Title:
Off-axis strap for a golf bag
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Golf bags including a single, off-axis strap arrangement or a dual, off-axis strap arrangement are disclosed. In single, off-axis arrangements, the strap is arranged such that each end of the strap is connected to the golf bag on opposite sides of a spinal axis, wherein one end of the strap is connected proximate an open top end and the other strap is connected intermediate the open top end and a closed bottom end. In dual, off-axis strap arrangements, each end of each strap is connected on opposite sides of the spinal axis, wherein each strap has one end connected proximate an open top end and one end connected intermediate the open top end and a closed bottom end. In addition, the end of each strap that is connected proximate the open top end is connected asymmetrical to each other with respect to a spinal axis of the golf bag.



Inventors:
Anderson, Douglas W. (Phoenix, AZ, US)
Mcguire, Brian J. (Tempe, AZ, US)
Application Number:
11/413986
Publication Date:
11/15/2007
Filing Date:
04/28/2006
Assignee:
Karsten Manufacturing Corporation (Phoenix, AZ, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F3/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080078789Back Strap Chair CarrierApril, 2008Fiola
20090317021SHOPPING BAG SYSTEMDecember, 2009Taylor
20050011922Retaining net to be mounted on surfaces in the cockpit and/or trunk of motor vehiclesJanuary, 2005Nolle
20070039989Pepper Spray Canister HolsterFebruary, 2007Nistico
20080087700Strap and method for utilizingApril, 2008Seale
20070221696Electronic device carrying case with a foot strapSeptember, 2007Kakita
20080061096Bag For Pushchair Or The Like, Also Usable As A Backpack Or Shoulder BagMarch, 2008Mancuso
20050109807Retract - collapsible rack system for bed of every existing pick - up truckMay, 2005Corral
20080079277Ladder Rack AssemblyApril, 2008Wethington
20080041900Wheelchair umbrella holsterFebruary, 2008Leifermann
20060118586Vehicular cargo carrier with adaptable multi-platformsJune, 2006Heravi



Primary Examiner:
LANDOLFI, JR., STEVEN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KARSTEN MANUFACTURING CORPORATION (PHOENIX, AZ, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A golf bag, comprising: a body defining a generally tubular compartment, the compartment including an open top end and a closed bottom end; a spine defining an axis of the body, the axis being a longitudinal spinal axis extending intermediate the open top end and the closed bottom end; a throat structure defining the open top end of the compartment; and a single strap coupled to the body, wherein the strap comprises: a first end coupled to the body at a first position proximate the open top end and at a first distance from the axis, and a second end coupled to the body at a second position intermediate the throat structure and the closed bottom end and at a second distance away from the axis, wherein: the first end and the second end are coupled to the body on opposite sides of the axis.

2. The golf bag of claim 1, wherein the first distance and the second distance are different distances.

3. The golf bag of claim 1, further comprising: a stand coupled to the body, wherein the stand is coupled to the body substantially opposite the spine.

4. The golf bag of claim 3, wherein the golf bag rotates such that the stand is oriented facing rearwardly to a user when worn by the user.

5. The golf bag of claim 4, further comprising a hip pad, wherein the hip pad is oriented on the body such that the hip pad comes into contact with the user when the golf bag rotates.

6. A golf bag, comprising: a body defining a generally tubular compartment, the compartment including an open top end and a closed bottom end; a spine defining a first axis of the body, wherein the first axis is a longitudinal spinal axis extending intermediate the open top end and the closed bottom end, inclusive; a throat structure defining the open top end of the compartment, the throat structure comprising a second axis substantially orthogonal to the first axis; a first strap coupled to the body, the first strap comprising: a first end coupled to the body at a first position proximate the throat structure, and a second end coupled to the body at a second position intermediate the throat structure and the closed bottom end; and a second strap coupled to the body, the second strap comprising: a third end coupled to the body at a third position proximate the throat structure, and a fourth end coupled to the body at a fourth position intermediate the throat structure and the closed bottom end, wherein: the first end and the third end are coupled on opposite sides of the first axis, and the third position is a greater distance from the first axis than the first position.

7. The golf bag of claim 6, further comprising: a stand coupled to the body, wherein the stand is coupled to the body substantially opposite the spine.

8. The golf bag of claim 7, wherein the golf bag rotates such that the stand is oriented facing rearwardly to a user when worn by the user.

9. The golf bag of claim 8, further comprising a hip pad, wherein the hip pad is oriented on the body such that the hip pad comes into contact with the user when the golf bag rotates.

10. The golf bag of claim 6, wherein: the open top end comprises a center point along the second axis; the first end and the second end are coupled on opposite sides of the second axis; the first end is coupled proximate the throat structure such that an angle in the range of about 0 degrees to about 180 degrees with respect to the second axis and the center point is created; and the third end is coupled proximate the throat structure such that an angle in the range of about 0 degrees to about 180 degrees with respect to the second axis and the center point is created.

11. The golf bag of claim 6, wherein the second position and the fourth position are an equal distance from the first axis.

12. The golf bag of claim 6, wherein the second position is a different distance from the first axis than the fourth position.

13. The golf bag of claim 6, wherein the second position and the fourth position are an equal distance from the open top end.

14. The golf bag of claim 6, wherein the second position is a different distance from the open top end than the fourth position.

