Title:
Golf accessory apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf accessory apparatus having: a ground engaging base member, wherein the ground engaging base member includes an upper surface and a lower surface, wherein the upper surface is generally opposite the lower surface, and a first end and a second end, wherein the second end is associated with a golf club retaining member; and a golf club retaining member, wherein the golf club retaining member includes an inner surface and an outer surface, wherein the inner surface is generally opposite the outer surface, and a first end and a second end, wherein the second end includes at least one groove for releasably containing at least a portion of a golf club.



Inventors:
Schmitt, Larry P. (Grand Haven, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/787831
Publication Date:
10/23/2008
Filing Date:
04/18/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/70.2
International Classes:
A63B57/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BLAU, STEPHEN LUTHER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
King & Partners, PLC (170 College Avenue, SUITE 230, HOLLAND, MI, 49423, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A golf accessory apparatus, comprising: a ground engaging base member, wherein the ground engaging base member comprises: an upper surface and a lower surface, wherein the upper surface is generally opposite the lower surface; and a first end and a second end, wherein the second end is associated with a golf club retaining member; and a golf club retaining member, wherein the golf club retaining member comprises: an inner surface and an outer surface, wherein the inner surface is generally opposite the outer surface; and a first end and a second end, wherein the second end comprises at least one groove for releasably containing at least a portion of a golf club.

2. The golf accessory apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the ground engaging base member and the golf club retaining member comprise a unitary member.

3. The golf accessory apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the ground engaging base member is hingably associated with the golf club retaining member.

4. The golf accessory apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the ground engaging base member and the golf club retaining member are attached with a living hinge.

5. The golf accessory apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the golf accessory apparatus is convertible from a storage configuration to a use configuration.

6. The golf accessory apparatus according to claim 5, wherein the lower surface of the ground engaging base member and the outer surface of the golf club retaining member are generally parallel to one another while the golf accessory apparatus is in a storage configuration.

7. The golf accessory apparatus according to claim 5, wherein at least a portion of the lower surface of the ground engaging base member and at least a portion of the outer surface of the golf club retaining member contact one another while the golf accessory apparatus is in a storage configuration.

8. The golf accessory apparatus according to claim 5, wherein the upper surface of the ground engaging base member and the inner surface of the golf club retaining member are generally perpendicular to one another while the golf accessory apparatus is in a use configuration.

9. The golf accessory apparatus according to claim 5, wherein the upper surface of the ground engaging base member and the inner surface of the golf club retaining member form an approximate right angle while the golf accessory apparatus is in a use configuration.

10. The golf accessory apparatus according to claim 5, wherein at least one of the upper surface and the lower surface of the ground engaging base member and at least one of the inner surface and the outer surface of the golf club retaining member form an acute angle while the golf accessory apparatus is in a use configuration.

11. The golf accessory apparatus according to claim 5, wherein the upper surface of the ground engaging base member and the inner surface of the golf club retaining member form an acute angle while the golf accessory apparatus is in a use configuration.

12. The golf accessory apparatus according to claim 5, wherein a hinge is mounted to the lower surface of the ground engaging base member and the outer surface of the golf club retaining member.

13. The golf accessory apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the second end of the golf club retaining member comprises at least two grooves for releasably containing at least a portion of one or more golf clubs.

14. The golf accessory apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the second end of the golf club retaining member comprises at least three grooves for releasably containing at least a portion of one or more golf clubs.

15. The golf accessory apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the second end of the golf club retaining member consists of three grooves for releasably containing at least a portion of one or more golf clubs.

16. A golf accessory apparatus, comprising: a ground engaging base member, wherein the ground engaging base member comprises: an upper surface and a lower surface, wherein the upper surface is generally opposite the lower surface; and a first end and a second end, wherein the second end is associated with a golf club retaining member; and a golf club retaining member, wherein the golf club retaining member comprises: an inner surface and an outer surface, wherein the inner surface is generally opposite the outer surface; and a first end and a second end, wherein the second end comprises at least one groove for releasably containing at least a portion of a golf club; and wherein the golf accessory apparatus is hingably convertible from a storage configuration to a use configuration, and further wherein the upper surface of the ground engaging base member and the inner surface of the golf club retaining member form an acute angle while the golf accessory apparatus is in a use configuration.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates in general to a golf accessory apparatus and, more particularly, to a golf accessory apparatus which elevates one or more golf club shafts and/or grips off of the ground to, in turn, keep the same dry and/or free from hazardous chemicals on a golf course.

2. Background Art

Golf accessory apparatuses have been known in the art for years and are the subject of numerous patents, including: U.S. Pat. No. 7,153,218 entitled “Golf Accessory Apparatus,” U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,327 entitled “Golf Club Holder,” U.S. Pat. No. 6,447,407 entitled “Golf Accessory Device,” U.S. Pat. No. 6,428,422 entitled “Golf Club Holder,” U.S. Pat. No. D535,347 entitled “Reversible Golf Club Holder,” U.S. Pat. No. D529,977 entitled “Golf Club Holder,” U.S. Pat. No. D520,098 entitled “Golf Club Holder,” and U.S. Pat. No. D497,192 entitled “Golf Club Holder”—all of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference in their entirety including the references cited therein.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,153,218 appears to disclose a golf accessory apparatus which includes an elongated trough coupled to an elongated rod. The elongated trough is configured to receive a golf club so that its handle end is held off the ground when a first end of the elongated rod is coupled to the ground. The elongated trough can be pivotally coupled to the elongated rod and it can frictionally engage the golf club. The elongated trough has one or both of its ends shaped so that it can be easily inserted into a golf bag.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,327 appears to disclose a golf club holder useful for holding selected golf clubs in a generally upright position once such selected golf clubs have been extracted from the golf club bag for use by a golfer on the fairway or green approaching a hole. Such a golf club holder includes a pointed shaft for insertion into the ground, a handle for ease in insertion and retraction of the golf club holder from the ground, a cigar holder, a bag hanger, and an international orange colored head assembly for ease in locating the golf club holder.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,447,407 appears to disclose a golf accessory device which includes a shaft having first and second oppositely arranged shaft ends. A ball retrieval suction cup is affixed to the first shaft end. A ball mark repair tool is affixed to the oppositely arranged second shaft end. A hook located at approximately the ball mark repair tool on the shaft is sized for use in picking up objects which are lying in a horizontal position on a surrounding playing surface.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,428,422 appears to disclose a golf club holder adapted for removably supporting a golf club above a ground surface in such a manner that the club has a head which contacts the surface and the club has a shaft which extends above the surface.

U.S. Pat. No. D535,347, U.S. Pat. No. D529,977, U.S. Pat. No. D520,098, and U.S. Pat. No. D497,192 appear to disclose a plurality of ornamental configurations for golf club holding apparatuses.

While the above-identified patents do appear to provide operable golf accessory apparatuses, their configurations remain non-desirous and/or problematic inasmuch as, among other things, none of the above-identified apparatuses appear to be readily convertible from a storage configuration to a use configuration, wherein the use configuration controllably retains a plurality of golf clubs during practice, and/or play—among other things.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a golf accessory apparatus which, among other things, remedies the aforementioned detriments and/or complications associated with the use of the above-identified golf accessory apparatuses.

These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent in light of the present specification, claims, and drawings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one embodiment, the present invention is directed to a golf accessory apparatus comprising: (a) a ground engaging base member, wherein the ground engaging base member comprises: (1) an upper surface and a lower surface, wherein the upper surface is generally opposite the lower surface; and (2) a first end and a second end, wherein the second end is associated with a golf club retaining member; and (b) a golf club retaining member, wherein the golf club retaining member comprises: (1) an inner surface and an outer surface, wherein the inner surface is generally opposite the outer surface; and (2) a first end and a second end, wherein the second end comprises at least one groove for releasably containing at least a portion of a golf club.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the ground engaging base member and the golf club retaining member comprise a unitary member.

In another preferred embodiment of the present invention, the ground engaging base member is hingably associated with the golf club retaining member.

In yet another preferred embodiment of the present invention, the ground engaging base member and the golf club retaining member are attached with a living hinge.

