Title:
Golf putter enhancement device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An easily attached, universal performance enhancement device for existing golf putters. The invention comprises an “L” shaped body, made of a rigid, lightweight material. The device is designed to mount in front of and on top of an existing putter by clamping a clubhead between the face of the device and a set screw mounted on the underside of the device. The face of the device becomes the new striking surface, and provides improved tactile feedback and control of the golf ball. The top of the device provides alignment aids and also moves the center of gravity back away from the face and upwards from the sole of the existing putter. The threaded end near the back end of the device is used to house various weights or attachments which alter the overall weight, swing weight, and position of the center of gravity of the existing golf putter.



Inventors:
Kouldus, Aristo (Salinas, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/706093
Publication Date:
08/16/2007
Filing Date:
02/12/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LEGESSE, NINI F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Aristo Kouldus (Salinas, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A golf club enhancement device which attaches to the head of a golf club providing a nominally flat front face piece for a ball striking surface, and an attaching mechanism, and Which provides at least one weighting element attached to said enhancement device.

2. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 1, where the attaching mechanism comprises a threaded clamping bolt which clamps a golf club head between said face piece and said threaded clamping bolt.

3. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 1, Where said device comprises a raised alignment rib which runs from front to back of the device, where said alignment rib runs perpendicular to the front face piece of the device.

4. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 1, Where said device comprises a plurality of half circles which runs from front to back of the top of the device.

5. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 1, Where said device comprises at least one weighting element which attaches to the back of said device by contact with a threaded element.

6. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 1, Where said device comprises at least one weighting element which is wing shaped, and which removably attaches to the back of said device.

7. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 6, Where said device comprises at least one weighting element which is wing shaped, and which removably attaches to the back of said device by contact with a threaded element.

8. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 6, Where said device comprises at least one weighting element which is wing shaped, with a pair of wings extending outward from the horizontal center of the winged weight, and which removably attaches to the back of said device, and which further comprises weighted elements which attach to the outer ends of said wings.

9. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 1, where the attaching mechanism comprises a threaded clamping bolt which clamps a golf club head between said face piece and said threaded clamping bolt, and which further comprises at least one weighting element which attaches to the back of said device by contact with a threaded element.

10. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 9, where the attaching mechanism comprises a threaded clamping bolt which clamps a golf club head between said face piece and said threaded clamping bolt, and which further comprises at least one weighting element which attaches to the back of said device by contact with a threaded element, where at least one said weighting element is wing shaped, and which removably attaches to the back of said device.

11. A golf club enhancement device, Where said club enhancement device comprises an L shaped device, and Where said device removably attaches to a golf club head.

12. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 11, where the attaching mechanism comprises a threaded clamping bolt which clamps a golf club head between said face piece and said threaded clamping bolt.

13. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 11, Where said device comprises a raised alignment rib which runs from front to back of the device, where said alignment rib runs perpendicular to the front face piece of the device.

14. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 11, Where said device comprises a plurality of half circles which runs from front to back of the top of the device.

15. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 11, Where said device comprises at least one weighting element which attaches to the back of said device by contact with a threaded element.

16. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 11, Where said device comprises at least one weighting element which is wing shaped, and which removably attaches to the back of said device.

17. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 16, Where said device comprises at least one weighting element which is wing shaped, and which removably attaches to the back of said device by contact with a threaded element.

18. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 16, Where said device comprises at least one weighting element which is wing shaped, with a pair of wings extending outward from the horizontal center of the winged weight, and which removably attaches to the back of said device, and which further comprises weighted elements which attach to the outer ends of said wings.

19. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 11, where the attaching mechanism comprises a threaded clamping bolt which clamps a golf club head between said face piece and said threaded clamping bolt, and which further comprises at least one weighting element which attaches to the back of said device by contact with a threaded element.

