Title:
GOLF BALL MARKER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Providing visual cues to a golfer to instruct or remind the golfer as to aspects of better play. The visual cues are placed on a device which may be planted on a golf course to mark ball location on the golf course, so that the ball may be removed and subsequently replaced at the same location. The apparatus may comprise a circular pad bearing indicia which is visible from above and a spike which projects downwardly to engage the ground. An associated method combines the functions of marking ball location and receiving golfing instruction, using the novel apparatus.



Inventors:
Osborn, Norbert (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/254140
Publication Date:
04/22/2010
Filing Date:
10/20/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B57/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050009645Mass producable golf practice pointersJanuary, 2005Isabell
20090298619Training Apparatus and MethodDecember, 2009Tice
20050227795Ball bat having a hitting portion with variable wall thicknessOctober, 2005Fritzke
20060281584Method and apparatus to locate lost golf ballsDecember, 2006Ramsay
20050096144Line-of-sight putters and methodsMay, 2005Bullock
20040266546Antimicrobial grips for sports equipmentDecember, 2004Huang
20090082126Putter club holderMarch, 2009Harrison
20060035723Contrasting patterns on golf ballsFebruary, 2006Chapman
20070093321Golf tee leveling deviceApril, 2007Carpenter Jr.
20080293509Golf mat apparatusNovember, 2008Lipidarov
20070281796MUSCLE-BACK IRON GOLF CLUBS WITH HIGHER MOMENT OF INTERTIA AND LOWER CENTER OF GRAVITYDecember, 2007Gilbert et al.



Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DENTONS BINGHAM GREENEBAUM LLP (INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A ball marker comprising: a plaque having an upper surface bearing indicia and an opposed lower surface, wherein the indicia is an instruction to improve the play of a golfer.

2. The ball marker of claim 1, wherein the plaque comprises a flat disc having a circular configuration in plan view.

3. The ball marker of claim 1, wherein the instruction is for the golfer to keep its eyes over the ball.

4. The ball marker of claim 1, wherein the instruction is for the golfer to accelerate thru the ball.

5. The ball marker of claim 1, wherein the instruction is for the golfer to putt to the apex.

6. The ball marker of claim 1, wherein the instruction is for the golfer to grip the putter softly.

7. The ball marker of claim 1, wherein the instruction is for the golfer to keep its head still.

8. The ball marker of claim 1, wherein the instruction is for the golfer to keep its left wrist firm.

9. The ball marker of claim 1, wherein the instruction is for the golfer to initiate a putting stroke with the lead shoulder.

10. The ball marker of claim 1, wherein the symbolic rendering of an instruction comprises an abstract symbol.

11. A method of conveying instruction appropriate for improving the play of a golfer, comprising the steps of: placing a ball marker on a golf course at the location of a golf ball which has come to rest, wherein the marker bears a visual cue conveying an instruction for improving the play of a golfer; observing the visual cue from the ball marker; assimilating the instruction; and, implementing the instruction and striking the golf ball.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the marker further comprises a disc bearing on one face of the disc, indicia corresponding to the visible cue and on the other side of the disc a spike disposed to engage the ground.

13. The method of claim 11, comprising the further step of removing the golf ball after the step of placing the marker on the golf course surface prior to performing the step of observing the visual cue from the ball marker.

14. The method of claim 13, comprising the further step of replacing the golf ball prior to the step of implementing the instruction and striking the golf ball.

15. The method of claim 14, comprising the further step of picking up the marker after assimilating the instruction and prior to implementing the instruction and striking the golf ball.

16. A ball marker comprising incorporating a display for indicating location of a golf ball on a golf course, the ball marker comprising: a plaque having a maximal dimension in the range of one half of an inch to one and one half inches, an upper surface bearing indicia and an opposed lower surface, wherein the indicia comprises a symbolic rendering of an instruction appropriate to improving the play of a golfer.

17. The ball marker of claim 16, wherein the symbolic rendering of an instruction comprises an abstract symbol.

18. The ball marker of claim 16, wherein the plaque comprises a flat disc having a circular configuration in plan view.

19. The ball marker of claim 16 further comprising a pointed spike projecting from the lower surface, wherein the pointed spike has a length in the range of three sixteenths to three quarters of an inch.

20. The ball marker of claim 17, wherein the plaque comprises a flat disc having a circular configuration in plan view.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a marker for spotting ball location on a green, and more particularly, to a marker bearing cues to assure a proper frame of mind for enhancing golf performance.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Golf, as with many athletic endeavors, is a highly mental game. That is, the psychology of confidence and of concentration are of paramount importance in achieving accuracy of golf shots, such as putting.

When a player reaches the green, it is customary to mark the location of the player's ball with a relatively unobtrusive, flat object that will remove from the presumed potential trajectory of others, any obstruction such as that of the golf ball. Some golf ball markers are impromptu, calling objects from coins to tees into service for this purpose.

While the ball spotting apparatus has not generated significant notice in the sport of golf, it nonetheless affords an opportunity to address an overlooked aspect of play, that of providing instruction or reassurance, as well as merely marking the location of the ball.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention recognizes the potential contribution to mental aspects of performance which can be derived from a golf ball spotter which bears a message. To this end, a golf ball spotter is provided which both marks ball location and also bears a visual cue which addresses a player's focus.

It is an object of the invention to develop a new way of providing instruction to a golfer, in particular to providing cues which will assist the golfer in focusing on shot accuracy.

Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which provides combined functions of marking ball placement on a golf course and also to provide visual cues for instructing or reminding a golfer so as to improve play.

It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof by apparatus for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable, and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various objects, features, and attendant advantages of the present invention will become more fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side environmental view of a ball marker according to at least one aspect of the invention.

FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 2I, 2J, 2K, 2L, and 2M depict abstract symbols which may be used as indicia appearing on the ball marker of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram of a method according to at least one aspect of the invention, and is read from left to right.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 shows a ball marker 10 which both indicates location of a golf ball 2 (which will ordinarily be temporarily moved away from its location to make way for another golfer to play) on the playing surface 4 of a golf course (not shown in its entirety). The ball marker 10 may comprise a flat disc 12 having a diameter 14 in the range of one half of an inch to one and one half inches. The disc 12 may have a circular configuration in plan view and a frustoconical configuration in side elevation. The canted outer surfaces of the disc 12 are visible in the depiction of FIG. 1. The disc 12 has an upper surface 16 bearing indicia (which will be further detailed hereinafter) and an opposed lower surface 18. The ball marker 10 may comprise a pointed spike 20 projecting from the lower surface 18. The pointed spike 20 may have a length 22 in the range of three sixteenths to three quarters of an inch. It should be understood that the ball marker can be of any shape or size and with or without a spike.

The indicia may comprise a symbolic rendering of an instruction appropriate to improving the play of a golfer. The instruction may comprise a textual message, a literal depiction, for example, an illustration of hands showing proper grip, or an abstract symbol symbolizing an aspect of concentration or play. As employed herein, an abstract symbol is one not having a clearly recognizable depiction of an object such as a body part or a golf club. Rather, the symbol must be known beforehand to the observer in order for the message to be transmitted. By contrast, a symbol which may not be abstract may be textual, or may literally depict, even if in abbreviated or exaggerated or diagrammatic or stylized form, its subject matter.

One reason for using an abstract symbol is to enable or to cause the brain to operate on a subconscious or semiconscious basis, which may be perceived as being almost instinctive. Such subconscious or semiconscious mental control is considered to be more effective in replicating mental confidence and mastery of golf strokes.

FIG. 2A shows an example of an abstract symbol which may appear on the upper surface 16 of the disc 12. The depicted symbolize may, for example, be a reminder of a 1-2-3 routine.

FIGS. 2B and 2C each show an example of an abstract symbol which may for example be a reminder to keep one's eyes over the ball.

FIG. 2D shows an example of an abstract symbol which may for example be a reminder to accelerate thru the ball.

FIG. 2E shows an example of an abstract symbol which may for example convey an instruction to maintain a stacked relationship among the head, shoulders, and feet of the golfer.

FIG. 2F shows an example of an abstract symbol which reminds a player to grip the putter softly.

FIG. 2G shows an example of an abstract symbol which reminds a player to set the right arm first.

FIG. 2H shows an example of an abstract symbol which advises a golfer to mentally picture the target.

FIG. 2I shows an example of an abstract symbol which advises a golfer to putt to the apex.

FIG. 2J shows an example of an abstract symbol which represents the shoulders, arms, and hands to be treated as a single unit.

FIG. 2K shows an example of an abstract symbol which cues the golfer to initiate a putting stroke with the lead shoulder.

FIG. 2L shows an example of an abstract symbol which reminds one to keep one's head still.

FIG. 2M shows an example of an abstract symbol which advises the golfer to keep the left wrist firm.

Referring now to FIG. 3, according to a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a novel method 50 of conveying instructions appropriate for improving the play of a golfer. The method 50 exploits a ball marker, such as the ball marker 10, as an advantageous device for conveying the instruction. The instruction may take the form of a visual cue of abstract nature.

The instruction may be for example, any of the messages conveyed symbolically as indicated in the FIGS. 2A through 2K, and will typically address a particular aspect of executing a golf shot. Of course, it would be possible to utilize an instruction which is not necessarily specific to golf, such as a suggestion regarding relaxing, concentrating, or any other activity which sharpens utilization of the mental faculties. Regardless of its nature, the cue may be observed and assimilated either at a conscious level or at a subconscious or instinctive level.

The method 50 may comprise a step 52 of placing on a golf course at the location of a golf ball which has come to rest after being struck during the play of the game of golf, a ball marker for indicating location of the golf ball on the golf course, wherein the ball marker bears a visual cue conveying an instruction for improving accuracy of striking the golf ball during a golf shot. At this point, depending upon the graphics displayed on the ball marker, the method 50 may comprise the step 54 of observing the visual cue from the ball marker, or if the nature of the graphics is such that the message is obscured by the ball or if the ball needs to be lifted for any reason such as being in the path of another golfer's ball or to be cleaned, then the method 50 may include a step 56 of removing the golf ball from the golf course surface.

In either case, the method 50 may comprise the further step 58 of assimilating the instruction mentally.

The goal of the invention comes to fruition when practicing a step 60 of striking the golf ball while simultaneously implementing the instruction.

The method may also include the step of replacing the golf ball 62 and picking up the marker 64 and further assimilating the instruction 58 before striking the golf ball while implementing the instruction 60.

While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the present invention is not to be limited to the disclosed arrangements, but is intended to cover various arrangements which are included within the spirit and scope of the broadest possible interpretation of the appended claims so as to encompass all modifications and equivalent arrangements which are possible.