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Method and system for shot tracking

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Title: Method and system for shot tracking.
Abstract: A system and method for shot tracking disclosed herein. The system preferably includes a golf club, a receiver and a device. The golf club preferably includes an active RFID transponder, a power source, a switch and an accelerometer. Each golf shot is recorded on the device including the type of club and club swing speed. ...


USPTO Applicaton #: #20110028230 - Class: 473222 (USPTO) - 02/03/11 - Class 473 
Games Using Tangible Projectile > Golf >Practice Swingable Implement Or Indicator Associated With Swingable Implement >With Electrical Sensor Or Electrical Indicator >Sensor Positioned Apart From Implement To Interact With A Separate Cooperating Sensor Means Attachable To Or Integral With Implement

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20110028230, Method and system for shot tracking.

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US 20110028230 A1 20110203 US 12838656 20100719 12 20060101 A
A
63 B 69 36 F I 20110203 US B H
20060101 A
A
63 B 57 00 L I 20110203 US B H
US 473222 473409 473407 METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR SHOT TRACKING US 61230465 20090731 BALARDETA JOSEPH
ENCINITAS CA US
omitted US
DENTON SCOTT
CARLSBAD CA US
omitted US
CALLAWAY GOLF C0MPANY
2180 RUTHERFORD ROAD CARLSBAD CA 92008-7328 US
CALLAWAY GOLF COMPANY 02
CARLSBAD CA US

A system and method for shot tracking disclosed herein. The system preferably includes a golf club, a receiver and a device. The golf club preferably includes an active RFID transponder, a power source, a switch and an accelerometer. Each golf shot is recorded on the device including the type of club and club swing speed.

CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The Present application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/230,465 filed on Jul. 31, 2009.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to shot tracking. More specifically, the present invention relates to a method and system for tracking shots of a golfer during a round of golf.

2. Description of the Related Art

Golf clubs combine with the players swing to propel a ball toward a favored location and through a favored path. The orientation and speed of the club head at impact largely determines the ball path including carry distance and roll.

Various data measuring and collecting devices and methods are used for analyzing a golf club during a golf swing. In a similar manner, the effectiveness of a golf ball impact with the golf club during the golf swing can be measured in terms of initial launch conditions. Such launch conditions include the initial velocity, launch angle, spin rate and spin axis of the golf ball. These launch conditions are determined principally by the velocity of a club head at impact and the loft and angle of a club face relative to the intended trajectory of the golf ball's flight. There are two general methods for analyzing the golf club during a golf swing: visual analysis and quantitative variable analysis.

The method of analyzing a golf club during a golf swing using visual analysis typically is conducted by a golf instructor capable of visually discerning golf swing variables, and suggesting corrections in the golfer's swing to provide improvement. However, not every golfer has ready access to professional golf instruction. The golfer also can diagnose certain swing faults using visual analysis methodology employing one or more cameras to record the golfer's swing and comparing it to a model swing. Using various camera angles and slow motion play back, the actual swing motion can be reviewed and altered in subsequent swings.

On the other hand, quantitative variable analysis employs sensors to directly measure various mechanical or physical properties of the golf club during the swing motion. Sensors, such as strain gauges or accelerometers, typically are attached to the shaft or the golf club head. Data collected from these strain gauges then may be transferred to a signal processor via wires or radio waves, and can be presented in various graphical formats, including graphical and tabular charts. A significant drawback associated with the use of wires in an instrumented golf club is that the wires can be very cumbersome, and can become obtrusive to the golfer when the golfer attempts to swing the golf club. Several different approaches to analyzing a golf club or baseball bat during a baseball or golf swing using quantitative variable analysis are discussed in the patents listed below.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,759,219, issued to Cobb et al., the specification discloses a baseball bat with a self-contained measuring device and display. A spring potentiometer is used to measure centrifugal force, and an LED or LCD displays the measured force. However, this bat does not contain any data storage capability.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,233,544, issued to Kobayashi, discloses a golf club having multiple sensors, and a cable for transmitting data to a computer for data processing. This arrangement can accommodate up to 5 sensors in a cartridge located in the handle region of the golf club.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,182,508, issued to Varju, discloses the use of a strain gauge in the bottom of a golf club, and a wire for connecting the sensor to a data processing means located separate from the golf club.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,694,340, issued to Kim, discloses the use of multiple sensors for measuring the acceleration of a golf club, and uses either a cable or radio transmissions to transfer data from the sensors to an external data processing means.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,991,850, issued to Wilhelm, discloses the use of a sensor for measuring the applied force of a golf swing. The sensor data can be displayed on a wrist-mounted arrangement or be downloaded to a computer via cable or radio transmission.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,792,863, issued to Evans, discloses the use of multiple sensors, including an accelerometer and strain gauges, to measure torque and flex. Data is transferred from the golf club to a data analysis station via FM radio signals, with each sensor having its own data transfer frequency.

The prior art is lacking in a method and system for shot tracking.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a solution for automatic shot tracking.

Having briefly described the present invention, the above and further objects, features and advantages thereof will be recognized by those skilled in the pertinent art from the following detailed description of the invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of components of a system for shot tracking.

FIG. 2 is a graph of a binary result of acceleration switches during different club events.

FIG. 3 is a graph of acceleration levels during different club events.

FIG. 4 is an illustration of a portion of a golf club illustrating the components.

FIG. 5 is a flow chart of a method of shot tracking.

FIG. 6 is a block diagram of components of a system for shot tracking with the switch open.

FIG. 7 is a block diagram of components of a system for shot tracking with the switch closed.

FIG. 8 is an illustration of a system for shot tracking.

FIG. 9 is an isolated perspective view of a golf club utilized for shot tracking.

FIG. 10 is an isolated perspective view of a golf club head utilized for shot tracking.

FIG. 11 is an exploded perspective view of a golf club utilized for shot tracking.

FIG. 12 is a view of a segment of a shaft, and shows two strain gauge of the rosette group on a front surface and a strain gauge of the rosette group in phantom on a back surface.

FIG. 13 is a view of the triplet strain gauge elements as arranged about the exterior circumference of the shaft of the instrumented golf club in tip and butt ends.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As shown in FIG. 1, components of the system can be attached to a golf club. Alternatively, the components can be integrated into a golf club.

FIG. 2 shows that different levels of acceleration switches can be effectively used to detect that a golf club has been used during by a golfer. A 50 g switch, a 125 g switch and a 500 g switch were used for this testing.

FIG. 3 shows the levels detected during a golf club impact with a golf ball.

FIG. 4 illustrates a portion of a golf club 50. The components of the system 20 within the golf club 50 preferably include an active RFID transponder 51, a power source 52, a switch 53 and an accelerometer 54. Those skilled in the pertinent art will recognize that the accelerometer and switch may be a single device.

FIG. 5 is a flow chart of a method 1000 for shot tracking. At block 1001, a golfer swings a club and impacts a golf ball. At block 1002, diagnostics and an accelerometer are activated by the swing and impact of the golf club with the golf ball. The diagnostics of the golf club measure at least golf club speed. At block 1003, a switch located between a power source and an active RFID transponder is temporarily closed due to the activation of the accelerometer. At block 1004, the active RFID transponder is powered by the power source. At block 1005, the active RFID transponder transmits at least one signal containing data about the golf club which includes the type of club and the club speed. At block 1006, the signal is received at a receiver. The signal is then stored at the receiver or transmitted to another device.

FIG. 6 illustrates components of the system located within a golf club prior to impact of a golf club with a golf ball.

FIG. 7 illustrates components of the system located within a golf club subsequent to impact of a golf club with a golf ball.

FIG. 8 illustrates the system 20. A transponder in a golf club 50 swung by a golfer sends a signal 62 to a receiver 60 which sends a second signal 63 to a device 65. The device 65 is attached to a golf bag 61, however, those skilled within the pertinent art will recognize that the device 65 may be attached to any pertinent device including the golfer, or may stand alone.

The receiver 60 is capable of wireless transmission using BLUETOOTH communications or a similar communication protocol. The receiver 60 may also be capable of storing the data for later transmission.

The device 65 is preferably a GPS device such as disclosed in Balardeta et al., U.S. Patent Publication Number 20090075761 for a Golf GPS Device And System, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. Alternatively, the device 65 is a personal digital assistant (PDA), “smart phone”, mobile phone, or other similar device. However, those skilled in the pertinent art will recognize that the receiver may be any device capable of receiving and storing signals from the RFID tag.

Gibbs, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 7,163,468 is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

Galloway, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 7,163,470 is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

Williams, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 7,166,038 is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

Desmukh U.S. Pat. No. 7,214,143 is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

Murphy, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 7,252,600 is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

Gibbs, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 7,258,626 is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

Galloway, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 7,258,631 is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

Evans, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 7,273,419 is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

Hocknell, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 7,413,250 is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

The measurements may be inputted into an impact code such as the rigid body code disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,821,209, entitled Method for Predicting a Golfer's Ball Striking Performance, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

The swing properties are preferably determined using an acquisition system such as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,431,990, entitled System and Method for Measuring a Golfer's Ball Striking Parameters, assigned to Callaway Golf Company, the assignee of the present application, and hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. However, those skilled in the pertinent art will recognize that other acquisition systems may be used to determine the swing properties.

Other methods that are useful in obtaining a golfer's swing characteristics are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,638,175, for a Diagnostic Golf Club System, U.S. Pat. No. 6,402,634, for an Instrumented Golf Club System And Method Of Use, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,224,493, for an Instrumented Golf Club System And Method Of Use, all of which are assigned to Callaway Golf Company, the assignee of the present application, and all of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties.

The shaft 114 may be anywhere from 35 inches for a wedge to 50 inches for a driver, and is preferably composed of a graphite material. However, the shaft may also be composed of steel titanium, or a bi-material. The shaft 114 has a wall 122 that defines a hollow interior 123. The shaft 114 has an interior surface 124 and an exterior surface 125. The shaft 114 has a tip end 126 in proximity to the club head 116 and a butt end 127, opposite the tip end 126. The shaft 114 also having an opening 131 to the hollow interior 124 located at the butt end 127. The shaft 114 generally tapers in its diameter from the butt end 127 to the tip end 126.

FIG. 10 is a top perspective view of the club head 116, comprising a top 130, a heel region 132, a face 134, a toe region 136, a rear region 138 and a ribbon 140. A right-hand coordinate system is used, and is illustrated by the designation of the X, Y and Z axes. The X axis is oriented vertically (at address position) from a soleplate 154 to the top 130 of the club head 116. The Y axis is oriented horizontally (at address position) from the toe region 136 to the heel region 132. The Z axis is oriented horizontally (at address position) from the face 134 to the rear region 138.

FIG. 11 illustrates the golf club shaft 114 comprising a first plurality of strain gauges 120 consisting of a set of three rosette groups 20a, 20b, 20c (in phantom) located on an exterior 125 butt end 127 of the shaft 114 for providing axial and strain measurements during a golf swing. Additionally, a second plurality of strain gauges 21 consisting of a set of three rosette groups 121a, 121b and 121c (not shown) are shown located on the tip end 126 of the shaft 114 for providing axial and strain measurements during a golf swing.

A circuit board 146 is located within the hollow interior 124 of the shaft and is comprised of a memory circuit 148 for storing strain measurements, a power control circuit 150, a first signal conditioning circuit 152 for the first plurality of strain gauges 120, a second signal conditioning circuit 154 for the second plurality of strain gauges 121, and a serial communication circuit 156. In a preferred embodiment, the circuit board 46 is located approximately 10 inches down the shaft. However, one skilled in the art would understand that the location of the circuit board 146 is not critical and that placement could be varied to accommodate weight adjustments in different club types. Locating the electronics within the shaft helps to further protect the instrumentation from shock loadings that electronics mounted on the club head typically experience upon impact of the golf club with a golf ball.

An internal power source 158 is also positioned within the shaft to provide power supply to the circuit board 146 as well as to the first and second plurality of strain gauges 120 and 121 respectively. An LED 160 is located on the exterior 125 of the shaft 114 to notify the user that t golf club is powered up and to signal upon each successive hit that a triggering event has occurred.

FIG. 12 illustrates a first plurality of strain gauges are located on the exterior circumference of the shaft at a position proximate the butt end and comprising a set of three rosette groups. The first strain gauge group 120a, the second strain gauge group 120b, and the third strain gauge group 120c (in phantom). Individual strain gauges are comprised of a triple element having a central axial gauge and right and left crossing shear gauges such that when grouped the nine strain gauges from six Wheatstone bridges.

A first plurality of wires 162 is used to connect the first plurality of strain gauges 120 to the circuit board 146. At a triggering event, such as the golfer's swing, each strain gauge input receives a signal referred to by a channel numbered (0-11). Each channel number references a recorded variable, such as butt bend, butt shear, tip bend and tip shear for each strain gauge. The first plurality of wires 162 connect the individual strain gauge groups 120a, 120b and 120c to the circuit board 146 by first connecting to the circuit board 146 and then running along the interior portion 124 of the golf club shaft 114, exiting the shaft 114 via an exit hole 110 located below the butt end 126 of the shaft 114 and connecting with the individual sets of strain gauge groups 120a, 120b and 120c located on the exterior 125 butt end 127 of the shaft 114. The shaft 114 has an opening 164 at the butt end 127. The shaft 114 has a hollow compartment for placement of a power supply therein, electronic circuitry, sensors, and necessary wiring. A cap 176 is used to cover the hollow compartment of the shaft 114. In a preferred embodiment, the power supply is a battery tube 178 containing at least a first battery 180. The battery 180 provides internal power for the golf club 50. Preferably, a protective casing is located within the shaft 114 for placement of the battery 180.

The shaft electronic circuitry board 146, which may be one or two boards, includes the internal memory device 134, a non-volatile buffer memory, a main microprocessor 136, power control circuitry 120, signal conditioning circuitry 121 for the strain gauges in the butt end 127 of the shaft 114, signal conditioning circuitry 122 for the strain gauges in the tip end 126 of the shaft 114, serial communication circuitry 124, filter circuitry 126 for the strain gauges, and an analog to digital converter circuitry 128. The shaft electronic circuitry board 146 is a typical power circuitry board. The placement of all of the electronics in the shaft 114, as opposed to the club head 116, allows for the use of multiple club heads 116 in order to analyze a golfer's swing for different clubs. Further, the components in the shaft 114 are modular, and thus are easily replaceable if damaged. Such replacement is performed via the opening.

A second plurality of strain gauges is also located at the tip end 126 of the golf club shaft 114. This second plurality of strain gauges 121 are located on the exterior circumference of the tip end of the shaft comprised of a set of three rosette groups being a mirror image of the strain gauges located at the butt end of the shaft. The first strain gauge group 121a, the second strain gauge group 121b and the third strain gauge group 121c. The individual strain gauges are comprised of a triple element having a central axial gauge and right and left crossing shear gauges such that the rosette groups from six Wheatstone bridges.

A second plurality of wires 163 is used to connect this second plurality of strain gauges 121 to the circuit board 146. At a triggering event, such as a golfer's swing, individual strain gauge inputs receive a signal referred to by a channel numbered (0-11). Each channel number references a recorded variable, such as butt bend, butt shear, tip bend and tip shear for each strain gauge pair.

A second plurality of wires 163 connects the strain gauge groups 121a, 121b and 121c to the circuit board 146 by first connecting to the circuit board 146 and then running along the interior 124 portion of the golf club shaft 114, exiting the interior 124 of the shaft 114 via a second exit hole located below the butt end 126 of the shaft 114 and running along the length of the exterior 125 of the shaft 114 to connect with the second plurality of strain gauge sets 121a, 121b and 121c located on the tip end 126 of the shaft. This second plurality of wires 163 connecting the second plurality of strain gauges 121 from the tip end 126 of the golf club shaft 114 are preferably glued to the exterior of the golf club shaft 114, however, the second plurality of wires 163 may also be affixed to the shaft 114 by any other means including mechanical, that are commonly used in the art.

From the foregoing it is believed that those skilled in the pertinent art will recognize the meritorious advancement of this invention and will readily understand that while the present invention has been described in association with a preferred embodiment thereof, and other embodiments illustrated in the accompanying drawings, numerous changes, modifications and substitutions of equivalents may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention which is intended to be unlimited by the foregoing except as may appear in the following appended claims. Therefore, the embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined in the following appended claims.

We claim as our invention the following: 1. A system for automatically tracking a golf club swung by a golfer, the system comprising: a golf club comprising a shaft and a golf club head, the golf club having a an accelerometer in electrical communication with an active RFID transponder, the accelerometer temporarily closing a switch during impact with a golf ball to provide power from a power source to the RFID transponder for transmission of a signal, the signal containing data for the specific golf club comprising the type of club and club speed; and a receiver for receiving the signal from the RFID transponder. 2. The system according to claim 1 further comprising a device for receiving a second signal from the receiver. 3. The system according to claim 1 wherein the receiver stores data for each shot by the golfer for a round of golf. 4. The system according to claim 1 wherein the device is a GPS unit. 5. The system according to claim 1 wherein the type of club is selected from wedge, 9-iron, 8-iron, 7-iron, 6-iron, 5-iron, 4-iron, 3-iron, 2-iron, 9-wood, 7-wood, 5-wood, 3-wood, driver, putter, 1-hybird, 2-hybrid, 3-hybrid, 4-hybrid, 5-hybrid and 6-hybrid. 6. The system according to claim 1 wherein the accelerometer is a 50 G accelerometer. 7. The system according to claim 1 wherein the accelerometer, the active RFID transponder, the switch and the power source are located within the shaft of the golf club. 8. The system according to claim 1 wherein the accelerometer, the active RFID transponder, the switch and the power source are located within the golf club head of the golf club. 9. The system according to claim 1 wherein the accelerometer, the active RFID transponder, the switch and the power source are located are the exterior of the shaft of the golf club. 10. A method for shot tracking, the method comprising: swinging at a golf ball with a golf club; measuring the club speed of the swing; impacting the golf ball with the golf club; activating an accelerometer positioned on the golf club; closing a switch for a set time period, the switch positioned between a power source and an active RFID transponder; powering the active RFID transponder with power from the power source; transmitting a signal from the active RFID transponder, the signal comprising golf club data comprising the type of golf club and club speed of the swing; and receiving the signal at a receiver. 11. The method according to claim 10 automatically transmitting the golf club data from the receiver to a device. 12. The method according to claim 10 wherein the receiver stores data for each shot by the golfer for a round of golf. 13. The method according to claim 11 wherein the device is a GPS unit and records the geographical position of the shot. 14. The method according to claim 10 wherein the type of club is selected from wedge, 9-iron, 8-iron, 7-iron, 6-iron, 5-iron, 4-iron, 3-iron, 2-iron, 9-wood, 7-wood, 5-wood, 3-wood, driver, putter, 1-hybird, 2-hybrid, 3-hybrid, 4-hybrid, 5-hybrid and 6-hybrid. 15. The method according to claim 10 wherein the accelerometer is a 500 G accelerometer. 16. The method according to claim 10 wherein the accelerometer, the active RFID transponder, the switch and the power source are located within the shaft of the golf club. 17. The method according to claim 10 wherein the accelerometer, the active RFID transponder, the switch and the power source are located within the golf club head of the golf club. 18. The method according to claim 10 wherein the accelerometer, the active RFID transponder, the switch and the power source are located are the exterior of the shaft of the golf club. 19. The method according to claim 10 further comprising storing the data at the receiver. 20. A system for automatically tracking a golf club swung by a golfer, the system comprising: a golf club comprising a shaft and a golf club head, the golf club having a an accelerometer switch in electrical communication with an active RFID transponder, the accelerometer switch temporarily closing during impact with a golf ball to provide power from a power source to the RFID transponder for transmission of a signal, the signal containing data for the specific golf club comprising the type of club and club speed; a receiver for receiving the signal from the RFID transponder; and a device for receiving the data from the receiver, the device capable of determining a geographical position of the golfer.


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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20110028230 A1
Publish Date
02/03/2011
Document #
12838656
File Date
07/19/2010
USPTO Class
473222
Other USPTO Classes
473409, 473407
International Class
/
Drawings
12



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