Title:
Golf ball teeing system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf ball teeing system which comprises of a golf tray for holding a plurality of golf balls, a teeing mechanism, a means for guiding the golf balls on the golf tray onto the teeing mechanism, and a separate means for fetching the golf balls on the golf tray onto a mat or ground without going through the teeing mechanism. The golf ball teeing machine allows golfers to cherry pick the golf balls to suit their clubs in use. It also allows golfers to easily move golf balls on the golf tray on a mat or ground with the use of their clubs.



Inventors:
Luna, Antonio Albesa (Irvine, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/725272
Publication Date:
09/25/2008
Filing Date:
03/19/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Antonio Luna (3541 Eboe St., Irvine, CA, 92606, US)
Claims:
What I claim is:

1. A golf ball teeing machine comprising of: a) a golf tray generally having a flat horizontal surface, said golf tray having a means for holding a plurality of golf balls, b) a guidance means for allowing said golf balls to be guided and led into a teeing mechanism, c) said teeing mechanism having a means for teeing up said golf balls into a tee, and d) a separate fetch means for allowing said golf balls to be moved from the said golf tray to a mat or ground without going through the said teeing mechanism.

2. The golf ball teeing machine of claim 1 wherein said golf tray, said fetch means, and said guidance means being combined forming a single one-piece unit, said teeing mechanism adjoining next to the said guidance means.

3. The golf ball teeing machine of claim 1 wherein the said guidance means and said fetch means are combined forming a single one-piece unit, said golf tray being a separate unit, said teeing mechanism adjoining next to the said guidance means.

4. The golf ball teeing machine of claim 1 having a means for securing said golf ball teeing machine onto the said mat or ground.

5. The golf ball teeing machine of claim 3 wherein said guidance means and said fetch means comprising of a teeing channel, said teeing channel being recessed, said teeing channel having means for horizontally guiding a golf ball, said teeing channel allowing said golf ball to roll with the aid of a golf club, said guidance means additionally comprising of a teeing ramp, ball catch, and curved ramp, said teeing channel transitioning into the said teeing ramp, said teeing ramp having a means for guiding said golf ball and inclined at an angle, said golf ball rolling up the said teeing ramp and elevating said golf ball above the said teeing channel with the aid of the said golf club, top of the said teeing ramp transitioning into a ball catch, said ball catch having positioned at an angle to the said teeing ramp, said ball catch providing a means for receiving and stabilizing the said golf ball as the said golf ball falls onto the said ball catch, said ball catch having means to downwardly guide and roll the said golf ball to a curved ramp, said curved ramp having a recessed shape and a means for containing and holding a horizontal tee and keeping said horizontal tee secured to the end of the said curved ramp, said horizontal tee remaining secured to the end of the said curved ramp after a golf swing, the said horizontal tee having an elongated shape and having a means for receiving and guiding the said golf ball coming from the end of the said curved ramp said horizontal tee routing and guiding the said golf ball along the top of the said horizontal tee toward a tee head, said tee head having a means for retaining and holding said golf ball above a ground or mat, said horizontal tee having made of elastic material such that said tee having ability to spring back to its previous shape after a golf club swing, said fetch means having said teeing channel bridging the said golf tray and said mat or ground and having the said plurality of golf balls be moved from the said golf tray, across the said teeing channel, and onto the top of a mat or ground with the aid of the said golf club.

6. The golf ball teeing machine of claim 2 wherein said golf tray having an elevated tray top, wherein golf tray having a means for routing and controlling said plurality of golf balls for teeing operation, said guidance means comprising of a backside sloping channels, side sloping channels, ball release mechanism, and ball catch, said backside sloping channels having a recessed shape and sloping to the right and left, said golf balls rolling and lining up sideways along the said backside sloping channels, said ball release mechanism located at the end of the said backside sloping channels wherein upon pressing said ball release mechanism with a golf club a golf ball is released and rolls forward and toward the said teeing mechanism, said golf ball dropping on top of said ball catch, said ball catch receiving and stabilizing said golf ball and re-routing said golf ball to the said curved ramp, said curved ramp having a recessed shape and receiving said golf ball and having means for containing and holding a horizontal tee and keeping said horizontal tee connected to the end of the said curved ramp after a golf swing, the said horizontal tee having an elongated shape and having a means for receiving and guiding the said golf ball coming from the end of the said curved ramp said horizontal tee routing and guiding the said golf ball along the top of the said horizontal tee toward a tee head, said tee head having a means for retaining and holding said golf ball above a ground or mat, said horizontal tee having made of elastic material such that said tee having ability to spring back to its previous shape after a golf club swing, said fetch means comprising of the said elevated tray top not having a retaining wall in the front for allowing the said plurality of golf balls sitting on said elevated tray top to be easily moved with the aid of the said golf club from the said elevated tray top to a mat or ground.

7. The golf ball teeing machine of claim 2 wherein said golf tray having an elevated tray top, wherein golf tray having a means for routing and controlling said plurality of golf balls for teeing operation, said guidance means comprising of a backside sloping channels, side sloping channels, side sloping channels, and ball release mechanism, said golf tray having said backside sloping channels, said backside sloping channels having a recessed shaped and sloping to the right and left, said golf balls rolling and lining up sideways along the said backside sloping channels, said ball release mechanism located at the end of the said backside sloping channels wherein upon pressing said ball release mechanism with a golf club a golf ball is released and rolls forward and toward the said teeing mechanism, the said golf ball rolling down the said side sloping channel, the said side sloping channel stabilizing said golf ball and slowing down the speed of the said golf ball with the use of an optional conventional wooden tee placed across the said side sloping channel, said side sloping channel having a recessed shape and having means for containing and holding a horizontal tee and keeping said horizontal tee connected to the end of the said side sloping channel after a golf swing, the said horizontal tee having an elongated shape and having a means for receiving and guiding the said golf ball coming from the end of the said side sloping channel, said horizontal tee routing and guiding the said golf ball along the top of the said horizontal tee toward a tee head, said tee head having a means for retaining and holding said golf ball above a ground or mat, said horizontal tee having made of elastic material such that said tee having ability to spring back to its previous shape after a golf club swing, said fetch means comprising of said elevated tray top not having a retaining wall in the front for allowing the said plurality of golf balls sitting on said elevated tray top to be easily moved with the said golf club to a mat or ground.

8. The golf ball teeing machine of claim 1 wherein said guidance means comprising of a tapered ramp and a tee holder, said tapered ramp having an elongated and recessed shape for channeling golf balls, said one end of the tapered ramp resting on top of the said golf tray and allowing said golf balls to transition from said golf tray onto the said tapered ramp, the other end of the said tapered ramp having secured onto the said tee holder, said tee holder having a means for securing a horizontal tee such that during a golf swing said horizontal tee remaining secured onto the said tee holder, said tee holder having a securing means such that said tee holder remaining in place during a golf swing, top of the said tee holder having a recessed channel allowing said golf balls to smoothly roll onto the top of the said horizontal tee, the said horizontal tee having an elongated shape and having a means for receiving and guiding the said golf ball coming from the end of the said tee holder, said horizontal tee routing and guiding the said golf ball along the top of the said horizontal tee toward a tee head, said tee head having a means for retaining and holding said golf ball above a ground or mat, said horizontal tee having made of elastic material such that said tee having ability to spring back to its previous shape after a golf club swing, said fetch comprising of moving said plurality of golf balls sitting on said golf tray with the aid of head of the said golf club to the mat or ground.

