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Title:
TEE INSERTER
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A tee inserter includes a housing and an adjusting body, which is movable in the housing. The lower side of the housing has a surface against which the tee head is applied and the lower side of the adjusting body has a surface for placement on the ground or, in the alternative, the lower side of the adjusting body has the surface against which the tee head is applied and the lower side of the housing has the surface for placement on the ground. With the aid of this inserter, a golfer can readily push a tee into the ground to the same depth in accordance with a setting for the inserter. The upper side of the tee head, for supporting the ball, is always at the same optimum height above the ground, so that the player can tee the ball off from the best position for the player.


Inventors:
Guldenring, Alfons (Eitorf, DE)
Application Number:
11/916284
Publication Date:
01/15/2009
Filing Date:
05/23/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B57/00; A63B22/00
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Edwin, Schindler D. (FIVE HIRSCH AVENUE, P.O. BOX 966, CORAM, NY, 11727-0966, US)
Claims:
1. 1-19. (canceled)

20. A tee inserter, comprising: a housing having a bottom side for a head of a tee to rest against said bottom side; an adjusting body having a shape substantially similar to that of a shank, said adjusting body having a bottom side for contacting a playing surface and being variably extendable from said housing in close proximity to said bottom side of said housing where the head of the tee rests against said bottom side, said adjusting body being guidable in said housing and having a serration for locking said adjusting body at different extensions from said housing; and, a spring-loaded locking pin in said housing operable at a lateral surface of said housing for engaging said serration of said adjusting body positively connected to said spring-loaded locking pin.

21. The tee inserter according to claim 20, wherein said bottom side of said adjusting body is enlarged relative to a cross-section of said adjusting body.

22. The tee inserter according to claim 20, wherein said adjusting body includes markings for indicating a position of said adjusting body relative to said housing.

23. The tee inserter according to claim 20, further comprising a swing-out pitch fork mounted to said housing.

24. The tee inserter according to claim 20, wherein said housing includes a recess for receiving and retaining a marker.

25. A tee inserter, comprising: a housing having two legs with a bottom side of at least one leg of said two legs for contacting a playing surface; an adjusting body having a bottom side for resting against a head of a tee and displaceable in a clearance between said two legs of said housing; and, a spring-loaded locking pin in said adjusting body on at least one side of said adjusting body and extendable against a biasing spring pressure via a key at said adjusting body, thereby locking said adjusting body at, at least, one of said two legs of said housing.

26. The tee inserter according to claim 25, wherein said bottom side of said adjusting body is enlarged relative to a cross-section of said adjusting body.

27. The tee inserter according to claim 25, wherein said adjusting body includes markings for indicating a position of said adjusting body relative to said housing.

28. The tee inserter according to claim 25, further comprising a swing-out pitch fork mounted to said housing.

29. The tee inserter according to claim 25, wherein said housing includes a recess for receiving and retaining a marker.

Description:

The invention relates to a tee inserter.

In the sport of golfing, a tee is understood as a T-shaped pin having a flat head with a concave top on which the ball is placed to be teed off at the beginning of the game. Up to now, the tee has been inserted into the ground by hand, which naturally means that it is inserted to varying depths with the consequence that the ball when placed on the tee can have a differing distance from the ground surface. Experience has shown, however, that the length and precision of the ball's tee-off is enhanced if the ball is teed off at the same height from the ground surface every time. Due to the various factors which have to be taken into consideration with each tee-off anyway, it would be advantageous if the golfer could always tee off the ball from a height above the ground surface that is optimal for him.

The invention relates to the object of creating a device making it possible for the golfer to tee off the ball always from the same height above the ground. In particular, the object is a device permitting to always insert the tee sufficiently deeply into the ground that the upper side thereof against which the ball is applied is always at the same height above the ground so that the ball can always be teed off from the height that is best for the golfer.

This object is achieved by a tee inserter characterized by a housing and an adjusting body which is movable in the housing, the lower side of the housing being arranged as the surface against which the tee head is applied and the lower side of the adjusting body being arranged as the surface to be placed on the ground, or the lower side of the adjusting body being arranged as the surface against which the tee head is applied and the lower side of the housing being arranged as the surface to be placed on the ground. Thus the tee inserter according to the invention comprises two embodiments wherein the functions of housing and adjusting body are reversed.

