Title:
Strap assembly for golf bag
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf bag is disclosed which is adapted to be carried over the back of a user in a generally vertical relationship. The golf bag incorporates a shoulder strap assembly including a pair of elongate straps including upper ends adapted to extend and protrude through the top of the bag at a strap pivot/entry point which is located both above the open golf club receiving end of the bag and fore of the front face of the bag so as to eliminate the natural tendency of a bag to tip or sway at the bottom when picked up or set down. In one embodiment, the upper ends of the straps extend through respective apertures defined in a shield which extends from the top front face of the bag in the direction of the back face of the bag and merge into the arms of a link member located inside the bag interior and a strap leg which extends from the link member through the bag interior and is secured to the back of the bag.



Inventors:
Meyer, Dean E. (Oakbrook, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/987814
Publication Date:
06/09/2005
Filing Date:
11/12/2004
Assignee:
MEYER DEAN E.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F3/02; A45F3/04; A45F3/08; A45F3/10; A63B55/00; A45C13/36; (IPC1-7): A45F3/02; A45F3/04; A45F3/08; A45F3/10
View Patent Images:
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20090065542Spinning cross barMarch, 2009Tuttle
20020053585Watertight containerMay, 2002Rossi
20070017943Towel toteJanuary, 2007Foy et al.
20070278266Baton scabbard military clipDecember, 2007Parsons
20070228098Backpack frame suited for toting heavy, large, or irregular loadsOctober, 2007Teeters
20050109807Retract - collapsible rack system for bed of every existing pick - up truckMay, 2005Corral



Primary Examiner:
VANTERPOOL, LESTER L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DANIEL J. DENEUFBOURG (CLARENDON HILLS, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A strap assembly for use with a golf bag, the strap assembly comprising at least one strap associated therewith, the strap having respective lower and upper ends secured to the golf bag, the golf bag defining a longitudinal central axis and including a front face whereby the upper end of the strap extends through the golf bag at a point located between the front face and the longitudinal central axis of said golf bag.

2. A strap assembly for use with a golf bag including front and back faces defining an open interior for receiving golf clubs, the strap assembly comprising at least one shoulder strap secured thereto and having an upper end extending through the front face of the golf bag, the open interior thereof and into the back face thereof.

3. A strap assembly for use with a golf bag defining front and back faces and the strap assembly comprising: a pair of elongate straps including respective lower ends secured to the golf bag and respective upper ends; a link member unitary with the upper ends of the pair of elongate straps; and at least on strap leg unitary with the link member and extending between the front and back faces of said golf club.

4. The strap assembly of claim 3, wherein the upper ends of the respective elongate straps merge into said link member outside of said golf bag and said strap leg extends through an aperture defined in said golf bag.

5. The strap assembly of claim 3, wherein the upper ends of the respective elongate straps extend through respective apertures defined in said golf bag and merge into said link member in the interior of said bag.

6. The strap assembly of claim 3, wherein said link member is generally “Y” shaped.

7. The strap assembly of claim 3, wherein said link member is generally “H” shaped.

8. The strap assembly of claim 3, wherein said strap leg extends through the interior of said golf bag in a relationship generally co-linearly with the bag longitudinal vertical axis.

9. The strap assembly of claim 3, wherein the bag defines a top open golf club receiving end, the bag further defining a shield associated therewith and extending above the top open end golf club receiving end and defining a lip positioned between the front and back faces of said bag, said lip defining at least one aperture through which said upper end of said at least one strap of said strap assembly is adapted to extend.

10. The strap assembly of claim 9, wherein said lip has a pair of apertures defined therein, said upper ends of said pair of straps extending through said apertures respectively.

11. The strap assembly of claim 3, wherein said strap leg includes a distal end secured to said back face of said golf bag.

