Title:
Hand held golf ball cleaner
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The HAND HELD GOLF BALL CLEANER is a device that a golfer may use to clean a golf ball. The device is utilized to clean a ball without any other mechanism or assistance. The device is portable and may be carried with the golf bag or cart as desired. The new cleaner device has features to make its use both functional and simple to operate. The golf ball cleaning device has an abrasive membrane which, when a liquid is added before a golf round, may function to clean a ball whenever required during the round. The ball is introduced into the container and shaken, essentially in a vertical direction, for a few times. Any mud, grass or debris is removed by the scrubber membrane attached to the interior of the container. The clean golf ball is then removed from the device and returned to play.



Inventors:
Matthews, Michael Dale (Munice, IN, US)
Application Number:
11/067340
Publication Date:
09/01/2005
Filing Date:
02/25/2005
Assignee:
MATTHEWS MICHAEL D.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/106, 401/9, 401/10
International Classes:
A63B47/04; (IPC1-7): A63B47/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, DUNG V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John D Richison (Pendleton, IN, US)
Claims:
1. A sturdy and durable container device, comprising: (a) a closed, watertight container; (b) a scrubbing means contiguous to the container; and (c) a liquid originally introduced to the container whereby a golf ball is introduced interior to the container and agitated up and down by the hand of a golfer in an essentially vertical direction resulting in any mud, grass or other debris being removed from the surface of the said golf ball.

2. The device according to claim 1 wherein the scrubbing means is a rough membrane contiguous to the interior surface of the container.

3. The device according to claim 2 wherein the rough membrane is comprised of an equivalent to a 3-M scrubbing pad.

4. The device according to claim 2 wherein the rough membrane is comprised of a sponge-like substance.

5. The device according to claim 1 wherein the scrubbing means is a brush device.

6. The device according to claim 1 wherein the container is a jar and lid which are configured in order to provide a watertight vessel for containing the golf ball, membrane, and liquid.

7. The device according to claim 6 wherein the configuration of the jar and lid are a threaded means by which to create a watertight seal for the device.

8. The device according to claim 6 wherein the jar and lid are comprised of composite material, and are configured in order to provide a watertight vessel for containing the golf ball, scrubbing means, and liquid.

9. The device according to claim 6 wherein the jar is glass and lid is plastic and the jar and lid are configured in order to provide a watertight vessel for containing the golf ball, membrane, and liquid.

10. The device according to claim 6 wherein the jar is metal and lid is plastic and the jar and lid are configured in order to provide a watertight vessel for containing the golf ball, membrane, and liquid.

11. The device according to claim 6 wherein the lid is comprised of a plastic top and has a brush device on the exterior flat portion of the lid Whereby the exterior brush may provide a cleaning means to golf clubs and the like.

12. The device according to claim 1 wherein the liquid is essentially water.

13. The device according to claim 1 wherein the liquid is essentially a cleaning substance mixture.

14. The device according to claim 1 wherein the container includes a place for a label for advertising on the exterior surface of the container.

15. The device according to claim 1 wherein the container includes a means for attaching the container to another object.

16. The device according to claim 14 wherein the means is a clip device.

17. The device according to claim 14 wherein the object is part of the clothing and sport wear of the golfer.

18. The device according to claim 14 wherein the object is the golf bag of the golfer.

19. The device according to claim 14 wherein the object is the golf cart of the golfer.

20. A sturdy and durable container device, comprising: (a) a closed, watertight container comprised of a cylindrical plastic jar and plastic lid wherein the jar and lid have an interlocking threaded configuration and whereby the exterior surface includes a label for advertising; (b) a rough scrubbing pad equivalent to a 3-M scrubbing pad, the pad is contiguous and attached by a means to the interior of the cylindrical jar, the bottom portion of the jar, and the inside surface of the lid; and (c) a liquid originally introduced to the container whereby a golf ball is introduced interior to the container and agitated up and down by the hand of a golfer in an essentially vertical direction resulting in any mud, grass or other debris being removed from the surface of the said golf ball.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/547,993 filed Feb. 26, 2004 by Michael Dale Matthews and titled “HAND HELD GOLF BALL CLEANER”.

