Title:
Putter face groove pattern for improved feel, accuracy and distance control
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf putter ball striking face with a geometrically spaced groove pattern that gives the golfer improved feel, accuracy and distance control. This invention also relates to golf swing training, specifically to an apparatus that aids in learning and improving the alignment and swing for the putter.



Inventors:
Reese, John Sanders (Ocala, FL, US)
Application Number:
12/287201
Publication Date:
06/18/2009
Filing Date:
10/07/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/340
International Classes:
A63B53/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PASSANITI, SEBASTIANO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John S. Reese (Ocala, FL, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A golf putter ball striking face comprising a planar area constructed with vertical grooves of constant width spaced in a geometric manner across at least 40% of the width from heel to toe across the putter face. Groove length to be at least 50% of the height from top to bottom of the putter face.

2. A golf putter ball striking face in accordance with claim 1 wherein the vertical grooves are of geometrically varying widths spaced in a geometric manner across at least 40% of the area from heel to toe across the putter face, Groove length to be at least 50% of the height from top to bottom of the putter face.

3. A golf putter ball striking face in accordance with claim 1 wherein the vertical grooves are of geometrically varying widths and the grooves are spaced a constant distance apart across at least 40% of the area from heel to toe across the putter face. Groove length to be at least 50% of the height from top to bottom of the putter face.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/998,344 Oct. 10, 2007 by the present inventor.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

This invention relates to golf club putters, specifically to an improved putter ball striking face.

2. Prior Art

The present invention relates to golf putters and in particular to putters with improved ball striking face configurations.

It is well known that a golf ball tends to skid a considerable distance across a putting green surface after being struck by a planar ball striking face of a putter before it begins to roll. Various ball striking face surfaces, many with face inserts made of different materials, have been developed to improve the how quickly a golf ball rolls off a putter face after being struck.

For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,257,994 to Antonious uses a series of geometric shapes distributed across the face of a putter to increase roll.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,709,616 to Rife uses a series of horizontal, V-shaped grooves with truncated outer ball gripping edges to grip a ball as it leaves the striking face to increase roll.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,637,044 to Swash shows a golf putter having a ball striking face with a plurality of concentric grooves.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,964,641 to Miesch, et al. shows a putter face made of an array of pyramids to increase friction between the golf ball and putter face.

U.S. Design Pat. No. D 411,275 to Bottema et al. shows a putter face with an array of cylindrical projections.

U.S. Design Pat. No. D 415,809 to Bottema et al. shows a putter face with an array of cubed shaped projections.

U.S. Design Pat. No. D 57,980 to Kraeueter shows a putter face with an array of diamond shaped projections.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,007,434 to Baker et al. shows a putter face with an array of truncated, pyramid shaped projections.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,508,342 to Drake both show a putter face with uniformly spaced vertical grooves.

U.S. Design Pat. No. D 335,694 to Stuff et al. Shows a putter face with slanted grooves.

U.S. Design Pat. No. D 63,284 to Challis shows a putter face with an array of square projections.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a putter ball striking face configuration which uses vertical grooves with combinations of various widths, spacing and depths.

It is well known that horizontal or angular grooves of certain spacing to width ratios can produce a cushioning effect at impact and also provide increased traction between the putter face and the golf ball, resulting in optimum tracking accuracy from the initial ball contact and greater increased resistance to adverse lateral movements or reactions which can occur when off center ball contact occurs. Testing of this invention has shown the same is true for vertical grooves. Thus when a golf ball is struck by the ball striking face configuration of the present invention, there is a greater ball resistance to such things as grain (direction of grass growth), minor surface imperfections on the putting green, and other impediments such as top dressing, grass cuttings or other particles sometimes found on putting green surfaces.

As a ball is struck further away from the center of the putter face, known as the sweet spot, the hit is not as solid. This less solid hit reduces the distance the ball will roll compared with a hit on the center of the putter face. In the present invention by geometrically varying the spacing between the vertical grooves, the cushioning effect created by the initial groove spacing can be reduced to off set the effect of the less solid hit. Since golfers, especially non-professional ones, rarely strike their putts exactly on the center of the putter face, such a compensating effect will help golfers to achieve a more constant roll and better distance control with their putter.

Because of the increased top traction applied to golf balls when they are struck by the geometrically spaced vertical grooves of this invention, the behavior of the balls is altered considerably. The balls begin to roll immediately with additional traction and axis spin resulting in the ball rolling over obstacles instead of easily being deflected. Furthermore, the raised portion between the grooves of the present invention produce enhanced, positive traction between the putter face and the golf ball whereby the ball quickly reacts and adheres to the club face for a slightly longer time than it would with a normal flat ball striking surface of conventional type putter faces. The tendency for the ball not to jump off of the club face is particularly useful in putting downhill putts or on extremely fast greens where controlling the ball speed is of primary importance. The present invention maximizes this benefit by varying the cushioning effect across the striking area of the putter face.

The geometrically spaced vertical grooves of the present invention create isolated land areas where the ball contact occurs. This improved structure not only produces dramatically more cushion but permits optimum transfer of energy to the precise point of ball contact on the putter face.

Geometrically spacing the grooves allows the cushioning effect to be varied across the face of the putter to compensate for non-centered strikes on the putter face. Closely spaced grooves across the center of the putter face that progressively becoming wider spaced give the most cushioning in the center of the face and less cushioning as the contact distance from the center increases.

Because less area of the ball is contacted by the vertical land areas, the transmitted energy is more focused directly to the precise ball surface contact point rather than being dissipated across a larger planar striking face surface like that of traditional putter faces. And, by varying the width of the land areas by varying the groove spacing and/or groove width, the off center hit transmitted energy is improved to the golfers advantage rather than falling off as with other face configurations.

The present invention incorporates free standing, vertical rectangular projections on the ball striking face which are totally isolated, individually separated from each other. The free standing projections have planar land surface areas which permit only minimal contact of the putter face to a golf ball during a putting stroke thus concentrating the force at a precise point of contact between the ball and club face. This minimizes any diminishing effect or energy loss of the impact force which can dissipate away from the golf ball, thereby allowing more energy to be instantly available for transmission directly to the ball at the precise point of contact on the putter face.

The vertical lands that contact the ball also act like small tracks to guide the ball on a very accurate forward roll as it leaves the club face.

Further, the unusual concepts of this invention increase the ball's tracking accuracy and responsiveness across a wider area of the putter face thereby giving the average golfer more margin for error.

These unusual concepts also produce a significant and impressive amount of “softer”-type built-in cushioning which decreases across the face toward the heel and toe as the impact departs from center. This variation in cushioning compensates for the off center hit to promote a more constant feel and improved distance control.

Having this improved, more consistent feel, putter faces with this invention permit golfers to stroke their putts with more authority knowing that the ball will not roll excessively beyond the intended hole. Also, golfers knowing their golf balls will not roll and roll, uncontrollably far beyond their intended putting hole, quickly develop increased confidence and assurance when confronting fast downhill putts or playing on unusually fast greens.

Quite often, some putts with visible “breaks” require the ball to be stroked on a target line away from the intended cup in order to allow for the ball to curve back toward the hole. All golfers dread this situation.

However, the more constant gripping action (roll) of this invention is so effective and compelling that golfers can more boldly stroke their golf balls more directly to the hole, or with much less allowance for the normal “break” needed with putters having uniformly spaced groves, dimples, patterns or combinations thereof or planar faces.

