Which Major Champion Invented this Putting Invention?

A patent application recently published that lists a major champion as one of the inventors. Take a guess who invented this “golf putting training device and method.” (the answer is at the bottom of the page)

The drawings come from US Publication No. 20130231199, which describes the invention as:

A putting training device having an elongate section with a ball receiving area and a visual target reference or aim point that is positioned in the desired direction of travel of the golf ball. The visual target reference is located a distance from the golf ball receiving area that is selected so that a golfer can focus on the visual target reference when making their swing, thus maintaining their attention on the desired direction of travel of the ball to improve their aim while still being able to see the orientation of the head of the putter during the latter portion of the golfer's stroke and as it hits the ball to be able to provide better club control during the putting swing.

The application goes on to explain:


[0004] Golfing is one of the most popular sports in the developed world. Golfing generally has several components to the game including longer drives shots on the fairway and putting shots on the green. Putting is a particularly challenging aspect of the game of golf as the golf ball has to be hit in a much more precise manner to have the ball go into the hole. Thus, many golfers spend a tremendous amount of time trying to perfect their putting technique.

[0005] One difficulty that many golfers have when putting is ensuring that the putter will strike the golf ball to induce the ball to travel in the desired direction. When golfers look directly at the ball when performing their putting stroke to ensure that the club hits the ball in the desired position and orientation of the club, they are not looking in the desired direction of travel which means that the golfer may inadvertently adjust their putting stroke so that the club hits the ball in an undesired direction.

[0006] Alternatively, if the golfer is looking at the actual target when performing a putting stroke, the golfer may inadvertently mis-hit the ball. This can occur by the golfer hitting the ball with the club head slightly askew or hitting the ball not on the desired location of the club head. It is a particular problem that many golfers have that they look up towards the hole as they are putting which causes golfers to misadjust their swing resulting in the putted ball not travelling in the direction desired by the golfer.

[0007] To assist golfers in perfecting their putting swing so that the competing objectives of precisely hitting the ball with the desired part of the club while maintaining the club swing so that the golf ball travels in a desired direction, a number of golf training devices have been developed. One such device is shown in U.S. Patent Publication No. 20080102970 A1 to Park entitled Indoor Golf Putting Training Apparatus. In this apparatus, the golfer looks at collimation points that are located substantially in front of the golf ball position. Park endeavors to try to prevent the golfer from looking even further away from the golf ball by looking at the hole. However, in Park, the collimating point is located 20 to 30 cm or almost 8 to 12 inches in front of the ball placement. Thus, the golfer is focusing so far in front of the ball, that the golfer does not really have the golf club head in his or her peripheral vision when the golf club head is approaching the stationary ball. Thus, the golfer will still have the difficulty of not being able to precisely see the golf club head as it approaches the ball to strike the ball and the golfer cannot make last minute adjustments to his or her swing. Consequently, even though Park is attempting to address the issue of golfers looking away at the target, Park is doing so in a manner that still introduces sources of error in the golf swing.

[0008] From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that there is a need for a golf club training device and method that allows the user to focus their attention on putting a golf ball in a desired direction while still maintaining the golf club head and the golf ball in their peripheral vision as the golfer performs his or her swing.


[0009] The aforementioned needs are satisfied by a golf club training device of the present invention which, in one implementation, comprises a flat strip having a golf ball receiving location formed in a first location adjacent a first end of the strip and a target reference point located in the direction of travel of the golf ball and spaced from the golf ball receiving location a distance selected to retain the golf ball in the peripheral vision of the golfer as the golfer conducts his or her golf swing. In one specific implementation, the target reference point is located a distance of only 1 to 2 inches in front of the golf ball receiving location.

[0010] In one specific embodiment, the strip defines a straight line that coincides with the direction of travel of the golf ball so that the golfer can putt the golf ball along the strip and determine if the putt was successful by observing whether the golf ball travelled in a straight line the length of the strip. In one specific embodiment, the strip is approximately 18 inches long. In one specific embodiment, the end of the strip opposite the golf ball receiving area comprises a T-section. The T-section defines a target through which the golfer can putt the ball and also has securing holes that allows the golfer to secure the training device to the ground in a desired orientation. The securing holes can be secured with golf tees which provide an easy securing assembly with conveniently available tees and the tees can provide a vertically extending target for the golfer to easily see to putt the ball through.

[0011] In another embodiment, the present invention comprises a method of training a golfer to putt a golf ball. In this method, the golfer positions a golf ball on a training strip having a golf ball receiving location. The golfer then looks at a target reference spaced in the desired direction of travel and located so as that when the golfer is looking at the target reference the golf ball remains in the golfer's peripheral field of vision. In one implementation, the target reference is located approximately 1 to 2 inches in front of the ball receiving area.

I will go out on a limb and say that this invention would probably improve any golfer’s handicap. Reading between the lines, the inventors clearly believe that a golfer should be focused a few inches in front of the golf ball while putting.

Drum roll please….. the inventor is Dave Stockton, along with his son Ron and Tom Covino (another short game guru).

Dave Dawsey - The Golf Training Aid Invention Attorney
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