15. The golf bag of claim 6, wherein the second position and the fourth position are at the same position.

16. The golf bag of claim 15, wherein the second position and the fourth position are located on the spine.

17. The golf bag of claim 15, wherein the second position and the fourth position are located off of the spine.

18. The golf bag of claim 17, wherein the second position and the fourth position are located on the spine, and the second position and the fourth position are different distances from the top end.

19. The golf bag of claim 6, wherein the first position is located on the throat structure and the third position is located off of the throat structure.

20. A golf bag, comprising: a body defining a generally tubular compartment, the compartment including an open top end and a closed bottom end; a spine defining a first axis of the body, wherein the first axis is a longitudinal spinal axis extending intermediate the open top end and the closed bottom end, inclusive; a throat structure defining the open top end of the compartment, the throat structure comprising a second axis substantially orthogonal to the first axis; a first strap coupled to the body, the first strap comprising: a first end coupled to the body at a first position proximate the throat structure, and a second end coupled to the body at a second position intermediate the throat structure and the closed bottom end; and a second strap coupled to the body, the second strap comprising: a third end coupled to the body at a third position proximate the throat structure, and a fourth end coupled to the body at a fourth position intermediate the throat structure and the closed bottom end, wherein: the first position and the third position are asymmetrical to each other with respect to the first axis and the second axis.

21. The golf bag of claim 20, further comprising: a stand coupled to the body, wherein the stand is coupled to the body substantially opposite the spine.

22. The golf bag of claim 21, wherein the golf bag rotates such that the stand is oriented facing rearwardly to a user when worn by the user.

23. The golf bag of claim 22, further comprising a hip pad, wherein the hip pad is oriented on the body such that the hip pad comes into contact with the user when the golf bag rotates.

24. The golf bag of claim 20, wherein: the open top end comprises a center point along the second axis; the first end and the second end are coupled on opposite sides of the second axis; the first end is coupled proximate the throat structure such that an angle in the range of about 0 degrees to about 180 degrees with respect to the second axis and the center point is created; and the third end is coupled proximate the throat structure such that an angle in the range of about 0 degrees to about 180 degrees with respect to the second axis and the center point is created.

25. The golf bag of claim 20, wherein the second position and the fourth position are an equal distance from the first axis.

26. The golf bag of claim 20, wherein the second position is a different distance from the first axis than the fourth position.

27. The golf bag of claim 20, wherein the second position and the fourth position are an equal distance from the open top end.

28. The golf bag of claim 20, wherein the second position is a different distance from the open top end than the fourth position.

29. The golf bag of claim 20, wherein the second position and the fourth position are at the same position.

30. The golf bag of claim 29, wherein the second position and the fourth position are located on the spine.

31. The golf bag of claim 29, wherein the second position and the fourth position are located off of the spine.

32. The golf bag of claim 29, wherein the second position and the fourth position are located on the spine, and the second position and the fourth position are different distances from the top end.

33. The golf bag of claim 20, wherein the first position is located on the throat structure and the third position is located off of the throat structure.

34. The golf bag of claim 20, wherein the first position is located on the spine and the third position is located off of the spine.

35. A golf bag, comprising: a body defining a generally tubular compartment, the compartment including an open top end and a closed bottom end; a spine defining a first axis of the body, wherein the first axis is a longitudinal spinal axis extending intermediate the open top end and the closed bottom end, inclusive; a throat structure defining the open top end of the compartment, wherein the throat structure comprises a second axis substantially orthogonal to the first axis; and a dual strap arrangement, the dual strap arrangement comprising: a first shoulder strap including an upper end coupled proximate to the throat structure at a first location which is on one side of the spinal axis and a lower end coupled to the body at a second location which is on the opposite side of the spinal axis so that a first straight line extending intermediate the first and second locations traverses the spinal axis, the first location being proximate the top end of the body and circumferentially spaced apart from the spinal axis by a first distance, the second location being generally intermediate the top and bottom ends of the body, a second shoulder strap including upper and lower ends coupled proximate to the throat structure and the body at third and fourth locations, respectively, the third location being on the same side of the spinal axis as the second location and proximate the top end of the body and circumferentially spaced apart from the spinal axis by a second distance, the fourth location being on the same side of the spinal axis as the first location and generally intermediate the top and bottom ends of the body and circumferentially spaced apart from the second location by a second distance so that a second straight line extending intermediate the third and fourth locations traverses the spinal axis, and wherein the first distance and the second distance are different distances.

36. The golf bag of claim 35, wherein the first and second shoulder straps are arranged to cross each other to form an X-shaped pattern on a user's back with the golf bag disposed substantially horizontally across the user's back when the golf bag is carried by the user with the first shoulder strap looped over a first shoulder of the user and the second shoulder strap looped over a second shoulder of the user.

37. The golf bag of claim 35, wherein the first shoulder strap and the second shoulder strap are arranged so that they cross each other at an intersection point that is substantially midway intermediate the user's shoulders.

38. The golf bag of claim 37, wherein the first shoulder strap has an overall length measured intermediate the first location and the second location, and further comprising a first adjustment means for adjusting the overall length of the first shoulder strap.

39. The golf bag of claim 38, wherein the first adjustment means is disposed on the lower end of the first shoulder strap.

