Title:
BALL MARK AND METHOD OF USING THE SAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ball mark includes a first portion and a second portion, wherein the second portion is generally non planar with respect to the first portion and when the first portion is disposed on a putting surface, the second portion extends above the first portion to more readily enable a player to view the ball mark on the putting surface for purposes of aligning one's putt and to aid in avoiding walking in one's line to a hole. The first portion and the second portion are movably associated with each other and can move in and out of a generally common plane.



Inventors:
Murken, Joseph S. (Springboro, OH, US)
Graham, William R. (Dayton, OH, US)
Application Number:
12/055241
Publication Date:
10/01/2009
Filing Date:
03/25/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/409
International Classes:
A63B57/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
A PATENT LAWYER, LLC (R WILLIAM GRAHAM 8586 Eagle Ridge, Springboro, OH, 45066, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A ball mark, which includes: a first portion and a second portion, wherein said second portion is movably associated with said first portion such that said second portion can move in and out of a generally shared common plane with said first portion such that when said second portion is out of a common plane with said first portion and said first portion is disposed on a putting surface, said second portion extends above said first portion to more readily enable a player to view said ball mark on the putting surface for purposes of aligning one's putt and to aid in avoiding walking in one's line to a hole.

2. The ball mark of claim 1, wherein when said portions are in a common plane and placed on a putting surface, said ball mark permits a golf ball to roll over the ball mark without substantially affecting a path of the golf ball.

3. The ball mark of claim 1, wherein at least said second portion includes a contrasting colored surface to that of the putting surface to aid visibility thereof.

4. The ball mark of claim 1, wherein said first portion and said second portion are connected in a manner to permit generally co-planar positioning thereof.

5. The ball mark of claim 1, which includes means for movably retaining said first portion to said second portion.

6. The ball mark of claim 1, wherein said second portion is pivotally connected to said first portion to permit said portions to move from a generally co-planar position to an angled position.

7. The ball mark of claim 1, wherein said second portion is pivotally connected to said first portion to permit said portions to move from a generally co-planar position to an to a generally parallel position with respect to one another.

8. The ball mark of claim 7, such that when said portions are in said generally parallel positions said ball mark portions form a clip to enable removable connection to an article of clothing.

9. A method of using a ball mark, which includes the steps of: (a) employing a mark having a first portion and a second portion, wherein said second portion is movably associated with said first portion such that said second portion can move in and out of a generally co-planar or parallel relationship with respect to said first portion such that when said second portion is non-planar with respect to said first portion and said first portion is disposed on a putting surface, said second portion extends above said first portion to more readily enable a player to view said ball mark on the putting surface for purposes of aligning one's putt and to aid in avoiding walking in one's line to a hole; and (b) placing said mark on the putting surface adjacent a ball to mark location thereof and enable removing one's ball from the putting surface.

10. The method of according to claim 9, which further includes the step of actuating said second portion into a non-planar relation with respect to said first portion.

11. The method of according to claim 9, which further includes the step of actuating said second portion with respect to said first portion such that said portions form a removable clip for attachment to an article of clothing.

12. A ball mark, which includes: a first portion and a second portion, wherein said second portion is relatively smaller than said first portion and is generally non planar with said first portion when said first portion is disposed on a putting surface, said second portion extends above said first portion to more readily enable a player to view said ball mark on the putting surface for purposes of aligning one's putt and to aid in avoiding walking in one's line to a hole.

13. The ball mark of claim 12, wherein at least said second portion includes a contrasting colored surface to that of the putting surface to aid visibility thereof.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to golf. More particularly, the present invention relates to a ball mark and method of using the same.

RELATED ART

Under The Rules of Golf, there is no specification that the object used to mark the position of a ball must be of a certain size or shape. Rather, it is recommended (in the Note to Rule 20-1 of The Rules of Golf) that a player use a small coin or other similar object. However, it is also permissible to use other objects such as a tee, divot repair tool, toe of a club, etc. Traditionally, marks have included the likes of coins or disc like members which are made of metals and plastics. The more recent improvements in the ball mark have been to include an outwardly extending pin from one side of the mark for use in penetrating the ground and aiding in retaining the same in the ground.

A common problem with markers is that they can be hard to identify on a green, depending on the mark's color and the time of year, i.e., the change in color with the season. Some improvements have been to provide fluorescent colored plastic markers. One problem with the plastic marks is that they often break. Another problem facing a ball mark is that a smaller mark is often hard to locate in one's pocket as well as on the green but is preferred for marking on the green to pose less of an obstruction to another player's line of play. Large marks are easier to locate in one's pocket and on the green, but are more of an obstruction to another's line of play.

