Title:
Golf swing, chip, pitch or putt practice and training device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf swing, chip, pitch or putt practice and training device is provided which provides people who play golf the means to develop their ability to swing, chip, pitch and putt. The practice and training device comprises a base and a backstop attached to the base. The base is provided with base alignment marks and a golf ball strike box for positioning and aligning a golfer before, during, and after the execution of a swing, chip, pitch shot or putting stroke. The backstop is likewise provided with backstop alignment marks which further assist in maintaining the golfer's alignment through the swing, and which immediately provide the golfer with an indication of his swing performance. The backstop is provided at its upper end with adjustable means for attaching the backstop to a ceiling or structure, at its lower end with means for attaching the backstop to the base, and is generally curved to ensure that the golf ball automatically returns to the golfer after each swing.



Inventors:
Bradstock, Alden S. (Catonsville, MD, US)
Application Number:
09/882461
Publication Date:
11/06/2003
Filing Date:
06/15/2001
Assignee:
BRADSTOCK ALDEN S.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/262, 473/257
International Classes:
A63B69/36; A63B69/00; A63B69/38; A63B71/02; (IPC1-7): A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Royal W. Craig (Law Offices of Royal W. Craig 10 N. Calvert Street Suite 153, Baltimore, MD, 21201, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device, comprising: a base including a plurality of base alignment marks to assist in orienting a golfer before, during, and after execution of a swing; and a backstop attached to the base, said backstop including a plurality of backstop alignment marks to provide assist in orienting the golfer and in maintaining said golfer's alignment through the swing and for immediately providing the golfer with an indication of swing performance; whereby said backstop and base combine to enable a golfer to develop better swing mechanics during swinging, chipping, pitching and putting of golf clubs.

2. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 1, wherein said base alignment marks including a backswing straight alignment mark for guiding the golf club head backward during a backswing.

3. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 2, wherein said base alignment marks including a forward straight alignment mark for guiding the golf club head forward after impact.

4. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 3, wherein said backstop alignment marks include a plurality of horizontal alignment marks defining consecutive angular trajectories at angles from the forward straight alignment mark of said base with origins at a point of contact between a golf ball and said base.

5. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 4, wherein said horizontal alignment marks define consecutive angular trajectories at 10 degree angles based on a point of contact of the golf ball on said base.

6. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 4, wherein said backstop is opaque and of contrasting color with said ball.

7. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 4, wherein said backstop is curved to automatically return each golf ball to the golfer after each swing.

8. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 4, further comprising means for attaching said backstop to a ceiling, and means for attaching said backstop to the base.

9. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 8, wherein said means for attaching said backstop to a ceiling further comprise adjustable shock absorbing connectors coupled to attachment devices.

10. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 4, wherein said backstop is marked with a simulated hole at the intersection with said base, said simulated hole being centered on the vertical alignment mark.

11. A golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device, comprising: a base including a plurality of base alignment marks and a golf ball strike box for positioning and aligning a golfer before, during, and after execution of a swing, said base alignment marks including a backswing straight alignment mark for guiding the golf club head backward during a backswing, and a forward straight alignment mark for guiding the golf club head forward after impact; and a backstop attached to the base, said backstop including a plurality of backstop alignment marks to orient the golfer after impact and to indicate the result of their swing by defining where and how the ball comes in contact with the backstop; whereby said backstop and base combine to enable a golfer to develop better swing mechanics during swinging, chipping, pitching and putting of golf clubs.

12. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 11, wherein said base alignment marks include a backswing straight alignment mark for guiding the golf club head backward during a backswing.

13. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 12, wherein said base alignment marks include a forward straight alignment mark for guiding the golf club head forward after impact.

14. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 13, wherein said backstop alignment marks include a plurality of horizontal alignment marks defining consecutive angular trajectories at angles from the forward straight alignment mark of said base with origins at a point of contact between a golf ball and said base.

15. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 14, wherein said horizontal alignment marks define consecutive angular trajectories at 10 degree angles based on a point of contact of the golf ball on said base.

16. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 14, wherein said backstop is opaque and of contrasting color with said ball.

17. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 14, wherein said backstop is curved to automatically return each golf ball to the golfer after each swing.

18. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 14, further comprising means for attaching said backstop to a ceiling, and means for attaching said backstop to the base.

19. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 18, wherein said means for attaching said backstop to a ceiling further comprise adjustable shock absorbing connectors coupled to attachment devices.

20. The golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device according to claim 19, wherein said backstop is marked with a simulated hole at the intersection with said base, said simulated hole being centered on the vertical alignment mark.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCED TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application derives priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/211,605 for “GOLF SWING, CHIP, OR PITCH PRACTICE AND TRAINING DEVICE”; filed: Jun. 15, 2000.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to sport training devices and, more particularly, to a golf swing training device for enabling a golfer to develop better swing mechanics during swinging, chipping, pitching and putting of golf clubs.

[0004] 2. Description of the Background

[0005] The game of golf involves striking a one inch diameter ball with a golf club to direct the ball towards a hole in the golf course. Despite the singular goal, there are many variables. Golf clubs come in a variety of shapes and sizes to produce different results, imparting to the ball differing degrees of spin, trajectory, loft, and distance, depending upon the force with which the golfer swings the club. Each golf club consists of a grip, a shaft, and a golf club head. The head of each golf club varies in shape, face angle, and weight from other clubs, all of which effect the flight of the ball after it is struck with the club. Likewise, the way in which a player swings the club also affects the ball's distance and flight path.

[0006] For any given shot, a golfer may use a “full” or a “partial” swing. The golfer will hit the golf ball with the greatest force if he takes a full swing. The greater force applied during the swing, the further the ball will travel after it is struck.

[0007] A partial swing is generally reserved for shorter shots in order to advance the ball a shorter distance or by greater loft. For very short shots, a golfer may perform a “chip” or a “pitch” shot. The chip occurs when the golfer partially swings a golf club having a low club face angle. The chip produces a low trajectory flight of the ball. Likewise, the pitch occurs when the golfer partially swings a golf club having a high club face angle. The pitch produces a high trajectory flight of the ball.

[0008] In addition to the above, the final effort on each hole is putting. It is especially important for golfers to practice their putting techniques in order to lower their overall score. However, all shots are important, and the best golfers practice all types of shots in order to develop a balanced game. Thus, a universal golf swing training device should facilitate golfers in properly executing both full and partial swings, as well as putting, in order to develop a better overall game.

[0009] A number of prior efforts have been made to attempt to assist golfers in learning how to effectively swing a golf club with either a full or partial swing. One such attempt is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,558,140 to Romeo. Romeo discloses a golfing target with a simulated ground, wherein the golfer hits the ball into the golfing target so that the ball comes to rest on or behind the simulated ground. The device of Romeo requires outdoor use and does not return the ball to the player, making it rather inconvenient to use.

[0010] Likewise, U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,018,731 to Doyle and 5,492,319 to Lee each show a capture device such as a net. Such capture nets have no means of informing a golfer of the results of his swing, chip or pitch shot, or putting stroke, do not provide instant ball return to the user, and are not portable.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 3,756,606 to Land discloses a training device that offers indoor or outdoor use, ball return to the user, and automatic tee-up of the golf ball, but provides such features in a highly complicated, awkward device that fails to allow for both left- and right-handed golfers. The Land device fails to align the golfer prior to, during, and after the golfer's swing, chip, pitch shot, or putt, thus limiting its effectiveness in accurately informing the golfer of his performance.

[0012] Each of U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,306,009 to Bolanos and 5,609,528 to Kehoe disclose angled net or canvas ramps with a circular upper portion. In using the Bolanos and Kehoe devices, a golfer is unable to accurately determine the precise point of impact of the ball on the ramp. The golf ball rides up the ramp and moves in a circular manner at its top. Once again, the Bolanos and Kehoe devices fail to align the golfer during the shot, golf ball return to the user is complicated, and neither of the devices permit both right and left handed players to easily use the device.

