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Publication numberUS20070049396 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/215,522
Publication dateMar 1, 2007
Filing dateAug 30, 2005
Priority dateAug 30, 2005
Publication number11215522, 215522, US 2007/0049396 A1, US 2007/049396 A1, US 20070049396 A1, US 20070049396A1, US 2007049396 A1, US 2007049396A1, US-A1-20070049396, US-A1-2007049396, US2007/0049396A1, US2007/049396A1, US20070049396 A1, US20070049396A1, US2007049396 A1, US2007049396A1
InventorsBilly Scheibe
Original AssigneeScheibe Billy B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multi-function magnetic golf appliance
US 20070049396 A1
Abstract
The present invention is generally comprised of an appliance that may assist in retrieving golf balls and golf clubs from a playing surface, as well as retrieving and holding one or more golf ball markers. The appliance may also be used to hold the handle of a golf club away from the playing surface when the golf club is laid upon the surface. In some embodiments, the appliance is generally comprised of a first golf club having a magnet disposed approximately at the end of its handle. A second golf club may be retrieved from the playing surface using the handle of the first golf club, which is magnetically attracted to a portion of the second golf club. In other embodiments, the appliance further comprises at least one golf ball marker or a golf ball retriever or both, which may be removably attached to the end of the handle of the first golf club by magnetic attraction. In other embodiments, the appliance is comprised of a sleeve member that may be placed over and removably attached to the end of the handle of a first golf club. In these embodiments, the sleeve member has a magnet disposed therein and may be used to retrieve a second golf club from the playing surface. In other embodiments, at least one golf ball marker or a golf ball retriever or both may be removably attached to the end of the sleeve member by magnetic attraction. The present invention also includes methods of using the appliance.
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Claims(45)
1. An appliance for use in playing the game of golf, the appliance comprising:
(a) a first golf club; and
(b) a magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the first golf club, wherein the magnet has magnetic field strength adequate to hold a portion of a second golf club approximately adjacent to the magnet against the force of the earth's gravity, so that the portion of the second golf club can be raised above a surface by the end of the handle of the first golf club by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnet and the portion of the second golf club.
2. The appliance of claim 1, wherein the magnetic field strength of the magnet at its surface is in the range from 3,500 gauss to 5,500 gauss.
3. The appliance of claim 1, wherein:
(a) the appliance further comprises at least one ball marker, wherein the at least one ball marker is further comprised of a magnetic portion, which is further comprised of material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to magnetic attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials; and
(b) the at least one ball marker may be removably attached to the end of the first golf club by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnetic portion of the at least one ball marker and the magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the first golf club.
4. The appliance of claim 3, wherein the at least one ball marker is shaped approximately as a circular disc.
5. The appliance of claim 3, wherein the at least one ball marker is further comprised of a nonmagnetic portion, which is further comprised of a material that does not have magnetic properties and is not subject to magnetic attraction.
6. The appliance of claim 5, wherein:
(a) the at least one ball marker is shaped approximately as a circular disc having a first circular surface and a second circular surface opposite the first circular surface;
(b) the magnetic portion is shaped approximately as a circular disc having a diameter less than the diameter of the at least one ball marker and a thickness less than the thickness of the at least one ball marker; and
(c) the magnetic portion is disposed in the at least one ball marker so that one surface of the magnetic portion forms a portion of the first circular surface and the nonmagnetic portion is approximately annular in shape when viewed from above the first circular surface of the ball marker.
7. The appliance of claim 1, further comprising the second golf club, wherein:
(a) the portion of the second golf club held adjacent to the end of the handle of the first golf club is the end of the handle of the second golf club; and
(b) a magnet is disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the second golf club.
8. An appliance for use in playing the game of golf, the appliance comprising a golf ball retriever, which is further comprised of:
(a) a base portion comprised of a material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to magnetic attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials, wherein the base portion may be removably attached to the end of a handle of a golf club by means of magnetic attraction between the base portion and a magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the golf club; and
(b) a catch portion disposed adjacent to and extending from the base portion, wherein:
(i) the catch portion is comprised of at least two arm members;
(ii) the at least two arm members have an arcuate shape and are approximately symmetrically spaced about the base portion; and
(iii) the at least two arm members together are of a size and shape adapted to retrieve and hold a golf ball.
9. The appliance of claim 8, wherein the catch portion is comprised of at least two arm members, but not more than four arm members.
10. The appliance of claim 8, wherein the at least two arm members are further comprised of a plurality of raised rib portions disposed transversely across the surfaces of the at least two arm members that face the golf ball, wherein the raised rib portions assist in holding the golf ball within the catch portion.
11. The appliance of claim 8, wherein the at least two arm members are further comprised of a layer of a flexible material disposed on the surfaces of the at least two arm members that face the golf ball, wherein the flexible material assists in holding the golf ball within the catch portion.
12. The appliance of claim 11, wherein the flexible material is rubber, neoprene, or silicone.
13. The appliance of claim 8, wherein:
(a) the appliance further comprises at least one ball marker, wherein the at least one ball marker is further comprised of a magnetic portion constructed from a material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to magnetic attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials; and
(b) the at least one ball marker may be removably disposed between the end of the handle of the golf club and the base portion of the golf ball retriever and is held in place by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnetic portion of the at least one ball marker and the base portion or the magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the golf club or both.
14. An appliance for use in playing the game of golf, the appliance comprising a golf ball retriever, which is further comprised of:
(a) a base portion comprised of a material having magnetic properties, wherein the base portion may be removably attached to a portion of a golf club by means of magnetic attraction between the base portion and the portion of the golf club, wherein the portion of the golf club is comprised of a material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to magnetic attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials; and
(b) a catch portion disposed adjacent to and extending from the base portion, wherein:
(i) the catch portion is comprised of at least two arm members;
(ii) the at least two arm members have an arcuate shape and are approximately symmetrically spaced about the base portion; and
(iii) the at least two arm members together are of a size and shape adapted to retrieve and hold a golf ball.
15. An appliance for use in playing the game of golf, the appliance comprising:
(a) a first golf club having a magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the first golf club, wherein the magnet has magnetic field strength adequate to hold a portion of a second golf club approximately adjacent to the magnet against the force of the earth's gravity, so that the portion of the second golf club can be raised above a surface by the end of the handle of the first golf club by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnet and the portion of the second golf club; and
(b) a golf ball retriever, wherein:
(i) the golf ball retriever is comprised of a material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to magnetic attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials; and
(ii) the golf ball retriever is removably attached to the end of the first golf club by means of the magnetic attraction between the golf ball retriever and the magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the first golf club.
16. The appliance of claim 15, wherein the magnetic field strength of the magnet at its surface is in the range from 3,500 gauss to 5,500 gauss.
17. The appliance of claim 15, wherein the golf ball retriever is comprised of:
(a) a base portion comprised of a material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to magnetic attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials, wherein the base portion is removably attached to the end of the handle of the first golf club; and
(b) a catch portion disposed adjacent to and extending from the base portion, wherein:
(i) the catch portion is comprised of at least two arm members;
(ii) the at least two arm members have an arcuate shape and are approximately symmetrically spaced about the base portion; and
(iii) the at least two arm members together are of a size and shape adapted to retrieve and hold a golf ball.
18. The appliance of claim 17, wherein the at least two arm members are further comprised of a plurality of raised rib portions disposed transversely across the surfaces of the at least two arm members that face the golf ball, wherein the raised rib portions assist in holding the golf ball within the catch portion.
19. The appliance of claim 17, wherein the at least two arm members are further comprised of a layer of a flexible material disposed on the surfaces of the two arm members that face the golf ball, wherein the flexible material assists in holding the golf ball within the catch portion.
20. The appliance of claim 19, wherein the material is rubber, neoprene, or silicone.
21. The appliance of claim 15, wherein:
(a) the appliance further comprises at least one ball marker, wherein the at least one ball marker is further comprised of a magnetic portion constructed from a material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to magnetic attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials; and
(b) the at least one ball marker is removably disposed between the end of the handle of the first golf club and the base portion of the golf ball retriever and is held in place by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnetic portion of the at least one ball marker and the base portion or the magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the first golf club or both.
22. The appliance of claim 21, wherein the at least one ball marker is shaped approximately as a circular disc.
23. An appliance for use in playing the game of golf, the appliance comprising:
(a) a sleeve member, which is further comprised of:
(i) an approximately tubular portion of a size and shape adapted to fit over and enclose a portion of the end of the handle of a first golf club;
(ii) a sleeve cap portion disposed at one end of the approximately tubular portion; and
(iii) a magnet disposed in the sleeve cap portion, wherein the magnet has magnetic field strength adequate to hold a portion of a second golf club approximately adjacent to the magnet against the force of the earth's gravity, so that the portion of the second golf club can be raised above a surface by the sleeve member by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnet and the portion of the second golf club; and
(b) sleeve attachment means to removably attach the sleeve member to the end of the handle of the first golf club.
24. The appliance of claim 23, wherein the magnetic field strength of the magnet at its surface is in the range from 3,500 gauss to 5,500 gauss.
25. The appliance of claim 23, wherein the sleeve attachment means is comprised of a strap attached to the approximately tubular portion, wherein the strap has two ends and the ends are removably attached together using hook and loop fasteners.
