Title:
Sectional golf tee
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sectional golf tee is provided comprising a lower tee half which is made of a rigid material for penetrating the ground, and an upper tee half which is mechanically and/or magnetically mated to the lower tee half along a common longitudinal axis to elevate a golf ball with a loose cord keeping the halves within a retrieving distance. To an omnidirectional hitting impact at the ball the upper tee half is totally compliant by its physical separation from the lower tee half overcoming the mechanical and/or magnetic attraction with zero resistance to the club movement.



Inventors:
Jung, Man-young (Pasadena, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/437179
Publication Date:
11/22/2007
Filing Date:
05/19/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B57/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NEWHOPE LAW, PC (Los Alamitos, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A sectional golf tee comprising: a longitudinally extending tee base having a pointed tip at a bottom end and a latitudinally extending upper surface; a longitudinal tee top having a latitudinally extending lower surface opposing the upper surface of the tee base and a concave top surface for bearing a bottom area of a golf ball above a teeing ground; and a flexible linear member slidably threaded though the tee top and tee base for keeping them within a certain distance, wherein the tee top is magnetically and concentrically attractive to the tee base so that the golf tee has two distinctive modes interchangeable between a singular body form during a teeing preparation and physically separated halves in response to the slightest impact from a club swing.

2. The sectional golf tee of claim 1, wherein the golf tee has round side walls and the tee base and tee top are mated through concavo-convex areas on the opposing latitudinal surfaces in their center areas.

3. The sectional golf tee of claim 2, wherein each of the opposing latitudinal surfaces of the tee base and tee top has a magnetic layer to attract the opposite latitudinal surface of the tee base or tee top.

4. The sectional golf tee of claim 3, wherein the latitudinal upper surface of the tee base has an upright center guide and the latitudinal lower surface of the tee top has a central cave adapted to receive the center guide snugly.

5. The sectional golf tee of claim 3, wherein the latitudinal upper surface of the tee base has a central cave recessed downwardly and the latitudinal lower surface of the tee top has a center guide protruding downwardly to penetrate the central cave of the tee base snugly.

6. The sectional golf tee of claim 2, wherein the latitudinal upper surface of the tee base has an upright center guide and the latitudinal lower surface of the tee top has a central cave adapted to receive the center guide snugly.

7. The sectional golf tee of claim 2, wherein the latitudinal upper surface of the tee base has a central cave recessed downwardly and the latitudinal lower surface of the tee top has a center guide protruding downwardly to penetrate the central cave of the tee base snugly.

8. The sectional golf tee of claim 1, wherein the golf tee has round side walls and the tee base and tee top are mated through concavo-convex areas on the opposing latitudinal surfaces around their circumferential edges.

9. The sectional golf tee of claim 8, wherein each of the opposing latitudinal surfaces of the tee base and tee top has a magnetic layer to attract the opposite latitudinal surface of the tee base or tee top.

10. The sectional golf tee of claim 9, wherein the latitudinal lower surface of the tee top has circumferential walls extending around the latitudinal upper surface of the tee base to guide the concentric mating between the tee top and base.

11. The sectional golf tee of claim 9, wherein the latitudinal upper surface of the tee base has circumferential walls extending around the latitudinal lower surface of the tee top to guide the concentric mating between the tee top and base.

12. The sectional golf tee of claim 8, wherein the latitudinal lower surface of the tee top has circumferential walls extending around the latitudinal upper surface of the tee base to guide the concentric mating between the tee top and base.

13. The sectional golf tee of claim 8, wherein the latitudinal upper surface of the tee base has circumferential walls extending around the latitudinal lower surface of the tee top to guide the concentric mating between the tee top and base.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a golf tee. More particularly, the present invention relates to a component golf tee totally collapsible to have zero interference with a club swing.

B. Description of the Prior Art

A golf tee works to give a considerable advantage for drive shots by elevating a golf ball to a convenient height. The most common type of golf tee is a simple wooden peg with a flared top, which has been in use since the 1920s. Articulated golf tees were also introduced in search of a solution to damages to the tees from the clubs striking the same along with balls.

