Title:
Fold-up divot repair tool case holding tees and ball marker
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fold-up die cast or injection molded divot repair tool forms a smooth exterior case for housing tees and a ball marker therein. The forked end of the tool pivots on a spring-loaded hinge with the remainder of the case which acts as a handle for the divot repair tool, so that the forked end of the divot repair tool snaps open into a working position. The flat top of the case has a stepped double recessed circular opening with two different diameter steps, one for receiving a circular ball marker, and the other for receiving a circular magnet for securing the ball marker in place. Three cylindrical spaced openings through the body of the case provide space for three golf tees to be removably inserted therein.



Inventors:
Vargas, John G. (Whittier, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/318839
Publication Date:
06/28/2007
Filing Date:
12/27/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/286
International Classes:
A63B53/00; A63B57/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Donald W. Meeker (Newport Beach, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A golf accessory case device providing a multiplicity of golf accessories for fitting smoothly in a pocket of a golfer, the device comprising: a combined divot tool handle and case comprising a flat top surface provided with a stepped double recessed circular opening with two different diameter circular steps, smooth rounded back edges, a front edge formed as a portion of a hinge, and a protruding rounded bottom thicker than a top diameter of a golf tee, the protruding rounded bottom provided with a multiplicity of spaced cylindrical openings therethrough spaced apart from and nearly parallel to the top flat surface, the cylindrical openings structured to receive a golf tee removably insertable by a friction fit in each of the multiplicity of cylindrical openings from a back surface of the protruding rounded bottom so that a circular top of each of the golf tees fits between the top flat surface and a bottom surface of the protruding rounded bottom and a point of each of the golf tees fits mostly within the cylindrical opening so that the golf tees fit within an outer perimeter of the combined divot tool handle and case; a disc shaped magnet secured within an inner circular step and a magnetically attractive circular disc shaped ball marker removably inserted in an outer recessed circular opening so that the top surface remains flat with the ball marker and magnet inserted therein; a divot tool fork comprising front protruding flat prongs and a rear mating portion of a hinge which attaches to the front edge portion of a hinge of the combined divot tool handle and case by a pivot pin and at least one spring, so the divot tool fork is pivotable from a storage position against the flat top surface with the flat prongs flat against the flat top surface fitting within the perimeter of the combined divot tool handle and case to a working position with the prongs protruding forward from the combined divot tool handle and case for use in repairing divots and the divot tool fork being automatically pivotable to the working position for use as a divot repair tool by at least one spring, a locking mechanism to secure the divot tool fork in the storage position and in the working position and a lock release mechanism to release the divot tool fork from the storage position so that at least one spring pivots the divot tool fork from the storage position into the working position and to release the divot tool fork from the working position so that the fork may be pivoted into the storage position; thereby providing a golf accessory case device providing a multiplicity of golf accessories for fitting smoothly in a pocket of a golfer in the storage position.

2. The device of claim 1 comprising three cylindrical spaced openings.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein the combined divot handle and case and the divot fork prongs are made of die cast metal.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein the combined divot handle and case and the divot fork prongs are made of injection molded synthetic material.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein the combined divot handle and case and the divot fork prongs are made of injection molded metal (MIM).

6. The device of claim 1 wherein the combined divot handle and case and the divot fork prongs are made by forming a carbon fiber matrix or other composite into the desired body shape.

7. The device of claim 1 wherein the combined divot handle and case and the divot fork prongs are machined from a material used for machining.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to golf accessories and particularly to a combination divot repair tool which folds up into a compact configuration for fitting into a pocket, the tool having a pivotable divot repair tool, a removably attached golf ball position marker and one or more apertures therethrough for holding golf tees.

2. Description of Related Art Including Information Disclosed Under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98

Golf etiquette requires patching up divots in the grass caused by a golf ball striking the putting green during an approach shot, so a divot repair tool is an essential piece of equipment for a golfer. Tees are also essential for teeing off at each hole. On the green adjacent to the hole, it is often necessary to remove a ball that would affect a shot by another golfer so that a golf ball marker is another necessary piece of equipment for a golfer. The prior art does not adequately address the problem of providing an inexpensive convenient means of carrying these elements in a compact unit to fit in a golfer's pocket without any of the sharp elements of the tees and divot tool poking the golfer or tearing the golfer's pockets or clothes.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,960,239, issued Oct. 2, 1990 to Wait, is for a golf device which combines a turf repair tool with a carrier for a pair of golf tees and a ball marker. The device includes a one-piece body formed with a pair of tee-receiving cavities in an end face of the body. The body is formed at another end into a turf repair tool including a pair of prongs. A belt clip is preferably integrally formed with the body at a bottom face of the body so that the device may be conveniently clipped to a pocket or belt of the golfer. In one embodiment, a pair of resilient clips are attached to the top face of the body. A slot is formed in the body to open at the top face and the end face. The slot is adapted to receive the stem of a ball marker therein. The resilient clips can be urged away from the top face to accept the disk of the ball marker and to retain the marker adjacent the top face. The ball marker can be readily removed by sliding the marker from the slot and past the resilient clips.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,151,937, issued May 1, 1979 to Jarosh, claims a holding device that comprises a flat rectangular plastic box having two end walls and elongated top, bottom, front and back walls with a pair of prongs extending from one of said end walls for fixing divots. The device has openings thereon in which small golfing items can be conveniently carried for use by a golfer while playing a game of golf.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,755,629, issued May 26, 1998 to Blomgren, puts forth a golf accessory in the form of an elongate pitch mark repairer extending along a longitudinal axis. The pitch mark repairer has a pair of spaced-apart prongs extending from a body portion. The body portion presents a transversely extending axis about which a tee is pivotally disposed.

