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Publication numberUS3310310 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 21, 1967
Filing dateOct 10, 1963
Priority dateOct 10, 1963
Publication numberUS 3310310 A, US 3310310A, US-A-3310310, US3310310 A, US3310310A
InventorsMckee James B
Original AssigneeMckee James B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golfing driving range and simulated golf course
US 3310310 A
Abstract  available in
Images(6)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

J. B. M KEE March 21,1967

GOLFING DRIVING RANGE AND SIMULATED GOLF COURSE 6 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR- JAMES B. MCKEE BY W Filed Oct. 10, 1963 J. B. M KEE March 21, 1967 GOLFING DRIVING RANGE AND SIMULATED GOLF COURSE Filed Oct. 10 1963 INVENTOR. JAMES B. McKEE BY WWfl-fi z 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 March 21, 1967 J. B. McKEE GOLFING DRIVING RANGE AND SIMULATED GOLF COURSE Filed Oct. 10 1963 6 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR.

JAMES B. Mc KEE March 21, 196? MCKEE 331%310 GOLFING DRIVING RANGE AND SIMULATED GOLF COURSE Filed Oct. 10, 1.965 6 Sheets-$heet 4 IHI M 3. INVENTORJ JAMES MCKE E .4 5 BY at 32m March 21, 1967 J. B. M KEE I GOLFING DRIVING RANGE AND SIMULATED GOLF COURSE Filed Oct. 10

6 Sheets-Sheet 5 FIG. 12

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII... ulunllllllllulilulnl mvisNToR JAMES B. McKEE March 21, 1967 J. B. M KEE GOLFING DRIVING RANGE AND SIMULATED GOLF COURSE Filed Oct. 10, 1963 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 6 m l .A E 6 RE C m w mM W 7 0 V A w W W 40 H1(\ s E m m w R m J W m 6 r 4 a. 5 l l. B 1. WM 2 G mm F H l 5 m a w M (I M A 1 M m C U D s N M 2 T w 4 a 4 A I 7 7 7 if 541W a; 5 e. w G U 3 I United States Patent 3,310,310 GOLFING DRIVING RANGE AND SMUIJATED GOLF COURSE James B. McKee, 3615 Townsend Drive, Dallas, Tex. 75229 Filed Oct. 10, 1963, Ser. No. 315,253 '14 Claims. -(Cl. 273-17 6) This invention relates to golf courses and more particularly to a golf course upon which a golf game closely simulating the conventional .game of golf may be played.

This application is a continuation-in-part of the copending application, Ser. No. 139,665, filed September 21, 1961, now Patent No. 3,129,943.

An object of the invention is to provide a novel type of golf course for playing a game of golf which required very little walking on the part of the participants as compared with the amount of walking required to play a conventional game of golf.

Another object is to provide a golf course wherein the golf players make all of their golf shots from a centrally located area on the course so as to reduce the amount of walking required in playing the game and permit the game to be played more speedily than a game played on a regular golf course.

Still another object is to provide a golf course which permits the playing of a golf game which closely simulates a regular golf game but which requires a much smaller tract of land than a conventional golf course.

A further object is to provide a golf course of the type described on which a game of golf may be played which closely approximates the conventional game of golf under conditions which closely approximate the conventional game of golf, the player being required to make all types of shots to different target areas of different contours.

A still further object is to provide a golf course having a central area providing a plurality of hitting positions from which the golfer must make his shots toward target areas locaed outwardly and radially from the key positions.

Another object is to provide a golf course having the usual obstacles such as watertraps and trees, strategically located relative to the target areas in order to stimulate player interest.

Still another object is to provide a golf course having a driving range provided with means for automatically indicating the location on the driving range reached by a ball hit by a particular player.

Still another object is to provide a golf course wherein the driving range is provided with a plurality of spaced nets or barriers provided with signal means for indicating that a ball has struck or reached a particular barrier.

