Title:
Magnetic Golf Ball Collecting Device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf ball collecting device including a cup adapted to successfully hold a golf ball therein. The cup incorporates a metal disc of magnetic material to enable the device to be attached by magnetic force to the end of a golf club. In this manner the golf club with the device attached thereto can be used to retrieve a golf ball from ground level without having to bend down. The golf ball can be gripped by the device by aiming the cup at the golf ball and pressing on it slightly, thus allowing the golfer to easily retrieve the ball without having to bend over or kneel and risk straining their knees or back. The device can be quickly and easily attached to the golf club by a second metal disc attached to the handle grip, and just as quickly and easily removed after the golf ball has been retrieved.



Inventors:
Bae, Deuk Sung (Western Australia, AU)
Application Number:
11/817049
Publication Date:
10/23/2008
Filing Date:
02/24/2006
Assignee:
Bae, Deuk Sung (Rockingham, W.A., AU)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
294/19.2
International Classes:
A63B47/02; A63B57/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050064959Promotional golf tee including a flat, flexible upper portion, alignement means and anchoring mechanismMarch, 2005Ortiz
20050288123Golf club handle gripDecember, 2005Su
20040192478Meteorite shower - throwing toySeptember, 2004Ovadia
20040048022Wavy composite structuresMarch, 2004Pratt
20090124438Archery Broadhead Having Blade Cut-Out and Method for Making SameMay, 2009Perkins Jr.
20090247329BALL MARK AND METHOD OF USING THE SAMEOctober, 2009Murken et al.
20040214665Portable multi-functional ball game apparatusOctober, 2004Kane et al.
20090011873ARTIFICIAL PITCHING SURFACEJanuary, 2009Weber et al.
20050181883Golf course communication system and methodAugust, 2005Doaga et al.
20090181782Putting GreenJuly, 2009Knox
20080108451Golf shaft with an adhesive layerMay, 2008Han



Primary Examiner:
BLAU, STEPHEN LUTHER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Deuk Sung Bae (14 Morgan Street, Rockingham, null, 6168, AU)
Claims:
1. A magnetic golf ball collecting device comprising: a cup adapted to receive a golf ball therein, the cup including a magnetic material to enable the device to be releasably attached by magnetic force to the end of an elongate object, wherein the elongate object with the device attached thereto can be used to retrieve a golf ball from ground level without a person holding the elongate object having to bend down.

2. A magnetic golf ball collecting device as defined in claim 1, wherein said magnetic material comprises a first metal disc which is attached to a rear face of the cup.

3. A magnetic golf ball collecting device as defined in claim 1, wherein said elongate object is a golf club, and the golf club includes a handle provided with the magnetic material in connection therewith.

4. A magnetic golf ball collecting device as defined in claim 3, wherein the magnetic material provided with the golf club handle comprises a second metal disc which is attached to a top end of a handle grip of the golf club.

5. A magnetic golf ball collecting device as defined in claim 4, wherein said first and second metal discs are both magnets, which are attached to the cup and the handle grip respectively with opposite magnetic poles facing outwards, so that when the first and second metal discs are brought into close proximity they attract each other and the device is held on the grip by magnetic attraction.

6. A magnetic golf ball collecting device as defined in claim 1, further comprising a golf ball marker comprising a magnetic material, for marking the location of a golf ball on a putting green when the ball is removed to permit other players to putt.

7. A magnetic golf ball collecting device as defined in claim 6, wherein said golf ball marker comprises a third metal disc releasably attached to a handle of the elongate object by magnetic attraction, and said golf ball marker can be placed on a ground level surface or picked up from the ground level surface without the person bending down.

8. A magnetic golf ball collecting device as defined in claim 7, wherein said third metal disc includes a magnet held on a handle grip of the elongate object between the first disc and second discs.

9. A magnetic golf ball collecting device as defined in claim 1, further comprising a clip including magnetic material incorporated therein, wherein the cup is releasably attached to the clip by magnetic force.