40. The golf bag of claim 38, wherein the second shoulder strap has an overall length measured intermediate the third and fourth locations, and further comprising a second adjustment means for adjusting the overall length of the second shoulder strap.

41. The golf bag of claim 40, wherein the second adjustment means is disposed on the lower end of the second shoulder strap.

42. The golf bag of claim 35, wherein the second distance is greater than the first distance.

43. A golf bag for carrying golf clubs, comprising: a generally tubular body, the generally tubular body including: an open top end, a closed bottom end, a spinal axis extending intermediate the open top end and the closed bottom end, and a throat structure defining the body top end; a first shoulder strap including: an upper end coupled to the throat structure at a first location which is on one side of the spinal axis, and a lower end coupled to the body at a second location which is on the opposite side of the spinal axis of the upper end so that a first straight line extending intermediate the first location and the second location traverses the spinal axis, the first location being proximate the top end of the body and circumferentially spaced apart from the spinal axis by a first distance, the second location being generally intermediate the top end and the bottom end of the body; and a second shoulder strap including: an upper end coupled to the throat structure and the body at a third location, the third location being on the same side of the spinal axis as the second location and proximate the top end of the body and circumferentially spaced apart from the spinal axis by a second distance, and a lower end coupled to the body at a fourth location, the fourth location being on the same side of the spinal axis as the first location and generally intermediate the top end and the bottom end of the body and circumferentially spaced apart from the second location by a third distance so that a second straight line extending intermediate the third and fourth locations traverses the spinal axis, wherein: the first distance and the second distance are different distances.

44. The golf bag of claim 43, wherein the throat structure comprises a pair of slots formed therein at the first and third locations, and wherein the upper ends of the first and second shoulder straps are secured in the slots.

45. The golf bag of claim 43, wherein the first and second shoulder straps are arranged to cross each other to form an X-shaped pattern on a user's back with the golf bag disposed substantially horizontally across the user's back when the golf bag is carried by the user with the first shoulder strap looped over a first shoulder of the user and the second shoulder strap looped over a second shoulder of the user.

46. The golf bag of claim 43, wherein the third distance is the same distance as the sum of the first distance and the second distance.

47. The golf bag of claim 43, wherein the third distance is less than the sum of the first distance and the second distance.

48. The golf bag of claim 43, wherein the third distance is greater than the sum of the first distance and the second distance.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

Embodiments of the invention relate generally to golf equipment and, in particular, to off-axis shoulder straps for a golf bag.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Conventional golf bags generally include one or two straps to assist the user in carrying the golf bag. Generally, golf bags include a tubular main body with an open top end and a closed bottom end. Furthermore, golf bags usually have a spine defining an axis extending longitudinally intermediate the open top end and the closed bottom end, and may include a bag stand opposite the spine axis. When a golf bag includes a bag stand, the bag stand generally includes two legs that protrude from each of the lateral sides of the golf bag.

In single strap designs, one end of the strap is attached to the golf bag at the open top end along the spine axis. The other end of the strap is attached to the body somewhere along the spine axis intermediate the open top end and the closed bottom end.

In dual-strap designs, each strap has one end attached to the bag at the open top end, and the other end attached to the golf bag intermediate the open top end and the closed bottom end. Furthermore, each end of the respective straps is connected to the bag symmetrical to the other strap with respect to the spine axis. In other words, the end of the straps that are connected to the open top end are on opposite sides of the spine axis and are circumferentially spaced an equal distance from the spine axis.

Typically, when a user carries either the single strap design or the dual strap design, the golf bag is disposed substantially horizontally across the user's back with at least one of the bag stand legs oriented toward the user. At times, this leg comes into contact with the user while the user is carrying the bag, causing an annoyance to the user and/or interfering with the user's walk. Thus, there is a need for golf bags that orient the bag stand away from the user when the golf bag is being carried.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the present invention include golf bags having a single, off-axis strap or dual, off-axis straps. In single, off-axis strap embodiments, the golf bags include a body defining a generally tubular compartment with an open top end and a closed bottom end. The golf bag further includes a throat structure defining the open top end of the compartment and a spine defining an axis of the body, wherein the axis is a longitudinal spinal axis extending intermediate the open top end and the closed bottom end. The single, off-axis strap also includes a first end connected to the body at a first position proximate the open top end and at a first distance from the spinal axis, and a second end connected to the body at a second position intermediate the throat structure and the closed bottom end and at a second distance away from the spinal axis, wherein the first end and the second end are connected to the golf bag on opposite sides of the spinal axis. In accordance with one exemplary embodiment of the invention, the first distance and the second distance are different distances.

In dual, off-axis strap embodiments, the golf bags include a body defining a generally tubular compartment, the compartment including an open top end, a closed bottom end, a spine defining a first axis of the body, wherein the first axis is a longitudinal spinal axis extending intermediate the open top end and the closed bottom end. Furthermore, the golf bag includes a throat structure defining the open top end of the compartment, wherein the throat structure comprises a second axis substantially orthogonal to the first axis. Moreover, the golf bag includes a first strap having a first end connected to the body at a first position proximate the throat structure and a second end connected to the body at a second position intermediate the throat structure and the closed bottom end. A second strap is also included, wherein the second straps includes a third end connected to the body at a third position proximate the throat structure and a fourth end connected to the body at a fourth position intermediate the throat structure and the closed bottom end, wherein the first position and the third position are connected on opposite sides of the first axis, and are connected asymmetrical to each other with respect to the first axis. In other words, the end of the straps that are connected proximate the open top end are on opposite sides of the first axis, and are circumferentially spaced different distances from the first axis.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A more complete understanding of the present invention may be derived by referring to the detailed description and claims when considered in connection with the drawing figures, where like reference numbers refer to similar elements throughout the figures, and:

FIG. 1 is a diagram of a golf bag including a single, off-axis strap according to one exemplary embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a top view of the golf bag of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top end view of the golf bag of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a schematic view of the single, off-axis strap arrangement of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating the golf bag of FIG. 1 while being carried by a user;

FIG. 6 is a diagram of a golf bag including dual, off-axis straps according to an exemplary embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 7 is a top view of the golf bag of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a top end view of the golf bag of FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a schematic view of the dual, off-axis strap arrangement of FIG. 6;

FIG. 10 is a diagram illustrating the golf bag of FIG. 6 while being carried by a user;

FIGS. 11-26 are diagrams illustrating golf bags similar to FIG. 6 including dual, off-axis strap arrangements with the top ends of each strap in various different locations; and

FIGS. 27-42 are diagrams illustrating golf bags similar to FIG. 6 including dual, off-axis strap arrangements with the bottoms ends of each strap in various different locations.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The description of exemplary embodiments of the invention herein makes reference to the accompanying drawings, which show exemplary embodiments by way of illustration.

While these exemplary embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, it should be understood that other embodiments may be realized, and that logical and mechanical changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Thus, the description herein is presented for purposes of illustration only and not by way of limitation.

Turning now to the figures, FIGS. 1 and 2 are diagrams illustrating a golf bag 100 including a single, off-axis strap for carrying golf clubs. Golf bag 100 includes a generally tubular body 110 with an open top end 120, a closed bottom end 130, and a spinal axis 140 extending longitudinally between top end 120 and bottom end 130. Top end 110 is defined by a throat structure 150 similar to that disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,596,328 issued to John A. Solheim, which patent is hereby incorporated by reference, in its entirety. Golf clubs (not shown) may be inserted into and removed from body 110 through top end 120 in a conventional manner. A handle 153 is provided on body 110 proximate top end 120, and a handle 156 is provided on body 110 proximate bottom end 130, although handle 153 and/or handle 156 may be excluded. Golf bag 100, optionally, includes an accessory pocket 160 and/or an accessory pocket 165 mounted on body 110.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, golf bag 100 includes a single, off-axis strap arrangement including a shoulder strap 170, wherein shoulder strap 170 includes an upper end 172 connected to body 110 at a location 174 proximate top end 120, and a lower end 176 connected to body 110 at a location 178, wherein location 178 is generally intermediate top end 120 and bottom end 130. Shoulder strap 170 also includes an elongated pad 180 between upper end 172 and lower end 176. As illustrated, for example, in FIG. 2, location 174 is on one side of spinal axis 140, while location 178 is on an opposite side of spinal axis 140. This orientation of locations 174 and 178 forms a substantially straight line extending between locations 174 and 178, which line traverses spinal axis 140.

In accordance with one exemplary embodiment, locations 174 and 178 are connected to body 110 an equal distance from spinal axis 140. In another exemplary embodiment, locations 174 and 178 are connected to body 110 asymmetrically with one another with respect to spinal axis 140. In other words, locations 174 and 178 are connected different circumferential distances from spinal axis 140. Thus, location 174 may be connected a greater distance from spinal axis 140 than location 178, or vice versa.

In accordance with one exemplary embodiment, golf bag 100 also includes a bag stand 190 connected to it. Bag stand 190 may be any bag stand known in the art or developed in the future. Typical bag stands generally include two retractable legs positioned on each of the lateral sides of golf bag 100, and such is contemplated by the invention. Bag stand 190 is connected to body 110 substantially opposite spinal axis 140 so that when a user puts golf bag 100 down, legs from bag stand 190 extend outwardly from body 110 such that golf bag 100 is propped up. With shoulder strap 170 crossing spinal axis 140, when golf bag 100 is carried by a user with shoulder strap 170 looped over the user's shoulder, golf bag 100 rotates so that bag stand 190 faces substantially away (i.e., rearwardly) from the user such that bag stand 190 does not come into contact with and/or interfere with the user when the user is carrying golf bag 100 (see FIG. 5).

Additionally, golf bag 100 includes a hip pad 192 on body 110, wherein hip pad 192 is oriented on body 110 such that when golf bag 100 rotates, hip pad 192 contacts the user rather than bag stand 190. Notably, hip pad 192 may be formed of any material and include any geometry and/or shape to pad against bag stand 190 coming into substantial contact with the user.

Shoulder strap 170, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, also includes an adjustment device 184 disposed on lower end 176 for adjusting the overall length of strap 170, which is measured between locations 174 and 178. By utilizing adjustment device 184, shoulder strap 170 is able to have its overall length adjusted, as desired. Further adjustment devices (not shown) may be provided on upper end 172 and/or lower end 176 in addition to, or in lieu of, adjustment device 184. Upper end 172 is secured in a slot 186 formed in throat structure 150 at location 174 such that an angle θ is formed between strap 170 and spinal axis 140 (see FIG. 3). Lower end 176 extends through a ring 188 mounted on body 110 at location 178. Alternatively, lower end 176 may be connected directly (e.g., sewn) to body 110 at location 178, thereby eliminating ring 188.

