Title:
Golf putter head
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable heel and toe weighted putter head comprising of stand-alone heel and toe weight-carrying portions spaced rearward from the face portion for increased moment of inertia and also transversely spaced apart from each other by the width of a golf ball to therein define an alignment channel. Each weight-carrying portion consists of a through bore parallel to said face portion, a through threaded insert permanently secured in said bore, selectable weight member(s) housed in said insert, and end plug setscrews that book-end and removably secure said weight member(s) to therein provide for selectable total weight and longitudinal positioning of the center of gravity. The integration of the weight system and the alignment system provides for simultaneous tangential target alignment and parallax golfer head alignment. Positive sloped truncated conical projections on the putter face help minimize ball skid, maximize tactile properties, and provide enhanced audio feedback.



Inventors:
Inouye, Michael Takeshi (Honolulu, HI, US)
Inouye, Mitsuko Nakaema (Honolulu, HI, US)
Inouye, Christie Mariko (Honolulu, HI, US)
Application Number:
11/697598
Publication Date:
10/18/2007
Filing Date:
04/06/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/336, 473/340, 473/341
International Classes:
A63B69/36; A63B53/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HUNTER, ALVIN A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL T. INOUYE (HONOLULU, HI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A heel-toe weighted golf putter head comprising of: a face portion to hit the ball; a sole portion extending rearward from the face portion; a shaft connected to the putter head; the improvements hereon comprising of: a stand-alone heel end weight-carrying portion spaced rearward from the rear surface of said face portion; a stand-alone toe end weight-carrying portion spaced rearward from the rear surface of said face portion wherein said spaced weight-carrying portions increase the putter head's moment of inertia and also enhance feel; said spaced weight-carrying portions integral to said sole portion; said spaced weight-carrying portions each includes a surface that is delimited by an inboard end side and an outboard end side wherein said inboard end sides are generally perpendicular to said face portion; said inboard end sides transversely spaced apart from each other from 0.5 inches to 3.5 inches, and most advantageously, transversely spaced apart from each other by the diameter of a golf ball to therein define a ball-width alignment channel perpendicular to said face portion; said spaced weight-carrying portions each includes an adjustable weight assembly comprising of: a through bore through said spaced weight-carrying portions; said through bore includes through threads threaded most advantageously by a permanently secured through threaded insert; said threaded insert receives a singular or a plurality of weight member(s) that further increases the moment of inertia of the putter head; said threaded insert receives in a threaded engagement two end plug setscrews that book-end said weight member(s) to therein provide a movably securable weight assembly adjustable in total weight and center of gravity.

2. The golf putter head according to claim 1 wherein said spaced weight-carrying portions each consists of an arcuate surface delimited by said inboard and outboard end sides; said arcuate surface defined as an extension of the sole at the heel section and the toe section extending arcuately rearwardly and upwardly to a circular-disposed apex-carrying arc and arcuately downwardly and generally taper frontwardly to seamlessly merge with the top surface of said sole; said defined arcuate weight-carrying portions generally longitudinally elongated and parallel to said face portion; said inboard end sides generally non-integral to the rear surface of said front portion; said alignment channel defined by said inboard end sides includes a generally arcuate bottom surface extending the length of said inboard end sides; said inboard end sides generally vertical; said arcuate bottom surface includes alignment lines adjacent to said inboard end sides; and therein define stand-alone teardrop-like shaped weight-carrying portions with integral alignment properties and a volumetrically efficient shape that receives shape conforming weight members.

3. The golf putter head according to claim 2 wherein said spaced weight-carrying portions each includes a through bore parallel to said face portion; said through bores perpendicular through said inboard end sides; and said through bores coaxially-aligned with each other.

4. The golf putter head according to claim 2 wherein said arcuate surfaces of said weight-carrying portions frontward of its apex include a vertical tangent that defines an inflexion point; said inflexion point defines a visible part line when viewed squarely from above, and said part line is the reference line for lateral golfer head alignment along the target-to-putter axis.

