Title:
Golf ball teeing device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf ball teeing device comprises a base member, a hopper, and a golf ball delivery track mounted on the base member for pivotal movement between a vertical rest position and a horizontal ball teeing position. A support receives the golf balls from the hopper and presents each golf ball for delivery to the track. A vertical motion transfer member moves with the proximal end of the golf ball delivery track. An actuation mechanism comprising a paddle mounted for pivotal movement in a rotational direction opposite to the golf ball delivery track. The actuation mechanism moves the vertical motion transfer member, to thereby move the golf ball delivery track from the vertical rest position to the horizontal ball teeing position and back again, and permits selective delivery of the golf balls onto the golf ball delivery track for subsequent placement on the tee.



Inventors:
Hong, Thomas K. (Toronto, CA)
Application Number:
10/207267
Publication Date:
02/06/2003
Filing Date:
07/30/2002
Assignee:
HONG THOMAS K.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/137
International Classes:
A63B47/00; A63B57/00; (IPC1-7): A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THOMAS K. HONG (ONTARIO, ON, CA)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A golf ball teeing device for placing serially dispensed golf balls onto a tee one at a time, said golf ball teeing device comprising: a base member; a hopper mounted on said base member for receiving and retaining a plurality of golf balls; a golf ball delivery track having a proximal end and a distal end, and operatively mounted adjacent said proximal end on said base member for pivotal movement in a first rotational direction about a substantially horizontal track pivot axis between a substantially vertical rest position and a substantially horizontal golf ball teeing position, and having a golf ball placement aperture disposed adjacent said distal end, wherein a golf ball disposed on said golf ball delivery track rolls to said is golf ball placement aperture when said golf ball delivery track is in said substantially horizontal golf ball teeing position; support means for receiving said golf balls in seriatim from said hopper and presenting each received golf ball for subsequent delivery to said track; and, manually operable actuation means for moving said golf ball delivery track from said substantially vertical rest position to said substantially horizontal golf ball teeing position and subsequently back to said substantially vertical rest position, and for selectively delivering said golf balls presented by said support means sequentially onto said golf ball delivery track for subsequent placement on said tee, said actuation means comprising at least one paddle operatively mounted on said base member for pivotal movement in a second rotational direction about a substantially horizontal actuation pivot axis that is substantially parallel to said track pivot axis, which pivotal movement in a second rotational direction about said substantially horizontal actuation pivot axis causes said actuation means to move said golf ball delivery track from said substantially vertical rest position to said substantially horizontal golf ball teeing position, wherein said first rotational direction is opposite to said second rotational direction.

2. The golf ball teeing device of claim 1, wherein said actuation means further comprises a substantially horizontally disposed axle pivotally mounted on said base member, and said at least one paddle projects transversely from said substantially horizontally disposed axle and is disposed exteriorly to said housing, and at least one transfer member actuating arm projects transversely from said substantially horizontally disposed axle.

3. The golf ball teeing device of claim 1, wherein said support means comprises an elevated golf ball supporting platform having a golf ball receiving aperture therein, for receiving golf balls in seriatim from said hopper, said golf ball receiving aperture having a effective diameter smaller than the diameter of said golf balls.

4. The golf ball teeing device of claim 3, wherein said elevated golf ball supporting platform has a track-facing opening therein in communication with said golf ball receiving aperture, for assisting in directing golf balls onto said golf ball delivery track.

5. The golf ball teeing device of claim 1, wherein said golf ball delivery track is spring biased toward said substantially vertical rest position.

6. The golf ball teeing device of claim 1, wherein said hopper has a helically-shaped storage and delivery channel for receiving golf balls thereon.

7. The golf ball teeing device of claim 6, wherein said hopper comprises a plurality of modules stacked vertically one on top of another, each module has a helically-shaped storage and delivery channel for receiving golf balls thereon.

