Title:
Golfer's sway detector
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The Golfer's Sway Detector is a golf aid that attaches to the golfer's shoe and provides Immediate audio feedback as soon as the they start to sway as they go into their back swing. It is comprised of a pressure sensor switch that detects any increase in vertical load at the base of the user's 5th metatarsal head. It in turn activates a speaker that then emits an audio signal alerting the golfer that he or she is starting to sway. The pressure sensor switch can also be placed under the base of the user's 1'st metatarsal head to indicate that proper push off is occurring off the toe during their down swing thus adding power to their stroke.



Inventors:
Glass, Alvin (Mill Valley, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/823936
Publication Date:
01/17/2008
Filing Date:
06/29/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
LEGESSE, NINI F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Alvin Glass (MILL VALLEY, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An audio feedback training device comprising a plastic band, means for attaching and securing said band to the user's shoe, said band containing means for producing from a speaker an audio signal only incident to a predetermined weight shift occurring directly under the base of the user's 5th metatarsal head during the back swing of their golf stroke or the base of the user's 1st metatarsal head during the down swing of their golf stroke.

2. The audio feedback training device of claim 1 wherein said band contains a Velcro strap and loop for attaching and securing said band to the user's shoe.

3. The audio feedback training device of claim 1 wherein said band contains a pressure sensor switch attached to a shoe wherein the bottom portion of said pressure switch has ground contact.

4. The audio feedback training device of claim 1 wherein said band containing means for producing from a speaker an audio signal wherein said audio signal is emitted in the sound of a beep and is dependent on activation from said pressure sensor switch.

5. The audio feedback training device of claim wherein said band attached to a shoe contains on its bottom portion cleats that would have ground contact when in use.

6. The audio feedback training device of claim 1 wherein said device is used principally during the golfer's back swing and down swing may also be used in a number of non-golfing physical activities such as pitching in baseball, passing in football and serving in tennis.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of Invention

This invention relates to an audio feedback training device that aids the beginning golfer or high handicapper to avoid swaying during their backswing.

2. Description of Prior Art

Many beginning golfers and high handicappers find it very difficult to avoid swaying as they start into their backswing. It's a common fault particularly in these two groups of golfers. Sway occurs when there is excessive lateral movement of the lower body away from the target during the back swing. It invariably causes inconsistent striking resulting in either miss hits or poorly struck balls. Because swaying is so prevalent in so many golfers one would think that there would have been a plethora of golf aids developed in an attempt to address this problem. However, a review of prior art reveals more than twice the number of golf aids designed to detect and or correct for head movement or head rotation than there are those designed to detect and or correct for swaying. Though both of these golf faults may occur simultaneously they more commonly occur independent of one another. U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,729,200; 4,392,830; 4,560,166; 5,108,104; 5,251,902 5,993,323; 6,048,324; 6,939,245 and 7,207,896 are all related to head movement or head rotation while the following patents cited below are related to sway. U.S. Pat. No. 3,606,341 for Honbarger is a foot holding device attached to the lead foot securing it to the ground with a heavy spike and designed to prevent swaying during the golf swing. The fact that a heavy spike is required severely limits the use of this device to just the golfer's back yard and certainly not on any golf course and most if not all driving ranges. U.S. Patent No. 4,103,897 for Ostyn is comprised of a clamp fastened across the shank of the golfer's shoe with a flexible band that straps around the lower leg and requires the golfer to maintain proper ankle posture during back swing mitigating back sway. Unlike Honbarger's device Ostyn's device can be used on a golf course or a driving range. Since it does have a flexible band that straps around the lower leg it is something of an encumbrance. U.S. Pat. No. 4,106,771 for Fern is a device that is clamped to the sole of a shoe at the instep with a spring plate that produces an audible signal when predetermined flexure of it occurs with change of the angular position of the shoe as a proper or desired golf stroke is near completion. Though Fern does not relate the device to sway it appears that it could be utilized for that purpose if the rear foot inverts enough as a result of swaying during back swing to activate its audio signal. Like Ostyn's device this too could be used on a golf course or driving range. Though it's not much of an encumbrance it's still very visible extending out from both sides of the shoe of the user. U.S. Pat. No 5,443,267 for Thorson is a leg brace which restricts improper leg movement during the golf swing and in so doing lessens or eliminates the sway. In addition to being something of an encumbrance there may also be an issue with comfort since the lower base member of this brace can be placed inside the user's shoe. U.S. Pat. No. 6,612,937 is an apparatus that emits bands of light to indicate the golfer's position with respect to a centered position and aids in maintaining that position during swing thus avoiding lateral sway. This device does lend itself to use on a driving range but with the added inconvenience of not only having to carry golf clubs and range balls the user would also have to carry the apparatus that emits the bands of light.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is an audio biofeedback device that alerts the golfer to the fact that they are starting to sway laterally as they go into their back swing. One of the earliest indications of a lateral sway is a shift in their weight distribution resulting in an increase vertical load directly under the base of their right 5th metatarsal head for a right handed player and the reverse for a left handed player. The desired weight distribution for golfers as they go through their back swing is to have it occur over their instep with the major vertical load directly under the base of their 1'st metatarsal head with virtually no weight load perceived over the lateral side of their foot and no vertical load evident under the base of their 5th metatarsal head. In addition to detecting and correcting lateral sway the present invention may also be utilized to aid in pushing off of the right toe for a right handed player during their downswing. Just as the audio signal is activated with increase vertical load under the base of the 5th metatarsal head due to sway during the backswing it may also be activated with increase vertical load under the base of the 1st metatarsal head as a result of pushing off of the toe during the downswing. The present invention is comprised of a U shaped plastic band that houses a speaker, a battery, a pressure sensor switch and their electrical connections plus cleats on the bottom portion of the device and a Velcro strap with a loop attachment.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

Objects and advantages of the present invention are:

  • (a) to provide an inexpensive, light weight and unobtrusive golf aid for the purpose of aiding in detecting and correcting swaying during backswing.
  • (b) to provide an inexpensive, light weight and unobtrusive golf aid for the purpose of aiding in pushing off of the toe for increasing power during the downswing.
  • (c) to provide an inexpensive, light weight and unobtrusive sport aid for the purpose of aiding toe push off to enhance various athletic efforts such as pitching in baseball, passing in football and possibly serving in tennis.
  • (d) to provide an inexpensive, light weight and unobtrusive golf aid that can be easily attached and detached from the golfer's shoe.
  • (e) to provide an audio signal that is so sensitive that it alerts the golfer to the fact that they have started to sway as they initiate their backswing.
  • (f) to provide an audio signal that alerts the user that they are appropriately pushing off of their toe as they engage in various athletic efforts such as pitching in baseball, passing in football and possibly serving in tennis.
  • (g) to provide a light weight and small enough golf aid so that it can be carried in the golfer's pocket or golf bag and can be used for practicing in a variety of locations such as the driving range, the golf course or one's own living room or back yard.

Additional objects and advantages of this inexpensive and unobtrusive golf aid will be made apparent from the ensuing description and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a frontal view of the device

FIG. 2 is an underside view of the device

FIG. 3 is a side view of the device attached to a shoe

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of the circuitry of the device in FIGS. 1 through 3

REFERENCE NUMERALS IN DRAWINGS

1. Plastic U shaped band

2. Speaker

3. Battery

4. Pressure sensor switch

5. Cleats

6. Velcro strap

7. Loop attached to Velcro strap

DESCRIPTION—FIGS. 1 to 3

Referring to the drawings wherein the preferred embodiment of the invention in FIGS. 1 through 3. FIG. 1 shows the device as it appears unattached to a shoe with the upper portion of the plastic U shaped band housing the battery and the speaker and the lower portion housing the side of the pressure sensor switch that is placed under the sole of the shoe that corresponds to the base of the user's 5th metatarsal head. FIG. 2 show the device as it appears unattached to a shoe but opposite in view to that shown in FIG. 1. The upper portion of the plastic U shaped band now shows the side of the pressure sensor switch that has direct contact with the ground while the bottom portion now shows the housing for the battery and the speaker. FIG. 3 shows the device as it appears attached to a shoe with the pressure sensor switch positioned directly under the sole of the user's shoe corresponding to the base of their right 5th metatarsal head for right handed players and the base of their left 5th metatarsal head for left handed players.