Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20020169027 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/144,424
Publication dateNov 14, 2002
Filing dateMay 11, 2002
Priority dateMay 14, 2001
Publication number10144424, 144424, US 2002/0169027 A1, US 2002/169027 A1, US 20020169027 A1, US 20020169027A1, US 2002169027 A1, US 2002169027A1, US-A1-20020169027, US-A1-2002169027, US2002/0169027A1, US2002/169027A1, US20020169027 A1, US20020169027A1, US2002169027 A1, US2002169027A1
InventorsLawrence Fowler
Original AssigneeFowler Lawrence Curtis
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sectional and portable miniature golf course or putting green
US 20020169027 A1
Abstract
A golf hole for a miniature golf course is formed of a plurality of components, these components being divided into three distinct types: platform base panels, side rails, and riser feet. Each platform base panel is constructed or molded with attachments for side rails and riser feet. The riser feet are first attached to platform base panels. The platform base panels are laid out in any desired hole configuration within the parameters of the invention, one platform base panel containing the golf cup. Carpet or artificial turf, continuous or in sections, is then cut to fit and laid over platform base panels. The side rails and metal start rails are placed over the edge of the carpet along the perimeter of the hole and secured to the platform base panels. Obstacles may be bolted to the platform base panels at various points on the putting surface.
Images(9)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(36)
What I claim as my invention is:
1. A hole for a miniature golf course comprising:
a plurality of rectangular platform base panels of equal dimension with means for the attachment of riser feet, side rails, and obstacles;
a plurality of riser feet, with means for attachment to platform base panels;
a set of side rails manufactured with one or both ends angled at 45 degrees, 90 degrees, or 135 degrees, said side rails with means for attachment to the platform base panels to produce straight rails, inside corner rails and outside corner rails;
a set of one or more sections of carpet or artificial turf for placement over all of said platform base panels, said carpet or artificial turf having dimensions equivalent to the layout of the platform base panels, with a hole to accept a golf cup;
a golf cup contained in a hole in a platform base panel or a golf cup contained in a raised structure being attached to a platform base panel.
2. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 1 wherein said platform base panels, side rails, riser feet, and obstacles can be interchanged with similar components of other miniature golf holes and reassembled to produce different miniature golf hole configurations.
3. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 1 wherein said rectangular platform base panels are formed or constructed in a 2-to-1 ratio of length to width.
4. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 1 wherein said rectangular platform base panels contain embedded bolt inserts or hex nuts for the bolted attachment of side rails and obstacles.
5. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 1 wherein recessed holes are drilled or molded into said rectangular platform base panels for the attachment of riser feet.
6. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 1 wherein said riser feet vary in height and angle to allow multi-level and raised putting surfaces.
7. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 1 wherein said riser feet vary in length, width, and number of bolt inserts to allow the interconnection of two or more platform base panels.
8. A hole for a miniature golf course set forth in claim 1 wherein said platform base panels, side rails, riser feet and obstacles are manufactured out of wood.
9. A hole for a miniature golf course set forth in claim 1 wherein said platform base panels, side rails, riser feet and obstacles are produced of a plastic material.
10. A hole for a miniature golf course set forth in claim 1 wherein said platform base panels abut edge-to-edge, edge-to-midpoint of shorter side, edge-to-midpoint of longer side, or midpoint of shorter side to midpoint of longer side.
11. A hole for a miniature golf course as in claim 1 wherein said side rails contain holes for the passage of bolts through the side rail for attachment to the edge or top of a platform base panel.
12. A hole for a miniature golf course as in claim 1 wherein said side rails are formed to a length equal to or one-half the length of the shortest side of the platform base panels.
13. A hole for a miniature golf course comprising:
a plurality of rectangular platform base panels of equal dimension, said platform base panels with means for removable bolted attachment of side rails, riser feet and obstacles;
a corresponding plurality of riser feet, with means for removable bolted attachment to platform base panels;
a set of side rails manufactured with one or both ends angled at 45 degrees, 90 degrees, or 135 degrees, said side rails with means for removable bolted attachment to the platform base panels to produce straight rails, inside corner rails and outside corner rails;
a set of one or more sections of carpet or artificial turf for placement over all of said platform base panels, said carpet or artificial turf having dimensions equivalent to the layout of the platform base panels, with a hole to accept a golf cup;
a golf cup contained in a hole in a platform base panel or a golf cup contained in a raised structure being attached to a platform base panel.
a means of securing against movement said carpet or artificial turf without adhesives, said carpet or artificial turf being secured in place by compression between the platform base panels and the side rails.
14. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 13 wherein said platform base panels, side rails, riser feet, and obstacles can be interchanged with similar components of other miniature golf holes and reassembled to produce different miniature golf hole configurations.
15. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 13 wherein said rectangular platform base panels are formed or constructed in a 2-to-1 ratio of length to width.
16. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 13 wherein said rectangular platform base panels contain embedded bolt inserts or hex nuts for the bolted attachment of side rails and obstacles.
17. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 13 wherein recessed holes are drilled or molded into said rectangular platform base panels for the attachment of riser feet.
18. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 13 wherein said riser feet vary in height and angle to allow multi-level and raised putting surfaces.
19. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 13 wherein said riser feet vary in length, width, and number of bolt inserts to allow the interconnection of two or more platform base panels.
20. A hole for a miniature golf course set forth in claim 13 wherein said platform base panels, side rails, riser feet and obstacles are manufactured out of wood.
21. A hole for a miniature golf course set forth in claim 13 wherein said platform base panels, side rails, riser feet and obstacles are produced of a plastic material.
22. A hole for a miniature golf course set forth in claim 13 wherein said platform base panels abut edge-to-edge, edge-to-midpoint of shorter side, edge-to-midpoint of longer side, or midpoint of shorter side to midpoint of longer side.
23. A hole for a miniature golf course as in claim 13 wherein said side rails contain holes for the passage of bolts through the side rail for attachment to the edge or top of a platform base panel.
24. A hole for a miniature golf course as in claim 13 wherein said side rails are formed to a length equal to or one-half the length of the shortest side of the platform base panels.
25. A hole for a miniature golf course comprising:
a plurality of rectangular platform base panels of equal dimension, said platform base panels with means for removable bolted attachment of side rails, riser feet and obstacles;
a corresponding plurality of riser feet, with means for removable bolted attachment to platform base panels;
a set of side rails manufactured with one or both ends angled at 45 degrees, 90 degrees, or 135 degrees, said side rails with means for removable bolted attachment to the platform base panels to produce straight rails, inside corner rails and outside corner rails;
a set of one or more sections of carpet or artificial turf for placement over all of said platform base panels, said carpet or artificial turf having dimensions equivalent to the layout of the platform base panels, with a hole to accept a golf cup;
a golf cup contained in a hole in a platform base panel or a golf cup contained in a raised structure being attached to a platform base panel;
an integrated system of platform base panels, riser feet, and side rails which allows for the reconfiguration of one miniature golf hole layout into one or more different miniature golf hole layouts utilizing identical components;
a means of securing against movement said carpet or artificial turf without adhesives, said carpet or artificial turf being secured in place by compression between the platform base panels and the side rails.
26. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 25 wherein said platform base panels, side rails, riser feet, and obstacles can be interchanged with similar components of other miniature golf holes and reassembled to produce different miniature golf hole configurations.
27. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 25 wherein said rectangular platform base panels are formed or constructed in a 2-to-1 ratio of length to width.
28. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 25 wherein said rectangular platform base panels contain embedded bolt inserts or hex nuts for the bolted attachment of side rails and obstacles.
29. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 25 wherein recessed holes are drilled or molded into said rectangular platform base panels for the attachment of riser feet.
30. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 25 wherein said riser feet vary in height and angle to allow multi-level and raised putting surfaces.
31. A hole for a miniature golf course as set forth in claim 25 wherein said riser feet vary in length, width, and number of bolt inserts to allow the interconnection of two or more platform base panels.
32. A hole for a miniature golf course set forth in claim 25 wherein said platform base panels, side rails, riser feet and obstacles are manufactured out of wood.
33. A hole for a miniature golf course set forth in claim 25 wherein said platform base panels, side rails, riser feet and obstacles are produced of a plastic material.
34. A hole for a miniature golf course set forth in claim 25 wherein said platform base panels abut edge-to-edge, edge-to-midpoint of shorter side, edge-to-midpoint of longer side, or midpoint of shorter side to midpoint of longer side.
35. A hole for a miniature golf course as in claim 25 wherein said side rails contain holes for the passage of bolts through the side rail for attachment to the edge or top of a platform base panel.
36. A hole for a miniature golf course as in claim 25 wherein said side rails are formed to a length equal to or one-half the length of the shortest side of the platform base panels.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO A MICROFICHE APPENDIX

[0003] Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0004] 1. Field of the Invention

[0005] This invention relates generally to the construction of miniature golf courses and putting greens, and, more specifically, to a new and improved method of constructing a portable and reconfigurable miniature golf course or putting green based on prefabricated components.

[0006] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0007] Miniature golf courses and putting greens of various designs, materials and sizes, both for indoor and outdoor play, are well known in the art. A miniature golf hole is generally understood to have some type of base covered with carpet on which the golf ball rolls. It is also understood that such a hole has some type of containment around the perimeter of the hole to prevent the golf ball from escaping the playing surface, as well as a cup or receptacle into which to putt the ball.

[0008] Courses have typically been constructed as permanent installations, using concrete, wood, fiberglass or other material(s). Once a hole design was created, it could not be changed and could not be moved. Hence, it would be advantageous to be able to construct an indoor or outdoor miniature golf course that could not only be moved or relocated to a new site, but also to construct a miniature golf course that could be reconfigured so that an entirely new set of hole designs could be created from the original set of components.

[0009] In order to be truly portable and to safely withstand continuous play as well as weather extremes inherent in a semi-permanent installation, a portable miniature golf hole must have (1) a method of keeping water, heat, and UV rays from damaging the course, (2) a construction that prevents customers from damaging the hole or moving obstacles, side rails, carpet or other parts of the hole, (3) a method of assembling and disassembling the hole repeatedly that does not damage the hole and necessitate repairs.

[0010] The second issue is the ability to take a miniature golf hole design which is made up of a set of components and be able to rearrange or reconfigure those components into a totally new hole design. To be reconfigurable, for example, a simple straight hole design should be able to be either partially or totally disassembled and reassembled to create an L-Shaped hole design. Most importantly, a containment system for the golf ball must be integrated into the design of the components.

[0011] Many portable putting surfaces have been invented, as detailed below, but these are generally too flimsy in construction to withstand the rigors of a commercial miniature golf business, or the design is unsuitable for a miniature golf course. U.S. Pat. No. 5,366,224 describes a portable miniature golf course designed for commercial use. Each hole is comprised of several modules formed of a foam core with a sprayed concrete coating. The modules are assembled on site, where “a sealing material is spread over the joints between the modules”. In addition, bricks for a containment railing and carpet are affixed to the modules by means of adhesives.

[0012] However, in order for the course to be portable, the bricks would have to be pried off of the modules, the carpet would have to be ripped up and replaced with new carpet, and the sealing material between modules would have to be broken. Upon reassembly, all of these adhesives and glued-on materials would have to be cleaned up and removed. It is unlikely that the removal of the bricks and carpet and adhesives would not damage the cement coating in some manner, necessitating repair of the modules. Hence, it is not a truly portable design and more importantly, is not in any fashion reconfigurable.

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 5,863,256 issued on Jan. 26, 1999 describes a portable putting surface formed of a plurality of separate panels with connecting side rails. However, the panels and associated side rails can only be arranged in one linear configuration.

