Title:
Green complex for a golf facility
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A green complex comprising of a universal design concept and entities that support this concept are disclosed therein. The universal design concept is to stimulate a golfer by offering a method of operation that combines traditional golf and disc golf that can be played at any time; day or night. These design entities are inclusive to, but not limited to, the variation of colors of the target structure, flag, and corresponding synthetic green, and the illuminating concept for the green perimeter, cup, structure, and flag. A golf course with a plurality of holes, that includes the present invention, would be arranged as to where each hole contains a theme that is inclusive to the universal design concept. A typical green complex, using the concept of the present invention, comprises of an artificial target green of various colors encompassing a target structure/cup that displays various flags and combines the play of traditional golf and disk golf which could also be played at night using the illumination concept. The green complex contains numerous permanent turf cuts/holes that allow the present invention to relocate its target structure/cup, resulting in an encompassment of different terrain obstacles and different trajectories to the target structure/cup therein. A method of operation of the green complex is also described. Participating at a golf facility that includes the present invention results in a method of operation that appeals to the mind, body, and soul of the participant through a relatively inexhaustible number of stimulating design concepts therein.



Inventors:
Marshall, Tony (Stuart, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/645316
Publication Date:
06/26/2008
Filing Date:
12/26/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/167, 473/168, 473/169, 473/173
International Classes:
A63B67/02; A63B57/00; A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TONY MARSHALL (ORLANDO, FL, US)
Claims:
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A green complex comprising: an alternative golf cup/target structure encompassing the ability to combine disc golf, traditional golf, night golf and other types of golf by encompassing a disc target with connected golf cup at the base of the structure; all intertwined with an illumination concept inclusive to, but not limited to, the embodiments of FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 3A, 3B, 3C, 4, 5A, 5B, and 5C; a synthetic target green, where the said synthetic green includes specialized activities inclusive to, but not limited to, the embodiments of FIG. 4; and a green complex according to the embodiments of FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 3A, 3B, 3C, 4, 5A, 5B, and 5C, and entities that support this concept, wherein said method of using the green complex of the type as defined in FIG. 4, comprise players striking a golf ball, and/or hurling a golf disc to attempt to propel it toward the target/cup structure located within the synthetic target green. a green complex according to the embodiments of FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 3A, 3B, 3C, 4, 5A, 5B, and 5C, and entities that support this concept, wherein said concept attracts, accommodates, and educates a person through three various tangible and intangible experiences: education, competition, and recreation.

2. A green complex comprising: a target structure according to claim 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D wherein said alternative golf cup/target structure encompasses a disc target golf cup connected by male and female attachments inclusive to, but not limited to, the embodiments of FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, or any other forms of assembly; a synthetic target green of various shades of colour with various undulations, inclusive to mounds, berms, and any other forms of elements to decelerate the momentum of over-played golf shots, and various shapes and sizes encompassing said alternative golf cup/target structure inclusive to, but not limited to, the embodiments of FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 3A, 3B, 3C, 4, 5A, 5B, and 5C; and a synthetic target green being one of various shades of colour, coordinating with the colour of the said alternative golf cup/target structure, flag, hole concept, or any other preferred additional elements within said golf holes inclusive to, but not limited to, the embodiments of FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 3A, 3B, 3C, 4, 5A, 5B, and 5C.

3. A green complex comprising: the conceptual design of a green complex according to claims 1 and 2, and embodiments of FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 3A, 3B, 3C, 4, 5A, 5B, and 5C; and the conceptual design of the alternative golf cup/target structure according to claims 1 and 2, and embodiments of FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 3A, 3B, 3C, 4, 5A, 5B, and 5C.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a green complex that offers to stimulate its participant with variations of color concepts and play; thus offering a method of operation that combines traditional golf and disc golf that can be played at any time; day or night.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

The game of golf is an increasingly popular game in the United States of America and around the world. The game of golf traditionally consists of a playing area, which is a tract of land called a ‘course’ or ‘links’, and is made up of a series of ‘holes’, usually nine or eighteen holes. Each hole is traditionally made up of a ‘tee’, which is the point at which the golfer starts to play that unit of the course, a ‘fairway’ and a target ‘green’ having a ‘cup’ into which the golfer aims to propel the ball. The green and everything within and reasonably adjacent to its perimeter is called a ‘green complex’. Between the tee and the cup there may be many different obstacles including such hazards as water, tall grass, trees and sand traps. Usually the longer the distance from the tee to the cup, the more obstacles there are, and as a result the more difficult the hole is to score.

