Title:
Golf Club Fitting Bags And Methods Of Manufacture
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Embodiments of golf club fitting bags and methods of manufacture are generally described herein. An article for transporting and displaying a golf club to fitting kit comprises a body comprising at least one toting mechanism to allow a single individual to transport the article, at least one shaft compartment to contain a plurality of golf club shafts, and a plurality of shelves to contain a plurality of golf club heads separate from the golf club shafts. Other embodiments are described and claimed.



Inventors:
Quartarone, Frank A. (Phoenix, AZ, US)
Mcguire, Brain (Phoenix, AZ, US)
Application Number:
12/141023
Publication Date:
07/16/2009
Filing Date:
06/17/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
29/428, 206/315.5, 206/315.6, 206/315.7, 473/288
International Classes:
B65D71/00; A63B55/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHEUNG, CHUN HOI
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KARSTEN MANUFACTURING CORPORATION;LEGAL DEPARTMENT (2201 WEST DESERT COVE, PHOENIX, AZ, 85029, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An article for transporting and displaying a golf club fitting kit comprising: a body comprising at least one toting mechanism to allow a single individual to transport the article; at lease one shaft compartment to contain a plurality of golf club shafts; and a plurality of shelves to contain a plurality of golf club heads separate from the golf club shafts.

2. The article of claim 1, wherein: the body comprises a length of approximately 115 to 140 centimeters, a width of approximately 12 to 18 centimeters, and a depth of approximately 19 to 25 centimeters; and the article comprises a mass of less than approximately 9 kilograms.

3. The article of claim 1, wherein the plurality of shelves further comprise self-closing flaps.

4. The article of claim 1, wherein the toting mechanism comprises at least one of a handle, a shoulder strap, or a support strap.

5. The article of claim 1, further comprising wheels coupled to the body to facilitate the single individual to transport the article.

6. The article of claim 1, wherein the body further comprises at least one pocket inside the body to contain at least one fitting tool.

7. The article of claim 1, further comprising support legs to support the article in an upright position.

8. The article of claim 1, wherein the body further comprises a plurality of slots to display the golf club shafts outside of the body.

9. The article of claim 1, wherein: the at least one shaft compartment accommodates approximately 10 to 15 golf club shafts; and the plurality of golf clubs shafts comprise the approximately 10 to 15 golf club shafts.

10. The article of claim 9, wherein: the plurality of shelves accommodates approximately 10 driver-type golf club heads; each of the driver-type golf club heads occupies a different one of the plurality of shelves; and the plurality of golf club shafts comprise the approximately 10 driver-type golf club heads.

11. The article of claim 1, wherein: the at least one shaft compartment accommodates approximately 15 to 20 golf club shafts; and the plurality of golf club shafts comprise the approximately 15 to 20 golf club shafts.

12. The article of claim 11, wherein: the plurality of shelves accommodates approximately 21 hybrid-type golf club heads; each of the plurality of shelves accommodates approximately 3 of the hybrid-type golf club heads; and the plurality of golf club heads comprise the approximately 21 hybrid-type golf club heads.

13. The article of claim 1, wherein: the at least one shaft compartment accommodates approximately 20 to 25 golf club shafts; and the plurality of golf club shafts comprise the approximately 20 to 25 golf club shafts.

14. The article of claim 13, wherein: the plurality of shelves accommodates approximately 18 iron-type golf club heads; each of the plurality of shelves accommodates approximately 3 of the iron-type golf club heads; and the plurality of golf club heads comprise the approximately 18 iron-type golf club heads.

15. The article of claim 1, wherein the body further comprises a ground stake to support the article in an upright position.

16. The article of claim 1, wherein: the body further comprises a sleeve; and the article further comprises a stand that couples with the sleeve to support the article in an upright position.

17. The article of claim 1, further comprising a high density foam supported by the plurality of shelves.

18. A portable self-contained system for fitting golf clubs for an individual comprising: a bag comprising dimensions and a mass to facilitate transport by a single individual; wherein the bag further comprises: at least one shaft compartment sized to contain a plurality of golf club shafts; a plurality of head compartments sized to contain a plurality of golf club heads separate from the golf club shafts; and at least one pocket sized to contain at least one fitting tool.

19. The system of claim 18, wherein: the dimensions comprise a length to a width to a depth dimension ratio of approximately 7.0:1.0:0.70; and the system further comprises the mass to be less than approximately 9 kilograms.

20. The system of claim 18, wherein the plurality of head compartments further comprises a shelf and a self-closing flap.

21. The system of claim 18, wherein: the bag further comprises a toting mechanism to further facilitate transporting the system; and the toting mechanism comprises at least one of a handle, a shoulder strap, a support strap, wheels, or a retractable handle.

