Title:
Electronic golf scoring and match competition system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An electronic wireless network enabled scoring system for golf players that can receive and store data concerning characteristics of golf courses and golf players, accept scoring data for at least one competition among the players in real time in accordance with predetermined criteria and calculate results of the at least one competition.



Inventors:
Gialo, Mark (Basking Ridge, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/732802
Publication Date:
10/25/2007
Filing Date:
04/04/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
463/42
International Classes:
A63D15/00; A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DOSHI, ANKIT B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOFFMANN & BARON, LLP (6900 JERICHO TURNPIKE, SYOSSET, NY, 11791, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An electronic wireless network enabled scoring system for golf players that can receive and store data concerning characteristics of golf courses and golf players, accept scoring data for at least one competition among said players in real time in accordance with predetermined criteria and calculate results of said at least one competition.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/789,291 filed Apr. 4, 2006, the contents all of which are incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention pertains to a golf scoring and competition tool that will provide users with the ability to engage in real time competition with other players in remote locations and provide golfers with the ability to download scorecard data for golf courses from a comprehensive database of golf courses.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is well known in the sport of golf to engage in competitions among player on a particular course. These competition can take the form of a competition among a small group of players such as a foursome to tournament competitions involving many players over the course of one or several days. Typically however, the competitions among players, both in small groups and tournaments are scored manually and are limited to players on one particular golf course. Because of the limitation of manual scoring, the players are not able to engage in real time comparisons of scoring data. Without the ability to do real-time comparisons of scoring, the excitement of a competition is diminished since the players do not know their standings while they are playing. In addition, because of the highly individual nature of golf courses scorecards are specific to each course and individual rounds of golf must be scored on a course specific card, therefore the differences in a particular golf course will effect a players score. It is known to rate golf courses by difficulty so that a player may be able to compare scores from a particular course in regard to its relative degree of difficulty as compared to another course.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a electronic scoring system for golf players for saving data concerning characteristics of multiple golf courses, players, rounds, matches and tournaments and calculating results such as scores and standings in real time and saving the data for future review and reference.

These and other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent upon further review and investigation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a golf scoring tool that will simplify and automate golf scoring for golfers and enable competition and contests between multiple golfers simultaneously. The present invention provides golfers with the ability to download in real time golf course data from a comprehensive database of golf courses.

The present invention provides an electronic scoring system for golf players that can receive data concerning characteristics of golf courses, players, rounds, matches and tournaments. In addition, the system can receive scores from multiple players in real time during a round of golf, maintain real time standings, such as a leader board and save the results for review and reference by all players once the round of golf is complete.

Therefore, the invention pertains to an electronic wireless network enabled scoring system for golf players that can receive and store data concerning characteristics of golf courses and golf players, accept scoring data for at least one competition among the players in real time in accordance with predetermined criteria and calculate results of the at least one competition.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention provides an on-line network enabled electronic golf scoring system that may be implemented on a network-enabled device such as a pda, networked laptop computer or web enabled phone typically running one of the commercially available mobile operating systems such as Windows CE™ or Palm OS™.

The following exemplary components comprise the system according to the present invention. A Sales and Marketing Web Site for enrolling users, a Mobile Scoring Program which will be further explained herein, a Desktop Tournament Result Program which will also be further explained herein and Web Services for all Tournament and Match Calculations.

The user may implement the system by downloading the system software to such a web enabled device and then instantiating the software of the present invention. In use, the present invention provides the user with a menu driven system for automated golf record keeping and scoring. The menu system provides the user with several options for implementing the system. Generally the categories may include; course management to create a personal Course List from a list of available Golf Courses. The user may create their course list based on the courses you play, Player Management for a user to set up you're their own player list. Setting up the list may include recording the players name, email address and handicap; and tournament management. Tournament management allows the user to set up tournaments for multiple players. The user may create an unlimited number of matches including several variations of best ball and skins matches, place wagers or bets with other player and post scores after each hole in real time. The user may also in real time accesses the tournament leader board to find out his standing within a tournament or match that has been establish between multiple players. The present invention will in real time maintain standings for any on-going match and any wagers or matches associated the competition. A typical initial menu screen according to the present invention may appear as follows.

The present invention may be used in different ways, for example,

  • 1) Each Foursome has a Web Enabled PDA.
    • If each foursome has a player with a handheld device who is a member, you can post the scores on the golf course, and take advantage of the advanced features such as the leader board while playing tournaments on the course.
  • 2) A single member with a desktop (or PDA).
    • In this model, the member would input for all tournament members. They can do this either on a single PDA or on their desktop that is web enabled.
    • In this scenario, there is no leader board available through the tournament.

The Course Management function of the present invention provides each user with their own unique course list. There is no limit to the number of courses a user can add to their own course list. Typically the course management function may be implemented using a menu screen, which may appear as the following exemplary screen.