10. A magnetic golf ball collecting device as defined in claim 9, wherein said clip is made of resilient material and comprises a substantially planar member in a U-shaped configuration, having a gap between facing surfaces of a size to slide over a belt or fabric.

11. A magnetic golf ball collecting device as defined in claim 10, wherein at least of one of said facing surfaces is provided with at least one protrusion adapted to grip a belt or fabric between the facing surfaces.

12. A magnetic golf ball collecting device comprising: a rubber cup, and a magnet attached on to an underside of an outer surface of the rubber cup.

13. A magnetic golf ball collecting device as in claim 1, wherein said cup comprises a substantially hemispherical concave surface having an inner diameter similar in size to the outer diameter of a golf ball.

14. A magnetic golf ball collecting device as defined in claim 13, wherein said cup further comprises an annular protrusion extending inwards around a circumference of the cup and adapted to grip an outer surface of the golf ball.

15. A magnetic golf ball collecting device as defined in claim 14, wherein said cup is made from a resilient material and is shaped to hold a golf ball therein by friction between the annular protrusions and the outer surface of the golf ball.

16. A magnetic golf ball collecting device as defined in claim 14, wherein the annular protrusion is made from a resilient material and the golf ball is held in the cup by friction between the annular protrusion and the outer surface of the golf ball.

17. 17-18. (canceled)

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a device for collecting golf balls and relates particularly to a magnetic golf ball collecting device that permits a golfer to easily pick up a golf ball without having to bend over or straining their knees and back.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

Golf is already a very popular recreational sport for many people, and its popularity will continue to increase as the number of retirees in wealthy countries increases. However, for many golfers having to repeatedly bend down to pick up the ball after a putt, or to retrieve a ball when the ball has landed in shrubs, bushes, sand or water, can become a major ordeal as it places considerable strain on their knees and back. This is especially a problem with the elderly, people with arthritis, those with back injuries, those who have had joint replacements (hip or knee) and those with some other sort of restriction in movement.

Prior art devices exist which consist of a pliable plastic tube having an inside diameter slightly less than the diameter of a golf ball, which when pressed down hard on a golf ball grips the ball. Other devices comprise a soft rubber suction cup which functions in a similar manner. Such prior art devices can be attached to the end of a shaft, for example, to the grip of a golf club, so that the device can be used to collect a ball from ground level without bending down. Although such devices generally function in an acceptable manner, they tend to be somewhat bulky and can be difficult to attach to and/or remove from the grip of the golf club. Because the attachment of the device relies on friction or a screw-thread connection, considerable force may be required to attach or remove the device.

The present invention was developed with a view to providing a golf ball collecting device that can be easily attached to and removed from the end of a shaft, such as the grip of a golf club, without the application of undue force.

References to prior art in this specification are provided for illustrative purposes only and are not to be taken as an admission that such prior art is part of the common general knowledge in Australia or elsewhere.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a magnetic golf ball collecting device comprised of a rubber cup with a magnet attached on the underside of the outer surface of the rubber cup.

According to another aspect of the present invention there is provided a magnetic golf ball collecting device comprising a cup adapted to successfully hold a golf ball therein, the cup incorporating some magnetic material to enable the device to be attached by magnetic force to the end of an elongate object, wherein the elongate object with the device attached thereto can be used to retrieve a golf ball from ground level without having to bend down.

Preferably said magnetic material comprises a first metal disc which is attached to a rear face of the cup. Preferably said elongate object is a golf club, and the golf club handle is provided with some magnetic material in connection therewith. Preferably the magnetic material provided in connection with the handle comprises a second metal disc which is attached to the top end of the handle grip. Preferably said first and second metal discs are both magnets, which are attached to the cup and the grip respectively with opposite poles facing outwards, so that when the first and second metal discs are brought into close proximity they attract each other and the device is held on the grip by magnetic attraction.

Advantageously, the golf club collecting device may further comprise a golf ball marker, also made from magnetic material, for marking the location of a golf ball on a putting green when the ball is removed to permit other players to putt. Preferably said golf ball marker comprises a third metal disc which can also be attached to the handle of the golf club by magnetic attraction, and which can be placed on the green or picked up from the green without bending down using the golf club. Preferably said third metal disc is also a magnet which can be held on the handle grip between the first and second discs.

