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Title:
APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR GOLF TRAINING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/096172
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Golf training aids are provided that maintain the positions of a golfer's left and right forearms relative to a golf club throughout one or more portions of the backswing, one or more portions of the downswing, and one or more portions of the follow-through. The golf training aids can comprise a connector, a first arm, and a second arm, and the first and second arms can each have a plurality of bends. The golf training aids teach a golfer to swing with proper form throughout a full swing by guiding the positions of the golfer's left and right forearms relative to the golf club by maintaining contact with the forearms throughout at least a portion of the backswing, downswing, and follow-through.

Inventors:
WALKEY, Christopher, Clarke (9 Via Dulcinea, Palm Desert, CA, 92260, US)
NGUYEN, Tu (9 Via Dulcinea, Dulcinea, US)
Application Number:
US2016/064631
Publication Date:
June 08, 2017
Filing Date:
December 02, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
POWER PACKAGE GOLF PARTNERS (9 Via Dulcinea, Palm Desert, CA 1, 922601, US)
International Classes:
A63B69/36
Foreign References:
US20030148814A12003-08-07
US5865685A1999-02-02
US20130331196A12013-12-12
US6004221A1999-12-21
US20020016211A12002-02-07
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALTMAN, Daniel, E. (Knobbe, Martens Olson & Bear, LLP,2040 Main Street, 14th Floo, Irvine CA, 92614, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WE CLAIM:

1. A golf swing aid apparatus for use with a golf club to maintain positions of a left forearm and a right forearm of a golfer relative to the golf club throughout one or portions of a backswing, a downswing, and a follow-through, the golf club including at least a shaft and a grip, the apparatus comprising:

a connector configured to attach to the shaft or the grip and having a first receiver and a second receiver;

a first arm having a proximal end, a distal end, and a first plurality of bends disposed therebetween, the proximal end being configured to couple to the first receiver;

a second arm having a proximal end, a distal end, and a second plurality of bends disposed therebetween, the proximal end being configured to couple to the second receiver; a first contact member supported by the distal end of the first arm and configured to contact the left forearm; and

a second contact member supported by the distal end of the second arm and configured to contact the right forearm,

at least one of the first plurality of bends and the second plurality of bends including at least a first bend, a second bend, and a third bend, the second bend being disposed between the first bend and the third bend.

2. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein a first location between the first bend and the second bend defines a first inflection point, and wherein a second location between the second bend and the third bend defines a second inflection point, a profile of the one of the first or second arms that includes the first bend, the second bend, and the third bend changing between a convex shape and a concave shape at each of the first and second inflection points.

3. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein application of a compressive load between the distal end and the proximal end of at least one of the first arm and the second arm decreases a length between the proximal end and the distal end along an axis between.

4. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein application of a compressive load between the distal end and the proximal end of at least one of the first arm and the second arm causes the at least one of the first arm and the second arm to compress similar to a spring.

5. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein at least one of the first arm and the second arm has an S-shape along its length.

6. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein the first arm is longer relative to the second arm.

7. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein the first arm has a length of 9.6 inches as measured along a straight line positioned between the center of the connector and the distal end of the first arm, and wherein the second arm has a length of 6.8 inches as measured along a straight line positioned between the center of the connector and the distal end of the second arm.

8. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein the first contact member is integrally formed with the first arm and the second contact member is integrally formed with the second arm.

9. A golf swing aid apparatus for use with a golf club to maintain positions of a left forearm and a right forearm of a golfer relative to the golf club throughout one or more portions of a backswing, a downswing, and a follow-through, the golf club including at least a shaft and a grip, the apparatus comprising:

a connector configured to attach to the shaft or the grip and having a first receiver and a second receiver;

a first arm having a proximal end, a distal end, and a first plurality of bends disposed therebetween, the proximal end being configured to couple to the first receiver;

a second arm having a proximal end, a distal end, and a second plurality of bends disposed therebetween, the proximal end being configured to couple to the second receiver; a first contact member supported by the distal end of the first arm and configured to contact the left forearm; and a second contact member supported by the distal end of the second arm and configured to contact the right forearm,

at least one of the first plurality of bends and the second plurality of bends together forming an S-shape.

10. The apparatus of Claim 9, wherein application of a compressive load between the distal end and the proximal end of at least one of the first arm and the second arm causes at least one of the first plurality of bends or one of the second plurality of bends to compress similar to a spring.

11. The apparatus of Claim 9, wherein an angle between the first and second arms is configured to be 43 degrees when the first and second arms are connected to the connector.

12. The apparatus of Claim 9, wherein the apparatus is configured to be assembled for at least one of a right-handed or a left-handed golfer.

13. The apparatus of Claim 9, wherein the first arm extends 4.0 to 6.0 inches in a first direction away from the connector and 7.2 to 9.2 inches in a second direction away from the connector, the second direction perpendicular to the first direction, and wherein the second arm extends 4.3 to 6.3 inches in a first direction away from the connector and 3.2 to 5.2 inches in a second direction away from the connector, the second direction perpendicular to the first direction.

14. The apparatus of Claim 9, wherein the first and second arms each comprise at least three bends between the proximal and distal ends.

15. A golf swing aid apparatus for use with a golf club to maintain positions of a left forearm and a right forearm of a golfer relative to the golf club throughout one or more portions of a backswing, a downswing, and a follow-through, the golf club including at least a shaft and a grip, the apparatus comprising:

a connector configured to attach to the shaft or the grip and having a first receiver and a second receiver; a first arm having a proximal end, a distal end, and a first plurality of bends disposed therebetween, the proximal end being configured to couple to the first receiver;

a second arm having a proximal end, a distal end, and a second plurality of bends disposed therebetween, the proximal end being configured to couple to the second receiver; a first contact member supported by the distal end of the first arm and configured to contact the left forearm; and

a second contact member supported by the distal end of the second arm and configured to contact the right forearm,

at least one of the first plurality of bends and the second plurality of bends including a plurality of inflection points arranged along a length of the respective first or second arm so that a profile of the respective first or second arm changes between a convex shape and a concave shape at each of the plurality of inflection points.

