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Title:
Golf tees and accessories
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
There is provided tee having a ground engaging arrowhead spike portion (150) formed integrally with a substantially planar head portion (151) via a transition zone (152). The transition zone (152) is bored through at (153) to enable connection by cord to articles. The substantially planar head portion (151) is hexagonal and has a single, hexagonally arranged, annular array of substantially parallel bristle tufts (154) surrounding a central ball support tuft (155) of stiffer bristles. The substantially planar head portion (151) has a peripheral impact-distributing groove (156) which may optionally receive an O-ring or the like.


Inventors:
Pels, Jacques M. A. (Manila, PH)
Application Number:
10/514068
Publication Date:
05/11/2006
Filing Date:
05/08/2003
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/406, 473/408
International Classes:
A63B57/00; A63B69/36; A63B67/02
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
IRELL & MANELLA LLP (1800 AVENUE OF THE STARS, SUITE 900, LOS ANGELES, CA, 90067, US)
Claims:
1. A golf tee including a body member having a ground-engaging spike portion and an upper portion adapted to engage a resilient ball rest member, said ball rest member having an upper surface having mounted therein an annular array of bristle tufts to laterally locate said ball, said upper portion mounting a ball rest insert adapted to engage a bore provided in the top of the upper portion and extending substantially centrally within said annular array and forming a vertical support for said golf ball.

2. A golf tee according to claim 1, wherein the upper portion and the resilient ball rest member are provided with complementary profiles, which are engaged by resilient deformation of the ball rest member until the complementary profiles snap together.

3. A golf tee according to claim 1, wherein the ball rest insert comprises an insertable bristle tuft assembly.

4. A golf tee according to any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the ball rest member comprises an annular body having an upper substantially planar surface having mounted therein the annular array of bristle tufts.

5. A golf tee according to claim 4, wherein the annular body is configured to engage a corresponding annular groove provided at the upper portion, the engagement being against the resilient bias of the ball rest member, the annular body being a rotation fit in the groove whereby a proportion of the impact energy of the club head hitting the annular body may be dissipated by causing the annular body to spin about the upper portion.

6. A golf tee according to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein said annulus is of a shape selected from substantially round, triangular, square, rectangular or octagonal.

7. A golf tee according to claim 6, wherein said annulus is of a shape having an apical region and wherein a common axis of said substantially central upper portion and body member is biased toward said apical region.

8. A golf tee including a body member having a ground-engaging spike portion and an upper ball rest portion, said ball rest portion having an upper surface having mounted therein a plurality of bristle tufts, said bristle tufts being distributed substantially evenly across said surface and each extending substantially parallel to the axis of said spike portion, said tufts being of lengths selected whereby the upper ends of said tufts define a substantially concave ball rest surface.

9. A golf tee according to claim 8, wherein said plurality of bristle tufts form an array selected from round, triangular, square, rectangular or octagonal arrays.

10. A golf tee according to claim 9, wherein said annulus is of a shape having an apical region and wherein a common axis of said substantially central upper portion and body member is biased toward said apical region.

11. A golf tee according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the ground engaging spike portion comprises a point selected from a plain point or an arrowhead point.

12. A golf tee including a body member having an upper portion adapted to engage an elastomeric ball rest member having a ball rest surface thereon said upper portion extending downward to a ground-engaging portion, wherein said engagement between said upper portion and said elastomeric ball rest member comprises an arcuate tang of dovetail section in both its side and cross sections, and a complementary recess formed in said elastomeric ball rest member.

13. A golf tee according to claim 12, wherein said ground engaging portion comprises a spike portion or a blade portion.

14. A golf tee according to claim 13, wherein said ground engaging portion comprises a blade portion and the arcuate tang is disposed substantially in the plane of the ground-engaging blade portion.

15. A golf tee according to any one of claims 12 to 14, wherein said elastomeric ball support extends down the upper portion to a greater extent on one side that another to enable the hidden tang to be oriented down range in use.

16. A golf tee including a body member having an upper portion adapted to engage an elastomeric ball rest member having a ball rest surface thereon said upper portion extending downward and forward of said ball rest member and a ground-engaging blade portion having a leading edge and a trailing edge extending away from said upper portion and converging to form a vertically directed point in use whereby said point is displaced in the leading direction from the vertical axis of a ball on said ball rest.

17. A golf tee according to claim 16, wherein said displacement of the point from the vertical axis passing through the center of the ball rest surface in use is about 12 to 25% of the overall tee length.

18. A golf tee according to any one of claims 12 to 17, wherein said blade portion comprises a substantially foil-shaped blade with a chord profile selected from symmetrical or biased to a leading edge.

19. A golf tee according to any one of claims 12 to 18, wherein said ground engaging blade portion outer end remote from the ball rest surface terminates in a point, a chisel point or a curved edge.

20. A golf tee according to any one of claims 12 to 19, wherein said ball rest member is formed in situ with the tang by shooting the elastomeric precursor material into a mould containing the body member.

21. A golf tee assembly including a ground engagement member and a body member having a ball rest portion, wherein the ground engagement member is adapted to magnetically engage the body member.

22. A golf tee assembly according to claim 21, wherein the ground engagement member includes one or more ground insertion spike portions.

23. A golf tee assembly according to claim 21, wherein the ground engagement member is adapted to sit on top of a ground surface.

24. A golf tee assembly according to claim 23, wherein the ground engagement member includes a substantially flat upper portion, which in use is adapted to lie substantially flush with a ground surface to form a ball location marker in use.

25. A golf tee assembly according to claim 23, wherein the ground engagement member has an upper portion which in use stands proud of a ground surface, the upper portion including a ball rest surface which in use may support a golf ball.

26. A golf tee assembly according to claim 25, wherein the ball rest surface includes a bristle tuft assembly, whereby in use, the ground engagement member may be used in the absence of the body member to support a golf ball.

27. A golf tee assembly according to any one of claims 21 to 26, wherein said magnetic engagement is by means of magnetically attractive elements moulded into each of said ground engagement member and said body member.

28. A golf tee assembly according to any one of claims 21 to 27, and including one or more further ball rest members, which in use may be placed on top of or in addition to a first ball rest member.

29. A golf tee assembly according to any one of claims 21 to 28, wherein an upper portion of the body member includes resilient impact means.

30. A golf tee according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the body member is substantially formed of one or more polymeric materials.

31. A golf tee according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the body member has a passage therethrough adapted to receive a connecting cord whereby the body member may be connected to an accessory.

32. A golf tee according to claim 31, wherein the accessory is selected from drag-inducing devices, an anchoring device, a golfer's divot tool, another tee or the like.

33. A golf tee according to claim 32, wherein the accessory is a tee in accordance with the present invention.

34. A golf tee according to claim 33, wherein the connecting cord may be of a length which permits one of the pair of tees to be used as an anchor for the other, thus resisting the propulsion of the tee downrange when struck by the club head.

35. A golf tee including an integral body member having a pair of spaced, substantially parallel ground-engaging spike portions and an upper ball rest portion, said ball rest portion having an upper ball rest surface, said body member having a passage therethrough above said spike portions and adapted to receive a connecting cord whereby respective said body members may be connected thereby in pairs.