According to the first-mentioned embodiment of the tee inserter, the lower side of the housing is the surface against which the tee head is applied, the adjusting body being a shaft extendable from the housing at different lengths adjacent to the said surface against which the tee head is applied. In order to use the inserter, the shaft is extended out of the housing as far as the tee is supposed to protrude from the ground before the ball is placed on the tee for tee-off. Subsequently, the upper side of the tee head is applied against the thrust face of the housing and then pressed into the ground by exerting pressure on the housing until the placement surface of the housing is placed on the ground thereby preventing the tee from being inserted further into the ground. The inserter can be removed from the inserted tee in an upward and sideways motion without affecting the height of the surface supporting the ball above the ground. The tee inserter according to the invention thus guarantees that the tee always protrudes from the ground by the length by which the shaft is extended so that the distance of the ball on the tee from the ground is always the same. Based on his experience, the golfer therefore can be sure to tee off from this ball position without having his stroke impaired by differing heights above the ground. The shaft can be extended out of the housing by simply pushing or by rotating either step by step or continuously.

According to the preferred embodiment of the tee inserter, the shaft can be blocked at the different extended positions. This guarantees that at the end of the insertion process, once the shaft is placed on the ground, the shaft cannot move in relation to the housing.

In one embodiment of the said tee inserter, the shaft disposed in the housing is equipped with toothing capable of engaging with a latch. For this reason, the movable shaft can be blocked in its position.

In a different embodiment, the shaft is equipped with a thread wherewith it is screwed into a bore with internal thread disposed in the housing. This embodiment can work without a special blocking mechanism. Nevertheless, in this case as well, a longitudinal surface may be provided on the round shaft against which a latch can be applied so that any further screwing motion is blocked.

Preferably, the shaft is able to be blocked by a spring-loaded latch disposed and movable in the housing. Thereby, the pre-set extended position of the shaft is kept intact, in particular, when the tee is being inserted; on the other hand, the shaft can be retracted when the latch is pressed back against the force of the spring whereby the blockage is dissolved. It is suitable to enable the latch to be actuated directly or by means of a pushbutton connected non-positively to the latch and disposed on one of the lateral surfaces of the housing.

It is suitable to enlarge the placement surface of the shaft in relation to the cross section of the shaft. This prevents the shaft from also accidentally penetrating into the ground adjacent to the tee. In order to absolutely prevent this from happening, the extreme end of the shaft is advantageously constructed as a foot. The lower side of the foot then forms the above mentioned placement surface. In addition, the foot may be equipped with a cavity open on the side facing away from the shaft and broader than the shaft diameter of the tee. Consequently, when the tee is applied against the thrust face, the foot will not be an impediment, while on the other hand, the device is stably supported under its center of gravity when the foot is placed on the ground.

It is suitable to equip the housing or the adjusting body with markings indicating the position of the adjusting body in relation to the housing. The said markings enable the golfer in a simple way to always pull out the adjusting body to a certain length preferred by him, whereby the height of the surface for supporting the ball above the ground is determined.

In the embodiment mentioned above in second place, the housing is constructed in two legs, the lower side of at least one leg being arranged as placement surface, and the lower side of the adjusting body disposed and movable between the two legs being arranged as the surface against which the tee head is to be applied. When using this embodiment of the inserter, the upper part of the tee being applied against the adjusting body protrudes into the gap between the legs as far as the tee is supposed to protrude from the ground after being inserted. The tee then is inserted into the ground by exerting pressure on the housing as in the embodiment described above, until the lower sides of the housing legs are placed on the ground. The housing then can be removed from the tee by an upward and/or sideways motion.

In this embodiment, as well, the adjusting body can be blocked at varying distances from the placement surface. This ensures that the adjusting body cannot be moved during insertion of the tee and placement of the housing on the ground.

In this embodiment, the adjusting body is disposed between the legs and can be moved in longitudinal direction of the legs, while being blockable against at least one of the legs. It is suitable to also have the movable adjusting body guided by the fact that it is applied against the legs.

It is suitable to equip the adjusting body with a spring-loaded latch on one side or on both sides, said latch or latches being extendable against spring pressure by means of a pushbutton disposed on the adjusting body. The latches are normally pressed inward by the springs so that the adjusting body can be moved. By actuating the pushbutton, the latch or the latches can be caused to engage with the latch receiver or receivers provided in the legs, whereby the adjusting body is blocked in its position. By actuating the pushbutton in opposite direction, the blockage is dissolved so that the latches are automatically pulled back from their receivers in the legs by spring pressure, whereby the adjusting body regains its mobility.

