US 20060183566 A1
A system and method for providing customizable golf instruction in a portable form. The system comprises a folio operable to removably hold a changeable set of customizable golf materials formatted to allow a golfer to quickly reference instruction for a particular situation encountered by the golfer.
1. A customizable apparatus for providing golf instruction, the apparatus comprising:
a. a foldable folio that can be folded between an open and closed position;
b. customizable golf instructional material, and
c. wherein in the customizable golf instruction material is sized to fit within the folio, and said folio is operable to be folded from a closed position to an open position to allow said customizable golf instruction material to be used, removed, updated, or exchanged to fit the needs of a golfer utilizing the material.
2. The apparatus of
3. The apparatus of
4. The apparatus of
5. The apparatus of
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7. The apparatus of
8. The apparatus of
9. A customizable apparatus for providing golf instruction, the apparatus comprising:
a. a foldable folio comprising:
(i) an upper portion;
(ii) a lower portion;
(iii) an articulating portion connecting said upper portion and lower portions such that articulating portion allows said upper portion and said lower portion to be folded between an open and a closed position; and
(iv) a closure that disengageably engages said upper portion to said lower portion when said portions are in the closed position;
b. customizable golf instruction sized to fit within the folio and operable to be removably placed within the folio; and
c. a game improvement tracker.
10. The apparatus of
11. The apparatus of
12. The apparatus of
13. The apparatus of
14. The apparatus of
15. The apparatus of
16. A method for providing golf instruction comprising the steps of:
a. providing a golfer with a folio containing a first set of customizable golf instruction selected from a library of customizable golf material sized to fit within the folio, and wherein the customizable golf instruction is operable to be replaced with different sets of customizable golf instruction as the golfer develops;
b. providing a golfer with a game improvement tracker operable to allow the golfer to record the golfer's statistics for evaluating aspects of the golfer's game and operable to allow the golfer to determine the customizable golf instruction needed to improve the golfer's game; and
c. selecting a second set of customizable golf instruction needed for improving the golfer's game from a library of customizable golf instruction materials based upon the results of the recorded statistics; and
d. replacing the first set of customizable golf material in the folio with the second set of customizable golf instruction.
17. The method of
18. The method of
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This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application 60/652,312, filed Feb. 11, 2005, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
Golf is a game enjoyed by many but mastered by few. Golfers will often experience ball placements or shot lies with which they have no experience or for which they cannot recall the optimal form and technique for the shot. For this reason, golfers who wish to improve their game often turn to golf aids, instructional videos, instructional books, and practice time on the driving range or putting green so that they are better prepared to play a round of golf. However, all of these various learning aids are only beneficial if the lessons are engrained into the memory or muscular reflexes of the golfer, as these learning aids are not suitable to be used while actually playing a round of golf. Videos typically are impractical to bring onto a course, and finding the exact instruction relating to the specific challenge a golfer is facing on the course would be unwieldy even if the technology allowed video instruction to be carried with a golfer. Books and magazines are similarly bulky and often not organized to allow quick access to a problem that a golfer might require instruction for at any given time. In addition, such books and magazines are not designed so that they can be easily carried with the golfer and easily accessed during a round of golf. Therefore, a golf training aid that is easily accessed and practical to carry with a golfer during a round of golf would be greatly appreciated.
Utilizing the services of a golf professional or professional golf instructor has long been one method of obtaining tailored instruction to help an individual with the various shot choice and stance decisions that face a golfer in an actual round of golf. By using a golf professional during a casual round of golf, the professional can provide instruction regarding only the areas where the golfer is deficient, and may do so in a timely manner when the golfer is approaching a shot or lie that is not a strongpoint of the golfer. The golf professional can give almost instantaneous advice to the golfer as to stance and swing prior to the golfer taking a stroke, and that advice can be tailored to the exact lie of the ball and contour of the ground. However, the hourly fees for a golf professional can range in the hundreds or thousands of dollars, making this option cost prohibitive for all but the most wealthy golfers who would like to improve their golf game. Further, utilizing a golf professional during a round of golf with friends and colleagues would be awkward and socially unacceptable. Therefore, a lower cost means for providing golf instruction tailored to the shot or lie selections and other aspects of a golf game encountered during an actual round of golf would be greatly appreciated.
