Title:
Golf training apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf swing training aid that is effective in aiding a golfer in acquiring a proper golf swing. The training apparatus includes a simple, non-encumbering support that can be removably connected to the upper body portion of the trainee. The support consists of an elongated, upper body-encircling strap and first and second spaced-apart shoulder strap assemblies that are connected to the upper body-encircling strap. An important feature of the training aid involves providing first and second specially designed, yieldably deformable underarm pads that are connected to the upper body-encircling strap by elongated connectors and are conveniently movable by the trainee from a hanging position when not in use to an underarm position training position.



Inventors:
Baird, Matt (Toluca Lake, CA, US)
Haggar, John A. (Montrose, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/644192
Publication Date:
06/26/2008
Filing Date:
12/21/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LEGESSE, NINI F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
James E. Brunton (Fallbrook, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A golf training apparatus for use by a trainee having an upper body portion, including underarm portions, said apparatus comprising: (a) a support; (b) connector means for releasably connecting said support to the upper body portion of the trainee; and (c) an underarm pad connected to said support for movement between a hanging position and an underarm position.

2. The apparatus as defined in claim 1 in which said support has first and second end portions and in which said connector means comprises mating strips of Velcro material affixed to said first and second end portions.

3. The apparatus as defined in claim 1 in which said support comprises an elongated, upper body-encircling strap.

4. The apparatus as defined in claim 3, further including a pair of shoulder straps connected to said upper body-encircling strap.

5. The apparatus as defined in claim 3, further including a pad-connecting member interconnecting said underarm pad with said upper body-encircling strap.

6. The apparatus as defined in claim 3, further including a second underarm pad connected to said support for movement between a hanging position and an underarm position.

7. A golf training apparatus for use by a trainee having an upper body portion, including underarm portions, said apparatus comprising: (a) a support, said support comprising an elongated, upper body-encircling strap and a pair of shoulder straps connected to said upper body-encircling strap; (b) connector means for releasably connecting said support to the upper body portion of the trainee; (c) first and second underarm pads connected to said support for movement between a hanging position and an underarm position.

8. The apparatus as defined in claim 7 in which said elongated, upper body-encircling strap has first and second end portions and in which said connector means comprises mating strips of Velcro material affixed to said first and second end portions.

9. The apparatus as defined in claim 7 in which said elongated, upper body-encircling strap is constructed from a fabric material.

10. The apparatus as defined in claim 7, further including a first pad-connecting member interconnecting said first underarm pad with said upper body-encircling strap and a second pad-connecting member interconnecting said second underarm pad with said upper body-encircling strap.

11. The apparatus as defined in claim 10 in which said first and second pad-connecting members comprise elongated connecting cords.

12. A golf training apparatus for use by a trainee having an upper body portion, including a chest portion and underarm portions, said apparatus comprising: (a) a support, said support comprising an elongated, chest-encircling strap having first and second end portions and a pair of shoulder straps connected to said chest-encircling strap; (b) connector means for releasably connecting said support to the upper body portion of the trainee, said connector means comprises mating strips of Velcro material affixed to said first and second end portions of said chest-encircling strap; (c) first and second yieldably deformable underarm pads connected to said chest-encircling strap for movement between an underarm position and a hanging position; and (d) a first pad-connecting member interconnecting said first underarm pad with said chest-encircling strap and a second pad-connecting member interconnecting said second underarm pad with said chest-encircling strap.

13. The apparatus as defined in claim 12 in which each of said shoulder straps as a first end integrally formed with said chest-encircling strap and a second free end having a connector member for releasably interconnecting said free end to said chest-encircling strap.

14. The apparatus as defined in claim 13, further including a first pad-connecting member interconnecting said first underarm pad with said upper body-encircling strap and a second pad-connecting member interconnecting said second underarm pad with said upper body-encircling strap.

15. The apparatus as defined in claim 14 in which said first and second pad-connecting members comprise elongated connecting cords.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates generally to training apparatus for the game of golf. More particularly the invention concerns a device for encouraging proper positioning of the golfer's body during the golf swing.

2. Discussion of the Prior Art

The prior art is replete with various types of devices for training golfers in properly accomplishing the golf swing. These devices function in various ways to control the golfer's body while undertaking practice swings. Some prior art devices attempt to position and control the golfer's upper body, head, shoulder and arms while others attempt to control the golfer's hip movement. Often these prior art devices are quite complex and frequently concentrate only on one particular part of the body.