[0014] U.S. Pat. No. 3,735,988 issued on May 29, 1973 also describes a portable putting surface formed of a plurality of separate uniform panels. Although it claims that the individual sections may be put together in any given order, the side rails as depicted are limited to being attached only to the outer edges and outer corners of the base portion, as making an inside corner would necessitate cutting the side rails to fit. Hence, only a linear putting configuration is possible. In addition, neither the base panels nor the side rails have any means of permanent attachment, making this design unsuitable for a commercial miniature golf course.

[0015] U.S. Pat. No. 1,761,039 issued on Jun. 3, 1930 describes a portable putting surface formed of a plurality of separate panels. However, neither the panels nor the side rails are of uniform dimensions, and hence can be configured in only one way.

[0016] U.S. Pat. No. 5,749,789 issued on May 12, 1998 describes a portable miniature golf game comprised of multiple, flexible retaining rails, obstacles, and a ball receptacle which are attached to multiple putting mats arranged in desired abutting relationships. Although the mats can be arranged in various configurations, even as shown in the drawings there are gaps between the side rails which would allow the ball to escape from the area of play. There are no standard or consistent dimensions given to either the base panels or the side rails, so it would be simply trial and error as to whether the side rails would fully enclose a specific hole configuration. Finally, the design is totally unsuitable to a commercial application, as the side rails and obstacles are only attached with velcro and could easily be removed by customers.

[0017] U.S. Pat. No. 3,897,067 issued on Jul. 29, 1975 describes both a portable and a reconfigurable miniature golf course. However, it is completely unsuitable for a commercial miniature golf course. The patent states that “A retaining net may be placed at one end of an expanded golf course in order to prevent golf balls from falling off the end.” First, a “retaining net” is not suitable for a commercial miniature golf course. Besides this, there are no provisions for any containment railing or netting along the remaining perimeter of the hole. Therefore, golf balls will simply roll off the hole or course if they don't reach the end. The patent also states that “The . . . connections . . . make it possible to vary the number and configurations of tees, greens, primary and secondary fairways.” It is not the connections that make this so-called “reconfiguration” possible, though, but the avoidance of designing a containment rail system for the golf ball. Any flat sections of wood or other material could be “reconfigured” in this manner if no containment was necessary.

[0018] Hence, none of the golf courses or putting greens disclosed in these patents provide a method of constructing a miniature golf course or putting green that is both portable and reconfigurable while providing for a containment system for the golf ball.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0019] The present invention relates to the construction of a portable miniature golf course or putting green wherein a variety of golf hole configurations may be created through the use of multiple putting platforms of identical dimensions arranged in various abutting relationships. The resulting putting surface created from the adjoining platforms is then covered with one or more carpeting sections cut to the same dimensions as the putting surface and a series of retaining rails are then placed on top of the carpet along the perimeter of the putting surface and bolted to the platforms. One or more ball receptacles and obstacles may be placed either within the putting platform(s) or in a separate construction bolted or otherwise affixed to or above the putting platform(s).

[0020] Objects and Advantages:

[0021] (a) to provide a portable miniature golf course or putting green which can be constructed and played indoors or outdoors;

[0022] (b) to provide a miniature golf course or putting green which provides for a maximal number of configurations using a minimal number of unique pieces, by use of a two-to-one ratio in the length and width of the platform sections.

[0023] (c) to provide a portable miniature golf course which can be assembled and disassembled by a single individual;

[0024] (d) to provide a portable miniature golf course or putting green in which a variety of golf hole configurations can be created;

[0025] (e) to provide a portable miniature golf course in which golf holes may be reconfigured at any point in time to provide customers with a new playing experience.

[0026] (f) to provide a portable miniature golf course or putting green which can be laid out within different space accommodations on a variety of ground support surfaces, such as tile floors, wood floors, carpet floors, cement, asphalt, and other suitable surfaces;

[0027] (g) to provide a portable miniature golf course or putting green which can be disassembled and stored in a compact space when not in use.

[0028] (h) to provide a portable miniature golf course or putting green wherein a player may slightly alter a previously created miniature golf hole configuration by moving one or more sections of the golf hole, or alternatively disassemble the entire golf hole to create and assemble a new unique miniature golf hole configuration.

[0029] Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following description and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

[0030]FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating one of the many possible embodiments of a miniature golf hole according to the present invention.

[0031]FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating the ability to abut platform base panels at 90 degree angles to each other. FIG. 2 also illustrates the ability to abut platforms at the halfway point on a short side, or to abut a long side and a short side at the midpoint of both platforms.

[0032]FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a molded platform base illustrating the interior attachments, recesses, and holes necessary for the attachment of riser feet, side rails, and obstacles.

[0033]FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a constructed platform base illustrating the interior attachments, recesses, and holes necessary for the attachment of riser feet, side rails, and obstacles.

[0034]FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a riser foot created from a mold using a material such as concrete or plastic.

[0035]FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a riser foot constructed from a material such as wood.

[0036]FIG. 7 is a perspective view illustrating the attachment of riser feet to a platform base panel.

[0037]FIG. 8 is a perspective view illustrating the attachment of carpet to a platform base panel.

[0038]FIG. 9 is a perspective view illustrating the attachment of side rails to a platform base panel.

[0039]FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a partial golf hole illustrating the use of two different sizes of riser feet to create a putting surface with multiple levels.

[0040]FIG. 11 is a perspective view of two abutting platform base panels illustrating the interconnection of two platform base panels by a special riser foot.

[0041]FIG. 12 is a perspective view illustrating a golf cup formed into or cut out of two abutting platform base panels.

[0042]FIG. 13 is a perspective view illustrating a golf cup formed into a ramp construction which rests on top of the platform surface.

[0043]FIG. 14 is a perspective view illustrating the vertical and horizontal bolt holes in a straight side rail.

[0044]FIG. 15 is a side profile view illustrating the vertical and horizontal bolt holes in a straight side rail.

[0045]FIG. 16 is a perspective view illustrating a miniature golf hole before being reconfigured.

[0046]FIG. 17 is a perspective view illustrating a miniature golf hole using the same components after being reconfigured.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0047] Referring to FIG. 1, there is illustrated one of the many possible embodiments of a miniature golf hole 60. The hole is comprised of thirteen identical rectangular platform base panels 21 (each platform base panel being comprised of a platform base 20 and attached riser feet 22 (see FIG. 5)), overlain with carpeting to provide the putting surface. Attached to the platform base panels are one or more side rails 23-34 which contain the ball on the putting surface. These twelve types of side rails provide the ability to enclose virtually any combination of abutting platform base panels to create a miniature golf hole with continuous side railing. Skirt sections 52 and 53 provide a starting point and putting platform for the miniature golf hole, while golf cup 54 provides the intended destination for the golf ball.

[0048]FIG. 2 illustrates platform base panels 21 in various abutting orientations without carpeting or side rails. In the present invention, each platform base panel is 18 inches wide by 36 inches long, in a two-to-one ratio of length to width. This two-to-one ratio allows the platform base panels to be abutted at ninety-degree angles 63, allowing for a greater variety of golf hole lengths and widths without creating different-sized platform base panels or changing the number of different side rails needed to handle these variations. FIG. 2 illustrates that two platform base panels may even abut at a distance of half the smaller side 61 or abut the smaller side of one platform base panel to the middle long side 62 of another platform base panel, allowing additional configurations to be made. Any two-to-one ratio of platform length to width will achieve the desired benefit of increasing possible hole configurations without increasing the number of platform base panels or side rails needed for construction.

[0049]FIG. 3 and FIG. 4 show an internal view of two embodiments of a platform base. In the present invention, platform bases may be created by two processes. FIG. 3 illustrates a platform base 20 created from a mold. These platform bases may be formed of concrete, either hand-mixed or in pre-mixed bags, and can be poured into a pre-designed mold to create a rectangular platform base of dimensions 18 inches wide by 36 inches long by 1.5 inches in thickness. Any material capable of being formed into a mold and meeting the requirements for strength and durability, such as plastics, carbon composites, ceramics, fiberglass, and other materials can also be used. The thickness of the mold would depend on the material being utilized, the length and width dimensions remaining constant (either the specified dimensions of 18 inches by 36 inches or dimensions in another 2 to 1 ratio).