A further object is to provide obstacles such as artificial trees which may be easily moved to vary the difficulty and condition of the course.

A still further object-is to provide a golf course wherein the fairways are provided with water traps and greens each provided with electrically actuated means for indicating when a ball reaches the green or falls into a trap.

A still further object is to provide a golf course having an area from which balls may be driven to two groups of fairways spaced radially outwardly from the driving area and having a driving range disposed between the two groups of the fairways.

Additional objects and advantages of the invention will be readily apparent from the reading of the following description of a device constructed in accordance with the invention, and reference to the accompanying drawings thereof, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective somewhat schematic view of a golf course constructed in accordance with the invention.

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FIGURE 2 is a schematic plan view, with some portions of the building structures removed, of the golf course of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a vertical fragmentary sectional view taken on line 33 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of one of the targets or greens of the golf course;

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of the target illustrated in FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 6 is a vertical sectional View of a target showing schematically the ball collecting and signalling systems associated with the target;

FIGURE 7 is the perspective view of one of the signal devices associated with one of the targets;

FIGURE 8 is a vertical sectional schematic view of one of the water traps and its signalling system;

FIGURE 9 is a partly fragmentary side view of a ball dropping device for the sand traps of the golf course;

FIGURE 10 is a fragmentary top view of the ball dropping device;.

FIGURE 11 is a fragmentary side view of a tree simulating obstacle of the golf course;

FIGURE 12 is a fragmentary perspective view of a screen assembly of the driving range;

FIGURE 13 is a vertical side view showing the installation of the screens of FIGURE 12;

FIGURE 14 is a vertical sectional view of a modified form of the driving range screen; and,

FIGURE 15 is a schematic illustration of the electric control circuit of the signalling devices of the golf course.

Referring now particularly to FIGURES 1 and 2 of the drawings, the golf course includes a land tract 21 about which extends a fence 22 which partially encloses the tract and has its ends 25 and 26 at opposite ends of the rear boundary line 27 of the tract. A substantially U-shaped building structure 28 is disposed inwardly of the boundary line 27 to provide a parking area 29 between the building structure and the rear boundary line. The building structure includes a central section 30 disposed forwardly of and between two end sections 31 and 32 which extend rearwardly toward the rear boundary line and the ends of the fence.

The central section provides a plurality of hitting stalls from which balls may be driven toward a central driving range or area 35 of the tract. The driving rance 35 is provided with a plurality of targets 36, which simulate the greens of the usual golf course, located in desired spaced relationship between the central section and the distance screens or targets 38 disposed between the central front section 22a of the fence and the most forward target 36.

The tract area to the left of the driving range 35 is divided by suitable markings or boundary lines L into several fairways 4t), 41, 42, 43 and 44. In addition, the left fairway area is provided with a plurality of targets or greens 45, 46, 47, 48 and 49 and a sand trap 50 from which a player may make a shot to the green 49. The

' area of the tract to the right of the driving range 35 is similarly divided into a plurality of fairways -60, 61, 62, 63 and 64, and is provided with a plurality of targets or greens 65, 66, 67, 68 and 69, and a sand trap 70 from which shots may be made to the green 69.

The fairways and greens are divided by suitable markings or lines M into zones Z which have different score values assigned thereto.

The highest scoring zone of each fairway is indicated by the point T which is at the focal point of the broken lines R extending from the hitting positions S1 Sn provided in the end sections 31 and 32 of the building structure.

Water traps 81, 82 and 83 are located between the fairways 40, 41 and 42 and a water trap 84 is disposed rearwardly of the fairway 44. A plurality of spaced obstacles 85, which simulate trees, are mounted in the left fairway area of the tract. Similarly water traps 98, 99 and 100 are located between the fairways 6t 61 and 62 of the right fairway area of the tract and a water trap 102 is disposed rearwardly of the fairways 64. A plurality of obstacles, such as the obstacle 105, are positioned in the right fairway area of the tract. The obstacles 105 may be identical with the obstacles 85 and simulate trees.