8. A golf ball teeing device for placing serially dispensed golf balls onto a tee one at a time, said golf ball teeing device comprising: a base member; a hopper mounted on said base member for receiving and retaining a plurality of golf balls; a golf ball delivery track having a proximal end and a distal end, and operatively mounted adjacent said proximal end on said base member for pivotal movement in a first rotational direction about a substantially horizontal track pivot axis between a substantially vertical rest position and a substantially horizontal golf ball teeing position, and having a golf ball placement aperture disposed adjacent said distal end, wherein a golf ball disposed on said golf ball delivery track rolls to said golf ball placement aperture when said golf ball delivery track is in said substantially horizontal golf ball teeing position; support means for receiving said golf balls in seriatim from said hopper and presenting each received golf ball for subsequent delivery to said track; a vertical motion transfer member mounted in sliding relation on at least one support post and so as to engage said proximal end of said golf ball delivery track, and for travel with said proximal end of said golf ball delivery track between a lowered position corresponding to said substantially vertical rest position of said golf ball delivery track and a raised position corresponding to said substantially horizontal golf ball teeing position of said golf ball delivery track; and, manually operable actuation means for moving said vertical motion transfer member from said lowered position to said raised position and subsequently back to said lowered position, thereby moving said golf ball delivery track from said substantially vertical rest position to said substantially horizontal golf ball teeing position and subsequently back to said substantially vertical rest position, and for selectively delivering said golf balls presented by said support means sequentially onto said golf ball delivery track for subsequent placement on said tee.

9. The golf ball teeing device of claim 8, wherein said actuation means further comprises a substantially horizontally disposed axle pivotally mounted on said base member, and said at least one paddle projects transversely from said substantially horizontally disposed axle and is disposed exteriorly to said housing, and at least one transfer member actuating arm projects transversely from said substantially horizontally disposed axle so as to engage said vertical motion transfer member.

10. The golf ball teeing device of claim 9, wherein said golf ball delivery track is operatively mounted on said base member for pivotal movement in a first rotational direction about a substantially horizontal track pivot axis between a substantially vertical rest position and a substantially horizontal golf ball teeing position.

11. The golf ball teeing device of claim 10, wherein said at least one paddle is operatively mounted on said base member for pivotal movement in a second rotational direction about a substantially horizontal actuation pivot axis that is substantially parallel to said track pivot axis when said actuation means moves said golf ball delivery track from said substantially vertical rest position to said substantially horizontal golf ball teeing position, wherein said first rotational direction is opposite to said second rotational direction.

12. The golf ball teeing device of claim 8, wherein said support means comprises an elevated golf ball supporting platform having a golf ball receiving aperture therein, for receiving golf balls in seriatim from said hopper, said golf ball receiving aperture having a effective diameter smaller than the diameter of said golf balls.

13. The golf ball teeing device of claim 12, wherein said elevated golf ball supporting platform has a track-facing opening therein in communication with said golf ball receiving aperture, for assisting in directing golf balls onto said golf ball delivery track.

14. The golf ball teeing device of claim 8, wherein said vertical motion transfer member includes a golf ball engaging portion extending outwardly towards said support means, wherein said golf ball engaging portion is vertically aligned with said golf ball receiving aperture, so as to permit said proximal end of said golf ball delivery track to lift a golf ball out of said golf ball receiving aperture in said elevated golf ball supporting platform, when said golf ball delivery track travels to its substantially horizontal golf ball teeing position, such that said golf ball falls onto said golf ball delivery track.

15. The golf ball teeing device of claim 14, wherein said golf ball engaging portion includes a upwardly protruding portion disposed thereon so as to contact a golf ball, to thereby lift said golf ball out of said golf ball receiving aperture, as aforesaid.

16. The golf ball teeing device of claim 15, wherein said upwardly protruding portion includes a forwardly facing sloped top face for contacting a golf ball disposed in said golf ball receiving aperture in said elevated golf ball supporting platform, and urging said golf ball forwardly past said track-facing opening.

17. The golf ball teeing device of claim 8, wherein said golf ball delivery track is spring biased toward said substantially vertical rest position.

18. The golf ball teeing device of claim 8, wherein said vertical motion transfer member is spring biased toward said lower position.

19. The golf ball teeing device of claim 8, wherein said hopper has a helically-shaped storage and delivery channel for receiving golf balls thereon.

20. The golf ball teeing device of claim 19, wherein said hopper comprises a plurality of modules stacked vertically one on top of another, each module has a helically-shaped storage and delivery channel for receiving golf balls thereon.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to golf ball teeing devices, and more particularly to golf ball teeing devices that accurately place golf balls on a tee, and that are useable both at home and at a golf practice facility.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The game of golf has been played for several centuries and is one of the most popular sports in the world. Presently, golf is played by tens of millions of people in many countries of the world.

[0003] The game of golf requires a high degree of concentration and skill, and accordingly a significant amount of practice is required on an ongoing basis in order to play the game of golf competently. In order to accommodate the need for practice for millions of golfers, golf practice facilities provide a golf ball driving range where a golfer can hit golf balls using a selected club from a designated turf area or from a constructed practice platforms comprising an artificial grass mat overlying a base and golf tee extending upwardly through the mat.

[0004] A golfer pays a fee for the temporary use of several dozen golf balls, with each of the golf balls being hit from the tee, one golf ball after another. In order to maximize training effectiveness, a golfer typically attempts to make the same swing each time, for any given club, and accordingly needs as few distractions as possible, in order to get into a rhythm and also in order to maintain concentration.

[0005] Typically, the worst distraction encountered while practising tee shots at a driving range is that of picking up a next golf ball and placing it on the tee. This activity breaks the golfers concentration after each shot, which is highly undesirable. Further, if a golfer has found a stance that seems to be both correct and comfortable, it is undesirable for that stance to be interrupted after each shot as it is difficult to re-gain a correct and comfortable stance for the next shot. Further, re-adjusting one's stance between shots is time consuming.

[0006] Also, it is quite common for the golf ball to fall off the tee once it has been placed on the tee, which is an extreme nuisance and distraction.

[0007] Additionally, having a golfer manually place a golf ball on the tee for each shot is time-consuming and slows down the overall pace of practising.

[0008] Finally, some golfers, especially older golfers, find it somewhat difficult to place a golf ball on the practice tee, especially when this must be performed for several dozen iterations during a short period of time.

[0009] There are dozens of prior art devices for automatically teeing up golf balls for practice purposes. However, there are very few golf practice facilities where golf ball teeing devices are available for use. It is believed that one of the reasons for this lack of available ball teeing devices in the driving range of golf practice facilities is the lack of accuracy exhibited by most prior art golf teeing devices in placing golf balls on a tee.

[0010] One such prior art patent is U.S. Pat. No. 5,549,518 issued Aug. 27, 1996 to Wang discloses a Golf Ball Dispensing Device With Lightly-pivotal Track. This patent is typical of many prior art patents in that a track is pivotally mounted on a housing for movement between an inactive state wherein the arm is disposed substantially vertically and an active state wherein the arm is disposed somewhat horizontally. In use, when a ball is to be dispensed onto a tee, a lever is pushed, which causes the track to pivot downwardly such that the distal end of the track is at the tee. A golf ball rolls along the track to the tee. This type of golf ball teeing device can have an inherent problem in that the actuator arm is pushed downwardly and somewhat towards the golfer. Instead, it should be rotated so as to be pushed downwardly and somewhat away from the golfer in line with the orientation of the golf putter, so as to permit a simple and easy pushing motion by the golfer using the putter.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 5,458,339 issued Oct. 17, 1995 to Wildes discloses a Golf Ball Setting Apparatus. This apparatus has a tee mounted on a base, and a housing that surrounds the various mechanisms of the apparatus and also holds a number of golf balls. An actuating arm is pivotally mounted on the housing such that in order to dispense a golf ball, the actuating arm is pushed downwardly away from the golfer, preferably through use of a golf club; however, the track that dispenses the golf balls onto the tee, does not pivot downwardly but is moved longitudinally, which makes the overall mechanism undesirably complicated and large.

[0012] It is an object of the present invention to provide a golf ball teeing device.

[0013] It is another object of the present invention to provide a golf ball teeing device wherein the golf ball delivery track rotates downwardly to delivering a golf ball to the tee, and wherein the actuator is rotated so as to be pushed downwardly and away from the golfer using the golf ball teeing device.

[0014] It is another object of the present invention to provide a golf ball teeing device wherein the golf ball delivery track rotates downwardly in a first rotational direction to delivering a golf ball to the tee, and wherein the actuator is rotated in a second rotational direction so as to be pushed downwardly and away from the golfer using the golf ball teeing device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0015] In accordance with one aspect of the present invention there is disclosed a novel golf ball teeing device for placing serially dispensed golf balls onto a tee one at a time. The golf ball teeing device comprises a base member and a hopper mounted on the base member for receiving and retaining a plurality of golf balls. A golf ball delivery track has a proximal end and a distal end, and is operatively mounted adjacent the proximal end on the base member for pivotal movement in a first rotational direction about a substantially horizontal track pivot axis between a substantially vertical rest position and a substantially horizontal ball teeing position. A golf ball placement aperture is disposed adjacent the distal end. A golf ball disposed on the golf ball delivery track rolls to the substantially horizontal golf ball placement aperture when the golf ball delivery track is in the golf ball teeing position. A support means is provided for receiving the golf balls in seriatim from the hopper and presenting each received golf ball for subsequent delivery to the track. A manually operable actuation means is provided for moving the golf ball delivery track from the substantially vertical rest position to the substantially horizontal ball teeing position and subsequently back to the substantially vertical rest position, and for selectively delivering the golf balls presented by the support means sequentially onto the golf ball delivery track for subsequent placement on the tee. The actuation means comprises at least one paddle operatively mounted on the base member for pivotal movement in a second rotational direction about a substantially horizontal actuation pivot axis that is substantially parallel to the track pivot axis, which pivotal movement in a second rotational direction about said substantially horizontal actuation pivot axis causes said actuation means to move the golf ball delivery track from the substantially vertical rest position to the substantially horizontal golf ball teeing position. The first rotational direction is opposite to the second rotational direction.

[0016] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there is disclosed a novel golf ball teeing device for placing serially dispensed golf balls onto a tee one at a time. The golf ball teeing device comprises a base member and a hopper mounted on the base member for receiving and retaining a plurality of golf balls. A golf ball delivery track has a proximal end and a distal end, and is operatively mounted adjacent the proximal end on the base member for pivotal movement in a first rotational direction about a substantially horizontal track pivot axis between a substantially vertical rest position and a substantially horizontal ball teeing position. A golf ball placement aperture is disposed adjacent the distal end. A golf ball disposed on the golf ball delivery track rolls to the golf ball placement aperture when the golf ball delivery track is in the substantially horizontal golf ball teeing position. A support means is provided for receiving the golf balls in seriatim from the hopper and presenting each received golf ball for subsequent delivery to the track. A vertical motion transfer member is mounted in sliding relation on at least one support post and so as to engage the proximal end of the golf ball delivery track, and for travel with the proximal end of the golf ball delivery track between a lowered position corresponding to the substantially vertical rest position of the golf ball delivery track and a raised position corresponding to the substantially horizontal golf ball teeing position of the golf ball delivery track. A manually operable actuation means is provided for moving the golf ball delivery track from the substantially vertical rest position to the substantially horizontal ball teeing position and subsequently back to the substantially vertical rest position, and for selectively delivering the golf balls presented by the support means sequentially onto the golf ball delivery track for subsequent placement on the tee.

[0017] Other advantages, features and characteristics of the golf ball teeing device according to the present invention, will become more apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description and the appended claims with reference to the accompanying drawings, the latter of which is briefly described herein below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018] The novel features which are believed to be characteristic of the golf ball teeing device according to the present invention, as to its structure, organization, and use, together with further objectives and advantages thereof, will be better understood from the following drawings in which a presently preferred embodiment of the invention will now be illustrated by way of example. It is expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for the purpose of illustration and description only, and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention. In the accompanying drawings:

[0019] FIG. 1A is a perspective view from the front of a preferred embodiment of the golf ball teeing device according to the present invention, showing the golf ball delivery track in a substantially vertical rest position;

[0020] FIG. 1B is a perspective view from the front of a preferred embodiment of the golf ball teeing device according to the present invention, showing the golf ball delivery track in a substantially horizontal ball teeing position;

[0021] FIG. 2A is a perspective view from the rear of the preferred embodiment of the golf ball teeing device of FIG. 1, showing the golf ball delivery track in a substantially vertical rest position;

[0022] FIG. 2B is a perspective view from the rear of the preferred embodiment of the golf ball teeing device of FIG. 1, showing the golf ball delivery track in a substantially horizontal ball teeing position;

[0023] FIG. 3A is a top plan view of the preferred embodiment of the golf ball teeing device of FIG. 1, showing the golf ball delivery track in a substantially vertical rest position;

[0024] FIG. 3B is a top plan view of the preferred embodiment of the golf ball teeing device of FIG. 1, showing the golf ball delivery track in a substantially horizontal ball teeing position;

[0025] FIG. 3C is a top plan view similar to FIG. 3A, with a portion of the housing cut away;

[0026] FIG. 4A is a bottom plan view of the preferred embodiment of the golf ball teeing device of FIG. 1, showing the golf ball delivery track in a substantially vertical rest position;

[0027] FIG. 4B is a bottom plan view of the preferred embodiment of the golf ball teeing device of FIG. 1, showing the golf ball delivery track in a substantially horizontal ball teeing position;

[0028] FIG. 5A is a front end elevational view of the preferred embodiment of the golf ball teeing device of FIG. 1, showing the golf ball delivery track in a substantially vertical rest position;

[0029] FIG. 5B is a front end elevational view of the preferred embodiment of the golf ball teeing device of FIG. 1, showing the golf ball delivery track in a substantially horizontal ball teeing position;

[0030] FIG. 6A is a back end elevational view of the preferred embodiment of the golf ball teeing device of FIG. 1, showing the golf ball delivery track in a substantially vertical rest position;

[0031] FIG. 6B is a back end elevational view of the preferred embodiment of the golf ball teeing device of FIG. 1, showing the golf ball delivery track in a substantially horizontal ball teeing position;

[0032] FIG. 7A is a side elevational view of the preferred embodiment of the golf ball teeing device of FIG. 1, with the ball delivering track in a substantially vertical rest position;

[0033] FIG. 7B is a side elevational view of the preferred embodiment of the golf ball teeing device of FIG. 1, with the ball delivering track in a substantially horizontal ball teeing position;

[0034] FIG. 8 is a side elevational view similar to FIG. 7A, with a portion of the housing cut away, and showing a first golf ball on the elevated golf ball supporting platform ready to be dispensed, and a second golf ball leaving the hopper and about to roll onto the elevated golf ball supporting platform;

[0035] FIG. 9 is a side elevational view similar to FIG. 8, with a portion of the housing cut away, and showing a first golf ball having been lifted from the elevated golf ball supporting platform, and a second golf ball leaving the hopper and about to roll onto the elevated golf ball supporting platform;

[0036] FIG. 10 is a side elevational view similar to FIG. 9, showing the first golf ball in dashed lining rolling along the golf ball delivery track toward the tee, and showing the first golf ball having reached the end of the golf ball delivery track and having been received by the tee, and the second golf ball having rolled into the golf ball receiving aperture in the elevated golf ball supporting platform; and,

[0037] FIG. 11 is a side elevational view similar to FIG. 8, additionally showing a golf ball on the tee.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0038] Reference will now be made to FIGS. 1 through 11, which show a preferred embodiment of a golf ball teeing device 20 for placing serially dispensed golf balls 22 onto a tee 24 one golf ball at a time, according to the present invention. In brief, the golf ball teeing device 20 comprises a base member 30, a housing 40, golf ball hopper 50, a golf ball delivery track 60, a support means 70 for receiving golf balls 22 the hopper 50, and actuation means 80, as will be described in detail subsequently.

[0039] As can be seen in the drawings, the golf ball teeing device 20 comprises a base member 30 in the form of a metal plate. A means for levelling the base member 30 comprises a pair of threaded feet 32 threadibly engaged in the base member 30. A levelling indicator 34 mounted on the top of the base member 30 is used to help adjust the base member 30 to a level orientation. A tee 24 is part of a conventional golf mat, a conventional golf ball driving platform, or the like.

