Title:
Device for finding and gripping golf ball
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A stick for easily finding a lost golf ball and for conveniently gripping the golf ball on ground is disclosed. The stick includes a hollow rod body, a clamp part formed in an end of the body to clamp the golf ball, a grip part formed in the opposite end of the body to pull the clamp part to clamp the golf ball, a light emitter installed in a side of the body to project a light beam, a light receiver installed in a side of the light emitter to scan a barcode printed on the surface of the golf ball by receiving the light beam reflected from the barcode, a determining part for determining whether the barcode is scanned or not based on an electric signal transmitted from the light receiver, and a speaker for outputting a predetermined audio signal based on the determination by the determining part.



Inventors:
Lee, Jae Ho (Allendale, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/294650
Publication Date:
08/03/2006
Filing Date:
12/05/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B47/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KRAMER, DEAN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCCARTER & ENGLISH, LLP NEWARK (NEWARK, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for finding and gripping a golf ball comprising: a hollow rod body; a clamp part formed in an end of the body to clamp the golf ball; a grip part formed in the opposite end of the body to pull the clamp part to clamp the golf ball; a light emitter installed in a side of the body to project a light beam; a light receiver installed in a side of the light emitter to scan a barcode printed on the surface of the golf ball by receiving the light beam reflected from the barcode; a determining part for determining whether the barcode is scanned or not based on an electric signal transmitted from the light receiver; and a speaker for outputting a predetermined audio signal based on the determination by the determining part.

2. The device for finding and gripping a golf ball as set forth in claim 1, wherein the clamp part comprises: a fixed clamp fixed to the body; a pivotal clamp pivoted about an end of the body; and an elastic member for applying an elastic force in the direction of spreading the pivotal clamp.

3. The device for finding and gripping a golf ball as set forth in claim 1, wherein the grip part comprises: a fixed grip fixed to the body; a pivotal grip pivoted about the opposite end of the body; and a steel wire having an end connected to the clamp part and an opposite end connected to the pivotal grip to transmit a tensile force according to the pivot of the pivotal grip.

4. The device for finding and gripping a golf ball as set forth in claim 1, wherein the light emitter and the light receiver are installed between the clamp parts.

5. The device for finding and gripping a golf ball as set forth in claim 1, further comprising: a battery for supplying electric power to the determining part, the light emitter, the light receiver, and the speaker; and a switch for intermitting the electric power from the battery.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the priority of Korean Patent Application No. 10-2004-0102837 filed Dec. 8, 2004, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a stick for finding and gripping a golf ball, and more particularly, to a stick for easily finding a lost golf ball and for conveniently gripping the golf ball on ground.

2. Description of the Related Art

Generally, when playing golf on a golf course, it often occurs that golf balls fly, roll, and/or bounce into gorge, rough, shrub, or hills so that players must search the same. As such, since it takes so long to find the lost golf ball, the golf game is delayed and/or teams who are following the players who are looking for the lost golf ball must wait.

In order to solve the above-described problem, a technology is proposed that a transmitter such as a radio frequency transmitter is installed in the golf ball to help find the lost golf ball. However, according to the proposal, since a complicated electronic device is installed in the golf ball, manufacturing costs are increased and the weight of the golf ball is not precise.

Moreover, in order to pick up the golf ball on grass, or rough in the golf course, the player should bend over. By the repetition of such actions (for example, supporters of the golf players, caddies, or the like) is not natural and it can often cause disc or back problems.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the present invention has been made in view of the above and/or other problems, and it is a first object of the present invention to provide a golf ball finding and griping stick for easily finding a lost golf ball whose surface is printed with a barcode to be scanned by the stick.

It is a second object of the present invention to provide a golf ball finding and gripping stick for conveniently gripping a golf ball found in grass, rough, or a puddle.

It is a third object of the present invention to provide a golf ball finding and gripping stick that is convenient to carry and will easily find a golf ball attached with a barcode.