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 3,001,795 to Johnson shows a sloped backstop made of netting material with connecting devices to a portable frame. The device fails to permit the golfer to train indoors or in residences. It does not instantly feedback the results of the user's swing, chip pitch or putt and align the user.

[0014] In addition to the above, there are a number of putting trainers generally comprising some sort of ball return. However, all of the foregoing devices are rudimentary in scope, offering very limited indications of a golfer's performance, they do not provide guidance on all types of swings, and the feedback that they do provide is not instantaneous. Moreover, the inventions are not well suited for indoor use, and their use indoors or in close proximity to people or objects will risk injury or property damage. The prior art devices do not help a golfer to orient his body prior to his execution of a swing, chip or pitch shot, or putting stroke. Likewise, the prior art devices fail to keep users aligned during and after they swing a golf club.

[0015] It would therefore be advantageous to provide a swing, chip, pitch and putt training device which: (a) isolates and trains the user's muscles to develop his swinging, chipping, pitching and putting motions; (b) develops a user's muscles in the same order in which they use their muscles when they swing, chip, pitch or putt; (c) trains the user by aligning parts of his or her body before he or she executes their swing, chip, pitch or putt; (d) aligns the user during and after he executes a swing, chip, pitch or putt; (e) provides the user with instant feedback on the results of his swing, chip, pitch or putt; (f) provides instant return of the golf ball after the execution of the swing, chip, pitch or putt, thereby permitting the user to hit, chip, pitch or putt the golf ball repeatedly; (g) provides a safe and stable environment for users to swing, chip, pitch or putt; (h) provides a device that is easy to use and manufacture; (i) permits easy use of the device by both right and left handed players; and (h) provides a device that is portable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0016] It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a device which helps isolate and train specific muscles a golfer uses when they swing, chip, pitch and putt.

[0017] It is another object of the present invention to provide a device which helps golfers train and develop the muscles they use to swing, chip, pitch and putt in the order that the muscles are used during their execution of their swing, chip, pitch and putt.

[0018] It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a device which orients users prior to, during, and after their execution of a swing, chip, pitch and putt.

[0019] It is still yet another object of the present invention to provide a device that gives the user instant feedback on the results of his or her swing, chip, pitch and putt.

[0020] It is even yet another object of the present invention to provide a device that gives instant return of the golf ball to the user.

[0021] It is a further object of the present invention to provide a device which may be used either indoors or outdoors.

[0022] It is an even further object of the present invention to provide a device that is easy to use, both by right and left handed users, as well as to manufacture and maintain.

[0023] It is still another object of the present invention to provide a device that is portable and can be installed in various ways, in various locations, and adjusted to the available height of the space or room in which the device is used.

[0024] In accordance with the above objects, a golf swing, chip, and pitch practice and training device is provided which provides people who play golf the means to develop their ability to swing, chip, pitch and putt. The practice and training device comprises a base and a backstop attached to the base. The base is provided with base alignment marks and a golf ball strike box (or “strike zone”) for positioning and aligning a golfer before, during, and after the execution of a swing, chip, pitch shot or putting stroke. The backstop is likewise provided with backstop alignment marks which further assist in maintaining the golfer's alignment through the swing, and which immediately provide the golfer with an indication of his swing performance. The backstop is provided at is upper end with means for attaching the backstop to a ceiling, and at its lower end with means for attaching the backstop to the base, and is generally curved to ensure that the golf ball automatically returns to the golfer after each swing.

[0025] The construction of the practice device of the instant invention allows a golfer to isolate and exercise those muscles that they ordinarily use when they attempt a swing, chip, pitch shot or putting stroke during the play of golf. By exercising with the golf clubs in conjunction with the practice device of the instant invention, the golfer develops his or her muscles in the order that they use them when they execute the particular swing. In order to maximize a golfer's opportunity to practice those swings, the practice device is constructed for use either indoors or outdoors. The indoor use of the practice device of the instant invention provides a marked advantage over previously known devices, particularly when a golfer wishes to practice his or her swing during inclement weather.