36. A golf tee according to claim 35, wherein the connecting cord is of a length which permits one of the pair of tees to be used as an anchor for the other, thus resisting the propulsion of the tee downrange when struck by the club head.

39. A combined golf tee and ball mark repair tool including an integral body member having a pair of spaced, substantially parallel dressing spike portions and an upper ball rest portion, said ball rest portion having an upper ball rest surface, said body member having web formed between said spike portions and a recess formed in at least one side of said web, at least one of said spike portions having a nib complementary to said recess whereby a pair of ball mark repair tools may be clipped together spikes-to-spikes with intersecting planes of the spikes of the respective tools.

40. A combined golf tee and ball mark repair tool according to claim 40, wherein the second of said pair of ball mark repair tools dispenses with the web and its attendant recess and at least one of its spike portions having a nib complementary to the recess of the first tool whereby the pair of different ball mark repair tools may be clipped together.

41. A combined golf tee and ball mark repair tool according to claim 39 or claim 40, wherein said body member has a passage therethrough above the spike portions and adapted to receive a connecting cord whereby respective ones of the body members may be connected thereby in pairs.

42. A combined golf tee and ball mark repair tool according to any one of claims 39 to 41, wherein said body member is provided with a further integrally formed protrusion which is adapted to clean dirt out of the grooves in a club face.

43. A combined golf tee and ball mark repair tool according to claim 42, wherein one or both of the spike portions have an integrally formed said protrusion located toward the end of the spike and disposed to the outer side of the spike.

44. A golf tee according to any one of claims 35 to 43, wherein the integral body member is formed of polymer material.

45. A golf tee according to claim 44, wherein the upper portion of the integral body is provided with resilient impact means.

46. A putting aid including a moulded elastomeric mat adapted to conform under its weight to a surface and having marked thereon at least one pair of substantially parallel guide lines defining a desired path for a putter and at least two spaced backswing gauge lines each extending between and transverse to said guide lines, said moulded elastomeric mat having a textured surface comprising plurality of evenly distributed raised portions interspersed with depressions to simulate a putting green, and a pair of elongate side members adapted to be secured to said mat and defining therebetween a limit of divergence from said path of said putter.

47. A putting cup apparatus comprising a body member having a base portion adapted to rest on the ground or the like, engagement means associated with said body member and adapted to secure said body member to said ground or the like against displacement by ball impacts in use, an inclined upper surface meeting said base portion at a substantially sharp edge at the ground or the like in use and bounded at its other edge or edges by a lip, said body member having a target hole provided through said inclined upper surface.

48. A ball holder including a resilient body member having a part substantially-spherical web formed thereon and extending between outer ends for greater than half a circumference and for less than one quarter circumference in the direction perpendicular to an imaginary line joining said ends, whereby a golf ball may be secured against the concave surface of said web by the resilient bias thereof, a ball marking stencil member having a shaped aperture passing through to a part substantially-spherical bearing surface adapted to be placed on a golf ball, and engagement means associated with said outer ends and said stencil and adapted to releasably engage said spherical bearing surface between said outer ends and adjacent the surface of a retained ball.

49. A ball holder including pair of holder members each having a part substantially-spherical web formed thereon extending between outer ends for greater than half a circumference and for less than one quarter circumference in the direction perpendicular to an imaginary circumferential line joining said ends, said holder members being pivoted at their mid-points and pivotally movable between a first position where said members are nested and a second position where said members are mutually perpendicular, a transverse slot about said pivot on one said member and adapted to receive a corresponding key portion oriented along said imaginary line and about said pivot on the other of said members, said key being retained in said slot by resilient bias to releasably secure said members in said second position.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to golf tees.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Golf tees have little improved from the traditional wooden or plastic tees comprising a lower ground-engaging spike portion and an upper ball rest portion. The limitations of traditional tees include the fact that the club head, in contacting the tee in its flight, may propel the tee downrange, may fracture or break the tee, or may cause scoring or marking of the club face.

One form of tee which has been proposed is the folding tee comprising a supporting base adapted to rest on the ground and having pivoted thereto a ball support member. The apparatus is designed to be oriented with the pivoting action being from a first position where the ball is supported as per a conventional tee and a second position where the ball support member is folded down in the downrange direction. Disadvantages of this type of tee are the reliance on a base resting on the ground, which may be uneven and thus form an unstable support, and the need to precisely orient the pivoting plane downrange. The hard stem of the ball support member may still score or mark the club face.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,053,822 discloses a golf tee including a stem and an integrally formed head. The head includes a substantially flat upper portion with a bevelled shoulder defining the periphery of the flat upper portion. A plurality of spaced holes is provided in the bevelled shoulder. The axis of each hole generally follows the line of a retained group of bristles which extend above the upper surface of the head, forming a brush ring above the head of the tee. The brush ring extends upwardly and outwardly from the bevelled shoulder defining a soft golf ball lie:

Disadvantages of this arrangement include that the open-centred ring of bristles is displaced outward by the weight of the ball. If the bristles are stiff enough to support the ball above the substantially flat upper portion, the peripherally supporting bristles are easily displaced by vibration of breeze, resulting in the ball moving about slightly in the lie. Further, the ground penetration qualities of the stem necessitate that the tee body be molded in a hard and stiff material. The relatively large size of the hard, bristle-bearing head provides a further tendency for propulsion of the tee downrange at speed and marking of the club head on impact.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect the present invention resides in a golf tee (I) including a body member having a ground-engaging spike portion and an upper portion adapted to engage a resilient ball rest member, said ball rest member having an upper surface having mounted therein an annular array of bristle tufts, said upper portion extending through said ball rest member substantially centrally within said annular array and forming with said bristle tufts a support for a golf ball.

The body member may be formed of any suitable material and is advantageously formed of one or more polymeric materials or light metals, or any combination thereof. The ground engaging spike portion may be formed with a plain point or may be configured to resist dislodgement. For example, the point may be an arrowhead point. The upper portion may have any suitable configuration that is consistent with engagement with the ball rest member. For example, the upper portion may be provided with a profile that is adapted to engage a corresponding profile formed in the resilient ball rest member, which is engaged with the upper portion by resilient deformation of the ball rest member until the complementary profiles snap together.

The part of the upper portion that extends through the ball rest member may comprise an integrally formed ball rest portion or may comprise an assembly with the body member. For example, there may be provided a ball rest insert adapted to engage a bore provided in the head of the upper portion. The ball rest portion may be a solid ball rest portion. However, a soft lie may be provided by configuring the aforementioned insert as an insertable bristle tuft assembly.

The ball rest member may be formed of any suitable material such as natural or synthetic rubber of other elastomeric polymer, resilient plastics materials or the like. In certain embodiments of the present invention the ball rest member comprises an annular body having an upper substantially planar surface having mounted therein the annular array of bristle tufts. The annular body may be configured to engage a corresponding annular groove provided at the upper portion, the engagement being against the resilient bias of the ball rest member. The annular body may be a firm fit in the annular groove. However, it is preferred that the annular body be a rotation fit in the groove. By this means a proportion of the impact energy of the club head hitting the annular body may be dissipated by causing the annular body to spin about the upper portion.

In a conventional tee, the ball is located laterally by the curvature of the relatively large ball rest surface, but is still relatively insecure. In the foregoing embodiments, the ball is supported on a relatively much smaller ball rest portion or assembly and is located laterally by the bristles engaging the ball at a relatively higher point that the periphery of the ball rest surface of a conventional tee.

The body member may have a passage therethrough above the spike portion and adapted to receive a connecting cord whereby the body member may be connected to an accessory. The accessory may be selected from drag-inducing devices (to limit travel down course), an anchoring device, a golfer's divot tool, another tee or the like. In one embodiment respective body members of tees in accordance with the invention may be connected by the cord in pairs. The connecting cord may be of a length which permits one of the pair of tees to be used as an anchor for the other, thus resisting the propulsion of the tee downrange when struck by the club head.

The annulus will in most embodiments be round. However, it is envisaged that the annulus may be of a shape selected from substantially round, triangular, square, rectangular or octagonal. Where the shape is other than round, the annulus may have one or more apical regions. The axis of the substantially central upper portion is preferably coaxial with the axis of the body member. This axis may be displaced toward the apical region (while remaining substantially central). By this means the ball rest position may be oriented to a down-course direction.

In a further aspect the present invention resides in a golf tee (II) including a body member having a ground-engaging spike portion and an upper ball rest portion, said ball rest portion having an upper surface having mounted therein a plurality of bristle tufts, said bristle tufts being distributed substantially evenly across said surface and each extending substantially parallel to the axis of said spike portion, said tufts being of lengths selected whereby the upper ends of said tufts define a substantially concave ball rest surface.

The array of bristle tufts may be a round array or any other suitable shape including triangular, square, rectangular or octagonal. The bristles may be of synthetic material such as nylon, or a natural material such as pig bristle. Compared with the prior art so-called “bristle tees”, it is preferred in the present invention to use many more of finer bristles, which is made possible by the use of distribution of tufts evenly over the upper surface, combined with their substantially vertical orientation is use, the ball rest surface being provided on the bristle ends rather than the bristle sides.

The body member may have a passage therethrough above the spike portion and adapted to receive a connecting cord whereby respective body members may be connected thereby in pairs. The connecting cord may be of a length which permits one of the pair of tees to be used as an anchor for the other, thus resisting the propulsion of the tee downrange when struck by the club head.

The ground engaging spike portion may be formed with a plain point or may be configured to resist dislodgement. For example, the point may be an arrowhead point.

In a further aspect the present invention resides broadly in a golf tee (III) including a body member having an upper portion adapted to engage an elastomeric ball rest member having a ball rest surface thereon said upper portion extending downward to a ground-engaging portion, wherein said engagement between said upper portion and said elastomeric ball rest member comprises an arcuate tang of dovetail section in both its side and cross sections, and a complementary recess formed in said elastomeric ball rest member.

The ground engaging portion may comprise a spike portion or a blade portion. Where the ground engaging portion is a blade, the arcuate tang may be disposed substantially in the plane of the ground-engaging blade portion. Otherwise, it is preferred that the tee have an indication thereon of a downrange direction, whereby the arcuate tang may be aligned with the direction of the stroke in use. In certain embodiments of the invention the elastomeric ball support extends down the upper portion to a greater extent on one side that another to enable the hidden tang to be so oriented in use.

The blade portion may comprise a substantially foil-shaped blade with a chord profile that may be symmetrical or biased to a leading edge. The outer end remote from the ball rest surface may terminate in a point, a chisel point or a curved edge. Where a chisel point is used, this may advantageously be configured as a club face cleaning tool.

The elastomeric ball rest member may be of natural or synthetic rubber, polyurethane or other elastomeric material. The ball rest member may be a separable article wherein the ball rest member may be elastically deformed to engage its recess with the tang. Alternatively, the ball rest member may be formed in situ with the tang such as by shooting the elastomieric precursor material into a mold containing the body member.

The body member may have a passage therethrough above the spike portion and adapted to receive a connecting cord whereby respective body members may be connected thereby in pairs. The connecting cord may be of a length which permits one of the pair of tees to be used as an anchor for the other, thus resisting the propulsion of the tee downrange when struck by the club head.

In a further aspect the present invention resides broadly in a golf tee (IV) including a body member having an upper portion adapted to engage an elastomeric ball rest member having a ball rest surface thereon said upper portion extending downward and forward of said ball rest member and a ground-engaging blade portion having a leading edge and a trailing edge extending away from said upper portion and converging to form a vertically directed point in use whereby said point is displaced in the leading direction from the vertical axis of a ball on said ball rest.

The displacement of the point from the vertical axis passing through the center of the ball rest surface in use provides the tee with a sabre-like appearance and has the mechanical effect of supporting the ball in a manner that tends to “float’ the ball in the hitting zone. It has been found that a displacement of about 12 to 25% of the overall tee length provides this effect in varying degrees.

The engagement between said upper portion and said elastomeric ball rest member comprises an arcuate tang of dovetail section in both its side and cross sections, and a complementary recess formed in said elastomeric ball rest member. The arcuate tang may be disposed substantially in the plane of the ground-engaging blade portion, wherein the displacement of the vertically directed point indicated alignment of the tang with the downrange direction in use.

The elastomeric ball rest member may be of natural or synthetic rubber, polyurethane or other elastomeric material. The ball rest member may be a separable article wherein the ball rest member may be elastically deformed to engage its recess with the tang. Alternatively, the ball rest member may be formed in situ with the tang such as by shooting the elastomeric precursor material into a mold containing the body member.

In a further aspect the present invention resides in a golf tee (V) including an integral body member having a pair of spaced, substantially parallel ground-engaging spike portions and an upper ball rest portion, said ball rest portion having an upper ball rest surface, said body member having a passage therethrough above said spike portions and adapted to receive a connecting cord whereby respective said body members may be connected thereby in pairs.

The connecting cord may be of a length which permits one of the pair of tees to be used as an anchor for the other, thus resisting the propulsion of the tee downrange when struck by the club head.

The integral body member may advantageously be formed of polymer material. In order to resist club head impacts, the upper portion of the body may be provided with resilient impact means. For example, the upper ball rest surface may be bounded by a downward extending, substantially cylindrical side surface having at least two annular grooves formed thereabout and adapted to receive respective elastomeric ring members which extend above the side surface in use.

In a further aspect the present invention resides in a combined golf tee and ball mark repair tool including an integral body member having a pair of spaced, substantially parallel dressing spike portions and an upper ball rest portion, said ball rest portion having an upper ball rest surface, said body member having web formed between said spike portions and a recess formed in at least one side of said web, at least one of said spike portions having a nib complementary to said recess whereby a pair of ball mark repair tools may be clipped together spikes-to-spikes with intersecting planes of the spikes of the respective tools.

The respective tools may be substantially identical or may vary. For example, the second of the aforementioned pair may dispense with the web and its attendant recess and comprise an integral body member having a pair of spaced, substantially parallel dressing spike portions and an upper ball rest portion, the ball rest portion having an upper ball rest surface as before and at least one of the spike portions having the nib complementary to the recess of the first tool whereby the pair of different ball mark repair tools may be clipped together.

