US 20040144460 A1
A golf club head cover having a clip extending therefrom for releasable attachment directly to another object, without the need for cords, complicated mechanisms, or pre-established coengageable mating elements on the object to which the head cover is to be attached. The clip is preferably a quick release clip such as a carabiner clip.
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 Throughout the following description, specific details are set forth in order to provide a more thorough understanding of the invention. However, the invention may be practiced without these particulars. In other instances, well known elements have not been shown or described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the invention. Accordingly, the specification and drawings are to be regarded in an illustrative, rather than a restrictive, sense.
 Referring to FIG. 1, each golf club head cover 10 has extending therefrom a clip 12 for releasable attachment of head cover 10 to another object. As illustrated in FIG. 1, head cover 10 can take any desired shape to accommodate the size and shape of a particular golf club head. FIG. 1 shows head covers 10 for woods, irons, and putters. Similarly, head cover 10 can be made of any suitable material for covering and/or otherwise protecting a golf club head, including fabric, knit material, neoprene, and any other known head cover material. Although clip 12 can extend from any portion of head cover 10, it should preferably extend from an upper portion of head cover 10 to facilitate easy removal of head cover 10 from the golf club head (not shown). In use, a golfer can easily pull head cover 10 off of the golf club head simply by pulling clip 12. Clip 12 may be affixed to the main body of head cover 10 by fastening it to a loop extending from or an aperture in the main body of head cover 10 at the desired affixation point; preferably, that affixation point, including the loop or aperture, has been reinforced to provide it with greater durability than the rest of the main body of head cover 10.
 Clip 12 is preferably a quick release clip shaped as a climbing carabiner which is large enough to slide through a grommet or fabric loop or otherwise be able to be hooked around another object. Clip 12 can be oval, round, or any geometrical shape that can function as above. Clip 12 may be made of metal, plastic, or any other suitable material. For example, a clip 12 made of a light weight metal coated with paint would be both effective and attractive.
 In use, clip 12 enables head cover 10 to be releasably and easily attached to a wide variety of objects, ensuring that the golfer will not easily lose or misplace head cover 10. Clip 12 can be releasably attached, for example, to the top edge of a golf bag, a loop or hole or strap on a golf bag, a clip on a golf bag, a clip on another head cover, a belt loop on a golfer's pants, a pocket on a golfer's pants, the back cage or bar or other portion of a golf cart, a pull cart, a golf club shaft, a key ring, or anything else to which a hook or clip can be attached. Clip 12 can be releasably attached to most loops, edges, bars, lines, or even pieces of fabric such as a golfer's clothes. No prior preparation of the other object is required before clip 12 is attached directly to it. Also, no cords are involved, resolving the problem with tangling cords and cumbersome cord mechanisms. Clip 12 also allows other objects, such as golf towels or shammy material, to be easily attached to head cover 10 for a golfer's convenient access.
 Clip 12 also permits head covers 10 to be easily hung after a wet golf day, away from the golf clubs. For example, head covers 10 can be clipped to the golf bag or a clothes line or a wide variety of other objects, ensuring that head covers 10 dry properly while simultaneously preventing head covers 10 from falling or separating from the object to which they have been attached.
 A head cover 10 having clip 12 extending therefrom is also advantageous from a retailing and merchandising point of view. Clip 12 allows retailers to easily hang head covers 10 for sale, or clip head covers 10 to other items for greater visibility, often at eye level. Referring to FIG. 2, one or more head covers 10 can be packaged in such a way that the clip 12 of one or more head covers 10 extends out of the package 14 to allow the entire package 14 to be easily attached to a retail display. The package 14 can be hung by means of clip 12 from a display shelf hook, or from a golf bag on display, or from virtually any other object to which a clip can be attached. Also, having clip 12 extend out of the package 14 may assist in catching the eye of the consumer. The package 14 can otherwise take any form, including shrink wrap, clamshell, tubes, vinyl bags, and so on.
 Referring to FIG. 3, head cover 10 can be packaged with a golf towel 16 attached to clip 12, whether inside or outside package 14, to show the versatility of a head cover 10 with clip 12 according to the invention. When in use, clip 12 allows objects such as a golf towel 16 to be conveniently attached to head cover 10, to prevent the loss/misplacement of both head cover 10 and the attached object and to provide the golfer convenient access to the attached object.
 As will be apparent to those skilled in the art in the light of the foregoing disclosure, many alterations and modifications are possible in the practice of this invention without departing from the spirit or scope thereof. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is to be construed in accordance with the substance defined by the following claims.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a variety of golf club head covers according to the invention.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of retail packages containing head covers according to the invention.
FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of retail packages containing head covers according to the invention, showing how golf towels can be clipped thereto.
 The present invention relates to an improved golf club head cover.
 Golf club head covers are used to cover the heads of golf clubs when they are not in use, both for decorative purposes and also to protect the club heads against the environment and from being scraped or scratched. When a golfer needs to use a golf club, the golfer must first remove the golf club from the golf bag and remove the head cover from the club. After the golfer has finished using the club, the club is put back into the golf bag and the previously removed head cover is put back onto the golf club head. The major problem that has been experienced in the use of golf club head covers is what to do with the head cover while the golfer is using the golf club to make a shot. Many golfers place the head cover on the ground while they are making a shot, or leave it loose on top of a golf bag or cart or elsewhere. This often results in the head cover being forgotten and lost after the shot has been made and the golfer moves on from that area; if the ground is wet, this may also result in the head cover being soiled or damaged. Golf club head covers are, not surprisingly, the most common item found in the lost-and-found at golf courses.
