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Publication numberUS3142488 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 28, 1964
Filing dateMar 23, 1961
Priority dateMar 23, 1961
Publication numberUS 3142488 A, US 3142488A, US-A-3142488, US3142488 A, US3142488A
InventorsPortteus James G
Original AssigneePhillip A Portteus
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Putting mat with golf ball dispensing means
US 3142488 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 28, 1 64 J. G.'PORTTEUS 3,142,488



5 AT TOR NEY 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 MENTOR. JG. PORTTE us BY ATTORNEY July 28, 1964 J. cs. PORTTEUS PUTTING MAT WITH GOLF BALL DISPENSING MEANS Filed March 23, 1961 FIGS y 23, 1964 J. G. PORTTEUS 3,142,488


United States Patent M 3,142,488 PUTTING MAT WITH GOLF BALL DISPENSING MEANS James G. Portteus, Toledo, Ohio, assignor to Phillip A. Portteus, Dallas, Tex. Filed Mar. 23, 1961, Ser. No. 97,887 3 Claims. (Cl. 273-201) This invention relates to games or amusement devices of the type which are generally characterized in that each player tries to make a ball reach a scoring area which has a certain value. More particularly, the invention relates to a simulated golf game.

One object of the present invention is to provide a game apparatus which atfords practice, sport, recreation and amusement for persons of all ages desirous of develop ing or exercising their skill in hitting or rolling balls in an accurate manner towards fixed targets or receptacles and having the results of such activities registered automatically.

Another object of this invention is to provide a ball dispensing and positioning apparatus convenient, positive and reliable in action and sturdy in construction.

A further object of this invention is to provide a novel game apparatus which simulates the game of golf and provides practice therefor conveniently and reliably.

A still further object is to provide a game simulating golf that permits a 30 foot putt to be simulated in a 10 foot space.

Other objects and features of the invention will be apparent from the following description which refers to the accompanying drawings which form a part of this specification, wherein like numerals refer to like parts in all the figures and wherein:

FIGURE 1 is an overall perspective view of the major subassemblies of the game apparatus in their operative position relative to each other;

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view of the receptacle subassembly of FIGURE 1 as seen along section 2'-2 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 3 is a top view of the receptacle device of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a top view of the ball dispenser device of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 5 is a cross sectional view of the receptacle device along the plane 5-5" of FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the track portion of the device of FIGURE 5 along the section plane indicated at 6-6" in FIGURE 5;

FIGURE 7 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the track portion of the device of FIGURE 5 taken along plane 7 '-7" of FIGURE 5; and

FIGURE 8 is a cross sectional view of an alternative embodiment of the device of this invention as shown in enlarged cross sectional view across plane 88" of FIGURE 5.

FIGURE 1 shows the two major sub-assemblies of this gamethe dispenser, 11, and the receptacle generally shown as 12-in their relative operative positions. Generally, the dispenser, 11, provides for dispensing and placing of the balls, as 15, on a locating device therefor, 16, whereat the balls are conveniently struck with a golf club toward the receptacle sub-assembly, 12. The receptacle is provided with an upwardly sloped ramp 20. A somewhat tilted, yet upstanding, backboard, 21, is provided with a plurality of scoring orifices therein, said backboard being spaced from said ramp in the direction device on the dispenser, through the space between the 3,142,488 Patented July 28, 1964 dispenser 11 and th ramp 20 and, depending on the accuracy with which the ball is hit, into one of the scoring orifices such as 22, 23, and 24, in the backboard 21 or into the keeper tray, 25, at the bottom of the space between the ramp and the backboard. Each of the orifices as 22, 23, and 24, is connected to one end of a funnelshaped downwardly curved tube or chute 27, 28, and 29, respectively. Each such tube is open at its other end to a scoring compartment as 32, 33, and 34, respectively, wherein balls passing through the respective scoring orifice are retained and serve to provide a ready indication of the score achieved by the player.

Generally, the receptacle sub-assembly 12 comprises a ramp, 20, whose rear edge forms a step, 30, which is the front edge of a tray, 25. The rear edge of tray 25 is formed by the bottom of backboard, 21. Sidewalls 35 and 36 are attached to, support and locate the ramp 20 and tray 25 and the backboard 21, and form the sidewall of said tray. Chutes or tubes 27, 28, and 29 are attached to the rear of each of the orifices 22, 23, and 24, respectively, and to scoring compartments, 32, 33, and 34 which are located on and fixed to a flat base 37. This base is a flat sheet like but rigid member attached to backboard 21 and sidewalls 35 and 36 and has laterally projecting flat lugs 39 and 40.

The upper surface of the ramp 20 in the preferred embodiment is 21%. inches wide and 4 inches long. -It extends from the left sidewall 35 to the right sidewall 36 and is inclined upwardly at an angle of 19. The front ramp edge, 41, is bevelled to provide a smooth travel of a golf ball thereover. The bottom edge 45 of the side Wall 35 and the bottom edge of sidewall 36 lie on the floor, rug, or other supporting flat surface 47. The rear edge 42 of the ramp 20 is horizontal and parallel to the front edge 41 and is 1% inch higher than the front edge 41. The tray section 25 is 10 inches deep in the preferred embodiment, i.e., 10 inches from the rear edge 42 and step 30 therebelow of the ramp 20 to the rear edge 51 of the tray. The front edge 50 of the tray 25 is only one inch below the level of the rear edge 42 of the ramp 20. The bottom of the rear edge 51 rests on the ground or other flat support surface 47. Accordingly, there is a slight slope corresponding to a fall of 4 inch in 10 inches or an angle of 2% degrees, from step 30 at the front edge 50 to the rear edge 51 of the tray 25. This slope of the tray 25 provides that balls dropped into the tray as hereinbelow described will roll to the rear of the tray, i.e., toward the back edge 51 leaving the front portion, near edge 42, clear of any upward projection thereover of any such ball in the passage of further balls from the sloped surface 26 of ramp 20 to the backboard 21 and the holes therein.

The backboard 21 comprises a flat inclined panel portion, 52, fixedly attached at its sides, 53 and 54, to the sidewalls 35 and 36, respectively. The bottom edge 55 of the backboard 21 joins the top of the rear wall 156 of the tray 25 and is firmly attached thereto. The fiat portion 52 is 9 inches high from its bottom edge 55 to its topmost edge 56. The topmost edge 56 is joined to the top edges 57 and 58 of the sidewalls 35 and 36, respectively. The flat panel 52 is at an angle of 59 to the horizontal. Accordingly, the top edge 56 of the backboard 21 is 8% inches to the rear of the front edge 41 of ramp 20 in the preferred embodiment. The top edge 56 is parallel to the front edge 41. The side walls 35 and 36 are tapered inwardly and upwardly so that the top edge 56 is 16% inches wide in the preferred embodiment. The orifices 22, 23, and 24 each have 594 inches total height in the preferred embodiment. It is to be noted that the approximately 60 angle of the panel 52 to the horizontal provides a projection of such orifice with an effective height in the vertical plane of 4% inches, which is .the size of the standard golf cup as used on regulation golf courses. Hole 23 is made with a 4% inch diameter while the maximum diameter of holes 22 and 24 is 3 inches. The tops of holes 22, 23, and 24 are all located 3% inches below top edge56 of the panel 52. Hole 23 is located in the centerof the panel and the-vertical centers of holes 22 and-24 are located 4% inches laterally from the vertical center of hole 23 in the preferred embodiment.

In Lhe'preferred embodiment, the sub-assembly 12 is made of reinforced polyester glass fiber reinforced plastic laminate about /a inch thick. The cooperation of the slopedsidewalls 35 and 36, the tray floor 49, and panel 52 1 provides a'sturdy structure able to readily withstand without rupture or bending such impact as is provided by golf balls thrown with the usual range of force with which such are directed at the orifices in such panel. To aid in maintainingthis structure 12 in position relative to the dispensing sub-assembly 11 the lugs 39 and 46 which project laterally from the sidewalls 35 and 36 are provided with a total width of about 24 inches, or, on each side a lateral inch projection so that cans of fruit juice, rocks or furniture or other convenient weight may be positioned thereon and thereby fix the receptacle sub-assembly 12 in position. For this purpose friction pads as 59 and 60 are provided on the bottom surface of each lug 39 and 40,


The angle of the panel 52 is chosen to be, in combination .withthe angle of upward slope of ramp surface 26, substantiallyi.e., about 1l)less than 90. Accordingly, balls passing from the ramp along the plane of such ramp in the direction of the orifices 22, 23, and 24, but missing such orifices and hitting the panel 52 will be bounced toward and drop to the floor 49 of the tray 25 rather than outwardly beyond edge 42 or 41 of ramp 20. This angular relationship provides'that balls hitting panel 52 from the ramp 20 will not be bounced back beyond edge'42 to the space,17, between the receptacle and the point from which such ball is stroked. Accordingly, balls are not lost from this device, .which loss could be an annoying feature of a simulated golf game, but positive provision is made in this. apparatus, as above described, for balls which miss the scoring orifices, either strike panel 52 and are bounced thereby into tray 25, or directly fall into that tray and gathered .against the rear wall 156 thereof.

The chutes or tubes, 27, 28 and 29, are each formed of an upper spherical portion and a lower conical portion. The upper spherical portion (as '61 for 28) is a portion of a large sphere (in the preferred embodiment having a radius of curvature of 3 /2 inches in its longitudinal section) and otherwise curved to fit the orifice leading thereinto. The portions of this spherical portion immediately adjoining the rear of panel 52 are perpendicular thereto. The lower section of each such tube (as 62 of tube 28) is conically shapedand reduces in size at its bottom to a vertical orifice, as 63, with a diameter of about 2 inches,

\ and a top'edge 65, about 2 inches above floor 67.

The rear wall of each conical tube section, as 62, is parallel'to panel 52 and extends to a level below the horizontal level of the bottom of the scoring orifice, as 22, 23,

r and 24, associated with such tube. Also, the shell of each tube, as 28, is curved and, as seen in a vertical plane, normal to panel 52 at its juncture therewith. The rear wall of the conical portion, as 62 in FIGURE 2, has its uppermost portion located to the rear of the lowermost portion of the orifice (23) horizontally spaced therefrom by at least the diameter of the ball to be passed through such tube; at such uppermost portion the above mentioned curved portion, as 61, is parallel to and joins said rear Wallof said conical portion. The shortest distance from the vertical projection of said uppermost portion to the bottom of orifice 23 is, in the preferred embodiment, 1 /2 times the diameter of the ball to be passed therethrough.

. The above description for the structure of tube 28 applies also to tubes 27 and 29.

Accordingly, a golf ball passing through an orifice, as

. scribed from the. other compartments.

compartment, readily count the score.

23, of this device impinges on the rear wall of section 61 or 62, the curvature of which sections provide that such ball is bounced from the surface which it strikes at substantially the supplement of the angle with which it strikes such surface. Accordingly, notwithstanding the 30 angle of inclination to the vertical (which, in combination with the slope of ramp surface 26, prevents bouncing of balls from panel 52 beyond tray 25) presented by the orifices, as 22, 23 and 24-which are much larger than the balls, alsoballs passing therethrough are bounced by the inclination of the tube wall to the discharge of each such tube, as 63, rather than permitting such ball to bounce out of the orifice, as 23, through which it had passed.

The floor portion of such funnel, as portion 64of tube 28, is firmly attached to the rear wall 156 of the tray 25 and acts as a ribbing supporting member for the panel'52, as well as for wall 156, against the impact of balls striking such panel.

The floor portion 64 is short and sturdy; it also absorbs impact from balls striking wall 156 and is at an angle to the vertical less than wall 65 to soften the momentum of balls prior to such balls passing out of orifice 63. l The orifice 63 has, in the preferred embodiment, a 2 /8 inch height and a similar Width. This permits a golf ball (diameter of 1% inches) to pass freelytheretbrough .but, in combination with that the rear of the tube wall portion 62 extends below the level of orifice 23 (and similar tube dimensions, positions and orifices are similarly arranged on tubes 27 and 29), provides that balls passing through the tube discharge. orifices, as 63, will not have sufficient energy or proper direction to bounce out of the scoring receptacles as 33.

spectively. There is a distance of 6% inches from the .rear from the rearmost portion, as 74 of compartment 33, of such wall to the discharge opening, as 63, of its .respective tube as 28. Each compartment is 5 inches wide and separated by the peripheral walls above de- Accordingly, the player who strikes a ball as from the dispenser, 11, up

the rampand through an orifice may, by counting the number of his balls in each compartment as 32, 33, and 34, and thenumbcr of points for each ball in each such For example, entry of a ball into the larger central hole, 23, the easiest to enter, is indicated in the illustration of the preferred embodiment as scoring points while entry of a ball into -'the narrower, more difficult holes 22 and 24 are indicated as scoring 200 points; similar point numbers are boldlyprinted on the floor of compartments 32, 33, and 34, as .shown in the drawings.

The floor, 66, 67, and 68, of each of these scoring compartments is sloped for the same reason and to the same degree as above discussed for fioor 49 of tray 25,

from the point under the orifice of the tubing opening to the rearmost portion of each such compartment. This causes the balls reaching each such compartment to roll away from such orifice toward the rearrnost portion of said compartment and prevents the balls reaching each projection of the orifice 23, accordingly is made to correspond to the horizontal projection of a standard golf cup 4% inches in diameter. If the ball is struck with insufiicient force to correspond to that force necessary to travel a golf ball over a standard [level 30 foot green the trajector of the ball after it leaves the rear edge 42 of the ramp 20 will cause the ball to strike either the rear edge of the tray 25 or fall into the tray 25. However, when the ball is struck with such force as would carry it over standard golf hole at 30 feet distance, then the path of the ball curves upwards and the ball strikes the panel 52 at a level above the top of the orifices 22, 23, and 24.

The height of the top edge, 56, of the panel 52 is, however, made so that no reasonable stroking force would carry the ball over the panel 52. Accordingly, by the use of this device balls struck with a reasonable force will be caught either in the tray 25 or come to rest in the scoring compartments, 32, 33, or 34.

With such a delicate balance of force, the length of the ramp must be sufficiently short that a ball struck with the minimum amount of proper force will not deviate from the line of direction given thereto by its stroking, as from sub-assembly 11 and so miss an orifice at which properly directed. In order to simulate a thirty foot putt on foot distance-as is desirable for use in homes-the ramp section slope simulates the energy obsorption in a putt of such length notwithstanding that the receptacle, 12, is at a lesser distance from the point at which the ball is struck than is the case where a ball is struck toward a golf cup 30 feet distant from where such ball is stroked. However, a problem which arises wherein a ball rolls up a ramp is that where the ramp is too long the ball tends to leave a straight path as it travels up the ramp. According to this invention, minimum interference with the direction of travel is effected by minimizing the length of the inclined section over which such balls need to travel to achieve the trajector and energy absorption required to simulate a long putt. Such shortness of the inclined section avoids any tendency of a rolling ball to turn away from its original line of direction when traveling at an angle other than 90 to the edge of such incline. Such shortness is effectively achieved according to this invention by providing that the discharge end of such ramp, although of a height less than the golf ball itself, and so otherwise subject to interference by balls which might gather adjacent the discharge edge of such ramp, is provided with means which, in cooperation with gravity and the spherical shape of the balls, provide positively that the balls will be moved from the discharge lip of such ramp to a point sufficiently distant from such ramp to not interfere with the passage of subsequent balls from the discharge lip of said short low ramp. The use of a relatively short path-4 inches along surface 26 in the preferred embodimentwith the small angle or slope of ramp--19 in the preferred embodimentas corresponds to a thirty foot putt at a distance of 10 feet between the two sub-assemblies 11 and 12 results in that the height of the discharge edge 42 of the ramp 20 is less than the height of an ordinary golf ball. The sloped floor of the tray 25 as above described removes balls in the tray 25 from the zone whereat they might provide interference with subsequently stroked balls properly aimed at the orifices 22, 23, and 24.

The connection of the funnel-shaped tubes, as 27, 28, and 29 to the panel 52 may be provided with reinforcement to withstand such impacts as are usually given to this type of device.

The dispenser sub-assembly 11 generally comprises a fixed base, 80, a rotatable distributor plate sub-assembly 81 thereabove, and a putting board 82 attached to the base.

The base 80 is, generally, a hollow cylindrical structure. It comprises a cylindrical wall, 85, 8 /2 inches diameter and 2 /2 inches high in the preferred embodiment, and a roof 86 provided with a pivot 87 therein at the geometric center thereof. The pivot 87 projects above the roof 86 and serves to hold the plate sub-assembly rotatably in place thereon. The base is provided with a lateral recess 89 therein. This recess is open to the roof 86 and outside of wall it has a rear wall 90 and a sloped floor portion 91. The rear wall 90 is recessed- 2 inches from the outer wall 85 and is 2 inches wide. The sloped floor 91 extends to a 1% inch depth below the level of the top of roof 86; the slope of the floor 91 is 20 downward and outward in the preferred embodiment.

The distributor plate sub-assembly 81 comprises a circular plate 93 with a central orifice through which pivot pin 87 passes. This pivot pin holds the plate 93 to the base 80. A plurality of similar cups as 94 through 98, eight in the preferred embodiment, are disposed on top of plate 93 and firmly attached thereto at their bottom. These cups are all spaced equally from the center pivot 87 and are also all equally spaced from each other. In the preferred embodiment each of these cups is cylindrical in outline, has 1% inch internal diameter, and is 1 inch high. Plate 93 is cut away at the bottom of each cylinder to provide a hole of the same size as the interior of the cup. The most centrally located portion of the holes of the bottom of each of the cups, as 94-98, is slightly more lateral than recess wall 90. Accordingly, when each cup passes over the recess 89 any ball in such cup will drop through the corresponding hole in plate 93 within such cup and fall towards the bottom of the recess 89. There is a minimum distance of /2 inch between adjacent cups. This conveniently permits rotating the plate 93 by a putter type of golf club. Arcuate recesses as 99, 100, 101 in the top surface of roof 86 provide for temporarily retaining the balls so that only one ball at a time is moved to and drops into the recess 89.

While in the preferred embodiment, solid cylindrical walls are shown for the cups, it is also within the scope of this invention that structures made with a plurality of upstanding pins as 111116 may be arranged to form the outline of a cylinder with a hole 117 in the center thereof, said hole 117 having diameter of 1% inches or, otherwise, large enough for a golf ball to freely fall therethrough. Such pins 111 to 116 are spaced sufiiciently far apart for an adults fingers to pass therebetween and hold a golf ball to place it within such ball-holding structure or to remove it therefrom.

The putting board 82 is composed of a inch thick board preferably made of plastic or cardboard 18 inches along the edge 120, said edge being 28 inches distant from the most distant portion of the base 80. The top of the board 82 is fixed to the bottom of base 80. The center of the base passes under the rotating pin, 87, so that base. 80 is positioned on the center of such plate. A track 121 extends outwardly from recess 89, said track 121 com:

prising two sloped ridges or shoulders 122 and 123, l inch apart from each other in the preferred embodiment and separated from each other by a hollow portion 124 having a radius of curvature of /8 inch. Its uppermost portion is 1% inches below top 86 of the base 80, and extends 4% inches outward from the wall 85 toward edge of the board 82. The total width of the track The longitudinal center of the track 121 is located in line with a radius which passes through pin 87 and through the central longitudinal axis plane of symmetry of the recess 89. The end of the track is contiguous with a circular area, 126, 1% inches in the preferred embodiment, bounded by a inch high and /8 inch wide shoulder 127, on the side adjacent the track and a shoulder 128, A of an inch high and inch wide on the side of area 126 distant from the track (and closest to the edge 120).

Both shoulders are at an angle of 60 to the plane of the board 82. Edge of shoulder.128 is 3" from the geometric center of area 126. In the center of area 126 is concentrically located a circular pad or tee, 125, which is inch in diameter in the preferred embodiment. Shoulder edges 131 and 132 fair away from shoulder 128 into the surface of the board 82 at an angle of 45 degrees to the radius which passes through the central axis of track 121 and recess 89. Shoulder edges 133 and 134 similarly fair away from shoulder 127. The hollow or trough 124 in the track 121 passes to a level of an inch below the level of the top of the board 82 as the ridges 122 and 123 pass in an even slope to the level of the shoulder 127 and fair thereinto. In the trough 124 at a distance 1% inches from the shoulder 127 a conically shaped stop 129 begins to rise from the level of the floor of the track at that point with a radius of curvature of inch. It rises for 7 evenly over a distance of of an inch until the bottom of said surface intersects the shoulder 127. At the point of juncture of the surface of stop 129 with the shoulder 127 there is a A deep, /2" wide channel or passage 130 which provides that a ball passing along track 121 is guided narrowly to pass along the axis of said passage, or channel, which is only about /8 inch long.

Accordingly the mechanism of operation of ball dispenser 12 is that the dispenser plate 93 on which the cups, as 94-98, are located is loaded with balls. The bringing of one of said cups over the recess 89 results in that the ball in said cups drops 1% inches to the track 121. The ridges 122 and 123 thereof are sufiiciently apart so that the ball as 15" in FIG. 6 is firmly located on and between the said ridges 122 and 123. After the drop of 1% inches to said ridges, the ball rolls along the length of the track until it comes to the stop 129. Here the speed of ball is definitely slowed up and the ball passed through the axis of the channel or passage 130; thereupon the energy left in the golf ball is expended against the shoulder 128., Any tendency of the ball to bounce back is overcome by the shoulder 127. This leaves the ball as 15 resting on .a inch diameter felt pad. This felt pad has an inwardly curved top with a radius of curvature of /2 inch and a maximum depth of inch. This serves to firmly seat a golf ball (which has a diameter of 1% inches). Notwithstanding that the golf ball is seated in a somewhat sunken position relative to the top of the board 82 this is a reliable simulation of the lie of a golf ball on the putting green and does not interfere with the stroking or putting thereof.

Thus, this device broadly provides for the ready positioning of each of a plurality of golf balls in a sequence one after the other according to the sequence of positioning each of said cups containing each of said balls over the recess 89. The width of the recess 89 is arranged so that the balls fall to the tracks properly oriented with sufficient energy to travel to pad 125 and are positively directed to ride in the trough between the ridges of said track. The track is sloped to provide sufficient energy so that the balls will reliably be delivered to the pad 125 from which such ball may be subsequently stroked in a manner simulating that in which a golf ball is normally stroked on a golf green.

Friction pads as 136 and 137 are provided at either of the lateral edges of the pad near edge 120 and also, a similar friction pad 138 is provided under the base 80. This permits that a player may place his feet on the board 82 and accordingly the weight of the player will serve to fixedly locate the position of the board and dispenser and the ball dispensed thereby and so facilitate the players movement of the cups, as 94 to 98, one at a time over the recess as 89 to effect delivery of golf balls, or at such rate as is desired by the player, to the dished pad or tee 125, the top-most portion of which is at the level of the top surface of board 82. In an alternative embodiment of the invention, as shown in FIGURE 8, the dished pad 125 is replaced by a circular hole 139 of W inch diameter,

8 passing through board 82 in area 126 for support of a golf ball as 15'.

In the preferred embodiment the components of the receptacle are made of plastic, such as polyester resin, sheet. Also heavy cardboard may be used. Preferably, the major dispenser components-base 80, distributor plate sub-assembly track 121 and board 82-are also made of plastic which may be reinforced as with fiberglass. The distributor plate sub-assembly may be made of metal.

The arcuate recesses as 99 and 100 and 101 in the top surface of roof 86 of base are each, generally, each a short shallow cylindrical trough, with its axis parallel to a radius in roof 86 along which the length of said recess is measured, as below described. In the preferred embodiment, each recess is X inch deep measured from and transverse to the top surface of roof 86; inch wide measured from its front edge, as 102, to its rear edge, as 193, transverse to a radius in roof 86 with pin 87 as center; one inch long measured in direction of said radius in roof 86 using pin 87 as center as shown for recess 99; and the bottom of said recess has a cross section which is the are of a circle 1% inches diameter when viewed in a plane normal to the recess length. Each such recess has its greatest depth at the center of the width thereof, and the curved floor of said recess intersects the surface of the roof at the front and rear edges of said recess.

The centers of such recesses are located below the centers of the cups as 96, 97 as well as below cups 94 and 95 when the cup 98 is located directly over recess 89. Accordingly when one cup, as 98, is above recess 89, the golf balls in other cups as 94-97, have a relatively stable resting position, as the balls thus located within cups 94-97 rest in recesses as 99, 100, 101 below said cups. This location of such balls prevent free or two ready a rotation of the plate 93. Movement of the distributor plate sub-assembly and balls therein is thus temporarily prevented by the weight of the balls themselves locking the plate 93 against free movement. This cooperation of balls, recesses and cups retains all the balls in at least a temporary position and prevents premature undesired passage of a ball into recess 89and thence to pad or tee notwithstanding that the surface of the materials of which plate 93 and roof 86 are made may be smooth and slick. However these moderate recess depths do permit a player, by inserting a golf club between cups, with but little force to conveniently and easily controllably urge said cups and the balls therein to rotate about pin 87 and pass over and into recess 89 one at a time and thence to the tee, 125.

The ridges 122 and 123 smoothly slope, to a height of /10" in the preferred embodiment, from their edges 118 and 119 respectively, each such edge lying on the top fiat surface of board 82 and each such edge being, in the preferred embodiment, 3 inches away from the center of pad 125 as measured along the shoulder edges 133 and 134, each at 45 angle to edges 118 and 119 respectively in the preferred embodiment. These shoulder edges 133 and 134 smoothly taper into the top surface of board 82 from shoulder 127, as do shoulder edges 131 and 132 from shoulder 128. The shoulder edges 131 and 132 meet the top surface of board 82 at edge three inches from center of tee 125 and at an angle of 45 to the longitudinal axis of track 121 and provide a corresponding length of slope and amount of sloped surface, 141, extending from edge 140 to shoulder 128. These sloped surfaces adjacent edges 118, 119, and 140 serve to protect the pad or tee 125 and the shoulders 127 and 128 and the track 121 from damage by improper stroking of the golf ball resting on pad or tee 125.

The foregoing description of the invention is explanatory and illustrative rather than limiting, and changes in the detail of the particular constructions illustrated may be made by those skilled in the art.

Having thus described the means by which the objects 9 of the invention are obtained, in the form at present preferred, modifications thereof within the skill of the art are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A dispenser for balls comprising a base, a rotatable plate thereabove, rotatably attached to said base about a point of rotation with a plurality of holes of greater size than said balls at the same radial distance from said point of rotation, ball retaining means about each of said holes, a recess in said base at said radial distance from said point of rotation, said recess having an entrance thereto on the top of said base and an exit therefrom at the side of said base and a passage therethrough slightly larger than the size of said balls, a sloped passage from the bottom of said recess to a ball retaining means, a stop in said sloped passage, said stop tapered upwardly in the direction of slope of said passage, a downward step at the end of said passage, an upward stop beyond said downward step in the direction of said passage at a distance approximately equal to the diameter of said ball, said step and said last mentioned stop constituting said ball retaining means.

2. A dispenser for golf balls comprising a base, a rotatable plate thereabove rotatably attached to said base about a point of rotation with a plurality of equispaced holes therein of greater size than said balls and at the same radial distance from said point of rotation, ball retaining means about each of said holes, a first recess in said base at said radial distance from said point of rotation, said recess having an entrance thereto from the top of the base and an exit therefrom at the side of said base and a passage therethrough slightly larger than the size of said ball, a sloped passage from the bottom of said recess to a ball retaining means, said passage and said ball retaining means being positively located on a mat fixed to said base, a downward step at the end of said passage, an upward stop beyond said downward step in the direction of said passage at a distance approximately equal to the diameter of said ball, said step and said stop constituting said ball retaining means, said passage comprising tWo tracks with a trough therebetween, one of said holes in said plate overlying said first recess, a second recess in said base below the hole in the plate adjacent the hole overlying said first recess, said second recess being smaller than the size of said ball.

3. A dispenser as in claim 2 wherein an area of the mat extends laterally from the ball retaining means and is spaced away from the base, which area is sufficiently large to support a players feet thereon at a distance from said ball retaining means convenient for stroking by said player with a golf club.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,783,338 Mann Dec. 2, 1930 1,799,263 Swain et a1 Apr. 7, 1931 2,145,840 Thompson et al. Jan. 31, 1938 2,379,663 Smith July 3, 1945 2,621,096 Broyles et al. Dec. 9, 1952 2,815,955 Dear Dec. 10, 1957 3,075,774 Buell Jan. 29, 1963 FOREIGN PATENTS 878,910 Germany June 8, 1953

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Referenced by
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US3423097 *Mar 10, 1966Jan 21, 1969Chalwyn LtdApparatus for teeing golf balls
US4750744 *Jun 2, 1986Jun 14, 1988Ondrej MichalecGolf practice apparatus
US5580318 *Jan 29, 1996Dec 3, 1996Weber; Robert E.Golf ball delivery system
US6997816Feb 22, 2002Feb 14, 2006All Year Ventures LtdMechanical handling device for golf balls at a driving range
US7160196 *Jun 14, 2002Jan 9, 2007World Golf Systems LimitedIdentification device
US20040082398 *Feb 22, 2002Apr 29, 2004Philip GagerMechanical handling device for golf balls at a driving range
US20040176174 *Jun 14, 2002Sep 9, 2004Thirkettle John SIdentification device
EP0303544A1 *Aug 11, 1988Feb 15, 1989Bernard TomczakBall game appliance with rebound panels
WO2003004110A1 *Feb 22, 2002Jan 16, 2003Snuk LimitedMechanical handling device for golf balls at a driving range
U.S. Classification473/132
International ClassificationA63B63/08, A63B63/00, A63B57/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B57/0006, A63B63/08
European ClassificationA63B57/00A, A63B63/08