US 2937875 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 24, 1960 J D, MASON ETAL GOLF' PRACTICE DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet l Filed Feb. 13, 1958 El] w 0 #a :1511i a 3 w a z H :L 7. \lMll/V/ |f||fl ll|||f i141 ll M m di W im f, -,f d, llllllll llt llll Il I Illlvd III|2|IIIA |||F||| 7 /M Ell May 24, 1960 J. D. MASON ETAL 2,937,875
GOLF PRACTICE DEVICE Filed Feb. 13, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet '2 I N V EN TOR. k/O//A/ M50/v United States Patent G 2,937,875 GLF PRACTICE DEVICE John D. Meson, Muskegon, ood George A. Mitoholl, Spring Lahe Township, Ottawa County, Mich.; said Mitchell assigner to said Mason Fixed Foo. 1s, 195s, sor. No. 715,035 s claims. (ci. 27s-19s) This invention relates to a golf practice device and, more particularly, relates to a device adapted for duplicating many of the conditions encountered upon a golf course, except putting conditions, so that many of the more frequently encountered shots which a golfer may be required to make, except putts, can be practiced away from the golf course.
It is well known that the game of golf requires frequent, if not constant practice so that the golfer can attain the necessary degree of skill to satisfactorily execute the shots which he may face on the golf course. A van'ety of different devices have been proposed for golf practice purposes but, insofar as we are aware, such devices have been primarily intended for practicing drives and putts. A large proportion of the shots which a golfer is required to execute on the golf course are neither drives or putts but are shots from the fairway Where the conditions are not the same as are encountered when driving from the tee or when putting on the green. ln particular, a golfer is frequently required to make shots from up-hill, down-hill, or side-hill lies and, insofar as we are aware, none of the prior golf practice devices have been able to simulate such conditions satisfactorily.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved golf practice device adapted for simulating many of the conditions more frequently encountered on the golf course, particularly, up-hill, downhill and side-hill lies.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a device, as aforesaid, which can simulate a large number of the more frequently encountered lies which a golf ball is likely to assume on the golf course, except for putts.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a device, as aforesaid, by which a large number of the more frequently encountered golf shots, except putting, may be practiced at any suitable location away from the golf course.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a device, as aforesaid, which consists of a minimum of working parts, which may be inexpensively and sturdily constructed and which may be readily used by unskilled golfers with a minimum of instruction.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a golf practice device,as aforesaid, having a platform which may be tilted to a wide variety of angles in order to simulate a large number of the more frequently encountered lies which a golfer is likely to face on-the golf course and which may be readily adjusted to provide a variety of different simulated golf course conditions.
, Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent to persons acquainted with equipment of this type upon reading the following description and inspecting the accompanying drawings, Yin which:
Figure 1 is a plan view of the golf practice device.
Figure 2 is a sectional View substantially as taken along the line 11 of Figure 1, and also showing in bro-v ICC 2 ken lines the golf practice device in onepof .the many possible conditions of orientation which it may assur 1n use.
Figure 3 is an expanded sectional view taken along the lino 111-111 of Figure 1. 2 ,y l Figure 4 is a sectional view taken along the line IV=IV of Figure 3.
General description In general, our invention provides a golf Apractice de-a vice which consists of a polygonal platform which may be hingedly connected to a base along any one `of the edges of the polygon. The platform is connected to `an elevating device which is adapted to raise'the platform` and to tilt same with respect to the base sorthat the platform can assume a position corresponding to an uphill, down-hill, or side-hill lie on a golf course. A tee structure is provided on the platform and is adapted to support a golf ball so that the golfer may practice various golf shots, particularly, those involving up-hill, down-hill and side-hill lies, merely by changing the orientation of the platform with respect to the base.
Detailed description 11, are provided on each side of the polgon. EachV hinge element 11 consists of two spaced hinge members 11a and 11b and a'corresponding hinge element on the platform is adapted to snugly t therebetween.' The base may be of any suitable construction such as wooden planks and, further, may be of any desired shape, lsuch as rectangular, as desired or required. However, it is essential for the purposes of this invention that the hinge elements 11 be arranged in the form of a polygon.
The platform 12 is also polygonal in shape, 'and in this particular embodiment, is octagonal. In the disclosed embodiment, the platform is formed of three sections 18, 19 and 21, which sections are channel-shaped 'in cross-section as shown in Figure 2. The adjacent side walls of the sections 18 and 19 and sections 19 and 21,A
are joined together by bolts 22 (Figure 2) to rigidly connect the three sections to form a unitary structure. Suitable reinforcing means, such as plates 23 (Figure 1), are provided in the sections 18, 19 and 21 to provide a rigid and durable structure. Obviously, the platform can be formed asA an integral unit or in greater number of sections as may be desired or required.
A pair of hinge members 14a and 14b are provided on each of the downwardly extending, peripheral sidewalls 13 of the platform 12. The hinge elements lila and 14b on each side of the platform are adapted to fit between the corresponding hinge members 11a and 11b of the hinge elements 11 on the corresponding sides of the base 10. In the disclosed embodiment, the hinge elements 14a and 1412 and hinge members 11a and 11b are tubular members which when interiitted vdefine a central opening. A pair ofhinge bars 161 and 17 are4 provided and are adapted to'be placed in the central Opening in the assembled hinge structures defined by the' onal arrangement of the hinge parts can be modified to provide a greater or lesser number of sides as desired or required. However, it has been found that the octagonal arrangement thereof enables the user to simulate many of the lies, most frequentlyencountered on the course, particularly, up-hill, down-hill and. side-hill lies.
In the disclosed embodiment of the invention, the base is indicated as resting upon the ground. As disclosed in Figure 2, a pit 26 is provided in the ground for reception of a piston and cylinder device 27. The cylinder 28 is supported on a rod 29 having a ball 31 on the lower end thereof. The ball 31 is received within a socket structure 32 which socket structure is mounted upon a plate 33 having an anchoring post 34 extending into the ground. The piston 36 is provided with a ball 37 at its outer end. A socket structure 38 is secured to the lower surface of the platform 12 substantially at the center thereof and the ball is received within such socket structure. Thus, the cylinder 28 is connected to the ground and the piston 36 is connected to the platform by universal joints, here ball joints, so that they may swing into any desired position as may be required by the orientation of the platform.
A conduit 39 is connected to the lower end of the cylinder 29 so that uid pressure may be applied to the cylinder to elevate the piston therewithin and thereby obtain the desired orientation of the platform. The conduit 39 is connected at its other end to a suitable uid pressure source, such as the pump 41. The pump 41 is herein shown as being any manually operable pump having an actuating handle 42. Obviously, other types of pumps can be utilized if desired or required. The pump structure is also provided with a suitable, conventional valve to permit venting of the fluid pressure from the cylinder 28 when it is desired to lower the platform to its horizontal position.
A mat structure 43 is provided adjacent one sidewall, here the sidewall 13b, of the platform 13. The mat structure includes a pair of fiber brushes 44 and 46 (Figure 3) which surround an opening 47 in the platform 12. The brushes may be of any suitable type and include bristles which are mounted in a base 48 (Figure 3) which is secured to the upper surface of platform 12.
A tee structure 53 is secured to the platform and extends through the opening 47 therein. The tee structure, as shown in Figures 3 and 4, includes an elongated tubular, ball supporting member 54 made of resilient and flexible material, such as rubber. The member 54 is secured to a threaded plug 56 by a screw 57, which screw is threaded into the plug and the head of said screw bears against a resilient washer 58 adjacent the bottom of the member 54. The plug 56 is threaded into a threaded central opening 55 in a weight member 59. The weight member 59, which may be made of steel, is considerably heavier than the member 54 and, due to the threaded central opening 55 in the upper end thereof the center of gravity thereof is in the lower portion thereof.
