US 3275325 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 27, 1966 w MacKENZlE 3,275,325
GOLF PUTTING TRAINER Filed April 8, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet l Kenneth W. Mackenzie 1N VENTOR.
P 1956 K. W. M KENZIE 3,275,325
GOLF PUTTING TRAINER Filed April 8, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 36 84 Fly. 3 4 22 80 86 Kenneth W Mackenzie I N VEN TOR.
United States Patent 3,275,325 GOLF PUTTING TRAINER Kenneth W. MacKenzie, Rte. 2, Box 412C, Acampo, Calif. Filed Apr. 8, 1964, Ser. No. 358,207 Claims. (Cl. 273-179) The present invention generally relates to a device for use in training persons in the art of putting golf balls and is adaptable for use in various localities and for enabling a score to be registered thereby introducing an aspect of competition into the use of the training device.
An object of the present invention is to provide a golf putting trainer having a detachable golf return trough thereon for enabling golf balls to automatically return to a point adjacent their point of origin with the trough being adjustable and detachable.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a golf training device including an inclined ramp having an upstanding rim or flange thereon together with a plurality of apertures therein through which the ball may be discharged onto a slanted ramp or return which will guide the ball laterally onto a ball return trough.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an inclined ramp in accordance with the preceding object together with a bumper at the lower end of the ramp so that any balls that do not pass through any of the openings will also be returned laterally to the golf ball return trough A further object of the present invention is to provide a golf putting trainer which may be used on various surfaces such as a lawn or the like or on concrete with the flexibility of use enabling the device to be employed as a game by using various rules and also providing a plurality of apertures in the target area which is in the form of an inclined ramp with one of the apertures being centrally located and being sufficiently small to prevent a golf ball from passing therethrough but sufficient in size to hold the golf ball thereon in the event the golf ball passes slowly over the hole thus indicating a birdie.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a golf putting trainer which is simple in construction and easy to store in a compact manner in that the return trough is constructed in detachable sections and of a flexible material to enable the same to be easily stored in a compact manner.
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 1 is a perspective view of the golf putting trainer of the present invention illustrating the manner of use thereof;
FIGURE 2 is a top plan view of the construction of the trainer of the present invention with portions thereof broken away for illustrating the structural details thereof;
FIGURE 3 is a longitudinal, vertical sectional view taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line 33 of FIGURE 2 illustrating further structural details of the trainer;
FIGURE 4 is a transverse, sectional view taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line 44 of FIGURE 2 illustrating the structure of the return mechanism and its relationship to the inclined ramp;
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of the ball return bumper located at the lower edge of the target ramp illustrating the structural details thereof;
FIGURE 6 is an exploded group perspective view iliustrating the structure of the return mechanism for the golf balls;
FIGURE 7 is a transverse, sectional view taken subice stantially upon a plane passing along section line 77 of FIGURE 2 illustrating the manner of connecting the return trough to the return mechanism;
FIGURE 8 is a detail sectional view taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line 88 of FIGURE 2 illustrating the support mechanism for the trough connections; and
FIGURE 9 is an exploded group perspective view illustrating the trough anchoring components.
Referring now specifically to the drawings, the numeral 10 generally designates the golf putting trainer of the present invention for use by a golfer 12 when practicing putting with a golf ball 14 by using a conventional putter 16 or the like. The device of the present invention may be installed on a lawn surface 18, a concrete walkway or the like or any other suitable surface on which the golf ball 14 may be propelled with a certain degree of accuracy towards the trainer 10.
The trainer 10 includes an inclined ramp 20 having a flat upper surface 22 which may be painted or covered to simulate a green. One edge of the ramp 20 is straight as indicated at 24 while the other edge is arcuate or semicircular indicated at 26. All of the edges of the ramp 20 except for the straight edge 24 are provided with an upstanding retaining flange -or fence 28 secured to the ramp 20 by suitable screw-threaded fasteners 30 or the like.
