Recently a patent issued that takes on that nasty condition golfers refer to as the yips. The patent is USPN 7607990 titled “Yip Grip Squeeze Pressure-Indicating Golf Club Grip” and explains:
Golfers of all skill levels experience increased difficulty putting when mental stress level is high and an affliction known as “the yips” is encountered. Characterized by elevated blood pressure, perspiration, pulse and respiratory rates, the yips are commonly triggered by the psychological stress of sinking an important putt, and often result in the failure to execute an otherwise routine stroke.
For the sake of describing my invention, “the yips” will refer to mental stress induced mistakes of golf swings both on and off the putting green.
During full swings off the putting green, many golfers find themselves swinging too fast or jerky as a result of gripping the club too lightly. Golfers experiencing both the psychological and physiological effects of the yips are often unaware that they are squeezing the club too tightly (or lightly) while swinging, and consequently abandon one of the fundamentals of an accurate golf stroke.
The Yip Grip is an adjustable pneumatic golf club grip that indicates when the appropriate squeeze pressure is applied for a given stroke.
To date, there is no prior art as pertains to golf club grips that addresses the yip-afflicted golfer’s need for a means of indicating optimum club squeeze pressure.
There is prior art implementing inflatable grips as a means of cushioning the impacts of striking instruments. Examples include Cera’s US Patent Application Publication No. 2006/0205529, Lindsey’s US Patent Application Publication No. 2005/0043110, Byrne’s U.S. Pat. No. 6,821,218, and Huang’s U.S. Pat. No. 5,294,117.
None of these, however, implement the use of a ribbed inner bladder wall, which serves as a means of indicating when desired squeeze pressure has been applied by the user.
Furthermore, Cera’s US Patent Application Publication No. 2006/0205529 describes a method for cushioning a pre-existing conventional grip to be applied between a conventional grip and shaft of a striking instrument. My invention is a unique, unconventional, inflatable grip applied directly to a golf club shaft.
While the stated prior art provide means of cushioning impact, none serves as a training aid to assist the user in overcoming the physiological effects of the yips, as described above.
3. Objects and Advantages
Accordingly, several objects and advantages of my invention are: (a) a mechanism for training golfers to apply appropriate grip squeeze pressures for improved stability of clubs while executing strokes. (b) as a training aid, adjustable internal grip air pressures are set by the golfer by employing two highly visible and removable finger pump with pressure relief valve units to learn appropriate grip squeeze pressures for all strokes, on and off the putting green. (c) with the highly visible finger pump with pressure relief valve units removed, my invention functions as a standard golf club grip allowed in competition sanctioned by the United States Golf Association (USGA). Further objects and advantages will become apparent from consideration of the ensuing description and drawings.
In operation, The Yip Grip 10 is mounted on a club shaft with the highly visible and removable combination finger pumps with pressure relief valves 16 open to allow air at atmospheric pressure into the inner cavities 14. The golfer is to close the pressure relief valve and pressurize the inner cavities with the finger pumps to the point where the ringed protrusions 13 of the inner wall 12 can be felt through the outer wall 15 when the appropriate squeeze pressure for a given stroke is applied by both hands.
Being that long putts require a firmer grip than short putts, the golfer determines in a relaxed, stress-free, practice setting how many pumps of 16 produce sufficient air pressure in 12 such that the gripping the club with appropriate firmness will be indicated when the rings 13 of the inner wall are felt. The same holds true for determining the disparity of right and left hand squeeze pressures for shorter putts, and stokes off the putting green.
Once the golfer has been trained to recognize appropriate squeeze pressures required for all strokes, the highly visible finger pump with pressure relief valve units can be removed and, because training aids are no longer attached, the grip can be used in competition sanctioned by the United States Golf Association (USGA).
I wonder if this grip could have saved any careers on Tour?
Dave Dawsey – Keeping an Eye on Golf Grip Inventions
PS – check out other golf grip patent related posts here