U.S. Pat. No. 1,623,119 to Kearney discloses in its FIG. 6 embodiment a link 24 for connecting golf tee halves 10 and 11 flexibly secured at two eyes 25 and 26. The above patent suggested no dedicated means to positively hold the tee halves together but the upper part 11 rested flat on the lower part 10, and the flexibility of the link 24 keeps the parts from missing from each other at a club head's blow. Thus, it lacks the convenience of handling a single piece of tee in its ground-penetration before the tee parts must be carefully aligned in preparation of propping up a ball to hit.

For such a component tee to be practical, it would be advantageous to have two distinctive and interchangeable states of the tee between a structural unity for a convenient handling and a yielding separation into predetermined parts by a club swing to avoid an undesirable impact to the tee, which will impede the uninterrupted club movement.

In view of this fact, the above tee fails to provide a solution to align component tees in exactly the same repeatable way when the tee is reused. And manually realigning tee pieces in the field would be annoying.

Many golfers today refrain from using existing tees when they tee-shot with fairway wood to avoid increased backspin, which shortens the ball projection. Instead, they resort to the nuisance of digging grass to build a grass heap and balance the ball on top for a drive. Therefore, it is more evident that a dramatic improvement is necessary to prevent the golf tees from causing any interference.

Besides the flat face abutment, the '119 patent shows different principal connections adopted by other patents with various degrees of modifications. Different pivot connections and hinges were introduced to provide flexing movements of tee seat sections. However, pivoting resistances still remain to act against an impact-free tee operation as long as the tee parts are physically engaged in any way. Specifically, these pivotable connections might reduce the impact resistance when they are hit in a certain way yet do not eliminate the resistance to the golf swing and broken tees. Basically they are as good as the particular pivoting actions, which may swing between the good and bad.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a sectional golf tee having two distinctive states, a sustainable tee shape under normal handlings and split tee halves in compliance with a club movement with the distinctive states being repeatable perfectly and easily.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a conventional tee shape with the advantageous splitting feature for a low cost.

A sectional golf tee according to the present invention comprises a longitudinally extending tee base having a pointed tip at a bottom end and a latitudinally extending upper surface; a longitudinal tee top having a latitudinally extending lower surface opposing the upper surface of the tee base and a concave top surface for bearing a bottom area of a golf ball above a teeing ground; and a flexible linear member slidably threaded though the tee top and tee base for keeping them within a certain distance.

In addition, the tee top is made magnetically and concentrically attractive to the tee base so that the golf tee has two distinctive modes interchangeable between a singular body form during a teeing preparation and physically separated halves in response to the slightest impact from a club swing. A magnetic layer is formed on each of the opposing latitudinal surfaces of the tee base and tee top to positively hold them together.

An automatic centering means is also provided for mating the tee base and tee top concentrically through concavo-convex areas on the opposing latitudinal surfaces in their center areas. The latitudinal upper surface of the tee base may have one of an upright center guide and a central cave and the latitudinal lower surface of the tee top may have the other to permit a snug mating engagement between the tee top and bottom. Alternatively, the tee base and tee top are mated through concavo-convex areas on the opposing latitudinal surfaces around their circumferential edges. In this case, the latitudinal lower surface of the tee top may have circumferential walls extending around the latitudinal upper surface of the tee base to guide the concentric mating between the tee top and base. Conversely, latitudinal upper surface of the tee base may have circumferential walls extending around the latitudinal lower surface of the tee top to guide the concentric mating between the tee top and base.

At a teeing position on the ground under the ball, the sectional golf tee is totally compliant to an omnidirectional hitting impact at the ball by its physical separation from the lower tee half overcoming the mechanical and/or magnetic attraction with zero resistance to the club movement.

Embodiments of the invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an elevation of a prior art tee for golf balls.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the sectional golf tee according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a partially sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is an elevation showing mating surfaces of the sectional golf tee of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a partially sectional view showing a second embodiment of the sectional golf tee according to the present invention.

FIG. 6 is an elevation showing mating surfaces of the sectional golf tee of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a side view of the sectional golf tee at work with the top section flipped off the lower section according to the present invention.

Similar reference numbers denote corresponding features throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

With reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, a golf tee 1 according to a first embodiment of the present invention generally comprises a longitudinal tee top 2 and a tee base 3, which is mated to the tee top 2 and extends along a common longitudinal axis. Both tee members 2 and 3 are formed of a rigid material including wood and plastic to have round sidewalls. They may be made of the same material or a hybrid of two different materials as needed.

The tee top 2 is constricted in the middle to provide an easy grip for facilitating its handling at the teeing ground. Top end 4 of the tee top 2 is concave to conform to a bottom section of a golf ball, not shown. The tee top 2 has a cone section 5 at it lower end, which has a flat bottom 6. The bottom 6 has a protrusion extending downwardly and circumferentially to form a short annular wall 7 adapted to mate two tee members 2 and 3 in a concentric relation. The height of the wall 7 is set so that it is just enough to assist in aligning the tee members 2 and 3 but does not hinder a lateral flipping action of the tee top 2 away from the tee base 3. Alternatively, the annular wall 7 may be formed on the tee base 3 extending upwardly over the bottom 6 of the tee top 2.

The tee base 3 takes the form of a pointed peg 8 for an easy penetration into the ground and has an inverted cone section 9 at its upper end. The cone section 9 of the tee base 3 has a base diameter to fit in the annular wall 7 of the tee top 2, when they form a middle node 12 of the whole tee 1 body in order to provide a stop means for positioning the tee 1 and thus the ball at the correct height at every teeing occasions.

Two opposing magnetic layers 15 provide a unique automatic coupling of the tee members according to the present invention. Each layer 15 may be bonded to one of the base surfaces of the cone sections 5 and 9 leaving its central area void where a flexible tie 16 is threaded through an arc passageway piercing the middle node 12 of the tee 1. An upper passageway 17 is formed in the cone section 5 of the tee top 2 while a lower passageway 18 is formed in the cone section 9 of the tee base 3.

FIG. 4 shows the magnetic layers 15 in elevation. The magnetic attraction of the layers 15 is strong enough for a golfer to hold the whole tee 1 by the tee top 2, but a light flip at the junction between the tee top 2 and base 3 will overcome such magnetic force to break such junction.

In manufacture, if a ready-made magnetic sheet is employed to shape the magnetic layers 15, the polarities of each layer pairs should be considered in relation to the piercing process of passageways 17 and 18. Rather than layering the magnetic layers 15 separately on each cone section, the layer pairs 15 may be first attached to each other to determine their attracting orientations and then assembled altogether with the rest in order to avoid having to rearrange the magnetic layers after bonding.

Otherwise, it is possible to employ a magnetic material to form the magnetic layers 15 on the cone sections 5 and 9 first and then subject them to a magnetizing process to redefine their polarities according to the orientation of the passageways 17 and 18 so that the circumferential direction of attraction between the magnetized cone sections 5 and 9 coincides with the lie of the tie 16 in the passageways 17 and 18.

The flexible tie 16 may be formed of a filament, rubber or a kind of thermoformable resin to have an elongated stem 19 and two opposite enlarged heads 20. The thickness of the stem 19 and the size of the passageways 17 and 18 are determined so that the tie 16 resides in the tee members 2 and 3 loosely but stands strong against repetitive flexing forces due to the club swings. The heads 20 of the tie 16 may have a cross section of an arrowhead to prevent the tie 16 from being dislodged as they limit the distance of departure of the tee top 2 from the tee base 3.

In case a plastic filament is used for a tie 16, its opposite ends may be melted into ball shapes resembling the enlarged heads 20.

FIG. 5 shows a second embodiment of a sectional golf tee 100 of the present invention wherein an alternative centering means is used between a tee top 102 and a tee base 103, which can be mated to the tee top 102 extending along a common longitudinal axis.

The tee top 102 is constricted in the middle to provide an easy grip for facilitating its handling at the teeing ground. Top end 104 of the tee top 102 is concave. The tee top 102 has a cone section 105 at it lower end, which has a generally flat bottom 106. The bottom 106 is recessed upwardly in the center to form a shallow cave 107 adapted to mate two tee members 102 and 103 in a concentric relation. The depth of the cave 107 is set so that it is just enough to assist in aligning the tee members 102 and 103 but does not hinder a lateral flipping action of the tee top 102 away from the tee base 103.

The tee base 103 takes the form of a pointed peg 108 for an easy penetration into the ground and has an inverted cone section 109 at its upper end. The cone section 109 of the tee base 103 has a center guide 110 protruding upward to penetrate lightly into the cave 107 of the tee top 102 because the main purpose of the center guide 110 is to guide and position the tee top 102 along a longitudinal axis common to the tee base 103. Alternatively, the cave 107 and center guide 110 may switch positions so that the cone bottom 106 has a downwardly extending center guide and the opposing cone section 109 is caved to receive the center guide in order to provide an equally good centering effect.

When mated, the tee top and base 102 and 103 form a middle node 112 of the whole tee 100 in order to provide a stop means for positioning the tee 100 and thus the ball at the correct height at every teeing occasions.

In addition to the center guide 110, two opposing magnetic layers 115 provide the novel automatic coupling of the tee members according to the present invention. Each layer 115 may be bonded to one of the base surfaces of the cone sections 105 and 109 leaving its central area void where the cave 107 receives the center guide 110.

Beside the centering members 107 and 110, a flexible tie 116 is threaded through an arc passageway piercing the middle node 112 of the tee 100. An upper passageway 117 is formed in the cone section 105 of the tee top 102 while a lower passageway 118 is formed in the cone section 109 of the tee base 103.

FIG. 6 shows the magnetic layers 115 in elevation. The layers 115 are round and open in the center to expose the cave 107, center guide 110, passageways 117 and 118.

The flexible tie 116 may be formed of a filament, rubber or a kind of thermoformable resin to have an elongated stem 119 and two opposite enlarged heads 120. The tie 116 is slidably extending through the mated tee members 102 and 103 to avoid any interference with the club swing while keeping the separated tee top 102 within an easy reach of the tee base 103, which has become free of any impacts from club swings thanks to the present invention.

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 7, the operation of the sectional golf tee of the second embodiment is described. Gripping the singular mode of tee 100 by the tee top 102 the golfer may drive the peg 108 of the tee base 103 into the ground until the middle node 112 stops deeper penetration. Then, the golfer may put the ball on the top end 104 of the tee top 102 and swing at it as he or she normally would. However, the frequent impact resistance normally experienced when hitting the upper part of existing tees is not present here. The result of true compliance of the sectional golf tee 100 is illustrated in FIG. 7 wherein the two tee members 102 and 103 are now in the separation mode proving the zero interference with the club swing. When the tee bodies are pulled out holding the tee top 102, they can be immediately switched to the singular mode by the attraction of the magnetic layers 115 with the assistance of the center guide 110.

Therefore, while the presently preferred form of the sectional golf tee has been shown and described, and several modifications thereof discussed, persons skilled in this art will readily appreciate that various additional changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention, as defined and differentiated by the following claims.

CALL OUT LIST OF ELEMENTS

  • 1: Sectional Golf Tee
  • 2: Tee Top
  • 3: Tee Base
  • 4: Top End
  • 5,9: Cone Section
  • 12: Middle Node
  • 15: Magnetic Layer
  • 16: Flexible Tie
  • 17: Upper Passageway
  • 18: Lower Passageway
  • 19: Stem
  • 20: Enlarged Head
  • 100: Sectional Golf Tee
  • 102: Tee Top
  • 103: Tee Base
  • 104: Top End
  • 105,109: Cone Section
  • 107: Cave
  • 110: Center Guide
  • 112: Middle Node
  • 115: Magnetic Layer
  • 116: Flexible Tie
  • 117: Upper Passageway
  • 118: Lower Passageway
  • 119: Stem
  • 120: Enlarged Head





 
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