Title:
GOLF ACCESSORY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A golf accessory operates as a golf ball retrieval and marking device. The golf accessory includes an opening for receiving the golf ball and grasping arms for holding the ball therein. The golf accessory also includes an arm which carries a magnet and a mark magnetically coupled to the magnet. The magnet is moved away from the mark in response to the golf ball being received by the opening. The mark falls to the ground in response to the magnet being moved away from it and marks the location of the golf ball.



Inventors:
Miller, Robert (Mesa, AZ, US)
Application Number:
11/945020
Publication Date:
05/28/2009
Filing Date:
11/26/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/406, 473/409
International Classes:
A63B57/00; A63B53/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20120129620GOLF CLUB HEADMay, 2012Davis et al.
20140100054GOLF PUTTERApril, 2014Parente et al.
20110136591Pin shot measuring deviceJune, 2011Podlogar
20070049394Game played by a golf foursome during a round of golfMarch, 2007Moussa
20160023080APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR TRAINING FOOTBALL QUARTERBACKSJanuary, 2016Gregory
20140024471FITTING SYSTEM FOR A GOLF CLUBJanuary, 2014Johnson et al.
20050148409Multi-layer golf ball with translucent coverJuly, 2005Morgan et al.



Primary Examiner:
BLAU, STEPHEN LUTHER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCHMEISER OLSEN & WATTS (MESA, AZ, US)
Claims:
1. A golf accessory, comprising: a magnet; an arm which carries the magnet; and a mark which is repeatably moveable between positions coupled to and decoupled from the magnet in response to movement of the arm.

2. The accessory of claim 1, wherein the arm is moved in response to engaging a ball.

3. The accessory of claim 1, further including a guide rail which guides movement of the arm.

4. The accessory of claim 1, further including a grasping arm which grasps the ball when it engages the arm.

5. The accessory of claim 1, further including a golf accessory body with first and second openings for allowing opposed sides of the arm to be engaged.

6. The accessory of claim 5, wherein the ball engages the arm in response to it moving through the first opening.

7. The accessory of claim 5, wherein the ball is disengaged from the arm in response to engaging the arm through the second opening.

8. The accessory of claim 5, wherein the golf accessory body decouples the mark from the magnet in response to the ball engaging the arm.

9. A method of marking the location of a ball, comprising: providing a golf accessory which includes an arm which carries the magnet, and a mark which is repeatably moveable between positions coupled to and decoupled from the magnet; and engaging the arm with the ball so the arm moves the magnet away from the mark.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein the golf accessory further includes a golf accessory body with first and second openings for engaging opposed sides of the arm.

11. The method of claim 10, further including moving the ball through the first opening so the arm moves the magnet away from the mark.

12. The method of claim 11, further including engaging the arm through the second opening so the ball is moved through the first opening.

13. The method of claim 12, further including coupling the mark to the magnet.

14. The method of claim 10, wherein the golf accessory body decouples the mark from the magnet in response to the ball engaging the arm.

15. The method of claim 9, further including grasping the ball with a grasping arm when the ball moves through the first opening.

16. A method of manufacturing a golf accessory, comprising: providing a golf accessory body with a first opening sized and shaped to receive a ball; providing an arm which carries a magnet; and positioning the arm so it is engaged by the ball when the ball moves through the first opening.

17. The method of claim 16, further including providing the golf accessory body with a second opening which allows the arm to be engaged and moved towards the first opening.

18. The method of claim 16, further including positioning a guide rail so it guides movement of the arm when it moves towards and away from the first opening.

19. The method of claim 16, further including providing the golf accessory with a third opening for allowing a mark so be coupled to the magnet when the arm is moved towards the first opening.

20. The method of claim 16, wherein the golf accessory body includes a ball striking surface.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a golf ball retrieval and marking device.

2. Description of the Related Art

Golfing is a very popular sport that is enjoyed by people of many different ages. When playing a round of golf, the golf ball can be retrieved in many different situations, such as when putting. The golf ball is often retrieved, and its location is marked, when other golfers are putting. The golf ball is then positioned near the mark when it is the golfers turn to putt, and the mark is retrieved.

