Title:
Golf grip training aid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The golf grip training device is removably held against, and receives, the grip of a golf club, and is adapted to be grasped in the leading hand of the user, between the thumb and index finger. The golf grip training device allows the user to better sense the motion and position of the golf club during a swing, and to better feel and gauge the pressure exerted on the user's hand during the swing. The golf grip training device has an upper wall and a lower wall, with the upper wall having a substantially arcuate contour and a substantially constant radius of curvature. The upper wall extends from the lower wall along a longitudinal axis, with the lower wall extending along a lateral axis and a transverse axis. The lower wall has a channel centrally formed therethrough for insertion of a golf club grip therein.



Inventors:
Evans, Jeffrey A. (Macon, GA, US)
Application Number:
12/314504
Publication Date:
07/02/2009
Filing Date:
12/11/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LEGESSE, NINI F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A golf grip training device, comprising a gripping member having an upper wall and a lower wall, the upper wall having a substantially arcuate contour and a substantially constant radius of curvature, the upper wall extending from the lower wall along a longitudinal axis, the lower wall extending along a lateral axis and a transverse axis, the lateral, longitudinal and transverse axes being mutually orthogonal, the lower wall having a channel centrally formed therethrough and extending along the transverse axis, the gripping member having a height along the longitudinal axis less than or equal to the substantially constant radius of curvature, whereby the user releasably inserts a portion of a grip of a golf club within the channel and grips the upper wall of the gripping member between an index finger and a corresponding thumb of one of the user's hands in order to sense the motion and position of the golf club during a swing thereof.

2. The golf grip training device as recited in claim 1, wherein the channel is tapered.

3. The golf training device as recited in claim 1, wherein the upper wall has a textured outer surface.

4. The golf training device as recited in claim 3, wherein the textured outer surface of the upper wall has a plurality of dimples formed therein.

5. The golf training device as recited in claim 4, wherein the textured outer surface of the upper wall is simulates a golf ball.

6. The golf training device as recited in claim 1, wherein a pair of transversely opposed edges of the lower wall each are substantially linear.

7. The golf training device as recited in claim 6, wherein the pair of transversely opposed edges of the lower wall extend parallel to one another.

8. The golf training device as recited in claim 7, wherein a pair of laterally opposed edges of the lower wall each are substantially linear.

9. The golf training device a recited in claim 8, wherein the pair of laterally opposed edges of the lower wall extend parallel to one another.

10. The golf training device as recited in claim 9, wherein the lower wall has rounded corners.

11. A golf training method, comprising the steps of: providing a golf grip training device having an upper wall and a lower wall, the upper wall having an arcuate contour and a substantially constant radius of curvature, the lower wall having a transverse channel being formed therein; releasably inserting a portion of a grip of a golf club within the transverse channel so that the portion of the grip contacts an inner wall defining the transverse channel; selectively positioning the golf grip training device on the grip of the golf club; gripping the upper wall of the golf grip training device between an index finger and a corresponding thumb of one of a user's hands; and swinging the golf club.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/006,176, filed Dec. 28, 2007.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to golf training aids. Particularly, the golf grip training device is removably held against, and receives, the grip of a golf club, and is adapted to be grasped in the leading hand of the user, between the thumb and index finger of the leading hand. More particularly, the golf grip training device allows the user to better sense the motion and position of the golf club during a swing, and to better feel and gauge the pressure exerted on the user's hand during the swing in order to train the user in the proper motion for a golf club swing.

2. Description of the Related Art

In the game of golf, in order to hit the golf ball, the golf club is swung at the motionless ball, wherever it has come to rest, from a side stance. Many golf shots make the ball travel through the air (known as “carrying”) and roll out for additional distance (commonly referred to as “rolling”).

Each shot in golf is a compromise between length and precision, and long shots are often less precise than short shots. A longer shot may result in a better score if it helps to reduce the total number of strokes for a given hole, but the benefit may be more than outweighed by additional strokes or penalties if a ball is lost, out of bounds, or comes to rest on difficult ground. Therefore, a skilled golfer must assess the quality of his or her shots in a particular situation in order to judge whether the possible benefits of aggressive play are worth the risks.

Putts and short chips are ideally played without much movement of the body, but most other golf shots are played using variants of the full golf swing. The full golf swing itself is used in tee and fairway shots.

A full swing is a complex rotation of the body aimed at accelerating the club head to a great speed. For a right-handed golfer, the swing consists of a backswing to the right, a downswing to the left (during which the ball is hit), and a follow through.

The full golf swing is a complex motion which is difficult to learn. It is common for beginners to spend several months practicing the basics of the swing before playing their first ball on a golf course. Even highly skilled golfers may continue to take golf lessons for years.

