Title:
Golf swing training device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device that helps a golfer improve his/her swing while at the same time exercising the muscles used during the swing. The device comprises two grips or handles, one at each end, and a flexible center body between the grips. The flexible center body comprises an outer body made of a multiple directional flex material such as a spring and an inner body made of a flexible strip of stainless steel or a durable strip material, or a combination of both which enables the device to bend or flex in two directions and resist a twisting motion.



Inventors:
Kurisu, Kazuo (Thousand Oaks, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/827622
Publication Date:
01/15/2009
Filing Date:
07/13/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/231
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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20060046863Laser collimator for calibrating collimation of laser beams of a golf barMarch, 2006Yeh
20080051209System And Method For Indicating A Golf Swing RegionFebruary, 2008Anton
20050159231One camera club monitorJuly, 2005Gobush
20030190972Golf swing training templateOctober, 2003Marshall II
20020111223Golf swing controllerAugust, 2002Neubauer
20090203456BILLIARD CUE ATTACHED WITH MULTIPURPOSE RUBBER PADAugust, 2009Tao



Primary Examiner:
LEGESSE, NINI F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
IRVING KESCHNER (Palos Verdes Estates, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A multi-functional golf swing training device comprising: a member having a flexible metal inner body and a resilient outer body, said inner body being positioned within said outer body, said inner body be selected to provide flexibility and resistance to twist said outer body having first and second ends; first and second grip members coupled to said first and second ends of said outer body, respectively; and means for securing said device to the shaft of a golf club during training swings and being removable from the golf club shaft when the golf club is to be used to address a golf ball.

2. (canceled)

3. The training device of claim 1 wherein said flexible metal is stainless steel.

4. The training device of claim 1 wherein said resilient outer body comprises a spring.

5. (canceled)

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a golf swing training and muscle exercising device which teaches a user the proper motion sequence in a golf swing and which also exercises the muscles used by a golfer during a swing.

2. Description of the Prior Art

A number of devices related to helping golfers improve their golf swing have been available in the prior art. A search of the concept developed the following references.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,702,474 to Guibert—this reference discloses an articulated handheld exerciser with left and right hand clubs 10, 11 formed by shafts having replaceable tubular handles 12 which are shaped to simulate the grip of a standard sports appliance. The ends of the shafts are hinged together by a helical spring 38. When gripping handles, the user may hold them in parallel or angle the clubs with respect to the hinge. The user's motions when swinging the handles or rotating them create dynamic tensions which act on the user's muscular system associated with his/her shoulders, arms and wrists.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,878,673 to Pollard—this reference discloses a pair of training sticks, each stick 12 having a shaft 14 with upper and lower ends, a weight 16, and a flexible elongate means 18 connecting the lower end of the shaft and the weight. Additionally, the device has a means for connecting the shafts at a selected point along their lengths to provide a maximum separation between those points. The connecting means 72 is flexible, connects the shaft upper ends, and provides a variable maximum separation between the shafts at the points. In the exercises, an improper swing is evidenced by a non-parallel relationship between the training sticks during a swing, and a proper swing is evidenced by a parallel relationship.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,681,317 to Brandell—this reference discloses an isokinetic exercise device that provides maximum resistance throughout the entire range of movements of a user exercising with this device. The pair of handle members 12, 14 is designed to accommodate and to provide the structure and feel of the gripping portion of a golf club. Thus, it reproduces the stresses encountered in playing golf and provides for the development of the wrist and forearm muscles. As seen in FIGS. 1, 3, 10 and 11, spring member 16 applies a maximum force against movement of the pair of handle members away from each other during exercising.

Patent Application Publication 2006/0122000 to Paredes et al—this publication discloses an apparatus having an elongated shaft 22 including a grip 24 at one end and having a clamp 26 attached to the other end. The clamp is removably attached to a shaft of a golf club such that the shaft 22 of the apparatus and the golf club shaft 12 are spaced apart in a parallel relationship to one another. The shaft is adjustable in length, it being a telescopic shaft having a first shaft slidably disposed within a second shaft. Means are provided for locking the first and second shafts relative to one another so that it may accommodate golfers of different sizes and strengths, while enabling the golfer to use both arms in a natural manner.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,557,479 to Guibert—this reference discloses an articulated exercise bar having hinged together weighted left hand 10 and right hand 11 arms, each provided with a rotatable handle 12 and 13, respectively. The arms are joined together by a rotatable hinge assembly 14 making it possible for the arms to be held at parallel positions lying within a main plane passing through the longitudinal axis of the arms. By rotating the hinge assembly, the user may grasp the rotatable handles to swing the arms in and out within the main plane or at right angles to the main plane, or the user may rotate the entire bar. This exercise bar is an isotonic exerciser adapted to repeatedly raise or lower a weight using dynamic tension.

Although the above noted references describe various techniques/devices to improve a golfer's swing and/or to exercise the muscles used when golfing, what is desired is a simple, cost effective device which teaches a golfer the proper sequence of a swing and, at the same time, exercise the muscles that are used by a golfer when swinging.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a device that helps a golfer improve his/her golf swing sequence while at the same time exercising the muscles used during the swing. The device is simple in design, easy to use, portable and can be used for exercise indoor or outdoor in a small area.

The device comprises two grips or handles, one at each end, and a flexible center body between the grips. The device (for an average sized male) is approximately between 34 inches and 36 inches in length and weighs in the range between 800 and 900 grams. The device for children, women and males stronger than the average male will vary in size and weight.

The flexible center body comprises an outer body made of a multiple directional flex material such as a spring and an inner body made of a flexible strip of stainless steel or a durable strip material, or a combination of both to control the direction of bend or flex.

The outer body, preferably a spring, provides flexibility, resistance and weight. The pitch of the spring is selected so as to avoid pinching a user's hair when used as wrap around for shoulder exercise. The diameter of the spring and the material used for the spring is determined by the user's preferences. The inner body is made of flexible stainless steel or a durable material and provides for the directional flex and resistance from twisting.

The grips preferably comprise a conventional regular golf grip and a shortened grip. The two grips are different in length and weight and are removable to allow accessories such as a putter or a grooved training grip to be attached. A clamp-on attachment enables the device to be attached to the shaft of a golf club is also disclosed.

One grip is approximately two thirds the length of other grip, and the shorter of two grips is designed to be held by the subdominant side of the user, left hand for a right handed golfer and by the right hand by a left handed golfer, and it is weighted heavier than the other grip, which is normal size grip, giving a sense of balance and feel to the leading hand.

The center body can be different in size, weight, and resistance depending upon the preference of the user.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a better understanding of the present invention as well as other objects and further features thereof, reference is made to the following description which is to be read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing therein:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of the golf-swing correction device of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view along line 3-3 of FIG. 2, the handle having a solid shaft;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view along line 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view along line 5-5 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view along line 6-6 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 7 is the same view as FIG. 3 except that the handle utilizes a tube member;

FIG. 8 is the same view as FIG. 3 except that an extension device has been added;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view along line 9-9 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of member utilized to connect a golf shaft to the device;

FIG. 11 is a front plan view of the connector device shown in FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a sectional view along line 12-12 of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a sectional view along line 13-13 of FIG. 11;

FIGS. 14 an 15 illustrate a golfer using the assembled configuration shown in FIG. 10; and

FIGS. 17-38 show various positions/uses of the device of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to FIG. 1, the training device 10 of the present invention is illustrated. Device 10 comprises grips, or handles, 14 and 16, handle 14 being shorter than handle 16, inner body 17, outer body 18, caps 19 and 20, and grip locks 22 and 24 which are part of handles 14 and 16, respectively. When training device 10 is in use, the golfer grips handle 14 with the subdominant hand and handle 16 with the dominant hand. As will be explained in more detail hereafter, outer body 18 comprises a flexible spring, preferably chromed steel, which provides appearance, flexibility, and weight to device 10. Caps 19 and 20 cover and secure outer body 18 and a connector 29 and grip locks 22 and 24 lock handles 14 and 16 to a center body 12 (shown in FIG. 2).

FIGS. 2-6 illustrate the device 10 of the present invention. Handle 16 includes an outer grip 23, typically made of rubber, and an inner solid shaft 25. The end of 27 shaft 25 extends into an externally threaded grip connector device 29 locked in place by grip lock 24 (note that although not illustrated, the grip connection for handle 14 is identical). Outer body 18, preferably a spring member, has a portion thereof positioned around the cylindrical end portion 31 of grip connector 29 as illustrated. A pair of pins 33 and 35 extend though openings formed in inner body 17 and 31 of grip connector 29. Cap 20 also surrounds the portion of outer body 18 positioned around cylindrical portion 31. Pins 33 and 35 secure inner body 17 to connector 29, the pins being covered by outer body 18 and caps 19 and 20. Center body 12 is defined as including inner body 17, outer body 18, caps 19 and 20 and pins 33 and 35, essentially the middle portion of device 10. Grip locks 22 and 24 function to secure handles 14 and 16 to center body 12.

