Title:
Golf teaching device and methods for using same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf teaching device including a body having an arcuate brace, a strap coupled to the arcuate brace for selectively coupling the body to a golf club, a swing arm rotatably mounts on the body, a button selectively locks the swing arm in a plurality of positions with respect to the body and a swing arm extension mounted on the swing arm. The strap allows mounting the device in any rotational position on the club shaft and the swing arm can move through 180 degrees to be parallel the shaft, perpendicular the shaft and in various positions therebetween.



Inventors:
Dantas, Jeffrey T. (Seekonk, MA, US)
Application Number:
12/154590
Publication Date:
04/30/2009
Filing Date:
05/23/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/226, 473/409
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
LEGESSE, NINI F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JEFFREY T. DANTAS (SEEKONK, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A golf teaching device comprising: a body having an arcuate brace; a strap coupled to the arcuate brace for selectively coupling the body to a golf club; a swing arm rotatably mounts on the body; a button selectively locks the swing arm in a plurality of positions with respect to the body; and a swing arm extension mounted on the swing arm.

2. A golf teaching device as recited in claim 1, wherein the strap is hook and loop fabric.

3. A golf teaching device as recited in claim 1, wherein the swing arm has a hub coupling to the swing arm mount, the hub defining five notches for coupling to the button, each notch fixing a different position of the swing arm.

4. A golf teaching device as recited in claim 1, wherein the button includes a locking portion normally biased to lock the swing arm.

5. A golf teaching device as recited in claim 1, wherein the swing arm extension is foam with a cylinder for coupling to the swing arm.

6. A golf teaching device as recited in claim 1, further comprising a second swing arm extension that is rigid.

7. A golf teaching device as recited in claim 1, further comprising a dvd providing instruction on using the swing arm extension in a plurality of positions with respect to the golf club and a golfer to indicate a proper golf swing.

8. A golf teaching device as recited in claim 8, wherein in a perpendicular position, a tip of the swing arm extension is in a range of approximately 5.5 to 7 inches away from a shaft of the golf club when mounted and may be adjusted within the range.

9. A golf teaching device for mounting on a golf club, the golf club having an elongated shaft, the golf teaching device comprising: a body for fixedly coupling to the shaft and being able to selectively rotate around the shaft into a plurality of set positions; a swing arm assembly rotatably mounted to the body; and a locking mechanism selectively locks the swing arm in a plurality of arm positions with respect to the body.

10. A golf teaching device as recited in claim 9, wherein the arm positions including approximately parallel to the shaft, approximately perpendicular to the shaft, at approximately 45 degrees to the shaft and at approximately 135 degrees to the shaft.

11. A golf teaching device as recited in claim 9, wherein the swing arm is able to be selectively extended from the body for use with a taller player.

12. A golf teaching device as recited in claim 9, wherein the swing arm assembly includes a foam portion mounted on a hub.

13. A golf teaching device as recited in claim 12, wherein: the body is sized and configured to offset the swing arm assembly approximately an inch from the shaft in the parallel position and approximately 1.5 inches in an angled position; and the foam portion is approximately 4.5 inches long and 1 square inch in cross-section.

14. A golf teaching device as recited in claim 9, further comprising a video providing instruction for using the device in various combinations of the set and arm positions.

15. A method for grooving a golf swing of a player, the method comprising the steps of: providing an elongated indicator perpendicular to a club shaft and extending away from a club head; rotating the indicator to lightly contact a trailing forearm; monitoring that the indicator returns to touch the trailing forearm substantially at impact; moving the indicator to extend perpendicularly away from the club shaft and oppose the club head; monitoring that the indicator grazes a trailing thigh of the player as the club passes backward and forward to impact; monitoring that the indicator is parallel a target line at waist level; monitoring that the indicator is approximately in a straight line with a leading forearm at a top of a backswing; moving the indicator over the club head to extend at about a 45 degree angle to the club shaft; monitoring that the indicator is adjacent an inside of each wrist; monitoring that the indicator is maintained in a set position until the hands past waist level during the backswing; and monitoring that the indicator is slides through the wrists and moves into a vertical position as backswing progresses to a top position.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/931,420, filed May 23, 2007, which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The subject disclosure relates to aids for golf instruction, and more particularly to a golf teaching device for attaching to a club and methods for using the same.