The ball mark has remained substantially the same for many years. However, there remains a need to improve ball marks. The present invention provides a significant improvement in the field.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

It is an object to improve ball marks.

It is another object to improve the game of golf.

It is a further object to improve the method of using a ball mark.

Accordingly, the present invention in one embodiment is directed to a ball mark which includes a first portion and a second portion, wherein the second portion is movably associated with the first portion and capable of being moved in and out of a generally common plane with the first portion. When in a common plane and placed on a putting surface, a golf ball can roll over the ball mark without substantially affecting a path of the golf ball. When the second portion is generally out of plane with first portion and the first portion is disposed on the putting surface, the second portion extends above the first portion to more readily enable a player to view the ball mark on the putting surface for purposes of aligning one's putt and to aid in avoiding walking in one's line to the hole. In a preferred embodiment, at least a surface of the second portion can be provided with a contrasting colored surface to that of the putting surface to aid visibility thereof.

Another aspect of the invention is that the invention provides for easy finding and storage of the ball mark. The ball mark is equipped with means for retaining the first and second portions in generally parallel and non parallel positions with respect to one another. In the case of non parallel positions, the second portion can be pivoted, for example, from a generally co-planar position to an angled position and to a generally parallel position with respect to the first portion. Co-planar and non-planar positions provide utility in use on the putting surface. The generally parallel positions can be used to clip to an article of clothing, for example, to aid in its easy location for use. A method of using the ball mark is also provided.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a ball mark in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2A depicts the mark in use on a green in one mode.

FIG. 2B depicts another embodiment of the mark in use on a green in another mode.

FIG. 3 depicts the mark in a storage use.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED INVENTION

Referring now to the present invention, a ball mark according to the present invention is generally designated by the numeral 10. Here, the ball mark 10 is shown to be generally disc shaped. It is contemplated that other shapes can be employed to carry out the invention and are contemplated within the instant invention and therefore the description with respect to such shapes are exemplary.

The ball mark 10 includes a first portion 12 and a second portion 14. The first portion 12 can include a larger part of the ball mark 12 and hence larger part of the disc shape in contrast to the second portion 14 for purposes of demonstrating a working embodiment of the invention. The second portion 14 can be movably associated to the first portion 12 and capable of being moved in and out of a generally common plane (or parallel position) with the first portion 12.

When sharing a common plane as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2B and placed on a putting surface 16, the mark 10 permits a golf ball (not shown) to roll over the ball mark without substantially affecting a path of the golf ball. FIG. 2A depicts a second position wherein the second portion 14 is generally out of plane with first portion 12 such that when the first portion 12 is disposed on the putting surface 16 the second portion 14 extends above the first portion 12 to more readily enable a player to view the ball mark 10 on the putting surface 16 for purposes of aligning one's putt and to aid in avoiding walking in one's line to the hole. In a preferred embodiment, the surfaces 18 and 20 of portions 12 and 14, respectively, can be provided with a contrasting colored surface to that of the putting surface 16 to aid visibility thereof. In this regard, a bright white or fluorescent color may be preferred. The surfaces 18 and 20 can be preferably flat. Opposing sides 22 and 24 portions 12 and 14, respectively, can include a decorative surface such as a stamped, painted or affixed logo. As seen in FIG. 2B, a post 36 can also be provided which extends from bottom surface 22 to aid in holding the mark 10 in the putting surface 16. While the preferred invention includes first and second portions 12 and 14 movable with respect to one another, it is contemplated that other versions can be made, such as having the second portion 14 slightly angled with respect to the first portion 12, but fixed in position. Another contemplated version could include co-planar portions which are movably separable to carry out the invention.

Another aspect of the invention is that the invention provides for easy finding and storage of the ball mark 10. The ball mark 10 is equipped with means 26 for retaining the first and second portions 12 and 14 in generally parallel and non parallel positions with respect to one another. Means 26 can include friction bearing surfaces 28 and 30 which receive friction bearing 32. In the case of non parallel positions, the second portion 14 can be pivoted, for example, from a generally co-planar position to an angled position to a generally parallel position with respect to the first portion. This provides utility in use on the putting surface 16 and storage wherein the generally parallel positions can be used to clip to an article of clothing 34, for example, to aid in its easy location for use as seen in FIG. 3.

While the present invention is set forth above with the preferred embodiments, it is envisioned that other improvements, modifications and derivations are contemplated by the invention. Accordingly, the claims appended hereto are deemed to cover such improvements, modifications and derivations.