Title:
Golf club head cover having easy slip-on and slip-off design
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A slipper-shaped head cover that is especially designed to facilitate convenient installation onto a golf club head after the golfer has made a shot. A preferred embodiment comprises a surface referred to herein as the sole because of the slipperlike configuration of the head cover. The sole is connected to a pair of opposed flaps along respective sides and to a heel along one end. An upper encloses the heel and forms a pocket for receiving the head of a golf club. The upper is affixed to a rear for fully enclosing the golf club head. The upper also terminates in a stiffening lip which holds the pocket open when the flaps are fully opened and separated so that the head cover can readily accept the golf club head. When the golfer removes the head cover from a club, he or she lays the cover on the ground nearby. The sole rests on the ground and the flaps are fully opened revealing the pocket under the upper. After making the golf shot, the golfer simply slides the golf club head into the pocket on the ground while grasping the club at the grip end of the shaft. In this way, there is no need to bend down to pick up the head cover. Once the club head is fully inserted into the pocket, the golfer can rotate the club toward him or her and then close the flaps which are secured to each other by fasteners.



Inventors:
Butler, Byron (Murrieta, CA, US)
Application Number:
09/803169
Publication Date:
09/12/2002
Filing Date:
03/12/2001
Assignee:
BUTLER BYRON
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B55/00; (IPC1-7): B65D65/02; B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAI, TRI M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEONARD TACHER (IRVINE, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A head cover for protecting a head of a golf club, the head cover comprising: a sole having an elongated shape and terminating in an open pocket for receiving a golf club head, said sole having a substantially flat exterior surface providing a stable platform for said cover; and at least one closable flap extending from an elongated edge of said sole for selectively enclosing said pocket and securing said cover to a golf club.

2. The head cover recited in claim 1 further comprising at least one fastener for preventing inadvertent removal of said head cover from said golf club head.

3. The head cover recited in claim 1 further comprising a stiffening lip on said pocket for preventing inadvertent closure of said pocket.

4. The head cover recited in claim 1 wherein said sole, said pocket and said flap are in combination configured to simulate the appearance of a slipper.

5. The head cover recited in claim 1 wherein said sole and said at least one flap are tapered to provide a widening of said cover at said pocket.

6. The head cover recited in claim 1 further comprising an additional closable flap extending from an opposed elongated edge of said sole, said flaps being selectively overlapped on one another for closing said pocket.

7. The head cover recited in claim 6 wherein each of said flaps comprises matching fasteners for securing said flaps in overlapping relation to one another.

8. A slipper-shaped golf club head cover comprising: an elongated flat sole terminating at one end in an arched upper forming a pocket with an opening for receiving a golf club head; the sole having elongated sides, each such side having an integral flap extending therefrom, said flaps being positioned relative to said pocket for selectively closing said pocket opening to enclose the golf club head when said flaps are placed in a mutually overlapping position.

9. The head cover recited in claim 8 wherein said flaps comprise mating fasteners for being selectively secured to one another in said overlapping position.

10. The head cover recited in claim 8 further comprising a stiffening lip on said pocket for preventing inadvertent closure of said pocket.

11. The head cover recited in claim 8 wherein said sole and said flaps are tapered to provide a widening of said head cover at said pocket.

12. The head cover recited in claim 8 wherein said sole comprises a high friction exterior surface to prevent translation of said head cover during installation onto a golf club head.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates generally to head covers for use in protecting the heads of golf clubs in a golf bag. The invention relates more specifically to a new golf club head cover which is designed to simplify and render more convenient its installation onto and removal from a golf club head during play.

[0003] 2. Background Art

[0004] Head covers have been used to protect the heads of golf clubs for decades. By way of example, U.S. Pat. No. 2,526,985 issued Oct. 24, 1950 to Whitehead on a “Cover For Golf Club Heads” ran and U.S. Pat. No. 2,110,122 issued Mar. 8, 1938 to Burgett for a “Golf Club Cover”. Typically, head covers are employed primarily to protect the heads of golf club woods, while such woods are in a golfer's bag so that such woods will not be damaged by knocking against the heads of other woods or irons. The covers are usually made of a soft, thick fabric which may be made entirely of a stretchable material. The covers are typically shaped much like a sock having an open cylindrical or tubular portion for surrounding the lower end of the shaft adjacent the hosel and having a more bulbous enclosed portion for actually surrounding and protecting the head. The sock analogy is also applicable to the manner in which prior art head covers are put on golf club heads. More specifically, it is typical in placing such a head cover on a golf club head to hold the cover in one hand and the club in the other hand and pull the cover over the head just as one would pull a sock over a foot. Another common method is to place the golf club into the bag and then, using two hands to grasp the head cover, pull the cover over the head. Removing the cover generally involves pulling the cover from the head with one hand while grasping the shaft of the club in the other hand. When the cover is removed so that the club can be used to make a golf shot, a question arises as to where to place the cover until the shot is made and the cover can be placed back onto the golf club head. Most golfers stuff the empty head cover into their golf bag amid the remaining clubs. However, there is some probability that the cover will fall between the remaining clubs and into the well of the golf bag where it would be difficult and at least inconvenient to recover the head cover. On numerous occasions golfers are seen emptying their bag of all of the clubs so that they can then reach into their bag to recover a head cover that has fallen to the bottom interior among the inverted golf clubs. Another alternative is to place the cover on a golf cart, bench or other structure near the tee box. However, all too often, given the stress of play and the pressure of competition among a group of golfers, the golfer may forget where he or she placed the head cover or simply forget to install the cover back onto the club head after the shot. One need only examine a clubhouse lost and found to see numerous head covers that have been inadvertently left on the golf course. Another alternative is to place the head cover on the ground near the area so that it will be readily seen by the golfer after hitting the tee shot or adjacent the fairway location where the golfer has hit a fairway wood shot. Unfortunately, the golfer would then have to bend over to recover the head cover each time a cover is removed to make a golf shot. Over the course of an 18-hole game, assuming covered woods are used on fourteen tee shots and another dozen or so on fairway shots, a golfer will have to devote a considerable amount of energy to recover the head cover. Bending over to pick up a head cover at least two dozen times during a round of golf, can be a tiring inconvenience which detracts from the enjoyment of play.

