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Publication numberUS3156471 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 10, 1964
Filing dateFeb 6, 1962
Priority dateFeb 6, 1962
Publication numberUS 3156471 A, US 3156471A, US-A-3156471, US3156471 A, US3156471A
InventorsBibeau Emile L
Original AssigneeBibeau Emile L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf target with inflatable support means
US 3156471 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 10, 1964 E. L. BIBEAU 3,155,471

GOLF TARGET WITH INFLATABLE SUPPORT MEANS Filed Feb. 6, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet l Nov. 10, 1964 E. L. BIBEAU GOLF TARGET WITH INFLATABLF SUPPORT MEANS Filed Feb. e. 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Nov. 10, 1964 E. l.. BIBEAU 3,156,471

GOLF TARGET WITH INFLATABLE SUPPORT MEANS I Filed Feb. 6, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 INV EN TOR.

United States Patent Office 3,156,471 Patented Nov. l0, 1964 3,156,471 GOLF TARGET WITH INFLATABLE SUPPGRT MEANS Emile L. Biheau, Box 321, Methuen, Mass. Filed Feb. 6, 1962, Ser. No. 171,373 8 Claims. (Cl. 273-176) This invention relates to a device for use in practicing golf strokes, and in particular to a ball-catching device of novel construction, adapted for location in close proximity to the player, and including an automatic ball-return feature.

It is an object of the invention to provide a ball catcher which, while exible and low in weight, so as to dissipate the energy of balls in ight without rebound, is nevertheless of rugged construction, with restorative capacity ensuring the permanence of its essential structure. A further object is to provide a ball stop which is readily convertible from a condition of suitable rigidity, when adjusted for use, to a condition of over-all pliability, so as to be foldable for storage or shipment. More particularly, it is an object to provide a unitary ball stop having main structural members of flexible, pneumatic tubing, in association with supporting webs of exible, sheet material. In still greater particular, it is an object to provide a ball stop with main structural members of connected, pneumatic tubing comprising an upright wicket with transverse, ground-engaging feet, connected thereto by corner webbing, and closed by a flexible sheet having ball-passing openings communicating with a vertical tube leading to a front ramp for ball return.

These and other objects, which will be readily apparent, are attained by the present invention, a preferred form of which is describedin the following specification, as illustrated in the drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a side-elevational view of the device, with a player shown in dash lines in the act of addressing a teed ball,

FIGURE 2 is a top plan view of the apparatus shown in FIGURE 1,

FIGURE 3 is a sectional view through the teeing mat, taken on the line 3 3 of FIGURE 2,

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view through the ball-stopping wall and its framework, taken on the line 4-4 of FIGURE 2,

FIGURE 5 is a rear elevational view of the apparatus, as seen from the right of FIGURE l,

FIGURE 6 is a front elevational View of the apparatus, as seen from the left of FIGURE 1,

FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary view of a portion of the teeing mat, showing the addition of an auxiliary tee holder, with selective tee positions,

FIGURE 8 is a sectional View taken on the line 8-8 of FIGURE 7, showing a tee in place, and a ball mounted thereon, and

FIGURE 9 is a perspective View of the auxiliary tee holder of FIGURES 7 and 8.

Referring to the drawings by characters of reference, there is shown a unitary ball-catching, impact-absorbing apparatus, indicated as a whole by the numeral 10, almost wholly comprised of flexible, foldable elements, adapted to provide an upright panel on a horizontal base when in working position, and which is self-supporting by virtue of a standard having a system of ribbing, comprising connected, pneumatic tubes arranged in the form of a wicket. The latter includes a pair of spaced, parallel, groundengaging feet 12, 14, joined at their mid-points by a cross tube 16, and supporting at their mid-points a pair of vertical tubes 18, 20. The latter are joined, at their upper ends by a cross tube 22, which completes the rectangle of tubes .forming the frame of the vertical panel constituting the ball stop. The interiors of all six elements of tubing are intercommunicating, and the system is provided with a valve 24, shown mounted on tube 14, for ination and deflation. The tubes are preferably formed from a plastic, such as polyethylene or the like. For anchoring the wicket, the feet 12, 14 are provided with lugs 26, of metal or plastic, suitably attached to the legs, as by cementing, and perforatedto receive anchoring spikes. For indoor use, the lugs may carry suction cups.

