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    This invention relates to an improved design of a golf putter. More particularly, it relates to a putter having an improved marking enabling a golfer to more accurately line up the putt.


    Putting is very important in the game of golf. On a par-72 course, one-half (36) strokes are allotted for putting. Moreover, it does not take great strength or physical ability to be a good putter. For a golfer, one stroke on a green counts just as much as any other stroke in the course.

    There are two kinds of putts--long putts and short putts. A long putt may be defined as any putting requiring more than five feet to reach the cup. If the ball lies within about five feet of the hole, it is a short putt. The primary objective of the long putting is to hit the ball so that it ends within approximately three feet of the hole. Although sinking the ball in a long put is pleasant and desirable, the primary goal on long putts should be placing the ball near enough to the hole so that the next stroke will easily make the hole. In addition, for the long putts many variables such as the slope of the ground, the accuracy of the aim, the length to be traveled, and speed of the ball comes into play. The accuracy of the aim, although critically important, only plays a minor role in the overall success of the long putting. On the other hand, the accuracy is the most important factor in short putting. Other variables such as the slope of the ground, speed of the ball, and texture of the turf become less important. A short putt is very important in a game of golf not only because a missed putt will cost a stroke, but the impact it has psychologically to a player. Because of its length, every golfer, pros and amateurs alike, feels compelled to make it. When he does not make it, he thinks he missed an easy shot. Consequently, it tends to destroy a player's confidence and may affect his concentration for the rest of the game.

    In a putting situation, the direction of the putt is dictated by the path of the clubhead and the face angle at impact. The path is important and affects direction, but the face angle of the putter at impact is also very important in determining direction. Providing the green within five feet of the hole has no significant slope and texture of the turf is uniform, successful short putting should require the path of the clubhead directly aimed to center of the hole, and club face angle precisely perpendicular to the line between clubhead and the hole. In addition, the center of the ball should be precisely aligned with the marker on top of the putter that generally indicates location of the center of gravity in the toe to heel direction. An infinitesimal deviation from these is the reason for a miss of the short putt. To miss the hole that is four inches wide, from five feet distance the deviation of a face angle from perpendicular to the straight line to the hole must be so small it will not be discernable to the naked eyes. Every player carefully adjusts the face angle of the putter and aligns the ball to the center of gravity marker before he strokes the ball. Nevertheless, a putt is missed because the face of the putter is not truly perpendicular to the direction of the hole, and the ball is off the center of gravity. To achieve a perfect alignment every time, a finely adjusted machine toll is needed. Since hand and eye coordination of a human being is much less precise than a machine, a mistake will occur and a missed putt is the result. The present invention is directed to reducing the small inaccuracies that occur with the prior art putters and automatically compensating for mis-struck putts.


    Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide an improved golf putter which automatically compensates for misaligned and mis-struck putts in a short putting situation. A typical putter consists of a putter head about four to five inches long with a predetermined weight distribution and a total weight ranging between fifteen and eighteen ounces. The putting face of a putter is horizontally flat and has two to four degrees of loft. There are many putter designs in the market each claiming why it is superior to others. However, for the short putting situation; the most important attribute of a putter has to be how tolerant making up the infinitesimal and almost invisible error in positioning the face angle and the clubhead path a player makes when the player aims and strokes a ball. If there is a putter with a face shaped such a way that the ball is always aimed toward the center of the hole, probability of making the hole increases significantly even when a player makes a small error in aiming the ball toward the hole. Additionally, putter markings are usually taken for granted, consisting of one or several straight lines. A putter with an enhanced marking would assist the golfer with both centering and aiming the putt.

    It is desirable to have an alignment on the top of the surface of a putter to aid a player to aim the ball as precisely as possible. The alignment marker will consist of a line perpendicular to the putter face located precisely at the center of gravity of the club head, and a curved horizontal face marker which is an arc of a concentric circle of a golf ball placed abutting or one quarter of an inch in front of the hitting face of the putter. With the horizontal face marker being a concentric circle of the golf ball, the distance between the ball and face marker will be symmetrical and equal along the entire arc of the marker when the ball is aligned properly. However. if the ball is misaligned, the distance between the ball and the marker will be different between the toe-end and the heel-end of the marker, enabling the player to make an adjustment easily. With the alignment marker enabling a player to align the ball more accurately and the concave putter further compensating any misalignment, the improved putter of present invention will enable a player to putt more accurately than a conventional putter.

    The putter of the present invention differs from any other conventional or unconventional style putters in the market today. The putter may be precision machined to form a concave horizontal face from the heel to toe of the hitting face.

    The curvature of the concave horizontal face may range from an arc of a five to a one-foot radius circle with the center point at the center of the hole. The curvature is defined as the reciprocal of the radius of a circle. Also provided in accordance with the present invention is a marking on the club head, the marking serving to assist with both aiming and centering.

    The best way to hit the golf ball in a short putt is like a pendulum. The most golfers cannot do that consistently, but they tend to swing in an arc. Depending on when the putter strikes the ball in that arc, the putter face may be either slightly open or slightly closed at the impact. Because the concave putter always aims a ball toward the center of the hole, slightly open or closed face hit is compensated enough to make the ball to drop into the hole.

    Additionally, for right-handed golfers with conventional putters, balls stroked on the inside the sight line toward the heel will travel left of the intended line to the hole. Previous tests show that an average golfer almost always impacts on the toe side of the sight line making the ball to travel right of the intended line to the hole. This is so because the player never looks down at the putter head and ball from directly above, but slightly to the heel side of the sight line. The amount of the offset is very small and almost invisible; but, a small misalignment will result in a missed putt. Since a curved sight line marker enables a golfer to more accurately line up the a putt, the concave putter will compensate the small misalignment and make the ball drop into the hole by automatically aiming the ball toward the center of the hole.

    Tests performed on a flat putting green showed that putts stroked with a straight putter resulted in 20 percent traveling on a line left of center and 20 percent traveling right of the center. Of putts stroked with the concave putter, only 10 percent went left of center and 10 percent went right of the center--a statistically significant improvement.