Title:
Golf range foam
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A catching device for spherical objects with flexible foam material 12 and of the type having at one side a scored face of flexible foam material 10 with the side opposite said scored face of flexible foam material 10 adhered to a base 14. The flexible foam material 12 is of sufficient density and compression to retain the spherical object upon impact and penetration through the scored face of flexible foam material 10. The base 14 is composed of a rigid material.



Inventors:
Milligan, Ronald Morris (Pomona, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/058596
Publication Date:
08/08/2002
Filing Date:
01/25/2002
Assignee:
MILLIGAN RONALD MORRIS
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B71/02; A63B63/00; A63B69/36; (IPC1-7): A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RONALD MORRIS MILLIGAN (POMONA, CA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A device for catching spherical objects comprising a sheet of flexible foam material having scores on one side thereof.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein said sheet of flexible foam material is composed of polyurethane.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein said sheet of flexible foam material has a density between 1.0 pounds per cubic yard and 2.0 pounds per cubic yard.

4. The device of claim 3 wherein said sheet of flexible foam material has an ILD compression between 28.0 pounds and 55.0 pounds.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein said scores comprise a grid pattern.

6. The device of claim 5 wherein said grid pattern is comprised of sections of uniform length, width, and depth.

7. The device of claim 6 wherein each said section has a length between 1.0 inches and 4.0 inches, a width between 1.5 inches and 4.0 inches, and a depth between 2.5 inches and 6.0 inches.

8. A device for catching spherical objects comprising a sheet of flexible foam material having scores on one side thereof and a base adhered to said sheet of flexible foam material at the side opposite of said scored side.

9. The device of claim 8 wherein said sheet of flexible foam material is composed of polyurethane.

10. The device of claim 9 wherein said sheet of flexible foam material has a density between 1.0 pounds per cubic yard and 2.0 pounds per cubic yard.

11. The device of claim 10 wherein said sheet of flexible foam material has an ILD compression between 28.0 pounds and 55.0 pounds.

12. The device of claim 8 wherein said scores comprise a grid pattern.

13. The device of claim 5 wherein said grid pattern is comprised of sections of uniform length, width, and depth.

14. The device of claim 13 wherein each said section has a length between 1.0 inches and 4.0 inches, a width between 1.5 inches and 4.0 inches, and a depth between 2.5 inches and 6.0 inches.

15. The device of claim 8 wherein said base is composed of a rigid material.

Description:

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

[0001] Not Applicable.

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

[0002] Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND—FIELD OF INVENTION

[0003] This invention relates to sporting goods, specifically equipment to catch and contain spherical balls used in practice sessions.

BACKGROUND—DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR ART

[0004] Many sports, such as golf and tennis, are played using spherical balls, where the object of the sport is to accurately move a spherical ball from one point to another. Usually, a player's accuracy improves with practice; but, practice time is often limited, so a major goal in sports is to maximize the efficiency of practice sessions. For sports involving moving spherical balls, this often means performing many repetitions of a ball-moving skill in a short amount of time. To make these practice sessions efficient, over the years many inventors have created ways to catch and retain multiple spherical balls used in practice sessions.

[0005] All of the prior inventions fall into two general categories: ball-specific devices and simulations. There is no universal, passive, and realistic device to catch and contain spherical balls.

[0006] The prior art for ball-specific devices includes machines to retrieve golf balls from driving ranges and collection devices for retrieving tennis balls from tennis courts. Prior art for simulations include interactive computer programs to model ball trajectory, portable putting greens, and systems that use foam or plastic facsimile balls and adhesive catching devices.

SUMMARY

[0007] In accordance with the present invention, a catching device comprises a polyurethane foam having grid of scores and a support base of rigid material.