Adjacent to but spaced from the arcuate end 26 of the ramp 20 is a plurality of openings 32 which are all of the same size but which are arranged arcuately on the ramp and each opening is of a size to permit a golf ball 14 to readily pass therethrough. Also, each opening is provided with an associated numerical indicia 34 for providing a particular value for the hole 32. For example, the numerical values, as illustrated in FIGURE 2, may be 10, 15, 30 and 50 or any other selected values. Also each of the openings or holes 32 is provided wit-h an upstanding pin 36 located in offset relation to the edge of the opening adjacent the arcuate edge 26 of the ramp 20. The placement of the upstanding pins or pegs 36 is illustrated in FIGURE 2 and these pins or pegs are for the purpose of providing obstacles to entry of golf balls into the holes 32. Centrally on the ramp 20, there is provided a hole or opening 38 having a diameter of less than that which will permit passage of a golf ball 14 but having a sufficient diameter that when a golf ball passes slowly over the hole 38, the golf ball 14 will rest thereon as illustrated in FIGURE 3.
Attached to the end of the ramp 20 remote from the arcuate edge 26 and overlying the straight edge 24 is an approach member 40 in the form of a sheet metal member having upturned end edges 42 which are received between the ends of the flange 28 as illustrated in FIG- URES 2 and 3 with the edge of the transverse member 40 as well as the end members 42 being received along the top surface of the ramp 20 and inner surface of the ends of the flange 28 and projecting from the straight edge 24 of the ramp 20 in the manner illustrated in FIG- URE 3. A pair of generally rectangular support members 44 are oriented exteriorly of the ends of the flange 28 and generally the members 44 are coextensive with the end members 42. Fastening devices 46 extend through the end members 42, the end of the flange 28 and the supporting legs 44 as illustrated in FIGURE 3 whereby the supporting legs 44 serve to support straight edge 24 of the ramp 20 as well as the transverse member 40 in elevated position in relation to the supporting surface 18.
Located in alinement with the straight edge 24 of the ramp 20 is an inclined approach ramp structure designated by numeral 48 and including an inclined ramp 50 in the form of a sheet metal panel or the like having an inclined edge 52 spaced above a lateral return ramp 54 by the provision of a spacer bar 56 secured to the members 50 and 54 by suitable fasteners 58. The lateral return ramp 54 in turn is supported by a spacer bar 60 secured thereto by fastening members 62. The end of the lateral return member 54 is inserted under the free edge of the transverse member 40 whereby the inclined edge 52 will form an abutment for any golf balls that proceed down the incline of the ramp 20 so that such golf balls will not come back down the ramp 42 but will be discharged laterally of the lateral discharge member 54 which may be inclined slightly by having the spacer bar 60 slightly thinner on the discharge end thereof than on the opposite end which is the end having the narrow lateral width.
Underlying the arcuate end portions of the ramp 20 is a transversely extending inclined lateral return mamber 64 having an upstanding leg 66 at the end thereof remote from the arcuate end 26 of the ramp 20. Also, a longitudinal upstanding edge 68 is provided on the longitudinal edge of the transverse member 64 which is lowermost. The opposite edge of the transverse member 64 has a spacer bar or support 70 underlying the same thereby supporting the lateral transverse member 64 in an inclined manner so that any golf balls discharged through the holes 32 will be deposited on the lateral discharge member 64. A diagonal supporting brace 72 is provided on the undersurface of the lateral-discharge member 64. The lateral discharge member 64 extends under a false bottom 74 for the arcuate end of the ramp 20. The false bottom 74 has one edge secured in a transverse bar 76 secured to the undersurface of the ramp 20 and has the end edges thereof upwardly inclined as indicated by numeral 78 in FIGURE 4 and the false bottom 74 extends under all of the holes 32 for collecting the golf balls which pass therethrough and directing them towards the center arcuate edge of the false bottom 74 which meets with and is joined to the depending portion of the side flanges or fence 28. The depending portion of the side wall or flange 28 is designated by numeral 80 and combines with the ramp 20, the transverse member 76 and the false bottom 74 to provide a compartment for receiving golf balls which pass through the openings 32 and collecting such golf balls and discharging them through a central arcuate opening 82 formed in the arcuate portion of the depending part 80 of the flange or wall 28 thereby discharging all of the golf balls onto the lateral transverse member 64 which underlies the opening As illustrated in FIGURE 3, a U-shaped connecting strap 84 is provided on the wall or flange 28 in alinement with the opening 82 therein and the strap 84 is provided with a fastener 86 which extends therethrough and extends into the ramp 20 thereby securing adjacent edges of the wall or flange 28 together and retaining the opening 82 in position.
