Title:
Practice putt
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus for practicing putting at home. Such apparatus comprises a foldable enclosure member being formed of two substantially identical portions, each of the substantially identical portions having a base member forming a floor for the foldable enclosure. A first portion having a back end, a left side and a right side engageable with such base member, a second portion having only a left side and a right side engageable with the base member. A preselected material is disposed on top of the base member for use as a putting surface. A predetermined number of holes are disposed in such preselected material and such base member and are positioned at preselected locations. A hinge mechanism is engageable with an underside closely adjacent abutting edges of each of the substantially identical portions of said foldable enclosure for folding said apparatus.



Inventors:
Probst, Joseph A. (Country Club Hills, IL, US)
Application Number:
12/221729
Publication Date:
02/26/2009
Filing Date:
08/06/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/185, 473/163
International Classes:
A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JAMES RAY & ASSOCIATES (Monroeville, PA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An apparatus for practicing putting at home, said apparatus comprising: (a) a foldable enclosure member having a predetermined size and formed of a predetermined material, said foldable enclosure being formed of two substantially identical portions, each of said substantially identical portions having a base member forming a floor for said foldable enclosure; a first portion of said two substantially identical portions having a back end, a left side and a right side engageable with said base member, a second portion of said two substantially identical portions having only a left side and a right side engageable with said base member; (b) a preselected material disposed on top of said base member of said foldable enclosure for use as a putting surface; (c) a predetermined number of holes disposed in said preselected material and said base member, said predetermined number of holes being positioned at preselected locations; and (d) a means engageable with an underside closely adjacent abutting edges of each of said substantially identical portions of said foldable enclosure for folding said apparatus.

2. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said apparatus further includes a plurality of wheels disposed on an outer surface of one side of said foldable enclosure for moving said foldable enclosure when in a folded position and not in use.

3. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said means for folding said apparatus includes hinges.

4. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said foldable enclosure extends above said preselected material for a predetermined distance on said back end, said right side and said left side of said first portion of said substantially identical portions and on said left side and said right side of said second portion of said substantially identical portions of said foldable enclosure.

5. The apparatus, according to claim 4, wherein said foldable enclosure extending above said preselected material keeps a golf ball in play on a surface of said predetermined material.

6. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said predetermined material for said foldable enclosure is selected from one of plastic, wood and combinations thereof.

7. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said predetermined number of holes disposed on said predetermined material is six.

8. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said preselected material is indoor/outdoor carpeting.

9. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said each hole of said predetermined number of holes has one of a magnetic portion disposed on a upper surface of said each hole and having said each hole made of a magnetic metal.

10. The apparatus, according to claim 9, wherein said each hole is covered with a magnetic cover when said apparatus is not in use.

11. The apparatus, according to claim 10, wherein said magnetic cover further includes a flag member disposed thereon for ease in locating said each hole and for removing said cover.

12. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said foldable enclosure further includes a pair of substantially parallel support members disposed on an underside of said foldable enclosure and extending longitudinally along a center portion of each of said substantially identical portions of said foldable enclosure, said pair of said substantially parallel support members secured to said base member and said back end of said first portion of said substantially identical portions and to said base member of said second portion of said substantially identical portions.

13. The apparatus, according to claim 12, wherein said substantially parallel support members further include a plurality of cross members engageable with an inner surface of each of said substantially parallel support members.

14. The apparatus, according to claim 12, wherein said substantially parallel support members further include at least two brace members extending from an outer surface of said substantially parallel support members to an inner surface of each of said left side and said right side of said substantially identical portions of said foldable enclosure.

15. The apparatus, according to claim 13 wherein said foldable enclosure further includes a piping arrangement disposed on an underside of said foldable enclosure, a main portion of said piping arrangement extending a length of each of said substantially identical portions between said substantially parallel support members and through apertures disposed in said cross members, said piping arrangement further including connections between each of said predetermined number of holes and said main portion of said piping arrangement for returning a golf ball to a retrieval member disposed at an end of said piping arrangement on a front portion of said apparatus, said piping arrangement providing an abuttable connection between an end of said piping arrangement for said first portion of said substantially identical portions and an end portion of said piping arrangement for said second portion of said substantially identical portions for permitting said apparatus to fold when not in use.

