Title:
GOLF PUTTER CONSTRUCTION AND METHOD FOR USE THEREOF
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf putter constriction and a method for using are presented. A defined gripping plane is positioned parallel to a general body position relative to a hip-plane, or shoulder-plane, and also generally parallel to the face of the club at a slight angle parallel to a shaft-angle. This constriction arrangement repositions the grip location and hence body and arm positioning for a user and creates a physiological bone alignment along one of the user's arms (left or right depending upon dominance swing), which allows an alternative rigid-arm swing through contact with the ball for improved ball-contact alignment.



Inventors:
Kossowsky, Andrew (Irvington, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/409915
Publication Date:
10/01/2009
Filing Date:
03/24/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/316, 473/340, 29/428
International Classes:
A63B53/14; A63B53/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BLAU, STEPHEN LUTHER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NOLTE LACKENBACH SIEGEL (SCARSDALE, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A putter golf club comprising: (a) a shaft; (b) a putter head located on an end of said shaft, said putter head further comprising: (i) a front face with a height and a width; (ii) a ball contact surface for contacting a ball during a use, said ball contact surface of said putter head defining a ball contact plane extending generally perpendicularly to said ground surface; and (iii) a ground contact surface for resting on said ground surface to support said putter golf club, said shaft being at an acute angle relative to said ground contact surface, said acute angle being between zero and 25 degrees off a plane perpendicular to said ground contact surface; and (c) a hand grip, said hand grip being on a distal end of said shaft opposite said putter head; (i) said hand grip completely encircling a portion of said shaft on said distal end; (ii) said hand grip having a flat gripping plane having a front side and a rear side and being joined by a continuous arcuate gripping surface to complete said encircling of said portion of said shaft; and (iii) said flat gripping plane being one of substantially parallel with and perpendicular with said ball contact surface of said putter head during said use.

2. A putter golf club, according to claim 1, wherein said shaft has a length such that a shaft end can be positioned proximate a hip region of a user of said putter golf club.

3. A putter golf club, according to claim 1, wherein said hand grip is an elastomeric hand grip so that said hand grip can frictionally engage hands of said user during a use thereof.

4. A putter golf club, according to claim 3, wherein: (a) said flat gripping plane is positioned so that so that thumbs of said hands of said user may contact the shaft to the left or to the right of the flat gripping plane during said use; (b) said flat gripping plane bisecting at least one palm of said user; and (c) said flat gripping plane positioning a first of said hands of said user in an alignment with an arm of said user joining said first of said hands and positioning a second of said hands of said user in a non-alignment with a corresponding aim of said user, while a portion of said continuous arc provides an improved grip for said hands of said user.

5. A method of manufacturing a putter golf club, said method comprising the steps of: (a) providing a shaft; (b) providing a putter head, said putter head further comprising: (i) a front face with a height and a width; (ii) a ball contact surface for contacting a ball during a use, said ball contact surface of said putter head defining a ball contact plane extending perpendicular to said ground contact surface; and (iii) a ground contact surface for resting on a ground surface to support said putter golf club; (c) providing a hand grip for said putter golf club, said hand grip being on a distal end of said shaft opposite said putter head; and, wherein said hand grip completely encircles a portion of said shaft on said distal end; (d) providing said hand grip with a flat gripping plane having a front side and a rear side and being joined by a continuous arcuate gripping surface to complete said encircling of said portion of said shaft; (e) providing said flat gripping plane at one of a substantially perpendicular and a substantially parallel orientation with said ball contact surface of said putter head during said use; and (f) providing said shaft at an acute angle relative to said ground contact support; said acute angle being between zero and 25 degrees off a plane perpendicular to said ground contact support.

6. A method of manufacturing a putter golf club, according to claim 5, wherein said shaft has a length such that a shaft end can be positioned proximate a hip region of a user of said putter golf club.

7. A method of manufacturing a putter golf club, according to claim 6, wherein said hand grip is an elastomeric hand grip so that said hand grip can frictionally engage one or both hands of said user during a use thereof.

8. A method of manufacturing a putter golf club, according to claim 7, further comprising the step of positioning said flat gripping plane so that thumbs of said hands of said user may contact said shaft to the right or to the left of said flat gripping plane during said use; and, wherein, said flat gripping plane positions a first of said hands of said user in an alignment with an arm of said user joining said first of said hands and positioning a second of said hands of said user in a non-alignment with said corresponding arm of said user, whereby a user's grip is enhanced.

9. A method of manufacturing a putter golf club, according to claim 7, wherein said shaft bisects a palm of said user and wherein thumbs of said hands of said user may contact said shaft to the right or to the left of said flat gripping plane during said use.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application relates to and claims priority from U.S. Prov. Ser. No. 61/039,550 filed Mar. 26, 2008 and from U.S. Prov. Ser. No. 61/143,110 filed Jan. 7, 2009; the entire contents of each of which are fully incorporated herein by reference.