[0008] Several objects and advantages of the present invention are:

[0009] (a) to provide a catching device for a wide range of sizes and densities of spherical balls;

[0010] (b) to provide a device that can catch and retain multiple spherical balls;

[0011] (c) to provide a catching device that has no moving parts;

[0012] (d) to provide a catching device that is relatively inexpensive, low maintenance, and does not require an energy source to operate; and,

[0013] (e) to provide a catching device that catches the actual spherical balls used in sports, as well as their facsimiles, without the catching being performed by adhesives.

DRAWINGS

[0014] Drawing Figures

[0015] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0016] FIG. 2 is a front view of the invention showing the scores in a grid pattern.

[0017] FIG. 3 is a side view of the preferred embodiment showing the scored flexible foam material and the base.

[0018] FIG. 4 is a side view of the alternative embodiment showing the scored flexible foam material without the base.

[0019] Reference Numerals in Drawings

[0020] 10 scored face of flexible foam material

[0021] 12 flexible foam material

[0022] 14 base

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0023] Description—FIGS. 1,2 and 3—Preferred Embodiment

[0024] A preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1 (perspective view), 2 (front view), and 3 (side view).

[0025] The catching device has a base 14 of uniform cross section consisting of a rigid support material that is resistant to bending and denting.

[0026] The base is typically 0.25 to 0.75 inches thick and has overall dimensions of 6.0 feet×8.0 feet.

[0027] A sheet of flexible foam material 12 adheres to the base by application of an adhesive upon the entirety of one side of the base 14 and the side of the flexible foam material opposite a scored face of the flexible foam material 10.

[0028] In the preferred embodiment, the flexible foam material 12 is a polyurethane foam with a density between 1.0 pounds per cubic yard and 2.0 pounds per cubic yard and an ILD compression between 28.0 pounds and 55.0 pounds. The flexible foam material 12 is typically between 2.0 inches and 6.0 inches thick, and has overall dimensions of roughly 6.0 feet×8.0 feet.

[0029] On one side of the flexible foam material 12 opposite the side adhered to the base 14 is a scored face of the flexible foam material 10, with said scores comprising a grid pattern of uniform length, width, and depth. Each uniform grid section is typically between 1.0 inches and 4.0 inches long, between 1.5 inches and 4.0 inches wide, and between 2.5 inches and 6.0 inches deep.

[0030] FIG. 4—Alternative Embodiment

[0031] FIG. 4 shows the side view of an alternative embodiment of the invention without a base.

[0032] Advantages

[0033] From the description above, a number of advantages of my catching device become evident:

[0034] (a) it can catch and contain a wide variety of sizes of spherical balls;

[0035] (b) it can catch multiple spherical balls in succession;

[0036] (c) it has no moving parts; and,

[0037] (d) it requires no energy to operate.

[0038] Operation—FIGS. 1,2,3 and 4

[0039] The manner of using the catching device and its operation is straightforward. First, one places the catching device at a desirable distance away from the person using it; for example, the distance from the baseline to the net on a tennis court, or the distance from the pitcher's mound to home plate on a baseball field, with the scored face of the flexible foam material 10 facing the user. Second, the person using the catching device throws, hits, or otherwise transports a spherical ball to the catching device. Third, when the spherical ball impacts the scored face of the flexible foam material 10, it penetrates the flexible foam material 12 through the scores. The flexible foam material 12 absorbs the force of the moving spherical ball, with said ball becoming embedded in the flexible foam material 12. Fourth, a person using the invention may continue to transport spherical balls into the invention until the scored face of the flexible foam material 10 is saturated with spherical balls.

[0040] Conclusions, Ramifications, and Scope

[0041] Accordingly, the reader can see that this invention can be used to catch any sized spherical ball, is simple, has no moving parts, and can be used to determine the accuracy of multiple successive hits, throws, and other movements of spherical balls.

[0042] Although the description above contains many specificities, these should not be construed to limit the scope of the invention, but as merely providing illustrations of some of the embodiments of this invention. For example, the catching device can have other score patterns and the foam face may be of other impact-absorbing material.

[0043] Thus, the scope of this invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the examples given.