US 2107944 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
F eb. 8, 1938.
W. HOWARD GOLF BALL POSITION MARKER Filed y 5, 19:57
. ZyM,MTM/7% w%@ Patented Feb. 8, 1938 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 7 Claims.
My present invention relates to the game of golf and aims to provide simple and effective means for marking the positions of golf balls on putting surfaces, so as to permit a marked ball to be lifted and accurately replaced in substantially its identical original position, without damage to the green or interference with the play.
In the drawing illustrating by way of example certain embodiments of the invention,
Fig. 1 shows a marking device in accordance with the invention as in use position on a putting green;
Fig. 2 is an enlarged vertical sectionof such device in marking position;
Fig. 3 is a plan of the device of Figs. 1 and 2, on about twice actual scale;
Fig. 4 is a perspective of the same;
Figs. 5 and 6 are respectively a plan and a longitudinal vertical section illustrating another embodiment .of the invention; and
Figs. 7, 8 and 9 are views corresponding to Figs. 5 and 6 showing a further form of means of the invention. 1
Various troublesome problems in the mechanics of the game of golf, both from the players and the greens keepers viewpoints, arise from the inevitable and frequent occurrence of the stymie, the condition in which the ball of one player lies on the putting green or surface in the line of approach of another players ball to the cup. In the great majority of instances the approved procedure in such case is that the player, or his caddy, whose ball lies nearest the hole, lifts his ball to allow the more remote one, to be putted.
This procedure is followed in all medal play, in which the scoring is by totaling the number of strokes. It is also in order for match-play, in which the scoring is based on the number of holes won, as contrasted with-total strokes. This includes most ordinary play, with the exception of certain match contests, such as tournaments conducted by the various state and national golf associations. In such exceptions the general rule has been that a ball may be lifted only if it is within six inches of another ball. The present tendency, however, is to liberalize or to abolish this rule. V For example, in Massachusetts in 1936 stymies were not played in the amateur championship, while in New York a new rule provides that in match-play, when both balls lie on the :putting green and the ball nearer to the hole lies within twelve inches of the cup or the other ball, the ball lying nearer to the hole may, at the option either of the player or the opponent, be lifted until the other ball is played, and the lifted ball shall then be replaced as near as possible to the place where it lay. Some attempts to remedy the situation have provided that the ball nearer the hole shall be putted first, but this is contrary to the entire tradition of the game of golf and tends to penalize rather than to reward the player who has made the closest approach to the hole.
From these considerations it is evident that the procedure of lifting the blocking ball in the event of a stymie is generally accepted and is receiving wider approval rather than otherwise. But despite this fact there has heretofore been no satisfactory means whereby a lifted ball can be accurately replaced in substantially the exact location where it lay, without interference with the putting or injury to the green.
The common practice in this connection ordinarily has been for the player or his caddy to lift the blocking ball and attempt to mark its previous location by scratching a cross on the putting green, using a finger, a tee, a club, or even the ball itself, Such marking obviously is far from precise. But the greatest objection to such crude form of marking is the serious damage caused to the putting green. The scratching is generally carelessly done, often resulting in marring or uprooting the grass, or making lasting depressions in the putting surface, so that the latter becomes uneven and unfit for accurate putting. A very considerable portion of the large expense of upkeep of golf greens can be traced directly to the cost of repairing the many digs, scratches and indentations left in them as a result of careless attemptsby players and caddies thus to mark the position of lifted balls by marring the surface with their finger, a tee, a club or some other object, even the toe of their shoe, or by the extremely objectionable method of pressing the ball down into the puttingsurface sufliciently to make a recognizable depression.
Resort is sometimes had to a coin or a key to mark the'location of a lifted ball, but such relatively thick objects are objectionable in that they Will deflect the course of a putted ball which comes in contact with them and also are likely to be dislodged when struck by a ball. This is true even of a coin no thicker or larger than the United States ten-cent piece.
In accordance with my present invention I have provided means of an extremely simple character whereby the position of a lifted ball on a putting green may be marked with a minimum of error, quickly and conveniently, without placing. any objectionable obstruction in the path of a ball, and what is perhaps the most important, without causing any injury or disfiguration of the putting surface.
Referring now more particularly to the drawing, and first to Figs. 1 to 4, I have represented in Fig. l, largely diagrammatically, a portion of a putting green or surface G the hole or cup being indicated at C. In the condition represented the ball B of one player is so located as to lay a stymie for the ball B of another player. It is assumed that the ball B accordingly is to be lifted. In accordance with the invention its exact position will first be definitely marked by placing closely adjacent to it, preferably in touching relation to its under portion, a marking device or marker of the invention, such means being indicated as a whole by the reference numeral Id.
The structure and form of such ball-position marking device may be widely varied within the scope of the invention. In the example illustrated in Figs. 1 to 4 it comprises a flat body H of a general disk-like or annular character. An inner, enclosed portion of the device is perforated to provide a through open formation I2 enclosed by the flat annular portion or body It. The device may be died, stamped, or otherwise formed, generally from thin flat sheet material, but, particularly in the case of a metal, preferably of such character as to afford no objectionable interference with the blades of a lawnmower in the event that a marker is left on the green. Desirably also the material is relatively non-corrosive or rust-resistant and such as to have no objectionable chemical action on the vegetation of a putting green. The stock from which the marker is formed accordingly is of the least gauge, weight and thickness consistent with the purpose in hand, desirably being substantially thinner, for example, than a U. S. ten-cent piece of normal condition. In actual practice I have used material, in one instance a relatively soft sheet steel having non-corrosive properties, approaching in thinness that of paper, such as ordinary letter paper or a double-ply bristol board, providing for the device a disk-like or annular body portion of a thickness of the order of one to three hundredths of an inch.
The marker device as illustrated has at its underface one or more downward projections in the form of prongs, ears or points I3, four of which are seen in the embodiment of Figs. 2 to 4. These positioning elements l3 may readily be fashioned by slotting or cutting the stock, preferably in the same operation with dieing out the body, along two diameters at right angles to each other and then, desirably also in the same operation, down turning the substantially triangular portions into approximately perpendicular position and so as to leave the opening or perforation l2 of relatively large area. The lower-most portions of the prongs 13 may be somewhat flattened or rounded as indicated at I 4 in Fig. 4, to avoid objectionable sharp points which might catch in the pocket or clothing of the player, and the device as a whole may be tumbled or otherwise treated to remove any burrs or rough edge por- .tions.
In the illustrated examples one sector or other portion of the marker device is structurally differentiated, so that in placing the marker on the green it may be accurately ranged with the ball or with the cup, such directional indicating or point-marking portion of the device being adapted for placement nearest to and preferably in actual contact with a ball the position of which is to be marked. In the embodiment of Figs. 2 to 4 such distinguishing portion comprises a radial projection, nose or pointer element the outer edges of which are in tangential relation with the other or main portion of the disklike body H. The central open formation H2 in this instance is correspondingly elongated in the direction of the pointer or spotting portion l5, giving the annular peripheral or rim portion of the latter a width conforming in general to the remainder of the body II.
The marker IE) as a whole desirably has a major dimension substantially less than the diameter of a standard golf ball, so that its total area is materially less than that of a diametral section of such ball. The through opening I2 is deliberately made of substantial area, desirably at least approximately one-fourth the total area of the marker, in order to afford the desired depth for the struck-down prongs, sufficient for holding engagement with the putting surface when the device is in marking position. In Figs. 3 and 4 the marker is represented on a scale twice actual size, and similarly in Fig. 2 wherein I have represented,
largely diagrammatically, the use position of the marker. By reference to said Fig. 2 it will be noted that in its operative marking position the body or main portion of the device occupies a horizontal position substantially in the top plane of the vegetation of the putting green, and in or below the plane along which the ball will roll in approaching the cup. Depending on the length of the grass, the positioning prongs I3 may be received in or above the earth or loam, projecting downwardly into it to variable extents. By reason of the plurality of points or prongs l3, symmetrically disposed on the marker, the latter readily assumes and holds a. level position paralleling the putting surface. And by reason of the relatively large area of the open formation -|2 the grass at that area is permitted to project upwardly through the marker, accordingly leaving the putting surface substantially in its normal condition and affording the minimum of interference to a ball passing over the positioned marker,
While it is not essential that the holding or positioning prongs [3 be connected with the body of the marker directly at the edge of the opening l2 such arrangement has been found preferable both as regards the functioning of the device and also from a manufacturing standpoint.
