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Publication numberUS2331237 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 5, 1943
Filing dateSep 5, 1941
Priority dateSep 5, 1941
Publication numberUS 2331237 A, US 2331237A, US-A-2331237, US2331237 A, US2331237A
InventorsHarold W Schaefer
Original AssigneeHarry Alter Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf practice and game apparatus
US 2331237 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

O'ct. 5, 1943. H. w. SCHAEFER GOLF PRACTICE AND GAME APPARATUS Filed Sept. 5, 1941 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Oct 5 1943- 'HL w. scHAEFER 'GOLF 'PRACTLCE AND GAME APPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sepl..v 5, 1941 WNW Oct. 5, 1943. H. w. scHAEFER I GOLF PRACTICE AND GAME APPARATUS Filed Sept. 5, 1941' 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 l u; Y v dw- Patented Oct. 5, 1943 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE GOLF PRACTICE AND GrAME APPARATUS Harold W. Schaefer, Chicago, Ill., assigner to Harry Alter Company, Chicago, Ill., a corpora.-

tion of Illinois 7 Claims.

This invention relates generally to golf practice and game apparatus, and more particularly to a golf practice and game apparatus in which indicating means is provided to show the player how far his golf ball would normally have been driven and also the direction of flight of the ball.

Golf practice devices have heretofore been commonly employed to enable a person to practice indoors or in other limited spaces in which a screen or canvas is mounted in substantially a vertical plane at a relatively short distance in front of the tee to block the flight of the driven ball. In order to obtain the maximum benet from practicing with equipment of this general character, it is of course desirable to inform the player the distance his golf ball would normally have travelled as well as the direction of night. In my copending application entitled Golf practice apparatus, United States Serial No. 400,899, filed July 3, 1941, land assigned to the same assignee as the present invention, I have described an apparatus in which the distance the `ball would normally travelfis measured and indicated with great accuracy. It is a primary object of the present invention to provide an apparatus which not only indicates the distance the ball would normally travel with great accuracy, but also indicates vthe direction of night by recording the same on a visual direction indicator.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide means for indicating the point on the blocking means or canvas where the ball strikes.

Another and still further object of the present invention is to provide at least one wide angle microphone and a plurality of highly directional microphones behind the impact screen of a golf practice apparatus which will pick up and register the intensity of the impact of a ball striking the screen, as well as the location of the ball.

'I'he novel features which I believe to be characteristic of my invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. My invention itself, however, 'both as to its organization and manner of construction, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure l is an isometric drawing illustrating one embodiment of the golf practice and game apparatus;

Figure 2 is a front elevational view of the impact screen with a portion of the screen broken awayto illustrate the relative positions of the microphones which pick up the sound of impact of the ball striking the screen;

Figure 3 is a diagrammatic view of the mechanism for registering the distance that the ball would normally have been driven and its direction of flight;

Figure 4 is a view similar to Figure 2- illustrating a modified lform of the present invention in which a large number of highly directional microphones are located behind the screen; and,

Figure 5 is a diagrammatic view of the registering means for indicating the exact position where the ball strikes the canvas.

Referring iirst to l, -it will be seen that the range consists generally of a tee board Ill, an inclined ball return .chute II lwhich inclines downwardly toward the tee board I0 and a ball blocking structure shown generally at I2 located at the remote end of the :chute II.

The ball blocking structure includes a channel iron supporting frame comprising side elements I3 and I4 and top and bottom ,elements I5 and I6, respectively. 'Ihe Side elements are provided with forwardly projecting supporting elements ITI, I8, I9 and 20, each ofthe last named elements having angularly disposed supporting strips 2i, 22, 23 and 24 associated therewith, said last named elements .being suitably secured to the topand bottom supporting elements I5 and I5, respectively, as by spot Welding or riveting.

The supporting elements I3, I4, I5 and I6 a-re provided with a plurality of longitudinally disposed perforations, each perforation being adapted to receive the hook end of one of a plurality of springs 25, the other end of each of said springs being adapted to engage perforations disposed around the edge or marginal portion of an impact member 26 formed of canvas or the like. From the foregoing, it will be .seen that the canvas 26 is mounted to yieldably receive the impact of the ball driven thereinto with a diaphragm action, A deflecting panel 21 formed from canvas or the like is supported by its upper and lower edges on the angularly projecting strips 22 and 23, respectively, While a like dellecting panel 28 is mounted at the remote side of the impact member 2E by strips 2| and 24, respectively.

