Title:
GOLF TRAINING AID
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf training aid and methods of performing golf drills therewith are provided. The golf training aid comprises a thin, rigid, card-like member having structures configured to retain one or more golf balls in place until struck. The training aid further includes a plurality of directional indicia for assisting a user to line up golf shots with a target or intended line of travel and identify the proper trajectory for contacting a golf club with a golf ball. The golf training aid may be used to perform golf drills directed toward improving nearly all aspects of the user's game, particularly putting, wedge and iron shots, and driving, and proper alignment of the club face and user's feet during the practice of drills.



Inventors:
Bauer, Joseph E. (Prairie Village, KS, US)
Application Number:
12/573662
Publication Date:
04/08/2010
Filing Date:
10/05/2009
Assignee:
Go Low Golf, Inc. (Kansas City, MO, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/409, 473/257
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LEGESSE, NINI F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hovey Williams LLP (Overland Park, KS, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A golf training aid for assisting a golfer to perform a plurality of golf drills comprising a thin substrate material having a thickness that is substantially less than the length and width thereof, said substrate material comprising one or more golf ball retaining structures formed therein and configured to secure a golf ball in a stationary position until the golfer strikes the ball, and an orifice formed in said substrate material configured to received a golf tee therethrough so as to maintain said substrate material in a relatively fixed location with respect to the ground while the golfer performs one of said golf drills.

2. The golf training aid of claim 1, wherein said substrate material comprises opposed top and bottom surfaces, at least one of said top and bottom surfaces including one or more directional indicia thereon.

3. The golf training aid of claim 2, wherein both said top and bottom surfaces include one or more directional indicia thereon.

4. The golf training aid of claim 2, wherein said orifice is formed in the center of said substrate material and said one or more directional indicia extend outwardly from said orifice.

5. The golf training aid of claim 1, wherein said substrate material has a substantially rectangular configuration and includes four corner regions.

6. The golf training aid of claim 5, wherein said golf ball retaining structures are formed in at least two of said corner regions.

7. The golf training aid of claim 1, wherein said golf ball retaining structures comprise golf ball retaining apertures formed in said substrate material.

8. A golf training kit for assisting a golfer to perform a plurality of golf drills, said kit comprising; a golf training aid comprising a thin substrate material including one or more golf ball retaining structures and one or more orifices formed in therein, said golf training aid further including a plurality of directional indicia thereon; a pad configured to be placed underneath said golf training aid and to secure said golf training aid to a surface during use of said golf training aid in a golf drill; a reference guide containing instructional information regarding said plurality of golf drills that can be performed with said golf training aid; and a carrying case for said golf training aid, pad, and reference guide.

9. The golf training kit of claim 8, wherein said golf ball retaining structures comprise golf ball retaining apertures formed in said substrate material.

10. The golf training kit of claim 8, wherein said pad comprises a flexible, tacky material capable of adhering said substrate material to said surface so as to prevent relative movement between said golf training aid and said surface during use of said golf training aid.

11. The golf training kit of claim 8, wherein said carrying case comprises one or more flaps, with at least one pocket formed in one of said flaps for receiving said golf training aid, said pad, and said reference guide.

12. The golf training kit of claim 8, wherein said kit further comprises a disc having recorded thereon information pertaining to said plurality of golf drills.

13. A method of performing a golf drill comprising; providing a golf training aid comprising a thin substrate material including one or more golf ball retaining structures and one or more orifices formed in therein, said golf training aid further including a plurality of directional indicia thereon; securing said golf training aid to the ground so that shifting of said golf training aid relative to the ground is substantially inhibited; at least one step selected from the following; (a) positioning a golf ball in one of said golf ball retaining structures; (b) placing a golf ball on the ground adjacent said golf training aid and in alignment with one of said directional indicia; (c) inserting a golf tee through one of said orifices and placing a golf ball on said tee; and striking said golf ball with a golf club.

14. The method according to claim 13, said step of securing said golf training aid to the ground comprising inserting a retaining member through one of said golf ball retaining structures or through one of said orifices into the ground.

15. The method according to claim 14, wherein said golf ball is placed on the ground forward of said golf training aid, and wherein said retaining member functions as an obstacle to said golf club during said ball-striking motion.

16. The method according to claim 13, said step of securing said golf training aid to the ground comprising placing said golf training aid onto a pad and placing said pad containing said golf training aid onto the ground, said golf training aid adhering to said pad to prevent shifting of said golf training aid relative to the ground while performing said golf drill.

17. The method according to claim 13, said golf drill comprising a putting drill using two golf balls, each of said golf balls being placed on a respective golf ball retaining structure.

18. The method according to claim 17, wherein said step of securing said golf training aid to the ground comprises inserting a golf tee through one of said orifices, the upper margin of said golf tee lying below the equatorial regions of said golf balls.

19. The method according to claim 13, said method further comprising the step of aligning one of said directional indicium with a desired line of travel for said golf ball.

20. A method of performing a golf drill comprising; providing a golf training aid comprising a thin substrate material having opposed end margins and including one or more orifices formed in therein and a plurality of directional indicia thereon; inserting a retaining member through one of said orifices formed in said golf training aid; securing one end of said retaining member into a grip portion of a golf club; grasping said golf club with two hands such that said opposed end margins of the golf training aid contact the user's forearms in regions above the user's wrists; providing a golf ball on a ball-striking surface; and striking the golf ball while said golf training aid is located between the user's forearms.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/195,306, filed Oct. 6, 2008, entitled PRO TOUR CARD, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention is generally directed toward a golf training aid and methods of performing golf drills using the training aid. Particularly, the golf training aid comprises a highly portable device that permits a user to perform putting drills, chipping and iron drills, and driving drills. The training aid also aids the golfer with proper alignment of the club face and feet during the practicing of drills.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Golf is a multi-faceted game requiring the use of a variety of swing techniques depending upon a number of factors such as the lie of the golf ball, the distance to the hole, and the desired line of ball travel. Golf statistics have continued to show that putting, on average, comprises approximately 40 percent of the total golf strokes taken during a golfer's “round” of golf. By improving his or her putting skills, a golfer may significantly lower the amount of strokes taken during a round of golf. Furthermore, a golfer may also reduce the number of strokes taken during a round of golf by gaining an understanding of other important aspects of their golf swing and putting stroke such as alignment, swing path and plane, ball position and club face angle at impact in an effort to make fundamental improvements and become a more skillful golfer.

A number of training aids have been developed in order to help the golfer improve his or her skills in various aspects of the game. However, many of these training aids focus only on one aspect of the game, such as putting or driving, thereby requiring a golfer looking to work on multiple areas of the game to purchase additional, and often expensive, aids. Further, many conventional training aids can be quite bulky and may not involve the use of the golfer's regular clubs or ball(s) to perform the drills, thereby making practicing less convenient for the user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one embodiment according to the present invention there is provided a golf training aid for assisting a golfer to perform a plurality of golf drills. The golf training aid comprises a thin substrate material having a thickness that is substantially less than both the length and width thereof. The substrate material comprises one or more golf ball retaining structures formed therein and configured to secure a golf ball in a stationary position until the golfer strikes the ball. The training aid also includes an orifice formed in the substrate material configured to received a golf tee therethrough so as to maintain the substrate material in a relatively fixed location with respect to the ground while the golfer performs one of the golf drills.

In another embodiment according to the present invention there is provided a golf training kit for assisting a golfer to perform a plurality of golf drills. The kit comprises a golf training aid, a pad, a reference guide, and a carrying case for carrying the golf training aid, reference guide and pad. The golf training aid comprises a thin substrate material including one or more golf ball retaining structures and one or more orifices formed in therein. The golf training aid further includes a plurality of directional indicia thereon. The pad is configured to be placed underneath the golf training aid and to secure the golf training aid to a surface during use of the golf training aid in a golf drill. The reference guide contains instructional information regarding the plurality of golf drills that can be performed with the golf training aid.

In yet another embodiment according to the present invention there is provided a method of performing a golf drill comprising providing a golf training aid comprising a thin substrate material including one or more golf ball retaining structures and one or more orifices formed in therein. The golf training aid further includes a plurality of directional indicia thereon. Next, the golf training aid is secured to the ground so that shifting of the golf training aid relative to the ground and intended line of travel is substantially inhibited. The method also comprises at least one of the following steps; (a) positioning a golf ball in one of the golf ball retaining structures; (b) placing a golf ball on the ground adjacent the golf training aid and in alignment with one of the directional indicia; (c) inserting a golf tee through one of the orifices and placing a golf ball on the tee. Finally, the user strikes the golf ball with a golf club.

