US 2709595 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
W 31, 1955 P. H. DE vmas 2,709,595
PRACTICE PUTTING BALL Filed March 22, 1952 O Fpg.l. $556.2.
; P O E Z 5 o G E 2 a A 2 5 12 152 INVENTOR Pel'er H. DeVries.
BY M W ATTORNEY United States Patent PRACTICE PUTTING BALL Peter H. De Vries, Washington, D. C.
Application March 22, 1952, Serial No. 278,025
Claims. (Cl. 273-183) This invention relates to the game of golf and is more particularly concerned with a golf ball that, in addition to its normal use in the game of golf, is especially useful as a practice device for gauging and improving personal efficiency in the difficult art of putting.
One of the most diflicult aspects to master in golf is putting. It requires a very accurate aiming of the ball and a proper stroking thereof because the green cup constitutes a small target. It also requires a ball which has an inherently correct balance. Even a slight variation in either of these three factors will cause the ball to deviate from the correct line of travel for reaching the target. Moreover, the deviation tolerance decreases with the distance of the ball from the cup.
One of the objects of this invention is to provide a ready and extremely accurate means whereby a person putting a golf ball in practice can determine immediately after each putt whether the ball has been stroked propcrly or improperly. With the conventional golf ball this can be determined only after repeated trial putts, and then with only limited assurance of accuracy in the determina tion.
Another object of the invention is the provision of means which can be used to test the balance of a golf ball.
A further object is the provision of means whereby a golfer can determine whether the putter he is using is appropriate to his individual style of putting, thereby enabling him in instances where it is not appropriate to improve his game by changing either the putter or his putting style.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a golf ball that can be used as an extremely efficient gauge of the proficiency of a person putting in practice before playing a regular game, without impairing the usefulness of the ball during the game.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a golf ball with a stripe of contrasting color, inked, painted or otherwise provided, about its middle, such colored stripe serving as a gauge of the proficiency of the putting stroke (or of the putting instrument or ball) when the ball is putted along the line of stripe, but such stripe being readily removable, such as by washing, so that the ball may, after a simple washing thereof, conform to all the ofiicial regulations for golf balls.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will be apparent from the following description considered together with the accompanying drawing.
In the drawing:
Fig. l is a plan view of an embodiment of this invention showing the golf ball in two positions, one at rest before being stroked and the other in motion along the true gauge line following a perfect putt.
Fig. 2 is a plan view, similar to Fig. 1, except that the motion of the ball is at an angle to the gauge line following an imperfect putt.
Referring with more particularity to the drawings in which like numerals designate like parts, the embodiment of the invention, as illustrated comprises an ordinary golf ball 11, conforming in all respects to the rules and regulations regarding golf balls, except that it is provided with a narrow stripe 12 of a color contrasting to that of the ball, such as blue, red, orange, green or black on white, about a great circle thereof.
A golf ball provided with such a stripe cannot be used in a regulation game. It can only be used in practice or for test purposes. Accordingly, in carrying out one of the objects of this invention, the stripe 12 is made erasable. This is done by using a marking material of a washable nature, that is, one which can be removed by water or soap solution or other solvent, such as alcohol, gasoline, ether, etc.
In one form of the invention, the marking material may comprise a dye or ink which is insoluble in water, but soluble in some other medium so as to prevent premature eradication of the stripes coming in contact with water, such as moisture or dew on the grass. Examples of such dyes are aminoazobenzene (insoluble in water; soluble in alcohol), Prussian blue (insoluble in water; soluble in oxalic acid) and ferric oxide (insoluble in water; soluble in acids).
The ball so marked is used as a practice ball by placing it on the green and orienting it so that the stripe is in line with its intended direction of traved. If the ball so positioned is properly stroked to project it along the stripe line, there will appear to the observer, while the ball is in motion, no change in the width of the ball stripe, as illustrated in Fig. 1. However, if the ball is improperly projected due to a faulty swing, faulty aim or improper balance of the ball, it will roll at an angle, deviating from the stripe or gauge line, causing, while the ball is in motion, the illusion of a widening of the stripe, as illustrated in Fig. 2. The apparent width of the stripe will increase in an amount corresponding to the angle of deviation from the gauge line. Accordingly, the apparent width of the stripe in these circumstances is an index of the magnitude of error.
It is essential for the proper functioning of the invention that the stripe 12 be relatively narrow in relation to the diameter of the ball. Otherwise, it becomes confusing and valueless, rather than helpful. For example, if the stripe is a relatively wide band, deviations would not be readily apparent because of the curvature of the ball. This follows from the relationship between the mere ments of curvature of a circle and the length of the projections of these increments on its diameter. It is preferred that the stripe be no wider than what can be clearly seen by a person at a reasonable putting: distance. In actual practice, it is found that using a stripe width of about ,4 to A of an inch is satisfactory, generally, while stripes wider than about to A of an inch begin getting confusing.
One may continue to use the ball with the stripe on it as a practice ball indefinitely or may at any time remove the stripe by washing it off with water, or other solvent, depending upon the inking material used, thereby converting it to a proper and legal ball under golf regulations.
Balls of this kind, prepared by a manufacturer, may be sold individually or as one or more in a group of, say 12 balls, to be used for practice purposes until the other balls have become spent, whereupon the stripe is eradicated and the ball converted to a regulation form.
The invention is also useful in testing balls for balance, such as by a manufacturer.
A preferred embodiment of the invention comprises the use of waterproof India ink in applying the stripe. Waterproof India ink is available in various colors and given a clear outline. It is not removable by water alone, such as moisture and dew encountered on greens, or by falling in a pool of water, or coming in contact with snow,
but it may readily be removed by brushing with ordinary soap and water. Such facilities are readily available at golf courses.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. A practice putting ball comprising a golf ball having on the surface thereof a single stripe only about a great circle of the ball, said stripe being of a color contrasting to the remaining surface portions of the ball and about A; to A of an inch in width, said stripe being the only stripe on the surface of the ball.
2. A practice putting ball as defined by claim 1 in which the stripe is of an erasable material.
3. A'practice putting ball as defined by claim 1 in which the stripe is of a material that is insoluble in water and soluble in an organic solvent.
4. A practice putting ball as defined by claim 1 in which the stripe is of a material soluble in alcohol and insoluble in water.
5. A practice putting ball as defined by claim 1 in which the stripe is of Waterproof India ink.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS OTHER REFERENCES Trade-Mark Registration No. 41,996, published Feb. 2, 1904.