The following significant advantages which lead to increased enjoyment of the game of golf through more efficient putting and putting stroke training, with/or without an instructor and/or with individual practice, are provided by my invention:

    • 1) Putting feel is more consistent because the effective sweet spot has been increased due to the variable cushioning across the face of the putter.
    • 2) Distance control is more consistent because the effective sweet spot has been increased due to the variable cushioning across the face of the putter.
    • 3) Roll efficiency is improved due to the better “gripping” of the ball by the vertical lands between the geometrically spaced grooves.
    • 4) Roll accuracy is improved due to the track guiding effect of the raised land areas between the geometrically spaced grooves.
    • 5) Putter construction can utilize a wider range of materials to minimize costs since the feel “cushioning” effect can be varied over a wide range to accommodate harder or softer materials of construction.
    • 6) Putter face applique plates or removable face inserts can be configured with varying degrees of cushioning to allow golfer adjustment to different playing conditions, such as, speed of the greens.
    • 7) For training purposes, a putter can be made most firm in the center and most soft (maximum cushioning) towards the heel and toe of the face. This would give the golfer a noticeable change in feel for “off center” hits due to the magnified fall off in hardness away from the center of the putter face.

DRAWING FIGURES

FIG. 1 shows a detailed top view of a typical embodiment of the present invention apparatus.

FIG. 2 shows a detailed front view of a typical embodiment of the present invention apparatus.

REFERENCE NUMERALS IN DRAWINGS

  • 10 Putter face front planar area
  • 20 Vertical grooves
  • 30 Most narrow vertical land between grooves
  • 40 Most wide vertical land between groove

SUMMARY

In accordance with the present invention an apparatus uses geometrically spaced vertical grooves of fixed or varying widths on a putter face for the purposes of achieving a putter with more consistent feel, more consistent distance control, more forgiveness on off center hits, improved roll (less skidding) and more accurate roll.

DESCRIPTION

FIGS. 1 and 2

A typical embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1 Putter Head Top detailed view and FIG. 2 Putter Head Face front detailed view.

In the detailed views of FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, one example of the geometrically spaced vertical grooves of the invention is shown. The area of the face with grooves may vary from about 40% of the face width up to essentially 100% of the face width. The height of the vertical grooves can vary from 50% to 100% of the height of the putter face. Areas without grooves will appear plain as shown in putter face area 10. The width of the vertical grooves 20, and the width of the vertical lands 30 (ungrooved areas) between the vertical grooves 20 and the actual depth and shape of the vertical grooves 20 must meet specific requirements in order for the putter to conform with USGA Rules of golf. In the embodiment shown, the most narrow vertical lands 30 are in the middle of the putter face and progressively become wider until the maximum vertical land 40 width occurs at the outer limits of the grooves.

In the example shown, at the most narrow vertical lands 30, the land to groove width ratio is approximately 50% increasing to approximately 75% at the most wide vertical lands 40. Thus the most cushioning is achieved in the center of the putter face and less cushioning is achieved as the distance is increased away from the center of the putter face.

The vertical grooves 20 length can extend from the top to the bottom of the putter face and extend from the heel to the toe of the putter face. Or they may cover less than the entire area.

The actual fabrication process to produce the grooves can be whatever is most cost effective within the tolerances necessary to hold to USGA Rules.

OPERATION

Preferred Embodiment—FIGS. 1,2

The manner of using the present invention is on the ball striking face of a golf putter. It can be machined into the face area, molded into the face area, installed as an insert into the face area or applied as an applique plate to the face area.

Method of attachment of an applique or insert can be epoxy, screws or any other USGA compliant method.

CONCLUSION, RAMIFICATIONS AND SCOPE

Accordingly, the reader will see that the Putter Face Groove Pattern of this invention provides improvements in feel and distance control for golfers when using golf putters.

The design allows the golfer to improve their putting through more consistent distance control, and more accurate and more effective roll.

The present invention apparatus is useful for initial learning, for practice to continuously improve and for playing.

Although, the description above contains much specificity, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing an illustration of the presently preferred embodiment of this invention. For example, the vertical grooves do not have to be the same height.

The putter can have any face area that facilitates adding the groove pattern of the invention. The putter face groove pattern apparatus of the present invention can be used on putters for right or left hand swinging golfers of any age, gender or degree of golf experience. The pattern can be embedded, attached or built-in to whatever degree necessary.

Thus the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the examples given.