26. The appliance of claim 23, wherein the sleeve member is comprised of a semi-rigid material and the sleeve attachment means is comprised of friction between the approximately tubular portion and the exterior surface of the handle of the first golf club that is adjacent to the interior surface of the approximately tubular portion.
27. The appliance of claim 23, wherein:
(a) the appliance further comprises at least one ball marker, wherein the at least one ball marker is further comprised of a magnetic portion, which is further comprised of material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to magnetic attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials; and
(b) the at least one ball marker may be removably attached to the end of the sleeve cap portion of the sleeve member by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnetic portion of each ball marker and the magnet disposed in the sleeve cap portion of the sleeve member.
28. The appliance of claim 27, wherein the at least one ball marker is shaped approximately as a circular disc.
29. The appliance of claim 27, wherein:
(a) the at least one ball marker is further comprised of a nonmagnetic portion, which is further comprised of a material that does not have magnetic properties and is not subject to magnetic attraction;
(b) the at least one ball marker is shaped approximately as a circular disc having a first circular surface and a second circular surface opposite the first circular surface;
(c) the magnetic portion is shaped approximately as a circular disc having a diameter less than the diameter of the at least one ball marker and a thickness less than the thickness of the at least one ball marker; and
(d) the magnetic portion is disposed in the at least one ball marker so that one surface of the magnetic portion forms a portion of the first circular surface and the nonmagnetic portion is approximately annular in shape when viewed from above the first circular surface of the at least one ball marker.
30. The appliance of claim 23, wherein the appliance further comprises the first golf club.
31. The appliance of claim 23, further comprising the second golf club, wherein:
(a) the portion of the second golf club held adjacent to the end of the handle of the first golf club is the end of the handle of the second golf club; and
(b) a magnet is disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the second golf club.
32. The appliance of claim 23, further comprising the second golf club and a second sleeve member removably attached to the end of the handle of the second golf club by sleeve attachment means, wherein:
(a) the portion of the second golf club held adjacent to the sleeve member of the first golf club is the second sleeve member removably attached to the end of the handle of the second golf club by the sleeve attachment means; and
(b) the second sleeve member is further comprised of:
(i) a second approximately tubular portion of a size and shape adapted to fit over and enclose a portion of the end of the handle of the second golf club;
(ii) a second sleeve cap portion disposed at one end of the second approximately tubular portion; and
(iii) a second magnet disposed in the second sleeve cap portion, wherein the second magnet has magnetic field strength adequate to hold a portion of a third golf club approximately adjacent to the second magnet against the force of the earth's gravity, so that the portion of the third golf club can be raised above a surface by the second sleeve member by means of the magnetic attraction between the second magnet and the portion of the third golf club.
33. An appliance for use in playing the game of golf, the appliance comprising:
(a) a sleeve member, which is further comprised of:
(i) an approximately tubular portion of a size and shape adapted to fit over and enclose a portion of the end of the handle of a first golf club;
(ii) a sleeve cap portion disposed at one end of the approximately tubular portion; and
(ii) a magnet disposed in the sleeve cap portion, wherein the magnet has magnetic field strength adequate to hold a portion of a second golf club approximately adjacent to the magnet against the force of the earth's gravity, so that the portion of the second golf club can be raised above a surface by the sleeve member by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnet and the portion of the second golf club;
(b) sleeve attachment means to removably attach the sleeve member to the end of the handle of the first golf club; and
(c) a golf ball retriever, wherein:
(i) the golf ball retriever is comprised of a material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to magnetic attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials; and
(ii) the golf ball retriever is removably attached to the cap portion of the sleeve member by means of the magnetic attraction between the golf ball retriever and the magnet disposed in the sleeve cap portion of the sleeve member.
34. The appliance of claim 33, wherein the magnetic field strength of the magnet at its surface is in the range from 3,500 gauss to 5,500 gauss.
35. The appliance of claim 33, wherein the sleeve attachment means is comprised of a strap attached to the approximately tubular portion, wherein the strap has two ends and the ends are removably attached together using hook and loop fasteners.
36. The appliance of claim 33, wherein the sleeve member is comprised of a semi-rigid material and the sleeve attachment means is comprised of friction between the approximately tubular portion and the exterior surface of the handle of the first golf club that is adjacent to the interior surface of the approximately tubular portion.
37. The appliance of claim 33, wherein the golf ball retriever is further comprised of:
(a) a base portion comprised of a material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to magnetic attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials, wherein the base portion is removably attached to the sleeve cap portion of the sleeve member by means of magnetic attraction between the base portion and the magnet disposed in the sleeve cap portion; and
(b) a catch portion disposed adjacent to and extending from the base portion, wherein:
(i) the catch portion is comprised of at least two arm members;
(ii) the at least two arm members have an arcuate shape and are approximately symmetrically spaced about the base portion; and
(iii) the at least two arm members together are of a size and shape adapted to retrieve and hold a golf ball.
38. The appliance of claim 37, wherein the at least two arm members are further comprised of a plurality of raised rib portions disposed transversely across the surfaces of the at least two arm members that face the golf ball, wherein the raised rib portions assist in holding the golf ball within the catch portion.
39. The appliance of claim 37, wherein the at least two arm members are further comprised of a layer of a flexible material on the surfaces of the at least two arm members that face the golf ball, wherein the flexible material assists in holding the golf ball within the catch portion.
40. The appliance of claim 39, wherein the material is rubber, neoprene, or silicone.
41. The appliance of claim 33, wherein:
(a) the appliance further comprises at least one ball marker, wherein the at least one ball marker is further comprised of a magnetic portion, which is further comprised of material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to magnetic attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials; and
(b) the at least one ball marker may be removably attached to the end of the sleeve cap portion of the sleeve member by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnetic portion of each ball marker and the magnet disposed in the sleeve cap portion of the sleeve member.
42. The appliance of claim 41, wherein the at least one ball marker is shaped approximately as a circular disc.
43. The appliance of claim 33, wherein the appliance further comprises the first golf club.
44. A method for using a first golf club to retrieve a second golf club from a surface, the method comprising the actions of:
(a) placing the end of a handle of the first golf club approximately adjacent to a portion of the second golf club, wherein the first golf club has a magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the first golf club and the magnet has magnetic field strength adequate to hold the portion of the second golf club approximately adjacent to the magnet against the force of the earth's gravity, so that the portion of the second golf club can be raised above the surface by the end of the handle of the first golf club by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnet and the portion of the second golf club;
(b) raising the portion of the second golf club above the surface by raising the end of the handle of the first golf club away from the surface, so that the portion of the second golf club remains approximately adjacent to the magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the first golf club; and
(c) when the portion of the second golf club has reached a convenient altitude above the surface, grasping the second golf club and lifting it from the surface.
45. A method for retrieving a golf ball from a surface, the method comprising the actions of:
(a) removably attaching a golf ball retriever to a portion of a golf club, wherein:
(i) the golf ball retriever is comprised of a base portion and a catch portion disposed adjacent to and extending from the base portion;
(ii) the base portion is further comprised of a material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to magnetic attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials;
(iii) the base portion may be removably attached to a portion of the golf club by means of magnetic attraction between the base portion and the portion of the golf club, wherein the portion of the golf club is comprised of a material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials; and
(iv) the catch portion is further comprised of at least two arm members, each having an arcuate shape and being approximately symmetrically spaced about the base portion, and together being of a size and shape adapted to retrieve and hold a golf ball;
(b) positioning the at least two arms of the golf ball retriever, as it is removably attached to the golf club, over the golf ball;
(c) exerting force on the golf club so that the golf ball retriever is forced down over the golf ball until the golf ball is seated against the arcuate portions of the at least two arms that are adjacent to the base portion of the golf ball retriever;
(d) raising the golf ball above the surface by raising the portion of the golf club to which the golf ball retriever is attached away from the surface; and
(e) when the golf ball has reached a convenient altitude above the surface, grasping the golf ball.
Description
    BACKGROUND
  • [0001]
    The present invention generally relates to an appliance that may be used to assist a golfer in playing a game of golf. More specifically, in some embodiments, the present invention generally relates to an appliance that may assist the golfer in retrieving golf balls and golf clubs from a playing surface, as well as holding and retrieving one or more golf ball markers. In other embodiments, the appliance may assist the golfer in keeping the handle of a golf club dry when the golf club is laid upon the playing surface. In addition, the present invention includes methods for using the appliance.