However, it can be difficult for a golfer to bend over and position and retrieve a golf ball and mark, especially when playing many holes. For example, it is often difficult for an elderly or injured golfer to bend at the waist and knees, and it generally becomes more difficult the longer the golfer plays. A golf ball retriever can be used to retrieve a golf ball without having to bend over and pick it up. Examples of golf ball retrievers are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,811,980, 5,328,174, 5,509,658 and 5,800,280. However, these golf ball retrievers do not alleviate the need to position and retrieve the mark.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention employs a golf accessory which operates as a golf ball retrieval and marking device. The golf accessory includes a lower opening for receiving the golf ball, and grasping arms for holding the ball therein. The golf accessory also includes an arm which carries a magnet, wherein the magnet allows a mark to be repeatably coupled to and decoupled from the golf accessory. The mark is repeatably moveable between positions coupled to and decoupled from the magnet in response to movement of the arm. The magnet is moved away from the mark in response to the golf ball being received by the lower opening and the golf ball moving the arm away from the lower opening. The mark falls to the ground in response to the magnet being moved away from it, and marks the location of the golf ball. In this way, the ball can be retrieved and its location marked in a single motion. The arm can be moved towards the lower opening so the golf ball is pushed out. When the arm is positioned proximate to the lower opening, the mark can be magnetically coupled to the magnet, and the above steps can be repeated.

The present invention provides a method of marking the location of a ball, wherein the method includes providing a golf accessory that includes an arm which carries the magnet, and a mark which is repeatably moveable between positions coupled to and decoupled from the magnet. The method also includes engaging the arm with the ball so the arm moves the magnet away from the mark, and the mark is allowed to fall.

The present invention provides a method of manufacturing a golf accessory, wherein the method includes providing a golf accessory body with a first opening sized and shaped to receive a ball; providing an arm which carries a magnet; and positioning the arm so it is engaged by the ball when the ball moves through the first opening.

Further features and advantages of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, taken together with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1a is a perspective view of a golf accessory, in accordance with the invention, for retrieving a golf ball and marking its location.

FIG. 1b is a bottom view of the golf accessory of FIG. 1a.

FIG. 1c is a cut-away perspective view of the golf accessory of FIG. 1a showing an arm and guide rails.

FIG. 1d is a cut-away perspective view of the golf accessory of FIG. 1a showing guide rails and graspers.

FIG. 1e is a side view of the golf accessory of FIG. 1a, showing a mark coupled to a magnet.

FIGS. 1f and 1g are side views of the golf accessory of FIG. 1a, showing a mark decoupled to and decoupled from, respectively, the magnet.

FIGS. 2a and 2b are side views of another embodiment of a golf accessory, showing the mark decoupled to and decoupled from, respectively, a magnet.

FIG. 3a is a perspective view of a golf accessory, in accordance with the invention, for teeing a golf ball.

FIG. 3b is a bottom view of the golf accessory of FIG. 3a.

FIGS. 3c and 3d are side and front views, respectively, of the golf accessory of FIG. 3a.

FIG. 4 is a flow diagram of a method of marking the location of a ball, in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 5 is a flow diagram of a method of manufacturing a golf accessory, in accordance with the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1a is a perspective view of a golf accessory 100, in accordance with the invention, for retrieving a golf ball and marking its location, and FIG. 1b is a bottom view of golf accessory 100. Golf accessory 100 is useful for retrieving a golf ball and marking its location without requiring the golfer to bend down. The golf ball is generally retrieved so it does not interfere with the play of other golfers. The position of the golf ball is marked so that it can be repositioned accurately when it is the golfer's turn to play.

The golf accessory can retrieve the golf ball because it includes a lower opening for receiving the golf ball, and grasping arms for holding the ball therein. The golf accessory can mark the location of the golf ball because it includes an arm which carries a magnet, wherein the magnet allows a mark to fall to the ground when the golf ball is received by the lower opening. In operation, the golf ball moves the arm away from the lower opening when the ball moves therethrough, and the magnet is moved away from the mark. In response, the mark falls to the ground and marks the location of the golf ball. In this embodiment, the ball can be retrieved and its location marked in a single motion, wherein the single motion consists of moving the golf ball through the lower opening.

The golf ball can be repositioned near the mark by pushing the arm so it is moved towards the lower opening and the ball is pushed out. When the arm is pushed out the lower opening, the mark can be coupled to the magnet. In this way, the mark can be retrieved. In this embodiment, the ball can be pushed out of the lower opening, and the magnet can be positioned so the mark can be coupled to it, in a single motion, wherein the single motion consists of moving the golf ball through the lower opening by pushing the arm. It should be noted that, in some embodiments, golf accessory 100 can be used as a golf ball retrieval device or a golf ball marking device. However, in this embodiment, it operates as both for illustrative purposes.

