Title:
BALL PROJECTING GOLF CUP
United States Patent 3792861


Abstract:
A golf cup comprising a hollow body open at its top to be set into the ground and including a ball supporting and ejecting member mounted therein for vertical shifting below an upper limit position and having a compression spring acting thereon yieldingly biasing the ball ejecting member toward its upper limit position. An upwardly facing suction cup is mounted within a lower portion of the body and is engageable by a downwardly facing surface portion of the ball ejecting member as it is forced downwardly to a lower position below the upper limit position thereof and the downwardly facing surface has a small diameter vent passage opening therethrough in the area thereof engageable by the suction cup. Upon initial downward movement of the ball supporting and ejecting member after a golf ball drops in the open upper end of the body and engagement of the downwardly facing surface of the ball ejecting member with the suction cup, the suction cup is operative to retain the ball ejecting member in the lower position thereof for a short period of time until sufficient air is vented through the vent passage between the downwardly facing surface of the ball ejecting member and the suction cup to allow the upwardly biasing action of the compression spring to overcome the retention force of the suction cup and thereby project the ball ejecting member and the ball supported thereby upwardly in a rapid manner to the upper limit position of the ball ejecting member, whereby the upwardly momentum of the ball supported from the ejecting member will be sufficient to carry the ball upwardly and out of the open top of the cup to be caught by a golfer.



Inventors:
COLEMAN L
Application Number:
05/342446
Publication Date:
02/19/1974
Filing Date:
03/19/1973
Assignee:
COLEMAN L,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
124/16, 273/DIG.25
International Classes:
A63B57/00; (IPC1-7): A63B57/00
Field of Search:
273/34,179,180,127
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3467389PRACTICE PUTTING APPARATUS1969-09-16Scholin et al.
3467378GOLF BALL EJECTING DEVICE1969-09-16English et al.
1918994Golf cup1933-07-18Stutz
1826641Golf ball ejector1931-10-06Waddell



Primary Examiner:
Marlo, George J.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jacobson, Harvey O'brien Clarence B. A.
Claims:
What is claimed as new is as follows

1. A golf cup comprising a hollow body open at its top and adapted to be set into the ground, a ball supporting and ejecting member mounted in said body for vertical shifting therein below an upper limit position, force means acting upon said member applying a yieldable upward force thereon, and time lag automatically releasable latch means in said body engageable with said member upon downward shifting thereof from said upper limit position to a lower position for engaging said member and preventing its upward movement under the biasing action of said force means for a predetermined short time interval and then releasing said member for rapid upward movement toward said upper limit position under the biasing action of said force means.

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said force means comprises a spring connected between said body and said ball ejecting member.

3. The combination of claim 1 wherein said latch means comprises an upwardly facing suction cup in said body below said member, said member including a downwardly facing surface opposing said suction cup and engageable with the latter upon movement of said member downward to said lower position, said surface having a small diameter vent passage opening therethrough in the area thereof engageable with said suction cup.

4. The combination of claim 3 wherein said force means comprises a spring connected between said body and said ball ejecting member.

5. A golf cup comprising a hollow body open at its top and adapted to be set into the ground, a ball supporting and ejecting member mounted in said body for vertical shifting therein below an upper limit position, force means acting upon said member applying a yieldable upward force thereon, said member and body including means, responsive to downward movement of said member in said body to a predetermined lower position below said upper limit position, operative to retain said member in said lower position for a short period of time against the upward biasing force of said force means thereon and to thereafter release said member for rapid upward movement, under the biasing action of said force means, toward said upper limit position, whereby the upward momentum of a ball supported from said member will be sufficient to project the ball upwardly out of the open upper end of said body.

6. The combination of claim 5 wherein said force means comprises a spring connected between said body and said ball ejecting member.

Description:
The ball ejecting golf cup of the instant invention has been designed to provide a means whereby a golf ball may be quickly upwardly ejected from a golf cup to an elevation above the ground sufficient to enable the golf ball to be grasped by a golfer without bending down toward the ground.

Another object of this invention, in accordance with the immediately preceding object, is to provide a golf cup with a ball ejecting assembly to be initially cocked upon a downward force applied thereto by the lower end of a golf club thrust downwardly into the cup.

A still further object of this invention is to provide a ball ejecting structure which will be operative in accordance with the immediately preceding object and which will only momentarily retain the ball ejecting structure in a downwardly displaced position before releasing the ball ejecting structure for rapid upward movement to a limit position under the biasing action of a compression spring.

A final object of this invention to be specifically enumerated herein is to provide a ball projecting golf cup in accordance with the preceding objects and which will conform to conventional forms of manufacture, be of simple construction and easy to use so as to provide a device that will be economically feasible, long lasting and relatively trouble free in operation.

These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a golf cup constructed in accordance with the present invention set into a golf green and with the lower end of an inverted golf club being utilized to downwardly depress the ball ejecting structure and the golf ball supported therefrom;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating the manner in which a golf ball may be projected upwardly from the cup and caught in the hat of a golfer;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view on an enlarged scale taken substantially upon a plane passing through the center axis of the cup and illustrating the position of the ball ejecting structure and the ball supported therefrom as it is downwardly displaced approximately one half the distance from its upper limit position to its lower limit position;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 3 of the drawings illustrating the ball supporting and ejecting structure in a cocked position and the lower end of the inverted golf club being withdrawn from the cup;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 4 but illustrating the ball ejecting structure in its upper limit position of movement and the associated golf ball being carried, by momentum, to an elevation above ground level;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the golf cup without a golf ball being disposed therein; and

FIG. 7 is a horizontal sectional view taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 7--7 of FIG. 3.

Referring now more specifically to the drawings, the numeral 10 generally designates a golf cup constructed in accordance with the present invention. The cup 10 includes an upstanding cylindrical body 12 recessed in the ground 14 with the upper end of the cylindrical body 12 flush with ground level 16 of a green. The lower end portion of the tubular body 12 has a lower grid or spider 18 secured therein for drainage purposes below a radially inwardly projecting and circumferentially extending annular flange 20.

A circular support plate 22 rests upon the upper surface of the flange 20 and the central portion of the support plate 22 has an inverted suction cup 24 secured thereto by means of a fastener 26 secured upwardly through the central portion of the support plate 22 and threadedly engaged with the suction cup 24. Of course, the suction cup 24 opens upwardly. Further, a second grid or spider 26 including an outer cylindrical portion 28 is slidably disposed within the cylindrical body 12 above the suction cup 24. The grid or sleeve 26 defines an upwardly opening central pocket 30 to centrally seatingly receive a golf ball 32 and comprises an upper portion of a ball supporting and ejecting structure also including a lower portion 34 including an upper plate 36 having a downturned peripheral skirt 38 and a cylindrical body 40 spaced inwardly of the skirt 38 and projecting downwardly below the skirt 38. The upper plate 36 is freely loosely received in the body 12 for vertical shifting therein and a compression spring 42 has its lower end telescoped over the suction cup 24 and abutted against the support plate 22 while the upper end of the spring 42 is seated in the annular downwardly opening channel 44 defined between the skirt 38 and the body 40. Further, the plate 36 includes an integral upwardly projecting tubular nipple 46 defining a vent passage 48 through the plate 36.

The upper end of the body 12 includes circumferentially spaced abutment members 50 and the cylindrical portion 28 of the grid or spider 26 includes circumferentially spaced vertical slots 52 formed in its outer surface through which the abutment members 50 are receivable. However, until such time as it is desired to remove the grid or spider 26 from the body 12 the grid 26 is rotated to a position with the grooves 52 out of registry with the abutment members 50 and accordingly, contact of the upper marginal portion of the cylindrical portion 28 of the grid 26 with the abutment members 50 limits upward movement of the grid or spider 26.

After the cup 10 has been recessed in the ground 14 in the manner illustrated in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 of the drawings, a golf ball such as ball 32 may be played into the cup 10 with the ball 32 coming to rest in the upwardly opening recess 30 defined by the grid or spider 26. Then, the lower handle end 54 of an inverted putter 56 may be hand depressed downwardly into the cup 10 so as to engage the lower end of the inverted club 56 with the top of the ball 32. Further movement of the club 56 downwardly will therefore cause downward displacement of the ball supporting and ejecting structure including the grid or spider 26 and the lower portion 34. Thus, the spring 42 will be compressed and the undersurface of the upper plate 36 will engage the suction cup 24. Then, upon removal of the lower end of the inverted club 56 the suction cup 24 will retain the plate 36 in its lowermost position illustrated in FIG. 4 until such time as sufficient air bleeds through the vent passage 48 to enable the spring 42 to overcome the holding force of the suction cup 24 whereupon the spring 42 will project the lower portion 34 and the grid or spider 26 as well as the ball 32 supported therefrom upwardly. As the spring 42 is fully extended the lower portion 34 will terminate its upward movement and the upward momentum of the grid or spider 26 and the ball 32 supported therefrom will continue by momentum until the grid or spider 26 contacts the abutment members 50 to terminate upward movement of the grid or spider 26. However, the upward momentum of the ball 32 will continue to carry the latter upwardly above the ground 16 and to an elevation such as that illustrated in FIG. 2 of the drawings whereby a golfer may move his cap 60 beneath the ball 32 in order to catch the latter. Of course, after upward movement of the grid or spider 26 is terminated by the abutment members 50, the grid or spider 26 is free to fall back downwardly into a rest position supported from the upper plate 36 in readiness for the cup 10 to again be actuated.

As hereinbefore set forth, the grid or spider 26 may be removed by aligning the grooves 52 with the abutment members 50. Of course, the spring 42 is sufficiently smaller in diameter than the body 12 to also be moved upwardly past the abutment members 50 and the support plate 22 and suction cup 24 supported therefrom may be tilted slightly in order to move the support plate and suction cup 24 upwardly through the open upper end of the body 12.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.