The water traps and the obstacles increase the difl-lculty of reaching the fairways and green and thus heighten the interest of the players in the game.

Signaling devices 119 are positioned forwardly of certain of the targets and greens and indicate the particular target or zone reached by a hit ball.

The zones of each of the fairways, which are irregular in shape with their boundaries conforming somewhat to the contour of the terrain, preferably are so located as to provide players of greater skill and accuracy an opportunity to achieve better scores than players with lesser skill and accuracy. For example, the zone Z2 of the fairway 40 has a rear left hand portion, FIGURE 2, which is relatively close to the hitting stalls 81-84, and which can be reached by a relatively short drive. Since this portion of the zone Z-2 is adjacent to the water trap 81 and the boundary of the zone, if the drive is not accurately directed or is too long, the ball may fall into the water trap 81 or land to the left of the fairway. As a result, the accurate player will drive his ball along the left hand side of the fairway so that he will make a relatively good score even if his drive is short. A player of lesser skill who is tempted to reach such spot by a short drive may find his ball falling into a water trap or off the fairway. The fairways are thus designed to provide an optimum variety of play to provide interest for players of different degrees of skill and to enable a player of greater skill to make a better score than a player of lesser skill.

The central section of the building structure has two floors whose lower or ground floor 120 is divided by suitable partitions 121 into a number of driving stalls and whose second floor 122 is similarly divided by suitable partitions 123 into a plurality of driving stalls. All of the driving stalls face forwardly onto the driving range of the tract. The end sections of the building structure each have a ground floor 124 and a second floor 125 divided by partitions 126 and 127, respectively, into a plurality of driving or hitting stalls which face outwardly onto the left and right fairway areas of the tract. The hitting stalls are of course sheltered since the building structure is provided with a roof 129 over the hitting stalls of the second floor. The floors of the building structure have walkways, such as the walkway 130, immediately behind the hitting stalls so that the players may walk behind the hitting stalls without interfering with the play of other players in such stalls. Each of the floors of the building structure has a rear wall 132 on which a suitable rail 133 is secured and on which the golf bags 135 of the players may be movably mounted by suitable trolleys, not shown, so that the players need not carry their bags from stall to stall but merely roll the bags along as they walk from stall to stall on the walk ways 139. The building structure 23 has a plurality of flood lights 137 on the roof which light the driving range and the fairway areas to permit the use of the course at night.

The three building structure sections are connected to a club house 130a by means of a walk way structure 131a. Suitable stairways or ramps are provided to give the players access to the second floor of the building so that the players may walk from the club house to the building structure and from stall to stall while playing the game without exposure to the elements.

A plurality of putting greens 140 are disposed rearwardly of the building structure and walk ways 141 and 142 provide access to the greens. If desired, at least some of the putting greens may be covered by a suitable roof structure 143 which may constitute an extension of the roof 129 of the end sections of the building structure.

All of the target greens may be substantially similar in structure and function and each has a substantially circular base of wood or the like supported on the earth and inclined downwardly and toward the driving stalls from which the balls are driven thereto. The base is provided with an outer circular rim or ring 151 and a plurality of concentric spaced rings 153 which extend upwardly therefrom and divide the green into several different scoring zones. Resilient mats or pads 155 are disposed on the base between the rings. The mats have upwardly extending protrusions 156 arranged in spaced rows A which extend inwardly and downwardly, FIGURE 4, from the center of the green, and also in rows B which extend downwardly and toward the hitting stalls. Each of the resilient mats has a peripheral edge portion thereof immediately adjacent and inwardly of its outer ring free of the protrusions to provide runways 157 which slope downwardly and rearwardly to the apertures 158 and 159 in the mats and the base at the lowermost point within each ring to direct the balls into the collector pipes 160. The central aperture of the green is in the center of the innermost ring and corresponds to the usual cup of a green so that a ball landing in the central aperture constitutes a hole-in-one. The protrusions slow down the ball hitting the mat and tend to prevent it from bouncing over the rings of the green. The rings are flexible and deform to permit a ball travelling at a considerable speed to roll therepast from one zone to another but prevent a ball travelling at a relatively slow speed from moving out of the zones defined by the rings. The ball whose speed has slowed down then rolls between a pair of adjacent rows B or between a pair of adjacent rows A to the outer periphery of the mat to the passageway 157 thereof and thence downwardly to the aperture 158 and thus into the collector pipe 160. The collector pipes 160 extend downwardly and open into a common collector pipe 162 which slopes downwardly to a collector trough 163 so that a ball entering one of the collector pipes 160 moves by gravity downwardly through such collector pipe into the common collector pipe 162 and thence to the trough 163.