In a modified embodiment of the said tee inserter, an internal thread is disposed in the housing or on the interior sides of the legs thereof, the adjusting body being equipped with an external screw thread so that the latter can be moved by a screwing motion within the housing or in the gap between the legs. The screwing motion of the adjusting body can be used to continuously adjust the surface against which the tee head is applied. Correspondingly, the insertion depth of the tee is also continuously adjustable. The adjusting body is accessible between the legs and therefore can be directly rotated with fingers for an axial adjustment.

In the different embodiments of the tee inserter according to the invention, the tee inserter can suitably serve other purposes as well. Thus, a tool having the ability to swing out may be coupled to the housing of the tee inserter. The said tool may serve the purpose of equalizing the depression resulting from the impact of the ball on the green. Furthermore, an indentation for receiving and holding a marker or a marking chip may be constructed in the housing. The said marker serves the purpose of marking the place of the ball after it stopped rolling, when the ball is taken from the place.

Below, the invention is explained in detail with reference to the drawing.

The figures show in:

FIG. 1: an initial embodiment of the tee inserter with extended shaft and with a tee inserted into the ground;

FIG. 2: the tee inserter shown in FIG. 1 with retracted shaft;

FIG. 3: a section along the line III-III of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4: a section along the line IV-IV of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5: a section similar to that of FIG. 3, though for a second embodiment of the tee inserter;

FIG. 6: a third embodiment of the tee inserter in perspective representation;

FIG. 7: a section along the line VII-VII of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8: the frontal view of a fourth embodiment of the tee inserter with an embedded tee; and

FIG. 9: a section along the line IX-IX of FIG. 8.

According to FIGS. 1 and 2, the housing 1 has approximately the shape of a cuboid with a semi-cylindrical top. The lower side 2 is constructed as flat thrust face against which the head 3a of a tee 3 is applied upon insertion of the latter into the ground. From the said thrust face, a shaft, as adjusting body 4, can be extended and is represented in extended position in FIG. 1. In the embodiment represented, the shaft 4′ has a rectangular cross section, though a different cross section is conceivable. A foot 5 is formed onto the lower end of the said shaft 4′ and stretches parallel to the lower side 2 and partially below the same. The foot 5 is equipped with a cavity 6 which is open at the end of the foot facing away from the shaft 4′. As can be seen in FIG. 1, when the tee 3 is inserted, the shaft 3b thereof protrudes through the cavity 6. The opening of the cavity 6 makes it possible to move the tee inserter away in a sideways and upward motion after insertion of the tee 3, without touching the tee or affecting the position thereof. When the tee inserter is not used, the adjusting body 4 can be retracted into the housing 1 so that the foot 5 is applied against the lower side 2 as shown in FIG. 2. As can be seen in FIG. 1, the shaft 4′ is equipped with markings 17 having numerals (not shown) being of use for the adjustment of a certain extension length of the adjusting body.

The sectional representations of FIGS. 3 and 4 make it clear that vertical to the lower side 2, a first guide cavity 7 for the shaft 4′ movable therein is constructed in the housing 1. Furthermore, a second guide cavity 8, stretching vertical to the cavity 7 is provided in the housing 1, said guide cavity 8 ending outward on the lateral wall 9. The guide cavity 8 contains a movable latch 10, the right end thereof jutting out outward to form a pushbutton 10′. The side of the shaft 4′ facing away from the lateral surface 9 is equipped with a multitude of notches 11. The latch 10 has a recess 12 for the penetration of the shaft 4, as can be seen in FIG. 4. On the side of the recess 12 facing away from the housing side 9, stop pins 13 are provided in the latch 10, said stop pins 13 being able to engage with the notches 11 of the shaft 4′. A spring 14 disposed between the left end of the guide cavity 8 and the left end of the latch 10 tensions the latch 10 in the engagement direction of the stop pins 11, 13. On the housing side 9, the latch 10 forms the push button 11′ serving the purpose of pressing the latch 10 back against the force of the spring 14 so that the notches/stop pins 11, 13 disengage and the adjusting body 4 can be extended out of the housing 1 or retracted into the same as far as is desired.

For a tee 3 with a mildly conical shaft 3b, the width of the cavity 6 may be constructed in such a way that the shaft 3b is jammed in the cavity when the upper side of the head 3a is at a distance from the lower side 2. During insertion, the upper side of the head 3a is applied against the lower side 2, thereby un-jamming the shaft 3b in the cavity 6. After insertion, the inserter can be pulled away from the tee in a sideways motion. Different from the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, it is here not necessary to hold the lower slide 2 of the head 3a with two fingers before inserting the tee.

