Title:
NOVELTY AND SPORT TRAINING PROJECTILE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A practice golf ball permitting practice of full-force non-putt swings indoors without causing appreciable damage. The ball comprises a core and a plurality of fingers projecting from the core. The fingers are bendable when exerted upon and rigidly extending when not exerted upon.



Inventors:
Ruston, Dean (East York, CA)
Application Number:
11/835417
Publication Date:
11/22/2007
Filing Date:
08/07/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/614
International Classes:
A63B69/36; A63B43/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LEGESSE, NINI F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BARRY W. CHAPIN, ESQ. (CHAPIN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW, LLC 352 Turnpike Road Suite 110, Southborough, MA, 01772, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A ball comprising a core and a plurality of fingers projecting from the core, the fingers being bendable when exerted upon and rigidly extending when not exerted upon.

2. The ball in claim 1 wherein the fingers are identically constructed.

3. The ball in claim 1 wherein the fingers are thermoplastic rubber fingers.

4. The ball in claim 1 wherein the plurality of fingers is 126 fingers.

5. The ball in claim 1 wherein the core is spheroid.

6. The ball in claim 1 wherein the core is 18 mm diametrically.

7. The ball in claim 1 wherein the ball weighs 10 g.

8. The ball in claim 1 wherein the ball is spheroid.

9. The ball in claim 1 wherein the ball is 42 mm diametrically.

10. The ball in claim 1 wherein the ball is 43 mm diametrically.

11. The ball in claim 1 wherein the core is a thermoplastic rubber core.

12. The ball in claim 1 wherein each finger projects orthogonally from the core.

13. The ball in claim 1 wherein each finger is of equal length.

14. The ball in claim 1 for use in any one selected from a group comprising golf, baseball, croquet, tennis, cricket, polo, club-based sports, bat-based sports, and racquet-based sports.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a novelty and sport training projectile, and in one embodiment more specifically is an indoor training golf ball.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There have been numerous attempts to improve golf balls e.g. U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,230,053; 7,230,045; and 7,229,364, but these balls are for outdoor usage. Indoor usage (employing full power non-putt golf swings) would undoubtedly break glass and slice through plaster and wood without difficulty. Golfers cannot use these balls indoors to practice and develop their full-force non-putt golf swings.

Indoor golf balls like “whiffle” balls (hollow lightweight plastic balls defining numerous circular openings) and indoor simulators like laser or computer simulators lack accurate feedback (a whiffle ball does not fly or behave like a real golf ball; laser and computer simulators provide guesses based on force of impact and are highly inaccurate). Using a net indoors to stop an outdoor golf ball is possible, but the net is an unsightly distraction and affects a golf player's sense of freedom when making indoor non-putt swings. These indoor golf aides do not help golfers develop better full-force non-putt swings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In a preferred embodiment the present invention is a practice golf ball that allows golfers to practice full-force non-putt swings indoors without breaking glass, plaster, wood, or the like. A golfer has the freedom to hit this ball against a wall, a wooden door, or any glass pane as hard as he desires, without causing any appreciable damage. Hit properly, the ball will hit the wall (or other such object) and bounce back to within approximately one foot (or less) of the golfer.

The present invention is a ball comprising a core and a plurality of fingers projecting from the core. The fingers are bendable when exerted upon and rigidly extending when not exerted upon.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a practice golf ball.

FIG. 2 is a cross section view along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a club striking a practice golf ball toward a wall.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 refers to a ball (10) comprised of a core (14) and a plurality of fingers (18) projecting from the core (14). The core (14) is constructed in accordance with known principles, and is preferably manufactured in thermoplastic rubber (FIG. 2). For the purpose of most accurately mimicking a real golf ball, the core (14) is a solid spheroid and preferably about 18 mm diametrically. For novelty or joke purposes (i.e. not wanting the ball to mimic a regulation golf ball but instead behave in an erratic or unexpected fashion), the core (14) could be non spheroid (e.g. cuboid, cuboidal, pyramidal, etc.), depending on the desired behavior.

The fingers (18) preferably project orthogonally from the core (14), and should preferably be of uniform construction (height, weight, material consistency, etc.), when attempting to mimic a regulation golf ball. Novelty or joke balls could be comprised of non-orthogonally projecting fingers (18), and non-uniform fingers (18) (for example, a ball (10) could have a spheroid (or non spheroid) core and overall cuboid shape). When exerted upon by an external force, the fingers (18) must bend (FIG. 3). When the force has ceased, the fingers (18) must extend (revert) to their original position. The ball (10) (fingers (18) and core (14)) may be made of any pliable material provided the fingers satisfy this condition regarding bending and reversion. Thermoplastic rubber is an ideal choice for indoor usage.

In mimicking a regulation golf ball, the ball (10) is preferably constructed entirely (core (14) and fingers (18)) of thermoplastic rubber, with identically constructed (height, weight, material consistency, overall dimension, etc.) fingers (18), projecting orthogonally from the core (14), of equal length, and 126 in number. The core (14) is preferably spheroid and 18 mm in diameter. The resulting ball (10) should be generally spheroid, weigh about 10 g, and be 43 mm in diameter. A ball with a 42 mm diameter is also possible, but is not identical in size to a regulation golf ball. The making of other balls may be accomplished by altering these specifications as required.

In use (FIG. 3) a user (not shown) swings a club (22) (or racquet or bat or the like) to make contact with the ball (10) fingers (18). The club (22) imparts onto the ball (10) a force sufficient to bend the fingers (18). As the ball (10) takes flight and contact with the club (22) ceases, the fingers (18) restore (extend) to their original projecting position. The ball (10) is typically aimed to strike a wall (26) or some other flat surface. When golfing indoors, if the swing is made properly, the ball (10) will strike a wall (26) and bounce back to within 1 ft of the user.

A novelty projectile such as the above described may be used in bat-based sports, club-based sports, racquet-based sports, and the like, examples of which include golf, baseball, tennis, croquet, cricket and polo.

Specific embodiments of novelty and sport training projectile according to the present invention have been described for the purpose of illustrating the manner in which the invention is made and used. It is understood that other variations and modifications of the invention and its various aspects will be apparent to one skilled in the art, and that the invention is not limited by the specific embodiments described. It is contemplated to cover the present invention including any and all modifications, variations, or equivalents that fall within the true spirit and scope of the basic underlying principles disclosed and claimed herein.