The signaling device 110 associated with each of the greens may be in the form of a vertical post or standard 166 on which is mounted one or more lights 167, one such signal light being provided for each zone of the green. Each light is controlled by a suitable switch 170 operatively associated with a collector pipe 160 of its zone. The lamps may be of different colors, such as green and red, and their colors and positions on the standard indicate which scoring zone of the green was reached by a ball. Each switch is actuated by a lever 171 which extends into its associated collector pipe 160 and is pivoted downwardly, as is fully explained in the copending application, Serial No. 139,665, to close its switch 170 when a ball moves through the collector pipe and connect its lamp or signal light 167 across the input circuit 173. The control lever which is pivotally secured to the collector pipe and has one end extending thereinto to be engaged by the ball and its other end engages and actuates the switch 170.

If desired, a suitable flasher or intermittently actuated switch 174 may be connected in series with each switch 170 to cause the signal light to be flashed intermittently as the ball rolls through the collector pipe and holds the switch in closed position. The ball rolls through the collector pipe relatively slowly so that the light 167 will remain lit for an appreciable period of time. If desired, a suitable timer device may be connected in the circuit of the flasher and the switch 170 to cause the signal light to remain lit for a predetermined period of time regardless of how long the switch 170 is held closed.

Each of the water traps may include a concrete or plastic upwardly opening container or basin 180 embedded in the ground and into which an overflow pipe 181 opens so that excess water will drain through the overflow pipe 181 and thus maintain the water from exceeding a predetermined level in the basin or container 180. A plurality of transducers, such as suitable hydrophones 182, are mounted on a suitable tubular pipe through which the electrical conductors to the hydrophones extend. The hydrophones are positioned in spaced relationship in the water and transmit an electric signal when vibrations or shock waves are imparted to the water as a ball lands therein. Each of the transducers is connected in a suitable circuit which may include an amplifier185 which amplifies the signal from the hydrophone, a suitable timer switch means 186 which is closed 7 by the signal received from the hydrophone for a predetermined period of time, the flasher means 187 which is energized when the timer switch is closed, and a signal lamp 188 mounted on the standard so that any time a ball is driven into the water trap the signal produced by the hydrophones in the water trap causes the signal lamp 188 of the signaling device associated with the water' trap to flash for a predetermined period of time.

Referring now particularly to FIGURES l2 and 13, each of the distance screens 38 of the driving range may comprise a suitable vertical screen stretched or secured to a rectangular frame 191 suspended by means of suitable flexible straps or cables 192 from a support bar 195 rigidly secured to the forward ends of the upper horizontal arms 196 of the posts or standards 197 whose lower ends are embedded and rigidly secured to the ground. Suitable transducers, such as strain gauges 199, are secured to the flexible means 192 to sense the vibrations imparted to the screen whenever the screen is struck by a ball. The lower ends of the screens may extend downwardly into a channel shaped trough 200 in order that balls hitting the screen, either directly or after striking a pad 300 which extends immediately forwardly of the screen, will fall into the trough which is inclined in one direction and roll therethrough to a central collecting point. The strain gauges or transducers 199 are connected in a circuit such as that illustrated in FIGURE to cause a lamp or signal light 205 secured to one of the standards 197 on which the screen is mounted to flash for a predetermined period of time each time the ball strikes the net. A plurality of such screens 38 may extend across the driving range with adjacent ends of adjacent screens positioned in overlapping relationship to one another, FIGURE 12, to prevent the balls from moving between adjacent ends of such screens without striking either one of them.