FIGS. 6 and 7 are diagrams of a golf bag 200 including a dual, off-axis strap arrangement. Golf bag 200 includes a shoulder strap 270 and a shoulder strap 370, wherein shoulder strap 270 includes an upper end 272 connected to body 210 at a location 274 proximate a top end 220 and a lower end 276 connected to body 210 at a location 278, wherein location 278 is generally intermediate top end 220 and a bottom end 230. Shoulder strap 270 may also include an elongated pad 280 between upper end 272 and lower end 276. As illustrated, for example, in FIG. 6, location 274 is on one side of a spinal axis 240 (similar to spinal axis 140, discussed above) while location 278 is on the opposite side of spinal axis 240. This orientation of locations 274 and 278 forms a substantially straight line extending between locations 274 and 278 to traverse spinal axis 240. In addition, the invention contemplates that locations 274 and 278 may be on the same side of spinal axis 240. Furthermore, the invention contemplates that locations 274 and 278 may both be on spinal axis 240. Further still, location 274 may be on spinal axis 240 while location 278 may be on either side of spinal axis 240, or vice versa.

Similarly, shoulder strap 370 has an upper end 372 and a lower end 376 connected to body 210 at a location 374 and a location 378, respectively. Shoulder strap 370 includes an elongated pad 380 between upper end 372 and lower end 376. Referencing FIG. 7 again, location 374 is on one side of a spinal axis 240 while location 378 is on the opposite side of spinal axis 240. The orientation of locations 374 and 378 forms a substantially straight line extending between locations 374 and 378 to traverse spinal axis 240 similar to locations 274 and 278, discussed above. Also similar to above, the invention contemplates that locations 374 and 378 may be on the same side of spinal axis 240. Furthermore, locations 374 and 378 may both be on spinal axis 240. Further still, location 374 may be on spinal axis 240 while location 378 may be on either side of spinal axis 240, or vice versa.

FIG. 6 also illustrates that locations 274 and 378 may be on the same side of spinal axis 240. In addition, locations 274 and 378 may be on opposite side of spinal axis 240. Furthermore, locations 274 and 378 may both be on spinal axis 240. Further still, location 274 may be on spinal axis 240 while location 378 may be on either side of spinal axis 240, or location 378 may be on spinal axis 240 while location 274 may be on either side of spinal axis 240.

Similarly, locations 374 and 278 may be on the same side of spinal axis 240, or on opposite sides of spinal axis 240. Furthermore, locations 374 and 278 may both be on spinal axis 240. Further still, location 374 may be on spinal axis 240 while location 278 may be on either side of spinal axis 240, or location 278 may be on spinal axis 240 while location 374 may be on either side of spinal axis 240.

When locations 274 and 278 are connected on opposite sides of spinal axis 240, a substantially straight line that traverses spinal axis 240 is created. Likewise, when locations 374 and 378 are connected on opposite sides of spinal axis 240, a substantially straight line that traverses spinal axis 240 is also created.

As shown in FIG. 8, location 274 is on one side of spinal axis 240, while location 374 is on the opposite side of spinal axis 240. Moreover, locations 278 and 378 are connected proximate to throat structure 250 asymmetrical with one another with respect to spinal axis 240. In other words, location 274 is circumferentially spaced a different distance from spinal axis 240 than location 374. In one exemplary embodiment, location 274 is a greater distance from spinal axis 240 than location 374. In another embodiment, location 274 is a smaller distance from spinal axis 374 than location 274. In other embodiments, location 274 may be located on spinal axis 240, while location 374 is located off of spinal axis 240, or vice versa.

In addition, throat structure 250 includes an axis 252 extending though it, wherein axis 252 is substantially orthogonal to spinal axis 240. Moreover, throat structure 250 includes a center point 254 along axis 252. Notably, locations 278 and 378 are also coupled proximate to throat structure 250 on opposite sides of axis 252.

In accordance with one exemplary embodiment, location 274 forms an angle, θ1, along throat structure 250 with respect to axis 252, wherein θ1 is in the range of about 0 degrees to about 180 degrees. In another exemplary embodiment, location 374 forms an angle, θ2, along throat structure 250 with respect to axis 252, wherein θ2 is in the range of about 0 degrees to about 180 degrees. Furthermore, the difference between location 274 and 374 is in the range of about 1 degree to about 180 degrees. For example, θ1 may equal approximately 15 degrees and θ2 may equal approximately 30 degrees to create a difference of approximately 45 degrees. In another example, θ1 may equal approximately 25 degrees and θ2 may equal approximately 10 degrees to create a difference of approximately 35 degrees. In any case, θ1 does not equal θ2.