[0005] Thus, there is a need for a new head cover design which reduces the likelihood of loss and the inconvenience of it falling into the bottom of a golf bag, but yet obviates the frequent bending needed to recover a nearby head cover placed on the ground during a shot.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention meets the aforementioned need by providing a unique slipper-shaped head cover that is especially designed to facilitate convenient installation onto a golf club head after the golfer has made a shot. A preferred embodiment comprises a surface referred to herein as the sole because of the slipper-like configuration of the head cover. The sole is connected to a pair of opposed flaps along respective sides and to a heel along one end. An upper encloses the heel and forms a pocket for receiving the head of a golf club. The upper is affixed to a rear for fully enclosing the golf club head. The upper also terminates in a stiffening lip which holds the pocket open when the flaps are fully opened and separated so that the head cover can readily accept the golf club head.

[0007] This unique slipper-like configuration of the preferred embodiment of the invention makes it particularly adapted for ease of use and installation onto a golf club head while the head cover lays on the ground adjacent the golfer. When the golfer removes the head cover from a club, he or she lays the cover on the ground nearby. The sole rests on the ground and the flaps are fully opened revealing the pocket under the upper. After making the golf shot, the golfer simply slides the golf club head into the pocket on the ground while grasping the club at the grip end of the shaft. In this way, there is no need to bend down to pick up the head cover. Once the club head is fully inserted into the pocket, the golfer can rotate the club toward him or her and then close the flaps which are secured to each other by fasteners such as VELCRO™ fasteners or the like.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

[0008] It is therefore a principal object of the present invention to provide a new golf club head cover which is designed to enable insertion of the club head into the cover while the cover is on the ground adjacent the golfer.

[0009] It is another object of the invention to provide a golf club head cover which is adapted to receive the golf club head while the club is extended from the golfer's hands at the grip end.

[0010] It is still another object of the invention to provide a head cover which is configured like a slipper having a pocket for receiving the head while the cover is on the ground so that the golfer does not have to bend over to recover the cover.

[0011] It is yet another object of the invention to provide a head cover which is configured to be placed on the ground and then recovered from the ground by use of the extended golf club and without requiring any bending by the golfer.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] The aforementioned objects and advantages of the present invention as well as additional objects and advantages thereof will be more fully understood hereinafter as a result of the detailed description of a preferred embodiment when taken in conjunction with the following drawings in which:

[0013] FIG. 1 is a left side view of the preferred embodiment of the invention;

[0014] FIG. 2 is a top view of the invention;

[0015] FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the invention;

[0016] FIG. 4 is a right side view of the invention;

[0017] FIG. 5 is a flap end view of the invention;

[0018] FIG. 6 is a rear end view of the invention;

[0019] FIG. 7 is a fully opened top view of the invention;

[0020] FIGS. 8 through 11 illustrate a sequence of steps for placing a club head into the inventive cover; and

[0021] FIG. 12 is an illustration of a golfer about to tee off after placing the head cover on the ground nearby.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0022] Referring to the accompanying drawings and in particular FIGS. 1-7, it will be seen that a head cover 10 comprises a tapered sole 12, an upper 14 and a pair of tapered flaps 16 and 18. The sole 12 and upper 14, mate along rear 20 and heel 22 forming a pocket 19. The pocket is kept open by a stiffened lip 15 when flaps 14 and 16 are laid open as shown in FIG. 7. At least one set of fasteners 28 and 29, which may for example be a VELCRO™ fastener set, are provided to secure flaps 14 and 16 together in the configuration shown in FIGS. 1-6. A hook 24 connected to a tag 26 may be provided to identify the club on which the cover is installed. Of particular significance in regard to the sole 12 is its underlying exterior flat surface 13 which provides a stable platform for the head cover 10 while it is lying on the ground in its open configuration. Surface 13 may be optionally coated with a high friction material to ease installation onto a golf club head.

[0023] FIGS. 8-11 illustrate the typical sequence of steps a golfer would normally employ to install the head cover 10 onto a golf club. FIG. 8 shows the head cover in its fully opened configuration on the ground near the golfer such as illustrated for example in FIG. 12. As seen in FIG. 8, the golfer, holding a golf shaft 7 translates the club head 5 along sole 12 until, as shown in FIG. 9, the head enters the pocket 19 under lip 15. Once the head 5 is fully inserted into the pocket, the club head may be brought up to the golfer's chest so that flaps 16 and 18 may be closed as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11. Fasteners 28 and 29 are then secured to each other thereby also securing flaps 16 and 18 around club shaft 7 which effectively locks the head cover 10 to the club head 5 with the head securely and protectively retained within pocket 19. The golfer need not bend down to recover the head cover. Removal of the head cover can of course, be carried out by reversing the steps for installation.

[0024] Having thus disclosed a preferred embodiment of the invention without intending to limit the scope of the protection to the illustrated example, it is contemplated that various modifications and additions could be readily made without deviating from the underlying invention hereof. Therefore, the invention is limited only by the appended claims and their equivalents. What is claimed is: