US 2455705 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 7, 1948. J. c. SEAGER 2,455,705
sow TEE Filed March 5, 1946 Y INVENTOR.
(/OH/V 6155 4651? Zaazwiw A TTORNEX Patented Dec. 7, 1948 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICES? John C. Seager, Hartsdale, N. Y.
Application March 5, 1946, Serial No. 652,109
This invention relates to golf tees, and more particularly to a new and improved golf tee.
One of the most common forms of golf tees comprises a wooden cup carried at the top of a wooden stem. In one embodiment, the cup is of such shape that when a golf ball is positioned thereon, it will be seated on the top peripheral edge of the cup. Due to the factthat the ball is not in intimate contact with the entire surface of the cup, there is produced a suction effect between the ball and the cup, with the result that a portion of the power applied to the ball with the club must be expended to overcome the suction efiects whereby the length of the drive is reduced. Frequently, the suction between the cup and the ballis of such magnitude that when the ball is struck by the club, it will not be released but will pull with it the tee. In another common form of golf tee, the cup is formed of such a shape and size that a golf ball, when positioned on the tee, will be seated therein. In such embodiment, the golf ball has a tendency to adhere to the cup, so that frequently when the ball is struck it pulls with it the tee. This frequently happens when the ball is wetted prior to disposition on the tee.
The stems of the aforementioned golf tees are usually cylindrical in shape, with or without a pointed penetrating end. As a consequence, great care must be exercised in vertically positioning the stem in the ground so that the ball will be properly disposed. Frequently, the stem is not vertically positioned in the ground, with the result,
that it has to be re-set.
An object of this invention is to provide anew and improved golf tee.
Another object of this invention is to provide a golf tee having new and novel golf ball-supportmg means.
An additional object of this invention is to provide a golf tee wherein suction effects between the tee and the golf ball positioned thereon are eliminated.
A further object of this invention is to provide a golf tee wherein a golf ball positioned thereon will be supported by means making substantially point contact with the ball.
A still further object of this invention is to pro vide a golf tee which can be very easily inserted into the ground in a substantially vertical posi wardlytapering stem with a plurality of ribs arranged in equidistantly spaced relationship about the stem, the lower ends of the ribs merging with the stem adjacent the lower end thereof to form a single pointed end, and the topends of the ribs being so shaped and disposed as to constitute the ball-supporting means.
Each top end of the ribs extends above the top of the stem and its surface is inclined downwardly toward the stem so that the extreme outer edge thereof constitutes the ball-supporting means on which the golf ball is positioned. Preferably; the top surface of each of the ribs is such that the outer extremity thereof will engage a ball positioned thereon in substantially point contact.
The invention will be more clearly understood by reference to the following detailed description when taken in connection with the accompanying ment of a golf tee of this invention;
Figure 2 is a top view of the tee shown in Figure 1;
Figure 3 is a perspective view of another modification of a golf tee of this invention;
Figure 4 is a top view of the tee shown in Figure 3;
Figure 5 is a front elevation of a golf ball on the tee shown in Figure 1;
Figure 6 is a top view of another modification of a golf tee of this invention; and U Figure 7 is a top View of still another modification of a golf tee of this invention.
Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference numerals designate like parts, and particularly to Figures 1 and 2, the referencenumeral l0 designates astem which is generally in the shape of an inverted cone and which terminates at the bottom thereof in the. form of a point l2. As shown in Figure 1, a plurality of ribs l4 are provided in equidistantly spaced relationship about the inverted conical stem l0. Each rib l4 tapers downwardly so that the lower ends thereof merge together with the stem in the vicinity of the end l2, with the result that the tee is provided at the bottom with a single pointed end IE whereby it can be readily inserted into the ground.
The top end l8 of each of the ribs extends above the top of the stem l0 and is formed of a surface which is inclined downwardly toward the stem. with the result that the outermost extremity of said end will constitute the golf ball-supporting means. The shape of each surface I8 is such that the outer extremity thereof makes substantially point contact with a golf ball 20 positioned thereon.
Each of the ribs M, as previously mentioned, tapers downwardly, with the result that when a tee, together with the ball disposed thereon, is inserted in the ground in the usual manner, the tee during the process of insertion will tend to position itself in a substantially vertical direction.
In order to support a golf ball, the tee of this invention must have at least three points of contact with the ball. In the form shown in Figure 1, these three points of contact are provided by the top ends 18 of the three ribs M. It is, of course, to be understood that the invention is not restricted to such precise number of points of contact and hence such number of ribs. The tee may be formed of more than three ribs which provide the points of contact between the ball and the tee. with this invention may have four, five or more points of contact between the ball and the tee, the number of points of contact being identical with the number of ribs in the tee.
An illustrative embodiment of a tee having more than three ribs is shown in Figures 3 and 4. Referring now to Figures 3 and 4, the reference numeral 30 designates an inverted conical stem terminating at the bottom thereof in a point 32 and having four ribs 34 arranged equidistantly in spaced relationship around the periphery thereof. Each rib 34 tapers downwardly and the lower ends thereof merge together with the stem 30 in the vicinity of the end 32 to form a single pointed end 36. tends above the top of the stem 39 and is formed of a substantially elliptical surface 38 which is inclined downwardly toward the center of the stem. As a consequence, the extreme outer point of each of the ribs at the top thereof constitutes the ball-supporting means and, as is apparent, a golf ball will be supported thereon by substantially point contact.
Though in the embodiments of the invention shown in Figures 1-5 inclusive of the drawings the stem is in the shape of an inverted cone, the invention is not restricted thereto. In general, the downwardly tapering stem can be made of any desired cross-section. When the stem is of a cross-section having corners, the downwardly tapering ribs are formed at such corners. Figures 6 and '7 illustrate two embodiments of the invention wherein the cross-section of the downwardly tapering stem is not circular in cross-section.
Referring now to Figure 6, the reference numeral 60 designates a downwardly tapering stem which is substantially triangular in cross-section and terminates at the bottom thereof in a point. At each corner of the stem 60 there is a. downwardly tapering rib 62, the lower end of which merges together with the stem 60 in the vicinity of the end of the stem to form a single pointed end, in substantially the same manner as above described in connection with the other embodiments of the invention. The top end of each rib 62 extends above the top of the stem 60- and is formed of a substantially elliptical surface which is inclined downwardly toward the center of the stem. As a consequence, the extreme outer edges of each of the ribs at the top thereof constitute the ball-supporting means.
Referring now to Figure '7, the reference numeral I0 designates a downwardly tapering stem which is square in cross-section and terminates at .the bottom thereof in a point. At each corner A tee constructed in accordance The top end of each rib 34 exof the stem 10 there is a downwardly tapering rib 12 which merges together with the stem 10 to form a single pointed end, in a manner such as hereinabove described. The top end of each rib 12 extends above the top of the stem 10 and is formed of a substantially elliptical surface which is inclined downwardly toward the center of the stem. As a consequence, the extreme outer points of the ribs at the tops thereof constitute the ballsupporting means.
In all the embodiments hereinbefore described, the top ends of the ribs are straight surfaces inclined downwardly toward the stem of the tee. It is to be understood that the invention is not restricted thereto. The top terminal end surfaces of the ribs may be inclined, as by being curved downwardly toward the stem.
The geometric shape and angularity of the top surfaces of the ribs determine the extent of contact between the outermost extremity thereof and the ball. Though in the preferred form the shape and angularity of such surfaces are such as to provide substantially point contact :between the outermost portions anda golf ball, the invention is not restricted thereto. By making the shape of the top surfaces of the ribs rectangular or circular, relatively short line contact can be obtained between the outermost surface and the ball.
Though it is preferred that the top surfaces of the ribs be substantially elliptical in shape and inclined, as previously described, to obtain'point contact between the golf ball and tee, the invention is not restricted thereto. Other surfaces, such as triangular, which will provide point contact between the tee and the golf ball, can be used.
The shape of the surfaces of the tops of the ribs does not depend on the cross-section of the stem. The surfaces of the upper terminal ends of the ribs may be of any shape and can be used with stems of any desired cross-section. Thus, for example, the tapering ribs in the embodiment shown in Figure 1 can be of such shape as to provide at the top th'ereof inclined elliptical surfaces and the tapering ribs shown in Figure 3 can be of such sh'ape asto provide inclined rectangular surfaces at the top thereof.
The cross-sections of the ribs are such as to provide the desired inclined surface at the top thereof. If desired, the outer edge of each of the ribs can be made sharper in the region above the point of merger with the stem whereby easier penetration of the tee into the ground will be obtained.
As is apparent from the preceding description, when a golf ball is positioned on the tee it will be out of contact and in spaced relationship with the top of the stem. Due to this and also the spaced arrangement of the ribs, there is no tendency for suction effects to be formed between the golf ball and the tee.
In the preferred embodiments of the invention, the tee is formed of a unitary structure with the ribs integrally formed with the stem.
The tee of this invention is preferably formed of a plastic which is waterproof and, when molded, forms smooth surfaces. Though cellulose butyrate is the preferred plastic of which the tee is formed, other plastics, such as cellulose formate, cellulose acetate, mixed esters of cellulose, polymerized vinyl chloride, polymerized vinylidine chloride, polyethylene, polystyrene, etc., can be used. If desired, modifying ingredients, such as coloring agents, tougheners, fillers,
5 etc... can be incorporated into the composition from which the tee is made.
Since the plastic composition constituting the tee is thermoplastic, it can be made byany suitable casting or molding operation. Preferably, the tees are formed by injection molding.
In use, the golf ball is disposed on the top of the tee and the tee, in the usual manner, inserted into the ground with the point at the bottom of the tee penetrating into the ground. Due to the ribs, the tee will be easily inserted in a substantially vertical position so that the ball will be properly positioned for the player. Due to the construction of the tee, and particularly the spaced relationship of the tops of the ribs providing contact with the ball, there are no suction efiects which tend to retain the ball on the tee. As a consequence, when a player strikes the ball with the club, the ball wili be readily removed from the tee with a minimum amount of power utilized in such removal operation. Since the tee is so constructed that the ban is in contact at spaced intervals with the ball-supporting means of the tee, there is a minimum amount of friction which tends to resist the removal of the bal1 from the tee when the ball is struck by the player.
Due to the fact that the tee is preferably formed of a substantially waterproof plastic, when a wetted ball is disposed thereon the coefficient of friction between the ball and the support is still further reduced.
Thus, in general, the instant invention provides a tee which when used will materially improve the game of a player.
Since it is obvious that various changes and modifications may be made in the above description without departing from the nature or spirit thereof, this invention is not restricted thereto except as set forth in the appended claims.
l. A golf tee formed of a plastic, material and comprising a downwardly tapering stem having at least three downwardly tapering ribs spaced equidistantly thereabout, the lower end of each rib merging with said stem adjacent the lower end thereof to form a single pointed end, and the top end of each of said ribs extending above the top of said stem and constituting ball-supporting means. i
2. A golf tee formed of a plastic material and comprising a downwardly tapering stem having at least three downwardly tapering ribs spaced equidistantiy thereabout, the lower end of each rib merging with said stem adjacent the lower end thereof to form a single pointed end, and the top end of each of said ribs extending above the top of said stem and consisting of a surface inclined downwardly toward the stem whereby the outer extremities of said top ends constitute the ballsupporting means when a golf ball is positioned on the tee.
JOHN C. SEAGER.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,638,527 Clausing Aug. 9, 1927 1,645,001 Hodges Oct. 11, 1927 1,656,401 Totten Jan. 17, 1928 2,018,146 Penny Oct. 22, 1935