Title:
Golf course stake apparatus and system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The golf course stake of this invention has a shank which has a pointed lower end for insertion into the ground and has a rope holder at the top. The rope holder has a wedge-shaped notch for securely but releaseably retaining a rope. A plurality of such stakes with a single rope jammed into the notch in each of the stakes can be used to delineate an area.



Inventors:
Wolf, Jerrold M. (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
09/828675
Publication Date:
10/10/2002
Filing Date:
04/09/2001
Assignee:
WOLF JERROLD M.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E01F13/02; A63B57/00; (IPC1-7): A63B57/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALLAN M. SHAPIRO (Suite 202 18401 Burbank Boulevard, Tarzana, CA, 91356-2824, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A golf course stake apparatus comprising: a shank having an upper end and a lower end, said lower end of said shank being adapted for attachment to the ground; a handle on said upper end of said shank, an engagement finger associated with said handle, said handle and said engagement finger having facing surfaces arranged at an acute angle with respect to each other to define a notch, said notch being sized to receive a rope which can be releaseably jammed into said notch so that the rope is releaseably attached to said stake.

2. The golf course stake apparatus of claim 1 wherein said lower end of said shank has a pointed section for insertion into the ground, and further including a foot pedal attached to said shank adjacent said lower end thereof to aid in inserting said pointed section into the ground.

3. The golf course stake apparatus of claim 1 wherein said handle comprises a hand grip sized to be grasped for removal of said stake from the ground and an arm attached to said hand grip, said arm being directed generally toward said lower end of said shank so that said hand grip and said arm provide a space in which said engagement finger is located to aid in directing the rope into said notch.

4. The golf course stake apparatus of claim 3 wherein said arm carries a finger which is directed angularly toward said shank, said finger having a loop thereon curved away from said shank to define a rope-entry space between said loop and said shank to aid in insertion of the rope into said notch.

5. The golf course stake apparatus of claim 4 wherein said engagement finger is attached to said shank.

6. The golf course stake apparatus of claim 5 wherein said lower end of said shank has a pointed section for insertion into the ground, and further including a foot pedal attached to said shank adjacent said lower end thereof to aid in inserting said pointed section into the ground.

7. The golf course stake apparatus of claim 4 wherein said engagement finger is mounted on said finger.

8. The golf course stake apparatus of claim 7 wherein said lower end of said shank has a pointed section for insertion into the ground, and further including a foot pedal attached to said shank adjacent said lower end thereof to aid in inserting said pointed section into the ground.

9. The golf course stake apparatus of claim 4 wherein said shank has at least one groove thereon and there is a resilient clip engaged at least partly around said shank and engaged in said groove, together with a face panel mounted on said spring clip so said face panel can carry selected visual characteristics and said face panel can be removably engaged on said shank of said golf course stake.

10. A golf course stake apparatus comprising a shank having an upper and a lower end, a pointed section at said lower end of said shank and a handle at said upper end of said shank, said shank, said pointed section and said handle being unitarily formed of synthetic polymer composition material; said handle comprising a hand grip extending laterally with respect to said shank and an arm on said hand grip directed generally parallel to said shank and toward said lower end of said shank, a finger on said arm directed at an acute angle with respect to said shank, said finger having an opening between said finger and said shank to permit the upward entry of a rope into the space defined in said handle between said shank, said arm and said finger; an engagement finger, said engagement finger having an engagement surface directed toward said handle to define an acute angle notch into which a rope can be releaseably jammed so said golf course stake can have a rope detachably attached thereto.

11. The golf course stake apparatus of claim 10 wherein said engagement finger is at an acute angle with respect to said shank and defines said notch with respect thereto.

12. The golf course stake apparatus of claim 11 wherein at least one of said surfaces of said notch is a rough surface to aid in rope retention in said notch.

13. The golf course stake apparatus of claim 10 wherein said arm has a finger thereon directed toward said shank to define a rope space between said finger and said shank and said finger has a loop thereon adjacent said shank to aid entry of a rope into said handle.

14. The golf course stake apparatus of claim 13 wherein said engagement finger is mounted on said finger to define said notch within said handle below said hand grip.

15. The golf course stake apparatus of claim 10 wherein said lower end of said shank has a pointed section for insertion into the ground, and further including a foot pedal attached to said shank adjacent said lower end thereof to aid in inserting said pointed section into the ground.

16. The method of demarcating an area of a golf course comprising the steps of: providing a golf course stake having a shank with an upper and lower end and a pointed section on the lower end together with a handle on the upper end with the handle provided with arms and fingers to define a rope-engaging notch; placing a series of such stakes at the boundary of an area to be demarcated; and threading a single rope through the series of stakes and securing the rope in each of the stakes in the series of stakes by jamming the rope into the notch in the handle.

17. The method of claim 16 including visually marking at least one of the stakes in the series of stakes by attaching thereto a panel having a spring clip thereon which releaseably engages in notches on the sides of the shank of the stake so as to visually identify the demarcation.