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a HAND HELD GOLF BALL CLEANER device that a golfer or other person may use to clean a golf ball that is dirty or has debris attached to its surface. The device may be utilized by one person to clean a ball without any other mechanism or assistance.

The new cleaner device is made from standard materials and has features built in to make its use both functional and simple to operate. The golf ball cleaning device has various improvements that will be discussed below. Other prior art does not suggest or disclose the features of the present invention.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

Not Applicable.

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND—FIELD OF INVENTION

Primarily, the “HAND HELD GOLF BALL CLEANER” relates to a portable golf ball cleaning device that a golfer may utilize during any season and especially may utilize during the early spring and late fall when golf course cleaning devices have been drained to prevent freezing of the soapy water.

A. INTRODUCTION OF THE PROBLEMS ADDRESSED

Golf ball cleaning devices have traditionally been a stationary device near or around the tee area for each hole. Therefore, golfers were left to clean the golf balls with a towel or other device. It was not an uncommon practice for the golfer to “lick” the ball to provide some liquid medium, then wipe it with a towel, on the grass, or on his or her clothing. This subjected the golfer to the unsavory mud or grass stain as well as exposure to any residue chemicals and pesticides that had been applied to the turf. The present invention addresses all of these restrictions and provides a new and unique manner to remedy the shortcomings of prior art.

B. PRIOR ART

Historically, the prior art devices to aid in cleaning golf balls have been complex with many parts and movements and often have been non-portable. Prior art begins with U.S. Pat. No. 2,023,932 issued to Meikle (1934). This golf ball Washer consists of an elongated paddle which carries the golf ball along a brush device to scrub and clean the ball. This is stationary and not portable. This device requires a golfer to load the ball and to stay at the mechanism. The mechanism is often only at the golf tee-off areas and requires liquid to be added frequently. In cold and inclement weather, these devices are drained (especially in the northern areas of the United States) and left essentially un-effective as a cleaner.

With the U.S. Pat. No. 2,744,274 issued to Procario, et al (1934) a different Ball Washing Apparatus is demonstrated. Here is shown a rotational apparatus with a crank operator and many complex parts. Again, this is an essentially non-portable device. Next is the U.S. Pat. No. 3,101,497 issued to Derkocz (1962). This Golf Ball Scrubber is a portable device. However, it consists of several parts and a complex system. The operator/golfer must load and pump the ball in order to get the cleaning effect from the complex mechanism.

In 1966, a U.S. Pat. No. 3,378,873 was issued to Strout. This Golf Ball Cleaner was a non-portable device that cleans a single ball with a sponge type membrane and not an abrasive cloth or brush. Next, a U.S. Pat. No. 3,981,039 was issued to Rumph (1976). This Portable Golf Ball Washing Device was a rotational crank device with several parts, a handle, a casing and represented a bulky device for golfers to contend with.

With the U.S. Pat. No. 4,344,203 issued to Gerrick (1982), another Portable Golf Ball Washer was presented. This device required a handle and long stroke device which introduced the golf ball to a brush system. The cleaning was by pumping and not shaking the device and dirty golf ball. In 1983, a U.S. Pat. No. 4,381,574 was issued to Benkovsky for a Portable golf Ball Washer. This complex device was motor operated with a brush system and does not teach scrub pads. This did teach a liquid matter introduced to aid the cleaning in the relatively complex system.

The U.S. Pat. No. 4,967,062 issued to Cohen (1990) teaches a Golf Ball Heating Device. This was a cylindrical shown for a plurality of balls. This Heater device is reportedly used to increase the distance driven by a golf club. This has no reference to a cleaning system. The next golf ball invention related to this new device is the U.S. Pat. No. 5,339,486 issued to Persic (1994). Here a Golf Ball Cleaner teaches two semi-hemispherical members which has a twisting operation and several parts in order to permit the cleaning of the golf balls.

The U.S. Pat. No. 5,400,455 issued to Crossley (1995)teaches a Hand Held Golf Ball Washer which is battery powered with a set of scrub brushes. It shows a hatch top and multiple, complex which increases the cost to produce the device. Finally, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,758,379 issued to Hovnanian (1998) a Golf Ball Washer and Conditioner is taught. This device is a warmer/heater for a plurality of golf balls. It does not teach a shaking or brush device and shows a device comprised of more parts and complexity which probably results in a more costly design.

None of the above described prior art teaches all of the features and capabilities of the “HAND HELD GOLF BALL CLEANER” in respect to portable golf ball cleaning devices.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention is a hand held golf ball cleaning device. The device has several features built in that will be described below. In the preferred embodiment, the features of the present invention permit the cleaning device to be small, light weight, portable and effective for removing dirt, debris and the like from the surface of golf balls. Alternative embodiments provide cleaning of the golf balls as well as cleaning other golf accessories and various packaging means. The main components of this invention are comprised of a container, a lid to the said container, internal abrasive means such as a pad or brush, and an exterior label. The preferred embodiment and alternative embodiments are shown in the accompanying drawings and pictures.

The materials comprising the device are standard and available from many sources. The materials are primarily the same as utilized in standard food industry (condiment containers and exterior labels) and cleaning industry (scrub pads, cleaning solutions, and brushes).

One skilled in the art can appreciate that many variations of the fastening system between the container and cover (lid) may be used to permit the scope and spirit of this invention as described below and as depicted in the accompanying drawings.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

Accordingly, there are several objects and advantages of the “HAND HELD GOLF BALL CLEANER”. There currently exist complex, non portable and portable devices that cost comparatively much more than this invention. Those devices also need multiple parts and specific actions by the golfer for proper use. This “HAND HELD GOLF BALL CLEANER” provides an improvement because it is designed to simple to use and cost effective to manufacture. The advantages that are provided here will be fully evident to one skilled in the art of golf ball cleaning devices once the fully detailed description of the embodiment, the operation and the drawings are presented below.

One advantage to this device over other cleaning devices is the simplicity of the present invention. The present device lacks moving parts or complex channels to hold a golf ball. This simplicity eliminates operational errors and malfunctions that plague other, more complex devices. Therefore it is easy and simple to use; yet, when utilized, it is very effective in producing a clean golf ball.

A further advantage of this device over others in the field is that it is small and lightweight. This affords the user the ability to carry the device on his golf bag, in his pull cart, in a powered golf cart, on his belt loop, or by other similar means. This provides a virtually continuous accessibility to the golfer for a golf ball cleaning device.

This new invention is simple and inexpensive to manufacture. There are few parts to be produced. The main components of the preferred embodiment use processes that are already “tooled and ready for production”. For example the capital investments for plastic molding machines and the mold tools are already in place. There have been identified appropriate container and cover (lid) sizes that are tooled and currently in production. The abrasive element is already tooled and in high volume production. Likewise, the assembly of the parts may be accomplished easily for either low or high volume production requirements. There are no environmentally adverse processes in the component production, assembly, or packaging and shipping to increase manufacturing burden or to delay initial production.

The materials utilized are inexpensive. The main container, the lid, and the abrasive material pads are already in high volume production for other products in different types of industry. This permits a producer the economy of scale and competitive costs regardless of the initial volume needs. This present invention may benefit from the economy of scale for most of the main component parts.

The advantage of commercial viability has been addressed. Original cost estimates prove a commercially attractive position. Markets may likely include sporting goods manufacturers and distributors; direct sales at golf pro shops; trade show, radio, television, and magazine sales; internet sales; and the like.

This new invention satisfies a long felt need to have a way to provide a simple, inexpensive golf ball cleaner that may be used even when course facilities are not near the user or are not functioning properly(because they are broken, malfunctioning, or without water or solvent). One skilled in the golfing sport well appreciates the lack of course cleaners at all three of the normal tee-off stations (red, white and blue tees for women golfers, intermediate golfers and professional golfers, respectively) and the lack of cleaning stations close to the greens.

A further advantage is the versatility. The preferred embodiment is a golf ball cleaner with minimal liquid. An alternative embodiment is derived by changing the abrasive mat to a brush configuration or the like. Another alternative embodiment provides a similar configuration to the preferred with a cleaner solution and an external brush for use on golf balls, golf clubs, golf cleats and the like. A longer (or taller) version of the preferred embodiment may provide a convenient packaging means to enable one to sell a cleaner device with a full sleeve (commonly three per time) of new golf balls.

Finally, other advantages and additional features of the present invention will be more apparent from the accompanying drawings and from the full description of the invention. For one skilled in the art of golf ball and accessory cleaning devices, such as described here, it is readily understood that the features shown in the examples with this invention are readily adapted to other types of cleaning devices in the industry.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate an embodiment of the present invention that is preferred. The drawings together with the summary description given above and a detailed description given below serve to explain the principles of the invention. It is understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

The drawings, sketches, and views include:

FIG. 1 is a PERSPECTIVE View of the Present Invention with a dirty and clean golf ball.

FIG. 1A is a PERSPECTIVE View of the PRESENT INVENTION with many of the component parts indicated.

FIG. 2 shows a TOP PERSPECTIVE of the device.

FIG. 3 shows SEVERAL VIEWS (A to F) that demonstrate how the device is used to clean a golf ball.

FIG. 4 shows a Before and After condition of a golf ball.

FIG. 5 is a CROSS SECTIONAL VIEW of the PREFERRED EMBODIMENT of the device and Pictures of some of the common components.

FIG. 6 is VIEWS of the internal abrasive cleaning material as a flat sheet and in rolled configurations.

FIG. 7 is an ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT of the device showing an external brush.

FIG. 8 shows a dirty golf club for demonstrating the use of the ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT in FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 shows both a dirty and clean golf club for demonstrating one of the ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS results “Before and After” use of the device.

FIG. 10 shows a sketch of an ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT that is comprised of a more complex brush means for the internal cleaning material and associated components.

FIG. 11 shows a CROSS SECTIONAL VIEW of the ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT in FIG. 10.

FIG. 12 shows a sketch of an ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT that is comprised of a longer container that may hold up to three balls (commonly called a sleeve).

REFERENCE NUMERALS

The following list refers to the drawings:

  • 31—PRESENT INVENTION—HAND HELD GOLF BALL CLEANER DEVICE
  • 32—CONTAINER, HOUSING, JAR
  • 33—LID, TOP, COVER
  • 34—LABEL
  • 35, 35*, 35**—ABRASIVE MATERIAL, MAT, SHEET, SCUBBER
  • 36—FASTENER, CLIP
  • 37—MEANS TO ATTACH OR CONNECT FASTENER, CLIP 6 TO DEVICE
  • 38, 38*—MEANS TO FASTEN, THREADS etc ON THE CONTAINER 2 and COVER 3
  • 39—DIRTY GOLF BALL (WITH DEBRIS)
  • 40—HAND OF GOLFER, MEANS TO GRASP, SHAKE, OR THE LIKE
  • 41—LONGITUDINAL SHAKING MOVEMENT
  • 42—CLEAN GOLF BALL
  • 43—WATER, CLEANER LIQUID, SOLVENT OR THE LIKE
  • 44—POROUS MEMBRANE
  • 45—BRUSH, ABRASIVE TOP, OR THE LIKE
  • 46—DIRTY CLUB
  • 47—CLEAN CLUB
  • 48—INCLINED POSITION/TIPPING ACTION
  • 49—BRISTLE BRUSHES, ABRASIVE INSERT OR THE LIKE
  • 50—MEANS TO HOLD AND SPREAD BRUSH
  • 51—LOWER, BOTTOM BRUSH OR ABRASIVE PAD
  • 52—ADJACENT, UNFASTENED EDGE
  • 53—FASTENED, SEWN, CONNECTED EDGE
  • 54—SPACING FOR THIRD BALL (TYPICAL SLEEVE SIZE FOR 3 BALLS)
  • 55, 55*—INTERFERENCE OF GOLF BALL AND ABRASIVE MATERIAL 5
  • 56—OPTIONAL SHOCK PAD FOR INSIDE COVER 33 or interior bottom of container 32