The integral body member may advantageously be formed of polymer material. In order to resist club head impacts, the upper portion of the body may be provided with resilient impact means. For example, the upper ball rest surface may be bounded by a downward extending, substantially cylindrical side surface having at least two annular grooves formed thereabout and adapted to receive respective elastomeric ring members which extend above the side surface in use.

The body member may have a passage therethrough above the spike portions and adapted to receive a connecting cord whereby respective ones of the body members may be connected thereby in pairs. The connecting cord may be of a length which permits one of the pair of tees to be used as an anchor for the other, thus resisting the propulsion of the tee downrange when struck by the club head. For example, the passage may be provided through the webs of the respective tools, where substantially identical, and through the web of one and the body of the other where different tools are to be clipped together.

The body member may be provided with a further integrally formed protrusion which is adapted to clean dirt out of the grooves in the club face. For example, one or both of the spike portions may have integrally formed therewith a protrusion, which is advantageously located toward the end of the spike and disposed to the outer side of the spike.

A limitation of conventional tees includes the fact that the club head when contacting the tee typically breaks the tee. The anchoring spike is often left in the ground and the upper portion is projected downrange. Although golfers are required to collect broken tees, this is not always the case. Broken tees can damage mower blades. Still further, contact of the club face with the tee can cause scoring of the club face. It is generally recognized that the force absorbed by a tee during a tee shot is force which would otherwise be imparted to a golf ball. Optimization of force imparted to a golf ball is important in optimizing distance and accuracy of a tee shot.

In a further aspect of the invention there is provided a golf tee assembly including a ground engagement member and a body member having a ball rest portion, wherein the ground engagement member is adapted to magnetically engage the body member.

The ground engagement member typically includes one or more ground insertion members. Typically, the ground engagement member includes a lower ground insertion member, which may be in the form of a spike or peg and an upper portion adapted to engage the body member. Alternatively, the ground engagement member may be adapted to sit on top of a ground surface. Such members may be used in situations where it is not possible, such as on a driving range, or permissible to insert a spike or the like into a ground surface.

In one form of the invention, the ground engagement member includes a substantially flat upper portion, which in use is adapted to lie substantially flush with a ground surface. Typically, the upper portion is substantially circular in plan. In this embodiment, the ground engagement member when used on its own may serve as a ball location marker. Golf ball location markers are used to mark the location of a golf ball on a putting green.

In another form of the invention, the ground engagement member has an upper portion which in use stands proud of a ground surface. Preferably, in this embodiment the upper portion includes a ball rest surface which in use may support a golf ball. Typically, the ball rest surface has a curved portion complimentary to the curvature of a golf ball. Alternatively, the ball rest surface may provide a soft lie by including a bristle tuft assembly. In use, this ground engagement member may be used in the absence of the body member to support a golf ball. Typically, in a game of golf when setting up a ball for a tee shot using an iron, it is desirable to place the ball at a lower position relative to the ground surface as compared to placing a golf ball from a wood shot. Accordingly, the ground engagement member of this embodiment may be particularly suited for use with irons.

The ground engagement member may be made of any suitable material. Typically, the member may be formed from a thermoplastics material such as synthetic or natural rubber or a polyolefin such as polypropylene. Suitable materials are known in the art. The ground engagement member is adapted to magnetically engage the ball rest member. The magnetic engagement may be by means of magnetically attractive elements moulded into each of the ground engagement member and said body member. Where the ground engagement member is manufactured from a thermoplastics material the member may be moulded about a magnet of suitable size and strength. Alternatively, discrete magnetic particles may be added to the polymer melt during conventional processing. Still further, the entire ground engagement member may be formed from a magnetic metallic material.

The assembly further includes a body member. The body member typically includes a ball rest surface. The surface may be concave with the degree of curvature complimentary to the curvature of a golf ball as per ball rest surfaces of conventional golf tees. However, the body member may include any type of surface which in use may receive and support a golf ball.

The body member may be manufactured in a similar manner to that described above for the anchoring member.

The ground engagement member and body member are magnetically engagable. In use, the anchoring member is typically inserted into the ground and the body member placed on top thereof. The respective magnetism in the members typically holds the members together with a degree of security. This degree of security is desirable to resist any relative movement due to prevailing wind conditions or localized air movement caused by the approaching head of a golf club.

The assembly of the present invention may include one or more further body members, which in use may be placed on top of or in addition to a first body member. In this way tee height can be varied.

The upper portion of the body member may include resilient impact means. For example, the upper portion may include at least one annular groove formed thereabout to receive elastomeric ring members.

The golf tee assembly of the present invention may further include anchor means for anchoring the ball rest member to a ground surface. This can prevent or avoid the ball rest member from being lost after impact and/or make retrieval of the ball rest member easier. Typically, the anchoring means includes a cord attached by suitable means to the body member. The cord in use may be connected to an anchor. The anchor may be the same or different to the ground engaging member. The anchor may be any other suitable member such as a divot tool, a conventional tee or a further body member of the present invention.

The tees of the present invention may form a kit or suite with golfing accessories. There may be provided a putting aid including a molded elastomeric mat adapted to conform under its weight to a surface and having marked thereon at least one pair of substantially parallel guide lines defining a desired path for a putter and at least two spaced backswing gauge lines each extending between and transverse to said guide lines, said molded elastomeric mat having a textured surface comprising plurality of evenly distributed raised portions interspersed with depressions to simulate a putting green, and a pair of elongate side members adapted to be secured to said mat and defining therebetween a limit of divergence from said path of said putter.

The molded elastomeric mat may be of any suitable elastomeric material of sufficiently low modulus to allow the mat to conform to a reasonable surface for putting practice such as a lawn or a carpet. In some embodiments of the present invention the molded elastomeric mat is of the type that is used as non-slip matting in marine applications such as table place mats (when free standing) or deck surfaces (when adhered in place).

The guide lines and gauge lines may be printed onto the surface or may be marked on thermally. It is preferred that whatever the means of applying the guide or gauge lines that they do not substantially impede the free rolling of a golf ball on the surface.

The gauge lines are provided to give an indication of backswing distance to provide training as to the amount of backswing required for a particular putt.

As such it is preferred that there are more than two gauge lines. The spacing between the gauge lines may be any selected spacing. In practice it has been found advantageous to space the gauge lines by approximately one ball diameter.

The guide lines may be of any selected spacing. For example, a reasonable eye indication of track of the putter head may be given at any spacing of the lines from a quarter of a golf ball diameter to two ball diameters. However it is preferred that the spacing of the guide lines is in the region of one third to two thirds of a golf ball diameter.

The pair of side members may comprise any means suitable for constraining the path of the club head. For example, each may comprise an elongate member having a bearing surface adapted to rest on and be secured to the mat, and a guide surface against which a wayward club head may impinge. The bearing surface may form the securing means by frictional engagement with the elastomeric mat surface. In the alternative, mechanical securing means may be provided.

The side surface may be essentially upright to present a wall to the club head. Alternatively the side wall may be undercut by a ramped or curved surface. By this means the apparatus becomes less tolerant of off line strokes if the user also is using the putter too high over the putting surface. The side members may each comprise a unitary side member. Alternatively the side members may comprise an assembly of two or more side portion members for easier stowage and portability.

The side members may be of any suitable material such as metal, plastic or other relatively hard material. Preferably the side members are of a material selected to give an audible indication when the club head hits the side members indicating a putting stroke that deviates by a selected degree from the ideal club head path. By this means the user may gain audible feedback in real time of any defect in putting technique.

The putting aid may be associated with a putting cup in use. Accordingly there may be provided a putting cup apparatus comprising a body member having a base portion adapted to rest on the ground or the like, engagement means associated with said body member and adapted to secure said body member to said ground or the like against displacement by ball impacts in use, an inclined upper surface meeting said base portion at a substantially sharp edge at the ground or the like in use and bounded at its other edge or edges by a lip, said body member having a target hole provided through said inclined upper surface.

The body member may be formed of metal, plastic, wood or any other suitable material. In order to maintain the substantially sharp edge the body member is preferably formed of a high-specification plastic moulding, or of metal. The substantially sharp edge is preferably straight. The inclined surface is preferably flat and maintained flat by being rigidly formed in the body member with the base portion. However, it is envisaged that the body member may be configured whereby the inclined surface may be distorted relative to the ground plane of the base to simulate a side-sloping or lipping cup.

The inclination of the inclined surface and the location of the target hole on the inclined surface relative to the edge are preferably selected in combination whereby the minimum inclination consistent with the target hole retaining the golf ball after a successful putt is maintained. The target hole is preferably of a size consistent with presenting substantially the same target as a course hole. Accordingly, for simulation of a long putt on a short practice surface the target hole may be smaller that a standard cup, and is preferably of the same diameter as a standard cup where the practice is at full scale.

The engagement means may comprise an integrally formed ground or carpet engaging spike or spikes associated with the base portion. Alternatively, the engagement means may comprise a separable spike adapted to pass through the body member to secure the body member to the ground or the like. In one embodiment there is provided a passage through the body member from the inclined surface to the base portion and located on the far side of the target hole from the edge and on the line passing through the target hole centre and perpendicular to the edge. A pin may be provided which passes through the passage to engage the ground or the like, the pin in use extending above the inclined surface to provide an aiming post for the putt. The upper end of the pin may be provided with a pennant portion to simulate a pin flag of a standard golf course cup.

There may be provided a ball holder including a resilient body member having a part substantially-spherical web formed thereon and extending between outer ends for greater than half a circumference and for less than one quarter circumference in the direction perpendicular to an imaginary line joining said ends, whereby a golf ball may be secured against the concave surface of said web by the resilient bias thereof, a ball marking stencil member having a shaped aperture passing through to a part substantially-spherical bearing surface adapted to be placed on a golf ball, and engagement means associated with said outer ends and said stencil and adapted to releasably engage said spherical bearing surface between said outer ends and adjacent the surface of a retained ball.

The engagement means may for example comprise a forked end on each end of the stencil member and adapted for interference or resiliently retained fit on respective ones of the outer ends. The positioning of the stencil over the ball thereby enables the ball to be stencilled with the player's mark while in the ball holder. The stencil may be for marking shapes for identification, or may comprise a line marking stencil for marking an aiming line on the ball.

The ball holders may be formed up in multiples using a unitary multi-ball body member.

There may be provided a ball holder including pair of holder members each having a part substantially-spherical web formed thereon extending between outer ends for greater than half a circumference and for less than one quarter circumference in the direction perpendicular to an imaginary circumferential line joining said ends, said holder members being pivoted at their mid-points and pivotally movable between a first position where said members are nested and a second position where said members are mutually perpendicular, a transverse slot about said pivot on one said member and adapted to receive a corresponding key portion oriented along said imaginary line and about said pivot on the other of said members, said key being retained in said slot by resilient bias to releasably secure said members in said second position.

The pivot may be provided by means of a pivot pin on one member cooperating with a bore provided in the other member. The resilient bias may be provided by any suitable means. For example, there may be provided a recess into which the bore passes and adapted to contain a spring or the like, the pin being engaged with the spring by a spring plate or the like. In view of the relatively small scale of the ball holder, the recess may open to one side of the member and adapted to receive the spring prior to insertion of the pin, and a spring plate to retain the spring to said pin, the opening being closed by a closure selected to maintain the structural integrity of the body member about the recess.

There may also be provided a ball marking stencil member having a shaped aperture passing through to a part substantially-spherical bearing surface adapted to be placed on a golf ball, and engagement means associated with the outer ends of one or both of the members and the stencil and adapted to releasably engage the spherical bearing surface between the-outer ends and adjacent the surface of a retained ball. The stencil may be for marking shapes for identification, or may comprise a line marking stencil for marking an aiming line on the ball.

The engagement means may for example comprise a forked end on each end of the stencil member and adapted for interference or resiliently retained fit on respective ones of the outer ends. The positioning of the stencil over the ball thereby enables the ball to be stenciled with the player's mark while in the ball holder.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

The invention will be further described with reference to the embodiments thereof in the accompanying figures, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a golf tee assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a further golf tee assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a further golf tee assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 4 shows two ball rest members which are part of a golf tee assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 5 shows two ball rest members which are part of a golf tee assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 6 shows plan and side views of a anchoring member for a golf tee assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 7 shows plan and side views of an anchoring member for a golf tee assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a golf tee of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a golf tee of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a plan view of the tee of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is an end elevation of the tee of FIG. 9;

FIG. 12 is a detail of the tees of FIGS. 8 and 9;

FIG. 13 is a golf tee of the present invention;

FIG. 14 is a plan view of the tee of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a section view of the tee of FIG. 13;

FIG. 16 is a golf tee of the present invention;

FIG. 17 is a section view of the tee of FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 is a golf tee of the present invention;

FIG. 19 is a view of the tees of FIGS. 16 and 18 in assembly;

FIG. 20 is a golf tee/tool of the present invention;

FIG. 21 is a section view of the tee of FIG. 20;

FIG. 22 is a golf tee/tool of the present invention;

FIG. 23 is a section view of the tee of FIG. 22;

FIG. 24 is a golf tee of the present invention;

FIG. 25 is a rear view of the tee of FIG. 24;

FIG. 26 is a front view of the tee of FIG. 24;

FIG. 27 is a golf tee of the present invention;

FIG. 28 is a rearview of the tee of FIG. 27;

FIG. 29 is a front view of the tee of FIG. 27;

FIG. 30 is a partial side view of the tee of FIG. 27;

FIG. 31 is a partial rear view of the tee of FIG. 27;

FIG. 32 is a golf tee body of the present invention;

FIG. 33 is a golf tee body core of the tee body of FIG. 32;

FIG. 34 is a golf tee base for use with the tee body of FIG. 32;

FIG. 35 is a golf tee body of the present invention;

FIG. 36 is a golf tee body core of the tee body of FIG. 35;

FIG. 37 is a golf tee base for use with the tee body of FIG. 35;

FIG. 38 is a golf tee of the present invention;

FIG. 39 is a plan view of the tee of FIG. 38;

FIG. 40 is a golf tee of the present invention;

FIG. 41 is a plan view of the tee of FIG. 40;

FIG. 42 is a golf tee of the present invention;

FIG. 43 is a plan view of the tee of FIG. 42;

FIG. 44 is a golf tee of the present invention;

FIG. 45 is a plan view of the tee of FIG. 44;

FIG. 46 is a detail view of the tees of FIGS. 42 and 44;

FIG. 47 is an assembly of golf tees of the present invention;

FIG. 48 is view of golf tee body cores of the assembly of FIG. 47;

FIG. 49 is section through the assembly of FIG. 47;

FIG. 50 is a section through a head of a golf tee of the present invention;

FIG. 51 is a plan view of the head of FIG. 50;

FIG. 52 is a side view of a tee stem for use with the tee head of FIG. 50;

FIG. 52 is an end view of a tee stem for use with the tee head of FIG. 50;

FIG. 53 is a detail side view of a golf tee of the present invention;

FIG. 54 is an end view of the stem of the tee of FIG. 53;

FIG. 55 is a detail side view of a golf tee of the present invention;

FIG. 56 is a side view of the stem of the tee of FIG. 55;

FIG. 57 is an end view of the stem of the tee of FIG. 55;

FIG. 58 is a detail side view of a golf tee of the present invention;

FIG. 59 is a side view of the stem of the tee of FIG. 58;

FIG. 60 is an end view of the stem of the tee of FIG. 58;

FIG. 61 is a detail side view of a golf tee of the present invention;

FIG. 62 is a side view of the stem of the tee of FIG. 61;

FIG. 63 is an end view of the stem of the tee of FIG. 61;

FIG. 64 is a detail side view of a golf tee of the present invention;

FIG. 65 is a side view of the stem of the tee of FIG. 64;

FIG. 66 is an end view of the stem of the tee of FIG. 64;

FIG. 67 is a golf putting guide;

FIG. 68 is a golf putting practice cup;

FIGS. 69 to 72 are directed to a two-ball holder;

FIGS. 73 to 75 are directed to a one-ball holder;

FIGS. 76 to 77 are directed to a two-ball holder; and

FIG. 78 is directed to a one-ball holder.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a preferred golf tee assembly 11, which includes an anchoring member 12 and a ball rest member 13. The ground engagement member 12 has a lower anchoring spike 14 with a leading end 9, a waist portion 10 and an upper portion 15. The upper portion 15 has a concave ball support surface 16. A magnet 17 is housed within the upper portion 15.

The ball rest member 13 has a base 18 and an upper concave ball support surface 20. A magnet 21 is housed within base 18.

The assembly 11 further includes a connecting cord 22, which connects the ground engagement 12 and ball rest 13 members. A washer 23 is slidingly attached to cord 22.

In use, the leading end 9 of the anchoring spike 14 is inserted into a ground surface until the waist 10 is level with the ground surface. In this way, the ground engagement member 12 can be inserted to the same degree each time the tee assembly is used. It can be seen that this can provide for a constant and reproducible tee height. This is not normally possible with conventional tees which are simply driven into the ground by a golfer who estimates the desired depth of insertion. It is recognized that correct and/or consistent tee height is an important factor in hitting a tee shot of desired distance and accuracy.

The base 21 of the ball rest member 13 is then placed on the ball support surface 16 of anchoring member 12. The ball rest member 13 is held in place by magnetic force between the respective magnets, 17, 21. A golf ball is then placed on the ball support surface 20 of the ball rest member 13. The golf ball may then be hit in a conventional manner by a golf club. The force of the golf club breaks the magnetic engagement between the anchoring members 12 and the ball rest member 13.

It has been observed that the resistance to the path of a golf club head exerted by the assembly of the invention is less than that for conventional wooden or plastic tees. This can reduce or avoid damage to the golf head. With conventional golf tees, force is imparted to the golf tee. This force is at least partially absorbed by driving the tee from the ground and/or in breaking the tee. In the present case, much less force is imparted to the tee which allows additional force to be imparted to the golf ball. This can result in a golf ball being hit longer distances and/or with greater accuracy than can be achieved by the same golfer using the same club and a conventional tee.

Upon separation of the ball rest member 13 and anchoring member 12, the ball rest member 13 remains attached to the anchoring member 12 by means of cord 22. In this way, the ball rest member 13 would not normally be lost.

Should a golfer prefer a lower tee length than can be achieved by placing the ball rest member 13 on top of the anchoring member 12, a golfer may simply place a golf ball on ball support surface 16. In this variant, the anchoring member is used more or less in the same manner as a conventional short tee. However, in order to avoid loss of the ground engagement member 12 when used in this way, the ball rest member 18 may be inserted into the ground so as to provide an anchor for the ground engagement member when it is hit from the ground by a golf club. Alternatively a divot tool or other anchoring means may be secured to that part of the cord 24 associated with washer 23.

FIG. 2 shows a similar golf tee assembly to that described above with respect to FIG. 1. In this embodiment the anchoring spike 25 is in the form of an arrow head point. This form is configured to resist dislodgement.

FIG. 3 shows still a further variation of a golf tee assembly of the invention. In this form, both the ground engagement and ball rest members 12, 13 have a curved profile. The ball rest member 13 should be mounted on ground engagement member 12 such that the curvature of the assembled tee is continuous and may be said to have a sabre like appearance. The effect of this shape is to support the ball in a manner that tends to “float” the ball in the hitting zone. It has been found that a displacement of about 12 to about 25% of the overall tee assembly length provides this effect in varying degrees.

FIGS. 4 and 5 show further embodiments of sets of ball rest members 25, 26 and 27, 28 which may be used with ground engagement members 29, 30 as shown in either FIG. 6 or FIG. 7.

Turning firstly to FIGS. 6 and 7, these figures show ground engagement members 29 and 30. Each member 12 has a peg like anchoring portion 31, 32 and a substantially flat upper portion 32, 33. The respective upper portions 31, 32 are substantially circular in plan view. The circular upper portions 32, 33 are dimensioned to be about the same or similar size to conventional ball markers. Ball markers are discs which are used to mark the location of a ball on a putting green. It can be seen that the ground engagement members 29, 30 may be used in the same manner as a conventional ball marker. The members 29, 30 are made from a magnetic metallic material.

FIGS. 4 and 5 show pairs of short 25, 27 and long 26, 28 ball rest members. Turning to the short ball rest members 25, 27, each member has a flattened base 34, 35 and an upper ball support surface 36, 37. A magnet 38, 39, 40, 41 is located in respective bases and ball support surfaces.

The long ball rest members 26, 28 also have a base 40, 41 and an upper ball support surface 42, 43. A magnet 44, 45 is located in each base.

Cords 22 connect each respective short and long ball rest members. Each cord includes a washer 23 similar to that described above with respect to FIG. 1.

In use, a ground engagement member of either FIG. 6, 29 or FIG. 7, 30 is inserted into a ground surface until the lower part of the circular portion meets the ground surface. In this way a constant insertion depth may be obtained which can result in a constant tee height. The ball rest member 25 or 27 is then placed on top of the ground engagement member. The members are magnetically attracted to each other. For an iron shot where a lower tee is desired, a golfer may place a golf ball onto ball support surface 36, 37. On the other hand, if a wood shot is required the longer tee may be placed on the anchoring member. Alternatively, if a higher tee height is required the short member may be placed between the anchoring member and the long ball rest member.

In order to prevent loss of respective ball rest members cord 22 may be secured by using suitable anchoring means in association with cord 22.

It can be seen that a golf tee assembly of the preceding embodiment call allow a golfer to achieve a consistent short and long tee height. More importantly, when the assembly of the present invention is struck by a golf ball, relatively little force is required to break the magnetic engagement between the anchoring and ball rest members. This may be compared with conventional wooden tees for example, in which a degree of force may be absorbed in fracturing the tee. This additional force may be transferred to the ball so as to increase distance and/or accuracy of the golf ball. This reduction in force can also reduce or avoid scoring of the golf club head during impact with the tee. Further, as the golf tee assembly of the invention is reusable, littering of a golf course with fractured or broken plastic or wooden golf tees may be avoided. Still further, a golfer need not purchase and carry large numbers of disposable tees.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 8, there is provided a tee having a ground engaging spike portion 50 and a substantially planar head portion 51. The ground engaging spike portion 50 has a lower point 52 and is integrated with the substantially planar head portion 51 at transition zone 53. The transition zone 53 is bored through at 54, as best illustrated in FIG. 12. The substantially planar head portion 51 is oval in plan (as best illustrated in FIG. 10) and has formed therein an annular array of bristle tufts 55. The annular array of bristle tufts 55 surrounds a central ball support tuft 56 of stiffer bristles. The substantially planar head portion 51 has a peripheral impact-distributing groove 57 which may optionally receive an O-ring or the like.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 9, the details of the ground engaging spike portion 50 and a substantially planar head portion 51 are substantially as for FIG. 8, and are numbered like. In this embodiment the annular array of bristle tufts 55 and the central ball support tuft 56 of stiffer bristles are selected to be longer than the corresponding parts of FIG. 8. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 11, the details of the ground engaging spike portion 50 and a substantially planar head portion 51 are substantially as for FIG. 8, with the planar head portion 51 being of smaller diameter. In this embodiment the annular array of bristle tufts 55 and the central ball support tuft 56 of stiffer bristles are selected to be longer than the corresponding parts of FIG. 8, and form a smaller diameter ball rest than the corresponding parts of FIG. 8.

In the detail of FIG. 12, the transition zone 53 is bored through at 54 as described above, the bore comprising a small bore 60 counter bored at both ends to form recesses 61 in which a connecting cord may be knotted.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 13 to 15 there is provided a tee having a ground engaging arrow head spike portion 63 and a substantially planar head portion 64. The ground engaging arrow head spike portion 63 is integrated with the substantially planar head portion 64 at transition zone 65. The transition zone 65 is bored through at 66 and counter bored at 67. The substantially planar head portion 64 is substantially isosceles-triangular in plan (as best illustrated in FIG. 14) and has formed therein an array of bristle tufts 70. The array of bristle tufts 70 surrounds a ball support tuft 71 of stiffer bristles disposed toward the base side of the isosceles-triangular head portion 64 and coaxially with the ground engaging arrow head spike portion 63. The substantially planar head portion 64 has a peripheral impact-distributing groove 72 which seats an O-ring 73.

In the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 16 to 19 there is provided a set of tees comprising a long tee 75 and a short tee 76. Each of the long and short tees have a head portion 77 having a ball rest surface 80, and having a pair of circumferential grooves 81 which provide impact dispersal, with or without rubber rings (not shown). Each of the long and short tees have an integral transition zone 82 which is bored at 83 in the same manner as illustrated in FIG. 12, to enable the tees to be interconnected by a cord (not shown). The long tee 75 has an elongate body 84 which is integral with a pair of spaced ground engaging spikes 85 ending in points 86. The short tee 76 has a relatively shorter body 87 which is integral with a pair of spaced ground engaging spikes 90 ending in points 91. Each of the long and short tees have a pair of opposed lugs 92 extending into the spaces between the respective spaced ground engaging spikes 85, 90 and defining spaces 93, the configuration of the lugs 92 and spaces 93 being selected to allow the long and short tees to clip together as illustrated in FIG. 19.

In the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 20 to 23 there is provided a set of tees comprising a long tee 95 and a short tee 96. Each of the long and short tees have a head portion 97 having a ball rest surface 100, and having circumferential grooves 101 (three and two respectively) which provide impact dispersal, with or without rubber rings (not shown). The head portion 97 has a blind bore 102 through the ball rest surface 100 to aid in impact dispersal. Each of the long and short tees have an integral transition zone 103 comprising parallel legs 104 connected by a web 105, and which is bored at 106 in the same manner as illustrated in FIG. 12, to enable the tees to be interconnected by a cord (not shown).

The long tee 95 has an elongate said web 105 and wherein the parallel legs 104 extend beyond the web 105 to form an integral pair of spaced ground engaging spikes 107 ending in points 110. The short tee 96 has a relatively shorter web 105. Each of the long and short tees have a pair of opposed nibs 111 extending into the space between the respective spaced ground engaging spikes 107 and adapted to engage corresponding apertures 112 in the webs 105 to allow the long and short tees to clip together. The long tee 95 has a club face cleaning point 113 on one of the spikes 107.

In the embodiments of FIGS. 24 to 31 there is provided long and short versions of a tee 115 comprising a sabre-like ground engaging base portion 116 formed of a relatively hard moulded plastic and having a generally dovetail section upper extension 117. The upper extension 117 has an integrating hole 120. The shoulder of the base portion 116 adjacent the upper extension 117 has a pair of opposed lands 121 curving from the front of the tee to an apex and thence declining to the back of the tee.

Shot-moulded over the base portion 116 is a resilient tee head portion 122 having a ball rest surface 123. The resilient tee head portion 122 encapsulates the opposed lands 121 and fills the integrating hole 120 to securely fix the resilient tee head portion 122 to the base portion 116 in concert with the natural adhesion of the shot-moulded polymer to the moulded plastic.

The resilient tee head portion 122 and the sabre-like ground engaging base portion 116 are configured whereby the ball rest surface has a vertical axis that is displaced from the point 124 of the base portion 116, to control interaction of the tee with the ball at the point of impact of the club therewith. Each of the long and short tees have an integral transition zone 125 which is bored at 126 in the same manner as illustrated in FIG. 12, to enable the tee to be connected to articles by a cord (not shown).

In the embodiments of FIGS. 32 to 37 there is provided a suite of tee portions which in assembly form a plurality of tee types. There is provided a long tee core 130 of relatively hard material and including a lower mounting base portion 131 and an elongate stem 132. The upper end of the elongate stem 132 has an enlargement to accommodate an integrating hole 134. The lower mounting base portion 131 has a profiled recess 135 adapted to engage a corresponding spigot 136 on a ground engaging base member 137.

Shot-moulded over the elongate stem 132 and enlargement is a resilient tee body portion 140 having a ball rest surface 141. The resilient tee body portion 140 encapsulates the stem 132 and fills the integrating hole 134 to securely fix the resilient tee body portion 140 to the core 130 in concert with the natural adhesion of the shot-moulded polymer to the moulded plastic to form a long upper tee member. There is also provided a locating sprue 138 to add to security.

The ground engaging base member 137 comprises a flange 142 about the spigot 136. Extending below the flange is a long or short ground-engaging arrowhead spike 143. The flange 142 of the ground engaging base member 137 is bored to enable the tee to be connected to articles by a cord (not shown).

As illustrated in FIGS. 35 and 36 there is a short analogue of the long upper tee member and comprising a tee mounting portion 144 of relatively hard material and having has a profiled recess (numbered 135 as before) adapted to engage the corresponding spigot 136 on the ground engaging base member 137. Shot-moulded over the tee mounting portion 144 is a short resilient tee body portion 145 having the ball rest surface 141 as before. The resilient tee body portion 145 encapsulates the upper party of the tee mounting portion 144 to securely fix the tee mounting portion 144 to the tee mounting portion 144 in concert with the natural adhesion of the shot-moulded polymer to the moulded plastic and the locating sprue 138, to form a short upper tee member.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 39 to 41, there is provided a long and a short tee having a ground engaging arrowhead spike portion 150 formed integrally with a substantially planar head portion 151 via a transition zone 152. The transition zone 152 is bored through at 153, substantially as illustrated in FIG. 12 and to enable connection by cord to articles. The substantially planar head portion 151 is octagonal in plan (as best illustrated in FIGS. 39 and 41 respectively) and has formed therein a pair of concentric annular arrays of substantially parallel bristle tufts 154 perpendicular to the substantially planar head portion 151. The annular arrays of bristle tufts 154 surrounds a central ball support tuft 155 of stiffer bristles. The respective arrays are circumferentially offset to provide the most even distribution of bristle tufts. The substantially planar head portion 151 has a peripheral impact-distributing groove 156 which may optionally receive an O-ring or the like.

The embodiments of FIGS. 42 to 46 are hexagonal analogues of the foregoing embodiments of FIGS. 39 to 41, where like features have like numerals. In these embodiments the substantially planar head portion 151 is hexagonal and has a single, hexagonally arranged, annular array of bristle tufts 154 surrounding the central ball support tuft 155 of stiffer bristles.

In the embodiments of FIGS. 47 to 49 there is provided a pair of tees comprising a long tee and a short tee. The long tee comprises a long tee core 160 of relatively hard material and including a lower ground engaging spike portion 161, a transition portion 162 and an elongate stem 163. The upper end of the elongate stem 163 has an enlargement to accommodate an integrating hole 164, and an integrating flange 165 part way along its length. Shot-moulded over the elongate stem 163 and enlargement is a resilient tee body portion 166 having a ball rest surface 167. The resilient tee body portion 166 encapsulates the stem 163 and flange 165, and fills the integrating hole 164, to securely fix the resilient tee body portion 166 to the core 160 in concert with the natural adhesion of the shot-moulded polymer, to the moulded plastic to form a long tee. The transition portion 162 includes a lug 170 bored to enable the tee to be connected to its short tee by a cord 171.

The short tee comprises a short tee core 172 of relatively hard material and including a lower ground engaging arrowhead spike portion 173 and, as in the case of the long tee, a transition portion 162. A short stem 174 has at its upper end an enlargement to accommodate an integrating hole 164. Shot-moulded over the short stem 174 and enlargement is a resilient short tee body portion 175 having a ball rest surface 167 as for the long tee. The resilient short tee body portion 175 encapsulates the stem 174 and fills the integrating hole 164, to securely fix the resilient tee body portion 175 to the core 172 in concert with the natural adhesion of the shot-moulded polymer to the moulded plastic to form a short tee. The transition portion 162 includes a lug 170 bored to enable the tee to be connected to its long tee by the cord 171.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 50 to 53, there is provided a two part tee comprising a ground engaging spike member 180 and a substantially planar head member 181. The ground engaging spike member 180 has a lower point 182 and an upper head engagement comprising a shoulder 183, a stem 184 and an upper stop portion 185.

The substantially planar head member 181 is of a relatively resilient material and includes a central bore having a lower portion 186 adapted to accommodate the stem 184 and an upper portion 187 adapted to accommodate the upper stop portion 185. The substantially planar head member 181 is installed on the upper head engagement by elastic deformation there over, the clearances on installation being selected to allow relative rotation between the substantially planar head member 181 and the ground engaging spike member 180 upon impact by a golf club.

The ground engaging spike member 180 is bored through at 190, as illustrated in FIG. 12 for other embodiments to enable connection to articles-by cord. The substantially planar head member 181 has formed therein an annular array of bristle tuft mounting holes 191 and adapted to receive bristle tufts (not shown). The top of the ground engaging spike member 180 has an axial bore 192 adapted to mount a central ball support tuft (not shown), and relieved against the relative hardness of the material to assist in tuft installation by relieving slot 193.

In the embodiments of FIGS. 53 to 57 there is provided long and short versions of a tee 200 comprising a blade-like ground engaging base portion 201 formed of a relatively hard moulded plastic and having a generally dovetail section (in two orthogonal directions) upper extension 202. The upper extension 202 has an integrating hole 203. The shoulder of the base portion 201 adjacent the upper extension 202 has a pair of opposed lands 204 curving from the front of the tee to an apex and thence declining to the back of the tee.

Shot-moulded over the base portion 201 is a resilient tee head portion 205 having a ball rest surface 206. The resilient tee head portion 205 encapsulates the opposed lands 204 and fills the integrating hole 203 to securely fix the resilient tee head portion 205 to the base portion 201 in concert with the natural adhesion of the shot-moulded polymer to the moulded plastic.

The blade-like ground engaging base portion 201 has a chisel point 207. Each of the long and short tees have an integral transition zone 210 which is bored at 211 in the same manner as illustrated in FIG. 12, to enable the tee to be connected to articles by a cord (not shown).

In the embodiments of FIGS. 58 to 66 there is provided long and short versions of a tee 220 comprising a tee body member 221 having a ground engaging arrowhead spike portion 222, a shouldered transition zone 223 and a tee head mounting portion 224. The tee head mounting portion includes three securing ribs 225 toward its upper end.

Shot-moulded over the tee head mounting portion 224 is a resilient tee head portion 226 having a ball rest surface 227. The resilient tee head portion 226 encapsulates the tee head mounting portion 224 from the shouldered transition zone 223, to securely fix the resilient tee head portion 226 to the tee body member 221 in concert with the natural adhesion of the shot-moulded polymer to the moulded plastic and the three securing ribs 225. the embodiment of FIGS. 61 to 63 has an additional flared section 228 to provide additional security for this short-moulded example.

Each of the long and short tees have the transition zone 223 bored at 230 in the same manner as illustrated in FIG. 12, to enable the tee to be connected to articles by a cord (not shown).

It will be appreciated that various changes may be made to the invention as described herein without departing form the sprit and scope as defined in the claims appended hereto.