[0040] The golf ball teeing device 20 further comprises a housing 40 secured to the base member 30 by means of threaded fasteners 41 (see FIGS. 4A and 4B). The housing 40 substantially covers the support means 70 and the actuation means 80. A handle means comprising a handle 42 is pivotally mounted on top of the housing 40 and is used to carry the golf ball teeing device 20.

[0041] A golf ball hopper 50 is mounted on the base member 30 by four threaded fasteners 52 and is for receiving and retaining a plurality of golf balls 22 therein. The hopper 50 has a helically-shaped storage and delivery channel 54 for receiving golf balls 22 thereon. The preferred embodiment hopper 50, as illustrated, comprises a plurality of modules 50a, 50a, 50c stacked vertically one on top of another. Each of the modules 50a, 50b, 50c has a helically-shaped storage and delivery channel 54 for receiving golf balls 22 thereon. The golf balls 22 are retained in single file in this helically-shaped storage and delivery channel 54, thus precluding jamming of the golf balls 22 when they exit the hopper 50, as will be discussed in greater detail subsequently.

[0042] A golf ball delivery track 60 has a proximal end 62 and a distal end 64, and is preferably substantially straight between the proximal end 62 and the distal end 64. The golf ball delivery track 60 is operatively mounted adjacent its proximal end 62 on a pair of brackets 65 that are secured to the housing 40, which is in turn secured to the base member 30. The golf ball delivery track 60 is thus mounted for pivotal movement in a first rotational direction about a substantially horizontal track pivot axis “T”, between a substantially vertical rest position, as is shown in FIGS. 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A, 7A, and 8, and a substantially horizontal golf teeing position, as is shown in FIGS. 1B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, 9, and 10. Arrow “A” in FIG. 9, shows the golf ball delivery track pivoting in a first rotational direction about the substantially horizontal track pivot axis “T” from its substantially vertical rest position (not shown) to its substantially horizontal golf teeing position. Arrow “B” in FIG. 11 shows the golf ball delivery track 60 pivoting in a second rotational direction about the substantially horizontal track pivot axis from its substantially horizontal golf teeing position (not shown) to its substantially vertical rest position. The golf ball delivery track 60 can also be mounted in other similar manners, if desired.

[0043] Preferably, the golf ball delivery track 60 is spring biased toward its substantially vertical rest position by means of a spring 67 having a first end 67a captured within a hollow mounting post 31 and a second end 67b captured by the golf ball delivery track 60.

[0044] The golf ball placement aperture 68 in the golf ball delivery track 60 is disposed adjacent its distal end 64. The golf ball delivery track 60 is substantially horizontal but may be angled slightly downwardly toward the golf ball placement aperture 68 when the base member 30 is level and when the when the golf ball delivery track 60 is in the golf ball teeing position. Accordingly, a golf ball 22 disposed on the golf ball delivery track 60 rolls to the golf ball placement aperture 68 when the golf ball delivery track 60 is in the golf ball teeing position.

[0045] A support means 70 is provided for receiving the golf balls 22 in seriatim from the hopper 50 and presenting each received golf ball for subsequent delivery to the track. In the preferred embodiment, as illustrated, the support means 70 comprises an elevated golf ball supporting platform 72 that is suspended from the top of the housing 40 by two vertically disposed plates 74. The elevated golf ball supporting platform 72 has a golf ball receiving aperture 76 therein, as is best seen in FIG. 3C, for receiving golf balls 22 in seriatim from the hopper 50. The golf ball receiving aperture 76 has a effective diameter smaller than the diameter of the golf balls 22, so that the golf balls 22 will not merely drop through the golf ball receiving aperture 76. Alternatively, a recess in the elevated golf ball supporting platform 72 could be used in place of the golf ball receiving aperture 76.

[0046] As can be best seen in FIG. 3C, the elevated golf ball supporting platform 72 has a track-facing opening 78 therein in communication with the golf ball receiving aperture 76, for assisting in directing golf balls 22 onto the golf ball delivery track 60. The elevated golf ball supporting platform 72 also has an outwardly opening front portion 73 to aid in golf ball travel.

[0047] A vertical motion transfer member 90 mounted in sliding relation on at least one support post 96 and preferably on a pair of co-operating vertically disposed posts 96. It is also possible to mount the vertical motion transfer member 90 on only one vertically disposed post or more than two vertically disposed posts, as desired. The vertical motion transfer member 90 can also be mounted in other similar manners, if desired.

[0048] The vertical motion transfer member 90 is mounted as discussed above so as to engage the proximal end 62 of the golf ball delivery track 60, and for travel with the proximal end 62 of the golf ball delivery track 60, between a lowered position, as is best seen in FIGS. 8 and 11, and a raised position, as is best seen in FIGS. 9 and 10. The lowered position of the vertical motion transfer member 90 corresponds to the substantially vertical rest position of the golf ball delivery track 60 and the raised position of the vertical motion transfer member 90 corresponds to the substantially horizontal golf ball teeing position of the golf ball delivery track 60.

[0049] Preferably, the vertical motion transfer member 90 is spring biased toward its lower position by means of coil springs 97 mounted one around each of the two vertically disposed support posts 96. The coil springs 97 each extending between the top of the housing 40 and a co-operating nylon bushing 98 slidably engaged on the respective vertically disposed support post 96 and secured to the golf ball delivery track 60. The nylon bushings 98 are an integral part of the vertical motion transfer member 90.

[0050] The vertical motion transfer member 90 has a golf ball engaging portion 92 extending outwardly towards the support means 70. The golf ball engaging portion 92 of the vertical motion transfer member 90 is vertically aligned with the golf ball receiving aperture 76, so as to permit the golf ball engaging portion 92 to lift a golf ball out of the golf ball receiving aperture 76 in the elevated golf ball supporting platform 72, when the vertical motion transfer member 90 moves from its lowered position to its raised position, as indicated by arrow “C” in FIG. 9. This vertical motion corresponds to golf ball delivery track 60 moving from its substantially vertical rest position to its substantially horizontal ball teeing position, such that the golf ball on the elevated golf ball supporting platform falls onto the golf ball delivery track 60.

[0051] Preferably, the golf ball engaging portion 92 includes an upwardly protruding portion 99 disposed thereon so as to contact a golf ball, to thereby lift the golf ball out of the golf ball receiving aperture 76, as aforesaid. The upwardly protruding portion 99 includes a forwardly facing sloped top face 99a for contacting a golf ball disposed in the golf ball receiving aperture 76 in the elevated golf ball supporting platform 72, and urging the golf ball forwardly past the track-facing opening 78 and onto the golf ball delivery track 60.

[0052] There is also an manually operable actuation means 80 for moving the golf ball delivery track 60 from the substantially vertical rest position to the substantially horizontal ball teeing position and subsequently back to the substantially vertical rest position. The actuation means 80 is also for selectively delivering the golf balls 22 presented by the support means 70 sequentially onto the golf ball delivery track 60 for subsequent placement on the tee.

[0053] In the preferred embodiment, as illustrated, the actuation means 80 comprises a substantially horizontally disposed axle 82 extending through the housing 40 and pivotally mounted within two vertically disposed support plates 83 secured to the base member 30 on opposed sides of the housing 40. The actuation means 80 further comprises at least one paddle 84 operatively mounted on the base member 30 for pivotal movement in a second rotational direction about a substantially horizontal actuation pivot axis “P”, as indicated by arrow “D” in FIG. 9. The actuation pivot axis “P” is substantially parallel to the track pivot axis “T”. The pivotal movement shown by arrow “D” in the second rotational direction about the actuation pivot axis “P”, causes the actuation means to move the golf ball delivery track 60 from its substantially vertical rest position to its substantially horizontal golf ball teeing position. As can be seen in FIG. 9, the first rotational direction is opposite to the second rotational direction.

