A lightweight, portable device that includes a number of longitudinally spaced resilient plastic discs, which device may be alternately drawn from one bank of a lake to the opposite bank, and when so drawn retrieve submerged golf balls in the lake as the disc's pressure contacts the ball. After the balls have been retrieved by the device, and the device positioned on dry land, the balls are removed from between the discs by laterally deforming the peripheral edge portions of the latter.
1. In a device for retrieving golf balls from the bottom of a body of water that is of the type that includes an elongate shaft and a U-shaped frame connected to the ends of said shaft, said frame capable of having a cable connected thereto to permit said frame and shaft to be moved back and forth across said bottom when immersed in said body of water, the combination of:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
A device for retrieving submerged golf balls.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Each year tens of thousands of golf balls are lost by being inadvertently driven into lakes or ponds having muddy bottoms. Recovery of such submerged golf balls has heretofor presented a serious problem for which no satisfactory solution existed. To a limited extent such submerged golf balls have been recovered by diving for the same by use of the feet. However, such methods are time consuming and quite ineffecient, particularly where the lake or pond has a soft muddy bottom into which the golf balls sink. The primary purpose in devising the present invention is to supply a lightweight device for retrieving submerged golf balls that operates equally well in lakes having either clear or muddy water.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
A submerged golf ball retrieving device that includes an elongate shaft secured to an angular shaped frame, and the shaft within the confines of the frame rotatably supporting a number of longitudinally spaced plastic discs. Power means are provided to alternately draw the device between opposite banks of a lake or pond. When the disc's pressure contacts a submerged golf ball, the ball is held between the discs until such time as the device is moved to dry land. After the device is on dry land, the peripheral portions of the discs may be laterally deformed to free the recovered golf balls from the discs. Means are provided on the device for causing the discs to rotate in unison to minimize the possibility of the recovered golf balls being inadvertently displaced therefrom.
A major object of the invention is to provide a compact, lightweight device for recovering submerged golf balls from the bottom of a lake or pond in a highly efficient manner and in a minimum of time.
Another object of the invention is to furnish a golf ball retrieving device that operates equally well in clear or muddy water.
A further object of the invention is to supply a golf ball retrieving device that has a simple mechanical structure, requires a minimum of maintenance, can be fabricated from standard commercially available materials, and retailed or leased at a sufficiently low price as to encourage the widespread use thereof.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the submerged golf ball retrieving device in an operating position;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the device;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary longitudinal cross-sectional view of a pair of the golf ball retrieving discs;
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of one of the discs; and
FIG. 5 is a transverse cross-sectional view of one of the discs.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
The submerged golf ball retrieving device A as best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3 includes a number of axially aligned and longitudinally spaced discs B that are rotatably supported on an elongate shaft C. The shaft C has an angular U-shaped frame D affixed to the ends thereof. First and second cables E and E' are secured to the frame D, with the cables extending to first and second power operated winches F and F' located on opposite banks G of lake H in which golf balls J are submerged.
By alternately actuating the winches F and F' the device A may be moved backward and forward between banks G. When the device A passes over golf balls J the discs B pressure contacts the balls and forces them into retrieved positions between the discs. Periodically the device A is moved up onto one of the banks G and the retrieved golf balls are removed therefrom. The winches F and F' are sequentially and intermittently moved along the banks G, to permit the device A to contact the entire bottom K of the lake as above described.
The frame D includes two end pieces 10 that are connected by a cross piece 12. The end pieces 10 are removably connected to shaft C by conventional means (not shown) such as being screw threaded thereinto or the like. End pieces 10 are also removably connected to cross piece 12 by conventional means (not shown). It is highly desirable that the end piece 10 be removable from an engaging position with shaft C to permit discs B to be mounted on or taken off the shaft during maintenance work on the device A.
Each of the discs B is molded as an integral unit from a commercially available polymerized resin that has some resiliency. Each disc B has a flat circular center portion 14 of substantial thickness that has a bore 16 extending through the center thereof. A number of openings 18 are formed in center position 14 and circumferentially spaced about bore 16. The openings 18 are in communication with tubular spacing bosses 20 that extend outwardly from first sides 22 of the discs B as may be seen in FIG. 4.
Each of the discs B has an annulus shaped web 24 that extends outwardly from the center portion 14 thereof. Each web 24 on the outer peripheral edge thereof develops into a circumferentially extending golf ball retaining bead 26 that has a transverse cross section that resembles a blunt arrowhead. The bosses 20 are of such length that when in abutting contact with one of the discs B most adjacent thereto, the minimum spacing between the beads 26 on the discs is less than the diameter of one of the golf balls J. When the device A is moved across the bottom K of the lake H, the adjoining beads 26 on a pair of the discs B are laterally spaced when they pressure contact one of the golf balls J, and the golf ball being forced upwardly into a confined space 28 defined between the discs.
Due to the resiliency of the material defining the discs D, the beads 26 return to their normal position after the retrieved golf ball J has entered the confined space 28. Each confined space 28 is slightly greater in thickness than the diameter of one of the golf balls J, The bottom K of the lake H will normally be muddy, and the golf balls J may be wholly or partly submerged therein. However, due to the configuration of the beads 26, and the weight of the device A thereon, the beads will penetrate the mud to a substantial depth and retrieve golf balls buried in the mud. The device will of course also retrieve golf balls J lying on the surface of the bottom K.
To prevent undesired lateral deformation of the web 24 due to the weight of the device A, the webs are formed with a number of circumferentially spaced, radially extending reinforcing ribs 30 of triangular transverse cross section as shown in FIG. 5. The discs B are rotatably supported on shaft C with the bosses 20 in abutting contact with the discs most adjacent thereto by two collars 32 removably mounted on shaft C adjacent end pieces 10 as shown in FIG. 2.
The spacing bosses 20 are longitudinally aligned when discs B are mounted on shaft C as shown in FIG. 2 and are engaged by rods 34. The rods 34 have nuts 35 or other suitable means secured to the ends thereof to prevent the rods inadvertently being displaced longitudinally from the spacing bosses 20. The rods 34 serve to prevent rotation of the discs B relative to one another, and minimizes the possibility of retrieved golf balls in the spaces 28 being displaced therefrom as the device A is moved across the bottom K. It will be noted that all the discs B are of the same structure, except a second disc B' that is located at the end of the sequence of discs B towards which the tubular bosses 20 extend. Second disc B' is of the same structure as discs B, with the exception that it has no bosses 20 extending therefrom.
Cross pieces 12 has an eye 36 secured to the center thereof that engages ends of the first and second cables E and E'. Winches F and F' are of conventional design and are mounted on roller supported frames 37 that have handles 38 extending upwardly and outwardly therefrom to facilitate the intermittent moving of the winches from location to location as the bottom of the lake K is dragged for submerged golf balls. Control means (not shown) on the winches F and F' permit the drums 40 and 40' thereto to be selectively energized to move the retrieving device A in a desired direction, while the drum on the other winch is free to rotate.
The use and operation of the retrieving device A has been described previously and need not be repeated. Maintenance on the device A is extremely low inasmuch as the discs are formed from plastic and have no tendency to rust or corrode.