Extending alongside of the ramp 20 and connected With the lateral discharge member 64 is a longitudinal trough member 88 having a bar or ledge 90 along the outer edge thereof and having an upstanding flange 92 struck upwardly therefrom on the inner edge thereof which lies alongside of the ramp exteriorly of the flange or wall 28 and the supporting leg 44 as illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2. The ledge member 90 terminates in spaced relation to the ends of the trough 88 thus enabling the end of the trough to be inserted under the lateral member 64 with a portion thereof underlying a tongue-like projection 93 formed on the edge of the laterally extending member 64 which receives the trough member 88 whereby golf balls will be discharged onto the trough member 88 from the laterally extending discharge member 64 in view of the lateral inclination and also inclination of the member 64 towards the trough member 68. Attached to the trough member 88 and in axial alinement therewith are trough sections 94 and 96 which are connected therewith by connector and supporting assemblies 98 which also conned lb? section 94 to the trough member 88.
Each connecting and supporting assembly 98 includes a tranversely extending connector and supporting strap 102 having reversely bent end lugs 104 thereon which are spaced from the strap 102 and the strap 102 and the lugs 104 each having an aperture 106 therein with the apertures being vertically alined for receiving an anchoring pin or belt 108 therethrough. A portion of the anchor rod 108 may be threaded for receiving a threaded nut 110 received on the threaded portion of the rod 108 and received between the flange 104 and the strap 102 whereby the elevational relationship of the trough section may be adjusted in relation to the ground surface 1 8 for providing a return inclination for the trough sections for return of the golf balls 14 in an obvious manner. Rubber or plastic washers 112 may be employed on the anchor rods 108 to also support the connector straps 102 as illustrated in FIGURE 7. The washers 112 may frictionally engage the supporting rods 108 and either the adjustment nuts 110 or the washers 112 may be used or both the nuts and washers may be used if desired for securing the trough sections together and for adjustably supporting the edges of the trough sections so that a return pitch is provided for the entire trough assembly for returning the golf balls. The trough sections 88, 94 and 96 may be constructed of flexible plastic or rubber- Llike material which enables the trough to be rolled up or otherwise orientated in compact condition for storage.
As illustrated in FIGURES l and 2, the trough section 88 has the inner edge thereof alined with and below the plane of the lateral discharge member 54 so that any golf balls which roll back down the ramp 20 will engage the inclined bumper edge 52 and be discharged laterally from the member 54 onto the trough section 88 for return along the trough in the same manner as golf balls which pass through one of the holes 32 which initially engage the false .bottom 64 and roll forwardly and inwardly toward the center, out through the opening 82, laterally along the lateral discharge member 64 and then rear- -wardly along the trough sections 88, 94 .and 96.
The present invention may be placed on a lawn, a floor, cement surface or the like. Inasmuch as the central hole 38 requires the exercise of maximum skill to deposit a ball thereon, this hole will be designated a birdie. When the device is used on a concrete Walk or adjacent thereto, the trough assembly may not be used since the concrete walkway can be used as a return surface inasmuch as the ball will be given an initial ret-urn movement by the ramp 64. Of course, the ball return trough assembly may be added in a very short time if desired. This not only facilitates the use of the invention, but also provides for easy storage thereof. The track can be rolled up into a snug condition when not in use and is completely adjustable as to height by easily turning the bolts through the nuts or if deisred, stiff wires are used in place of the bolts and nuts with rubber or plastic washers frictionally engaging the wires on the bottom side of the trough.
As illustrated in FIGURES l and 2, the anchor rod 108 for connecting the short trough section 88 to the trough section 94 extends through the ramp surface 50 thus further serving to secure the components of the trainer toget-her.