FIGURE SELECTED FOR PUBLICATION

FIG. 5

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates broadly to a golf putter construction and a method for employing the same. More specifically, the present invention relates to a golf putter construction and method wherein a grip and putter head construction position a user's grip in an unconventional manner that creates bone alignment and enhanced joining between a user's palm and the club grip.

2. Description of the Related Art

The related prior art involves a plurality of golf putter head constructions. Referring now to FIGS. 1 through 4, the details of U.S. Pat. No. 6,287,215, issued Sep. 11, 2001 to Fisher for a GOLF PUTTER WITH ADJUSTABLE LIE AND LOFT ANGLES, are provided; the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference. As shown, a user 1 grips a conventional putter shaft 2 having a grip 3 with a flat front thumb-surface or plane surface 4.

A ball 5 is provided on a ball contact plane 6 defined as a vertical plane relative to a ground surface 7 so that the ball contact plane 6 is a reference plane for further discussion. When viewed from the top view direction F, in FIG. 2, the user 1 is looking directly along ball contact plane 6 at the top of ball 5. Additionally, the shaft 2 has an angle A relative to the ground surface 7 such that the user's hands 8A, 8B are positioned in front of the ball 5 on the ground surface allowing a direct downward view point.

In this conventional stance, the thumbs 9A, 9B on the respective user's hands 8A, 8B are aligned with flat grip plane 4 and are directly aligned away from the center line CL of the body of user 1 and are slightly to the left side of the centerline CL (see FIG. 2). In this way, the elbows, wrists, and shoulder joints of user 1 are each bent in respective angles (as shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, and 4) in a generally uniform way along each user arm. The wrists, elbows, shoulders, and arms of user 1 are shown, but not numbered, and will be understood from the art and the description. In this way, the gripping face 4 is perpendicular to the ball contact plane 6, faces directly away from the body of user 1, and is off-set from centerline CL due to the angle A of the club shaft 2.

As a consequence of the conventional design and use, a series of reference planes may be appreciated. These reference planes include the shoulder-plane S, and the waist-plane W, listed in FIGS. 1 and 2. It will be understood by those of skill in the art that due to the conventional club position relative to the contact surface and angle A, and the grip construction requiring both arms to be bent, that during a putting action (FIG. 1), shoulder-plane S tilts relative to center line CL creating mis-alignment of the user's stance relative to these planes during the swing process SW (FIG. 1). This misalignment causes misalignment of the club face relative to the ball 5 and ball contact plane 6 creating misses.

A host of putter grip orientations are recognized in the art, including those shown in Golf Digest—April 2008, pages 119-121, entitled “Grip it like the Pros”, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference. As depicted (also viewable at www.golfdigest.com), a number of grips are shown. As the publication of this article was after the invention date, no admission regarding priority is made, but the reference is a good summary for the skilled or avid golf reader.

Additional reference is made to Golf Digest—February 2008, pages 160-169, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference. While this article (available at www.golfdigest.com) notes more than 20 putter head constructions, none notes an offset-shaft angle as in U.S. Pat. No. 6,287,215, and each requires the conventional forward grip shown in FIG. 3. As noted in this article, each putter club head design is unique and attempts to direct the ball in a more linear manner based on design alone.

A variety of club orientation and putter head constructions are referenced in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,544,879; 4,140,318; and, 6,554,720. The entire contents of each of which are incorporated herein by reference.

In view of the above, the related art fails to appreciate the benefits and details of the present invention. The present invention is a complete modification apart from the known related documents and operates to use the putter head and grip construction to arrange bone arrangement in user 1 that will prevent the tilting shoulder plane angle S relative to centerline CL during the putting stroke.

Accordingly, there is a need for an improved putter head construction and grip construction and the method of employing the same during a swing use on a support surface 7 (e.g., the ground, or turf, etc.).

ASPECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a golf putter construction and a method for its use. A defined gripping plane is positioned perpendicular to a general body position relative to a hip-plane, or shoulder-plane, and also generally parallel to the face of the club at a slight angle parallel to the shaft-angle. This construction arrangement repositions the grip location for a user and creates a physiological bone alignment along one of the user's arms which allows a rigid-arm swing through a ball-contact for improved ball-contact alignment while ensuring an improved grip-palm juncture for enhanced club control.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a putter type golf club comprising a shaft, a putter head and a hand grip. The putter head has a front face with a height, a width, a ball contact surface for contacting a ball during a use, and a ground contact surface for resting on a ground surface to support the putter golf club. The ball contact surface of the putter head defines a ball contact plane extending perpendicular to the ground contact surface. The hand grip is located on a distal end of the shaft opposite the putter head; and, the hand grip completely encircles a portion of the shaft on the distal end. The hand grip has a flat gripping plane having a front side and a rear side; and, is joined by a continuous arcuate gripping surface to complete the encircling of the portion of the shaft; the flat gripping plane being substantially parallel with the ball contact surface of the putter head during use. The shaft is set at an acute angle relative to the ground contact surface, where the acute angle is between zero and 25 degrees off a plane perpendicular to the ground contact surface.

The contents of the claims herein are fully incorporated by reference here as part of the description as well.

The above, and other aspects, features and advantages of the present invention, will become apparent from the following description read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals designate the same elements.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a putter in use according to the conventional arts.

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of a putter in use according to FIG. 1, allowing a slight downward view along F relative to the ball.

FIG. 3 is a close view of region R in FIG. 2, noting the particular hand grip orientation and grip orientation relative to the user's grip plane and centerline.

FIG. 4 is an alternative front elevational view of a putter in use according to the conventional arts and supporting FIG. 1, wherein hand grip position is noted as being forward of centerline CL.

FIG. 5 is a perspective front view of a user employing a club putter design according to the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a front perspective view of FIG. 5 allowing a slight downward view along user view F′.

FIG. 7 is a close perspective view of the grip orientation and required hand orientation in FIG. 5 (of a region W′ in FIG. 5).

FIG. 8A is a partial sectional view along line 8-8 from FIG. 7.

FIG. 8B is an alternative partial sectional view along line 8-8 from FIG. 7.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Reference will now be made in detail to several embodiments of the invention that are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, same or similar reference numerals are used in the drawings and the description to refer to the same or like parts or steps. The drawings are in simplified form and are not to precise scale. For purposes of convenience and clarity only, directional terms, such as top, bottom, up, down, over, above, and below may be used with respect to the drawings. These and similar directional terms should not be construed to limit the scope of the invention in any manner. The words “connect,” “couple,” and similar terms with their inflectional morphemes do not necessarily denote direct and immediate connections, but also include connections through mediate elements or devices.

Referring now to a first preferred embodiment shown in FIGS. 5 through 7, for a golf putter construction and method are discussed. As shown, a user 1′ grips a putter shaft 2′ having a grip 3′ with a flat grip thumb-surface or plane surface 4′, as shown for receiving the thumbs of user 1′—as will be discussed.

A ball 5′ is provided on a ball contact plane 6′ defined as a vertical plane relative to a ground surface 7′ so that the ball contact plane 6′ is a reference plane for further discussion. When viewed from the top view direction F′ in FIG. 6 the user 1′ is looking directly along ball contact plane 6′ at the top of ball 5′. Additionally, the shaft 2′ has an angle A′ relative to ground surface 7′ such that the user's hands 8A′, 8B′ are positioned in front of ball 5′ on the ground surface 7′ allowing a direct downward view point that is also aligned with a user center line CL′. This orientation allows user 1′ to position ball 5 in a balanced way between feet 10A, 10B generally aligned with bal contact plane 6′ (when viewed as rising directly upwardly perpendicular to ground surface 7′.

In both this embodiment, and the following embodiment, it will be appreciated and understood, that due to the interface and contact arrangements between the respective club-handle and user's palm curve/fingers that the stance shown in either FIG. 5 or that supported by the alternative grip arrangement in FIG. 8B are maintainable when the club is not touching the ground. In other words, the grip arrangements proposed by the present invention, allow a user to maintain the respective club alignment and club head positioning whether or not the club is contacting the ground—thereby eliminating the need to force the club into position on the ground, or require a correction as the club is move off the ground during the swing. Thus, the proposed embodiments eliminate a previously established detriment of club correction during use.

In this newly proposed stance, the thumbs 9A′, 9B′ (9B′ on hand 8B′1 not shown as concealed by hand 8A′ in FIG. 7) on respective user 1′ hands 8A′, 8B′ are aligned with flat grip plane 4′ which is perpendicular to a body waist plane W′ or shoulder plane S′, and in a way that is generally extends toward the centerline CL′ of the body of user 1′ (see FIG. 5). In this way, only once side (shown as the right side L″ of user 1′) of a user's arm (elbow, wrists, and shoulder joints of user 1′ are bent in respective angles (as show in FIG. 5) in a generally uniform way. However, the users' 1 opposite arm L including the left side wrist, elbow, shoulder, and aim of user 1 are fully rotated with straight bone alignment on direction AL along arm L (see FIGS. 7 and 5). In this way, the gripping face 4′ is generally parallel to the ball contact plane 6′ (See FIG. 8), faces perpendicularly away from the body of user 1 (not parallel to it as shown in FIG. 3), and is aligned with the centerline CL″ but inclined to the ground or support surface 7′ due to the angle A′ of the club shaft 2′ (see FIG. 5).