 The problem of lost/misplaced golf club head covers is known in the art, and various mechanisms have been developed to secure golf club head covers to golf bags and/or to other head covers while the golf club is in use, in order to prevent the loss or misplacement of the head covers. In U.S. Pat. No. 3,128,812, Scheurer discloses a golf club head cover and golf bag with coengageable means for releasably securing the head cover to the golf bag to prevent the misplacement or loss of the head cover while the golf club is in use; in particular, the head cover has secured to it a piece or patch of hook pile material engageable with a mating loop pile material secured to the golf bag. Such coengageable pieces of hook pile and loop pile material are available commercially under the trademark VELCRO™. In U.S. Pat. No. 4,164,969, Dien similarly discloses a golf club head cover having a portion made of VELCRO material for releasable attachment to a mating VELCRO portion on either the golf bag or another head cover, in order to prevent the loss of the head cover. In U.S. Pat. No. 4,520,855, Dien discloses a golf club head cover having a snap fastener allowing the head cover to be releasably attached to a mating snap on either the golf bag or another head cover to prevent misplacement or loss of the head cover while the club is in use; male snap fasteners are attached to corresponding female snap fasteners and vice-versa. In U.S. Pat. No. 3,638,284, Baker discloses a golf club head cover having an attached VELCRO ring that can, in turn, be releasably attached to a mating VELCRO ring attached to a golf bag. In U.S. Pat. No. 5,025,843, Caufield discloses a golf club head cover having attached to it a magnetic half-sphere for releasable magnetic attachment to a corresponding magnetic half-sphere attached to another head cover.
 In order for each of the foregoing mechanisms to work as intended, corresponding modifications must be made in advance to a golf bag and/or to other head covers in order to provide the required “coengageable means” or “mating members” to which the head cover can releasably attach. The male snap fasteners taught by Dien would be useless without a corresponding female snap fastener pre-established on another head cover or golf bag, and vice-versa. The VELCRO head cover attachments taught by Scheurer, for example, would not work as intended if the golfer chose to use a different golf bag not having a mating VELCRO portion on which to releasably attach the head covers. The same applies to the magnetic half-spheres taught by Caufield.
 Further, there are inherent disadvantages in using VELCRO material to secure golf club head covers to prevent their loss/misplacement, even apart from the fact that the coengagable VELCRO portions must be pre-planned and pre-positioned in order to work properly. For example, the hook pile material and the coengageable loop pile material tend to attract dirt and debris, further reducing their attractiveness and effectiveness.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,722,125, U.S. Pat. No. 6,434,800, U.S. Pat. No. 6,076,668, U.S. Pat. No. 1,957,577, U.S. Pat. No. 4,126,166, and U.S. Pat. No. 3,657,774, rather than using coengageable VELCRO pieces, coengageable snap fasteners, or coengageable magnets, each discloses the use of cords, springs, or elastic bands to attach a golf club head cover to a golf bag so as to prevent the misplacement or loss of the head covers. However, such mechanisms are also cumbersome and often ineffective. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,657,744 to Reynolds teaches the use of cords to tie head covers together as one unit so as to prevent the loss or misplacement of any individual head cover. As noted however in U.S. Pat. No. 3,638,284 to Baker, head cover retention devices such as that taught by Reynolds are so cumbersome and such a nuisance to use that many golfers untie all of the head covers from the cords in advance, so as to allow the clubs to be removed from the bag more easily, and in doing so defeat the purpose of using the cords to prevent loss/misplacement of individual head covers. It is also well documented within several of the above-mentioned patents that the cords used to attach head covers are prone to tangling. To address the tangling problem, complicated devices having extendible and releasable lines such as that taught in U.S. Pat. No. 6,076,668 to Keane et al. have been developed. Other prior art devices require clubs to be stored in specific positions to avoid cords getting tangled, again making such devices cumbersome and inefficient to use.
 There is a need for a simpler means of releasably attaching a golf club head cover to a variety of objects without requiring prior installation of a coengageable mating member, and that is easy to use and does not require a golfer to follow a certain order in removing and replacing clubs in golf bag.
 A golf club head cover according to the present invention has a clip extending therefrom for releasable attachment of the head cover directly to a wide variety of objects without the need to have prepared those objects in advance to receive the head cover, and without the use of cords or complicated mechanisms. The clip of the present invention is easy to use and is versatile. The clip of the present invention allows the golf club head cover to be easily and releasably attached to a wide variety of objects to prevent loss/misplacement of the head cover, to facilitate proper drying of a wet head cover, and to facilitate merchandising of the head covers.
 The clip is preferably a quick release clip such as a carabiner clip. The clip can be made of any suitable material, including metal and plastic. A clip made of light weight metal coated with paint, for example, would be both effective and attractive.
 The clip is preferably positioned at or near the top of the head cover in order to facilitate easy removal of the golf club head cover from the golf club. A golfer would simply pull on the clip to remove the head cover from the golf club. The clip may be affixed to the main body of the head over by fastening it to a loop extending from or an aperture in the main body of the head cover at the desired affixation point; that affixation point, including the loop or aperture, is preferably reinforced for greater durability.
 An additional benefit of a head cover according to the invention is to enable retailers to hang the product or clip the units to other items for an easier sale of the product.