Title:
Portable golf caddy
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable golf caddy for a golfer includes a pole adapted to be inserted into the ground that has various removable attachments or accessories adapted to enhance a golfer's comfort and convenience while on a golf course. The golf caddy optionally includes one or more or a combination of the following attachments; a telescopically extended suction cup adapted to retrieve and to retain a golf ball; a range scope support; a laser device useful for stroke alignment; a measuring device for measuring the distance from a ball to a hole; a golf handle holder; a tee setting device; a cigar holder; and a beverage holder. Additional accessories may be provided as attachments to the caddy such as an umbrella or a scorekeeper. The caddy is lightweight and may be easily carried from one location to another to assist a golfer while golfing.



Inventors:
Cruz, Robert M. (Victorville, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/640793
Publication Date:
06/19/2008
Filing Date:
12/18/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/257, 248/346.03, 473/132, 473/220, 473/285, 473/296, 473/386, 473/406, 473/407
International Classes:
A63B57/00
View Patent Images:
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20090253541RETRACTABLE PROJECTILE DEVICE AND METHODOctober, 2009Darville
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20050233819Ball speed measuring deviceOctober, 2005Cracolici



Primary Examiner:
BLAU, STEPHEN LUTHER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
T.L. GARRETT, PLC (Milford, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A golf caddy for a golfer comprising: a pole adapted to be inserted into the ground having a plurality of attachments removably attached thereto, wherein the plurality of attachments are adapted to enhance a golfer's comfort and convenience while on a golf course.

2. The golf caddy of claim 1, further comprising at least one or a combination of: a telescopically extended suction cup adapted to retrieve and to retain a golf ball; a range scope support; a laser device useful for stroke alignment; a measuring unit for measuring the distance from a ball to a hole; a golf handle holder; a tee setting device; a cigar holder; or a beverage holder.

3. The golf caddy of claim 1, further comprising: a telescopically extended suction cup adapted to retrieve and retain a golf ball; a range scope support; a laser device useful for stroke alignment; a measuring unit for measuring the distance from a ball to a hole; a golf handle holder; a tee setting device; a cigar holder; and a beverage holder.

4. The golf caddy of claim 1, wherein the pole has a length of four feet and a diameter of one inch and further includes a telescoping rod telescopic engagement with the pole, wherein the telescopic rod has a length of about five inches.

5. The golf caddy of claim 1, wherein the pole comprises: a first portion having an associated first end; a second portion having an associated second end; and a middle portion disposed between the first and the second portions respectively, wherein the first end defines a top end of the pole and wherein the second end defines a bottom end when the first end is vertically oriented above the second end.

6. The golf caddy of claim 5, wherein the bottom end comprises: an associated spike adapted to stick into the ground to retain the caddy in a stationary position for use by a golfer.

7. The golf caddy of claim 6, further comprising: a suction cup portion mounted above the first end for retrieving and retaining a golf ball therein.

8. The golf caddy of claim 7, wherein the suction cup portion further comprises: a pair of opposing notches adapted to receive and retain a range scope for measuring yardage.

9. The golf caddy of claim 1, further comprising: a tee setting device including a handle/lever combination used to set a tee assembly; a tee assembly; and a tee housing for housing the tee assembly when the tee assembly is retained in position by the handle/lever combination.

10. The golf caddy of claim 9, wherein the tee assembly comprises: a tee fixedly secured to a rod, wherein the rod has fibers fixedly attached thereto for receiving a golf ball, and wherein the rod is retained within the housing within the handle/lever combination.

11. The golf caddy of claim 9, wherein the handle/lever combination cooperates to remove the tee assembly retained within the tee housing from the housing by pushing the tee assembly downwardly away from the tee housing and into the ground.

12. The golf caddy of claim 9, wherein the tee housing comprises: a pair of associated slots formed therein for receiving a rod associated with the tee assembly, wherein the tee housing houses the tee assembly until the tee assembly is set into the ground at a desired location and at a desired height.

13. The golf caddy of claim 9, wherein the handle/lever combination comprises: a handle assembly including a handle portion hingeably attached to the pole with a spring hinge assembly that biases the handle assembly to move between a first position closest to the pole and a second position extending away from the pole such that when the handle portion moves from the first position to the second position, the handle/lever combination pivots about the tee housing; and a lever assembly including two bent lever arms extending downwardly from the handle assembly when the handle/lever combination is attached to the pole.

14. The golf caddy of claim 13, wherein the lever assembly further comprises: two associated arcuate push arms each respectively formed at an associated free end of each of the lever arms, wherein each of the arcuate push arms respectively include a tee setting portion that engages a tee on the ground during a tee setting operation, and a tee assembly retention portion that retains the tee assembly when the tee assembly is housed within the tee housing.

15. The golf caddy of claim 1, further comprising: a flexible laser device including a telescopic and flexible neck having a first end attached to the pole and a second free end having a laser pointer formed thereon that operates to emit a thin laser beam, thus creating a small spot on a desired target location.

16. The golf caddy of claim 1, further comprising: a measurement device including a linear string portion having a predefined length, wherein the linear string portion extends from the ball to a hole on a golf course to accurately measure a distance between the ball and the hole and an expandable accordion portion that in operation that extends from the pole to a golf ball on the green.

17. The golf caddy of claim 1, further comprising: at least one ring like golf club handle holder adapted to retain a golf club handle therethrough.

18. The golf caddy of claim 1, further comprising: a beverage holder adapted to hold a can or a bottle.

19. The golf caddy of claim 1, further comprising: a strap attached to the caddy to allow portage of the caddy from one location to another.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a portable golf caddy for use in the field of golf accessories.

BACKGROUND

Golfing can be an enjoyable but strenuous sport, especially for older or handicapped golfers who have difficulty bending over to retrieve dropped golf clubs and balls as well as to set a tee and place a ball on the tee. Also, while golf bags are adapted to retain items such as clubs and balls, items such as beverages, cigarettes or cigars, umbrellas and range scopes are typically not provided. Also, since golf carts are not allowed on a fairway, clubs must be hand carried to the green, fairway and sandtraps and are often accidentally left behind in such places.

The use of devices and methods relating to portable golf caddy are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2003/0207721 A1 issued in the name of Hall et al.; and U.S. Pat. No. 6,572,167 B2 issued in the name of Deininger.

While existing devices suit their intended purpose, the need remains for a device and method that assists a golfer while golfing on a golf course by providing a portable golf caddy to retain golf clubs, hold golf balls, hold tees, hold convenience items such as beverages and cigars, and to both set a tee and retrieve a golf ball without the need for a golfer to bend over.

SUMMARY

In one aspect of the technology, a portable golf caddy device is provided. Generally, the portable golf caddy for a golfer includes a pole adapted to be inserted into the ground that has various removable attachments or accessories adapted to enhance a golfer's comfort and convenience while on a golf course. The golf caddy optionally includes one or more or a combination of the following attachments; a telescopic suction cup adapted to retrieve and to retain a golf ball; a range scope support; a laser device useful for stroke alignment; a measuring device for measuring the distance from a ball to a hole; a golf handle holder; a tee setting device; a cigar holder; and a beverage holder. Additional accessories may be provided as attachments to the caddy such as an umbrella or a tripod for use in combination with a yardage range scope. The caddy is lightweight and may be easily carried from one location to another to assist a golfer while golfing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description and the appended drawings in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a golf caddy in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates the golf caddy of FIG. 1 showing a golf club handle holder retaining a golf club handle in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates a partial perspective view of a top portion of a golf caddy including a range scope supported by a telescopic suction cup in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates a partial perspective view of a top portion of a golf caddy including an ashtray with a cigar retained thereon.

FIG. 5 illustrates a partial bottom front view of a golf caddy and a detailed view of a tee housing attached thereto in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 illustrates a perspective view of a caddy having a handle in combination with a tee housing in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective view of a golf caddy on a golf course green in accordance with one embodiment of the invention

FIG. 8 illustrates a perspective view of a golf caddy including a measuring unit that measures a distance from a golf ball to a flagpole or pin on a golf course green.

FIG. 9 illustrates a perspective view of a golf caddy including a solar cell used to power a laser light device in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 10 illustrates a partial cross-sectional view of a telescopic inner rod in telescopic engagement with pole in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 11 illustrates an in use perspective view of a golf caddy used by a user of the caddy to retrieve a golf ball in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Generally provided is a portable golf caddy that operates as a multi-functional accessory for golfers to enhance comfort and convenience while on a golf course. The caddy provides a convenient accessory for golfers that saves time and effort, as well as enhance comfort.

The caddy is convenient, easy to use, lightweight, compact, and multi-functional.

The caddy may be made using any lightweight, rigid and rustproof material that has come or may come into existence such as, but not limited to a plastic composite material or a metal alloy, such as aluminum. The golf caddy includes a pole having a plurality of attachments removably attached thereto, wherein the plurality of attachments include: a suction cup adapted to extend and to retrieve and retain a golf ball; a range scope support; a laser device useful for stroke alignment; a measuring unit for measuring a distance from a ball to a hole; a golf club handle holder; and a tee setting device. Additional devices may be removably attached to the caddy including a cigar holder and a beverage holder.

Referring to the drawings FIGS. 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, and 9 illustrate perspective views of a caddy 20 having a variety of attachments or accessories removably attached thereto. More particularly, FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a golf caddy in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. FIG. 2 illustrates the golf caddy of FIG. 1 showing a golf club handle holder retaining a golf club handle in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. FIG. 6 illustrates a perspective view of a caddy having a handle in combination with a tee housing in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective view of a golf caddy on a golf course green in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. FIG. 8 illustrates a perspective view of a golf caddy including a measuring unit that measures a distance from a golf ball to a flagpole or pin on a golf course green.

The caddy 20 includes a slim pole or post 22 that measures about four feet in length and about one inch in diameter handle. The pole 22 has first or top portions 24 (shown in more detail in FIGS. 3 and 4), a second or bottom portion 28 (shown in more detail in FIG. 5), and a middle portion 26 disposed between the top and the bottom portions 24, 28 respectively. The top portion 24 is associated with a first end 30 and the bottom portion 26 is associated with a bottom end 32, wherein the first and second ends 30, 32 respectively form opposing distal ends. The bottom portion 26 has an associated spike 34 adapted to stick in the ground and to retain the caddy in a stationary position for use by a golfer. The first end 30 of the pole 22 is adapted to support a telescopically extended suction cup, and the second end 32 the pole is adapted to be inserted into the ground via the spike 34. When oriented in a vertical position and inserted into the ground for use by a golfer, the first end 30 of the pole 22 is vertically oriented above the second end 32.

The telescopically extended suction cup 36 includes a suction cup portion 160, an inner telescopic rod 162 and two adjustable locking rings 164a, 164b that cooperate to form a telescopic assembly capable of extending the length of the post 22 to a desired length.

FIG. 10 illustrates a partial cross-sectional enlarged view of the telescopically extended suction cup 36.

FIG. 11 illustrates an in use view of a golf caddy 20 having the ball retriever telescopically extended suction cup 36 used to retrieve the golf ball 62.

In an embodiment of the invention, the bottom end 32 of the pole 22 includes a thin tapered spike 34. The spike 34 keeps the caddy 20 in a secure and stable upright position once inserted into the ground.

A tee-setting device 40 is provided to retain and set a tee in position on the golf course. The tee-setting device includes a handle/lever combination 42 used to set a tee, a tee assembly 60 (shown in more detail in FIG. 5), and a tee housing 44 located near the bottom end 32 for housing the tee assembly attached to the pole 22. The tee-setting device 40 enables a golfer to insert a golf tee into the ground at the same height during each use and eliminates the need for a golfer to bend over when placing the tee. The tee housing provides a means of setting a tee at the same height each time a tee is placed, thereby ensuring consistency when driving the ball. Thus, the tee-setting device 40 operates to set the tee assembly 60 at the same height during each use to help facilitate a consistent stroke. Additionally, the tee setting device 40 eliminates the need for a golfer to bend over when placing tees, thereby saving stress and strain on the back and joints. In this regard, the caddy 20 may ideally be used for older golfers, as well as golfers who have mild disabilities or chronic pain in the back and knees.

As shown in FIGS. 5-6, the tee assembly 60 includes a tee 68 fixedly secured to a rod 66, wherein the rod 66 has fibers 64 fixedly attached thereto for receiving a golf ball 62. The rod is adapted to be disposed through associated slots in the tee housing 44 and is retained within the housing 44 by the handle/lever combination.

The handle/lever combination 42 cooperates to remove the tee assembly 60 retained within the tee housing 44 from the housing 44 by pushing the tee assembly 60 downwardly away from the tee housing 44 and into the ground. Once the tee assembly 60 is set in a desired location in the ground at a desired height when the handle/lever combination 42 is removed from contact with the tee assembly 60 and wherein the tee assembly 60 remains set in a stationary position in the ground.

Additionally, the tee housing 44 houses the tee assembly 60 therein until the tee assembly 60 is set into the ground by the handle/lever assembly 42. The tee housing 44 has associated slots 72a, 72b formed therein for receiving the rod 66 of the tee assembly 60.

The handle/lever combination 42 includes a handle assembly 48 and a lever assembly 76. The handle assembly 48 includes a handle portion 82 hingeably attached to the pole 22 with a spring assembly 46 which biases the handle assembly 48 to move between a first position closest to the pole 22 and second position extending away from the pole 22 such that when the handle portion 82 moves from the first position to the second position, the handle/lever combination 42 pivots about the tee housing 44.

The lever assembly 76 includes two bent lever arms 50a, 50b extending downwardly from the handle assembly 48 when the handle/lever combination 42 is attached to the pole 22. Two associated arcuate push arms 52a, 52b are respectively formed at an associated free end of each of the lever arms 50a, b. The arcuate push arms 52a, 52b each include a tee setting portion 54a, 54b that engages and seats on the ground during a tee setting operation and a tee assembly retention portion 56a, 56b that retains the tee assembly 60 within the tee housing 44 before the tee assembly 60 is set.

Each tee setting portion 54a, 54b includes a protruding member 80a, b protruding orthogonally from an arcuate portion of each tee setting portion 54a, 54b to seat on the ground during a tee setting operation. When each protruding member 80a, 80b is seated on the ground during a tee setting operation, the tee assembly 60 is set to a desired height.

Each tee assembly retention portion 56a, 56b is hook-shaped and includes a lower lip 80a, 80b adapted to support an associated end portion of the rod 66 to retain the tee assembly 60 when the tee housing 44 houses the tee assembly 60.

In operation when the handle assembly 48 pivots about the tee housing 44, each lip 80a, 80b is removed as support from underneath a respective end of the tee assembly rod 66 and thus, the tee assembly 60 is no longer retained within the tee housing 44.

A flexible laser device 90, as shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 7, and 8, is included near the middle portion 26 of the caddy 20. The laser device 90 includes a curved, telescopic and flexible neck 92 having a first end 94 attached to the pole 22 and a second free end 96 having a laser pointer 98 formed thereon. The laser device 90 is adjustable in a similar manner to lamps that have a bendable gooseneck and can be positioned in any desired manner about the pole 22 to properly orient the laser pointer 98. The laser pointer 98 emits a thin laser beam 154, as shown in FIG. 7, that creates a small spot on a desired target location such as golf course green, a golf ball, a pin/flag, etc. Thus, the flexible laser device 90 allows a golfer to mark a position of a golf ball on a course green prior to retrieving and removing the ball from the green. Use of the flexible laser device 90 provides accurate “spotting” of a golf ball and thus, facilitates fair play between golfers. The laser device 90 may be used as an alignment guide for indicating or displaying a straight trajectory or path from behind the golfer's ball to the flag or pin on the green.

In one embodiment of the invention, as shown in FIG. 9 a solar powered laser having one or more solar battery cells 100 is included so that a user can continuously recharge the batteries while golfing.

The laser device 90 may be securely attached or removably attached to the pole 22 and may be also aimed at a pin or flag. Use of the laser device may help a golfer align an associated club and stroke with the pin or flag and hole, thereby facilitating more accurate putts, and thus, increased golfer confidence, which may lead to lower scores.

In one embodiment of the invention, the laser device 90 may be removed from the pole 22 and may be clipped directly to a golfer's putter for more accurate alignment. A golfer can use the laser device 90 to align a driver to aim towards a hole. Additionally, on the green, the flexible neck may be turned and bent to mark a spot on the green.

In one embodiment of the invention, the laser device 90 has a ten-foot range so that a user can spot the mark and align the club accordingly.

A flexible string measurement device 102 as shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 8 has a first end 104 attached to the pole 22 near the bottom end 32 of the pole 22 and a second end 106 attached to a clip 108, wherein the clip 108 is adapted to removably clip on to a flagpole 110. The flexible string-measuring device 102 has a linear string portion 112 having a predefined length and an expandable accordion cord portion 114. In operation, the accordion portion 114 extends from the pole to a golf ball 62 on the green 118, and the linear string portion 112 extends from the ball 62 to the hole 116 to accurately measure the distance between the ball 62 and the hole 116. In one embodiment of the invention, the linear string portion 112 may be unattached from the pole 22 and may preferably measure 12 feet in length to accurately measure from the hole 116 to the ball 62.

A telescopically extended flexible suction cup 36 as shown in FIGS. 1-4, 6-8, and 9-11 is formed at the top end 30 of the pole 22. The suction cup 36 may be used to pick up a golf ball 62 from the ground or from within the hole. In operation, a golfer turns the caddy upside down and presses the suction cup over a golf ball to retrieve the ball. The ball may then be captured within the cup 36 and then may be lifted upwardly via the cup 36 and thus, be retrieved by the golfer. The suction cup 36 thus eliminates the need for a golfer to bend over when retrieving a ball, thereby preventing added stress and strain on a golfer's back and joints. By preventing discomfort the caddy 20 allows the golfer to concentrate fully on the golfer's game. Additionally, the telescopically extended suction cup 36 may prove useful to retrieve ball when the ball lands in water or another difficult to access location. The suction cup may be removably mounted or attached to the caddy.

Additionally, the suction cup may have two opposing cut-out portions 38a, 38b each adapted to receive a portion of a range scope 150, as shown in FIG. 3, wherein the range scope 150 measures yardage between the ball or caddy and the hole. The caddy 20 operates to steadily support the scope as a tripod. Typically range scopes are held by a person, and due to a person's unsteady hands, the yardage measurement is not accurate. However, when a scope is mounted on the caddy “tripod”, the scope remains stable and stationary, thus allowing for easier and more accurate adjustment and measurement of the yardage.

In one embodiment of the invention, the suction cup 36 further has a threaded hole disposed therethrough for receiving threaded a fastener. The fastener may provide a base for another removable caddy attachment such as a tripod mounting means or an umbrella (not shown).

In one embodiment of the invention, the scope may be associated with a conventional tripod having an associated tripod mounting means removably mounted in the threaded suction cup hole. In another embodiment of the invention, an umbrella may be screwed into the threaded suction cup hole or alternatively, on top of the pole that does not have a suction cup mounted on the first end.

Additionally, the top portion 24 of the pole may also include various other attachments, including one or more of the following: ring-like golf club handle holders 120a, 120b for receiving and retaining club handles 122, a cigar holder 124, or a beverage holder 126 adapted to accommodate a can or bottle 130. In one embodiment of the invention as shown in FIG. 4, the cigar holder 124 has a cup portion for receiving and retaining ashes and two opposing notches for supporting a cigar 152 or cigarette.

The ring-like golf club handle holders 120a, 120b may prove particularly useful when using clubs such as wedges and putters near the green, as the holders eliminate the need for a golfer to lay the golfers club or clubs on the ground. In turn, use of each holder 120a, 120b may reduce the risk of a golfer leaving one or more clubs behind when proceeding to the next hole and may spare the golfer the time, effort, and aggravation associated with returning to a previous hole to retrieve the clubs.

In one embodiment of the invention, one or more rings 132a, 132b (not shown) may be associated with the golf club handle holders 120a, 120b attached to the caddy. The rings 132a, 132b may be able to flip over the top end 30 of the pole 22 and remain loose until a club handle is retained therethrough. The rings 132a, 132b may be made from any suitable and durable material such as hard rubber, metal or plastic.

In one embodiment of the invention, as shown in more detail in FIG. 4 the caddy 20 further includes a beverage holder 126 adapted to hold a can or bottle and has an adaptor or mounting means 134 that may be adjusted to position the beverage holder 126 in various positions along the pole 22.

Additionally, in one embodiment of the invention, a strap 140 is attached to the caddy 20 to allow portage of the caddy 20 from one location to another.

It is contemplated that the various features or attachments of the caddy 20 may be removed and replaced at various locations along the pole 22. Thus, a user may only use the features that the user desires or needs and may remove any of the features that the user does not need.

The caddy 20 features a slim, lightweight, and compact design, which allows for convenient storage and transport in a golf bag. The various accessories on the device could also feature removable/replaceable designs. This would allow a golfer to customize the unit with only the devices the golfer needs or desires.

In use, the caddy 20 may be used in combination with a golf bag 142, where, in operation, the caddy 20 may be carried outside of the bag 142 in a pocket, or on a side of the golf bag via a holder mounted to the golf bag having a retention ring and holding cup arrangement similar to a golf club holder.

In operation, a golfer can carry the caddy 20 using the strap 140. The tee-setting device 40 may set the tee assembly 60 at the same height during each use to mark a ball's position on the green. Additionally, the laser pointer may be aimed on top of a ball, thus, eliminating the need to bend down and mark the ball. Then, a golfer can place the ball by using the suction cup 36 attached to the pole 22, and put the ball down and get ready to stroke. The laser device 90 can then be positioned upwardly to align the ball towards the hole. Once aligned, the ball can be picked up with the suction cup 38. The ball is then available on the green and can be lined up towards the hole for putting and the distance to the hole may be measured by the measuring device. After the ball goes into cup, the ball may be pulled out of hole with suction cup device and put in the cup 38. Additionally, the caddy 20 may hold one or more items including a cigar, beer or beverages, or clubs in a stationary position, thus, leaving a golfer free to golf.

While several aspects have been presented in the foregoing detailed description, it should be understood that a vast number of variations exist and these aspects are merely an example, and it is not intended to limit the scope, applicability or configuration of the invention in any way. Rather, the foregoing detailed description provides those of ordinary skill in the art with a convenient guide for implementing a desired aspect of the invention and various changes can be made in the function and arrangements of the aspects of the technology without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.