Title:
GOLF CART UMBRELLA HOLDER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An umbrella holder includes a clamp. The clamp is attached to a frame member, in an exemplary form, a frame member of a golf cart. The clamp is held on the frame member through a Velcro strap which wraps around the frame member. A telescoping rod extends from the clamp to hold an umbrella shaft holder which includes a slot through which an umbrella shaft can be passed. When the umbrella shaft is received within the holder, it is held securely therein.



Inventors:
Woller, Wayne Gary (Durham, NC, US)
Application Number:
12/049626
Publication Date:
09/18/2008
Filing Date:
03/17/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G25/12
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
GARFT, CHRISTOPHER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WARD AND SMITH, P.A. (Raleigh, NC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An umbrella holder for holding an umbrella having a shaft attached to a frame member, comprising: a clamp member formed as an elongate member open at one side to define an opening along the length thereof and for defining a channel for a frame member to be held therein; a strap secured to said clamp member for being wrapped around the clamp member from one side of the opening to be secured at the other side thereof for closing the opening and for holding the clamp member securely on a golf cart frame member; a rod holder adapted to be secured to said clamp member; a rod adapted to be held at on end thereof by said rod holder; and an umbrella shaft holder adapted to be secured to another end of said rod, said umbrella shaft holder comprising a tubular member having a passageway therethrough and a slot in a wall thereof of sufficient width to allow part of an umbrella shaft to pass through said slot to have an umbrella shaft held securely therein.

2. The umbrella holder of claim 1, wherein said strap comprises a Velcro strap attached to clamp member, and a complementary Velcro attachment patch secured to the clamp member for attaching the Velcro strap to the Velcro attachment pad.

3. The umbrella holder of claim 1, further comprising an elastomeric insert received within said channel.

4. The umbrella holder of claim 1, wherein said rod comprises a plurality of rod sections adapted for being connected to each other through threaded engagement.

5. The umbrella holder of claim 1, further comprising an elastomeric insert secured within said umbrella shaft holder.

6. The umbrella holder of claim 1, wherein said clamp member is made of plastic material.

7. The umbrella holder of claim 1, wherein said rod is connected to said umbrella shaft holder through a threaded engagement mechanism.

8. The umbrella holder of claim 4, wherein said plurality of rod sections form a telescoping rod.

9. The umbrella holder of claim 1, wherein said clamp member is made of metal alloy.

10. The umbrella holder of claim 1, wherein said umbrella holder is a golf cart umbrella holder, said frame member is part of a frame of a golf cart, and said clamp member is sized for attaching to said frame member of said golf cart.

11. An umbrella holder for holding an umbrella having a shaft, comprising: a first clamp member and a second clamp member for clamping onto a frame member, said first clamp member and second clamp member hingedly connected together, said first clamp member and second clamp member shaped for defining a channel for said frame member for being securely held on said frame member when said first clamp member and second clamp member are held together; a strap secured to one of said first clamp member and said second clamp member for being wrapped and secured around the other of said first clamp member and said second clamp member for holding said first clamp member and said second clamp member together and secured to said frame member; a rod holder adapted to be secured to one of said first clamp member and said second clamp member; a rod adapted to be held at one end thereof by said rod holder; and an umbrella shaft holder adapted to be secured to another end of said rod, said umbrella shaft holder comprising a tubular member having a passageway therethrough and a slot in a wall thereof of sufficient width to allow part of an umbrella shaft to pass through said slot to have an umbrella shaft held securely therein.

12. The umbrella holder of claim 11, further comprising an elastomeric insert received within said channel.

13. The umbrella holder of claim 11, wherein said rod comprises a plurality of rod sections adapted for being connected to each other through threaded engagement.

14. The umbrella holder of claim 11, further comprising an elastomeric insert secured within said umbrella shaft holder.

15. The umbrella holder of claim 11, wherein said first clamp member and second clamp member are made of plastic material.

16. The umbrella holder of claim 11, wherein said second rod is connected to said umbrella shaft holder through a threaded engagement mechanism.

17. The umbrella holder of claim 13, wherein said plurality rod sections form a telescoping rod.

18. The umbrella holder of claim 11, wherein said umbrella holder is a golf cart umbrella holder, said frame member is part of a frame of a golf cart, and said first clamp member and said second clamp member are sized for attaching to said frame member of said golf cart.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This Application is related to Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/918,196, filed Mar. 15, 2007 entitled “Golf Cart Umbrella Holder” of the same Inventor herein, the disclosure of which is specifically incorporated by reference in its entirety. Further, priority is hereby expressly claimed to the filing date of said Provisional Application.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a golf cart umbrella holder which clamps to a golf cart to free up both hands for a golfer. More specifically, the invention relates to a golf cart umbrella holder which can be easily attached, for example, to upright frame members supporting a canopy of a golf cart, at any location on the frame members.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Golf carts equipped with canopies do not protect golfers from sun and rain when leaving the shelter of the canopy to hit a golf ball. In leaving the protection of the canopy, golfers often utilize umbrellas for protection against the sun and rain. When taking a golf shot, however, the golfer must either close the umbrella for storage in the cart or dispose of the open or closed umbrella on the ground. Similarly, when riding in the golf cart between shots, the golfer must either close the umbrella for storage in the cart or hold open the umbrella manually outside of the cart.