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention is HAND HELD GOLF BALL CLEANER device 31. The main components of this invention are comprised of a container, a lid to the said container, internal abrasive means such as a pad or brush, and an exterior label. The preferred embodiment and alternative embodiments are shown in the accompanying drawings and pictures.

The materials comprising the device are standard and available from many sources. The materials are primarily the same as utilized in the food industry and the cleaning industry. One skilled in the art can appreciate that a plethora of variations of the fastening system between the container and lid exists. Any one may be used to permit the scope and spirit of this invention as described below and as depicted in the accompanying drawings.

The entire device is assembled for packaging by taking the container 32, inserting the abrasive material 35, fastening the lid 33 to the container and placing the label 34 on the exterior of the present invention 31. The order of assembly is not inherently important to the functionality of the device. A person having ordinary skill in the field of this invention appreciates the various materials and component parts that may be used to physically permit this golf ball cleaning device to be produced and utilized. The improvements over the existing art are providing a device that:

    • is easy and simple to use and lacks complex component parts;
    • is small, lightweight and portable;
    • is simple and inexpensive to manufacture;
    • has inexpensive material for components;
    • is commercially viable;
    • satisfies a long felt need for a simple, inexpensive golf ball cleaner; and
    • is versatile in other embodiments;

The drawings and illustrations of the FIGS. 1-12 demonstrate the general condition of a HAND HELD GOLF BALL CLEANER device 31. The manner of the device described is functionally understood by those skilled in the art to be appropriate for use in cleaning golf balls with a portable device. One skilled in the art readily appreciates various other cleaning devices from similar configurations of the present invention. Therefore, the descriptions are exemplary and not limiting in their nature.

FIG. 1 is a PERSPECTIVE View of the Present Invention with a dirty and clean golf ball. It shows the general embodiment 31 of the present invention. The view also depicts the general appearance of a dirty and clean golf ball—Before and After use with the present invention.

FIG. 1A is a PERSPECTIVE View of the PRESENT INVENTION 31 with many of the component parts indicated. The present invention 31 is indicated and is partially separated into component parts. The main container 32 is shown including the threaded area 38. The abrasive material 35 is shown as inserted into the container 32. A clip or fastener 36 is attached to the container 32 by a connecting means 37 such as a loop integrally molded to the container 32; a flexible, rubber, or nylon banding; an adhesive; or the like.

The lid or cover 33 is separate from the other component parts and features. The example shows a threaded means 38* for attaching to container 32. This showing is exemplary and not limiting. Other means could be a slotted lid and protracted container protrusions, a rubber “O-ring”, a friction fitted lid with a rubber like interior, or the like. The important features of the attachment means is to seal the container to prevent nominal liquid leakage and to connect the container 32 and cover 33 with enough strength to contain the golf ball (not shown here) as it is longitudinally shaken while being cleaned. Additional features and properties of the indicated components are described below.

The label 34 is shown attached to the exterior surface of the container 32. Similarly, the label 34 may be on the exterior of the lid 33. This label 34 will have identification of the manufacturer, directions for use and other appropriate data. The label 34 may be varied to show other names, distributors, company names or logos, or other details requested specifically by customers. The physical integrity of the label 34 provides a means to fasten, to adhere, or to connect the label 34 to the container 32 or lid 33. The integrity also provides a resistance of both the label 34 and connection means to moisture, sunlight and normal use in the golf setting.

