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United States Patent Application 20180126230
Kind Code A1
Tassistro; Kevin May 10, 2018

GOLF CLUB

Abstract

A golf club head, including a striking face having a plurality of grooves formed therein, a center region, a toe region, and a heel region, and a plurality of miniature grooves formed therein. The plurality of miniature grooves are limited to the central region of the striking face, with each of the plurality of miniature grooves extending across the striking face parallel to the grooves, and each of the plurality of miniature grooves having a miniature groove width of less than 0.500 mm.


Inventors: Tassistro; Kevin; (San Marcos, CA)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Acushnet Company

Fairhaven

MA

US
Assignee: Acushnet Company
Fairhaven
MA

Family ID: 1000003100746
Appl. No.: 15/858158
Filed: December 29, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
15812990Nov 14, 2017
15858158
14863724Sep 24, 20159844709
15812990

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A63B 2053/0445 20130101; A63B 53/047 20130101
International Class: A63B 53/04 20060101 A63B053/04

Claims



1. A golf club head, comprising: a body, said body comprising: a striking face on a forward portion of said body, said striking face configured to strike a golf ball; a sole on a bottom portion of said body; a top line on a top portion of said body; a hosel configured to receive a shaft, said hosel located on a heel side of said body, said heel side opposite a toe side of said body; wherein said striking face comprises a plurality of grooves formed therein, each of said plurality of grooves extending horizontally across said striking face; each of said plurality of grooves having a groove width greater than or equal to 0.500 mm; wherein said striking face comprises a front surface, and wherein said groove width of each groove is the distance between an uppermost intersection of each groove and said front surface and a lowermost intersection of each groove and said front surface; wherein said striking face comprises a center region, a toe region, and a heel region, said center region extending from a toe most portion of said grooves to a heel most portion of said grooves, said heel region located on a heel side of said center region and said toe region located on a toe side of said center region; wherein at least a portion of the striking face comprises an anodized aluminum plating having a thickness that is between 0.0001 inch and 0.002 inch.

2. The golf club head of claim 1, wherein said striking face further comprises a plurality of miniature grooves formed in said striking face, said plurality of miniature grooves limited to said central region of said striking face, each of said plurality of miniature grooves extending across said striking face parallel to said grooves, each of said plurality of miniature grooves having a miniature groove width of less than 0.500 mm, wherein said miniature groove width is the distance between an uppermost intersection of each miniature groove and said front surface and a lowermost intersection of each miniature groove and said front surface.

3. The golf club head of claim 2, wherein said striking face further comprises a plurality of arcuate grooves limited to said toe region; wherein said grooves, said miniature grooves, and said arcuate grooves do not intersect one another.

4. The golf club head of claim 2, wherein said striking face comprises a plurality of groove absent regions, said groove absent regions located between each pair of said plurality of grooves, wherein each groove absent region comprises at least three miniature grooves.

5. The golf club head of claim 4, wherein each groove absent region comprises at least four miniature grooves and less than eight miniature grooves.

6. The golf club head of claim 5, wherein each groove absent region comprises five miniature grooves.

7. The golf club head of claim 2, wherein offset width below is the distance between said lowermost intersection of each of said plurality of grooves and said front surface and the closest intersection of said plurality of miniature grooves and said front surface, wherein offset width above is the distance between said uppermost intersection of each of said grooves and said front surface and the closest intersection of said plurality of miniature grooves and said front surface, wherein said offset width below and said offset width above of each of said plurality of grooves are each greater than or equal to 0.352 mm.

8. The golf club head of claim 2, wherein offset width below is the distance between said lowermost intersection of each of said plurality of grooves and said front surface and the closest intersection of said plurality of miniature grooves and said front surface, wherein offset width above is the distance between said uppermost intersection of each of said grooves and said front surface and the closest intersection of said plurality of miniature grooves and said front surface, wherein miniature groove pitch is the distance between corresponding points on each of said plurality of miniature grooves within each of said groove absent regions, and wherein said offset width above, said offset width below, said miniature groove pitch, said groove width, and said miniature groove width, each measured in millimeters, satisfy the following relationship: ( O W A + O W B ) 2 > ( M G P + G W - M G P + G W - M G W ) 3 ##EQU00007##

9. A golf club head, comprising: a body, said body comprising: a striking face on a forward portion of said body, said striking face configured to strike a golf ball; a sole on a bottom portion of said body; a top line on a top portion of said body; a hosel configured to receive a shaft, said hosel located on a heel side of said body, said heel side opposite a toe side of said body; wherein said striking face comprises a plurality of grooves formed therein, each of said plurality of grooves extending horizontally across said striking face; each of said plurality of grooves having a groove width greater than or equal to 0.500 mm; wherein said striking face comprises a front surface, and wherein said groove width of each groove is the distance between an uppermost intersection of each groove and said front surface and a lowermost intersection of each groove and said front surface; wherein said striking face comprises a center region, a toe region, and a heel region, said center region extending from a toe most portion of said grooves to a heel most portion of said grooves, said heel region located on a heel side of said center region and said toe region located on a toe side of said center region; and wherein at least a portion of the striking face is comprised of a steel surface with a nickel plating layer disposed over the steel surface and an aluminum plating disposed over the nickel plating.

10. The golf club head of claim 9, wherein said nickel plating forms a first groove edge radius of less than 0.01 inch and said aluminum plating forms a second groove edge radius that is larger than the first groove edge radius and less than 0.011 inch.

11. The golf club head of claim 9, wherein said aluminum plating is formed from an aluminum material having greater than 95 percent aluminum.

