Title:
Portable golf apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Discloses a portable golf apparatus configurable between a deployed orientation or configuration and a storage orientation or configuration. A target box includes a putting ramp having a putting hole at one end thereof. The putting ramp is accessible external to the target box by an opening from which a putting surface extends when the apparatus is configured in the deployed position. The target includes a hinged lid assembly orientable between a stowed configuration and a deployed configuration. The lid assembly has a media surface, which is positioned to be oriented toward a participant when the lid assembly is in the deployed configuration. Advertising indicia may be placed on the media surface to be viewed by participants when the apparatus is in the deployed configuration.



Inventors:
Elliott, Patricia D. (Calgary, CA)
Application Number:
09/988444
Publication Date:
05/22/2003
Filing Date:
11/20/2001
Assignee:
ELLIOTT PATRICIA D.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B67/02; (IPC1-7): A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BLAKE, CASSELS & GRAYDON, LLP (OTTAWA, ON, CA)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A portable golf apparatus comprising: (i) a target enclosure surrounding an interior volume forming a forward opening and an upper opening to expose the interior volume; (ii) putting ramp means extending rearwardly into the interior volume of the target enclosure from the forward opening and surrounding a putting hole disposed in the interior volume of the target enclosure rearward of the forward opening; and (iii) closure means hingedly connecting the target enclosure configurable between a closed configuration enclosing the volume of the target enclosure by covering the forward opening and the upper opening and an open configuration exposing the forward opening and the upper opening of the target enclosure.

2. The portable golf apparatus of claim 1 further including a media surface formed on a side of said closure means, the media surface positioned to be viewed when the closure means is in the open configuration.

3. The portable golf apparatus of claim 2 wherein the media surface is adapted to receive advertising indicia placed thereon viewable by a participant when the closure means is in the open configuration.

4. The portable golf apparatus of claim 1 wherein the media surface comprises a display device including a LED or LCD display device.

5. The portable golf apparatus of claim 1 wherein the closure means comprises: (i) a lid assembly hingedly connected to the target enclosure configurable between a closed configuration enclosing the upper opening of the target enclosure and an open configuration exposing the upper opening; and (ii) a door assembly hingedly connected to the target enclosure configurable between a closed configuration enclosing forward opening of the target enclosure and an open configuration exposing the forward opening.

6. The portable golf apparatus of claim 5 further including a media surface formed on a side of said lid assembly, the media surface oriented to be viewed by a participant when the lid assembly in the open configuration.

7. The portable golf apparatus of claim 6 wherein the media surface is adapted to receive advertising indicia placed thereon viewable by a participant when the lid assembly is in the open configuration.

8. The portable golf apparatus of claim 5 wherein the media surface comprises a display device, including a LED or LCD display device.

9. The portable golf apparatus of claim 1 further including an elongate putting surface extending a selected distance from the forward opening of said target enclosure.

10. The portable golf apparatus of claim 9 further including a carpet box forming a cavity to store said elongate putting surface.

11. The portable golf apparatus of claim 10 wherein said carpet box further includes (i) an axle rotateably disposed within the cavity of said carpet box; and (ii) crank handle means disposed exterior to said carpet box and connecting to said axle, operable to rotate said axle and to draw said elongate putting surface into the cavity of said carpet box.

12. The portable golf apparatus of claim 9 wherein said elongate putting surface comprises a carpet.

13. A portable golf apparatus comprising: (i) a target enclosure surrounding an interior volume forming a forward opening and an upper opening to expose the interior volume; (ii) putting ramp means extending rearwardly into the interior volume of the target enclosure from the forward opening and surrounding a putting hole disposed in the interior volume of the target enclosure rearward of the forward opening; (iii) a lid assembly hingedly connected to the target enclosure configurable between a closed configuration enclosing the upper opening of the target enclosure and an open configuration exposing the upper opening; and (iv) a door assembly hingedly connected to the target enclosure configurable between a closed configuration enclosing forward opening of the target enclosure and an open configuration exposing the forward opening.

14. The portable golf apparatus of claim 13 further including a media surface formed on a side of said lid assembly or said door assembly, the media surface positioned to be viewed by a participant when the lid assembly is in the open configuration.

15. The portable golf apparatus of claim 14 wherein the media surface is adapted to receive advertising indicia placed thereon viewable by a participant when the lid assembly is in the open configuration.

16. The portable golf apparatus of claim 14 wherein the media surface comprises a display device including a LED or LCD display device.

17. The portable golf apparatus of claim 13 further including an elongate putting surface extending a selected distance from the forward opening of said target enclosure.

18. The portable golf apparatus of claim 17 further including a carpet box forming a cavity to store said elongate putting surface.

19. The portable golf apparatus of claim 18 wherein said carpet box further includes (i) an axle rotateably disposed within the cavity of said carpet box, and (ii) crank handle means disposed exterior to said carpet box and connecting to said axle, operable to rotate said axle and to draw said elongate putting surface into the cavity of said carpet box.

