Title:
Rotational golf training aid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hinged golf training club having a hinge that pivots rightwardly at a ninety degree angle relative to the reference plane 42 of zero degree clubhead 32. This device corrects the two main faults shared by all prior patents in this genre. The first fault is that their hinges are constructed so that the fork and the tongue members have flat surfaces contacting each other. The second fault is that some hinge both forwardly and rearwardly. This training club provides a construction that has a rounded male member contacting a rounded longitudinal cavity. The club looks substantially like and acts substantially like a conventional golf club in every way except for hinge 28, and allows the user to safely hit golf balls both on the range and on the course. This hinged training club 20 gives unmistakable positive feedback to the user both as how to use the hands, wrists and forearms in the golf swing to affect what has been popularly called ‘Ben Hogan's Secret Move,’ particularly during the transition of the golf swing. This invention will give the golfer unmistakable feedback as to whether they have executed the correct movement that Hogan explained in his 1955 Life magazine article.



Inventors:
Novosel Sr., John Michael (Leawood, KS, US)
Application Number:
12/148588
Publication Date:
11/20/2008
Filing Date:
04/21/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PASSANITI, SEBASTIANO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John M. Novosel, Sr. (Leawood, KS, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A golf training aid comprising: an upper shaft section having a grip; a lower shaft section having a clubhead having a reference plane; and a one-way hinge assembly comprising a female hinge member that is fixed to said upper shaft section and a rounded male hinge member that is fixed to said lower shaft section and that is pivotably connected to said female hinge member; wherein said female hinge member comprises a rounded longitudinal cavity within which said male hinge member pivots about a transverse axis, said transverse axis being parallel to the reference plane of a clubhead having a zero degree loft, said cavity being formed by two outer walls that are connected at their lower ends by a third wall, said third wall being operative to prevent pivoting of the male member by more than about 90 degrees.

2. The golf training aid of claim 1 further comprising a roll pin about which male hinge member pivots.

3. The golf training aid of claim 1 wherein said clubhead is selected from the group consisting of: a putter head, an iron, a driver, and a training head.

4. The golf training aid of claim 1 in which the hinge assembly is located at or near the center of gravity of the golf training aid.

5. A golf training aid comprising: an upper shaft section having a grip; a lower shaft section having a clubhead; and a hinge assembly comprising a female hinge member that is fixed to said upper shaft section and a rounded male hinge member that is fixed to said lower shaft section and that is pivotably connected to said female hinge member; wherein said female hinge member comprises a rounded longitudinal cavity within which said rounded male hinge member pivots about a transverse axis, said cavity being formed by two outer walls that are connected at their lower ends by a third wall and at their upper ends by a fourth wall.

6. The golf training aid of claim 5 wherein said hinge assembly is a one-way hinge assembly that constrains said lower shaft section to pivot perpendicularly from a plane that is parallel to said transverse axis and that intersects said side third wall.

7. The golf training aid of claim 5 wherein said third wall and said fourth wall are operative to prevent pivoting of the male member by more than about 90 degrees to the right.

8. The golf training aid of claim 5 in which the components of said training aid are configured similarly to and weighted approximately the same as those of a normal golf club.

9. The golf training aid of claim 5 wherein said grip is selected from the group consisting of: a conventional grip, and a training grip.

10. The golf training aid of claim 5 in which said female hinge member contains a shaft cavity for receiving the lower end of said upper shaft portion.

11. The golf training aid of claim 5 in which said male hinge member and said female hinge member contain bores that accept a roll pin

12. The golf training aid of claim 5 wherein the lower end of male hinge member is configured to fit into the rounded hollow core of said lower shaft section.

13. The golf training aid of claim 5 configured so that the longitudinal axes of upper shaft member and lower shaft member are aligned when a ball is addressed and when the ball is struck during a proper golf swing.

14. The golf training aid of claim 5 wherein the longitudinal axis of said male hinge member and the longitudinal axis of said female hinge member stay aligned during a proper swing.