FIG. 7 is identical to FIG. 3 except that handle 39 utilizes a hollow tube member instead of solid shaft 25.

FIG. 8 is identical to FIG. 3 except that an extension device 50 has been added. Extension device 50 comprises a grip connector 52, an extension lock 54, and extension fitter 56. Extension lock 54 secures grip device 50 to center body 12, extension device 50 adding swing weight to the swing motion by extending center body 12 of device 10. Extension fitter 56 allows grip extension device 50 to be aligned properly to connector 29 of device 10.

Referring now to FIGS. 10 through 13, illustrated is device 60 which also provides for exercising the muscles used in a golf swing when a golf club 62 is connected to device 60 (note that in this case, golf club 62 is used as part of the training and not to hit an actual golf ball). Device 60 comprises a main housing 64 with a U-shaped channel 61 lid member portion 66 and directed flexible neck portion 70. A pin 68 and torsion spring 72 are inserted in a holder positioned within an opening formed when portions 64 and 66 are assembled together. Jaw portion 66 is coupled to main housing 64 in a manner whereby it can move in either a downward or upward direction. Neck portion 70 comprises an inner body 86, outer body 84 and a connector 88 at one end, connector 88 preferably being made of durable, light weight plastic. One end of neck portion 70 is press fit into a slotted, cylindrically shaped member 80 integrally formed with housing 64. Inner body 86 is inserted into a slot formed in member 80 and a pin 82 is inserted through aligned holes formed in member 80 and inner body 86, securing the latter to the former. The other end of neck portion 70 with connector 88 formed thereon is joined to portion 14 or 16 of device 10.

Golf club 62 is connected to device 60 by moving jaw portion 66 in a downward direction, which in turn rotates lip portion 67 of jaw portion 66 in a direction that removes it from blocking the space between the legs of the U-shaped channel 61. Shaft 62 is then positioned within the channel 61, jaw portion 66 is released and lip portion 67 then secures shaft 62 within channel 61.

Connector 60 is one of a number of devices which, when coupled to portions 14 and 16, provides a further option for a enabling a golfer to exercise the muscles used in a golf swing.

FIG. 14 illustrates a right handed golfer using the device attached to golf club 62 and FIG. 15 is a cross arm view of the right handed golfer shown in FIG. 14. Attaching connector 60 to the golf club adds another grip and allows a user to perform similar exercises as the device 10 without the connector. The user can detach the connector and use the club to hit a golf ball.

FIG. 16 illustrates a golfer positioned to address a golf club; FIG. 17 illustrates a user holding device 10 in a horizontal position (both grips are in close and level with each other); FIG. 18 illustrates a user with device 10 in a halfway take back, horizontal position; FIG. 19 illustrates a user with device 10 in a ¾ take back, horizontal position; FIG. 20 illustrates a user with device 10 after an impact zone in the horizontal position; FIG. 21 illustrates a user holding device 10 in a vertical position; FIG. 22 is a sideview showing device 10 held in the vertical position; FIG. 23 illustrates a user with device 10 in the half way take back, vertical position; FIG. 24 illustrates a user checking device 10 at the top of the take back in the vertical position; FIG. 25 illustrates a user holding device 10 in the cross arm position; FIG. 26 illustrates a user holding device 10 half way back in the cross arm position; FIG. 27 illustrates the user with device 10 in the top, cross arm position; FIG. 28 illustrates a user with device 10 in the follow through, cross arm position; FIG. 29 shows a user with device 10 in the wrap around neck position to provide shoulder turn or flex exercise; FIG. 30 is a side view of the position shown in FIG. 29; FIG. 31 illustrates a use with device 10 in the wrap around neck position to provide left twist shoulder turns or flex exercise; FIG. 32 shows a user with device 10 in the wrap around position to provide right twist shoulder turn or flex exercise; FIG. 33 illustrates a user with device 10 in the back of the shoulder position to provide shoulder turns or flex exercise; FIG. 34 illustrates a user with device 10 in the back of the shoulder position to provide left twist shoulder turns or flex exercises; FIG. 35 illustrates a user with a device 10 in the back of the shoulder position to provide right twist shoulder turns or flex exercises; FIG. 36 illustrates a proper back swing using the device of the present invention as a golf club; and FIGS. 37 and 38 illustrate an improper back swing using too much wrist, hand or arm movement, the device of the present invention bending to the direction of hand rotation, the arrows indicating the turning of a golfer's wrists.

The following describes in more detail what the exercise positions shown in FIGS. 14-38 accomplish:

A. FIGS. 14-20

    • By keeping device 10 horizontal, wherein the grips are level and front of the body, this exercise provides the following:
      • Resistance of the spring makes arms and elbows pressure each other. (essential to keep triangle configuration, which provides direct power transfer from back muscle to club head and give most consistent swing).
      • Promotes sequence of motion naturally, which is how the body is supposed to move. At the beginning of take-back, down swing, and impact and follow thru, the role of each sides, leading and supporting, work naturally.
      • Ease of detecting active dominant side, which causes the most common mistakes in the golf swing.

B. FIGS. 21-24

    • By keeping the device vertical wherein the grips are perpendicular top (subdominant side) and bottom (dominant side) and in front of the body, this exercise provides the following:
      • User can concentrate more to keep “triangle” configuration
      • Detect false movement by dominant side
      • Promotes more shoulder turn (flexibility muscle)
      • The hand position can be examined more easily.

C. FIGS. 25-28

    • By keeping device horizontally by arms crossed and elbow tucked inward in front of user's body, which locks elbows in front of the body, provides the following:
      • Creates better shoulder turn for muscle flexibility exercise and balancing of body.
      • The body position can be more readily observed at impact zone.

D. FIGS. 29-32

    • By keeping device wrapped around neck and elbows tucked inward in front of user's body, better shoulder turn exercise is provided and a user can feel back muscle more easily. By elbows tucked-in, body position is close to keeping “triangle” configuration.

E. FIGS. 33-35

    • The exercise is commonly performed by players today by using a golf club for warm-up and stretch. By holding device against the direction of bend, this exercise can be performed with the device 10.

F. FIGS. 36-38

    • By holding the long grip (dominant side) and swinging the device as a golf club, the user quickly is able to examine his/her own swing rapidly for false movement. The device will bend to the turn of device and maintain straight through out take-back and downswing. It will flex or bend at entering impact zone and snap at impact. The exercise can be performed simultaneously with other exercises with ease.

Grips 14 and 16 are different in length to provide a distinctive visual difference to tell which handle is to hold by which hand. In particular, shorter grip 14 is meant to be held only by the leading hand, the left hand for right handed persons and right for left handed persons. Grip 14 is heavier than grip 16 since the leading side in golf is the subdominant, or weaker, side. The hand, by having more weight in the subdominant side hand enables the brain to automatically concentrate more on the heavier side thus making it is easier to define the leading hand that has to be in control and makes the user work a little harder, resulting in better ways to achieve muscle memory. In essence, the main purpose of grips 14 and 16 is to be able to detect the movement of each hand of the user.

Handle 16 is same size as a normal golf grip and it is meant to be held with two hands when utilizing swing device 10 like golf club. Having handle 14 heavier makes the end of device 10 somewhat heavier and helps device 10 to feel like a golf club. The clamp-on device 60 provides the following advantages: 1) Provides similar training as using device 10 by itself but enables a user to use a real club; 2) Those players who like to conduct one hand drills (practice swing to check body movement by one side at time). The player can use the other hand to support the club while being able to move that hand similar to a training hand or arm. 3) Since it is easy to attach and remove the device, the user can switch back and forth at practice and retain the exercise feeling.

Outer body 18 and inner body 17 is the flexible part of center body 12 and provides flexibility and resistance to twist; inner body 17 preferably comprises a strip of flexible chrome or stainless steel metal which provides flexibility and a strong resistance to twist. As noted hereinabove, outer body 18 preferably comprises a resilient metal, such as a chrome spring. By creating increased resistance when a user exercises using the device 10, the arms and elbows of a user are automatically forced to tuck inwards which creates a triangular shaped position of the arms and body that is a key foundation of a consistent golf swing.

Center body 12 is assembled as follows: Inner body 17 is fitted into a slot formed in grip connector 29, the holes in inner body 17 and grip connector 29 being aligned. Two spacers 37 and 39 (FIG. 3) are fitted into the slot and two pins, 33 and 35 are fitted through the aligned holes. Outer body 18 is pressed fit onto connector 29. Outer body 18 is compressed such that inner body 17 is exposed at the other end. The other grip connector is attached in the same manner. Once the outer body 18 is pressed on to the connectors, the assembly tends to remain together because of the coiling nature of the spring that comprises outer body 18. Caps 19 and 20 are then slipped over the connectors on both sides.

While the invention has been described with reference to its preferred embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from its essential teachings.