FIG. 2 shows a TOP PERSPECTIVE of the device. Here the similar components are identified as the container 32, the cover 33, the clip 36 and connector 37. One notes well the inserted abrasive cleaning material 35 is tightly juxtaposed to the interior surface of the container 32. The interior diameter of the fitted abrasive 35 provides a tight, interference fit to a golf ball (not shown here). The ball can only move when shaken with sufficient force to overcome the interference. This is further explained, below.

FIG. 3 shows SEVERAL VIEWS (3A through 3F) that demonstrate how the device is used to clean a golf ball.

In FIG. 3A the present invention 31 is shown beside a dirty golf ball 39. This is in a state, before cleaning. In FIG. 3B the cover 33 has been removed from the container 32. The dirty ball 39 has been grasped (picked-up) by hand 40 and is ready to be “dropped” into the container 32. In FIG. 3C the dirty ball 39 has been “dropped” inside the container 32. The cover 33 is still separated from the container 32.

In FIG. 3D the cover 33 has been re-attached or connected to container 32. The dirty golf ball 39 (not visible) is now inside the container 32 and cover 33 assembly. The hand 40 grasps the complete assembly and shakes the device vigorously in a generally longitudinal manner 41. Inside, the dirty golf ball 39 is forced “up and down” in interference with the cleaning material 35 (not shown here) and thereby removes the dirt and debris from the said dirty golf ball 39. This removal is described below.

In FIG. 3E the cleaning-by-shaking is complete. The container 32 has the cover 33 removed and the clean golf ball 42 is shown at the bottom of the device. In FIG. 3F the clean golf ball 42 is held by the hand 40 outside the container 32. The cover 33 is detached and ready for another ball or for return to the container 32 for storage or transport.

FIG. 4 simply shows a dirty golf ball 39 in FIG. 4A. This is BEFORE using the present invention 31. In FIG. 4B, the clean golf ball 42 is shown. This is an AFTER use condition for the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a CROSS SECTIONAL VIEW of the PREFERRED EMBODIMENT of the device and views of some common components. In FIG. 5A, the golf ball 39, 42 is shown at the bottom of the container 32. The cover 33 is attached by a connection means 38, 38* as described above, such as threads or the like. The abrasive material 35 is shown inserted tightly against the inside surface of the container 32, the lid 33, and the bottom of the container 32. The interferences 55 and 55* demonstrates the material 35 pressing or rubbing the ball 39, 42 as it is inside. Once the vigorous shaking described above is started, the interference fit force holding the dirty ball 39 at the base of the container 32 is over come and the dirty ball 39 moves essentially longitudinally 41(up and down) and the ball “spins” on its axis, thus permitting all the surface of a dirty ball 39 to be “scrubbed” by the abrasive material 35. This results in a clean ball 42.

The amount of interference 55, 55* for a standard golf ball 39, 42 has been empirically determined for use with commonly sized containers 32 and with specific thicknesses of the abrasive material 35. This determination has resulted in causing the golf ball (when the device is shaken vigorously) to rotate (spin) in a random, motion that exposes the entire surface of the golf ball to the abrasive media 35, thus removing any dirt on the surface of the ball. Therefore the dirt is transferred from the surface of the ball and is trapped in fibers and on the surface of the media 35.

In FIG. 5B, a picture of the cover 33 with a connection means 38* is shown. The material and thickness of the cover 33 merits some explanation. The material that has been empirically developed for use is a common thermoplastic. Other materials such as glass, composite materials and metals (such as stainless, aluminum, plated steel, or the like) may be used. While somewhat rigid with a tough hardness (durometer reading), the configuration of cover 33 lends itself to be made from several thermoplastic, thermo-set, metal(such as stainless, aluminum, plated steel, or the like), many composite materials or the like. In addition, an optional disk pad 56 made of materials similar to the abrasive insert 35, cork or the like may be held inside the cover 33 and on the interior bottom of the container 32 by means of adhesive, an interference fit, or the like. This pad 56 provides impact resistance to the shock force of the impinging golf ball on the cover 33. A cost benefit analysis shows a similar cost and shock resistance between using a thicker cover 33 versus using an optional shock pad 56.

