Title:
Putting Practice Device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A putting practice device includes an enclosing panel (3), a reflective panel (1) and two screw hinges (5). The reflective panel (1) is attached to the enclosing panel (3) by two screw hinges (5) at one end. In the closed position, the enclosing panel (3) and reflective surface (1) are rotated adjacent to each other so that the enclosing panel (3) covers the reflective surface (1). In the open position, the inclosing panel (3), is rotated away from the reflective panel (1) at an angle and placed on the ground in an inverted “V” position, while the edges of the enclosing panel (3) and reflective panel (1) are placed on the ground with the hinges on the top. The reflective panel (1) is placed at an angle to allow the golfer to view the putter swing and make the necessary adjustments to the putting club position using the visual feedback from the virtual image on the reflective surface (1).



Inventors:
Paukune, Jon (Hamilton, OH, US)
Ganske, Sharon (Denver, CO, US)
Application Number:
11/632322
Publication Date:
10/18/2007
Filing Date:
07/16/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/409
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LEGESSE, NINI F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
R. Ruschena Patent Agent, LLC (Greenwood Village, CO, US)
Claims:
What we claim is:

1. A golf putting practice device which provides visual feedback for a golfer to accurately establish the trajectory of the ball relative to the putting cup, and to observe and adjust the alignment of his or her body and the golf club relative to the ball, comprising: (a) a reflective panel; and (b) an enclosing panel, joined together at one of the shorter sides by two screw hinges.

2. A putting practice device according to claim 1 wherein said reflective panel has one side covered by a reflective surface.

3. A putting practice device according to claim 2 wherein said reflective surface is a reflective surface for right-handed golfers.

4. A putting practice device according to claim 2 wherein said reflective surface is an optional reflective surface for left-handed golfers.

5. A putting practice device according to claim 2 wherein said reflective panel and said enclosing panel can pivot around the two said screw hinges to assume a inverted “V” shape open position and until said reflective panel has the said reflecting surface side oriented to the outside of the “V” inverted shape.

6. A putting practice device according to claim 2 wherein said reflective surface is planar and made of a material selected from the group consisting of mirrors, metals, glass, and plastics.

7. A putting practice device according to claim 2 wherein said reflective surface is covered by a right vertical line, a left vertical line, a vertical ball line, two angled club lines and sets of feet alignment lines arranged in a laid out pattern to allow the golfer to note the position of the golf club and feet when putting in relation to such angled club lines and said feet alignment lines.

8. A putting practice device according to claim 1 wherein said reflective panel has an opening to allow a hand to hold and transport the said putting practice device.

9. A putting practice device according to claim 1 wherein said enclosing panel has optionally one side covered by a reflective surface for left-handed golfers.

10. A putting practice device according to claim 1 wherein said reflective panel and said enclosing panel are made of a material selected from the group consisting of metals, wood, and plastics.

11. A putting practice device according to claim 1 wherein said reflective panel and said enclosing panel can be pivoted around the two said screw hinges to be adjacent to each other so that the said reflective panel is enclosed into the enclosing panel to allow ease of transportation.

12. A putting practice device according to claim 1 wherein said enclosing panel has two finger grip holes to allow hand's fingers to separate the said reflective panel from the said enclosing panel to attain an open position.

