Title:
Ball House
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Various apparatus, methods, and arrangements are provided for a ball house. In one embodiment, an arrangement for aiming a ball toward a predetermined target is provided that comprises a playing surface including the predefined target; and a ball house on the playing surface, the ball house configured to form a ball runway when adjacent to the playing surface, wherein the ball runway is substantially aligned with the predetermined target such that the ball will intersect the predetermined target after passing through the ball runway.



Inventors:
Mccoy, Donald Ray (Covington, GA, US)
Application Number:
12/041756
Publication Date:
09/11/2008
Filing Date:
03/04/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B57/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070015613Sports training apparatus and method of using the sameJanuary, 2007Remaklus
20040106462Laser putting aid and associated methodJune, 2004Ianazone
20030100384Golf ball comprising higher coefficient of restitution core and method of making sameMay, 2003Nesbitt
20070202968APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR TRAINING PLAYERS IN SPORTSAugust, 2007Zappel et al.
20080102996Expanding, exposed-blade arrow headMay, 2008Erhard
20090227402Foldable basketball shooting deviceSeptember, 2009Chen
20090036227ADJUSTABLE MECHANISM FOR ATTACHING TWO SHAFTSFebruary, 2009Moore
20070207876Reconfigurable golf putterSeptember, 2007Shende
20060046874Multiple Game Competition Construct and Associated Scoring MethodMarch, 2006Patrick
20060154754Cheer batJuly, 2006Castro
20070105666Computer for Rackets or PaddlesMay, 2007Fernandez et al.



Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THOMAS | HORSTEMEYER, LLP (3200 WINDY HILL ROAD, SE SUITE 1600E, ATLANTA, GA, 30339, US)
Claims:
At least the following is claimed:

1. A ball house for use on a playing surface, comprising: a housing structure including a first upstanding surface, a second upstanding surface opposite the first surface, and a bottom surface extending from the first upstanding surface to the second upstanding surface; and a tunnel extending through the housing structure from the first upstanding surface to the second upstanding surface, the tunnel intersecting the bottom surface to form a rectilinear opening extending from the first upstanding surface to the second upstanding surface, wherein a ball runway is formed by the tunnel and the playing surface when the bottom surface is substantially adjacent to the playing surface.

2. The ball house of claim 1, wherein the tunnel has a substantially circular cross-section.

3. The ball house of claim 2, wherein the tunnel has a diameter between approximately 1.75 to 2.25 inches.

4. The ball house of claim 3, wherein the tunnel has a diameter of approximately 2 inches.

5. The ball house of claim 1, wherein the tunnel has an inverted-U shaped cross-section.

6. The ball house of claim 5, wherein the tunnel has a width between approximately 1.75 to 2.25 inches.

7. The ball house of claim 1, further comprising an alignment aid.

8. The ball house of claim 7, wherein the alignment aid is a line disposed on a top surface of the housing structure, the top surface extending from the first upstanding surface to the second upstanding surface and opposite the bottom surface, the line substantially aligned with the centerline of the rectilinear opening.

9. An arrangement for aiming a ball toward a predetermined target, comprising: a playing surface including the predefined target; and a ball house on the playing surface, the ball house configured to form a ball runway when adjacent to the playing surface, wherein the ball runway is substantially aligned with the predetermined target such that the ball will intersect the predetermined target after passing through the ball runway.

10. The arrangement of claim 9, wherein the predefined target is a cup configured to receive the ball.

11. The arrangement of claim 9, further comprising: the ball located on the playing surface, the ball substantially aligned with the ball runway and the predetermined target.

12. A method for aiming a ball toward a predetermined target, comprising: aligning a ball house configured to form a ball runway when on a playing surface, wherein the ball runway is substantially aligned with the predetermined target such that the ball will intersect the predetermined target after passing through the ball runway; and locating the ball on the playing surface, the ball substantially aligned with the ball runway and the predetermined target.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the predefined target is a cup configured to receive the ball.

14. The method of claim 12, further comprising: propelling the ball toward the ball runway.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein propelling the ball comprises striking the ball with a club.