Furthermore, locations 278 and 378 are connected to body 210 such that the distance between these two locations is the same circumferential distance as the circumferential distance between locations 274 and 374. In addition, the invention contemplates that the circumferential distance between locations 278 and 378 may be greater than or equal to the circumferential distance between locations 274 and 374. Moreover, locations 278 and 378 may also be asymmetrical with one another with respect to spinal axis 240. In other words, location 278 may be a greater or smaller circumferential distance from spinal axis 240 than location 378. As such, locations 278 and 378 may be the same circumferential distance from spinal axis 240 as locations 274 and 374, respectively. However, locations 278 and 378 may not be the same circumferential distance from spinal axis 240 as locations 274 and 374, respectively. Hence, locations 278 and 378 may be any circumferential distance away from each other, away from spinal axis 240, and/or away from spinal axis 240 with respect to each other. Further still, either location 278 and/or location 378 may be connected on spinal axis 240.

As seen in FIG. 10, golf bag 200 may also include a bag stand 290, similar to bag stand 190, connected to it. With shoulder strap 270 looped over a user's right shoulder and shoulder strap 370 looped over the user's left shoulder, golf bag 200 rotates such that bag stand 290 faces away (i.e., rearwardly) from the user such that bag stand 290 does not come into contact with and/or substantially interfere with the user when the user is carrying golf bag 200. Moreover, when golf bag 200 is carried in this manner, shoulder straps 270 and 370 are arranged to cross each other at an intersection point 295, which is substantially midway between the user's shoulders. This enables golf bag 200 to also be supported evenly by shoulder straps 270 and 370.

Additionally, golf bag 200 includes a hip pad 292 on body 210, wherein hip pad 292 is oriented on body 210 such that when golf bag 200 rotates, hip pad 292 contacts the user rather than bag stand 290. Similar to hip pad 192 discussed above, hip pad 292 may be formed of any material and include any geometry and/or shape to pad against bag stand 290 substantially coming into contact with the user.

In addition, golf bag 200 is carried by a user with shoulder strap 270 looped over the user's right shoulder and shoulder strap 370 looped over the user's left shoulder, or vice versa. This results in upper end 372 being considerably longer than upper end 272 to properly position pad 380 on the user's left shoulder. With this, shoulder straps 270 and 370 form an “X-shaped” pattern 299 on the user's back.

Since shoulder straps 270 and 370 may be independent of each other (i.e., are not connected to one another), it will be understood that golf bag 200 may be carried by utilizing only one of shoulder straps 270 and 370 in a manner similar to golf bag 100, discussed above. This is an important advantage when carrying golf bag 200 short distances, such as from a putting green to the next tee area on a golf course. Furthermore, either one of shoulder straps 270 and 370 may be removed from golf bag 200 if it is desired to employ a single, off-axis strap arrangement similar to golf bag 100.

Shoulder strap 270 has an adjustment device 284 disposed on lower end 276 for adjusting the overall length of strap 270, which length is measured between location 274 and location 278. Similarly, shoulder strap 370 has an adjustment device 384 disposed on lower end 376 for adjusting the overall length of strap 370, which length is measured between locations 374 and 378. By utilizing adjustment devices 284 and 384, shoulder straps 270 and 370 may have their overall lengths adjusted independently, as desired. Further adjustment devices (not shown) may be provided on upper ends 272 and 372, and/or on lower ends 276 and 376 of shoulder straps 270 and 370 in addition to, or in lieu of, adjustment devices 284 and 384. Upper ends 272 and 372 are secured in a slot 286 and a slot 386, respectively, formed in throat structure 250 at locations 274 and 374. Lower ends 276 and 376 extend through a ring 288 and a ring 388, respectively, mounted on body 210 at locations 278 and 378. Alternatively, lower ends 276 and/or 376 may be connected (e.g., sewn) directly to body 210 at locations 278 and 378, thereby eliminating rings 288 and/or 388.

Referring now to FIGS. 11-26, these figures illustrate various alternative arrangements for connecting shoulder straps 270 and 370 proximate to top end 220 via locations 278 and 378 are illustrated. In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, shoulder straps 270 and 370 have their respective upper ends 272 and 372 connected proximate top end 220 at locations 274 and 374, wherein locations 278 and 378 are on opposite sides of spinal axis 240 and located asymmetrically with one another with respect to spinal axis 240. In other words, location 274 is spaced a different distance from spinal axis 240 than location 374 similar to the various embodiments discussed above. In FIG. 11, location 374 is farther from spinal axis 240 than location 274, whereas in FIG. 12 location 274 is farther from spinal axis 240 than location 374.

In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 13 and 14, shoulder straps 270 and 370 have their respective upper ends 272 and 372 connected proximate top end 220 at locations 274 and 374, wherein locations 278 and 378 are on opposite sides of spinal axis 240, are asymmetrically with one another with respect to spinal axis 240, and are intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230. In other words, location 274 is spaced a different distance from spinal axis 240 than location 374 similar to the various embodiments discussed above. In FIG. 13, location 374 is farther from spinal axis 240 than location 274, whereas in FIG. 14 location 274 is farther from spinal axis 240 than location 374.

FIGS. 15 and 16 include shoulder straps 270 and 370 having their respective upper ends 272 and 372 connected proximate top end 220 at locations 274 and 374, wherein locations 278 and 378 are on opposite sides of spinal axis 240, are asymmetrically with one another with respect to spinal axis 240, are intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230, and are asymmetrical with one another with respect to top end 220. In other words, location 274 is spaced a different distance from spinal axis 240 and top end 220 than location 374. In FIG. 15, location 374 is farther from spinal axis 240 than location 274, whereas in FIG. 16 location 274 is farther from spinal axis 240 than location 374. Moreover, in FIG. 15, location 274 is farther from top end 220 than location 374, whereas in FIG. 16 location 274 is farther from top end 220 than location 374. Notably, the invention contemplates all combinations of location 274 being farther from or closer to spinal axis 240, and farther from or closer to top end 220 than location 374, for a total of four combinations.

