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Publication numberUS20050176518 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/777,376
Publication dateAug 11, 2005
Filing dateFeb 11, 2004
Priority dateFeb 11, 2004
Publication number10777376, 777376, US 2005/0176518 A1, US 2005/176518 A1, US 20050176518 A1, US 20050176518A1, US 2005176518 A1, US 2005176518A1, US-A1-20050176518, US-A1-2005176518, US2005/0176518A1, US2005/176518A1, US20050176518 A1, US20050176518A1, US2005176518 A1, US2005176518A1
InventorsThomas Doherty, Eric Hansen
Original AssigneeDoherty Thomas M., Eric Hansen
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Practice golf cage with a golf ball gathering central location
US 20050176518 A1
Abstract
The present invention provides a golf practice cage with a central location. The central location is designed to collect golf balls and may comprise a bucket or bag. The golf practice cage comprises a frame with an enclosure substantially surrounding the frame. The enclosure has a back portion with a fold extending in front of the back portion to form a pocket to catch golf balls and funnel them towards the central location. Alternatively to the fold, a base net may reside within an area defined by the frame and the enclosure. The base net funnels caught balls to the central location.
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Claims(27)
1. A golf practice cage with a golf ball catch, comprising:
a frame;
an enclosure coupled to the frame such that the frame and the enclosure define an area;
a first opening, the first opening allowing access to the area defined by the frame and the enclosure;
the enclosure having at least a back portion;
a fold having a top edge and a bottom edge residing substantially within the area;
the top edge coupled to the enclosure such that the tope edge and the back portion define a second opening into which golf balls can drop; and
a bottom edge angled to direct the golf balls to a central location.
2. The golf practice cage according to claim 1, wherein the frame comprises a pair of crossed arcuate poles.
3. The golf practice cage according to claim 1, wherein the enclosure comprises a mesh netting.
4. The golf practice cage according to claim 1, wherein the fold is a separate piece of material coupled to the back portion.
5. The golf practice cage according to claim 1, further comprising:
a bucket; and
the bucket releasably coupled to the enclosure at substantially about the central location to collect golf balls.
6. The golf practice cage according to claim 5, wherein the bucket is made of a material comprising at least one of the group consisting of metal, netting, and canvass.
7. The golf practice cage according to claim 5, wherein the bucket is releasably coupled to the enclosure using a pair of corresponding zippers.
8. The golf practice cage according to claim 1, wherein the bottom edge angles from the frame down towards the central location.
9. The golf practice cage according to claim 1, wherein the enclosure has at least one side portion and the at least one side portion further comprises at least one side fold along the at least one side portion.
10. The golf practice cage according to claim 1, wherein the enclosure is loosely coupled to the frame to inhibit rebounding.
11. A golf practice cage with a golf ball catch, comprising:
a frame;
an enclosure coupled to the frame such that the frame and the enclosure define an area;
a first opening, the first opening allowing access to the area defined by the frame and the enclosure;
the enclosure having at least a back portion;
a fold having a top edge and a bottom edge residing substantially within the area;
the top edge coupled to at least one of the frame and the enclosure such that the tope edge and the back portion define a second opening, such that golf balls can drop through the second opening;
the bottom edge angled to direct the golf balls to a central location; and
a bucket releasably coupled to the central location to collect the golf balls.
12. The golf practice cage according to claim 11, wherein the bucket further comprises a handle.
13. The golf practice cage according to claim 11, wherein the fold is a separate piece of material coupled to the enclosure.
14. The golf practice cage according to claim 11, wherein the enclosure comprises at least one side portion; and
a side fold is coupled to the frame substantially about the side portion.
15. A golf practice cage with a golf ball catch, comprising:
a frame;
an enclosure
means for coupling the enclosure to the frame such that the frame and the enclosure define an area;
a first opening, the first opening allowing access to the area defined by the frame and the enclosure;
the enclosure having at least a back portion;
a fold having a top edge and a bottom edge residing substantially within the area;
the top edge coupled to at least one of the frame and the enclosure such that the top edge and the back portion define a second opening, such that golf balls can drop through the second opening;
a bottom edge angled to direct the golf balls to a central location;
a bucket; and
means for releasably attaching the bucket about the central location.
16. The golf practice cage according to claim 15, wherein the means for coupling the enclosure to the frame includes a zipper.
17. A golf practice cage with a golf ball catch, comprising:
a frame;
an enclosure coupled to the frame such that the frame and enclosure define an area;
a first opening, the first opening allowing access to the area defined by the frame and enclosure;
the enclosure having at least a back portion;
a central location located substantially within the area; and
means for funneling golf balls to the central location coupled to at least one of the enclosure and the frame.
18. The golf practice cage according to claim 17, wherein the means for funneling golf balls comprises a fold in the back portion.
19. The golf practice cage according to claim 17, wherein the means for funneling golf balls comprises a separate piece of material coupled to the back portion.
20. The golf practice cage according to claim 17, wherein the means for funneling golf balls comprises a base net.
21. A golf practice cage with at least one ball gathering location, comprising:
a frame residing on a surface;
an enclosure coupled to the frame such that the frame and the enclosure define an area;
at least one opening, the at least one opening allowing access to the area;
a base net coupled to the frame above the surface;
the base net configured to funnel balls to a gathering location; and
the base net aligned such that balls hit into the area strike the enclosure and drop into the base net, whereby the balls are funneled to the gathering location.
22. The golf practice cage according to claim 21, wherein the base net is further coupled to the enclosure.
23. The golf practice cage according to claim 21, further comprising:
a blocking net; and
the blocking net coupled to the frame and across the at least one opening wherein the blocking net inhibits balls from rolling beneath the base net.
24. The golf practice cage according to claim 21, further comprising:
a hole, the hole located in the base net about the gathering location such that balls funneled to the gathering location drop through the hole.
25. The golf practice cage according to claim 24, further comprising a bucket releaseably coupled to the hole such that balls drop through the hole and into the bucket.
26. The golf practice cage according to claim 23, further comprising:
a base net hole, the base net hole located in the base net about the gathering location, such that balls funneled to the gathering location drop through the base net hole;
a blocking net hole located in the blocking net, and
a tube connecting the base net hole to the blocking net hole, whereby balls dropping through the base net hole are directed by the tube to the blocking net hole.
27. The golf practice cage according to claim 26, further comprising:
a bucket releasably couple to the blocking net hole.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to practice cages and, more particularly, to a golf practice cage with a golf ball gathering central location.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In many sports it is desirable to repeatedly practice a physical motion. In the sport of golf, practicing the physical motion of swinging a golf club and striking a golf ball allows one to become a successful golfer. In particular, the ability to consistently repeat a golf swing, so as to obtain a consistent flight of a golf ball, is important to becoming a successful golfer.

