Title:
Golf tee inserting tool
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The tool has a body forming an elongate handle which can be held in the hand with a spike 2 projecting downwards for making a hole in the ground. A pair of upwardly-inclined limbs form a tee holder 3 at the front end of the handle, between which a tee 30 may be held with the cup 31 supported on the limbs and the stem 32 projecting at an angle to the spike 2 for insertion into the hole. The rear face of the handle may further be formed with a hole into which the stem of a tee can be frictionally engaged to provide a convenient place to store a tee when the tool is not in use.



Inventors:
Rickard, Andrew Lester (Worcester, GB)
Application Number:
10/368703
Publication Date:
08/19/2004
Filing Date:
02/18/2003
Assignee:
RICKARD ANDREW LESTER
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B57/00; (IPC1-7): A63B57/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ira S. Dorman (East Hartford, CT, US)
Claims:
1. A golf tee inserting tool having: a body of elongate shape which can be held in the hand, the body having front and rear ends, a top face and a bottom face; a pair of mutually-spaced limbs, formed at the front end of the body, which are upwardly inclined away from said bottom face for receiving a golf tee with said limbs disposed on opposite sides of a stem of the tee with a cup of the tee supported by the limbs; and a spike element which can project downwardly from said bottom face for making a hole in the ground to receive the tee.

2. A golf tee inserting tool according to claim 1, in which the top face of the body has a concave thumb-receiving portion adjacent to said front end of the body.

3. A golf tee inserting tool according to claim 1, in which the top face of the body has a rear portion adjacent to said rear end which is generally parallel to said bottom face.

4. A golf tee inserting tool according to claim 1, in which a shallow depression is formed in the top face of said limbs to receive and locate the cup of the tee.

5. A golf tee inserting tool according to claim 1, in which the spike element projects substantially perpendicularly from the body, part-way along its length.

6. A golf tee inserting tool according to claim 1, in which the body is of substantially rectangular transverse cross-section.

7. A golf tee inserting tool according to claim 1, in which the body has side faces which are generally parallel, converging towards each other at the rear end of the handle.

8. A golf tee inserting tool according to claim 1, in which the spike element is pivotally connected to the body such that it can be pivoted into a recess formed in the body.

9. A golf tee inserting tool according to claim 8, in which the recess has an enlarged portion within which the spike element can be engaged and levered out of the recess.

10. A golf tee inserting tool according to claim 8, in which the recess has opposed lugs for retaining the spike element with a snap action.

11. A golf tee inserting tool according to claim 8, in which the spike element is arranged to pivot away from said limbs for insertion into said recess.

12. A golf tee inserting tool according to claim 1, in which the body has a storage compartment for storing a tee.

13. A golf tee inserting tool according to claim 12, in which the storage compartment frictionally receives a stem of a tee with a cup of the tee projecting from the body.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to tool for inserting a golf tee into the ground.

BACKGROUND

[0002] The game of golf is extremely popular and is played in all weather conditions. Golf is usually played on a grassed surface. During the course of a game a player frequently uses their thumb to push a plastic tee into the ground at the precise point when teeing off at the start of a hole, and the tee is used to support the ball ready to be hit. In dry weather the ground can become very hard making it difficult to insert the tee, and the same problems can arise in very cold weather when the ground is frozen. As a result, players can end up with a very painful thumb, and the tee may bend making it useless.

[0003] The present invention seeks to provide a new and inventive form of tool to ease the task of inserting golf tees, particularly on hard ground.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The present invention proposes a golf tee inserting tool which includes a spike element for making a hole in the ground for receiving the tee, and means for releasably holding the tee.

[0005] A golf tee generally has a stem which is inserted into the ground and a cup for receiving the ball. In a preferred form of the tool, the tee is releasably held with its stem projecting from the tool so that the tee can be inserted into the hole made by the tool before the tee is released.

[0006] The tool preferably has a pair of limbs which extend on opposite sides of the stem and support the underside of the cup. The limbs are preferably positioned such that the stem projects at an angle to the spike element.

[0007] In a preferred form of the tool the said limbs project from a handle portion by which the tool may be held to push the spike element into the ground. Whilst the handle could take various forms it is preferably elongate. The spike element preferably projects transversely from the handle, and the limbs preferably extend beyond one end of the handle. With such an arrangement it is convenient to hold the tee by placing the thumb on the cup whilst holding the handle. When the tee is inserted into the hole it is then simply released by removing the thumb from the cup.

