Nike Patents Compressible Grooves
By Kickntrue on 1/12/11
You'll need to be much smarter than me to understand this patent document, but it appears as if Nike is trying to patent the idea of grooves that compress. The face can't compress, but they want just the grooves to do it- in turn imparting additional spin on the ball. If they could even make this- would the USGA and R&A even allow it?

From the patent Application:
A golf club with a golf club head having compressible v-shaped grooves is presented. The club head may include a plurality of grooves formed in a striking face. In some arrangements, the grooves have a rectangular cross section. The grooves may also include a compressible insert having a v-shaped end and being formed of a material softer than that of the grooves. As the club head strikes a golf ball, the insert may compress, thereby allowing additional contact between the groove and the ball to impart spin on the ball. In an alternate arrangement, the groove may include a compressible support arranged between the insert and an end of the groove. The compressible insert may be formed of a material softer than the groove and/or the insert and is configured to compress when the club head strikes a golf ball.
After that- there are specifics, diagrams and other jargon that means very little to me. You know it's complicated when you can look at pictures and ... still nothing.

If nothing else- I guess it's exciting to know companies are trying to stay one step ahead of their competition, though I'm not sure Titleist and TaylorMade are shaking from this one.

Maybe it's cooler than I think. If any engineers want to go through this bit by bit- please enlighten us.

Golf-Patents.com
Full Application (pdf)
Via MyGolfSpy.com


[ comments ]
windowsurfer says:
Impressive thinkers @ Nike, mos def www.onearthpeace.org/programs/peace-witness/imag
1/12/11
 
Banker85 says:
sounds easy enough.... not really but i get the overall picture, the grooves compress(lord knows how) and this imparts more contact between the ball and the grroves creating more spin. what do i know though. id say naata. but good idea if allowable by the usga or whoever ruins golf for us hackers.
1/12/11
 
Agustin says:
Don't think it would be allowed by USGA and R&A. BAsically what it seems to do is that The groves would be designed to meet the rules when the club face is idle and being checked fro groove specs. But at the moment of impact the groves would compress leaving the edges in contact with the ball sharper (non-compliant) and threfore imparting more spin to the ball.

Look at the top picure... you have a compliant grove whe the clubface is not in contact with the ball. Now look a the bottom picture and see that the grove geometry has changed when in contact with the ball... Notice the edges... They would be non-compliant.
1/12/11
 
Banker85 says:
who is to say that they are not compliant tho. i am sure the usga and ra would have to delvelop a whole new rule to outlaw them. i really dont see the differnce the made last year... kinda pointless and irrelevant.
1/12/11
 
homermania says:
Imagine the spin you'd get with these grooves while using that jello ball from the slo-mo video...
1/12/11
 
Banker85 says:
@homermaina: it would prob go backwards.
1/12/11
 
bkuehn1952 says:
The next step is performance clothing and I do not mean clothing that wicks away perspiration. No, what we are going to be asked to wear is skin tight monosuits similar to what speed skaters wear. The lack of air friction will allow a player to uncoil and swing their arms faster, thereby gaining that infinitesimal advantage that results in longer drives and more accurate approach shots. Maybe coated with a metallic surface to reflect the sun's heat. We'll be a bunch of walking baked potatoes. Something for me to look forward to!
1/12/11
 
Kurt the Knife says:
Those illustrations are faulty. The radius of the ball compared with the scale/ geometry of the groove is waaaaaay off.
1/12/11
 
Banker85 says:
LOL kurt you are 100% right, bunch of malarkey.
1/12/11
 
Bryan K says:
lol, Kurt. You beat me to the punch. I was going to comment that those were some monster grooves...what happens if my ball gets stuck on one of those? But fortunately, I read everyone else's comments first.
1/12/11
 
SD Charlie says:
Having worked with patents before, the illustrations do not have to be to scale. In this case, the image of the ball is representative of what is proposed to happen when the club (and grooves) strike a ball. One of the pitfalls filing a patent is that once it is filed, it becomes accessible to anyone, and thus able to be copied. Often, patents are filed with vague definition, so competitors can't just copy or "reverse engineer" as easily.

At any rate, if the USGA is still so intent on grooves providing too much of an advantage to PGA golfers, they will ban compressible grooves also. This despite a season's worth of data showing that players were generally not affected by the groove change.
1/12/11
 
mmontisano says:
I just see the point. hackers like us aren't good enough to notice a difference between the new groves to the older, bigger grooves. pros have adjusted to the new grooves and look, you're seeing scores in the 50s being thrown up all over the place. I really don't think we need bigger grooves anymore. less spin means its easier to control the ball.

nope. doesn't make any sense to me at all.
1/12/11
 
Banker85 says:
@badcady: repeat after me... hackers like you, hackers like you.... i aint no hack, jack!
1/12/11
 
philipb says:
Will be non conforming due to the striking area of clubs having to made of only one material!

I suspect Nike were also trying to design it so the compressible material was also softer so it would wear away fairly quickly to leave hugeeeee grooves!
1/12/11
 
mmontisano says:
Banker85. if you're saying you can tell the difference between the old grooves to the new grooves, you're lying.
1/12/11
 
newrider says:
As much as I hate the new groove rule even if this design does work and can be made Nike is trying to circumvent the "spirit" of the groove rule (aka: cheat) which really is not good for golf. Look at the controversy when Phil used the Ping wedge.
1/13/11
 
Matt F says:
@Banker85 - Your first post said "but good idea if allowable by the usga or whoever ruins golf for us hackers."

Now you say you're not a hacker...make up your mind!! :-)
1/13/11
 
Matt F says:
Didn't a PGA player thank the USGA for the grooves change cause "less spin is better"?
1/13/11
 
mmontisano says:
mwfath1971. you're right. Joe Ogilvie did on Twitter.
1/13/11
 
chief_broom says:
This is the same principle behind Nike's Method putters with the plastic insert within grooves on the putter face. Looks like they'll try it with their irons.
1/13/11
 
Banker85 says:
lol ya i am a hack. and no i cant tell the difference.
1/13/11
 
mmontisano says:
chief_broom. now that makes sense to me! but I can't see those being legal either.

banker85. you're a better hack than me at least! I'm a pro in my head. a hack in reality.
1/13/11
 
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