5. The golf putter head according to claim 2 wherein said arcuate surfaces of said weight-carrying portions frontward of its apex include at least one inflexion point without a vertical tangent.

6. The golf putter head according to claim 2 wherein said arcuate surfaces of said weight-carrying portions frontward of its apex include at least two vertical tangents and at least one inflexion point.

7. The golf putter head according to claim 2 wherein said arcuate surfaces of said weight-carrying portions frontward of its apex do not include a convex-to-concave inflexion point.

8. The golf putter head according to claim 1 wherein said inboard end sides of said spaced weight-carrying portions are integral to said rear surface of said face portion.

9. A heel-toe weighted golf putter head comprising of: a face portion to hit the ball; a sole portion extending rearward from the face portion; a shaft connected to the putter head; the improvements hereon comprising of: a stand-alone heel end weight-carrying portion spaced rearward from the rear surface of said face portion; a stand-alone toe end weight-carrying portion spaced rearward from the rear surface of said face portion wherein said spaced weight-carrying portions increase the putter head's moment of inertia and also enhance feel; said spaced weight-carrying portions integral to said sole portion; said spaced weight-carrying portions each includes a surface that is delimited by an inboard end side and an outboard end side wherein said inboard end sides are generally perpendicular to said face portion; said inboard end sides transversely spaced apart from each other from 0.5 inches to 3.5 inches, and most advantageously, transversely spaced apart from each other by the diameter of a golf ball to therein define a ball-width alignment channel perpendicular to said face portion; said spaced weight-carrying portions each includes a fixed weight assembly consisting of generally a bore that receives a permanently secured cylindrical weight member.

10. The golf putter head according to claim 9 wherein a fixed weight system consists solely of the spaced weight-carrying portions.

11. The putter head according to claim 1 wherein said alignment channel is comprised of a generally flat bottom surface.

12. The putter head according to claim 1 wherein said weight system is comprised of weight-carrying portions each with a single-opening threaded bore.

13. The putter head according to claim 1 wherein said putter head includes an optically isolated ball-width alignment disk supported by a non-visible support member when viewed squarely from above; said support member comprised of an extension of the central rear edge of said sole; said extension extends rearwardly and upwardly to a height generally equal to the top surface of said face portion; said support member extends horizontally frontward towards said face portion while simultaneously transitioning into said optically isolated ball-width alignment disk; and said disk includes a visible thickness that provides parallax properties for longitudinal and lateral golfer head alignment.

14. The golf putter head according to claim two wherein the putter head functions as a cup-like ball picker comprising of the vertical walls of an alignment channel, the rear surface of the face portion, the channel's arcuate bottom, and the open ball-entering end of the channel whose height is less than half the diameter of a golf ball.

15. A golf putter head comprising of: a face portion to hit the ball; a sole portion extending rearward from the face portion; a shaft connected to the putter head; the improvement hereon comprising of said face portion disposed with ball-hitting truncated generally conical projections; said projections each includes a positive sloped support side(s) that structurally strengthens said projections to therein encourage substantially smaller projections for a substantially higher density of projections; said positive sloped projections include truncated circular cones, truncated elliptical cones, or truncated polygonal cones; and said positive sloped projections, hereon called dots, comprise a dot pattern wherein said dot pattern is generally defined by the graphic standard dot screens of lines per inch and density percentage, or equivalently, percent of area covered by said dots; and said dots include properties of size, shape, slope, floor, hardness, and acoustics.

16. A golf putter head according to claim 14 wherein said dot pattern consists of dot lines from 15 lines per inch to 85 lines per inch and a density percentage from 10% to 50%, and most advantageously, said dot pattern consists of 30 lines per inch at 30% density.

Description:

REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This non-provisional patent application is based upon U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/791,995 filed Apr. 14, 2006 and hereby claims the benefit of the filing date thereof.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is related to golf equipment and, in particular, to a golf putter head with enhanced weight distribution, selectable weights, movable center of gravity, target and address alignment aids, and ball hitting projections that enhance feel, acoustics and ball anti-skid properties.

