Title:
Golfing aid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golfing aid includes a primary component, and a handle to which the primary component is pivotally connected. The primary component can thus hang vertically, under the influence of gravity, when the handle is grasped by a user. A secondary component is located at a right angle to the primary component.



Inventors:
Viljoen, Hendrik Petrus Jacobus (Farm Krompan, ZA)
Application Number:
10/179159
Publication Date:
01/16/2003
Filing Date:
06/25/2002
Assignee:
VILJOEN HENDRIK PETRUS JACOBUS
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B57/00; A63B69/36; G01C9/12; (IPC1-7): A63B57/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STINSON LLP (ST LOUIS, MO, US)
Claims:
1. A golfing aid which includes a primary component; a handle to which the primary component is pivotally connected so that the primary component can hang vertically, under the influence of gravity, when the handle is grasped by a user; and a secondary component located at a right angle to the primary component.

2. A golfing aid as claimed in claim 1, wherein the primary component is of linear elongate form, with the handle being provided at a first end thereof and the secondary component being provided at or near the other second end thereof.

3. A golfing aid as claimed in claim 2, wherein the secondary component is of linear elongate form, and protrudes from opposing sides of the primary component.

4. A golfing aid as claimed in claim 3, wherein the pivotal connection of the primary component to the handle is by means of a hinge, with the hinge being such that the primary component can pivot relative to the handle along a plane in which the secondary component lies.

5. A golfing aid as claimed in claim 4, which includes a tertiary linear elongate component located at a right angle to the primary component as well as at a right angle to the secondary component.

6. A golfing aid as claimed in claim 5, wherein the hinge is a universal hinge so that the primary component can also pivot relative to the handle along a plane in which the tertiary component lies.

7. A golfing aid as claimed in claim 5, wherein the secondary and tertiary components are pivotally attached to the primary component so that they can be pivoted into retracted positions in which they lie alongside or against the primary component when not in use.

8. A golfing aid as claimed in claim 2, which includes an accessory in or on the primary component in proximity to its second end.

9. A golfing aid as claimed in claim 1, which includes a range finder, for estimating the distance between a first reference point and a second reference point of standard size, on one of the components.

10. A golfing aid as claimed in claim 9, wherein the range finder is provided on the primary component.

Description:
[0001] THIS INVENTION relates to a golfing aid.

[0002] When playing a game of golf, it is often desired to determine whether or not the ground slopes. In particular, when lining up for a putt, a golfer needs to determine whether or not the putting surface between the ball and the hole has a slope. It is often difficult to detect such a slope, particularly when the slope is only slightly inclined. An aim of the present invention is thus to provide a means whereby the determination of a putting surface slope can be facilitated.

[0003] Thus, according to the invention, there is provided a golfing aid which includes

[0004] a primary component;

[0005] a handle to which the primary component is pivotally connected so that the primary component can hang vertically, under the influence of gravity, when the handle is grasped by a user; and

[0006] a secondary component located at a right angle to the primary component.

[0007] In use, a user, ie a golfer, wishing to determine the slope of a putting surface or of a fairway, grasps the handle of the aid. Due to the influence of gravity, the primary component will automatically pivot relative to the handle until it hangs or depends vertically, irrespective of the angle at which the handle is held, provided that the handle is held such that the pivot axis extends horizontally. The secondary component which is located at a right angle relative to the primary component will then automatically provide a horizontal reference line. By aligning the primary component with a suitable reference object, such as the putting hole on a green, the horizontal reference line provided by the secondary component will indicate to the user whether the putting surface between the accessory and the hole slopes to the left or right relative to the alignment line between the accessory and the hole, as well as give an indication of the severity of the slope.

[0008] The primary component may be of linear elongate form, with the handle being provided at a first end thereof and the secondary component being provided at or near the other second end thereof.

[0009] The secondary component may also be of linear elongate form, and may protrude from opposing sides of the primary component.

[0010] The aid may include a hinge which provides the pivotal connection between The primary component and the handle. The hinge will thus be such that the primary component can pivot relative to the handle along a plane in which the secondary component lies.

[0011] The aid may also include a tertiary linear elongate component located at a right angle to the primary component as well as at a right angle to the secondary component, The hinge may then be a universal hinge so that the primary component can also pivot relative to the handle along a plane in which the tertiary component lies.

[0012] The secondary and tertiary components may be pivotally attached to the primary component so that they can be pivoted into retracted positions in which they lie alongside, against or are recessed in recesses in the primary component when not in use.

[0013] If desired, an accessory such as a pen or pencil, or a cigarette lighter, may be provided in or on the primary component in proximity to its second end.

[0014] The aid may also include, on one of the components, a range finder which permits a user to estimate the distance between a first reference point, such as a point from which he wishes to hit a ball, and a second reference point of standard size, such as a golf flag. The range finder may, in particular, be provided on the primary component. The range finder may comprise suitable indicia on a surface of the primary component. The indicia may be in the form of spaced lines or markings on the surface of the primary component.

[0015] The invention will now be described by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0016] In the drawings,

[0017] FIG. 1 shows a three-dimensional view of a golfing aid according to a first embodiment of the invention;

[0018] FIG. 2 shows a front view of the aid of FIG. 1;

[0019] FIG. 3 shows a front view of the aid of FIG. 1, in use;

[0020] FIG. 4 shows a front view of a golfing aid according to a second embodiment of the invention, with its secondary component in an extended configuration or position; and

[0021] FIG. 5 shows a front view of the aid of FIG. 4, with its secondary component in a retracted position.