22. The system of claim 18, wherein: the bag further comprises a support mechanism to support the bag in an upright position; the support mechanism comprises at least one of a support leg, a ground stake, or a sleeve coupled to the bag; and when the support mechanism comprises the sleeve, the system further comprises a stand coupled to the sleeve.

23. The system of claim 18, wherein the bag further comprises a plurality of slots to display the golf club shafts outside of the shaft compartment.

24. The system of claim 18, wherein: the shaft compartment accommodates approximately 10 to 15 golf club shafts; the plurality of head compartments accommodates approximately 10 driver-type golf club heads; each of the plurality of head compartments is configured to hold one of the driver-type golf club heads; the plurality of golf club-heads comprise the driver-type golf club heads; and the plurality of golf club shafts comprise the approximately 10 to 15 golf club shafts.

25. The system of claim 18, wherein: the shaft compartment accommodates approximately 15 to 20 golf club shafts; the plurality of head compartments accommodates approximately 21 hybrid-type golf club heads; each of the head compartments accommodates approximately 3 hybrid-type golf club heads; the plurality of golf club heads comprise the approximately 21 hybrid-type golf club heads; and the plurality of golf club shafts comprise the approximately 15 to 20 golf club shafts.

26. The system of claim 18, wherein: the shaft compartment accommodates approximately 20 to 25 golf club shafts; the plurality of head compartments accommodates approximately 18 iron-type golf club heads; each of the head compartments accommodates approximately 3 iron-type golf club heads; the plurality of golf club heads comprise the approximately 18 iron-type golf club heads, and the plurality of golf club shafts comprise the approximately 20-25 golf club shafts.

27. The system of claim 18, wherein: the shaft compartment accommodates approximately 10 to 15 golf club shafts; the plurality of head compartments accommodates approximately 10 fairway wood-type golf club heads; each of the head compartments accommodates approximately 3 fairway wood-type golf club heads; the plurality of golf club heads comprise the approximately 10 iron-type golf club heads; and the plurality of golf club shafts comprise the approximately 10-15 golf club shafts.

28. A method for manufacturing an article for transporting and displaying a golf club fitting kit comprising: providing a body comprising at least one toting mechanism to allow a single individual to transport the article; providing at least one shaft compartment to contain a plurality of golf club shafts; and providing a plurality of shelves to contain a plurality of golf club heads separate from the golf club shafts.

29. The method of claim 28, wherein: providing the body further comprises providing the body to comprise a length of approximately 115 to 140 centimeters, a width of approximately 12 to 18 centimeters, and a depth of approximately 19 to 25 centimeters; and the article comprises a mass less than approximately 9 kilograms.

30. The method of claim 28, wherein providing the plurality of shelves further comprises providing the plurality of shelves to comprise self-closing flaps.

31. The method of claim 28, wherein the toting mechanism comprises at least one of a handle, a shoulder strap, a support strap, wheels, or a retractable handle.

32. The method of claim 28, wherein providing the body further comprises providing the body to comprise at least one pocket to contain at least one fitting tool.

33. The method of claim 28, further comprising providing a support mechanism to support the article in an upright position, wherein the support mechanism comprises at least one of a support leg, an integral ground stake, or an external sleeve coupled to the bag.

34. The method of claim 28, wherein providing the body further comprises providing the body to comprise a plurality of slots to display the shafts outside of the body.

35. The method of claim 28, wherein providing the shaft compartment comprises providing the shaft compartment to accommodate approximately 10 to 25 golf club shafts, the plurality of golf club shafts comprising the 10 to 25 golf club shafts.

36. The article of claim 35, wherein providing the plurality of shelves comprises providing the plurality of shelves to accommodate at least one of driver-type golf club heads, fairway wood-type golf club heads, hybrid-type golf club heads, iron-type golf club heads, or putter-type golf club heads, the plurality of golf club heads comprising the at least one of the driver-type golf club heads, fairway wood-type golf club heads, hybrid-type golf club heads, iron-type golf club heads, or putter-type golf club heads.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/020,939, filed Jan. 14, 2008, which is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This disclosure relates generally to golf club bags, and relates more particularly to golf club fitting bags and methods of manufacturing golf club fitting bags.

BACKGROUND

Portable golf club fitting systems generally include transport and storage articles. Such transport and storage articles, however, require more than a single person to transport the system because of the structure, the size, the shape, etc. of system.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of top, front, and right sides of an exemplary golf club fitting bag, according to an embodiment of golf club fitting bags and methods of manufacture described herein;

FIG. 2 depicts a perspective view of top, back, and right side views of the golf club fitting bag of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 3 and 4 depict exploded perspective views of the golf club fitting bag of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 5 and 6 depict exploded perspective views of different exemplary shelf configurations of the golf club fitting bag of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 depicts a partial view of the golf club fitting bag with an assembled shelf configuration;

FIG. 8 depicts a perspective view of an interior pocket and retaining strap of the golf club fitting bag of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 9-13 depict perspective views of different embodiments of golf club fitting bags;

FIG. 14 depicts a perspective view of a stand that couples to the golf club fitting bag of FIG. 1;

FIG. 15 depicts a flow diagram representation of one manner in which an exemplary golf club fitting bag can be manufactured;

FIG. 16 depicts a flow diagram representation of another manner in which the golf club fitting bag can be manufactured; and

FIG. 17 depicts a perspective view of another stand that couples to the golf club fitting bag of FIG. 1.

For simplicity and clarity of illustration, the drawing figures illustrate the general manner of construction. Descriptions and details of well-known features and techniques can be omitted to avoid unnecessarily obscuring golf club fitting bags and their methods of manufacture. Additionally, elements in the drawing figures are not necessarily drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements in the figures can be exaggerated relative to other elements to help improve understanding of the various exemplary embodiments of the present invention. When used, the same reference numerals in different figures denote the same elements.

The terms “first,” “second,” “third,” “fourth,” and the like in the description and in the claims, if any, are used for distinguishing between similar elements and not necessarily for describing a particular sequential or chronological order. It is to be understood that the ordinal terms so used are interchangeable under appropriate circumstances such that the exemplary embodiments of golf club fitting bags and methods of manufacture described herein are, for example, capable of operation in sequences other than those illustrated or otherwise described. Furthermore, the terms “contain,” “include,” and “have,” and any variations thereof, are intended to cover a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a process, method, system, article, or apparatus that comprises a list of elements is not necessarily limited to those elements, but can include other elements not expressly listed or inherent to such process, method, system, article, or apparatus.

The terms “left,” “right,” “front,” “back,” “top,” “bottom,” “side,” “under,” and the like in the description and in the claims, if any, are used for descriptive purposes and not necessarily for describing permanent relative positions. It is to be understood that the positional terms so used are interchangeable under appropriate circumstances such that the embodiments of golf club fitting bags and methods of manufacture described herein are, for example, capable of operation in other orientations than those illustrated or otherwise described. The term “coupled,” as used herein, is defined as directly or indirectly connected in a physical, mechanical, or other manner.

DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLES OF EMBODIMENTS

In an exemplary embodiment of an article for transporting and displaying a golf club fitting kit, the article comprises: a body comprising at least one toting mechanism to allow a single individual to transport the article; at least one shaft compartment to contain a plurality of golf club shafts; and a plurality of shelves to contain a plurality of golf club heads separate from the golf club shafts. The body comprises dimensions and a mass that facilitates a single individual to easily transport the article, for example, in a similar fashion as a golf club bag used to carry golf clubs during a round of golf Among the various exemplary embodiments, the article can include a toting mechanism comprising one or more various handles, straps, grips, and the like, and can be of a fixed length, adjustable, retractable, flexible, telescopic, etc. The shaft compartment of the article comprises an internal space that can accommodate a plurality of golf club shafts. The shaft compartment can comprise one or more dividers to separate various shafts, for example, shafts that have different stiffness characteristics. The shaft compartment can also comprise internal clips that hold each shaft in a static position to prevent them from moving about the compartment during transport and to prevent damaging their finish. The shelves of the article are situated to accommodate storage of the various golf club heads. The shelves can comprise self-closing flaps to maintain the golf club heads on their respective shelf. Further, the shelves can comprise dividers to accommodate multiple golf club heads on each shelf, or the shelves can further comprise foam blocks having a golf club head form fitting cavity that allows a golf club head to be inserted and contained.

In another exemplary embodiment, a portable self-contained system for fitting golf clubs for an individual comprises a bag comprising dimensions and mass to facilitate transport by a single individual. The bag includes at least one shaft compartment to contain a plurality of golf club shafts; a plurality of head compartments to contain a plurality of golf club heads separate from the golf club shafts; and at least one pocket to contain at least one fitting tool. In addition to the elements described above, the various exemplary embodiments can comprise a plurality of external slots to hold and display the plurality of golf club shafts. The bag can further comprise various elements to maintain the bag in an upright position, for example, by using retractable legs, a self-contained ground stake, or a separate stand that couples with a sleeve on the bag, and other like mechanisms to maintain the bag in an upright position. The bag can also comprise any number of configurations of pockets, either externally or internally, to house various fitting tools, and/or other golf club fitting and golf items.

In yet another exemplary embodiment, a method for manufacturing an article for transporting and displaying a golf club fitting kit comprises: providing a body comprising at least one toting mechanism to allow a single individual to transport the article; providing at least one shaft compartment to contain a plurality of golf club shafts; and providing a plurality of shelves to contain a plurality of golf club heads separate from the golf club shafts. The methods described herein can also comprise additional methods to provide the various elements described above, and can further comprise methods of use, methods of packaging, and the like.

