CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This application claims the benefit, under 35 U.S.C. 119(e), of U.S. provisional application Serial No. 60/254,8458, filed Dec. 13, 2000, pending.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates, generally, to board games. More particularly, the invention relates to golf board games for simulating a round of golf.
2. Background Information
The state of the art includes various golf board games. Boards are laid out to simulate a golf course with simulated golf holes printed on one side or sometimes two sides of a board. Each golf hole typically includes a tee area, a green with a cup, which is the target, a fairway between the tee area and the green, and various hazards simulating those found on a conventional golf course.
The location of a player's ball during the game is marked on the board typically in one of several ways. Some games use playing pieces with a generally flat base that can be moved around the board to any location to indicate the location of a player's ball. Examples of this method of marking include U.S. Pat. No. 3,944,229 to Feeney, U.S. Pat. No. 5,720,482 to Boudrias, U.S. Pat. No. 5,722,659 to Gluth, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,105,963 to Dontfraid. The position of a player's ball can also be marked using colored pencils such as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,000,460 to Barbiaux et al. Barbiaux also discloses the depiction of nine golf holes on each side of a foldable game board.
Some boards have a plurality of apertures incrementally spaced along various paths between the tee area and the green. The ball location is marked by placing a peg or other device in the appropriate aperture. Examples of this type of marking are illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 1,781,230 to Hill, U.S. Pat. No. 4,042,246 to Strandgard, and U.S. Pat. No. 4,277,065 to White. Strandgard discloses multiple paths to the green, but a chance device determines which path a player is on at the beginning of the hole and the player remains on that path throughout the hole. There is no opportunity to move to a different path on a subsequent shot. Hill and White disclose an array of apertures and a method of determining shot location by a combination of distance and sideways deviation. The sideways deviation is determined by a chance device in White and by a skill device in Hill. All of those boards with apertures have golf holes printed on only one side.
In most of these games the distance and direction of the shot is determined by random means, such as dice or a spinner, and can include additional factors such as a windage factor indicated by an additional die as disclosed in Dontfraid. Dice may also be used to give the shot an attribute, such as hook or slice, which affects the position of the ball. Gluth discloses additional markings on conventional dice to determine whether the shot is a hook, slice or out of bounds. Barbiaux discloses the use of a specialty die with special markings for hook, slice, center, fade or draw. Other specialty dice can be used, such as disclosed in White, where special 14-sided dice, preferably each a different color, one for each club, are used to indicate both distance and direction.
Some games apply additional factors to the shot as determined by information printed on cards, such as the skill testing cards disclosed in Boudrias, the penalty cards disclosed in Gluth, the trap cards and fairway cards disclosed in Feeney, and the several types of cards disclosed in Barbiaux. The games may also have additional elements such as the specially designed direction indicator used to mark the location of a shot as disclosed in Barbiaux.
Such use of specialty dice and informational cards, while adding additional variation and interest to the game, add significant complexity to the game and slow it down, so that people may not desire to play it.
Alternatively, a game can be made very simple, such as disclosed in Strandgard where the path is determined by an initial roll of the dice, then subsequent rolls determine distance along a particular path. A player cannot move to a different path with each shot. Also hazards are restricted to sand, water, and trees. While such a game may be easy and play very fast, it may not hold a player's interest very long.
- SUMMARY OF INVENTION
The need exists for a simple, but interesting golf board game that can be played with conventional dice. The present invention provides a golf board game which overcomes the limitations and shortcomings of the prior art.
The present invention provides a golf board game which comprises a game board having a representation of a golf course showing a plurality of individual holes, preferably on both sides of the board, with tees, fairways, greens, rough, water hazards and sand traps. There is at least one chance device, preferably two dice, operated by a player for determining “line” and “distance”. Each hole has a plurality of location marks arranged at spaced intervals in a plurality of generally longitudinal lines along the hole. At least one of the lines has at least one location mark on the green. Each line corresponds to a marking on the at least one chance device for determining “line”. There are a plurality of ball markers positionable on the board at the location marks. A position of a player's ball marker for a shot is a combination of the “line” and “distance” as determined by the at least one chance device.
In one embodiment, the location marks are apertures through the board. Preferably the lines of apertures for the golf holes on one side of the board are the same lines of apertures used for the golf holes on the other side of the board.
The game further includes a shot index reference that includes a list of different golf clubs and a listing of distances for each club associated with each possible outcome of the at least one chance device for determining distance. The distance of a shot is the distance associated with the club selected by the player for the outcome of the chance device for the shot. The shot index reference preferably includes a putting index used when a shot is on the green. The putting index indicates the number of strokes to finish play on a hole for the outcome of the at least one chance device. The shot index reference also preferably includes a pitch-and-putt index used when a shot is within a predetermined distance of the green. The pitch-and-putt index indicates the number of strokes to finish play on a hole for the outcome of the at least one chance device.
The invention also provides a method of playing a golf board game. A board is provided depicting a plurality of golf holes indicating at least greens and fairways. The board has a plurality of location marks arranged at spaced intervals in a plurality of generally longitudinal lines along each hole. At least some of the lines touch the fairway and the green on any particular hole. Each line corresponds to a marking on a “line” chance device. The “line” chance device is operated to determine which line to move a marker to. A “distance” chance device is operated to determine a distance to move the marker along the determined line. The marker is moved to a location mark based on combined results of the “line” and “distance” chance devices. If the marker is not on the green or within a predetermined distance of the green, the “line” and “distance” chance devices are operated again to newly determine which line to move the marker to and the distance to move the marker along the newly determined line. If the marker is on the green or is within a predetermined distance of the green, one of the chance devices is operated to determine the number of strokes to finish play on the hole.
When the “distance” chance device is operated, there is preferably a substep of comparing the outcome of the “distance” chance device with a shot index reference which includes a list of different golf clubs and a listing of distances for each club associated with each possible outcome of the chance device. The distance of a shot is the distance associated with the club selected by a player for the outcome of the chance device for the shot.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
The features, benefits and objects of this invention will become clear to those skilled in the art by reference to the following description, claims and drawings.
FIG. 1 is perspective view the of a golf board game of the present invention illustrating the components of the board game.
FIG. 2 is perspective view of the board of FIG. 1 shown partially folded along a central hinge and shown partially cut away to show golf holes depicted on both sides of the board.
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of both the front and the back of the board of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a portion of the board of FIG. 1 illustrating details of the golf holes.
FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of a portion of the board of FIG. 4 taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4.
Referring to FIG. 1, an example of the preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated and generally indicated by the reference numeral 10. The golf board game 10 includes a board 12 with a representation of a golf course showing a plurality of individual golf holes depicted on both sides of it, a plurality of flagsticks 14 for marking the cup location on the greens, a plurality of ball markers 16, such as pegs, for marking each player's ball location, preferably two chance devices, such as dice 18 and 20, a printed set of rules 22, and a plurality of score cards 24.
The board 12 has a plurality of location marks 42 arranged in a plurality of longitudinal lines along each golf hole. The location marks are preferably apertures through the board for receiving flagsticks 14 and ball markers 16. The same apertures used for golf holes on the front side of the board are used for different golf holes on the backside of the board.
In another embodiment of the invention, the location marks 42 may alternatively be dots or other marks printed on the board rather than apertures, and the flagsticks 14 and ball markers 16 are then designed to set on top of the board rather than be received in apertures. Though this arrangement allows for simpler manufacturing since there are no apertures, the flags and ball markers are not as stable and occupy more space on the board making it more cumbersome when multiple players'shots are in the same area, such as a green.
Referring also to FIGS. 2 and 3, the board 12 is flat and preferably approximately 18 inches square. It has graphical depictions of golf holes including greens, fairways, rough, sand traps and water hazards illustrated, such as by printing, preferably on both sides of the board 12. The golf holes are preferably laid out in a manner similar to that of a real golf course, with nine golf holes on the front side of the board and nine golf holes on the back side of the board. In the embodiment wherein the location marks 42 are apertures, each golf hole on the back nine uses the same lines of apertures as golf holes on the front nine, but the back nine golf holes are different than the front nine regarding the placement of the greens and hazards. This is readily seen in FIG. 3 which illustrates both the front and back sides of board 12. Lines of location marks 42 are symmetrical about line ‘L’ but the arrangement of the greens, rough, and various hazards on the back are different from those on the front.
Board 12 preferably has a central hinge 26 which allows board 12 to be folded in half for easier storage. Golf holes are preferably arranged on board 12 such that they do not cross hinge 26 so that apertures through the board for receiving flagsticks and ball markers are located away from hinge 26, but it is not necessary that golf holes be so arranged. Four golf holes are preferably located to one side of hinge 26 and five holes to the other side.
Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, each golf hole is depicted to represent the features found on a real golf hole. The beginning of each hole has the tee 30 and the end of each hole has a green 32. There is a fairway area 34 generally between the tee 30 and the green 32, and a rough area 36 generally along the edges of the fairway area 34. There are also strategically located water hazards 38 and sand traps 40. The golf holes are preferably depicted in color with the fairway area 34 being a medium shade of green, the greens 32 being a lighter shade of green, and the rough 36 being a darker shade of green. Water hazards 38 are preferably blue and sand traps 40 are preferably tan.
The board 12 preferably has a plurality of location marks 42 located from the tee 30 through the green 32 area. The longitudinal distance between each location mark 42 represents a simulated 20 yards on the golf hole. Location marks 42 are arranged in five longitudinal lines beginning 100 yards beyond the tee 30, and extending preferably at least 20 yards beyond the green 34. The central line 44 is the most direct path between the tee 30 and green 32, and is indicated by a marked line connecting the location marks 42 along central line 44. At least one location mark on central line 44 is on the green 32. Two of the lines of location marks 42 are disposed to one side of the central line 44, and two lines of location marks 42 are disposed to the other side of central line 44. At the 100 yard mark, a radial transverse line 46 is marked connecting the first location mark in each of the five lines, and a label for each line is placed adjacent the location mark 42 at that location. The central line 44 is labeled “34” the two lines adjacent central line 44 are labeled “2” and “5” respectively, and the outer lines are labeled “1” and “6”. These labels correspond with the markings on a side of a multi-sided die, preferably a conventional six-sided die, rolled to determine which line of location marks a shot is on. Line 46 is also labeled “100” to denote a simulated 100 yard distance from the tee. Additional radial transverse lines 48 are located each simulated hundred yards along a hole and labeled accordingly to aid players in moving their ball markers 16.
Referring to FIG. 4, selected location marks 42 on board 12 have additional markings signifying additional hazardous features of the game. Such markings may include “out of bounds” 50, “lost ball” 52, which are typically located in rough 36 areas, “trees” 54, a “fairway divot” 56, and a “plugged ball” 58 in a sand trap 40. The consequences of a player landing on such a feature are spelled out in the rules, and may include penalty strokes or limitations on the next shot as will be discussed later.
Referring to FIG. 5, the greens have several location marks 42 on which a flagstick 14 for marking the cup location is placed. Players agree on which location marks to place the flagsticks 14 before the game begins. For the embodiment in which the location marks are apertures, flagstick 14 includes a shaft portion 60 which is inserted into an aperture and a flag portion 62 on the top of the shaft portion 60. The flag portion 62 preferably displays a number corresponding with the number of the golf hole.
Each player has a ball marker 16 to mark the location of their ball on board 12. For the embodiment in which the location marks are apertures, ball marker 16 includes a stem portion 64 which is inserted into an aperture and a ball portion 66 on top of the stem portion 64. Ball portion 66 is preferably a size and shape such that ball marker 16 is easy to grasp by the players. Ball marker 16 may resemble a golf ball on a tee. As a game is played, players move their ball marker 16 from one location mark 42 to another based on the results of rolling dice 18 and 20 as determined by the rules.
Playing the Game
To play the game, players preferably use two conventional dice, one designated as the line die 18, and the other designated as the distance die 20 to determine which line of location marks 42 the shot is on and the distance of their shot. The two dice 18 and 20 are preferably two different colors so that players can easily discern which is the line die 18 and which is the distance die 20. The number on the line die 18 corresponds with a number on the board 12 for a line of location marks 42. Numbers 3 and 4 correspond to the central line 44 of location marks 42 down the center of the fairway 34, and the other numbers 1, 2, 5 and 6 each correspond to one of the other four lines of location marks 42. Therefore, there is a greater likelihood that any shot will be down the center of the fairway 34.
There are a series of clubs a player can select from to hit a shot, and each possible outcome of the distance die 20
corresponds to a distance for that particular club. For each club, the distances in yards corresponding to each number, 1 through 6, on the distance die 20
are tabulated in a shot index reference sheet printed in the rules 22
. The preferred shot index is listed in Table 1.
| ||TABLE 1 |
| || |
| || |
| ||Distance Die Numbers |
|Shot Type ||Shank ||Fat ||Normal ||Normal ||Normal ||Crush |
|White Die Roll ||1 ||2 ||3 ||4 ||5 ||6 |
|Club || || || || || || |
|Driver ||100 ||120 ||260 ||260 ||260 ||280 |
|3 Wood ||100 ||120 ||240 ||240 ||240 ||260 |
|5 Wood ||100 ||120 ||220 ||220 ||220 ||240 |
|2/3 Iron ||100 ||120 ||200 ||200 ||200 ||220 |
|4/5 Iron ||100 ||120 ||180 ||180 ||180 ||200 |
|6/7 Iron ||100 ||120 ||160 ||160 ||160 ||180 |
|8 Iron ||100 ||120 ||140 ||140 ||140 ||160 |
|9 Iron ||80 ||100 ||120 ||120 ||120 ||140 |
|Wedge ||60 ||80 ||100 ||100 ||100 ||120 |
|A/Wedge ||40 ||60 ||80 ||80 ||80 ||100 |
|S/Wedge ||20 ||40 ||60 ||60 ||60 ||80 |
|Pitch and Putt ||Hole ||2 ||3 ||4 ||3 ||Hole Out |
| ||Out |
|Putter Strokes ||1 ||2 ||3 ||1 ||2 ||3 |
The list of clubs preferably includes the clubs as listed in Table 1, but the list may include more or less clubs depending on the level of complexity desired. Also, the distances assigned to each number on the die are preferred distances, but can be changed as desired. For the driver, fairway wood, long iron, and medium iron, the average distance for that club is assigned to the numbers 3, 4, and 5 on the distance die 20, and therefore is three times as likely to occur as the other distances for that club listed in Table 1. A roll of the number 1 is considered a “shank” shot resulting in only 100 yards for most clubs. A roll of the number 2 is considered a “fat” shot resulting in a distance a little longer than the shank shot, but not as good as a normal shot. A roll of the number 6 is considered a “crush” shot 20 yards longer than average, which may or may not be beneficial to the player.
For the short irons and wedges, the average distances for those clubs are again assigned to the numbers 3, 4 and 5, but the numbers 1 and 2 produce a shot 40 and 20 yards respectively less than the average distance.
When the player's ball lands on the green 32, the putting index is used for the next shot to determine how many putts a player takes to get the ball in the cup. The preferred listing shown in Table 1 provides an equal chance for 1, 2, or 3 putts.
When a player's ball is within a predetermined distance, preferably 40 yards, of the green 32, the pitch-and-putt index listed in Table 1 is used for the next shot. The number in the table corresponding to the number rolled on the distance die 20 is the number of strokes to get the ball in the cup and finish play on the hole. A roll of a 1 or 6 “holes out” the shot with only one stroke.
Alternatively, rather than combining the pitching and putting in a single operation, the pitching can be done separately. For example, on a pitch shot, a roll of a “1” on the distance die 20 could result in “holing out” the shot and the player records only one more stroke to finish play on the hole. Any other number on the distance die would result in the shot being “on the green” and the distance die is then rolled again and the putting index is then used to finish play on the hole.
To play the game, a player announces which club he wants to hit and rolls both the dice 18 and 20. The number coming up on the line die 18 determines which of the lines of location marks 42 the shot will land on. The number coming up on the distance die 20 is matched with the number in the shot index reference to determine the distance of the shot, and the player's ball marker 16 is advanced to the appropriate location mark 42 in the board corresponding to the distance and line. Until a player's ball marker is within a predetermined distance of the green, the position of a player's ball marker for a shot is determined by combination of the line die 18 and the distance die 20. A subsequent shot can, therefore, be on a different line than the first shot. As in real golf, each player takes turns hitting shots and records his score on each hole on a scorecard 24. The lowest number of shots in a round wins.
The preferred rules for playing the game are listed as follows, but may be changed as desired. All flagsticks are to be installed at predetermined location marks on the greens before play. Before making a shot, a player refers to the shot index and announces his club selection. A player rolls both dice to determine the line of the shot and the distance obtained from the shot index, and then places his ball marker on the applicable location mark on the board. Each player continues to make shots accordingly until the player's ball is within 40 yards of the green or lands on the green, at which time the pitch-and-putt or putting indexes are used respectively to finish stroke play for the hole. Strokes are accumulated until a total is reached for a complete round.
If a ball lands in a water hazard, it is moved backwards on the same line of location marks as shot to the nearest fairway location mark with a one-stroke penalty. If a ball is driven past the last location mark in a line, hit “out of bounds” or is “lost,” a one-stroke penalty is assessed and the next shot is made from the same location as the “out of bounds” or “lost” shot. If a ball lands in the rough, a sand trap and is not plugged, a divot, or a tree area, a ½ stroke penalty is added for each encounter. If a ball lands in a sand trap and “plugged,” the penalty is one stroke.
There are numerous alternatives that will be apparent to one skilled in the art for generating the information to determine the line and distance of a shot. For example, rather than using a shot index, each club could have its own unique colored die, each die having the various yardages marked on each face. Such dice may have more or less than six sides. Another example would be to use a single die to determine both distance and line. The single die may be rolled twice, once for the line and again for the distance, or the same number of a single roll can be used to determine both the distance and the line. Also other chance devices, such as a spinner or an electronic number generator could be used rather than dice.
The descriptions above and the accompanying drawings should be interpreted in the illustrative and not the limited sense. While the invention has been disclosed in connection with the preferred embodiment or embodiments thereof, it should be understood that there may be other embodiments which fall within the scope of the invention as defined by the following claims. Where a claim is expressed as a means or step for performing a specified function it is intended that such claim be construed to cover the corresponding structure, material, or acts described in the specification and equivalents thereof, including both structural equivalents and equivalent structures.