Heretofore, golf putter heads with adjustable weight members often included extraneous parts such as spacers, springs, magnets, fillers and the like that immobilized weight members in a single longitudinal bore. Other designs included multiple threaded bores which received selectable weights but did not provide infinite adjustability of the center of gravity. A non-bore design often utilized a channel or a cavity within which resided a sliding securable weight. Yet another design used extruding posts with interchangeable washers. The prior art as disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,343,998 to Grant, 2,998,254 to Rains et al, 3,979,122 to Belmont, 4,962,932 to Anderson, 6,015,354 to Ahn, 5,244,210 to Au, and 6,001,024 to Van Alen shows a putter head with a single threaded bore that required spacers and the like to secure the weights. U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,840,924 to Tucker and 4,828,266 to Tunstall show two longitudinal single-opening threaded bores at the extremities that used spacers to immobilize the weight members. U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,213,613 to Nygren and 6,348,014 to Chiu show lateral threaded bores at the heel end and the toe end of the putter head that allow for weight selection but lacked longitudinal heel-toe positioning. U.S. Pat. No. 5,769,737 to Holladay discloses adjustability of a sliding weight housed in a cavity. U.S. Pat. No. 7,074,132 to Finn and publication US2003/0220150 A1 to Takase disclose fixed weight members spaced from the face portion but does not include adjustable weights.

Heretofore, golfer address position aids usually utilized references at two elevations on the putter head. The prior art U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,200,227 to Sery, 6,394,910 to McCarthy, and 5,921,868 to DiMartino disclose golfer head alignment aids that utilize alignment references at two elevations which the eyes align to thereby ensure a repeatable address position. U.S. Pat. No. 5,913,731 to Westerman discloses a ball-width contour alignment channel but the channel lacks the vertical sides necessary for head address alignment, and also said channel is not defined by spaced weight-carrying portions. U.S. Pat. No. 6,692,378 to Shmoldas discloses an alignment channel with vertical sides but the channel is also not defined by stand-alone spaced weight-carrying portions.

Heretofore, alignment aids that indicate a golf ball such as disks, circles, arcs and hemispheres are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,343,839 to Borah, 3,708,172 to Rango, 3,779.398 to Hunter, 3,884,477 to Bianco, and 4,688,798 to Pelz all include a visible structural support member when viewed squarely from above. The distracting support member makes it more difficult for the various alignment aids to simulate a freestanding golf ball. A freestanding “virtual” golf ball alignment aid provides for easy alignment of the putter head, ball and target.

Heretofore, putter face markings or face inserts did not include high density positive sloped projections. U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,849,004 to Lindsay, 5,709,616 to Rife, and 5,637,044 to Swash all disclose parallel ridges and/or grooves in different configurations and patterns. Putter face markings with vertical freestanding projections include U.S. Pat. Nos. D411,275 to Bottema, D63,284 to Challis, 4,964,641 to Miesch and 6,257,994 to Antonious wherein the ball-impacting projections are either cylindrical, cubed, rectangular or diamond shaped, but all lack the positive sloped side support structure that is essential for the making of small projections for a high dots per inch pattern. U.S. Pat. No. 6,007,434 to Baker discloses an insert that is comprised of mechanically made truncated pyramid shaped projections of low dots per inch; U.S. Pat. No. 4,964,641 to Miesch discloses large 0.040″ on center pyramids, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,089,993 to Woodward discloses cylindrical projections.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is the objects of the present invention to provide an improved golf putter that provides for forgiveness on miss hits, provides for a simple system to select and adjust weight members, provides references for target and golfer address alignment, and provides for an enhancement in feel and golfer confidence. Accordingly, the objective of a more forgiving putter entails a greater moment of inertia and that is accomplished by dense heel and toe weight members spaced rearward from the face portion. The objective to provide a simple adjustable weight system is accomplished by having selectable dense weight members housed in a chamber movably securable with end plug setscrews, and without the need for spacers, springs, and fillers. The objective of easy target alignment is accomplished by the stand-alone spaced weight-carrying portions defining a ball-width alignment channel wherein said channel is disposed with parallel markings for tangential alignment with the golf ball, or in an alternate embodiment, alignment is provided by an optically isolated alignment disk that has no visible support member and therein becomes a “virtual” golf ball. The objective of repeatable heel-to-toe, here forth called longitudinal, golfer head alignment is accomplished by the parallax properties of the inboard vertical sides of the alignment channel. Correspondingly, the objective of repeatable target-to-putter head, here forth called lateral, golfer head alignment is accomplished by the visible part line on the surface of the weight-carrying portions wherein said part line is located at the inflexion point defined by a vertical tangent. The objective of enhanced feel is accomplished by the sensing of the spaced weight members by using a thin sole section that connects the face portion to the spaced weight-carrying portions, by the isolated face portion, and by the enhanced audible feedback of a struck ball due to the small dense face projections. The objective of increased confidence is accomplished by the customization of the adjustable weights, easy alignment, and an aesthetically functional putter head.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of the weight assembly of putter head 50.