In the modified embodiment of the invention as illustrated in Figs. 5 and 6 the marker lil is of a general over-all size and external conformation similar to that of Figs. 2 to 4, and in all respects not otherwise referred to may be assumed to be the same as in said figures. In this instance the enclosed opening I2 is of even greater total area than in the previous Figs. 2 to 4, and has its edge disposed in parallelism with the periphery of the body I I and pointer section I5 leaving the annular body portion of equal width throughout. The supporting and positioning elements or prongs 13 in this instance are arced rather than of straight line formation as in Figs. 2 to 4, conforming them to the shape of the opening IZ In the further embodiments of Figs. 7, 8 and 9 the marker Ill again is of substantially the same external dimension and form as in the preceding figures and in all respects not otherwise referred to may be considered the same as in said figures. In this instance the central opening [2 is completely circular or substantially so, and the four supporting and positioning elements or ears l3 are disposed along quadrants of the edge of said opening, one pair extending perpendicularly to the median line of the pointer section IS The main central opening l2 is not extended into the confines of said pointer section. The latter may be left solid, as in Fig. 9, affording a convenient flat space for the reception of lettering or other indicia I6 for advertising and like purposes, or it may be provided with a minor perforation such as represented at H in Figs. 7 and 8 adapted to cooperate in anchoring the marker by engagement of the grass therein.
From the foregoing it will be apparent that my golf ball position marker is of extremely simple construction and effectively solves the problems detailed in the opening portion of this description. It may be inexpensively manufactured in large quantities, so that it may economically be supplied to golf clubs, golf professionals or others, for distribution to the players, at an insignificant cost, particularly as compared with the resultant saving in the upkeep expense of golf greens. The markers may therefore be expended freely, it being contemplated that supplies thereof will be provided gratis at the first tees, the starting desks or other convenient locations at the various golf courses.
My invention is not limited to the particular embodiments thereof as herein illustrated and described, its scope being pointed out in the following claims.
I. As a new article of manufacture, a device for marking the position of a golf ball on a putting surface, said device comprising a thin flat body of general annular form, down-turned positioning elements at the under face of said body constructed and arranged for holding engagement with the putting surface, and means on said body distinguishing one peripheral portion thereof as a pointing element for ranging purposes.
2. A golf ball position marker comprising a thin fiat perforated disk-line element having a major dimension substantially less than the diameter of a golf ball, said element being receivable flatwise in non-obstructing position on a putting surface, one or more holding projections at the under face of said element, and means structurally differentiating one sector of said element, for ranging purposes.
3. A device for marking the position of a golf ball on a putting surface, said device comprising a thin one-piece dish-like element having an enclosed through opening of at least approximately one-fourth the total area of the device depending means symmetrically disposed on said element for embedding engagement with the material of the putting surface, and other means on said element and visible from above it for identifying the portion thereof to be placed nearest a ball the position of which is to be marked.
4. A golf-ball position marker comprising a thin, flat annulus adapted for non-obstructing reception on a putting surface, positioning prongs disposed about the inner edge of said annulus,
and a tapering radial protuberance at one peripheral portion of said annulus.
5. A golf-ball position marker comprising a thin, flat annulus adapted for non-obstructing reception on a putting surface, positioning prongs disposed about the inner edge of said annulus, and means on said annulus distinctively identifying a portion thereof for placing nearest a ball the position of which is to be marked on such putting surface.
6. A golf-ball position marker comprising a one-piece disk-like element substantially smaller than the diametral section of a golf ball, said element formed of thin rust-resisting sheet metal material, projecting holding means at one face of said element, the latter having a single through aperture internally of said holding means, and a lateral extension at one peripheral portion only of said disk-like element and having its side edges disposed in substantially tangential relation to the latter.
'7. A golf ball position marker for use on a putting surface, said marker comprising a thin flat annular body of rust-resisting metal, said body having an outer diameter substantially less than that of a golf ball and an inner diameter at least approximately one-half the outer one, said enclosing body accordingly being narrow and having a relatively large central aperture sufficient for the passage of grass blades of the putting surface, enabling the device as a whole readily to assume a flatwise horizontal position at or below the level of the grass tips so as to offer substantially no obstruction to. a putted ball, said annular body having shallow, rounded downward pro-jeotions at one of its edges adapting it for holding reception in said horizontal position, and said device being constructed and arranged for positioning to indicate substantially the exact supporting spot on the putting surface from which a ball is required to be lifted, and being of such size, gauge and character of material that if left on the putting surface, it causes no objectionable interference with the blades of a lawnmower.