12. A golf bag adapted to be carried in a generally vertical orientation and comprising: a shell defining front and back faces, a hollow interior and a top, open golf club receiving end; a wall extending upwardly and rearwardly away from said top, open golf club receiving end in the region of said front face and in the direction of said back face of said golf bag and terminating in a lip defining a pair of through apertures; a strap assembly including a pair of elongate straps including a pair of respective upper ends extending through said respective apertures defined in said lip of said wall and a pair of respective lower ends adapted to be secured to a lower portion of said golf bag, a link member positioned on the interior side of said wall and said upper ends of said straps merging into said link member, and a strap leg extending from said link member through the interior defined by said top, open golf club receiving end and including a distal end adapted to be secured to the back face of said golf bag.

13. The golf bag of claim 12, wherein said lip is centrally located on said golf bag and said apertures defined therein are centrally located on said lip, said strap leg of said strap assembly extending generally horizontally and generally centrally through the interior of said bag between said lip and said back face of said golf bag.

14. The golf bag of claim 12 further comprising a cuff member secured over the top open golf club receiving end of said golf bag, said cuff member defining a rim and said wall being defined on said rim, said distal end of said strap leg extending through an aperture defined in the back of said rim of said cuff member.

15. The golf bag of claim 14, wherein said distal end of said strap leg is secured to the exterior face of said back of said rim of said cuff member.

16. The golf bag of claim 12, wherein said link member defines a base and a pair of arms, the upper ends of said straps of said strap assembly extending into said arms of said link member respectively and said strap leg extending from said base of said link member.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application is related to and claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/519,333 filed on Nov. 12, 2003, the contents of which are expressly incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to golf bags and, more particularly, to a strap assembly for a golf bag adapted to be carried in a generally vertical orientation.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Golf bags typically incorporate shoulder straps which allow the bags to be picked up and suspended from the shoulders and back of the user. In those applications where the golf bag is adapted to be carried in a generally vertical orientation, the straps are typically positioned and secured to the bag in an “off-center” relationship such that the bottom of the bag has a tendency to swing out either from side-to-side and/or backward or forward when the bag is either picked up to be carried or set down. The “off-center” placement of the straps is disadvantageous because the swaying and/or tipping of the bag necessarily places the user in an “off-balance” position each time a bag is picked up or set down. Although users are typically able to “rebalance” their positions and stature to compensate for the shift and movement of the bottom of the bag, such “rebalancing” maneuvers over time unnecessarily place undue stress on, for example, the back of the user.

This invention is directed to a golf bag incorporating a shoulder strap assembly which addresses the above-identified disadvantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is directed to a golf bag incorporating a strap assembly positioned and secured to the golf bag in a relationship whereby the bag remains in a generally up and down, vertical orientation when the bag is picked up or set down.

According to the invention, the assembly includes at least one strap having respective upper and lower ends secured to the golf bag. The golf bag defines a longitudinal central axis and includes a front face whereby the upper end of the strap extends into the golf bag at a point located between the front panel and the longitudinal central axis of the golf bag.

In accordance with the present invention, the upper end of the strap is adapted to extend successively through an aperture/strap entry point defined in the front face of the golf bag, through the interior of the golf bag and is secured to the back face of the golf bag.

According to one embodiment of the present invention, the strap assembly includes a pair of elongate straps which have respective lower ends secured to a lower portion of the golf bag and upper ends which merge into a link member unitary therewith and including a strap leg which extends through the aperture defined in the front face of the golf bag and into the back face of the golf bag.

In one embodiment, the link member defines a pair of arms and a base and is located on the outside of the bag and the strap leg extends from the base of the link member and protrudes through the aperture defined in the front face of the bag. In another embodiment, the link member is located in the interior of the bag and the respective upper ends of the straps of the strap assembly protrude through respective apertures defined in the front face of the golf bag and merge into the respective arms of the link member in the interior of the golf bag. The strap leg then extends from the base of the golf bag in a generally horizontal relationship generally co-linearly with the longitudinal central axis of the bag and into the back face of the bag.