U.S. Pat. No. D505,473, issued May 24, 2005 to Foley, provides the ornamental design for a golfing accessory, which comprises a holder for a divot repair tool, a ball marker and tees.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,211,395, issued May 18, 1993 to Liao, discloses in a first embodiment, a golf tool which comprises an upper tee portion including a tee cup, and a lower green repair portion including a body portion adjacent to the upper tee portion and a pair of prongs extending downwardly from said body portion. A ball marker is removably attached to the body portion. In a second embodiment, the inner edges of the prongs comprise a range-finder for determining the distance between a golfer holding the tool and a pin of known height, and a golf tee is attached to the tee portion by a cord. The golf tee and cord function to position the range-finder a predetermined distance from the eyes of the golfer. In a third embodiment, the golf tool comprises first, second, and third members, and cords respectively attaching the second and third members to the first member. The first member includes a body portion and a pair of prongs extending downwardly from the body portion, the inner edges of the prongs comprising a range-finder. The second and third members comprise golf tees of different heights. Each of the tees in combination with its cord functions to position the range-finder a predetermined distance from the eyes of the golfer. A ball marker can be removably attached to the body portion of the first member.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,226,647, issued Jul. 13, 1993 to Notarmuzi, indicates a multi-purpose golfer's accessory with a straight edge defining a scraper, a formation of prongs defining a green repair mechanism, the base of a club stand, the base of a cigarette holder, and a spike cleaning device, a cutout defining a tee carrier, a notch defining a cigarette holder, a tooth defining a club face groove cleaner, a cusp defining a bottle opener in conjunction with tooth, a set of two tabs defining a spike wrench, a lead-in neck and a cutout defining a club grip stand when used in conjunction with prongs, a ball marker holder formed as a hole, and a hole defining an attachment point for a key chain, hook, or other attachment device.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,224,502, issued May 1, 2001 to Warfield, is for an implement for repairing ball marks on golf greens, the implement having a grasping portion at a proximal end and at least one prong at a distal end with a ramp-like profile ending in a transversely oriented abutment in a mediate region. The abutment provides a surface against which an index finger of a user can rest to apply increased pressure to insert the implement into a golf green. The method of using the implement includes inserting the implement adjacent the ball mark and moving turf laterally. In those instances where insertion of the ramp-like prong or prongs is insufficient to repair the damage of the ball mark, the method further includes rocking the implement about the distal end to move the turf laterally.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,872,155, issued Mar. 29, 2005 to Jacome, describes a tee-enabled divot fixer having a cover. The divot fixer includes a body configured to hold at least two golf tees in an approximately parallel configuration via a first cavity and a second cavity that are each configured to accept a golf tee such that a tip of a golf tee can protrude from the cavity as a tine. The body is also configured to secure at least two golf tees in place within the body via a securing mechanism that is configured to hold a first end of a cover securely to the body.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,433,436, issued Jul. 18, 1995 to Hoyt, shows a tee and ball marker clip on a holder. The device can be conveniently attached to the side of a golf shoe. It includes a clip member that attaches to the shoe and carries the divot repair tool. The clip member includes tee-holding elements which hold conventional golf tees.

What is needed is an inexpensive convenient means of carrying a fold-up divot repair tool, several tees, and a ball marker in a compact unit to fit in a golfer's pocket without any of the sharp elements of the tees and divot tool poking the golfer or tearing the golfer's pockets or clothes.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a fold-up die cast or injection molded pocket device as a convenient means of carrying a fold-up divot repair tool.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a compact carrying case for carrying several tees and a ball marker in a golfer's pocket.

One more object of the present invention is to provide a pocket-sized means of carrying golf tees, a ball marker, and a divot repair tool that will prevent the sharp edges of any of these objects from poking the golfer or tearing the golfer's clothes or pockets.

An additional object of the present invention is to provide a pocket-sized means for carrying a divot repair tool, several tees, and a ball marker that can be constructed of a variety of materials.

A related object of the present invention is to provide a pocket-sized means for carrying a divot repair tool, several tees, and a ball marker that can be fabricated using a variety of different fabrication methods.

