Title:
Ball retrieving device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf ball retrieval device includes an annular collar sized for a snug friction fit onto a conventional golf ball. The collar in use is removable mounted on the grip end of a golf club and the collar tapped onto a golf ball so that the golf ball becomes frictionally lodged within the collar. The collar holds the golf ball in the manner of an egg sitting in an egg cup.



Inventors:
Trudeau, Larry (Westbank, CA)
Application Number:
11/603900
Publication Date:
03/22/2007
Filing Date:
11/24/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/36; A63B47/02; A63B57/00; A63B53/14; A63B67/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Antony C. Edwards (Calgary, AB, CA)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A practice putting device comprising: an annular rigid cylindrical collar having a ball-receiving bore defining opposite rims of said collar and having a corresponding bore axis of symmetry, wherein said collar has a height dimension parallel to said bore axis which is less than the diameter of the collar measured perpendicular to said bore axis, and wherein a radially inner edge, radially inner relative to said bore axis of symmetry, of each of said rims is chamfered with a chamfer, and wherein said collar has a substantially cylindrical outside surface disposed radially outwardly of said bore axis, and wherein said bore and said chamfer are sized to snugly receive the golf ball in frictional engagement in said bore and said chamfer, and wherein said bore has at least a smooth-bore opening and has a diameter sufficient for a snug friction fit of said collar onto the entire outer circumference of the golf ball without the maximum girth of the golf ball fitting into said bore.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein an outside diameter of said collar forms a ratio of substantially 2:1 with said height dimension.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein said collar is of metal.

4. The device of claim 2 wherein said outside diameter is substantially two inches and said height dimension is substantially one inch.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein an aperture is formed in a side wall of said collar and further comprising an elongate spike mountable into said aperture so as to extend outwardly of said collar.

6. The device of claim 5 wherein said aperture is threaded and one end of said spike correspondingly threaded for threaded mating in said aperture.

7. The device of claim 5 wherein said spike is sized to fit into snug sliding frictional engagement in an aperture in a distal end of a golf club grip.

8. The device of claim 1 wherein each said chamfer is a forty-five degree chamfer.

9. The device of claim 4 wherein each said chamfers is a forty-five degree chamfer.

10. The device of claim 8 wherein said each said chamfer has a depth of substantially ten thousandths of an inch from a corresponding outside-most edge of said rim.

11. The device of claim 9 wherein said each said chamfer has a depth of substantially ten thousandths of an inch from a corresponding outside-most edge of said rim.

12. The device of claim 1 wherein said bore is entirely smooth-bored.

13. The device of claim 1 wherein said bore is a cylinder.

14. The device of claim 13 wherein said bore is entirely smooth-bored.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a Continuation-in-Part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/874,163 filed Jun. 24, 2004 entitled Practice Putting and Ball Retrieving Device.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to the field of golf and in particular to a device for picking up golf balls without having to bend over.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the sport of golf it is generally understood that in order to improve a player's game, the player must practice. This is because golf, both the so-called long game and short game, requires both a high degree of eye-to-hand coordination and a developed muscle-memory for successful play.

In the long game, hazards along and adjacent the fairway add an element of risk and tension, so that an inaccurate drive or hit is penalized by a hazard, if hit by the ball, causing the player a greater difficulty in recovering without a loss of a number of strokes. One such hazard typically includes water in the form of natural or man-made water bodies such as ponds, lagoons, the ocean, etc. Inevitably, a player while practicing to improve the player's golf game will drive or hit a golf ball into a water hazard. If the ball lands near the shore of the water hazard it may be retrieved if the player can reach into the water or has a ball retrieval device to hand. The present invention conveniently provides the latter.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The golf ball retrieval device according to the present invention is an annular collar sized for a snug friction fit onto a conventional golf ball. The collar is mounted onto the end of an elongate member such as a golf club at the grip end or in other embodiments onto, a pole, or the like. In use the golf ball is frictionally lodged within the collar by tapping the collar down onto the ball and the collar retrieved by the lifting or pulling on the elongate member. The golf ball's slightly resilient outer surface slightly deforms as the ball wedges into the collar. The collar may have a nominal one inch depth and a nominal two inch opening for receiving the golf ball. The collar holds the golf ball in the manner of an egg sitting in an egg cup. The rim of the collar is chamfered to accommodate a narrow range of golf ball diameters within a tolerance of, for example, ten to fifteen thousandths of an inch.

The collar may have a threaded hole in its side. A threaded spike may be provided to threadably mount into the hole for mounting of the collar on the spike. The spike may be used to mount the collar into the hole typically found on the end of a golf club grip. This allows the club to be held inverted and used as the elongate member for retrieving golf balls.

In summary, the golf ball retrieval device according to one aspect of the present invention may be characterized by an annular cylindrical collar having a ball-receiving bore defined by the cylinder and a corresponding bore axis of symmetry (herein the bore axis). The cylinder has a pair of parallel rims at opposite ends of the bore. The collar has a height dimension parallel to the bore axis. The height dimension is less than the diameter of the collar measured perpendicular to the bore axis. The collar has a substantially cylindrical outside surface disposed radially outwardly of the bore axis.

The diameter of the bore is sufficient for a snug friction fit of the collar onto the slightly resilient outer surface of a standard sized golf ball, preferably without the maximum girth of the golf ball fitting into the bore which would otherwise make retrieving the ball from the collar more difficult. Because all so-called standard diameter golf balls in fact may have a diameter within a narrow range of diameters, that is, within a small range of different diameters, advantageously the rims are beveled to provide a ball diameter tolerance range so as to accommodate the corresponding range of sizes of golf balls.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is, in perspective view, the ball retrieving device according to the present invention picking up a golf ball.

FIG. 2 is, in exploded view, the golf ball retrieving head of the golf ball retrieving device of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is, in assembled view, the ball retrieving head of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is, in perspective view, the ball retrieving collar of the ball retrieving head of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is, in perspective view, the ball retrieving collar of FIG. 4 having a golf ball mounted therein.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view along line 6-6 in FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 is, in partially exploded perspective view, the golf ball retrieving head of FIG. 3 and a storage and carriage clip for storage and carriage of the ball retrieving head.

FIG. 8 is, in perspective view, the ball retrieving head and clip of FIG. 7 with the ball retrieving head mounted into the clip.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

With reference to the accompanying figures wherein similar characters of reference denote corresponding parts in each view, the golf ball retrieval device according to one embodiment of the present invention includes an annular cylindrical collar 10 having a ball-receiving bore 12 defined by the cylinder of the collar. Bore 12 has a corresponding bore axis of symmetry A, alternatively referred to herein as the bore axis A. Collar 10 has a height dimension h parallel to bore axis A. Height dimension h is less than the diameter d of collar 10 measured perpendicular to bore axis A. Collar 10 has a substantially cylindrical outside surface 14 disposed radially outwardly of bore axis A.

In the embodiment illustrated, which is not intended to limiting, a threaded hole 18 is formed within surface 14 and extends through the side wall of collar 10 so as to open into bore 12. In a preferred embodiment, a spike 20 is provided having, at a first end, a point 22 and at its opposite end a threaded male member 24. Threaded male member 24 is sized for threaded engagement in threaded hole 18.

The bore diameter b, that is, the inside diameter of collar 10, is sized so as to provide a snug friction fit onto the slightly resilient outer surface 26a of golf ball 26. Preferably, diameter b is smaller, or at least slightly smaller than the diameter corresponding to the maximum circumference c of the golf ball. Golf ball 26 may be snugly frictionally held in collar 10 in the manner of an egg snugly fitting within an egg cup, it being understood that the vertically supported golf ball in FIG. 5 is the end result of a retrieval of the ball using the present invention in the manner seen in FIG. 1.

In one embodiment not intended to be limiting, outside diameter d is approximately 1⅞ inches, bore diameter b is approximately 1 11/16 inches, and height dimension h is approximately 15/16 of an inch.

A forty-five degree chamfer 16 having a depth e of ten thousandths of an inch is formed around the inner edge of the collar rims 10a to create a ball diameter range tolerance of ten to fifteen thousandths of an inch in the diameter c of a golf ball 26 within which a golf ball will be resiliently mated in the collar. Thus the ratio of d:h is approximately 2:1. Collar 10 may be constructed of metal, in one particular embodiment aluminium, although other rigid materials will work.

Thus in use, collar 10 lightly thrust onto golf ball 26 by a downward tapping motion with the object being to frictionally lodge golf ball 26 within bore 12. Collar 10 is tapped down onto golf ball 26 so as to align golf ball axis of symmetry C collinearly with bore axis A as golf ball 26 engages rim 10a of collar 10.

In use, a user may thread spike 20 into threaded hole 18. Spike 20 may be mounted into a golf club grip 30 by inserting spike 20 into the aperture (not shown) typically found in the distal end of a typical grip 30. Spike 20 is sized so as to frictionally fit into a conventional sized aperture. With spike 20 so mounted into the distal end of grip 30, the inverted golf club 32 may be used for picking up golf balls 26 by tapping or lightly thrusting collar 10 downwardly in direction I so as to wedge golf ball 26 within bore 12 and allowing the user to retrieve the ball.

In one embodiment, a resilient clip 34 may be provided having a pair of opposed facing resilient tongs 36 at one end of clip 34 and at an opposite end a carabiner 38 for mounting of clip 34 onto, for example, the side of a golf bag (not shown). An internal bore 34a shown in dotted outline, and having an external aperture 34b may be formed within clip 34. Aperture 34b and bore 34a are formed along the medial axis of clip 34, aperture 34b being disposed centrally between tongs 36. The spacing between tongs 36 is such that spike 20 and collar 10 may be pushed in direction F so as to insert spike 20 through aperture 34b and along bore 34a so as to seat collar 10 snugly within and between tongs 36. As collar 10 is forced in direction F, resilient tongs 36 spread apart to accommodate the maximum diameter of the collar, and then resiliently re-form so as to hold the collar between the tongs. This then provides a ball retrieval system when combined with the use of the golf clubs as the handle for the ball retriever.

As will be apparent to those skilled in the art in the light of the foregoing disclosure, many alterations and modifications are possible in the practice of this invention without departing from the spirit or scope thereof. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is to be construed in accordance with the substance defined by the following claims.