Title:
Protection Device With A Protective Cover
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention pertains to a protection device (10) with a protective cover that serves for being removably placed over the club head of a golf club and encompasses the entire club head. According to the invention, the protective cover is formed by two dimensionally stable half shells (12, 14) that are connected to each other by means of a hinge (24), wherein the half shells (12, 14) feature two levers (20, 22) that are arranged such that the two half shells (12, 14) are pivoted from a closed position into an open position about the rotational axis (26) of the hinge (24) when the levers (20, 22) are pressed together.



Inventors:
Urban, Michael (Nurnberg, DE)
Application Number:
12/365304
Publication Date:
09/24/2009
Filing Date:
02/04/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/315.2
International Classes:
A63B57/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20010050097Outdoor umbrella coverDecember, 2001Fazel
20100078100APPENDAGE WALLETApril, 2010Orton
20040231771Carry bag with viewing windowNovember, 2004Shiue
20080237068TRANSFERABLE PURSE ORGANIZEROctober, 2008Melamed
20070240798Theft Resistant Personal Property Carrying DevicesOctober, 2007Bihler
20100071816COVERING DEVICE FOR CONTAINERMarch, 2010Bouchard et al.
20070163689Interchangeable handbag carry systemJuly, 2007Pace et al.
20080230160Notebook computer bagSeptember, 2008Huang
20060207697Configurable travel accessorySeptember, 2006Greiner
20040140029Cool coverJuly, 2004Gafney



Primary Examiner:
MAI, TRI M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ware Fressola Maguire & Barber LLP (P.O. Box 224 755 Main Street, Bldg. 5, Monroe, CT, 06468, US)
Claims:
1. A protection device (10) comprising a protective cover that serves for being removably placed over a club head of a golf club, the protective cover encompassing the entire club head, the protective cover being formed by two dimensionally stable half shells (12, 14) that are connected to each other by means of a hinge (24), wherein the half shells (12, 14) have two levers (20, 22) arranged such that the two half shells (12, 14) are pivoted from a closed position into an open position about a rotational axis (26) of the hinge (24) when the levers (20, 22) are pressed together.

2. The protection device according to claim 1, characterized by one lever (20, 22) being rigidly connected to one shell (12, 14) and the other lever (22, 20) being rigidly connected to the other shell (14, 12).

3. The protection device according to claim 2, wherein parts of both levers (20, 22) intersect in the rotational axis (26) of the hinge (14) in a top view thereof.

4. The protection device according to claim 3, wherein parts of the levers (20, 22) form part of the hinge (24) or are connected to the hinge in a rotational axis (26).

5. The protection device according to claim 1 further comprising a spring (28) that acts in the direction of the closed position of the two half shells (12, 14).

6. The protection device according to claim 1 wherein the half shells (12, 14) are adapted to encompass an outside contour of the club head of the golf club.

7. The protection device according to claim 1 wherein the two half shells (12, 14) are made of plastic

8. The protection device according to claim 1 wherein the two half shells (12, 14) are made of injection molded plastic.

9. The protection device according to claim 1 wherein faces (32, 34) of the half shells (12, 14) that contact each other in the closed position have a magnetic strip on one face and a strip containing iron on the other face such that the two half shells (12, 14) are magnetically secured in the closed position.

10. The protection device according to claim 1 wherein the levers (20, 22) each have an ergonomic shape.

11. The protection device according to claim 1 wherein at least one of the two half shells (12, 14) or at least one of the two levers (20, 22) has a wall region that serves as a holding means (18) such that the protection device (10) can be hung up with the aid of this holding means (18) with or without a golf club.

12. The protection device according to claim 1 wherein the half shells (12, 14) extend into a shaft region of the golf club.

Description:

BACKGROUND

The invention pertains to a protection device with a protective cover that serves for being removably placed over the club head of a golf club and for encompassing the entire club head.

Protection devices of this type for club heads of golf clubs have been known for quite some time and essentially consist of a flexible material such as a textile fabric or the like. This protection device protects the club head of the golf club from scratches and other damage that may occur during transport. The protection device is pulled over the club head of the golf club like a sock.

During transport in a golf bag, the club heads also knock against each other. Due to the thusly created mechanical influence on the club head, the club head can be damaged despite the protection device because the impacts penetrate through known protection devices. The relatively thin metal layer may burst open, in particular, on woods that feature a club head with a relatively large volume, and also on other golf clubs. Furthermore, the placement of the protection device on the club head of the golf club is relatively complicated for the user on the golf course. Both hands are usually required in order to pull the sock-like protection device over the club head of the golf club.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Consequently, the invention is based on the objective of additionally developing a protection device with a protective cover that serves for being removably placed over the club head of a golf club and encompasses the entire clubhead in such a way that the aforementioned disadvantages are eliminated and the protection device can be easily placed on and removed from the club head of a golf club.