[0050] Still referring to FIG. 3, each platform base 20 is provided with a means for bolting riser feet, side rails, and obstacles to said platform base. Five recessed holes 45 are created in the mold for the insertion of bolts to attach the riser feet. Each side rail (with the exception of side rails 32, 33 and 34 (see FIG. 1), which have a single vertical attachment) is connected to the platform base utilizing two vertical bolt attachments 66 and 67 and one horizontal bolt attachment 68. Each vertical bolt attachment is molded into the platform base and is composed of a one-fourth inch vertical hole 46, extending through the entire thickness of the platform base, and an embedded galvanized hex nut 37 in a vertical orientation. Horizontal bolt attachment 68 is molded into the outer edge of the platform base and is composed of a one-fourth inch horizontal hole 47, extending approximately one and one-half inches into the platform base, and an embedded galvanized hex nut 38 in a horizontal orientation.

[0051] One or more groupings of two vertical bolt attachments and one horizontal bolt attachment can be placed around the perimeter of the platform base, depending on the number of side rails intended to be attached to the platform base panel. Some platform base panels do not require any bolt attachments due to the fact that no side rails will be connected. Two vertical bolt attachments 69 and 70 (FIG. 3) are also located in the center area of the platform base for connecting obstacles.

[0052]FIG. 4 illustrates a constructed platform base 19 created by cutting a material to size, drilling the appropriate holes, and inserting hardware for the connection of riser feet, side rails, and obstacles. A material such as three-fourth inch plywood is cut to the appropriate size in a two-to-one ratio. Five recessed holes 77 are created by drilling holes of two different sizes, one hole drilled completely through the platform base and large enough for the shaft of the bolt which is used to attach the riser feet, and another larger hole for the head of the bolt to rest below the top surface of the platform base. Side rails are connected by means of vertical bolt attachments 74 and 75 which are created by drilling a vertical starter hole through the top side of the material and screwing in a bolt insert 55. Horizontal bolt attachment 76 is created by drilling a horizontal starter hole along the outside edge of the material and screwing in bolt insert 56. Two vertical bolt attachments 78 and 79 are also located in the center area of the platform base for connecting obstacles.

[0053]FIG. 5 illustrates a molded riser foot 22, formed with a material such as concrete. Riser foot bolt attachment 51 consists of a molded bolt hole 71 and embedded galvanized nut 39. FIG. 6 illustrates a riser foot 81 constructed from a material such as wood. Riser foot bolt attachment 80 is created by drilling a starter hole and screwing in bolt insert 73. The same types of materials appropriate for forming the platform bases may be used for the riser feet.

[0054]FIG. 7 illustrates the attachment of riser feet to the platform base, creating a platform base panel. A riser foot 22 is attached to the bottom of platform base 20 by means of a hex bolt 43 with washer 36 passing through the top of the platform base and securing into bolt attachment 51. Five riser feet are attached to the platform base in this manner. The riser feet allow the platform base panels to be more accurately leveled; provide clearance on the underside for electrical wires or conduit, water pipes, and mechanical linkages and devices; and allow the platform base panels to be raised to different elevations by changing the height of the riser feet. FIG. 10 illustrates a section of a miniature golf hole with multiple levels of play created by using different-sized riser feet 22 and 65. Once riser feet have been attached to the platform base as illustrated in FIG. 7, the platform base panels 21 can be laid out in the desired configuration for the miniature golf hole, as shown on Hole 60 of FIG. 1. Carpeting is cut to size in one continuous piece or in multiple pieces and laid onto the platform base panels. Carpet holes are cut to accommodate the vertical side rail bolts. FIG. 8 illustrates a portion of carpet 40 being positioned on top of platform base panel 21 with carpet holes 41 and 41 a lining up with the vertical bolt attachments 66 and 67.

[0055] After the carpet has been laid, the side rails are attached to the platform base panels, said side rails being either molded of concrete, plastic, or other material or manufactured from wood. FIG. 1 illustrates the twelve unique side rails 23-34 which are used to enclose the perimeter of the miniature golf hole 60, and illustrate the use of these side rails 23-34 in forming straight borders, inside corners, and outside corners.

[0056]FIGS. 14 and 15 show straight side rail 29. Two vertical holes 48 and 48 a are molded or drilled through the side rail and are in alignment with the vertical attachment holes of either platform base 19 of FIG. 4 or platform base 20 of FIG. 3. Horizontal hole 49 is also molded or drilled and is elongated in the vertical dimension forming an oval shape, thus allowing the side rail to be adjusted for varying carpet thicknesses.

[0057]FIG. 9 shows straight side rails placed onto the edge of the carpet and platform base panel. A side rail 29 is secured to platform base panel 21 using both vertically-oriented hex bolts 42 and 42 a and horizontally-oriented hex bolt 44, thus strengthening the connection of side rail 29 to platform base panel 21. Vertical hex bolts 42 and 42 a with washers 35 pass through side rail holes 48 and 48 a, through carpet holes 41 and 41 a and thread into the vertical bolt attachments of platform base panel 21. The horizontally-oriented hex bolt 44 passes through side rail hole 49, which is elongated in the vertical direction to allow for variances in the thickness of different carpets, and then into the horizontal bolt attachment 68.

[0058] As is illustrated in FIG. 9, the carpet 40 becomes securely wedged between the bolted side rail 29 and the platform base panel 21, thus preventing movement of the carpet without the need for any carpet adhesive. In addition, by securing the carpet under the side rails, the carpet acts to prevent the platform base panels from moving out of their original positions. Although the platform base panels are very stable due to the joining of sections by the carpeting, a non-skid coating can be applied to or a non-skid material attached to the bottom of the riser feet to provide additional stability. As is described above, no special connectors are required to join platform base panels together. As shown in FIG. 11, if additional support is desired, a special riser foot 64 with bolt attachments 51 can be used to secure the platform base panels 21 together, but this is generally not necessary due to the interconnection of platforms, carpet and side rails.

[0059] As illustrated in FIG. 12, a regulation-sized golf cup 54 can be placed into a properly-sized hole in one or more of the platform base panels 21 and placed at any desired location on the miniature golf hole, or a raised golf cup 54 as in FIG. 13 can be constructed and secured to the obstacle bolt attachments in the platform base.

[0060] Referring back to FIG. 3 or 4, once the miniature golf hole has been assembled, obstacles may be attached to the playing surface by utilizing the vertical bolt attachments 69 and 70 or 78 and 79 in the center area of the platform base.

[0061] The final step in construction of the miniature golf hole is to place the skirt pieces 52 and 53 around the start of the hole, as shown in FIG. 1, which provide a starting point and putting platform for the miniature golf hole.

[0062] Once the miniature golf hole or course has been assembled, disassembly may be achieved by removing the skirt pieces, unfastening all obstacles and side rail bolts, removing the side rails, and rolling up the carpet. To reconfigure a miniature golf hole, the hole is either totally or partially disassembled, and the platform base panels are moved into a new configuration. The carpet is then either re-cut or a new piece cut to size, followed by the attachment of the side rails. FIG. 16 shows a hole in one configuration. By using the exact same components, this hole can be reconfigured to create the hole in FIG. 17. By leaving out some of the components of the hole or adding additional components, many other configurations can be achieved.

[0063] The invention in its broader aspects is not limited to the above description, and should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention. The description merely provides illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. Therefore, the scope of the invention should be based on the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the specified examples herein.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7736241 *Jan 23, 2008Jun 15, 2010Lancia Steven AMiniature golf hole system
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/157, 473/174, 473/162, 473/159, 473/171
International ClassificationA63B67/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B67/02
European ClassificationA63B67/02