Title:
GOLF TRAINING AID
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
To improve a golf player's ability to produce accurate draw and fade shots the invention provides a golf training aid comprising a guide member including a curve, said curve lying substantially in a plane substantially parallel with the plane of a surface on which the aid rests in use, the curved section acting, in use, as a visual guide for the movement of the club.



Inventors:
West, John (Clacton-on-Sea Essex, GB)
Application Number:
13/388893
Publication Date:
05/31/2012
Filing Date:
08/06/2010
Assignee:
WEST JOHN
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/409
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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20090227384TRAINING DEVICE FOR SWINGING AND HITTING ACTIVITIESSeptember, 2009Reynolds
20070087873Apparatus and Method for Magnetizing a DartApril, 2007Yiu



Primary Examiner:
LEGESSE, NINI F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
The Law Office of Michael E. Kondoudis (Dumfries, VA, US)
Claims:
1. 1-13. (canceled)

14. A golf training aid for use in assisting a golfer to strike a golf ball, with a golf club, in a particular manner, so as to drive the ball in a desired direction; the aid comprising a guide member including a curve, said curve lying substantially in a plane substantially parallel with the plane of a surface on which the aid rests in use, the curve acting, in use, as a visual guide for the movement of the club.

15. The aid of claim 14, further comprising a frame for positioning on the surface in use.

16. The aid of claim 15, wherein the shape of the frame is substantially rectangular comprising four frame members.

17. The aid of claim 15, wherein the guide member is releasably fixed to the frame and the aid includes an adjustor for varying the position of the guide member relative to the frame.

18. The aid of claim 15, wherein the frame includes an anchor for anchoring the frame to the surface in use.

19. The aid of claim 18, wherein the anchor is a spike.

20. The aid of claim 14, wherein the guide member is reversibly fixed to the frame for improving alternately both fade and draw shots.

21. The aid of claim 14, wherein the frame includes markings acting as visual references for the location of a ball or tee peg.

22. A method of golf training comprising the steps of providing a golf training aid for use in assisting a golfer to strike a golf ball, with a golf club, in a particular manner, so as to drive the ball in a desired direction; the aid comprising a guide member including a curve, said curve lying substantially in a plane substantially parallel with the plane of a surface on which the aid rests in use, the curve acting, in use, as a visual guide for the movement of the club; and positioning the aid such that it points in the same direction as it is desired, in use, to strike the ball.

23. The method of claim 22, wherein the guide member is releasably fixed to the frame and the aid includes an adjustor for varying the position of the guide member relative to the frame; the method further comprising the steps of positioning the frame such that one frame member points in the same direction as the direction in which it is desired, in use, to strike the ball; adjusting the position of the guide member relative to the frame; and swinging a golf club such that its head travels substantially parallel to the curve of the guide member.

24. The method of claim 23, wherein the steps of adjusting the position of the guide member and striking a ball are repeated until such time as the ball travels in the desired direction.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein the position of the guide member relative to the frame is marked or otherwise recorded to enable repositioning of the guide member relative to the frame following relative movement of either.

Description:

The present invention relates to a golf training aid and to a method of golf training.

Many golf training aids are known which help golfers improve their swing by placement of their feet, placement of the tee-peg, the angle of their body relative to their feet, and the relative positioning of both feet and tee-peg. For instance, U.S. Pat. No. 6,669,575 B1 describes a device which aids the alignment of a golfer's feet and stance. However, it would be useful to have a device which helps a golfer improve the swing, or trajectory, of the club head.

In a first aspect, the invention provides a golf training aid for use in assisting a golfer to strike a golf ball, with a golf club, in a particular manner, so as to drive the ball in a desired direction; the aid comprising a guide member including a curve, said curve lying substantially in a plane substantially parallel with the plane of a surface on which the aid rests in use, the curve acting, in use, as a visual guide for the movement of the club.

The surface may be indoors or outdoors. For instance, the aid may be used on a golf course, in a driving range, or in a room in a domestic house. The aid does not necessarily require a golf ball to be struck as the golfer may use the aid merely to train his muscles and practise his swing.

The aid may include a frame for positioning on the surface in use. This frame may improve alignment of the guide member with the direction in which it is desired to strike a ball. It may also be used to facilitate the relative positioning of a tee-peg with the guide member.

The shape of the frame in plan, parallel with the surface on which it lies, may be substantially rectangular comprising four frame members. Alternatively it may be a rhombus in shape. The frame may be of parallelopipe form.

The guide member may be releasably fixed to the frame and the aid may include adjustment means for varying the position of the guide member relative to the frame. The guide member may be releasably fixed by means of nuts and bolts or screws for example. The adjustment means may include an arcuate slot in the guide member and a bolt projecting from the frame which may pass through the slot. A wing nut may be used with the bolt to fix the position of the guide member relative to the frame.

The frame may include anchor means for anchoring the frame to the surface in use. The anchor means may be spikes for use with outdoor situations. Alternatively, and/or additionally, the underside of the frame may include high-friction means to prevent sliding of the frame for use indoors.

The guide member may be reversibly fixed to the frame for improving alternately both fade and draw shots. For example, the guide member may be removed from the frame, turned over so that the underside is uppermost and the upper side is lowermost. In this way, the centre of curvature of the curve of the guide member may be moved relative to the frame. The aid therefore includes a reversible guide member for the training of either, or both, draw and fade shots.

In this regard, the curve may not necessarily comprise an arc from a circle with only one centre of radius. Rather, the curve may be part of an exponential curve, or a parabolic curve. In one embodiment, the curve may have a portion with a relatively short radius and a portion with a relatively large radius. It may include a relatively linear portion. The portion with the relatively large radius, which may be described as a relatively linear portion may be placed closest to the tee-peg or ball in use for the training of draw (hook) shots and furthest from the tee-peg or ball; in use for the training of fade (slice) shots.

The frame may include markings acting as visual references for the location of a ball or tee peg. These markings or other indicia may be grooves, letters, numbers etc. marked onto one or more of the members making up the frame. They may be regularly spaced along the one or more members in a similar manner to a ruler.

In another aspect, the invention provides a method of golf training comprising the steps of providing a golf training aid according to the first aspect and/or as described/recited herein; and positioning the aid such that it points in the same direction as it is desired, in use, to strike the ball.

The method may further comprise the steps of positioning the frame such that one frame member points in the same direction as the direction in which it is desired, in use, to strike the ball; adjusting the position of the guide member relative to the frame; and swinging a golf club such that its head travels substantially parallel to the curve of the guide member.

In this regard, the frame member to which the guide member may be attached may be the one which is pointed in the direction discussed. This may be the one in front of the golfer's feet in use and which lies substantially perpendicular to the length of the golfer's feet, and/or parallel with the plane in which both shoulders of the golfer are located prior to swinging the club.

The steps of adjusting the position of the guide member and striking a ball may be repeated until such time as the ball travels in the desired direction. For instance, the golfer may set up the aid with the guide member in a first position relative to the frame. The golfer then strikes a ball so that the club head follows the curved section of the guide member as it passes above, and/or in front of, it. The golfer observes the direction of travel of the ball. If the ball has not travelled in the desired direction, or with the desired trajectory, then the golfer may adjust the position of the guide member relative to the frame and strike another ball. Each time the golfer may adjust the guide member until the ball travels in the desired direction.

If the position of the guide member relative to the frame is fixed, by use of the wing nut, then the aid may be put away or disassembled and retrieved or reassembled when the golfer wishes to regain his form by practising his swing using the position of the guide which had achieved the desired result previously.

The position of the guide member relative to the frame may be marked or otherwise recorded to enable repositioning of the guide member relative to the frame following relative movement of either. This allows the aid to be packed away or disassembled after use, or for travel purpose, and then brought out again and reassembled with the guide member in the correct position for training.

The above and other characteristics, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention. This description is given for the sake of example only, without limiting the scope of the invention. The reference figures quoted below refer to the attached drawings.

FIG. 1 is a plan view of the training aid with the guide member in a first position;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the training aid of FIG. 1 with the guide member in a second position; and

FIG. 3 is an elevational view of the training aid of FIG. 2.

The present invention will be described with respect to particular embodiments and with reference to certain drawings but the invention is not limited thereto but only by the claims. The drawings described are only schematic and are non-limiting. In the drawings, the size of some of the elements may be exaggerated and not drawn to scale for illustrative purposes. The dimensions and the relative dimensions do not correspond to actual reductions to practice of the invention.

Furthermore, the terms first, second, third and the like in the description and in the claims, are used for distinguishing between similar elements and not necessarily for describing a sequence, either temporally, spatially, in ranking or in any other manner. It is to be understood that the terms so used are interchangeable under appropriate circumstances and that the embodiments of the invention described herein are capable of operation in other sequences than described or illustrated herein.

Moreover, the terms top, bottom, over, under and the like in the description and the claims are used for descriptive purposes and not necessarily for describing relative positions. It is to be understood that the terms so used are interchangeable under appropriate circumstances and that the embodiments of the invention described herein are capable of operation in other orientations than described or illustrated herein.

It is to be noticed that the term “comprising”, used in the claims, should not be interpreted as being restricted to the means listed thereafter; it does not exclude other elements or steps. It is thus to be interpreted as specifying the presence of the stated features, integers, steps or components as referred to, but does not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps or components, or groups thereof. Thus, the scope of the expression “a device comprising means A and B” should not be limited to devices consisting only of components A and B. It means that with respect to the present invention, the only relevant components of the device are A and B.

Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment” or “in an embodiment” in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment, but may refer to different embodiments. Furthermore, the particular features, structures or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner, as would be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art from this disclosure, in one or more embodiments.

Similarly it should be appreciated that in the description of exemplary embodiments of the invention, various features of the invention are sometimes grouped together in a single embodiment, figure, or description thereof for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure and aiding in the understanding of one or more of the various inventive aspects. This method of disclosure, however, is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the claimed invention requires more features than are expressly recited in each claim. Rather, as the following claims reflect, inventive aspects lie in less than all features of a single foregoing disclosed embodiment. Thus, the claims following the detailed description are hereby expressly incorporated into this detailed description, with each claim standing on its own as a separate embodiment of this invention.

Furthermore, while some embodiments described herein include some but not other features included in other embodiments, combinations of features of different embodiments are meant to be within the scope of the invention, and form different embodiments, as would be understood by those skilled in the art. For example, in the following claims, any of the claimed embodiments can be used in any combination.

In the description provided herein, numerous specific details are set forth. However, it is understood that embodiments of the invention may be practised without these specific details. In other instances, well-known methods, structures and techniques have not been shown in detail in order not to obscure an understanding of this description.

The invention will now be described by a detailed description of several embodiments of the invention. It is clear that other embodiments of the invention can be configured according to the knowledge of persons skilled in the art without departing from the true spirit or technical teaching of the invention, the invention being limited only by the terms of the appended claims.

In FIG. 1 the training aid 10 is depicted as a rectangular frame 20 including four frame members 30, 40, 50, 60. The frame members 50, 60 lie parallel to one another and are fixed to the other two frame members 30, 40 (which lie parallel to one another) thus forming an open rectangle. In FIG. 1, the frame members are arranged with member 40 at the top, member 30 at the bottom, member 60 to the right and member 50 to the left. The frame members are fixed to one another by wing nuts and bolts 70, although other means are contemplated to provide easy assembly and disassembly. The frame members 30, 40 are formed from metal box section although other materials, such as plastics, and shapes are contemplated. The frame member 40 furthest from a player's feet 130 has a height of approximately 70 mm. Alternatively, it may have a height of only 2 mm. Other heights are contemplated within and without the range 2 to 70 mm. The frame member 30 closest to the player's feet 130 has a height of approximately 25 mm. The two side frame members 50, 60 are relatively thin having a height of approximately 2 to 3 mm. Other heights for the frame members 30, 50, 60 are contemplated.

In a corner of the frame 20 where frame members 40, 60 meet a guide member 80 is provided. This guide member 80 is in the form of a plate of relatively thin material (approximately 2 to 10 mm). It is generally rectangular having its largest sides substantially parallel to the plane in which the frame 20 lies. It has one curved side 85. In FIG. 1 the guide member 80 is set in the position for the training of draw shots. This means that the approximate centre of the curve is towards the centre of the frame member 30 closest to the approximate position where the player's feet 130 are located in use.

The guide member 80 includes an arcuate slot 100 and a hole 90. Bolts may be fitted through the slot 100 and hole 90 to attach it to the frame 20. The guide member 80 may be attached in this way to the top of the frame member 40 furthest from the player's feet 130 or to the bottom, or underside (not shown), of this frame member 40. Wing nuts may be used to fix the position of the guide member 80 relative to the frame 20. The arcuate slot 100 allows the guide member to be at least partially rotated about the hole 90 relative to the frame 20. This allows for the position of the curved section 85 to be varied relative to the position of the player's feet 130.

A golf ball or tee-peg 120 is placed within the frame 20 relatively close to the corner of the guide member 80 closest to the centre of the frame 20.

In use, the top frame member 40 (i.e. the one furthest from the player's feet 130 when the player is in position to strike a ball or tee-peg 120) is aligned with the direction in which it is desired for the ball or tee-peg 120 to travel upon being struck by the club head. In this manner, the longitudinal length of the frame member 40 is generally pointed in the desired direction such that the left hand end is nearest to the target. A player then stands with his feet 130 outside the frame 20 and with the front of his shoes touching the outside edge of the frame member 30. The player may then take aim and hit the ball or tee-peg 120. The club head will travel approximately in the direction as shown from point A to point B. In other words, the club head will travel from right to left (assuming the player is right handed). The player may observe the travel of the club head across and above the curved section 85. In this connection, the curved section 85 and leading straight edge 81 of the guide member 80 may include some form of padding to prevent damage to the club head in the case of inadvertent contact.

The player may observe the travel of the ball or tee-peg 120. This will be generally in a direction parallel to the top frame member referenced “40” and towards the frame member on the left referenced “50”. If the ball or tee-peg 120 does not travel in the desired direction then the player may adjust the guide member 80 by loosening the nut 110 and rotating the guide member 80 about the hole/bolt 90, followed by re-tightening of the nut 110. Another ball or tee peg 120 may then be struck with the player attempting to move the club head across, above and/or along and parallel with the curved section 85. This process may be repeated until the tee-peg or ball 120 travels in the desired direction.

Marks or other indicia may be provided on the guide member 80 about the arcuate slot 100 such that the same relative position of the guide member 80 and frame 20 may be achieved after disassembly and reassembly of the aid 10. Similarly, marks or other indicia 41 may be provided on the frame member 30, 40, 50, 60 such that the same relative position of the golf ball or tee-peg 120 and/or the player's feet 130 may be achieved after disassembly and reassembly of the aid 10.

The curve of the curved section 80 may not comprise an arc from a circle with only one centre of radius. Rather, the curve may be part of an exponential curve, or a parabolic curve. In FIG. 1, the curve has a portion with a relatively small radius to the right and a portion with a relatively large radius to the left. The portion with the relatively large radius, which may be described as the relatively linear portion is placed closest to the tee-peg or ball 120 in use for the training of draw (hook) shots and furthest from the tee-peg or ball 120; in use for the training of fade (slice) shots.

The latter type of shot may be practised by right-handed players with the aid in the configuration shown in FIG. 2. It will be seen that in this figure all of the component parts are the same as in FIG. 1. The main difference is that the guide member 80 has been reversed such that the arcuate slot 100 is now located towards the centre of the top frame member 40 and the bolt 90 is located towards the corner of the frame 20 where frame members 40, 60 meet. This means that for the curved section 85 the portion with the relatively small radius is to the left and the portion with the relatively large radius is to the right. The portion with the relatively small radius is placed closest to the tee-peg or ball 120. The centre of radius for the section with the relatively small radius will be approximately towards the corner of the frame 20 where frame members 30, 60 meet.

Again, the ball or tee-peg 120 is placed towards the corner of the guide member 80 nearest the centre of the frame 20.

In use, a player would again stand with his feet 130 towards the centre of the frame member 30 opposite the frame member 40 to which the guide member 80 is attached. The player would then practise striking the ball with the club head travelling across the top of/above and/or along and parallel with the curved section 85 from point C towards point D (i.e. from right to left).

The relative position of the guide member 80 and thus the curved section 85 relative to the ball or tee-peg 120 may be varied in a similar manner as before by use of the wing nut 110 such that the guide member 80 may be at least partially rotated about the bolt 90.

The leading edge 82 of the guide member 80 is provided with padding to again prevent damage to the club head due to inadvertent contact.

FIG. 3 shows an elevational view of the aid 10 as seen from in front of the frame member 30 along the ground surface and as shown by the arrows referenced “III” in FIG. 2.

The relative dimensions of the frame 20 relative to the ball/tee-peg 120 are visible along with the player's shoes 130. The frame thickness (height) is less than the diameter of a golf ball 120. The guide member 80 is shown as a plate-like member to the right of the ball/tee-peg 120. Spikes 31 provided along the base of the frame members prevent the frame 20 from moving during use as they will penetrate turf.

Although not shown, it will be readily understood that the aid may include means for left-handed players to use it. For instance, the frame 20 may include holes and/or bolts and marks/indicia at other positions along the frame members 30, 40, 50, 60 to allow the guide member 80 to be positioned in other corners of the frame 20.

Furthermore, it is possible to use the aid for practising putts and straight shots. In either case it may not be necessary to use the curved section, instead using the top frame member 40 as a guide.