In accordance with the present invention, the above and other objects can be accomplished by the provision of a stick for finding and gripping a golf ball including a hollow rod body, a clamp part formed in an end of the body to clamp the golf ball, a grip part formed in the opposite end of the body to pull the clamp part to clamp the golf ball, a light emitter installed in a side of the body to project a light beam, a light receiver installed in a side of the light emitter to scan a barcode printed on the surface of the golf ball by receiving the light beam reflected from the barcode, a determining part for determining whether the barcode is scanned or not based on an electric signal transmitted from the light receiver, and a speaker for outputting a predetermined audio signal based on the determination by the determining part.

Preferably, the clamp part includes a fixed clamp fixed to the body, a pivotal clamp pivoted about an end of the body, and an elastic member for applying an elastic force in the direction of spreading the pivotal clamp.

Preferably, the grip part includes a fixed grip fixed to the body, a pivotal grip pivoted about the opposite end of the body, and a steel wire having an end connected to the clamp part and an opposite end connected to the pivotal grip to transmit a tensile force according to the pivot of the pivotal grip.

Preferably, the light emitter and the light receiver are installed between the clamp parts.

The stick for finding and gripping a golf ball further includes a battery for supplying electric power to the determining part, the light emitter, the light receiver, and the speaker, and a switch for intermitting the electric power from the battery.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and/or other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of the embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front view illustrating a golf ball on which a barcode is printed used in the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating a stick for finding and gripping a golf ball according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a view illustrating an inner configuration of the stick, according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, gripping the golf ball of FIG. 2 and the mechanical operation thereof; and

FIG. 4 is a block diagram illustrating an electrical configuration in the stick for finding and gripping a golf ball according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Hereinafter, the structure of a stick for finding and gripping a golf ball according to preferred embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the attached drawings.

FIG. 1 is a front view illustrating a golf ball on which a barcode is printed used in the present invention. As shown in FIG. 1, a barcode 20 is printed on surface of a golf ball 10. The barcode 20 is printed at one to three spots on the surface of the golf ball 10. If, using a conventional golf ball 10, the barcode 20 may be printed on a transparent tape and the transparent tape then attached on the surface of the conventional golf ball 10. Data coded in the barcode 20 may be meaningless or include an identification number, model serial number, manufactured date, a serial number, or the like. This is for easily checking whose the golf ball is.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating a stick for finding and gripping a golf ball according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 2, the stick according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention is roughly grouped into a grip part, a body 45, and a clamp part.

The grip part includes a fixed grip 40 and a pivotal grip 42 pivoting about a grip hinge 44. In other words, the grip part has a structure allowing a user to hold the fixed grip 40 and the pivotal grip 42 with a hand to grasp or release the same.

The body 45 is a hollow rod and includes a toggle switch installed near the grip part to turn electric power on or off, a speaker 49 installed therein to output various audio signals, and an electronic device illustrated in FIG. 4. The body 45 may be made of plastic, stainless steel, a carbon fiber, or the like, and its length is enough to reach from ground to adult's waist.

The clamp part is connected to the body 45 by a head 50 and includes a fixed clamp 51 fixed to the head 50 and a pivotal clamp 53 pivoting about a head hinge 54. The pivotal clamp 53 pivots as the pivotal grip 42 is pivoted by a structure described later. Since the golf ball 10 must be gripped by the two clamps, the fixed clamp 51 and the pivotal clamp 53 are preferably formed such that the width is thick and the inner sides are concave to increase area contacting the golf ball 10.

A light emitter 60 is positioned between the fixed clamp 51 and the pivotal clamp 53, and emits a light beam of a predetermined wavelength (for example, an infrared ray, a laser beam, or the like).

A light receiver 62 is disposed in the vicinity of the light emitter 60 and a component for detecting the light beam projected from the light emitter 60 and reflected from the golf ball 10.

FIG. 3 is a view illustrating an inner configuration of the stick 30, according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, gripping the golf ball 10 of FIG. 2 and the mechanical operation thereof. As shown in FIG. 3, when a player grasps the pivotal grip 42 with a hand, a steel wire 65 is pulled to close the pivotal clamp 53. At that time, the golf ball 10 is located between the fixed clamp 51 and the pivotal clamp 53. The steel wire 65 employed in this preferred embodiment of the present invention may be a wire, a rod, or other matter capable of bearing a tensile force and of transmitting a force to the pivotal clamp 53.

Moreover, when releasing the pivotal grip 42, the pivotal clamp 53 is pivoted to its original position due to a restoring force of a spring 66, and then the clamp part spreads from each other.

FIG. 4 is a block diagram illustrating an electrical configuration in the stick 30 for finding and gripping a golf ball according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 4, the electrical device of the stick according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a microcomputer 70, the light emitter 60, the light receiver 62, a power supply 72, a switch 47, and the speaker, and is disposed in the body 45.

The light emitter 60 projects the light beam of the predetermined wavelength according to a command from the microcomputer 70, and the light receiver 62 detects the incident light beam and converts the received light beam into an electric signal to transmit the same to the microcomputer 70. The light emitter 60 and the light receiver 62 may be components having a high output, a long distance scan capacity with a high brightness, and a long distance light receiving capacity of a high brightness, and those skilled in the art can easily select these components.

The power supply 72 selectively supplies a direct current to every electronic component via the switch 47. As a typical example of the power supply 72, a primary battery or a secondary battery may be employed.

The speaker 49 receives an output signal from the microcomputer 70 and outputs various audio sounds.

The microcomputer 70 determines whether a signal received from the light receiver 62 is a barcode signal or not. If not, the microcomputer 70 reproduces a long periodic audio sound (for example, “beep˜beep”), or otherwise reproduces a short periodic audio sound (for example, “beep-beep-beep”). By doing so, a user can hear the audio sound and determine an approximate position and direction of the lost golf ball.

Hereinafter, the operation of the stick according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention will be described as follows. Firstly, as shown in FIG. 1, let us assume a case of the golf ball 10 being hit and landing on grass or in a bush.

Next, since the user already knows an approximate direction where the golf ball 10 has gone, the user walks toward the corresponding place. Then, if the lost golf ball 10 cannot be found at the expected place where the golf ball 10 came down, the switch 47 is turned on to operate the stick according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

Then, the power supply 72 supplied electric power to the microcomputer 70, the light emitter 60, and the light receiver 62 to operate. The light emitter 60 projects a light beam to scan and the user swings the stick 30 in the vertical direction and horizontal direction in the expected place. At that time, when at least one of the barcodes 20 printed on the lost golf ball 10 is scanned, a reflected light beam enters the light receiver 62.

The light receiver 62 converts the incident light beam into an electric signal and transmits the same to the microcomputer 70. The microcomputer 70 determines whether the barcode signal is contained in the signals transmitted from the light receiver 62 in real time. The microcomputer 70 may be installed with a barcode reader.

If it is determined that a light beam corresponding to the barcode 20 has entered the light receiver 62, the speaker 49 changes the audio sound outputted therefrom. By hearing the changed sound, the user narrows the scanning area for the lost golf ball 10 and gradually locates the lost golf ball 10. Thus, even in a relatively wide golf course, the scanning area can be quickly narrowed, and the user can find the lost golf ball 10 with a naked eye while walking near the place where the lost golf ball 10 is located.

Next, the user picks the found golf ball 10 up with the pivotal clamp 52.

Although not depicted in the drawings, a small sized liquid crystal display may be installed in the stick 30 according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention so that the barcode decoded by the microcomputer 70 can be displayed in the form of numbers or characters.

As described above, the stick for finding and gripping a golf ball according to the present invention has the advantage as follows.

That is, since the barcode is printed on the surface of the golf ball, the barcode is scanned such that the place where the golf ball has been flown can be easily confirmed. Since the barcode is printed on the surface of the golf ball, the barcode can be printed on the conventional golf ball within the standard size of the golf ball. Moreover, since the barcode can be on a transparent tape attached on the surface of the golf ball, the present invention can be applied to almost all golf balls.

In addition, according to the present invention, a golf ball that is found, whether in grass, bush, or puddle can be easily gripped. Thus, since there is no need to bend the user's body or to take off shoes and enter a water pond, the stick for finding and gripping a golf ball according to the present invention is convenient to use and accidents can be prevented.

Moreover, the stick for finding and gripping a golf ball has a stick-like shape, the stick of the present invention can be accommodated in a golf bag and is convenient to carry during the golf game.

Although the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims.