Title:
VCM Golf Club Grip System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf club grip system is presented comprised of golf club grips of identical weights regardless of their grip thickness. The identical weight may be maintained by altering the grip material compound, grip construction method, or by varying the length of the grip along the golf club shaft as the grip width is varied.

A set of standardized grip widths is also presented that varies in increments of the thickness of duct tape, thus providing a standard method of adjusting the thickness of a golf club grip on a shaft.

The system is designed to permit pre-manufactured golf club grips to be selected by grip thickness and feel, while remaining identically weighted to all other possible thicknesses. This uniform weighting removes the need to adjust club head weight or perform dynamic or static swing weighting after grip thickness is selected.




Inventors:
Voges, Mitchell C. (Simi Valley, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/466328
Publication Date:
11/19/2009
Filing Date:
05/14/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/409
International Classes:
A63B53/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BLAU, STEPHEN LUTHER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEVEN W. WEBB (Oceanside, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A golf club grip system, the system comprised of a set of golf club grips, the individual golf club grips in a plurality of thicknesses and lengths, for each golf club grip in the set the weight of material comprising the golf club grip remaining the same over the range of golf club grip thicknesses, the plurality of golf club grip thicknesses provided in a range that varies in increments of the thickness of one layer of duct tape, the golf club grips in the set each having the same texture on their external surfaces, the golf club grips in the set comprised of materials selected from the list of thermoplastic compounds, leather, or synthetic materials.

2. A method of fitting golf club grips using the golf club grip system of claim 1, comprised of the steps of developing a set of pre-manufactured golf club shafts with grips from the set of golf club grips, one grip size per shaft, selecting the desired width of golf club grip by means of allowing a golfer to feel the grip on each of the pre-manufactured golf club shafts, selecting a plurality of golf club grips that match the thickness of grip selected in the previous step, and being correctly fitted for size by methods known to those normally skilled in the art, installing the grips selected on the ends of the shafts of a set of golf clubs by means of blowing them on or by traditional installation methods.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of Provisional Application 61/053,580.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to golf club grips and grip replacement systems.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Customization is the key component in proper fitting of golf clubs, but is lacking with one of the most important aspects of the club: the golf club grip. The only contact the player has with his club is via the grip, and hence the grip fit to the player's hands must be comfortable and sure.

If the grip is too small, the hands tend to be overactive and there is loss of control. If the grip is too large, proper wrist hinging will be impeded and there will be loss of power. Having the proper grip size also increases the longevity or wear of the grip.

Arriving at the correct sizing for grips for club builders has traditionally been to add buildup tape to standard, mid-size, or jumbo grips to get a proper size, but club balance suffers in the process. This is true even if no build up tape is used but larger sized grips are substituted for a standard size.

Current golf grip sizing uses nebulous sizes such as “+ 1/32nd”, “+ 1/16th”, and “+⅛th”. There is a need for a system of consistent, predictable size increments based on a reasonable metric. Golf club grips from various manufacturers in the industry also have inconsistent size, length, and weight increments

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a system for producing a set of golf club grips that are of varying thicknesses but of the same weight. The grips will maintain the same texture from size to size, and maintain the same “feel” and touch.

The present invention also establishes a set of standard grip sizes to the golf industry. The method of the present invention includes setting standard size increments based on grips with installed thicknesses of multiples of a single layer of duct tape.

The present invention also maintains overall club balance and swing weight while permitting wide variations in golf club grip thickness. Typically, adding an additional weight of 4 grams to the grip by building it up with tape or installing a heavier grip requires an additional 2 grams of weight added to the head to maintain a constant swing weight balance. For example, switching to a midsize grip may typically add 8 grams to the grip and require adding 4 grams to the club head. Adding the weights at both ends increases club weight as well. Using grips that vary in thickness but maintain a constant weight solves this problem.

Installation of golf club grips is labor-intensive with the current methods, involving repeated applications of build-up tape and may require golf shafts to be pulled with weight added inside them at the tip end. Typically, custom grip installations can take up to an hour of time. The pre-manufactured, variable-thickness constant-weight grips of this invention can be “blown on” by means of vacuum pressure in approximately 10 minutes without using build up tape or installed with conventional double sided tape and solvent.

OBJECTIVES OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

It is an objective of the present invention to provide a golf club grip system that maintains a constant grip weight from size to size.

It is an objective of the present invention to provide a golf club grip system that maintains a constant texture and feel from grip to grip.

It is an objective of the present invention to provide a golf club grip system that establishes a consistent grip sizing system based on thicknesses of build up tape.

It is an objective of the present invention to provide a golf club grip system that maintains overall swing weight balance and club weight.

It is an objective of the present invention to provide a golf club grip system that reduces installation times for custom golf grips.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1. Perspective view of a small width grip

FIG. 2. Perspective view of a medium width grip

FIG. 3. Perspective view of a wide grip

DETAILED SPECIFICATION

The present invention is comprised of a set of identically-weighted golf club grips 101 that have varying widths 102,103,104. In an alternate embodiment, the volume of the grips is identical, as the thinner width grip 102 is longer on the club shaft than the thicker grips 104, each having in this embodiment commensurately varying lengths 105,106,107. In FIGS. 1, 2, and 3, the grip lengths are exaggerated for emphasis, and are not representative of the true lengths of the invention.

The golf club grip 101 of this invention is comprised of a blended material, in the preferred embodiment a soft plastic or rubber compound but may in alternate embodiments include a polymer, leather, or synthetic compound. The weight of the grips in the set comprising the present invention will be chosen in the range of 50 to 54 grams for the preferred embodiment of the invention and maintained throughout the grip set. Alternate embodiments will be in the weight range of 40 to 60 grams.

Core grips sizes for the invention will run from 0.580 to 0.620 inches.

There are a variety of grip manufacturing methods that can be selected from to produce the single-weight, multiple-size grip set of the present invention. The preferred method is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,503,430 to Downey, but other plastic molding methods are available.

Materials for the grips can be selected from any of the popular grip materials as long as grip weight is preserved across the widths. A typical material would be thermoplastic, rubber or a rubber blend. The preferred embodiment for this invention uses a set of grips comprised of thermoplastic compounds.

The present invention includes a standard set of custom grip sizes based on the thickness of a layer of duct tape. The present invention eliminates the need to build up grips with tape or other means by providing a set of pre-manufactured grips in a variety of sizes.

The method of the present invention involves measurement of the golfer's grip requirements and then custom fitting a grip to the golf clubs. Because the weight of the golf club grip remains the same for all grip thicknesses, the club does not need to be dynamically swing weighted afterwards to adjust for added weight at the grip; the pre-calculated weight stays the same for any grip choice.

Measurement could be performed by providing a set of grips on cut-down shafts for the golfer to try for hand feel. The grip size associated with the best-feeling club shaft would be ordered or available on site, and could be installed by blowing the grip onto the golfer's selected club shafts by means of vacuum or air pressure, or traditional double-sided tape and solvent.

While the foregoing describes a preferred mode; variation on this design and equivalent methods may be resorted to in the scope and spirit of the claimed invention.