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Publication numberUS3197208 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 27, 1965
Filing dateAug 13, 1962
Priority dateAug 13, 1962
Publication numberUS 3197208 A, US 3197208A, US-A-3197208, US3197208 A, US3197208A
InventorsMakar John
Original AssigneeMakar John
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf ball flight arresting device including a vertically adjustable aiming target
US 3197208 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 27,1965 J. MAKAR 3,197,208

GOUE` BALL FLIGHT ARRESTING -DEVICE INCLUDING A VERTIGALLY ADJUSTABLE AIMING TARGET 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. l5, 1962 July 27, 1965 J. MAKAR GOLF BALL FLIGHT ARRESTING DEVICE INCLUDING A VERTICALLY ADJUSTABLE AIMING TARGET 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 13, 1962 Jo/m Makar United States Patent YC) 3,197,203 G0117 BALL FLIGHT ARRESTNG 'DEVICE IN- CLUDNG A VERTICALLY ADJUSTABLE AIM- 'NG TARGET John Makar, l. E. 26th Place, Tulsa, Gida. Filed Aug. 13, 1962, Ser. No. 216,509 7 Claims. (Cl. 273-181) The present invention relates to a portable apparatus for use indoors and outdoors which is structurally designed and functionally adapted to provide a novel targetequipped golf ball intercepting practicing net for golfers.

Persons conversant, generally speaking, with practice nets which are used as backstops are aware that many and varied structural adaptations have been offered by inventors in this field of endeavor with a view toward providing a practical, safe and reliable net. In keeping with such intentions and requirements nets have been applied to and supported on various styles and forms of opstanding frames stabilized in one manner or another by props, guy wires or other appropriate mechanical equivalents.

With a view toward exploring the practical application of significant achievements in this field of endeavor, a general objective is to structurally, functionally and in other purposeful ways improve -upon prior art nets. To the ends desired this invention has to do with a comparatively simple net structure which, though comparable with generally analogeous nets, involves a reduction in the number of component parts utilized, whereby to not only increase the efficiency of the structure as a whole, butto render the same less costly to manufacture and to effectually simplify matters of assembling, disassemhling, packaging, and transportation.

Another objective is to provide a unique frame structure The latter is an advance in this fieldV in that the frame proper is of general rectangular form (made of separable and connectible aluminum parts), the same embodying support members, more particularly, forwardly directed legs, said legsbeing L-shaped and bracketed to the lower corner portions of said frame in such a way that it tilts forwardly, that is, in the direction facing the approach of the oncoming golf ball.

In addition to the forwardly slanting frame the invention invokes the use of a tough nylon or equivalent net which is advantageous is that it is not only marginally attached to and arranged in front of the frame members or components but is provided with vertical outwardly diverging wings which serve as guards and assist in directing the oncoming ball into the path of the net proper, whereby the latter constitutes a highly effective backstop.

Tied in with the frame-supported net is a further improvement wherein the forwardly slanting frame suspends the net in a loose or slack manner causing the same, particularly the lower portion, to droop forwardly and downwardly and, to function when in this condition to safely trap the ball which comes into contact therewith in such a way that the ball cannot rebound towardv and accidentally injure the. user.

Then, too, and in line with the featured slack net is the additional fact that the component portions of the over-all net are in front of the rearwardly disposed component portions of the frame structureA thus further minimizing the likelihood that a hard hit ball might, if the construction were other than that revealed, forcibly re-- bound and strike the golfer or anyone else who might be within the range of the net. Y

Furthermore, novelty is predicated on the structural features and improvements enumeratedV and wherein a vertically adjustable target is employed inV conjunction with the loose net. With the target arrangement herein employed the user can aptly and accurately test his pro- "ice iiciency in that he may vary his standing distance from the net and target and, using regulation clubs and balls can practice shots from different angles relying on the regulatable target for aiming and eventually ascertaining by practice and observation the result of each shot in relation to a previous shot.

