Title:
Method and device for selecting a golf club
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention relates to an electronic hand-held golf-club selection device. The device includes a series of buttons bearing numbers and pictures of golf clubs, for inputting information into an electronic storage means in the device. Whenever a golfer plays a game of golf, he enters the distance that the ball is hit with each golf club. The device then averages the distance for each golf club and provides the golfer with details on how far he generally hits a golf ball with a particular golf club.



Inventors:
Kersten, Fredericus Maria (Johannesburg, ZA)
Application Number:
09/958959
Publication Date:
11/28/2002
Filing Date:
11/27/2001
Assignee:
KERSTEN FREDERICUS MARIA
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/36; (IPC1-7): A63B57/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MOSSER, ROBERT E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (Phili) (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:
1. A golf club selection device, the device including: input means for inputting data on the distance that a golf ball is hit by a golf club; storage means for storing data from the input means, the storage means being arranged to store a plurality of distances hit by different types of golf clubs; a processor adapted to calculate an average distance hit by each type of golf club; and a display for displaying the average distance calculated by the processor for a particular club.

2. A device according to claim 1 wherein types of golf clubs are golf clubs from a set of golf clubs.

3. A device according to claim 1 or 2 wherein the storage means is programmed to store a maximum number of distances for each golf club.

4. A device according to claim 3 wherein the storage means is programmed to discard the oldest distance stored after the maximum number of stored distances is reached, and when a new distance is inputted.

5. A device according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the input means includes first input means for inputting the distance that a ball is hit by a golf club and second input means for inputting the type of golf club that hit the ball.

6. A device according to claim 5 wherein the first input means is a series of buttons with each button corresponding to one of the numerals 1 to 9 or 0.

7. A device according to claim 5 or 6 wherein the second input means is a series of buttons, with each button corresponding to a different golf club from a set of golf clubs.

8. A device according to claim 7 wherein the buttons corresponding to the second input means depict golf clubs.

9. A device according to any one of the preceding claims which is mobile and hand-held.

10. A method for selecting a golf club, the method including the steps of: storing the distances hit by different types of golf clubs from a set of golf clubs in a hand-held electronic storage means; calculating an average distance hit by each type of club; and using the averages so calculated to select which club to use when playing a shot during a game of golf.

11. A method according to claim 9 wherein the averages are calculated by a processor associated with the storage means.

12. A method according to claim 10 wherein the storage means is programmed to discard the oldest distance stored for a particular golf club after the maximum number of stored distances is reached, and when a new distance is inputted.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to a device for selecting a golf club during a game of golf.

[0002] When a golfer decides to select a club to hit a shot during a game of golf, he often relies on, or seeks advice from, his caddy or a fellow golfer. The problem with this is that even if the caddy or fellow golfer knows how far the distance that the ball needs to be hit is, he does not know how far the golfer can hit the ball with a particular club. Very often the golfer also only has a vague idea of how far he can hit a golf ball with a particular club.

[0003] It is an object of this invention to provide a device that can assist a golfer with his club selection during a game of golf.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] According to the invention there is provided a golf club selection device, the device including:

[0005] input means for inputting data on the distance that a golf ball is hit by a golf club;

[0006] storage means for storing data from the input means, the storage means being arranged to store a plurality of distances hit by different types of golf clubs;

[0007] a processor adapted to calculate an average distance hit by each type of golf club; and

[0008] a display for displaying the average distance calculated by the processor, for a particular club.

[0009] The types of golf clubs are typically golf clubs from a set of golf clubs

[0010] The storage means is preferably programmed to store a maximum number of distances for each golf club.

[0011] Advantageously, the storage means is programmed to discard the oldest distance stored after the maximum number of stored distances is reached, and when a new distance is inputted.

[0012] The input means typically includes first input means for inputting the distance that a ball is hit by a golf club and second input means for inputting the type of golf club that hit the ball.

[0013] Preferably, the first input means is a series of buttons with each button corresponding to one of the numerals 1 to 9 or 0.

[0014] Advantageously, the second input means is a series of buttons, with each button corresponding to a different golf club from a set of golf clubs.

[0015] Advantageously, the device is arranged to be mobile and hand-held.

[0016] According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a method for selecting a golf club, the method including the steps of:

[0017] storing the distances hit by different types of golf clubs from a set of golf clubs in a hand-held electronic storage means;

[0018] calculating an average distance hit by each of the clubs: and

[0019] using the averages so calculated to select which club to use when playing a shot during a game of golf.

[0020] The averages may be calculated by a processor associated with the storage means.

[0021] Advantageously, the storage means and processor are housed in a mobile hand-held device which includes display means for displaying the averages calculated by the processor.

[0022] Typically, the storage means is programmed to discard the oldest distance stored for a particular golf club after the maximum number of stored distances is reached, and when a new distance is inputted.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0023] The only FIGURE shows a plan view of a golf club selection device according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0024] Referring to the FIGURE, a mobile hand-held battery operated electronic golf club selection device 10 according to the invention includes a housing 12 which has a length of about 8 cm, a width of about 6,5 cm and a thickness of about 0.5 cm. The housing 12 houses storage means which may be a random access memory and a processor in the form of a micro-processor.

