US 20020128089 A1
A metal-wood golf club having a removable sole plate that exposes a recessed cavity or multiple recessed cavities within the sole, into which lead tape or another suitable weighting material can be inserted to achieve precise weight distribution and modifying the center of gravity within the head. All added weight is in the sole, below the original center of gravity, making the club easier to hit. This system allows the custom clubmaker, or the individual golfer, to add weight in the center, toward the toe, heel, face, rear, or any combination thereof within the clubhead in order to adjust the club's center of gravity to the golfer's particular swing characteristics. Once the weight or weights have been added, the sole plate cover is reattached by means of a locking screw that covers, protects, and secures the weights in place within the recessed cavity.
1. A method of making a metalwood golf club head having a heel, toe, upper surface, rear surface, ball-striking surface, having a recessed cavity or multiple recessed cavities within the sole or bottom surface that has a removable cover plate wherein the improvement comprises:
a precision weight adjustment system for relocating the center of gravity within the club head, below the original center of gravity and in a direction toward the toe, heel, face, rear, or any combination thereof,
said weighting system may utilize lead tape or any other weighting material which, once placed in accordance with preselected parameters, is covered, protected, and held securely in place by the removable sole plate cover which is then reattached by means of a locking screw mechanism.
2. The golf club head of
3. The golf club head of
 The present invention relates to golf clubs and in particular to metal-wood type golf club heads having an improved weight adjustment system. The metal-wood type can be a driver or numbered fairway metal-wood. The golf club head body can be made of aluminum, steel, titanium, graphite, or any other material or combination of materials presently available or developed in the future. The weighting material can be made of lead tape or any other weighting material presently available or developed in the future.
 It is common for golfers to add weight in the form of lead tape to the outer perimeters of their golf club heads in order to adjust the center of gravity of the head to accommodate their particular swing characteristics. Some golfers require more weight toward the toe of the head, while others require more weight toward the heel of the head, and others may require more weight toward the face or rear of the head, or some combination such as toward the toe and rear, or heel and face. The possibility of combinations is limitless.
 Custom weighting of golf club heads is difficult for the golf equipment manufacturer because of the multitude of different combinations of shafts, heads, and golfers' individual swing characteristics. Since golf club heads are mass-produced, they typically will have the same weight characteristics.
 There have been numerous attempts to custom weight golf club heads as shown by prior patent art. For example, The Beat U.S. Pat. No. 1,543,691 shows a golf club head with cylindrical aluminum carriers to hold and position weights within the club head. The Thompson U.S. Pat. No.
4,775,156 shows a golf club head having a sole plate defining a keel, connected to the head by means of a bolt. The Gordos U.S. Pat. No. 4,008,896 shows an elongated tube disposed in an elongated cavity in the club head designed for weight adjustment. The Kobayashi U.S. Pat. No. 4,811,949 shows a hollow space for receiving a specific weight adjustment member on the outer surface of the sole of the head. The Elmer U.S. Pat. No. 5,509,660 shows a golf club head having a removable ball striking face and sole portion. The Redman U.S. Pat. No. 5,518,243 shows a golf club head having an array of apertures designed to receive spherical weights. The Lu U.S. Pat. No. 5,938,540 shows a golf club head having interchangeable sole plates of different weights and shapes.
 Prior art demonstrates multiple approaches to weight adjustment in wood or metal-wood type club heads. These designs often make adjustment difficult and less effective, as they allow gross weight adjustment primarily in one axis only.
 The present invention relates to a golf club head that may be adjusted to alter the center of gravity within the head itself to match each individual golfer's specific swing characteristics, resulting in more consistently accurate golf shots. The present invention contemplates using a recessed cavity or multiple cavities within the sole of the club head, exposed by a removable sole plate cover. The cavity or cavities are designed to accept the addition of lead tape or other weighting material that may be cut and placed in precise multiple locations toward the toe, heel, face, rear, or any combination thereof, within the club head. The added weight is then covered, protected, and held securely in place by the sole plate cover that is replaced and held by means of a locking screw mechanism.
 Among the objectives of the present invention is the provision of a golf club head that can be customized by adjusting the center of gravity within the club head to the specific swing characteristics of any individual golfer. Another object of the present invention is the provision of a golf club head that can be customized by a custom clubmaker or by the individual golfer. Another object of the present invention is the provision that the club head can be readjusted on multiple occasions to accommodate changes in the golfer's individual swing characteristics.
 Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description when viewed in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which set forth certain embodiments of the invention.
FIG. 1 illustrates a bottom plan view of a golf club head in a preferred embodiment of the present invention, with the sole plate cover in place, and removed, exposing the recessed cavity chamber.
FIG. 2a illustrates a side elevational cut-away, or cross-sectional view of the recessed cavity in a preferred embodiment of the present invention
FIG. 2b illustrates a side elevational cut-away, or cross-sectional view of the recessed cavity in an alternate preferred embodiment of the present invention
FIG. 3 shows an exploded plan view of the removed sole plate cover and the exposed cavity in a preferred embodiment of the present invention as illustrated in FIG. 2a.
FIG. 4 shows various alternate embodiments of the recessed cavity and sole plate cover configurations.
 The detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein. It should be understood, however, that the enclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, the details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for teaching one skilled in the art how to make and/or use the invention.
 Referring to FIG. 1, a golf club head 4 is illustrated with the sole plate cover 5 in place and held securely by the locking screw mechanism 6, securing the sole plate cover by means of threaded bosses 6 a. The head 4 and the sole plate cover 5 may be made of aluminum, steel, titanium, graphite, or any other material or combination of materials presently available or developed in the future. The head 4 and the sole plate cover 5 may be made of the same or different materials. The locking screw mechanism 6 may be made of steel or any other suitable material.
 Referring to FIG. 2, a cut-away, or cross-sectional view or the preferred embodiment illustrates the recessed cavity 7 within the sole of the head with added weight material 8. The positioning of the weight material 8 is for illustration only, as added weight may be placed anywhere within the recessed cavity for the purpose of modifying the center of gravity to match a golfers specific swing characteristics. The locking screw mechanism 6 is shown imbedded in the body of the recessed cavity 7, holding the sole plate cover 5 securely in place.
 Referring to FIG. 3, an exploded view of the preferred embodiment shows the removed sole plate cover 5 and the exposed recessed cavity 7 wherein lead tape 8, or other suitable weighting material, may be precisely located at any point within the recessed cavity to adjust the center of gravity within the head body 4 to match the specific swing characteristics of the golfer.
 Referring to FIG. 4, various alternate configurations of the recessed cavity 9, 10, 11 are illustrated. These illustrations are intended to show only some of the infinite number of shapes or configurations of the recessed cavity, and are not intended to limit the number of possible configurations to those illustrated herein.
 Preferably, the weight material 8 is common lead tape with an adhesive backing, but can be any suitable weighting material that can be cut, molded, or shaped to a specific size and weight and placed within the recessed cavity 7 to adjust the center of gravity within the club head.
 The locking screw 6 of the preferred embodiment is made of stainless steel with a tapered head allowing it to fit flush with the sole plate cover 5, and having a hex or Philips type drive mechanism for securing it to the head body 4.
 While various preferred embodiments have been shown and described, it will be understood that there is no intent to limit the invention by such disclosure, but rather it is intended to cover all modifications and alternate constructions or configurations falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.