Other solutions to providing accessible advice regarding a golf game include the use of folded instructions that fold out like a map, or spiral bound notebooks that attempt to cover all aspects of the game in one book. However, these guides are often not sturdy enough to be subjected to prolonged use, may not withstand the elements, and are not able to be modified to address only the areas of an individual's golf game that need work. Thus, these guides can be clumsy and difficult to use as a quick reference on the course, and may be difficult to carry, causing many to forego their use. Therefore, a means for providing readily accessible and well-organized golf advice that is resistant to the elements, easily transported on the course, and readily customized to particular deficiencies of a golfer would be greatly appreciated.
The present application relates to a customizable apparatus for providing golf instruction, allowing a golfer to carry relevant golf instruction material on the course that is tailored to the golfer's needs. For instance, the customizable apparatus may include a foldable folio that can be placed in an open or closed position and customizable golf instructional material that is sized to fit within the folio and which can be removed, updated, or exchanged to fit the needs of a golfer utilizing the material. In addition, the customizable apparatus optionally comprises an upper portion, a lower portion, an articulating portion, and a closure so that the folio may be opened and closed. The folio optionally includes a marker holder. Further optionally, the folio comprises a game improvement tracker. Further optionally, the folio further comprises a holder operable to hold a game improvement tracker, a scorecard, or marking pad. In one embodiment, the customizable golf instruction material is comprised of weather durable material. Further optionally, the customizable golf instruction material is in digital form.
According to another embodiment, the present application relates to a customizable apparatus for providing golf instruction, with the apparatus comprising a folio having an upper portion, a lower portion, an articulating portion connecting the upper portion and the lower portion, and a closure. The customizable apparatus further comprises customizable golf instruction operable to be removably placed within the folio, and a game improvement tracker. Optionally, the folio further comprises and attachment apparatus that allows the folio to be removably attached to one of many different surfaces, including the golfer, a golf bag, or a golf cart. Further optionally, the attachment apparatus comprises a retractable tether and a retractor portion, or a clip. Another option in this embodiment includes a magnet and another surface which is attracted to the magnet so that the magnetic attachment apparatus is attracted to the magnet. Optionally, the folio is sized to about 7.5 inches long and about 3.5 inches wide when in its closed position. The folio optionally includes a pocket for carrying various articles such as keys, a divot lifter, change, money, etc.
According to another embodiment, a method for providing golf instruction comprises the step of providing a golfer with a folio containing customizable golf instruction selected to address weak areas in the golfer's play, and wherein the customizable golf instruction is operable to be replaced with different customizable golf instruction as the golfer develops. A game improvement tracker is also supplied to the golfer, allowing the golfer to record his statistics for game play, thereby allowing the golfer to identify weak areas in his game. Once the weak areas are identified, the golfer can then select, if necessary, additional or replacement customizable golf instruction to address the topics a golfer may need reference to while on the golf course. Optionally, the customizable golf instruction is tabbed to allow quick access to relevant areas of play. Optionally, the customizable golf instruction is in digital form. Further optionally, the method of providing golf instruction includes the additional step of providing a game improvement tracker to the golfer to allow the golfer to determine improvements and areas that need additional instruction. Further optionally, the folio may contain both the game improvement tracker and the customizable golf instruction. Finally, it is optional that the folio further comprises an attachment apparatus to allow easy attachment and removal of the folio to the golfer, the golfer's bag, or any other item.
The present invention relates to a system and method for providing a golfer with portable instruction regarding his or her golf game.
According to one embodiment of the present invention, a folio 10 retains golf instruction material 90 for ready access to a golfer.
Folio shell 20 takes many different forms and sizes, and comprises various materials. However, according to one embodiment of the present invention, folio shell 20, when in its extended position as shown in
Further, in one embodiment of the present invention, folio 10 has an upper portion 30 and a lower portion 35 such that when folio 10 is in its extended position as shown in
Another aspect of folio 10, according to one embodiment of the present invention, includes marker holder 50 and game improvement tracker holder 55. Marker holder 50 comprises a loop, clip, strap, or other structure operable to removably secure a marking device such as, for example, a golf pencil, stylus, or pen to folio 10 so that a marking device 57 can be removed from folio 10 to mark the score on a scorecard or to otherwise place a mark. Game improvement tracker holder 55 comprises a pocket or slot as shown in
As shown in
Further, according to another aspect of the present invention, folio 10 comprises one or more golf instruction material holders 40 that operate to removably retain golf instruction material 90 within folio 10, as shown in
Further, according to another embodiment of the present invention, folio 10 comprises an attachment apparatus 80 so that folio 10 can be attached to another surface such as, for example, a golf bag or golf cart. As shown in the embodiment set forth in
Turning now to
Referring now to
In yet another embodiment of the present invention folio 10 further comprises a pocket 60. Pocket 60 comprises fabric, mesh, or any other material, and is operable to be closed by an elastic strip, zipper, snap, hook and loop, button, or other closing structure. In one embodiment, pocket 60 is sized to retain items typically used during a round of golf such as, for example, a divot lifter, extra tees, money or credit cards, membership cards, and/or keys.
Further, another embodiment of folio 10 is shown in
The above description of folio 10 describes several embodiments thereof, but other versions are possible. For example, folio 10 has various permutations and combinations of the features and structures listed above, and some embodiments of folio 10 does not comprise all of the features and structuring discussed above. Further, folio 10 having only an upper portion could be used to simply transport golf instruction material 90.
Golf Instruction Material
According to one aspect of the present invention, a system for providing golf instruction to a golfer includes golf instruction material 90 that is customizable to the level of play of the individual golfer. As shown in the embodiment set forth in
For example, according to one embodiment of the present invention, one instruction packet 91 includes instruction regarding technique and positioning for shots that a golfer is likely to encounter in every round of golf, with each encounter being color tabbed and labeled. Those encounters, instruction, and techniques address such shots as a clean lie in the rough, a buried lie in the rough, a knockdown/punch shot, how to best approach a difficult lie, how to shoot off of hard pan, how to shoot from a fairway bunker, how to shoot out of a divot, how to shoot off a bed of leaves, the appropriate stance and technique for an uphill lie, the appropriate stance and technique for a downhill lie, the appropriate stance and technique for a sidehill lie where the ball is above your feet, the appropriate stance and technique for a sidehill lie where the ball is below your feet, and how to handle blended or uneven lies. This instruction packet, if the golfer deems it to be instruction that is needed by the golfer, is placed in folio 10 by placing backer 92 into one of the golf instruction material holders 40 in folio 10 for easy access when playing a round of golf as shown in
Additional instruction packets 91 include instructions such as, for example, for shots encountered around the green, which would include color coded tabs and pages related to:
general short game tips;
basic chip shot;
basic pitch shot;
basic lob/flop shot;
up a greenside slope;
down a greenside slope;
the very basics of bunker shots;
basic bunker shot;
uphill bunker lie;
downhill bunker lie;
putting from off the green; and/or
off-green putting with an iron.
Another instruction packet 91 might include advice related to, for example, advanced short game shots with color coded tabs 93 and pages addressing:
short game goals and considerations;
pitch and run;
pitch and walk;
pitch and sit;
pitch from a bad lie;
pitch from a divot;
pitch over hazard to a tight pin;
30-foot putt; and/or
putt up against lip of green.
Another instruction packet 91 might include advice related to, for example, advanced bunker play shots which would include color coded tabs 93 and pages addressing:
“fried egg”—the buried ball;
hard pan bunker;
unbalanced, front foot out of bunker;
ball buried under lip;
bad downhill lie; and/or
long greenside bunker shot.
Another instruction packet 91 might include advice related to, for example, making recovery shots which would include color coded tabs 93 and pages addressing:
out of really long grass;
off of sandy soil;
from under a tree;
forward swing restriction;
hook around a tree;
slice around a tree;
over a tree or obstruction; and/or
out of water.
Another instruction packet 91 might include advice related to, for example, making on-course corrections shots which would include color coded tabs 93 and pages addressing:
fixing a slice;
fixing a hook;
fix for thin shots;
fix for fat shots;
fix for pushes;
fix for pulls;
fix for the shanks;
fix for driving pop-ups;
yearn for more distance; and/or
Making On-course Corrections.