In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 17 and 18, shoulder straps 270 and 370 have their respective upper ends 272 and 372 connected proximate top end 220 at locations 274 and 374, wherein one of locations 278 and 378 is located on spinal axis 240 and the other location is located on either side of spinal axis 240. In FIG. 17, location 274 is located on spinal axis 240 and location 374 is located off of spinal axis 240, whereas in FIG. 18 location 374 is located on spinal axis 240 and location 274 is located off of spinal axis 240.

Notably, the invention contemplates that the location that is located off of spinal axis may be on either side of spinal axis 240. As such, in FIG. 17 location 374 may be located on the other side of spinal axis 240, and likewise, in FIG. 18 location 274 may be located on the other side of spinal axis 240.

FIGS. 19 and 20 include shoulder straps 270 and 370 having their respective upper ends 272 and 372 connected proximate top end 220 at locations 274 and 374, wherein one of locations 278 and 378 is located on spinal axis 240 and the other location is located on either side of spinal axis 240, and one of locations 278 and 378 is located intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230. In FIG. 19, location 274 is located on spinal axis 240 and location 374 is located off of spinal axis 240, whereas in FIG. 20 location 374 is located on spinal axis 240 and location 274 is located off of spinal axis 240. Furthermore, in FIG. 19 location 374 is located on top end 220, whereas location 274 is located intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230. Moreover, in FIG. 20 location 274 is located on top end 220, whereas location 374 is located intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230.

Notably, the invention contemplates that the location that is located off of spinal axis may be on either side of spinal axis 240. As such, in FIG. 19 location 374 may be located on the other side of spinal axis 240, and likewise, in FIG. 20 location 274 may be located on the other side of spinal axis 240.

FIGS. 21 and 22 include shoulder straps 270 and 370 having their respective upper ends 272 and 372 connected proximate top end 220 at locations 274 and 374, wherein one of locations 278 and 378 is located on top end 220 and the other location is located intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230, and locations 278 and 378 are located asymmetrical with each other with respect to spinal axis 240. In FIG. 21, location 374 is located on top end 220 and location 274 is located intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230, whereas in FIG. 22 location 274 is located on top end 220 and location 374 is located intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230. Furthermore, in FIG. 21 location 274 is located closer to spinal axis 240 than location 374, whereas in FIG. 22 location 374 is located closer to spinal axis 240 than location 274.

Notably, the invention contemplates that the location that is located on top end 220 may be the location that is closer to spinal axis 240. As such, in FIG. 21 location 374 may be located closer to spinal axis 240 than location 274, and likewise, in FIG. 22 location 274 may be located closer to spinal axis 240 than location 374.

FIGS. 23 and 24 include shoulder straps 270 and 370 having their respective upper ends 272 and 372 connected proximate top end 220 at locations 274 and 374, wherein one of locations 278 and 378 is located on spinal axis 240 at top end 220, the other location is located on either side of spinal axis 240, and one of locations 278 and 378 is located intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230. In FIG. 23, location 274 is located on spinal axis 240 at top end 220, and location 374 is located off of spinal axis 240 and intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230, whereas in FIG. 24 location 374 is located on spinal axis 240 at top end 220, and location 274 is located off of spinal axis 240 and intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230.

Notably, the invention contemplates that the location that is located off of spinal axis may be on either side of spinal axis 240. As such, in FIG. 23 location 374 may be located on the other side of spinal axis 240, and likewise, in FIG. 24 location 274 may be located on the other side of spinal axis 240.

FIGS. 25 and 26 include shoulder straps 270 and 370 having their respective upper ends 272 and 372 connected proximate top end 220 at locations 274 and 374, wherein one of locations 278 and 378 is located on spinal axis 240 intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230, the other location is located on either side of spinal axis 240. In FIG. 25, location 274 is located on spinal axis 240 intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230, and location 374 is located off of spinal axis 240 and intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230, whereas in FIG. 24 location 374 is located on spinal axis 240 intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230, and location 274 is located off of spinal axis 240 and intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230.

Notably, the invention contemplates that the location that is located off of spinal axis 240 may be on either side of spinal axis 240. As such, in FIG. 25 location 374 may be located on the other side of spinal axis 240, and likewise, in FIG. 26 location 274 may be located on the other side of spinal axis 240.

Referring now to FIGS. 27-42, these figures illustrate various alternative arrangements for connecting shoulder straps 270 and 370 intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 320 via locations 278 and 378 are illustrated. In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 27 and 28, shoulder straps 270 and 370 have their respective lower ends 276 and 376 connected intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230 at locations 278 and 378, wherein locations 278 and 378 are on opposite sides of spinal axis 240 and located asymmetrically with one another with respect to spinal axis 240. In other words, location 278 is spaced a different distance from spinal axis 240 than location 378 similar to the various embodiments discussed above. In FIG. 27, location 278 is farther from spinal axis 240 than location 378, whereas in FIG. 28 location 378 is farther from spinal axis 240 than location 278.