When a user first accesses this screen, no courses will be in the course list. The user would start by adding a course to their list by simply clicking a button labeled Add Course to Course List. The exemplary screen above will appear. Select the state where the course is located, and to limit the number of courses returned, put in a few of the letters that are contained in the course name. The courses that meet the criteria will be returned. The user may then simply click on the course they want added. The selected courses are then added to the user's personal course list.

In the player management function, the user may input data concerning all players that are part of a particular competition. The data may include unique identifiers such as name, e-mail address, and handicap. By including the e-mail address the system according to the present invention is able to provide real time updates of all scores to each player that is involved in a particular competition.

Speciffically the present invention provides the user with a simple program to manage players that a user will be be playing in a competition or tournament. In accordance with the following exemplary menu the user will select Player Management.

The user will be presented with a list of players that are in that users Player List. When a user first uses the system, no players will be in the list, but must be added by the user in order to personalize the system.

On the above exemplary menu, the user may click Add Player to Player List. The user will be directed to the following exemplary screen below.

Simply type in the players email address. If the player is in the database of the current system, that's all that is required. If not, the user will be asked for the players Name and Handicap.

Players may also be added to a personal user list utilizing an alternate facility of the present invention which may be known as “Simple Player Management” is even easier when setting up large player lists. This feature may be implemented using a spreadsheet program such as for example Microsoft Excel™.

Simple Player Management may be implemented by the user whereby Rather than entering each player one at a time, the user has the option of adding all of their players at once, as well as maintaining all players at once.

This may be implemented by having the user access a wide area network portal such as a web page and loggig onto the user specific account. The user may then access a Player List Management menu, an exemplary version of which is shown below.

By Clicking on Player List Management the user will be directed to a second screen, an exemplary version of which is shown below.

By selecting Player List Template the user will be directed to a Spreadsheet Template, which the user may save to a local file on their desktop, and then proceed to add all players desired including their email address, name and handicap. The data is then saved in the users spreadsheet.

The user may then click browse on the screen above and select the spreadsheet that was saved. The user may then click the Refresh Player List to add a complete list or leave this box unchecked when adding individual players.

This feature allows each member to more effectively manage their list of players. The user can update all handicaps once, and then upload all information at once.

There are two remaining options in this exemplary version of Player Management described herein accessible from the Player List Screen. By clicking on the Player Name, the user will access additional player details which can be seen on the exemplary screen below.

A user may click on the player handicap from the player list screen, and then will be able to either change the player handicap or delete the player from the player list as depicted in the exemplayr screen below.

The present invention provides a user with the ability to establish, and maintain competitions among player that are entered on a users players list. This enables the multiple users to engage in real time tournaments, contests and wagers with multiple players on a course without necessarily playing in the same group with each contestant. This is possible because the present invention can simultaneously receive and manage data regarding the play of multiple participants in a golf contest. In that way, two or more players may engage in a contest on a golf course while not actually playing together. The system according to the present invention can then receive and manage data concerning the play of each participant and output the results to the participants when the contest is completed.

Turning to the Tournament Management function, the first screen a user will see when you click on Tournament Management is the Tournament List Screen, an exemplary version of which is shown below.

Each Tournament has a unique tournament number, and the screen shows the user the golf course and tournament date.

When the user first bring up the tournament management screen, there will be no tournaments, therefore the user must first create tournaments.

First, the user will select the number of groups (i.e. foursomes) that will be part of the tournament. Next the user will click on Create New Tournament. The system according to the present invention proceeds to the following exemplary screen.

The user then simply selects the golf course from the previously entered course list, men's or ladies, and select the players that are in each foursome. The players may be selected from the previously created players list. The names of the previously entered players may be selected from scrollable menus. The user will include all players in the player list for the tournament that the user is creating.

Once completed, a unique tournament number will be assigned and the tournament will be made available in the tournament list and be made available to all players participating in the tournament.

Once the tournament is created, each group is able to post their scores using their handheld device. An exemplary screen for posting scores is shown below.

However, prior to this, the user may want to establish the matches that will be played within the tournament. You can create an unlimited number of matches for each tournament.

Turning now to the match management function, the present invention provides the user with the ability to create an unlimited number of matches within any particular tournament. The matches may consist of any number golf contests between players in the tournament.

Matches may be created by selecting Match Management, which brings the user to the Match Management portion of the system according to the present invention. The first screen in Match Management is the Match List Screen, and exemplary version of which is shown below. When the user first enter this screen no matches will be created and the user must utilize the provided menu options to create one or many matches.

To create a new match the user will click on Create New Match, this will take the user to a screen for setting up a new match, an exemplary version of which is shown below.

On this screen the user may choose one of the presented Match Formats, these may include for example; Best Ball Match Play, Best Ball Tournament Play, Skins Split the Kitty, Skins Wager Per Hole—Carryovers. In addition the user can set additional variations on the matches: Play off Gross Scores, Play Off the Low Ball (Handicap Format), and 2 Tie Split Hole.

The Match Formats availalable are defined as follows, but it should be noted that one skilled in the art may include additional and alternate matches or may have variations to the match formats defined herein.

    • 1) Best Ball Match Play—A player scores 1 point for having the lowest score on any hole. If you choose to split the hole, the point will be split for the individual or team with the best score. Otherwise no point is awarded for a tie.
    • 2) Best Ball Tournament Play—This is traditional medal play, where the match is won with the lowest net score. If the player chooses Gross Scores, no handicaps will be utilized.
    • 3) Skins Split the Kitty—Here the individuals or teams are awarded 1 point if their net score is the lowest score for the match. Everyone antes up a dollar amount, and at the end of the round, the points won are aggregated and divided into the kitty to determine the point value. For Example: 9 players, each ante 20.00. 4 points are awarded to different players. Each point is worth 45.00 (9×20=180. 180/4=45). In this example the four players will have netted 25.00 each since their wager was 20.00 and they won 45.00.
    • 4) Skins Wager Per Hole—Carryovers—In this format, you determine the value of a skin for each hole. Each hole is worth this amount. The standard is that the player or team must win the hole outright with the best net score. If there is a tie, the amount is carried over to the next hole.

Once the match format is selected, the user is presented with a menu screen that requires the amounts that are to be established for the match. For Best Ball Tournaments, you can have Front 9, Back 9 and 18 Hole Wagers, plus wining percentages. For the skins matches, only one amount is necessary, and no percentages are applicable. An exemplary menu screen is shown below.

The final step in creating the match is to select the match teams. Below is an exemplary screen used to establish the teams.

For an Individual Match, the user must simply select the players in the Team 1 list. By checking Individuals, the system knows that all players selected will be competing against each other. If you have team matches, the user may select the teams by clicking on the players that comprise the team. Teams can be even numbers of 2, 3, or 4 players. The match will be created after completing the three screens: format, wager and teams.

The Match Management function also allows the user to click on the match number to see the match teams and Click on the Match Details to see the Match Format. Exemplary versions of menu pages for these functions are provided below.

Tournament Management also includes the following reporting functions, which provide the users with information regarding the contest in which they are competing. The reporting functions include:

    • 1) Posting Scores
    • 2) View Leaderboard
    • 3) View Winnings
    • 4) View Scores

More specifically the functions for Post Scores provides a screen menu for entering player scores. When the user selects Post Scores, there is box that indicates Post Scores for all Players. If the user selects this box, all players in the tournament will appear in the screen, and exemplary version of which is shown below. Otherwise, only the competing players in the users foursome will appear.

If each group, for example foursome has a PDA, then each group may post their scores separately. If the scorekeeper is the sole user of the present invention, the scorekeeper will need to select this option to be able post all scores.

Once the scores are posted, the tournament leader board is immediately updated for each match being played within the tournament.

The LeaderBoard provides instantaneous real time player standing during competition. When the user select the Tournament LeaderBoard, the following exemplary screen is displayed.

Here the user can choose any of the matches in the tournament, and see the current real time standings. The leaderboard shows either points or over/under par if the match is Best Ball Tournament Play. It also shows the number of holes completed.

The user can click on the player name within the LeaderBoard to see hole by hole details of the players/teams round, such as shown in the following exemplary display.

The Winnings function calculates the results of all wagers and bets placed by the contest participants. When all scores have been entered for the tournament, the system of the present invention will determine winners and calculate exactly all winnings. By selecting Tournament Winnings, the user is able to see the total net winnings across all matches in the tournament order in descending order by net winnings as shown in this exemplary display.

This makes the arduous task of calculating much easier. In addition, the user now has the data that can be reviewed and referenced long after the tournament is completed. The user may also select individual matches to see the details of how the money changed hands for each match. For example, depicted below is one of the two exemplary matches for a tournament. It shows that Rick James won 120.00 in this match.

By scrolling down further on the menu screen shown above the user can see that Rick won 13 points in this skins match.

The user may also view scores of the tournament by selecting the View Scores Selection. You can additionally drill into the details to see hole by hole scores.

The system according to the present invention may also include access through a wide area network to a portal such as a web site, wherein results of all tournaments and contests may be saved. The user may access such Tournament Desktop Reporting by logging onto an account created at such a web site as a member in the present invention system network. The user may thus access his saved results which may be presented as on this exemplary screen.

The user will thus be able to access and review all tournaments that the user has competed in. This includes average score and net winnings across all tournaments. For example the user may click on 18 Hole Score to see all tournament results such as in the exemplary depiction below;

Tournament Results

Pars and birdie scores are highlighted.

Match Results

The use may also click on Number of matches to see all match details.

Dollar winnings are highlighted for the user.

The present invention may be implemented utilizing Microsoft Net Technology. Within this technology, ASP.NET may be the HTML and Javascript Language, and C# may be used as the programming language. Microsoft's Sql Server 2005 may be the database that houses all data applicable to the program. The Development Tool that may be used could be a program such Microsoft Visual Studio 2005.

While select preferred embodiments of this invention have been illustrated, many modifications may occur to those skilled in the art and therefore it is to be understood that these modifications are incorporated within these embodiments as fully as if they were fully illustrated and described herein.