In still another embodiment according to the present invention there is provided a method of performing a golf drill comprising providing a golf training aid comprising a thin substrate material having opposed end margins and including one or more orifices formed in therein and a plurality of directional indicia thereon. A retaining member is inserted through one of the orifices formed in the golf training aid. One end of the retaining member is inserted into a grip portion of a golf club. The user then grasps the golf club with two hands such that the opposed end margins of the golf training aid contact the user's forearms in regions above the user's wrists. A golf ball is provided on a ball-striking surface and then struck while the golf training aid is located between the user's forearms.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a golf training aid kit according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is another illustration of a golf training aid kit according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a view of one surface of a golf training aid according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a view of another surface of a golf training aid according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate a putting drill utilizing two golf balls that may be performed with the golf training aid, the drill being directed toward squaring the club face;

FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate improper putting strokes for the putting drill of FIGS. 5 and 6;

FIG. 9 illustrates a drill that may be performed with the golf training aid directed toward teaching proper acceleration and alignment (face angle) of the club head through impact with the golf ball;

FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate improper putting strokes for the putting drill of FIG. 9;

FIG. 12 illustrates putting drill utilizing one golf ball that may be performed with the golf training aid;

FIG. 13 illustrates a proper putting stroke for the putting drill of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 illustrates a chipping drill that may be performed with the golf training aid;

FIG. 15 is a side view of a proper stroke for the drill of FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 is a side view of an improper stroke for the drill of FIG. 14;

FIG. 17 illustrates an additional chipping drill that may be performed with the golf training aid;

FIG. 18 is a side view of a proper stroke for the drill of FIG. 17;

FIG. 19 is a side view of an improper stroke for the drill of FIG. 17;

FIG. 20 illustrates a club-path drill that may be performed with the golf training aid;

FIGS. 21 and 22 illustrate improper strokes for the drill of FIG. 20;

FIG. 23 illustrates an alignment and ball position drill that may be performed with the golf training aid;

FIG. 24 illustrates another alignment and ball position drill that may be performed with the golf training aid;

FIG. 25 illustrates yet another alignment and ball position drill that may be performed with the golf training aid;

FIG. 26 illustrates a drill that may be performed with the golf training aid with the ball in a teed-up position directed toward hitting draw and fade shots;

FIG. 27 illustrates another putting drill that may be performed with the golf training aid;

FIG. 28 depicts the golf training aid and a non-slip pad for use on artificial surfaces;

FIG. 29 depicts the golf training aid and non-slip pad during use in a golf drill on an artificial surface;

FIG. 30 illustrates a greenside bunker drill that may be performed with the golf training aid;

FIG. 31 illustrates a proper execution of a golf shot for the drill of FIG. 30; and

FIGS. 32 and 33 illustrate improper strokes for the drill of FIG. 30.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The following description sets forth exemplary embodiments of a golf training aid according to the present invention and golf drills that may be performed with the aid. It is to be understood, however, that these examples are provided by way of illustration and nothing therein should be taken as a limitation upon the overall scope of the invention.

Turning first to FIG. 1, a golf training aid kit 10 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention is shown. Kit 10 comprises a carrying case 12 and a storage case 14. As further illustrated in FIG. 2, carrying case 12 comprises flaps 16, 18 each presenting respective pockets 20, 22 formed therein. Pockets 20, 22 are sized so as to accommodate storage of a golf training aid 24, a set of drill instructions 26, and a non-slip pad 28 provided with a protective cover 30, each of which is described in further detail below. Located inside storage case 14 is additional instructional information pertaining to golf drills to be performed with training aid 24 digitally stored on a disc 32, such as a DVD or CD-ROM.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, training aid 24 comprises a sheet of relatively thin substrate material having opposed surfaces 34, 36. Surfaces 34, 36 contain a plurality of directional indicia 38(a-d) thereon, the function of such indicia is explained further below with respect to the discussion of individual golf drills to be performed with training aid 24. As illustrated, indicia 38 comprise a plurality of solid or broken arrows that extend outwardly from a central orifice 40. However, it is understood that indica 38 could take alternate forms including solid or broken lines, with or without arrows, printed upon or formed in training aid 24. Central orifice 40 extends completely through training aid 24 and is approximately equidistant between opposed longitudinal side margins 42, 44 and lateral side margins 46, 48, respectively.

