Title:
GOLF SPIKE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention involves a golf tee used in the game of golf. The golf spike offers a variety of benefits to a golfer's swing and the game. The flexible top structure offers the golfer's swing less impact due to the flexible outer walls of the cavity which offer reduced resistance and less energy loss at the point of impact. Thus, allowing the ball to be driven further. These tees are more durable than the average tee. This present invention can be constructed from single or multiple component parts. The preferred embodiment includes a tapered rigid shaft connected to a flexible cup-shaped structure with a rim which holds the golf ball. The flexible top structure benefits the golfer by allowing for slight distortions and still holds the ball in place. The flexible cup like structure can further act as a space to house advertising media. The golf spike can be manufactured from a variety of materials such as, but not limited to, plastic, metal, wood, hard and pliable composites, foam or from any other material that will benefit the design concept and intent.



Inventors:
Calderon Jr., Luis (Lake Forest, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/383409
Publication Date:
11/23/2006
Filing Date:
05/15/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B57/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PROCOPIO, CORY, HARGREAVES & SAVITCH LLP (525 B STREET SUITE 2200, SAN DIEGO, CA, 92101, US)
Claims:
1. A golf tee, including a top structure and a lower structure, a connector comprising: a lower structure with an elongated tapered shaft including a distal and proximal end, the distal end being pointed, the proximal end having a top plate wherein the top plate is primarily flat with one or more shafts extending upward; a upper structure with a flexible body extending upward including a distal and proximal end, a flat exterior surface and a lip extending the circumference of the opening at the proximal end; and a connector attaching the lower structure at its proximal end to the top structure at its proximal end.

2. A golf tee of claim 1, wherein advertising media is displayed on the flat exterior surface of the top structure.

3. A golf tee of claim 1, wherein business logos are displayed on the flat exterior surface of the top structure.

4. A golf tee of claim 1, wherein the top structure is made of a material which has memory and rebounds to it's original shape when struck by a golf club.

5. A golf tee of claim 1, wherein the top structure is made of a material which is manufactured from rubber, silicone, neoprene, plastic or flex foam.

6. A golf tee of claim 1, wherein the connector is a flat top plate.

7. A golf tee of claim 1, wherein the connector is a spike head.

8. A golf tee of claim 1, wherein the top structure is manufactured from a durable material.

9. A golf tee of claim 1, wherein the attachment between the top structure and the lower structure is done by thermal welding.

10. A golf tee of claim 1, wherein the top structure can be made in various shapes.

11. A golf tee of claim 1, wherein the top plate includes two or more petal structures extending beyond its edge so that a user may push the golf tee into the turf.

12. A golf tee comprising: A top structure made of a durable flexible material forming walls, hollow on the inside wherein the flexible material extends upward to form a ball seat, a thicker lip surrounds the top circumference of the ball seat, the exterior of the top structure is flat and displays advertising media or logos; A bottom structure made of a rigid material, wider at the top and tapering to one or more spikes or pegs at the bottom.

13. A golf tee of claim 12, wherein the walls are made of solid or perforated rubber.

14. A golf tee of claim 12, wherein the advertising media is decaled into the side of the top structure.

15. A golf tee of claim 12, wherein the advertising media or logo is pad printed, heat stamped, silk screened or laser printed onto the exterior surface of the top structure.

16. A golf tee of claim 12, wherein the top structure can be made in the shape of a cup, barrel, flute, flower bulb, champagne glass, hour glass and/or soda/beer bottle.

17. A golf tee of claim 12, wherein the top structure and the bottom structure are attached to one another via thermal welding.

18. A golf tee of claim 12, wherein the top structure and the bottom structure are glued together.

19. A golf tee of claim 12 wherein the bottom structure has a screw extending from its top end and the top structure has a bottom plate with a threaded screw attachment.

20. A golf tee of claim 19, wherein the bottom structure is screwed into the top structure.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to golf tees, and more particularly a tee which has a flexible top structure to place the ball a particular distance from the turf, to securely hold the ball, to allow play when the ball is struck by the club and to allow for a larger medium for advertising to be displayed.

2. Related Art

Conventional golf tees with the exception of the “Brush Tee” are rigid in composition and do not contain a flexible top portion on which the ball rests. These tees are designed to hold the ball off the ground however; the elevation of the ball can never be precisely set. In some instances it is preferable to have the ball lower or higher off the ground depending on the terrain or the skill or physical attributes of the user. The higher or lower placement of the ball is normally achieved by how far the tee is pushed into the ground, however this method never insures the consistent distance from the ground. Further, the rigidity of the conventional tees has many drawbacks, such as the ball potentially rolling off and not being securely held in place and lack of play when the ball is impacted with the club. With traditional tees an “off swing” can strike the tee, thus breaking the swing, golfers concentration, breaking the tee and ruining the shot. The conventional tees cannot be manufactured to always hold the ball at the same height off the ground.

Conventional tees cannot be manufactured at various heights to ensure that the golf ball will sit at a determined distance from the ground consistent with the users desire. Conventional tees and even brush tees do not have a large printable surface on which to place advertising media. Conventional tees have a very small seat for the ball and newer plastic tees may break or shatter but because of their rigidity often hinder the golfer's swing. Further, conventional wooden tees often break or shatter when hit by the user's golf club. These conventional golf tees cause inconvenience to the user, and thereby limit the versatility of their use.

The present invention has recognized these prior art drawbacks, and has provided the below-disclosed solutions to one or more of the prior art deficiencies.

SUMMARY

The instant invention discloses a golf tee to better seat golf balls and secondarily allow ample space for advertising media. The overwhelming factor in this tee's design is the use of a flexible rubber top structure which forms a pedestal on which the ball sits. This flexible rubber top structure sits above the hard seat (head) of the tee. There are various methods of assembling the soft and hard components of this tee, many fabrication techniques include methods resulting in a monolithic assembly or fabrication. However, the method of attachment, assembly or fabrication does not change the underlined intent, idea, concept or utility. This invention can be manufactured with various heights of top structure so that the golf ball is always seated at a consistent and known height.

The top structure of this tee has a flexible top portion which can be manufactured from rubber, silicone, neoprene, plastic, flex foam or any other flexible, durable material. The ball sits on top of the flexible top structure. This new designed “ball seat” increases ball placement and stability and gives way to the impact of the golf club thereby reducing the force from the golfer's swing which allows the ball to reach its fullest potential. The top structure can be manufactured with a large seat for the ball which lessens the obstruction to the golfers swing and increases the stability of the ball. This top structure can be made in various shapes, geometry, textures and styles which does not change its utility. A few examples of the shapes are a cup design, barrel design, hour glass design, flute design, flower bulb/pedals design, tulip design, champagne glass design, soda/beer can design, or other geometrical designs. This top portion is open at the distal end and can either contain a thicker lipped rim, cupped or tapered rim or a rim which is a consistent diameter with the body of the top structure.

The top structure is flexible thus allowing for slight distortions in the golfers swing, the weather or terrain and still holding the ball in place. The flexible top structure offers the golfer's swing less impact due to the flexible outer walls of the cavity which offer reduced resistance and less energy loss at the point of impact. These facts enable the golfer to drive the ball farther. The rubber flexes and therefore is more difficult to break or tear thereby making these tees far more durable than the average tee. The flexible top structure is made with a material which has memory so that it rebounds to it's original shape when struck. Also, the rubber/flexible top structure is made in different heights to enable the golfer to consistently tee the ball at the same height every time depending on the type of shot desired. The walls of the top structure can be made of solid or perforated rubber like flexible material to allow air flow. The top structure can be stamped/printed to accommodate various logos and sponsor advertisement.

The height, width or color of each golf spike is not instrumental to its utility features. These parameters vary depending on the market in which the golf spike is sold. However, these features could be an integral part of the golf spikes various trademarks or copyrights.

In a presently preferred embodiment, it is the object of this invention to provide a golf tee which can be set into the ground at a predetermined height, has a flexible top section allowing for more stability of the ball, a give when impact with the ball is made and an increased surface for advertising.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The details of the present invention, both as to its structure and operation, may be gleaned in part by study of the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals refer to like parts, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a full frontal view of one embodiment of the golf spike.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of one embodiment of the golf spike.

FIG. 3 is a close up view of the flexible top cup with space for advertising media.

FIG. 4 is a top view of the flexible top cup of the golf spike looking into the hollow center chamber.

FIG. 5 is a view of the golf spike being placed in the turf.

FIG. 6 is an expanded view of one embodiment of a golf spike showing the various component parts.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

After reading this description it will become apparent to one skilled in the art how to implement the invention in various alternative embodiments and alternative applications. However, although various embodiments of the present invention will be described herein, it is understood that these embodiments are presented by way of example only, and not limitation. As such, this detailed description of various alternative embodiments should not be construed to limit the scope or breadth of the present invention as set forth in the appended claims.

The present invention discloses a golf tee which securely holds golf balls and secondarily allow ample space for advertising media. This tee is designed with flexible top structure which in one embodiment can be formed from rubber, silicone, plastic, neoprene, foam, or any other composite pliable or flexible materials. The flexible top structure is made with a material which has memory so that it rebounds to it's original shape when struck. In one embodiment the top structure is hollow. The top structure creates a pedestal on which the ball sits, commonly called a ball seat. This flexible top structure is preferably a hollow piece which extends from the spike portion of the tee, ending in an open top section. However, in cases when the top is made from a foam or neoprene it can be considered solid not hollow, just tapered on top to create a seat for the ball. The flexible top portion is attached to the spike. In one embodiment there can be more than one spike. There are various methods of assembling the soft and hard components of this tee, many fabrication techniques include methods resulting in a monolithic assembly or fabrication. In one preferred embodiment this attachment can be done by over molding In other embodiments the attachment between the top structure and the spike are attached together via thermal welding, gluing and/or a screw connection. However, the method of attachment, assembly or fabrication does not change the underlined intent, idea, concept or utility. This invention can be manufactured with various heights of top structure so that the golf ball is always seated at a consistent and known height.

The top structure of this tee has a flexible top portion which can be manufactured from rubber, plastic or other flexible material. The ball seat increases ball placement and stability and gives way to impact of the golf club thereby reducing the force from the golfer's swing which allows the ball to reach its fullest potential. The top structure is manufactured so that advertising media and images can be placed on the exterior surface. The advertising media is visible to the golfers and spectators. This top structure can be made in various shapes, geometry, textures and styles which do not change its utility. In a few preferred embodiments the shapes which can be used for the top structure are a cup design, barrel design, hour glass design or soda can design. This top portion is open at the distal end and can either contain a thicker lipped rim, tapered rim or a rim which is a consistent diameter with the body of the top structure.

The top structure is manufactured in different heights to enable the golfer to consistently tee the ball at a set height. Once a golfer chooses a tee with a particular height they can be assured that the ball will sit at the same height every time that tee is used. The walls of the top structure can be made of solid or perforated rubber to allow air flow. The top structure can be decaled, pad printed, heat stamped, silk screened, laser printed, to accommodate various logos and sponsor advertisement.

Referring to FIGS. 1 though 5, a golf spike is shown and generally designated. FIGS. 1 through 5 show that the golf spike includes a preferably narrow and tapered elongated stem/post with a point at the distal end to facilitate insertion into the ground; a head or top portion of the post connects to a flexible top structure; the flexible top structure is attached to the proximal end of the stem/post and extends upward ending in a open rim on which the golf ball sits. The top flexible structure can be made in various heights to insure different distances of the golf ball from the ground.

Referring to FIG. 1, the elongated stem/post (5) is sharp or pointed at its distal end and tapers upward to a wider diameter at its proximal end. The wider diameter of the post at the proximal end can be referred to as the top plate or spike head (7). The top structure (11) is attached to the post and sits on top of the post at the top plate (7). In a preferred embodiment the attachment between the post and the top structure is done by over molding seen in FIG. 2 (17). The top plate is formed with an extended piece in the center. The rubber of the top structure is formed/molded around the extended piece and secures the top structure to the post. Also, the tee can be made in two separate parts and locked together manually via it's geometric locking surface design. In another embodiment the top plate has a screw attachment and/or male/female geometrical locking.

FIG. 2, is a cross sectional view of one embodiment of the golf spike. In this embodiment the top plate (7) has a piece of material which extends at its center the connector (17). The connector can be made in many shapes. In one embodiment as show here the connector is a T shape as a spacer, finger push, governor or just for design such as but not limited to leaf or peddles. The flexible top structure material is injected and form molded around this piece. When the rubber sets the top structure is mechanically secured firmly to the post. The actual connection is by the male/female geometrical design at the connection points. In one embodiment polypropylene is used for the post, and a compatible rubber like material is injected form molded. When set, the two parts are monolithically attached.

FIG. 3, is a close up view of the flexible top cup with space for advertising media. The top structure (11) of the golf spike can be made in various shapes which include but are not limited to a cup design, barrel design, flute design, flower bulb, champagne glass design, an hour glass design and/or soda/beer can design or other geometrical designs. These designs can be of various shapes and are not limited to circular or other geometrical design openings at the distal end of the flexible top structure. A thick outer lip (13) circles the proximal end of the top structure. The thicker lip in various shapes allows the ball to be held more securely in place.

Referring to FIG. 4, is a top view of the flexible top cup of the golf spike looking into the hollow center chamber. A thicker outer lip circumscribes the perimeter of the top of the top structure (13). The hollow top structure opening can be made in multiple different geometrical shapes. In a few preferred embodiments these shapes include a cup shape, oval shape, diamond shape, triangle shape, flower shape, rose bulb with peddles, tulip shape and flute designs.

Referring to FIG. 5, this shows a user placing the golf spike into the ground. The ball would then be placed on top of the flexible top portion. The ball would then be placed on top of the flexible top portion as illustrated in FIG. 1.

Referring to FIG. 6, in one embodiment the proximal end of the stem/post is connected to a top plate (7) the size and thickness of this top plate can be varied to accommodate the rubber top section. In one embodiment of this invention, a post, screw or other geometric shapes used to secure the flexible top to the hard spike (19) sticks through the top of the shaft and plate and connects to the flexible top section (11). Referring specifically to FIG. 2, in one preferred embodiment the flexible top portion contains a lipped rim (13) at its distal end. Other embodiment of the flexible structure (11) do not contain a overlapping lip rim but end in a lip which has a consistent or tapered thickness with the body of the flexible structure. Referring specifically to FIG. 3, this shows a user placing the golf spike into the ground. The ball would then be placed on top of the flexible thickness.

It will be understood that various modifications can be made to the embodiments of the present invention herein described without departing from the spirit thereof. The above description should not be construed as limiting the invention, but merely as exemplifications of preferred embodiments thereof. Those skilled in the art will envision other modifications within the scope and spirit of the present invention.

Various embodiments may also be implemented using a combination of the different materials disclosed.

The above description of the disclosed embodiments is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make or use the invention. Various modifications to these embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the generic principles described herein can be applied to other embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Thus, it is to be understood that the description and drawings presented herein represent a presently preferred embodiment of the invention and are therefore representative of the subject matter which is broadly contemplated by the present invention. It is further understood that the scope of the present invention fully encompasses other embodiments that may become obvious to those skilled in the art and that the scope of the present invention is accordingly limited by nothing other than the appended claims.





 
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