A golf ball acquires spin when it is hit. Backspin is imparted for almost every shot due to the golf club's “loft” (i.e., the angle between the clubface and a vertical plane). A spinning ball deforms the flow of air around it similar to an airplane wing; a back-spinning ball therefore experiences an upward force which makes it fly higher and longer than a ball without spin. However, too much backspin can negatively impact distance travelled; the increased lift wastes the ball's momentum in gaining altitude rather than in traveling along its flight path. The amount of backspin also influences the behavior of a ball when it impacts the ground. A ball with little backspin will usually roll out for a few meters or yards while a ball with more backspin may not roll at all, or may even roll backwards.

Sidespin occurs when the clubface is not aligned perpendicularly to the plane of swing. Sidespin makes the ball curve left or right, and can be used intentionally or occur unintentionally. For a right-handed player, a subtle curve to the left is referred to as a “draw”. A severe curve to the left and downward is known as a “hook”. A subtle curve to the right is referred to as a “fade”, while a severe curve away and upward is known as a “slice”. Draws and fades are caused by slight misalignments between the clubface and swing plane because of a slightly “open” or “closed” clubface at contact; a skilled player can control the amount of draw or fade to make the ball curve along the path of the fairway. Slices and hooks, however, indicate a severe misalignment, mistiming or other flaw in the player's swing, such as a swing not parallel to the desired line of travel, the club contacting the ball early or late in the swing, etc. These are generally undesirable as they reduce carry distance, are difficult to predict and therefore difficult to adjust for, and cause the ball to veer sharply off of the fairway and into hazards, trees and/or out-of-bounds.

The success of a golf swing requires positioning the player's hands in the correct position and exerting effective, balanced pressure on the grip of the golf club throughout the swing of the club. The hands must function in unison to position the club behind the ball, initiate the back swing, begin the downswing, make contact with the ball and complete the follow through. If the hands do not maintain sound, effective control of the club then the accuracy, direction of flight, and shot distance are negatively affected, which influences the resulting score of the game.

For many golfers, there is a tremendous tendency for the thumb and index finger of the golfer's dominant hand (right or left) to exert excessive clenching force during the grip to excessively control the club, which ultimately negatively impacts the golfer's swing. Excessive control by these two fingers can cause the club face angle to be too far open or closed at the point of impact, with the ball causing a push or fade of the shot.

Such clenching of the grip may also cause the wrists to stay open too long or roll over prematurely, resulting in slicing or hooking of the ball. If these two fingers and the related muscle groups of the corresponding side of the body excessively dominate the swing, then the golfer will make inconsistent, unpredictable contact with the ball, resulting in erratic, undesirable performance.

Thus, a golf grip training device solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The golf grip training device is held against, and removably receives, the grip of a golf club, and is adapted to be grasped in the leading hand of the user, between the thumb and index finger of the leading hand. The golf grip training device allows the user to better sense the motion and position of the golf club during a swing, and to better feel and gauge the pressure exerted on the user's hand during the swing, in order to train the user in the proper motion for a golf club swing.

The golf grip training device is a gripping member having an upper wall and a lower wall, with the upper wall having a substantially arcuate contour and a substantially constant radius of curvature. Preferably, the upper wall has a textured surface, allowing for a gripping surface for the user's hand. The texturing may be in the form of a plurality of dimples, thus allowing the upper surface to be simulative of a golf ball's outer surface.

The upper wall extends from the lower wall along a longitudinal axis, with the lower wall extending along a lateral axis and a transverse axis. The lateral, longitudinal and transverse axes are mutually orthogonal. The lower wall has a channel centrally formed therethrough, extending along the transverse axis. Preferably, the channel is tapered in contour, allowing for insertion of a tapered golf club grip therein.

The height of the gripping member, taken along the longitudinal axis, is less than or equal to the substantially constant radius of curvature, allowing for a proper grip in the user's leading hand. In use, the user releasably inserts a portion of the grip of the golf club within the channel and grasps the gripping member in his or her leading hand, between his or her thumb and index finger.

These and other features of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a golf grip training device according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the golf grip training device according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a lower view of the golf grip training device according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is an environmental, perspective view of the golf grip training device according to the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional side view of the golf grip training device according to the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a lower view of an alternative embodiment of the golf grip training device according to the present invention.

Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is directed towards a golf grip training device 10. As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, the golf grip training device 10 is removably held against, and receives, the grip G of a golf club, which is adapted to be grasped in the leading hand of the user, between the thumb and index finger of the leading hand. The golf grip training device 10 allows the user to better sense the motion and position of the golf club during a swing, and to better feel and gauge the pressure exerted on the user's hand during the swing, in order to train the user in the proper motion for a golf club swing.

As best shown in FIG. 2, the golf grip training device 10 is a gripping member having an upper wall 12 and a lower wall 14, with the upper wall 12 having a substantially arcuate contour and a substantially constant radius of curvature R. Preferably, the upper wall 12 has a textured surface, providing a gripping surface for the user's hand. The texturing may be in the form of a plurality of dimples, as shown, thus allowing the upper surface 12 to be simulative of a golf ball's outer surface. It should be understood that the upper wall 12 may have any desired texturing, from a substantially smooth surface, to the exemplary texturing shown in the Figures, dependent upon the particular needs and desires of the user.