The above topics and specific color coded tab 93 pages and instruction packets represent only an example of the content and organization of instruction that is included in various embodiments of the present invention. As previously noted, different topic instructional packets 91 selected by a golfer are combined into a single folio 10, allowing the golfer to choose instruction related to specific aspects of his or her game and/or the golf course he or she is playing. By allowing the golfer to select only the topics in which the golfer is interested, the information presented is not voluminous, and is more easily and quickly accessed during a round of golf, thereby enhancing play and increasing the value of the information to the golfer. Further, color coded tabs 93 allow quick access to instruction related to a particular subject, as a golfer simply looks to color coded tab 93 labeled with the corresponding shot that the golfer is approaching (i.e. the “basic pitch shot”). Thereafter, the golfer places his or her finger on the color coded tab 93 labeled with that shot (i.e. the “basic pitch shot”), and folds back instructional packet 91 to display the page and instruction related to that shot.
Further, in one embodiment of the present invention, each instructional packet 91 is sized and shaped to fit neatly within folio 10 for convenient transportation and storage of multiple instruction packets 91. Additionally, in one embodiment the pages of instruction packet 91 comprise a weather durable and/or paper rip-proof material. Alternately, instruction packet 91 comprises bond paper, fabric, or any other printable material known in the art. In yet another embodiment, instruction packet comprises laminated paper or laminated stock. Further, the number of instructional packets 91 contained within folio 10 is limited only by the number of golf instruction material holders 40. It will be appreciated that a plurality of golf instruction material holders 40 is distanced from one another vertically as shown in
In addition to golf instruction packets 91, in another embodiment of the present invention golf instruction material 90 takes the form of digital instruction 95 displayed on a display screen 96 of a computing device 95, such as, for example, a personal digital assistant, as shown in
In yet another embodiment, computing device 95 has access to not only golf instruction material 90, but also to tips or instruction specifically related to the course upon which the golfer is currently playing. Several alternatives exist for customizing tips or instructions for a particular course to the level of play or specific weaknesses of the golfer. In one embodiment, such course-specific tips or instruction are customized to a golfer's level of play by relating certain course-specific instruction to the types of golf instruction material 90 the golfer has chosen to install on the computing device. Another method of customizing the tips or instruction includes pre-set preferences selected by the golfer to display tips or instruction related to a particular topic. Finally, customizing the tips and instruction presented or available to the golfer is accomplished by using the golfer's statistics in the current game or the golfer's statistics for the current course to identify weaknesses in the golfer's game, and presenting information to the golfer related to those weaknesses. Further, with the addition of a global positioning device or other geographic positioning system, computing device 95 displays golf instruction material 90 or tips or instruction directly related to the golfer's current position on the course. Additional information, such as, for example, a golfer's current distance and bearing from the hole, the current weather (including wind speed and direction) for the area, or other information selected by the golfer can also be included on computing device 95. Thus, it will be appreciated that the use of computing device 95 allows a great deal of interactivity and customizability of the present system of providing golf instruction to a golfer.
Additionally, in another embodiment of the present invention, computing device 95 allows game improvement tracker 58 or a scorecard (or an electronic version thereof) to interact with a database or other software to constantly upload statistics from a particular course. These ongoing statistics are used as the basis for an ongoing, automatically customized set of golf instruction materials 90 as discussed above. Further, the statistics are automatically stored on computing device 95 to create a spreadsheet or other graphic display of the golfer's progress over time in particular areas or on a particular course, thereby allowing the golfer to more easily track his or her development in specific areas or for specific courses, or both.
Those of ordinary skill in the art will further appreciate that computing device 95 allows connectivity to a network by way of a wireless communication system, such as, for example, cellular, WiFi, infrared, satellite, or other wireless communication systems known in the art. Thus, through the wireless communication system, computing device 95 allows access to additional golf instruction material 90 (including course-specific tips or instruction), course maps and information, and weather information related to the course. The wireless communication system allows connectivity to a network such as, for example, the Internet, and allows the golfer to upload information from computing device 95 to, for example, a website or network server. Thus, in one embodiment of the present invention, the golfer continuously uploads his or her statistics through computing device 95, updating the golfer's ongoing statistics on the network. Based upon those constantly updated statistics, computing device 95 customizes the golf instruction material 90 displayed to the golfer, and/or downloads additional golf instruction material 90 from the network. Further, in one embodiment, all golf instruction material 90 resides on the network, to be displayed to the golfer through computing device 95 by way of the wireless network.
Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with reference to certain exemplary embodiments thereof, such description is offered as non-limiting examples of the present invention as many other versions of the present invention are possible. It is anticipated that a variety of modifications and changes will be apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art and that such modifications and changes are intended to be encompassed within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by any later appended claims.