It will thus be seen that a ball driven from the tee board I0 toward the blocking member I2 will be interrupted in its flight upon strik-ing the latter. After striking the ball blocking structure I2, which includes the `impact member '26 and deflecting panels 21 and 28. the ball will ward the right as viewed in Figure l and a suitable hand hole 39 may be provided in the top` thereof for removing the balls for further use.

Preferably an automatic testing device is provided in the board or tee wand may consist of a funnel shaped container I3| having a connecting passage 32 which slopes downwardly away from the bottom thereof. The passage 32 directs the balls into a Vertical passage 33 one at a. time. The bottom of the passage 33 is' in the form of a vertically operated plunger 34 which is raised by a lever 35. This lever in turn is operated by a vertical link 36 having a suitable foot piece 31 at its upper end.

It hasV been found that a ball striking a canvas screen of the type herein described creates a sound that is -a direct function of the velocity of impact. Since the distance a driven ball would normally travel is a function of its initial velocity and of its trajectory pattern, means have been provided for registering not only the intensity of the impactl sound, but also its vertical flight angle. To put this in another way, means are provided for making the sound pick up and registering means less sensitive to balls having a high trajectory than those having a low trajectory; or in other words, to balls that strike the canvas at a religatively high point as compared to a point Which would represent a trajectory giving maximum distance to the ball. Similar means are provided for discounting the deviation of the `ball from a true center line of flight in a yhorizontal plane, since it is obvious that a hookior a, slice is `less effective in the game of golf than the "straight ball. Referring more particularly to Figures 2 and 3, I have illustrated therein mechanism for carrying out the above referred to functions. More specifically, I have provided four microphones 38, 39, 40 and 4|, positioned and mounted behind the impact screen or canvas 26 in the positions as generally shown in Figures 2 and 3. These microphones While preferably being of the directional type have a relatively wide angle sensitivity pattern. The microphones 38, 39, 49 and 4|, are vconnected through dampem'ng or resistance devices 42, 43, 44 and 45, respectively, to an amplifier 46.

It will, of course, be understood that Figure 3 is onlyl a diagrammatic illustration and has been employed f or the purpose of simplicity and clarity of illustration. While only a single line is shown connecting each microphone to the amplifier, it will, of course, be understood that each single line represents a suitable and complete electric circuit and will thus include a pair of conductors. This manner of illustrating the various circuits of the present device .has been so employed throughout Figure 3.

The output of the amplifier 48 is connected through a circuit 4l to an indicating device 48 having an indicating arm 49 and a calibrated scale 59. 'Ihe indicating device 48 is preferably a vacuum tube v oltmeter, such for example as that described in my aforesaid copendlng application Serial No. 400,899.

The variable dampening means or resistance devices 42 to 45| are so adjusted that a greater dampening eiect is provided in the output of the microphones 40 and 4| than is provided in the microphones 38 and 39. This discounts the eifect'of a high angle shot as compared with. a shot having a relatively low trajectory. This oi course is necessary for the impact velocity of a ,relatively high angle iron shot, such as might be "made with a No. 6 or "i iron, is substantially the same as the impact velocity of a ball hit with a No. 1 or 2 iron.

It has been found, through long experimentation and tests that the dampening devices 42 to may be so adjusted and the scale 59 so calibrated that all readings on the indicating device 48 are extremely accurate irrespective oi' what golf club is employed to hit the ball.

It will further be observed that due to the locations of the microphones 38 to 4| that a ball striking the screen at one side or the other will not give as great an output from the amplifier 46 as one hit in the center, for such a ball will create an impact sound which will be picked up by one microphone only, While a ball striking the screen at the center will create an impact sound which is picked up by all of the microphones.

While the above described microphones and their associated registering and indicating devices take into account the direction of ilight of the ball in a horizontal plane, they do not provide a visual indication of the direction of flight. Such means is provided by the use of additional microphones and equipment now to be described.

