US 3923308 A
A golf putter is disclosed and claimed herein having a putter head with a vertical slot extending completely therethrough, the size of the slot being sufficient to enable one using the club to readily visualize a surface on which the club rests. Immediately behind the slot is a cutaway portion that extends down to a point adjacent the lower surface of the head and extends rearwardly completely through the rear surface of the club. The slot and cutaway cooperate to cause one to automatically align the club in proper fashion with respect to the ball. A four way convex roll on the bottom surface is preferred and weighting of the club may be accomplished to place the center of mass of the club at the head, behind the striking plate.
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[ Dec. 2, 1975 l l SLOTTED GOLF PUTTER Truett P. Mills, 1700 Second Ave., Tuscaloosa, Ala. 35401 221 Filed: Sept. 17,1973
21 Appl. No.: 397,734
 US. Cl 273/183 D; 273/164; 273/78; 273/167 G  Int. Cl. A63B 69/36; A63B 53/04  Field of Search.. 273/183, 194 A, 164,163 R, 273/163 A,169, 171,167 A, 167 C, 167 D, 167 E, 167 F, 78; D34/5 CB, 5 GC, 5 GH D234,784 4/1975 Mills D34/5 GH Primary ExaminerGeorge J. Marlo Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Wellington M. Manning, Jr.
 ABSTRACT A golf putter is disclosed and claimed herein having a putter head with a vertical slot extending completely therethrough, the size of the slot being sufficient to enable one using the club to readily visualize a surface on which the club rests. Immediately behind the slot is a cutaway portion that extends down to a point adjacent the lower surface of the head and extends rearwardly completely through the rear surface of the club. The slot and cutaway cooperate to cause one to automatically align the club in proper fashion with respect to the ball. A four way convex roll on the bottom surface is preferred and weighting of the club may be accomplished to place the center of mass of the club at the head, behind the striking plate.
5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures US. Patent Dec. 2, 1975 3,923,308
SLOTTED GOLF PUTTER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Numerous types of putters have heretofore been developed to improve the manner in which an ordinary golfer aligns and thereafter strikes the golf ball with a putter. These putters have generally been directed to the particular shape of the head, balance of the head, the arrangement of the striking surface, the connection between the shaft and the head, placement of indicia, and the like and, in general, have realized some success. In many respects, improvement has resulted due to the use of one or more of these clubs, much of which may have been psychological.
The putter of the present invention is yet a further improvement over these prior art clubs as will be discussed in more detail hereinafter. In general, however, the instant putter not only enables, but prompts one to properly ground the club and also to properly align the putter with the golf ball to strike the ball at the sweet spot of the putter with a correct swing of the club. Moreover, a larger sweet spot has been produced.
Slotted putters, in general, exist in the prior art as is evidenced by US. Pat. Nos. 3,061,310 to Giza and 3,578,332 to Caldwell. There is no known prior art, however, that would appear to anticipate or suggest the slotted putter ofthe present invention.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved golf putter.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved golf putter having slotted and cutaway portions therein.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a golf putter having improved alignment means thereon.
Generally speaking, the present invention is directed to a golf putter that is comprised of a putter head having a frontal striking surface, rear, bottom and top surfaces and toe and heel portions. A vertical slot extends completely through the putter head behind the frontal striking surface and is of such dimensions to permit visual observation of a surface on which the club rests. A cutaway portion is provided immediately behind the vertical slot and extends completely through the rear of the club and downwardly into the club to a point adjacent the bottom surface thereof. A shaft is secured to the upper surface of said club.
More specifically, the putter head has a vertical slot of appreciable size as to width and length therein. A strip of putter head remains in front of the slot to serve as the actual striking surface at the sweet spot of the club. The weight of the club is preferably distributed such that the center of mass of the club is behind the striking surface, whereby the sweet spot of the instant club is enlarged. Moreover, the width of the slot permits visual observation of the surface beneath the putter which, coupled with the cutaway that is positioned immediately behind the slot automatically causes the golfer to properly align the instant putter at the sweet spot and thereby improve striking of the golf ball.
Heads for the instant putters may be forged, cast or the like of any suitable metal or material. Further, size of the vertical slot in the club head may vary depending upon the particular feel desired for the putter. In this regard, the depth of the slot may be varied so as to vary the thickness of the striking strip in front of the slot. Likewise, the cutaway portion behind the slot may be varied in depth so as to vary the thickness of the metal plate beneath the cutaway. In both of the above situations, different physical dimensions will vary the feel of the putter. Hence, the instant putter may, in fact, be custom designed to the particular desires of each golfer. Furthermore, the mass of the club head may be distributed across the rear portions of the putter head on opposite sides of the cutaway portion so as to produce a balanced putter head. In general, the mass at the toe equals the mass at the heel, including the inertial mass of the shaft.