In still another embodiment of the present invention, the apertures through which the upper ends of the straps extend are defined in the wall of a cuff member which is seated over and secured to the top rim of the shell of the golf bag. The apertures define strap entry points which are preferably located on the wall at a point which is both above the top rim of the golf bag and fore of the front face of the golf bag so as to define a bag pivot point on the wall of the cuff member which is located closer to the center of the golf bag and allows the golf bag to be picked up and set down in an “on-center” relationship irrespective of the positioning of the straps in an off-center relationship relative to the golf bag. In accordance with the present invention, this locational relationship reduces the amount which the bottom of the bag will sway either forward or backward upon being picked up. Still further, the strap leg of the link member is designed to extend through the interior of the golf bag in a relationship generally co-linear with the bag longitudinal axis to eliminate the tendency of a golf bag to sway from side to side when picked up by one of the two shoulder straps.

Other advantages and features of the present invention will be more readily apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention, the accompanying drawings, and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the accompanying drawings forming part of the specification in which like numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout the same:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a golf bag suspended in an over-the-back relationship from the shoulders of a user in a generally vertical orientation and incorporating a strap assembly in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is perspective view of the golf bag shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a broken perspective view, partly in phantom, of the open golf club receiving end of the golf bag of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a broken, side elevational view, partly in phantom, of the open golf club receiving end of the golf bag of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a broken perspective view, partly in phantom, of a golf bag incorporating an alternate embodiment of the strap assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a broken elevational view, partly in phantom, of a golf bag incorporating yet another embodiment of the strap assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a broken, front perspective view of the open golf club receiving end of yet a further embodiment of the golf bag and strap assembly of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a broken, rear perspective view of the open golf club receiving end of the golf bag shown in FIG. 7; and

FIG. 9 is a broken, side elevational view, partly in phantom, of the golf bag of FIG. 7.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The invention disclosed herein is, of course, susceptible of embodiment in many different forms. Shown in the drawings and described herein below in detail are preferred embodiments of the golf bag and strap assembly of the present invention. It is to be understood, however, that the present disclosure is an exemplification of the principles of the invention and does not limit the invention to the illustrated embodiments.

For ease of description, the various golf bags incorporating the various strap assemblies of the present invention are described herein below in their usual vertical position either sitting on a support surface or mounted to the back of a user and terms such as upper, lower, vertical, etc., will be used herein with reference to these usual positions.

Moreover, it is understood that the FIGURES herein do not necessarily show details of the golf bags or the strap assemblies that are known in the art and that will be recognized by those skilled in the art as such. The detailed descriptions of such elements are not necessary to an understanding of the invention. Accordingly, such elements are herein represented only to the degree necessary to aid in an understanding of the features of the present invention.

A golf bag 10 incorporating a first embodiment of a strap assembly 26 in accordance with the present invention is depicted in FIGS. 14. Golf bag 10 comprises an elongated hollow container or shell 12, which defines an open interior adapted to receive golf clubs (not shown), and which may be made from any suitable rigid and durable material. Golf bag 10 additionally includes a liner 14 which surrounds and covers the shell 12 and may be made of any suitable light weight fabric or the like protective material. Golf bag 10 and, more particularly, the shell 12 thereof defines an open, upper golf club receiving portion or end 13 and a closed lower or bottom base portion or end 17 which is preferably flat and allows the bag 10 to be rested upon a support surface in the generally vertical up and down orientation of FIG. 2.

Golf bag 10 and, more particularly, the shell 12 thereof is characterized in that it defines an elongate front panel or face 16; an elongate back panel or face 18 spaced therefrom; and opposed spaced-apart elongate side panels or faces 20 extending between the front and back panels 16 and 18 respectively. Bag 10, shell 12, and the various elongate panels thereof together define the open upper end portion or region 13, a mid-portion or region 15, and the closed bottom portion or region 17.

A top cuff or cover member 24, which is preferably made of the same rigid and durable material as the shell 12 is adapted to be fitted over the rim of the open upper end portion or region 13 of shell 12. Cuff member 24 defines a rim 23 which is seated over and secured to the rim of the shell open end 13 and a front wall, shield, or dome 25 which is unitary with the rim 23 and extends generally upwardly away from the shell 12 and the shell open end 13 in the region of the bag front panel 16.