13. A putting practice device according to claim 1 wherein the said two screw hinges are two cylindrical screws.

14. A method for improving accuracy of golf putting using the said putting practice device as described in claim 1, comprising the steps of: (a) opening the said putting practice device by pivoting the said reflective panel away from the said enclosing panel around the two said screw hinges to assume an inverted “V” shape until said reflective panel has the said reflective surface oriented to the outside of the inverted “V” shape; (b) positioning the said putting practice device on the floor or ground with the said reflective panel facing the golfer; (c) further positioning the said putting practice device on the ground or floor until the lower side of the said reflective panel is tangent to the said putting cup; (d) further positioning the said putting practice until the lower part of the said left vertical line and said right vertical line of the said reflective surface are aligned with the golfing putting cup edges; (e) adjusting the angle of the said reflective panel so that the virtual image of the golf ball on the said reflective surface of the said reflective panel as seen from the golfer's eyes is centered on the said vertical ball line on the said reflective surface, preferably on the lower part of said vertical ball line; (f) insuring the angle of the golfer's putting club virtual image is comprised within or in relationship to the said two angled club lines on the said reflective surface; (g) Noting the positions of the golf club relative to the said angled club lines on the said reflective surface and noting the position of the golfer's feet relative to the said feet alignment lines on the said reflective surface to allow repetition of such positions.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a putting practice device, and more particularly, to a putting practice device having a reflecting surface with guiding lines and reference lines to provide visual feedback to the golfer.

BACKGROUND ART

Visual acuity and the ability to focus on a target is a major principle in many sports, including golf. A golfer's score usually comes down to how well the golfer putts the golf ball on the green. Excellent motor skills and hand/eye coordination are essential to top-level performance in golf. Putting accuracy within 3 meters (approximately 10 feet), a distance generally accepted among golfers as the most difficult to consistently make in a pressure situation, is critical and a major factor in lowering scores while significantly increasing the enjoyment of the game.

To putt accurately, the golfer first must learn how to envision where the target line will be, from the golf ball to the cup. Then the golfer must learn how to align the ball to the target line. Next, the golfer must learn how to position the body so that his or her eyes are placed vertically over the golf ball and to aim the strike along the desired target line.

The golfer must then learn how to swing the putter such that the putter travels exactly along the target line and, such that the face of the putter head is always kept exactly perpendicular to the direction of the target line. Once all of these individual steps are learned, the golfer must then learn how to combine them and execute these steps consistently according to a learned habit.

Various devices have been developed to practice and improve a golfer's putting game. Some devices provide a sight to allow a golfer to view the line of the stroke while putting the ball. These sights are usually placed on the head of the club to assist the golfer in orienting the club in a desired direction toward the cup. U.S. Pat. No. 6,482,100 describes a golf putter having a reflective face and alignment guide including a head portion having a forward face and a rearward face.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,071,197 describes a device for teaching correct putting that can be attached to the shaft of a putter. A mirror is pivotally attached to an arm which extends behind and is parallel to the face of the putter such that the center of gravity for the mirror is between the pivot point and the face of the putter.

Other patents describe devices attached to the club that use laser beams or other electromagnetic signals. U.S. Pat. No. 6,482,099 describes a laser training device which clamps onto the shaft of a standard golf club. The device has a holding block which holds a laser device pointing in a downward direction.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,330,188 describes a putter aligning system which comprises an alignment apparatus using an infrared generation signal device requiring a reflector on the putter with alignment indicators near the target. These invasive devices alter the weight and the feeling of the golf putter and alter the natural putting stroke. Without the apparatus attached, the golfer's club stroke is different due to the different balance of the club.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,270,751, utilizes an audible sound system to aid visually handicapped golfers in locating the putting cup and thus to align their putters. Other devices provide a ramp or a wall that guides the putter along a desired putting line during a swing. The golfer places the head of the club against the ramp or wall and swings the club so that the head is guided along the putting line. Some devices even use a combination of the sight and a ramp or wall.

Other devices use a string or an elongated material to provide a putting line from the ball to the cup. The string is extended toward a cup to allow a golfer to practice swinging the putter along the length of the string and putting the ball toward the cup. U.S. Pat. No. 5,913,732 utilizes the reflection of an elongated material on a reflective surface to aid the golfer in positioning his or her eyes substantially vertically overtop of the target line and the golf ball.

In these kind of training devices, time is required to set them up in-line with the cup. Since the string or elongated material must be arranged along the putting line to the cup, the devices take time to arrange and take up a lot of space on the putting green and might interfere with the actual swinging of the golf club or with the trajectory of the ball. This can cause the golfer undue stress and frustration, which can detract from a good training session. These devices do not give any feedback that can easily translate to game situations. All these devices share the inability to build natural muscle-memory under game-like conditions. These devices all interfere with the golfer's actual putting stroke and inhibit the golfer's ability to learn how to improve the putting stroke.