  • [0002]
    In playing the game of golf, it is sometimes necessary for the golfer to retrieve a golf ball from the playing surface (which may also include a putting cup). This may be accomplished by the golfer bending over, grasping the ball with his or her hand, and then raising it from the surface. This bending can cause discomfort and pain for the golfer in certain circumstances. For example, the bending may give rise to discomfort or pain in a portion of the back or shoulder of the golfer who has suffered a previous injury to his or her back or shoulder, respectively. In addition, elderly persons may have difficulty in bending over in the manner required. Bending over may also cause fatigue due to the additional muscle activity required. It can also become a tedious task for the golfer in later stages of the golf game. In addition, it is sometimes necessary for the golfer to place a ball marker on the playing surface at the location of the ball when the ball is retrieved from the surface. Later, it is necessary for the golfer to retrieve the ball marker and restore the golf ball to its original location on the playing surface. Even though the ball marker is often retrieved from the surface during the same bending motion that allows the golfer to place the golf ball on the surface, the additional action of retrieving the ball marker from the surface typically causes the golfer to bend further than he or she would have to in order to place the ball alone. In addition, the length of time that the golfer is in the bent-over position typically increases with the retrieval of the ball marker. In some cases, a separate bending action may be necessary to retrieve the ball marker. In these cases, additional bending is required, which may accentuate any pain, discomfort and tediousness produced during the golf game. Further, it is necessary to hold the ball markers in a convenient position while not in use so that they are readily available when needed. This position should also be one where the ball markers are not easily misplaced or otherwise lost. Further still, it is sometimes necessary for the golfer to place one or more golf clubs on the playing surface while using another golf club to hit the golf ball. For example, the golfer may carry an iron and a putter to a location close to the green where a golf ball is positioned, drop the putter to the playing surface, use the iron to hit the ball onto the green, retrieve the putter from the playing surface, move to the new location of the ball on the green, drop the iron to the playing surface, use the putter to hit the ball, and then retrieve the iron from the playing surface. Once again, the constant necessity to bend over in order to retrieve golf clubs may produce the adverse effects described above. In addition, the handle of the golf club laid on the playing surface may become wet if the playing surface is wet.
  • [0003]
    There are devices existing in the art that attempt to address some of these problems. For example, some devices use scoops, clips or brackets to retrieve a golf ball. These devices, however, are often removably attached to a golf club using means that are somewhat inconvenient or cumbersome. In addition, the structure of the scoop, clip or bracket often does not enable the golfer to easily retrieve the ball from the playing surface. For example, the golfer may be required to “chase” the ball about the surface with the device in order to grasp the ball so it may be retrieved. Other devices may be used to retrieve golf clubs, but also suffer from inconvenience or cumbersome use. For example, with some devices it is necessary for the golfer to “chase” the golf club about the playing surface in order to retrieve it. Still other devices may be used to retrieve ball markers, but may also be inconvenient and cumbersome to use. Some of the devices used to retrieve ball markers may use magnetic force, but none appear to use magnetic force strong enough to also retrieve a golf club utilizing magnetic force alone. Further, there does not appear to be a single simple device that may be used to accomplish all of these purposes, as well as holding the handle of a golf club above the playing surface when the golf club is laid upon the surface. Thus, there is a need for an appliance that can be used to retrieve a golf ball and a golf club from a playing surface, to hold and retrieve golf ball markers, and to hold the handle of a golf club above the playing surface when the golf club is laid upon the surface, all in a manner that is both convenient and simple to use. Finally, there is a need for the appliance to be relatively inexpensive to produce and maintain.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0004]
    The present invention is directed to an appliance, as well as methods for using the appliance, that may assist a golfer in retrieving golf balls and golf clubs from a playing surface, holding and retrieving one or more golf ball markers, and holding the handle of a golf club above the playing surface when the golf club is laid upon the surface, all in a manner that meets the needs discussed above in the Background section. As described in greater detail below, the present invention, when used for its intended purposes, has many advantages over other devices known in the art, as well as novel features that result in a new appliance and methods for its use that are not anticipated, rendered obvious, suggested, or even implied by any prior art means, devices or methods, either alone or in any combination thereof.
  • [0005]
    An embodiment of one aspect of a first version of the present invention generally discloses an appliance for use in playing the game of golf. In this embodiment, the appliance is generally comprised of a first golf club and a magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the first golf club. The magnet has magnetic field strength adequate to hold a portion of a second golf club approximately adjacent to the magnet against the force of the earth's gravity, so that the portion of the second golf club can be raised above a surface by the end of the handle of the first golf club by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnet and the portion of the second golf club. Preferably, the magnetic field strength of the magnet at its surface is in the range from 3,500 gauss to 5,500 gauss. In other embodiments of this aspect of the first version of the present invention, the appliance further comprises at least one ball marker. The at least one ball marker is further comprised of a magnetic portion, which is further comprised of material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to magnetic attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials. The at least one ball marker may be removably attached to the end of the handle of the first golf club by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnetic portion of the at least one ball marker and the magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the first golf club. In other embodiments, the at least one ball marker may be shaped approximately as a circular disc or may be further comprised of a nonmagnetic portion constructed of a material that does not have magnetic properties and is not subject to magnetic attraction. In yet other embodiments, the at least one ball marker may be shaped approximately as a circular disc having a first circular surface and a second circular surface opposite the first circular surface. In these embodiments, the magnetic portion is shaped approximately as a circular disc having a diameter less than the diameter of the at least one ball marker and a thickness less than the thickness of the at least one ball marker. The magnetic portion is disposed in the at least one ball marker so that one surface of the magnetic portion forms a portion of the first circular surface and the nonmagnetic portion is approximately annular in shape when viewed from above the first circular surface of the ball marker. In still other embodiments, the appliance further comprises the second golf club, wherein the portion of the second golf club held adjacent to the end of the handle of the first golf club is the end of the handle of the second golf club, and a magnet is disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the second golf club.
  • [0006]
    An embodiment of a second aspect of the first version of the present invention generally discloses an appliance that is also for use in playing the game of golf. In this embodiment, the appliance is generally comprised of a golf ball retriever, which is further comprised of a base portion and a catch portion. The base portion is comprised of a material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials. The base portion may be removably attached to the end of a handle of a golf club by means of magnetic attraction between the base portion and a magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the golf club. The catch portion, which is disposed adjacent to and extending from the base portion, is comprised of at least two arm members that have an arcuate shape and are approximately symmetrically spaced about the base portion. In addition, the at least two arm members together are of a size and shape adapted to retrieve and hold a golf ball. In other embodiments, the catch portion may be comprised of at least two arm members, but not more than four arm members. In still other embodiments, the arm members may be further comprised of a plurality of raised rib portions disposed transversely across the surfaces of the at least two arm members that face the golf ball. The raised rib portions assist in holding the golf ball within the catch portion. In yet other embodiments, the at least two arm members may be further comprised of a layer of a flexible material on the surfaces of the at least two arm members that face the golf ball, wherein the flexible material assists in holding the golf ball within the catch portion. In some of these embodiments, the material may be rubber, neoprene, or silicone. In yet other embodiments of this second aspect of the first version of the present invention, the appliance further comprises at least one ball marker. The at least one ball marker may generally have substantially the same structure, features, characteristics and operation as the embodiments of the ball markers described herein with respect to the first aspect of the first version of the present invention. In these embodiments, each at least one ball marker may be removably disposed between the end of the handle of the golf club and the base portion of the ball retriever. The at least one ball marker is held in place by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnetic portion of each ball marker and the base portion or the magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the golf club or both. In still other embodiments, the golf ball retriever may also be comprised of a base portion and a catch portion disposed adjacent to and extending from the base portion. In these embodiments, the base portion is comprised of a material having magnetic properties and may be removably attached to a portion of a golf club by means of magnetic attraction between the base portion and the portion of the golf club. Also in these embodiments, the portion of the golf club is comprised of a material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to magnetic attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials. The catch portion is comprised of at least two arm members that have an arcuate shape and are approximately symmetrically spaced about the base portion. The at least two arm members together are of a size and shape adapted to retrieve and hold a golf ball.
  • [0007]
    An embodiment of a third aspect of the first version of the present invention generally discloses an appliance that is also for use in playing the game of golf. In this embodiment, the appliance is generally comprised of a first golf club and a golf ball retriever. The first golf club has a magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the first golf club. The magnet has magnetic field strength adequate to hold a portion of a second golf club approximately adjacent to the magnet against the force of the earth's gravity, so that the portion of the second golf club can be raised above a surface by the end of the handle of the first golf club by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnet and the portion of the second golf club. The golf ball retriever is comprised of a material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials. The golf ball retriever may be removably attached to the end of the first golf club by means of the magnetic attraction between the golf ball retriever and the magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the first golf club. In various embodiments of this third aspect of the first version of the present invention, the first golf club, including the magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the first golf club, may generally have substantially the same structure, features, characteristics and operation as the embodiments of the first golf club and magnet, respectively, described herein with respect to the first aspect of the first version of the present invention. In various embodiments of this third aspect of the first version of the present invention, the golf ball retriever may generally have substantially the same structure, features, characteristics and operation as the embodiments of the golf ball retriever described herein with respect to the second aspect of the first version of the present invention. In yet other embodiments of this third aspect of the first version of the present invention, the appliance further comprises at least one ball marker. Each ball marker may generally have substantially the same structure, features, characteristics and operation as the embodiments of the at least one ball marker described herein with respect to the first aspect of the first version of the present invention. In these embodiments, the at least one ball marker may be removably disposed between the end of the handle of the golf club and the golf ball retriever. The at least one ball marker is held in place by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnetic portion of the at least one ball marker and the base portion or the magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the golf club or both.
  • [0008]
    An embodiment of a first aspect of a second version of the present invention generally discloses an appliance that is also for use in playing the game of golf. In this embodiment, the appliance is generally comprised of a sleeve member and sleeve attachment means, which are described in more detail below, to removably attach the sleeve member to the end of the handle of a first golf club. The sleeve member is further comprised of an approximately tubular portion of a size and shape adapted to fit over the end and enclose a portion of the handle of the first golf club. A sleeve cap portion is disposed at one end of the approximately tubular portion. A magnet, which is disposed in the sleeve cap portion, has magnetic field strength adequate to hold a portion of a second golf club approximately adjacent to the magnet against the force of the earth's gravity, so that the portion of the second golf club can be raised above a surface by the sleeve member by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnet and the portion of the second golf club. The magnetic field strength of the magnet at its surface is preferably in the range from 3,500 gauss to 5,500 gauss. In some embodiments, the sleeve attachment means may be comprised of a strap attached to the approximately tubular portion, wherein the strap has two ends and the ends are removably attached together using hook and loop fasteners. In other embodiments, the sleeve member may be comprised of a semi-rigid material and the sleeve attachment means may be friction between the approximately tubular portion and the exterior surface of the handle of the first golf club that is adjacent to the interior surface of the approximately tubular portion. In yet other embodiments of this first aspect of the second version of the present invention, the appliance further comprises at least one ball marker. Each at least one ball marker may generally have substantially the same structure, features, characteristics and operation as the embodiments of the at least one ball marker described herein with respect to the first aspect of the first version of the present invention. In these embodiments, each at least one ball marker may be removably attached to the end of the sleeve cap portion of the sleeve member. The at least one ball marker is held in place by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnetic portion of the at least one ball marker and the magnet disposed in the sleeve cap portion of the sleeve member. In yet other embodiments of this first aspect of the second version of the present invention, the appliance further comprises the first golf club. In still other embodiments, the appliance comprises the second golf club. In these embodiments, the portion of the second golf club held adjacent to the end of the handle of the first golf club is the end of the handle of the second golf club, and a magnet is disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the second golf club. Further, in other embodiments, the appliance further comprises the second golf club and a second sleeve member removably attached to the end of the handle of the second golf club by sleeve attachment means. In these embodiments, the portion of the second golf club held adjacent to the sleeve member of the first golf club is the second sleeve member removably attached to the end of the handle of the second golf club by the sleeve attachment means. Also in these embodiments, the second sleeve member may have substantially the same structure, features, characteristics, and operation as the embodiments of the sleeve member described herein with respect to this first aspect of the second version of the present invention.
  • [0009]
    An embodiment of a second aspect of the second version of the present invention generally discloses an appliance that is also for use in playing the game of golf. In this embodiment, the appliance is generally comprised of a sleeve member, sleeve attachment means (which are described in more detail below) to removably attach the sleeve member to the end of the handle of a first golf club, and a golf ball retriever. In various embodiments of this second aspect of the second version of the present invention, the sleeve member, including a magnet disposed in a sleeve cap portion of the sleeve member, may generally have substantially the same structure, features, characteristics and operation as the embodiments of the sleeve member and magnet, respectively, described herein with respect to the first aspect of the second version of the present invention. In various embodiments of this second aspect of the second version of the present invention, the sleeve attachment means may generally have substantially the same structure, features, characteristics and operation as the embodiments of the sleeve attachment means described herein with respect to the first aspect of the second version of the present invention. In various embodiments of this second aspect of the second version of the present invention, the golf ball retriever may generally have substantially the same structure, features, characteristics and operation as the embodiments of the golf ball retriever described herein with respect to the second aspect of the first version of the present invention. The golf ball retriever may be removably attached to the sleeve cap portion of the sleeve member by means of the magnetic attraction between the golf ball retriever and the magnet disposed in the sleeve cap portion of the sleeve member. In yet other embodiments of this second aspect of the second version of the present invention, the appliance further comprises at least one ball marker. The at least one ball marker may generally have substantially the same structure, features, characteristics and operation as the embodiments of the at least one ball marker described herein with respect to the first aspect of the first version of the present invention. In these embodiments, the at least one ball marker may be removably attached to the end of the sleeve cap portion of the sleeve member. The at least one ball marker is held in place by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnetic portion of the at least one ball marker and the magnet disposed in the sleeve cap portion of the sleeve member. In yet other embodiments of this second aspect of the second version of the present invention, the appliance further comprises the first golf club.
  • [0010]
    The present invention also discloses a method for using a first golf club to retrieve a second golf club from a surface. Generally, the method comprises the following actions. First, the end of a handle of the first golf club is placed approximately adjacent to a portion of the second golf club. The first golf club has a magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle thereof. The magnet has magnetic field strength adequate to hold the portion of the second golf club approximately adjacent to the magnet against the force of the earth's gravity, so that the portion of the second golf club can be raised above the surface by the end of the handle of the first golf club by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnet and the portion of the second golf club. Second, the portion of the second golf club is raised above the surface by raising the end of the handle of the first golf club away from the surface, so that the portion of the second golf club remains approximately adjacent to the magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the first golf club. Third, when the portion of the second golf club has reached a convenient altitude above the surface, the second golf club is grasped and lifted from the surface.
  • [0011]
    In addition, the present invention discloses a method for retrieving a golf ball from a surface. Generally, the method comprises the following actions. First, a golf ball retriever is removably attached to a portion of a golf club. The golf ball retriever is comprised of a base portion and a catch portion disposed adjacent to and extending from the base portion. The base portion is further comprised of a material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to magnetic attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials. The base portion may also be removably attached to a portion of the golf club by means of magnetic attraction between the base portion and the portion of the golf club. The portion of the golf club is comprised of a material having magnetic properties or a material that is subject to attraction by materials having magnetic properties or a combination of such materials. The catch portion is further comprised of at least two arm members, each having an arcuate shape and being approximately symmetrically spaced about the base portion. Together, the at least two arm members are of a size and shape adapted to retrieve and hold a golf ball. Second, the at least two arms of the golf ball retriever, as it is removably attached to the golf club, are positioned over the golf ball. Third, force is exerted on the golf club so that the golf ball retriever is forced down over the golf ball until the golf ball is seated against the arcuate portions of the at least two arms that are adjacent to the base portion of the golf ball retriever. Fourth, the golf ball is raised above the surface by raising the portion of the golf club to which the golf ball retriever is attached away from the surface. Fifth, when the golf ball has reached a convenient altitude above the surface, the golf ball is grasped by the golfer.
  • [0012]
    Finally, the present invention also discloses a method for holding the handle of a golf club away from a surface. Generally, the method comprises the following actions. First, a golf ball retriever is removably attached to the side of the handle of the golf club. The golf ball retriever may generally have substantially the same structure, features, characteristics and operation as the embodiments of the golf ball retriever described herein with respect to the second aspect of the first version of the present invention. The base portion of the golf ball retriever may be removably attached to the end of the handle of the golf club by means of magnetic attraction between the base portion and a magnet disposed approximately at the end of the handle of the golf club. The golf ball retriever is also positioned so that it extends approximately radially away from the handle of the golf club approximately perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the handle. Second, the golf club is laid down on the surface in a manner so that the golf ball retriever is positioned between the handle of the golf club and the surface in a manner so that the handle is held away from the surface.
  • [0013]
    Thus, the present invention meets the needs described above in the Background section. For example, the appliance of the present invention may be used by a golfer to retrieve a golf ball from a playing surface without bending over. The appliance uses a golf ball retriever that generally conforms to the shape of a golf ball. As a result, the appliance does not require the relatively precise positioning of the golf ball retriever, as is required with use of some other devices. Instead, the golfer may approach the golf ball from a greater variety of angles using the golf ball retriever. In addition, the golfer may apply a wider range of magnitude of force against the golf ball than is required of some other devices. As a result, the need to “chase” the ball about the surface is substantially reduced, if not totally eliminated. In addition, the golfer may use the appliance to easily retrieve golf clubs from the playing surface without bending over. He or she need only place the end of the handle of the golf club (or sleeve member) of the appliance adjacent to a portion of the golf club on the surface and lift that portion above the surface until it can be grasped by the golfer. Again, there are no clips, scoops or brackets involved, so there is no need to “chase” the golf club about the surface in order to retrieve it. Further, the appliance may be used to retrieve the ball markers disclosed as a part of the present invention from the playing surface. The appliance of the present invention is superior to other devices that may use magnetic force to attract ball markers in that the present appliance also possesses adequate magnetic field strength to retrieve a golf club from the surface. The appliance may also be used to conveniently store the ball markers until they are needed. In addition, the appliance may be used to hold the handle of the golf club away from the playing surface when the golf club is laid down upon the surface. The appliance of the present invention may therefore be used to accomplish all of these tasks in a single appliance that is convenient and simple to use. Finally, the appliance should be relatively inexpensive to produce and maintain.