The shield 25 is adapted to cover and shield the heads of the golf clubs (not shown) from bumping against the back of the head or neck of the user when the bag 10 is being carried by a user in the generally vertical over-the-shoulders and back relationship of FIG. 1.

Although the FIGURES depict a cuff member 24 comprising a separately molded member fitted over the top rim of the shell 12, it is understood that the cuff member 24 may be formed unitary with and from the same material as shell 12. Preferably, the wall or shield 25 is configured such that it extends and curves both generally upwardly away from the open top golf bag end 13 and inwardly away from the top peripheral edge of the front panel 16 in the direction of the back panel 18 of the bag 10. The top of the wall 25 terminates at a pointjust aft of the center of the interior of the bag 10.

Shoulder strap assembly 26 is adapted and structured to allow the bag 10 to be carried over the shoulders and back of a user in the generally vertical up and down orientation depicted in FIG. 1. Particularly, and as shown in FIG. 2, strap assembly 26 includes a pair of elongate shoulder straps 28 and 30, each having a lower end 32 suitably coupled or secured to the outside of the bag 10 along the respective longitudinal spaced-apart edges 34 and 36 separating the front panel 16 from the respective side panels 20 and 22 at a point below the mid-region 15 of the bag 10. Pads 31 and 33 surround the straps 28 and 30 in the region thereof adapted to rest over the shoulders of the user as shown in FIG. 1.

The upper end 38 of each of the respective shoulder straps 28 and 30 extend unitarily into the ends respectively of the split-apart top legs 40 and 42 of a generally “Y” or wish-bone shaped link or fork member 44 associated with the shoulder strap assembly 26 and positioned on the outside of the bag 10. Link member 44, in turn, includes a lower, elongate unitary leg or strap 46 adapted to protrude through an aperture/strap entry point 48 defined in the wall 25 of cuff member 24. Strap 46 subsequently extends generally horizontally inwardly in the direction of the back panel 18 through the interior space defined by the cuff member 24 and the open upper end portion 13 of bag 10 and shell 12. Strap 46 terminates in, and is secured to, the back interior edge of the rim 23 of cuff member 24.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, a closed eyelet-type hook 52 or the like extends outwardly from the back interior edge of the rim 23 of cuff member 24 and the end 54 of strap 46 is adapted to be extended and looped through the eyelet and secured onto itself using, for example, a hook and loop (i.e., Velcro®) type fastener. It is understood that, alternatively, the end of strap 46 may be stitched or otherwise suitably secured either to itself or directly to the back edge of rim 23 or the back wall 18 of shell 12.

In accordance with the present invention, the aperture 48 defined in the wall 25 of cuff member 24 defines both a strap entry point and a golf bag pivot/sway/tipping point, generally designated 90, located on shield 25 about which golf bag 10 will pivot/sway/tip in an “on-center” relationship when the bag 10 is either picked up or set down. More specifically, and in accordance with the present invention, strap leg 46 protrudes through aperture 48 and cuff member 24 and thereafter extends through the interior of the bag 10 in a generally co-linear relationship with a bag vertical longitudinal axis or plane, generally designated Y1 in FIG. 3, which extends through the bag 10 and cuts through the front and back panels 16 and 18, the shield 25, and the aperture 48, and the pivot point 90 defined thereon.

In accordance with the present invention, positioning strap 46, aperture 48 and strap entry point 90 centrally on the wall 25 of cuff member 24 in a relationship generally co-linearly with the bag central vertical plane Y1 advantageously provides a bag 10 which, upon being grasped and picked up by either one or both of the straps 28 and 30, will remain in a generally vertical up and down orientation irrespective of the fact that the straps 28 and 30 themselves are positioned in an off-center relationship. Stated another way, positioning the strap 46, aperture 48 and point 90 as described above in the same plane as the bag central plane Y1 eliminates the swaying of the bottom 17 of bag 10 to the left in FIG. 2 when bag 10 is picked up by strap 28 and the swaying of the bottom 17 of bag 10 to the right in FIG. 2 when bag 10 is grasped and picked up by strap 30.