2. Background of the Related Art

Golf training devices are widely employed to help golfers use proper position and form while playing golf. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,772,523 to Sheftic (the '523 patent) discloses a golf training device including a cylindrical cap that attaches to a golf club grip. A two-piece arm extends from the cap, the pieces being angularly offset so that during practice, the golf training device indicates if the lead arm is maintained solid and coordinated with hip movement during swinging. The '523 patent only address this aspect.

For another example, U.S. Pat. No. 7,160,199 to Mitchell et al. (the '199 patent) discloses a golf training adapter only for putting and chipping shots. The golf training adapter has a socket held to the club shaft by a set screw. A molded member extends from the socket and has a wide distal end and a proximal end that is fixably bent at a first angle and fixably twisted at a second angle so the wide distal end rests against the golfer forearm. The '199 patent, like the '523 patent, does not teach having moving parts to address the necessary aspects of a golf swing.

Generally, not providing instruction for the necessary aspects of the golf swing is a problem associated with the prior art golf training devices. During play, a variety of different strokes are required. Each different stroke involves multiple positions at which various body parts should be correctly aligned. The prior art devices do not assist the golfer with the moving body parts for each position of each type of stroke. Additionally, the devices are not suited to use during play but rather limited to slow movement and evaluation of limited positions because of their cumbersome nature.

There is a need, therefore, for an improved golf training device which can be employed to monitor a plurality of body components during different types of strokes during practice and play.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The subject technology is directed to a golf teaching device including a body having an arcuate brace, a strap coupled to the arcuate brace for selectively coupling the body to a golf club, a swing arm rotatably mounts on the body, a button selectively locks the swing arm in a plurality of positions with respect to the body and a swing arm extension mounted on the swing arm. The strap allows mounting the device in any rotational position on the club shaft and the swing arm can move through 180 degrees to be parallel the shaft, perpendicular the shaft and in various positions therebetween.

The subject technology is also directed to a golf teaching device for mounting on a golf club with an elongated shaft. The golf teaching device includes a body for fixedly coupling to the shaft and being able to selectively rotate around the shaft into a plurality of set positions, a swing arm assembly rotatably mounted to the body and a locking mechanism that selectively locks the swing arm in a plurality of arm positions with respect to the body. Preferably, the arm positions including approximately parallel to the shaft, approximately perpendicular to the shaft, at approximately 45 degrees to the shaft and at approximately 135 degrees to the shaft. The swing arm may be able to be selectively extended from the body for use with a taller player. In one embodiment, the body is sized and configured to offset the swing arm assembly approximately an inch from the shaft in the parallel position and approximately 1.5 inches in an angled position, and the foam portion is approximately 4.5 inches long and 1 square inch in cross-section. The subject technology also includes providing a video providing instruction for using the device in various combinations of the set and arm positions.

It should be appreciated that the present invention can be implemented and utilized in numerous ways with materials and components now known and later developed. These and other unique features of the devices and methods disclosed herein will become more readily apparent from the following description and the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

So that those having ordinary skill in the art to which the disclosed system appertains will more readily understand how to make and use the same, reference may be had to the following drawings.

FIG. 1A illustrates a golf training device in accordance with subject disclosure, and in particular a perspective view of a golf club shaft having the golf training device disposed in a parallel position;

FIG. 1B is a side view of the golf training device of FIG. 1A still in the parallel position.

FIG. 2 illustrates the golf training device of FIG. 1 disposed in a first perpendicular position.

FIG. 3A illustrates a plan view of the golf training device of FIG. 1 disposed in a 135 degree position.

FIG. 3B illustrates a perspective view of the golf training device of FIG. 3A disposed in the 135 degree position.

FIG. 3C illustrates a plan view of the golf training device of FIG. 3B disposed in a 45 degree position.

FIG. 4 illustrates a plan view of the golf training device.

FIG. 5 illustrates a partially exploded perspective view of the golf training device.

FIG. 6 illustrates isolated components of the golf training device.

FIG. 7 illustrates a player using the device for alignment with the foam portion extending away from the club approximately parallel to the club shaft and the body mounted opposing the club head.

FIG. 8 illustrates a player using the device with the foam portion on top of the trailing forearm and approximately perpendicular to the club shaft.

FIG. 9 illustrates a player using the device with the foam portion under the trailing forearm and approximately perpendicular to the club shaft.

FIG. 10 illustrates a player using the device with the body opposing the club head and the foam portion approximately perpendicular to the club shaft.

FIG. 11 illustrates a player using the device with the body opposing the club head and the foam portion approximately parallel upward with respect to the club shaft.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention overcomes many of the prior art problems associated with effective golf instruction. The advantages, and other features of the devices and methods disclosed herein, will become more readily apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art from the following detailed description of certain preferred embodiments taken in conjunction with the drawings which set forth representative embodiments of the present invention.

All relative descriptions herein such as left, right, up, and down are with reference to the Figures, and not meant in a limiting sense. Unless otherwise specified, the illustrated embodiments can be understood as providing exemplary features of varying detail and features and components can be otherwise combined and interconnected without materially departing from the subject technology. Also, the shapes and sizes are exemplary and unless otherwise specified, can be altered without materially affecting or limiting the disclosed technology. For the purposes of this disclosure, terms like “substantially” and “approximately” can be broadly construed to indicate a precise relationship, condition, arrangement, orientation, and/or other characteristic, as well as, deviations thereof as understood by one of ordinary skill in the art, to the extent that such deviations do not materially affect the disclosed technology.

Now referring to FIGS. 1A-3C, perspective and side views of the golf teaching device 100 are shown. In brief overview, the device 100 mounts to a grip 102 on a golf club shaft 104 to allow monitoring of player position during various golf swings. The device 100 may be oriented in different positions and angles with respect to the shaft 104 for improving various golf swings at various points in said swings. FIGS. 1A and 1B show the device 100 aligned substantially parallel to the shaft 104. FIG. 2 illustrates the device 100 aligned substantially perpendicular to the shaft 104 with arrows “a” illustrating approximately 90 degrees of motion from perpendicular. FIGS. 3A and 3B show the device 100 at a 135 degree angle with respect to the shaft 104. FIG. 3C shows the device 100 at a 45 degree angle with respect to the shaft 104.

Referring to FIG. 4, a plan view of the golf teaching device 100 is shown. The device 100 includes a body 106 having an arcuate brace 108. A hook and loop fastening strap 110 couples to the arcuate brace 108. By placing the arcuate brace 108 against the grip 102 or shaft 104, tightening the fastening strap 10 can selectively fix the device 100 on the shaft 104 in a variety of positions.

Referring to FIG. 5, a partially exploded perspective view of the device 100 is shown. A swing arm 112 rotatably mounts to the body 106. The swing arm 112 has an elongated portion 114 having a plurality of collars 133. A swing arm extension 118 mounts onto the elongated portion 114. The swing arm extension 118 is a rigid foam indicating portion 120 with a tube 122 for securely receiving the elongated portion 114 of the swing arm 112. By making the body 106 plastic and using a foam portion 120, the device 100 is extraordinarily light so as not to encumber use during play. In one embodiment, the foam portion 120 is 4.5 inches long and 1 inch square in cross-section with the body 106 being about 2 inches in length.

Although the elongated portion 114 is held firmly when inserted into the tube 122, the elongated portion 114 may still be rotated or partially extended to a desired position. Similarly, when the body 106 is mounted on the shaft 104, the device 100 may still be rotated with respect thereto. On a first end, the fastening strap 110 is held to a key-hole shaped slot 124 in the body 106 by a rod held in a sleeve. The rod is sized such that once slipped into the slot 124, the strap 110 is secured radially. An opposing pin 126, held in the body 106, provides a pivot point around which the strap 110 can be wound and unwound for mounting the device 100 on the shaft.

Referring to FIG. 6, isolated components of the golf training device 100 are illustrated. The body 106 preferably has two parts 128a, 128b that snap fit together for easy assembly of the device 100. The swing arm 112 has a hub 130 that rotatably couples to the body 106 by opposing collars 133 captured in opposing hollows 132 formed in the body 106. The hub 130 defines five notches 134, each notch 134 fixing the swing arm 112 in a different position. A button 136 selectively locks the hub 130 with respect to the body 106. The button 136 couples into the body 106 so that a protrusion 138 selectively seats in the respective notches 134. By depressing the button 136, the protrusion 138 moves out of the respective notch 134 and the swing arm 112 can be rotated to another position. A spring 140 normally biases the swing arm 112 so that the protrusion 138 locks the swing arm 112 in position.

Alignment

Orientation One

To utilize the device 100 for proper alignment or set up, the device 100 is mounted as shown in FIG. 2 with the foam portion at a 90 degree angle to the shaft 104. Further, the body 106 is opposing the club head 140 or in other words at a 6 o'clock position as viewed down the shaft 104 by the player (the 12 o'clock position being with the body 106 above the club head). When the player addresses the ball, the foam portion 120 should be pointing at a 90 degree angle to the target line (the target line being a line through the ball and target). The player may additionally stradle a line 142 (e.g., the stradle line) perpendicular to the target line as shown in FIG. 7. Thus, when the foam portion 120 is parallel the stradle line 142 and mounted properly, the club face is square to the target.

Orientation Two

The device 100 may also be used for proper alignment or set up mounted as shown in FIG. 1 with the foam portion 120 at parallel to the shaft 104 and the body 106 opposing the club head 140. When the player addresses the ball 150 (shown in FIG. 9), the foam portion 120 should be pointing substantially at the player's belly button or slightly behind the belly button. Thus, the club face is square to the target near and at the point of impact and the ball is properly positioned within the player's stance.

Orientation Three

In still another orientation for use at address, the device 100 is mounted with the body opposing the club head 140 and the foam portion 120 extending downward at a 45 degree angle to the shaft 104. As such, at address, the foam portion 120 points at a spot between the player's feet that the ball is aligned to. Thus, the player may properly be addressed so that impact normally occurs at the proper point in the swing just slightly forward in the stance.

Fullswing

Orientation One

To utilize the device 100 to aid in proper backswing technique during a full swing, the foam portion 120 is initially mounted substantially perpendicular the shaft 104 over the club head 140. At address, the foam portion 120 should be rotated about the shaft 104 away from the flight of the ball or backwards so that the foam portion 120 rests on the trailing forearm. As the backswing begins, the foam portion 120 remains against the trailing forearm in substantially the same orientation as shown in FIG. 8 until approximately waist high. As a result, the player is taught to keep the club in front of them. At this point, the foam portion 120 is substantially vertical and the player is ready to hinge their wrists. As the wrists hinge, the foam portion 120 should slide across the forearm without rotational displacement of the body 106. If displacement or separation occurs, the wrists are not properly cocking.

Orientation Two

The device 100 can additionally be used on the backswing by mounting the body 106 over the club head 140 at the 12 o'clock position. When the player grips the club, the foam portion 120 is adjacent the inside of each wrist. The foam portion 120 acts as an indicator to maintain the wrist position constant until the hands past waist level, at which point the wrists are ready to hinge. As the backswing progresses past waist level, the wrists should quickly hinge to slide the foam portion 120 through the wrists and bring the foam portion 120 into a vertical position. Thus, proper take back and cocking of the wrists occurs.

Orientation Three

The device 100 can be used on the backswing and downswing to monitor the player's position in another position. Initially, the foam portion 120 extends backward parallel to the target line and perpendicular to the shaft 104 and the squared club face. The body 106 is then rotated about the shaft 104 so that the foam portion 120 lightly contacts the trailing forearm as shown in FIG. 9.

From addressing the ball, the foam portion 120 is properly maintained parallel the target line for the first few inches of backswing while contact with the forearm is maintained. As the wrists cock, the foam portion 120 separates from the forearm. From the top of the backswing, the player's first move downward is turning the trailing hip towards the ball so that the foam portion 120 will graze the trailing leg of the player as the club passes through impact. As the club face approaches striking the ball, the foam portion 120 should again return to the forearm, i.e., hit off the bottom of the forearm, before impact with the ball. Thus, the hands, arms and body all come into proper position at impact. During follow through, the foam portion 120 should maintain contact with the trailing forearm. As a result, the hip motion is proper to deliver power and the club face will be square upon impact.

Orientation Four

In still another orientation, the device 100 is mounted so that the foam portion 120 extends parallel away from the shaft 104 and the body 106 opposes the club head 140. As noted above, initially, the tip 144 of the foam portion 120 should substantially point to the player's belly button (not shown). During the backswing, the foam portion 120 should be maintained pointing at the belly button area as long as possible. At waist level, the foam portion 120 should be in a straight line with the leading arm and parallel the target line. Thus, the takeaway of the backswing is one motion keeping the club face in front and avoids the player being stuck in a position allowing the body to move through a synchronized position to perform the downswing. As a result, the player will not need to compensate in the downswing for error introduced in the backswing.