The direction indicating means includes three microphones 5|, 52 and 53, which are positioned in line with the two lower microphones 33 and 39 behind the canvas 26. The microphone 52 is located at the center of the screen 26 in a horizontal plane, but Abelow the center of the screen in a vertical plane. In Figure 1, on the front face of the screen, I have illustrated a target 54 having a bulls eye 55. This bulls eye 55 is located at a point on the screen 26 Where the ball should strike in order to have a trajectory giving themaximum distance. The microphone 52 is preierably located directly behind the bulls eye 55.l

As has previously been stated, the microphones 5|, 52 and 53 are preferably highly directional microphones having sensitivity patterns which will not overlap each other. As shown in Figure 3, the lines 5l illustrate the cone of the sensitivity pattern of the microphone 5|. Similarly, the lines 52 and 53 illustrate the respective cones of the sensitivity patterns of the microphones 52 and 53. 'The microphones 5| to 53 are of such character that a ball striking the screen 2E in the area between the points A and B will create an impact sound which is picked up only by the microphone 5 I A ball striking the canvas between the points B and C will be picked up only by the microphone 52, while a ball striking the canvas 26 between the pointsC and Dwill be picked up only by the microphone 53. In the rare instances where the ball should strike the screen 26 substantially at the point B or at the point C the sound will be picked up by the microphones 5| and 52, and 52 and 53, respectively. l

The microphones 5| to 53 are connected through circuits 54, 55 and 56, respectively, having dampening means or resistance devices 5l, 58

and 59, respectively, to amplifiers 6.0 6I and 62.A

It will'be observed thatv in this case a separate amplier must be employed for each microphone in contrast tothe single amplifier which is vemployed for all four microphones 38A to 4|,' which are employed to register the-intensity'of the impact sound. The output of the amplifiers 60 to 62 `are connected through circuits 63 to 65, respecltively, to relay devices 65 to 68. While these relay devices are only illustrated diagrammatically in Figure 3, it is to be understood that these devices include holding circuit means which will maintain the relay closed after it has once been energized from the output of its respective amplifier.

Three tubular lamps, preferably of the filament type, 69, 10 and 1l are mounted behind a ground glass screen 12 in fan shape, as is clearly shown in Figure 3. The'lamps 69 to 1| are arranged to be selectively connected to an energizing circuit 13 through the relays 66 to G8, depending upon which relay is energized from its associated ampliiier when a ball hits the screen 26.

As an inspection of Figure' 3 of the drawings will clearly show, the lamp 69 is directly associated with the microphone The lamp'10 is directly associated with the microphone 52. The lamp 1| is directly associated with lthe microphone 53. It will further be understood from an examination ofthe Figure 3 that when a ball strikes the canvas 26 between the points A and B,

the sound will be picked up by the microphone 5| and the lamp 69 will be lit. When the ball strikes the canvas 26 between the points B and C, the lamp will be lit.A When the ball strikes the canvas between the points C and D, the lamp 1| lwill be lit. Should the ball strike the canvas exactly at the point B, both the lamps 69 and 10 will be lit. Should the'ball strike the canvas :exactly at the point C, both the lamps 10 and 1I will be lit.

The distance indicating device 48, as well as the direction indicating device, including the lamps 69, 'III and 1|, are preferably located in a cabinet 14, which is mounted at one end of the tee board ill. The ground glass cover plate 12 preferably has three arrows painted on its outer face as at 15, 1B and 11, which arelocated directly above the three lamps 69, 10 and 1|, respectively. The distance indicator 48 is located in the upper portion of the cabinet 14 so that the scale Eiland the pointer 49 may be readily seen by the person driving the golf ball from the tee board In against the canvas 2E.

.After one of the relays 66, 61 and 68 has been energized by its associated amplifier, some means must of course be provided for breaking the holding circuit and de-energizing the relay in order that it may be ready to record the direction of the next ball driven from the tee. Any convenient mechanical means may be provided for so breaking the holding circuit, and if desired, it may be mechanically coupled to the foot pedal 31 such that when the footv pedal 31 is depressed to raise another ball into position to be driven, all holding circuits will be broken in the relay devices 66, 61 and 68 and the pointer 49 of the indicating device 48 returned to its zero position.

