US 3311375 A
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3 March 28, 1967 J H ONIONS 3,311,375
BALLSTRIKING CLUB INCLUDING TENSED TORQUE RESISTING GRIP LAYER NOT LATERALLY DISPLACEABLE BY COMPRESSIVE FORCES Filed Oct- 25. 1953 CLOSED CELL EXPANDED 15 ELASTR 23 i --1Z I 15 g 11 v l I 1 1 "-10 l Z Z L J Ihl L.
CLOSED CELL EXP DED ELA OMER INVENTOR JOHN HENRY ONIONS ATTORNEKS United States Patent C) 3,311,375 BALL-STRIKING CLUB INCLUDING TENSED TORQUE RESISTING GRIP LAYER NOT LATERALLY DISPLACEABLE BY COM- PRESSIVE FORCES John Henry Onions, Alma House, Upper Spring Lane, Kenilworth, England Filed Oct. 25, 1963, Ser. No. 319,051 Claims priority, application Great Britain, Jan. 3, 1963, 327/63 1 Claim. (Cl. 273-815) This invention relates to grips for the handles or shafts of golf clubs, bats, racquets, or other ball-striking devices for use in games.
Such devices, when in use by a player, are usually held in one or both hands and moved with a fast swinging motion so that high centrifugal forces are generated tending to cause the devices to slip through the players hand or hands. Moreover, unless the ball is struck squarely in line with the axis of the shaft or handle, which, in some devices such as golf clubs, is impossible because the head is offset, the impact imparts a twisting force to the shaft or handle which must be resisted by the players grip if the ball is to be properly directed.
It has been customary to bind the handles or shafts of such devices with string or to provide leather or rubber sleeves thereon to improve the players grip, but such binding or sleeve has been provided over a relatively hard and rigid backing as it has been considered that, with a soft backing, there would be undesirable twisting of the handle or shaft in the grip if a ball were struck at a point offset from the handle or shaft axis.
It is known that the hickory wood shafts which were commonly used for golf clubs before the introduction of tubular steel shafts did permit a limited degree of twisting about their longitudinal axes so that they were deformed slightly in torsion on impact with the ball, the torsional stress being relieved as the ball left the face of the club.
Thus, instead of only the ball being deformed on impact, some deformation, in a torsional sense, was applied to the golf club shaft, and the restoring force set up caused the club head to follow the ball after striking it and remain in contact with it for a longer period, thus providing better flight control and, at the same time, reducing the shock transmitted to the players hands.
It is the main object of the present invention to provide an improved grip for ball striking devices used in the playing of games which reduces the risk of slipping of the users hands whilst providing a comfortable grip. It is a further object of the invention to provide a grip which at least partially simulates the characteristics of a hickory wood shaft.
According to the invent-ion, in a grip for the shaft or handle of a golf club, bat, racquet or other ball-striking device for use in games, the said grip comprises an inner layer of flexible resilient cellular or other expanded material and an outer layer of a flexible substantially nonextensible sheet material, the inner layer being firmly cemented to both the shaft or handle and to the outer layer.
Either the inner or the outer layer, or both such layers, may comprise a strip of material wound helically about the shaft or handle under tension, and if both layers comprise such strips they may be wound in the same direction or in opposite directions. The outer layer may be so applied as to exert a torsional load on the outer surface of the inner layer.
The invention is hereinafter described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is an elevation, partly in section, of a golf 3,311,375 Patented Mar. 28, 1967 club shaft having thereon one form of grip according to the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a section on the line 22 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is an elevation, similar to FIGURE 1 and also partly in section, of a golf club shaft having thereon another form of grip according to the invention;
FIGURE 4 is a section on the line 44 of FIGURE 3; and
FIGURE 5 is a diagram illustrating the formation of the grip shown in FIGURES 3 and 4.
Referring to FIGURES 1 and 2 of the drawings, a
tapered tubular metal shaft is shown at 10 and has mounted thereon a tapered tubular layer 11 of resilient cellular material such as rubber or a suitable synthetic thermoplastic material, preferably of closed cell construction, the layer 11 being formed, as indicated, by winding helically on the shaft a strip of the appropriate material, or by applying a pre-formed sleeve of the said material to the shaft. The strip or sleeve may be initially of uniform thickness and may be ground to the desired taper after it has been applied to the shaft. The layer 11, whether in sleeve or strip form, is secured to the shaft by a bonding adhesive. The inner layer, if in strip form, may be stretched as it is wound on to the shaft, and if in sleeve form may 'be stretched endwise when it is applied. Over the layer 11 there is provided a covering 12 of thin sheet material having relatively little extensibility and resilience, such as leather, the covering being in the form of a strip of material the edges of which are brought together and sewn as at 13 in FIGURE 1. The covering 12 is secured to the layer 11 over its whole area by an adhesive, and forms an outer layer which restricts and controls deformation of the inner layer 11.
It will be appreciated that, by reason of the resilience of the layer 11, it will be compressed when the club shaft is gripped by a user at the points of contact of the hands therewith, and thus the tendency of the shaft to slip through the hands is greatly reduced. Owing to the relative non-extensibility of the covering 12 and the fact that it is firmly attached to the layer 11, the deformation of the layer '11 is primarily a radial compression and not a circumferential displacement of the material. The relative inextensibility of the covering 12 causes torsional forces to be distributed over the whole length of the grip and twisting of the shaft relative to the players hands during a stroke is controlled and restricted. At the lower end of the grip, both the inner and the outer layers of the grip are covered by a ferrule 14 to provide a neat end to the grip, and a cap 15 at the upper end covers the edges of both layers.
The construction shown in FIGURES 3 and 4 includes a tapered tubular metal shaft 16 similar to the shaft 10 shown in FIGURES l and 2, and the inner layer 17 of the grip comprises a strip of cellular or other expanded rubber or other elastomeric material, preferably of closed cell construction, wound helically under tension around the shaft and secured thereto by a bonding adhesive, the strip being initially of uniform thickness and being ground after winding on the shaft to produce a taper such that its thickness decreases towards the lower end of the grip. There is then wound over the layer 17 a covering layer 18 of leather or other relatively non-resilient nonextensible material, the layer 18 also being in the form of a helically wound strip. The layer 18 is wound in the same direction and at the same pitch as the layer 17, to which it is secured by an adhesive, the layer 18 being wound under tension and caused to adhere to the layer 17 as winding takes place, so that a torsional load is applied to the outer surface of the layer 17, that surface being displaced relative to its inner surface in the direction of winding.
3 The diagram of FIGURE 5 illustrates the resultant condition. In this figure, 19 represents the wall of the tubular shaft 16, and the inner and outer layers of the grip are shown at 17 and 18. The winding under tension of the layer 18 pulls the outer surface of the layer 17 in the direction of the applied tension, indicated by the arrow 21 in FIGURE 5, so that a point which, for example, was at a before the layer 18 was applied, is moved to a. The direction of winding is such that twisting force applied to the club shaft by impact of the club head with a ball tends to increase the torsional forces in the inner layer 17, thereby increasing the resistance to movement of the club head around the shaft axis due to such forces.
The hand of the windings may be reversed in clubs intended for left-handed users, and in implements such as tennis racquets, which are required to resist torsion forces equally in both directions the inner and outer layers may be oppositely wound.
As in the previously described embodiment the lower and upper ends of the grip are provided with a ferrule 22 and a cap 23 respectively.
If desired, the helically wound inner layer 17 may be replaced by a sleeve of the cellular material, the outer covering layer 18 being wound on under tension as above described to produce torsional deformation of the said inner layer. The said inner layer may itself be stretched longitudinally and twisted when it is applied to the shaft being bonded to the shaft in the stretched and twisted condition, so that the effect is substantially the same as with a helical Winding.
Whilst the invention has been described in relation to golf clubs, it will be evident that it may also be applied to the handles of other ball-striking devices such as, for example, tennis racquets or hockey sticks.
A club having a grip, a shaft, and a ball-striking head, said grip comprising an inner layer of relatively soft,
closed cell expanded elastomer material capable of being compressed easily without lateral displacement resulting and an outer layer of flexible, substantially non-extensible sheet material covering said inner layer substantially completely, said outer layer being soft enough to transmit compression to said inner layer but being sufiiciently inextensible to prevent circumferential stretching thereof due to torsional forces resulting from the striking of a ball, an adhesive material firmly securing said inner layer to said shaft and said outer layer to said inner layer, said inner layer and outer layers being in a stretched condition with substantially all the slack removed therefrom so that they have torsional forces acting thereon tending to restore them to their original condition, said torsional forces of said inner layer being so directed that, when said club head strikes a ball and creates a torque acting on the outer layer, said outer layer distributes said torque throughout the length of said grip and applies such torque to the inner layer in a circumferential direction which causes the already stretched inner layer to be further circumferentially stretched, whereby said outer layer may rotate about said shaft by an amount equal only to the further stretching of said inner layer, and the energy of said further stretching when relieved is applied to the ball as it leaves the striking head.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,139,843 5/1915 Brown 2738l.6 1,940,104 12/1933 Russell et a1 273-81.5 2,000,295 5/1935 Oldham 273-81.5 2,573,361 10/1951 Rodgers et al. 273- X RICHARD c. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.
DELBERT B. LOWE, Examiner.
G. J. MARLO, Assistant Examiner.
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