In still another preferred embodiment of the present invention, the golf accessory apparatus is convertible from a storage configuration to a use configuration—and vice versa.

Preferably in this embodiment, the lower surface of the ground engaging base member and the outer surface of the golf club retaining member are generally parallel to one another while the golf accessory apparatus is in a storage configuration.

In another aspect of the present invention, at least a portion of the lower surface of the ground engaging base member and at least a portion of the outer surface of the golf club retaining member contact one another while the golf accessory apparatus is in a storage configuration.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the upper surface of the ground engaging base member and the inner surface of the golf club retaining member are generally perpendicular to one another while the golf accessory apparatus is in a use configuration.

In another preferred embodiment of the present invention, the upper surface of the ground engaging base member and the inner surface of the golf club retaining member form an approximate right angle while the golf accessory apparatus is in a use configuration.

In yet another preferred embodiment of the present invention, at least one of the upper surface and the lower surface of the ground engaging base member and at least one of the inner surface and the outer surface of the golf club retaining member form an acute angle while the golf accessory apparatus is in a use configuration.

In yet another preferred embodiment of the present invention, a hinge is mounted to the lower surface of the ground engaging base member and the outer surface of the golf club retaining member.

In another aspect of the present invention, the second end of the golf club retaining member comprises one or more grooves (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4) for releasably containing at least a portion of one or more golf clubs.

In another embodiment, the present invention is directed to a golf accessory apparatus comprising: (a) a ground engaging base member, wherein the ground engaging base member comprises: (1) an upper surface and a lower surface, wherein the upper surface is generally opposite the lower surface; and (2) a first end and a second end, wherein the second end is associated with a golf club retaining member; (b) a golf club retaining member, wherein the golf club retaining member comprises: (1) an inner surface and an outer surface, wherein the inner surface is generally opposite the outer surface; and (2) a first end and a second end, wherein the second end comprises at least one groove for releasably containing at least a portion of a golf club; (c) wherein the golf accessory apparatus is hingably convertible from a storage configuration to a use configuration; and (d) further wherein the upper surface of the ground engaging base member and the inner surface of the golf club retaining member form an acute angle while the golf accessory apparatus is in a use configuration.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Certain embodiments of the present invention are illustrated by the accompanying figures. It will be understood that the figures are not necessarily to scale and that details not necessary for an understanding of the invention or that render other details difficult to perceive may be omitted. It will be understood that the invention is not necessarily limited to the particular embodiments illustrated herein.

The invention will now be described with reference to the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 of the drawings is a perspective view of a golf accessory apparatus fabricated in accordance with the present invention showing the device in a use configuration;

FIG. 2 of the drawings is a perspective view of a golf accessory apparatus fabricated in accordance with the present invention showing the device in a stored configuration; and

FIG. 3 of the drawings is a perspective view of a golf accessory apparatus fabricated in accordance with the present invention showing the device in an intermediate configuration (i.e. between the use configuration and the stored configuration).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and described herein in detail several specific embodiments with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiments illustrated.

It will be understood that like or analogous elements and/or components, referred to herein, may be identified throughout the drawings with like reference characters.

Referring now to the drawings, and to FIG. 1 in particular, a perspective view of a first embodiment of golf accessory apparatus 10 is shown (in a use configuration) which generally comprises ground engaging base member 12, and golf club retaining member 14. It will be understood that golf accessory apparatus 10 may be fabricated from a unitary member or a plurality of pieces. It will be further understood that FIG. 1 is merely a representation of golf accessory apparatus 10. As such, some of the components may be distorted from their actual scale for pictorial clarity.

Ground engaging base member 12 includes, among other components, upper surface 16 and lower surface 18, wherein upper surface 16 is generally opposite lower surface 18, and first end 20 and second end 22, wherein second end 22 is associated with golf club retaining member 14. Ground engaging base member 12 is preferably fabricated from, for example, woods, metals, natural resins, synthetic resins, plastics, composites, and mixtures thereof.

Golf club retaining member 14 includes, among other components, inner surface 24 and outer surface 26, wherein inner surface 24 is generally opposite outer surface 26, and first end 28 and second end 30, wherein second end 30 comprises at least one groove 32 for releasably containing at least a portion of a golf club. Golf club retaining member 14 is preferably fabricated from, for example, woods, metals, natural resins, synthetic resins, plastics, composites, and mixtures thereof.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, ground engaging base member 12 is preferably hingably associated with golf club retaining member 14. It will be understood that, in one embodiment, ground engaging base member 12 and golf club retaining member 14 may be attached with a living hinge, conventional hinge, etcetera. Such a hinge configuration enables golf accessory apparatus 10 to be readily convertible from a storage configuration to a use configuration—and vice versa. Preferably, hinge 34 is mounted to both lower surface 18 of ground engaging base member 12 and outer surface 26 of golf club retaining member 14 (see FIG. 3). Hinge 34 is secured to lower surface 18 of ground engaging base member 12 and outer surface 26 of golf club retaining member 14 via a plurality of conventional threaded fasteners. Of course, hinge 34 may be secured the same using any one of a number of fasteners, including screws, bolts, nails, pins, anchors, rivets, and/or adhesives or bonding agents—just to name a few. It will be understood that a living hinge may be fully integrated into a unitary apparatus.

As is best shown in FIG. 2, lower surface 18 of ground engaging base member 12 and outer surface 26 of golf club retaining member 14 are generally parallel to one another while golf accessory apparatus 10 is in a storage configuration. Preferably, at least a portion of lower surface 18 of ground engaging base member 12 and at least a portion of outer surface 26 of golf club retaining member 14 contact one another while golf accessory apparatus 10 is in such a storage configuration.

Referring once again to FIG. 1, upper surface 16 of ground engaging base member 12 and inner surface 24 of golf club retaining member 14 are preferably generally perpendicular to one another while golf accessory apparatus 10 is in a use configuration. In such a configuration upper surface 16 of ground engaging base member 12 and inner surface 24 of golf club retaining member 14 form an approximate right angle.

As is best shown in FIG. 1, upper surface 16 of ground engaging base member 12 and inner surface 24 of golf club retaining member 14 form an acute angle while the golf accessory apparatus is in a use configuration.

Referring again to FIG. 1, second end 30 of golf club retaining member 14 comprises one or more grooves 32 (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4) for releasably containing at least a portion of one or more golf clubs. It will be understood that grooves 32 may comprise any one of a number of shapes that would be known to one of ordinary skill in the art having the present disclosure before them, including round, oval, square, rectangular, triangular, polygonal, arbitrary—just to name a few.

In accordance with the present invention, golf accessory apparatus 10 is readily convertible from a use position (FIG. 1) to a storage/transportation position (FIG. 2).

Golf accessory apparatus 10 of the present invention may be used by either left-handed or right-handed golfers.

As is explained herein, golf accessory apparatus 10 can be used in a plurality of golf applications/settings. For example, golf accessory apparatus 10 can be used on the golf course, practice area, and/or in the back yard, and can be carried in a user's hand and/or back pocket. If a user elects to carry golf accessory apparatus 10 in his/her back pocket, then a portion of golf accessory apparatus 10 (e.g. ground engaging base member 12) can be retained in the pocket and another portion (e.g. golf club retaining member 14) can conveniently be used to remove golf accessory apparatus 10 from the pocket—and vice versa. Golf accessory apparatus 10 assists a golfer in keeping his/her clubs dry during wet and/or adverse weather conditions by elevating preferably the grip portion of one or more clubs above the ground. Golf accessory apparatus 10 also assists a golfer from unnecessary exposure to pesticides and other hazardous chemicals used on golf courses.

In operation, golf accessory apparatus 10 can retain and/or contain one or more golf clubs while configured in a use position. When one or more of the associated golf clubs are properly retained/contained, their associated grips and/or shafts are elevated from the ground, thereby keeping the same dry and/or free from hazardous chemicals on a golf course. Golf accessory apparatus 10 can be rapidly converted to a storage configuration, as is best shown in FIG. 2.

The foregoing description merely explains and illustrates the invention and the invention is not limited thereto except insofar as the appended claims are so limited, as those skilled in the art who have the disclosure before them will be able to make modifications without departing from the scope of the invention.