Although the game of golf is extremely popular around the world, the traditional game of golf played on traditional golf courses suffers from a number of disadvantages. One major disadvantage is the lack of tangibly making the game universally attractive to all types of participants. A new concept, complimentary to traditional design background and ideas, resulted in a green complex that caters to all types of participants. This green complex has a strong market for participants of all ages: from low-income to high-income participants, from young to old participants, from beginner to advanced participants, and from inner city to rural participants.

As far as market competition, there are companies and organizations that make golf accessible to participants from all walks of life. Although these companies and organizations have been very successful, the facilities they create still resembles traditional golf course architecture, and therefore, these alternative facilities appear too monotonous to a great number of participants that want to learn the game. Knowing this, a green complex was created to be stimulating, cultural, educational, fun, and relatable to everyone. As a result the new conceptual green complex would still carry a regal standard among golf courses, but with stimulating entities. The differences between this invention and an average green complex is the target structure that combines traditional golf and disc golf, the variation of colors of the target structure, flag, and corresponding synthetic green, and lastly, the illuminating concept for the green perimeter, cup, structure, and flag.

DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

A traditional green complex is fairly similar throughout the world. While it may differ in size, number surrounding hazards, and complexity of undulating topography, it is consistent in that there is a cup, flagpole, and flag; all within an approximately 2,500-square-foot region/area made of either natural grass or synthetic material. A green complex could consist of a number on undulations and surrounding hazards depending on the size and shape of the green. Most golf course designs go by the formula that the larger a green is, the more hazards and undulations a green will have. The total play of the golf hole will also be more difficult. Although not all golf courses have the same aesthetic of a green complex, golf courses are uniform in that there are golf holes with a tee and green, a distinct par, and a variation of possible shot paths that can be performed to get to the green. For example, golf course X and can consist of a green complex with a 2,500-square-foot area with a flagpole and flag that is held up by a cup placed within a 4.25-inch, turf-cut diameter hole, while golf course Y can consist of a green complex with only a raised basket-like target structure with a mounted flag. Although the green complexes may differ, the activities using conventional green complexes at golf courses X and Y are specified as having all of the components for a total golf experience respectively. On the other hand, although the concept of playing golf course X and Y are similar, golf course X will always have its initial concept to appeal to the traditional golfer and golf course Y will always have its initial concept to appeal to the disc golfer. As a result, a golfer would be playing under one concept of golf or the other.

There are various prior art proposals that aim to alter or customize the conventional green complex or the conventional game of golf such that various requirements are considered. Japanese Patent No. 09-075502 (1997) issued to Tamapatsuku KK on Mar. 25, 1997 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,848,940 issued to Tamapak Co., Ltd. on Dec. 15, 1998 discloses the concept of a playing ground with various features capable of suitably control golf ball bouncing, preventing wheel tracks by wheels of a wheel chair ridden by a handicapped person, avoiding elongation and contraction of artificial lawn by difference of temperature in summer and winter to prevent wrinkling the surface, etc. U.S. Pat. No. 5,482,278 issued to David Hill and Kurt Paulin on Jan. 9, 1996 discloses a golf course that is accessible to the physically handicapped. The course is substantially flat to make it accessible to wheelchairs. It contains no water hazards. The surface of the greens is constructed of artificial turf. Playing hazards include boulders, concrete slabs, and sand traps. The sand traps are of such a size and arrangement so as to allow the manoeuvring of wheelchairs. Blind golfers may play as the holes are equipped with buzzers which emit sounds which allow the determination of the location of the holes and additional buzzers which signal the entry of the ball into the hole. U.S. patent Publication No. 20030004006 filed Jun. 21, 2002 by William M. Hobby, III describes a method of adapting a golf course for playing golf at night using a glow-in-the-dark golf ball including selecting an elongated flexible light source and placing it around the perimeter of a golf course putting green, fairway, bunkers, and other hazards and anchoring the placed elongated flexible light source to the earth with anchoring stakes. The golf hole may have the rim illuminated and may have a night visible flag. The selected and placed elongated flexible light source is partially buried to provide a smooth surface there over. The elongated flexible light source, such as a plurality of light emitting diodes (LEDS), may be placed in a flexible transparent polymer tube or channel and may be an electro-illuminescent wire or incandescent bulbs or LED spaced within a polymer tube or an elongated fiber optic lighted from one end. U.S. Pat. No. 5,993,322 issued to Gary J. Consalvi on Nov. 30, 1999 disclose a golf driving range for use with floating balls including a water reservoir having a front edge, a rear edge, and two side edges; a plurality of practice tees along the front edge; a plurality of island greens in the reservoir.

There are also various prior art proposals that aim to alter or customize individual components of a conventional green complex or the conventional game of golf such that various requirements are considered to complement the overall concept of a green complex. U.S. Pat. No. 5,029,856 issued to Irving W. Bookspan on Jul. 9, 1991 disclose a golf cup for artificial greens comprising a golf cup having a cylindrical layer of a compressible substance secured to the upper internal end of the golf cup which extends for a portion of the internal length of the cup from the upper end thereof. U.S. patent Publication No. 20010033057 filed Jun. 21, 2001 by Todd N. Hathaway describes a disc golf target assembly. A plurality of chain segments is suspended from a support member by generally U-shaped attachment loops. The attachment loops have upwardly and outwardly sloped side portions, so that the energy of the disc is absorbed and dissipated by spreading and lifting the chain segments as the disc strikes the target assembly. The support member, attachment loops and chain segments may be mounted on a vertical support, and the assembly may include a basket that is mounted beneath the support and chain segments for receiving the disc therefrom. Finally, U.S. patent application No. 20030018533 filed Jul. 17, 2001 by St. Onge Steward Johnston & Reens, LLC describes a method of providing a golf course with flags decorated with advertising from multiple advertisers, who are willing to purchase the rights to place their advertising on flags marking holes on the golf course in return for submitting funds to the golf course.

Although, there are many variations in the prior art that propose to alter the green complex of a golf course, there is no concept that combines a conceptual variety of playing golf as disclosed by the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a green complex that provides a universal and fundamental design concept and entities that support this concept. The concept is to attract, accommodate, and educate a person through recreation, education, and competition. The green complex is designed as such in order to combine various methods of playing of golf through the tangible and intangible elements of the present invention. The present invention takes somewhat a form of previous green complexes, with the exception of pushing the concept of attracting more kids to golf. Normally speaking, the invention will comprise a target green, and a hole/cup with a target structure and flag, and an illuminated concept for the green perimeter, cup, target structure, and flag, but the invention is not limited to this appearance. In addition, an invention of this stature would allow beginner golfers to learn the basics of golf by playing disc golf; the easier form of golf. For example, one would learn the concept of par, various golf terminologies, and the paths of various golf shots (e.g. draw and fade). The present invention also provides a method of operation that offers variety and challenge with each game of golf for all golfers, regardless of skill level, experience, or background.

The ideas, stemmed from the fundamental concept of attracting, accommodating, and educating a person through recreation, education, and competition, create benchmarks, or goals, to build upon for pushing the concept even further. The more critical, reasonable goals must be established and accomplished first in order to establish and accomplish more complex goals. The critical goals are inclusive to: making golf accessible to kids of all backgrounds, allowing more opportunities to learn various trades within the golf industry, familiarizing more youths with golf by enhancing their knowledge of the game, creating a permanent location for various youth related activities and programs, creating a facility that will give its community a sense of pride, and enhancing the minds of the youth by creating a enjoyable and educational facility. Accomplishing these goals will set a positive tone for the local youths, thus setting broader goals: helping children find their niche in society by giving them new avenues to explore, building bridges between non-profit organizations of similar interests, and aiding in the reduction of local crime and poverty rates, as well as other frightening youth statistics. These two groups of goals are important in that they are needed to obtain the overall goals: to create a new area of research and employment in the golf industry, and to set a prototypical process that can be used globally within any setting.

The present invention takes a step away from traditional golf course architecture, yet preserves the integrity of the game by offering many tangible and intangible advantages. Some tangible advantages are: the option to play disc golf, which will result in faster play, the option to play night golf, a “child-proof” green, the potential to use the target flag for education and/or advertising, a safe and inviting habitat for wildlife due to no pesticide use on greens, and other substantial elements that assembles an entertaining and educational golf experience. Being that a green complex of such stature, there is low maintenance, and little to no water and pesticides will be needed, which will reduce the amount of contamination to the land. Lastly, the green complex would aid in creating an aesthetically pleasing visual, which increases property values to the surrounding properties. While these tangible advantages would create a positive impact, an extensive amount of intangible advantages will create a greater long-term impact. There is potential to significantly attract youths of all ages, cultures, and skill levels, especially non-golfers. The green complex is also capable of attracting and exposing kids to golf at an early age, thus resulting in the development of many personal relationships that will broaden a person's world.

From an environmental point of view, the potential impact of the present invention is minimal. In fact, it invites local wildlife and vegetation the opportunity to come live and grow. The green complex also has little impact on land use. All of the square-foot coverage is artificial, which reduces costs in upkeep. Also, more artificial turf means less landscape maintenance, including water and pesticides. Due to the demand for a maintained urban and suburban environment, a golf course inclusive to the present invention would add a great visual for adjacent property and would add an aesthetically pleasing element to the community. As a result, the present invention composes a great artistic aesthetic, and would be an immense addition to urban areas as well as rural and suburban areas. Brownfield, Greenfield, redevelopment of existing parks and golf courses, Native-American reservations, and Appalachia areas could be included as potential sites for a golf course of this stature.

The present invention caters to many forms of usage. The primary form of usage involves young golfers of all backgrounds having a place to grow in golf, the community, and life. Golf camps and competitions, and special programs sponsored by the various professional organizations and its representatives, would have the potential to encourage a permanent home for the present invention at various golf facilities. In addition, a state-of-the art invention of this stature would have the option to offer a permanent location to various community programs; vocational classes that relate to the golf industry can be held, nonprofit organizations can shuttle kids to and from the facility, after school activities and field trips can be coordinated, and juvenile programs can be held in which the main objective is to maintain upkeep of the golf property. To ensure that all people have the opportunity to experience the facility, the American Disabilities Association accessibility is also incorporated. Although many programs and possible partnerships have the potential to enrich lives and leave a positive impact on the youth, the present invention is not just limited to the usage of youths. Adults considered as well. Sharing the versatility of the present invention simply demonstrates a plethora of endless possibilities with golf and youth development.

The idea of providing a green complex that caters to all types of golfers has endless possibilities. This state-of-the-art concept can possibly bridge a many political, social, and economic gaps, but the primary responsibility is to bridge the gap between children and golf. Finally, more popular sports like football, basketball, and baseball will have a new competitor in the ranks of being the pet sport for America's youth.

“Children use play and the power of their imagination to establish their place in this world. Play is the best place to try out different roles, and through their imagination, kids make their play world real: They don't pretend to be a doctor; they are the doctors. This is the model you should follow when you introduce your child to golf—let them ‘be the golfer’. Remember that it's play, it needs to be fun, and it needs to be artistic—something they create. Kids need to become immersed in the playing of the game, not in the swinging of the club or perfection of the shot or even the score”.

    • —The Golf Doctor, Today's Golf, Dec. 7, 2001

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of a layout for a typical configuration of a prior art green complex;

FIG. 1B is a section elevation for a typical configuration of a prior art disc target structure;

FIG. 1C is a perspective view of a layout for a typical configuration of a prior art fairway and green complex with hazards;

FIG. 1D is a plan view of a layout for a typical configuration of a prior art fairway and green complex with hazards;

FIG. 2A is a section elevation view of an alternative target/cup structure for a golf facility according to the preferred embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 2B is a plan view of FIG. 2A according to the preferred embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 2C is an section elevation view of FIG. 2A attachments according to the preferred embodiments of the present invention; and

FIG. 2D is a perspective view of FIG. 2A according to the preferred embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 3A consists of multiple plan views of an example for a green system of a golf course according to the preferred embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 3B is a perspective view of an example from FIG. 3A according to the preferred embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 3C is a perspective view of an example from FIG. 3A according to the preferred embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a diagram of the method of play for the present invention and the relationships between the fundamental concept of the present invention and the preferred embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 5A is a diagram of an example for a golf facility's hole/round concept and flag configuration according to the preferred embodiments of the present invention:

FIG. 5B is a perspective view of a golf facility according to the preferred embodiments of the present invention; and

FIG. 5C is a perspective view of a golf facility according to the preferred embodiments of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein. It should be understood, however, that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, the details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limited, but merely as the basis for the claims and as a basis for teaching one skilled in the art how to make and/or use the invention.

Referring to FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D there is shown a layout for a prior art green complex for a traditional golf course and a green complex for a disc golf course, which includes a target green (5), green perimeter (6), flag pole (3), target flag (1), basket/net (2), and cup (4). Within the green complex area there may be located a number of obstacles, including tree areas (7), water hazards (9), sand traps (8), and fairway (10). In the green complex of the prior art, the location for the target can be located at various points within the target green (FIG. 1A), while the other target is stationary (FIG. 1B).

FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D illustrates the alternative golf cup/target structure according to embodiments of FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D. The alternative golf cup/target structure carries a new concept of combining traditional golf (13) and disc golf (12) as well, resulting in both types of rounds being played simultaneously. The model for the hole cup is constructed in a pattern where the lower post of the disc hole structure (19) is connected to the bottom of the traditional hole cup (20), thus expanding the diameter of the cup for three main objectives: adequate putting, accommodating the centrally placed pole of the disc target, and accommodating the golf ball. The disc golf course and the traditional golf course are combined together by a structure that acts as a golf cup as well as a disc target. By creating this structure, the golfer has two options of play. As a result, the cup diameter is expanded. The proposed cup below the disc target is expanded in diameter to accommodate the centrally placed pole of the disc target, and the golf ball. This total structure is surrounded by an artificial putting green (18, 23). The best option to add durability to the structure is to separate the base into three parts: the original disc target (19), the cup structure (20), and the target base (21). Having either a male or female attachment connects the three parts. For example, the disc target can have a female attachment (19), the golf cup can have both male and female attachments (20), and the target base can have a male attachment (21). The target base is reinforced with a robust base to reduce tilting (14). There will be lights that illuminate around the island target greens and within the cup at night (16, 24, 25), and glowing golf balls and glowing discs will be used to hit these targets. There is also the possibility to of adding illumination to the disc target structure and flag. In addition, there will be illuminated markers that label the distance of the yardage to the green. To expand the variety of play, two or more permanent locations for hole-placements are implanted into the greens as interchangeable holes. The remaining holes not used by the target structure are covered with an artificial material equal to the material of the corresponding green (22). Various flags (11) are placed at the top of the alternative golf cup/target structure, and the aesthetic combination of the disc target structure coordinates with the chosen color shades of the chosen flag and green. Furthermore, the disclosed alternative golf cup/target structure is not to be interpreted as limited, but as a resource in developing unlimited forms of the present invention.

FIGS. 3A, 3B, and 3C illustrates the “green” according to embodiments of FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D. The “green” serves the same purposes as the natural “green”, with the exception of using all colors as well as green. Although the color may change, the element is still called a “green”. The system used to create the color green on artificial turf should be used to create other forms of artificial “greens” with an unlimited choice of colors. Berms and/or mounds are placed along the back perimeter of the greens as a backstop to decelerate the momentum of long, and over-played shots. Furthermore, the disclosed greens are not to be interpreted as limited, but as a resource in developing unlimited forms of greens for the present invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates an example of the types of golf to be played according to embodiments of FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 3A, 3B, and 3C. Furthermore, the disclosed methods of play are not to be interpreted as limited, but as a resource in developing unlimited forms of playing methods for the present invention.

FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C illustrates an example of the types of concepts to be expected, and one conceptual example of the types of flags to be mounted on the present invention. This 9-hole golf course diagrammatic example is an executive-style course with a par of 30. The first, middle, and last golf hole on the course are Par 4 holes, and the rest of the golf holes are par 3 holes. Each golf hole has a concept of providing the educational and recreational experience of various concepts, which will vary.

Furthermore, contrary to the green complex of the prior art in which golfers play certain variations of golf, players on the golf course using the present invention could play all of these variations of golf simultaneously.

The variety and challenge that the present green complex can offer would encourage and generate a large membership base of players that want to remain members at a golf facility that offers a well-rounded concept in the different games of golf that can be played. The variety and challenge offered at a golf facility with the present invention would make it unique to all prior art courses since it offers unlimited variety and challenge in the possible games of golf that can be played, and would accordingly be attractive to avid golfers who want to improve their golf game.

It is understood that the present invention is not limited to the various embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims. For example, additional embodiments could be such that the present invention is applied to a miniature golf course or any other specialized course. Furthermore, the scope of the present invention is not limited only to the game of golf or to any other physical games, instead the concepts of the present invention may also be applied to a wide range of other games, such as electronic games, for example, Nintendo®, Sony®, Sega®, Microsoft®, Macintosh®, or other electronic based games, computer games, CD ROMS, video games, Internet games, board games, or any other game, whether physical or virtual, in which the spirit and principles of the present invention can be applied. While preferred embodiments have been shown and described, it will be understood that there is no intent to limit the invention to such disclosure, but rather it is intended to cover all modifications and alternate constructions falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the claims.