Said weight member is gimbal mounted with respect to the brackets 78 and 79 which are in turn xedly mounted at the underside of section 19. One satisfactory gimbal structure will now be described.
A ring 61 surrounds the upper end of the weight member 59 and is spaced radially therefrom. A pair of pivot bars 62 and 63 (Figure 4) are secured to the ring 61 by pins 64 and 66 and extend into recesses 67 and 68 in the upper end of the weight member 59. Thus, the ring is xedly secured to the weight member 59. A second pair of diametrically arranged pivot bars 71 and 72 are secured to the ring 61 by pins 73 and 74 and their axes are .perpendicular to the axes of the pivot bars 62 and 63. The pivot bars 71 and 72 extend beyond the periphery of the ring 61 through openings 76 and 77 in the brackets 78 and 79, respectively, and are pivotable therewithin. The bars 71 and 72 are held in such posi.
4 83 and 84. Thus, the ring 61, the weight member 59 and the ball supporting member 54, are gimbally supported by the brackets 58 and 59 and, due to the effect of the large weight member 59, the ball supporting member 54 will normally assume a substantially vertical position regardless of the orientation of the platform. Moreover, if the golfer should strike the tee member, breakage thereof is not likely to occur since the ball supporting member is resilient and since the tee structure as a whole is free to pivot within the opening 47 in the platform 12.
Operation In using the device, the base 10 will be suitably anchored wherever desired. The pit 26 is provided and the piston and cylinder device 27 is placed therein, with the plate 33 anchored. The platform 12 is then moved into place and the ball 37 on the piston rod 36 is secured in the socket 38 to connect the platform to the piston and cylinder device. 'Ibe conduit 39 will be connected to the pump and to the cylinder 28.
When it is desired to orient the platform to simulate a desired lie of the golf ball, the hinge bars 16 and 17 are placed in the hinge assemblies on one of the sides of the polygon. The hinge bars and hinge assemblies thereby provide a pivot axis about which the platform 12 may be swung by extension of the piston 36 from the cylinder 28. The pump 41 is then actuated, as by raising and lowering the handle 42, to force fluid pressure into the cylinder 28 and thereby raise the piston 36 to the desired position. Such movement of the piston 36 effects a tilting of the plaform about the pivot axis and thereby positions the platform to simulate the desired lie of a golf ball. When the platform has been oriented as desired actuation of the handle is discontinued and the iluid pressure is maintained within the cylinder to hold the platform in such position.
The golfer may then place the golf ball on top of the ball supporting member 54. Ordinarily, the golfer will stand on the portion G of the platform which is substantially diametrically opposite the tee structure 53. On striking the ball, the golf club head, if it should strike the ball supporting member 54, will not break same due to the resilient an'd iiexible construction thereof. Usually, the striking of the ball will cause the tee structure to swing about its pivot axis but such will have no detrimental effect since the tee structure will merely swing within the slot 47 in the platform 12. After the ball has been struck, the tee structure will eventually right itself and will again raise the ball supporting member S4 into the vertically upwardly extending position due to the effect of gravity on the weight member S9. Thus, the ball supporting member in all positions of the platform will normally assume a substantially vertical position.
It will be understood that by changing the hinge bars from the hinge assemblies on one side of the polygon to the hinge assemblies on another side of the polygon, a different lie can be simulated by suitable actuation of the piston and cylinder device 27. With the octagonal structure of the platform and arrangement of the hinge elements on the base,v as described herein, itis possible to closely simulate many of the more frequently encountered lies, particularly, up-hill, down-hill and side-hill lies. Providing a platform with a greater or lesser number of sides will increase or reduce, respectively the number of possible lies which can be simulated by a given device.
It will be apparent that a variety of devices can be utilized for raising and lowering the platform in place of the hydraulic piston and cylinder arrangement described herein. For example, a screw-type jack can be used to elevate the platform, which jack can be either manually or electrically actuated.
In some instances, it may be desired to omit the tee structure disclosed herein and instead to place the ball on the liber mats or on a conventional tee embedded in the ber mats. Still other structures suitable for this purpose will be obvious.
Thus, the invention provides an improved golf practice device which consists of a platform which may be elevated and tilted to simulate many of the possible lies which the golfer is likely to encounter on the golf course. The device is adapted for use as a practice device on a golf range or in any place where suitable space is available. The tee structure disclosed herein is a desirable feature of the invention, particularly for driving range purposes, since it provides a permanent tee which is selfrighting and, thus, may be used with a minimum of dillculty.
While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been described herein, it will be understood that the invention contemplates such modifications thereof which lie within the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A golf practice device, comprising in combination: a base having hinge elements arranged thereon in a polygon; a platform having hinge elements thereon arranged in a polygon corresponding to the arrangement of the hinge elements on said base, the hinge elements on corresponding sides of the base and the platform being alignable; means for detachably hingedly connecting the hinge elements on one of the sides of said polygon so that said platform may be hingedly connected to said base along one side of said polygon; and means spaced from said one side of said polygon for tilting said platform about said one side of said polygon whereby by selecting the side of hinged connection of said platform to said base said platform may be tilted to assume a variety of positions with respect to said base.
2. A golf practice device comprising in combination: a base having hinge elements arranged thereon to define a polygon; a polygonal platform having downwardly extending sidewalls on the respective edges thereof; hinge elements on each of said sidewalls and alignable, respectively, with the hinge elements on the respective sides of the polygon on said base; means for detachably connecting the hinge elements on one of the sides of said polygon so that said platform may be hingedly connected to said base along one selected side of said polygon; means positioned within said polygon and below said platform and connected thereto for tilting said platform about the side thereof which is hingedly connected to said base;
and a tee structure mounted onsaid platform and extending upwardly therefrom.
3. A device according to claim 2 wherein said tilting means includes a fluid actuated piston and cylinder positioned below said platform and substantially concentric therewith; and universal joint means connecting one of said pistonand cylinder to the platformand for connecting the other of said piston and cylinder in fixed position with respect to the said base.
one selected side of said polygon; means positioned sub-` stantially concentric within said polygon and below said platform and connected thereto for tilting said platform about the side thereof which is hingedly connected to said base; a self-righting tee structure secured to said platform adjacent one side thereof and extending upwardly therefrom; and a fibrous mat on the upper surface of said platform and surrounding said tee structure.
5. A golf practice device, comprising in combination: a base having hinge elements arranged thereon to define a polygon; a polygonal platform having downwardly extending side walls on the-respective edges thereof, said platform being of such size that the sidewalls thereof t within said polygon; hinge elements on each of said sidewalls and alignable, respectively, with the hinge elements on the respective sides of the polygon on said base; hinge bar means for detachably connecting the aligned hinge elements on corresponding sides of the platform and the base so that said platform may be hingedly connected to said base along one side of said polygon; Va iluid-pressure actuated piston and cylinder positioned below and substantially concentric with said platform; universal joint means connecting said piston to said platform and universal joint means connecting said cylinder in pivotable but axially non-movable relationship with respect to said base; means defining a slot through said platform adjacent one side edge thereof; a tee structure supported in gimbals on said platform and extending through said slot, said tee structure including a :golf ball-supporting member extending upwardly from the pivot axis of said tee structure, said tee structure also including a weight located below the pivot axis of said tee structure, said weight being freely swingable with said tee structure` whereby said weight will cause said ball supporting member to extend substantially vertically regardless of the position ofsaid platform; and a brous mat on the upper surface of said platform and surrounding the slot therein.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,470,574 yNelson a May 17, 1949 2,678,823 Hugman May 18,1954 2,879,996 Lederer Mar. 31, 1959