20. A golf club enhancement device as in claim 9, where the attaching mechanism comprises a threaded clamping bolt which clamps a golf club head between said face piece and said threaded clamping bolt, and which further comprises at least one weighting element which attaches to the back of said device by contact with a threaded element, where at least one said weighting element is wing shaped, and which removably attaches to the back of said device.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This Utility Patent Application for “Golf Putter Enhancement Device” filed on Feb. 10, 2007 is a Continuation-in-Part to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/772,273 filed Feb. 10, 2006 and claims the benefit of the priority date of that U.S. Provisional Patent Application. The aforementioned U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/772,273 is hereby incorporated by reference in it's entirety for all purposes into this Patent Application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Through the history of golf, manufacturers of golf putters have tried to improve the features of their golf clubs. Features of improvement often have targeted issues affecting enhanced accuracy, such as ease of alignment of the club face to the ball and to the target, and enhanced weighting and balance to provide for a smooth firm stoke into the ball, through contact, and release of the ball from the club face. Some succeed better than others. Those putters that do offer improvement in most of these areas are usually quite expensive and fail to offer each golfer a wide range of adjustability so that they may tailor the putter to their own particular preferences. The golf putters that do not succeed very well in these areas have a definite performance dis-advantage and yet they too can be quite expensive.

Most putters which are sold do not offer any means to adjust the features affecting accuracy, nor the performance of the club, but are built with fixed characteristics. There have been built in the past, some golf putters which have built-in adjustability features, to allow a golfer to adjust the weighting and balance of the putter head. These units also are expensive, and do not allow the adjustable features to readily be transferred to a different putter, but are inherently designed into the particular golf club head itself.

This leaves most golfers with the dilemma of either buying an expensive new putter, which may or may not meet all their needs, or keeping the putter they have, with it's inherit limitations, and knowing they're at a disadvantage compared to other golfers who can afford to buy the latest, expensive, high tech equipment. Thus, there is a need for an inexpensive, after market, attachable device which can be mounted on a wide variety of putters and which will enable a golfer to technically improve and upgrade his putter to current industry performance standards while still allowing him the flexibility to make adjustments according to his own particular preferences.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the limitations now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new and useful way to upgrade a golf putter where said invention is universally usable and more versatile in operation than known apparatus of this kind.

The purpose of the present invention is to provide a new, inexpensive, universal, attachable golf putter performance improvement device which is not apparent, obvious, or suggested, either directly or indirectly by any of the prior art apparatus. An easily attached, universal and inexpensive performance enhancement device for a wide variety of existing golf putters, which are limited in their performance specifications and options. This device does not require any modifications to the existing golf putter to which it will be attached and was designed so that it may be use during the actual playing of a round of golf. The device is designed to mount in front of and on top of an existing golf putter by means of adhesive tape between the device and the existing golf putter, and by squeezing or clamping the existing golf putter between the backside of the face of the device and a set screw mounted in a tube or cylinder on the underside of the device. The face of the device replaces the face of the existing golf putter and becomes the new striking surface, which is now softer and provides improved audio and tactile feedback on centered and off centered strikes of the golf ball. The top of the device approximates the width of an actual golf ball and extends rearwards away from the face and provides a flat surface for an alignment aid and also moves the center of gravity back away from the face and upwards from the sole of the existing golf putter. The alignment aid on top of the device consists of a raised rib which is centered and extends from the front to the back of the device. This rib is bordered by four raised white, half circles which offer a three dimensional visual image of two white balls split in half by a bold line that extends from the end of the device towards the actual golf ball. The underside of this top piece houses the pre-mentioned set screw in a tube which is either threaded or has threaded inserts at both ends. The threaded end near the back end of the device is used to house various length weighted cap screws which alter the overall weight, swing weight and position of the center of gravity of the existing golf putter. All these improvements and options are considered industry standards for improving a putter's performance and consequently the putting skills of golfers.

The present invention generally comprises an “L” shaped body, made of a somewhat rigid, thin and lightweight material, which mounts in front of and on top of an existing golf putter. The front section or leg of the invention is slightly smaller in height, width and length of the face of the average existing golf putter and mounts in front of and replaces such face. The top section or leg is approximately the width of an actual golf ball and extends rearward, away from the face for approximately the length of two actual golf balls with appropriate spacing in between and at both ends. This top section has a raised rib on top of it which is centered and travels from the front to the rear of the device. Along either side of this rib are two raised half circles, which makes four in total. The two half circles on one side of the rib are directly opposite the two half circles on the other side of the rib. These circles can be painted white or have white half circle labels adhered to them or they may be reduced in height to allow a white half circle of plastic to be glued to them, in which case they must be reduced in height to allow for the thickness of the white plastic and glue. Whichever means is used, their purpose is to give a golfer looking down at this device a three dimensional image of two full white circles (which simulate two actual golf balls) with a bold alignment or target line running thru the middle of these circles and pointing at the target. The surfaces of the front and top of the device may be textured slightly and/or painted a dull, flat color to reduce glare into the golfer's eyes. On the underside of the top section is a centered, cylindrical tube referred to as the mounting tube which is threaded or has threaded inserts at both ends and sits approximately 0.625 inches back and away from the backside (or cavity) of the face of the existing golf putter. The other end of the tube is indented slightly from the very end of the top section. This tube serves two functions. The front end near the face carries an internal set screw which screws forward towards the backside or cavity of the existing club and clamps the existing club between itself and the backside of the face of this device. This screw is accessed thru the rear end of the tube with an appropriate wrench. This clamping force is reinforced or boosted by double sided adhesive tape which is applied between the face of the existing club and the backside of the device's face. After the set screw has been tightened properly so that the top piece of the device is parallel to the sole of the existing club and at the same time perpendicular to the shaft or hosel of the existing club, the rear end of the mounting tube can now accept different length weighted screws to affect the weight distribution and center of gravity of the existing club, or a V shaped device with two threaded, cylinder shaped legs may be attached at that same point. The V shaped tube will also accept different length weighted screws at the end of each leg in order to affect the perimeter weighting of the putter.

The foregoing has outlined, in general, the physical aspects of the invention and is to serve as an aid to better understanding the more complete detailed description which is to follow. In reference to such, there is to be a clear understanding that the present invention is not limited to the method or detail of construction, fabrication, material, or application of use described and illustrated herein. Any other variation of fabrication, use or application should be considered apparent as an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of apparatus for a golf club. Moreover it pertains specifically to an apparatus for attachment to existing golf putters in order to improve performance features, and increase accuracy and consistency. Such performance features to increase accuracy and consistency include, but are not limited to: target alignment, variable movement of the center of gravity, variable adjustment of the static weight, variable adjustment of the swing weight, variable adjustment of the perimeter weighting and softening the striking face, all of which will enable a golfer to improve their putting skills.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

A principal object of the present invention is to provide an easily attached device which upgrades the performance specifications and options of existing golf putters and that will overcome the deficiencies of the prior art devices.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a performance and option upgrade device that is inexpensive, fits many existing golf putters and is simple to use.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a performance and option upgrade device that can easily be attached and removed from an existing golf putter without making any modifications to the existing golf putter.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a performance and option upgrade device that will variably move an existing golf putter's center of gravity back away from it's striking surface and upwards away from it's sole.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a performance and option upgrade device that will allow variable adjustment of an existing golf putter's static weight and swing weight.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a performance and option upgrade that will allow variable adjustment of an existing golf putter's perimeter weighting.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a performance and option upgrade device that will offer space on top of the putter for an alignment aid, including but not limited to, a three dimensional aid.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a performance and option upgrade device that eliminates glare and reflection into a golfer's eyes.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a performance and option upgrade that can be permanently mounted and adhere to the United States Golf Association's rules of golf club design and conformity.

It is intended that any other advantages and objects of the present invention that become apparent or obvious from the detailed description or illustrations contained herein are within the scope of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The following drawings further describe by illustration the advantages and objects of the present invention. Each drawing is referenced by corresponding figure reference characters within the “DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION’ section to follow.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the front (or face) and top of a golf putter enhancement device according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a bottom and side view of a golf putter enhancement device according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a bottom and rear view of a golf putter enhancement device according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a side view of a golf putter enhancement device in position to be attached to an existing putter.

FIG. 5 is a side view of a golf putter enhancement device partially attached to an existing putter.

FIG. 6 is a top view of a golf putter enhancement device completely attached to an existing golf putter.

FIG.7 is a cutaway view of a golf putter enhancement device showing nuts and bolts.

FIG. 8 is a top view of a golf putter enhancement device completely attached to an existing golf putter, showing an added wing weight.

FIG. 9 is a bottom and rear view of a golf putter enhancement device according to the present invention, showing an added wing weight.

FIG. 10 is a cutaway view of a golf putter enhancement device wing weight showing threaded inserts.

FIG. 11 is a front view of a golf putter enhancement device according to the present invention, showing an additional trim ring.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A golf putter enhancement device of the present invention is generally designated 1. The device 1, shown in FIG. 1, is made as a universal attachable device to enhance the performance of a golf club. The device 1 in a preferred embodiment is configured to be fitted onto the head portion of a golf putter. Since the device 1 as shown is designed to quickly and simply attach to any number of golfing putters, it can serve as an aftermarket kit to enhance an otherwise ordinary golf putter. The device 1 is made to attach to a wide variety of existing golf putters without the need to alter the existing putter such as without drilling holes or tapping threads. Thus the device is useful for enhancing the play of a golfer who has several putters, or for a golfer who wants to enhance the characteristics of an existing favorite putter.

As shown in a preferred embodiment in FIG. 1, the body of the device 1 is basically “L” shaped, with a front end 2, and a back end 3, and with a top side 4, and a bottom side 5. The front end 2 can be described as having an outside 6 and an inside 7. The device as shown is made with a bend 8 of approximately 90 degrees at the top side 4 of the front end 2, where the bend 8 can be described as running between between a top piece 12 and the front face piece 13. The device 1 as shown can further comprise an alignment rib 14 running down the center of the top piece 12, from front 2 to back 3, where the rib 14 serves as an alignment aid, and also serves to stiffen the top piece 12. As a further means to enhance alignment, a plurality of half circles 15 can be included along either side of rib 14, such as shown in FIG. 1 with two half circles 15 placed on each side of the rib 14. The half circles 15 are preferably placed with a slight spacing between each half circle 15, and outside each half circle 15, such as to enhance the visibility of the alignment enhancement means. The half circles 15 are designed as an alignment enhancement means, serving in this embodiment to replicate the visual image of a plurality of golf balls aligned with a golfer's actual target golf ball, where the alignment enhancement means is designed to assist the golfer in visualizing the preferred direction of the golfer's stroke for hitting a ball towards a desired direction. Similarly, the described alignment rib 14 can be built into the inventive device 1 as an alignment enhancement means, such that the alignment rib 14 as described is designed to assist a golfer in visualizing and aligning the golf stroke in the desired direction. Obviously, the rib 14 and/or the half circles 15, as described can be used singularly or together in various particular embodiments of the inventive device. Other alignment means may similarly be employed within the scope of the invention which are designed to assist a golfer in aligning the golf stroked in a desired direction. Obviously, full round circles (not shown) could similarly be used as a golf club alignment means incorporated into a golf club enhancement device 1.

In a simple embodiment of a golf club enhancement device 1, an alignment rib 14, and/or a plurality of half circles 15, and/or other alignment enhancement means, can be built flush into the top 4 surface of the top piece 12 of the device 1. However, in a more preferred embodiment as depicted in FIG. 1, an alignment rib and a plurality of half circles can be mounted onto the top 4 of the surface of top piece 12 of the device 1, such that they are raised above an otherwise nominally flat surface top 4 of the top piece 12, presenting a three dimensional visual enhancement means. This usage as described herein of a three dimensional, raised alignment rib 14 as a golf club visual enhancement means may well be useful and novel in of it self within the realm of useful golf clubs. Similarly, the usage as described herein, of a plurality of white half circles 15, (or full round circles, not shown), which are raised to form a three dimensional raised flat surface above the otherwise nominally flat top 4 surface of a golf club may be novel in of itself within the realm of useful golf clubs.

As shown in FIG. 2 and in FIG. 3, the bottom side 5 of top piece 12 can be made with an attaching mechanism 9 to attach the device I to a golf putter. In one preferred embodiment, as shown in FIG. 2, an attaching mechanism 9 can be made using a threaded mounting tube 16 which can be molded onto the bottom 5 of the top piece 12, or otherwise attached to the device 1. Such a threaded mounting tube 16 can be made with threads molded directly into the inside of the tube 16, such as with plastic molding or metal molding methods, or alternatively, one or more separate threaded element(s) 17 can be inserted and affixed inside the mounting tube 16. A threaded mounting tube 16 can be used both for attaching the device 1 to a golf putter, using a threaded clamping bolt 18, and also can be used to affix one or more threaded weighting elements 19 to the golf enhancement device 1. If desired, rather than making an attaching mechanism 9 with a long continuous threaded mounting tube 16, a mounting mechanism 9 can be made with a threaded element 17 towards the front 2 of the device, to receive and secure a clamping bolt 18, and additionally with weighting element receiving threads 20 affixed towards the back 3 of the device 1. A weighting element 19 can be easily and quickly removed and exchanged for a different sized weighting element 19 of any reasonable amount of desired mass which is useful for enhancing the swing weight, center of gravity, and momentum characteristics of a golf putter. A weighting element 19 can be made comprising a simple metal bolt for example, and various size bolts may be used interchangeable to quickly and inexpensively adjust and enhance the characteristics of a desired golf putter.

With this preferred method of attaching threaded weighting elements 19 to the back 3 of the device 1, such weighting elements 19 can be made of various desired amounts of weights, where said various weights can be readily interchanged, to alter the effective weighting of the putter. Furthermore, with this method of using a threaded mounting tube 16 along with weighting elements 19, the effective swing and momentum of the putter can be fine tuned, by adjusting a weighting element along the threaded element 17 from the front 2 to the back 3 of the device 1.

Thus by building the device 1 equipped for affixing the inventive device 1 in a removable and nondestructive manner to a golf club, such as by using a clamping type of attaching mechanism 9 as described above, and by making the device 1 such that various weighing elements 19 can be interchanged within the device, as described above, the inventive golf putter enhancement device presented herein provides a unique advantage over club weighting methods which require a specialized putter, or require drilling and thread tapping into the club itself.

As would be obvious to those skilled in the arts, other effectively similar methods could be used to attach the device 1 to a golf club, and also other methods could be used to attach weighting elements 19 to the device 1. For example, another method for attaching an attachable golf club enhancement device 1 to a golf club, would be with a cantilever type clamp (not shown). Similarly, glue, tape, suction cups, or simple spring clip mechanisms could be used, along with any number of comparable attaching methods which are known or could be devised by those skilled in the arts. As shown in FIG. 2, a strip of double sided sticky tape 11 can be useful in conjunction with a mechanical clamping attaching mechanism 9, to help secure the device in position on the club to help prevent shifting of the device 1 relative to the attached club, through constant play and transport.

Preferably, in a first embodiment, the golf club enhancement device 1 would be made to be removably attachable to a golf club head, so that the device 1 could be used for instance, on a first putter one day, then removed, and attached to a second different putter another day, depending upon the golfers desire, or golfing conditions for a particular course or weather conditions. In a second embodiment, a golf club device as described here could be permanently affixed to a single particular golf club, such as where a golfer wanted that particular club to conform to golfing regulations, such as USGA regulations which might require all parts of a putter to be permanently affixed. If a user of the device 1 desired to make the attachable golf club enhancement device 1 permanently affixed to a particular golf club, attachment methods might be broadened to include permanent glue, or epoxy, or soldering or welding, or other known methods of attachment.

The device 1 can be inexpensively manufactured using any of a variety of well know methods. The material used should be somewhat rigid, yet thin and lightweight, including but not limited to, plastic or aluminum. ABS plastic can successfully used, and is very inexpensive and easy to work with. In a preferred embodiment, the body portion 12 should be lightweight, so that most of the weight of the device is placed well back from the face of the putter to enhance the momentum characteristics. The device body 12 and face 13 could be injection molded, milled from a solid block or created by bending of sheet stock. The thickness of device body 12 and face 13 would vary depending on the strength and weight of the material. In preferred embodiment the device is molded from black plastic as one piece and external hardware such as threaded inserts 17 and 20 are added to mounting tube 16. The top side 4 of top piece 12 and the front end 2 of the front face piece 13 are also preferably textured during the injection process to reduce glare in the golfer's eyes. This could also be done by painting these surfaces with a dull or flat color.

In FIG. 4, a perspective view of top piece 12 and front piece 13 is shown along with rib 14 and half circles 15. Front face piece 13 is intended to fit over the front of an existing golf putter and replace such front with the new striking surface. Since there are many different size putters available, in one embodiment, front piece 13's dimensions have been created to be 4 inches wide at it's widest point, which is 0.1875 inches up from the bottom edge and 1.0625 inches high at it's highest point, which is in the center, top portion of front piece 13. The thickness of front piece 13 is 0.125 inches. As the bottom edge of front piece 13 moves outward, left and right from the center, it rises slightly to reflect the gradual curve or radius that most existing putters have to their soles. At the 4 inch wide point the sides edges of front piece 13 move upwards 0.75 inches and slightly inward 0.375 inches, again, to reflect the shape of most existing putters. As these sides rise upwards and reach the plane of top piece 12's bottom edge they move inwards horizontally until they junction with top piece 12.

Top piece 12 extends (horizontally) from it's junction bend 8, with front piece 13, away from what would be the front of the putter towards what would be referred to as the rear of the putter. The corner edge bend 8 where front piece 13 and top piece 12 meet has a curve to it with a radius of 0.0625 inches, for aesthetic purposes. Rib 14's front end starts on this plane and also has a 0.0625 radius to it, so that it may blend into front edge 13. The width of top piece 12 is 1.75 inches. This dimension reflects the average width of the cavity or hollow on the backside of most existing putters and their attempts to visually frame the outside edges of an actual golf ball. The basic thickness of top piece 12 is 0.125 inches, except for rib 14 and half circles 15 which extend 0.125 inches above top piece 12. In this embodiment, half circles 15 are painted white or labeled white. Another option is to mold them slightly thinner, perhaps 0.0625 inches thick, and glue a white plastic half circle on top of the black plastic half circles. The two combined would still be level with rib 14 at 0.125 inches above top piece 12. All half circle 15's have a 0.75 inch radius. Top piece 12 extends rearward away from front piece 13 for 3.625 inches. This dimension allows a 0.25 inch space between the edge of front piece 13 and the first set of half circles 15, 0.25 inches between the first set of half circles 15 and the second set of half circles 15 and 0.125 inches between the second set of half circles 15 and the back edge of top piece 12. Rib 14, which stiffens top piece 12 and separates half circles 15 is 0.125 inches wide. All dimensions relating to top piece 12 are variable averages depending on a number of things: the length and width desired for the alignment features, the total weight desired to be added to the existing putter, the degree of movement desired in relocating the center of gravity, etc. All these dimensions can differ yet still reflect the purpose of this invention.

The device 1 can be made in any reasonable desired size useful for playing golf, yet possible dimensions of one useful embodiment shall be given here for a detailed example for building the device 1. FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate the bottom 5 of top piece 12 and the backside 7 of front piece 13. In this embodiment, the bottom 5 of top piece 12 has for an attaching mechanism 9, a molded tunnel or tube running along it's center line. This is referred to as mounting tube 16. It can be made “U” shaped with a 0.3906 inch diameter hole running from one end to the other. The center of this hole is 0.375 inches below the bottom 5 of top piece 12.

FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate the bottom of top piece 12 and the backside of front piece 13. In one embodiment, the bottom of top piece 12 has a molded tunnel or tube running along it's center line. This is referred to as mounting tube 16. It's made “U” shaped with a 0.3906 inch diameter hole running from one end to the other. The center of this hole is 0.375 inches below the bottom of top piece 2. Mounting tube 6 has 0.3125 inch threaded inserts 7 inserted at each end.

In another, later developed preferred embodiment, as shown in FIG. 7, mounting tube 16 has affixed a nylon threaded nut 22 which serves as providing the weighted element receiving threads 20 towards the back 3 of mounting tube 16, and another nylon threaded nut 23 towards the front 2 of mounting tube 16 to serve as threaded element 17 used to affix a threaded clamping bolt 18. Nylon nuts are used to reduce the basic weight of the device, so that a broader weighting range towards a lighter range, can be achieved overall. Clearly, various types of similar methods can be devised to accommodate a clamping bolt 18 and to removably affix a weighted element 19.

In this useful embodiment detailed example, the outside dimensions of the “U” shaped mounting tube 9 are on the order of 0.5 inches across the base (connecting to top piece 12), 0.625 inches high and a 0.5 inch radius to the curve of the “U” shape. The length of mounting tube 16 is 2.5 inches. It is situated 0.75 inches back and away from the backside of front piece 13 and indented 0.25 inches from the back edge of top piece 12. The purpose of mounting tube 16 is two fold. First, it is the main means of attaching the device to an existing golf putter. Using the proper hex key or allen wrench, a 1×0.325 inch set screw 18 is screwed into the threaded insert 20 at the back of mounting tube 16 until it travels thru the tube 16 and reaches the threaded insert 17 at the front end of mounting tube 16. It is then screwed thru this insert 17 until it makes contact with the backside or cavity of the existing putter to which it will be attached. This will result in the existing putter being squeezed or clamped between the backside 7 of front piece 13, and set screw 18. After set screw 18 is tightened properly, mounting tube 16 is able to accomplish it's second purpose: adding more overall weight, which will increase the swing weight and move the center of gravity of the putter further backwards 3 and upwards 5. This is accomplished by screwing in various length and weight cap screws 19, which also have 0.3125 inch threads, into the back threaded insert, also referred to as the weighted element receiving threads 20 at the back of mounting tube 16. With cap screws available in an assortment of different lengths and weights a golfer should have quite a few different “feels” (light, medium, heavy) he can assign to his putter. A slotted head threaded set screw could similarly be used rather than an allen set screw for the clamping bolt 18.

FIG. 4 illustrates device 1 about to be mounted to a typical existing golf putter, and FIG. 5 illustrates device 1 attached to a typical existing golf putter. To reinforce the clamping force of threaded mounting bolt 18 a 0.75×3 inch strip of double sided adhesive tape 11 can be applied to the backside 7 of front piece 13. Just before device 1 is placed in front of and on top of existing putter the protective cover of tape 11 is removed. Device 1 is then moved downward until the bottom side 5 of top piece 12 contacts putter. Device 1 is then pushed rearwards until tape 11 contacts the face of putter. Both movements are done while keeping device 1 generally centered between the toe and the heel of putter. After tape 11 has contacted putter face, pressure is applied to front piece 13 by hand from one end to the other for a few seconds to ensure a good adhesive bond has been created. Finally, the threaded mounting bolt is tightened thru the backend 3 of mounting tube 9 until it is seated into the cavity of putter. Due to most existing golf putters having anywhere from 3 to 5 degrees of loft designed into their face, device 1's top side will not be perpendicular to putter's hosel when first positioned for attachment, as shown in FIG. 5. Therefore, threaded mounting bolt 18 should continue to be tightened towards cavity on the back of the putter until top piece 12 is perpendicular to putter shaft. This will ensure that top piece 12 is horizontal and level in relation to the putting surface or green and that a sufficient amount of clamping force has been applied between device 1 and putter. When these steps have been completed a golfer looking down at his putter will see a view similar to that shown in FIG. 6. At this point it is up to each individual golfer to experiment with inserting different weighting elements 19 into backside insert 20 and arrive at a weighting “feel” that's comfortable and works for them.

As another slight variation of manufacturing the device 1, a mounting tube 16 can be made with two pieces, as shown in FIG. 7. A first piece of mounting tube 16 would be molded or affixed onto bottom side 5 of the top 12 of device 1 as shown, to accommodate the placement of threaded nylon nuts 22 and 23. A second cap piece 21 is made to fit on to complete the enclosure of threaded, and to hold the nuts 22 and 23 firmly in place. By making the mounting tube 16 in this two part manner, a threaded clamping bolt can also easily be inserted into place during manufacture as depicted in FIG. 7. A nylon or other plastic material bolt is useful as a light weight choice for clamping bolt 18. The cap piece 21 can be attached to the base of mounting tube 16 with glue or by sonic welding.

Various types, sizes and shapes of weighting elements 19 can be used in conjunction with the inventive golf club enhancement device 1. Modern golf putter technology often includes the usage of a significant amount of weight to be placed towards the far back 3 of a putter. Also, modern putters often employ weighting styles which put significant amounts of weight spreading horizontally out away from the striking center of the putter face, such that back-weighting is effected behind the toe and the heel of the putter, in order to prevent twisting of the putter head if a golf ball is struck off of the horizontal center of the putter face.

A shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the inventive device 1 can employ a V-shaped wing weight 32 in order to enhance the quality effect of the stroke of a putter to which the device is attached, by employing a significant amount of back weighting and significant amounts of horizontal weight spreading to prevent twisting of the putter in case of an off centered strike. The wing weight 32 and other useful weighting elements 19 can be designed to bring the weighting center of gravity upwards, to produce less “hop” to a struck ball.