From the foregoing description it will be apparent that in view of the fan-shaped disposition of the long tubular lamps 69, 10 and 1|, that a direction indicating means is provided to indicate what general part of the canvas is hit by the ball.

In Figures 4 and 5 of the drawings a modified form of the present invention has been shown. More specifically, a large number of highly directional microphones 18 to S4, inclusive, are

provided in a uniform Ipattern'behind the screen 26; These microphones take the place of the microphones 5|, 52 and 53 of the embodiment of the invention shown in Figures 1 to 3. It is to be understood that in addition to these microphones 18 to 94, the four distance or intensity microphones 38, 35, 40 and 4| are employed as shown in Figures l to 3.

'I'he microphones 18 to 94 are connected to a combination amplifier and relay unit to |10, respectively, through 'suitable electric circuits such as combination amplifier and relay units, namely the unit which has been illustrated in greater detail to show the general elements of the unit. More particularly, the unit includes a potentiometer which provides a suitable adjustable dampening means so that all of themicrophones may be made uniformly sensitive. Located beyond the potentiometer is the input transformerV ||2 of the ampliier, which transformer includes a primary winding ||3 and a secondary winding H4. One side.` of the secondary winding H4 is. connected to the -grid- |'|5 of an electron discharge device ||:6.

-"gized and which is also arranged to be held in its down position, upon energization of the holding coil`|23, against the contact point |25 after it has once closed. A second contact arm |28 cis also provided, which i's arranged to be moved with the arm |24, so that when the arm |24' is 'pulled downwardly the arm |26 moves into engagement with the contact point |21. The contact point |2-1 is connected? to one side oi a battery or other source of electric energy |28. The other side of the source |28 is connected' to a lamp 29 and then through the hold-ing coil |23 to the contact point |25.

From the above description it will be apparent that when the relay coil |20 is energized the arms |24 and |26 are moved down into engagement I with the contact points |25 and |21. This causes energization of the lamp |29 which lamp will remain energized as long as the holding circuit "remains energized. Any mechanical means (not shown) may be provided for bodily moving the arms |24 and |26 out of their circuit closing position which causes de-energization of the lamp. A biasing spring |30 is provided for holding the arms |24 and |26 in their normally open position, it being understood that the arm |26 is mechanically fixed to the arm |24 so as to be moved therewith.

The other combination amplifiers and relay units 95 to ||0 are similar to that above discussed. Each of the combination amplier and relay units are connected to lamps |3| to |46, respectively.

From the above description, it will be observed that when a ball strikes in the vicinity of the microphone 18 the lamp 3| will be lit. When a ball strikes in the vicinity of the microphone 89 the lamp |42 will be lit. We thus see that by locating the lamps in the same relative positions on an indicating panel as the positions of the corresponding microphones behind the screen or canvas that a visual indication will be provided for indicating the exact spot on the canvas where the ball strikes. I

While I have shown certain particular embodiments of my invention, it will, of course, be understood that I do not wish to be limited thereto, since many modifications may be made, and I, therefore, contemplate by the appended claims to cover all such modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of my invention.

I claim as my invention:

l. In a golfvgame and practice apparatus, a screen against which balls may be driven, and a plurality of highly directional sound responsive means positioned behind the screen, each sound responsive means being sensitive to an impact sound created by avball striking a limited area of said screen, and indicating means actuable by said sound responsive means vto show the relative vposition on the screen struck by the driven ball. 2. In a golf game and practice apparatus, a screen against which balls may be driven, a plurality of sound registering means behind said screen sensitive to sounds created by impacts at different predetermined portions of said screen, and a plurality of visual location indicating means connected respectively to said sound registering means for indicating the direction of night of a driven ball, each one of said sound registering means being coupled with one visual indicating means for selectively actuating the latter when sound is registered by one of said sound registering means.

3. Ina golf game and practice apparatus, a lscreen against which balls may be driven, a plurality of devices behind said screen sensitive to impact sounds at diierent localized areas of said f' screen, an indicating device including a plurality of long tubular lamps arranged in fan shape, one of said lamps being associated with one of said devices, each of said devices having the same relative position behind said screen as its associated lamp has on said indicating device, and means for energizing a lamp when a driven ball strikes the screen in proximity to the lamp associted sound responsive device.