The shaft connection with the putter head may be directly into the putter head or may be into a shaft receiving hosel that is integral with or secured to the putter head and extends directly outwardly therefrom or is offset therefrom. In this regard, the connection between the shaft and the putter head may be according to the dictates of the particular situation, according to conventional technology. Preferred embodiments of the present invention do, however, compensate for the weight of the shaft at the club head so as to center the mass of the putter head behind the slot.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a portion of a putter according to the teachings of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a vertical cross sectional view of the putter head taken along a line 11-11 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of a putter according to the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a further embodiment of a putter head of the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to the Figures, preferred embodiments of the present invention will now be described in detail. In FIGS. 1 through 3, a putter according to the present invention is generally illustrated wherein a putter head generally indicated as 10 is provided having a shaft 30 secured thereto. Putter head 10 includes a frontal striking surface 12, a rear surface 14, a top surface 16, a bottom surface 18 and toe and heel portions 19 and 20. As can be seen from FIGS. 1 through 3, putter head 10 is of a particular shape, generally having smooth rounded comers and streamlined in design. Preferably, bottom surface 18 is provided with a four way convex roll as may be seen in FIGS. 2 and 3. Also as shown in FIG. 3, the general contour of upper surface 16 is parallel to the general contour of lower surface 18. Note, for example, that the bottom corners 18 (FIG. 2) on both the front and rear sides of the club are rounded upwardly while the bottom surfaces 18" (FIG. 3) at both the toe and heel portions 19 and 20 on the bottom surface 18 are likewise turned upwardly whereby a generally convex bottom surface is provided. Likewise, the upper surface l6 at toe and heel portions 19 and 20 curve upward in similar fashion. Such bottom shape readily permits the putter to move forwardly and to be drawn rearwardly at the level of the putting surface without digging into or being obstructed by the putting surface.
Head 10 is further provided with a slot 40 that extends completely through the club head in a vertical direction. The length L and width W of slot 40 (See FIG. 4) are both sufficiently significant in size to permit ready visual observation of a surface beneath putter head when the putter is in use. A surface beneath the putter would commonly be a golf green such that the grass would be readily visible through slot 40. A portion 13 of frontal striking surface 12 that is in front of slot 40 defines the proper striking plate. Visual contrast of the green or other surface through slot 40 aids in proper placement of striking plate 13 beside a golf ball at reston the green.
Immediately behind slot 40 in club head 10 is a cutaway portion 50 that has the approximate same length dimensions as slot 40 and extends downwardly through club head 10 to a point adjacent the lower surface of putter head 10, leaving a lower plate 52 extending across cutaway portion 50. Lower plate 52 joins sections 54 and 56 of the rear surface 14 of putter head 10. Lower plate 52 unifies the putter head and most importantly cooperates with slot 40 to not only aid, but in fact, to direct the golfer to properly align the putter and golf ball.
Hence, one utilizing the putter of the present invention would ground the putter behind the ball and, looking down upon the top of the putter, would observe the undersurface, e.g., the putting green, through slot 40, which would provide contrast for placing the slot 40 at the proper location with respect to a golf ball. The golf ball will then be struck by the frontal plate 13 which is located in front of the center of mass of the putter head. This visual alignment is further enhanced by cutaway portion 50 which appears in contrast to slot 40 and adds to further proper alignment. When utilizing a conventional putter, it is often a natural occurrence that the putter is misaligned with respect to the ball due primarily to the structural configuration of the putter. Contrarily, it is a normal occurrence for a golfer to properly align the instant putter with respect to the ball. In fact, the present putter even causes the golfer to properly align the club.
The embodiment shown in FIG. 4 shows the putter head as described in FIGS. 1 through 3 with 100 prefixes or like characters. Additionally, a shaft 130 is received in a retainer 125 and extends upwardly from putter head in a straight angular fashion as opposed to the offset as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. In general, however, any shaft and shaft connection may be employed with the instant putter so long as the specific purposes and attributes of the putter remain unaffected.
Having described the present invention in detail, it is obvious that one skilled in the art will be able to make variations and modifications thereto without departing from the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the scope of the present invention should be determined only by the claims appended hereto.
What is claimed is:
l. A golf putter comprising a putter head, said putter head having a frontal striking surface, a top surface, a bottom surface and a rear surface and toe and heel portions, said head having a vertical slot extending therethrough, said slot having sufficient width and length dimensions to permit substantial visual observation therethrough, the width of said slot being greater than the thickness of said putter head between said slot and said frontal striking surface, said top surface of said head further having a cutaway portion contiguous with said slot along the length thereof and extending rearwardly completely through said head, said cutaway portion being further defined by side walls therealong, said side walls extending substantially along a vertical plane, and a shaft secured to said putter head and extending upwardly therefrom.
2. A golf putter as defined in claim 1 wherein said slot and cutaway portions of said putter head are located in line with the center of mass of the putter.
3. A golf putter as defined in claim 1 wherein the shaft is secured to the head at the heel portion thereof and extends upwardly in offset fashion therefrom.
4. A golf putter as defined in claim 1 wherein said top surface is generally parallel to said bottom surface as seen from the front side thereof.
5. A golf putter as defined in claim 1 wherein said bottom surface of said head has a four-way convex roll.
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