16. The apparatus of Claim 15, wherein the first contact member is disposed at a first angle from the connector and the second contact member is disposed at a second angle from the connector, the second angle different from the first angle, the first angle comprising 45 to 70 degrees and the second angle comprising 25 to 50 degrees.

17. The apparatus of Claim 15, wherein the first and second contact members are configured to contact the first and second forearms throughout portions of a golf swing executed with proper form, the golf swing comprising a set-up stage, a backswing stage, a down swing stage, a contact stage, a follow-through stage, and the transitions between the stages, the first and second forearms configured to contact the first and second forearms at least during a portion of the backswing stage, the downswing stage, and the follow-through stage.

18. The apparatus of Claim 15, wherein the first and second arms are integrally formed with the connector.

19. The apparatus of Claim 15, wherein a ratio between a length of the first arm and a length of the second arm comprises 1.2 to 1.6.

20. The apparatus of Claim 15, wherein the first contact member is attached to the first arm at 80 to 100 degrees and the second contact member is attached to the second arm at 80 to 100 degrees.

Description:
APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR GOLF TRAINING

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/263,335, filed December 4, 2015, and entitled "APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR GOLF TRAINING." The disclosure of this prior application is considered part of this application, and is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD

[0002] The present disclosure relates generally to golf training aids and more specifically to golf training aids configured to maintain the positions of a golfer's left and right forearms relative to a golf club throughout portions of a full swing.

BACKGROUND

[0003] In the marketplace, golf training aids are plentiful. However, such aids are typically large and difficult to set up or use, or typically address only a portion of a golfer's backswing, downswing, or follow-through. Accordingly, a need exists for a compact and improved golf training aid that teaches a proper swing by maintaining the positions of the golfer's left and right forearms relative to the golf club throughout portions of the backswing, downswing and follow-through.

SUMMARY

[0004] The systems, methods, and devices discussed herein each have several aspects, no single one of which is solely responsible for its desirable attributes. Without limiting the scope of this invention as expressed by the claims which follow, some features are discussed briefly below. After considering this discussion, and particularly after reading the section entitled "Detailed Description," one will understand the advantageous features of this device.

[0005] In one aspect, a golf swing aid apparatus for use with a golf club to maintain positions of a left forearm and a right forearm of a golfer relative to the golf club throughout one or more portions of a backswing, a downswing, and a follow-through is disclosed, the golf club including at least a shaft and a grip. The apparatus can include a connector configured to attach to the shaft or the grip and can have a first receiver and a second receiver. The apparatus can include a first arm having a proximal end, a distal end, and a first plurality of bends disposed therebetween, the proximal end being configured to couple to the first receiver. The apparatus can include a second arm having a proximal end, a distal end, and a second plurality of bends disposed therebetween, the proximal end being configured to couple to the second receiver. The apparatus can include a first contact member supported by the distal end of the first arm and can be configured to contact the left forearm. The apparatus can include a second contact member supported by the distal end of the second arm and can be configured to contact the right forearm. In one aspect, at least one of the first plurality of bends and the second plurality of bends includes at least a first bend, a second bend, and a third bend, the second bend being disposed between the first bend and the third bend.

[0006] In another aspect, a golf swing aid apparatus for use with a golf club to maintain positions of a left forearm and a right forearm of a golfer relative to the golf club throughout one or more portions of a backswing, a downswing, and a follow-through is disclosed, the golf club including at least a shaft and a grip. The apparatus can include a connector configured to attach to the shaft or the grip and can have a first receiver and a second receiver. The apparatus can include a first arm having a proximal end, a distal end, and a first plurality of bends disposed therebetween, the proximal end being configured to couple to the first receiver. The apparatus can include a second arm having a proximal end, a distal end, and a second plurality of bends disposed therebetween, the proximal end being configured to couple to the second receiver. The apparatus can include a first contact member supported by the distal end of the first arm and can be configured to contact the left forearm. The apparatus can include a second contact member supported by the distal end of the second arm and can be configured to contact the right forearm. In one aspect, at least one of the first plurality of bends and the second plurality of bends together form an S-shape.

[0007] In yet another aspect, a golf swing aid apparatus for use with a golf club to maintain positions of a left forearm and a right forearm of a golfer relative to the golf club throughout one or more portions of a backswing, a downswing, and a follow-through is disclosed, the golf club including at least a shaft and a grip. The apparatus can include a connector configured to attach to the shaft or the grip and can have a first receiver and a second receiver. The apparatus can include a first arm having a proximal end, a distal end, and a first plurality of bends disposed therebetween, the proximal end being configured to couple to the first receiver. The apparatus can include a second arm having a proximal end, a distal end, and a second plurality of bends disposed therebetween, the proximal end being configured to couple to the second receiver. The apparatus can include a first contact member supported by the distal end of the first arm and can be configured to contact the left forearm. The apparatus can include a second contact member supported by the distal end of the second arm and can be configured to contact the right forearm. In one aspect, at least one of the first plurality of bends and the second plurality of bends can include a plurality of inflection points arranged along a length of the respective first or second arm so that a profile of the respective first or second arm changes between a convex shape and a concave shape at each of the plurality of inflection points.

[0008] Details of one or more implementations of the subject matter described in this specification are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features, aspects, and advantages will become apparent from the description, the drawings, and the claims. Note that the relative dimensions of the following figures may not be drawn to scale.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] Embodiments will now be described with reference to the following drawings, which are provided by way of example, and not limitation.

[0010] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a right-handed golfer addressing a ball while using a golf training aid apparatus coupled to a golf club, in accordance with certain embodiments.

[0011] FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 except the golfer has begun a backswing and is at the point in the backswing where his wrists cock and the golf training aid apparatus contacts his forearms. [0012] FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 except the golfer is halfway through the backswing.

[0013] FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 except the golfer is at the top of the backswing.

[0014] FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 except the golfer is in a downswing.

[0015] FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 except the golfer has hit the ball and continued for a follow-through.

[0016] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the golf training aid apparatus from FIGS. 1-6 coupled to the grip of the golf club.

[0017] FIG. 8 is a front, top, right side perspective view of the golf training aid apparatus from FIG. 7 configured for a right-handed golfer.

[0018] FIG. 9 is a front, top, left side perspective view of the golf training aid apparatus from FIG. 7 with a position of a first arm switched with a position of a second arm so as to configure the golf training aid apparatus for a left-handed golfer.

[0019] FIG. 10 is a right side plan view of the first arm of the embodiment shown in FIG. 8 coupled to a connector.

[0020] FIG. 11 is a right side plan view of the second arm of the embodiment shown in FIG. 8 coupled to a connector.

[0021] FIG. 12 is a bottom plan view of the embodiment of FIG. 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0022] Embodiments of the present disclosure provide golf training aids that golfers can use throughout fully executed golf swings, beginning with the initial set-up (where the ball is addressed) and continuing throughout the four stages of the swing itself (i.e., the backswing, downswing, contact, and follow-through) for both full swings and chip shots. In particular, the present disclosure relates to a golf training aid configured to maintain the positions of a golfer's left and right forearms relative to a golf club throughout one or more portions of the backswing, one or more portions of the downswing, and one or more portions of the follow-through. The present disclosure also relates to a golf training aid configured to maintain the positions of a golfer's left and right forearms relative to a golf club in the address position. Embodiments of the present disclosure further improve wrist positioning of the golfer during his or her swing. Proper wrist positioning during various portions of the golf swing is also referred to as wrist hinge or wrist cock. Thus, certain embodiments disclosed herein enable the golfer to develop proper wrist hinge or wrist cock.

[0023] In an embodiment, the golf training aid can teach a golfer to swing with proper form throughout a full swing by guiding the positions of the golfer's left and right forearms relative to the golf club by maintaining contact with the left and right forearms throughout at least a portion of the backswing, the downswing, and the follow-through. For example, in an embodiment, the golf training aid is configured to simultaneously engage the left and right forearms of a golfer throughout a portion of the backswing, a portion of the downswing, and a portion the follow-through (also referred to as contact arcs) for full swings executed with proper form with irons, woods, and drivers.

[0024] In addition, in an embodiment, the golf training aid can teach a golfer to swing with proper form throughout a chip shot (also referred to as a chipping swing) by guiding the positions of the golfer's left and right forearms relative to the golf club by contacting the left and right forearms during the address position in addition to maintaining contact with the left and right forearms throughout at least a portion of the backswing, the downswing, and the follow-through. For example, in an embodiment, the golf training aid is configured to simultaneously engage the left and right forearms of a golfer during the address position and throughout a portion of the backswing, a portion of the downswing, and a portion the follow-through (also referred to as contact arcs) for chip shots executed with proper form with any club capable of chipping, such as a pitching wedges, nine irons, and the like.

[0025] The simultaneous and continuous engagement of a golf training aid with a golfer's left and right forearms throughout portions of a properly executed swing can help golfers develop proper form throughout full swings with irons, woods, and drivers, and throughout chip shots with pitching wedges and other clubs capable of chipping, which can in turn improve their hitting distance, accuracy, and consistency, as well as make the game more enjoyable and fun. However, swinging a golf club is complex and proper form is difficult to achieve. To achieve proper form, a golfer must correctly position their body and the club throughout the initial set-up and the four stages of the swing. For example, proper form requires golfers to have the correct stance, which includes proper spacing between the feet, proper bending in the knees, and proper shoulder positioning, as well as the correct grip on the club, the correct arm positioning, and the correct body and club motion throughout the swing. Advantageously, the golf training aids described herein can help golfers with their body mechanics so that they can swing with proper form, or otherwise improved form.

[0026] Conventional golf training aids which contact and guide forearms do not guide the positions of a golfer's left and right forearms relative to the golf club throughout portions of the backswing, the downswing, and the follow-through (also referred to as the three active swing stages, or simply, the swing stages) for full swings with irons, woods, and drivers, and do not additionally contact the golfer's left and right forearms during the address position for chip shots with chipping clubs such as pitching wedges, nine irons, and the like, such as, for example, by simultaneously and continuously engaging both forearms. In addition, conventional golf training aids do not provide arms that are sufficiently flexible in multiple directions and sufficiently rigid in multiple directions to allow minor variations in forearm positioning while still maintaining proper overall form during golf swings, whether for full swings or chip shots. For example, conventional golf training aids may include an arm which simply bends in one direction when a load is applied resulting in the arm being too far out of position to maintain proper overall form during the full swing. As a result, conventional training aids only guide golfers through a portion of their full golf swing with irons, woods, or drivers, and only guide golfers through a portion of their chipping golf swing with pitching wedges and other clubs capable of chipping. For example, conventional training aids may only guide golfers through a portion of the backswing or the follow-through, but not both, for either full swings or chip shots. Accordingly, apparatuses and methods are described herein for an improved golf training aid that can engage and guide both forearms of a golfer throughout a portion of each of the active swing stages, including the backswing, the downswing, and the follow-through for full swings and chip shots, as well as the address position for chip shots.

[0027] FIGS. 1-6 illustrate a golfer using an embodiment of a golf training aid apparatus 100 coupled to a golf club 106 during various portions of a full swing. For example, FIG. 1 illustrates a right-handed golfer addressing a ball while using the golf training aid apparatus 100 coupled to the golf club 106. In an embodiment, the golf club 106 shown in FIGS. 1-6 can be an iron, wood, or driver. As shown in FIG. 1, the golf training aid apparatus 100 does not contact the golfer's forearms while addressing the ball. FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 except the golfer in FIG. 2 has begun a backswing. In FIG. 2, the golfer is at the point of the backswing where he cocks his wrists and contact is made between the golf training aid apparatus 100 and his forearms. FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 except the golfer is halfway through the backswing. In FIG. 3, the golfer has kept his wrists cocked and the golf training aid apparatus 100 continues to make contact with the golfer's forearms. FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 except the golfer in FIG. 4 is at the top of the backswing. In FIG. 4, the golfer's wrists are still cocked and the golf training aid apparatus 100 continues to make contact with the golfer's forearms. FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 2 except the golfer is now in a downswing. In FIG. 5, the golfer's wrists are still cocked and the golf training aid apparatus 100 continues to make contact with the golfer's forearms. FIG. 5 shows the golfer at the point of the downswing where his shoulders are square with the ball and he is driving the club face toward the ball. In FIG. 5, the golfer's hands are shown leading the club face, which produces a whipping action of the club that can help increase the force at which the ball is struck, and which can increase the distance the ball can be hit. FIG. 6 is view similar to FIG. 5 except the golfer in FIG. 6 has hit the ball and continued for a follow- through. In FIG. 6, the golf training aid apparatus 100 is shown as no longer making contact with the golfer's forearms, and the club face is now leading the hands. As shown in FIGS. 2- 5, the golf training aid apparatus 100 contacts the golfer's forearms at the depicted portions of the swing, including the backswing and the downswing. Although not shown, the golf training aid apparatus 100 also contacts the golfer's forearms during the follow-through, such as, for example, the portion of the follow-through beyond the point shown FIG. 6. Of course, the swing shown in FIGS. 1-6 is exemplary and non-limiting and the skilled artisan will appreciate that any other suitable swing is also envisioned, including swings that embody different skill levels, such as, for example, beginner, novice, intermediate, advanced, amateur, professional, and the like. Further, the specific contact arcs where the golf training aid apparatus 100 makes contact with the left and right forearms of the golfer during their backswing, downswing, and follow-through can differ among golfers, and can depend on golfer physiology, skill level, personal preferences, age, physical handicaps, and the like, among other factors.

[0028] The golf training aid apparatus 100 can contact both forearms during a full swing with an iron, wood, or driver at one or more portions of the backswing, the downswing, and the follow-through. For example, in certain embodiments, the golf training aid apparatus 100 is configured to contact both forearms during portions of a full swing except the address position, an arc of the backswing, an arc of the downswing, and an arc of the follow-through. For example, in certain embodiments, the golf training aid apparatus 100 is configured to not make contact with both forearms during a first portion of the backswing, as measured from the address position. In an embodiment, the point at which the golf training aid apparatus 100 makes contact with both forearms depends on where and by how much the golfer cocks their wrists during the backswing, among other factors. Similarly, in certain embodiments, the golf training aid apparatus 100 is configured to not make contact with both forearms during a last portion of the downswing and first portion of the follow-through. The aforementioned arcs of the backswing, downswing, and follow-through at which the forearms do not make contact can vary widely depending on swing technique, placement of the golf training aid, golfer physiology, skill level, and the like, among others..

[0029] In addition, in certain embodiments, the golf training aid apparatus can make contact with both forearms during portions of a chip shot with a pitching wedge, or any other suitable club capable of chipping, such as, for example, during the address position, throughout the backswing, throughout the downswing, during the ball strike, and throughout the follow-through, so that the golf training aid apparatus maintains contact with both forearms during the entire swing.

[0030] In any embodiment disclosed herein, the longer the golfer maintains contact with the golf training aid during his or her swing, and the greater the golfer cocks his or her wrists, the greater the lag between the golfer's hands and the club face on the downswing. Lag between the golfer's hands and the club face on the downswing can produce a whipping effect that advantageously flexes the club to generate more powerful swings that increase the distance of any ball strike. The embodiments disclosed herein advantageously help golfers develop, fine tune, and perfect swings that have a whipping effect.

[0031] FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective view of the golf training aid apparatus 100 shown in FIGS. 1-6 coupled to a grip 102 of the golf club 106. In certain embodiments, the golf training aid apparatus 100 can also be coupled to a shaft 104 of the golf club 106. Although not shown in FIG. 7, the golf training aid apparatus 100 can be rotated relative to the grip or the shaft of the golf club and locked onto the golf club at different rotational positions to change the club face position during a swing, such as, for example, the swing shown in FIGS. 1-6. This ability to unlock and relock the golf training aid in different rotational positions can advantageously help train golfers to hit both fades and draw shots, and can help accommodate golfers having a spectrum of grip strength, whether strong or weak, or anything in between. In addition, the golf training aid apparatus 100 can be moved longitudinally up and down the grip and/or the shaft of the golf club and then locked into position. This ability to longitudinally move the golf training aid up and down the grip and/or shaft of the golf club can advantageously allow the golf training aid to be positioned closer or farther from the golfer's hands to quicken or delay the point of engagement with the golf training aid during the golfer's backswing shown in FIG. 2. Longitudinally adjusting the position of the golf training aid on the golf club can also affect the amount of wrist cock shown in FIG. 2. For example, positioning the golf training aid closer or farther from the golfer's hands can advantageously increase or decrease the amount of wrist cock, respectively.