Referring now particularly to FIGURE 14, the modified form of a distance screen 33a there illustrated, includes the screen 212 which extends transversely across a predetermined portion of the driving range and whose upper end is secured by any suitable means to a horizontal pipe 213 secured to the upper ends of spaced standards or pipes 215 embedded in a concrete base 218. The screen extends downwardly and forwardly relative to the hitting stalls into a trough 220, about a rigid horizontal pipe 222 and then upwardly and forwardly about a pipe 223 rigidly secured to vertical standards 224. The free end of the screen is weighted by a pipe 225. The pipe 222 is secured to any suitable standard immediately above a striker plate 227 onto which balls, which strike the screen 212 or roll into the trough 220, fall and cause the plate to vibrate. Suitable vibration sensing devices 230, such as geophones or the like, connected to the striker plate 227 are connected in a suitable electric circuit, such as the circuit illustrated in FIGURE 15, to cause a signal lamp 231 associated with each such distance screen 38a to flash whenever :a ball reaches the trough 220 either by striking the screen 212 and falling thereoff into the trough or by rolling into the trough. The lowermost portion 6 233 of the trough may slope in one longitudinal direction so that as the balls roll off the striker plate and into the lower end of the trough they roll downwardly to a central collecting area. 7

It will be noted that the distance screens are set in progressively spaced locations from the hitting stalls of the central building structure section 30 so that balls driven different distances strike different screens which may be readily ascertained by observing the signal lights.

The obstacles and are in the form of triangular transparent screens to whose lower ends are secured dependent portions a which simulate the trunks of trees and are secured to pair of vertically spaced cables 191a and 192a. One end of each of the cables is rigidly secured to an end post 194a by any suitable means such as bolts 195a which are receivable in any one of plurality of vertically spaced apertures 196 of the post so that the ends of the cables may be positioned at different vertical positions relative to the ground. The cables extend about the direction changing sheaves 202a which are secured by suitable bolts 205a which extend through the suitable apertures 266a of the end post 207a. The other ends of the cables are connected to the drums 209a, which are also .rotatably mounted on the end post 267a by T brackets 203a. The drums are provided to permit the cables 191a and 192a to be stretched taut and have any suitable latch or lock means to releasably hold them against rotation in a direction permitting the cables to loosen.

The top ends of the screen 85 are securable to the upper cable 191a by means of any suitable releasable clamps 2113a and similarly the lower ends of the screen are releasably securable to the lower cable 192a by any suitable releasable clamps 212a. It will now be apparent that the transparent screens 85 which are somewhat tree shaped may be positioned at various heights above the ground and at various positions between the posts relative to the left fairway so that the difliculty of the course may be varied from time to time by raising or lowering the cables on theirpost and also by moving the obstacles 85 to different positions on the cables between the end posts. The obstacles 105 are identical to the obstacles 85 and'are similarly mounted to the upper and lower cables 221a and 223a which are supported by the posts 225a, in the same manner as the cables 191a and 192a are connected -to their posts.

The sand traps 5i) and 70 which extend forwardly from the forward side of the end sections 31 and 32, respectively, of the building structure may have ball dropping devices 250 positioned thereabove, as by the horizontal bar 252, which is secured to the building structure. The ball dropping device includes a substantially frusto-conical hopper 253 whose lower end is provided with a plurality of circumferentially arranged outlet pipes 254 which open upwardly into the hopper between the radial ribs or partition 255 which extend between the hopper and the central domed bottom 256 thereof. A projectile tube 260 is secured to the hopper and opens as at 261 to the inside .of the hopper adjacent the upper end thereof. A piston 263 is slidably mounted in the lower end of the projectile tube with its rod 264 extending outwardly of the lower end of the projectile tube. A spring 266 disposed between the piston and the end 267 of the projectile tube biases the piston upwardly in the tube. An inlet duct 268 extends upwardly from the tube and provides a passage through which a golf ball may be dropped into the tube so that when the piston is pulled outwardly against the force of the spring and is then released, the piston propels the ball through the projectile tube 260 and causes it to roll around the inside wall of the hopper until its velocity decreases and it falls into one of the tubes 254 which directs it to the sand trap. By use of the ball dropping device 2511, each player drives his ball from the sand traps 5i and 7 1D to the greens 49 and 69, respectively from different randomly selected spots.

If a player wishes to practice driving a ball for distance or for accuracy, he may take a position in one of the driving stalls of the central building structure section 30, either of the first floor or of the second floor. He then drives golf balls, if for distance, toward any one of the distance screens 38 and will be immediately informed as to where he has driven the ball by the flashing of the signal light associated with a particular distance screen 38 as the ball hits such a screen and causes the strain gauge thereof to generate an electric signal. It the course is provided with the distance screens 3311, the signal light flashes when the ball hits the striker plate and causes the vibration sensing devices or geophones secured to the striker plate to generate an electric signal. If the player is desirous of practicing the accuracy of his drives toward any one of the greens 36, each of which may be provided with the signaling device 114?, he is informed as each ball hits a green as to whether his ball hit the center of the green or any one of the annular or circular zones thereabout defined by the rings thereof. Similarly, the player may of course practice putting on a selected one of the putting greens.

If a game which simulates the usual golf game is to be played by a player, the player makes successive drives from each of the hitting stalls S1 through Sn of the left hand section of the building structure and then similarly hits a drive from each one of the hitting stalls S1 Sn of the right hand building structure section 32. For example, the player hangs his golf bag on a suitable trolley mounted on the rail which extends behind the hitting stalls, moves from stall to stall, hitting one drive from each of the first four stalls 51-84 toward the fairway 4t) attempting to reach the zone Z3 and will mark the score he makes on each of his four shots. He may then drive balls from the hitting stalls S5 and S6 toward the zone Z3 of the fairway 41 and the green 45, respectively. The fairway 41 may be provided with a target or green 36a with only a single hole so that he can determine whether he scores a hole-in-one.

His next three shots from the next three stalls are to the fairway 42 wherein his best score is obtainable if his ball hits the zone Z3, then one drive from each of the next two stalls to the fairway 43 and next one shot from each of the next two stalls to the fairway 44 which may also be provided with a green 36a. The player may then go to the sand trap 50, cause a ball to be dropped at a random location by the use of the ball dropping device 250 and make two sand trap shots toward the green 49. Alternately, he may make his two shots to the green 49 from two hitting stalls. The player then successively takes two shots to the green 46, two shots to the green 47 and then three shots to the green 49. The player then goes to a putting green to take a predetermined number of putts and then proceeds to the hitting stalls of the right hand section 32 where he similarly drives a ball successively from each of the driving stalls thereof to the various fairways into the greens thereof as well as making two shots from the sand trap 70 toward the green 69 and then makes a predetermined number of putts on the putting green behind the right hand end section 32.

An appropriate score is assigned to each zone of each fairway and of each green so that a player may achieve a par score or any over or under par score in the same manner as on a regular golf course.

It will now be seen that a new and improved course for playing a game simulating the usual golf game has been illustrated and described on which a large number of players may play simultaneously and that each may observe the flight of his ball since each is hitting a ball from a different stall and at a different angle toward a fairway or a green even though two or more players may simultaneously be driving a ball to the same fairway or to the same green.

It will further be seen that the players may play in inclement weather since they are under shelter as they move from stall to stall and are not required to walk on the fairways to make their shots.

It will further be seen that the golf course is provided with signaling devices which provide a visual signal whenever a driven ball reaches a predetermined target, such as one of the greens of the course, so that the player can easily determine his score for a particular drive.

It will further be seen that the targets or greens are substantially circular in form and divided by upstanding rings into a plurality of zones, that resilient mats or means 155 are disposed between the rings and have means, such as the protrusions 156, which cause a ball which reaches a green to tend to remain in the target area of the green it reaches without bouncing therefrom and which direct such ball towards an aperture through which the ball rolls to actuate the signal, and that the green is so sloped as to cause each ball as it reaches the green to move therefrom by a gravity to prevent any confusion which would occur if a number of balls were to accumulate on each green.

It will further be seen that the course is provided with a plurality of movable transparent obstacles, such as the artificial trees and 105, which permit the observation of the fairways while at the same time stopping misdirected drives.

It will further be seen that the vertical positions, of these obstacles may be varied by adjusting the vertical positions of the cables on which they are mounted and that the positions of the obstacles themselves on the cables along the length may also be varied.

It will also be apparent if desired the posts on which these cables are secured may be positioned or moved from location to location on the course to further provide variety and change to the course.

It will further be apparent that the golf course has a central driving range or area provided with distance screens which stop the flight or movement of the ball and which causes a signal device to be actuated, such as the string gauges of the screens 38 and the striker plates 227 of the distance screens 38a, so that each player may determine the accuracy of distance and direction which his ball has traveled.

It will further be apparent that the screens extend across the path of movement of balls driven from the central section of the building structure and have their lower portions extending into troughs to cause balls to be deflected into the troughs and off the driving range.

It will further be apparent that the driving range is provided with a plurality of target greens 36 each of which is provided with its own signaling device so that the player may also practice the accuracy of his drives to greens located at different distances from the hitting stalls.

It will further be seen that each of the target greens is provided with upwardly extending rings 151 and 153 which may be integral with the mats 155 and formed of a resilient substance so that a ball traveling at a relatively high rate of speed will cause the rings to flex and permit its movement therepast as it strikes the rings while a ball traveling at a relatively low rate of speed will not have sufficient momentum to bend the rings. The balls there fore tend to move over the target greens in substantially the same manner and lose speed at substantially the same rate as balls moving over the usual grass greens of a golf course and roll to the collector pipes to indicate which zone of the target green they have reached and what score should be given for the particular drive.

It will further be seen that a large number of the balls driven either to the driving range or to the target greens and fairways will fall into the various troughs associated with the distance screens 38 or 38a and the collector pipes 166 of the various target greens.

The foregoing description of the invention is explanatory only, and changes in the details of the construction illustrated may be made by those skilled in the art, within the scope of the appended claims, without departing from the spirit of the invention.

What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. A golf course including: a tract of land comprisin a central driving range area and fairway areas on each side thereof; a building structure having a central section and end sections extending divergently rearwardly from opposite ends of said central section; said central section having driving stalls opening forwardly towards said driving range area and said end sections having driving stalls opening forwardly toward said fairway areas; each of said fairway areas having a plurality of target means therein comprising a plurality of separate scoring fairways and target greens, each of said scoring fairways having a plurality of scoring zones of irregular shape provided therein arranged in predetermined relationship with respect to said driving stalls, each of said target greens having a plurality of separate position zones therein; a plurality of hazards and obstacle means disposed in predetermined relationship with respect to said scoring fairways and said target greens; a plurality of putting greens adjacent said hitting stalls; signalling means operatively associated with selected ones of said target means operative by balls driven to said selected ones of said target means; said driving range area having a plurality of screen means extending across the paths of balls driven forwardly from the driving stalls of said central section and spaced along said paths for arresting forward movement of balls driven from said driving stalls of said central section; signaling means operatively associated with each of said screen means and operable by balls driven to the screen means, said target means and said screen means having means for receiving balls driven thereto and directing the balls for movement by gravity to collecting areas.

2. The golf course of claim 1 wherein: selected ones of said target means comprise a base, a plurality of substantially concentric upwardly extending spaced rings extending upwardly from said base, resilient means on said base between said rings, said target means being inclined downwardly and toward said driving stalls and having apertures at the lower portions for receiving balls falling on said target means.

3. The golf course of claim 2 wherein; said resilient means have guide means for guiding balls falling thereonto radially outwardly and downwardly toward said apertures.

4. The golf course of claim 1, wherein the said central driving range area is provided with a plurality of troughs, said screen means extending downwardly into said troughs to direct balls reaching the screens into said troughs and off said driving range area.

5. The golf course of claim 1; and sand traps located adjacent and forwardly of said end sections from which balls may be driven to selected areas of said target means.

6. The golf course of claim 1 wherein said signaling means operatively associated with said screen means comprise vibration sensing means operatively associated with said screen means.

7. The golf course of claim 1; wherein each of said screen means has means for'suspending said screen means and said signaling means comprises strain gauge means operatively associated with said suspending means for detecting vibrations imparted to said screen means by balls driven thereto.

8. The golf course of claim 1 and a sand trap adjacent and forward of said building structure and adjacent one of said target means whereby balls may be driven from said sand trap toward said adjacent one of said target means.

9. The golf course of claim 8 and means for dropping balls at random locations in said sand trap.

10. The golf course of claim 8 and means for dropping balls at random locations in said sand trap, said ball dropping device comprising a hopper having a plurality of downwardly opening discharge pipes through which balls may fall in different directions therefrom and means for introducing balls into said hopper.

11. The golf course of claim 8 and means for dropping balls at random locations in said sand trap, said ball dropping device comprising a hopper having a plurality of downwardly opening discharge pipes through which balls may fall in different directions therefrom and means for introducing balls into said hopper including a projectile tube opening into said hopper and having an inlet, and means for expelling a ball introduced into said tube through said inlet into said hopper.

12. A golf course including: a building structure providing a plurality of hitting stalls; a driving range extending forwardly of said hitting stalls, a plurality of troughs spaced from each other and extending across the paths of balls driven from said stalls; a substantially vertical screen extending upwardly adjacent each trough and having a lower end portion extending downwardly thereinto for causing balls driven toward said screens to fall into said troughs, and detector means operatively associated with each of said screens operable by balls driven to said screens and signal means adjacent said screens operatively connected with said detector means and energized by said detector means for providing a signal.

13. The golf course of claim 12, wherein said detector means includes vibration sensing means operatively associated with said screens.

14. The golf course of claim 12 wherein each of said detector means comprises a striker plate disposed in said trough and positioned to be struck by balls falling into said trough; and means operatively associated with said striker plate for detecting vibration of said striker plate.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,037,877 9/1912 Doerr 273- 1,558,078 10/1925 Darby 273-32 1,735,736 11/1929 Davidson 273-32 1,851,423 3/1932 Ely 273-176 2,248,053 7/1941 Bales 273-176 2,482,210 9/1949 Reach et a1 273-176 2,550,480 4/1951 Hubbard 273-176 2,577,690 12/1951 Reach 273-176 2,677,547 5/1954 Campbell 273-181 2,701,140 2/1955 Fortino 273-176 2,743,929 5/1956 Smith 273-184 X 2,805,070 9/1957 Waters 273-181 3,003,767 10/1961 Keuls 273-138 OTHER REFERENCES Golf Digest, vol. 10, #9, November 1959, p. 63.

RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.

DELBERT B. LOWE, Examiner.

G. I, MARLO, Assistant Examiner,

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Classifications
U.S. Classification473/153, 473/154, 473/168
International ClassificationA63B69/36
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/3697
European ClassificationA63B69/36T2