Training aid 24 also comprises one or more golf ball retaining structures 50, 52 formed therein. Particularly, retaining structures 50, 52 are formed in at least two corner regions of rectangularly-shaped training aid 24. As illustrated, retaining structures 50, 52 comprise apertures that extend entirely through the substrate material from which training aid 24 is formed. However, the present invention is not intended to be limited to this embodiment. In alternate embodiments according to the present invention, retaining structures may comprise arcuately-shaped segments that extend entirely or partially through the substrate material. In such embodiments, the arcuately-shaped segments engage the golf ball along an arc formed in a hemispherical portion of the ball below the ball's equator.

In certain embodiments, golf training aid 24 is formed of a rigid extruded synthetic resin material such as PVC, polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene or other suitable material, and is configured to be the approximate size of a credit card or identification card. Thus, the golf training aid may be conveniently carried by the user in a wallet or money clip. The material may also exhibit a certain resiliency which permits some flexing of the golf training aid 24 without breaking.

A set of drill instructions 26 is also provided. In certain embodiments, the drill instructions contain both textual and visual instructions for the golfer on how to perform a plurality of drills using the golf training aid 24. When folded up, the instructions 26 present an area approximately the same as training aid 24.

Pad 28 permits training aid 24 to be used on an artificial surface, such as carpet, artificial turf, linoleum, or wood flooring. Pad 28 is formed of a flexible natural or synthetic resin material, such as neoprene, EPDM, PVC foam, polyethylene, rubber, silicone, urethane, or cork, that is somewhat tacky so as to frictionally hold training aid 24 in a relatively constant position with respect to the ground or surface onto which the ball will be placed. In certain embodiments, pad 28 is sized to have approximately the same overall dimensions as training aid 24.

Golf training aid 24 can be used to perform a number of golf drills aimed at improving various skills such as putting, hitting iron shots, and driving. In certain embodiments, these drills comprise providing and securing training aid 24 to the ground so that shifting of the training aid relative to the ground is substantially inhibited. The drills also comprise at least one of the following steps; (a) positioning a golf ball in one of the golf ball retaining structures (note that as explained below, orifice 40 may be used as a golf ball retaining structure); (b) placing a golf ball on the ground adjacent training aid 24 and in alignment with one of directional indicia 38; and (c) inserting a golf tee through one of the orifices formed in training aid 24 and placing a golf ball on the tee (note that as explained below, the golf ball retaining structures may be used as an orifice through which a tee may be inserted). Lastly, once the golf ball is positioned, the user strikes the ball with a golf club.

Golf training aid 24 is particularly well suited for use with regulation golf balls, and the golf drills described herein are intended to be performed using regulation golf balls so as to simulate as real of a playing experience as possible. To be considered a regulation golf ball, the ball must not be substantially different from the traditional and customary form and make for golf balls sanctioned by the United States Golf Association (USGA). The material and construction of the ball must not be contrary to the purpose and intent of the Rules propagated by the USGA. For a regulation golf ball, the weight of the ball must not be greater than 1.620 ounces avoirdupois (45.93 gm) and the diameter of the ball must not be less than 1.680 inches (42.67 mm). This specification will be satisfied if, under its own weight, a ball falls through a 1.680 inches diameter ring gauge in fewer than 25 out of 100 randomly selected positions, the test being carried out at a temperature of 23±1° C. The ball must not be designed, manufactured or intentionally modified to have properties which differ from those of a spherically symmetrical ball. The initial velocity of the ball must not exceed the limit specified (test on file) when measured on apparatus approved by the USGA. The combined carry and roll of the ball, when tested on apparatus approved by the USGA, must not exceed the distance specified under the conditions set forth in the Overall Distance Standard for golf balls on file with the USGA.

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate a putting skills drill using golf training aid 24 and a pair of golf balls 54, 56. This particular drill is directed toward getting the user to square the face 58 of putter 60 in relation to the intended line of travel at impact with balls 54, 56. First, golf training aid 24 is placed on the ground and anchored into place using a retaining member, such as golf tee 62, inserted through central orifice 40. Next, golf training aid can be rotated about a vertical axis defined by tee 62 and extending through central orifice 40 to align directional indicium 38a with the intended line of travel for balls 54, 56. Balls 54, 56 are placed in golf ball retaining structures 50, 52 whereby movement of the balls is prevented and their locations are fixed relative to each other. The user is now ready to strike the balls with putter 60.