Last but by no means least it is to be mentioned that the simple targetV with a complemental bulls-eye constitutes a highly significant feature of this invention. To the ends desired, a durable disk-like target is employed and is provided on its rear attachable side with one or more fasteners, snap fasteners, for example. These snap fasteners are separably connectible with companion snap fasteners which are vertically spaced on an accessible side of a centrally depending or suspended tape or an equivalent strap. By attaching the upper end of the tape or strap to an upper part of the frame and passing the lower end portion through a retaining loop on the net and properly arranging the coacting snap fasteners the target can be raised or lowered depending on the club which is being used and the loft of the impact surface thereof as will be hereinafter more fully set forth. y

These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:`

FIGURE l is a View in front elevation of an adjustable target-equipped practice net or apparatusV constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention and showing the same set up for use;

FIGURE 2 is an end elevation of the construction depicted in FIGURE l observing the same in either a direction from the left or the right as the case may be;

FIGURE 3 is a top plan view of the apparatus;

FGURE 4 is a central vertical section on a slightly larger scale and wherein the component parts are more clearly illustrated;

FIGURE 5 is an exaggerated detail section of a fragmentary type taken on the section line 5-5 of FIG- URE 2; f

FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary enlarged section on the section line 6 6 of FIGURE 3; and

FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary View inperspective showing the central lower portion of the net and a rear perspective of the target and the anchoring and suspension means therefor.

With reference now to the drawings, the portable knockdown support means, speaking generally, is designated -as a frame structure. More specifically it comprises a sectional substantiallyV rectangular frame referred to generally by the numeral 10. This frame, being portable andV light in Weight (about 8 pounds) is made of aluminum tubing or equivalent component parts. More particularly it embodies four substantially L-shaped or right-angular sections of each the same construction and denoted by the numeral 12 and each embodying right angularly disposed limbs or arms 14 which are separably connectible in the manner shown, for example, in FIG. 6. It will be noted that one of the arms or limbs 14 has a dowel 16 plugged therein and riveted or otherwise secured in place as at 18 with an end portion 2t! projecting and adapted to be telescopically received in the socket portion of the limb 14 of the adjacent cooperation section. It is Within the purview of the concept to make this frame of some other type or construction so long as itis durable, light in weight, portable, and easy to set up and take down. More significant than the sectional frame is .the means for supporting the same in a position for use. This support means comprises two duplicate comer-attached leg .a units or brackets each of which is denoted by the numeral 22. Each leg unit comprises an L-shaped length of aluminum or equivalent tubing the short limb 24 of which is superimposed upon the adjacent frame member, the longer horizontal limb 26 assuming the cooperating angular position illustrated. More specifically (FIG. clamp means 28 is employed to join the leg units 22 to the frame unit. Simple cleats 30 are positioned on opposite sides of the connectible parts and these cleats are secured together by bolt and nut means 32 in the manner illustrated. Consequently these L-shaped leg units are detachably clamped to the lower corner portions of the rectangular frame unit and the angular bend of the limbs 24 is such as to tilt the frame -or frame unit forwardly or from left to right as shown for example in FIG. 4. Suitable collars or rings may be employed for shoulders on the horizontal legs, the rearward collar being denoted at 34 and the forward collar and cap at 36 and 3S. To assist in maintaining the frame structure in a stable position hook-shaped stakes 40 may be and preferably are employed with the hooks engaged over the legs 26 in the manner illustrated and the stakes driven into the ground for outdoor use.

