Title:
Golf practice device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf practice device has a body that includes at least one battery, a display generator that presents a visual or audio display when energized by the battery, and a sensor switch that closes an electrical circuit that connects the battery to the display generator when the device is struck by a golf ball. In one embodiment, the bottom of the body is attached to a pin which is inserted into a golf green. In another embodiment, the bottom of the body is made of a material having many small hooks on it so that the body will grasp onto a fabric, such as a carpet. When a golf ball strikes the golf practice device it presents a visual or audio display to the golfer.



Inventors:
Lobeck, David P. (New Albany, IN, US)
Application Number:
09/683787
Publication Date:
08/14/2003
Filing Date:
02/14/2002
Assignee:
LOBECK DAVID P.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B57/00; A63B69/36; A63B63/00; (IPC1-7): A63B57/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
D'AGOSTINO, PAUL ANTHONY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RICHARD D. FUERLE (1711 W. RIVER RD., GRAND ISLAND, NY, 14072, US)
Claims:
1. a golf practice device comprising a body that contains (A) at least one battery; (B) a display generator that presents a display when energized by said battery; and (C) a sensor switch that closes an electrical circuit connecting said battery to said display generator when said golf practice device is struck by a golf ball.

2. A golf practice device according to claim 1 wherein the bottom of said body is attached to a pin that can be pushed into the ground.

3. A golf practice device according to claim 1 wherein the bottom of said body is attached to a material made of small hooks, whereby said golf practice device can be releasably attached to a fabric.

4. A golf practice device according to claim 1 wherein said display is a sound.

5. A golf practice device according to claim 4 wherein said sound is that of a ball falling into a cup.

6. A golf practice device according to claim 4 wherein said sound is a human voice.

7. A golf practice device according to claim 1 wherein said display is a light.

8. A golf practice device according to claim 1 wherein said sensor switch closes said electrical circuit when said golf practice device is struck by a ball coming from any direction.

9. A golf practice device according to claim 8 wherein said sensor switch is a metal spring mounted inside a metal ferrule, so that said metal spring contacts said metal ferrule when said golf practice device is struck by a golf ball.

10. A golf practice device according to claim 1 wherein said display generator is an integrated circuit for generating an electrical signal and a speaker for converting said electrical signal into sound.

11. A method of improving putting accuracy comprising inserting the pin of a golf practice device according to claim 2 into a putting green and putting golf balls at said golf practice device.

12. A method of improving putting accuracy comprising placing a golf practice device according to claim 3 on a carpet and putting golf balls at said golf practice device.

13. A golf practice device comprising a body containing (A) an on-off switch for turning said device on and off; (B) at least one battery; (C) a display generator for generating a sound when energized by said battery; and (D) a sensor switch that closes an electrical circuit connecting said battery to said display generator when said device is struck by a golf ball.

14. A golf practice device according to claim 13 wherein the bottom of said body is attached to a pin that can be pushed into the ground.

15. A golf practice device according to claim 13 wherein the bottom of said body is attached to a material made of small hooks, whereby said golf practice device can be releasably attached to a fabric.

16. A method of improving putting accuracy comprising inserting the pin of a golf practice device according to claim 14 into a putting green, turning on said on-off switch, and putting golf balls at said device.

17. A method of improving putting accuracy comprising placing a golf practice device according to claim 15 on a carpet, turning on said on-off switch, and putting golf balls at said device.

18. A golf practice device comprising a body that contains (A) an on-off switch for turning said device on and off; (B) at least one battery; (C) an integrated circuit chip programmed to generate an electrical signal when energized by said battery; (D) a speaker that generates a sound when energized with said electrical signal; (E) a sensor switch that comprises a metal spring mounted inside a metal ferrule, where said spring contacts said metal ferrule when said device is struck by a golf ball; (F) an electrical circuit connecting said battery, said on-off switch, said sensor switch, said integrated circuit chip, and said speaker, whereby said circuit is closed when said on-off switch and said sensor switch are closed.

19. A golf practice device according to claim 18 wherein the bottom of said body is attached to a pin that can be pushed into the ground.

20. A golf practice device according to claim 18 wherein the bottom of said body is attached to a material made of small hooks, whereby said golf practice device can be releasably attached to a fabric.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to a golf practice device that presents a display when struck by a golf ball. In particular, it relates to a golf practice device having a battery, an on-off switch, a sensor switch, an integrated circuit (IC) chip, and a speaker.

[0002] One of the most challenging parts of golf is accurate putting. Dedicated golfers practice putting using a practice green or various types of putting practice equipment, such as small tunnels into which the ball is putted. However, some putting practice equipment can be used from only one direction and may not work well on greens that are not flat.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0003] I have invented a golf practice device which can be used to improve the putting accuracy of a golfer. The device can be pushed into a golfing green or placed on a carpet, turned on, and used immediately. The golfer can putt to the device from any direction, regardless of the slope of the green. Each time the device is struck by a golf ball, it plays a sound, rewarding the golfer for an accurate putt.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0004] FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a golf practice device according to this invention inserted into a putting green.

[0005] FIG. 2 is an exploded isometric view of the golf practice device of FIG. 1.

[0006] FIG. 3 is a circuit diagram for the golf practice device of FIG. 1.

[0007] FIG. 4 is an isometric view of an alternative golf practice device according to this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0008] In FIG. 1, a golf practice device 1 consists of a head portion 3 and a pin portion 4. The lower part of pin portion 4 is imbedded in a putting green 5.

[0009] Referring now to FIG. 2, head portion 3 has a cap 6, which snaps onto housing 7. Housing 7 fits over speaker holder 8, which in turn holds speaker 9. Wires 10 connect speaker 9 to printed circuit board (PCB) 11. (PCB 11 contains a transistor, resistors, capacitors, and an integrated circuit chip, all shown on FIG. 3.) On-off switch 12 closes an electrical circuit when speaker holder 8 and speaker 9 are pushed downward and opens the electrical circuit when speaker holder 8 and speaker 9 are pushed downward a second time. On-off switch 12 can be, for example, a single rubber key containing a carbonaceous-silicon material. Under PCB 11 are two button cell batteries 13 held in battery contact 14, which connects the batteries to PCB 11. On a second PCB 15 is mounted a metal ferrule 16 with a metal spring 17 inside, forming sensor switch 18. Ferrule 16 is connected by wire 19 to PCB 11 and spring 17 is connected by wire 20 to PCB 11. When a ball strikes device 1, device 1 moves slightly in the direction the ball is moving, but spring 17 does not initially move and it is struck by the moving ferrule 16, closing an electrical circuit. The closed circuit causes PCB 11 to generate an electrical signal that is impressed on current going to speaker 9, which plays a sound. Screws 21 hold pin portion 4 to head portion 3.

[0010] In FIG. 3, two batteries 13, connected in series, provide power for generating a sound when a ball strikes tee 1. Batteries 13 can be replaced by unscrewing screws and separating pin portion 4 from head portion 3. A transistor 22 permits IC chip 23 to impose the electrical signal for the sound on current flowing from batteries 13 to speaker 9. Also shown are two resistors 24 and two capacitors 25, which are used for proper circuit function as is known in the electrical arts. Batteries 13, on-off switch 12, sensor switch 18, and speaker 9 are connected in series.

[0011] The sound generated by the device is preferably the sound of a ball falling into a cup, but it could also be a short melody, a siren, a human voice, or other sound. Instead of using a speaker and playing a sound when the device is struck by a ball, another type of display could be used, such as a flashing light, or both a sound and a light. It is also possible to eliminate on-off switch 12 so that the device is activated only by sensor switch 18.

[0012] The cap, housing, and pin portions of the tee are preferably made from molded impact-resistant plastic, such as acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, but metals, other types of plastic,. or other materials could also be used. On-off switch 12 is commercially available from, for example, Food Tin Ltd. of the first Industrial Division of Ping Di, Baoan, Shenzhen, China. Sensor switch 18 is made by mounting ferrule 16 and spring 17 on a printed circuit board. IC chip 21 is a commercially available chip such as “94HB,” a 1.6 mm singled chip sold by Kei Wai Ltd. of the fifth Industrial Estate, Tongsha, Dongguan, China. Other types of chips for generating displays are also commercially available.

[0013] To use the golf practice device of FIG. 1, it is pushed into the ground, preferably a putting green, which can be flat or hilly. The speaker cover at the center of the cap is pressed downward to turn the device on. The golfer putts to the device from any direction and the device will present the display as a reward when it is struck by the ball. Because the device is smaller than a golf cup, once putting accuracy is achieved using the device, it is easier to putt accurately to a cup. When finished, the golfer presses the speaker cover downward a second time to turn it off and then removes it from the ground.

[0014] FIG. 4 shows an alternative embodiment 26 of a golf practice device. It is similar to the device of FIG. 1 except that on the base of head portion 27 is mounted a material 28 made of small hooks that can releasably attach to fabric, such as “Velcro.” The device is placed on a fabric, such as a carpet, so that material 28 adheres to the fabric. It is then turned on and is putted to in the same manner as the device of FIG. 1. Material 28 prevents head portion 27 from moving across the fabric when it is struck by a golf ball.