[0008] In preferred form of the tool the spike element is pivotally secured to the handle such that the element can be pivoted into a recess formed in the handle. The spike element can thus be safely stowed in the handle when the tool is not in use. In addition, the use of the tool is simplified if the spike element pivots away from the tee-holding limbs. The handle may also advantageously include a storage compartment for receiving a tee so that a tee can be stored therein when the tool is not in use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] The following description and the accompanying drawings referred to therein are included by way of non-limiting example in order to illustrate how the invention may be put into practice. In the drawings:

[0010] FIG. 1 is a general view of a golf tee inserting tool in accordance with the invention;

[0011] FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 are plan, side and bottom elevations of the tool in a stowed configuration;

[0012] FIG. 5 is a side view of the tool being held ready for use; and

[0013] FIGS. 6 to 11 are further side views of the tool showing various stages in a typical use of the tool.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] Referring firstly to the general view of FIG. 1, the tool can be held in the left or right hand. The tool has a handle 1, which may be of wood or plastic for example, and a metal spike 2 which projects transversely from the handle.

[0015] The handle 1 is elongate with a substantially rectangular cross-section and is formed with a tee holder 3 at the front end. The spike 2 is mounted at the approximate centre of the handle to project from its bottom face 4. As can be seen more clearly in FIG. 2, in plan view the side faces 5 and 6 of the handle are generally parallel but converge towards each other at 7 and 8 to meet the rear face 9, the edges of which are slightly rounded. When viewed in side elevation as in FIG. 3, it can be seen that the top face 10 is substantially parallel to the bottom face 4 at the rear end of the tool, but beyond the spike 2 the top face 10 curves downwardly at 11 and then again runs substantially parallel to the bottom face 4. Finally, at the front end of the handle the top and bottom faces are inclined upwardly to form a substantially planar upwardly inclined tee holder 3. Referring back to FIG. 2, it will be noted that the planar end section 3 contains a single notch or open-ended slot 14 which divides the section into two forwardly-projecting limbs 15 and 16 which can pass on opposite sides of the stem of a golf tee. In addition, there is a shallow depression 17 in the top face 10 at the root of the slot 14 to receive and locate the cup of the tee. The side faces of the handle converge slightly at 18 and 19 along the length of the limbs 15 and 16, which terminate in curved ends.

[0016] Referring now to FIG. 4, the spike 2 is secured at one end of a recess 21 in the bottom face 4 of the handle 1, which runs centrally to the rear end of the handle. The spike is pivotally mounted by means of a transverse pivot pin 22 so that when the tool is not in use the spike can be safely stowed within the recess 21, as shown. The handle may be formed with opposed lugs 23 and 24 on opposite sides of the recess 21 to retain the spike with a snap action. In addition, the recess may be enlarged in one area, e.g. at the rear end 25 as shown, where the spike which can be engaged and levered out of the recess.

[0017] The rear face of the handle may further be formed with a hole 28 (FIG. 3) into which the stem of a tee can be frictionally engaged to provide a convenient place to store a tee when the tool is not in use. When required, the tee is removed by pulling the projecting cup of the tee.

[0018] In use of the tool, a tee 30 is inserted between the limbs 15 and 16 and the handle 1 is grasped in the hand as shown in FIG. 5. The shape of the handle allows the thumb to rest on the cup 31 of the tee while the stem 32 projects forwardly at an angle to the spike 2, which projects perpendicularly between the first and second fingers. The spike can then be pressed into the ground to form a pilot hole 33, as indicated in FIGS. 7 and 8. The tool spreads the load comfortably over the hand via the handle 1 so that considerable force can be applied to the spike, even on very hard ground. The spike is then withdrawn from the ground and the tool tipped forwardly as in FIG. 8 to position the stem 32 over the hole 33. The tee is then inserted into the hole with a slight rocking action, during which the spike may be pivoted rearwardly as in FIG. 9. Since the tee is firmly located using the thumb it can be precisely and accurately positioned in the hole. After removing the thumb from the cup 31 the limbs 15 and 16 are withdrawn either side of the tee, as shown in FIG. 10 so that the tool can be withdrawn and the spike pressed fully home into the handle, FIG. 11, allowing the tool to be quickly and safely slipped into the users pocket.

[0019] After the shot has been taken the tee can be retrieved from the ground and re-inserted into the storage hole 28.

[0020] Although not shown in the drawings, there may be a hole through the rear end of the handle 1 to receive a loop of string, cord etc. which can be used for suspending the tool from a golf trolley for example. The loop can also be used to hold the tool when it is not in use. If the loop is of a sufficient size the users hand can be inserted through the loop as a safeguard against the tool being dropped.

[0021] It will be appreciated that the features disclosed herein may be present in any feasible combination. Whilst the above description lays emphasis on those areas which, in combination, are believed to be new, protection is claimed for any inventive combination of the features disclosed herein.