As a consequence of this improved design and use, a series of reference planes may be appreciated. These include the shoulder-plane S′ and the waist-plane W′ listed in FIGS. 5 and 6. It will be understood by those of skill in the art that due to the proposed design and use, the club position relative to the contact surface and angle A′, and the grip construction requires one arm L to be straight via rotation direction R′ (FIG. 7) and the other arm bent, that during a putting action (FIG. 6) shoulder-plane S′ remains parallel to waist plane W′ to prevent misalignment and maintain alignment of the ball contact surface of club head G, for a flat- or square-put.

As shown best in FIG. 7, the grip 3′ having the flat grip plane 4′ is fully rotated relative to the shaft 2′ and is now parallel with club contact plane 6′.

In full combination, this first proposed construction and method of use (as seen from FIG. 8A's sectional view) creates a flat grip plane 4′ that is generally or roughly facing (as shown in FIG. 5) along the body center line CL′ although at an angle (see FIG. 5), and the ball contact plane 6′ of the club head is generally or roughly perpendicular with or facing away from the waist or shoulder planes W′, S′ as shown (see also FIG. 5). As will be appreciated in this first alternative embodiment the thumb-pads of the hands of user 1′ are positioned along grip plane 4′ allowing the rotated alignment along line AL (see FIG. 5). A thumb-pad-contact zone 4′A is noted in FIG. 8A along a central zone of flat grip plane 4′ so that hand position relative to the club grip 3′ can be appreciated. FIG. 8A indicates the relative alignment arrangement and also that the tilt A′ of the club shaft places club handle 3′ ahead of the ball and hence off the center line CL′ as proposed.

An new and novel second preferred orientation may be readily appreciated from FIG. 5B. As shown in FIG. 8B flat grip plane 4′ is positioned relatively as in FIG. 8A, and grip 4′ is orientated relative to the earlier embodiment.

This second preferred or alternative orientation however recognizes an alternative preferred gripping arrangement wherein the hands of user 1′ are positioned not as in FIG. 8A, but such that a second thumb-pad-grip zone 3′A is identified as shown separate or distant from flat grip plane 4′. In this presentation, it will be apparent to those of skill in the art that a user's thumbs are positioned on the rounded outer surface 3′ along the plane CL′, 6′ represented in FIG. 5 away from the designated grip plane 4′.

The club shown in FIGS. 5-8B is a regular right-handed club, but the following discussion and above details may be readily applied to a left-handed club.

In this second preferred embodiment with thumb-pad-grip zone 3′A, the user's shoulders remain aligned as shown in FIG. 5, but the leading arm (the left arm of user 1′) is now bent uniformly with the following arm (the right arm) in a manner noted in FIG. 2 so that the user's thumbs point away from the center line CL′ of the body of user 1 and contact thumb-pad-grip zone 3′A.

The benefit of this second preferred embodiment allows the rounded grip portion 3′ along a nesting region 3′A2 to nest firmly and securely within the cupped palm region of a user's leading arm hand (the left hand of user 1), thereby providing an improved grip and secure enwrapping of the club surface 3′ by the leading or control arm. Further, in this orientation, user 1, may position the club face at any position between the leading food and following foot for improved comfort.

As a final third alternative embodiment (not shown in a drawing), it will be noted that flat contact region 4′ may be rotated an additional ninety degrees relative to the location and orientation in FIG. 8A so as to parallel plane W′, S′ and be closely proximate to the user's body. In this orientation (described but not shown), the hands orientation of the second embodiment (FIG. 8B) is employed such that the palms of a users leading and following hands each grip a portion of the rounded outer surface.

It will be recognized herein that the phrase or word arcuate means very generally a curved surface or curved portion, and requires and accepts no other limitations on meaning.

In the claims, means or step-plus-function clauses, are intended to cover the structures described or suggested herein as performing the recited function and not only structural equivalents but also equivalent structures. Thus, for example, although a nail, a screw, and a bolt may not be structural equivalents in that a nail relies on friction between a wooden part and a cylindrical surface, a screw's helical surface positively engages the wooden part, and a bolt's head and nut compress opposite sides of a wooden part, in the environment of fastening wooden parts, a nail, a screw, and a bolt may be readily understood by those skilled in the art as equivalent structures.

Having described at least one of the preferred embodiments of the present invention with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to those precise embodiments, and that various changes, modifications, and adaptations may be effected therein by one skilled in the art without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention as defined in the appended claims.