12. The golf club head of claim 11, wherein said aluminum plating is formed from an aluminum material having greater than 99.5 percent aluminum.

13. The golf club head of claim 12, wherein said striking face further comprises a plurality of miniature grooves formed in said striking face, each of said plurality of miniature grooves extending across said striking face parallel to said grooves, each of said plurality of miniature grooves having a miniature groove width of less than 0.500 mm, wherein said miniature groove width is the distance between an uppermost intersection of each miniature groove and said front surface and a lowermost intersection of each miniature groove and said front surface; wherein said striking face further comprises a plurality of groove absent regions, said groove absent regions located between each pair of said plurality of grooves, wherein each groove absent region comprises at least three miniature grooves; wherein offset width below is the distance between said lowermost intersection of each of said plurality of grooves and said front surface and the closest intersection of said plurality of miniature grooves and said front surface, wherein offset width above is the distance between said uppermost intersection of each of said grooves and said front surface and the closest intersection of said plurality of miniature grooves and said front surface, wherein miniature groove pitch is the distance between corresponding points on each of said plurality of miniature grooves within each of said groove absent regions, and wherein said offset width above, said offset width below, said miniature groove pitch, said groove width, and said miniature groove width, each measured in millimeters, satisfy the following relationship: ( O W A + O W B ) 2 > ( M G P + G W - M G P + G W - M G W ) 3 ##EQU00008##

14. The golf club head of claim 13, wherein each groove absent region comprises at least four miniature grooves and less than eight miniature grooves.

15. The golf club head of claim 13, wherein said offset width below and said offset width above of each of said plurality of grooves are each greater than or equal to 0.352 mm.

16. The golf club head of claim 14, wherein said aluminum plating has a thickness that is between 0.0001 inch and 0.002 inch and each of said miniature grooves has a miniature groove depth that is less than the aluminum plating thickness.

17. The golf club head of claim 14, wherein said grooves and said miniature grooves do not intersect one another.

18. The golf club head of claim 9, wherein the entire golf club head has an anodized aluminum plating layer.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application is a Continuation-In-Part of co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/812,990, filed on Nov. 14, 2017, which is a Continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/863,724, filed on Sep. 24, 2015, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,844,709, the disclosures of which are all incorporated by reference in their entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present technology generally relates to systems, devices, and methods related to golf clubs, and more specifically to golf clubs having an improved groove configurations from plating.

DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED TECHNOLOGY

[0003] Golf clubs, combined with golf balls, have generally been considered to be the most essential equipment in the game of golf. Progressing in parallel with the development of the game of golf, significant developments have occurred within the golf equipment industry. Golf clubs have also developed simultaneously with all other types of golf equipment to accommodate for the needs of the golfer to hit their shots more accurately and with more control.

[0004] Iron type golf clubs include both conventional iron clubs as well as wedges. Each golf club includes a shaft with a club head attached to the distal end of the shaft and a grip attached to the proximal end of the shaft. The club head includes a face for striking a golf ball. In general, the greater the loft of the golf club in a set, the greater the launch angle and the less distance the golf ball is hit. A set of conventional irons generally includes individual irons that are designated as number 3 through number 9, and a pitching wedge. The conventional iron set is generally complimented by a series of wedges, such as a lob wedge, a gap wedge, and/or a sand wedge. Sets can also include a 1 and 2 iron, but these golf clubs are generally sold separately from the set. Each iron type golf club has a shaft length that usually decreases through the set as the set as the loft for each golf club head increases, from the long irons to the short irons. Additionally, iron type golf clubs generally include grooves running across the striking face from the heel towards the toe to increase the friction between the striking face and golf ball, inducing spin on the golf ball as the striking face impacts the golf ball.

[0005] Wedges are a particular type of iron type golf clubs that generally have a higher loft angles. These higher lofted wedges tend to be precision instruments that allow a golfer to dial in short range golf shots with improved trajectory, improved accuracy, and improved control.

[0006] Conventional iron type golf club heads are created in a variety of ways, some of which include castings, forgings, as well as combinations of the two. Generally, conventional production iron type golf club heads are cast or forged to a near net final shape, such that only minor machining and/or grinding operations are necessary to achieve the finished product.

SUMMARY

[0007] The systems, methods, and devices described herein have innovative aspects, no single one of which is indispensable or solely responsible for their desirable attributes. Without limiting the scope of the claims, some of the advantageous features will now be summarized.

[0008] The present technology generally relates to golf clubs, and the methods related to the golf clubs, having improved striking surfaces. More specifically, the present invention is directed to iron type golf clubs manufactured for increased durability, precision and/or improved aesthetics. The improved striking surface improves the performance of the golf club by increasing the amount of backspin created by the golf club when striking the golf ball, improving ball flight as well as stopping power on the green.

[0009] One non-limiting embodiment of the present technology includes a golf club head, comprising: a body, said body comprising: a striking face on a forward portion of said body, said striking face configured to strike a golf ball; a sole on a bottom portion of said body; a top line on a top portion of said body; a hosel configured to receive a shaft, said hosel located on a heel side of said body, said heel side opposite a toe side of said body; wherein said striking face comprises a plurality of grooves formed therein, each of said plurality of grooves extending horizontally across said striking face; each of said plurality of grooves having a groove width greater than or equal to 0.500 mm; wherein said striking face comprises a front surface, and wherein said groove width of each groove is the distance between an uppermost intersection of each groove and said front surface and a lowermost intersection of each groove and said front surface; wherein said striking face comprises a center region, a toe region, and a heel region, said center region extending from a toe most portion of said grooves to a heel most portion of said grooves, said heel region located on a heel side of said center region and said toe region located on a toe side of said center region; a plurality of miniature grooves formed in said striking face, said plurality of miniature grooves limited to said central region of said striking face, each of said plurality of miniature grooves extending across said striking face parallel to said grooves, each of said plurality of miniature grooves having a miniature groove width of less than 0.500 mm, wherein said miniature groove width is the distance between an uppermost intersection of each miniature groove and said front surface and a lowermost intersection of each miniature groove and said front surface; and a plurality of arcuate grooves limited to said toe region; wherein said grooves, said miniature grooves, and said arcuate grooves do not intersect one another.

[0010] In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said striking face comprises a plurality of groove absent regions, said groove absent regions located between each pair of said plurality of grooves, wherein each groove absent region comprises at least three miniature grooves.

[0011] In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology each groove absent region comprises at least four miniature grooves and less than eight miniature grooves.

[0012] In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology each groove absent region comprises five miniature grooves.

[0013] In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology offset width below is the distance between said lowermost intersection of each of said plurality of grooves and said front surface and the closest intersection of said plurality of miniature grooves and said front surface, wherein offset width above is the distance between said uppermost intersection of each of said grooves and said front surface and the closest intersection of said plurality of miniature grooves and said front surface, wherein said offset width below and said offset width above of each of said plurality of grooves are each greater than or equal to 0.352 mm.

[0014] In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology offset width below is the distance between said lowermost intersection of each of said plurality of grooves and said front surface and the closest intersection of said plurality of miniature grooves and said front surface, wherein offset width above is the distance between said uppermost intersection of each of said

( O W A + O W B ) 2 > ( M G P + G W - M G P + G W - M G W ) 3 ##EQU00001##

grooves and said front surface and the closest intersection of said plurality of miniature grooves and said front surface, wherein miniature groove pitch is the distance between corresponding points on each of said plurality of miniature grooves within each of said groove absent regions, and wherein said offset width above, said offset width below, said miniature groove pitch, said groove width, and said miniature groove width, each measured in millimeters, satisfy the following relationship:

[0015] An additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology includes a golf club head, comprising: a body, said body comprising: a striking face on a forward portion of said body, said striking face configured to strike a golf ball; a sole on a bottom portion of said body; a top line on a top portion of said body; a hosel configured to receive a shaft, said hosel located on a heel side of said body, said heel side opposite a toe side of said body; wherein said striking face comprises a plurality of grooves formed therein, each of said plurality of grooves extending horizontally across said striking face; each of said plurality of grooves having a groove width greater than or equal to 0.500 mm; wherein said striking face comprises a front surface, and wherein said groove width of each groove is the distance between an uppermost intersection of each groove and said front surface and a lowermost intersection of each groove and said front surface; wherein said striking face comprises a center region, a toe region, and a heel region, said center region extending from a toe most portion of said grooves to a heel most portion of said grooves, said heel region located on a heel side of said center region and said toe region located on a toe side of said center region; and a plurality of miniature grooves formed in said striking face, each of said plurality of miniature grooves extending across said striking face parallel to said grooves, each of said plurality of miniature grooves having a miniature groove width of less than 0.500 mm, wherein said miniature groove width is the distance between an uppermost intersection of each miniature groove and said front surface and a lowermost intersection of each miniature groove and said front surface; wherein said striking face comprises a plurality of groove absent regions, said groove absent regions located between each pair of said plurality of grooves, wherein each groove absent region comprises at least three miniature grooves; wherein offset width below is the distance between said lowermost intersection of each of said plurality of grooves and said front surface and the closest intersection of said plurality of miniature grooves and said front surface, wherein offset width above is the distance between said uppermost intersection of each of said grooves and said front surface and the closest intersection of said plurality of miniature grooves and said front surface, wherein miniature groove pitch is the distance between corresponding points on each of said plurality of miniature grooves within each of said groove absent regions, and wherein said offset width above, said offset width below, said miniature groove pitch, said groove width, and said miniature groove width, each measured in millimeters, satisfy the following relationship:

( O W A + O W B ) 2 > ( M G P + G W - M G P + G W - M G W ) 3 ##EQU00002##

[0016] In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology each groove absent region comprises at least four miniature grooves and less than eight miniature grooves.

[0017] In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said offset width below and said offset width above of each of said plurality of grooves are each greater than or equal to 0.352 mm.

[0018] In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said offset width below and said offset width above of each of said plurality of grooves are each greater than or equal to 0.402 mm.

[0019] In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said grooves and said miniature grooves do not intersect one another.

[0020] In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said plurality of miniature grooves are limited to said central region of said striking face.