Turning now to the figures, FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of an exemplary article 100 for transporting and/or displaying a golf club fitting kit. Article 100 comprises a body 101 comprising at least one toting mechanism 105 to allow a single individual to transport article 100. As an example, body 101 can be a bag. Article 100 can comprise at least one shaft compartment 125 to contain a plurality of golf club shafts 160. Article 100 can further comprise a plurality of shelves 135 to contain a plurality of golf club heads 140 separate from golf club shafts 160. Article 100 can also comprise flaps or panels that secure over shaft compartment 125 and shelves 135 to secure the contents within body 101 during storage and/or transport. For example, front flap 110 can secure shelves 135, and top flap 115 can secure shaft compartment 125.

In the exemplary embodiment, toting mechanism 105 comprises a padded shoulder strap to allow the individual to transport article 100. Among other exemplary embodiments, though, toting mechanism 105 can comprise other types of toting mechanisms to allow the individual to transport article 100. For example, toting mechanism 105 can comprise a handle, a grip, a sleeve, a retractable or telescopic handle, and the like. Toting mechanism 105 further comprises the shoulder strap to comprise an adjustable strap assembly, but the strap, as well as other embodiments, can comprise the toting mechanism to comprise of a fixed or predetermined length.

In addition, article 100 can comprise more than a single toting mechanism, and indeed, article 100 can comprise more than one of the same type of toting mechanism, or a combination of different types of toting mechanisms. For example, and with reference to FIG. 2 that shows a back and right side view of the exemplary article 100, article 100 comprises body 101 comprising toting mechanism 105 and a strap pocket 206 to secure a portion of toting mechanism 105 during storage or non-use. In this particular embodiment, strap pocket 206 functions to prevent toting mechanism 105 from dangling loosely, or otherwise deterring it from becoming entangled with other objects when toting mechanism 105 is not in use. In one embodiment when toting mechanism 105 is in use, toting mechanism 105 can be secured to a pole or other object to maintain article 100 in an upright position, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2.

As mentioned earlier, exemplary article 100 includes additional toting mechanisms, in particular, a top handle 207 and a side handle 208, but as also mentioned with respect to toting mechanism 105, these additional toting mechanisms can comprise other types of toting mechanisms as well. In one example, toting mechanism comprising a telescopic or collapsible handle and transport wheels can further be seen with momentary reference to an exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 10 and described in greater detail below. The apparatus, methods, and articles of manufacture described herein are not limited in this regard. Article 100 also includes a sleeve 220, which will be described in more detail later.

Returning to FIG. 1, article 100 comprises shaft compartment 125. Shaft compartment 125 comprises a space within article 100 to contain a plurality of golf club shafts, for example, shafts 160, and can accommodate approximately 10 to 25 shafts 160. In one embodiment, body 101 defines at least a portion of shaft compartment 125, and in another embodiment, a separate portion of article 100 is inserted into body 101 to define at least a portion of shaft compartment 125.

Among the various exemplary embodiments, shafts 160 are contained within shaft compartment 125, and can be later affixed to golf club heads, such as golf club heads 140 contained in shelves 135. In this exemplary embodiment, body 100 comprises a length 195 of approximately 115 centimeters to approximately 140 centimeters, a width 196 of approximately 12 centimeters to approximately 18 centimeters, and a depth 197 of approximately 19 to 25 centimeters, and article 100 comprises a mass of approximately 7-11 kilograms.

In one exemplary embodiment, article 100 comprises a mass less than approximately 9 kilograms. Among various exemplary embodiments, body 101 comprises length 195 to width 196 to depth 197 dimension ratios of approximately 7.0 to 1.0 to 0.70. The apparatus, methods, and articles of manufacture described herein are not limited in this regard.

Among various exemplary embodiments, FIG. 3 depicts an exploded perspective view of the golf club fitting bag of FIG. 1. Among the various exemplary embodiments described herein, article 100 comprises shelf compartment 330. Shaft compartment 330 provides the space within article 100 to position shelves 135. Shelves 135 comprise various configurations to contain single or multiple golf club heads, such as driver-type club heads, fairway wood-type club heads, hybrid-type club heads, iron-type club heads, and/or putter-type club heads. Shelves 135 allow an individual to easily choose among several contained club heads in a golf club fitting session.