Another common drawback of many of the prior art golf training devices is that they include straps, mechanical devices and the various other types of constraints that are designed to restrain the trainee's arms and legs in somewhat unnatural positions and in so doing prevent normal body movement during the golf swing. As will be better understood from a description that follows, the apparatus of the present invention avoids this drawback by providing an apparatus that is uniquely designed to encourage the trainee to pivot the body, including the hips, around a rigid central axis without constraining the normal movement of the trainee's arms and legs during the performance of the training exercises.

Experienced golfers, as well as teaching professionals, have long recognized that a critical aspect of a repeatable golf swing is the proper pivoting of the body around a rigid central axis. It is also well understood that in order to achieve the proper pivoting of the body, the position of the arms relative to the sides of the trainee must be positively controlled. To properly control the position of the arms relative to the trainee's sides, experienced golfers frequently clamp golf gloves or like items within their armpits during the performance of practice swings and at the address of the ball during putting. For a right-handed trainee, by attempting to maintain the golf glove or other object securely clamped between the right arm and the trainee's right side during the entire practice swing functions to encourage proper body pivot. Similarly, by attempting to maintain the golf glove or other object securely clamped between the left arm and the trainee's left side during the initial portion of the golf swing, further encourages the proper pivot of the body around the rigid central axis.

With the forgoing in mind, a primary object of the present invention is to provide properly designed pads that take the place of golf gloves or like objects and uniquely form a part of the training apparatus of the invention so that they are conveniently available to the trainee and can be easily positioned within the trainee's armpits during putting practice and during the performance of practice swings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A primary object of the present invention is to provide a golf swing training aid that is highly effective in aiding a golfer in acquiring a proper golf swing. By way of summary, one form of the training apparatus of the present invention comprises a simple, non-encumbering support that can be removably connected to the upper body portion of the trainee. The support includes an elongated, upper body-encircling strap and first and second spaced-apart shoulder strap assemblies that are connected to the upper body-encircling strap. First and second specially designed, yieldably deformable underarm pads are connected to the upper body-encircling strap by elongated connectors and are conveniently movable by the trainee from a hanging position when not in use to an underarm training position.

Another object of the invention is the provision of an easily portable, compactly storable training aid that is easy to use, can be quickly and easily donned and is highly effective in developing an ideal golf swing.

Another object of the invention is the provision of an effective golf swing training aid that is of simple construction, is durable in use and can be inexpensively produced.

These and other objects are effectively achieved by the novel apparatus illustrated in the attached drawings and described in the following specification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a generally perspective view of one form of the golf training apparatus of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a generally illustrational, front view of the golf training apparatus of the invention as it appears when connected to the upper body portion of the trainee.

FIG. 2A is an enlarged, generally illustrational front view of the upper portion of FIG. 2, partly broken-away to better show the positioning of the underarm pads of the apparatus.

FIG. 3 is a generally illustrational, front view of the golf training apparatus of the invention, similar to FIG. 2, but showing the appearance of the apparatus as the trainee commences the backswing.

FIG. 3A is an enlarged, generally illustrational front view of the upper portion of FIG. 3, partly broken-away to better show the positioning of the underarm pads of the apparatus as the trainee commences the backswing.

FIG. 3B is a generally illustrational, front view of the golf training apparatus of the invention, similar to FIG. 3, but showing the appearance of the apparatus as the trainee completes the backswing and is in position to commence the downswing.

FIG. 3C is an enlarged, generally illustrational front view of the upper portion of FIG. 3B, partly broken-away to better show the positioning of the underarm pads of the apparatus as the trainee reaches the top of the backswing.

FIG. 4 is a generally illustrational, rear view of the golf training apparatus of the invention, similar to FIG. 3B, but showing the appearance of the apparatus as the trainee completes the swing and is in the finishing position.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the drawings and particularly to FIGS. 1, 2 and 2A, one form of the golf training apparatus of the present invention is there illustrated and generally designated by the numeral 14. In this form of the invention the apparatus is adapted for use by a trainee “T” having an upper body portion “U”, including shoulder “S”, chest “C” and underarm portions “UA” (FIG. 2A). The apparatus 14 here comprises a simple, non-encumbering support assembly 16 that can be removably connected to the upper body portion of the trainee. Support assembly 16 includes an elongated, upper body-encircling strap 18 having first and second end portions 20 and 22 and first and second spaced-apart shoulder strap assemblies 24 and 26 that are integrally connected to the upper body-encircling strap 18. End portion 20 of strap 18 is provided with a Velcro connector 23 and end portion 22 is provided with a mating Velcro connector 25 so that the strap 18 can be securely positioned about the trainee's upper body portion in the manner depicted in FIGS. 2 and 2A.