Accordingly, it will be apparent that the golf putting trainer of the present invention provides an entertaining means of practicing putting or it may be employed as a game of skill with more than one player with each hole being made representing different scores. If the device is used on a flat hard surface, the sloping ramp 20 will return the balls to the players with the lateral discharge member serving to direct the balls to one side of the walkway or driveway so that the balls will roll back to the players in a position not directly in alinement with the area from which they are projecting the golf balls. Thus, with the present invention, a player may hit balls continuously from the green, cement, or rug without retrieving them. Imitation green such as a rug or foam rubber might be attached to the ramp from an area just below the holes to within an area adjacent the bumper.
As illustrated in FIGURE 1, an angle iron member 114 may be disposed acorss the trough 96 at any desired point in an angular orientation for deflecting the golf balls off of the trough at any desired point. Thus, with this structure, the golf balls may be discharged wherever desired along the length of the trough and the angle iron member 114 is detachably secured in place by a suitable seat clamp 116 or other similar and equivalent structure.
Also, the end of the trough 96 may be out on a slight bias and then reversed to be joined to either trough 94 or 88 to directionally return the balls more centrally in front of the approach ramp 50 when desired.
It is pointed out that the ground anchors 108 are positioned in various parts of the guide 68 such as adjacent the four corners thereof to retain the guide 68 in place. The various components may be set up in various arrangements to support the structure of the return mechanism for returning the golf balls in a desired manner so that the balls may discharge from the trough in an expedient manner. Also, both may be used on hard surfaces as well as the ground anchors together with washers and nuts to adjust the supporting trough and the rod 108 may or may not be threaded when used with resilient washers.
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 putting training aid comprising an inclined ramp having an approach edge orientated adjacent the supporting surface whereby golf balls may be projected onto the ramp, an arcuate retaining wall extending upwardly from the ramp in spaced relation to the approach edge thereof for retaining golf balls projected onto the ramp, said ramp having a plurality of openings therethrough through which a golf ball may pass, means supporting the ramp in inclined position, and means underlying the openings through the ramp for collecting golf balls passing therethrough and returning the golf balls in a lateral direction and alongside of the ramp for returning them to an area from which they are projected, said ramp being provided with a centrally disposed recess incapable of passing a golf ball but sufficient to retain the golf ball if it rolls slowly thereover thereby providing a diflicult target for the golf ball, obstacles provided on the ramp adjacent the openings for increasing the difficulty of passing the golf balls therethrough, the approach edge of said ramp being provided with an approach ramp spaced slightly therefromand including an abutment edge spaced from the approach edge, said abutment edge being inclined away from the approach edge laterally thereof for returning golf balls laterally when they roll back down the ramp.
2. The structure as defined in claim 1 wherein said means for collecting and returning the golf balls includes an inclined member for conveying golf balls laterally from the ramp, and trough means extending from the inclined member and alongside of the ramp to a position alongside of the area from which the golf balls are projected.
3. The structure as defined in claim 2 wherein said trough means includes a plurality of trough sections, each of said trough sections being in the form of a flexible member, means detachably connecting the trough sections and supporting the trough sections for providing an inclination on which the golf balls may roll.
4. The structure as defined in claim 3 wherein said means connecting and supporting the flexible trough sections comprises a strap underlying the adjacent ends of adjacent sections, said strap having reversely bent end portions overlying the top surface of the trough sections, and anchoring pins extending through and adjustably attached to the end portions of said straps for anchoring the trough sections to a supporting surface and supporting the trough sections at a predetermined elevation.
5. The structure as defined in claim 4 wherein said straps are of shallow channel-shaped configuration thereby shaping the flexible trough sections, each anchor pin including a threaded rod extending through an end portion of the strap and a nut on said threaded rod for adjustably supporting the strap in place.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,063,119 5/1913 Clifford 273l X 1,558,767 10/ 1925 Smith 273-179 1,669,640 5/1928 Warlick 273-103 X 1,834,317 12/1931 Peccerillo 273 X 1,874,873 8/1932 Boye 273l80 X 2,232,569 2/1941 Johnson 273182 3,081,090 3/1963 Congleton 273-477 X DELBERT B. LOWE, Primary Examiner.
G. J. MARLO, Assistant Examiner.