[0026] The practice device of the instant invention is also extremely flexible in its use. The base can be installed on a floor of an interior space or outside on the ground. The backstop can be connected to various elements above and in front of the base, such as the ceiling of an indoor room or a structure such as an indoor beam or an outdoor structural frame. The small size and portable nature of the practice device of the instant invention allows golfers to install the device in one place, disassemble the device, and move and install it in another location.

[0027] The size and arrangement of the backstop, base, and alignment marks on the practice device of the instant invention permit both right and left handed persons to use the device. A right handed person simply stands on one side of the base during his practice, while a left handed person stands on the opposite side of the base during his practice.

[0028] The backstop and base alignment marks orient users prior to their execution of a swing, chip, pitch shot or putting stroke. This advantage is important to people who are new to the game of golf and unaccustomed to swinging, chipping, or pitching. Likewise, users of the device can orient themselves on the base when they execute their swing, chip, pitch or putt by observing the various base alignment marks. Once a user makes contact with the golf ball during his or her execution of their swing, chip, pitch shot or putting stroke, he or she observes the forward straight alignment mark and the backstop vertical alignment mark. His or her observation of the marks after impact helps the user maintain balance. The user easily determines the effects of their swing, chip, pitch shot or putting stroke by observing where and how the ball comes in contact with the backstop. In this regard, the backstop is preferably opaque and of contrasting color with the ball. The vertical and horizontal alignment marks on the backstop are excellent references for the user. The location of the impact of the ball and the movement of the ball when it impacts the backstop indicate how the user hit the golf ball with the golf club.

[0029] The practice device of the instant invention takes very little room and can be conveniently installed and used without disruption to living and working areas. For example, the device can be installed in unused rooms in a home such as in a family room or basement. The device can also be installed in an office, such that people can practice their techniques during breaks from work. The practice device of the instant invention can be safely used indoors or near observers. The backstop is secured by connectors and shock absorbing attachment devices at its top and bottom. It stops a golf ball immediately after the ball is hit. The connectors absorb the impact shock of the ball so that the ball does not ricochet or become a missile. Thus, the device is also very helpful in maintaining an experienced person's swinging, chipping, or pitching techniques, particularly during off-season or inclement weather times.

[0030] The modular assembly of the practice device of the instant invention allows each part to be individually replaced, thus reducing replacement time and costs. The practice device of the instant invention is also very easy to manufacture. The materials used to produce the device are readily available in the marketplace. The base consists of vertical and horizontal tightly woven fabric. The adjustable shock absorbing attachment devices, the backstop, and the marking materials are all readily available.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0031] Other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment and certain modifications thereof when taken together with the accompanying drawings in which:

[0032] FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the practice and training device of the instant invention.

[0033] FIG. 2A is a side view of the device cut through its centerline.

[0034] FIG. 2B is a front view of the backstop.

[0035] FIG. 2C is a plan view of the base.

[0036] FIG. 3 shows a human figure with a golf club preparing to use the device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0037] As shown in the isometric view of FIG. 1, the practice and training device of the instant invention comprises a plurality of attachment devices 1 configured for attaching the top ends of a backstop 3 to a ceiling or similar structure. Attachment devices 1 are preferably formed of metal or other high strength material, and are connectable to the ceiling of a room or similar structure 17 by helical screw friction, expansion connectors, or high strength straps.

[0038] Adjustable shock absorbing connectors 2 connect the backstop 3 to attachment devices 1. Connectors 2 can be adjusted from approximately 50 mm to 2 meters in length, and are made of elastic material similar to rubber or expandable woven fabric.

[0039] The backstop 3 is typically made of thin flexible cloth material, mesh netting, or any other material that is flexible, that can have alignment marks applied to it, and that can withstand repeated impacts of the golf ball 16. The backstop is preferably provided with overall dimensions of approximately 180 mm wide by 240 mm high, and the top and bottom corners of the backstop 3 form angles with the horizontal of approximately 85 and 75 degrees, respectively.

[0040] Backstop 3 is provided with alignment marks permanently marked or sewn onto backstop 3 such as with thread, die, ink, paint, epoxy or other suitable marking product. A vertical alignment mark 4 is located on the longitudinal centerline of the backstop 3 and is approximately 220 mm long and 1.5 mm wide. Approximately seven large graduated horizontal alignment marks 6 are each located along backstop 3 at approximately 24 mm increments from the bottom to the top of backstop 3. Horizontal alignment marks 6 define consecutive angular trajectories at 10 degree angles 21 from the forward straight alignment mark 8 of base 15, with their origins at the point of contact between the golf ball 18 and the base 15.

[0041] A small graduated horizontal alignment mark 7 is located halfway between each pair of spaced graduated horizontal alignment marks 6. The large 6 and small 7 graduated horizontal alignment marks are 60 mm×1.5 mm and 30 mm×0.75 mm, respectively. One additional small graduated horizontal alignment mark 5 is provided, and this is a differentiating horizontal alignment mark. To reach above the differentiating mark 5 typically requires a pitch shot, and below is a chip shot.

[0042] Preferably, a simulated hole 22 is marked on the backstop 3 where it rests on the base 15. Simulated hole 22 is centered on the vertical alignment mark 4.

[0043] Also provided is a horizontal base 15 attached to backstop 3 via shock absorbing attachment devices 14. Base 15 is provided with base alignment markings 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13. The base 15 has overall dimensions of roughly 180 mm×213 mm, is approximately 2 mm thick, and consists of tightly woven carpet formed from vertical and horizontal mesh. However, the base can be larger, consist of any material that can withstand repeated impacts of a golf club 23, and can support a golf ball 18 in similar manner as natural ground coverings such as grass, dirt, rocks, or sand.

[0044] Base 15 is provided with alignment marks 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12, and a golf ball strike box 13 (a.k.a. “strike zone”), permanently marked on the base 15 with any marking material such as thread, die, ink, paint, epoxy, or similar marking materials. Strike box 13 is rectangular in shape, approximately 30 mm×10 mm, and located longitudinally 50 mm from the rear end of the base 17.

[0045] The lines forming the strike box 13 are approximately 1.5 mm wide. The forward straight alignment mark 8 is approximately 110 mm long and 1.5 mm wide and is marked on the base 15 in a straight line from the forward side of the golf ball strike box 13 to the forward end of the base 15 along the longitudinal centerline of the base 15. The backswing straight alignment mark 9 is approximately 50 mm×10 mm and marked on the base 15 in a straight line from the rear side of the base golf ball strike box 13 to the rear end of the base 15 along the longitudinal centerline of the base 15. Four angled alignment marks 10 are 55 mm×0.75 mm and marked on the base 15 at five degree angles to the forward straight alignment mark 8 and the backswing straight alignment mark 9 with the strike box 13 and the forward two corners of the strike box 13. The rear latitudinal line of the strike box 13 is 60 mm×1.5 mm forming the golf club edge alignment mark 11. Six distance alignment marks 12 approximately 30 mm×0.75 mm centered on the forward 8 and backswing 9 straight alignment marks and parallel to the golf club edge alignment mark 11 are located 15 mm, 30 mm, and 45 mm in front of and behind the golf club edge alignment mark 11, respectively.

[0046] The practice device of the instant invention is easily assembled with conventional hand tools, such as a hammer, a screw driver, and a drill by securing the ceiling or structure attachment devices 1 to a ceiling or structure 17. The adjustable shock absorbing devices 2 are connected to the attachment devices 1 and the backstop 3. The base 15 is placed on the ground or floor 18 and the backstop 3 is connected to the base 15 by the base shock absorbing attachment devices 14. The user adjusts the adjustable shock absorbing devices 2 so that the backstop 3 is aligned with the base 15 based on the height of the ceiling or structure 1 and the invention is then ready for use.

[0047] A golfer uses the throw, swing, chip, pitch and putt exercise and training device of the instant invention by placing a golf ball 18 inside and at the rear end of the golf ball strike box 13, standing on the base 15, aligning parts of their bodies with the backstop 15 and base alignment marks 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 13 as shown in FIG. 3, aligning the edge of the golf club head 24 with is the golf club edge alignment mark 11, executing the swing, chip, pitch and putt and observing the affects of their swing, chip, pitch and putt.

[0048] The user initiates a swing, chip, pitch and putt by moving the golf club head 21 along the backswing straight alignment mark 9. As the user moves the golf club 21 backwards, he or she sees whether the club 21 moves in or deviates from a straight path by observing any part of the backswing straight alignment mark 9 around the club head. The backswing straight alignment mark 9 is approximately as wide as the club head 24 is long. The appearance of any part of the backswing straight alignment mark 9 around the head 24 as the club 21 moves down the mark 9 indicates a deviation of the club 21 from a straight path during the backswing.

[0049] The golf ball strike box 13 and the straight and angled alignment marks on the base 8, 9, 10, and 11 cause the user to focus his or her eyes on the golf ball 16 during the execution of the swing, chip, pitch and putt and prior to contact between the golf club head 24 and the golf ball 16. At impact between the club head 24 and the ball 16, the user determines if he or she caused the head 24 to strike the ball 16 properly by observing the relationship between the head 24 and the strike box 13. The user causes improper contact if he or she observes the head 24 passing over the longitudinal lines of the box 13.

[0050] Immediately after impact between the golf club 21 and the golf ball 16, the user aligns the movement of the golf club 21 with the forward straight alignment mark 8 and observes the affects of the swing, chip, pitch and putt when the golf ball 16 strikes the backstop 3.

[0051] The user observes the backstop 3, alignment marks 4, 5, 6, and 7, and golf ball 16 to determine the results of his or her swing, chip, pitch and putt. For example, a golf ball 16 spins as it leaves the face of a golf club 21. Thus, the ball 16 may impact the backstop 3 either to the right, left, or center of the vertical alignment mark 4. The ball moves to the right or left or stays in the center of the backstop 3 at impact due to its spin. The ball 16 also strikes the backstop 3 at a specific elevation. The horizontal alignment marks help the user determine the angle in which the ball 16 traveled to the backstop 3. The location of the impact of the ball 16 and the movement of the ball 16 at impact indicates how the user hits the ball 16 with the golf club 21. Because each golfer produces different ball take-off angles than other golfers for the same club, each golfer must establish his or her own optimum angle to achieve a given distance for a particular club 23. The user may use the practice device of the instant invention to develop a consistent straight shot for a variety of take-off angles, and adjust his or her actual swing during play for the take-off angle that will provide the desired distance of the shot.

[0052] The adjustable shock absorbing devices 2 and the base shock absorbing attachment devices 14 absorb the impact of the golf ball 16 on the backstop 3 and prevent the golf ball 16 from rebounding.

[0053] The sloping arrangement of the backstop 3 causes the golf ball 16 to return to the base after it comes in contact with the backstop 3. The user 22 recovers the golf ball 16 at the bottom and prepares for the next swing, chip, pitch and putt.

[0054] Various modifications of the invention are possible due to the many ways in which golfers swing, chip, pitch and putt objects, the numerous materials that are available in the marketplace to manufacture the device, the variety of alignment marks that can be used, the variety of arrangements of the alignment marks that can be used, and the different techniques golfers use when they swing, chip, pitch and putt.

[0055] Having now fully set forth the preferred embodiments and certain modifications of the concept underlying the present invention, various other embodiments as well as certain variations and modifications of the embodiments herein shown and described will obviously occur to those skilled in the art upon becoming familiar with said underlying concept. It is to be understood, therefore, that the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically set forth herein. For example, the versatility of the practice device of the instant invention enables it to be extremely flexible and configured into a large number of uses in which a user seeks to practice swinging, chipping, or pitching movements of any objects. For example, the user may use the device to hit, swing, chip, pitch and putt objects such as baseballs with baseball bats, tennis balls with tennis racquets, racquetballs with racquetball racquets, hockey pucks with hockey sticks, and golf balls with golf clubs. Thus, a baseball batter, a tennis player, or a racquetball player can use the device to exercise and train themselves in the use of the sporting equipment used in their sport. Variations of the same golf swing, chip, pitch and putt exercise and training device of the instant invention can thus easily be adapted for other applications.