Umbrella holders for golf carts have up to now been proposed, but often require complex arrangements just for mounting purposes. Further, prior art umbrella holders capable of resisting wind forces have also required that the golfer perform several steps to install or remove the umbrella from the holder.

One prior art approach involves an umbrella holder attachable to a frame member of a golf cart. The holder includes a lever having a head on a handle so that as the umbrella is received within a holder which consists of a sleeve, it is held within the sleeve in engagement between a rib assembly and the handle of the umbrella as secured by the lever head. Unfortunately, such an arrangement is complex and is subject to loosening over time.

Other prior art umbrella holders include combinations of clamping devices having plates with teeth to secure the umbrella in fixed position. Such devices are also complex and not easily deployed on a golf cart.

In accordance with the invention, the problems of the prior art are overcome in a simple, easy to use and secure umbrella holder for the frame of a golf cart, and is described herein.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an improved golf cart umbrella holder for holding an umbrella. Golf umbrellas typically have a shaft which is tapered in width to be smaller from a lesser width near a handle of the umbrella to a greater width at the umbrella portion. Other golf umbrellas have uniform width shafts. It should also be noted that while in an exemplary embodiment the umbrella holder is described for use with a golf cart frame member, it will be readily apparent that it can be employed with other structures or vehicles having frame members. Examples of structures or vehicles with which the holder can be employed include lawn chairs, pontoon boat frame members, etc. Thus, the invention is not limited for use with golf carts.

In accordance with the invention, a clamp member is provided which clamps onto a frame, in particular a frame member, of a golf cart. The clamp is an elongate member open at one side along the length thereof for defining a channel in the clamp for the frame member to be received and securely held therein. A strap is secured on one side of the opening of the clamp member for being wrapped around and secured to the other of side of the opening of the clamp member for holding the clamp member securely on the frame member. A rod holder is adapted to be secured to the clamp. A rod is adapted to be held at one end of the rod holder. An umbrella shaft holder is adapted to be secured to the other end of the rod. The umbrella shaft holder includes a tubular member or sleeve having a passageway therethrough with a slot in a wall thereof of sufficient width to allow part of an umbrella shaft to pass through the slot to have an umbrella shaft held securely therein.

In a more specific aspect, the strap is a Velcro strap attached to the clamp member on one side of the opening and a complementary Velcro patch on the other side to allow the clamp to be secured on a frame member.

An elastomeric insert such as made of rubber may be received within the channel defined by the clamp member to more closely fit the profile of the frame member on which the clamp is secured. Similarly, an elastomeric insert may be received within the umbrella shaft holder to more properly fit a selected umbrella shaft.

In an alternative aspect of the invention, the clamp is designed in a different manner to include two hinged members which are connected, and which clamp around a frame member of a golf car. A Velcro securing mechanism can be employed as in the previous embodiment.

These and other advantages and features that characterize the invention are set forth in the claims annexed hereto and forming a further part hereof. However, for a better understanding of the invention, and of the advantages and objects attained through its use, reference should be made to the Drawings, and to the accompanying descriptive matter, in which there are described exemplary embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an assembled golf cart umbrella holder in accordance with the invention, showing part of a frame member of a golf cart and part of an umbrella shaft held by the golf cart umbrella holder.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view from one side of a clamp in accordance with the invention showing in part the remaining portion of the umbrella holder, and showing the clamp secured to a golf cart frame member.

FIG. 3 is a top partial cross-section view of the clamp secured on a frame member of one size.

FIG. 4 is a top partial cross-section view of the clamp secured on a different size frame member than that of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the clamp secured on a frame member.

FIGS. 6a and 6b are perspective views of exemplary alternative embodiments for a rod holder for the clamp of the umbrella holder.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a securing threaded assembly for assembling a telescoping rod of the golf cart umbrella holder.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an umbrella shaft holder.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an umbrella shaft holder secured to a rod of the umbrella holder.

FIG. 10 is a partial perspective view of the umbrella shaft holder assembled with an umbrella held therein.

FIG. 11 is an enlarged perspective view of an umbrella held in the umbrella shaft holder.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a clamp for a frame member.

FIG. 13 is an alternative perspective view of the clamp of FIG. 12.

FIG. 14 is another alternative perspective view of the clamp of FIGS. 12 and 13.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides in an exemplary embodiment, an improved golf cart umbrella holder of simple construction which is easy to attach to the frame of a golf cart, and provides for easy insertion and removal of an umbrella for use in connection with the umbrella holder. Alternatively, it may be employed with frame members of other type devices or vehicles as previously described.

It is important to appreciate that many umbrellas, and in particular golf umbrellas, may have a tapered shaft increasing in thickness from the handle towards the umbrellas portion. This feature of golf umbrellas is particularly adaptable for use in connection with the invention, but it is not required and the invention can work effectively with golf umbrellas having shafts of uniform width. Further the umbrella shaft holder and/or insert therefor can be made narrower at the bottom to allow the umbrella shaft to settle by gravity and be held therein as explained hereafter.

FIG. 1 illustrates the invention in perspective view shown attached to a partial frame member 11 of a golf cart. The golf cart umbrella holder of the invention includes a clamp 13 which allows a rod 15 to be attached thereto which is then connected to an umbrella shaft holder 17. The rod 15 is connected to a rod portion 91 which is a part of a telescoping rod connected to the clamp 13. The umbrella shaft holder 17 serves to receive an umbrella shaft 19 therein.

The clamp 13, as shown in FIGS. 2-5 is a one piece clamp member 13 having an opening 37 on one side extending the length thereof and defining a channel 33 within which a frame member 11 is received. Insert 35 of, for example, an elastomeric material such as rubber can be used to adjust the size of channel 33 for a particular width frame member 11.

As shown in FIGS. 2-5, a Velcro strap 83 wraps from one side of the clamp 13 to the other side of the clamp 13, around opening 37, and in contact with frame member 11. The clamp 13 also has attached thereto a rod holder 61, shown in two embodiments in FIGS. 6a and 6b. The rod holder 61 includes a rod support 65 (FIG. 6a) and a through hole 63. The rod holder 61 is held on the clamp 13 through engagement with a screw and wing nut arrangement 71, which also passed through a through hole (not shown) of clamp 13 which opens into channel 33. The head of the screw of arrangement 71 rests in the channel 33 (not shown).

The embodiment of FIGS. 6a and 6b show two different structures for a rod holder 61 holding a rod 15 of the golf umbrella holder. The first embodiment, FIG. 6a as noted, includes a tubular extension 65 into which the rod 15 can fit and be received. FIG. 6b shows a threaded coupling 66 which can be threaded onto threads of a rod 15 in a conventional manner well know to those of ordinary skill.

In an alternative embodiment as shown in FIGS. 12-14, the clamp 13 is made up of two clamp members 32 and 52. The clamp members 32 and 52 are hingedly connected together. The clamp members 32 and 52 are also shaped to define a channel 33 which serves to receive a golf cart frame member 11 therein. As shown in FIG. 13, in an exemplary embodiment, a Velcro strap 83 is connected to a pin in a handle portion 75 and mounted in slots therein, and passed though slots in the handle portion 75 to attach to the other one of clamp members 32 and 52 at a Velcro pad mounted thereon for being held together.

FIG. 7 illustrates in perspective view a coupling split ring threaded engagement device 93 which as shown in FIG. 1 is used to connect rod 15 to rod 91 of the golf cart umbrella holder to form a telescoping rod connected to umbrella shaft holder 17.

FIG. 8 illustrates the umbrella shaft holder sleeve 17 which includes a cut out region 95 in the wall thereof sufficient to allow an umbrella shaft 19 to be passed thereinto. The umbrella shaft holder sleeve 17 is connected through the threaded engagement members 101 to rod 91 as shown in FIG. 9.

As shown in FIGS. 10 and 11 an insert 97, also of elastomeric material, for example rubber, can also be provided and the umbrella shaft 19 can either settle within the sleeve 17 through engagement as is settles downward into a wider portion, or in the case of an umbrella shaft 19 having a uniform width, through press fit engagement with elastomeric insert 97 provided the insert 97 is sufficiently “thick”. Alternatively, the insert 97 is made to be narrower at the bottom, as may the shaft holder sleeve 17 to allow both types of umbrella shafts 19 (tapered or uniform width) to settle by gravity and be held therein.

While the invention has been illustrated with reference to frame members which are circular in shape, it will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that the invention can be implemented with frame members and rods of different shapes and dimensions such as hexagonal, square, etc. and all that needs to be changed are the various inserts to accommodate the different sizes and shapes.

While the present invention has been illustrated by a description of various embodiments and while these embodiments have been described in considerable detail, it is not the intention of the Applicant to restrict, or any way limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. The invention in its broader aspects is therefore not limited to the specific details, representative apparatus and methods, and illustrative examples shown and described. Accordingly, departures may be made from such details without departing from the spirit or scope of Applicant's general inventive concept.