US 2658637 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 10, 195
A. BAILEY GOLF BALL RETRIEVER Filed Sept. 1, 1949 rpm-z! n IN V EN TOR.
4R7 BAILEY BY Z Patented Nov. 10, 1953 UNITED STATE GOLF BALL RETRIEVER Art Bailey, Philadelphia, Pa.
Application September 1, 1949, Serial No. 113,584
My invention relates to golf-ball retrievers and relates particularly to a wheeled apparatus which captures the balls by being dragged over the ground surface.
In the operation of golf driving ranges it is necessary for the owner to retrieve the balls which have been driven by the practicing golfers. Since each customer may scatter fifty balls or more in practice drives, it is apparent that the task of retrieving the balls each day is a formidable one if done by human labor. 1
Several wheeled retrievers have been devised to pick up the golf balls from the ground, but these retrievers inflict such damage to the balls, that as much as 30% of the balls recovered are unusable.
An object of my invention is to provide a mechanical apparatus for automatically picking up golf balls from the ground.
A second object of my invention is to provide an apparatus of the character described which will not damage the balls in the process of recovering them.
A third object of my invention is to provide an apparatus of the character described which will automatically deposit the balls recovered into a basket or a series of baskets of large capacity.
Another object of my invention to to provide a golf ball retriever wherein the golf ball is limited in its penetration between wheels in order to prevent damaging the cover of the ball.
Another object of my invention is to provide in a golf ball retriever a golf ball guide which will conform to the slope of the ground.
With the above and related objects in view, my invention consists in the details of construction and combination of parts, as will be more fully understood from the following description, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which:
Fig. l is a perspective view of a golf ball retriever embodying my invention.
Fig. 2 is a partly-sectional side view of the golf ball retriever shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary front view of the wheels of my invention showing them grasping a golf ball.
Briefly, my apparatus comprises a multiwheeled, rubber-tired trailer vehicle adapted to pick up golf balls from the ground. As the vehicle is towed either singly or in gangs across the driving range, each ball encountered is guided between a pair of adjacent tires of the vehicle, the tires being spaced apart by a distance slightly less than the diameter of the golf ball. The tires are flexible, so they diverge to admit the ball, which is then held firmly between the wheels. As the wheels continue to revolve, a fixed deflector scoops the ball from between the tires out into a storage receptacle. An essential feature of my invention is the retention of the balls in a fixed position, until they can be removed almost immediately afterwards. This prevents the balls from being scuffed or grated against the ground or against each other.
Referring now the drawing, wherein similar reference characters designate similar parts, I show a trailer vehicle generally designated as A. The vehicle has a substantially rectangular frame, preferably made of angle stock iron, consisting of side members it and I2, a front member I l and a joining rear member it. A pair of drawbars l8 and 20 at the front of the vehicle meet at one end in a plate 22 provided With'a pintle 26, by means of which the vehicle may be towed singly or in a gang, by a tractor or an automobile.
A plurality of wheels 26 with rubber or flexible tires 28 are supported on an axle 3t journalled in bearings 32 supported upon the frame side-members Ill and I2. These wheels are separated axialiy by spacers 3d and are connected by four transverse rods 35 by means of which all of the wheels are made to revolve simultaneously. The spacers 3d limit the inward movement of each golf ball so that too many golf balls cannot penetrate between the flexible ground wheels 28, thereby preventing the covers of the golf balls from being ripped off. A plurality of guides 38 are suspended from a transverse bar it immediately forward of the wheels, and the guides are pressed against the ground by means of compression springs 42 hence the guides 38 are flexibly mounted.
These guides automatically funnel the golf balls 46 between the wheels 2% where they are engaged by the flexible tires 28 on the wheels. If the guides were not used, it would be possible for the wheels to ride completely over the ball and thereby damage the covering, resulting in the loss of the ball.
A large box or basket 46 supported transversely upon the rear of the frame serves to receive the balls 46 which have been clinched between the tires 28. The front of the box has a long opening 48. A frame 58 supported just forward of this opening carries a plurality of deflecting fingers 52. These fingers 52 extend between each pair of adjacent wheels 26, and are curved to disengage the balls from between the wheels. When 3 the vehicles are in motion, the balls 46 will be scooped out and deposited through opening 48 into the box receptacle 44. A tail wheel assembly 54 turnable on hinge 56 keeps the carriage level.
Although my invention has been described in considerable detail, such description is intended as being illustrative rather than limiting, since the invention may be variously embodied, and the scope of the invention is to be determined as claimed.
I claim as my invention:
1. A golf ball retriever comprising a frame, an axle shaft mounted upon said frame, a plurality of ground wheels fixed a definite distance apart and having resilient rubber type of tires mounted thereon, said rubber type of tires being axially spaced thereon a distance sufiicient to admit a golf ball between any adjacent wheels, and a spacer between each such pair of resilient tires to limit the inward penetration of the golf ball between the rubber-type tires.
2. The invention of claim 1 wherein a deflector is supported between said ground wheels whereby the golf ball may be deflected from the ground wheels.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS