Title:
Putting aid apparatus and methods of use thereof
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A putting aid apparatus is providing including a putter guide to aid putting. The putter guide includes a container, wherein items, such as golf balls may be stored. Attached to the putter guide is at least one rod provided to assist putting by guiding a put stroke. Methods to improve accuracy of putting distance and direction are also provided.



Inventors:
Pecue, James Michael (Gansevoort, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/399082
Publication Date:
10/11/2007
Filing Date:
04/06/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070265116Competitive Scoring SystemNovember, 2007Rich et al.
20080207351Strike face insertAugust, 2008Wallans et al.
20020132679Golf club vertical holderSeptember, 2002Wilde et al.
20050197196GOLF PRACTICE PUTTING GAMESeptember, 2005Ostiguy
20090098953METHOD FOR TEACHING A GOLF SWING USING SIMPLE THOUGHT IMAGERY AND VERY LIMITED BODY AWARENESSApril, 2009Jaeger
20060019775Baseball pitching practice aidJanuary, 2006Nurthen
20050202894Golf club laser system and method of using the sameSeptember, 2005Finney et al.
20090124435Soccer Goal With Improved StabilityMay, 2009Ferrone
20070155549Curving BallJuly, 2007Keker
20090227399Ball Throwing DeviceSeptember, 2009Mckay
20080064538TWO-PIECE BALL BAT WITH RIGID CONNECTIONMarch, 2008Mcnamee et al.



Primary Examiner:
LEGESSE, NINI F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCHMEISER, OLSEN & WATTS (LATHAM, NY, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A putting aid apparatus comprising: (a) a base member configured to be seated on a supporting surface; and (b) a putter guide removably mountable to the base member, said putter guide including a first telescoping rod and a second telescoping rod coupled to the putter guide by a rod mounting member such that the telescoping rods are substantially parallel to one another, wherein said rod mounting member is operably secured to said base member, wherein said telescoping members are projectable beyond said base member; and further wherein said telescoping rods are axially retractable in length.

2. The putting aid apparatus of claim 1 wherein said putter guide includes a container mounted on said base member.

3. The putting aid apparatus of claim 2 wherein said container includes a retaining cap and a container body, said retaining cap attached by fastening means to the container body.

4. The putting aid apparatus of claim 3 wherein said container body comprises a container base and at least one container wall.

5. The putting aid apparatus of claim 4 wherein said container base comprises a rotatable attaching means such that the container may be moved to a storage position wherein the container wall and base member are substantially parallel.

6. The putting aid apparatus of claim 1 wherein the base member includes a rod securing member.

7. The putting aid apparatus of claim 1, wherein said putter guide includes at least one extension arm, wherein said at least one extension arm is operably secured to said base member, wherein said at least one extension arm includes an increment along its length.

8. A putting aid apparatus comprising: (a) a base member configured to be seated on a supporting surface; (b) a putter guide on said base member, said putter guide including at least one rod mounted to the putter guide by a rod mounting member, said rod mounting member operably secured to said base member; and (c) at least one extension arm, wherein said at least one extension arm includes an increment along its length, further wherein said extension arm is extendable beyond the front of the base member.

9. The putting aid apparatus of claim 8 wherein the at least one rod is telescoping, with retractable length.

10. The putting aid apparatus of claim 8 wherein the at least one extension arm has a means of retracting said extension arm to a storage position securable with said base member.

11. The putting aid apparatus of claim 10 wherein the at least one extension arm is fastened by attaching means to said base member.

12. The putting aid apparatus of claim 8 wherein said putter guide includes a container mounted on said base member.

13. The putting aid apparatus claim 12 wherein said container includes a retaining cap and a container body, said retaining cap attached by fastening means to the container body.

14. The putting aid apparatus of claim 13 wherein said container body comprises a container base and at least one container wall.

15. The putting aid apparatus of claim 14 wherein said container base comprises a rotatable attaching means such that the container may be moved to a storage position wherein the container wall and base member are substantially parallel.

16. The putting aid apparatus of claim 8 wherein the base member includes a rod securing member.

17. A putting aid apparatus comprising: (a) a base member configured to be seated on a supporting surface; (b) a container, removably mountable on said base member, said container comprising a container body, said container body including a container base and at least one container wall, wherein a retaining cap is removably attached to the at least one container wall; and (c) at least one rod mounted to the container so that the at least one rod is telescopically extendable beyond the base member.

18. The putting aid apparatus of claim 17 wherein said at least one rod is retractable in length.

19. The putting aid apparatus of claim 17 wherein said container base comprises a rotatable attaching means such that the container may be moved to a storage position wherein the container wall and base member are substantially parallel.

20. The putting aid apparatus of claim 17 wherein the base member includes a rod securing member.

21. The putting aid apparatus of claim 17, wherein said putter guide includes at least one extension arm, wherein said at least one extension arm is operably secured to said base member, wherein said at least one extension arm includes an increment along its length.

22. The putting aid apparatus of claim 21 wherein said extension arm has a means of retracting said extension arm to a storage position securable with said base member.

23. The putting aid apparatus of claim 22 wherein the extension arm is fastened by an attaching means to said base member.

24. The putting aid apparatus of claim 17 wherein the at least one rod is telescoping, with retractable length.

25. A method of aiding putting, comprising: (a) providing a putting aid apparatus comprising: (1) a base member configured to be seated on a supporting surface; and (2) a putter guide removably mountable to the base member, said putter guide including a first telescoping rod and a second telescoping rod coupled to the putter guide by a rod mounting member such that the telescoping rods are substantially parallel to one another, wherein said rod mounting member is operably secured to said base member, wherein said telescoping members are projectable beyond said base member; and further wherein said telescoping rods are axially retractable in length; (b) placing a putter head of a putter below the telescoping rods, wherein said telescoping rods are operably secured to said rod mounting member at a height such that the putter head can have free uncontacting guiding movement below the telescoping rods along the supporting surface relative to the rods; and (c) guiding a putter head of a putter through a putting stroke to encourage a straight line putting swing relative to the telescoping rods.

26. The method of claim 25 further comprising: (a) locating the putter shaft between said telescoping rods; and (b) providing movement uncontacting to the telescoping rods throughout the putting stroke.

27. The method of claim 25 comprising: (a) placing a golf ball on the supporting surface relative to the two telescoping rods; and (b) viewing said golf ball on the supporting surface via the gap between the telescoping rods.

28. The method of claim 27 further comprising maintaining sight of said golf ball while contacting said golf ball with said putter head.

29. A method of aiding putting, comprising: (a) providing a putting aid apparatus comprising: (1) a base member configured to be seated on a supporting surface; (2) a putter guide on said base member, said putter guide including at least one rod mounted to the putter guide by a rod mounting member, said rod mounting member operably secured to said base member; and (3) at least one extension arm that includes an increment along its length, wherein said extension arm is extendable beyond the front of the base member; (b) placing a putter head of a putter below the at least one telescoping rod; (c) placing a golf ball along the supporting surface at an initial golf ball position alongside the extension arm; (d) drawing back a putter head, from a first position immediately adjacent to the golf ball to a second position along the supporting surface; (e) utilizing said extension arm with increment to provide the distance between said first position and said second position; (f) guiding said putter head of the putter through a putting stroke to encourage a straight line putting swing relative to the at least one telescoping rod; (g) striking said golf ball to drive it a distance; and (h) correlating the distance the golf ball was driven with said second position.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

1. Technical Field

This invention relates generally to aiding putting. More particularly, this invention provides an apparatus and methods of use which aid golfers in learning and/or improving various aspects of putting.

2. Related Art

Since the conception of the game of golf, golfers have desired to improve their putting game. This desire has resulted in the development of devices and methods for putting training aids. However, common putting aid devices are ineffective because the devices are often too big, too heavy, or too cumbersome to accommodate golfers' needs adequately. In addition to these problems, many common golf putting training aids are designed such that when a device is employed for use, the device pierces a putting green or other surface, causing damage. Furthermore, many known putting aids utilize multiple removable parts that are easy to lose. Still further, typical putting aids are too complicated and/or constricting to allow golfers to effectively improve their own personally developed swings or strokes. Thus, known putting aids are deficient in effectively and efficiently helping golfers improve their putting.

Accordingly, there is a need for a putting aid that is small, light, compact, portable, and operational on many different surfaces without consequentially damaging the surface. Hence, the present invention relates to new and useful improvements in a putting aid apparatus and methods of use thereof.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The present invention provides a new and improved apparatus for a putting aid and methods of use. The foregoing and other features of the invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of the various embodiments of the invention.

A first general aspect of the invention provides a putting aid apparatus comprising: a base member configured to be seated on a supporting surface; and a putter guide removably mountable to the base member, said putter guide including a first telescoping rod and a second telescoping rod coupled to the putter guide by a rod mounting member such that the telescoping rods are substantially parallel to one another, wherein said rod mounting member is operably secured to said base member, wherein said telescoping members are projectable beyond said base member; and further wherein said telescoping rods are axially retractable in length.

A second general aspect of the invention provides a putting aid apparatus comprising: a base member configured to be seated on a supporting surface; a putter guide on said base member, said putter guide including at least one rod mounted to the putter guide by a rod mounting member, said rod mounting member operably secured to said base member; and at least one extension arm, wherein said at least one extension arm includes an increment along its length, further wherein said extension arm is extendable beyond the front of the base member.

A third general aspect of the invention provides a putting aid apparatus comprising: a base member configured to be seated on a supporting surface; a container, removably mountable on said base member, said container comprising a container body, said container body including a container base and at least one container wall, wherein a retaining cap is removably attached to the at least one container wall; and at least one rod mounted to the container so that the at least one rod is telescopically extendable beyond the base member.

A fourth general aspect of the invention provides a method of aiding putting, comprising: providing a putting aid apparatus comprising: a base member configured to be seated on a supporting surface; and a putter guide removably mountable to the base member, said putter guide including a first telescoping rod and a second telescoping rod coupled to the putter guide by a rod mounting member such that the telescoping rods are substantially parallel to one another, wherein said rod mounting member is operably secured to said base member, wherein said telescoping members are projectable beyond said base member; and further wherein said telescoping rods are axially retractable in length; placing a putter head of a putter below the telescoping rods, wherein said telescoping rods are operably secured to said rod mounting member at a height such that the putter head can have free uncontacting guiding movement below the telescoping rods along the supporting surface relative to the rods; and guiding a putter head of a putter through a putting stroke to encourage a straight line putting swing relative to the telescoping rods.

A fifth general aspect of the invention provides a method of aiding putting comprising: providing a putting aid apparatus comprising: a base member configured to be seated on a supporting surface; a putter guide on said base member, said putter guide including at least one rod mounted to the putter guide by a rod mounting member, said rod mounting member operably secured to said base member; and at least one extension arm that includes an increment along its length, wherein said extension arm is extendable beyond the front of the base member; placing a putter head of a putter below the at least one telescoping rod; placing a golf ball along the supporting surface at an initial golf ball position alongside the extension arm; drawing back a putter head, from a first position immediately adjacent to the golf ball to a second position along the supporting surface; utilizing said extension arm with increment to provide the distance between said first position and said second position; guiding said putter head of the putter through a putting stroke to encourage a straight line putting swing relative to the at least one telescoping rod; striking said golf ball to drive it a distance; and correlating the distance the golf ball was driven with said second position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

Some of the embodiments of this invention will be described in detail, with reference to the following figures, wherein like designations denote like members, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a putting aid apparatus, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a putting aid apparatus in a compact orientation, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a front view of an embodiment of a putting aid apparatus in a compact orientation, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a side view of an embodiment of a putting aid apparatus in a compact orientation, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a blown-up view of a hinge assembly of the embodiment of a putting aid apparatus depicted in FIG. 4, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of an embodiment of a container, in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a putting aid apparatus used with a putter and a golf ball, in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Although certain embodiments of the present invention will be shown and described in detail, it should be understood that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the appended claims. The scope of the present invention will in no way be limited to the number of constituting components, the materials thereof, the shapes thereof, the relative arrangement thereof, etc., and are disclosed simply as an example of an embodiment. The features and advantages of the present invention are illustrated in detail in the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements throughout the drawings.

As a preface to the detailed description, it should be noted that, as used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms “a”, “an” and “the” include plural referents, unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of an embodiment of a putting aid apparatus 10, in accordance with the present invention. The putting aid apparatus 10 may comprise a base member 20. The base member may be configured to rest upon a supporting surface such as a putting green, a hardwood floor, tiled flooring, carpeted flooring, formed concrete, an asphalt surface, or any other like surface that may support the putting aid apparatus 10. Furthermore, the base member may be formed of plastic, wood, metal, metal alloy, composite material, and/or any other material suitable use in a putting aid apparatus 10, and/or any combination of materials thereof. The base member 20 may include a handle 22. The base member 20 may also include one or multiple levels 24a-b positioned on the base member 20 to provide information concerning the level of a supporting surface on to which the base member 20 is positioned.

Referring further to FIG. 1, the putting aid apparatus 10 may also comprise a putter guide 50. The putter guide 50 may be securely, movably and/or removably mounted to the base member 20. Moreover, the putter guide 50 may be configured to rise above or be located at a higher elevation from a supporting surface than the base member 20. Furthermore, the putter guide may include a rod mounting member 55. Additionally, the putter guide 50 may include a first telescoping rod 52a securely coupled to the rod mounting member 55. The first telescoping rod 52a may be formed of plastic, wood, metal, metal alloy, composite material, and/or any other material suitable use in a putting aid apparatus 10, and/or any combination of materials thereof. One embodiment of a telescoping rod 52a may be an antenna-like structure that is axially retractable in length. However, those in the art should appreciate that the rod 52a may include collapsible or foldable segments interconnected with one another so as to be a single retractable unit. In further addition, the putter guide 50 may include a second telescoping rod 52b. The first and second telescoping rods 52a-b may be substantially parallel to each other. The second telescoping rod 52b may have similar structural configuration as the first telescoping rod 52a, but need not be identical. Likewise, the second telescoping rod 52b may have similar functionality as the first telescoping rod 52a, but also does not need to be identical. The second telescoping rod 52b may, but need not be, coupled to the rod mounting member 55. Those in the art should recognize that the putting aid apparatus 10 may include as many rods 52 as is necessary to facilitate the aiding of putting, in accordance with the present invention. The rods 52 may work in conjunction with one laser line level 57 or multiple laser line levels. Moreover, the laser line level 57 or multiple laser line levels may be a virtual telescoping rod or rods having extendable and retractable laser light. As such, the laser line level 57 or multiple laser line levels may function as the telescoping rods 52. In further addition, the putter guide 50 may include a container 60. The container 60 may include an outer surface feature 74, such as a guide slot, channel, ridge, rail, or other like surface feature. Also, the container 60 may include one or multiple levels 63a-b positioned on the container 60 to provide information concerning the level of a supporting surface on to which the putter guide 50 is positioned. It should be appreciated that the putter guide 50 may be used as a stand alone component without the base member 20.

With still further reference to FIG. 1, a putting aid apparatus 10 may also comprise a first extension arm 90a. The first extension arm 90a may be securely, movably and/or removably attached to the base member 20, wherein the first extension arm 90a may be extendable beyond the front of the base member 20. Moreover, the first extension arm 90a may include increments 92a along its length. The increments 92a, may be visual indicators depicting a change in distance. For example, the increments 92a may be raised numbers affixed to the first extension arm 90a, wherein the raised numbers may physically correspond, in incremental locality on the first extension arm 92a, to units of measure pertaining to distance such as inches, centimeters, etc. Accordingly, one embodiment of the first extension arm 90a may be ruler-like when extended. In addition, the putting aid apparatus 10 may also include a second extension arm 92b. The second extension arm 92b may have similar structural configuration as the first extension arm 92a, but need be identical. Likewise, the second extension arm 92b may have similar functionality as the first extension arm 92a, but also does not need to be identical. For instance, a second extension arm may include additional hinges or lengthwise resiliency along with having golf ball retaining features so that the arm might be elevated to a height and a golf ball placed with the arm at a certain increment to roll onto the supporting surface to determine the “speed of the green” or rate and distance the ball will travel when dropped from that height on that surface as compared to other surfaces. For example, a golf ball may roll farther/faster on a hardwood floor as opposed to a carpet. Similarly a golf ball may roll farther/faster on a fast green as opposed to a slow green. The second extension arm 92b may, but need not be, attached to the base member 20. Those in the art should recognize that the putting aid apparatus 10 may include as many extension arms 90 as is necessary to facilitate the aiding of putting, in accordance with the present invention.

With continued reference to the drawings, FIGS. 2-3 depict a perspective view and front view of an embodiment of a putting aid apparatus 10 in a compact orientation, in accordance with the present invention. When compacted, an embodiment of a putting aid apparatus 10 may be configured to fit in an easy-to-carry traveling case, bag, basket, backpack or other transportable implement (such common implements not shown). In a compact orientation, the extension arms 90a-b may be folded back against themselves to reduce overall length. Moreover, in a compact orientation, an embodiment of a putter guide 50 may be configured to turn on its side to reduce the overall height. Accordingly, when turned on its side, a surface feature 74, such as a slot on the container 60, may interact with a container mount 80. The container mount 80 may include a guide element 82, such as a rail, ridge, slot or other component operable with the surface feature 74 of the container 60 to facilitate the compact positioning of the putter guide 50. The container mount 80 may be composed of metal, plastic, or any other material that would achieve a similar function. Additionally, the container mount 80 may be secured to the base member 20 with retaining screws 84. However, those in that art should recognize that other fastening means, such as rivets, adhesives, welds, hook and loop fasteners, clips and/or other like fasteners may attach the container mount 80 to the base member 20. Retaining screws 84 may be employed at various points on the container mount 80 to secure the container mount 80 to the base member 20. A putting aid apparatus 10 may employ various means to secure a putter guide in a compact orientation. Such means may include, but are not limited to a container mount 80 operating with elements of the putter guide 50, a strap having fasteners, hook and loop fasteners affixed to the base member 20 and the putter guide 50 and/or or a claw-like clip or other retaining and securing means. The putter guide may also be removed and stored separately from the base member 20. Still further, a putter guide may be utilized individually to aid putting, without being attached to a base member 20.

The container 60 included in the putter guide 50 may have a container base 70. The container base 70 may be integral with the container 60, or may be a separate attached component. Furthermore, the base member 70 may be configured to rest upon a supporting surface so that the putter guide 50 may be used as a stand alone component to aid putting without being attached to the base member 20. Moreover, the container base 70 may include a container base surface feature 72 operable with the guide element 82 of the container mount 80. Hence, the container base surface feature 72 may be a slot, rail, ridge or other feature operable with the guide element 82 of the container mount 80 to facilitate upright positioning of the putter guide 50.

Referring further to FIG. 2, a putting aid apparatus 10 may comprise a rod securing member 26. The rod securing member 26 may be attached to the base member 20. Moreover, the rod securing member may be configured to receive and secure a first telescoping rod 52a and/or a second telescoping rod 52b. The reception and securing may be provided by rest structures, clips, slots, notches or other elements that may receive and secure a telescoping rod 52. The telescoping rods 52 may also be configured to fold down toward the container 60 so as to provide a more compact orientation. Furthermore, the telescoping rods may also be removable from the putter guide 50 and configured to attach to the base member 20, the container 60, extension arms 90, or any other location on the putting aid apparatus 10 that would provide a compact orientation.

A putting aid apparatus 10 may comprise a handle 22. The handle 22 may be integrally formed with the base member 20. Moreover, the handle 22 may be a separate component securable to the base member 20, putter guide 50 or extension arm 90. As depicted in FIGS. 2-3, the embodied container 60 is substantially cylindrical. However, those in the art should appreciate that other geometries and shapes may correspond with the container 60. For example, the container may be a rectangular box, a pyramidal housing, a spherical pot, or any other shape that would provide containment ability and be operable with the functionality of a putting aid apparatus 10 of the present invention.

With continued reference to the drawings FIGS. 4-5 depict a side view of an embodiment of a putting aid apparatus 10 in a compact orientation and a blown-up view of a hinge assembly 94a-b of the embodiment of the putting aid apparatus 10 depicted in FIG. 4, in accordance with the present invention. As depicted, the extension arms 90b and 90a (hidden) may be folded back against themselves to reduce overall length. The extension arms 90a-b may each employ a hinge assembly 94a-b, to facilitate bending of the arms 90a-b. The hinge assembly 94a-b may be configured to provide a flush orientation of each bended segment of the arms 90a-b when the arms are fully extended. The increments 92a-b corresponding to extension arms 90a-b may be configured to operate effectively with the hinge assemblies 94a-b so that the bending backward of the arms 90a-b does not adversely affect the increments 92a-b. Those in the art should recognize that the extension arms 90a-b may comprise various embodiments. For example, the arms 90a-b may be flexible members that may be rolled up for compact containment or rolled out for use during putting. Moreover, the arms 90a-b may be telescopic, such that portions of the arms retract into one another. Furthermore, the arms 90a-b may include multiple hinge assemblies similar to 94a-b so that the arms 90a-b may bend multiple times onto each other into a more compact shape. Still further, the arms 90a-b may be removably attached to the base member 20 so that they may be removed and stored with the base member 20 in a more compact shape. In addition, those in the art should recognize that the arms 90a-b may be attached to the base member 20 with various fastener means such as buttons, snaps, screws, rivets, welds, adhesives, zippers, hook and loop fasteners, and other like elements that would be effective in accordance with the present invention. In further addition, those in the art should also recognize that the arms 90a-b may be formed of plastic, metal, metal allow, wood, composite materials, textiles, glass, ceramic, or other like materials that would be effective in accordance with the present inventions.

As noted in the depiction of an embodiment of a putting aid apparatus 10 shown in FIG. 4, the telescoping rods have been removed from the putter guide 50 of the apparatus 10 and are not interacting with the rod securing member 26.

With continued reference to the drawings, FIG. 6 depicts an exploded perspective view of an embodiment of a container 60, in accordance with the present invention. The container 60 may comprise a container body 62, a retaining cap 68, a container wall 64, and a container base 70. The container 60 may be composed of plastic, metal, metal allow, wood, composite material, glass, wicker-weave, fabrics surrounding a semi-rigid shell, or any other material appreciated in the art. Further, the container 60 may be transparent, translucent, or opaque. Additionally, the container 60 may be comprised of a container body 62 having a container wall 64 that is connected to a container base 70. The container base 70 and container wall 64 may be two separate components attachable together, or may be distinct integral elements of a single component piece. The container base 70 may comprise a rotatable attaching means such that the container 60 may be moved to a storage position wherein the container wall 64 and a primary surface of the base member 20 are substantially parallel. Formed by at least some of the structural members of the container 60 may be a receptacle 66 or other storage area. Accordingly, the container 60 may be used to store objects, such as but not limited to: golf balls, golf tees, ball markers, coins, towels, papers (e.g. score cards, instructions, manuals), writing implements, and/or gloves and/or other like objects. The receptacle 66 may be closed off and secured by attaching a retaining cap 68 onto the container body 62. This may be achieved through slidably attaching retaining cap 68 and container body 62; snapping-on the retaining cap 68 having an annular detent with retaining cap 68 having a lip or other interactive surface feature; and/or screwing-on the retaining cap 68 to the container body 62 to attach the two components, or any other method of attaching known to the art.

Referring further still to FIG. 6, a container may include a rod mounting member 55 attached to the retaining cap 68. All, or a portion of, the rod mounting member 55 may be integrally formed with the retaining cap 68. Moreover, the rod mounting member 55 may be a separate component or component assembly that is attachable to the retaining cap 68. As depicted, an embodiment of a rod mounting member 55 may include a cap coupling portion 55a and a rod containment portion 55b. Accordingly, the rod containment portion 55b may be removed from the cap coupling portion 55a so that rods, such as telescoping rods 52a-b or other similar rods, may be securely mounted to the rod mounting member 55. The attachment/reattachment of the rod containment portion 55b to and with the cap coupling portion 55a of the rod mounting member 55 may be accomplished by fastening means such as screws, butterfly nuts, buttons, snaps, hook and loop fasteners, slidable action between the two components to interlock surface features, and/or other like fastening means. The container 60 may be portable and configured to stand on its own so that it can be utilized to aid putting without having to be attached to a base member 20 (shown in FIG. 1). Further, the container 60 may be configured to be collapsible somewhat like an accordion.

Methods of aiding putting are now described with reference to FIG. 7 and with further reference to FIG. 1-6. One methodological step to aid putting may be to provide a putting aid apparatus 10. The provided putting aid apparatus 10 may comprise a base member 20 configured to be seated on a supporting surface, such as a putting green or other surface operable for putting. Moreover the provided putting aid apparatus 10 may also comprise a putter guide 50 removably mountable to the base member 20. Furthermore, the putter guide 50 may include a first telescoping rod 52a and a second telescoping rod 52b coupled to the putter guide 50 by a rod mounting member 55 such that the telescoping rods 52a-b are substantially parallel to one another. In addition, the rod mounting member 55 may be operably secured to the base member 20, such as by the fastening of the putter guide 50. Still further, the telescoping rods 52a-b may be projectable beyond the base member 20. The telescoping rods of the provided putting aid apparatus 10 may be axially retractable in length.

An additional methodological step to aid putting may be to place a putter head 105 of a putter 109 below the telescoping rods 52a-b, wherein the telescoping rods 52a-b are operably secured to the rod mounting member 55 at a height such that the putter 109 head can have free uncontacting guiding movement below the telescoping rods 52a-b along the supporting surface, such as a putting green or carpeted floor, relative to the extended rods 52a-b. Still further, another methodological step in aiding putting may be to guide a putter head 105 of a putter 109 through a putting stroke to encourage a straight line putting swing relative to the telescoping rods 52a-b

A further method of aiding putting may include providing a putting aid apparatus 10 comprising a base member 20 configured to be seated on a supporting surface, such as a hardwood floor or other like surface. The putting aid apparatus 10 may also comprise a putter guide 50 positioned on the base member 20. The putter guide 50 may include at least one rod 52 mounted to the putter guide 50 by a rod mounting member 55. The rod mounting member 55 may be operably secured to the base member 20. Moreover, the putting aid apparatus may also comprise at least one extension arm 90 that includes an increment along its length, wherein the extension arm 90 may be extendable beyond the front of the base member 20

Additional methodology in the further method of aiding putting may include placing a putter head 105 of a putter 109 below the at least one telescoping rod 52. Even more, another methodological step in the further method of aiding putting may be to place a golf ball 115 along the supporting surface at an initial golf ball position 117 alongside the extension arm 90; drawing back a putter head, from a first position 117 immediately adjacent to the golf ball to a second position 119 along the supporting surface. Furthermore, an additional step in a further method of aiding putting may be to utilize the extension arm 90 with an increment 92 to provide the distance between said first position 117 and said second position 119. Moreover another methodological step may be to guide the putter head 105 of the putter 109 through a putting stroke 130 to encourage a straight line putting swing relative to the at least one telescoping rod 52. A further method step in aiding putting may also include striking the golf ball 115 to drive it a distance; and correlating the distance the golf ball was driven with said second position 119. The methodology pertinent to aiding putting is appropriate for use by either new or seasoned golfers. Embodiments of the putting aid apparatus, such as putting aid apparatus 10, may assist golfers, new or experienced, in learning or improving how to properly address the golf ball every putt. For example, when using the putting aid apparatus a golfer may take a comfortable stance posting both feet 140a-b near the apparatus. Typically the feet 140a-b of a golfer will be located between 0-10 inches away from an extension arm such as extension arm 90b. Accordingly the putting aid apparatus 10 and related methodology may assist golfers in learning or improving how to put with a proper stance. Furthermore, the apparatus may assist golfers in learning or improving how to orient the putter 109 in proper alignment with the golf ball 115. This can be done by comparing orientation of the putter head with the rods 52. Proper alignment should put the putter head in substantially perpendicular orientation with respect to the rods 52. Moreover, the apparatus may assist golfers in learning or improving how to effectuate proper eye placement during putting. For instance, if a golfer places the golf ball 115 in approximately the middle of an area 125 between extension arms 90a-b and very near the zero inch (0″) increment, then the golfer may work on a stance wherein the golf ball 115 is plainly in view between rods 52a-b. The golf ball may be placed anywhere. However, when the golf ball is placed very near the zero marking then the drawback distance of the putter can be easily determined. The line of sight 152 should generally be approximately directly in line with the ball; not to the right or to the left. The putter guide 50 may be slidably oriented and secured with respect to the base member 20 and/or extension arms 90 so as to alter the position of the rods 52 with respect to the ball as it is located with respect to the base member 20 and/or rods 52. Thus, the golfer may be able to work on consistency of stance by becoming familiar with where feet, hands and eyes need to be positioned during putting. As such, the apparatus may assist golfers improving hand/eye coordination, and improving the golfer's attention to the golf ball while moving hands and putter 109.

The putting aid apparatus 10 and related methodology may also assist golfers in learning or improving how to properly maneuver a putter during putting. This learning or improving may be accomplished, inter alia, through guidance provided by the telescoping rods 52 comprising a rail-like system. In other words, as a golfer swings the putter 109, the rods 52 may act like rails, either physically or virtually, to guide the golfers swing via tracking of the putter shaft 107 in relation to the rods 52 while putting. Likewise, the apparatus and related methodology may assist golfers in learning or improving how to properly effectuate a backswing during putting because the rail-like system of the rods will likely work to keep the putter in a proper line during the back swing. Still further, by directing the rods 52 toward the cup or hole, the putting aid apparatus 10 and related methodology may assist golfers in learning or improving how to line up a put. The golfer can put or locate the putter shaft 107 between the rods 52 or on the outside of the rods 52. When a golfer can take 25 practice strokes with the putter shaft 107 between the rods 52 and without contacting the rods 52, either physically or virtually, then a golfer may see improvement in putting accuracy. Along a similar vain, the apparatus may assist golfers in learning or improving how to improve their drawback swing and gain better control of the distance that their golf ball will travel. It is said by highly experienced golfers, that for every inch a golfer draws back the putter during putting the golf ball should travel 12 inches in distance. For example, not only may the line of swing be assisted to provide accurate direction of a putted golf ball 115, but the distance of swing travel can also be determined in relation to a revealed drawback distance and practiced in correlation with the distance a putted golf ball 115 is desired to be driven. In addition, the putting aid apparatus 10 and related methodology may assist golfers in determining whether they are towing in and/or if the putter 109 is being pulled in during putting.

The putting aid apparatus 10 and related methodology may further assist golfers in learning or improving how to properly effectuate and take advantage of the pendulum effect. The pendulum effect generally refers to a perfect pendulum swing desired by golfers during putting. Likewise, the putting aid apparatus 10 may assist golfers in learning or improving how to lift the height of their putter 109 so that the head 105 is no more than 8 inches from the putting surface. The putting aid apparatus 10 may assist golfers in learning or improving how to properly effectuate a full swing along a full swing path. Still further, the putting aid apparatus 10 and related methodology may assist golfers in learning or improving how to properly effectuate an effective power stroke.

The apparatus may assist golfers in determining whether mistakes are being made during putting. For example, if a rod 52 is contacted, or if the putter head 105 is not oriented substantially perpendicular with respect to the rods 52 during putting, then the golfer may realize that putting mistakes need to be corrected. The putting aid apparatus 10 may be used to assist new golfers by utilizing only the putter guide 50 to help make their putting strokes more consistent. The putting aid apparatus 10 and related methodology may assist more experienced golfers by using the putter guide 50 in combination with the base member 20 and extension arms 90 to improve power stroke and distance of putting. The putting aid apparatus 10 and associated methodology may be configured and provided to assist both left-handed and right-handed golfers.

While this invention has been described in conjunction with the specific embodiments outlined above, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the embodiments of the invention as set forth above are intended to be illustrative, not limiting. Various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.





 
Previous Patent: Golf clubface swing trainer

Next Patent: Golfing equipment