|Publication number||US3104879 A|
|Publication date||Sep 24, 1963|
|Filing date||Jul 5, 1961|
|Publication number||US 3104879 A, US 3104879A, US-A-3104879, US3104879 A, US3104879A|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (32), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
J. JETTON DRIVING RANGE Sept. 24, 1963 INVENTOR JOE JETTON ATTORNEYS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. 1.
Filed July 5, 1961 J- JETTON DRIVING RANGE Sept. 24, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 5, 1961 INVENTOR Joe JETTON BY W 25W ATTORNEYS United States Patent Qhice 3 ,l4,879 Patented Sept. 24, 1963 3,104,379 DRIVHJG RANGE Joe Jetton, 207-(3 Louise Ave, Nashville, Tenn. Filed July 5, 1961, Ser- No. 121,945 2 Claims. (Cl. 273-176) This invention relates to a golf driving or chipping range, and more particularly to an improved range which will afford golfers not only an opportunity for practice to improve their skill, but also the entertainment attendant acontest. More especially, the invention pertains to a golf driving or chipping range having the appurtenances of a game, and wherein the difficulties of such game can be adjusted in :order to stimulate interest, or when necessary, in order to reduce a players chances of success.
Although golf driving and chipping ranges are well known, such ranges usually are of the type wherein a player, for a fee, rents a bucket of balls :and is permitted to drive or chip the balls from a tee stand onto the range, which normally is provided only with distance markers in order to enable the player to judge the length of his drive or chip. While such a range enables a player to practice to improve his driving skill, it contains no aids for improvement of directional accuracy. Moreover, conventional golf driving and chipping ranges are equipped with norneans for challenging :01 even stimulating the interest of the players.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved golf driving or chipping range which not only :allords a golfer an opportunity to practice driving and chipping for distance, but also contains aids for improvement of directional accuracy.
It is another object of this invention to provide a golf driving or chipping range having some of the attributes of a game, and wherein both the distance and directional accuracy of a player stands to be rewarded by a prize, in the form :of either money or merchandise.
The foregoing objects, and others, are accomplished by providing a driving range with a plurality of flagged holes arranged at greater and lesser distances from the tee stands. Certain of the holes are provided with adjustable means for facilitating ingress of a ball into the cup, while others depend upon distance alone as a measure of the hole difliculty. Signalling means are provided for indicating when a ball drops into a cup to thus attract the attention of all of the players and stimulate their further interest, as well as rewarding the player who made the hole-in-one with an exciting stimulus. In
order to further stimulate interest of the players, one who snakes 1a hole-in one may be rewarded proportionately with the diflicu-lty of making a particular hole. As
will be appreciated more fully hereinafter, the variations possible to such a driving range are boundless.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the folowing description and accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view illustrating a golf driving and chipping range embodying this invention.
FIGURE 2 is anenlarged plan view of the hole shown in FIGURE 1 farthest from the tee stands and marked No. 6. Portions are broken away in order to illustrate details;
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged plan view of the hole designated as No. 4 in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged vertical sectional View taken substantially on lines 5-5 of FIGURE 4.
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged plan view of the hole designated as No. 5 in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 7 is a perspective view of the hole illustrated in FIGURE 6.
FIGURE 8 is a vertical sectional view of the hole designated No. 1 in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary view of a portion of the apparatus shown in FIGURE 8.
Referring now to FIGURE 1 of the drawings, there is shown in FIGURE 1 a golf driving range having an elongated fairway 10 provided with a line of tee stands 12 at the inner or near end thereof. Behind the tee stands 12 may be the usual pro or 'attendants shop 14, preferably having a loudspeaker 16 mounted thereon and directed toward the tee stands. Arranged on the fairway 16) at varying distances from the tee stands 12 are a number of holes, some of which are provided with adjustable means for facilitating ingress of a golf ball in the cup thereof. Five such holes are illustrated in the drawings and numbered 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Prizes of a value proportionate to difficulty of making a particular hole may be awarded when a. player succeeds in driving or chipping a golf ball from a tee stand 12 into the cup or other receptacle of the hole.
Each of the holes 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 preferably is provided with a pole 18 on its liar side carrying a flag or pennant 24 which may bear not only the hole number but also an indication of the amount of money or the value of the prize to be awarded to a player who succeeds in making such hole. Each pole 18 at its top preferably supports a large lamp 22 which is automatically illuminated, by means described in detail hereinafter, when a ball drops into the cup or other receptacle associated with such hole. Such lamps 22 are particularly stimulating when the course is used at night, the entire range being then appropriately illuminated, as for example, by a bank of suitable lights (not shown). In order to ascertain which player has made a hole, the balls furnished each stand 12 preferably are individually coded, i.e., the balls furnished stand No. 1 may all be marked No. 1, those furnished Stand No. 2, rnarked No. 2, etc.