Strap assembly 24 comprises a first strap 24a having first end portion 28 integrally formed with elongated, upper body-encircling strap 18 and a second free end 30. Similarly, strap assembly 26 comprises a second strap 26a having first end portion 32 integrally formed with elongated, upper body-encircling strap 18 and a second free end 34. End portion 30 of strap 24a is provided with a Velcro connector 35 and end portion 34 is provided with a Velcro connector 37. As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2A, body encircling strap 18 is provided with spaced-apart Velcro connectors 39 and 41. With this construction, once strap 18 is securely positioned about the trainee's upper body portion in the manner depicted in FIGS. 2 and 2A, strap 26a can be passed over the trainee's shoulders, across the trainee's chest “C” and into a position so that Velcro connector 37 provided on free end 34 can be releasably interconnected with Velcro connector 41 provided on body-encircling strap 18. This done, strap 24a can be passed over the trainee's shoulders, across the trainee's chest “C” and into a crossing relationship with strap 26a. As indicated in FIG. 2A, with strap 24a in this position Velcro connector 35 provided on free end 30 can be releasably interconnected with Velcro connector 39 provided on body-encircling strap 18. With the shoulder straps thusly positioned over the trainee's shoulders, the apparatus of the invention is securely and comfortably positioned about the trainee's upper body in a manner so as to in no way interfere with the golf swing.

A unique feature of the apparatus of the invention comprises first and second specially designed, yieldably deformable underarm pads 50 and 52 that are connected to the upper body-encircling strap 18 in the manner best seen in the in FIGS. 1 and 2A by elongated connectors 54 and 56. As best seen by referring to FIG. 1, each of the underarm pads is generally rectangular in shape and is preferably constructed from a yieldably deformable foam-like material. While it is to be understood that the underarm pads can be of various sizes, pads that are approximately 4 inches high, 3 inches wide and ½″ thick have proven satisfactory for the present purposes. With this construction, underarm pads 50 and 52 are conveniently movable by the trainee from a hanging position shown in FIG. 1 when not in use to an underarm training position wherein the pads are secured within the trainee's armpits by clamping the pads between the trainee's upper arms and sides (see FIGS. 2A and 3A).

In the present embodiment of the invention connectors 54 and 56 comprise connector cords, such as nylon connector cord, each of which has a first, loop end connected to strap 18 via openings 18a (FIGS. 3A, 3B and 3C) and a second end connected to the upper extremities of the underarm pads 50 and 52.

At the address position shown in FIGS. 2 and 2A, each of the underarm pads is placed into the trainee's arm pits and securely clamped in position therewithin by pressing the arms inwardly toward the trainee's sides (FIG. 2A). Being conscious of maintaining the arms in an inward, pad clamping position assists the trainee in clearly visualizing the accomplishment of the correct swing wherein the trainee will pivot the body, including the hips, around a rigid central axis. To commence the backswing in the manner illustrated in FIG. 3, a right-handed golfer will move the hands and arms rearward while shifting the weight to the right foot and smoothly turning the hips laterally toward the target where the ball is to land. If this movement is correctly performed, both pads will remain securely clamped within the trainee's arm pits (see FIG. 3A). During the continuation of the swing in the manner illustrated in FIGS. 3B and 3C, the arms will move rearward along an upward arc and the hips will pivot around a central axis. If this backswing is correctly performed, pad 52 will remain securely clamped between the trainees left arm and left side, while pad 50 will automatically drop downwardly into the position shown in FIG. 3C. The fact that pad 52 remains securely clamped within the trainees left armpit provides an indication that the trainee is correctly pivoting around the central axis. During the downward swing and the follow-through as illustrated in FIG. 4, the hips smoothly rotate about the central axis to a position where both hips face the target or possibly slightly to the left of the target. If the downswing is properly performed, pad 52 will automatically drop downwardly in the position shown in FIG. 4. In practice, the use of the apparatus of the invention urges the golfer to make the proper swing, which comprises a combination of lateral and rotational hip motion about a central pivot axis with the corresponding correct upper body, shoulder and arm motion as indicated by the times at which the pads drop by force of gravity from the trainee's armpits into the hanging position shown in FIG. 4.

Having now described the invention in detail in accordance with the requirements of the patent statutes, those skilled in this art will have no difficulty in making changes and modifications in the individual parts or their relative assembly in order to meet specific requirements or conditions. Such changes and modifications may be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention, as set forth in the following claims.