[0054] The at least one paddle 84 projects transversely from the substantially horizontally disposed axle 82, and in the preferred embodiment illustrated, equivalent left and right paddles 84 project transversely from the substantially horizontally disposed axle 82 and are disposed exteriorly to the housing 40. The left and right paddles 84 are readily accessible to a golf club 21 held by a golfer using the golf ball teeing device 20 of the present invention so that golf balls 22 may be easily dispensed onto the tee, as desired.

[0055] At least one transfer member actuating arm 86 also projects transversely from the substantially horizontally disposed axle 82 so as to engage the vertical motion transfer member 90. In the preferred embodiment, as illustrated, two transfer member actuating arms 86 (only one shown—see FIGS. 8 through 11) project transversely from the substantially horizontally disposed axle 82 so as to each engage a nylon bushing 88 slidably engaged on the respective vertically disposed post 96.

[0056] Reference will now be made to FIGS. 8 through 11 to discuss the golf ball teeing device 20 of the present invention in use. As can be seen in FIG. 8, a first golf ball 22a to be dispensed is disposed on the elevated golf ball supporting platform 72 ready to be dispensed onto the golf ball delivery track 60, and a second golf ball leaving the hopper 50 and about to roll onto the elevated golf ball supporting platform 72. In order to dispense a golf ball and have it placed on a tee, one of the two paddles 84 is pushed, preferably by the head 21a of a golf club 21, downwardly and away from a golfer, in a second rotational direction about the substantially horizontal track pivot axis “T” from its substantially vertical rest position (not shown) to its substantially horizontal golf teeing position, as indicated by arrow “D” in FIG. 9. Correspondingly, the substantially horizontally disposed axle 82 also rotates, as indicated by arrow “A”. The two transfer member actuating arms are correspondingly caused to move pivotally upwardly so as to engage the vertical motion transfer member 90. The vertical motion transfer member 90 itself engages the proximal end 62 of the golf ball delivery track 60, and thus lifts the golf ball delivery track 60 upwardly along the two vertically disposed posts 66, from its substantially vertical rest position as can be best seen in FIG. 8, to its substantially horizontal ball teeing position as can be best seen in FIGS. 9 and 10. As the golf ball delivery track 60 approaches its substantially horizontal ball teeing position, the forwardly facing sloped top face 99a of the upwardly protruding portion 99 of the vertical motion transfer member 90 contacts the golf ball disposed in the golf ball receiving aperture 76 of the elevated golf ball supporting platform 72, to thereby lift the first golf ball 22a out of the golf ball receiving aperture 76, as can be seen in FIG. 9. FIG. 9 also shows that a second golf ball 22b leaves the hopper 50 and is about to roll onto the elevated golf ball supporting platform 72.

[0057] The golf ball moves past the track-facing opening 78 in the elevated golf ball supporting platform 72 and is received on the golf ball delivery track 60. The golf ball rolls slowly along the slightly downwardly slanted golf ball delivery track 60, as is shown in dashed lining seen in FIG. 10, to the golf ball placement aperture 68 disposed at the distal end 64 of the golf ball delivery track 60, as shown in solid lining in FIG. 10. When the golf ball reaches the golf ball placement aperture 68, the golf ball 22a drops through the golf ball placement aperture 68 on the tee 24. The paddle 84 of the actuator means 80 can then be released to permit the golf ball delivery track 60 to move back to its substantially vertical rest position, as shown in FIG. 11, by means of the spring 67 where it is safely out of the way of a swinging golf club 21. The second golf ball 22b concurrently rolls into the golf ball receiving aperture 76 in the elevated golf ball supporting platform 72.

[0058] As can be understood from the above description and from the accompanying drawings, the present invention provides a golf ball teeing device, wherein the golf ball delivery track rotates downwardly to delivering a golf ball to the tee, and wherein the actuator is rotated in an opposite direction so as to be pushed downwardly and away from the golfer using the golf ball teeing device, which is unknown in the prior art.

[0059] Other variations of the above principles will be apparent to those who are knowledgeable in the field of the invention, and such variations are considered to be within the scope of the present invention. Further, other modifications and alterations may be used in the golf ball teeing device of the present invention without departing from the spirit and scope of the accompanying claims.