In order to test the skill of the players, particularly the skill of the better players, the farthest hole from the tee stands 12, i.e., No. 6, in the embodiment illustrated, may consist simply of the usual cup 24 substantially flush with the level of the ground. In this connection, each of the several holes are desirably located in a green 26 to facilitate entry of a ball into a cup 24 by accurate play, and also to simulate a conventional golf course. The areas between the greens 26 may be sodded and maintained in the usual manner of a fairway. Of course, since hole No. 6 is farthest from the tee stands 12, and will require the greatest skill to drop a ball into its cup 24, the prize of greatest value may be awarded a player for making hole No. 6 in one. Thus, for example, the flag 20 attached to the pole 13 at No. 6 hole, may have the symbol $500 embossed thereon to indicate either a sum of money or the value of the prize to be awarded for hole No. 6 in one.
Associated with hole No. 6 is a switch mechanism 28 adapted to close its contacts when a ball is dropped into the cup 24-. The latter is in the form of a conventional cylinder of usual size having its rim substantially flush with the level of the ground as shown in FIGURE 3. The switch mechanism 28 may take the form of a'lever 30 extending through the sidewall of the cup 24- and suitably mounted on such wall for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis, as at 32, as shown in FIGURES 2 and 3. The inner end of the lever 30 may be of enlarged paddle form so as to extend across the interior of the cup 24 for engagement [by a golf ball dropped therein. The outer end of the lever 39 has mounted thereon a pair of conventional mercury switches 34 and 36. The switches 34 and 36 and the lever outer end are enclosed within a housing 38 suitably aflixed to or integral with the cup 24, and having the wires from the mercury switches extending out- Wardly therefrom and connected to an appropriate underground cable 40. The outer end of the lever 30 is appropriately weighted, as by the mercury switches 34 and 36, so that the inner end of the lever normally will assume an upwardly inclined position, as shown in FIGURE 3. In such position, the contacts of the switches 34 and 36 are opened. The arrangement is such that when a ball drops into the cup 24 and engages the inner end of the lever 30, the latter will be tilted into a substantially horizontal, or oppositely inclined position, indicated by dotted lines in FIGURE 3, so that the switches 34 and 36 will close their contacts.
One of the switches 34 or 36 preferably is connected into an energizing circuit for the lamp 22 on the pole 18 at the hole No. 6, while the other of such switches is connected into an energizing circuit, which includes the underground cable 40, for a device 42, conveniently located in the shop 14, which may emit noise from the loudspeaker 16. Thus, for example, such device 42 could include mechanism for playing pro-recorded tape of a stirring martial air, a fanfare of trumpets, or the like, calculated to announce with vigor that a player has made the hole No. 6 in one. Of course, the device 42 can be selectively operated, depending upon which hole hasbeen made by a player, to reserve the greatest acclaim for the most diificult hole, such as No. 6, while still rewarding successful players of less difficult holeswithvarious degrees of lesser acclaim. For example, a fanfare of trumpets followed by The Stars And Stripes Forever might readily be reserved for the most difficult hole, Vie, No. 6,.wh-ile awarding of a prize :to a winner, and also for halting play while an attendant removes a ball from a cup 24.
Referring now to FIGURES 4wand 5, there is shown the apparatus associated with hole No. 3, a less difficult hole. For this hole, thecup 24 and its attendant switch mechanism 2 8 is identical with that disclosed in FIGURES 2 and 3, but is disposed at the bottom of an enlarged conical depression 44 in the green 26. The ground level diameter of the depression 44 may be, for example, of the order of 4 feet. The entry of a ball into the depression 44, and its resulting roll into the cup 24, is somewhat hindered, however, by a circular plate 46 supported at ground level concentrically within the depression 44 by means of appropriate legs 48 which rest upon the walls of the depression. The diameter of the plate 46 is somewhat less than the ground level diameter of the depresshaped fiat strip 50 which has the bight thereof posh tioned closely adjacent the far side of the cup, andfthe arms thereof diverging towards the tee stands 12. The arrangement obviously provides, between the arms, a funnel-shaped chute which will greatly facilitate the entry of a golf ball into the cup 24, because all the player must do is succeed in having the ball fall or roll between the two arms of the strip St in order to eifect entry into the cup. Afixed to the arms of the strip Eli are a plurality of depending ground-penetrating spikes 52 which serve to firmly retain the ,strip in position. Preferably, the strip 5%} is of thin gauge metal and flexible so that the degree of divergence of the arms can be adjusted, as indicated in dotted lines in FIGURE 6, in order to adjust the difficulty of the hole. i
As an inducement to less skilled players, there may be located, at a mid-distance on the range, a hole No. 2
sion 44 so as to leave an annular opening of a width, say, e
an inch or so greater than the diameter of a golf ball, as shown, so that 18, ball can readily pass through such opening when a player succeeds in accurately driving or chipping a ball so that it will roll or fall into the opening.
It readily wil l be seen that the diflicul-tyl of hole No. "3 Y "can be increased or decreased by selective use of a numher of plates 46 of greater-or lesser diameter. In this connection, is readily would be possible to provide the plate 46 with radially adjustable segmental portions ot shown) in order to vary its effective diameter, rather than by using a series of plates of different diameters.
Referring now to FIGURES 6 and 7 ofthe drawings,
hole No. 5 includes a ground-level cup 24' and switching mechanism '28identical to that illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 3. tin order to facilitate the entry of a ball into the 'cup2i4, however, there is provided on the green 26 in partially encircling relation tothecup a generally U- similar to hole No. 3, having a fiusto-conical depression 54 of a diameter possibly even greater than the diameter of the depression 44 of hole No. 3. For hole No. 2, however, the depression 54 is not even partially covered, so as to greatly facilitate entry of a ball into the cup 24 at the bottom of the depression 54. Obviously, even an unskilled player will have a chance of making hole No. 2. Of course, because thedifficulty of hole No. 2 is far less than that of holes Nos. 3, 5 and 6, only a nominal prize, such as a bucket of balls, will be awarded a successful player.
Nearer the tee stands 12 than the holes 2, 3, 5 and 6, 'may be still another hole No. 4, identical to hole No. 6,
but which is suitable for chip shots because of its proximity of the tee stands. Because of such proximity, and consequent lessened difliculty, the value of the prize, whether money or merchandise, for a successful maker ofhole No. 4, is correspondingly less than for some of the other holes, e.g., Nos. 5 and 6.
In order to eve-nfur-ther stimulate interest and provide added zest to the game, there preferably is provided between the line of tee stands 12 and the holes Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, a pond 56, which players must clear in order tosuccessfully make any of the holes therebeyond. There is however, a hole, No. 1, preferably associated with the pond 56 itself. For this purpose, there may be provided an annular float 58 having a flagged pole I8 upstanding from the center thereof and supported on the float by means of an appropriate spider 60. Concentrical-ly suspended from the pole 18, as by appropriate straps 62, is
an annular plate 64 of slightly frusto-conical configuration. The plate 64 is upwardly convex and may have its outer edge disposed in closely spaced relation to an upper inner portion of the'float 53m define an annular trough 66. The inner diameter of the plate 64 is only '63 forming a suitably insulated electrical contact, and
a corresponding inner band or zone of the float may be provided with a similarsuitably insulated contact 70.
The'contacts 68 and 7th form alswitch connected, by suitable conductors and a cable 40, into the energizing circuit pre-recorded tape of Anchors Aweigh to thus appropriately salute the. :successful'maker of hole No; 1
It thus will'be seen that the objects of this invention have been fully and eifectively accomplished. While the form of the invention described herein constitutes a preferred embodiment, it will be realized that various modifications can be made within the principles involved.
Accordingly, this invention includes all embodiments within the spirit and scope of the following claims.
1. A golf driving range comprising: a fairway; a line of tee stands adjacent an end of said fairway; a pond located in said fairway; a generally annular float on said pond; a flagged pole centrally upstanding from said float; means secured to said float supporting said pole; an upwardly-convex generally fmsto-conical plate concentric with said pole, the peripheral edge of said plate being disposed closely adjacent the inner periphery of said float to define an annular trough; flexible means suspending said plate from said pole in a manner whereby the weight of a golf ball in said trough will cause said plate to tilt downwardly into engagement with said float; and means defining annular electrical switch contacts at the peripheral edge of said plate and at the inner periphery of said float along the annular area of the latter engaged by said plate on downward tilting movement of the latter.
2. A golf ball target receptacle for use on a golf driving range having a pond, the combination comprising: a generally annular float; a flagged pole centrally upstanding from said float; means secured to said float'supporting said pole; an upwardly-convex generally frusto-conical plate concentric with said pole, the peripheral edge of said plate being disposed closely adjacent the inner periphery of said float to define an annular trough; flexible means suspending said plate from said pole in a manner whereby the weight of a golf ball in said trough will cause said plate to tilt downwardly into engagement with said float; and means defining annular electrical switch contacts at the peripheral edge of said plate and at the inner periphery of said float along the annular area of the latter engaged by said plate on downward tilting movement of the latter.
References fitted in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,041,119 Duganne May 19, 1936 2,701,140 Fortino Feb. 1, 1955 2,743,929 Smith May 1, 1956 2,917,312 Brown Dec. 15, 1959
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|U.S. Classification||473/153, 200/61.11, 340/323.00R|
|International Classification||A63B57/00, A63B69/36|
|Cooperative Classification||A63B69/3694, A63B57/0056|
|European Classification||A63B57/00D, A63B69/36T1|