In FIG. 5C, a picture of a nine ounce, polyethylene condiment jar is shown. It represents the plethora of configurations and materials for containers 32 available in current production. Generally, many materials that could serve as a container 32 for the present invention 31. As an example, but not a limitation, the container 32 could be a transparent or translucent material comprised from one of several thermoplastic, thermo-set, metal (such as stainless, aluminum, plated steel, or the like), or composite materials, glass, or the like. The material must be water tight, able to resist the impact of the ball during the shaking, and thermally stable in strong sunlight, such as encountered while golfing.

FIG. 6 shows VIEWS of the internal abrasive cleaning material 35 as flat sheets and in rolled configurations. In FIG. 6A, a picture of a scratch pad commodity sheet is shown in a “flat” position. This is one type of abrasive material sheets 35*. Similarly, a different brand abrasive pad 35** is shown in FIG. 6B. There are several well known and high quality materials currently in production that suit the needs of the present invention. Examples are Three-M “Scotch-Brite”, Chore Boy “Golden Fleece”, or the like. The important qualities are to maintain the inherent thickness of the material; the ability to conform to the interior radius of the container 32; the ability to retain some liquid on the surface of the material 35 (as described below in the OPERATION OF THE EMBODIMENT); and, the ability to resist physical change when exposed to sunlight or liquids like water, soap and the like. The thickness of the actual sheets are determined empirically to provide the interference fit with a standard golf ball when the sheet 35 is placed on the interior surface of the container 32. These are inherent properties of the standard scrub pad selected empirically for use with the present invention 31. However, one skilled in the art of flexible abrasive sheet materials appreciates the seemingly endless materials that may be used in this manner. Therefore, this description should serve as exemplary and not limiting. New materials are continuously being developed and if one should have similar properties, the new material should be included as appropriate and anticipated by the spirit and scope of this present invention.

In FIG. 6C the abrasive material sheet 35** is configured into a rolled position for inserting into the container 32. In this configuration, the ends of the sheet are abutted 52 next to each other, but not fastened. Similarly, in FIG. 6D the ends of the sheet are rolled together and fasted 53. The method of fastening 53 may be accomplished by mechanical staples, adhesive, tape, sewn fibers, heat (fusion) and the like.

FIG. 7 is an ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT of the device showing an external brush. Here an external brush 45 with a relatively short fiber length is attached to the external surface of the cover 33*. The means of attachment may be by a standard two part epoxy, commercial adhesive, mechanical fasteners, fusion by heat, or other similar means. The cover 33* has small apertures to restrict the movement of liquid from the interior of the container 32. The cover 33* is still fastened to container 32 by the fastening means 38, 38* as described in the preferred embodiment. An optional porous membrane 44 may be utilized similar to the impact pad 56 described above in FIG. 5. However, such membrane 44 here would need to have properties to permit a liquid to pass as well as the above described impact inhibitor properties of pad 56. Finally, interior to container 32 is a small reservoir for a liquid 43 such as water, soap mixture or other suitable liquids for cleaning golf balls, golf club faces, golf shoe cleats and other accessories found or used in the course of playing golf.

FIG. 8 shows a dirty golf club 46 adjacent to the ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT described in FIG. 7. Here a dirty club 46 is shown ready to be engaged by the brush 45. The ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT of FIG. 7 is tipped over (as shown by angular motion 48) permitting the liquid 43 to pass through the porous membrane 44, through the cover 33* and into the brush 45 for assistance to clean the face.

FIG. 9 shows both a dirty golf club 46 and clean golf club 47. This view demonstrates the before and after results of using the ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT shown in FIGS. 7 and 8.