16. The apparatus, according to claim 15, wherein said piping arrangement is disposed in a sloping manner so that when such golf ball drops into said each hole such golf ball travels to said retrieval member for enabling a user to access such golf ball quickly.

17. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said apparatus further includes at least one handle member disposed on an outer portion of a same side of each of said substantially identical portions for moving said apparatus when in a folded position.

18. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said apparatus when set for practice putting is substantially sixteen feet in length and substantially four feet in width.

19. The apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said apparatus further includes a securing means for securing said first portion and said second portion of said substantially identical portions to each other when said foldable enclosure member is in a folded condition.

20. The apparatus, according to claim 19, wherein said means includes a latch member.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is closely related to and claims benefit from U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60,957,881 filed Aug. 24, 2007.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates, in general, to a putting area, and, more particularly, the present invention relates to a practice putting green that is movable and can be set up in a driveway, sidewalk, front or back yard.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many golfing enthusiasts enjoy practice time on a putting green. Driving to a favorite public or private facility often requires an ideal schedule ensuring that the golfer can spend adequate time perfecting his putting. Golfers often incur fees each time a facility is visited. Families who enjoy partaking in the fun and excitement that a putting green has to offer must do so when each member is available. Coordinating such an event can be difficult as well as costly.

Thus, it would be advantageous if there were a simple and effective means for practicing putting that could done without leaving home and which all members of the family could use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In a first aspect the present invention provides an apparatus for practicing putting at home. Such apparatus comprises a foldable enclosure member having a predetermined size and formed of a predetermined material, such foldable enclosure being formed of two substantially identical portions, each of the substantially identical portions having a base member forming a floor for the foldable enclosure. A first portion of the two substantially identical portions having a back end, a left side and a right side engageable with such base member, a second portion of the two substantially identical portions having only a left side and a right side engageable with the base member. A preselected material is disposed on top of the base member of the foldable enclosure for use as a putting surface. A predetermined number of holes are disposed in such preselected material and such base member, the predetermined number of holes being positioned at preselected locations. A means is engageable with an underside closely adjacent abutting edges of each of the substantially identical portions of said foldable enclosure for folding said apparatus.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, one of the primary objects of the present invention to provide an apparatus which would enable a golfer to practice putting at home.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for practice putting that would fold in half for storage.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for practice putting that would have holes at different distances.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for practice putting that would have a ball retrieval system.

In addition to the various objects and advantages of the invention which have been described in some specific detail above it should be noted that various other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent to those persons who are skilled in the relevant art from the following more detailed description, particularly when such description is taken in conjunction with the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of the apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention showing a user putting the apparatus.

FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of a portion of the apparatus in a folded condition showing the piping arrangement.

FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of a portion of the apparatus showing a hole with the magnetic cover removed.

FIG. 3A is a side perspective view of magnetic cover shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 4A is top perspective view of the apparatus as set up with all the holes uncovered.

FIG. 4B is a bottom perspective view of the apparatus showing the piping arrangement and the support members disposed on the apparatus.

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of the retrieval opening and retrieval member for holding such golf balls that are returned.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED AND VARIOUS ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Prior to proceeding with the more detailed description of the present invention it should be noted that, for the sake of clarity, identical components which have identical functions have been designated by identical reference numerals throughout the several views illustrated in the drawings.

In a first aspect the present invention provides an apparatus, generally designated 10, for practicing putting at home. Such apparatus 10 comprises a foldable enclosure member 2 having a predetermined size and formed of a predetermined material, such foldable enclosure 2 being formed of two substantially identical portions, each of the substantially identical portions having a base member 4 forming a floor for the foldable enclosure. A first portion 1 of the two substantially identical portions having a back end 6, a left side 8 and a right side 12 engageable with such base member 4, a second portion 3 of the two substantially identical portions having only a left side 8 and a right side 12 engageable with the base member 4. A preselected material is disposed on top of the base member 4 of the foldable enclosure 2 for use as a putting surface. A predetermined number of holes 14 are disposed in such preselected material and such base member 4, the predetermined number of holes 14 being positioned at preselected locations. A means, generally designated 20, is engageable with an underside closely adjacent abutting edges of each of the substantially identical portions of said foldable enclosure 2 for folding such apparatus 10.

It is presently preferred that such apparatus 10 further includes a plurality of wheels 16 disposed on an outer surface of one side of the foldable enclosure 2 for moving the foldable enclosure when in a folded position and not in use. It is also preferred that such means 20 for folding such apparatus includes hinges 18.

Such foldable enclosure 2 extends above the preselected material for a predetermined distance on the back end 6, the right side 12 and the left side 8 of said first portion 1 of the substantially identical portions and on the left side 8 and the right side 12 of the second portion 3 of the substantially identical portions of the foldable enclosure 2. Such foldable enclosure 2 by extending above the preselected material keeps a golf ball in play on the surface of the predetermined material.

Such predetermined material for forming such foldable enclosure 2 is selected from one of plastic, wood and combinations thereof.

It is also presently preferred that such predetermined number of holes 14 disposed on the predetermined material is six. This permits holes 14 to be of different distances for practicing. It is also preferred that such preselected material for forming the putting surface is indoor/outdoor carpeting.

Each hole 14 of said predetermined number of holes has one of a magnetic portion 22 disposed on a upper surface of each hole 14 or it has each hole made of a metal that is magnetic such as steel. Each hole 14 is covered with a magnetic cover 24 when the apparatus is not in use. The magnetic cover 24 further includes a flag member 26 disposed thereon for ease in locating each hole 14 and for removing the cover 24.

Such foldable enclosure 2 further includes a pair of substantially parallel support members 32 disposed on an underside of the foldable enclosure 2 and extending longitudinally along a center portion of each of the substantially identical portions of the foldable enclosure 2, a pair of the substantially parallel support members 32 is secured to the base member 4 and the back end 6 of the first portion 1 of the foldable enclosure 2 and to the base member 4 only on the second portion 3 of the foldable enclosure 2.

Such substantially parallel support members 32 further include a plurality of cross members 34 engageable with an inner surface of each of the substantially parallel support members 32. The substantially parallel support members 32 further include at least two brace members 36 extending from an outer surface of the substantially parallel support members 32 to an inner surface of each of the left side 8 and the right side 12 of the substantially identical portions of foldable enclosure 2.

Such foldable enclosure 2 further includes a piping arrangement 30 disposed on an underside of the foldable enclosure 2, a main portion 42 of the piping arrangement 30 extends a length of each of the substantially identical portions between such substantially parallel support members 32 and through apertures disposed in such cross members 34. The piping arrangement 30 further includes connections 44 between each of the predetermined number of holes 14 and such main portion 42 of the piping arrangement 30 for returning a golf ball to a retrieval member 46 disposed on an end of a front portion of the apparatus 10. Such piping arrangement 30 provides an abuttable connection between an end of the piping arrangement for the first portion 1 of substantially identical portions and an end portion of the piping arrangement for the second portion 3 of the substantially identical portions for permitting the apparatus 10 to fold when not in use.

Such piping arrangement 30 is disposed in a sloping manner so that when such golf ball drops into each hole 14, such golf ball travels to an open end of the main portion 42 of the piping arrangement 30 to the retrieval member 46 for enabling a user to access such golf ball quickly.

The apparatus 10 further includes at least one handle member 48 disposed on an outer portion of a same side of each of the substantially identical portions for moving the apparatus 10 when in a folded position. The apparatus 10 also includes further includes a securing means 50 for securing the first portion 1 and said second portion 3 of the substantially identical portions to each other when the foldable enclosure member 2 is in a folded condition. Such securing means 50 includes a latch member 52.

The apparatus 10 when set up for practice putting is substantially sixteen feet in length and substantially four feet in width.

While a presently preferred embodiment and alternate embodiments of the present invention have been described in detail above, it should be understood that various other adaptations and/or modifications of the invention can be made by those persons who are particularly skilled in the art without departing from either the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.