18. The method of claim 16 further including the steps of removing at least one of the stakes from the ground without detaching it from its rope; playing a ball from a demarced area; and replacing the stake in its original hole by using the rope attachment to the stake to aid in finding the original hole.

19. The method of claim 17 including visually marking at least one of the stakes in the series of stakes by attaching thereto a panel having a spring clip thereon which releaseably engages in notches on the sides of the shank of the stake so as to visually identify the demarcation.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention is directed to a golf course stake with a built-in rope-engaging wedge-shaped notch therein so that a plurality of such stakes can be placed along the edge of a demarcation and a single rope wedged into the stakes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Golf is played on a golf course which is comprised of a plurality of “holes.” The hole is a destination and each “hole” is comprised of a tee, a fairway and a green. The hole is located in the green. In order to introduce complexities and challenges to the golf course, most “holes” have some sand traps and occasional “holes” have water hazards. The golfer hits his ball from the tee to the green and into the hole and strives to do so with a minimum number of strokes.

[0003] There are occasions when the golf course management wants to delineate certain areas onto which they wish to exclude general traffic. One example of such an area is a newly-seeded area. The management desires to minimize traffic until the sod is sufficiently mature to accept general traffic. Another such area for the delineation of exclusion of general traffic is a soft area which may have inadequate drainage. The management places stakes around such areas and places a rope through the loop at the top of such stakes. Despite the fact that the golf course management wants to exclude general traffic through such delineated areas, the rules of golf require that a player not move his ball if it is hit into such an area, but play the ball from where it lays. The player takes down such stakes, plays his ball and then replaces the stakes.

[0004] Another situation in which golf course management wishes to demarcate certain areas from general entry is when there is a tournament. In such cases, golf course management places a series of stakes along the edges of the fairway and places a rope therethrough to indicate to the gallery the limit of their travel. Rope joins such stakes to limit the area of public access.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] In order to aid in the understanding of this invention it can be stated in essentially summary form that it is directed to a golf course stake apparatus and system. The golf course stake has a shank which has a pointed lower end for insertion into the ground and has a rope holder at the top. The rope holder has a wedge-shaped notch for securely but releaseably retaining a rope. The system comprises a plurality of such stakes with a single rope secured to each of the stakes so that the stakes and rope can delineate an area.

[0006] It is thus a purpose and advantage of this invention to provide a golf course stake which can releaseably engage a rope for convenient use.

[0007] It is a further purpose and advantage of this invention to provide a golf course stake which has a shank for insertion into the ground and has a wedge-shaped notch toward the upper end thereof, away from the ground, for the releaseable engagement of a rope.

[0008] It is a further purpose and advantage of this invention to provide a golf course stake system which comprises a plurality of stakes, all of which are attached to the same rope so that, when one of the stakes is pulled out of the ground and it is desired to re-insert it into the ground, its previous location can be readily found by its attachment to the rope.

[0009] It is a further purpose and advantage of this invention to provide a golf course stake apparatus with a panel structure which is interchangeable so that a selected panel having a particular identifying mark thereon can be selected and attached to the stake.

[0010] It is a further purpose and advantage of this invention to provide a golf course stake apparatus system with an economical construction so that it can be widely used so that its conveniences can be fully appreciated.

[0011] The features of this invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may be best understood by reference to the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a plurality of the golf course stakes of this invention arrayed around a demarcated area in accordance with the system of this invention.

[0013] FIG. 2 is an enlarged side elevational view of one of the golf course stakes of this invention.

[0014] FIG. 3 is an enlarged section through the stake as seen generally along line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

[0015] FIG. 4 is an enlarged side elevational view of the top of the stake, with most of the shank of the stake broken away.

[0016] FIG. 5 is a top view of the stake.

[0017] FIG. 6 is a side elevational view, similar to FIG. 4, showing a second preferred embodiment of the stake, with parts broken away.

[0018] FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of a third preferred embodiment of the stake of this invention, with parts broken away.

[0019] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the first preferred embodiment of the golf course stake of this invention, with parts broken away, showing a code panel removably attached thereto.

[0020] FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of the code panel, in enlarged scale, showing the adjacent portion of the golf course stake in dashed lines.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0021] The first preferred embodiment of the golf course stake apparatus in accordance with this invention is generally indicated at 10 in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9. In FIG. 1 it is shown with a series of other identical stakes 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20. The entire length of the stake 10 is shown in FIG. 2. It has a long shank 22 which is seen in FIG. 3 to be a solid stake having a substantially circular cross-section. The lower end of the stake has a pointed section 24 which is substantially conical and terminates at a point 26 at the bottom of the stake. The central shank of the stake has longitudinal cylindrical side grooves 28 and 30. The groove 28 is seen in FIG. 2 while both grooves are seen in the section of FIG. 3.