  • [0014]
    There has thus also been outlined, rather broadly, the more primary features of the present invention. There are additional features that are also included in the various embodiments of the invention that are described hereinafter and that form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto. In this respect, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the accompanying drawings. This invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings, but the drawings are illustrative only and changes may be made in the specific construction illustrated and described within the scope of the appended claims. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of the description and should not be regarded as limiting.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0015]
    The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention, will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings, in which:
  • [0016]
    FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of an embodiment of an appliance of the present invention with a golf ball;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the embodiment of the appliance illustrated in FIG. 1, except that the appliance illustrated in FIG. 2 includes two golf ball markers instead of the one golf ball marker illustrated in FIG. 1 and does not include the golf ball;
  • [0018]
    FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the embodiment of the appliance illustrated in FIG. 1, wherein the appliance is being used to lift a second golf club from a playing surface;
  • [0019]
    FIG. 4A is a detailed plan view of the golf ball marker of the appliance illustrated in FIG. 1;
  • [0020]
    FIG. 4B is a cross-sectional elevation view of the golf ball marker illustrated in FIG. 4A, as taken along the lines 4B-4B of FIG. 4A;
  • [0021]
    FIG. 5A is a plan view of the golf ball retriever of the appliance illustrated in FIG. 1, as taken along the lines 5A-5A in FIG. 1, without the golf ball;
  • [0022]
    FIG. 5B is a plan view of another embodiment of the golf ball retriever illustrated in FIG. 5A; and
  • [0023]
    FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of another embodiment of an appliance of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0024]
    Reference will now be made in detail to the preferred embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. While the invention will be described in conjunction with the preferred embodiments, it is to be noted that the embodiments are not intended to limit the invention to those embodiments. On the contrary, the invention is intended to cover alternatives, modifications and equivalents, which may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. It is also to be noted that the present invention is not necessarily illustrated to scale in the appended drawings. Instead, the illustrations are intended to show the particular features and characteristics of the present invention.
  • [0025]
    An embodiment of a first version of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2. In this embodiment, the present invention discloses an appliance 10 for assisting a golfer in retrieving golf balls 15 (not included as a part of the present invention) and golf clubs. (not illustrated), as well as holding and retrieving one or more golf ball markers 30. In addition, as described in more detail below, the appliance 10 may be used to hold the handle of a golf club (such as the handle 21 of a first golf club 20) above the playing surface when the first golf club 20 is lying on the surface. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the appliance 10 is generally comprised of the first golf club 20, a ball marker 30, and a golf ball retriever 40. The first golf club 20 has a handle 21 at one end thereof, which is gripped by the golfer when the first golf club 20 is operated by the golfer. The handle 21 is further comprised of a magnet 22 disposed approximately at the end of the handle 21. As illustrated in FIG. 3, the magnet 22 illustrated in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 (but not in FIG. 3) generally has magnetic field strength adequate to hold a portion (the putter head 51 in the illustrated embodiment) of a second golf club 50 approximately adjacent to the end of the handle 21 of the first golf club 20 (wherein the magnet 22 is approximately disposed) against the force of the earth's gravity, so that the portion of the second golf club 50 can be raised above a surface 16 by the end of the handle 21 of the first golf club 20 by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnet 22 and the portion of the second golf club 50. As a result, the second golf club 50 may be retrieved from the playing surface 16 by positioning the end of the handle 21 of the first golf club 20 approximately adjacent to a portion (the putter head 51) of the second golf club 50 and then raising the portion of the second golf club 50 from the surface 16 by raising the end of the handle 21 of the first golf club 20 away from the surface 16 in a manner so that the portion of the second golf club 50 remains approximately adjacent to the end of the handle 21 of the second golf club 20 (wherein the magnet 22 is approximately disposed). When the portion (the putter head 51) of the second golf club 50 has reached a convenient altitude above the surface 16, the golfer may grasp the second golf club 50 with his or her hand and lift it from the surface 16. It is to be noted that more than one of the golf clubs used by the golfer may have the features of the appliance 10. In that case, the portion of the second golf club 50 that is held adjacent to the handle 21 of the first golf club 20 may be the handle (not illustrated) of the second golf club 50, which also has a magnet (not illustrated) disposed approximately in the end thereof.
  • [0026]
    Referring again to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, it is to be noted that the first golf club 20, which houses the magnet 22, may be any type of golf club. For example, in various embodiments, the first golf club 20 may be any conventional golf club, such as a wood, an iron, or a putter. The handle 21 may be any type of handle used in conjunction with a golf club. Typically, for example, the handle 21 is a grip constructed of rubber or similar material that is positioned around the shaft portion (not illustrated) of the first golf club 20 on the end of the shaft opposite the portion of the shaft where the head of the first golf club 20 is located. Such handles 21 are well known in the art. The magnet 22 is disposed approximately at the end of the handle 21, as is illustrated in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2. Although the illustrated magnet 22 is approximately disc-shaped and is sized to fit within the shaft portion of the first golf club 20 encompassed by the handle 21, the magnet 22 may be of almost any other shape or size (or both) in other embodiments, as long as the magnet 22 fits wholly or partially within the handle 21 at approximately the end of the handle 21 and has the requisite magnetic field strength. In addition, the magnet 22 may be constructed of almost any material that produces a magnetic field of sufficient magnitude. For example, the magnet may be constructed of a Neodymium Iron Boron compound, a Samarium Cobalt compound, iron, steel, or combinations of any such materials. As described above and illustrated in connection with FIG. 3, the magnet 22 must be capable of producing a magnetic field adequate to lift the portion of the second golf club 50 above the surface 16. It is to be noted that the second golf club 50 may also be any conventional type of golf club, such as a wood, an iron, or a putter. Preferably, the magnetic field strength of the magnet 22 is in the range from 3,500 gauss to 5,500 gauss, as measured at the surface of the magnet 22. More preferably, the magnet 22 is a disc-shaped (18 mm diameter×3 mm thickness) magnet comprised of a Neodymium Iron Boron compound with a Nickel coating and having a magnetic field strength of 5,500 gauss. The magnet 22 is generally attached to the handle 21 approximately at the end of the handle 21. For example, the magnet 22 may be disposed within or partially within the shaft portion of the first golf club 20 enclosed by the handle 21, within or partially within a distal portion of the handle 21 that extends beyond the shaft portion (which is sometimes referred to as the “grip”), or partially within the shaft portion and partially within the distal portion (or grip) of the handle 21. It is also to be noted that the magnet 22 need not be completely embedded within the handle 21. Instead, a portion of the magnet 22 may be positioned on the surface of the handle 21 or possibly extend beyond such surface to a position outside of the handle 21. This may be the case where the magnet 22 is used for ornamental or other decorative purposes in conjunction with the first golf club 20. In addition, the magnet 22 may be attached to the first golf club 20 using any suitable means. For example, the magnet 22 may be attached to the shaft using any suitable means, such as welding, fusing, adhesives, glues, epoxies, clamps, clasps, pins, screws, bolts, nuts, or other fasteners or any combination of such means. As another example, the magnet 22 may be attached to the rubber-type portion of the handle 21 by any suitable means, such as fusing, adhesives, glues, epoxies, clamps, clasps, pins, screws, bolts, nuts, or other fasteners or any combination of such means. The first golf club 20 may generally be constructed using any suitable means. For example, the magnet 22 may be attached to the shaft portion of the first golf club 20 by means of an adhesive, followed by a neoprene handle 21 being placed over and attached to the shaft using means that are well known in the art.