FIG. 5 shows a second embodiment of the tee inserter wherein the distance of the placement surface 15 from the lower side 2 can be continuously changed by rotating the shaft. For this purpose, the housing 1 contains a thread 16 instead of the guide cavity 7. The shaft 4′ is constructed as threaded bolt being able to be screwed into the thread 16 more or less deeply in accordance with the desired insertion depth of the tee 3. Different from the embodiment according to FIGS. 1 through 4, the insertion depth here can be continuously adjusted. A blockage of the extended shaft is not provided in this embodiment, since the extended position of the shaft 4′ can practically not change upon placement of the foot 5 on the ground. However, it is also possible to equip the tee inserter according to FIG. 5 with a cross latch in analogy to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. In this case, the threaded shaft can be equipped with an axis-parallel, flat segmental plane corresponding to the notches, while the latch can then be equipped with a corresponding, flat plane of action corresponding to the stop protrusions 13 so that when the said two planes are applied against one another, the threaded bolt is blocked from any further rotation.

In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the housing 1 has two legs 1a and 1b arranged in parallel and forming between them a gap 27 ending downward in the cavities 6 of the feet 5. The adjusting body 4 has the shape of a cuboid-formed slide 30, said slide 30 being movable and guided due to flaps 30′ projecting on both sides on the interior sides of the legs 1a and 1b. The interior sides of the legs 1a and 1b are equipped with a row of blind holes 19 and/or 20 the meaning whereof becomes clear from FIG. 7.

According to FIG. 7, the slide 30 contains a pushbutton bolt 18 as well as two latch bodies 21 and 22. The said latch bodies 21, 22 are equipped with pins 21′ and/or 22′ able to engage in the blind holes 19 and/or 20 on the interior sides of the legs 1a and 1b. The latch bodies 21, 22 are pressed against the pushbutton bolt 18 by compression springs 23 and/or 24 whereby they reach the position shown in FIG. 7 where the pins 21′, 22′ are not engaged in the legs 1a and 1b. By exerting pressure on the pushbutton bolt 18 in direction of the arrow, the latch bodies 21, 22 can be pushed outward against the pressure of the spring until the elevated areas 21″, 22″ snap into the circumferential hollow 26. During the said process, the pins 21′, 22′ engage with the blind holes 19 and/or 20 so that the slide 30 is blocked in this position in relation to the housing. The blockage can be dissolved again by pressing on the pushbutton bolt 18 on the other side of the slide against the direction of the arrow so that the said pushbutton bolt 18 and the latch bodies 21, 22 return to the positions shown in FIG. 7. The tee is inserted in a way similar to the one for the embodiment according to FIGS. 1 and 2. After introducing the tee 3 into the gap 27 with the upper side of the head 3a applied against the lower side 15 of the slide 30, the tee is pressed into the ground by exerting pressure on the housing 1, until the lower sides 2 is placed on the ground. Subsequently, the housing 1 is lifted up and laterally away from the inserted tee 3.

From FIG. 6, it can also be seen that the exterior narrow side of the leg 1b is equipped with a longitudinal slit 31 wherein a divot tool 28 is disposed being able to swivel around the articulated axle 29. The tool 28 can serve the purpose of equalizing the depression resulting from the impact of the ball on the green. Furthermore, the housing 1 contains an indentation 32 wherein a marker (not shown) can be held. The marker can be used to mark the place of the ball.

The embodiment of the tee inserter represented in FIGS. 8 and 9 differs from the embodiment according to FIGS. 6 and 7 essentially by the fact that the adjusting body 4 is a cylindrical body with external thread 33. As is the case of the embodiment according to FIG. 6, the upper side of the tee head 3a is applied against the lower side 15 of the adjusting body 4. The interiors of the legs 1a and 1b are equipped with partial thread 1c stretching approximately along an arch of 75□. The adjusting body 4 is screwed into the said two corresponding partial threads.

The essential core of the invention lies in the fact that the distance between the lower side of the housing and the lower side of the adjusting body and thus also the height of the upper part of the inserted tee protruding from the ground can be varied. The tee inserter according to the invention makes it possible for the golfer to set down the tee with the desired projection from the ground so that the player is able to tee off the ball from the height that is optimal for him.

The housing form shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 has the advantage that two major surfaces are available for printed advertisements. However, the housing may also be constructed in a more compact form that is easier to handle.