A proper stroke whereby putter face 58 squarely contacts the balls at impact, as shown in FIG. 6, will cause balls 54 and 56 to travel forward along approximately parallel paths to each other and at approximately the same speed. Further, because the upper portion of golf tee 62 extends vertically above the plane of golf training aid 24, but below the equatorial region of the golf balls, the user is forced to elevate the putter off the ground so as to eliminate scuffed or chunked putts while promoting higher contact on the ball resulting in improved topspin. FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate an improper stroke in which either the toe section 64 or heel section 66 of putter 60 contacts one of balls 54, 56 ahead of the other ball. This un-square contact causes balls 54, 56 to travel along a path that is not in alignment with directional indicium 38a. Further, the ball which first makes contact with the putter face 58 will roll ahead of the other ball, rather than traveling substantially evenly therewith.

The same set up can be used in another drill that is directed toward teaching the user to square the path of the putter during the putting stroke. In this drill, golf training aid 24 is anchored to the ground, directional indicium 38a is aligned along the desired line of travel, and balls 54, 56 are placed in ball retaining structures 50, 52. The user then strikes the balls with a square club face 58. If the balls travel to the right or left of the intended line, the user can immediately see that the putter's path of travel was not square, thus resulting in a “pushing” or “pulling” of balls 54, 56. Thus, the user gains an awareness of the putter's path of travel and how to correct his swing to square the path of travel.

FIGS. 9-11 illustrate another drill that may be performed using golf training aid 24. This drill is aimed at teaching proper acceleration of the putter through contact with a golf ball. This drill is very similar to the drill of FIGS. 5-8, however, little or no back swing of the putter is made. Golf training aid 24 is positioned on the ground and anchored into place in the same manner as described for prior the putting drill above. After directional indicium 38a is aligned with the intended line of travel for balls 54, 56, the balls are placed in golf ball retaining structures 50, 52 to await striking with putter 60. Next, the user lines the putter up with the assistance of directional indicium 38a as close to the golf balls as possible. The user then pushes putter 60 through the balls without taking any substantial backstroke while trying to maintain as square of a club face as possible. Again, tee 62 forces the user to elevate putter 60 off the ground to promote proper contact with the ball.

FIG. 9 illustrates a proper putting stroke for this drill. Putter face 58 makes square contact with balls 54, 56 which proceed to roll in the same direction as indicium 38a at a substantially even rate. FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrates improper putting strokes wherein the user “pushes” balls 54, 56 to the right or left, thus causing the balls to travel in a skewed path relative to indicium 38a.

A single-ball putting drill is illustrated in FIGS. 12 and 13. The drill begins by placing golf training aid 24 on the ground and aligning indicium 38d (see, FIG. 4) with the intended line for ball 54 to travel. Once indicium 38d has been aligned, golf tees 62a and 62b are inserted through golf ball retaining structures 50, 52 in order to secure training aid 24 to the ground. Note, in this drill, structures 50, 52 are not used to hold golf balls. Rather this function is being fulfilled by central orifice 40. A golf ball 54 is placed over central orifice 40 which acts to prevent movement of the ball until struck. The purpose of this drill is to utilize golf tees 62a, 62b to force the user to elevate putter 60 so as to strike ball 54 squarely on the equator and produce proper top spin of the ball. The user also employs side indicia 38b, 38c to ensure that the user's head is centered correctly over the ball. The user knows he has ideal head position if he can see equal amounts of indicia 38b, 38c when standing over the ball.

Turning next to FIGS. 14-16, a chipping drill using golf training aid 24 is illustrated. This drill is directed toward improving the user's ability to hit a chip shot when a ball is lying in the grass or rough off the green. This drill may also be used in the practicing of fairway shots and fairway bunker shots utilizing a very similar technique. In the context of greenside chipping, one may encounter one of the following two ball conditions or lies; a ball that is buried or sitting down in the grass so that a majority of the ball resides below the top margin of the grass, or a ball that is sitting up so that a majority of the ball is exposed. For a ball that is buried, it is important for the user's club face to approach the ball at a steep angle of attack to eliminate contact with the grass behind the ball.

As shown in FIG. 14, golf training aid 24 is placed on the ground with directional indicium 38b pointing towards the desired direction of ball travel, and a golf tee 62 is inserted through central orifice 40. However, unlike the prior drills described above, tee 62 should be inserted only partially into the ground such that the top of the tee is approximately at the same height as when hitting a driver off of the tee, such as shown in FIG. 15. In certain embodiments, this means that between approximately ⅓ to ⅔ of the tee should reside above golf training aid 24. A ball 68 is then placed directly in front of training aid 24, spaced approximately the length of one club head from the forward margin of the training aid, and in alignment with directional indicium 38b. It then becomes incumbent upon the user to strike ball 68 with club 70 without striking tee 62. Thus, tee 62 becomes an obstacle to be avoided, thereby forcing the user to swing the club along a steeper club path. This drill encourages quick setting of the wrists and a proper angle to clear tee 62 on the club take away as well as the downswing. FIG. 16 illustrates an improper shot whereby the club angle on the downswing is not steep enough, thus club head 70 contacts tee 62 on its approach to ball 68. The user then immediately senses the striking of tee 62 and can make the necessary adjustments in his next attempt at striking the ball.

If the ball is sitting up in the rough, it becomes less critical to contact the ball at a steep angle of attack. Therefore, tee 62 may be lowered, approaching the configuration shown in FIG. 5. Also, the ball can be placed slightly more forward of training aid 24, such as one to two club head lengths, than with the drill for when the ball is buried. In a sitting up lie, the directional indicia 38 of golf training aid 24 are used to assist the user with club path and club alignment during the shot.

As noted above, this drill can also be used to practice fairway shots and fairway bunker shots. When practicing these shots, the configuration of the golf training aid 24 and tee 62 may be similar to either the drill for a buried lie or for a ball sitting up lie described above, depending upon the angle of attack needed for the particular shot.

The drill of FIGS. 17-19 is a further variation of the drill of FIGS. 14-16, which aids the user in squaring the club face upon contact with the ball. In this drill, golf training aid is placed on the ground such that the longitudinal margin 42 proximate golf ball retaining structures 50, 52 is toward the ball. Directional indicium 38a is aligned with the desired line for ball travel, and then two tees 62a, 62b are placed through retaining structures 50, 52 at approximately the same height as described above with reference to FIG. 15. A ball 68 is placed approximately one club head length in front of golf training aid 24. Tees 62a, 62b effectively span the width of club head 70. Therefore, if the club head travels from the outside in or inside out at an improper angle of attack, the user immediately recognizes this by striking one of the tees as shown in FIG. 19.

FIGS. 20-22 illustrate a club path drill whereby the user is able to discern club path travel by viewing the divot taken during the shot. Golf training aid 24 is placed on the ground with directional indicium 38b pointed toward the desired line of ball travel. Tee 62 is placed through central orifice 40 to secure training aid in place. Next, ball 68 (shown in phantom) is placed between training aid 24 and the user. The other directional indicium on training aid 24 can be used as points of reference for alignment of ball 68 and club head 70. The user then strikes ball 68 with club head 70 so as to leave a divot 74. As shown in FIG. 20, divot 74 is substantially parallel with golf training aid 24 and provides the user with immediate feed back that the club head's path of travel was square. As shown in FIG. 21, divot 74a is skewed away from training aid 24 indicating to the user that the club head's path of travel was from the outside in. Likewise, as shown in FIG. 22, divot 74b is skewed toward training aid 24 indicating to the user that the club head's path of travel was from the inside out. In alternate embodiments of this drill, ball 68 may be placed forward of golf training aid 24 and in alignment with directional indicium 38b as described above with reference to FIGS. 14-16 to promote a steep angle of attack on the ball.

FIGS. 23-25 illustrate various alignment and ball position drills that may be performed using golf training aid 24. As shown in FIG. 23, training aid 24 is placed on the ground and secured with tee 62 through central orifice 40. Ball 68 is placed outside along longitudinal margin 42 so that training aid 24 is located between the ball and the user's feet. Longitudinal margin 44 can be used as a guide to ensure that the user's feet are in proper position for hitting the shot along the desired line of ball travel for hitting the shot. Thus, the user's feet should be in alignment with margin 44. The drill of FIG. 24 is very similar, except that ball 68 is placed along side margin 44 and in between training aid 24 and the user's feet. FIG. 25 is an alternate embodiment wherein the ball is placed forward of training aid 24 and in alignment with directional indicium 38b to promote crisp contact with ball 68. Again, the directional indicium 38 and longitudinal margins 42, 44 can be used as points of reference to properly position the ball, club head path, and user's feet for hitting the desired shot.

FIG. 26 illustrates a drill directed toward practicing hitting draw and fade tee shots with a driver. In this drill, golf training aid 24 is placed on the ground with directional indicium 38b pointed along the desired line. A tee 76 is placed through central orifice 40 at a proper driving height and ball 68 is placed on top of tee 76. A second tee 78 is placed through ball retaining structure 52 and pressed into the ground so that its top margin is well below the top margin of tee 76. Tee 78 may be a different color than tee 76, such as red, so as to be highly visible and readily distinguishable during the drill. As shown, this set up is for practicing hitting a draw shot by a right-handed user, therefore, training aid 24 is oriented such that structures 52, 54 are away from the user's feet. To hit the draw, the user swings driver 80 to try to get ball 68 to travel over tee 78 thereby producing an inside out club head path.

If the user desires to practice a fade shot, golf training aid 24 is oriented such that structures 52, 54 are toward the user's feet. Accordingly, tee 78 would then be placed through structure 54. The user places ball 68 on tee 76. However, this time the user swings driver 80 in an outside in path of travel so as to get ball to travel over tee 78 which is now slightly toward the user's feet.

FIG. 27 illustrates a putting drill using golf training aid 24 that is designed to prevent the user's wrists from moving and promote a “one unit” putting stroke. One of the most common mistakes made in putting is excessive wrist movement throughout the stroke resulting in inaccurate and inconsistent putting. The present drill is directed at eliminating wrist movement during the putting stroke. The user places a tee 62 through central orifice 40 and then anchors the tee within the end of grip portion 82 of putter 60. Note, tee 62 should project outwardly from grip portion 82 so that the lateral margins 46, 48 of training aid 24 contact and are secured by the user's forearms 84, 86. A putting stroke with excessive wrist movement will cause training aid 24 to lose contact with one or both of the user's wrists. A proper “one unit” putting stroke in which both forearms remain in contact with training aid 24 causes the user to use larger arm and shoulder muscles during the put and avoid wrist movement.

As noted above, golf training aid 24 can be used indoors on artificial surfaces such as carpet, linoleum, concrete, hard woods, and artificial turf. However, it is generally not possible to insert a golf tee into these surfaces as many of the above-described drills require. Non-slip pad 28 may be utilized in place of a tee for securing golf training aid 24 to the indoor flooring. As shown in FIG. 28, golf training aid 24 is simply placed on top of non-slip pad 28 and firmly pressed down so as to secure the two elements together. Nearly any of the drills described above which utilize a golf tee for anchoring golf training aid to the ground can now be performed.

FIG. 29 illustrates how the above-described chipping drill may be performed indoors using golf training aid 24 and non-slip pad 28. Pad 28 and training aid 24 are placed on top of the indoor flooring 88, shown here as carpet. Ball 68 is placed forward of training aid 24 approximately the length of one club head. A second ball 90 is placed on central orifice 40 which retains ball 90 is a constant location. Ball 90 takes the place of a protruding tee so as to provide an obstacle to promote a steep club take away and downstroke. The user then swings club 70 in a manner to as to avoid striking ball 90.

FIG. 30 illustrates a golf drill that can be performed using golf training aid 24 directed toward practicing greenside bunker shots. In this drill, golf training aid 24 is placed in a bunker on top of the sand 92 and secured thereto with golf tee 62 inserted through central orifice 40. This drill may also be performed by standing training aid 24 on one of its longitudinal ends 42, 44, and then gently pushing training aid 24 into the sand 92 so that it remains in a vertical orientation on its own. Directional indicium 38b is aligned along the intended line of ball travel. Next, the user draws two lines 94, 96 in the sand, using, or example, club head 70. The lines 94, 96 essentially extend away from and are substantially co-axial with training aid lateral side margins 46, 48, respectively. Lines 94, 96 are oriented such that they lie between training aid 24 and the user's feet. A ball 98 is placed just in front of the forward line 96.

The proper execution of this drill is illustrated in FIG. 31. The user swings club 70 so that initial contact with sand 92 is made between lines 94, 96. Making contact in this manner provides the user with the greatest degree of distance control during the shot. FIG. 32 illustrates an improper shot in which initial contact with the sand is made at or forward of line 96. This type of contact generally results in a thin or skulled shot sending the ball screaming off on a low trajectory with little or no spin. A skull often travels farther than expected or desired, especially on skulled shots around the green. FIG. 33 illustrates another improper stroke whereby initial contact with sand is made on or behind line 94 resulting in a chunked or fat shot whereby the ball travels far shorter than desired.