[0032] FIG. 8 illustrates the golf training aid apparatus 100 shown in FIG. 7 decoupled from the grip of the golf club. As shown in FIG. 8, the golf training aid apparatus 100 comprises multiple components intended to be assembled together. For example, in the illustrated embodiment, the golf training aid apparatus 100 comprises a connector 110, a first arm 120, and a second arm 130. In other embodiments, more or less than three components are employed. For example, in certain embodiments, the golf training aid 100 is manufactured as a unitary device by, for example, a molding or co-molding process. In other embodiments, each of the first and second arms 120, 130 can comprise multiple components which are intended to be assembled together. For example, certain embodiments of the first arm 120 can comprise a shaft and a rest configured to be coupled to the shaft.

[0033] In the illustrated embodiment, the connector 110 is configured to be releasably attached to a shaft or a grip of a golf club. The coupling between the connector 110 and the shaft is designed to prevent the golf training aid apparatus 100 from pivoting or rotating about the shaft or grip during a swing. The coupling is further configured to prevent the golf training aid apparatus 100 from sliding along a central axis of the shaft or grip during the swing.

[0034] The connector 110 is further configured to receive the first arm 120 and the second arm 130. In certain embodiments, the first and second arms 120, 130 are releasable from the connector 110. Once released and removed from the connector 110, a position of the first arm 120 can be swapped with a position of the second arm 130. In this way, the golf training aid apparatus 100 can be configured for use by both left-handed golfers and right-handed golfers. In the embodiment shown, the first and second arms 120, 130 are attached to the connector 110 to accommodate a right-handed golfer. However, in other embodiments, the first and second arms 120, 130 can be attached to the connector 110 to accommodate left-handed golfers, as shown in FIG. 9, which illustrates the embodiment from FIG. 7 in a left-handed orientation. For example, as shown in FIG. 9, the positions of the first and second arms 120, 130 have been switched to configure the golf training aid apparatus 100 shown in FIG. 7 for left-handed golfers.

[0035] The connector 110 illustrated in FIG. 8 includes a receiver 116 and a receiver 118. In certain embodiments, the connector 110 includes a fastener 114. The receiver 116 is configured to receive and secure a portion of a first end 126a of the first arm 120. Similarly, the receiver 118 is configured to receive and secure a portion of a first end 136a of the second arm 130. In certain embodiments, the receivers 116, 118 engage with their respective first and second arms 120, 130 by sliding the arm 120, 130 into the respective receiver 116, 118. Once within the receiver 116, 118 in certain embodiments, a locking structure 117 is employed to prevent the first and second arms 120, 130 from backing out of the receivers 116, 118 during use of the golf swing aid 100. [0036] In the illustrated embodiment, a pin assembly forms the locking structure 117. As shown in FIG. 8, the locking structure 117 includes a pin hole in receivers 116, 118 and two corresponding pins (not shown) to lock the first and second arms 120, 130 to the connector 110. In other embodiments, the first and second arms 120, 130 engage securely with the connector 110 via, for example, tight manufacturing tolerances so that a locking structure 117 need not be employed. For example, in certain embodiments, the first and second arms 120, 130 slide into and snap into place. Of course, other suitable connections are also envisioned and appreciated, such as interference fits and screw connections, among others.

[0037] As shown in FIG. 8, the connector 110 further comprises a clamp portion having a channel 112 and a fastener 114. Together, the channel 112 and the fastener 114 are configured to secure an assembled golf training aid apparatus 100 to the golf club (not shown). The channel 112 can surround a portion of the shaft or the grip of the golf club and the channel 112 can be tightened or loosened around the club with fastener 114. In certain embodiments, the channel 112 comprises a tapered opening to accommodate the corresponding taper of the portion of the shaft or grip to which it fastened, although other suitable channel shapes are also envisioned and appreciated. In certain embodiments, the fastener 114 comprises a nut and a bolt, although other suitable fasteners are also envisioned and appreciated.

[0038] The golf training aid apparatus 100 shown in FIG. 8 can be used with any golf club which requires a full swing, such as, for example, irons, woods, and drivers. The connector 110 allows a user or instructor to position and/or adjust the golf training aid apparatus 100 relative to the golf club so the swing of the golfer using the golf training aid apparatus 100 is guided correctly. As discussed more fully above with reference to FIG. 7, the golf training aid apparatus 100 can be coupled to golf clubs at different rotational and/or longitudinal positions.

[0039] As shown in FIG. 8, the first arm 120 further comprises a second end 126b to which a contact member 124 is integrally attached. Similarly, the second arm 130 further comprises a second end 136b to which a contact member 134 is integrally attached. In certain embodiments, each of the contact members 124, 134 have a curved shape. A profile of the curved shape can be selected to conform to, cradle, or match an outer surface profile of the golfer's forearm. In certain embodiments, the contact members 124, 134 include foam or other compressible material at a location where the contact members 124, 134 contact the golfer's forearms to reduce any undesirable chaffing or rubbing of the contact members 124, 134 against the golfer's skin. In certain embodiments, the contact members 124, 134 slightly wraps about the forearms so as to resist separation from the forearms. In certain embodiments, an adhesive and/or strap is employed to resist separation. When a golfer maintains contact between the golf training aid apparatus 100 and his or her forearms during at least portions of the golfer's backswing, downswing, and follow-through, according to certain embodiments of the present disclosure, the wrist positioning of the golfer during his or her swing is improved. Proper wrist positioning during various portions of the golf swing is also referred to as wrist hinge or wrist cock. Certain embodiments disclosed herein enable the golfer to develop proper wrist hinge or wrist cock.

[0040] For swings executed with proper form, the contact members 124, 134 (see FIG. 8) each contact a forearm of the golfer throughout at least a portion of the golfer's backswing. The respective contact members 124, 134 of the arms 120, 130 guide the golfer's wrist position relative to the golfer's forearms during various portions of his or her golf swing in order to develop the wrist cock described above. For example, proper wrist positioning during a portion of the golfer's backswing is achieved where both of the golfer's forearms maintain contact with the contact members 124, 134 when the golfer's left arm is approximately perpendicular to the ground while the shaft of the golf club is approximately parallel to the target line of the golf shot, as illustrated in FIG. 2.

[0041] As a further example, proper wrist positioning in a later portion of the golfer's backswing is achieved where the golfer's forearms maintain contact with the contact members 124, 134 when the golfer's left arm is approximately parallel with the ground while the shaft of the golf club is approximately perpendicular to the target line of the golf shot, as illustrated in FIG. 3. By way of further example, proper wrist positioning in an even later portion of the golfer's backswing is achieved where the golfer's forearms continue to maintain contact with contact members 124, 134 until the golfer reaches the end point of his or her backswing, as illustrated in FIG. 4. By preserving contact between the golfer's forearms and the respective contact members 124, 134 as described above, the golfer's wrists inherently and properly cock (e.g. hinge) during his or her backswing.

[0042] Swings executed with proper form also involve the contact members 124, 134 contacting the forearm of the golfer throughout at least a portion of the golfer's downswing. Certain embodiments of the present disclosure enable the golfer to develop proper wrist cock (e.g. wrist hinge) during the backswing, as described above. Additionally, the embodiments disclosed herein enable the golfer to preserve the proper wrist cock from the top of the backswing until impact has occurred. By way of example, maintaining contact between the golfer's forearms and the contact members 124, 134 during at least the initial portion of the downswing yields the proper cocked wrist downswing. A proper cocked wrist downswing is important for achieving a golf swing with the desirable whipping action described above. Further, by maintaining contact between the golfer's forearms and the contact members 124, 134 during at least the initial portion of the downswing, the golfer's hands inherently lead in front of the club face as illustrated in FIG. 5, which produces the proper and desirable whipping action during subsequent portions of his or her golf swing.

[0043] Additionally, swings executed with proper form involve the contact members 124, 134 contacting the forearm of the golfer throughout later portions of the golfer's downswing and at impact. The aforementioned whipping action occurs almost at, if not simultaneously with, impact, when the golfer releases his or her properly cocked (e.g. hinged) wrists to allow the wrists to reach a straight, unhinged positioning at impact that is similar to the unhinged wrist positioning illustrated in the address positioning of FIG 1. In some instances, it is advantageous for the golfer to maintain the wrist cock through impact, such that contact members 124, 134 continue to contact at least one of the golfer's forearms at impact. More commonly, a golfer's wrists should maintain their proper cocked position for as long as possible during the downswing, which is achieved when the golfer's forearms maintain contact with the contact members 124, 134 for as long as possible during the downswing. As such, it is expected that in certain types of golf swings, a golfer's forearms may stop contacting the contact members 124, 134 during later portions of the downswing and at impact, when the golfer's cocked wrists are released and the club face is driven into the golf ball. Regardless, a golfer that maintains contact between the contact members 124, 134 and his or her forearms for as long as possible during the downswing will maximize the advantageous effects of proper wrist positioning (e.g. hinged wrists or cocked wrists) by generating the largest possible whipping action in the downswing, which can help to increase the force imparted on the golf ball at impact as well as the accuracy of the golf shot.

[0044] Certain embodiments of the golf training aid apparatus 100 facilitate proper wrist positioning in the follow-through of the golfer's swing. For example, after impact, the golfer's left forearm should contact the contact member 124 at the same time as or before the time that the golfer's right forearm contacts the contact member 134, as illustrated in FIG. 6. In a further example, the golfer's right forearm may contact the contact member 134 at the same time as or after the time that the golfer's left forearm contacts the contact member 124. Regardless of when the golfer's left forearm contacts the contact member 124 during the follow-through of the golf swing, the disclosed embodiments encourage proper wrist positioning at the finish of the swing, at which point both of the golfer's forearms should contact the contact members 124, 134 if such contact has not already been made.

[0045] Each of the contact members 124, 134 contact a forearm of the golfer throughout a portion the golfer's backswing, downswing, and follow-through. For example, FIGS. 1-6 illustrate a golfer using an embodiment of a golf training aid apparatus 100 during various portions of a full swing with an iron, wood, or driver in which contact members maintain contact with the forearms of the golfer throughout portions of the backswing, downswing, and follow-through (also referred to as contact arcs). In contrast, for improperly executed swings, one or both of the contact members 124, 134 will not make contact with its respective forearm either throughout the swing or through one or more portions of a contact arc. For example, while both contact members 124, 134 are configured to make contact with one of the golfer's forearms during a portion of a properly executed backswing, one or both of the contact members 124, 134 will not maintain contact with their respective forearm during any portion of the contact arc of the backswing that is improperly executed.

[0046] Whenever a user or instructor observes or feels that one of the contact members 124, 134 ceases making contact with the respective forearm, the lack of contact indicates to the user or instructor that the swing was improperly executed at the location(s) without contact. The user and/or instructor can then adjust the golfer's body and/or swing motion as necessary to achieve proper form and maintain forearm contact with both contact members 124, 134 throughout the swing.

[0047] In an embodiment, the contact members 124, 134 are integrally attached to the second ends 126b, 136b such that a plane tangential to a center of the contact members 124, 134 is parallel to the terminal ends of the second ends 126b, 136b of the first and second ends 120, 130. For example, FIGS. 10-12 illustrate the contact members 124, 134 integrally formed with the second ends 126b, 136b. As further shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, the second ends 126b, 136b are generally perpendicular to an outside center of the contact members 124, 134. For example, in some embodiments, the angles 0 C i, © C2 between contact members 124, 134 and second ends 126b, 136b can be 90 degrees. In another embodiment, the planes tangential to the outside center of the contact members 124, 134 are disposed at an angle 0 C i , 0 C2 relative to the plane that runs parallel to the terminal ends of the second ends 126b, 136b, such as for example, 80 degrees to 100 degrees, or any other suitable angle.

[0048] In a further embodiment, although not shown in FIG. 8, the golf training aid apparatus 100 further comprises two forearm sensors, one positioned on the contact member 124 and the other positioned on the contact member 134. In such embodiments, the golf training aid apparatus 100 can emit an audio and/or visual indicator at a point during a swing where a forearm stops and/or starts making contact with the contact member 124, 134 so as to help users and/or instructors identify the exact point(s) at which an improper swing begins and ends. The audio and/or visual indicator can be different for the two different contact members 124, 134 to make it easier for users and/or instructors distinguish which forearm(s) is(are) separating from the contact member 124, 134. For example, the two audio indicators can be two different sound pitches emitted from a speaker and the two visual indicators can be two differently colored lights illuminated by light emitting diodes positioned on the golf training aid apparatus 100. In an embodiment, the forearm sensors are pressure sensors, proximity sensors, or any other suitable sensor, and are electrically connected to a processor.

[0049] As further illustrated in FIG. 8, the first arm 120 and the second arm 130 can each have one or more bends to provide the optimum balance between flexibility and rigidity. For example, as shown FIGS. 10 and 11, which illustrate right side plan views of the first and second arms 120, 130 coupled to the connector 110 of the embodiment shown in FIG. 8, the first arm 120 can comprise three bends 122a, 122b, and 122c and the second arm 130 can comprise three bends 132a, 132b, and 132c, where each bend is marked at the center of its respective bend. In certain embodiments, inflection points lie between adjacent bends. For example, as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, inflection points 123ab, 123bc lie between bends 122a and 122b and between bends 122b and 122c, respectively. Similarly, inflection points 133ab, 133bc lie between bends 132a and 132b and between bends 132b and 132c, respectively. In certain embodiments, the inflection points mark the points at which the first and second arms 120, 130 change concavity. For example, in one embodiment, bend 122a is concave, bend 122b is convex, and bend 122c is concave, as referenced from an upper surface of the first arm 120 as illustrated in FIG. 10. The changes in curvature between the illustrated bends occur at inflection points 123ab and 123bc. Similarly, in one embodiment, bend 132a is concave, bend 132b is convex, and bend 132c is concave, as referenced from an upper surface of the second arm 130 as illustrated in FIG. 11. The changes in curvature between the illustrated bends occur at inflection points 133ab and 133bc. Moreover, as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, the first and second arms 120, 130 can have an S-shape as a result of having one or more bends. Of course, any other curved and/or angled shaped is envisioned and appreciated. The illustrated selection and arrangement of the sizes and shapes for the bends and other structures contribute to the desirable ornamental appearance of the golf training aid apparatus 100.

[0050] Moreover, since each golfer can hold a golf club slightly differently and still achieve proper form, the illustrated bends 122a, 122b, 122c, 132a, 132b, and 132c not only allow the first and second arms 120, 130 to slightly flex to accommodate such differences, but also allow them to slightly flex to accommodate the underlying variations among golfer physiologies that contribute to or cause such differences, such as their height, arm lengths, and stance, among other variations such as user and/or instructor preferences and/or habits. Such differences and variations among golfers can potentially have an effect on the interaction between the contact members 124, 134 and the golfer's forearms while they are using the golf training aid apparatus 100. For example, such differences and variations among golfers can lead to the application of different compressive loads to the first and second arms 120, 130 during a swing. As a result, it can be beneficial for the first and second arms 120, 130 to be able to act as a spring and exhibit a small degree of flexion. In addition, the spring-like ability of bends 122a, 122b, 122c, 132a, 132b, and 132c also serves to make the golf training aid apparatus 100 more comfortable during use. For example, the illustrated bends 122a, 122b, 122c, 132a, 132b, and 132c allow the first and second arms 120, 130 to flex so that the contact members 124, 134 do not get uncomfortably pushed into the forearms when golfers become more confident and begin swinging the club with greater force while using the device. By flexing, the bends 122a, 122b, 122c, 132a, 132b, and 132c absorb some of the compressive load produced during the swing, and thereby reduce the amount of force by which the contact members 124, 134 push against the forearms. In certain embodiments, the illustrated bends 122a, 122b, 122c, 132a, 132b, and 132c bend along one or more of the bends in response to applied compressive loads during a swing. In addition, when the first and second arms 120, 130 flex along one or more bends, the length of the first or second arms 120, 130 is configured to decrease.

[0051] By the same token, the bends 122a, 122b, 122c, 132a, 132b, and 132c also function to prevent excessive flexing in the first and second arms 120, 130 so that the golf training aid apparatus 100 can guide the golfer through a properly executed swing without sacrificing the integrity of its intended purpose, the achievement of a fully executed golf swing with proper form. For example, in an embodiment, while the bends 122a, 122b, 122c, 132a, 132b, and 132c provide flexibility in the coordinate plane (denoted the flexibility plane) to which the first and second arms 120, 130 and corresponding forearms are approximately coincident with during use, the bends 122a, 122b, 122c, 132a, 132b, and 132c also provide rigidity in the coordinate plane (denoted the rigidity plane) perpendicular to the flexibility plane. In an embodiment, the flexibility plane comprises the X-Y plane and the rigidity plane comprises the X-Z and the Y-Z planes, although any two mutually perpendicular planes would be suitable as reference planes. For example, as described in more detail below with reference to dimensions Xi and Yi in FIG. 10, and with reference to dimensions X 2 and Y 2 in FIG. 1 1, the first and second arms 120, 130 can flex so that Xi and/or X 2 increase during flexion and so that Yi and/or Y 2 decrease during flexion. In certain embodiments, the first and second arms 120, 130 can flex at the bends 122a, 122b, 122c, 132a, 132b, and 132c, and can flex at the pivot point where the first and second arms 120, 130 leave the receivers 1 16, 1 18, respectively.

[0052] The desired balance between the flexibility and rigidity of the training aid can be further accomplished by manufacturing the first and second arms 120, 130, as well as the other components of the training aid, of suitable plastic, metal, or composite material that has the desired combination of flexibility and rigidity. Example materials include polycarbonate and titanium, among others.

[0053] As further shown in FIG. 8, the first arm 120 is longer relative to the second arm 130 and the two arms are separated from each other by an angle 0 S of approximately 43 degrees. Of course angle 0 S need not be 43 degrees in all embodiments. For example, in some embodiments, 0 S can range from approximately 25 degrees to 60 degrees, such as, for example, 38 degrees, 39 degrees, 40 degrees, 41 degrees, 42 degrees, 43 degrees, 44 degrees, 45 degrees, 46 degrees, 47 degrees, or 48 degrees, although any other suitable angle between the first and second arms 120, 130 is envisioned and appreciated. FIG. 12 further illustrates 0 S from a bottom plan view of the perspective view shown in FIG. 8, as measured by the arc that extends between the centers of the first and second arms 120, 130.

[0054] Turning back to FIGS. 10 and 1 1, right side plan views of the first and second arms 120, 130 of the golf training aid apparatus 100 coupled to the connector 1 10 are shown. In certain embodiments, the first arm 120 extends from the connector 1 10 by approximately 9.6 inches, as measured by line Li, and the second arm 130 extends from the connector 1 10 by approximately 6.8 inches, as measured by line L 2 . As shown in FIGS. 10 and 1 1, Li is measured along a straight line positioned between the center of the connector 1 10 and the distal end of the first arm 120, and L 2 is measured along a straight line positioned between the center of the connector 1 10 and the distal end of the second arm 130. In certain embodiments, the first arm 120 extends in two orthogonal directions (e.g., along X and Y Cartesian coordinate axes) from origin O by approximately 5.0 inches and 8.2 inches (denoted Xi and Yi), respectively. During a swing, the first arm 120 can flex (also referred to as bend) so that Xi increases and Yi decreases. For example, in certain embodiments, Xi can increase up to 0.5 to 2.0 inches during a swing, and Yi can decrease up to 0.5 to 1.5 inches during a swing. Similarly, in certain embodiments, the second arm 130 extends in two orthogonal directions (e.g., along X and Y Cartesian coordinate axes) from origin O by approximately 5.3 inches and 4.2 inches (denoted X 2 and Y 2 ), respectively. During a swing, the second arm 130 can flex (also referred to as bend) so that X 2 increases and Y 2 decreases. For example, in certain embodiments, X 2 can increase up to 0.5 to 1.5 inches during a swing, and Y 2 can decrease up to 0.5 to 1.5 inches during a swing. In the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 1 1, the ratio between Li and L 2 is approximately 1.4. In addition, the first and second arms 120, 130 extend from the connector 1 10 by angles Θι, Θ 2 . In one embodiment, angles Θι, Θ 2 comprise approximately 58.5 degrees and 38.5 degrees, respectively. During a swing, the first and second arms 120, 130 can flex so that Θι, Θ 2 increase or decrease. For example, in certain embodiments, Θι can range from 45 to 70 degrees during a swing, and Θ 2 can range from 25 to 50 degrees during a swing. Of course, other suitable lengths, distances, ratios, and angles are also envisioned and appreciated.

[0055] For example, Θι and Θ 2 need not be approximately 58.5 degrees and 38.5 degrees in all embodiments, the ratio between Li and L 2 need not be approximately 1.4 in all embodiments, and XI, Yl, X2, and Y2 need not be approximately 5.0 inches, 8.2 inches, 5.3 inches, and 4.2 inches in all embodiments. In certain embodiments, Θι can range from approximately 45 to 70 degrees and Θ 2 can range from approximately 25 to 50 degrees, the ratio between Li and L 2 can range from approximately 1.2 to 1.6 with corresponding suitable lengths for the first and second arms 120, 130,, and XI, Yl, X2, and Y2 can range from approximately 4.0 to 6.0 inches, 7.2 to 9.2 inches, 4.3 to 6.3 inches, and 3.2 to 5.2 inches, respectively. In some embodiments, the aforementioned dimensions referenced with respect to FIGS. 8 and 10-12 advantageously enable embodiments of the golf training aid apparatus 100 disclosed herein to properly guide a golfer through a golf swing, including a portion of a backswing, a downswing, and a follow-through.

[0056] Various other modifications, adaptations, and alternative designs are of course possible in light of the above teachings. Therefore, it should be understood at this time that within the scope of any appended embodiments the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. It is contemplated that various combinations or subcombinations of the specific features and aspects of the embodiments disclosed above may be made and still fall within one or more of the inventions. Further, the disclosure herein of any particular feature, aspect, method, property, characteristic, quality, attribute, element, or the like in connection with an embodiment can be used in all other embodiments set forth herein. Accordingly, it should be understood that various features and aspects of the disclosed embodiments can be combined with or substituted for one another in order to form varying modes of the disclosed inventions. Thus, it is intended that the scope of the present inventions herein disclosed should not be limited by the particular disclosed embodiments described above. Moreover, while the invention is susceptible to various modifications, and alternative forms, specific examples thereof have been shown in the drawings and are herein described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not to be limited to the particular forms or methods disclosed, but to the contrary, the invention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the various embodiments described and the appended embodiments. Numbers preceded by a term such as "approximately", "about", and "substantially" as used herein include the recited numbers (e.g., about 10% = 10%), and also represent an amount close to the stated amount that still performs a desired function or achieves a desired result. For example, the terms "approximately", "about", and "substantially" may refer to an amount that is within less than 10%) of, within less than 5% of, within less than 1% of, within less than 0.1%> of, and within less than 0.01%> of the stated amount.

[0057] While the foregoing is directed to aspects of the present disclosure, other and further aspects of the disclosure may be devised without departing from the basic scope thereof, and the scope thereof is determined by the claims that follow.