  • [0027]
    In the embodiment of the present invention illustrated in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the appliance 10 further comprises at least one ball marker 30. The at least one ball marker 30 may be removably attached to the end of the first golf club 20 by means of the magnetic attraction between the magnetic portion (as described in more detail below) of the at least one ball marker 30 and the magnet 22 disposed approximately at the end of the handle 21 of the first golf club 20. In addition, the at least one ball marker 30 may be removably attached to the golf ball retriever 40 in embodiments where either or both of the at least one ball marker 30 and the golf ball retriever 40 is constructed in whole or in part of a material having magnetic properties. As is illustrated in more detail in FIG. 4A and FIG. 4B, each ball marker 30 of this embodiment of the present invention is further comprised of a magnetic portion 31 and a nonmagnetic portion 32. The magnetic portion 31 may be constructed of material having magnetic properties, a material that is subject to magnetic attraction by materials having magnetic properties, or a combination of such materials, as long as the magnetic portion 31 is adapted to be attracted by magnetic force to the magnet 22. For example, the magnetic portion 31 may be constructed of iron, steel, a Neodymium Iron Boron compound, a Samarium Cobalt compound, iron, steel, or other material or combinations of such materials that exhibit magnetic properties or are merely subject to magnetic attraction by the magnet 22. It is to be noted that a material having magnetic properties is a material that generates a magnetic field, such as a magnet (including the magnet 22). The nonmagnetic portion 32 may generally be constructed of almost any material that does not have magnetic properties and is not subject to magnetic attraction. For example, the nonmagnetic portion 32 may be constructed of wood, plastic, rubber (including neoprene), other polymers, fabric, paper, ceramic, glass, fiberglass, carbon composites, resin, or other materials or combinations of any such materials that do not exhibit magnetic properties. It is to be noted that in other embodiments, the ball marker may be constructed entirely of a magnetic portion 31. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4A and FIG. 4B, the at least one ball marker 30 is shaped approximately as a circular disc having a first circular surface 33 and a second circular surface 34 opposite the first circular surface 33. The magnetic portion 31 is shaped approximately as a circular disc having a diameter less than the diameter of the ball marker 30 and a thickness less than the thickness of the ball marker 30. The magnetic portion 31 is also disposed in the ball marker 30 so that one surface 35 of the magnetic portion 31 forms a portion of the first circular surface 33 and the nonmagnetic portion 32 is approximately annular in shape when viewed from above the first circular surface 33 of the ball marker 30. The magnetic portion 31 may be attached to the nonmagnetic portion 32 using any suitable means, such as adhesive, glue, epoxy, screws, clamps, clasps, nails, bolts, or other fastening means or combination of any such means. Thus, the ball marker 30 may be fabricated by forming the nonmagnetic portion 32 (such as by extrusion or machining), followed by attaching the magnetic portion 31 to the nonmagnetic portion 32 using an adhesive. The ball marker 30 may be of any size suitable to mark the location of a golf ball on the playing surface while the ball is not present. Preferably, however, the ball marker 30 has a diameter that is approximately the same as the diameter of the end of the handle 21 of the first golf club 20. More preferably, the ball marker 30 has a diameter in the range from ¾ inch to 1 inch and has a thickness in the range from 1/16 inch to 3/32 inch. In addition, the magnetic portion 31 may have any size and shape that allows it to fit within the nonmagnetic portion 32, as long as the size and shape of the magnetic portion 31, along with its material properties, permits for removable attachment to the first golf club 20 by means of magnetic attraction between the magnetic portion 31 and the magnet 22 in a manner that will securely hold the ball marker 30 to the end of the handle 21, while not requiring an abnormal amount of force to remove the ball marker 30 from the first golf club 20 when desired. In the illustrated embodiment, the magnetic portion 31 is preferably disc-shaped, and preferably has a diameter of ¼ inch and a thickness in the range from 1/32 inch to 1/16 inch. Although the ball marker 30 is preferably disc-shaped, it is to be noted that in other embodiments, the ball marker 30 may be of almost any size and shape, as long as it is of a size and shape suitable to mark the location of a golf ball on the playing surface while the ball is not present. For example, when viewed from above a surface (such as the first circular surface 33 of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4A and FIG. 4B), the ball marker 30 may be shaped as an ellipse, triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, other polyhedron, or any other shape having linear or arcuate portions or any combination of any such shapes. The magnetic portion 31 may also have any of such shapes. The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 has only one ball marker 30, while the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2 has two ball markers 30. It is to be noted that the appliance 10 may be comprised of any number of ball markers 30, as long as the number of ball markers 30 does not interfere with the operation of the appliance 10. For example, at some point the number of ball markers 30 would interfere with the operation of the first golf club 20 (such as interfering with the swing of the club 20) and may also reduce the magnetic field strength of the magnet 22 to an inadequate level at the end of the handle 21. Although the exact number of ball markers 30 that may be utilized depends on a number of factors, such as the magnetic field strength of the magnet 22 and the structure of and materials comprising the first golf club 20 (including the handle 21), the ball markers 30, and the golf ball retriever 40, the preferred number of ball markers 30 that may be held in position on the end of the handle 21 is in the range from zero to two. Thus, the appliance 10 may also be used without a ball marker 30, in which case the golf ball retriever 40 is removably attached directly to the end of the handle 21 of the first golf club 20.
  • [0028]
    Referring again to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the appliance 10 further comprises a golf ball retriever 40. In the illustrated embodiment, the golf ball retriever 40 is further comprised of a base portion 41 and a catch portion 42, which is adjacent to and extends from the base portion 41. The catch portion 42, which is described in more detail below, is of a size and shape adapted to retrieve and hold a golf ball 15. The base portion 41 may be comprised in whole or in part of a material having magnetic properties, a material that is subject to attraction by materials having magnetic properties, or a combination of such materials, as long as the base portion 41 is adapted to be attracted by magnetic force to the magnet 22. Alternatively, the golf ball retriever 40 may be held to one or more of the ball markers 30 by means of magnetic attraction between them where either the golf ball retriever 40 or the ball markers 30 or all of them are constructed of a material having magnetic properties. For example, the base portion 41 may be constructed wholly or partially of iron, steel, a Neodymium Iron Boron compound, a Samarium Cobalt compound, or other material or combinations of any such materials that exhibit magnetic properties or are subject to magnetic attraction by the magnet 22. Thus, the base portion 41 may be removably attached to the end of the handle 21 of the first golf club 20, or to one or more ball markers 30 positioned at the end of the handle 21, or to one or more ball markers 30 separately, by means of magnetic attraction between the base portion 41 and the magnet 22 disposed approximately at the end of the handle 21 of the first golf club 20 or the magnetic portion 31 of the ball markers 30 or both. In some embodiments, the base portion 41 may also be comprised in part of materials that do not have magnetic properties or that are not subject to magnetic attraction by materials having magnetic properties (“nonmagnetic materials”). In these embodiments, the part of the base portion 41 constructed of material having magnetic properties or that is subject to attraction by materials having magnetic properties (“magnetic materials”) may be of any size and shape that allows it to fit within the base portion 41, as long as the size and shape of such part, along with its material properties, permits for removable attachment to the first golf club 20 by means of magnetic attraction between the base portion 41 and the magnet 22 in a manner that will securely hold the golf ball retriever 40 to the end of the handle 21 (or to any ball markers 30 positioned at the end of the handle 21) while not requiring an abnormal amount of force to remove the golf ball retriever 40 from the first golf club 20 when desired. In addition, in embodiments wherein part of the base portion 41 is also comprised of nonmagnetic materials, such part may be constructed of almost any suitable material. For example, such part of the base portion 41 may be constructed of wood, plastic, rubber (including neoprene), other polymers, paper, ceramic, glass, fiberglass, carbon composites, resin, or other materials or combinations of any such materials that do not exhibit magnetic properties. Also, in these embodiments, such part may be attached to the part constructed of magnetic materials by any suitable means, such as the means used to attach the magnetic portion 31 to the nonmagnetic portion 32 of the ball marker 30, as described above and illustrated in connection with FIG. 4A and FIG. 4B. The base portion 41 may be of almost any size and shape, as long as the portion of the base portion 41 that interfaces with the first golf club 20 (or any ball markers 30 positioned on the first golf club 20) is adapted to be removably attached to the first golf club 20 (or any ball markers 30) in a manner that adequately supports the golf ball retriever 40 while it is attached to the first golf club 20 (or any ball markers 30 positioned on the first golf club 20). Preferably, the base portion 41 is constructed of stainless steel and has the shape illustrated in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, with the portion of the base portion 41 that interfaces with the first golf club 20 (or any ball markers 30 positioned on the first golf club 20) having a flat surface that is approximately circular in shape. Preferably, the flat, approximately circular surface of the base portion 41 has the same approximate diameter as the diameter of the end of the handle 21 of the first golf club 20 and the disc-shaped ball markers 30 used in conjunction with the appliance 10. More preferably, the portion of the base portion 41 that interfaces with the first golf club 20 (or any ball markers 30 positioned on the first golf club 20) is circular and has a diameter in the range from 1 inch to 1 ⅛ inches.
  • [0029]
    In the embodiment of the present invention illustrated in FIG. 1, FIG. 2, and FIG. 5A, the catch portion 42 is comprised of two arm members 42 a, 42 b that together form an approximately u-shaped catch portion 42 that is of a size and shape adapted to retrieve and hold a golf ball 15. The two arm members 42 a, 42 b are spaced approximately symmetrically about the base portion 41. It is to be noted that the two arm members 42 a, 42 b need not be exactly symmetrically spaced about the base portion 41, as long as the degree of symmetry is adequate for the two arm members 42 a, 42 b together to be able to retrieve and hold the golf ball 15. For example, the two arm members 42 a, 42 b may not be positioned directly opposite one another on the base portion 41, but may be slightly offset as long as the catch portion 42 is still able to retrieve and hold the golf ball 15. The arm members 42 a, 42 b are generally arcuate longitudinally near the base portion 41, and may become more linear as they extend from the base portion 41. This arcuate shape causes the portion of the arm members 42 a, 42 b adjacent to the base portion 41 to have a shape and size that generally conform to the outer surface of a golf ball 15. At their distal ends 42 a′, 42 b′, the arm members 42 a, 42 b are approximately parallel to one another. The distance between the interior surfaces of the distal ends 42 a′, 42 b′ of the arm members 42 a, 42 b is approximately the same as the diameter of the golf ball 15. Alternatively, the distal ends 42 a′, 42 b′ may be slightly turned in and have a separation distance slightly smaller than the diameter of a golf ball 15. In addition, the arm members 42 a, 42 b may be generally arcuate transversely, as best illustrated in FIG. 5A, so that they generally conform to the outer surface of a golf ball 15. In other embodiments, the two arm members 42 a, 42 b may be generally V-shaped transversely, or may have a longitudinal crease with the concave surface facing the golf ball 15, so that they tend to cradle the golf ball 15. The arm members 42 a, 42 b are also semi-flexible in nature, so that they bend apart slightly when force is exerted on them from inside their interior surfaces. The semi-flexible nature of the arm members 42 a, 42 b may be created by the properties of the material of which the arm members 42 a, 42 b are constructed, the thickness of the arm members 42 a, 42 b, or combinations of the same, as described in more detail below. Thus, as the golf ball retriever 40 is placed over a golf ball 15 on a surface, the distal ends 42 a′, 42 b′ of the arm members 42 a, 42 b make contact on each side of the golf ball 15, which fits tightly between the distal ends 42 a′, 42 b′. As pressure continues to be exerted by the golf ball retriever 40 against the golf ball 15, the distal ends 42 a′, 42 b′ slide over the golf ball 15 until the ball 15 comes to rest against the arcuate portion of the catch portion 42 adjacent to the base portion 41. The golf ball 15 is held in place in that position by the catch portion 42 until suitable force is exerted on the golf ball 15 to remove it from the catch portion 42. The catch portion 42 may be constructed of any suitable material that has the strength and rigidity necessary to hold the golf ball 15, while still having the flexibility necessary to retrieve the golf ball 15 in the manner described herein. For example, the catch portion 42 may be constructed of metal, metal alloys, wood, plastic, rubber (including neoprene), other polymers, paper, ceramic, glass, fiberglass, carbon composites, resin, or combinations of any such materials. The size and thickness of the arm members 42 a, 42 b is generally dependent upon the type of materials from which the arm members 42 a, 42 b are constructed and the preference of the user of the appliance 10. For example, in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, FIG. 2, and FIG. 5A, the two arm members 42 a, 42 b are wider adjacent to the base portion 41 than they are at the distal ends 42 a′, 42 b′. In other embodiments, the two arm members 42 a, 42 b may have an approximately uniform width along their entire length, or they may be wider at their distal ends 42 a, 42 b than they are adjacent to the base portion 41. Preferably, the two arm members 42 a, 42 b have a width at their distal ends 42 a′, 42 b′ in the range from ¾ inch to 1 inch and a width adjacent to the base portion 41 in the range from ¾ inch to 1⅛ inches. The catch portion 42 may be attached to the base portion 41 using any suitable means. For example, the catch portion 42 may be attached to the base portion 41 using adhesive, glue, epoxy, screws, clamps, clasps, nails, bolts, pins, or other fastening means or combinations of any such means. The preferred means is dependent upon the materials comprising the base portion 41 and the catch portion 42. For a base portion 41 constructed of a metallic substance and a catch portion 42 constructed of plastic, the preferred means is an adhesive. In some cases, such as where the base portion 41 and the catch portion 42 are constructed of the same materials, the golf ball retriever 40 may be fabricated as a single piece.
  • [0030]
    It is to be noted that the catch portion 42 may have a different structure in other embodiments. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 5B, the catch portion 142 of the golf ball retriever 140 may have three arm members 142 a, 142 b, 142 c that have substantially the same characteristics, features and functions as the arm members 42 a, 42 b described above and illustrated in connection with FIG. 1, FIG. 2 and FIG. 5A. The other features, characteristics and functions of the golf ball retriever 140 are also substantially the same as the other features, characteristics and functions as the golf ball retriever 40 described above and illustrated in connection with FIG. 1, FIG. 2 and FIG. 5A. As another example, as illustrated in FIG. 2 and FIG. 5B, the arm members 42 a, 42 b, 142 a, 142 b, 142 c may have one or more slightly raised “rib” portions 43 a, 43 b, 143 a, 143 b, 143 c extending transversely across all or a portion of the interior surfaces of the arm members 43 a, 43 b, 142 a,142 b, 142 c, respectively. These rib portions 43 a, 43 b, 143 a, 143 b, 143 c may be used to provide additional support to hold the golf ball 15 while it is within the grasp of the golf ball retriever 140. As yet another example, and referring again to FIG. 1, FIG. 2 and FIG. 5A, the interior surface of the arm members 42 a, 42 b may be lined with a flexible material, such as silicone or rubber, that may provide a greater degree of friction or otherwise inhibit motion between the arm members 42 a, 42 b and the golf ball 15 so that the golf ball 15 is held more securely by the golf ball retriever 40. This flexible material may also have, or alternatively have, a surface that has a removably adhesive character that would tend to hold the golf ball 15.
  • [0031]
    The embodiments of the first version of the invention described above and illustrated in connection with FIG. 1 through FIG. 5B, may be operated as follows. First, and referring to FIG. 1 through FIG. 3, the first golf club 20 of the appliance 10 may be used to retrieve a second golf club 50 from the playing surface 16. For example, the second golf club 50 may be retrieved from the playing surface 16 by positioning the end of the handle 21 of the first golf club 20 approximately adjacent to a portion (the putter head 51) of the second golf club 50 and then raising the portion of the second golf club 50 from the surface 16 by raising the end of the handle 21 of the first golf club 20 away from the surface 16 in a manner so that the portion of the second golf club 50 remains approximately adjacent to the end of the handle 21 of the second golf club 20 (wherein the magnet 22 is approximately disposed). When the portion (the putter head 51) of the second golf club 50 has reached a convenient altitude above the surface 16, the golfer may grasp the second golf club 50 with his or her hand and lift it from the surface 16. It is to be noted that the first golf club 20 may also accomplish the same purpose while one or more ball markers 30 are removably attached to the end of the handle 21 of the first golf club 20. In addition, the first golf club 20 may also accomplish the same purpose while the golf ball retriever 40 is removably attached to the end of the handle 21 (or attached to one or more ball markers 30 that are removably attached to the end of the handle 21) of the first golf club 20. Further, when the second golf club 50 has the features of the appliance 10 (similar to that of the first golf club 20), the portion of the second golf club 50 that is placed adjacent to the handle 21 of the first golf club 20 may be the handle (not illustrated) at the location where the magnet (also not illustrated) is disposed in the handle of the second golf club 50. Second, the first golf club 20 of the appliance 10 may be used to retrieve and hold one or more ball markers 30. For example, a ball marker 30 may be retrieved from the playing surface 16 by positioning the end of the handle 21 of the first golf club 20 approximately adjacent to the ball marker 30 so that the ball marker 30 is removably attached to the handle 21 by magnetic attraction between the magnet 22 and the ball marker 30, and then raising the ball marker 30 from the surface 16 by raising the end of the handle 21 of the first golf club 20 away from the surface 16. The golfer may then position the ball marker 30 on the end of the handle 21 or adjacent to any other ball marker 30 or ball markers 30 that have already been removably attached to the end of the handle 21. It is to be noted that the first golf club 20 may be used to retrieve a ball marker 30 with or without other ball markers 30 removably attached to the end of the handle 21. In addition, it is also possible to use the first golf club 20 to retrieve a ball marker 30 while the golf ball retriever 40 is removably attached to the first golf club 20. When the golfer desires to use a ball marker 30, he or she need only remove the ball marker 30 from the end of the handle 21 (such as by sliding or lifting) and place it at the appropriate location on the playing surface 16. If the golf ball retriever 40 is removably attached to the ball markers 30, the golf ball retriever 40 must generally be removed from the ball markers 30 (and thus, the first golf club 20) before the ball marker 30 may be removed from the first golf club 20. Third, the appliance 10 may be used to retrieve a golf ball 15 from the playing surface 16 and hold the golf ball 15 until it is removed from the appliance 10. For example, the golf ball retriever 40 may be removably attached to the end of the handle 21, or to any ball markers 30 removably attached to the end of the handle 21, of the first golf club 20, as illustrated in FIG. 1. The golfer may then hold the first golf club 20 in a manner so that the golf ball retriever 40 is placed over a golf ball 15 on the playing surface 16. The distal ends 42 a′, 42 b′ of the arm members 42 a, 42 b are positioned to make contact on each side of the golf ball 15, which fits tightly between the distal ends 42 a′, 42 b′. As pressure continues to be exerted by the golf ball retriever 40 against the golf ball 15, the distal ends 42 a′, 42 b′ slide over the golf ball 15 until the ball 15 comes to rest against the arcuate portion of the catch portion 42 adjacent to the base portion 41. The golf ball 15 is held in place in that position by the catch portion 42 until suitable force is exerted on the golf ball 15 to remove it from the catch portion 42. The golf ball 15 may then be lifted from the surface 16 by the appliance 10 and when it reaches a convenient altitude above the surface 16, the golf ball 15 may be removed from the golf ball retriever 40 or may be held by the golf ball retriever 40 until it is needed again. Fourth, the golf ball retriever 40 may be removably attached by magnetic force to the side of the handle 21 of the first golf club 20 at the approximate location on the handle 21 where the magnet 22 is disposed, so that the base portion 41 is adjacent to the side of the handle 21 and the arm members 42 a, 42 b of the golf ball retriever 40 generally extend radially away from the handle 21 perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the handle 21. The golfer may then lay the first golf club 20 down on the surface 16 in a manner so that the golf ball retriever 40 is positioned between the handle 21 of the first golf club 20 and the playing surface 16. As a result, the handle 21 and a portion of the shaft (not illustrated) of the first golf club 20 is held away from the surface 16. This prevents the handle 21 from becoming wet if the playing surface 16 is wet. Upon retrieving the first golf club 20 from the playing surface 16 (such as in the manner described herein), the golf ball retriever 40 may be removed from the handle 21 or may be positioned on the end of the handle 21. Fifth, in cases where more than one golf club (such as the first golf club 20) possesses the features of the appliance 10, two or more of such clubs may be positioned so that the handles of the golf clubs are adjacent to one another and are held in that position by the magnetic force exerted between the magnets that are disposed in the handles. Thus, two such clubs may be leaned against and supported by another object. Three of such clubs may be positioned with their handles together so that the clubs form a tripod, eliminating the necessity to lay the clubs down on the playing surface.
  • [0032]
    An embodiment of a second version of the present invention is comprised of the appliance 210 illustrated in FIG. 6. In this embodiment, the appliance 210 is comprised of a sleeve member 260 and sleeve attachment means (described in more detail below) to removably attach the sleeve member 260 to the end of the handle 221 of a first golf club 220. It is to be noted that the first golf club 220 may be any type of golf club. For example, in various embodiments, the first golf club 220 may be any conventional golf club, such as a wood, an iron, or a putter. The handle 221 may be any type of handle used in conjunction with a golf club. Typically, for example, the handle 221 is a grip constructed of rubber or similar material that is positioned around the shaft portion (not illustrated) of the first golf club 220 on the end of the shaft opposite the portion of the shaft where the head of the first golf club 220 is located. Such handles 221 are well known in the art. The sleeve member 260 is generally comprised of an approximately tubular portion 261, a sleeve cap portion 263 disposed at one end of the approximately tubular portion 261, and a magnet 262, which is generally disposed in the sleeve cap portion 263. The approximately tubular portion 261 may be generally tubular in shape, but is adapted to be of a size and shape so that the interior surface of the approximately tubular portion 261 generally conforms to the shape of the exterior surface of the end of the handle 221 enclosed by the approximately tubular portion 261. In the illustrated embodiment, the approximately tubular portion 261 is further comprised of a head portion 264 and a fastening portion 265. The head portion 264 may be comprised of any rigid or semi-rigid material that has strength adequate to hold the sleeve member 260 to the first golf club 220. For example, the head portion 264 may be comprised of metal, metal alloys, wood, plastic, rubber (including neoprene), silicone, silicone blend, other semi-rigid polymers, paper, ceramic, glass, fiberglass, carbon composites, resin, or combinations of any such materials. Preferably, for an approximately tubular portion 261 constructed of silicone, the approximately tubular portion 261 has a wall thickness in the range from 1/16 inch to ⅛ inch. The fastening portion 265 may also be comprised in whole or in part of any semi-rigid material that has strength adequate to hold the sleeve member 260 to the first golf club 220, including the same materials comprising the head portion 264. In addition, the fastening portion 265 may also include sleeve attachment means incorporated as a part thereof. For example, in the illustrated embodiment, the fastening portion 265 is also comprised of a strap 266 that extends around part of the circumference of the fastening portion 265. The strap 266 has hook-type fastening means (as is used with fastening systems sold under the trademark VELCRO) located on the surface facing the first golf club 220 on one end 266 a of the strap 266 and loop-type fastening means (as is also used with fastening systems sold under the trademark VELCRO) located on the surface facing away from the first golf club 220 on the other end 266 b of the strap 266. The fastening portion 265 is generally attached to the head portion 264 around its circumferential edge that is adjacent to the head portion 264, except for the ends 266 a, 266 b of the fabric strap 266 where the hook and loop-type fasteners are located. The strap 266 of this embodiment may be comprised of any suitable material (such as cloth, fabric, canvas or polymeric material or combinations of the same), and may be attached to the remainder of the fastening portion 265 by any suitable means (such as adhesive, glue, epoxy, fusion, welding, clasps, clamps, clips, stitching, screws, bolts, pins, or any combination of the same). In this embodiment, the sleeve member 260 is placed over the end of the handle 221 and is pulled down over the handle 221 until the end of the handle 221 is approximately adjacent to the sleeve cap portion 263. The end 266 a of the strap 266 with the hook-type fastening means is placed over and secured to the end 266 b of the strap 266 with the loop-type fastening means in a manner so that the sleeve member 260 is firmly (although removably) attached to the first golf club 220. In other embodiments, the approximately tubular portion 261 may also have a different structure and be combined with other sleeve attachment means. For example, the approximately tubular portion 261 may alone be used to hold the sleeve member 260 to the first golf club 220 where the sleeve attachment means is comprised of the friction between the interior surface of the approximately tubular portion 261 and the exterior surface of the portion of the handle 221 adjacent to the approximately tubular portion 261. In such embodiments, the approximately tubular portion 261 is typically constructed of a semi-rigid material and may extend along the longitudinal axis of the handle 221 a distance greater than that illustrated in FIG. 6. For example, the approximately tubular portion 261 may extend a distance corresponding to the additional length of the fastening portion 265 illustrated in FIG. 6. In other embodiments, the approximately tubular portion 261 may have one or more slits (not illustrated) that extend from the open end of and generally along a portion of the longitudinal axis of the approximately tubular portion 261. The slit or slits may be used to enlarge the open end of the approximately tubular portion 261 in order that the approximately tubular portion 261 may fit over the end of the handle 221. In still other embodiments, other sleeve attachment means may be utilized to removably attach the sleeve member 260 to the handle 221 of the first golf club 220. For example, the sleeve attachment means may also be comprised of clasps, clamps, clips, snaps, or combinations of such means.
  • [0033]
    The magnet 262 is disposed in the sleeve cap portion 263, as is illustrated in FIG. 6. Although the illustrated magnet 262 is approximately disc-shaped, the magnet 262 may be of almost any other shape or size (or both) in other embodiments, as long as the magnet 262 fits within or partially within the sleeve cap portion 263 and has the requisite magnetic field strength. The magnet 262 may generally have any of the structures, features, characteristics and operation as the magnets 22 described above and illustrated in connection with FIG. 1 through FIG. 3. As described above and illustrated in connection with the magnet 22 of FIG. 1 through FIG. 3, the magnet 262 must be capable of producing a magnetic field adequate to lift a portion of a second golf club (not illustrated) in substantially the same manner as the magnet 22 described above and illustrated in connection with FIG. 1 through FIG. 3 is used to lift a portion of the second golf club 50 above the surface 16, as illustrated in FIG. 3. Preferably, the magnetic field strength of the magnet 262 is in the range from 3,500 gauss to 5,500 gauss, as measured at the surface of the magnet 262. More preferably, the magnet 262 is a disc-shaped (18 mm diameter×3 mm thickness) magnet comprised of a Neodymium Iron Boron compound with a Nickel coating and having a magnetic field strength of 5,500 gauss. It is to be noted that the magnet 262 need not be completely embedded within the sleeve cap portion 263. Instead, a portion of the magnet 262 may be positioned on the surface of the sleeve cap portion 263 or possibly extend beyond such surface to a position outside of the sleeve cap portion 263. This may be the case where the magnet 262 is used for ornamental or other decorative purposes in conjunction with the sleeve member 260. In addition, the magnet 262 may be attached to the sleeve cap portion 263 using any suitable means. For example, the magnet 262 may be attached to the sleeve cap portion 263 by welding, fusing, adhesives, glues, epoxies, clamps, clasps, pins, screws, bolts, nuts, or other fasteners or combinations of such means.
  • [0034]
    The sleeve member 260 may generally be constructed using any suitable means. For example, in the illustrated embodiment, the approximately tubular portion 261 (except for the strap 266) and part of the sleeve cap portion 263 may be fabricated of silicone by injection molding or other means, with the included part of the sleeve cap portion 263 having an indentation in the end thereof that is adapted to receive the magnet 262. The magnet 262 may be placed into the indentation and be attached to the sleeve cap portion 263 using an adhesive. A cap portion (not illustrated) may then be placed over the magnet 262 at the end of the sleeve cap portion 263, which cap portion may be attached to the remainder of the sleeve cap portion 263 by an adhesive. The strap 266 may be fabricated of a nylon fabric, with the hook and loop-type fasteners attached to the strap 266 by an adhesive. The strap 266 may then be attached to the remainder of the fastening portion 265 by stitching.
  • [0035]
    In the embodiment of the second version of the present invention illustrated in FIG. 6, the appliance 210 further comprises two golf ball markers 230 and a golf ball retriever 240. In this second version of the present invention, the two golf ball markers 230 and the golf ball retriever 240 may have substantially the same structure, features, characteristics and operation as the golf ball markers 30 and golf ball retriever 40 described above and illustrated in connection with FIG. 1 through FIG. 5B. In addition, the operation of the sleeve member 260, as it is removably attached to the first golf club 220 in the manner described above and illustrated in connection with FIG. 6, in conjunction with the two ball markers 230, the golf ball retriever 240, and a second golf club (not illustrated), is substantially the same as the operation of the first golf club 20 in conjunction with the ball markers 30, the golf ball retriever 40, and the second golf club 50, as described above and illustrated in connection with FIG. 1 through FIG. 5B. Thus, the appliance 210 may be used in substantially the same manner as the appliance 10 described above and illustrated in connection with FIG. 1 through FIG. 5B. For example, the appliance 210 may be used with or without the ball markers 230 or the golf ball retriever 240, or both, or may be used with any of the prescribed number of ball markers 230. Prior to using the appliance 210, however, the sleeve member 260 is removably attached to the end of the handle 221 of the first golf club 220 by placing the sleeve member 260 over the end of the handle 221, and then removably fastening the sleeve member 260 to the handle using the sleeve attachment means. When use of the sleeve member 260 is no longer desired, the sleeve member 260 may be removed from the first golf club 220 by unfastening the sleeve attachment means and then removing the sleeve member 260 from the handle 221 of the first golf club 220.
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Referenced by
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US7682265Mar 23, 2010Vandelden JayAdaptive golf ball
US7976407Feb 12, 2010Jul 12, 2011Vandelden JayAdaptive golf ball
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Classifications
U.S. Classification473/282
International ClassificationA63B53/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2209/10, A63B47/02, A63B57/00, A63B2209/08, A63B53/14
European ClassificationA63B53/14, A63B47/02, A63B57/00