Preferably the golf ball collecting device may further comprise an accessory comprising a clip adapted to slide onto a belt or the edge of a bag and having some magnetic material incorporated therein, wherein the cup and/or the marker can be attached to the accessory by magnetic force. Preferably said clip is made of resilient material and comprises a substantially planar member in a U-shaped configuration, having a gap between facing surfaces of a size to accommodate the thickness of a belt or fabric snugly therein. Preferably at least of one of said facing surfaces is provided with one or more protrusions adapted to grip the belt or fabric between the facing surfaces.

Preferably said cup comprises a substantially hemispherical concave surface having an inner diameter similar in size to the outer diameter of a golf ball. Preferably said cup further comprises an annular protrusion extending inwards around the circumference of the cup and adapted to grip the outer surface of the golf ball. Preferably said cup is made from a suitable resilient material and is shaped to hold a golf ball therein by friction between the annular protrusion and the surface of the golf ball. Alternatively, the annular protrusion is made from a suitable resilient material and the golf ball is held in the cup by friction between the annular protrusion and the surface of the golf ball.

According to a further aspect of the present invention there is provided a golf accessory in the form of a clip adapted to slide onto a belt or the edge of a bag and having some magnetic material incorporated therein, wherein a cup and/or a marker incorporating some magnetic material can be attached to the accessory by magnetic force, the cup being adapted to successfully hold a golf ball therein.

Preferably the clip is made of resilient material and comprises a substantially planar member in a U-shaped configuration, having a gap between facing surfaces of a size to accommodate the thickness of a belt or fabric snugly therein.

Preferably at least of one of said facing surfaces is provided with one or more protrusions adapted to grip the belt or fabric between the facing surfaces.

Throughout this specification the term “magnetic material” will be understood to refer to any suitable material having the properties of a magnet, or capable of being attracted by, or acquiring the properties of, a magnet.

Throughout the specification, unless the context requires otherwise, the word “comprise” or variations such as “comprises” or “comprising”, will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated integer or group of integers but not the exclusion of any other integer or group of integers. Likewise the word “preferably” or variations such as “preferred”, will be understood to imply that a stated integer or group of integers is desirable but not essential to the working of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The nature of the invention will be better understood from the following detailed description of several specific embodiments of the golf ball collecting device, given by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded section view of a preferred embodiment of the golf ball collecting device according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the golf ball collecting device of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 illustrates the golf ball collecting device of FIG. 1 attached to a grip of a golf club;

FIG. 4 shows how the golf ball collecting device of FIG. 1 can be easily removed from the grip of the golf club;

FIG. 5 illustrates the manner of attaching the golf ball collecting device of FIG. 1 to a golf club grip together with a golf ball marker;

FIG. 6 illustrates an accessory for the golf ball collecting device of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a side view of the accessory illustrated in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 illustrates the golf ball collecting device of FIG. 1 together with a golf ball marker attached to a grip of a golf club; and,

FIG. 9 shows how the golf ball collecting device of FIG. 1 together with the golf ball marker can be easily removed from the grip of the golf club.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A preferred embodiment of the golf ball collecting device 10 according to the invention, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, comprises a cup 12 adapted to successfully hold a golf ball (not shown) therein. The cup 12 incorporates some magnetic material to enable the device to be attached by magnetic force to the end of an elongate object, such as a golf club. Hence in this manner the golf club with the device attached thereto can be used to retrieve a golf ball from ground level without having to bend down. The golf ball can be gripped by the device 10 by aiming the cup 12 at the golf ball and pressing on it slightly, thus allowing the golfer to easily retrieve the ball without having to bend over or kneel and risk straining their knees or back. The device 10 can be quickly and easily attached to the golf club, and just as quickly and easily removed after the golf ball has been retrieved.

In the preferred embodiment of the device 10 the magnetic material comprises a first metal disc 14 which is attached to a rear face of the cup 12. Preferably the elongate object is a golf club 16, as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, and the handle 18 of the golf club is provided with some magnetic material in connection therewith. In the illustrated embodiment the magnetic material provided in connection with the handle 18 comprises a second metal disc 20 which is attached to the top end of the handle grip 18. Preferably the first and second metal discs 14 and 20 are both magnets, which are attached to the cup 12 and the handle grip 18 respectively with opposite poles facing outwards, so that when the first and second metal discs are brought into close proximity they attract each other and the device 10 is held on the grip 18 by magnetic attraction. No external force need be applied to attach the device 10 to the golf club grip 18, because of the magnetic attraction when the two metal discs are brought into close range. Likewise, very little force is required to break the magnetic attraction and remove the device 10 from the grip 18. However the magnetic force between the two metal discs is sufficiently strong that it will readily hold both the device 10 and the weight of a golf ball 22 securely on the end of the handle grip 18.

The cup can be made from any suitable material such as rubber, plastic, steel/aluminium, Teflon, wood with a rubber ring or lining, or any other material that would hold onto a golf ball successfully. In the illustrated embodiment the cup 12 comprises a substantially hemispherical concave surface 24 having an inner diameter similar in size to that the outer diameter of golf ball 22. The cup 12 further comprises an annular protrusion 26 extending inwards around the circumference of the cup 12 and which is adapted to grip the outer surface of the golf ball 22. The cup 12 is made from a suitable resilient material, such as rubber, and is shaped to hold a golf ball therein by friction between the annular protrusion 26 and the surface of the golf ball 22. In an alternative embodiment, the cup is made from a rigid material, such as steel, and only the annular protrusion 26 is made from a suitable resilient material such as rubber, so that the golf ball is held in the cup by friction between the annular protrusion 26 and the surface of the golf ball.

Advantageously, the golf club collecting device further comprises a golf ball marker, also made from magnetic material, for marking the location of a golf ball on a putting green when the ball is removed to permit other players to putt. In the preferred embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 5, 8 and 9, the golf ball marker comprises a third metal disc 30 which can also be attached to the handle 18 of the golf club by magnetic attraction. The golf ball marker 30 can be placed on the green or picked up from the green without bending down using the golf club 16. Preferably the third metal disc 30 is also a magnet which can be held on the handle grip 18 between the first and second discs 14 and 20.

Preferably the golf club collecting device further comprises an accessory comprising a clip 40 adapted to slide onto a belt or the edge of a bag (not shown) and having some magnetic material incorporated therein, wherein the cup 12 and/or the marker 30 can be attached to the accessory by magnetic force. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, the clip 40 is made of a resilient material, such as spring steel or plastic, and comprises a substantially planar member 42 in a U-shaped configuration, having a gap 44 between facing surfaces of a size to accommodate the thickness of a belt or fabric snugly therein. One of the facing surfaces is provided with one or more protrusions 46 adapted to grip the belt or fabric between the facing surfaces. In this embodiment the magnetic material incorporated in the clip comprises a fourth metal disc 48 which is affixed to an external face of the U-shaped planar member 42. The clip 40 can be worn by a golfer and used to carry the golf ball collecting device 10 and/or one or more golf ball markers 30 in a readily accessible manner.

Now that preferred embodiments of the golf ball collecting device have been described in detail, it will be apparent that it provides a number of advantages over the prior art, including the following:

  • (i) It is easy to use and requires no externally applied force to attach to the golf club, and relatively little force to remove from the golf club.
  • (ii) It is of simple and robust construction and readily lends itself to mass production.
  • (iii) It can be easily carried on a simple belt accessory, together with matching golf ball markers, in a readily accessible manner.

It will be readily apparent to persons skilled in the relevant arts that various modifications and improvements may be made to the foregoing embodiments, in addition to those already described, without departing from the basic inventive concepts of the present invention. For example, it is not essential that the cup of the device grip the golf ball by friction; it could be designed to hold the ball successfully by suction. Therefore, it will be appreciated that the scope of the invention is not limited to the specific embodiments described.