FIG. 2 is a side view of putter head 50 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a rear view of putter head 50 of FIG. 1 with the assembled weights.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an assembled putter head 50 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a top view of putter head 50 of FIG. 1 that depicts correct golfer head position.

FIG. 6 is a top view of putter head 50 of FIG. 1 that depicts golfer head too far outward.

FIG. 7 is a top view of putter head 50 of FIG. 1 that depicts golfer's head too far inward.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a putter head 51 with an optically isolated alignment disk.

FIG. 9 is a rear view of the putter head 51 of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a side view of the putter head 51 of FIG. 8.

FIG. 11 is a top view of the putter head 51 of FIG. 8 and depicts the disk alignment system.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of putter head 50 with permanent weight members.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of putter head 50 with the weight-carrying portions as the sole weight members.

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of putter head 50 with the inboard sides of the weight-carrying portions integral to the rear surface of the face portion.

FIG. 15 is a side view of an alternate embodiment of putter head 50 wherein the arcuate surface of the weight-carrying portions includes an inflexion point without a vertical tangent.

FIG. 16 is a side view of an alternate embodiment of putter head 50 wherein the arcuate surface of the weight-carrying portion includes at least two vertical tangents and one inflexion point.

FIG. 17 is a side view of an alternate embodiment of putter head 50 wherein the surface of the weight-carrying portions does not include a convex-to-concave inflexion point.

FIG. 18 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of putter head 50 wherein the bottom surface of the alignment channel is generally flat.

FIG. 19 is a front view of a putter face with a dot pattern of positive sloped projections.

FIG. 20 is a perspective view of a single dot projection.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a preferred embodiment of a heel-toe weighted putter head 50 with an optional hosel 20 to attach to a shaft, a ball-striking face portion 7, a sole portion 9 extending rearward from said face portion 7; the invention hereon comprising of a heel end weight-carrying portion 2a spaced 5a rearward from the rear surface 14 of said face portion 7; a toe end weight-carrying portion 2b spaced 5b rearward from the rear surface 14 of said face portion 7; said spaced weight-carrying portions 2a, 2b are each comprised of an arcuate surface 15a, 15b delimited by an inboard and outboard lateral sides 12a, 12aa and 12b, 12bb, respectively. Said weight carrying portions 2a, 2b are generally longitudinally elongated, horizontal, integral to sole 9 and parallel to said face portion 7.

It should be noted that weight-carrying portion 2a, 2b may be configured in alternate embodiments. For example, a V-shaped configuration or a non-horizontal configuration would be obvious viable variations. The variations and modifications are obviously numerous and are considered to be within the scope of this invention.

FIG. 1 shows the exploded view of the adjustable weight assembly of the spaced weight-carrying portions 2a, 2b that includes through bores 11a, 11b that are co-axially aligned with each other. Through bores 11a, 11b receive through threaded metal inserts 4a, 4b that are permanently secured, preferably by a press-fit, and which said inserts also function as permanent dense weight members. Housed in said inserts 4a, 4b are generally slide-fit primary weight members 10a, 10b and optional lighter secondary weight members 10aa, 10bb or a plurality thereof, which are selectively added until the desired total weight is achieved. End plug setscrews 3a, 3aa and 3b, 3bb are threadably engaged in said threaded metal inserts 4a, 4b, respectively, that bookend said weight members to therein provide the means to position and secure said weight members according to the golfer's preferences. The rearward spacing of the weight-carrying portions increases the moment of inertia by moving the center of gravity deeper into the putter head, and the moment of inertia is even further increased by the housing of dense weight members within and thereby minimizing the negative effects of a miss hit.

The spaced weight-carrying portions 2a, 2b in effect isolate and “lighten” the ball-striking face portion 7 which in turn enhances feel and also results in an enhanced acoustic feedback on a struck ball. Feel is yet further enhanced when the spaced weights are “felt” when the ball is struck. This desired feedback is accomplished by a uniformly thin heel-toe sole section, generally from 0.032 to 0.094 inches, that connects the weight-carrying portions 2a, 2b to the rear surface 14 of said face portion 7, and with said thin sole section provided by seamlessly merging the tapered weight-carrying portions 2a, 2b to the top surface of said sole.

The golfer can customize the total weight of the putter head by selecting quantifiable weight members, house said weight members in said inserts, bookend said weight members with said end plug setscrews, and tighten said end plug setscrews against each other for an immovable weight assembly. Note that spacers, springs, fillers and the like are not necessary to immobilize the weights. The golfer can also adjust the heel-toe, here forth called longitudinal, center of gravity by biasing the weight members toward the heel end or the toe end of the putter head, or in any combination thereof, and securing the selected positions with said end plug setscrews. The weight assembly's flexibility allows adjustments to compensate for tendencies to push or pull putts, type of grass, green condition and layout, weather, and putting idiosyncrasies of the golfer.

FIGS. 1-7 in a preferred embodiment show the integration of the weight system with the alignment system. The opposing inboard vertical sides 12a, 12b of weight-carrying portions 2a, 2b are perpendicular to the face portion 7, parallel to each other, and transversely spaced apart from each other by preferably the diameter of a golf ball to therein define an arcuate alignment channel 13 and an imaginary target alignment path 72. Inboard lateral vertical sides 12a, 12b provide the parallax references wherein the golfer's correct longitudinal head position is established. The parallax references for the golfer's correct lateral head position are provided by the part lines 35a, 35b created by the inflexion points 36a, 36b of said weight-carrying portions 2a, 2b, respectively. The part lines become sharply defined when the golfer's head is directly over the part lines.

The arcuate surfaces 15a, 15b which define the shape of the weight-carrying portions 2a, 2b is delimited by lateral sides 12a, 12aa and 12b, 12bb, respectively, and can each be defined as an arcuate extension of the heel-end toe-end rear edges of sole 9 rearwardly and upwardly to an apex on a circular-disposed arc, and arcuately downwardly and frontwardly to inflexion points 36a, 36b wherein a vertical tangent exists and a part line is created, and extends downwardly and frontwardly to seamlessly merge with the top surface of sole 9. The said circular-disposed apex-carrying section of the weight-carrying portions 2a, 2b provides for maximum weight capacity, or volumetric efficiency, by housing concentrically referenced cylindrical weight elements 4a, 4b, 10a, 10b, 10aa, 10bb, et al.

FIG. 2 is a side view of putter head 50 and shows a preferred embodiment wherein a vertical tangent defines the convex-to-concave point of inflexion 36a and thereby also the part line 35a of weight-carrying portion 2a. The teardrop-like shaped weight-carrying portions therein provide references for address position and target alignment, provide maximum volumetric utility, and provide feel, function and aesthetics.

FIG. 3 is a rear view of putter head 50 that shows the assembled weight system wherein through bores receive weight members 10a, 10aa and 10b, 10bb and are book ended and secured by setscrews 3a, 3aa and 3b, 3bb, respectively.

The rear open end 16 of the alignment channel 13 has a height less than half that of a golf ball to therein also function as a cup-like ball picker. A sweep of the putter head through the ball will pick up and cradle the ball between the channel's vertical walls, the rear surface of the face portion, and the arcuate bottom surface of the channel.

FIGS. 4, 5, 6, 7 show a preferred embodiment of putter head 50 wherein an alignment system aligns the putter head to the target and the golfer to the putter head. FIG. 4 is a perspective view of putter head 50 wherein an arcuate alignment channel 13 is defined by said inboard lateral vertical sides 12a, 12b transversely spaced by the diameter of a golf ball, by an arcuate bottom surface defined by an arcuate sole, and a length equal to its vertical sides 12a, 12b. The arcuate alignment channel 13 includes parallel alignment lines 13a, 13b on the bottom surface of said channel and adjacent to said inboard lateral sides 12a, 12b. FIG. 5 shows a golf ball 30 and imaginary alignment path 72 defined by imaginary parallel tangential lines 70, 71 that extends frontwardly square to the target and rearwardly and congruently to the putter head's alignment lines 13a, 13b in the alignment channel and to therein define the alignment system that aligns and squares the putter head to the ball and target.

FIG. 5 shows the golfer's correct address head position with respect to the putter head. The golfer moves his head longitudinally along the heel-toe axis of the putter head until lateral vertical sides 12a, 12b of said weight-carrying portions are not visible or equally minimally visible, alignment lines 13a, 13b are unobstructed by the parallax properties of said lateral sides 12a, 12b, and therein establishes the golfer's head position on the longitudinal axis. The golfer then or simultaneously moves his head laterally along the target-putter head axis until the part lines 35a, 35b of said weight-carrying portions are sharply focused and visible. The golfer's head position on a lateral axis is thereby established and a repeatable correct head position is easily attained. The golfer can make slight head adjustments for different putting styles such as moving his head slightly towards the target to be directly over the ball for the pendulum putting style, or moving his head slightly towards the heel for the arc putting style.

FIG. 6 shows a golfer's head position longitudinally too far outward at the toe end of the putter head. This incorrect head position is corrected by the parallax properties of this invention wherein movement by the viewer appears to change an observed object. The golfer in FIG. 6 sees alignment line 13a and vertical side 12a of weight-carrying portion 2a while alignment line 13b and vertical side 12b of weight-carrying portion 2b are not visible. The golfer moves his head longitudinally inward until vertical sides 12a and 12b are either not visible or equally minimally visible and alignment lines 13a, 13b are fully visible which therein establishes the golfer's head position along the longitudinal axis. FIG. 7 illustrates a golfer's head position longitudinally too far inward towards the heel end and this converse incorrect head position is similarly corrected by the longitudinal positioning of the golfer's head.

FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of a putter head 51 in an alternate alignment embodiment that utilizes an optically isolated alignment disk 1, which is representative of a golf ball. Optical isolation is achieved when support structure 6 of said disk 1 is not visible when viewed squarely from above to therein provide a freestanding “virtual” golf ball. FIG. 11 shows a top view of putter head 51 wherein the support member 6 is not visible when viewed squarely from above. The putter head is square to the target when alignment disk 1, golf ball 30 and imaginary tangential lines 70, 71 point to the target. Golfer address alignment references are provided by the inherent parallax properties of a visible thickness 1a of said disk 1. The golfer's incorrect head position at any axis results in a section of side 1a of said disk 1 being visible. The golfer adjusts his head position longitudinally and laterally until side 1a and support member 6 are not visible and therein results a virtual golf ball alignment aid. FIG. 9 shows a back view of putter head 51 with support member 6, disk 1, and side of disk 1a. FIG. 10 shows the side view of disk 1 wherein support member 6 is an extension of the central section of the rear edge of the sole. The said support member 6 extends rearwardly and upwardly to a height generally equal to top surface 8 of face portion 7, and extends frontward horizontally while simultaneously transitioning into a ball-width alignment disk 1. It is obvious to those skilled in the art that said support member 6 can transition into many different optically isolated alignment shapes such as a rectangle, arrow, multiple disks and the like.