[0022] With reference to FIGS. 1 to 3, reference numeral 10 generally indicates a golfing aid according to a first embodiment of the invention,,

[0023] The golfing aid 10 includes a linear elongate primary component 12 having a first end portion 14 as well as a second end portion 16. The golfing aid 10 also includes a linear elongate secondary component, generally indicated by reference numeral 18, fixed to the primary component 12 in proximity to its end portion 16. The secondary component 18 has limbs 20, 22 which extend at right angles to the primary component 12 and are located on opposite sides of the primary component.

[0024] The aid 10 includes a handle 24 pivotally attached, at 26, by means of a hinge (not shown) to the first end portion 14 of the primary component 12. The pivotal attachment 26 is such that the primary component 12 can pivot relative to the handle 24 along a plane in which the limbs 20, 22 of the secondary component 18 lie.

[0025] The aid 10 also includes a linear elongate tertiary component, generally indicated by reference numeral 28. The tertiary component 28 is also fixedly attached to the primary component 12 in proximity to its end portion 18. It is located at right angles to the primary component 12 as well as to the secondary component 18. The tertiary component 28 has limbs 30, 32 located on opposite sides of the primary component 12. The tertiary component 28 thus extends parallel to the pivot axis of the hinge,

[0026] In use, the golfing aid 10 is used to determine the slope of a fairway or putting green. Thus, for example, if a golfer wishes to determine whether or not the putting surface 34 of a golfing green between his ball (not shown) and the hole (not shown) has a slope, he grasps the handle 24 of the aid 10 such that the secondary component 18 extends transversely to the line between his ball and the hole and with the pivotal axis of the hinge extending horizontally. By virtue of the pivotal connection 26, the primary component 12 will automatically hang vertically downwardly, under the influence of gravity. This in turn will ensure that the secondary component 18 provides a horizontal reference line. By crouching behind the aid 10 so that the primary component 12 is aligned with the hole or with a flag pole (not shown) protruding from the hole, the golfer can immediately determine whether or not the putting surface 34 slopes relative to the line between his ball and the hole, as indicated in FIG. 3.

[0027] If desired, an accessory (not shown) such as a pen or pencil, or a cigarette lighter, can be provided in the second end portion 16 of the primary component 12 so that the accessory then protrudes from the second end of the primary component.

[0028] Still further, the limbs 20, 22 of the secondary component 18 as well as the limbs 30, 32 of the tertiary component 28 can be pivotally connected (not shown) to the primary component 12 if desired. When not in use, they can then be pivoted so as to lie flush against the secondary component 12 thereby facilitating storing and carrying the accessory 10.

[0029] Typically, the primary component 12 may be from 100-400 mm long, while the secondary component 18 and the tertiary component 28 may also be from 100-400 mm long.

[0030] Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, reference numeral 50 generally indicates a golfing aid according to a second embodiment of the invention.

[0031] Parts of the aid 50 which are the same or similar to those of the aid 10 are indicated with the same reference numerals.

[0032] The limbs 20, 22 of the secondary component 18 of the aid 50 are pivotally connected to the primary component 12 in proximity to its end portion 16 so that, when the aid 50 is not in use, they can be pivoted from an extended operative configuration as shown in FIG. 4, to a retracted inoperative configuration as shown in FIG. 5. In their retracted configuration, the limbs 20, 22 are located in recesses (not shown) provided in the primary component 12.

[0033] The handle 24 of the aid 50 is in the form of a solid metallic knob which is provided with a recess (not shown) which houses the end portion 14 of the primary component 12. A marker (not shown) for marking the position of a golf ball on a putting green can be releasably, eg magnetically, attached to one of the opposed areas 51 of the handle 24.

[0034] The aid 50 includes a pencil 52 protruding from the end portion 16 of the primary component 12.

[0035] The aid 50 also includes a range finder generally indicated by reference numeral 60. The range finder 50 includes markings, generally indicated by reference numeral 62, applied to a surface of the primary component 12. The markings 62 include a plurality of longitudinally spaced primary markings 64 in proximity to the secondary component 18, and marked with a 0. The markings 62 also include a plurality of longitudinally spaced secondary markings 66, spaced from the primary markings 64, and marked with fixed distance numbers, eg 75 m, 100 m, 150 m and 200 m.

[0036] In use, the aid 50 is used in substantially the same manner as the aid 10, to determine the slope of a golfing fairway or putting green. However, by means of the range finder 60, the aid 50 can also be used to gauge or estimate the distance which a player's ball is from the flag pole of a green. To use the range finder 60, a user or player initially aligns the primary component 12 with a flag pole on a putting green, with the player located a known distance from the pole, for example when the player is at a 150 m marker from the golf flag. The player then grasps the handle 24 as hereinbefore described, and holds the aid 50 at arm's length, allowing the primary component to depend vertically from the handle under gravity. The upper end of the flag is then aligned with the secondary marking 64 identified by the distance marking or number 150 m. The player then ascertains which of the primary markings 64 is aligned with the bottom of the flag pole, is the point at which it enters the cup on the golfing green. This primary marking 64 then constitutes the base reference line of the player in question. If the player thereafter wishes to determine his position from any green, he aligns the aid 50 such that the bottom of the flag pole (normally all flag poles on a particular golf course are the same length) is aligned with his base reference line while holding the aid at arm's length as hereinbefore described with the primary component 12 extending vertically, The player then determines with which of the secondary markings 84 the upper end or tip of the flag pole is aligned. By reading off the distance marking or number of that line, the player can thus read off his approximate distance from the green, directly from the aid 50.

[0037] The accessories 10, 50 can be of any suitable material such as metal, eg stainless steel, silver, aluminium, etc; wood; synthetic material; graphite; or the like.