Title:
Apparatus and method for improving a golf shot
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf practice apparatus a generally circular disc, said disc having a centrally located opening, said central located opening forming a golf hole and a method of improving one's golf swing by aiming at the apparatus.



Inventors:
Geary, Lloyd Shane (Milwaukee, WI, US)
Application Number:
12/075985
Publication Date:
09/18/2008
Filing Date:
03/14/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/409
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RYAN KROMHOLZ & MANION, S.C. (MILWAUKEE, WI, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A golf practice apparatus comprising: a generally circular disc, said disc having a centrally located opening, said centrally located opening forming a golf hole.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said disc further comprises a first side and a second side, said second side being substantially flat.

3. The apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said first side slopes upwardly from said circumference of said disc to said opening.

4. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said disc further comprises an inner rim and an outer rim, said disc sloping upwardly from said outer rim to said inner rim.

5. The apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising a secondary opening on said disc.

6. A golf practice apparatus that is capable of being thrown, said apparatus comprising: a generally circular disc, said disc having a centrally located opening, said central located opening forming a golf hole.

7. The golf practice apparatus according to claim 6 further comprising: a first side forming said golf hole; a second side being substantially flat for placement on a planar surface; wherein said apparatus being formed so that said apparatus will land on said second side when thrown.

8. The device according to claim 7 wherein said first side further comprises an inner rim and an outer rim, said disc sloping upwardly from said outer rim to said inner rim.

9. The device according to claim 7, wherein said first side of said disc slopes upwardly from said circumference of said disc to said opening.

10. A method of improving one's aim for a golf shot, the method comprising the steps of: providing a generally circular disc, said disc having a centrally located opening; hitting a golf ball at said disc, wherein said golf ball will indirectly land within said opening.

11. The method of claim 10 further comprising the steps of: picking up the disc; and throwing the disc.

12. The method of claim 11 further comprising the steps of: repeating the steps of hitting the golf ball, picking up the disc, and throwing the disc.

13. The method of claim 11, wherein said disc comprises a first side, said first side sloping upwardly from said circumference to said opening, and a second side being substantially flat, wherein said step of throwing the disc results in the second side facing downwardly on a surface.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of co-pending U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/906,895, filed 14 Mar. 2007.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to methods and apparatuses related to golf and golf instruction. More specifically, the present invention relates to methods and apparatuses to aid in teaching a golfer how to chip.

One of the key areas-of one's golf game that generally needs improvement is the short game, or chipping. Chipping takes more finesse and accuracy than driving a golf ball or hitting a golf ball down a fairway. Likewise, when chipping or hitting a short shot, the bounce or roll of the golf ball must also be taken into account. Practice and repetition is necessary to improve such shots.

There are apparatuses used as practice devices so that one can practice chipping. One of the more common types of chipping devices comprises a wire frame that supports a type of mesh bag over the ground or surface. The golfer places this device at a predetermined place, walks to another place, and then aims at the basket with one or more golf balls. Once the golfer has hit all of his or her golf balls at the target, the balls must then be retrieved and the golfer must go back to a new position and aim at the apparatus. The golfer generally tends to spend more time retrieving the golf balls than actually practicing the golf shot. Furthermore, if the user hits the ball directly into the hanging mesh bag, this does not take into account a normal golf shot, which must also take into account that the ball will roll after the golf shot hits the ground.

Thus, it is desirous to develop a new golf apparatus that will allow a golfer to practice chipping in a manner that will more realistically mimic a normal golf shot and, also, allow a person to increase the amount of practice time that is devoted to actual chipping than to retrieving the golf balls.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a golf practice apparatus that assists in improving a golfer's chipping. The device consists of a generally disc shaped device, having at least one hollow center, which depicts the actual target or hole for the golfer to aim for. The outer edges of the disc preferably comprise a raised or sloped edge, so that the center hole forms somewhat of a cup or indentation. The disc may be symmetrical, so that there are raised edges on both sides of the disc, which allows the disc to properly work as a target regardless which side of the disc is facing upwards.

Because the user is aiming or shooting at a generally planar device rather than a raised bag, the device more accurately portrays a regular golf shot. If a shot is hit directly into the center of the disc, it will bounce out past the disc, just as a regular golf shot would. Thus, the device teaches the user to aim at the device as they would a regular golf shot, as opposed to a shot on the fly.

Also, the shape of the device as a disc has benefits, as well. Once a person shoots his golf balls at the target, he walks up to the target to retrieve the golf ball. Instead of retrieving his balls and walking to another location, the user merely picks up the target and throws or tosses it to another position and can resume practicing to chip. Thus, the invention allows for an increase of the time the golfer actually devotes to chipping when practicing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a first embodiment of a golf aid practice apparatus in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the golf aid apparatus of FIG. 1 taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 a second embodiment of a golf aid practice apparatus in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the golf aid apparatus of FIG. 3 taken along ling 4-4 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 depicts an apparatus according to the present invention being positioned as a target for a user to hit a golf ball.

FIG. 6 depicts a user hitting a golf ball at an apparatus according to the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Although the disclosure hereof is detailed and exact to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, the physical embodiments herein disclosed merely exemplify the invention which may be embodied in other specific structures. While the preferred embodiment has been described, the details may be changed without departing from the invention, which is demonstrated by the claims.

FIG. 1 provides an overhead view of a golf aid practice apparatus 10 according to the present invention. The apparatus 10 has a first side 12 and a circumference 14. A hole 16 is located centrally of the apparatus 10 that will represent a golf cup and will be the target the user aims at. The apparatus 10 has an outer rim 18 that can have a raised edge and an inner rim 20 that surrounds the hole 16. The outer rim 18 and the inner rim 20 form openings 22, which are not necessary, but may make the device 10 lighter when throwing the apparatus 10, thereby allowing a user to position the apparatus 10 relatively far away from the user if desired.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the apparatus 10 of FIG. 1. The apparatus 10 has a second side 24 opposite of the first side 12, with the second side 24 preferably being substantially flat so that it will evenly rest on the ground or other planar surface when in use. As noted with respect to FIG. 1, the apparatus 10 has a raised edge 26, which allows for the opening 22 to be raised with respect to the outer rim 18, thereby allowing the opening to further represent a golf hole. It should be noted that the apparatus 10 does not necessarily need the raised edge 26, but is preferable so that the apparatus 10 more easily will retain a golf ball if it rests within the opening 16. Likewise, a raised edge could also be located on the second side 24 of the apparatus 10 so that it will be situated in an operable fashion regardless of whether the first side 12 or the second side 24 is facing upwards. The raised edge 26 is also preferably sloped upwardly from the outer rim 18 to the inner rim 20. Additionally the height of the raised edge 26 and the angle of the raised edge 26 formed with respect to the outer rim 18 may be adjusted or altered and still fall within the scope of the present invention. The height is preferably sufficiently high enough so that a rolling golf ball will be retained within the opening 16 when the golf ball is hit towards the apparatus 10 (see FIG. 6) The size of the opening 16 may be adjusted, as well.

FIGS. 3 and 4 show a second embodiment 110 of the present invention. The apparatus 110 has a first side 112 and a circumference 114. A centrally located hole 116 is larger than the hole 16 of FIG. 1, but still will represent a golf cup. Likewise, the hole 116 could be bigger or smaller that the hole 16 of FIG. 1. As with the apparatus 10, the apparatus 110 can have raised edges so that the hole 116 further acts as a golf cup. The design of the apparatus 110 may allow for the device 110 to be thrown farther than the device 10, so that a person make practice longer shots. However, either embodiment will fall within the scope of the present invention.

FIG. 4 provides a-cross-sectional view of the apparatus 110 of FIG. 3. The apparatus has a second side 118 opposite of the first side 112, preferably with the second side 118 preferably being substantially flat, thereby allowing the apparatus 110 to lie flat on the ground or another planar surface when being used. As stated, the first side 112 may have a raised edge 120, which allows the apparatus 110 to further mimic a golf hole. The raised edge 120 could be of varying heights and still fall within the scope of the invention. Likewise, the size of the opening 116 and the size and diameter of the apparatus 110 (and the apparatus 10, as well) could be changed or altered, and the apparatus 110 would still fall within the scope of the present invention.

Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, the golf aid practice apparatus 110 of the present invention is demonstrated. In FIG. 5, a golfer 2 picks up the apparatus 110 and throws it, similarly as one would throw a FrisbeeĀ®. Depending on how long of a golf shot that the golfer 2 would like to practice would determine how far the apparatus 110 should be thrown. Once the apparatus 110 has landed, the golfer 2 will pick up a golf club 4 and attempt to hit a golf ball 6 at the apparatus 110 so that the golf ball 6 will land or rest within the opening 116 of the apparatus 110. The golfer 2 may hit as many golf balls 6 as desired. Once the golfer 2 has hit as many balls as desired, the golfer 2 walks over to the apparatus 110, picks up the apparatus 110, and can throw the apparatus 110 again, as shown in FIG. 5.

The ability to toss or throw the apparatus 10 or 110 and have it land at a second area in an operable position is an improvement over prior art golf aids and practice devices. Prior art devices were stationary placed devices, such as sacks or the like that acted as targets, that were supported by a frame. Once the target was positioned a person would have to gather his or her balls 6 and walk to another spot to once again aim at the target. Alternatively the person could pick up the target, reposition the target somewhere else, go back and retrieve the person's club and balls, and then aim at the target. Either way is time consuming and inefficient. Contrary, the present invention provides an efficient manner for practicing one's golf swing. Because the apparatus 10 or 110 can be thrown or tossed to a second position so that it will land in an operable position, the person can once again aim at the target without having to move form where the person is standing, thereby more efficiently practicing the person's golf swing.

As FIG. 6 demonstrates, the use of the apparatus 110 is a further improvement over prior practice aids in that it teaches the golfer 2 to consider and take into account the bounce or roll of the ball 6 on its path to the opening 116. Normally, when playing golf, the golf ball 6 does not land within a golf hole on the fly, but rather bounces or rolls into the hole and the golfer 2 should adjust his shot accordingly. The present invention assists the golfer in properly judging the true distance to aim a shot and provides an improvement over the prior art. It also assists the golfer 2 in gauging the proper distance of the shot, especially when the golfer 2 has put backspin on the shot and the shot would be rolling backwards toward the apparatus.

The present invention can have a varying range of dimensions. The device could be made of any material, but is preferably made of a lightweight material, such as a plastic material. As previously stated, the apparatus could have a larger or smaller central opening, a larger or smaller diameter and still fall within the scope of the present invention. The apparatus of the present invention could also have the central opening being of varying heights and still fall within the scope of the invention. Provided that a golf target is designed that can be tossed or thrown to a secondary target and land in an operable position without needing to be repositioned by the user, the device will fall within the scope of the present invention.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Furthermore, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described. While the preferred embodiment has been described, the details may be changed without departing from the invention, which is represented by the claims.