FIG. 12 shows a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the weight system wherein nonadjustable dense weight members 21a, 21b are permanently secured in weight-carrying portions 2a, 2b.

FIG. 13 shows a perspective view of another embodiment of the weight system wherein weight-carrying portions 2a, 2b are itself the weight members.

FIG. 14 shows a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the spaced weight-carrying portions wherein inboard lateral sides 12a, 12b are integral to rear surface 14, and arcuate surfaces 15a, 15b do not merge with the top surface of the sole 9.

FIG. 15 shows the side view of an alternate embodiment of putter head 50 wherein weight-carrying portion 2a includes an arcuate surface frontward of its apex with a convex-to-concave inflexion point 36a without a vertical tangent and therefore there is no sharply defined part line when viewed squarely from above.

FIG. 16 shows the side view of an alternate embodiment of putter head 50 wherein weight-carrying portion 2a includes an arcuate surface frontward of its apex with two vertical tangents and an inflexion point 36a located rearward of vertical tangent 37.

FIG. 17 shows the side view of an alternate embodiment of putter head 50 wherein weight-carrying portion 2a includes an arcuate surface with an inflexion point not on a continuous surface. It is obvious to those skilled in the arts that numerous variations of the surface shape can be readily made and which will be considered within the scope of this invention.

FIG. 18 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of putter head 50 wherein the alignment channel 13 includes a generally flat bottom surface. The said flat bottom surface is generally distinctive by elevation and or color.

FIG. 19 shows a dot pattern 67 on the face portion 7 of a putter head wherein said dot pattern is comprised of a plurality of positive sloped projections similar to truncated cones. The projections, here forth called dots, have a pattern as defined by the lines of dots per inch, or lpi, and by a density, which is defined as the area covered by said dots. A dot pattern may be from 15 lines per inch to 85 lines per inch and with a density percentage from 10% to 50%, and with a preferable dot pattern of 30 lines per inch at 30% density. FIG. 20 shows the dot's unattached ball striking surface 60 supported by a positive sloped side 61 which defines an attached base 64 larger than said top surface 60 and thereby structurally strengthens said dot. The strengthened dots can now be made substantially smaller for a higher dpi with the resultant enhanced gripping action on a ball. Feel is enhanced since a smaller cumulative total area of the putter face contacts the ball. Also, the audible feedback on a struck ball is usually enhanced.

FIG. 20 is a perspective view of a single dot 70 with said striking surface 60, a positive sloped support side 61, a height 65, and a floor 63 integral to the dot's base 64. The circular striking surface 60 may include other shapes such as elliptical, square, pentagon, hexagon, and other polygons. The dot pattern is preferably cast integrally with the putter head. The master model is initially made by bonding a dot patterned photoengraved zinc, magnesium, or photopolymer plate to the face portion of a prototype model, or alternately, 3-D laser engraved or by other industry acceptable methods and processes. Face inserts with said dot pattern is an alternative.

The putter head body is preferably composed of investment cast aluminum and its surface anodized. The permanently secured threaded inserts 4a, 4b are preferably composed of brass and also functions as an embedded dense weight member. The alignment lines are preferably colored white. The selectable weight members are preferably tungsten cylinders and disks and the end plugs preferably stainless steel setscrews. Total weight of the putter head is preferably from 320 to 375 grams. The one-piece putter head of FIG. 13 is preferably composed of either stainless steel, silicon bronze, or some other metal more dense than aluminum.

The invention is not limited to the embodiments hereinbefore described which may be varied in construction and detail, as numerous modifications and adaptations of this invention will be apparent to others skilled in the art. Therefore, the claims are intended to cover such modifications and adaptations as they are considered to be within the scope of this invention.