FIG. 10 shows a sketch of another ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT that is comprised of a more complex brush means for the internal cleaning material and associated components. In this sketch a multiple brush system 49 is shown interior to the container 32. The brush system is rigidly held by means of a holder and spreader base 50. While more complex than the abrasive pad system described above, the brush system 49 and 50 does embody a more simple design than previous hand held ball cleaners. This alternative still is within the scope and spirit of the present invention with of non-moving parts.

FIG. 11 shows a CROSS SECTIONAL VIEW of the ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT in FIG. 10. This sketch shows the brushes 49, the holder and spreader 50 and a bottom pad or brush 51.

FIG. 12 shows a sketch of yet another ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT. This is comprised of a longer container 32 that may hold up to three balls 39, 42 (A three group set of golf balls is called a sleeve and represents a common way to sell golf balls commercially). Here the elongation of the container 42 provides the space and some clearance 44 for permitting the three balls to fit inside the container and still permit the cover 33 to fit the container 32.

In total, all the points and details mentioned here throughout this detailed description of the drawings are exemplary and not limiting. Other components specific to describing a HAND HELD GOLF BALL CLEANER DEVICE 31 device may be added as a person having ordinary skill in the field of this invention well appreciates. The drawing and components have been focused on the parts shown in respect to the present invention.

OPERATION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The HAND HELD GOLF BALL CLEANER DEVICE 31 as the present invention has been described in the above embodiments. Additional information as to the manner of how the invention operates is described below. One notes well that the description above and the operation described here must be taken together to fully illustrate the concept of the present invention.

The embodiment described above is a HAND HELD GOLF BALL CLEANER DEVICE 31. It is used by golfers to maintain a clean golf ball while playing the game. In the SUMMARY above there is an explanation of the inherent lack of golf ball cleaners on the golf course. This explanation reveals a significant need for a simple, reliable, and portable means to clean the golf ball, especially around the putting green and at the tee-off areas. During the “putting” on the greens, dirt or debris will affect the trajectory of the ball rolling on the surface of the short grass of the green. Prior to tee-off and at the start of the next hole, dirt and debris may need to be removed. If not, the foreign matter can affect the aerodynamic characteristics the golf ball by blocking or filling the specifically designed dimples of the surface of the golf ball.

The operation of the Preferred Embodiment has been shown in the figures above, especially in FIG. 3. However, the Figures did not show two important preparatory and finishing steps to the proper operation of the Preferred Embodiment. In preparation for use, at the course or at home, the container 2 of the HAND HELD GOLF BALL CLEANER DEVICE 31 should be filled about half way with plain water or a weak soap and water mixture. Then, the solution should be shaken a few times with the cover 33 in place and, after shaken, the liquid should be poured out. When the cover 33 is replaced, a small residual amount of the liquid stays on the abrasive sheet 35. The liquid is trapped in the fibers and on the surface of media 35. The finishing step can also be done at the golf course or home. The same procedure of partially filling the container with water or a weak soap mixture, shaking the container 2 with the cover 33 in place, then pouring out the contents “cleans” any residual grass, dirt, mud or debris from the abrasive pad 35 and prepares the device for its next round of golf or storage.

Other steps of operating the preferred embodiment or the alternative embodiments during the cleaning process have been described above. When transporting any of the embodiments described, the devices are equipped with a “clipping” means 36 and 37. This means permits a golfer to easily attach the device to his cart, golf bag or belt. Finally, a last convenience accessory for use is offered. This convenience, especially for carts (powered and hand pulled), is a rubber or plastic “device holder”. This holder is an option similar to a cup holder used frequently in cars and trucks to hold beverage containers. This holding device is configured and dimensioned to be used with the present invention. This permits accessibility, without the need to clip/unclip the device for immediate use.

The HAND HELD GOLF BALL CLEANER DEVICE 31 as the present invention has been described above. This is presently believed and considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiment (and alternative embodiments) available for a golf ball and golf accessory cleaner as described. With these descriptions it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiment. On the contrary, the invention is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the description.