While these devices can help a golfer execute an appropriate pendulum movement with the putter, the golfer can become reliant on the device. A golfer can especially become reliant on ramps or reflective or laser devices attached to clubs, but these devices cannot be used during a game of golf. Thus, a better training device is needed to provide a tool for a golfer to practice putting techniques using his or her regular putting club and improve his or her putting skill.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

The invention is a golf putting practice device utilizing guiding lines and reference lines on a reflective surface to provide visual feedback to the golfer. This allows the golfer to observe and adjust the alignment of his or her body and the golf club relative to the ball, and allows the golfer to accurately establish the trajectory of the ball relative to the target putting cup. With consistent use of the invention, a golfer's level of putting accuracy in a game improves because his or her muscle memory retains the skills and habits gained by using the invention.

Binocular vision involves the simultaneous employment of both eyes and produces stereoscopic, three-dimensional vision. In human vision, however, there is a tendency for the brain to accept visual stimulus predominantly from one eye, the dominant eye. When both eyes are employed, the dominant eye alters the stereoscopic visual perception in favor of the stimulus received by the dominant eye. When a golfer is putting, the dominant eye effect tends to direct the golfer to hit the ball in a trajectory determined by stimulus from the dominant eye but which deviates from the actual center of the putting cup.

This invention corrects for inaccurate visual perception created by the dominant eye effect by providing the golfer with a reflected view of the putting cup, the ball and the ball's trajectory toward the cup. The golfer views the reflected putting cup location and aligns the trajectory of the ball with the center vertical ball line of the reflective surface. The reflected image of the putting cup stimulates the eyes to consistently see the putting cup in its actual location which creates an accurate focal point for the putting cup and corrects for the dominant eye effect.

The invention takes a different visual perceptual approach compared to the competitors' methodology of requiring mechanical physical motion or requiring a fundamental change in the golfer's technique. This non-invasive training device allows the golfer to correctly place the eyes over the ball on the intended line, and subsequently allows the golfer to feel stroke variations.

The golfer is able to perform a natural putting stroke, unrestricted by any of the components of the invention. The putting training aid easily sets up behind the putting cup or indoor practice mat. The invention is simple to use, compact, portable, self-contained. The invention can be carried along easily on the golf course and takes up minimal storage space. The non-invasive, self-teaching approach makes the putting training aid unique from the existing putting training devices on the market.

The putting practice device includes a reflective panel and an enclosing panel, which are held together by two screw hinges. The device also has a handle on top for ease of transportation. In the closed position, the enclosing panel and the reflective panel are rotated adjacent to each other so that the enclosing panel covers and protects the reflective surface. In the open position, the enclosing panel is rotated away from the reflective panel at an angle and placed on the ground in an inverted “V” frame pattern. The unhinged short edge of the enclosing panel and the unhinged short edge of the reflective panel are placed on the ground or floor with the hinged edges forming the top. The reflective panel is placed at an angle to allow the golfer to view the ball position, which in turn facilitates the golfer to position directly over the ball.

The invention differs significantly from other products on the market by allowing golfers to use the golf club and golf stroke they have. The putting training device is engineered to focus on putts within the critical range of 90 centimeters to 3 meters (approximately 3 feet to 10 feet), a distance generally accepted as the most important and difficult shot in pressure situations.

To use the putting practice device, the golfer needs to perform some setup steps. The golfer opens the putting practice device by pivoting the reflective panel away from the enclosing panel around the two screw hinges to have the device assume an inverted “V” shape until the reflective panel is oriented to the outside of the inverted “V” shape.

The golfer then positions the putting practice device on the floor or ground with the reflective panel facing the golfer and further positions the device until the lower side of the reflective panel is tangent to the putting cup location and the lower part of the right and left vertical lines of the reflective surface are aligned with the putting cup edges.