9. The golf ball teeing machine of claim 2 wherein said golf tray having an elevated tray top, wherein golf tray having a means for routing and controlling said plurality of golf balls for teeing operation, said guidance means comprising of backside sloping channels, ball release mechanism, and side sloping channels, said backside sloping channels having a recessed shape and sloping to the right and left, said golf balls rolling and aligning sideways along the said backside sloping channels, said ball release mechanism being located at the end of the said backside sloping channels wherein upon pressing said ball release mechanism with a golf club a golf ball is released and rolls along the said side sloping channel, said golf ball rolling forward and toward the said teeing mechanism along the said side sloping channel, the said side sloping channel stabilizing and guiding said golf ball, said golf ball rolling towards a pivotally mounted teeing arm, said teeing arm having pivotally mounted to the end of the said side sloping channel, the said teeing arm having an arm ball rest, said arm ball rest allowing a golf ball to stabilize and settle onto it, said pivot having located underneath the said arm ball rest, the said arm ball rest having a counter weight mounted underneath the said arm ball rest, said counter weight causing the said teeing arm to rotate onto the said pivot such that the said arm ball rest resting in horizontal position, said arm ball rest having a perpendicularly extruding arm rails, said arm rails having long pair of parallel cantilever, said arm rails connecting the said arm ball rest to an arm ring, said arm rails providing guidance and control to said golf ball, said arm ring having a cylindrical shape and the inner diameter of the said arm ring being larger than the diameter of the said golf ball, said arm ring providing alignment between the said golf ball and a conventional rubber tee mounted on a mat or ground, said golf ball landing on the said arm ball rest, said golf ball's weight causing said teeing arm to rotate, said arm rails rotating forward and stopping at a sloping downward angle allowing said golf ball to roll to said arm ring, said arm ring receiving said golf ball, said golf ball having mounted onto the said tee, said teeing arm rotating with the said arm rails in a vertical position, said fetch means comprising of said elevated tray top not having a retaining wall in the front for allowing the said plurality of golf balls sitting on said elevated tray top to be easily moved with the said golf club from the said elevated tray top to a mat or ground.

10. The golf ball teeing machine of claim 3 wherein said guidance means and said fetch means comprising of a teeing channel, said teeing channel being recessed, said teeing channel having means for horizontally guiding a golf ball, said teeing channel allowing said golf ball to roll with the aid of a golf club, said guidance means additionally comprising of a teeing ramp, said teeing channel transitioning into the said teeing ramp, said teeing ramp having a means for guiding said golf ball and inclining at an angle, said golf ball rolling up the said teeing ramp and elevating said golf ball above the said teeing channel with the aid of the said golf club, said teeing ramp having a pivotally mounted teeing arm, the said teeing arm having an arm ball rest, said arm ball rest allowing a golf ball to stabilize and settle onto it, said pivot having located underneath the said arm ball rest, the said arm ball rest having a counter weight mounted underneath the said arm ball rest, said counter weight causing the said teeing arm to rotate onto the said pivot such that the said arm ball rest resting in horizontal position, said arm ball rest having a perpendicularly extruding arm rails, said arm rails having long pair of parallel cantilever, said arm rails connecting the said arm ball rest to an arm ring, said arm rails providing guidance and control to said golf ball, said arm ring having a cylindrical shape and the inner diameter of the said arm ring being larger than the diameter of the said golf ball, said arm ring providing alignment between the said golf ball and a conventional rubber tee mounted on a mat or ground, said golf ball landing on the said arm ball rest, said golf ball's weight causing said teeing arm to rotate, said arm rails rotating forward and stopping at a sloping downward angle allowing said golf ball to roll to said arm ring, said arm ring receiving said golf ball, said golf ball having mounted onto the said tee, said fetch means having said teeing channel bridging the said golf tray and said mat or ground and having the said plurality of golf balls be moved from the said golf tray, across the said teeing channel, and onto the top of a mat or ground with the aid of the said golf club.

11. The golf ball teeing machine of claim 2 wherein said golf tray having an elevated tray top, wherein golf tray having a means for routing and controlling said plurality of golf balls using a golf club for teeing operation, said guidance means comprising of backside sloping channels and side sloping channels, said backside sloping channels having a recessed shape and sloping to the right and to the left, said golf balls rolling and aligning sideways along the said backside sloping channels, said side sloping channels having connected onto the end of the said backside sloping channels, said golf balls continually roll downward at the said side sloping channels towards a pivotally mounted teeing arm, said teeing arm having mounted at the end of the said side sloping channels, the said teeing arm having an arm ball rest, said arm ball rest allowing a golf ball to stabilize and settle onto it, said pivot having located underneath the said arm ball rest, the said arm ball rest having a counter weight mounted underneath the said arm ball rest, said counter weight causing the said teeing arm to rotate onto the said pivot such that the said arm ball rest resting in horizontal position, said arm ball rest having a perpendicularly extruding arm rails, said arm rails having long pair of parallel cantilever, said arm rails connecting the said arm ball rest to an arm ring, said arm rails providing guidance and control to said golf ball, said arm ring having a cylindrical shape and the inner diameter of the said arm ring being larger than the diameter of the said golf ball, top portion of the said arm rail having arm tabs, said arm tabs extending orthogonally on both sides of the said arm rails, said arm tabs being utilized with the aid of a golf club to rotate the said teeing arm downwards, said arm ring aligning and delivering the said golf ball onto a conventional rubber tee mounted on a mat or ground, said fetch means comprising of said elevated tray top not having a retaining wall in the front for allowing the said plurality of golf balls sitting on said elevated tray top to be easily moved with the said golf club from the said elevated tray top to a mat or ground.

12. The golf ball teeing machine of claim 2 wherein said golf tray having an elevated tray top, wherein said golf tray having a means for routing and controlling said plurality of golf balls for teeing operation, said guidance means comprising of backside sloping channels, teeing arm switch, and side sloping channels, said golf tray having backside sloping channels, said backside sloping channels having a recessed shape and sloping to the right and to the left, said golf balls rolling and aligning sideways along the said backside sloping channels, said side sloping channels having connected onto the end of the said backside sloping channels, said golf balls continually roll downward at the said side sloping channels, the end of the said side sloping channels having a motor-driven teeing arm, said teeing arm having an arm ring and a golf ball resting on the said arm ring, the end of the said backside sloping channel having the said teeing arm switch whereas upon pressing said teeing arm switch with the aid of a golf club a motor-driven teeing arm moves forward, said teeing arm having arm rails, said arm rails having long pair of parallel cantilever, said arm rails having said arm ring connected at the end, said arm ring having a cylindrical shape and the inner diameter of the said arm ring being larger than the diameter of the said golf ball, said arm ring having a wire form underneath, said arm ring in stowed position resting against the end of the said side sloping channel, in the said stowed position the said wire form blocking said golf ball from falling through the said arm ring, the said teeing arm having mounted to the end of the said side sloping channels at an angle such that when said teeing arm is in extended position the said arm ring aligning with a rubber tee and said arm ring having enough gap underneath to clear a golf ball on top of the said tee, in the said extended position said wire form retracting from underneath the said arm ring, said golf ball falling from the said arm ring and onto the top of the said rubber tee mounted on the said mat or ground, said teeing arm going into the said stowed position for the next teeing operation, said fetch means comprising of the top of the said elevated tray not having a retaining wall in the front for allowing the said plurality of golf balls sitting on said elevated tray top to be easily moved with the said golf club from the said elevated tray top to a mat or ground.

13. The golf ball teeing machine of claim 4 having a horizontally flat and thin plate, said plate having mounted onto the said golf ball teeing machine, said plate putting a downward pressure onto the said mat, said golf ball teeing machine having a mat pad, said mat pad having horizontally flat extruded sheet in front of the said golf ball teeing machine, said mat pad having populated with spikes, said spikes extruding perpendicularly from the said mat pad, said spikes having a conical shape, pointed top, and small diameter at the base of the said spikes, said mat pad slipping underneath the said mat, said mat pad providing an upward pressure onto the said mat, said spikes providing a griping action onto the bottom of the said mat.

14. The golf ball teeing machine of claim 5 having two said teeing ramps, two said ball catches, and two said curved ramps located to the left and right side of the single said teeing channel for use for left and right handed golfers, said teeing ramps lining up with the said teeing channel and forming left side and right side teeing ramps, said left side teeing ramp sloping upwards from right to left, said right side teeing ramp sloping upwards from left to right, said left side teeing ramp having the said curved ramp perpendicularly mounted to the left side, said right side teeing ramp having the said curved ramp perpendicularly mounted to the right side, said ball catches having mounted onto the curved ramps.

15. The golf ball teeing machine of claim 5 having one said teeing channel, one said teeing ramp, one said ball catch, and two curved ramps, said curved ramps having aligned to one another, both said curved ramps being perpendicular to the said teeing ramp, said curved ramps having positioned back-to-back from each other, said curved ramps mirroring each other when viewed from the top, said curved ramps providing utility for left and right handed golfers.

16. The golf ball teeing machine of claim 2 wherein the said golf tray, said guidance means, and said fetch means combining to form a single unit, said guidance means and said fetch means comprising of a teeing channel, said teeing channel having a recessed shape and stretching throughout the front of the said golf tray, said teeing channel allowing the said golf ball on the said golf tray to be guided to the left or right end of the said teeing channel with the aid of a golf club, the left side or right side of the said teeing channel adjoining said guidance means for use for left and right handed golfers, said guidance means comprising of a teeing incline, said teeing incline comprising and forming into a single unit of two teeing ramps, one curved ramp, and one ball catch, said teeing ramps having a recessed shape and incline at an angle and positioned end-to-end from one another, said teeing incline having symmetry in the middle, said curved ramp having located in between said teeing ramps, said curved ramp said having a recessed shaped and a curved recline, said curved ramp positioned perpendicular to the said teeing ramps, backside of the said curved ramp is the said ball catch, said ball catch having a recessed shape and providing stability to a dropped golf ball coming from the top of the said teeing ramps, said ball catch re-routing said golf ball into the said curved ramp, said curved ramp guiding said golf ball into the said teeing mechanism, said teeing ramps aligning with the said teeing channel, said fetch means having the said plurality of golf balls be moved from the said golf tray, across the said teeing channel, and onto the top of a mat or ground with the aid of said golf club.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATION

Not Applicable

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

Not Applicable

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND

1. Field of Invention

This invention is an improved above-the-ground golf ball teeing system for use in golf ranges that allows golfers to tee up golf balls and separately fetch golf balls from the golf tray into a mat or ground without passing through a teeing mechanism. This invention alleviates practicing golfers from bending over to tee up golf balls.

2. Discussion of Prior Art

The present art of teeing golf balls into a tee excelled in doing just that—teeing golf balls into a tee. The present art, for a long time, had overlooked to provide golfers the ability to cherry pick golf balls off the golf ball-holding bins. A typical golf range provides a mix of newer range balls and worn-out balls with dimples that are barely discernable. Here is where the present art of teeing golf balls fall short—practicing golfers cannot select the quality of golf balls. The golf balls come to them as dispensed by the teeing machines. Golfers want to hit newer golf balls with their drivers because newer golf balls travel farther and they want to know how far they can hit with their drivers. The worn-out golf balls suit the short irons and wedges—worn-out balls do not lose much distance because of the high trajectory produced by the short irons and wedges.

The present art of teeing every golf ball into a tee are described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,071,356 to W. P. Pagett (1937), U.S. Pat. No. 2,171,299 to C. C. Beckett (1939), U.S. Pat. No. 2,285,342 to A. C. MacLellan (1942), U.S. Pat. No. 3,003,770 to R. O. Jones (1961), U.S. Pat. No. 4,265,453 to Loof (1981), U.S. Pat. No. 4,360,204 to Karr (1982), U.S. Pat. No. 4,732,391 to Karr (1988), U.S. Pat. No. 4,796,893 to Choi (1989), U.S. Pat. No. 4,957,296 to Turnridge et al (1990), U.S. Pat. No. 4,995,614 to Tange (1991), U.S. Pat. No. 5,411,267 to Burks et al (1995), U.S. Pat. No. 5,458,339 to Wildes (1995), U.S. Pat. No. 5,464,223 to Dermott (1995), U.S. Pat. No. 5,624,325 to Smith (1997), U.S. Pat. No. 5,674,103 to Egan (1997), to U.S. Pat. No. 5,702,844 to Luther (1998), U.S. Pat. No. 5,820,475 to Luna (1998), U.S. Pat. No. 6,174,243 to Choi (2001), U.S. Pat. No. 6,179,719 to Hwang (2001), U.S. Pat. No. 6,315,676 to Sandlin (2001), U.S. Pat. No. 6,328,659 to Peterson (2001), and U.S. Pat. No. 6,616,541 to Michelizza (2003). These inventions require golfers to knock off golf balls from a tee into a mat for hitting off the mat. The U.S. Pat. No. 5,820,475 to Luna (1998), allows a golf ball to roll pass the rubber tee and onto a mat.

Another method of teeing up golf balls is by routing them through rigid tubing or conduit. They are described in U.S. Pat. No. 1,940,321 to W. P. Pagett (1933), U.S. Pat. No. 2,216,853 to W. V. Middleton (1940), U.S. Pat. No. 3,127,177 to E. Benkoe (1964), U.S. Pat. No. 3,599,983 to Raymond Melton (1969), U.S. Pat. No. 4,132,214 to Schnurr et al (1979), U.S. Pat. No. 4,141,558 to Hoffman (1979), U.S. Pat. No. 4,146,232 to Stone (1979), U.S. Pat. No. 4,391,446 to Eberie (1983), U.S. Pat. No. 4,741,537 to Adam (1988), U.S. Pat. No. 4,892,318 to Jennings (1990), U.S. Pat. No. 5,259,622 to Irving (1993), U.S. Pat. No. 5,346,222 to Luther, Sr. (1994), and U.S. Pat. No. 5,665,004 to Vlahovic (1997). These inventions route the balls into a hollow tube. The golf balls form a single column in the tube and are prevented from clogging. The ball hoppers are placed high above the ground and the golf balls are routed through the tubing.

Another method of teeing up golf balls is by using electric motors. These inventions are described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,675,237 to L. J. Willcox (1954), U.S. Pat. No. 2,789,824 to L. J. Willcox (1957), U.S. Pat. No. 4,817,955 to Hickson et al (1989), U.S. Pat. No. 4,981,299 to Petrillo (1991), U.S. Pat. No. 5,022,657 to Bussiere et al (1991), U.S. Pat. No. 5,282,628 to Komori et al (1991), U.S. Pat. No. 5,326,107 to Park (1994), U.S. Pat. No. 5,529,307 to Chang (1996), U.S. Pat. No. 5,860,870 to Park (1999), U.S. Pat. No. 6,106,407 to Peyton, Jr. (2000), U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,624 to Howard et al (2002), and U.S. Pat. No. 6,585,603 to Montalvo (2003). Of notable invention is U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,624 to Howard et al (2002), a golf ball can either be teed up on a tee or dispensed directly onto a mat.

Other patents on the teeing mechanism are U.S. Pat. No. 5,549,518 to Wang (1996), and U.S. Pat. No. 5,743,804 to Bacon (1998). Wang mentioned that a ball hopper would be used with the teeing mechanism and Bacon made no mention of any golf ball-holding bins or trays.

Another method of teeing up golf balls into horizontal tees are describe in Japanese Patents 52-044877 (1977), 50-076958 (1975), 49-064065 (1974), 53-094766 (1978), and 59-145962 (1984). Patent 53-094766 (1978) describes the utility of a horizontal tee secured on a ground as described in its drawings.

Patents with horizontal tee as specified in U.S. Pat. No. 1,937,180 to L. A. Young (1933), and U.S. Pat. No. 3,458,204 to J. B. Wilson (1969) utilize devices to keep the supply of golf balls lined up in a single column. Again, the golf balls are teed into the horizontal tees and have to be knocked down from the tee onto the mat for golfers wishing to practice hitting off the mat.

The above mentioned inventions allow golf balls to be placed onto a mat by first teeing the golf balls onto a tee and knocking the golf balls off the tee. Very few above mentioned inventions either directly dispenses golf balls directly onto a mat or the golf ball go pass the tee onto a mat. All of the above mentioned inventions are slow and take extra effort as far as dispensing golf balls onto a mat is concerned. The above mentioned inventions do not allow golfers to cherry pick the golf balls off of the golf ball trays to suit the club that golfers are using. The above mentioned inventions limit the golfers to what is readily teed or dispensed golf ball. Also, the above mentioned inventions have many parts, bulky, sit high above the ground that they are distracting to the golfers, some require electricity, and some require clearance underneath for the teeing mechanism.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

The main object of this invention is to provide a novel and improved above-the-ground teeing system which furnishes golf balls on a tee and allow golfers the benefit of fetching golf balls from the golf tray into a mat using their clubs without passing through the teeing mechanism. This invention alleviates golfers from bending over to tee up golf balls.