FIGS. 29 and 30 illustrate embodiments wherein shoulder straps 270 and 370 have their respective lower ends 276 and 376 connected intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230 at locations 278 and 378, wherein locations 278 and 378 are on the same side of spinal axis 240 and located asymmetrically with one another with respect to top end 220. In other words, location 378 is spaced a different distance from top end 220 than location 278. In FIG. 29, location 378 is farther from top end 220 than location 278, whereas in FIG. 30 location 278 is farther from top end 220 than location 378. Notably, the invention includes locations 278 and 378 being interchanged in FIGS. 29 and 30.

In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 31-33, shoulder straps 270 and 370 have their respective lower ends 276 and 376 connected intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230 at common location 293. In FIG. 31, common location 293 is on spinal axis 240, whereas in FIGS. 32 and 33 common location 293 is on one side of spinal axis 240.

FIG. 34 illustrates an embodiment wherein shoulder straps 270 and 370 have their respective lower ends 276 and 376 connected intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230 at locations 278 and 378, wherein locations 278 and 378 are on opposite sides of spinal axis 240 and located symmetrically with one another with respect to top end 220 and spinal axis 240. In other words, location 378 is spaced the same distance from top end 220 and spinal axis 240 as location 278.

In addition, the invention contemplates that locations 278 and 378 may be located in locations that are symmetrical with each other with respect to spinal axis 240, but asymmetrical with one another with respect to top end 220 (see FIGS. 35 and 36). In FIG. 35 locations 278 and 378 are symmetrical to one another with respect spinal axis 240, but location 378 is closer to top end 220 than location 278, whereas in FIG. 36 locations 278 and 378 are symmetrical to one another with respect spinal axis 240, but location 278 is closer to top end 220 than location 378.

Furthermore, locations 278 and 378 may be located in locations that are asymmetrical with one another other with respect to spinal axis 240 and top end 220 (see FIGS. 37 and 38), in any combination. As such, location 378 may be closer to or farther from spinal axis 240 than location 278, and closer to or farther from top end 220 than location 278, for a total of four combinations.

In the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 39 and 40, shoulder straps 270 and 370 have their respective lower ends 276 and 376 connected intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230 at locations 278 and 378, wherein locations 278 and 378 are located on spinal axis 240, and locations 278 and 378 are located asymmetrical with on another with respect to top end 220. In FIG. 39, location 378 is located closer to top end 220 than location 278, whereas in FIG. 40 location 278 is located closer to top end 220 than location 378.

FIGS. 41 and 42 include shoulder straps 270 and 370 having their respective lower ends 276 and 376 connected intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230 at locations 278 and 378, wherein one of locations 278 and 378 is located on spinal axis 240, the other location is located on either side of spinal axis 240, and locations 278 and 378 are located asymmetrical with on another with respect to top end 220. In FIG. 41, location 278 is located on spinal axis 240 and location 378 is located off of spinal axis 240, and location 378 is located closer to top end 220 than location 278, whereas in FIG. 42 location 378 is located on spinal axis 240 and location 278 is located off of spinal axis 240, and location 278 is located closer to top end 220 than location 378.

Notably, the invention contemplates that the location that is located off of spinal axis 240 may be on either side of spinal axis 240. As such, in FIGS. 41 and 42 location 378 may be located on the other side of spinal axis 240. Furthermore, in FIGS. 41 and 42 location 378 may be located on spinal axis 240 with location 278 located on either side of spinal axis 240.

FIGS. 43 and 44 include shoulder straps 270 and 370 having their respective lower ends 276 and 376 connected intermediate top end 220 and bottom end 230 at locations 278 and 378, wherein one of locations 278 and 378 is located on spinal axis 240, the other location is located on either side of spinal axis 240, and locations 278 and 378 are located symmetrical with on another with respect to top end 220. In FIG. 43, location 378 is located on spinal axis 240 and location 278 is located off of spinal axis 240, whereas in FIG. 44 location 278 is located on spinal axis 240 and location 378 is located off of spinal axis 240.

Notably, the invention contemplates that the location that is located off of spinal, axis 240 may be on either side of spinal axis 240. As such, in FIG. 43 location 278 may be located on the other side of spinal axis 240, and in FIG. 44 location 378 may be located on the other side of spinal axis 240.

Various embodiments of the invention include the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 11-26 mixed and matched with the embodiments illustrated in FIG. 27-42 in any possible combination to form multiple combinations for connecting bag straps 270 and 370 to golf bag 200. Notably, as illustrated in FIG. 10, bag straps 270 and 370 should cross each other at intersection point 295, which is substantially midway between the user's shoulders and form an X-shaped 299 pattern on the user's back, although this is not required to orient bag stand 290 substantially away from the user.

Benefits, advantages, and solutions to problems have been described herein with regard to specific embodiments. However, the benefits, advantages, solutions to problems, and any element(s) that may cause any benefit, advantage, or solution to occur or become more pronounced are not to be construed as critical, required, or essential features or elements of any or all the claims or the invention. The scope of the present invention is accordingly to be limited by nothing other than the appended claims, in which reference to an element in the singular is not intended to mean one and only one unless explicitly so stated, but rather one or more. All structural and functional equivalents to the elements of the above-described embodiments that are known to those of ordinary skill in the art are expressly incorporated herein by reference and are intended to be encompassed by the present claims.