Title:
An Aligning Mark for a Golf Ball and Method of Use Thereof
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf ball with an aligning mark is provided with at least two lines, the at least two lines being in an orthogonal relationship. The aligning mark may also have a third line, the three lines creating a generally triangular shape. A method of using the aligning mark to line up a golf ball along an intended path.



Inventors:
Chute, Matthew D. (St. Petersburg, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/459399
Publication Date:
03/29/2007
Filing Date:
07/24/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B43/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LEGESSE, NINI F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Michael L. Leetzow, P.A. (Nokomis, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of lining up a golf ball along an intended path comprising: providing a golf ball having a first line and a second line, the first line being a circumferential line and the first and second lines being orthogonal to one another; aligning the second line with a horizontal reference line; orienting the golf ball with the first line in a vertical orientation while aligning the second line with the horizontal reference line; determining the intended path for the golf ball while the first and second lines are oriented; and positioning the golf ball on a hitting surface with the first line along the intended path and the second line orthogonal thereto, both lines being visible to a golfer when positioned on the hitting surface.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the golf ball has a third line, the third line being a circumferential line and extending from a distal end of the first line to the second line, the third line intersecting the second line approximately midway between one end of the second line and an intersection point of the first and second lines, thereby creating a generally triangular shape.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the first and second lines appear straight to a golfer when the second line on the golf ball is oriented along the horizontal reference line.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the first line and the second line each have a predetermined length.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the predetermined length of the first and second lines are different.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the predetermined length of the first line is about the same as the radius of the golf ball and the predetermined length of the second line is about twice the radius of the golf ball.

7. An aligning mark on a golf ball comprising: a first line, the first line being a circumferential line and being of a predetermined length extending between a first end and a second end; a second line having a predetermined length, the second line being orthogonal to the first line and disposed on the golf ball such that the first end of the first line is adjacent to the second line; and a third line, the third line being a circumferential line and extending from a point adjacent second end of the first line to a point adjacent the second line, thereby creating a generally triangular shape.

8. The aligning mark of claim 7, wherein the third line intersects the second line at a point from one end of the second line that is equal to about one fourth the predetermined length of the second line.

9. An aligning mark on a golf ball comprising: a first line, the first line of a predetermined length between a first end and a second end; a second line of a predetermined length, the second line being orthogonal to the first line and disposed on the golf ball such that the first end of the first line is adjacent to the second line; and a third line, the third line from a point adjacent the second end of the first line to a point adjacent the second line, thereby creating a generally triangular shape.

10. The aligning mark on a golf ball according to claim 9, wherein at least one of the first and third lines are circumferential lines.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to an aligning mark on a golf ball to assist a golfer in determining an alignment path for the golf ball and a method of using an aligning mark on a golf ball to set up for striking the golf ball.

2. Technical Background

The golf ball is a slowly evolving object because regulatory oversight has evolved as well. It is now possible to build a ball that goes too far, or too straight, or one that flies at the right height. The two golf regulatory bodies, USGA and the Royal and Ancient, have kept pace with these developments and have reduced the variations from one ball to another. Most golf balls perform in a very similar fashion to the others. The present invention is more about aligning marks on the ball and how to use those marks to play better, rather than the composition or structure of the golf ball.

A consumer's golf ball choice is typically driven by previous actual experience with a particular golf ball or a perceived advantage presented by advertising for the golf ball. Few golfers can really appreciate differences in golf balls because any differences in feel or movement of the golf ball are usually subtle. Even fewer golfers have a golf game capable of capitalizing on any playability advantage because the golf game requires a large time commitment to develop the feel and technique that takes advantage of many performance characteristics.

Playing golf well requires the master of a number of interrelated mental and physical skills. The physics and geometry of a golf shot are known and can be used to a golfer's advantage, but they are not typically understood by most golfers. In fact, most golf mistakes are made before the ball is struck. Such errors, which include errors in alignment, compound themselves when it comes time to initiate a swing or putting stroke. The present invention allows golfers to directly address and correct these errors by offering a visual system to alleviate alignment problems by increasing a golfer's understanding of the physics and geometry of impact, target direction, initial ball flight and the proper club head path through the impact interval. It also is a tool that can be used to improve reading skills by assisting the player in finding a horizontal and vertical reference point in relation to the break of the green.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

To achieve these and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the invention as embodied and broadly described herein, the invention is directed in one aspect to a method of lining up a golf ball along an intended path that includes providing a golf ball having a first line and a second line, the first line being a circumferential line and the first and second lines being orthogonal to one another, aligning the second line with a horizontal reference line, orienting the golf ball with the first line in a vertical orientation while aligning the second line with the horizontal reference line, determining the intended path for the golf ball while the first and second lines are oriented, and positioning the golf ball on a hitting surface with the first line along the intended path and the second line perpendicular thereto, both lines being visible to a golfer when positioned on the hitting surface.

In another aspect, an aligning mark on a golf ball is disclosed that includes a first line, the first line being a circumferential line and being of a predetermined length extending between a first end and a second end, a second line having a predetermined length, the second line being orthogonal to the first line and disposed on the golf ball such that the first end of the first line is adjacent to the second line, and a third line, the third line being a circumferential line and extending from a point adjacent second end of the first line to a point adjacent the second line, thereby creating a generally triangular shape.

In yet another aspect, disclosed herein is an aligning mark on a golf ball that includes a first line, the first line of a predetermined length between a first end and a second end, a second line of a predetermined length, the second line being orthogonal to the first line and disposed on the golf ball such that the first end of the first line is adjacent to the second line, and a third line, the third line from a point adjacent the second end of the first line to a point adjacent the second line, thereby creating a generally triangular shape.

Additional features and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the detailed description which follows, and in part, will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art from that description or recognized by practicing the invention as described herein, including the detailed description which follows, the claims, as well as the appended drawings.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description of the present embodiments of the invention, and are intended to provide an overview or framework for understanding the nature and character of the invention as it is claimed. The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the invention, and are incorporated into and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate various embodiments of the invention, and together with the description serve to explain the principles and operations of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a golf ball with an aligning mark according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front view of a golf ball with an aligning mark according to a second embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a front view of a golf ball with an aligning mark according to a third embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a front view of a golf ball with an aligning mark according to a fourth embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a flow chart illustrating one method of lining up a golf ball along an intended path according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 depicts a golf ball with one portion of the aligning mark aligned with a horizontal reference line;

FIG. 7 depicts a golf ball with one portion of the aligning mark oriented in a vertical orientation while another portion of the aligning mark on golf ball is aligned with the horizontal reference line;

FIG. 8 depicts a golf ball positioned on a hitting surface with one portion of the aligning mark aligned along the intended flight path in a correct orientation; and

FIG. 9 depicts a golf ball incorrectly positioned on a hitting surface.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Reference will now be made in detail to the present preferred embodiment(s) of the invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Whenever possible, the same reference numerals will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts. One embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 1 and is designated generally throughout by the reference numeral 10.

FIG. 1 illustrates one preferred embodiment of a golf ball 10, as disclosed herein, with an aligning mark 12. The aligning mark 12 preferably has three separate lines—a first line 14, a second line 16, and a third line 18. The first line 14 is preferably a circumferential line that has a first end 14a, a second end 14b, and a length L1 that is about the same as the radius of the ball. In a preferred embodiment, where a golf ball has a radius of 0.84 inches, the first line 14 is also preferably 0.84 inches in length. It should be noted that the lengths referred to herein are the actual lengths of the lines on the surface of the ball. However, the first line 14 may be shorter or longer, as discussed below. The first line 14 is a circumferential line, meaning that the line would cause the golf ball to be split into two equal halves if cut along that line.

The second line 16 has a first end 16a, a second end 16b, and a length L2 that is preferably twice the radius of the golf ball 10, i.e., approximately 1.84 inches. Second line 16 is preferably disposed on the golf ball 10 orthogonal to the first line 14 and, in this embodiment, such that the first end 14a of first line 14 is adjacent to and touches second line 16 at point P. The point P is preferably disposed at the midpoint of second line 16.

The third line 18 has a first end 18a, a second end 18b, and has a length L3. The third line 18 is also a circumferential line and preferably extends between first end 18a, which is located adjacent the second end 14b of first line 14, and second end 18b, which is adjacent and in contact with second line 16 about midway between point P and the second end 16b of second line 16.

A second embodiment of a golf ball 10′ according to the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 2. The golf ball 10′ has an aligning mark 12′ that is similar to golf ball 10, except that the third line 18′ extends from the second end 14b from first line 14 toward second line 16 on the opposite side of first line 14. As illustrated in FIG. 2, first line 14 has a first end 14a and a second end 14b, and second line 16 has a first end 16a and a second end 16b. The third line 18′ has a first end 18a′ and a second end 18b′. The first end 18a′ extends from the second end 14b of first line 14 toward the second line 16 and ends adjacent to and in contact with the second line 16 between point P and the first end 16a of second line 16. In each of the first two embodiments of the present invention, the three lines 14,16,18 (and 14,16,18′) create a generally triangular shape on the golf ball 10.

It should be noted that the golf ball 10 is preferably for use by a left-handed golfer while the golf ball 10′ is preferably for use by a right-handed golfer, as will be explained in detail below.

Another embodiment of a golf ball 30 with an aligning mark 32 is illustrated in FIG. 3 according to the present invention. The aligning mark 32 has a first line 34, a second line 36, and a third line 38. The first line 34 is preferably a circumferential line that has a first end 34a, a second end 34b, and a length L4 that is about the same as the diameter of the ball. In a preferred embodiment, where a golf ball has a radius of 0.84″, the first line 34 is also preferably about 0.84″ in length, but is slightly shorter so that it does not touch the second line 36 and/or line 38 as described below in more detail.

The second line 36 has a first end 36a, a second end 36b, and a length L2 that is preferably about twice the radius of the golf ball 10, i.e., approximately 1.84 inches. While the length L2 of the second line 36 is preferably the same as the length of L2 in the first two embodiments (10,10′), it need not be. Second line 36 may be either longer or shorter as long as it provides a visual reference as described in more detail below. Second line 36 is preferably disposed on the golf ball 30 orthogonal to the first line 34 and, in this embodiment, such that the first end 34a of first line 34 is adjacent to but preferably does not touch second line 36. However, if first line 34 were to be extended toward second line 36, it would intersect the second line 36 at point P. The point P is preferably the midpoint of second line 36.

The third line 38 has a first end 38a, a second end 38b, and has a length L5, which is preferably longer than L4 and shorter than L2. The third line 38 is also a circumferential line and preferably extends between first end 38a, adjacent to but preferably not connected to the second end 34b of first line 34, and second end 38b, which is also adjacent to but not connected to the second line 36. However, if the third line 38 were to be extended, it would intersect the second line 36 about midway between point P and the second end 36b of second line 36.

Another embodiment of a golf ball 30′ with an aligning mark 32′ according to the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 4. The golf ball 30′ with an aligning mark 32′ is similar to golf ball 30, except that the third line 38′ extends from a point adjacent the second end 34b of first line 34 toward second line 36 on the opposite side of first line 34 from that on golf ball 30. As illustrated in FIG. 4, first line 34 has a first end 34a and a second end 34b, and second line 36 has a first end 36a and a second end 36b. The third line 38′ has a first end 38a′ and a second end 38b′. The third line 38 extends from first end 38a′ at a point adjacent, but preferably not in contact with, the second end 34b of first line 34, toward the second line 36 to a second end 38b′, but does not contact the second line 36. If line 38′ were to be extended, it would intersect second line 36 about midway between point P and the first end 36a of second line 36. The three lines 34,36,38 (and 34,36,38′) create a generally triangular shape on the golf ball 30.

The use of one of the golf balls (10,10′,30,30′) will now be described in conjunction with FIGS. 5-9. As illustrated in FIG. 5, in a first step S100, a ball is provided having at least a first and second line, the first line being orthogonal to the second line, as illustrated in first four embodiments. The player or golfer then aligns, at step S102, the second line (16,36) with a horizontal reference line while the ball is positioned at about eye level. As illustrated in FIG. 6, the horizontal reference line may be any line that is horizontal to the surface of the earth, such as the horizon 60. Other horizontal reference lines 60 may also be available, e.g., the surface of a lake, telephone lines, the roof line of a golf cart, etc. At this point, the first line (14,3434′) may or may not be aligned in a vertical direction. However, the second line (16,36) must be oriented such that it is straight relative to the horizontal reference line 60. If the ball is rotated toward or away from the player, then the second line (16,36) will not appear to be straight to the player, but rather will appear to be curved. The player then would rotate the ball such that the second line (16,36) is straight and aligned with the horizontal reference line 60 at eye level. See FIG. 6.

At step S104, the player then ensures that the first line (14,34) is also vertically straight to the player. If the ball is rotated such that the first line (14,34) is curved (as illustrated in FIG. 6), then the player should rotate the ball so that the first line is straight to the player (see FIG. 7).

Using the ball so oriented, then at step S106, the player determines the best path from the position where the ball will be played toward an intended target. In some instances, the intended path may be directly at a flag or pin (on a par 3 hole, for example) or toward an intermediate spot (a position in the fairway or short of a hazard) on a par 4 or par 5 hole. The method may also be used on a putting green as well, with the hole or a spot on the green chosen as one end of the intended path.

Then at step S106, and as depicted in FIG. 8, the player will position the ball (10,10′,30,30′) on a hitting surface 80, typically the ground, a tee, or a putting surface. The first line (14,34) is then oriented along the intended path line 82. The player then typically addresses the ball parallel to the intended path line 82, and with a golf club 84 perpendicular to the intended path line 82 but parallel to the second line (16,36), as illustrated in FIG. 8. This alignment at address allows the player to visualize the path of the golf ball, and to properly address the ball prior to making contact. If the ball is not proper aligned, as illustrated in FIG. 9, then the lines will not appear straight (e.g. lines 14,34), and will indicate that the player needs to realign the golf ball prior to address.

The aligning mark (12′, for example) may also be used by a player to assist with the swing plane and contact point on the golf ball. Golf swing theory dictates that the head of the golf club 84 make contact on the inside aft quadrant 86 of the golf ball 10′ in order for the golf ball 10′ to travel on the intended path line 82. See FIG. 8. The inside aft quadrant 86 of the golf ball illustrated in FIG. 8 is that portion of the golf ball 10′ between the golf club head 84 and the line 16 and also between the intended path line 82 (and therefore line 14) and the line 18′ extended. The optimal path of the club head 84 is thus inside the intended path line 82, where it makes contact with the golf ball 10′ on the inside aft quadrant 86. However, exactly where the club head 84 makes contact with the aft quadrant 86 of golf ball 10′ depends on a number of factors, including the player, the plane of the player's swing (upright versus flat), the size of the swing arc among others. Generally, the optimal path will be along a straight line, such as straight line 88 that originates at the second end 14b of line 14 (the vertex of the triangular alignment mark 12′) and intersects the second line 16. As will be recognized, there are an infinite number of such lines that originate at the second end 14b and intersect second line 16 and are between lines 14 and 18′. The optimal path for any particular player will typically lie between lines 14 and 18′, and will be based on that player's own set up and swing. However, using the two lines, and line 18′ in particular, a golfer will be able to visualize the correct path using line 18′ as a reference.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made to the present invention without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Thus it is intended that the present invention cover the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.