Moreover, locating the aperture 48 in the wall 26 of a cuff member 24 which extends above the top open end region 13 of the bag 10 in the direction of the back face 18 also advantageously provides a bag 10 wherein the strap entry/pivot point 90 is located not only above the top open end 13 of the bag 10 but also fore of the peripheral edge or vertical plane defined by the front face 16 of bag 10 and thus closer to the center of the bag 10. This, of course, advantageously shortens the length of the moment arm defined between the pivot point 90 and the center of the bag 10 which, in turn, reduces the extent to which the bottom 17 of the bag 10 will tip forwardly towards the user upon being picked up or set down. The tendency of bags to tip forwardly as described above is also further minimized or offset as a result of the extension and securement of the strap leg 46 to the top edge of the back bag panel 18 or back edge of the rim 23 of cuff member 24. In effect, such extension of strap leg 46 defines a moment arm along the top region 13 of bag 10 which offsets or minimizes the opposite moment arm defined and created along the bottom 17 of bag 10 when the bag 10 is picked up.

FIG. 5 depicts a golf bag 110 similar in structure to bag 10 except that it incorporates an alternate shoulder strap assembly 126 also adapted and configured to minimize the natural tendency of the bottom (not shown) of the bag 100 to tip forwardly in the direction of the user when picked up.

Strap assembly 126 differs from the strap member 26 in that, instead of a “Y” shaped link member 44 as shown in FIG. 2, strap assembly 126 incorporates a generally “H” shaped link member 144 which is also positioned on the outside of the bag 110. Particularly, straps 128 and 130 are associated with link member 144 in a manner wherein the upper end 138 of strap 128 extends unitarily into one of the upper arms 145 of the “H” shaped link member 126 while the upper end 138 of the other of the straps 130 extends unitarily into the other one of the arms 147 of the “H” shaped link member 144. The lower spaced-apart arms 149 and 151 of the link member 144 protrude through respective spaced-apart apertures 148 and 153 defined in the wall portion 125 of cuff member 124.

Elongate straps 155 and 157 unitary with the arms 148 and 153 of link member 126 then respectively extend unitarily generally horizontally rearwardly through the interior of both the cuff member 124 and golf bag 110 in the direction of the back panel 118. The distal ends of straps 155 and 157 are respectively secured to respective spaced-apart hooks or the like 152 protruding outwardly from the interior back edge of the rim 123 of cuff member 124.

In a manner similar to that described above with respect to strap member 26 of bag 10 and thus incorporated herein by reference, the positioning of the apertures/strap entry points 148 and 153 in the shield 125 of cuff member 124 advantageously defines a pivot point 190 located on the shield 125 which is located both above the open golf bag end 113 and fore of the front panel 116 (i.e., in the direction of back panel 118) which, of course, shortens the length of the moment arm created by the strap assembly 126 and, in turn, reduces the distance which the bottom of the golf bag 110 will tip forwardly upon being picked up. Moreover, and in the same manner as described above with respect to strap 46 of member 26 of bag 10, straps 155 and 157, by virtue of their extension through apertures 148 and 153 and securement to the back edge of cuff member 124, advantageously create a moment arm at the top end region of the bag 110 which offsets or minimizes the opposite moment arm created at the bottom of the bag 110 when the bag 110 is picked up.

FIG. 6 depicts a golf bag 210 similar in structure to golf bag 110 and including a strap assembly 226 similar in structure to strap assembly 126 except that the straps 255 and 257 thereof protruding through aperture/strap entry point 248 extend generally vertically downwardly through the interior of the bag 210 in a relationship generally adjacent and parallel to the front panel 216 and are secured by hooks 252 or the like to the interior face of the bottom panel 217 of bag 210 at a point adjacent the front panel 216 thereof. In accordance with the present invention, straps 255 and 257, by reason of their extension through the body of the bag 210 and connection to the bottom panel 217 thereof, also advantageously are adapted to offset the tendency of the bottom of bag 210 to tip forwardly in the direction of the user when the bag is picked up.

FIGS. 7-9 depict a golf bag 310 incorporating yet a further embodiment of a strap assembly 326 in accordance with the present invention. Golf bag 310, in a manner similar to bag 10 and thus incorporated herein by reference, comprises an elongate hollow container or shell 312 defining an open and hollow interior adapted to receive golf clubs (not shown) and made of the same type of rigid and durable material as shell 12 of bag 10.

Golf bag 310 and shell 312 together define an open, upper golf club receiving end 313 and a closed lower or bottom base or end similar to the closed lower base or end 17 of bag 10 which, as described earlier with respect to the bag 10, is preferably flat so as to allow the bag 310 to be rested upon a support surface in the generally vertical up and down orientation of FIG. 7.

Golf bag 310 and, more particularly, shell 312 is characterized in that it defines a front face or panel 316, a back panel or face 318 spaced from the front face 316, and opposed spaced-apart side panels or faces 320 extending between the front and back faces 316 and 318 respectively.

A top cuff or cover member 324, which is preferably made of the same type of material as the shell 312, is adapted to be fitted over the rim of the open, upper golf club receiving end 313 of the bag 310. Cuff member 324 defines a rim 323 which is seated over and secured to the rim of golf bag open end 313 and an elongate front wall or shield 325 which extends generally unitarily upwardly away from the rim 323 in the region of the front face 316 of shell 312. Shield 325 serves the same purpose as the shield 25 of cuff member 24.

Cuff member 324 is characterized in that it includes a plurality of interior intersecting lattice members 370 defining a plurality of compartments which, although not shown, are adapted to separate the heads of the golf clubs adapted to be carried in the bag 310. As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, two of the lattice members 370 extend in a spaced-apart, generally parallel relationship between the shield 325 of cuff member 324 and the back interior edge of the rim 323 of cuff member 324.

In accordance with this embodiment of the golf bag and strap assembly of the present invention, and as shown in FIG. 9, shield 325 is configured and structured such that it extends not only upwardly away from the open upper end 313 of the bag 310 but also inwardly away from the bag front face 316 in the direction of the center and back face 318 of the bag 310.

Shield 325 is still further characterized in that it includes a top unitary lip 374 defining a pair of spaced apart through apertures/strap entry points 348 and 353 positioned on opposite sides of a bag central vertical plane or axis Y1 which, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, cuts through the front and back faces 316 and 318 respectively of bag 310 and divides the bag 310, shield 325, and lip 374 into respective halves.

Although not shown in FIGS. 7-9, it is understood that the shoulder strap assembly 326 is also adapted and structured to allow the bag 310 to be carried over the shoulders and back of a user in the same generally up and down vertical orientation as shown in FIG. 1 with respect to bag 10. Particularly, and although not shown, it is understood that the lower ends of each of the elongate shoulder straps 328 and 330 of strap assembly 326 are coupled or secured to the bag 310 in a manner similar to that described earlier with respect to the straps 28 and 30 of the strap assembly 26, the description of which is thus incorporated herein by reference.

As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, each of the straps 328 and 330 defines an upper strap portion 338 adapted to extend and protrude trough the respective through apertures 348 and 353 defined in the lip 374 of shield 325.

Strap assembly 326 additionally defines a generally “Y” shaped fork, link, or wish-bone member 344 which, in the embodiment of FIGS. 7-9, is located in the interior of the cuff member 324 and golf bag 310 instead of the exterior thereof as with the link member 44 of the strap assembly 26 of the bag 10 shown in FIGS. 1-4.

Thus, and as shown in FIGS. 7-9, the pair of straps 328 and 330 extend upwardly through the respective lip apertures 348 and 353 and merge unitarily into the respective arms 376 and 378 of the fork member 344 on the interior side of the shield 325 of cuff member 324 while the fork member 344, in turn, extends and merges into a single strap leg 346 which extends generally angularly or slopingly downwardly from the base 380 of fork member 344 through the interior of the cuff member 324 and shell 312 in the direction of the back face 318 and between the two cuff lattice members 370 which extend between the shield 325 and the back edge of cuff member 324. As shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the distal end 347 of strap leg 346 extends through an aperture 388 defined in the back edge of the rim 323 of cuff member 324 and is then secured to the outer face of the back edge of the rim 323 by means of a rivet or the like. As also shown in FIG. 8, a plurality of spaced-apart rods 390 extend between the two lattice members 370 which extend between the shield 325 and the back edge of the cuff member 324. The strap leg 346 extends from the shield 325 to the back of the cuff member 24 below the rods 390.