20. The portable golf apparatus of claim 17 wherein said elongate putting surface comprises a carpet.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to a game with targets and more particularly to a portable golf putting game apparatus.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The game of golf is a sporting pastime that is typically played outdoors on a golf course requiring a vast tract of land. The golf course is prepared to provide a large golf playing area for individuals generally arranged in groups of four. Golf is a popular pastime and other forms of golf play apart from a large golf course have been introduced to expand the opportunities and options for playing golf. Other forms of golf facilities include driving ranges, which allow players to practice their golf swing and long distance play. Miniature golf courses are a form of facility provided for shorter play involving chipping and putting. Putting facilities have been proposed to enable play in a confined environment either indoors or outdoors, and include portable golf apparatus. For example, a portable putting surface is disclosed by MacLean in published Canadian patent application 2,245,446 which provides a putting target at the end of a portable putting surface opposite the golfer. The apparatus of MacLean includes a plurality of sections or panels that are individually adjustable form a configurable surface that extends between the golfer and a putting target. Other modular interchangeable golf putting apparatus are disclosed in Canadian Patent no. 2,139,462 and published patent applications 2,121,280; 2,061,816; 2,056,059; and 2,008,955.

[0003] There is a need for a portable golf apparatus that can be set up and ready to use in a variety of locations. The portable golf apparatus heretofore proposed require a number of individual pieces that must be configured and set up each time the apparatus is deployed, which is time consuming to accomplish and difficult to relocate from one staging area to another.

[0004] The apparatus of the present invention provides a portable golf putting arrangement that is conveniently arranged for storage to facilitate for transport from one location to another. The apparatus can be deployed with minimal set up and configuration effort, which facilitates rapid deployment at desired locations. For example, the apparatus of the present invention is readily adapted to transport to a shopping center for set up for a brief period of time, such as a few hours or a few days. When the apparatus is no longer need or required it is configurable into a compact form for transport and redeployment or storage at another location, for example, redeployment at another shopping center or storage in a warehouse, closet and the like.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] The present invention provides a portable golf system, which includes storage means conveniently provided as part of the golf apparatus. The portable golf apparatus of the subject invention can be configured into a deployed configuration in which the apparatus is set up for use by golf players. The apparatus can readily be arranged into a storage configuration where the apparatus provides portable box structures for storage or relocation to another location.

[0006] The apparatus includes a putting target having a surrounding gutter and guard to contain golf balls in play. The putting target and surrounding gutter and guard are arranged in the form of a box assembly. The target box assembly includes a folding lid which preferably is arranged to provide a media surface for advertising messages and the like conveniently displayed to a player when the putting target is arranged in the deployed configuration. A putting surface extends from the target assembly to form a putting area for a player. The putting surface is a carpet. In the preferred embodiment, a storage box is provided for storage of the putting surface. To deploy the putting surface, it is rolled from the storage box. To store the putting surface when configuring the apparatus into a stored configuration, the putting surface is rolled into the carpet box. A crank handle is provided connecting to an axle on which an end of the putting surface is mounted to facilitate rolling the putting surface into the carpet box.

[0007] In one of its aspects, the invention provides a portable golf apparatus comprising a target enclosure surrounding an interior volume forming a forward opening and an upper opening to expose the interior volume and putting ramp means extending rearwardly into the interior volume of the target enclosure from the forward opening and surrounding a putting hole disposed in the interior volume of the target enclosure rearward of the forward opening. Closure means are hingedly connected to the target enclosure and are configurable between a closed configuration enclosing the volume of the target enclosure by covering the forward opening and the upper opening and an open configuration exposing the forward opening and the upper opening of the target enclosure.

[0008] In another of its aspects, the invention provides a portable golf apparatus comprising a target enclosure surrounding an interior volume forming a forward opening and an upper opening to expose the interior volume and putting ramp means extending rearwardly into the interior volume of the target enclosure from the forward opening and surrounding a putting hole disposed in the interior volume of the target enclosure rearward of the forward opening. A lid assembly is hingedly connected to the target enclosure and configurable between a closed configuration enclosing the upper opening of the target enclosure and an open configuration exposing the upper opening. A door assembly is hingedly connected to the target enclosure configurable between a closed configuration enclosing forward opening of the target enclosure and an open configuration exposing the forward opening.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] The preferred embodiment of the invention will now be described with reference to the attached drawings, in which:

[0010] FIG. 1 is perspective view of an embodiment of a portable golf apparatus in accordance with the present invention shown in a deployed configuration.

[0011] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the target assembly shown in a deployed configuration.

[0012] FIG. 3 is an elevation view of the target assembly in a closed configuration.

[0013] FIG. 4 is an elevation view of the target assembly in the deployed configuration.

[0014] FIG. 5 is an elevation view of the golf surface storage container in the closed configuration.

[0015] FIG. 6 is an elevation view of the golf surface storage container in an open configuration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0016] FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the portable golf apparatus of the present invention shown in its deployed configuration and ready for play. The apparatus provides a target generally referenced by numeral 10. The target has a putting hole 12 formed at the end of putting ramp 14. An enclosure 16 forms walls extending around a perimeter of the putting ramp. Enclosure 16 contains errant golf balls that are directed toward target 10 but which do not have a trajectory that places them within putting hole 12. Pivotally mounted above enclosure 16 is a lid assembly 18 which provides a media surface 20 oriented toward a participant (not shown) on which advertising indicia can be placed. A putting surface 22 provides a staging area in the general location of 24 in which participants can position themselves to putt golf balls toward putting hole 12 of target 10. The surface 22 may be formed of suitable material as, for example, a carpet material, such as ASTROTURF (trademark) carpet material. A participant stands on the staging area with a putter and directs golf balls toward target 10 with the intent of lodging the golf ball putted in putting hole 12. To contain errant golf balls from rolling away and escaping from the portable golf apparatus, guards extend longitudinally along either side of putting surface 22 are optionally provided. Putting surface 22 preferably includes markings, such as lines 28 and 30, to provide a uniform visual locator to position each participant at a comparable location in relation to other participants. Optionally, a carpet box assembly 32 is provided for storage of guards 26 and putting surface 22 for transport and is conveniently located, but is not required to be located, at the end of putting surface 22 remote from target 10 in the deployed orientation of the apparatus.

[0017] FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the target 10 oriented in the deployed configuration. Putting hole 12 is located in the interior of enclosure 16 preferably near the rear portion of the enclosure. Putting ramp 14 is shown as having a complex configuration of ramp surfaces 34 and horizontal surfaces 36. The exact configuration of putting ramp 14 is dictated by the desired playing effect and it is not necessary to provide a complex surface such as that shown in FIG. 2 if such a surface is not desired. Within enclosure 16 and surrounding putting ramp 14 is a gutter 38 provided to collect errant golf balls. A forward opening 40 provides a passageway for golf balls to enter into the interior of target 10. The forward opening 40 is disposed at the end of putting surface 22 to provide a continuous pathway for golf balls to exit from putting surface 22 and enter into target 10. Opening 40 is enclosed by doors 42, which are coupled to enclosure 10 by hinges 44. The doors 42 are opened to expose the interior of target 10 when the apparatus is configured in the deployed configuration. Doors 42 are rotated forward in the direction of arrow A to enclose the forward opening 40 when target 10 is configured into the stowed position.

[0018] Lid assembly 18 is shown in the open position or deployed configuration in the figure. In the deployed configuration, lid assembly 18 provides a forward facing media surface 20 on which advertising indicia in the form of printed media or a light emitting diode (LED) or a liquid crystal display (LCD) advertising medium can be placed. Lid assembly 18 is hingedly connected to target 10 by hinges 46 and is held in an upright position in the deployed configuration by means of gas jacks 48.

[0019] FIG. 3 is a side elevation of target 10 shown in the closed or storage configuration. In the closed configuration, lid assembly 18 is folded across the top of enclosure 16. Latch assemblies 50 are provided to retain the lid assembly 18 in a closed orientation with respect to enclosure 16. Door 42 has been closed and is shown in the closed orientation in FIG. 3.

[0020] FIG. 4 shows target 10 in an elevation view configured in the open position. Lid assembly 18 is opened and media surface 20 is oriented in the forward direction toward the forward opening 40 which is located between open doors 42. Target 10 preferably also includes a plurality of wheels 52 to facilitate rolling target 10 on a flat surface such as a floor when configured in the storage configuration. Also, handles 54 can be provided to permit lifting target 10 for example, into a vehicle.

[0021] FIG. 5 shows an elevation view of a carpet box 32 in the closed configuration. The carpet box is preferably located on wheels 56 and preferably includes handles 58 to permit the box to be moved over a flat surface such as a floor or road and the like.

[0022] FIG. 6 is an elevation view of the carpet box 32, showing the carpet box in an open orientation or configuration. In the figure, a roll of putting surface material 22 is shown in the rolled up configuration within the interior of carpet box 32. An end of the putting surface roll 22 can be drawn from the carpet box through opening 58 which is exposed when door 60 is pivoted into the open position. To facilitate return of the putting surface 22 into the cavity of the carpet box 32, a crank handle 62 is affixed to an end of axle 64. Rotation of crank handle 62 effects rotation of the roll of putting surface material 22 about axle 64 to draw the putting surface material into the cavity of the carpet box 32. The carpet box 32 is also provided with an upper storage area accessible through opening 66. The storage area is used to store guards 26 when the golf apparatus is configured in the storage position. An access door 68 is hingedly connected to carpet box 32 to enclose the opening 66 when the box is configured into the storage position as shown in FIG. 5. To secure door 68 in the closed position, latches 70 are provided operable to secure door 60 in the closed position in relation to carpet box 32.

[0023] Now that the invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiments as depicted in the drawings attached hereto, numerous mechanical equivalents and substitutions will occur to those skilled in the art. The scope of the invention is defined in the claims appended hereto.