[0021] An additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology includes a plurality of arcuate grooves limited to said toe region; wherein said grooves, said miniature grooves, and said arcuate grooves do not intersect one another

[0022] An additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology includes a golf club head, comprising: a body, said body comprising: a striking face on a forward portion of said body, said striking face configured to strike a golf ball; a sole on a bottom portion of said body; a top line on a top portion of said body; a hosel configured to receive a shaft, said hosel located on a heel side of said body, said heel side opposite a toe side of said body; wherein said striking face comprises a plurality of grooves formed therein, each of said plurality of grooves extending horizontally across said striking face; each of said plurality of grooves having a groove width greater than or equal to 0.500 mm; wherein said striking face comprises a front surface, and wherein said groove width of each groove is the distance between an uppermost intersection of each groove and said front surface and a lowermost intersection of each groove and said front surface; wherein said striking face comprises a center region, a toe region, and a heel region, said center region extending from a toe most portion of said grooves to a heel most portion of said grooves, said heel region located on a heel side of said center region and said toe region located on a toe side of said center region; and a plurality of miniature grooves formed in said striking face, each of said plurality of miniature grooves extending across said striking face parallel to said grooves, each of said plurality of miniature grooves having a miniature groove width of less than 0.500 mm, wherein said miniature groove width is the distance between an uppermost intersection of each miniature groove and said front surface and a lowermost intersection of each miniature groove and said front surface; wherein offset width below is the distance between said lowermost intersection of each of said plurality of grooves and said front surface and the closest intersection of said plurality of miniature grooves and said front surface, wherein offset width above is the distance between said uppermost intersection of each of said grooves and said front surface and the closest intersection of said plurality of miniature grooves and said front surface, wherein said offset width below and said offset width above of each of said plurality of grooves are each greater than or equal to 0.352 mm; wherein said striking face comprises a plurality of groove absent regions, said groove absent regions located between each pair of said plurality of grooves, wherein each groove absent region comprises at least three miniature grooves.

[0023] In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said offset width below and said offset width above of each of said plurality of grooves are each greater than or equal to 0.402 mm.

[0024] In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said grooves and said miniature grooves do not intersect one another.

[0025] In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology each groove absent region comprises at least four miniature grooves and less than eight miniature grooves.

[0026] In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology each groove absent region comprises five miniature grooves.

[0027] In an additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology said plurality of miniature grooves limited to said central region of said striking face.

[0028] An additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology a plurality of arcuate grooves limited to said toe region; wherein said grooves, said miniature grooves, and said arcuate grooves do not intersect one another.

[0029] An additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology includes a golf club head golf club head, comprising a body having a striking face on a forward portion of said body, said striking face configured to strike a golf ball; a sole on a bottom portion of said body; a top line on a top portion of said body; and a hosel configured to receive a shaft, said hosel located on a heel side of said body. The striking face comprises a plurality of grooves formed therein, each of said plurality of grooves extending horizontally across said striking face; each of said plurality of grooves having a groove width greater than or equal to 0.500 mm. The striking face comprises a front surface and the groove width of each groove is the distance between an uppermost intersection of each groove and the front surface and a lowermost intersection of each groove and the front surface. The striking face also comprises a center region, a toe region, and a heel region, where the center region extends from a toe most portion of the grooves to a heel most portion of the grooves. The heel region is located on a heel side of said center region and the toe region is located on a toe side of said center region. At least a portion of the striking face comprises an aluminum plating having a thickness that is between 0.0001 inch and 0.002 inch.

[0030] An additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology includes a striking face with an aluminum plating and a plurality of miniature grooves. The plurality of miniature grooves are limited to the central region of said striking face, with each of the plurality of miniature grooves extending across said striking face parallel to grooves. Preferably, each of the plurality of miniature grooves has a miniature groove width of less than 0.500 mm. The striking face can further comprises a plurality of arcuate grooves that are limited to said toe region such that the grooves, the miniature grooves, and the arcuate grooves do not intersect one another.

[0031] An additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology includes a striking face that is comprises an aluminum plating and a plurality of grooves and groove absent regions. The groove absent regions are located between each pair of grooves and each groove absent region comprises at least three miniature grooves. Preferably, each groove absent region comprises at least four miniature grooves and less than eight miniature grooves and more preferably each groove absent region comprises five miniature grooves. In the preferred embodiment, there is an offset width between each of the grooves and the plurality of miniature grooves that is greater than or equal to 0.352 mm. The offset width above, the offset width below, the miniature groove pitch, the groove width, and the miniature groove width, each measured in millimeters, preferably satisfies the following relationship:

( O W A + O W B ) 2 > ( M G P + G W - M G P + G W - M G W ) 3 ##EQU00003##

[0032] An additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology includes golf club head, comprising: a body having a striking face on a forward portion of said body, a sole on a bottom portion of said body, a top line on a top portion of said body and a hosel configured to receive a shaft. The striking face preferably comprises a plurality of grooves and miniature grooves formed in a center region. The body is also comprised of a steel surface with a nickel plating layer disposed over the steel surface and an aluminum plating disposed over the nickel plating. In this embodiment, it is preferred that the nickel plating forms a first groove edge radius of less than 0.01 inch and the aluminum plating forms a second groove edge radius that is larger than the first groove edge radius and less than 0.011 inch. Preferably, the aluminum plating is formed from and aluminum material having greater than 95 percent aluminum, and more preferably, greater than 99.5 percent aluminum. Preferably, the aluminum plating has a thickness that is between 0.0001 inch and 0.002 inch and each of said miniature grooves has a miniature groove depth that is less than the aluminum plating thickness.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0033] The accompanying drawings form a part of the specification and are to be read in conjunction therewith. The illustrated embodiments, however, are merely examples and are not intended to be limiting. Like reference numbers and designations in the various drawings indicate like elements.

[0034] FIG. 1 illustrates an iron type golf club head including a plurality of grooves.

[0035] FIG. 2 illustrates a cross section of the club head of FIG. 1 along a groove.

[0036] FIG. 3 illustrates the cross section of FIG. 2 including a groove cutter.

[0037] FIG. 4 illustrates an iron type golf club head including a plurality of miniature grooves.

[0038] FIG. 5 illustrates a cross section of the golf club head of FIG. 4.

[0039] FIG. 6 is a detail view of FIG. 5.

[0040] FIG. 7 is a detail view of FIG. 5.

[0041] FIG. 8 is a detail view of FIG. 5 including a miniature groove cutter.

[0042] FIG. 9 illustrates an iron type golf club head divided into three regions.

[0043] FIG. 10 illustrates an iron type golf club head including a plurality of miniature grooves.

[0044] FIG. 11 illustrates an iron type golf club head including a plurality of miniature grooves and a plurality of arcuate grooves.

[0045] FIG. 12 illustrates another cross section embodiment of the golf club head of FIG. 4.

[0046] FIG. 13 illustrates yet another cross section embodiment of the golf club head of FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0047] In the following detailed description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of the present disclosure. The illustrative embodiments described in the detailed description, drawings, and claims are not meant to be limiting. Other embodiments may be utilized, and other changes may be made, without departing from the spirit or scope of the subject matter presented herein. It will be readily understood that the aspects of the present disclosure, as generally described herein, and illustrated in the Figures, can be arranged, substituted, combined, and designed in a wide variety of different configurations, all of which are explicitly contemplated and form part of this disclosure. For example, a system or device may be implemented or a method may be practiced using any number of the aspects set forth herein. In addition, such a system or device may be implemented or such a method may be practiced using other structure, functionality, or structure and functionality in addition to or other than one or more of the aspects set forth herein. Alterations and further modifications of inventive features illustrated herein, and additional applications of the principles of the inventions as illustrated herein, which would occur to one skilled in the relevant art and having possession of this disclosure, are to be considered within the scope of the invention.

[0048] Other than in the operating examples, or unless otherwise expressly specified, all of the numerical ranges, amounts, values and percentages such as those for amounts of materials, moments of inertias, center of gravity locations, loft and draft angles, and others in the following portion of the specification may be read as if prefaced by the word "about" even though the term "about" may not expressly appear with the value, amount, or range. Accordingly, unless indicated to the contrary, the numerical parameters set forth in the following specification and attached claims are approximations that may vary depending upon the desired properties sought to be obtained by the present invention. At the very least, and not as an attempt to limit the application of the doctrine of equivalents to the scope of the claims, each numerical parameter should at least be construed in light of the number of reported significant digits and by applying ordinary rounding techniques.

[0049] Notwithstanding that the numerical ranges and parameters setting forth the broad scope of the invention are approximations, the numerical values set forth in the specific examples are reported as precisely as possible. Any numerical value, however, inherently contains certain errors necessarily resulting from the standard deviation found in their respective testing measurements. Furthermore, when numerical ranges of varying scope are set forth herein, it is contemplated that any combination of these values inclusive of the recited values may be used.

[0050] In describing the present technology, the following terminology may have been used: The singular forms "a," "an," and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to an item includes reference to one or more items. The term "plurality" refers to two or more of an item. The term "substantially" means that the recited characteristic, parameter, or value need not be achieved exactly, but that deviations or variations, including for example, tolerances, measurement error, measurement accuracy limitations and other factors known to those of skill in the art, may occur in amounts that do not preclude the effect the characteristic was intended to provide. A plurality of items may be presented in a common list for convenience. However, these lists should be construed as though each member of the list is individually identified as a separate and unique member. Thus, no individual member of such list should be construed as a de facto equivalent of any other member of the same lists solely based on their presentation in a common group without indications to the contrary. Furthermore, where the terms "and" and "or" are used in conjunction with a list of items, they are to be interpreted broadly, in that any one or more of the listed items may be used alone or in combination with other listed items. The term "alternatively" refers to a selection of one of two or more alternatives, and is not intended to limit the selection of only those listed alternative or to only one of the listed alternatives at a time, unless the context clearly indicated otherwise.

[0051] Features of the present disclosure will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. After considering this discussion, and particularly after reading the section entitled "Detailed Description" one will understand how the illustrated features serve to explain certain principles of the present disclosure.

[0052] The present invention is directed to a golf club head with an improved striking surface. FIG. 1 illustrates an iron type golf club head 1. The golf club head 1 includes a body 10 including a striking face 11, a sole 13, a top line 14, a heel 14, a toe 16, and a hosel 17. The front surface 18 of the striking face 11, which includes grooves 12 formed therein, and the sole 13 may be unitary with the body 10, or they may be separate bodies, such as inserts, coupled thereto. While the club head 1 is illustrated as an iron type golf club head, the present invention may also pertain to a utility type golf club head or a wood type golf club head.

[0053] FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate a cross section of the club head 1 along a groove 12. Grooves 12 are machined into the front surface 18 of the striking face 11. Grooves 12 extend from a toe end of the club head 1 to a heel end of the club head 1. Grooves 12 are radiused at the toe and heel portions of the club head 1. The club head 1 is retained in a mold, which preferably is formed of a material soft enough to not damage the club head 1 yet resilient enough to firmly retain the golf club head 1, and a groove cutter 20, preferably a round cutter or a saw cutter, is used to form the grooves 12. As shown, the toe and heel portions are radiused about an axis of rotation that is perpendicular to a longitudinal axis of the groove 12. Furthermore, that axis of rotation is approximately parallel to face 11 of club head 1. Having radiused grooves 12 facilitates removal of dirt, grass, sand, and other materials that typically become embedded within the grooves of a golf club during normal use by eliminating corners that can trap these materials. FIG. 3 shows a preferred groove cutting setup illustrating groove cutter 20 with groove 12. Details about grooves and groove manufacture can be found in more detail in U.S. Pat. No. 7,758,449 to Gilbert, et al., hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. Any definitions, terminology, or characterizations of the invention included herein shall take precedence over any conflicting information provided in any material incorporated by reference.

[0054] FIG. 4 illustrates an iron type golf club head 1 including a roughened striking surface texture. The face 11 of the club head 1 of the present invention is also enhanced to provide additional ball control and enhanced performance. The strike surface 11 is provided with a roughened texture. A common measure of roughness in surface finish is average roughness, Ra. Ra, also known as Arithmetic Average (AA) and Center Line Average (CLA), is a measure of the distance from the peaks and valleys to the center line or mean. It is calculated as the integral of the absolute value of the roughness profile height over the evaluation length:

Ra = 1 L .intg. 0 L r ( x ) dx ##EQU00004##

[0055] Providing a textured strike face allows the golfer to apply more friction to the ball during use, allowing the golfer to put more spin on the ball and have greater control of the ball. Conventionally, golfers have to take a full swing to induce enough golf ball spin to control the ball movement on a golf green. With the golf club head of the present invention, a golfer can induce golf ball spin in "partial" shots, or shots when the golfer is not taking a full swing. The textured strike surface of the present invention also distributes the shear force resulting from the golf swing over a greater area of the golf ball. This reduces cover damage and extends golf ball life.

[0056] As illustrated in FIG. 4, the surface texture can include a plurality of miniature grooves 30. The miniature grooves 30 are smaller than the grooves 12 described above. In some embodiments, as illustrated in FIG. 4, the miniature grooves 30 are oriented parallel to the grooves 12. The miniature grooves 30 can extend from the heel side of the golf club head to the toe side of the golf club head. The miniature grooves 30 can be substantially straight as illustrated in FIG. 4. A plurality of miniature grooves 30 can be formed between each pair of grooves 12.

[0057] FIG. 5 illustrates a cross section of the golf club head 1 of FIG. 4. FIGS. 6 and 7 zoom in on portions of that cross section. Preferably, the front surface 18 of the striking face 11 is machined flat prior to forming the grooves 12 and miniature grooves 30. Next, the grooves 12 are formed into the striking face 11 as described above. Finally, the miniature grooves 30 are formed into the striking face 11. The grooves 12 and miniature grooves 30 are created by removing material from the striking face 11, and creating voids in the front surface 18 of the striking face 11. Alternatively, the miniature grooves 30 can be formed prior to the grooves 12. In yet another embodiment, the grooves 12 and miniature grooves 30 can be formed simultaneously.

[0058] It is preferable that none of the miniature grooves 30 intersect the grooves 12. In order to create as much backspin as possible when the golf club head 1 strikes the golf ball, the grooves 12 must be created as aggressively as allowed by the rules of golf. An inventive way of ensuring that is possible, is by spacing the miniature grooves 30 from the grooves 12. This ensures the area where the grooves 12 are formed, is not encumbered in any way by any additional surface texturing, and that the groove 12 can be formed as designed, without any risk of any other geometries affecting an accurate measurement of the groove 12 characteristics. An additional benefit of spacing the miniature grooves 30 from the groove 12, is that the groove 12 appears larger to a consumer. The miniature grooves 30 can contrast against the groove 12 and the spacing between the groove 12 and the miniature grooves 30, giving the consumer the impression the groove 12 is larger and more effective at gripping the golf ball during impact. The area between each pair of grooves 12 on the front surface 18 of the striking face can each be referred to as groove absent portions 40. In order to maximize backspin of the golf ball at impact, miniature grooves 30 are added to the groove absent portions 40, increasing the amount of friction between the front surface 18 of the striking face 11 and the golf ball during impact. In some embodiments, and as illustrated in FIGS. 5-7, the cross section of the miniature grooves 30 are of substantially constant radius. In some embodiments, each miniature groove 30 may butt up against one another. More preferably, and as illustrated in FIG. 7, portions of the front surface 18 of the striking face 11 will remain between each successive miniature groove 30. In other words, the miniature groove pitch MGP is greater than the miniature groove width MGW.

[0059] For purposes of this application, groove width GW is defined by the distance between the points at which each side of the groove 12 intersects the front surface 18 the striking face 11. The miniature groove width MGW is defined by the distance between the points at which each side of the miniature groove 30 intersects the front surface 18 of the striking face 11. The offset width below OWB is the distance between the lower intersection of the groove 12 and the front surface of the striking face and the closest intersection of a miniature groove 30 and the front surface of the striking face. The offset width above OWA is the distance between the upper intersection of the groove 12 and the front surface 18 of the striking face 11 and the closest intersection of a miniature groove 30 and the front surface 18 of the striking face 11. The miniature groove pitch MGP is the distance between corresponding points on each miniature groove 30. The miniature groove radius MGR is the radius of each miniature groove 30.

[0060] In some embodiments, the grooves 12 and miniature grooves 30 can have any combination of the following measurements. The groove width GW can be greater than or equal to 0.808 millimeters (mm) and less than or equal to 0.908 mm. The offset width above OWA can be greater than or equal to 0.402 mm and less than or equal to 0.502 mm. The offset width below OWB can be greater than or equal to 0.402 mm and less than or equal to 0.502 mm. The miniature groove width MGW can be greater than or equal to 0.180 mm and less than or equal to 0.280 mm. The miniature groove pitch MGP can be greater than or equal to 0.200 mm and less than or equal to 0.300 mm. The miniature groove can have a substantially constant radius. The miniature groove radius can be greater than or equal to 0.457 mm and less than or equal to 0.657 mm. The groove width GW can be greater than or equal to 0.758 mm and less than or equal to 0.958 mm. The offset width above OWA can be greater than or equal to 0.352 mm and less than or equal to 0.552 mm. The offset width below OWB can be greater than or equal to 0.352 mm and less than or equal to 0.552 mm. The miniature groove width MGW can be greater than or equal to 0.130 mm and less than or equal to 0.330 mm. The miniature groove pitch MGP can be greater than or equal to 0.150 mm and less than or equal to 0.350 mm. The miniature groove radius can be greater than or equal to 0.357 mm and less than or equal to 0.757 mm. The groove width GW can be greater than or equal to 0.708 mm and less than or equal to 1.008 mm. The offset width above OWA can be greater than or equal to 0.302 mm and less than or equal to 0.602 mm. The offset width below OWB can be greater than or equal to 0.302 mm and less than or equal to 0.602 mm. The miniature groove width MGW can be greater than or equal to 0.080 mm and less than or equal to 0.380 mm. The miniature groove pitch MGP can be greater than or equal to 0.100 mm and less than or equal to 0.400 mm. The miniature groove radius can be greater than or equal to 0.257 mm and less than or equal to 0.857 mm. In some embodiments, the offset width above OWA and the offset width below OWB can be substantially the same. Additionally, unless otherwise noted, each plurality of miniature grooves 30 in each groove absent region 40 shares the same characteristics as other pluralities of miniature grooves 30 in other groove absent regions 40 on the striking face 11.

[0061] Testing has confirmed that particular relationships between groove 12 and miniature groove 30 measurements result in optimal performance characteristics of the golf club head 1. In particular, grooves 12 and miniature grooves 30 satisfying the following relationship, tend to have near optimal performance:

( O W A + O W B ) 2 > ( M G P + G W - M G P + G W - M G W ) 3 ##EQU00005##

Wherein:

[0062] OWA=offset width above

[0063] OWB=offset width below

[0064] MGP=miniature groove pitch

[0065] GW=groove width

[0066] MGW=miniature groove width

[0067] All values measured in millimeters

[0068] FIG. 5 illustrates one method of creating miniature grooves 30. Similar to how the grooves are created, a miniature groove cutter 120 can be used to remove material from the front surface 18 of the striking face 11. In some embodiments, and as illustrated in FIG. 8, the miniature groove cutter 120 can cut a plurality of miniature grooves 30 simultaneously. The miniature groove cutter 120 can include several cutting portions 121 configured to strategically remove material from the front surface 18 of the striking face 11 at the designated areas where the miniature grooves 30 are to go. The miniature groove cutter 120 can include recessed portions 122 in between each cutting portion 122 and extended recess portions 123 in between each set of cutting portions 121. The extended recess portions 123 can extend over each of the grooves 12 and offset width above OWA and offset width below OWB areas. The recessed portions 122 and extended recess portions 123 are configured to not remove any material from the golf club head 1. The miniature groove cutter 120 spins as it translates across the striking face 11, about an axis perpendicular to the striking face 11 and perpendicular to a longitudinal axis of each miniature groove 30, cutting the miniature grooves 30 out of the golf club head. In some embodiments, the miniature groove cutter 120 can cut all of the horizontal miniature grooves 30 at the same time.

[0069] FIG. 9 illustrates the striking face of an iron type golf club head 1 divided into three regions. The golf club head can have a toe region 201, a center region 202, and a heel region 203. The center region is defined by the extent of the grooves 12. The toe region 201 is located on the toe side of the center region 202 and the heel region 203 is located on the heel side of the center region 202. The heel side 15 located adjacent the hosel 17 and the toe side 16 located opposite the hosel 17. In one embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 4, the miniature grooves are formed in the center region 202. In another embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 10, the miniature grooves are formed in the center region 202 as well as the toe region 201. In another embodiment, not illustrated, the miniature grooves 30 can also extend into the heel region 203. In another embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 11, the miniature grooves 30 are formed in the center region 202 and a second set of miniature grooves 32 are formed in the toe region 201. The miniature grooves 30 in the center region are formed parallel to the grooves 12 as described above. The second set of miniature grooves 32 in the toe region 201 are different from the first set of miniature grooves 30 in the center region 202. The second set of miniature grooves 32 can be curved. In some embodiments, the second set of miniature grooves 32 can be formed with a fly cutter or similar tool.

[0070] As set forth above with reference to at least FIGS. 1-8, the present invention preferably includes a golf club head 1 comprising a body 10 having a striking face 11 on a forward portion of the body 1, the striking face being configured to strike a golf ball; a sole 13 on a bottom portion of the body 1; a top line 14 on a top portion of the body 1; and a hosel 17 configured to receive a shaft, the hosel is located on a heel side 15 of the body 1. The striking face comprises a plurality of grooves 12 formed therein, with each of grooves extending horizontally across the striking face 11 from a toe side 16 to the heel side 15, forming a central section of the golf club head 1. As set forth above, each of the plurality of grooves 12 has a groove width GW greater than or equal to 0.500 mm. The striking face 11 further comprises a front surface 18 and the groove width GW of each groove 12 is the distance between an uppermost intersection of each groove 12 and the front surface 18 and a lowermost intersection of each groove 12 and the front surface 18.

[0071] As shown in the cross sectional views in FIGS. 12 and 13, the present invention also preferably comprises a steel club head with an aluminum plating layer 3 on at least the front surface 18. More preferably, the entire golf club head 1 is covered by an anodized aluminum plating layer 3. Preferably, the aluminum plating has a thickness T that is between 0.0001 inch and 0.002 inch.

[0072] Preferably, the golf club head 1 is formed from cast or forged steel and nickel-plated according to ordinary processes. The nickel-plating is preferably about 2 micrometers or greater. Preferably, the golf club head 1 is pretreated by cleaning the surface to remove fat, oxides and other impurities and includes at least a degreasing step and rinsing step to remove the degreasing solution. The process can also include an electrolytic degreasing step to remove oxides from the surface of the golf club head. To apply the aluminum plating layer 3, the nickel-plated golf club head 1 is preferably placed in a vacuum environment. Then the golf club head 1 is placed into an activated bath that can include an aqueous inorganic acid in aliphatic mono- or di- or tri-hydric alcohol. The alcohol can be ethylene glycol for example. Then the golf club head can be treated with a electrolyte solvent rinse before proceeding to the electroplating process. The preferred process for electroplating the aluminum plating is pulse reverse plating. Details of the plating process are set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 7,250,102, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety herein.

[0073] Further, the outer surface of the golf club head 1 is preferably anodized for corrosion resistance durability and coloring options. Anodizing forms an aluminum oxide layer that resist corrosion. When the anodizing is performed on a pure aluminum plating, greater than 99.5% aluminum, the electroplating is purer and more consistent than anodized AL alloys.

[0074] The difference between golf club heads depicted in FIGS. 12 and 13 are the timing of forming grooves 12 into the striking face 11. In FIG. 12, grooves 12 and miniature grooves 30 are formed into the striking face 11 and then the aluminum plating is applied to the outer surface. Thus, in this embodiment, the front surface 18 and the bottom of the grooves 12 are aluminum plated. In FIG. 13, the golf club head is aluminum plated and then the grooves 12 and miniature grooves 30 are formed into the striking face 11. Thus, the front surface 18 is aluminum plated but the bottom of the grooves 12 are not because the groove depth is significantly greater than the thickness of the aluminum plating.

[0075] An additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology includes a striking face 11 with an anodized aluminum plating 3 and a plurality of grooves 12 and miniature grooves 30. The plurality of miniature grooves 30 are preferably limited to the central region of said striking face 11, with each of the plurality of miniature grooves 30 extending across said striking face 11 parallel to grooves 12. Preferably, each of the plurality of miniature grooves 30 has a miniature groove width of less than 0.500 mm and a depth that is less than the thickness T of the anodized aluminum plating layer 3 such that the bottom of the miniature grooves 30 are anodized aluminum plated as shown in FIGS. 12 and 13.

[0076] An additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology includes an anodized aluminum plated golf club head 1 with a striking face 11 that is comprises and a plurality of grooves 12 and groove absent regions 40. As set forth above, the groove absent regions 40 are located between each pair of grooves 12 and each groove absent region 40 comprises at least three miniature grooves 30. Preferably, each groove absent 40 region comprises at least four miniature grooves 30 and less than eight miniature grooves 30 and more preferably each groove absent region 40 comprises five miniature grooves 30. In the preferred embodiment, there is an offset width OWA and OWB between each of the grooves 12 and the plurality of miniature grooves 30 that is greater than or equal to 0.352 mm. The offset width above OWA, the offset width below OWB, the miniature groove pitch MGP, the groove width GW, and the miniature groove width MGW, each measured in millimeters, preferably satisfies the following relationship:

( O W A + O W B ) 2 > ( M G P + G W - M G P + G W - M G W ) 3 ##EQU00006##

[0077] An additional non-limiting embodiment of the present technology includes an anodized aluminum plated golf club head, comprising: a body 1 having a striking face 11 on a forward portion of said body, a sole 13 on a bottom portion of said body, a top line 14 on a top portion of said body and a hosel 17 configured to receive a shaft. The striking face 11 preferably comprises a plurality of grooves 12 and miniature grooves 30 formed in a center region between the heel 15 and the toe 10. The body 1 is comprised of steel with a nickel plating layer disposed over the steel and an aluminum plating 3 disposed over the nickel plating. In this embodiment, it is preferred that the nickel plating forms a first groove edge radius R1 of less than 0.01 inch and the aluminum plating forms a second groove edge radius R2 that is larger than the first groove edge radius and less than 0.011 inch. Preferably, the aluminum plating 3 is formed from an aluminum material having greater than 95 percent aluminum, and more preferably, pure aluminum having greater than 99.5 percent aluminum. Preferably, the aluminum plating 3 has a thickness that is between 0.0001 inch and 0.002 inch and each of said miniature grooves 30 has a miniature groove depth that is less than the aluminum plating thickness T.

[0078] In describing the present technology herein, certain features that are described in the context of separate implementations also can be implemented in combination in a single implementation. Conversely, various features that are described in the context of a single implementation also can be implemented in multiple implementations separately or in any suitable sub combination. Moreover, although features may be described above as acting in certain combinations and even initially claimed as such, one or more features from a claimed combination can in some cases be excised from the combination, and the claimed combination may be directed to a sub combination or variation of a sub combination.

[0079] Various modifications to the implementations described in this disclosure may be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the generic principles defined herein may be applied to other implementations without departing from the spirit or scope of this disclosure. Thus, the claims are not intended to be limited to the implementations shown herein, but are to be accorded the widest scope consistent with this disclosure as well as the principle and novel features disclosed herein.

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