Title:
Practice putting apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A practice putting apparatus includes an elongated putting mat having a foam core with an upper surface and a lower surface. A printed fabric putting surface is secured to the upper surface of the foam core and a sponge rubber base secured to a lower surface of the foam core. The putting surface includes a first end and a second end, with a marking for a putting hole located adjacent the first end of the putting surface.



Inventors:
Sindelar, Joseph L. (Horseheads, NY, US)
Reuland, Kristine (Corning, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/371936
Publication Date:
09/28/2006
Filing Date:
03/10/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WELSH FLAXMAN & GITLER LLC (McLean, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A practice putting apparatus, comprising: an elongated putting mat including a foam core having an upper surface and a lower surface, a printed fabric putting surface secured to the upper surface of the foam core and a sponge rubber base secured to the lower surface of the foam core; the putting surface includes a first end and a second end, with a marking for a putting hole located adjacent the first end of the putting surface

2. The practice putting apparatus according to claim 1, wherein a centrally located recess is positioned within the putting hole.

3. The practice putting apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the recess is sized to be slightly smaller than the diameter of a conventional golf cup and is dimensioned such that a ball struck from the second end of the putting surface will stop and sink within the recess when properly struck by a golfer.

4. The practice putting apparatus according to claim 3, wherein the recess has a depth of the approximately 0.236 inches.

5. The practice putting apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the recess is approximately 1 inch in diameter to approximately 4 inches in diameter.

6. The practice putting apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the recess is approximately 1.5 inches in diameter to approximately 1.875 inches in diameter.

7. The practice putting apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the recess has a depth of the approximately 0.236 inches.

8. The practice putting apparatus according to claim 1, wherein printed artwork is applied to an upper surface of the putting surface via sublimation.

9. The practice putting apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the putting surface is a polyester fabric.

10. The practice putting apparatus according to claim 9, wherein the putting surface is a 2-ounce per square yard interlock polyester.

11. The practice putting apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the foam core has a density between approximately 1.0 lbs/ft3 and approximately 6.0 lbs/ft3 depending upon the desired speed of the putting surface.

12. The practice putting apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the foam core has a density between approximately 1.3 lbs/ft3 and approximately 1.4 lbs/ft3.

13. The practice putting apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the putting surface is a polyester fabric.

14. The practice putting apparatus according to claim 13, wherein the putting surface is a 2-ounce per square yard interlock polyester.

15. The practice putting apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the putting mat has a length of approximately 26.5 inches and a width of approximately 9.5 inches.

16. The practice putting apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the putting surface includes a series of transverse lines extending from the putting hole toward the second end of the putting surface.

17. The practice putting apparatus according to claim 16, further including a perpendicular line generally extending from the second end of the putting surface toward the putting hole, the perpendicular line extends through the middle of the transverse lines and aids an alignment of putting in accordance with the present invention.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/659,867, entitled “PRACTICE PUTTING APPARATUS”, filed Mar. 10, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a golf practice device. More particularly, the invention relates to a practice putting green with a foam core and a fabric putting surface.

2. Description of the Prior Art

The game of golf has increased in popularity tremendously over the past years. With this increase in popularity, have come many devices aimed at assisting people in improving their golf game. Unfortunately, many of these devices do not replicate actual play situations and, therefore, do not ultimately assist a golfer in improving his or her game. In addition, many of these devices require repetition and golfers often become bored with the practice devices before they see any improvement in their golf game.

As such, a need exists for a golf practice device which overcomes the shortcomings of prior art devices. The present invention provides such a device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a practice putting apparatus including an elongated putting mat having a foam core with an upper surface and a lower surface. A printed fabric putting surface is secured to the upper surface of the foam core and a sponge rubber base is secured to the lower surface of the foam core. The putting surface includes a first end and a second end, with a marking for a putting hole located adjacent the first end of the putting surface

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a practice putting apparatus wherein a centrally located recess is positioned within the putting hole.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a practice putting apparatus wherein the recess is sized to be slightly smaller than the diameter of a conventional golf cup and is dimensioned such that a ball struck from the second end of the putting surface will stop and sink within the recess when properly struck by a golfer.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a practice putting apparatus wherein the recess has a depth of the approximately 0.236 inches.

It is also another object of the present invention to provide a practice putting apparatus wherein the recess is approximately 1 inch in diameter to approximately 4 inches in diameter.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a practice putting apparatus wherein the recess is approximately 1.5 inches in diameter to approximately 1.875 inches in diameter.

It is also another object of the present invention to provide a practice putting apparatus wherein printed artwork is applied to an upper surface of the putting surface via sublimation.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a practice putting apparatus wherein the putting surface is a polyester fabric.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a practice putting apparatus wherein the putting surface is a 2-ounce per square yard interlock polyester.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a practice putting apparatus wherein the foam core has a density between approximately 1.0 lbs/ft3 and approximately 6.0 lbs/ft3 depending upon the desired speed of the putting surface.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a practice putting apparatus wherein the foam core has a density between approximately 1.3 lbs/ft3 and approximately 1.4 lbs/ft3.

It is also a further object of the present invention to provide a practice putting apparatus wherein the putting mat has a length of approximately 26.5 inches and a width of approximately 9.5 inches.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a practice putting apparatus wherein the putting surface includes a series of transverse lines extending from the putting hole toward the second end of the putting surface.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a practice putting apparatus including a perpendicular line generally extending from the second end of the putting surface toward the putting hole, the perpendicular line extends through the middle of the transverse lines and aids an alignment of putting in accordance with the present invention.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description when viewed in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which set forth certain embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a practice putting apparatus in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top view of a practice putting apparatus showing artwork applied in accordance with a preferred embodiment.

FIG. 2a is a top view of an alternate embodiment of the practice putting apparatus disclosed with reference numerals similar to those found in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3.

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view along the line III-III in FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein. It should be understood, however, that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, the details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as the basis for the claims and for teaching one skilled in the art how to make and/or use the invention.

With reference to the various figures, a practice putting apparatus 10 is disclosed. The practice putting apparatus 10 is generally composed of an elongated putting mat 12 having a length of approximately 26.5 inches and a width of approximately 9.5 inches. However, it is contemplated that other sizes may be employed without departing from the spirit of the present invention; for example, a 6 foot long embodiment has been contemplated. The practice putting apparatus 10 is designed on a small scale so that golfers may concentrate upon a shorter stroke while practicing their putting. The concept of “start close to learn fast” is applied, thereby developing rhythm and feel more readily.

With this in mind, and as will be discussed in greater detail below, the present practice putting apparatus 10 generally includes a foam core 14 having an upper surface 14a and a lower surface 14b, a printed fabric putting surface 16 secured to the upper surface 14a of the foam core 14 and a sponge rubber base 18 secured to a lower surface 14a of the foam core 14. The fabric putting surface 16 includes an upper surface 20 with markings designed to facilitate putting practice and golf like competition in an efficient, convenient and effective manner.

In particular, the putting surface 16 includes a first end 22 and a second end 24. A circular marking for a putting hole 26 is located adjacent the first end 22. This marking is sized to replicate a standard putting hole and is, therefore, 4.25 inches in diameter.

Within the putting hole 26 is a centrally located circular recess (or hole) 28. This recess 28 forms the focus of a golfer as he or she putts along the putting surface 16 in a manner discussed below in greater detail and ultimately stresses the golfer, forcing the golfer to advance his or her skill level. The recess 28 is sized to have a diameter which is slightly smaller than the diameter of a conventional golf cup (that is, 4.25 inches) and is dimensioned such that a ball struck from the second end 24 of the putting surface 16 will stop and sink within the recess 28 when properly struck by a golfer. With this in mind, the recess 28 is approximately 1 inch in diameter to approximately 4 inches in diameter, more preferably, approximately 1.5 inches in diameter to approximately 1.875 inches in diameter, although those skilled in the art will appreciate that the size may be varied to suit specific purposes without departing from the spirit of the present invention. The depth of the recess 28 also plays a role in stopping a properly struck ball as it moves toward the recess 28. With this in mind, the depth of the recess 28 (and, in accordance with a preferred embodiment where the recess 28 extends fully through the putting mat 12 and is at least partially defined by the support surface 29 upon which the putting mat 12 sits, the thickness of the putting mat 12) is such that a properly struck ball (for example, a ball which would otherwise roll 15 inches to 18 inches past the recess 28) is retained by the recess 28. In accordance with a preferred embodiment, recess 28 depth and the mat 12 thickness is approximately 0.236 inches (i.e., 6 mm).

Extending from the putting hole 26 toward the second end 24 of the putting surface 16 are a series of transverse lines 30a-i marking specific locations from which a golfer is to putt as he or she practices in accordance with the present invention. In particular, nine equally spaced lines 30a-i are formed along the putting surface 16 as the putting surface 16 extends from the putting hole 26 to the second end 24 thereof. Alignment and putting practice is further enhanced by the provision of a perpendicular line 32 generally extending from the second end 24 of the putting surface 16 toward the putting hole 26. The perpendicular line 32 extends through the middle of the transverse lines 30a-i and aids in alignment of putting in accordance with the present invention. The transverse lines 30a-i also serve as a putting face alignment. The perpendicular line 32 also serves as putter head path alignment.

In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the first transverse line 30a is positioned approximately 3.0 inches from the front of the putting hole 26. Thereafter, the transverse lines 30b-i are spaced approximately 2.0 inches from the next line. Although preferred distances are disclosed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the distances may be varied without departing from the spirit of the present invention. While nine transverse lines creating an eighteen hole practice routine are contemplated in accordance with the present invention, golfers may simply start with close putts and progress to longer putts as their skill level advances.

In practice, the present putting surface 16 and the associated markings are designed to allow a golfer to play eighteen holes and maintain a score as he or she putts. Scoring is maintained in accordance with traditional birdie, par, and bogey concepts. In particular, the golfer starts at the closest transverse line 30a placing the ball just behind the line 30a and putting toward the recess 28 located within the center of the putting hole 26. If the golfer is able to stop the ball within the recess 28 a score of −1, birdie, is provided (just as if a golfer were to birdie a hole and go to one under par). If the ball does not sit within the recess 28 but remains on the putting surface 16 a score of even par (or zero) is accorded and a score of +1, bogey, is accorded if the golfer strikes the ball and it falls off the first end 22 of the putting surface 16. This procedure is repeated nine times with the golfer moving further from the putting hole 26 each time. The front nine has then been completed.

Thereafter, the golfer will play the back nine, starting at line 30i: or hole ten, and begin moving closer to the putting hole 26 moving one transverse line at a time until the golfer makes his or her eighteenth shot at the closest transverse line 30a. In this way, a golfer is provided with an enjoyable and convenient way of improving his or her skills. The putting green also enhances the golfers' ability to keep score, thereby allowing the golfer to attempt to break his or her record each time he or she chooses to practice with the present putting apparatus.

As mentioned above, the present putting apparatus 10 is formed with a foam core 14, a printed fabric (or cloth) putting surface 16 and a sponge rubber base 18. In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the printed fabric putting surface 16 and the sponge rubber base 18 are respectively heat bonded to the foam core 14 in a manner that allows for the creation of a highly effective, durable and aesthetically pleasing putting apparatus. The printed artwork applied to the upper surface 20 of the putting surface 16 is applied via sublimation. More particularly, after securing the fabric putting surface 16 to the foam core 14 via heat transfer and applying the sponge rubber base 18, a sublimation process is used in transferring artwork to the upper surface 20 of the fabric putting surface 16. In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the putting surface is composed of a polyester fabric although other putting surfaces may be utilized without departing from the spirit of the present invention.

With regard to the foam core 14, foam density is utilized to replicate various putting surface speeds. In particular, a lower density foam core 14 may be utilized if the golfer is not highly skilled and/or commonly plays upon slower putting greens while a higher density foam core 14 may be used for highly skilled golfers and/or those golfers who commonly play on putting greens which are relatively fast.

In accordance with a preferred embodiment, and in providing a medium speed green, the putting surface is a 2-ounce per square yard interlock polyester, which is heat bonded to a polyester foam core having a density between approximately 1.3 lbs/ft3 and approximately 1.4 lbs/ft3. The sponge rubber base is 3/16 inches thick and is heat bonded to the foam core.

Although a specific foam density is disclosed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, it is contemplated the density of the foam core may vary between approximately 1.0 lbs/ft3 and approximately 6.0 lbs/ft3 depending upon the desired speed of the putting surface. With this in mind, it is further contemplated that various combinations of fabric and foam may be utilized so long as the speed of the putting apparatus is maintained between approximately 5 feet and 20 feet as measured by the Stimp Meter.

While various preferred embodiments have been shown and described, it will be understood that there is no intent to limit the invention by such disclosure, but rather, is intended to cover all modifications and alternate constructions falling within the spirit and scope of the invention.





 
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