The golfer needs to adjust the angle of the reflective panel so that the reflected image of the golf ball on the reflective panel as seen from the golfer's eyes is centered with the center vertical ball line on the reflective panel. The golfer will note the location of the upper part of the club with respect to the angled lines connected to one vertical line. This will ensure that the golfer positions the club in the same location each time when putting. This will create muscle memory, utilizing the golfer's natural club positioning. Each golfer may have a different club location within or around the angled club lines.

The sets of reference lines along the opposite side from the vertical lines are feet alignment lines for notation of the golfer's feet position. The golfer will note the location of his or her feet to provide consistent feet alignment each time he or she uses the device. There are multiple sets of feet alignment lines to allow golfers to note their specific feet location. Each golfer may have different reflected feet locations within or around these feet alignment lines allowing golfers to use their own natural, comfortable stance when putting.

The invention allows the golfer to remember the angle of the putting club, the position of the golfer's feet and the proper body location directly over the ball using the guiding lines and reference lines on the reflective panel. This facilitates the repetitiveness of correct body postures and the consistent setting of the golf club and feet during the putting effort.

The visual feedback provided by the invention allows the golfer to correct and train using visual techniques which work to correct each golfer's eye dominance and hand/eye coordination to improve the putting stroke, lower the golfer's score, and improve the golfer's confidence. These results are achieved by using the golfer's own inherent skills.

The invention is totally customizable for each golfer regardless of the style of the putter and the height of the golfer. Even one-handed golfers can benefit from this device and no special club is required. The invention can be used with equal success at home, at the office or on the practice golf course. Early tests by novice and experienced golfers, as well as training and PGA professionals have proven the effectiveness of this training aid.

These and other features of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the invention as set forth hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

To further clarify the above and other advantages and features of the present invention, a more particular description of the invention will be rendered by reference to the preferred embodiments of the invention, which are illustrated in the appended drawings. It is appreciated that these drawings depict only a few of the typical embodiments of the invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope. The invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the putting practice device in the open position, set in an inverted “V” shape in front of the putting cup, with the reflective surface oriented toward the golfer and set at an angle that allows the golfer to view the reflected image of the ball, the putter and the putting cup.

FIG. 2 is a front view of a layout of the reflective surface for right-handed golfers, according to the preferred embodiment of the putting practice device, showing the pattern of guiding lines and feet reference lines used to assist the golfer to correctly aim the ball, position the body and to remember the relative positions of the putter and the relative position of his or her feet.

FIG. 3 is a top view of the putting practice device in a horizontal, flat open position in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention. The picture shows the reflective panel and the enclosing panel held together by two screw hinges.

FIG. 3A is a side view of the putting practice device in a horizontal flat, open position as described in FIG. 3.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating a golfer using the putting practice device in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a front view of the reflective surface of the putting practice device, showing the virtual reflected image of the ball, the putter orientation and the foot position of the golfer.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view illustrating a golfer using the putting practice device in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention. The golfer is receiving visual feedback from the reflecting surface of the invention and is guided to align himself or herself accurately with the putting cup.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the unhinged side of the enclosing panel of the invention showing the two finger grip holes to allow the fingers of the hand to lift the edge of the reflective panel when is adjacent to the enclosing panel.

FIG. 8 is a top view of the enclosing panel of the putting practice device.

FIG. 9 is a top view of the assembly parts of the putting practice device according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention in an open position showing the enclosing panel, the reflective panel assembly and the two screw hinges.

FIG. 10 is a side view of all the assembly parts of the putting practice device in an open position, as illustrated in FIG. 9, showing the enclosing panel, the reflective panel, the reflective surface and the two screw hinges.

FIG. 11 is a top view of the putting practice device in a closed position showing the reflective panel lying adjacent to the enclosing panel to which it is attached by way of the two screw hinges. The reflective panel can be separated and lifted from the enclosing panel using the two finger grip holes that allow the fingers to lift the reflective panel

FIG. 11A is a top view of the back side of the putting practice device in a closed position showing the reflective panel lying adjacent to the enclosing panel to which it is attached by way of the two screw hinges.

FIG. 12 illustrates the side view of the putting practice device and the action of opening the device which is carried out by pivoting the reflective panel away from the enclosing panel around the screw hinges.

FIG. 13 illustrates the front view of the reflective surface for left-handed golfers according to the second embodiment of the present invention showing the pattern of guiding lines and reference lines used to assist the golfer to correctly aim the ball and to remember the relative positions of the putter and his or her feet position.

FIG. 14 is a top view of the putting practice device in a horizontal, flat open position in accordance with the third embodiment of the present invention. The picture shows the reflective surface for the left-handed golfers attached to the inside of the enclosing panel and the reflective surface for right-handed golfers attached to the reflective panel. The enclosing panel and the reflective panel are held together by way of two screw hinges.

FIG. 15 is a top view of the assembly parts of the putting practice device in an open position showing the enclosing panel, the reflective panel, the reflective surface for left-handed golfers attached to the inside of the enclosing panel, according to the third embodiment of the present invention, the reflective panel for right-handed golfers attached to the reflective panel and the two screw hinges.

FIG. 16 is a side view of all the assembly parts of the putting practice device in an open position, according to the third embodiment of the present invention, showing the enclosing panel, the reflective panel, the reflective surface for left-handed golfers attached to the inside of the enclosing panel, the reflective panel for right-handed golfers attached to the reflective panel and the two screw hinges.

REFERENCE NUMERALS IN DRAWINGS

  • 1 reflective panel
  • 2 reflective surface for right-handed golfers
  • 3 enclosing panel
  • 4 transportation handle
  • 5 screw hinges
  • 6 putting cup location
  • 7 angle between the reflective panel and the enclosing panel
  • 8 ball's desired trajectory
  • 9 feet alignment lines
  • 10 lower angled club line
  • 11 upper angled club line
  • 12 left vertical line
  • 13 right vertical line
  • 14 vertical ball line
  • 15 middle ball alignment marking
  • 16 bottom ball alignment marking
  • 17 upper ball alignment marking
  • 18 finger grip holes
  • 19 reflected image feedback
  • 20 reflected image of the ball
  • 21 reflected image of the putter
  • 22 reflected image of the golf club
  • 23 hinge hole
  • 24 hinge threaded hole
  • 25 upper arched club line
  • 26 lower arched club line
  • 27 reflected image of golfer's feet
  • 28 reflective surface for left-handed golfers
  • 29 reflected image of the putting cup

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

The subject of this application is a putting practice device that provides a reflective surface and is easily set up. It should be appreciated that different configurations can be used to achieve a putting practice device with a reflective surface, e.g., different ways of folding or setting up the reflective surface. Although a particular arrangement is disclosed, variation arrangements can be used to achieve the disclosed putting practice device.

According to the preferred embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 4 of the present invention, a golfer can practice putting by using the putting practice device and receive a reflected image feedback 19 from the reflective surface 2. One aspect of a correct putting method is for the golfer to be able to align his or her eyes over the ball in relation to the target and to have precise coordination with hand alignment. The putting practice device assists the golfer to create a precise vector triangle of visual alignment of the ball to be putted and the target. This vector triangle assisted by the device is made of the eyes of the golfer, the ball and the putting cup reflected by the reflective surface of the device. By allowing the golfer to precisely set-up in the same position, the golfer is able to practice precise replication of positions and to train and instruct himself or herself heuristically by repetition of a correct putting method.

The putting practice device and its related training use is a targeted oriented system assisting a person to learn the correct putting alignment technique, heuristically. The device may be used indoors or outdoors on a practice putting green. The self-instruction of the putting practice device and method provides the golfer with the correct and most accurate position of the eyes and hands in relation to the target objective and to train this position for exact repeatable process. The putting practice device and process is intended for putts of a distance between 0 and about 3.6 meters (0 feet and 12 feet), and more preferably between about 1.2 meters and about 2.1 meters (4 feet and about 7 feet).

As illustrated in FIG. 1, according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the putting practice device includes two panels: a reflective panel 1 which includes a reflective surface 2, an enclosing panel 3 that supports the reflective panel and allows the inclination of the reflective panel to be adjusted, varying the angle 7 between the two panels. The enclosing panel 3 and the reflective panel 1 are held together by the two screw hinges 5 that allow the two panels to pivot around and attain a closed position or multiple open positions. The reflective panel 1 can rotate between 0 degrees at a closed position to about 345 degrees in a variety of open positions to accommodate a golfer of any height at multiple distances. The putting practice device is placed behind the putting cup 6 facing the golfer, with the reflective surface 2 at an angle to the ball trajectory 8. The putting practice device can be transported using the transportation handle 4 incorporated into the top of the reflective panel 1. The transportation handle consists of an opening for the golfer's hand to lift the device. The reflective panel 1 and the enclosing panel 3 are made of a rigid material such as plastic, wood or metal.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention, FIG. 2 illustrates a front view of the reflective surface for right-handed golfers 2. The reflective surface can be made of a mirror-like material, regular mirror, unbreakable mirror-like material or polished metal or plastic. The reflective surface is attached to the reflective panel using any appropriate adhesive or any other method. The reflective surface 2 layout can include feet alignment lines 9 and the alignment vertical ball line 14 pointing to the center of the putting cup location 6. The reflective surface 2 is designed and marked with two vertical lines 12 and 13 that represent the width of a putting cup.

The vertical lines 12 and 13 are spaced about 12 centimeters (4.5 inches) apart to create the virtual putting cup width. The area delineated by the vertical lines 12 and 13 is used as a simulated putting cup for indoor use or used to align the device with the putting cup on the practice putting green. This allows for indoor or outdoor use of the invention. Other lines, such as the feet alignment lines 9 are specifically placed on the surface to be used by the golfer in recreating a stance of his or her feet while putting. The golfer utilizes these guiding lines and reference lines to repeat the same positioning for each putting stroke to achieve the best repeatable results.

The size of the reflective surface can vary to allow the golfer to view his or her putting stance. This can vary from just providing a view of the ball to providing a view of the entire golfer's body positioning. The preferred embodiment has a reflective surface 2 sized to about 36 centimeter high (15 inches) and about 29 centimeters wide (11 inches). In the preferred embodiment, the reflective surface layout includes three vertical lines 12, 13 and 14 that are about 28 centimeters (11 inches) high from the bottom part of the reflective surface and spaced about 6 centimeters (2¼ inches) between the left vertical line 12 and the vertical ball line 14 and about 6 centimeters (2¼ inches) between the right vertical line 13 and the vertical ball line 14 so that left vertical line 12 and right vertical line 13 provide a virtual putting cup of the same size as a regular golf course putting cup. The figure also shows the reflected image of the putting cup 29.

The vertical ball line 14 is placed in correspondence with the center of the putting cup. Ball alignment markings are spaced along the vertical ball line to provide a reference point for the virtual image of the ball and putter head position. In the preferred embodiment the three ball alignment markings 15, 16 and 17 are positioned at approximately 2.5 centimeters, 10 centimeters and 18 centimeters (1 inch, 4 inches, 7 inches) from the bottom of the reflective surface 2.

Ball alignment markings 15, 16 and 17, perpendicular to the vertical ball line 14, are used by the golfer to recreate a stance while putting. Additionally, the reflective surface can include two angled club lines extending out from one of the vertical lines. The upper angled club line 11 originates about 18 centimeters (6.5 inches) from the bottom of the reflective surface 2 and extends about 20 degrees from the vertical line. The lower angled club line 10 originates about 3 centimeters (1 inch) from the bottom of the reflective surface 2 and extends about 30 degrees from the vertical line. In addition, the upper arched club line 25 and the lower arched club line 26 can be added between the lower angled club line 10 and the upper angled club line 11 and to provide additional reference lines to the golfer. The arched club lines 25 and 26 allow the golfer to position his or her golf club so that the golfer can easily remember the angle of the club. The reflected image of the golf club 22 is usually comprised within the two angled club lines 10 and 11.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the layout of the reflective surface can include three sets of feet alignment lines 9 positioned on the left side of the reflective surface. The feet alignment lines 9 provide a point of reference to the golfer for the positioning of his or her feet during the putting. In the preferred embodiment, one of the set of feet alignment lines 9 is placed 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) from the bottom of the reflective surface 2, the second set at about 10 centimeters (4 inches) from the bottom of the reflective surface 2 and the third set at about 20 centimeters (8 inches) from the bottom of the reflective surface 2. Each set of feet alignment lines 9 is about 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) high and about 3 centimeters (1.25 inches) from the left line and may include more lines than described above.

The guiding lines are obtained to be visible on the reflective surface 2 by depositing paint or by depositing adhesive material or by etching or engraving the reflective surface 2. The guiding lines and the reference lines may also be a non-opaque sheet with sets of lines and markings for right-handed, left-handed or customized sets of lines and markings to be overlaid on the reflective surface of the device. Different arrangements of the reflective surface 2 can thus be contemplated based on the forgoing disclosure depending on the desired guiding lines, reference lines and markings.

FIG. 3 shows the putting practice device in an open position, where the reflective panel 1 has been rotated on the screw hinges 5 from a closed position away from the enclosing panel 3. The opening of the device is facilitated by the two finger grip holes 18 that allow the fingers to lift the reflective panel 2 from the enclosing panel 3. The two finger grip holes 18 are shown in more details in FIG. 7 which represents a perspective view of part of the enclosing panel 3.

FIG. 3A shows the reflective panel 1 and the enclosing panel 3 connected by the screw hinges 5.

FIG. 5 shows the virtual images of the position of the ball 20, the reflected image of the golf club 22, its angle at the time of striking the golf ball, and the position of the golfer's feet 27 in relation to the feet alignment lines 9. The reflective panel is adjusted to center the reflected image of the golf ball 20 with the vertical ball line 14 in order for the golfer to achieve proper body alignment. The reflected image of the golf club 22 is usually comprised within the lower angled club line 10 and the upper angled club line 11. The reflected image of the golfer's feet 27 will be located around the feet alignment lines 9.

FIG. 6 shows the golfer receiving reflected image feedback 19 from the virtual image on the reflective surface 2. The golfer can then adjust the position of the golf club so that the trajectory of the ball 8 is aligned with the vertical ball line 14. This shows how utilizing the visual feedback will place the golfer in the perfect body position over the ball to create the perfect pendulum swing.

FIG. 8 shows the details of the enclosing panel 3, including the finger grip holes 18 and the two holes for the two screw hinges 5. In the preferred embodiment, the enclosing panel and the reflective panel are about 2 centimeters (1 and ¼ inch) thick.

FIG. 9 shows the top view of the assembly of the putting practice device. The reflective surface 2 is glued or attached with other methods to the reflective panel 1. The reflective panel 1 has a handle 4 to carry the device. The enclosing panel 3 is attached to the reflective panel 1 by the two screw hinges 5 mounted through holes 23 of the enclosing panel 3 and screwed into the threaded holes 24 of the reflective panel 1. The screw hinges 5 are commercially available and known to those skilled in the art. FIG. 9 also shows the finger grip holes 18 on the enclosing panel 3 to allow the opening of the device by lifting the reflective panel 1 from the enclosing panel 3.

FIG. 10 is the corresponding side view of FIG. 9 showing the assembly parts of the putting practice device. The reflective surface 2 is recessed in and attached to the reflective panel 1 by way of an adhesive or other methods.

FIG. 11 shows the putting practice device in a closed position when the reflective panel 1 is lying adjacent to the enclosing panel 3 to which it is attached by way of the two screw hinges 5. The enclosing panel 3 encloses and protects the reflective surface attached to the inside of the reflective panel 1. The figure also shows the transportation handle 4 that allows the golfer to easily transport the device. The reflective panel 1 fits snugly inside the enclosing panel 3.

FIG. 11A shows the back side of the putting practice device in a closed position when the reflective panel 1 is lying adjacent to the enclosing panel 3 to which it is attached by way the two screw hinges 5.

FIG. 12 illustrates the movement between a closed position and an open position, here represented with dashed lines, of the putting practice device when the reflective panel 1 is rotated along the screw hinges 5 to achieve the full open position as described in FIG. 1. The angle 7 between the reflective panel 1 and the enclosing panel 3 is about 345 degrees that allows the putting training device to be self-standing in an inverted “V” shape position on the ground.

According to a second embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 13 illustrates a front view of the reflective surface 28 for left-handed golfers. The reflective surface can be made of a mirror-like material, regular mirror, unbreakable mirror-like material or polished metal or plastic. The reflective surface is attached to the reflective panel 1 in alternative to the reflective surface for right-handed golfers 2 using any appropriate adhesive or any other method. The reflective surface 28 layout can include feet alignment lines 9 and the vertical ball line 14 pointing to the center of the putting cup location 6. In the second embodiment of the invention, the layout of the reflective surface shows the feet alignment lines 9 positioned on the right side of the reflective surface. The surface of the reflective surface 28 is designed and marked with two vertical lines 12 and 13 that represent the width of a putting cup. The lines 12 and 13 are spaced about 12 centimeters (4.5 inches) apart to create the virtual putting cup width.

The area delineated by the vertical lines 12 and 13 is used as a simulated putting cup for indoor use or used to align the device with the putting cup on the practice putting green. In the second embodiment, the reflective surface layout includes three vertical lines 12, 13 and 14 that are about 28 centimeters (11 inches) high on the bottom left part of the reflective surface and spaced about 6 centimeters (2¼ inches) between the left vertical line 12 and the vertical ball line 14 and about 6 centimeters (2¼ inches) between the right vertical line 13 and the vertical ball line 14 so that left vertical line 12 and right vertical line 13 provide a virtual putting cup of the same size as a regular golf course putting cup. The figure also shows the reflected image of the putting cup 29. Other lines, such as the feet alignment lines 9 are specifically placed on the surface to be used by the golfer in recreating a stance of his or her feet while putting. The golfer utilizes these guiding lines and reference lines to repeat the same positioning for each putting stroke to achieve the best repeatable results.

In a third embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 14 shows the putting practice device in an open position, where the reflective panel 2 has been rotated on the screw hinges 5 from a closed position away from the enclosing panel 3. The opening of the device is facilitated by the two finger grip holes 18 that allow the hand fingers to lift the reflective panel 2 from the enclosing panel 3. The figure shows the reflective surface for left-handed golfers 28 to be attached to the enclosing panel 3, while the reflective surface for right handed golfers 2 is attached to the reflective panel 1.

According to the third embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 15 shows the top view of the assembly of the putting practice device. The reflective surface 2 is attached to the reflective panel 1 by way of an adhesive or by other methods. The reflective surface for left-handed golfers 28 is attached on the inside of the enclosing panel 3 by way of an adhesive or by other methods. The reflective panel 1 has a handle 4 to carry the device. The enclosing panel 3 is attached to the reflective panel 1 by the two screw hinges 5 mounted through holes 23 of the enclosing panel 3 and screwed into the threaded holes 24 of the reflective panel 1. The screw hinges 5 are commercially available and known to those skilled in the art. FIG. 15 also shows the finger grip holes 18 on the enclosing panel 3 to allow the opening of the device by lifting the reflective panel 1 from the enclosing panel 3.

FIG. 16 is the corresponding side view of FIG. 15 showing the assembly parts of the putting practice device according to the third embodiment of the present invention. The reflective surface 2 is recessed in and attached to the reflective panel 1 by way of adhesive or other means. The reflective surface for left-handed golfers 28 is recessed in and attached to the enclosing panel 3 by way of an adhesive or other methods.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to the preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various other changes in the form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive.