United States Patent 3756299

A device for releasably holding a plurality of balls, such as golf balls, in a column. The device includes an elongated, hollow body having yieldable wall means adjacent to an elongated side opening which is normally less than the size of the balls to be carried and through which a ball may pass when the opening is enlarged in size by the yielding action of the wall means.

Simmons, George (Pescadero, CA)
Cubberly, George D. (San Mateo, CA)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/.82, 206/315.3, 224/919, 294/19.2
International Classes:
B65D83/00; B65D85/00; (IPC1-7): B65D/
Field of Search:
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3284025Holder for spools of thread and other articles1966-11-08Fridolph
1754495Golf-ball holder1930-04-15Anderson

Foreign References:
Primary Examiner:
Lowrance, George E.
Assistant Examiner:
Garbe, Stephen P.
We claim

1. A ball carrier comprising: an elongated, hollow body having a pair of spaced sidewalls initially formed independently of each other and a pair of opposed, open ends, there being an end member of each end of the body, respectively, each end member being disposed for engaging the inner surfaces of said sidewalls, the interior of the body being of a size to receive and retain a plurality of balls in alignment with each other, the body having an elongated opening at one side thereof, at least one of said sidewalls being yieldable and the opening having a width normally less than the size of the ball to be carried within the body, whereby a ball can be inserted into or taken out of the body when said one sidewall yields to increase the width of the side opening sufficiently to permit the ball to pass therethrough; and a cap for each end, respectively, for closing the same, each cap being disposed to urge said sidewalls into engagement with the adjacent end member.

2. A ball carrier as set forth in claim 1, wherein each end member comprises a disk having a pair of diametrically opposed grooves in the outer periphery thereof, said sidewalls being received within respective grooves of each disk.

3. A ball carrier as set forth in claim 1, wherein is provided a disk disposed between the sidewalls intermediate the ends of the body, said disk having an outer periphery secured to the sidewalls to divide the body into a pair of compartments and to strengthen the body.

4. A ball carrier as set forth in claim 1, wherein said body comprises a cylindrical, yieldable tube having a pair of diametrically opposed, longitudinally extending slots therein defining side openings therefor, there being a number of spaced disks within the body, each disk having an outer periphery secured to the inner surface of the tube, the disks being at locations sufficient to divide the interior of the tube into a number of compartments, said closing means including a pair of end caps releasably coupled to respective ends of the tube.

5. A ball carrier as set forth in claim 4, wherein said tube is transparent.

This invention relates to improvements in containers for removably retaining balls of the type used in playing games, such as golf, tennis or the like.

While the present invention may be suitable for use in holding many different types of balls, it is especially suitable for use in receiving and retaining golf balls in a manner such that an individual ball of a group of balls may be readily accessible yet the balls can be conveniently stored in a golf bag as a unit rather than being randomly carried in a pocket of a conventional golf bag. Generally, such golf bags have a zippered pocket which is usually large enough to hold six or more golf balls.

The disadvantage of a ball pocket of this type is the fact that if a user wishes to locate a particular ball in the pocket, it is generally necessary to remove the balls one at a time from the pocket until the desired ball is found. Then the balls that have been removed must then be put back into the pocket one or two at a time, following which the pocket must be closed. The time spent going through this procedure represents a delay which can be an inconvenience to the golfer and to other members of a foursome who must wait until the golfer has gone through the above procedure to find a particular golf ball.

The present invention is provided to overcome the problem mentioned above with respect to pockets of conventional golf bags by providing an elongated ball carrier device having means for receiving and holding a plurality of golf balls in a manner such that all of the balls may be viewed at a glance and a desired ball can be quickly and easily removed from the device regardless of its location therein. To this end, the device is hollow and has yieldable sidewall means provided with an elongated side opening whereby balls can be quickly and easily put into the device in a column and effectively retained therewithin until the side opening is enlarged by the yielding action of the sidewall means to allow removal of one of the balls. The length of the device can be made such that it can be placed in a conventional golf bag alongside the golf clubs therein. Many golfers use plastic tubes for receiving the shafts of golf clubs when the tubes are inserted into the golf bag. The device of this invention can be fitted into a golf bag much in the same manner as the tubes for golf club shafts. Thus, the device can easily be lifted wholly or partially out of the golf bag to gain access to the balls therein. The sidewall means of the device is preferably either perforate or transparent so that the golfer can see all of the balls therein and thereby be able to select and remove a desired ball without having to rearrange the positions of the balls to obtain a better view of certain balls.

The device of the invention also simplifies the job of releasing a plurality of balls for use in practice shots inasmuch as the balls do not have to be taken out of the golf bag pocket one or two at a time but can quickly be separated and removed from the device of this invention in a relatively short time by increasing the size of the access opening. Thus, the balls can easily fall out of the device. Also, the device is simple in construction, can be made with inexpensive materials and can be assembled in a minimum of time to minimize production costs.

The primary object of this invention is to provide a ball carrier which permits a number of balls to be retained together in alignment with each other, yet the balls can be easily inserted into the device or removed therefrom while providing a simple and inexpensive means adapted for use in holding balls of different types.

Another object of this invention is to provide a ball carrier for golf balls wherein the carrier can be carried in a golf bag adjacent to the golf clubs thereof to permit ready access to any of the balls in the device to avoid having to expend time "fishing around" for a particular golf ball in the ball pocket of such a golf bag.

A further object of this invention is to provide a ball carrier of the type described wherein the carrier has an elongated, hollow body provided with yieldable wall means adjacent to an elongated side opening having a width less than the diameter of the balls to be carried, whereby a ball can be put into and taken out of the body when the opening is enlarged due to the yielding action of the wall means, yet a plurality of balls can be removably retained in the body along the length thereof.

Other objects of this invention will become apparent as the following specification progresses, reference being had to the accompanying drawing for an illustration of the invention.

In the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of one embodiment of the ball carrier device of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 2--2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but showing the way in which a ball is inserted in or removed from the device;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary, perspective view of the device in a golf bag;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing a second embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 6--6 of FIG. 5.

The first embodiment of this invention is broadly denoted by the numeral 10 and includes an elongated, hollow body 12 for removably holding one or more balls 14, such as golf balls. Body 12 has a pair of elongated, spaced transversely arcuate sidewalls 16 and a pair of elongated, diametrically opposed openings 18 between the sidewalls. Body 12 comprises a tube having openings 18 formed therein in some suitable manner. A pair of end caps 20 are press-fitted onto the cylindrical end portions of the body and close the ends thereof.

Body 12 is essentially cylindrical throughout its length and formed of resilient material, such as a suitable plastic, so that sidewalls 16 are yieldable and can be moved away from each other to enlarge the size of one of the openings 18 as shown in FIG. 3. This will allow a ball 14 to pass into or out of the body yet the width of each opening is less than the diameter of the ball. The ball or balls within the body will be removably retained therein (FIGS. 1 and 2) when the sidewalls are returned to their normal position upon being released after being flexed in the manner shown in FIG. 3.

Preferably, body 12 is provided with one or more disks 22 therewithin to strengthen the body and to divide the same into several compartments. The outer peripheries of the disks are secured to the inner surfaces of sidewalls 16 in any suitable manner, such as by an adhesive. For purposes of illustration, only one such disk is shown in FIG. 1. Also, the sidewalls are preferably transparent so that all of the balls in body 12 can be seen at a glance. The balls are, of course, viewable through openings 18 but the transparency of the sidewalls further facilitates the viewing of the balls. In the alternative, the sidewalls can be made perforate in some manner for this same purpose.

The length of body 12 can be selected so that it can be inserted into a conventional golf bag in the region normally occupied by the golf clubs. This is shown in FIG. 4 wherein device 10 is shown as projecting upwardly from the upper end 24 of a golf bag 26 containing golf clubs 28. With a number of balls in device 10, the user can lift the device at least partially from the bag until a desired ball in body 12 is seen. The user can then remove any desired ball through either of the openings 18. Sidewalls 16 will yield under the outwardly directed force on the ball so that the opening 18 through which the ball is being pulled will increase in size to allow the ball to pass therethrough and out of the body. Device 10 can then be lowered back into the bag. A simple way to remove a ball quickly and easily with only one hand is to force the ball through one of the openings 18 by the thumb extending into and through the other opening. The fingers of the hand will be curled around body 12 so that the ball will exit from the body and fall into the palm of the hand. The other hand can be used to hold body 12 partially out of a golf bag.

If a disk 22 is used with body 12, the disk allows the golf balls to be placed in the portion of body 12 near the top of the golf bag if only a relatively small number of balls are placed in device 10. Otherwise, the user may have to lift the device entirely out of the bag to gain access to a desired ball since the ball may be near the bottom of the body. With only a few balls, the user can place the balls in the uppermost compartment of the body defined by the disk yet the remainder of device 10 will be available at any time for receiving additional balls.

A second embodiment of the device, denoted by the numeral 110, is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 and includes a pair of spaced sidewalls 116 which are transversely arcuate and which are normally formed independently of each other. The side-walls are held in spaced relationship by a pair of end disks 117. A cap 120 at each end of the body holds the sidewalls on respective disks 117.

Each disk 117 has a pair of opposed, arcuate grooves 119 for complementally receiving corresponding sidewalls 116. Thus, the sidewalls are prevented from moving about the disks toward or away from each other so that the width of the side openings 118 therebetween will be uniform at all times. The sidewalls are yieldable so that the side openings can increase in width to allow a ball to be inserted in or removed from the body, yet the sidewalls, in their normal unflexed conditions, removably retain a number of balls in the body. The sidewalls are transparent to permit viewing of the balls in the body. Device 110 is used in the same manner as device 10.