On the downswing, when the foam portion 120 points at the target along the target line (i.e., approximately waist level), the player should quickly move the foam portion 120 to again point at the belly button area. Thus, the wrists are properly uncocked to generate a powerful swing.

As the club face approaches impact, the foam portion 120 should pass over the toes of the player. As a result, a proper swing path occurs. Generally, it is envisioned that the foam portion 120 would travel through the same path in the downswing as in the backswing without deviation such as flipping or circular motion.

Orientation Five

In another orientation, the device 100 is mounted so that the foam portion 120 extends perpendicular away from the shaft 104 and the body 106 opposes the club head 140 as shown in FIG. 10. As noted above, at address, the foam portion 120 and the club face 146 should be square, i.e., perpendicular the target line. As the shoulders rotate in the backswing, the foam portion 120 should stay square such that the tip 144 grazes the trailing thigh. At waist level, the foam portion 120 should be parallel to the target line indicating the wrists are ready to hinge. Thus, the player is prevented from having the club face get too far behind. At the top of the backswing, the foam portion 120 should be approximately in a straight line with the leading forearm. As a result, the club face is in a substantially square position with respect to the player's body. As with many positions noted, at the top of the backswing, the foam portion 120 may be slightly out of line but still proper depending on the specific mechanics of the player. Importantly, the player will be able to easily recognize the position, determine if it is correct and modify accordingly without any other aid such as video playback of the swing. Of course it is also envisioned that video playback can be utilized with the device 100 as well.

Orientation Six

In still another orientation, the device 100 is mounted with the body opposing the club head 140 and the foam portion 120 extending downward at a 45 degree angle to the shaft 104. At impact, similar to at address as noted above, the foam portion 120 points perpendicular to the target line. Thus, the player is properly be aligned at impact a squared club face 146.

Chipping

To utilize the device 100 with the chipping stroke, the device 100 is placed on the shaft as shown in FIG. 11 or in the chipping position. To set the chipping position, the device 100 is mounted above the club head with the swing arm 112 extending away from the shaft 104 in a substantially parallel manner. To properly angle the shaft 104, the player leans the foam portion 120 against their lead forearm. The foam portion 120 remains on the player's lead forearm throughout the entire chipping stroke. If the foam portion 120 separates from the forearm, it is an improper chipping stroke. When the wrist is properly maintained rigid and the shoulder's move in a rocking motion, e.g., the foam portion 120 maintains contact with the forearm, the players larger muscles (e.g., shoulders and back) perform the proper chipping stroke. Alternatively, the foam portion 120 may be dropped down 45 degrees and used in the same manner. The device is light, unobstrusively attaches to the butt end of the club shaft 104, and the foam portion 120 is resilently flexible so that the device 100 may be used during actual play without significant interference, if any.

Putting

The device 100 is mounted so that the foam portion 120 extends perpendicular to the shaft 104 over the club head 140, i.e., the body 106 in the 12 o'clock position. As noted above, at address, the foam portion 120 and the club face 146 should be square, i.e., perpendicular the target line. As the shoulders rotate to move the arms back and forth, the foam portion 120 should stay square and in the player's sight line to the club head 140. Thus, the putter head is substantially square at all times to hit the ball along the target line to the target.

Bunker or Flop Shot

At address, the device 100 is mounted with the body opposing the club head 140 and the foam portion 120 extending downward at a 45 degree angle to the shaft 104. At address, body 106 is rotated away from the target to open the club face 146. During the downswing, this orientation is maintained while the player rotates to a full finish, e.g., the player's hips rotate to become perpendicular to the target line. Thus, the player passes through impact with an open club face.

As can be seen from the description above, a golf teaching device in accordance with the subject disclosure can be used to monitor a correct swing during practice and actual ball striking. By having an indication of proper positions, the player may avoid introduction of swing error in the backswing and otherwise. As a result, the player can learn or groove the proper swing for eventual play without a device in place. The device may also have a second more rigid swing arm extension. The device 100 may also be more rigidly attached such as be a set screw and like mechanism now known and later developed. It is envisioned that the device 100 can be sold with a video providing instruction in accordance with the methods noted above.

Incorporation by Reference

All patents, published patent applications and other references disclosed herein are hereby expressly incorporated in their entireties by reference. While the invention has been described with respect to preferred embodiments, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that various changes and/or modifications can be made to the invention without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.