Attached to the four tubes of the vertical framework, as by cementing, is a panel of plastic sheet material 2S, which forms the main stop for the balls in flight.

The framework of the stop panel 28 is reinforced against swinging movement away from the vertical, y due to ball impact or wind loading, by means of four, vertical, triangular webs of plastic netting 30, located in the corners between the tubular feet and uprights, and extending to the outer ends thereof. The front pair of webs will also serve, in some degree, to capture stray balls which would otherwise elude the stop.

While the panel 28, in the form of a solid sheet, would be useful in cases where the practice is only concerned with movements at the tee, it is desirable to also provide for an index of Hight accuracy or delivery, and to this end the panel 28 is provided with a series of vertically spaced, circular openings 32, representing selective, ballistic paths. For capture and return of the balls which pass through openings 32, a vertical sleeve 34 is attached to the rear surface of panel 28 in enveloping relation to the openings 32. As seen in FIGURE 4, the lower terminus of sleeve 34 is attached at the bottom of the lowermost of openings 32, so that this bottom opening serves to return the balls which pass through the panel to sleeve 34.

The ability of the panel 28 to withstand the abuse of ball impact is enhanced by the provision of vertical series of spaced perforations 36, one series on the line of centers of openings 32 and one near each side end of the panel.

In the preferred embodiment shown, the over-all height of the wicket is 7 feet and its width 42 inches: the tubes are 5 inches in diameter, and the legs 12, 14 are 4 feet long; holes 32 are 5 inches in diameter, and perforations 36 are 1/2 inch in diameter, spaced 2 inches apart. The screens 30 have 1A inch openings.

In order to assist the practice eort by lending a degree of reality, the panel 28 is provided with representations of sand traps, indicated by the numeral 38, adjacent the target openings 32, and to simulate a fairway, a line of shubbery 40 is simulated along each side of the panel.

Return of the spent balls to the player is effected by gravity, with the balls rolling along an inclined ramp 42, the main body 44 of which consists of plastic screening, is attched to feet 12, 14, and cross tube 16, and is provided with side rails 46 to retain the balls within ther-amp. Near its outer end, the screen ramp 44 is provided with a transverse, cylindrical cavity or sump 48, in which the returned balls collect.

The players box 5d, which comprises a rectangular mat of sponge rubber or plastic, is located transversely to ramp 44 at the outer end thereof, and extends on both sides of the ramp for accommodating both right and left handed players. This mat, as shown is 88 inches long and 32 inches wide.

Centrally of the mat 50 is a rect-angular, plastic -mat 52, equipped with upstanding, spaced, cylindrical strands or bristles S4. The ball may be played from a position resting directly on the bristles, and in such case, the situation roughly corresponds to a shot from a lie on the turf. For simultaing drives, the driving mat may be equipped with a tee holder 56 such as shown in FIGURES 7 to 9. As best seen in FIGURE 9, the holder comprises a long,

strap section 58, with spaced bores 60, located along a longitudinal line medially of the strap width. At one end, the holder has a reversely folded, wider, hook portion 62, spaced from a flared section 64 at one end of strap 58. The spacing of the hook portion from the strap is such as to provide a snug engagement with mat 52, when slipped over the edge thereof, as shown in FIGURE 8. The bores 60 of the holder are sized to snugly receive the shank of a tee 66, upon which the ball 68 is mounted for the drive.

The ramp 44, defining the flight distance, may be any convenient length, and in practice it has been found that 6 feet from tee to stop represents a good working distance. Due to the yielding character or" the stop apparatus, the relatively high energy generated in a drive over this short distance is completely absorbed, with no rebound, and without any sensible damage to the stop apparatus. Although the high speed and Short flight may render it diiiicult to observe which, if any, of the openings 32 the ball has passed through, there will nevertheless be a noticeable time interval involved in bringing the ball to a stop, and in this interval, the configuration of the stop will provide sullicient indication as to which hole has been negotiated.

While a certain preferred embodiment has been shown and described, various modifications will be apparent, in the light of this disclosure, and the invention should not, therefore, be deemed as limited, except insofar as shall appear from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A golf practice apparatus having an impact-absorbing unit comprising a framework of flexible, pneumatic tubing including a pair of horizontally disposed, spaced parallel ground-engaging feet having means to anchor said feet to a horizontal surface, and a vertically disposed rectangle carried by said feet, medially of their length, said tubing having pneumatic intercommunication throughout, and including an air valve, four triangular panels of screen webbing in the corners between the rectangle and the feet, a panel of sheet material carried by said rectangle, within the opening thereof, said panel having a series of vertically spaced openings for passing golf balls, a vertical sleeve carried by said panel and enveloping said openings for arresting balls and guiding them vertically downward to the lowermost of said openings, said panel also having a plurality of perforations substantially smaller than said openings, a ramp of screen material attached to said feet and the lower side of said rectangle and having vertical side rails, and a laterally disposed, depressed portion near its outer end, a first rectangular pad of sponge materially arranged transversely to said ramp, adjacent its outer end and extending on both sides thereof, and a second pad having integral, upstanding bristles located on said first pad and generally aligned with said ramp.

2. In a device as in claim l, a holder for golf tees comprising a strap having a series of bores for receiving the Shanks of tees, and a hooked, end portion adapted to be received over one edge of said second mat.

3. A golf practice apparatus having an impact-absorbing unit comprising a framework of flexible, pneumatic tubing including a pair of horizontally disposed, spaced parallel, ground-engaging feet having means to anchor said feet to a horizontal surface, and a vertically disposed rectangle carried by said feet, medially of their length, said tubing having pneumatic intercommunication throughout, and including an air valve, four triangular panels of screen webbing in the corners between the rectangle and the feet, a panel of sheet material carried by said rectangle, within the opening thereof, said panel having a series of vertically spaced openings for passing golf balls, a vertical sleeve carried by said panel and enveloping said openings, for arresting balls and guiding them vertically downward to the lowermost of said openings, said panel also having a plurality of perforations substantially smaller than said openings, a ramp of screen material attached to said feet and the lower side of said 4- rectangle and having vertical side rails, and a laterally disposed, depressed portion near its outer end, and a rectangular pad of sponge material arranged transversely to said ramp, adjacent its outer end and extending on both sides thereof.

4. A golf practice apparatus having an impact-absorbing unit compring a framework of flexible, pneumatic tubing including a pair of horizontally disposed, spaced parallel ground-engaging feet having means to anchor said feet to a horizontal surface, and a vertically disposed rectangle carried by said feet, medially of their length, said tubing having pneumatic intercommunication throughout, and including an air valve, four triangular panels of screen webbing in the corners between the rectangle and the feet, a panel of sheet material carried by said rectangle, within the opening thereof, said panel having a series of vertically spaced openings for passing golf balls, a vertical sleeve carried by said panel and enveloping said openings for arresting balls, and guiding them vertically downward to the lowermost of said openings, said panel also having a plurality of perforations substantially smaller than said openings, and a ramp of screen material attached to said feet and the lower side of said rectangle and having vertical side rails, and a laterally disposed, depressed portion near its outer end.

5. A golf practice apparatus having an impact-absorbing unit comprising a framework of ilexible, pneumatic tubing including a pair of horizontally disposed, spaced, parallel ground-engaging feet, and a vertically disposed rectangle carried by said feet, medially of their length, said tubing having pneumatic intercommunication throughout, and including an air valve, four triangular panels of screen webbing in the corners between the rectangle and the feet, a panel of sheet material carried by said rectangle, within the opening thereof, said panel having a series of vertically spaced openings for passing golf balls, a vertical sleeve carried by said panel and enveloping said openings for arresting balls and guiding them vertically downward to the lowermost of said openings, said panel also having a plurality of perforations substantially smaller than said openings, and a ramp of screen material attached to said feet and the lower side of said rectangle and having vertical side rails, and a laterally disposed, depressed portion near its outer end.

6. A golf practice apparatus having an impact-absorbing unit comprising a framework of flexible, pneumatic tubing including a pair of horizontally disposed, spaced, parallel, ground-engaging feet', and a vertically disposed rectangle carried by said feet, medially of their length, four triangular panels of screen webbing in the corners between the rectangle and the feet, a panel of sheet material carried by said rectangle, Within the opening thercof, said panel having a series of vertically spaced openings for passing golf balls, a vertical sleeve carried by said panel and enveloping said openings for arresting balls and guiding them vertically downward to the lowermost of said openings, said panel also having a plurality of perforations substantially smaller than said openings, and a ramp of screen material attached to said feet and the lower side of said rectangle and having vertical side rails, and a laterally disposed, depressed portion near its outer end.

7. A golf practice apparatus having an impact-absorbing unit comprising a framework of ilexible, pneumatic tubing including a pair of horizontally disposed, spaced, parallel, ground-engaging feet, and a vertically disposed rectangle carried by said feet, medially of their length, triangular panels of screen webbing in the corners between the rectangle and the feet, a panel of sheet material carried by said rectangle, Within the opening thereof, said panel having a series of vertically spaced openings for passing golf balls, a Vertical sleeve carried by said panel and enveloping said openings for arresting balls and guiding them vertically downward to the lowermost of said openings, and a ramp of screen material attached to said feet and the lower side of said rectangle and having vertical side rails, and a laterally disposed, depressed portion near its outer end.

8. A golf practice apparatus having an impact-absorbing unit comprising a framework of exible, pneumatic tubing including a pair of horizontally disposed, spaced, parallel, ground-engaging feet, and a vertically disposed rectangle carried by said feet, medially of their length, triangular panels of screen webbing in the corners between the rectangle and the feet, a panel of sheet material carried by said rectangle, Within the opening thereof, said panel having a series of vertically spaced openings for passing golf balls, a vertical sleeve carried by said References Cited in the tile of this patent UNTED STATES PATENTS 1,012,820 Cory Dec. 26, 1911 1,437,591 Gray Dec. 5, 1922 3,004,735 Kinard Oct. 17, 1961

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1012820 *May 6, 1910Dec 26, 1911Wilfred H OsgoodGolf-game.
US1437591 *Feb 17, 1921Dec 5, 1922Robert GrayGolf-practice apparatus
US3004735 *Dec 21, 1959Oct 17, 1961Kinard William HParticle detection apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4344624 *Jan 14, 1981Aug 17, 1982Laursen Paul DPractice putting trainer
US4466432 *Sep 16, 1981Aug 21, 1984Mine Safety Appliances Co.Air supplying hood
US4592547 *Sep 4, 1984Jun 3, 1986Thaxton George KTennis practice and game apparatus
US4978121 *Apr 23, 1990Dec 18, 1990Roger LarkeyPortable pitching practice system
US5139262 *Dec 24, 1990Aug 18, 1992Winston LaiGolf putting practice target
US5271616 *Sep 28, 1992Dec 21, 1993Grimaldi Anthony JPitching target apparatus
US5297795 *Sep 11, 1992Mar 29, 1994Meikle John BTarget green for golf practice
US6447400Oct 1, 1999Sep 10, 2002Wilk Patent Development CorporationGolf-course, golf park and associated method of playing a golf game
US7118487 *Mar 3, 2005Oct 10, 2006Jean-Marc Daniel TurcotInflatable sport ball arresting structure
US7611148 *Jan 23, 2006Nov 3, 2009Ready Set Goal LtdInflatable sports goal
US8684327Jan 16, 2009Apr 1, 2014Indian Industries, Inc.Temporary support
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/164, 52/2.21, 473/172
International ClassificationA63B63/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B63/00, A63B2063/001, A63B2225/62
European ClassificationA63B63/00