CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
The present application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/119,991, filed on Dec. 4, 2008.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
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OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a multiple material fairway-type golf club head.
2. Description of the Related Art
The prior art discloses several methods for forming a golf club head.
One method is full casting which involves casting the entire golf club head, usually with a face pull tool. Duquette et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,978,976 for a Magnetized Core With Pneumatic Release System For Creating A Wax Mold For A Golf Club Head describes certain aspects of the full casting method. Then a face insert is welded to the golf club head.
Another method is using a full casting method, using a face pull tool and then cutting a crown opening. A graphite crown is then bonded to cover the opening thereby forming a multiple material golf club head.
Yet another method is forming an entire golf club head from multiple pieces. In this method, several pieces (crown, sole, face and hosel) are welded together to form a precursor golf club head. Then, an opening is cut in the crown creating an opening. A graphite crown is then bonded to cover the opening thereby forming a multiple material golf club head.
Yet another method is a high performance multiple piece golf club head. This forming method involves making a multiple piece golf club head. The crown material needs to be of high quality expensive titanium so prior to welding the crown component to the sole component, the crown is chemically milled to the limits of drop tower durability. The chemical milling process is necessary to render the crown component to be competitive with graphite strength to weight ratio.
The current construction includes tacking a face component to sole (called face subassembly). Manually trim and tack crown to face subassembly. Fully weld face, crown, and sole (21 inches of weld). Grind weld and polish head.
Each of these prior art methods have drawbacks. Both multiple piece graphite crown and full casting require the manufacturer to produce a complete golf club head. The crown opening is then cut and replaced with a graphite crown. This is obviously wasteful because of the need to fabricate an entire golf club head and then removing a portion. The high performance multiple piece golf club head remedies this wastefulness by utilizing an expensive titanium material and which adds more cost to render the crown component weight competitive to graphite crowns.
Present day golf clubs are typically composed of titanium or steel, and either cast or forged. Various patents have disclosed the use of multiple material golf club heads, generally combining a metal with a non-metal. Various patents have disclosed the use of metal injection molding for golf clubs.
Sanford et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,665,014, for a Metal Golf Club Head And Method Of Manufacture, discloses a golf club head with two components with at least one of the components composed of a metal injection molded material.
Gressel et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,478,842, for a Preparation Of Articles Using Metal Injection Molding, discloses an entire golf club head composed of a metal injection molded material having a stainless steel and tungsten alloy composition.
Gressel et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,669,898, for a Preparation Of Articles Using Metal Injection Molding, discloses forming an entire golf club head composed of a metal injection molded material having a stainless steel and tungsten alloy composition.
Zhang et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,767,418, for a TI-ZR Type Alloy And Medical Appliance Formed Thereof, discloses a titanium-zirconium alloy that may be used for golf club components.
Sakata et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,350,407, for a Process For Producing Sintered Product, discloses a process for metal injection molding.
LaSalle et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,322,746, for a Co-Sintering Of Similar Materials, discloses a process of fusing two dissimilar material parts through use of co-sintering including a golf putter.
Takahashi et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,027,686, for a Method Of Manufacturing Sintered Compact, discloses sintering a green body formed by metal injection molding.
LaSalle et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,989,493, for a Net Shape Hastelloy X Made By Metal Injection Molding Using An Aqueous Binder, discloses metal injecting a Hastelloy X powder.
Zedalis et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,985,208, for a Process For Debinding And Sintering Metal Injection Molded Parts Made With An Aqueous Binder, discloses metal injection molding a 17-4PH stainless steel alloy.
Takahashi et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,911,102, for a Method Of Manufacturing Sintered Compact, discloses sintering a green body formed by metal injection molding.
Numerous techniques have been used for weighting golf club heads in order to gain better performance. In persimmon wood club heads, weights were attached to the sole in order to lower the center of gravity. The first metal woods had sufficient weight, however, the weight distribution deterred slightly from performance. The refinement of hollow metal woods with weighting on the sole improved upon the performance of these clubs. An example of such woods were the GREAT BIG BERTHA® HAWK EYE® drivers and fairway woods, developed by the Callaway Golf Company of Carlsbad, Calif., that used a tungsten screw in the sole of each titanium club head body to vary the weight of the golf club head.
Another example is set forth in Helmstetter et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,364,788, for a Weighting System For A Golf Club Head, which discloses using a bismuth material within an internal cavity to add mass to a golf club head, particularly a fairway wood.
Yet a further example is set forth in Evans et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,409,612, for a Weighting Member For A Golf Club Head, which discloses a weighting device composed of a polymer body with ports to allow for placement of high density members such as tungsten spheres.
Another example of additional weighting of a golf club head is set forth in U.S. U.S. Pat. No. 5,447,309, which discloses the use of three weights fixedly disposed within the interior of a club head to provide a selected moment of inertia for the club head. Yet another example is set forth in British Patent Application Number 2332149 for a Golf Club Head With Back Weighting Member, which discloses a weight pocket in the exterior rear of a wood for placement of epoxy inserts that vary in density.
An example of positioning mass in a golf club head for performance is disclosed in Helmstetter et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,739,983, for a Golf Club Head With Customizable Center Of Gravity, which discloses a method and golf club head which allows a golfer to select a preferred center of gravity location for better ball striking.
A further example of positioning mass for performance is set forth in Helmstetter, U.S. Pat. No. 5,785,605 for a Hollow, Metallic Golf Club Head With Configured Medial Ridge, which discloses a golf club head with a center of gravity located in vertical alignment with a local zone defined by ridge on a sole of the golf club head.
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OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides a fairway-type golf club head that seeks to reduce the waste from current manufacturing methods while achieving similar or better performance than the high performance multiple piece golf club heads at a price point that is similar to conventional multiple piece golf club heads.
The fairway type golf club head comprises a subassembly having a bonding flange extending from a return section of a face component and a crown component having a bonding flange extending downward. The bonding flange of the crown component and the bonding flange of the subassembly do not overlap although both flanges are undercuts and are located to bond with an interior surface of either the crown component or the subassembly.
One aspect of the present invention is a fairway-wood-type golf club head comprising a subassembly and a crown component. The subassembly is preferably composed of a stainless steel material. The subassembly has a mass ranging from 150 grams to 250 grams. The crown component has a mass ranging from 10 grams to 30 grams. The golf club head has a mass ranging from 200 grams to 300 grams.