Article 100 can further comprise shaft dividers 326 within shaft compartment 125. Shaft dividers 326 can be positioned within shaft compartment 125, and shaft dividers 326 can function to separate individual or groups of contained shafts. In one embodiment, shaft dividers 326 can separate shafts of different lengths or perhaps shafts comprising different stiffnesses (e.g., shaft flex). In addition or alternatively, shaft dividers 326 can separate shafts based upon other characteristics associated with the shafts (e.g., manufacturer, material, etc.). Moreover, shaft dividers 326 can also function to separate golf club shafts to prevent any contained shafts from excessive movement during transport that might otherwise damage the golf club shafts. The embodiment depicted in FIG. 3 also shows a side panel 302 of article 100 and functions to enclose one side of article 100, and specifically shaft compartment 125 and shelf compartment 330. In a different embodiment, shaft compartment 125 can comprise a separate shaft slot or receptacle for each shaft, instead of or in addition to shaft divider 326.

Among various exemplary embodiments, article 100 comprises shaft compartment 125 that can accommodate approximately 10 to 15 golf club shafts, and a plurality of head compartments, for example shelves 135 accommodate approximately 10 driver-type golf club heads, wherein each of the driver-type golf club heads occupies one compartment or shelf 135. In another exemplary embodiment, shaft compartment 125 accommodates approximately 15 to 20 golf club shafts, and the plurality of head compartments, or shelves 135, accommodates approximately 21 hybrid-type golf club heads, wherein each of the head compartments accommodates approximately 3 hybrid-type golf club heads.

In yet another exemplary embodiment, shaft compartment 125 accommodates approximately 20 to 25 golf club shafts, and the plurality of head compartments, or shelves 135, accommodates approximately 18 iron-type golf club heads, wherein each of the head compartments accommodates approximately 3 iron-type golf club heads. In still yet another exemplary embodiment shaft compartment 125 accommodates approximately 10 to 15 golf club shafts, and the plurality of head compartments, or shelves 135, accommodates approximately 10 fairway wood-type golf club heads, wherein each of the head compartments accommodates approximately 3 fairway wood-type golf club heads.

Continuing with the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 3, article 100 can further comprise an interior utility pocket 331. Pocket 331 allows the user of article 100 to contain various items, such as, a golf club fitting tool, tees, balls, pencils, and any other items an individual wishes to contain. Pocket 331 is shown as an integral part of front flap 110, but pocket 331 can be situated among many interior or exterior portions of article 100. Furthermore, article 100 can comprise any size dimension configuration, and article 100 can comprise more than one utility pocket.

FIG. 4 depicts a partially assembled exploded perspective view of the golf club fitting bag of FIG. 3 showing how shelves 135 and dividers 326 can be positioned in the golf club fitting bag. For example, another pocket (not shown) could be positioned on flap 115.

FIG. 5 depicts an exploded perspective view of a golf club fitting bag shelf assembly showing the shelf, dividers, and hybrid type golf club heads. One or more of shelves 135 comprise a front self-closing flap 550, and elastic cord 555 coupled to a rear portion of shelf 135 and self-closing flap 550. Elastic cord 555 facilitates maintaining flap 550 in a closed position as indicated by movement arrow 551. Self-closing flap 550 provides a hinged door to allow golf club heads, such as golf club heads 140, to be contained in shelves 135 in a secure manner, yet provide easy access for an individual. Among other exemplary embodiments, shelves 135 and their respective self-closing flap 550 and elastic cord 555 can comprise other configurations. For example self-closing flap 550 can comprise a spring-type closing mechanism. Alternatively, shelves 135 can slide out of shelf compartment 330 for access instead of comprising a flap opening for access.

FIG. 5 further shows dividers 537 that can be positioned in shelves 135 to allow separation between multiple golf club heads contained on a particular shelf, and dividers 537 further provide protection between golf club heads 140 when in the contained position such to prevent damage during transport. In one exemplary embodiment, dividers 537 comprise Ethylene-vinyl Acetate (“EVA”) foam type material, but any other type of soft or padding material that can function to act as a divider and/or a cushion between golf club heads 140 can also be used for divider 537.

FIG. 6 depicts an exploded perspective view of an exemplary shelf configuration showing shelf 635, foam retaining block 639, retaining elastic 638, and iron type golf club heads 640. In this exemplary embodiment, shelf 635 is a different embodiment of shelves 135 (FIG. 5) and does not comprise a self closing flap, but instead has a fixed perimeter surrounding foam retaining block 639. This embodiment comprises foam retaining block 639 having a partial negative form of golf club heads 640 such that golf club heads 640 can be placed in and secured by foam retaining block 639. Foam retaining block 639 comprises EVA foam type material, but any other type of soft or padding material that can function to act as protective holding cushion type material for golf club heads 640 can also be used for foam retaining block 639.

This exemplary embodiment further depicts retaining elastic 638. Retaining elastic 638 can function to secure other portions of golf club heads 140 (e.g., the hosel) when contained in foam retaining block 639 and can be best seen in FIG. 7. FIG. 7 depicts a partial view of the golf club fitting bag showing the assembled shelf configuration of FIG. 6 and the representative placement of numerous ones of shelf 635 within shelf compartment 330. The various shelf and golf club head retaining mechanisms described herein are merely exemplary embodiments of golf club fitting bags, and other configurations are similarly contemplated. For example, instead of having shelves 635, article 100 can comprise pockets to secure golf club heads 640, and/or shelves 635 can be removable, customizable, or adjustable to allow for more or less shelves to be positioned in shelf compartment 330, etc. Additionally, article 100 can include both shelves 635 (FIG. 6) and 135 (FIG. 5).

The exemplary embodiment of FIG. 7 further shows shelf identification (“ID”) tabs 736. ID tabs 736 can be affixed to the shelves to identify the contents of each shelf. For example, as shown in FIG. 7, ID tabs 736 identify various degrees of loft of the various iron-type golf club heads 140. While loft ID is shown in FIG. 7, other types of identification can be affixed to the shelves, for example, golf club head type, such as, a 5-iron head, a 6-iron head, a 3-wood, a left or right handed club, etc. In another embodiment, various brand or model designations can be used, for example, a Rapture® iron, or a G5® iron, etc. In certain embodiments, ID tabs 736 can be removable and/or interchangeable so that depending on the particular item contained on each shelf, the appropriate identification tab can be placed on the shelf. ID tabs 736 can be affixed in a removable, and/or interchangeable fashion using a variety of securing mechanisms, such as, Velcro®, snaps, labels and sleeves, tape, adhesive, buttons, hooks, etc.

FIG. 7, in certain exemplary embodiments, can also include a storage pocket 711 at the interior portion of front flap 110 to house a wire frame 793. Wire frame 793 can comprise a rigid material such as metal and/or plastic. With momentary reference to FIG. 14, wire frame 793 comprises part of stand 1490, and pocket 711 provides convenient storage for wire frame 793.

Continuing with the exemplary embodiment of article 100, FIG. 8 depicts an interior pocket and retaining strap according to article 100 and/or various other embodiments. For example, article 100 comprises an internal utility pocket 832 and a retaining strap 833 at shaft compartment 125. Internal utility pocket 832, similar to pocket 331 (FIG. 3) described earlier, can comprise various dimensions and various materials, such as mesh nylon, woven cloth, etc. Retaining strap 833 can be used to secure an item within shaft compartment 125 to prevent the item from moving during transport of article 100 and/or damaging any contained golf club shafts in shaft compartment 125. Similarly, internal utility pocket 832 can be used to secure items within shaft compartment 125. Some items can include tees, golf club fitting tools, ball markers, pencils, and any other items an individual might wish to contain within internal utility pocket 832. Internal utility pocket 832 can comprise various securing mechanisms to secure pocket 832 in a closed position, for example, elastic, zippers, Velcro® material, snaps, hooks, buttons, etc. Similarly, retaining strap 833 can comprise similar securing mechanisms to secure retaining strap 833 to the interior wall of shaft compartment 125.

FIG. 9 depicts a perspective view of a golf club fitting bag 900 showing a shaft display element 965 according to the various exemplary embodiments described herein. This exemplary embodiment depicts a body 901 comprising shaft display element 965. Shaft display element 965 comprises various openings 964 to support golf club shafts 960. In this exemplary embodiment, openings 964 are spaced along the length of body 901. When golf club shafts 960 are each positioned in corresponding openings 964, an aesthetically pleasing display of golf club shafts 960 results, moreover, this configuration facilitates the golf club fitting procedure by making the golf club shafts easily accessible. The exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 9 depicts golf club shafts 960 in a fanned out configuration, but any other type of symmetric or asymmetric display or grouped configuration is likewise contemplated by this disclosure. Body 901 also comprises golf club shaft compartment 925 to contain golf club shafts 960 when not displayed and/or during transport and storage. Bag 900 also depicts transport wheels 968 to facilitate transporting bag 900. Similar to other exemplary embodiments described herein, body 901 can comprise other elements. For example, body 901 can comprise various toting mechanisms, external pockets, compartment dividers, shelves, self-closing flaps, etc.

FIG. 10 depicts a perspective view of a golf club fitting bag 1000 showing a retractable handle 1069 and transport wheels 1068 according to a fourth exemplary embodiment. This exemplary embodiment comprises a body 1001 that comprises closure flaps 1010 extending along the length of either side of body 1001 and, when opened, reveal golf club head storage compartment 1030 on one side, and a golf club shaft storage compartment 1025 on the other side. Body 1001 comprises closure flaps 1010 to secure the golf club heads in golf club head compartment 1030, and either or both flaps 1010 can likewise comprise an internal utility pocket 1031, and an advertising or writable display board 1080. Similar to other exemplary embodiments described herein, body 1001 can comprise other elements. For example, body 1001 can comprise various toting mechanisms, external pockets, compartment dividers, shelves, self-closing flaps, etc.