This objective is attained by a protection device with a protective cover that serves for being removably placed over the club head of a golf club and which encompasses the entire club head characterized by the fact that the protective cover is formed by two dimensionally stable half shells that are connected to each other by means of a hinge, wherein the half shells feature two levers that are arranged such that the two half shells are pivoted from a closed position into an open position about the rotational axis of the hinge when the levers are pressed together.

The invention is based on the notion that two correspondingly dimensioned and shaped levers that are connected to the half shells provide the prerequisite for easily opening and closing the protection device with one hand. The dimensionally stable design of the half shells ensures that the golf club is protected from mechanical influences, for example, during the transport in a golf bag.

According to the invention, two dimensionally stable half shells therefore form the protective cover of the protection device. The two half shells are connected to each other by means of a hinge, wherein the half shells feature two levers that are arranged such that the two half shells are pivoted from a closed position into an open position about the rotational axis of the hinge when the levers are pressed together. The protection device therefore can be easily opened with one hand movement.

According to one embodiment of the invention, one lever is connected to one shell, and the other lever is connected to the other shell.

In this case, the left lever may be connected to the left half shell, and the right lever may be connected to the right half shell. In this case, the respective lever is arranged at a predetermined angle relative to its assigned half shell in order to generate the lever force for opening the protection device. Alternatively, parts of both levers may also intersect in the rotational axis of the hinge in a top view thereof.

Parts of the lever form, in particular, either part of the hinge or are connected thereto. This results in a reliable opening mechanism that has a simple design. The two half shells are opened by pressing together the two levers. The two half shells pivot about the common rotational axis of the hinge during this process. The two free end regions of the levers are situated adjacent to each other when the protection device is opened to its maximum. The prerequisites for a simple manufacture are also realized in this way.

In order to allow a safe arrangement of the club head in the protection device and to additionally optimize the protection against mechanical influences, the half shells are adapted to the outside contour of the club head. For example, the half shells may also feature a bed of damping material that is adapted to the shape of the club head and connected to the half shells.

According to one preferred embodiment of the invention, the two half shells consist of plastic. The two half shells are manufactured, in particular, with an injection molding method. This allows a cost-effective manufacture of the half shells, and the protection device can be marketed in an economically advantageous fashion.

According to one preferred embodiment of the invention, the faces of the half shells that contact each other in the closed position feature a magnetic strip on one side and a strip containing iron on the other side. Both strips are rigidly connected to the assigned half shell. In the closed position, the strips contact each other such that the effective magnetic forces hold both half shells in the closed position. The half shells are thusly secured against unintentional opening.

In order to automatically close the protection device, a spring is provided that acts in the direction of the closed position of the two half shells. In order to open the half shells, it is therefore required to press the levers in the direction of the open position of the half shells against the spring force of the spring. Once the levers are released, the two half shells close automatically due to the effective spring force. This simple closing mechanism ensures that the protection device is always closed while it is not used. Consequently, for example, admission of rainwater or dirt into the interior of the protection device is prevented, e.g., when the club head was removed. Dirt and rainwater would impair the storage of the club head of the golf club.

The levers are ergonomically shaped in order to ensure simple handling of the protection device.

According to one embodiment of the invention, at least one of the two half shells or at least one of the two levers features a wall region that serves as a holding means such that the protection device can be hung up with the aid of this holding means with or without a golf club. Consequently, the protection device is readily available immediately after the golf club is used and does not lie on the ground or on the clubs situated in the golf bag as is the case with known protection devices.

The protection device preferably extends into the shaft region of the golf club with its half shells. Consequently, not only is the club head protected, but also the shaft and the critical connecting region between the shaft and the club head of the golf club.

Other advantages, characteristics and possible applications of the present invention result from the following description of embodiments that are illustrated in the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is described in greater detail below with reference to the embodiments illustrated in the drawings. The reference symbols indicated in the attached list are used for the corresponding components in the description, the claims, the abstract and the drawings. In these drawings:

FIG. 1 shows a top view of a protection device according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 shows a side view of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a partially sectioned top view showing a closing spring and a hinge of the protection device;

FIG. 4 shows a rear view of FIG. 1, and

FIG. 5 shows a side view of a protection device according to another embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 shows a top view and FIG. 2 shows a side view of a protection device 10 according to the invention. The protection device 10 consists of a protective cover that is formed by two half shells 12 and 14. The two half shells 12 and 14 consist of injection-molded plastic and are adapted to the contour of the club head of a golf club.

Alternatively, it would also be possible to arrange an insert that essentially consists of damping material and is adapted to the contour of the club head in the half shells 12 and 14.

The half shells 12, 14 extend downward to the shaft of the golf club and feature in their lower region an opening 16 that serves as a passage, through which the shaft of the golf club can extend out of the protection device 10. A holding means 18 in the form of a projection is integrally molded onto the half shells 12, 14 on the front side of the protection device 10. This holding means 18 makes it possible to hang up the golf club with the protection device 10 or only the protection device 10, for example, on the golf bag.

Two wing-like levers 20 and 22 are connected to the half shells 12 and 14 in the rear region of the protection device 10. The lever 20 is connected to the half shell 12 and the lever 22 is connected to the half shell 14, wherein the respective levers and half shells preferably form an integral injection-molded component.

The two half shells 12, 14 are furthermore connected by means of a hinge 24. The hinge 24 forms a rotational axis 26. The two levers 20 and 22 intersect in the rotational axis 26. The levers 20 and 22 are respectively connected to one part of the hinge 24.

FIGS. 3 and 4, in particular, show that a spring 28 is provided. The spring 28 is rigidly connected to the half shell 14 and the half shell 12 and is pre-stressed in the closing direction. In this case, the spring 28 may be bonded into the respective half shells 12, 14 or engaged in corresponding receptacles produced during the injection molding of the half shells. The spring 28 that is pre-stressed in the closing direction ensures the proper arrangement of the two half shells 12, 14 relative to each other in the closed position and automatically closes the two half shells after the levers 20 and 22 are released.

In order to open the two half shells 12, 14 in accordance with the arrow 30, the force of the spring 28 needs to be overcome when the levers 20 and 22 are pressed together. This causes the two half shells to pivot about the rotational axis 26. The faces 32 and 34 of the two half shells 12 and 14 that point toward each other are moved apart during this process.

When the levers 20 and 22 are released, the spring force causes the two half shells 12, 14 to automatically close until the face 32 of the half shell 12 contacts the face 34 of the half shell 14.

Furthermore, a magnetic safety is arranged on the faces 32, 34 of the two half shells 12, 14. A magnetic strip 36 encloses the face 32 of the half shell 12. A strip 38 containing iron encloses the face 34 of the half shell 14. In the closed position, the thusly effective magnetic forces hold the two half shells 12, 14 in the closed position. The protection device therefore is secured against unintentional opening. This means that the magnetic force and the spring force need to be overcome when the levers 20, 22 are pressed together. The club heads of the golf clubs arranged in the protection device 10 therefore are securely accommodated.

The inventive design of the protection device 10 readily makes it possible to open the half shells 12, 14 with one hand with the aid of the two levers 20 and 22, to remove or place the golf club with its club head from/into the protection device 10 and to subsequently close the protection device 10 automatically by releasing the levers 20 and 22.

In order to prevent the user of the protection device 10 from sliding off the levers 20, 22, they are designed ergonomically and have the shape of wings.

As an alternative to the above-described embodiment, the holding means 18 in the form of a projection may also be arranged in one or both levers 20, 22 as shown in FIG. 5.

The invention is characterized by its simple construction and its simple opening and closing mechanism that can be operated with only one hand. The dimensionally stable half shells 12, 14 adequately protect the club heads from mechanical influences as they occur during the transport of golf clubs, for example, in a golf bag. The protection device therefore can be operated with one hand. Conventional protection devices almost make it impossible to place the cover over the club head with one hand only, unless the known protection device in the form of a sock is worn out accordingly. The invention, in contrast, makes it possible to operate the protection device with one hand at all times. The cover can be opened with one hand while the golf club is held with the other hand. Furthermore, the golf club can also be protected with one hand without having to hold or open the protection device with the second hand.

LIST OF REFERENCE SYMBOLS

    • Protection device
    • 12 Half shell
    • 14 Half shell
    • 16 Opening for shaft of golf club
    • 18 Holding means
    • 20 Wing-like lever of half shell 12
    • 22 Wing-like lever of half shell 14
    • 24 Hinge
    • 26 Rotational axis
    • 28 Spring
    • 30 Arrow
    • 32 Face of half shell 12
    • 34 Face of half shell 14
    • 36 Magnetic strip for face 32
    • 38 Strip containing iron for face 34