In this embodiment, golf accessory 100 includes a golf accessory body 101. In some embodiments, golf accessory 100 is used as a golf club so that golf accessory body 101 is shaped to operate as a golf head and is coupled to a golf club handle 103. In these embodiments, golf accessory body includes a striking surface 102 for striking a golf ball. Golf accessory body 101 includes a lower opening 105 (FIG. 1b) which is sized and shaped to receive a golf ball, and an upper opening 104 (FIG. 1a) for pushing the golf ball out of lower opening 105. Upper and lower openings 104 and 105 extend through golf accessory body 101.

FIG. 1c is a cut-away perspective view of golf accessory 100 showing an arm 109 and guide rails 107 and 108, and FIG. 1d is a cut-away perspective view of golf accessory 100 showing guide rails 107 and 108 and grasping arms 111 and 112. Arm 109 is carried by golf accessory body 101 so it is repeatably moveable between positions towards and away from lower opening 105. Guide rails 107 and 108 are attached to golf accessory body 101, and arm 109 is slidingly engaged with them so that guide rails 107 and 108 guide the movement of arm 109 towards and away from lower opening 105. Grasping arms 111 and 112 grasp the golf ball when it is received by opening 105 by frictionally engaging it.

In this embodiment, golf accessory 100 includes a magnet 112 which is carried by arm 109 so it is proximate to an opening 106 when arm 109 is moved towards lower opening 105. Opening 106 extends through golf accessory body 101. A mark 115 is repeatably moveable between positions coupled to and decoupled from magnet 112 in response to movement of arm 109. In accordance with the invention, arm 109 is moved in response to engaging golf ball 113.

FIGS. 1e and 1f are side views of golf accessory 100, showing mark 115 coupled to and decoupled from, respectively, magnet 112. In operation, golf accessory 100 is positioned proximate to golf ball 113, by using golf club handle 103, so that lower opening 105 is aligned with it. Arm 109 is positioned proximate to lower opening 105 and mark 115 is magnetically coupled with magnet 112 through opening 106. Golf accessory 100 is moved, by using golf club handle 103, so that golf ball 113 is received by lower opening 105 and engages arm 109. In response, arm 109 is moved along guide rails 107 and 108 and away from lower opening 105, and magnet 112 is moved away from mark 115. When magnet 112 is moved a predetermined distance away from mark 115, mark 115 is decoupled from it. When mark 115 is decoupled from magnet 112, it falls away from golf accessory body 101 and towards surface 114. In this way, golf ball 113 is retrieved and its position is marked. As mentioned above, golf ball 113 can be retrieved and its position marked in a single motion, wherein the single motion consists of moving golf ball 113 through lower opening 105. Golf ball 113 is held in lower opening 105 by grasping arms 111 and 112, as will be discussed in more detail presently. It should be noted that surface 114 can be of many different types of surfaces, such as the ground, grass, a putting green, etc. In general, surface 114 can be any surface on which it is desired to position golf ball 113.

FIG. 1g is a side view of a golf ball 113 engaged with grasping arms 111 and 112. In this embodiment, grasping arms 111 and 112 are positioned proximate to lower opening 105 so that they grasp golf ball 113 when it is received by lower opening 105. Grasping arms 107 and 108 grasp golf ball 113 so that golf ball 113 is carried by golf accessory body 101 when it is moved away from surface 114. In this way, golf ball 113 is retrieved by golf accessory 100 and golf accessory 100 operates as a golf ball retrieval device.

When it is desired to remove golf ball 113 from golf accessory body 101, arm 109 is engaged through upper opening 104 so that it is pushed towards lower opening 105. In response, golf ball 113 is disengaged from grasping arms 107 and 108 and moved through lower opening 105. Magnet 112 is moved towards opening 106 so that mark 115 can be coupled to it, as described above, by using golf club handle 103 to position magnet 112 proximate to mark 115. In this way, a mark is repeatably moveable between positions coupled to and decoupled from the magnet in response to movement of an arm. As mentioned above, golf ball 113 can be moved through lower opening 105 and magnet 112 can be positioned proximate to opening 106 in a single motion, wherein the single motion consists of pushing arm 109 through upper opening 104.

FIGS. 2a and 2b are side views of another embodiment of a golf accessory 120, showing mark 115 coupled to and decoupled from, respectively, magnet 112. In this embodiment, golf accessory 120 includes a hinge 121 coupled to golf accessory body 101. An arm 123 is pivotably coupled to hinge 121 with a pivot pin 122. In this embodiment, arm 123 is L-shaped and has an outwardly extending portion and a downwardly extending portion. Magnet 112 is coupled to the end of the downwardly extending portion of arm 123. The outwardly extending portion of arm 123 extends over lower opening 105.

In operation, golf accessory 120 is positioned proximate to golf ball 113 so that lower opening 105 is aligned with it. Arm 123 is positioned proximate to lower opening 105 and mark 115 is magnetically coupled with magnet 112 through opening 106. Golf accessory 120 is moved so that golf ball 113 is received by lower opening 105 and engages arm 123. In response, arm 123 is rotated upwardly, as indicated by a direction arrow 119, by pivoting about pivot pin 122 and magnet 112 is moved away from mark 115. When magnet 112 is moved the predetermined distance away from mark 115, mark 115 is decoupled from it. When mark 115 is decoupled from magnet 112, it falls away from golf accessory body 101 and towards surface 114. In this way, the position of golf ball 113 is marked. The golfer can the pick up golf ball 113 with his or her hand, or golf accessory 120 can include grasping arms 111 and 112 which grasp golf ball 113 and hold it in opening 105.

FIG. 3a is a perspective view of a golf accessory 130, in accordance with the invention, for teeing golf ball 113. FIG. 3b is a bottom view of golf accessory 130, and FIGS. 3c and 3d are side and front views, respectively, of golf accessory 130. In this embodiment, golf accessory 130 includes upper and lower plates 131 and 133 coupled together with a side plate 132. Plates 131, 132 and 133 are coupled together to form a c-shape. Golf accessory 130 includes guide arms 134 and 135 positioned on opposed sides of side plate 132 and between upper and lower plates 131 and 133. Guide arms 134 and 135 are for guiding golf ball 113 and holding it in position. A handle connector 136 is coupled with upper plate 131 and extends upwardly therefrom. Handle connector 136 includes an upwardly facing opening for receiving golf club handle 103. Lower plate 133 includes a groove 137, which is sized and shaped so it can hold a golf tee 138. Groove 137 can have many different shapes, but, in this embodiment, it is tapered.

In operation, golf tee 138 is positioned in groove 137 so it is carried by lower plate 133. Golf ball 113 is positioned on golf tee 138 and between guide arms 134 and 135. Golf ball 113 is lowered using golf handle 103 and golf tee 138 is driven into the ground. Lower plate 133 is moved so that golf tee 138 is moved out of groove 137 and golf ball 113 is carried by golf tee 138. In this way, a golf ball is teed without the golfer having to bend down.

FIG. 4 is a flow diagram of a method 200 of marking the location of a ball, in accordance with the invention. In this embodiment, method 200 includes a step 201 of providing a golf accessory which includes an arm which carries a magnet and a step 202 of providing a mark which is repeatably moveable between positions coupled to and decoupled from the magnet. Method 200 also includes a step 203 of engaging the arm with the ball so the arm moves the magnet away from the mark.

In some embodiments, the golf accessory includes a golf accessory body which is provided with first and second openings for engaging opposed sides of the arm. In these embodiments, method 200 can include a step of engaging the arm through the first opening with the ball, and a step of engaging the arm through the second opening so the ball is moved through the first opening. The golf accessory body decouples the mark from the magnet in response to the ball engaging the arm. In some embodiments, method 200 includes a step of moving the ball through the first opening so the arm moves the magnet away from the mark.

It should be noted that method 200 can include many other steps. For example, in some embodiments, method 200 includes a step of coupling the mark to the magnet. In some embodiments, method 200 includes a step of grasping the ball with a grasping arm when the ball moves through the first opening.

FIG. 5 is a flow diagram of a method 210 of manufacturing a golf accessory, in accordance with the invention. In this embodiment, method 210 includes a step 211 of providing a golf accessory body with a first opening sized and shaped to receive a ball and a step 212 of providing an arm which carries a magnet. Method 210 also includes a step 213 of positioning the arm so it is engaged by the ball when the ball moves through the first opening. In some embodiments, the golf accessory body is shaped to operate as a golf head. In this embodiments, golf accessory body includes a ball striking surface.

It should be noted that method 210 can include many other steps. For example, in some embodiments, method 210 includes a step of providing the golf accessory body with a second opening which allows the arm to be engaged and moved towards the first opening. Method 210 can include a step of positioning a guide rail so it guides movement of the arm when it moves towards and away from the first opening. Method 210 can include a step of providing the golf accessory with a third opening for allowing a mark so be coupled to the magnet when the arm is moved towards the first opening.

While particular embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, numerous variations and alternate embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is intended that the invention be limited only in terms of the appended claims.