FIG. 11 depicts a perspective view of a golf club fitting bag showing support legs according to an exemplary embodiment. This exemplary embodiment depicts a Hoofer®-type golf club fitting bag 1100 comprising body 1101. Body 1101, however, comprises only one side of body 1101 that opens up along the length of the body to reveal various golf club head compartments 1130 for containing various golf club heads that can be fitted to golf club shafts 1160 contained in golf club shaft compartment 1125. Body 1101 comprises closure flap 1110 to secure the golf club heads in golf club head compartment 1130, and flap 1110 can likewise comprise an internal utility pocket 1131, and an advertising or writable display board 1180. In similar fashion to known Hoofer®-type golf club bags, this embodiment can also comprise support legs 1170 to facilitate supporting body 1101 in an “off-the-ground” position. Similar to other exemplary embodiments described herein, body 1101 can comprise other elements. For example, body 1101 can comprise various toting mechanisms, external pockets, compartment dividers, shelves, self-closing flaps, etc.

FIG. 12 depicts a perspective view of a point-of-sale type golf club fitting bag according to an exemplary embodiment. In this exemplary embodiment, article 1200 comprises a “fold-open” type display and storage configuration. Article 1200 comprises a hinge 1275 that can extend from one end of article 1200 to an opposite end. In this embodiment, article 1200 can be opened and maintained in an upright position. This exemplary embodiment can comprise similar elements described earlier with respect to the other exemplary embodiments of golf club fitting bags, but as shown in FIG. 12, one configuration can comprise golf club shaft holder 1225 to secure and display golf club shafts 1260. Article 1200 can comprise golf club head storage pockets 1235 to contain the various golf club heads. Other elements, such as utility pocket 1231, and an advertising or writable display board 1280 can also be included. This exemplary embodiment can further comprise various external elements and/or stands similar to other exemplary embodiments described herein. Moreover, body 1201 of article 1200 can comprise various toting mechanisms, external pockets, compartment dividers, shelves, self-closing flaps, etc.

FIG. 13 depicts a perspective view of golf club fitting bag 1300, which can be similar to golf club fitting bag 100 of FIG. 1. Golf club fitting bag 1300 has an exemplary stand to maintain the bag in an upright position. In this exemplary embodiment, article 100 comprises integral legs 1385 that in an unfolded, stored position are situated in storage grooves 1386. In one embodiment, when legs 1385 are stored within storage grooves 1386, legs 1385 can be substantially flush with the surface of article 100. To maintain article 100 in an upright position, legs 1385 are unsecured from grooves 1386, folded outwardly at hinge point 1388, and secured at points 1387 to couple legs 1385 to article 100. When each of legs 1385 is positioned in such a manner, article 100 can be maintained in an upright position, thereby displaying article 100 as well as providing easy access to shaft compartment 125 and shelves 135.

Legs 1385 comprise a high density plastic, but can also comprise metal.

Legs 1385 can be secured within grooves 1386 by any mechanisms that can maintain legs 1385 during storage and non-use, for example, hooks, snaps, Velcro®, loops, straps, and the like, and similar mechanisms can similarly allow legs 1385 to secure to points 1387 during use. The exemplary embodiment described and depicted in FIG. 13 comprises merely one exemplary embodiment, and various other integral leg configurations that facilitate maintaining article 100 in an upright position are likewise contemplated by this disclosure.

FIG. 14 depicts a close-up perspective view of one type of exemplary stand 1490 that couples with sleeve 220 to maintain article 100 in an upright position according to the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1. Among the various exemplary embodiments, article 100 comprises stand 1490. As mentioned earlier, article 100 can comprise several different configurations to facilitate article 100 to maintain an upright position. In this exemplary embodiment, article 100 comprises a base 1491 coupled to a frame sleeve 1492. Frame sleeve 1492, comprising wire frame 793 (FIG. 7), mates or slides into sleeve 220, thereby holding article 100 in an upright position. Frame sleeve 1492 can comprises wire frame 793 covered by a cloth portion, and the cloth portion prevents wire frame 793 from snagging or tearing sleeve 220 as frame sleeve 1492 is slid in and out of sleeve 220 during use. Other configurations or mechanisms that can couple to base 1491 and fit within sleeve 220 are similarly contemplated by this disclosure. Base 1491 comprises a high density molded plastic having a sufficient footprint such that the moment created by article 100 when situated upon frame sleeve 1492 prevents article 100 from tipping over. In one embodiment, exemplary brand names such as “PING®” (not shown) can be molded into or otherwise shown on base 1491.

In certain exemplary embodiments, and with reference to FIG. 17, a base 1791 comprising support 1792 can also act as a support mechanism for article 100. In a similar manner that frame sleeve 1492 comprising wire frame 793 (FIG. 7) fits within sleeve 220, support 1792 can similarly be configured to fit and slide within sleeve 220. In this embodiment, wire frame 793 is not needed.

In one embodiment of golf clubs and methods of manufacture, as illustrated in FIG. 15, a method 1500 for manufacturing an article for transporting and displaying a golf club fitting kit comprises: providing a body comprising at least one toting mechanism to allow a single individual to transport the article (a block 1510); providing at least one shaft compartment to contain a plurality of golf club shafts (a block 1520); and providing a plurality of shelves to contain a plurality of golf club heads separate from the golf club shafts (a block 1530). The toting mechanism can be similar to toting mechanism 105 (FIG. 1) described herein, and/or can also be similar to other toting mechanisms such as top handle 207 (FIG. 2) and/or side handle 208 (FIG. 2). The shaft compartment can be similar to shaft compartment 125 (FIG. 1), and the plurality of golf club shafts can be similar to golf club shafts 160 (FIG. 1). The plurality of shelves can be similar to shelves 135 (FIG. 1), shelf 635 (FIG. 6), the shelves in compartments 1030 (FIG. 10), the shelves in compartment 1130 (FIG. 11), and/or pockets 1230 (FIG. 12), and the golf club heads can be similar to golf club heads 140 (FIGS. 1, and 5-7).

As shown in FIG. 16, a method 1600 to manufacture a golf club fitting bag can include providing a mechanism to support the article or bag in an uptight position (a block 1640). Method 1600 can further comprise providing a body of the bag to comprise a plurality of slots to display the shafts outside of the body (a block 1650). The mechanism to support the article in an upright position can be similar to support legs 1170 (FIG. 11), legs 1385 (FIG. 13), support stand 1491 (FIG. 14), and/or support 1791 (FIG. 17). The plurality of slots to display the shafts can be similar to openings 964 of the shaft display of FIG. 9.

Although a particular order of actions is illustrated in FIGS. 15-16, these actions can be performed in other temporal sequences. For example, two or more actions depicted in FIGS. 15-16 can be performed sequentially, concurrently, or simultaneously.

Additional examples of such changes have been given in the foregoing description. Accordingly, the disclosure of embodiments of golf club fitting bags and methods of manufacture is intended to be illustrative of the scope of golf club fitting bags and methods of manufacture and is not intended to be limiting. For example, in one embodiment, a golf club fitting bag can have one or more features of FIG. 2 with or without the features described with reference to FIGS. 3 or 4. Similarly, in different embodiments, a golf club fitting bag can have one or more of the features of FIG. 5 with or without the features of FIGS. 6 or 7, and a golf club fitting bag can have one or more of the features of FIG. 5 with or without the features of FIGS. 8 or 9. Additionally, any type of golf club head can be used with dividers 537 (FIG. 5), foam retaining block 639 (FIG. 6), and/or retaining elastic 638 (FIG. 6), and/or any type of golf clubs head can be contained without using any of these items in the shelves, as illustrated in FIG. 11. As an example of another variation, in FIG. 7, storage pocket 711 can be used to hold a ground stakes (not shown) to support golf bag 100 in an upright position. In this embodiment, the ground stake is inserted in the ground and in sleeve 220 (FIG. 14), and is used in place of stand 1490. It is intended that the scope of golf club fitting bags and methods of manufacture shall be limited only to the extent required by the appended claims.

The article, system, and method discussed herein can be implemented in a variety of embodiments, and that the foregoing discussion of certain of these embodiments does not necessarily represent a complete description of all possible embodiments. Rather, the detailed description of the drawings, and the drawings themselves, disclose at least one preferred embodiment of golf club fitting bags and methods of manufacture, and can disclose alternative embodiments of golf club fitting bags and methods of manufacture.

All elements claimed in any particular claim are essential to golf club fitting bags or methods of manufacture claimed in that particular claim. Consequently, replacement of one or more claimed elements constitutes reconstruction and not repair. Additionally, benefits, other advantages, and solutions to problems have been described with regard to specific embodiments. The benefits, advantages, solutions to problems, and any element or elements that can cause any benefit, advantage, or solution to occur or become more pronounced, however, are not to be construed as critical, required, or essential features or elements of any or all of the claims.

Moreover, embodiments and limitations disclosed herein are not dedicated to the public under the doctrine of dedication if the embodiments and/or limitations: (1) are not expressly claimed in the claims; and (2) are or are potentially equivalents of express elements and/or limitations in the claims under the doctrine of equivalents.