15. A method for training a golfer to execute a proper golf swing using a training aid comprising an upper shaft section having a handle and a lower shaft section having a clubhead, said upper and lower shaft sections being joined by a one-way hinge assembly, said method comprising: addressing the ball, at which time said upper shaft section and said lower shaft section are in alignment; executing a first part of a backswing to a first checkpoint at which said upper shaft section is parallel to the ground and parallel to a line to the target, said handle is generally over the toes of the right foot, and said lower shaft section stays in the same alignment it was in at address; continuing the backswing to a second checkpoint at which both the upper end of said upper shaft section and said lower end of lower shaft section have stayed at the same alignment as they were at address; executing a first part of a forward swing to a third checkpoint at impact with the ball in which said upper shaft section and said lower shaft section are in alignment; continuing the forward swing to a fourth checkpoint at which said upper shaft section is parallel to the ground and the target line, said handle is generally over the toes of the left foot, said lower shaft section has stayed in the same alignment with said upper shaft section as they were at address; and continuing the forward swing to a fifth checkpoint at which the upper end of said upper shaft section and said lower shaft section have stayed in the same alignment as they were at address.

Description:

I claim the benefit of provisional Application No. 60/938/665 filed May 17, 2007. Reference: Life Magazine, Aug. 8 1955

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to golf training aids, specifically to a golf swing training aid. Moreover, this invention relates to a hinged practice golf club that indicates to the golfer exactly how to use his hands, wrists and forearms in the golf swing to effect what has been popularly called ‘Ben Hogan's Secret Move.’ This invention will give the golfer unmistakable feedback as to whether they have executed the correct movements in the golf swing that Ben Hogan explained in his Aug. 8, 1955 Life magazine article.

Mr. Hogan described this move as “I cupped the wrist gradually backward and inward on the backswing so that the wrist formed a slight V at the top of the swing. The angle was not more than four or six degrees, almost invisible to the human eye. This simple maneuver, in addition to the pronation, had the effect of opening the face of the club to the widest possible extreme at the top of the swing. At this point the swing had been made hook proof No matter how much wrist I put into the downswing, no matter how hard I swung or how hard I tried to roll into and through the ball, the face of the club could not close fast enough to become absolutely square at the moment of impact. The result was that lovely, long-fading ball which is a highly effective weapon on any golf course.”

2. Description

Through the years there have been many swing aids with a hinged design of the fork type being their main feature that either pivoted rearwardly and forwardly or just rearwardly along the target line. Koch U.S. Pat. No. 4,854,585, Reineking U.S. Pat. No. 2,497,237, Lyford U.S. Pat. No. 5,338,035, and others basically tried to keep the golf club on the correct swing plane through the use of their clubs and the hinge would pivot or breakdown if the club were to be taken back to fast and or off of the correct plane.

In all of these designs, the hinge is of a fork type; one hinge member has a pair of arms forming a fork, the other hinge member has a single arm (or tongue) which is received within the fork, and a pivot pin passes transversely through all three arms. All of these prior patents share one or two of the same main faults. The first fault is that their hinges are constructed so that the fork and the tongue members have flat surfaces contacting each other. The problem with this construction is that there is too much friction between the flat surfaces to give the correct feedback to the golfer, especially at the transition of the swing from backswing to downswing, one of the most important parts of the swing.

The reason that there is too much friction with this construction is that you cannot have any ‘wobble’ in the shaft as you swing it And this ‘wobble’ would result if the flat surfaces weren't machined to a close tolerance. The second fault that some including Bryan U.S. Pat. No. 5,277,427 share is that they hinge both ways, ninety degrees to the left of the golfer at address and ninety degrees to the right. This hinging of the club to the left makes the golfer concentrate on and worry too much about his backswing and the speed at which he takes the club back. The speed at which the modern Tour Pro takes the club back would preclude the use of this forwardly hinging aspect of the prior art.

To teach the ‘Hogan Secret’ correctly, the angle for the hinge must be only set at a rearwardly 90 degree angle relative to the reference plane of the 0 degree clubhead, if it is to mirror and give exact, user understandable feedback as to the correct action of the hand, wrists and forearms in the Hogan golf swing. It also teaches the golfer how to achieve the correct swing plane as described in Hogan's book. If this hinge is to exactly mirror the wrists in the full Hogan swing, then it must only not break down if you correctly perform the same movements as Ben Hogan. If it breaks at any time in the swing, then the swing is not correctly on plane, nor would it be mimicking the swing described in the ‘Hogan Secret.’

So, basically there have been no hinged golf training aids that only pivoted at a backwardly 90 degree angle relative to the reference plane of the 0 degree clubhead, and that were constructed so that a rounded member contacted a rounded longitudinal cavity. And furthermore, with a construction that you could actually hit balls without presenting a safety hazard to the user and onlookers, and further, that looked exactly like and acted exactly like a conventional golf club in every way except for the hinge. Also there have been no hinged golf training clubs that would give unmistakable positive feedback to the user both as how to use the hands, wrists and forearms in the golf swing to effect what has been popularly called the “Ben Hogan Secret Move.’

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

I came upon the use of this invention quite by accident, as I was using the hinge provided by my U.S. Pat. No. 6,558,267. It makes use of the construction of a hinge that pivots upwardly on the same plane as a clubhead with a 0 degree reference plane. In using it with one of our training clubs, I turned it so that it was at a rearwardly 90 degree angle to U.S. Pat. No. 6,558,267.

When I did this, I got a totally unexpected benefit. This construction provided a perfect way to check on the Ben Hogan Move. The key part of the equation here is at the transition of the golf swing. If the transition is not in accordance with the Hogan precept, then the hinge will breakdown. If the golfer keeps the hinge from breaking at the transition, then he is able to learn the Hogan move. It provided this feedback in a way that no prior hinged club with a flat fork type hinge could. Obviously the fact that it has a rounded male member contacted by a rounded longitudinal cavity in the female assembly contributed to the totally different feel that this construction provides.

It is, therefore, the primary object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus for training a golfer to learn the dual elements of correct forearm rotations and swing plane as exhibited by Ben Hogan and today's touring professionals at the same time; and as a corollary to the foregoing object, providing a hinged practice club that is configured at the optimum 90 degree angle relative to the reference plane of a 0 degree clubhead for correct reflection of the way a golfer's hands, wrists and forearms work in the ‘Hogan Secret,’ and also to provide the golfer with a new hinge design that will safely stand up to modern swing speeds. Another object is to provide a hinge device that will allow the golfer to take the club back at whatever speed they desire. Our hinged golf training club will help the golfer to identify the positions at the top of the backswing and the positions at the release of the club that mimic those of the professional touring player.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a club with upper and lower shaft sections connected with a hinge that has a rounded male member contacted by a rounded longitudinal cavity throughout the swing.

Another important object of the invention is to provide a club provided with components similar to and weighted similar to a normal golf club, so that when the golfer goes back to his regular equipment, the feel of his training will actually transfer to play on the golf course.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a training club that can be used anywhere with or without a golf ball and that can actually be taken out on the course and be used for playing shots if desired.

Another object of the present invention is to provide this hinge for all clubs in a golfer's bag and be used for playing all shots if desired.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a training club that can be used anywhere with or without a golf ball.

Other objects will become apparent as the specification proceeds.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view from the back of the iron golf club, showing enough of the shaft to include the hinge device.

FIG. 2 shows the golfer addressing the golf ball with the training club.

FIG. 3 shows the golfer pronating his left hand and forearm and supinating his right hand and forearm as the club is raised articuately away from the ball. As the club is raised away from the ball, it rotates 90 degrees and the club shaft stays straight, just like at address, provided the correct planar swing is carried out.

FIG. 4 shows the top of the swing, again on the correct plane, the golfer's left arm essentially straight and somewhat parallel to the ground. The shaft has rotated so that the hinged part keeps the shaft straight and does not break.

FIG. 5 is a view showing the swing back to the ball from FIG. 4, going through the reverse step of FIG. 3, where, if the swing plane is maintained, the shaft rotating the opposite of the backswing rotation, FIG. 3, so that the ball strike can be made.

FIG. 6 is a view in which we have the exact opposite of FIG. 3 occurring. That is, as the right hand and forearm pronate and the left hand and forearm correctly supinate at the same time.

FIG. 7 is a view of the correct swing completed with the entire part of the club and the arms of the player in the circular plane described.

FIG. 8 is a rear view showing the pivotal connection, per se, seen at the top of FIG. 1 with the back and lower portion of the club depending downwardly, just as seen in FIG. 1.

FIG. 9 is a frontal view showing the reverse side of FIG. 8 and shows the recess in the opposite side of the coupling where the rear end of the lower pivotal part of the club can pass out through the collar that has the roll pin, permitting the lower golf club portion to pivot.

FIG. 10 is a view taken from the golfer's side at address.

FIG. 11 is a view taken along the same lines as FIG. 10 showing how the hinge pivots rearwardly at a 90 degree angle.