The applicable and removable ball intercepting or backstop means for the frame structure comprises a generally rectangular main net 42 of nylon or other equivalent tough material. The upper and lower edges are marginally taped or otherwise bordered and bound as denoted at 44 and ythe vertical edges 46 are stitched to cooperating rearward or inward longitudinal edge portions of the substantially triangulate wings or end guards 48 which are also provided with marginal reinforcing tape or binding as at 50. There is sufficient material and fullness in the over-all net that when the same is attached to the frame unit and leg units 22 the surplus material provides the drooping slack shown to advantage in FIG. 4. Appropriate attaching bands or equivalent members or elements 52 are provided as shown in FIG. 1 for attaching the upper portion of the net to the upper part of the frame. Similar attaching elements 54 (FIG- 4) are provided and are connected with the collared portions 56 and flexible ties S8 serve to provide the desired cooperating connection between the parts. These ties constitute holddown elements and are properly used to anchor the lower portion of the net. The lower corner portions of the wings are held down or anchored by similar elastic or equivalent elements 60. Thus Ithe net when appropriately attached and draped :and bellied in the manner drawn achieves the ball flight arresting result depicted in FIG. 4. The aiming and ball-flight determining and checking target is a simple but highly unique component. It is denoted generally by the numeral 62 and comprises a rubbencoated or equivalent canvasl or anequivalent disk 64 having a central bulls eye 66 and a suitably reinforced marginal hem, ring or similar rim or collar 68. The target is centrally suspended in a position opposed to the front of the net and is adjustably mounted on a suspension tape or strap 70. This strap comprises a single length of nylon or equivalent strip material which is essentially black in color but has a central relatively narrow white stripe '71 running lengthwise along the middle thereof as illustrated in FIG. l. Selectively usable snap fasteners or the likel 72, '73 (FIG. 4) 74 and 75 are provided at vertically spaced intervals along the central portion of the strap. Each snap fastener will be provided in actual practice with a depending tab 76. Also in actual practice there will be printed certain indicia on each tab to distinguish the same from the next adjacent one. Take for example the lowermost snap fastener and its tab; it will have printed on its face 1W6. Consequently, this particular attachable position for the target would signify to the user that standing -at six feet from the target in a position which he might arbitrarily designa-te as A'he would be in a correct locale for using a No. l wood, that is, a driver. Following this theme the other tabs or tags similarly marked for using other woods such as 2, 3 and 4 and alternatively marked, if desired, for the use of varying irons ranging from 2 to 9.

In actual practice a suitable explanatory chart will be supplied as a part of the directions for use of the present invention and the chart will perhaps be incorporated in a booklet or leatiet explaining the features and advantages and the mode of use and more particularly illustrating diagrammatically or otherwise the varying selective upper, lower and intermediate positions of the target in respect to the suspension tape and the snap fasteners which are provided thereon for ready application and removal of the snap fastener 77 (FIG. 1) provided on the tab 78 of the margin of the target to facilitate attaching and detaching the target. Only the lowermost position of the target is shown in the drawings and of course only a few snap fasteners are provided on the tape or strap 70. In actual practice any number of selectively usable tagequipped snap fasteners will be, of course, employed. The diametrically opposite marginal portions of the target are provided with suitable reinforcing elements 79 which are in turn provided with flexible elements 80. These elements are provided at their outer ends with tubular anchors 81 which can be dropped through one of the openings between the cords of the net as shown in FIG. 7 to laid in stabilizing the target so that it will be on center and `so retained in keeping with the desires of the user. The element 80 is preferably an elastic cord and the anchor element 81 comprises a short piece of tubing which is inserted lengthwise through an appropriate mesh in the net and then freed so tha-t it assumes the position substantially parallel to the plane of the net as illustrated.

It will be understood that the upper end of the snap fastener-equipped strap 70 will be suitably attached to an upper marginal edge portion of the net. However, it would be within the purview of the invention to attach the upper end if found to be feasible to the upper horizontal member of the frame. In any event the strap 70 should be centrally positioned so that it hangs down in the manner illustrated and so that the lower end portion 82 passes through a loop 83 which is sewed or otherwise attached to the net at the lower central portion in the manner shown. Thus, the lower end 82 is simply passed through this loop and held in a down position in a manner believed to be evident from FIG. 4.

It is also optional but desirable to provide a horizontally elongated tape 84 which is preferably in the form of a tubular hem as shown in FIG. 4 and which is loaded with suitable weights 86.` The upper edge of the tape is suitably attached to the net and consequently the tape becomes a suitable apron or shield and extends across the bottom portions of the net and minimizes ball bounceback.

It is believed that the manner of clamping or bracketing the support units to the lower corner portions of the knockdown frame is clear and evident. In addition, it is clear that the net 42 proper and the wings or extensions 48 provide a satisfactory covering for the frame and an appropriate ball trapping backstop.

To practice with a No. 1 wood (driver), the golfer refers to the chart (not shown) to get the appropriate target position for that club. This is done, as shown in FIG. 1, by fastening snap 77 to snap 72. Next, from the information on the chart, he places his ball six feet from the ground point below the target. The center of the bulls eye of the target will be about 1 foot 2 inches above the ground, which is the standard ball elevation for a No. 1 wood-viz. 11. The same theory applies to the remaining clubs listed on the chart.

The adjustable target, if properly utilized, can turn out to be of great value to the golfing public and profession. Not only is this target adjustable, it is adjustable to the point ofV testing the accuracy of a golfers using each golf club (based on accepted standard yloft angles) and there by constitutes a novel contribution to the art.

The forces of gravity cause the surplus lower portion of the suspended net to sag and thus droop down and assume the ball ight absorbing condition illustrated, for example, in FIG. 4. This inherent property of the net provides a convexly bellied portion at the forwardmost part of the net and functions as a ball intercepting force dissipating and arresting zone. Then, too, this strain resisting area functions (l) to provide a longer ball deceleration distance; (2) minimizes undesirable bounceback of the ball; (3) prolongs the life of the overall net; and (4) insures safety for all concerned. Every connection between the marginal edges of the netting and frame components is yieldable whereby to achieve a significantly desirable shock-absorbing result. The fact that golf is in effect a target game, the net part constitutes a backstop. The feature defined as the target signifies a mark or bulls-eye aimed for.

It is submitted that a careful consideration of the speciication in conjunction with the views of the drawings will enable the reader to obtain a clear and comprehensive understanding of the construction and arrangement of component parts, the features and advantages and mode of using the invention. Consequently, a more extended description is regarded as unnecessary.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.

What is claimed as new is as follows:

1. A golf practicing apparatus which is knockdown and portable and which permits safe use of regulation golf balls and golf clubs in connection therewith comprising: a substantially rectangular sectional knockdown frame, L-shaped leg units having component portions thereof attached to cooperating corner portions of the bottom part of said frame by way of readily applicable and removable clamping means, a ball intercepting, force dissipating and flight arresting net operatively mounted on said frame, a target, means associated with and in front of said net and on which said target is adjustably mounted, said target comprising a composite disk-like member having a reinforced marginal rim and provided on its front side with a bulls-eye, said target being further provided on a margin thereof with snap fastener means, and the aforementioned mounting means for said target comprising a suspended strip member provided at vertically spaced points with snap fasteners with which the snap fastener on said target may be detachably and selectively connected in a manner to permit the target to be positioned at selected vertical positions relative to the net.

2. The structure defined in claim 1 and wherein said target is provided on diametrically opposite sides with elastic elements, said elastic elements being provided at outer free ends with anchoring members and said anchoring members being adapted to be detachably connected with component portions of the selected portions of the net to facilitate positioning said target so that it will be substantially parallel to that portion of the net with which it cooperates.

3. A golf practicing apparatus which permits short range indoor or outdoor safe driving of regulation golf balls with standard golf clubs comprising, in combination, a substantially planar rectangular upwardly forwardly inclined self-standing frame, a ball intercepting, force dissipating and iiight arresting net loosely spanning and covering the opening encompassed by said frame and having marginal portions thereof yieldingly connected with predetermined marginal members of said frame, a single target adapted to be aimed at and struck by a driven golf ball, exible self-adapting target supporting and height adjusting means attached at an upper end to a median part of the upper marginal portion of said net and depending and loosely and suspended in front of coacting median upper and lower portions of said net, and quickly separable fastening and adjusting means for said target carried by 1) said target and (2) said supporting means respectively, whereby said target can be manually adjusted and positioned up or down on said supporting means contingent on the golf club which is selected for use.

4. A short golf practicing apparatus for indoor and outdoor use and which permits safe use of regulation golf balls and standard golf clubs comprising, in combination, a portable knockdown self-supporting frame structure embodying a planar upwardly forwardly inclined frame having a bottom member provided at left and right corner portions with forwardly extending outwardly diverging surface contacting self-standing frame supporting legs, a slack ball-intercepting net loosely draped and spanning the space encompassed by said frame and having marginal edge portions yieldingly attached to the cooperating encompassing members of said frame, and a pair of forwardly projecting outwardly diverging auxiliary net portions constituting wings and cooperably associated with the vertical marginal edge portions of said net and functioning in conjunction with said net to guide and control the fright of the driven oncoming golf ball, a target designed and adapted to be struck by adriven golf ball, said target being separate from and disposed in front of a minimal median portion of said net, and narrow flexible strap means connected to upper and lower portions of said net and also to said target and flexibly and adjustably suspending said target so that it can be positioned and suspended at a predetermined height and ball teeing distance for each club.

5. The structure defined in claim 4 and wherein said target is of composite construction capable of receiving a direct hit from the golf ball and serving as protection against any single point of stress on the net by reason of the fact that the target can be changed constantly in relation to the net with the result that the ball shots can be distributed and spread over a greater area of the net than would otherwise be the case if no target were utilized.

6. A golf practicing apparatus comprising, in combination, a frame structure including a generally rectangular planar portable knockdown frame, suport means attached to the lower right and left corner portions of said frame,

said support means embodying forwardly directed legs lateral to the plane of the frame, said frame, when in use, being inclined upwardly and forwardly toward the user at an angle of approximately l5 degrees, a net spanning and having marginal edges mounted on the frame, the body portion of said net embodying surplus netting and providing a slack ball intercepting and ight arresting portion, and in combination, a relatively small target having a front-facing bulls-eye, and a target suspension strap, said strap being narrow, elongated and flexible and attached at an upper end portion to a central upper edge portion of said net, said strap being suspended and depending loosely in front of the upper and median portions of the net, and means detachably and adjustably mounting said target on said suspension strap.

7. A golf practicing apparatus functionally designed and structurally adapted to permit short range safe use of regulation golf balls and a variety of standard golf clubs having prescribed loft angles comprising, in combination, a substantially rectangular planar portable sectional knockdown frame of requisite height and width and adapted when in use to assume an upwardly forwardly inclined position relative to the user, self-standing leg units having component portions thereof separably attached to cooperating right and left lower corner portions of the bottom part of said frame, a ball intercepting, force dissipating and flight arresting net spanning the G frame, said net being slack. and loosely draped and marginally and yieldably mounted on said frame, target means associated .with and, in front of said net on which said target is adapted to be adjustably mounted, said target comprising a composite member having a front side provided with a bulls-eye, said target being further provided with fastener means, and the aforementioned mounting means for said target comprising a flexible strip member attached at an upper` end to an upper median edge portion of said net and hung and depending across the median and lower portions of the net and provided at vertically spaced points with fasteners with which cooperable fastener means on said target may be detachably connected in a manner to permit the target to be located for use at predetermined selected vertical positions relative to the stn'p member and also to the net.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,542,489 6/ 25 Ceever 273-184 1,629,907 5/ 27 Dwyer 273-181 2,827,295 3/ 5 8 Austin 273-26 2,915,314 12/59 Phillips 273-1024 2,922,65 3 1/ 60 OBrien 273-181 3,049,353 8/ 62 Viator 273-182 DELBERT B. LOWE, Primary Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification473/190, 473/421, 473/454, 473/197
International ClassificationA63B63/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2024/005, A63B63/00
European ClassificationA63B63/00