In brief, a fold-up die cast or injection molded divot repair tool forms a smooth exterior case for housing tees and a ball marker therein. The forked end of the tool pivots on a spring-loaded hinge with the remainder of the case which acts as a handle for the divot repair tool, so that the forked end of the divot repair tool snaps closed onto a flat top of the case for smooth compact storage in a golfer's pocket. The flat top of the case has a stepped double recessed circular opening with two different diameter steps, one for receiving a circular ball marker therein, and the second for receiving a circular magnet for securing the ball marker in place.

The case is thicker at the back end and tapers toward the front hinged connection with the forked end of the divot repair tool, with a curved recessed back surface having rounded edges on the corners and bottom edges, the back surface curving into a rounded bottom surface. Three cylindrical openings running from front to back of the rounded bottom of the case receive three golf tees inserted through the back openings and held therein by a friction fit with the points of the tees resting mostly within the rounded bottom of the case so that they do not protrude, do not provide a hazard, and cannot poke the skin or tear the clothing of the golfer.

An advantage of the present invention is that it provides a means of carrying a fold-up divot repair tool, several tees, and a ball marker in a compact unit to fit in a golfer's pocket.

An additional advantage of the present invention is that it is convenient.

One more advantage of the present invention is that the structure prevents the sharp edges of the divot repair tool, tees and a ball marker from poking the skin or tearing holes in a golfer's pockets.

Yet another advantage of the present invention is that is can be made of a variety of materials.

Still another advantage of the present invention is that it may be fabricated in a variety of different fabrication methods.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other details of my invention will be described in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are furnished only by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention, and in which drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the golf accessory case device of the present invention in the folded up storage position for insertion in a pocket of a user;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the golf accessory case device of FIG. 1 with the divot tool fork extended for use as a divot repair tool;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the parts of the golf accessory case device of FIG. 1 aligned for assembly.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the combined divot repair tool handle and case taken through section 4-4 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the combined divot repair tool handle and case.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In FIGS. 1-3, a golf accessory case device 20, preferably made of die cast metal or injection molded synthetic material, provides a multiplicity of golf accessories for fitting smoothly in a pocket of a golfer.

A combined divot tool handle and case 21 has a flat top surface 22 provided with a stepped double recessed circular opening 23 with two different diameter circular steps 23A and 23B. The divot tool handle and case 21 has smooth rounded back edges, a front edge 26 formed as a portion of a hinge, and a protruding rounded bottom 24 that is thicker than the top diameter of a golf tee. There is a multiplicity of evenly spaced cylindrical openings 18 running from front to back of the protruding rounded bottom 24. The cylindrical openings are spaced apart from and nearly parallel to the top flat surface 22. In a preferred embodiment, the device has three cylindrical openings for three golf tees.

A number of golf tees 40, are removably insertable by a friction fit into the cylindrical openings from the back surface of the protruding rounded bottom 24, so that the circular top 41 of each of the golf tees fits between the top flat surface 22 and the bottom of the protruding rounded bottom 24 and the point 42 of each of the golf tees lies mostly within the cylindrical opening 18. In this way, the golf tees fit within the outer perimeter of the combined divot tool handle and case.

A circular disc shaped ball marker 30A is removably inserted in the stepped double recessed circular opening 23, with the marker 30A fitting into the larger step 23A. A circular magnet 30B fits into the smaller step 23B, and magnetically holds the ball marker in place, so that the top surface 22 remains flat when the ball marker is inserted therein.

A divot tool fork 28 has front protruding flat prongs 19 and a rear mating portion of a hinge 27 which attaches to the front edge portion of a hinge 26 of the combined divot tool handle and case 21 by a pivot pin 25 and a torsion spring 29A and a compression spring 29B. As shown in FIG. 1, when in its storage position, the divot tool fork 28 is normally biased against the flat top surface 22 with the flat prongs 19 flat against the top flat surface 22, fitting within the perimeter of the combined divot tool handle and case. As shown in FIG. 2, the divot tool fork 28 is pivotable to a working position, with the prongs 19 protruding forward from the combined divot tool handle and case 21 for use in repairing divots. A locking mechanism, built into the pivot pin 25 and hinge array 26 and 27, secures the divot tool fork in both the storage position and in the working position and a lock release mechanism, the pivot pin end button 25A releases the divot tool fork 28 from the storage position of FIG. 1 so that torsion spring 29A automatically pivots the divot tool fork into the working position of FIG. 2 for use as a divot repair tool and the pivot pin end button 25A releases the divot tool fork 28 from the working position so that the fork may be pivoted by hand into the storage position.

The combined divot tool handle and case 21 and the divot tool fork 28 together form a golf accessory case device 20 that contains several golf accessories and fits smoothly in a golfer's pocket when folded in the storage position.

It is understood that the preceding description is given merely by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention and that various modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention as claimed.





 
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