to the club head sole), desired center of gravity, desired aesthetic properties (e.g., visual cues provided by the club head's contours as viewed from above during play), and/or the desired weight, mass, and density. In this regard, it will be appreciated that the exemplary club head shapes depicted in FIGS. 1-3 are included for illustrative purposes only, and that the present invention is not so limited.

Furthermore, shaft 110 may interface with body 102 in any convenient manner. As shown in FIGS. 1A-1C, for example, shaft 110 may be simply inserted in a bore in body 102 such that terminus 111 is substantially coincident with center of gravity 130. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, shaft 110 is inserted in the hosel 108.





 
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