[0025] The device also includes input means in the form of buttons 14. The input means includes first input means for entering the distance that a ball has been hit and second input means for entering which club (from a set of golf clubs) hit the ball that distance.

[0026] In this instance the same buttons 14 are used for both the first and second input means, with the functionality of the buttons changing by pressing one of the “function buttons” 18a and 18d. The buttons 14 for the first input means are indicated by the numerals 1 to 9 and 0. The buttons 14 for the second input means correspond to clubs that are typically found in a set of golf clubs and which are indicated as follows: 1

IndiciaClub
DRDriver
2I2 Iron
3I3 Iron
4I4 Iron
5I5 Iron
6I6 Iron
7I7 Iron
8I8 Iron
9I9 Iron
PWPitching Wedge
5W5 Wood
3W3 Wood
SWSand Wedge.

[0027] There is also an alpha-numeric display means 16 which is in the form of a liquid crystal display.

[0028] In use, once a golfer has hit a golf ball with a particular club from the set, the golfer estimates the distance that the golf ball was hit. The golfer estimates the distance by looking at distance markers which are found on the fairways of most golf courses. For example, if the golfer hits a golf ball with a seven iron and estimates that the distance the ball was hit is 170 m, he enters 170 meters into the device 10, via the first input means, by pressing the numbers 1, 7 and 0. The golfer then presses the function button 18b and then selects the seven iron by pressing button number 7I (the second input means). The distance of 170 m is then entered into the storage means as a distance for the seven iron club. Each time the golfer hits a shot (as long as the hit is not a miss-hit) he enters the distance hit and the type of club that hit the ball.

[0029] In this way, a database of the distance hit by each club is built up in the storage means.

[0030] If the golfer presses, for example the function button 18d followed by button number 7I for the seven iron, the processor calculates an average from the distances hit by the seven iron (which are stored in the storage means) and the average distance or “club distance performance” is displayed on the liquid crystal display 16.

[0031] The golfer can then tell how far he generally hits the ball with the seven iron or any other iron the next time he needs to hit a shot, and select a club accordingly.

[0032] There is a maximum number of distances that can be stored for each club. Once the maximum number of stored distances is reached, and a new distance is inputted, the oldest distance falls away. The advantage of removing the oldest distance when distances are updated is that the device 10 provides a “moving average” which is updated and provides a more accurate indication of the level of the golfer's game as his game improves or possibly deteriorates over time. This is referred to as “dynamic distance tracking” of club performance.

[0033] The clubs that are used less often allow a smaller number of distances to be stored than the clubs that are used more often, to provide a more realistic indication of the performance for all of the clubs. In a typical example, each club will have the following maximum number of distances that may be stored for it: 2

ClubMaximum Number of Distances
Driver100
3 Wood100
5 Wood200
2 Iron100
3 Iron200
4 Iron300
5 Iron300
6 Iron300
7 Iron300
8 Iron200
9 iron300
Pitching Wedge100
Sand Wedge 100.

[0034] The number of distances that may be stored for each club can be altered according to the preference of the golfer and according to how often the golfer plays.

[0035] Other functions that the device 10 according to the Invention offers are:

[0036] a) If the golfer inputs a distance in to the device by pressing the numeral keys and then pressing the function key 18d, the device will display the club that is best for the golfer to use to hit a ball that distance.

[0037] b) The device includes an indication of the distances that a professional golfer would hit a ball with a particular club. For example if the golfer presses the function key 18c and then selects the button 7I, the device displays the distance that a professional golfer will hit a ball with a seven iron. The golfer can then compare his average distance for a seven iron against that of a professional and thereby monitor the improvement of his game.

[0038] c) The device includes adjustments for altitude. For example it calculates the distance that the golfer will hit a ball at sea level, due to the increased density of the air, as opposed to a higher level for example 1200 ft above sea level.

[0039] d) The device allows the distances to be entered into and/or converted from yards to meters or vice versa.

[0040] e) The owner can input his identity onto the device so that anyone can see who the owner of the device is, on the liquid crystal display 16, at the press of a button.

[0041] f) The device can also be protected with a PIN security code so that no-one can tamper with the data on the device.

[0042] g) There is a function to erase incorrect entries or even to erase all entries and restart the device 10.

[0043] The advantages of the device 10 according to the invention are:

[0044] a) It is relatively inexpensive, mobile and hand-held and easily fits into the pocket of a golfer.

[0045] b) It is easy for the golfer to input a distance for a particular club into the device and it is also easy to retrieve and read average distances hit by a particular club from the device.

[0046] c) As the old distances continually fall away and new distances are added the device provides a “moving average” which is useful for monitoring the golfer's current performance.

[0047] d) The golfer can compare his performance to that of professionals.