16. The method of claim 12, further comprising: placing the ball house on the playing surface.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to copending U.S. provisional application entitled “BALL HOUSE” having Ser. No. 60/893,961, filed Mar. 9, 2007, which is entirely incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

Accuracy is common to most sporting activities. This is especially true for golf where the golfer is trying to place a small ball on target using only a club. In order to improve accuracy, the golfer must practice to improve his or her control. Developing better eye and muscle (shoulders, arms, and hand) coordination can improve consistency in accurate putting. Thus, there exists a need for ways to aid a golfer in developing improved eye and muscle coordination.

SUMMARY

Embodiments of the present disclosure include methods and arrangements related to a ball house.

Briefly described, one embodiment, among others, comprises a ball house for use on a playing surface. The ball house comprises a housing structure including a first upstanding surface, a second upstanding surface opposite the first surface, and a bottom surface extending from the first upstanding surface to the second upstanding surface; and a tunnel extending through the housing structure from the first upstanding surface to the second upstanding surface, the tunnel intersecting the bottom surface to form a rectilinear opening extending from the first upstanding surface to the second upstanding surface, wherein a ball runway is formed by the tunnel and the playing surface when the bottom surface is substantially adjacent to the playing surface.

Another embodiment, among others, comprises an arrangement for aiming a ball toward a predetermined target. The arrangement comprises a playing surface including the predefined target; and a ball house on the playing surface, the ball house configured to form a ball runway when adjacent to the playing surface, wherein the ball runway is substantially aligned with the predetermined target such that the ball will intersect the predetermined target after passing through the ball runway.

Another embodiment, among others, comprises a method for aiming a ball toward a predetermined target. The method comprises aligning a ball house configured to form a ball runway when on a playing surface, wherein the ball runway is substantially aligned with the predetermined target such that the ball will intersect the predetermined target after passing through the ball runway; and locating the ball on the playing surface, the ball substantially aligned with the ball runway and the predetermined target.

Other systems, apparatus, methods, features, and advantages of the present disclosure will be or become apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following drawings and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, apparatus, methods, features, and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the present disclosure, and be protected by the accompanying claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Many aspects of the invention can be better understood with reference to the following drawings. The components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the present invention. Moreover, in the drawings, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views.

FIG. 1 is an illustration of top, end, bottom, and side views of one embodiment of a ball house;

FIG. 2 is an illustration of an end view of another embodiment of the ball house of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a flow chart that provides one example of using the ball house illustrated in FIG. 1 according to an embodiment of the present.

FIG. 4 illustrates an arrangement for using the ball housing of FIG. 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Disclosed herein are various embodiments of methods and arrangements related to a ball house. Reference will now be made in detail to the description of the embodiments as illustrated in the drawings, wherein like reference numbers indicate like parts throughout the several views.

One way to improve accuracy of putting is by focusing the ball path. This may be done by providing a focal point between the golf ball and the cup. A ball house can provide a focal point by providing a ball runway that is substantially aligned with the cup.

FIG. 1 is an illustration of top, end, bottom, and side views of one embodiment of a ball house 100. The ball house 100 comprises a housing structure including by a top 110, a bottom 120, two end 130, and two side 140 surfaces. In one embodiment, the top surface 110 has dimensions of three inches long by four inches wide. The end surfaces 120 have dimensions of four inches wide by 2.5 inches high. And the size surfaces 140 have dimensions of three inches long by 2.5 inches high. Other dimensions may be utilized in sizing the ball house 100.

The ball house 100 also comprises a tunnel 150 that provides an enclosed passage through the housing structure. The tunnel 150 passes through the housing structure from a first end 130a to a second end 130b that intersects with the bottom surface 120 to form a rectilinear opening 160 between the first end 130a and the second end 130b. A ball runway is produced by placing the bottom surface 120 of the ball house 100 on a playing surface 410 (FIG. 4) including, but not limited to, a putting green, an artificial putting surface, a lawn, carpeting, or any other suitable surface. The ball runway is formed by the enclosed tunnel 150 and the playing surface 410 exposed through the rectilinear opening 160.

In FIG. 1, the tunnel 150 is illustrated as having a circular cross-section to form a cylindrical passage. Other cross-sections may also be utilized. For example, FIG. 2 is an illustration of an end view of another embodiment of the ball house of FIG. 1. In FIG. 2, the cross-section of the tunnel 250 in end surface 230 is inverted-U shaped. The tunnel 250 intersects with the bottom surface 220 for form a rectilinear opening 260. Other embodiments may utilize a tunnel cross-section such as, but not limited to, a hexagon or an octagon.

The tunnel 150 is dimensioned to allow a golf ball to pass through the ball house 100. As a regulation golf ball is not less than 1.680 inches, the diameter 170 or width of the tunnel 150 should be greater than 1.680 inches. In one embodiment, the diameter 150 or width of the tunnel 150 may be approximately 1.75 to 2.25 inches. In the circular shaped embodiment of FIG. 1, the diameter 170 may be approximately two inches. Likewise, in the inverted-U shaped embodiment of FIG. 2, the width 270 may be approximately two inches.

The height 180 of the tunnel 150 should also allow for a golf ball to pass through. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the height 180 is approximately 1.75 inches, which is less than the diameter 170 of the tunnel 150. In the embodiment of FIG. 2, the height 280 is approximately two inches, which corresponds to the width 270 of the tunnel 250. Other embodiments may have a height that is greater than the width of the tunnel.

The ball house 100, formed by the housing structure and the tunnel 150, may be constructed of a suitable material including, but not limited to, foam rubber, rubber, plastic, Plexiglas, wood, paper, glass, metal, or combinations thereof. In some embodiments, some or all of the surfaces of the ball house 100 may also be coated or covered with other materials including, but not limited to, paint, lacquer, fabric, carpeting, or combinations thereof.

FIG. 3 is a flow chart 300 that provides one example of using the ball house illustrated in FIG. 1 according to an embodiment of the present. Initially, in block 310, the ball house 100 is placed on a playing surface 410 (FIG. 4). The ball house 100 may be placed anywhere on the playing surface 410. In one embodiment, among others, the ball house 100 is placed two inches way from a predetermined target (e.g., a golf hole or cup) on the playing surface 410. A ball runway is defined by the playing surface and the enclosed tunnel 150 of the ball house 100.

In block 320, the orientation of the ball house 100 is adjusted to substantially align the ball runway with the target on the playing surface 410 such that a ball will intersect the predetermined target after passing through the ball runway. In one embodiment, the ball runway is substantially aligned by observing the predetermined target through the ball runway. In other embodiments, an alignment aid may be provided to assist in substantially aligning the ball runway with the predetermined target. For example, FIG. 1 illustrates a line 190 disposed on the top surface 110 of the ball house 100. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the line substantially aligned with the centerline of the rectilinear opening 160. In another embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, the top surface 210 is shaped like the roof of a house. In the embodiment of FIG. 2, the peak 290 of the top surface 210, which is substantially aligned with the centerline of the rectilinear opening 260, provides an alignment aid. Other embodiments can include, but are not limited to, arrows or bands on the top surface 110 that correspond with the diameter 170 of the tunnel 150 or the width of the rectilinear opening 160.

FIG. 4 illustrates an arrangement for using the ball housing 100 of FIG. 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The ball housing 100 includes a ball runway 420 extending through the housing structure from a first end surface 130a to a second end surface 130b. In FIG. 4, the ball house 100 of FIG. 1 is placed on playing surface 410 and aligned with the predetermined target 430. As illustrated by dashed line 440, the ball runway 420 is substantially aligned with target 430. In the embodiment of FIG. 4, the predetermined target may be a cup configured to receive the ball. In other embodiments, the predetermined target may include, but is not limited to, a sticker affixed to the playing surface or a spot on the playing surface selected by the golfer.

In block 330, a ball 450 is located on the playing surface 410 such that the ball 450 is substantially aligned with the ball runway 420 and the predetermined target 430. As illustrated by the dashed line 440 in FIG. 4, the ball 450 is located on the playing surface 410 such that the ball 450 will intersect the predetermined target 430 after passing through the ball runway 420. The ball 450 is then propelled toward the ball runway 420 in block 340. The ball 450 may be propelled using a putter 460, golf club, or other suitable means.

If the ball 450 goes through the ball runway 420 of the ball house 100 and intersects the target 430, then the putt is good. As a golf hole (or cup) is standardized at 4.25 inches, if the ball 450 hits the end surface 130a, then the ball 450 should end up in the golf hole.

It should be emphasized that the above-described embodiments of the present invention are merely possible examples of implementations, merely set forth for a clear understanding of the principles of the invention. Many variations and modifications may be made to the above-described embodiment(s) of the invention without departing substantially from the spirit and principles of the invention. All such modifications and variations are intended to be included herein within the scope of this disclosure and the present invention and protected by the following claims.