The golf grip training device 10 is formed from a rugged and resilient material, such as rubber, for example, which is selected for comfort when grasped in the user's hand, and for having a particular coefficient of friction which allows the grip to grasp the golf club grip G (as will be described below) and also allows the user to grasp and hold the device 10, but which will not inhibit motion on the grip G (i.e., the material is preferably not tacky). The particular composition of manufacture is dependent upon the particular needs and desires of the user. Similarly, the radius of curvature R is dependent upon the particular needs and desires of the user, and multiple device 10, manufactured in multiple sizes, may be provided. Further, the particular contouring of the device 10 is dependent upon the particular needs and desires of the user. For example, in the embodiment of FIG. 6, the rounded, laterally opposed side edges of the lower wall 14 have been removed to form substantially straight edges 40, for the comfort of the user's fingers. Similarly, the transversely opposed edges 18 and 20 have also been straightened. This particular contouring is dependent upon the needs and desires of the user.

As shown in FIG. 2, the upper wall 12 extends from the lower wall 14 along a longitudinal axis L1, with the lower wall 14 extending along a lateral axis L2 and a transverse axis T (shown in FIG. 3). The longitudinal, lateral and transverse axes L1, L2 and T, respectively, are mutually orthogonal. The lower wall 14 has a channel 16 centrally formed therethrough, extending along the transverse axis T. Preferably, the channel 16 is tapered in contour, allowing for insertion of a tapered golf club grip G therein. The tapering of channel 16 may have any desired angle, dependent upon the tapering of the particular golf club grip G. Exemplary dimensions may be a minimum width of channel 16 of approximately ¾ inches, a median width of approximately 13/16 inches, and a maximum width of approximately ⅞ inches. The channel 16 may be tapered along the lateral axis L2, as shown in FIG. 3, along the longitudinal axis L1, as shown in FIG. 5, or, preferably, along both axes.

The height H of the gripping member, taken along the longitudinal axis L1, is less than or equal to the substantially constant radius of curvature R, allowing for a proper grip in the user's leading hand. In use, the user releasably inserts a portion of the grip G of the golf club within the channel 16 and grasps the gripping member in his or her leading hand, between his or her thumb and index finger.

Since the success of a golf swing requires balanced control of the club via the hands on the grip, an improvement of the hand's grip on the club is valuable in achieving greater club head control and improved results of the swing. If the control of the club can be improved by changing the physics and dynamics of the hand's grip on the club to make the grip more effective, then the golfer has a greater chance of hitting the ball both straighter and longer with the golf club.

Ideally, the golfer can use his or her hands to perfectly control the take away, downswing and follow-through of the swing. The ultimate goal during the swing is for the clubface of the golf club head to-return to the same position of “squareness” at the point of impact with the ball as it had at the point of addressing the ball. This is difficult to accomplish if the thumb and index finger of the dominant hand and the related muscles of the corresponding side of the golfer's body are exerting excessive pressure or control on the club.

Device 10 is designed to modify and reduce the amount of excessive pressure and control exerted on the club by the thumb and index finder of the dominant hand, and also, indirectly, the muscles of that dominant side of the body, by holding the device 10 on the grip G of the golf club at the position of the index finger and the thumb, allowing them to rest on the exterior of device 10 and not directly on the grip G. By resting the index finger and thumb on the device 10 and not directly on the grip G, these fingers have reduced control of the club and allow more pressure to be exerted by the remaining fingers and the palms of both hands. The device 10 also transfers the control point from the end of the grip G back to a mid-point between the two hands at the point where the fleshy base of the thumb of the dominant hand makes contact and exerts downward pressure on the thumb of the bottom-positioned hand. This shifting of the control point creates a more cooperative, uniform pressure to be applied by both hands and allows the dominant hand and body muscles to contribute to power and distance, and the other hand to contribute to accuracy and direction.

When the thumb and index finger of the right hand dominate the swing, and particularly the downswing, it minimizes the ability of the two hands to work together in unison. The rotation of the club and the club face's degree of being open or closed at the point of impact determines the direction and trajectory of the flight of the golf ball. The club face position at the point of impact is largely determined by the hand position, pressure and fingertip control on the grip exerted during the swing. Having conflicting key control points on the golf grip causes disharmony and causes inconsistent swing patterns of the club.

Excessive control by the thumb and index finger is also the primary cause of “casting” the club (like a fishing rod), which causes slicing of the ball. Reducing the excessive control of these two fingers, through usage of device 10, also reduces the risk of rolling the wrists, and helps in creating a straighter flight trajectory. The resulting proper gripping of the club, and wrist rotation improves predictability of the swing, resulting in improved golf ball direction and distance.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.





 
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