[0022] Handle 32 is at the top of the shank. In addition to being a handle which can be manually grasped (and sometimes hammered) for inserting and removing the stake, handle 32 serves as a rope guide and constraint. Handle 32 has a hand-grip 34 which extends laterally from the top of shank 22. Arm 36 extends downward from the hand-grip. Finger 38, on the bottom of arm 36, extends at an angle toward the shank. As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 4, the finger is at approximately a 45° angle with respect to the center line of the cylindrical shank as a convenient angle. At the bottom of the finger 38, loop 40 curves outwardly at least 90° with respect to the finger. This provides a funnel-shaped opening 42 with its mouth facing downward, which permits entry into the space 44 substantially enclosed by the handle.

[0023] Engagement finger 46 is formed on the shank opposite the finger 38. The engagement finger extends upwardly from the shank to extend over the opening 42. The notch 48 defined between the engagement finger 46 and the shank 22 is at a sufficiently acute angle to permit the jamming of a rope therein to lock the rope in place. An angle of about 30 degrees or slightly less with respect to the center line of the shank is found to be a suitable angle for the jamming of the rope into the notch 48. The rope 50 is illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 4 and is numerically identified in FIGS. 1 and 4.

[0024] In use, as seen in FIG. 1, the plurality of stakes 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 is placed around an area 52 to serve as demarcation of the area 52. The rope 50 is engaged under the handles of the stakes and jammed into the notches 48 thereof. Even though the area 52 is marked off to prevent the entry of general traffic, the golf rules require that the ball be played from where it lies. This means that the player must go into the area 52 and play the ball from where it lies. In order to prevent it from interfering with the golfer's swing or the path of the ball, some of the stakes may need to be pulled up and placed on the ground, together with that part of the rope 50 which is engaged therein. Thereupon, the golfer plays his ball. After playing the ball, the stakes are reinserted into the ground. Since the rope is jammed into the notch of the particular stake, the old stake hole is more easily located and the stake is returned to its original in-ground position. The foot pedal 54 aids in the original insertion and the reinsertion of the stake into the ground.

[0025] Preferably, the entire stake including shank, pointed section, foot pedal and handle are unitarily molded of synthetic polymer composition material. In some cases, the stakes will not be arranged to enclose an area, but may be arranged in a generally straight line to separate the spectators from the fairway. Sometimes the players hit a ball outside the fairway into the rough and outside that line demarking spectator space. In that case, also, the adjacent stakes and adjoining rope may need to be lowered to permit the golfer to make a clear shot. Since the stake is attached at a particular point to the rope, the former stake hole may be more easily found when the stake is returned to the ground. The usual rope employed is a braided rope made of a plurality of monofilament synthetic polymer composition material strands. However, the notch is configured to receive and engage other types of rope.

[0026] The stake 56 of FIG. 6 has a handle 58 which is very similar to stake 10 with handle 32. The difference is that the engagement finger 60 has a roughened interior surface 62 to more firmly grasp the rope 50 jammed into its notch. Such roughness may be achieved by steps, teeth, serrations or similar surface configurations.

[0027] The stake 64 shown in FIG. 7 has a handle 66, the top of which extends at a substantially right angle with respect to the shank of stake 64. Arm 68 extends downwardly, parallel to the shank, and finger 70 is positioned at a right angle with respect to arm 68 and is directed toward the shank. The finger 70 terminates in a loop 72 which extends down and back out at least a third of a circle to guide the rope 50 up into the interior of the handle. Finger 70 carries an engagement finger 74 which extends back toward the arm 68 to define a notch 76 into which the rope 50 is engaged. The notch 76 has the same characteristics as the notch 48 so that the rope 50 can be jammed and releaseably locked therein. In FIG. 7, the loop 72 is shown as having an alternate configuration wherein the loop extends outward and upward in dashed lines to form extended loop 78. Extended loop 78 permits preliminary hanging of the rope 50 therein, or the hanging of a different rope therein, or permit the hanging of a sign thereon. Since the rope 50 is jammed into the notch 76, the stake 64 can be used in the same manner as the stake 10. The stakes 56 and 64 are also preferably formed of one piece of synthetic polymer composition material. As seen in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, a spring clip 80 carries a rope bight 82 and is clipped onto the shank 22 at the notches 28 and 30. The ends or an end of rope 50 can be wrapped around the bight 82 for maximum security of termination.

[0028] There are some situations on golf courses where it is helpful to indicate different conditions for utilization of the course by the players and/or the gallery. In order to permit signaling of the conditions to those concerned, the stakes 10-20, 56 and 64 can have colored panels attached thereto. FIGS. 8 and 9 show panel 84 detachably attached to the stake 10. The other stakes are similarly configured so as to be able to carry the same type of panel. The panel 84 has a panel face 86 which may be colored to indicate a particular condition. Behind the panel face, spring clips 88 and 90 are attached. The spring clips 88 and 90 are is generally C-shaped and have protrusions which resiliently engage in the grooves 28 and 30. By means of this structure, the panel may be attached or detached, in accordance with requirements.

[0029] This invention has been described in its presently contemplated best embodiments and it is clear that it is susceptible to numerous modifications, modes and embodiments within the ability of those skilled in the art and without the exercise of the inventive faculty. Accordingly, the scope of this invention is defined by the scope of the following claims.