FIG. 9 shows a wing weight 32 inline to be connected to the device 1. the wing weight 32 as shown, has two wings 33 placed one on each side of the horizontal center of the wing weight 32. At the end of each wing farthest from the horizontal center of the wing weight 32, a wing weight threaded portion 34 can be added, to accommodate a weighted element 19, where such weighted element 19 can be identical to the weighted element 19 used in the weighting threads 20 described above, and similarly, weighting elements 19 used here can be of various desired mass. The wing weight 32 can be simply and removably connected to the back 3 of the device 1 using a wing weight attachment portion 35. Such an attachment portion 35 can comprise a through hole from front 2 to back 3, and may optionally include wing weight attachment threads 36. A simple bolt which is used as a weighting element 19 can be used to connect the wing weight 32 to the weighted element receiving threads 20 of the device 1, thus making the device very conveniently adjustable and modular in style.

A useful way to manufacture such a wing weight 32 is depicted in a cutaway diagram shown in FIG. 10. The wing weight 32 is made with three molded parts, including the wing weight base 37, and two wing caps 38, which are designed to fit onto a cutaway version of the wing weight base 37, as shown. This manufacturing method allows the wing weight threaded portions 34 to be built using wing weight threaded inserts 39, which can be placed into the cut away portion of the wing weight base 37 and then sealed into place such as by gluing or sonic welding of the wing caps 38. Such wing weight threaded inserts 39 can be preferably made of a threaded brass cylinder for example, to make them strong and durable, and to add weight into this desired region.

It should be noted, that according to some golf tournament rules, a tournament legal putter must have a nominally flat face which is used to strike the ball, where only a slight amount of texturing and/or grooves are allowed. One useful and novel feature of the inventive device 1 described herein, is that the device as designed provides a nominally flat striking face 13 which also serves as part of the method and apparatus for attachment, when a clamping type connection method is employed, as described herein.

However, since the device is designed as a useful universal aftermarket kit to attach to many types and shapes and sizes of putters, there arises the situation where a single size and shape for the front face 13 of device 1 will not simply fit all existing putters that a golfer may wish to use. Although many golfers do not need to compete in USGA tournaments, other golfers will. The device 1 as described in the above specified example listing preferred embodiment dimensions will be useful for many putters, although some putter faces may be slightly larger than the face 13 of the device 1 as described. Thus an additional component may be added to the device 1, called a trim ring 40, as pictured in FIG. 11. The trim ring would be included in a golf club enhancement device kit and can optionally be added to the device 1 by the golfer, or can be fitted by a golf club maintenance shop, or other handy person skilled in the art. The trim ring 40 is made of the same material as the front face 13 and is the same thickness as the front face 13. As shown in FIG. 11, the inner portion 41 of the trim ring 40 is made to fit exactly around the facial circumference of the front face 13 of the device 1 as provided. The trim ring 40 can be fitted to the club after the device 1 is attached to the golf club head. It can be placed for measurement fitting tightly around the front face 13, and then marked and trimmed to size, to fully cover the front face of the desired putter. After cutting to size, the remaining desired sized portion of the trim ring 40 can then be attached to the club face, such as with epoxy cement. The resultant device 1 now includes the basic device 1 as described above, along with the affixed trim ring 40 portion attached.

It should also be noted, that another feature of the inventive device 1 is that an enhanced ball contacting surface can be enabled with the device, depending upon the usage of a selected material with which the front face 13 of device 1 is constructed. The front face 13 can be made with a soft material to add more “touch” of “feel” to the putter, and to give a desired action to the ball upon contact. Also the front face 13 of the device 1 can be made with texture or slight grooves to add more feel and control of the ball upon contact with the front face 13 surface of a golf club enhancement device 1. A plurality of layers of material could also be employed in manufacturing the front face 13 of the device 1.

Obviously, many other effectively similar manufacturing methods, materials, and embellishments for weighting, attachment, and alignment can be used to create various embodiments of the inventive golf club enhancement device which shall be construed to be within the intended scope of the description and claims of this patent.





 
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