FIG. 12 is a view from below showing the shaft, pivot and collar with the lower portion of the golf club fully pivoted.

REFERENCED NUMERALS IN DRAWING

  • 20 Hinged golf swing training device
  • 22 Elongated longer upper portion of shaft
  • 24 Elongated shorter lower portion of shaft
  • 26 Grip
  • 28 Hinge assembly
  • 30 Female hinge member
  • 32 Clubhead
  • 34 Roll pin
  • 36 Front face slot
  • 38 Back face slot
  • 40 Shaft cavity
  • 42 Reference plane
  • 44 Lower shaft receiving groove
  • 46 Male hinge member
  • 48 Roll pin bore
  • 50 Target line

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring initially to FIGS. 1-7, there is shown a golfer at address in FIG. 2 with the present invention, a hinged golf swing training club 20. It has the usual elongated upper 22 and lower 24 shaft sections, connecting at their confronting ends by a hinge assembly 28 having one distinct hinge axes. The hinge assembly 28 pivots 90 degrees perpendicularly, relative to a reference plane 42 that is parallel to a clubhead 32 with a 0 degree plane.

At the end of the longer upper 22 end thereof, a grip 26 is provided. A further advantage of this construction is that the walls of the cavity 40 are simultaneously strengthened by the presence of the third connecting wall at the time of greatest stress which is impact with the ball when the hinging assembly snaps back into the alignments in which it was at address. With the prior art, there are only the two forked open-sides to absorb the stress and they could bend or break with the result being dangerous conditions for the swinger and onlookers.

Practice with the training club 20 of the present invention is illustrated by the sequence of views of FIGS. 2-7. To get to the top of the backswing in FIG. 4, normally the golfer would have to think about keeping his left arm straight and pronated, the right arm supinated and in flexion, with both wrists in radial flexion, the left wrist in palmar extension and the right wrist in extension. In order to arrive at the impact position illustrated in FIG. 5, the golfer would have to think about supinating the left arm and pronating the right arm so that they would arrive with the left arm relatively straight and the right arm in flexion, with both wrists in radial flexion, the left wrist in palmar extension and the right wrist in extension. Instead of thinking about all of that, and since the hinge assembly 28 mirrors exactly what the golfers wrists are doing, all the golfer has to do is swing the training club 20 thru the positions shown in FIGS. 2 to 7 and if the hinge does not break then they have made the correct movements with their body and the club.

The first checkpoint is at FIG. 3. To check if the golfer is in the correct position for this part of the swing, they would make sure that when the upper 22 portion of the shaft of the club 20 becomes parallel with the ground that it is also parallel to the target line 50 and that the handle of the shaft is generally over the toes of the right foot. Any breakdown of the hinge 28 would indicate that the golfer would have to adjust his bodily movements to effect the correct position of the club 20 in order to keep it from breaking down. The next checkpoint is at FIG. 4. The golfer should check that upper 22 portion of shaft and the lower 24 portion of the shaft are parallel to the target line 50. When the golfer arrives at FIG. 5 the upper 22 and lower 24 sections of the shaft should have stayed in the same alignment as at address for impact and then continue to FIG. 6 where the upper 22 and lower 24 sections of the shaft would again be parallel to the ground and the target line 50.

At the finish, the golfer should check that the upper 22 portion of the shaft and that the lower 24 portion of the shaft are pointed at the target line 50. If the golfer deviates from these checkpoints, for example, the position of the club 20 at FIG. 6 is not as prescribed, then he must adjust his bodily movements to effect the simple corrections in order to get the swing onto the proper plane and correct release as exhibited by touring professionals.

Thus we can see that this training club 20 provides the golfer with unmistakable feedback, since it exactly mirrors the motion of his hands, wrists and forearms. Furthermore, this training club allows the golfer to feel the correct transition in a way that no forked, flat device can do. In addition, the upper 22 and lower 24 sections of the shaft provide unmistakable feedback by the way they stay lined up in the various checkpoints of the swing. We can see further that this training club 20 allows the golfer to feel the correct release of the golf training club 20 through the ball with the additional feedback of being able to observe ball flight after the swing. This will allow both inexperienced and scratch golfers to improve their ball striking abilities.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments but may also be expressed in other embodiments, by rearrangement, modification or substitution of parts or steps, within the spirit of the invention.





 
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