4. In a golf game and practice apparatus, a screen against which balls may be driven, a plurality of devices behind said screen sensitive to impact sounds at diierent localized areas of said screen, an indicating device including a plurality of lamps arranged in the same relative position on said indicating device as said devices are'arranged behind said screen, one v of said f lamps being associated with one of said sound-sensitive devices, and means for energizing a lamp when a driven ball strikes the screen in proximity to the lamp associated sound-sensitive device.

5. In a golf game and practice apparatusfa screen against which balls may be driven, a plu'- rality of devices behind said screen sensitive to impact sounds at different localized areas of said screen, said devices being arranged in a plurality of concentric circles, an indicating device including a relatively small screen simulating the screen against which the balls are driven, a plurality of lamps in said indicating device arranged to produce spots of light on said relatively small screen thereof,4 said lamps having the same relative arrangement with respect to said relatively small .screen as said sound-sensitive devices have with .respect to said screen against which the balls are driven, each of said lamps being connected to a correspondingly positioned sound-sensitive device, relay means in each of said lamp circuits for connecting the lamp to a source of power, said relay being selectively energized depending upon which of said sound-sensitive devices is located closest to the impact point of a ball driven against said screen, whereby a visual indicating means is provided for registering the relative position on said iirst screen where the driven ball strikes.

6. In a golf game and practice apparatus,4 a screen against which balls may be driven, a plurality of highly directional microphones behind said screen arranged to receive sound impulses from predetermined localized areas of impact of a ball driven against said screen, an ampliiier connected to each of said microphones, a relay connected to the out-put of each of said-amplifiers, and a plurality of long tubular lament lamps, one lamp being associated with each of said relays, arranged to be connected to a source of power upon energization of its associated relay, said tubular lamp being positioned to indicate the direction of flight of the ball driven against said screen upon energization thereof responsive to the impact sound `picked up by its associated microphone.

7. In a golf game and practice apparatus, a continuous screen against which balls may be driven, and a plurality of localized sound responsive means for indicating the relative position on the screen struck by the driven ball.

HAROLD W. SCHAEFER.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2448587 *Mar 18, 1944Sep 7, 1948Califernia Inst Res FoundationDirectionally sensitive firing error indication
US2545634 *Feb 16, 1948Mar 20, 1951Smith Harvey RPath indicator device for golf practice machines
US2557550 *May 14, 1948Jun 19, 1951Eric W LeaverElectronic golf game
US2581738 *Feb 18, 1948Jan 8, 1952Earl E WilliamsGolf game
US2587715 *Aug 18, 1947Mar 4, 1952Cameron D FairchildTarget aircraft hit indicating system
US2783999 *Feb 25, 1954Mar 5, 1957Reflectone CorpGolf game
US2784000 *Jul 21, 1953Mar 5, 1957Reflectone CorpTarget for projectiles
US2784001 *Dec 13, 1954Mar 5, 1957Reflectone CorpGame practice apparatus
US3252705 *Sep 24, 1962May 24, 1966Sol CornbergBowling ball viewing apparatus
US3756606 *Mar 26, 1971Sep 4, 1973Land DGolf game practicing machine
US3805030 *Sep 18, 1972Apr 16, 1974Laughton CScoring devices for games
US4017087 *Nov 6, 1975Apr 12, 1977Philip BrunoAutomatic golf ball teeing apparatus
US4136394 *Sep 23, 1977Jan 23, 1979Joseph JonesGolf yardage indicator system
US4541632 *May 1, 1984Sep 17, 1985Tillery Thomas HGolf ball teeing apparatus
US4986551 *May 7, 1990Jan 22, 1991Langlois Jean CPortable golf practice swing assembly
WO1991016956A1 *Jun 7, 1990Nov 14, 1991Gary DubiePortable golf practice swing assembly
WO1992001494A1 *Jul 3, 1991Feb 6, 1992Bruno PauletApparatus for detecting the impact of a golf ball
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/192, 340/686.1, 367/129, 340/323.00R
International ClassificationA63B63/00, A63B24/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2220/53, A63B2024/0043, A63B63/00
European ClassificationA63B63/00