In the sport of golf there are many ways to in which practice the art of striking a golf ball. A method most similar to actually playing golf on a golf course is to hit or drive standard or regulation golf balls at a driving range. However, practice-driving ranges are often inconveniently located, require a large plot of land, and they are expensive. Alternative to the use of a driving range, one can use standard golf balls to practice in the backyard of a home, in a vacant lot, or in an open field. However, practicing a full golf swing in this type of a geographic area leaves much to be desired. Often a back yard is not large enough to enable a golfer to use long distance golf clubs, and vacant lots or fields are often not readily available. Further, unless a golf swing is somewhat consistent, retrieving standard golf balls can be a tedious and time-consuming activity.

Alternative to ranges and vacant lots, many golfers practice their swings by hitting golf balls into nets. Conventional nets are far from satisfactory however. For example, most practice nets simply provide a cage or enclosed area in which a golfer can hit a golf ball. The golf balls, however, are free to land and/or roll making retrieval difficult. Golf practice nets of this type include U.S. Pat. No. 4,556,219, issued to Tillery, titled GOLF PRACTICE CAGE, incorporated herein by reference. To assist retrieval of golf balls, some practice nets are equipped with complicated and expensive electronic ball retrieving systems. Golf nets of this type include U.S. Pat. No. 5,690,555, issued to Lay, titled AUTOMATIC TEEING DEVICE AND CAGE FOR CATCHING GOLF BALLS HIT TOWARD THE CAGE, incorporated herein by reference.

Thus, it is desirable to provide an golf practice net or cage that corrals hit golf balls into a central location.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

To attain the advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, a golf practice cage is provided. The golf practice cage includes a frame and enclosure that defines an area. A net or fold in on the backside of the cage funnels balls to a central location.

The present invention also provides a golf practice cage with a frame and enclosure that defines an area. A base net funnels balls to a central location.

The foregoing and other features, utilities and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of a preferred embodiment of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the present invention, and together with the description, serve to explain the principles thereof. Like items in the drawings are referred to using the same numerical reference:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a golf practice cage illustrative of an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a back elevation view of the cage of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of the cage of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a detailed view of the ball catch of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a golf practice cage illustrative of another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention will be described with respect to FIGS. 1-5. While the present invention will be described with reference to a particular golf practice cage, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize on reading the disclosure that other style cages are possible. For example, instead of the dome shaped cage formed by crossed arcuate poles, square cages, triangular cages, or the like are possible.

Referring first to FIG. 1, a practice golf cage 10 is illustrated. Practice golf cage 10 is defined by frame 12. In this example, frame 12 comprises a pair of crossed arcuate poles 14 and 16 defining an area A. Pole 14 has a front end 18 and a rear end 20. Pole 16 has a front end 22 and a rear end 24. Instead of a solid pole, poles 14 and 16 could have front and rear portions connecting at a connector 26 located towards the apex of the frame.

As can be appreciated, frame 12 is a lightweight, easily manufactured, and easily fabricated frame, such as, for example, fiberglass poles. Other styles of frames could be used, such a conventional tubular frame having rectangular sidewalls and a rectangular back wall. Optionally, horizontal members H (which could be made of a similar material to pole 14 and 16) could extend between front end 18 and rear end 24, rear end 24 and rear end 20, rear end 20 and front end 22 to help hold the frame shape. Another horizontal member H could exist between front end 18 and front end 22 (not shown).

Frame 12 has a front side 28, a backside 30, a left side 32, and a right side 34. An enclosure 36 extends substantially over each of the sides 30, 32, and 34 leaving an opening O for front side 28. The enclosure can be made of a number of different materials, such as, for example, canvass, nylon netting, or the like. While enclosure 36 could be taut over frame 12, a taut enclosure would cause rebounding of a golf ball, which is particularly dangerous, so it is preferable to have enclosure 36 attached to frame 12 loosely. Enclosure 36 could be connected to frame 12 using ties 38, as shown in FIG. 1.

A portion 40 of enclosure 36 substantially extends across backside 30. Portion 40 is loosely coupled to frame 12 from a top 42 of cage 10 to a bottom 44 of cage 10. Portion 40 is loosely coupled to allow portion 40 to billow out when a golf ball strikes portion 40. Extending upwards from bottom 44 and internal to portion 40 exists a fold 46, best seen in FIG. 2. Fold 46 has a top edge E attached to frame 12 such that when golf balls strike portion 40, portion 40 billows out and a golf ball 48 drops into a fold opening F between top edge E of fold 46 and portion 40. A bottom edge BE of fold 46 is attached to portion 40 such that bottom edge BE funnels golf ball 48 (and other golf balls not shown) to a central location 50. A simple way to accomplish the funneling is to attach bottom edge BE to portion 40 such that bottom edge BE angles down from frame 12 to central location 50. Instead of a fold in portion 40, fold 46 could be a separate piece of enclosure material attached to portion 40. Further, while shown attached to frame 12, fold 46 could be attached to enclosure 36 along sides 32 and 34. Attaching fold 46 to sides 32 and 34 would provide the advantage of funneling golf balls that struck sides 32 and 34.

Finally, shown in phantom, either or both sides 32 and 34 could have side folds 66. Side folds 66 would be similar to fold 46 and will not be further explained herein.

While the golf balls could easily be retrieved from central location 50, a bucket 52 or bag could be attached to central location 50 as well. Bucket 52 can be metal, mesh netting, canvass, or the like. Bucket 52, as shown in FIG. 4, could have a carrying handle 54 and a holder 56. Holder 56 would have a top edge 58. Top edge 58 would have a zipper 60 that could couple with a corresponding zipper 62 at central location 50, such that bucket 52 could be releasably attached to central location 50. Zippers 60 and 62 could be replaced with ties, elastic cord, or strips of hook and loop material similar to VELCROŽ.

Finally, cage 10 could be provided with an artificial floor 64. Artificial floor 64 could be made out of a nylon material similar to enclosure 36 or other materials as a matter of design choice.

Referring now to FIG. 5, another embodiment of the present invention is shown. In particular, FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of a golf cage 500. Golf cage 500 is similar to golf cage 10, and those similar portions will not be re-described herein. However, for completeness, golf cage 500 may comprise a frame 12 having crossed arcuate poles 14 and 16 defining an area A. Horizontal poles H (not labeled in FIG. 5 may be used). Frame 12 defined front side 28, backside 30, left side 32, and right side 34. Enclosure 36 encloses backside 30, left side 32, and right side 34 leaving an opening O in front side 28.

Instead of a fold 46 in a portion 40 of backside 30, a base net 100 is arranged over floor, which may be artificial floor 64. Base net 100 extends substantially over the floor and is coupled to frame 12 such that base net 100 forms a conical shape. The conical shape funnels golf balls (not shown) to a central location 102. A conventional coupling device 104, such as a tie, a bungee cord, strips of hook and loop material, zippers, snaps, or the like couple base net 100. Coupling device 104 is shown substantially about each corner 106, 108, 110, and 112. Base net 100 could be coupled to enclosure 36 as well using a conventional stitch or weld 114. Optionally, base net 100 has seams 116 to assist in forming base net 100 into a conical shape. Anchor 118 may anchored central location 102 to the floor. Base net 100 also may be coupled so base net is coupled higher at corners 108 and 110, and lower at corners 106 and 112. This angles base net 100 towards the front of cage 500 making it easier to reach central location 102.

To prevent miss hits from rolling under base net 100, a blocking net 120 may be connected across the base of front side 28.

Central location 102 would be a sufficient collection point for golf balls; however, a hole 122 may be placed at central location 120. Similar to cage 10, hole 122 may be connected to a collection device. Alternatively, a tube 124 may extend from hole 122 to a corresponding hole 126 in blocking net 120. Thus, golf balls would drop into base net 100 and be funneled to central location 102. At central location 102, the golf balls would drop into hole 122 and travel along tube 124 and out hole 126 in blocking net 120. A collection device may be connected to hole 126 to assist in collection or the golf balls may be allowed to gather at such a location.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to an embodiment thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various other changes in the form and details may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7270608 *Feb 1, 2006Sep 18, 2007Kwang Han ChoCollapsible net
US7600759Jul 26, 2007Oct 13, 2009The Net Return, LlcMulti-sports ball return net system and method thereof
US8172703 *Jan 12, 2007May 8, 2012William Coleman LayWind resistant practice cage
US8496545Apr 4, 2012Jul 30, 2013William Coleman LayWind resistant practice cage and pitching machine for attachment
US8747259 *Jul 29, 2013Jun 10, 2014William Coleman LayWind resistant practice cage with opening and alternative closures
US20080171618 *Jan 12, 2007Jul 17, 2008William Coleman LayWind resistant practice cage
US20120149503 *Dec 14, 2010Jun 14, 2012Kwang Han ChoBall Net with Basket
US20120302381 *May 25, 2011Nov 29, 2012William Coleman LayBarrier Support Structure
US20130045815 *Aug 18, 2011Feb 21, 2013Kwang Han ChoBall Net with Sack
US20130316854 *Jul 29, 2013Nov 28, 2013William Coleman LayWind resistant practice cage with opening and alternative closures
WO2011060277A2 *Nov 12, 2010May 19, 2011Trugolf, Inc.Golf simulator apparatus and related methods
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/197, 473/170, 473/195
International ClassificationA63B69/36, A63B71/02, A63B47/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B71/022, A63B47/025, A63B69/3623
European ClassificationA63B47/02E, A63B71/02P, A63B69/36D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 19, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: CLASSIC SPORT COMPANIES, INC., COLORADO
Free format text: RELEASE OF PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:THE BANK OF NEW YORK, IN ITS CAPACITY AS AGENT FOR THE LENDERS PARTY TO THE CREDIT AGREEMENT;REEL/FRAME:019991/0622
Effective date: 20070928
Owner name: CLASSIC SPORT COMPANIES, INC., COLORADO
Free format text: RELEASE OF PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:MERRILL LYNCH BUSINESS FINANCIAL SERVICES INC. ACTINGTHROUGH ITS DIVISION MERRILL LYNCH CAPITAL;REEL/FRAME:019991/0189
Jul 2, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: CLASSIC SPORT COMPANIES, INC., COLORADO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:DOHERTY, THOMAS M.;HANSEN, ERIC;REEL/FRAME:015547/0509
Effective date: 20040630