The following are the advantages of this novel invention:

  • a) This invention has separate mechanism for teeing up golf balls and fetching a golf ball from the tray to a mat—this eliminates the monotonous and slow delivery of golf balls onto a mat. Majority of existing inventions are designed such that each of the golf balls, that are placed and held in their holding trays or hoppers, goes through the teeing mechanism. If golfers want to hit golf balls off of mats, they either have to knock the golf balls off a tee or open up a mechanism to allow the golf balls to pass through a tee. This is monotonous and slow delivery of golf balls into a mat.
  • b) This invention allows golfers to cherry-pick golf balls to suit particular clubs in used. For example, golfers may choose to hit newer golf balls with well-defined dimples with their drivers and worn-out golf balls with their wedges.
  • c) This invention is similar to using what is already provided at most golf ranges—mats and golf trays. Golfers move golf balls out of the golf trays with their clubs and onto mats. This with invention, golfers would similarly use their clubs to move balls out of the golf trays with their clubs, onto the mats, and with the added benefit of teeing golf balls without bending over.
  • d) This invention has very few parts.
  • e) This invention stands low and it is not distracting to golfers.
  • f) This invention can be manufactured easily and inexpensively.
  • g) This invention is lightweight, can be easily transported, and easily be removed from a golf mat.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D—Show isometric view of preferred embodiment and its sequence of teeing operation

FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C—Show continuation of sequence of teeing operation of preferred embodiment

FIG. 2D—Shows moving a golf ball from tray into a mat using a golf club

FIG. 3—Shows an exploded view of preferred embodiment

FIGS. 4A and 4B—Show backside and underside of preferred embodiment

FIGS. 5A and 5B—Show the top and bottom views of the horizontal tee

FIGS. 6A, 6B, 6C, and 6D—show another embodiment of the invention with elevated tray top and a club-activated, pivotally mounted teeing arm and sequence of teeing operation

FIGS. 7A, 7B, 7C, and 7D—show another embodiment of the invention with teeing channel, teeing ramp, and a golf ball-activated, pivotally mounted teeing arm and sequence of teeing operation

FIGS. 8A, 8B, 8C, and 8D—show another embodiment of the invention with elevated tray top, ball release mechanism, and a golf ball-activated, pivotally mounted teeing arm and sequence of teeing operation

FIGS. 9A, 9B, and 9C—show another embodiment of the invention with elevated tray top, ball release mechanism, ball catch, curved ramp, and horizontal tee, and sequence of teeing operation

FIGS. 10A, 10B, and 10C—show another embodiment of the invention with elevated tray top, ball release mechanism, side sloping channel, and horizontal tee, and sequence of teeing operation

FIGS. 11A, 11B, 11C and 11D—show another embodiment of the invention with elevated tray top, motor-driven teeing arm, and a teeing arm switch, and sequence of teeing operation

FIG. 12A—shows another variation of the preferred embodiment with dual teeing ramps and a single channel

FIG. 12B—shows another variation of the preferred embodiment with a single channel, single teeing ramp, and back-to-back ball catches

FIG. 12C—shows another variation of the preferred embodiment with golf tray and channel combined as one unit and a separate unit comprising of side-to-side teeing ramps with single ball catch and one curved ramp

FIGS. 13A, 13B, 13C and 13D—show another embodiment of the invention with golf tray, tapered ramp, tee holder, and horizontal tee, golf ball is pushed all the way up to the tee head with a golf club

LIST OF REFERENCE NUMERALS

  • 1. golf tray
  • 2. teeing ramp
  • 3. teeing channel
  • 4. mat pad
  • 5. mat pad spike
  • 6. tee slot
  • 7. curved ramp
  • 8. tee securing hole
  • 9. mat spring screw hole
  • 10. top of ramp
  • 11. ball catch
  • 12. top of ball catch
  • 13. ball catch front ramp
  • 14. ball catch alignment pins
  • 15. ball catch slot
  • 16. ball adjustment spring
  • 17. ball adjustment screw
  • 18. conventional tee
  • 19. mat spring screw
  • 20. mat spring
  • 21. horizontal tee
  • 22. ball catch screw hole
  • 23. ball catch alignment holes
  • 24. curved ramp tee hole
  • 25. conventional tee
  • 26. conventional rubber tee
  • 27. teeing arm
  • 28. elevated tray
  • 29. arm tab
  • 30. backside sloping channel
  • 31. teeing tray walls
  • 32. teeing medium
  • 33. side sloping channel
  • 34. arm ring
  • 35. arm rail
  • 36. arm ball rest
  • 37. tray top
  • 38. support walls
  • 39. tee pin
  • 40. tee pin hole
  • 41. tee mounting section
  • 42. tee flared section
  • 43. tee straight section
  • 44. tee ramp section
  • 45. tee head
  • 46. tee rails
  • 47. tee head base
  • 48. rubber tee underside
  • 49. tee head base cutout
  • 51. mat
  • 53. golf balls
  • 54. ground
  • 55. golf club
  • 56. golf ball
  • 57. golf ball
  • 58. golf ball
  • 77. golf club
  • 90. elevated tray
  • 91. side sloping channel
  • 92. backside sloping channel
  • 93. teeing arm
  • 94. tee rails
  • 95. arm ring
  • 96. support walls
  • 97. ball release
  • 98. tray top
  • 99. arm ball rest
  • 100. elevated tray
  • 101. support walls
  • 102. backside sloping channel
  • 103. side sloping channel
  • 104. tray top
  • 105. arm ring
  • 106. teeing arm
  • 107. arm ring
  • 108. teeing arm switch
  • 110. elevated tray
  • 111. support walls
  • 112. ball release
  • 113. tray top
  • 114. backside sloping channel
  • 115. side sloping channel
  • 116. conventional wooden tee
  • 117. conventional wooden tee
  • 118. tee head
  • 120. elevated tray
  • 121. support walls
  • 122. ball release
  • 123. tray top
  • 124. backside sloping channel
  • 125. side sloping channel
  • 126. conventional wooden tee
  • 127. ball catch
  • 128. curved ramp
  • 129. tee head
  • 130. golf tray
  • 131. teeing arm
  • 132. arm rail
  • 133. arm ring
  • 134. teeing channel
  • 135. teeing ramp
  • 136. top of ramp
  • 137. arm ball rest
  • 138. tee holder
  • 139. tapered ramp

SUMMARY

The present invention is an improved teeing system which comprises of a means for teeing up golf balls into a tee and a separate means for fetching golf balls from the golf tray onto a mat.

DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

This invention primarily consists of golf ball holding tray, mechanism for teeing up golf balls to a tee, and a separate mechanism for moving a golf ball from the same holding tray to a mat. FIG. 1A shows the preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 1A, the preferred embodiment, consists of a golf tray 1 and teeing medium 32. FIG. 1A shows how the invention is placed for use in a driving range with mat 51 and the teeing medium 32 is shown to be separate from the golf tray 1. The golf tray 1 and mat 51 are readily available in most driving ranges.

In FIG. 3, the teeing medium 32 of the preferred embodiment is shown in an exploded, isometric view. The teeing medium 32 is rectangular in shape and is made of plastic. It is composed of a teeing channel 3 which is recessed, flat, and extends more than half the total length of teeing medium 32. The teeing channel 3 smoothly transitions into teeing ramp 2. The teeing ramp 2 is inclined upwards from right to left and recessed as well. At the apex of the teeing ramp 2 is the top of ramp 10. The top of the ramp 10 is a flat short-length recessed channel. The recessed teeing channel 3, teeing ramp 2, and top of ramp 10 are designed to control a golf ball and channel the golf ball from the teeing channel 3, up the teeing ramp 2, and to the top of ramp 10.

The front portion of the teeing medium 32 is the mat pad 4. It is rectangular in shape, flat, and extends in front and at the bottom of the teeing machines as shown in FIG. 3. The length of the mat pad 4 extends the total length of teeing medium 32. The mat pad 4 has mat pad spikes 5. The spikes are conical in shape, pointed, and extrude upwards from the mat pad 4. The mat pad spikes 5 are arranged in rows and columns throughout the mat pad 4.

To the left side of top of ramp 10 is curved ramp 7. The curved ramp 7 is recessed in structure just like teeing channel 3, teeing ramp 2, and top of ramp 10. While teeing channel 3, teeing ramp 2, and top of ramp 10 lines up in a straight line when viewed from the top, the curved ramp 7 is perpendicularly aligned. Along the outer sides of the curved ramp 7 are vertical walls to structurally support it. The curved ramp 7 inclines toward the front of the teeing medium 32. The curved ramp 7 is positioned below the top of ramp 10. At the bottom portion of curved ramp 7 is a t-shaped recessed slot called tee slot 6. The tee slot 6 is flat at the bottom and has vertical walls to structurally support the bottom portion of tee slot 6. Along the outer wall of the curved ramp 7 is a tee securing hole 8. The securing hole 8 horizontally extends into the vertical walls of the tee slot 6.

FIG. 3 shows the mat spring 20. It is made of thin spring tempered steel and it is powder coated for enhanced finish and rust protection. The mat spring 20 is rectangular in shape. It has a screw hole that clears mat spring screw 19. The mat spring 20 is mounted to the teeing medium 32 by the mat spring screw 19. The mat spring screw 19 is threaded into the mat spring screw hole 9. The leading edge of mat spring 20 is bent downwards.

FIG. 3 shows the ball catch 11. It is made of plastic and it is rectangular in shape. At the top portion of the ball catch is the top of ball catch 12. The top of ball catch 12 is short in length and recessed—similar in structure to the recessed teeing channel 3, teeing ramp 2, and top of ramp 10. The ball catch front ramp 13 is located in the front of ball catch 11. It is recessed and slopes outwards towards the front. The ball catch alignment pins 14 are cylindrically shaped pins that protrude out. There are 2 columns and 3 rows of ball catch alignment pins 14. In front of the ball catch 11, is a ball catch slot 15 and it wide enough for the ball catch screw 17 tread to clear through. The ball catch spring 16 fits into the tread of ball catch screw 17 and stops at the head of ball catch screw 17. The other end of ball catch spring 16 rests against the inner backside of ball catch 11. In FIG. 4A, the ball catch screw 17 threads into the ball catch screw hole 22. The ball catch alignment pins 14 slide into the ball catch alignment holes 23. This mechanism secures the ball catch 11 to the teeing medium 32 and allows golfers to adjust the height of the ball catch 11.

FIG. 4B shows the underside of the teeing medium 32. The teeing tray walls 31 are flared at an angle to allow multiple teeing mediums 32 to be stacked up and take minimum space when stored or shipped.

FIG. 5B shows perspective view of the horizontal tee 21 and consists of tee mounting section 41, tee flared section 42, tee straight section 43, tee ramp section 44, and tee head 45. The horizontal tee 21 is made of thermoplastic elastomer. The tee mounting section 41 is generally solid from top to bottom and it is T-shaped. At the T-shaped end of the tee mounting section 41 is a tee pin hole 40. This hole runs horizontally throughout the T-shaped end. Tee pin 39 is made of metal and it is inserted into the tee pin hole 40. The tee pin 39 helps keep the T-shaped end of the tee mounting section 41 from getting deformed during a golf swing and in turn keeps the horizontal tee 21 from flying off of the tee slot 6. The tee flared section 42, tee straight section 43, and tee ramp section 44 have a tee rails 46. Tee rails 46 are thin walls that protrude upwards and it is chamfered inside. The tee flared section 42 has a wider width at the far end and tapers to a smaller width at the other end. The tee straight section 43 is rectangular in shape and has the same narrow width as the tee flared section 42. Tee straight section 43 transitions into tee ramp section 44. Tee ramp section 44 has a curved shape and ramps up toward tee head 45. The tee head 45 is hollow and has a rectangular shape. Two opposing vertical sidewalls are thin and the leading wall is rounded. The top of the tee head 45 vertical sidewalls are cutout in a U-shaped pattern. At the bottom of tee head 45 is tee head base 47. It is rounded in shape and surrounds the base of tee head 45.

FIG. 5A shows rubber tee underside 48 and it slants upwards toward the tee head 45. The thickness of the horizontal tee 21 side walls gets thinner as it get closer to the tee head 45. There is a rectangular shaped tee head base cutout 49 at the middle of base of tee head 45. The cutout is designed to keep the water and dirt from collecting at the tee head 45 as it sits in a golf range.

FIG. 1A shows how the preferred embodiment of the invention is assembled for use. The mat 51, teeing medium 32, and golf tray 1 lay on ground 54. The teeing medium 32 is placed in between golf tray 1 and mat 51. The mat pad 4 is tucked underneath mat 51. The leading edge of the teeing medium 32 rests against the back edge of mat 1 and the back edge of the teeing medium 32 rests against the leading edge of the golf tray 1. Mat spring 20 clamps down on mat 51 and the mat pad spikes 5 provide an upward grip to the bottom of the mat 51. Together, it keeps the teeing medium 32 from separating from the mat 51 in a golf swing. The horizontal tee 21 rests on top of mat 51.

Other embodiments of the invention are shown in FIGS. 6A, 7A, 8A, 9A, 10A, 11A, 12A, 12B, 12C, and 13A but not necessarily limited to these embodiments.

FIG. 6A shows another embodiment and how it is placed for use in a driving range. FIG. 6A shows an elevated tray 28 containing a plurality of golf balls 53. The elevated tray 28 and mat 51 lie on ground 54. The mat 51 contains a hole to allow a conventional rubber tee 26 to be used. The front side of the elevated tray 28 rests against the side of the mat 51. The horizontal and flat surface portion of elevated tray 28 is tray top 37. The tray top 37 sits higher than the top surface of mat 51. The elevated tray 28 contains vertical support walls 38 all the way around. The support walls 38 support and provide rigidity to elevated tray 28. The back side of the elevated tray 28 contains recessed backside sloping channels 30 and side sloping channels 33. The backside sloping channels 30 are sloped such that the golf balls would roll towards the left and right side of the elevated tray 28. On the left and right hand side of the elevated tray 28, the side sloping channels 33 are sloped such that golf balls would roll toward the front of the elevated tray 28. Around the periphery of tray top 37 are humps that prevent golf balls from falling into the backside sloping channels 30 and side sloping channels 33. On the left side of the elevated tray 28 is a pivotally mounted teeing arm 27. The top portion of the teeing arm 27 is an arm ring 34. The arm ring 34 is round, short, and hollow cylindrical ring whose inner diameter is large enough to pass a golf ball. The arm ring 34 is supported by an elongated arm rail 35. The arm rail 35 allows a golf ball to roll on it and to deliver the golf ball to the arm ring 34. At the other end of arm rail 35 is arm ball rest 36 as shown in FIG. 6C. The arm ball rest 36 is perpendicularly oriented to the arm rail 35, flat in shape, and long enough to hold only a single golf ball. The teeing arm 27 is counter-balanced by a weight and pivotally mounted to the elevated tray 28.

FIG. 7A shows another embodiment and how it is placed for use in a driving range. FIG. 7A shows a golf tray 130 containing a plurality of golf balls 53. The golf tray 130 and mat 51 lie on ground 54. The mat 51 contains a hole to allow a conventional rubber tee 26 to be used. The front portion of golf tray 130 is a recessed teeing channel 134. To the left side of the golf tray 130 is a recessed teeing ramp 135. At the apex of teeing ramp 135 is a recessed top of ramp 135. On the left side and bottom portion of the teeing ramp 135 is a pivotally mounted teeing arm 131. The top portion of the teeing arm 131 is an arm ring 133. The arm ring 133 is round, short, and hollow cylindrical ring whose inner diameter is large enough to pass a golf ball. The arm ring 133 is supported by an elongated arm rail 132. The arm rail 132 allows a golf ball to roll on it and to deliver the golf ball to the arm ring 133. At the other end of arm rail 132 is an arm ball rest 137 as shown in FIG. 7C. The arm ball rest 137 is perpendicularly oriented to the arm rail 132, flat in shape, and long enough to hold only a single golf ball. The teeing arm 131 is counter-balanced by a weight and pivotally mounted to side of the teeing ramp 135.

FIG. 8A shows another embodiment and how it is placed for use in a driving range. FIG. 8A shows an elevated tray 90 containing a plurality of golf balls 53. The elevated tray 90 and mat 51 lie on ground 54. The mat 51 contains a hole to allow a conventional rubber tee 26 to be used. The front side of the elevated tray 90 rests against the side of the mat 51. The horizontal and flat surface portion of elevated tray 90 is tray top 98. The tray top 98 sits higher than the top surface of mat 51. The elevated tray 90 contains vertical support walls 96 all the way around. The support walls 96 support and provide rigidity to elevated tray 90. The back side of the elevated tray 90 contains recessed backside sloping channels 92 and side sloping channels 91. The backside sloping channels 92 are sloped such that the golf balls would roll towards the left and right side of the elevated tray 90. On the left and right hand side of the elevated tray 90, the side sloping channels 91 are sloped such that golf balls would roll toward the front of the elevated tray 90. Around the periphery of tray top 98 are humps that prevent golf balls from falling into the backside sloping channels 92 and side sloping channels 91. On the left side of the elevated tray 90 is a pivotally mounted teeing arm 93. The top portion of teeing arm 93 is an arm ring 95. The arm ring 95 is round, short, and hollow cylindrical ring whose inner diameter is large enough to pass a golf ball. The arm ring 95 is supported by an elongated arm rail 94. The arm rail 94 allows a golf ball to roll on it and to deliver the golf ball to the arm ring 95. At the other end of arm rail 94 is arm ball rest 99 as shown in FIG. 8C. The arm ball rest 99 is perpendicularly oriented to the arm rail 94, flat in shape, and long enough to hold only a single golf ball. The teeing arm 93 is counter-balanced by a weight and pivotally mounted to the elevated tray 90. At the back of elevated tray 90 is a ball release 97. Ball release 97 is a wire form that is spring actuated. FIG. 8B shows that ball release 97 holds golf ball 57 and keeps it from rolling down into side sloping channel 91.

FIG. 11A shows another embodiment and how it is placed for use in a driving range. FIG. 11A shows an elevated tray 100 containing a plurality of golf balls 53. The elevated tray 100 and mat 51 lie on ground 54. The mat 51 contains a hole to allow a conventional rubber tee 26 to be used. The front side of the elevated tray 100 rests against the side of the mat 51. The horizontal and flat surface portion of elevated tray 100 is tray top 104. The tray top 104 sits higher than the top surface of mat 51. The elevated tray 100 contains vertical support walls 101 all the way around. The support walls 101 support and provide rigidity to elevated tray 100. The back side of the elevated tray 100 contains recessed backside sloping channels 102 and side sloping channels 103. The backside sloping channels 102 are sloped such that the golf balls would roll towards the left and right side of the elevated tray 100. On the left and right hand side of the elevated tray 100, the side sloping channels 103 are sloped such that golf balls would roll toward the front of the elevated tray 100. Around the periphery of tray top 104 are humps that prevent golf balls from falling into the backside sloping channels 102 and side sloping channels 103. On the left side of the elevated tray 100 is a horizontally mounted teeing arm 106. The teeing mechanism for this embodiment is electrically activated. At the end of teeing arm 106 is the arm ring 105. The arm ring 105 is round, short, and hollow cylindrical ring whose inner diameter is large enough to pass a golf ball. At the back side and top of elevated tray 100 is teeing arm switch 108. Teeing arm switch 108 is a wire form that is spring actuated and it is an electrical switch that initiates the teeing motion.

FIG. 9A shows another embodiment and how it is placed for use in a driving range. FIG. 9A shows an elevated tray 120 containing a plurality of golf balls 53. The elevated tray 120 and mat 51 lie on ground 54. The front side of the elevated tray 120 rests against the side of the mat 51. The horizontal and flat surface portion of elevated tray 120 is tray top 123. The tray top 123 sits higher than the top surface of mat 51. The elevated tray 120 contains vertical support walls 121 all the way around. The support walls 121 support and provide rigidity to elevated tray 120. The back side of the elevated tray 120 contains recessed backside sloping channels 124 and side sloping channels 125. The backside sloping channels 124 are sloped such that the golf balls would roll towards the left and right side of the elevated tray 120. On the left and right hand side of the elevated tray 120, the side sloping channels 125 are sloped such that golf balls would roll toward the front of the elevated tray 120. Around the periphery of tray top 123 are humps that prevent golf balls from falling into the backside sloping channels 124 and side sloping channels 125. The back portion of the elevated tray 120 is a ball release 122. The ball release 122 is a spring loaded wire form, it keeps the golf balls on the backside sloping channels 124 from rolling into the side sloping channel 125. At the end of the side sloping channels 124 are ball catches 127. The ball catch 127 has a recessed shape on top. Located to the front corners of elevated tray 120 are curve ramps 128. The curved ramp 128 contains a recessed shape and slopes downwards to the front of the elevated tray 120. Shown in FIG. 9A is a horizontal tee 21 that is secured to the left side curved ramp 128. A conventional wooden tee 126 secures the horizontal tee 21.

FIG. 10A shows another embodiment and how it is placed for use in a driving range. FIG. 10A shows an elevated tray 110 containing a plurality of golf balls 53. The elevated tray 110 and mat 51 lie on ground 54. The front side of the elevated tray 110 rests against the side of the mat 51. The horizontal and flat surface portion of elevated tray 110 is tray top 113. The tray top 113 sits higher than the top surface of mat 51. The elevated tray 110 contains vertical support walls 111 all the way around. The support walls 111 support and provide rigidity to elevated tray 110. The back side of the elevated tray 110 contains recessed backside sloping channels 114 and side sloping channels 115. The backside sloping channels 114 are sloped such that the golf balls would roll towards the left and right side of the elevated tray 110. On the left and right hand side of the elevated tray 110, the side sloping channels 115 are sloped such that golf balls would roll toward the front of the elevated tray 110. The side sloping channels 115 extends from the back of the elevated tray 110 to the front of the elevated tray 110. Around the periphery of tray top 113 are humps that prevent golf balls from falling into the backside sloping channels 114 and side sloping channels 115. On the left side of the elevated tray 110 is a horizontal tee 21. A conventional wooden tee 116 secures the horizontal tee 21 to the elevated tray 110. The back portion of the elevated tray 110 is a ball release 112. The ball release 112 is a spring loaded wire form, it keeps the golf balls on the backside sloping channels 114 from rolling into the side sloping channel 115.

FIG. 13A shows another embodiment of the invention where a golf tray 1 containing a plurality of golf balls 53. A golf tray 1 is placed right next to a golf mat 51. Located on top of golf mat 51 and left side of the golf tray 1 is a tee holder 138. Tee holder 138 can either be secured to the golf mat 51 or to the golf tray 1. Tee holder 138 contains a tee-shaped recessed slot that allows the tee mounting section 41 of horizontal tee 21 to fit into it and be secured with a conventional tee 18. The top portion of tee holder 138 has a v-shaped recessed channel to allow a golf ball to transition to the horizontal tee 21. The conventional tee 18 slips through the holes on the tee holder 138. It keeps the tee mounting section 41 from coming off the tee holder 138 during a golf swing. The horizontal tee 21 rests on top of the golf mat 51. FIG. 13A also shows a tapered ramp 139 that is secured to the tee holder 138. Tapered ramp 139 is long and is recessed in shaped and has a tapered end to allow golf balls to smoothly roll up towards the other end of the tapered ramp 139. The tapered ramp 139 can be made of a plastic material and pivotally mounted onto the tee holder 138 so that the tapered end of the tapered ramp 139 can rest on top of the golf tray 1. The tapered ramp 139 can also be made of a resilient rubber. The flexibility of the tapered ramp 139 allows the tapered end to rest and conform to the top of the golf tray 1.

Operation:

For preferred embodiment, in FIG. 1B, a golf club 55 is utilized by a golfer to move ball 56 towards teeing channel 3. Since teeing channel 3 is recessed, ball 56 falls into the recessed teeing channel 3 which is now ball 57. In FIG. 1C, the ball 57 is then moved by the golfer using the golf club 55 up towards teeing ramp 2. FIG. 1D shows the progress of golf ball 57 as it sits on top of the ramp 10. FIG. 2A shows golf ball 57 as it falls from top of ramp 10 to the top of ball catch 12. Golf ball 57 rolls forward because the top of ramp 11 is inclined towards the mat 51. As the golf ball 57 falls onto the top of the ball catch 12, the sideways motion of golf ball 57 is stalled. The recessed design of top of ball catch 12 stabilizes the golf ball 57. Golf ball 57 settles into the recessed, inclined walls of the top of ball catch 12. Golf ball 57 falls off the top of ball catch 12 and rolls onto ball catch front ramp 13, curved ramp 7, and tee flared section 42 where golf ball 57 is located at an instant of time in FIG. 2B. The curved ramp 7 is recessed and rounded, and it is designed to keep a golf ball rolling smoothly with little loss of rolling momentum. The conventional tee 18 is untouched as the golf ball 57 rolls past it because it sits out of reach and below curved ramp 7. The momentum of golf ball 57 propels it towards tee straight section 43 and up to the top of tee ramp section 44. Golf ball 57 rolls along the edges of tee rails 46. The wide opening of the tee flared section 42 is designed to accommodate wobbly golf balls, stabilize them, and reroute them to a narrower width of tee straight section 43. The tee ramp section 44 is rounded and designed to smoothly keep golf balls rolling forward and to maintain their momentum. The tee flared section 42 wide width is solid from top to bottom and it rests against the vertical wall of tee slot 6. This keeps the horizontal tee 21 from overly twisting sideways during a golf swing.

FIG. 2C shows golf ball 57 teed at the top of tee head 45. The momentum of golf ball 57 carries it to the top of tee head 45 and golf ball 57 settles there. The top of tee head 45 is large enough to fit and secure a golf ball. The cutouts on the sidewall of the top of the tee head 45 expose a large left and right side of golf ball 57. The large opening at the top of tee head 45 with its elastic material property can stop a fast or slowing rolling golf balls and secure them onto the top of tee head 45. The golf ball 57 is now ready for a golf club striking.

When a golf club 55 strikes the teed up golf ball 57, the golf club 57 will make contact with the side of golf ball 57 first before hitting any portion of the tee head 45. The horizontal tee 21 will continue to move sideways to the left for a right handed golf club strike. Since the horizontal tee 21 is secured to the tee slot 6 via the conventional tee 18, the tee mounting section 41 flexes and the tee head 45 whips around to the left. The elastic horizontal tee 21 flexes back to its original position ready for the next teeing operation.

The speed of golf ball 57 as it comes down from the top of ramp 10 can be controlled in two ways. One way is to adjust ball catch 11 up or down. For more ball speed, the ball catch 11 would be adjusted up or higher. For slower ball speed, the ball catch 11 would be adjusted down or lower. The other way of controlling ball speed is to place another conventional tee 25 to curved ramp tee hole 24 (refer to FIG. 3 for exploded view). As a golf ball passes through the conventional tee 24, the golf ball bumps into the conventional tee 24 and thus slowing down the golf ball. These features are particularly useful to accommodate varying mat thicknesses and sloping grounds.

FIG. 2D shows how a golf ball 56 is moved from the golf tray 1 to mat 51. A golf club 77 is utilized to move golf ball 56 into the teeing channel 3, up to the mat 51, and into golf ball position 58 where it is ready to be hit off the mat 51.

FIG. 6A shows the operation of another embodiment of this invention. A plurality of golf balls line up the left portion of the backside sloping channel 30 and side sloping channel 33. Golf ball 56 sits at the bottom of side sloping channel 33 and arm ball rest 36. A golf club 55 is utilized to move the teeing arm 27 by pressing down on arm tab 29. As the teeing arm 27 rotates, the golf ball 56 further rolls forward as shown in FIG. 6B. Golf ball 56 rolls toward arm ring 34 when the arm rail 35 rotates to below horizontal. The arm ring 34 is centered to the rubber tee 26. Golf ball 56 continues to settle on top of rubber tee 26. When golf ball 56 is teed on top of rubber tee 26, the golfer can let go of the teeing arm 27. Teeing arm 27 comes back to the vertical position because of the counter-weight on teeing arm 27, and ready for the next teeing operation.

In FIG. 6C, the golf ball 57 remains in place as the teeing arm 27 rotates. When teeing arm 27 returns to its vertical position, golf ball 57 rolls down to the arm ball rest 36 as shown in FIG. 6D.

FIG. 7A shows the operation of another embodiment of this invention. A plurality of golf balls are preloaded into the teeing channel 134. Golf club 55 is utilized to move golf ball 56 along the teeing channel 134. In FIG. 7B, the golf ball 56 is moved along teeing ramp 135 and reaches the top of the ramp 136. The teeing arm 131, being pivotally mounted to the side of the teeing ramp 135 and counter weighted, receives ball 56 into the ball arm rest 137. The weight of golf ball 56 is enough to make the teeing arm 131 to rotate forward as shown in FIG. 7C. Golf ball 56 rolls along the arm rail 132 when the arm rail 132 is in a slightly forward sloping position. Golf ball 56 continues to roll towards arm ring 133. The arm ring 133 is centered to the rubber tee 26. Golf ball 56 settles on top of rubber tee 26. As golf ball 56 settles on top of rubber tee 26, the teeing arm 131 is relieved of the weight of golf ball 56 and returns to the vertical position. The counter-weight on the teeing arm 131 causes the teeing arm to rotate in a vertical position. FIG. 7D shows golf ball 56 is ready teed up on rubber tee 26 and ready to be hit. Golf tray 130 is readily accessible by a golfer. He can cherry pick the golf balls on the golf tray 130 to suit his clubs in used.

FIG. 8A shows the operation of another embodiment of this invention. A plurality of golf balls populates the left side of backside sloping channel 92. A golf club 55 is utilized to press on the spring loaded ball release 97. As the ball release 97 is pressed, golf ball 56 moves into the back of side sloping channel 91. The side sloping channel 91 is sloped and causes golf ball 56 to roll forward toward arm ball rest 99 of teeing arm 93 as shown in FIG. 8B. The teeing arm 93 is pivotally mounted and counter weighted. The weight of golf ball 56 is enough to cause the teeing arm 93 to rotate forward. As the teeing arm 93 rotates, the tee rail 94 comes to a stop in a forward sloping position. Golf ball 56 rolls forward along the tee rails 94 toward the tee ring 95. Tee ring 95 is centered to the rubber tee 26. Golf ball 56 settles into the top of the rubber tee 26 as shown in FIG. 8C. When golf ball 56 has settled on top of rubber tee 26, the teeing arm 93 is relieved off of the weight of golf ball 56. Teeing arm 93 rotates back to vertical position for its next teeing operation. FIG. 8D shows golf ball 56 is ready teed up on the rubber tee 26 and ready to be hit.

FIG. 9A shows the operation of another embodiment of this invention. Tray top 123 is the top portion of the elevated tray 120 that holds a plurality of golf balls. Supports walls 121 are vertically oriented walls that surround the elevated tray 120. A plurality of golf balls populates the left side of backside sloping channel 124. A golf club 55 is utilized to press on the spring loaded ball release 122. As the ball release 122 is pressed, golf ball 56 is released and moves into the back of the side sloping channel 125. The side sloping channel 125 is sloped and causes golf ball 56 to roll forward toward the ball catch 127. When golf ball 56 lands on top of ball catch 127, the golf ball 56 is stabilized and further rolls forward toward curved ramp 128 as shown in FIG. 9B. The curved ramp 128 is a curved recessed channel, it routes golf ball 56 to go forward. The curved ramp 128 also secures the horizontal tee 21 by the use of a conventional wooden tee 126. Golf ball 56 rolls forward along the top portion of horizontal tee 21. Golf ball 56 eventually settles on top of tee head 129. FIG. 9C shows a fully teed golf ball 56 ready for a hit.

FIG. 10A shows the operation of another embodiment of this invention. A plurality of golf balls populates the elevated tray 110. A plurality of golf balls populates the left side of backside sloping channel 114. A golf club 55 is utilized to press on the spring loaded ball release 112. As the ball release 112 is pressed, golf ball 56 moves into the back of the side sloping channel 115. The side sloping channel 115 is sloped and causes golf ball 56 to roll forward. Along the side sloping channel 115, golf ball 56 bumps into the conventional wooden tee 117. This makes golf ball 56 lose speed as it comes rolling down. The bottom portion of side sloping channel 115 is where the horizontal tee 21 is secured by the use of conventional wooden tee 116. FIG. 10B shows golf ball 56 coming down side sloping channel 115. The momentum of golf ball 56 carries it toward the horizontal tee 21. Golf ball 56 rolls along on top of horizontal tee 21 and stops at the tee head 118. FIG. 10C shows a fully teed up golf ball 56 on top of tee head 118 and ready for a hit.

FIG. 11A shows the operation of another embodiment of this invention. A plurality of golf balls populates the elevated tray 100. A plurality of golf balls populates the left side of backside sloping channel 102. The left side of side sloping channel 103 is also populated with plurality of golf balls. This embodiment utilizes a motor and electricity for teeing operation. FIG. 11A shows the teeing arm 106 in a stowed configuration. The arm ring 107 is loaded with golf ball 58. There is a horizontal wire underneath arm ring 107 that keeps golf ball 58 contained in the arm ring 107. When a golf club 55 is utilized to press on the teeing arm switch 108, an electrical current is sent to the motor which drives the teeing arm 106 forward. The teeing arm 106 is mounted to the elevated tray 100 at an angle. Teeing arm 106 slides forward and arm ring 107 carries golf ball 58. The teeing arm 106 is positioned to stop moving when the arm ring 107 is right over the rubber tee 26. As the teeing arm 106 comes to a stop the horizontal wire underneath the arm ring 107 starts to slide out of the way until golf ball 58 drops right through the arm ring 107. Golf ball 58 drops on top of rubber tee 26. The arm ring 107 has enough distance to clear golf ball 58 as it begins to retreat back to the stowed position. As the arm ring 107 approaches the stowed position, the horizontal wire underneath the arm ring 107 begins to protrude underneath the arm ring 107. The second golf ball 57, as shown in FIG. 11D, drops into the arm ring 107 and it is ready for the next teeing operation.

FIG. 13A shows another operation of another embodiment of this invention. A golf club 55 is being utilized to move a golf ball 56 to the tapered end of the tapered ramp 139. Golf ball 56 can be held against the inner left side wall of golf tray 1 to assist in directing golf ball 56 to the tapered ramp 139. FIG. 13B shows the progress of golf ball 56 as it is pushed up to the tapered ramp 139 and onto tee holder 138. FIG. 13C shows the progress of golf ball 56 as it is further pushed up towards the tee head 45 of the horizontal tee 21. FIG. 13D shows the final stage of teeing operation as the golf ball 56 is resting on top of tee head 45 of horizontal tee 21 and ready for a golf swing.

Conclusions, Ramifications, and Scope of Invention

The reader will see that this teeing machine and its various embodiments have numerous advantages over the prior arts. Prior arts merely tee up golf balls to a tee but use the same teeing mechanism to bring a golf ball from a golf tray to a mat or directly dispense golf balls onto a mat. The improved teeing machine allows golfers to tee up golf balls and retrieve golf balls from the golf tray without passing through the teeing mechanism.

Golfers prefer to hit newer golf balls with their drivers, fairway woods, and long irons to gauge the distance of their clubs. The worn-out golf balls suit the short irons and wedges. Compared to the prior arts that directly dispenses golf ball onto a mat, the improved teeing machine allows golfers to cherry pick the golf balls to suit the clubs that are in used. The prior arts do not.

This invention eliminates the needless and tedious routine of bringing a golf ball from the golf tray into the mat. This invention mimics the typical way golfers fetch golf balls from golf trays onto mats—golf balls are moved from a golf tray using the head of a golf club onto a mat. This is an easy and faster way of fetching golf balls from the golf tray compared to few prior inventions that directly dispenses golf balls onto mats. A few prior inventions either have to open up the end of the teeing arm to allow golf balls to pass by the rubber tee, or rotate a golf tray bin (actuated by a motor) to allow golf balls to fall through a chute and onto a mat. These prior inventions are slow.

The preferred embodiment has few parts and can be used in conjunction with existing golf trays at golf ranges. The parts are inexpensive to manufacture. It is light, small, and can easily be transported. It has no moving parts and it tees up golf balls rapidly. The low profile design is not distracting to golfers. It can be set up or removed from the mat easily and quickly.

Golfers having to bring their own teeing machine at a golf range may give them reservations. A teeing machine may not be common at a golf range and it may create an unwanted effect of drawing attention from other golfers. This is where the present invention shines—the ease of installing and removing the rubber tees 21 and having the golf teeing machine readily available at the golf ranges. The golf ranges can easily change the horizontal rubber tees 21 once they break. Golf ranges may elect to sell the rubber tees 21 to their patrons. Having the teeing machine readily available at the golf ranges is a big convenience to golfers. Buying a horizontal tee 21 instead of whole complete teeing machine is the least expensive way to use a teeing machine for golfers. As the present invention becomes more common at the golf ranges, golfers need not worry about drawing attention.

Existing designs are complete system and are designed to be sold as whole units. The present invention is designed so that the more expensive part—teeing mediums 32 are readily available at the golf ranges and the cheaper part—rubber tees 21 are could be sold to the individual golfers. If golfers elect not to use the present teeing machine, it can easily be pulled out from the mat or may be left attached to the mat as it is.

Golfers can pre-select the golf balls that go into the backside sloping channels and side sloping channels of elevated trays as shown in FIGS. 6A, 8A, 9A, 10A, and 11A. The golf balls that fall into these channels are lined up to be teed into either a horizontal tee or conventional tee. This invention has the benefit of allowing golfers to cherry pick the golf balls. Similarly, golf clubs can be utilized to fetch golf balls on the elevated trays using the head of the golf club and falling onto mats for golfers wanting to hit off of mats.

A ramification of the preferred embodiment is that the golf tray 1 and teeing medium 32 can be all made into a single piece. FIGS. 12A, 12B, and 12C show teeing mediums 32 that can accommodate left and right handed golfers. FIGS. 12A and 12B can be used in conjunction with existing golf trays at golf ranges. FIG. 12C shows where the golf tray and teeing channel are one piece. Located to the side of the golf tray is the teeing medium which can be placed to the left or right side of the golf tray and can accommodate left and right handed golfers.

Another ramification of the preferred embodiment is that ball catch 11 can be combined with the teeing ramp 2 to form a single unit.

Another ramification of the preferred embodiment is that the mat pad 4 can be eliminated. If the rest of the teeing medium 32 can be made of heavy material such that it can remain in place during a golf swing, the mat pad 4 can be eliminated.

Another ramification of the preferred embodiment is that the horizontal tee 21 can be secured onto a mat instead of the tee slot 6 located on the curved ramp 7.

The teeing arm 27 can also be pivotally mounted to the elevated tray 28 and a spring mechanism keeps the teeing arm 27 in the vertical position as shown in FIG. 6A.

FIGS. 6A, 6B, 6C, 6D, 8A, 8B, 8C, and 8D are another embodiments utilizing elevated golf trays and pivotally mounted teeing arms.

FIGS. 7A, 7B, 7C, and 7D is another embodiment utilizing a teeing ramp, teeing channel, and pivotally mounted teeing arm.

FIGS. 9A, 9B, 9C, 10A, 10B, and 10C are another embodiments utilizing elevated golf trays and horizontal tees.

FIGS. 11A, 11B, 11C, and 11D is another embodiment utilizing elevated golf trays and a motor-driven retractable teeing arm.

FIGS. 13A, 13B, 13C, and 13D is another embodiment utilizing a tapered ramp to push a golf ball all the way up to the tee head.

Although the invention has been described with respect to a preferred embodiment thereof, it is to be understood that it is not to be so limited since changes and modifications can be made therein which are still within the full intended scope of this invention as defined by the appended claims.