As shown in FIG. 8, strap leg 346 extends through the interior of the cuff member 324 and the open end region 313 of bag 310 in a generally co-linear relationship with the central bag vertical axis or plane Y1 which extends through and between the front and back faces 316 and 318 of the bag 310 and cuts centrally through the wall 325 and lip 374 of cuff member 324. Apertures/strap entry points 348 and 353 are positioned on opposite sides of the bag vertical axis or plane Y1 in a spaced-apart, generally co-linear relationship.

In a manner similar to that described earlier with the strap assembly 26 and shield 25 of bag 10, the combination of straps 328 and 330, fork member 344, strap leg 346, and shield 325 together cooperate to form and define a golf bag pivot/sway/tipping/leverage point 290 located on the lip 374 of shield 325 between the respective apertures 348 and 353 thereof. More particularly, the positioning of fork member 344 and strap leg 346 unitary therewith centrally in the interior of the cuff member 324 and bag 310 in a relationship wherein the bag central front to back face longitudinal axis or plane Y1 is generally co-linearly disposed with strap leg 346, advantageously provides a bag which, upon being grasped and picked up by either or both of the straps 328 and 330, will remain in a generally vertical up and down orientation irrespective of the fact that the straps 328 and 330 themselves are positioned in an off-center relationship thus eliminating the tendency of the bottom of the bag from swaying in either of the side-to-side directions when the bag is picked up as explained above with respect to bag 10 and thus incorporated herein by reference. Rods 390 are adapted to keep the strap leg 346 from moving or springing out of the cuff member 324 when the bag 310 is picked up or set down.

As shown in FIG. 9, it is understood that the bag 310 also defines a central longitudinal vertical bag axis or plane Y2 extending through the respective side panels 320, a longitudinal generally vertical bag plane or axis Y3 which is generally parallel to and spaced from the axis or plane Y2 and which extends through the generally vertically oriented lip 374 of the shield 325 of cuff member 324, and a longitudinal axis or plane Y4 extending through the front face 316 of bag 310 in a generally spaced-apart and parallel relationship to the planes or axis Y2 and Y3 respectively.

In accordance with the present invention, the location of the shield 325 and, more particularly, the top lip 374 thereof in a position which is both above the top, open end 313 of the bag 310 and between the front panel longitudinal plane Y4 and the bag central longitudinal axis or plane Y2 (i.e., a location fore of the top edge of the bag front face 316) creates and defines a bag strap pivot point 390 and bag strap entry points defined by respective apertures 348 and 353 which are all located both above the top of the bag 310 and fore of the front face 316 (i.e., in closer proximity to the center of the bag). Bag pivot point 390 is positioned generally co-linearly with bag plane Y1 and between and co-linear with the two respective through apertures 348 and 353. As explained above with respect to the bag 10, this locational relationship advantageously shortens the length of the moment arm defined between the point 390 and the bag central axis or plane Y2 which, in turn, reduces the extent to which the bottom of the bag will tip forwardly towards the user when the bag 310 is either picked up or set down during use.

As also described earlier with respect to bag 10, the tendency of a golf bag to tip forwardly when picked up is also minimized and offset as a result of the extension of the strap leg 346 through the interior of the bag 310 and the securement of the distal end thereof to the back edge of the rim 323 of cuff member 326. In effect, and as explained earlier with respect to bag 10 and thus incorporated herein by reference, such extension defines and creates a moment arm along the top of the bag which offsets and minimizes the opposite moment arm defined and created along the bottom of the bag when the bag is picked up or set down during use.

The foregoing specification and drawings are to be taken as illustrative but not limiting of the present invention. Still other configurations and embodiments of the golf bag and strap assemblies utilizing the spirit and scope of the present invention are possible and will readily present themselves to those skilled in the art.