US 3342495 A
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Sept. 19, 1967 R. E. WA'SLEY 3,342,495
PRACTICE PUTTING DEVICE Filed May 28, 1965 INVENTOR. ROY E. WASLEY United States Patent ()fiice 3,342,495 Patented Sept. 19, 1967 3,342,495 PRACTICE PUTTING DEVICE Roy E. Wasley, Portland, Oreg. (54 Clinton St., Redwood City, Calif. 94061) Filed May 28, 1965, Ser. No. 459,827 7 Claims. (Cl. 273-176) This invention relates to golf practice apparatus for putting.
Many attempts have heretofore been made to provide an indoor putting device to simulate a cup in a putting green. Most such devices, however, do not succeed in providing a very close approximation of the action of a ball dropped into an open cup recessed in the turf. Indoor putting devices are quite satisfactory in regard to gauging the element of direction on a level surface but they cannot satisfactorily duplicate the variable element of lateral slope of the playing surface nor can they be made to respond to the speed of the ball in the same way that a golf cup does. A putting green is seldom flat and level and even if the players direction is correct, his stroke may be too strong causing the ball to jump the cup and continue rolling. Presently available indoor putting devices are particularly deficient in revealing excessive velocity of the ball.
The objects of the invention are, therefore, to provide an improved indoor putting device, to provide an indoor putting device which will accurately reveal when a ball is stroked too hard, to provide a putting device which will simulate a condition of lateral slope on a putting green and to provide a device of the type described which is simple and inexpensive to manufacture and which may be folded into a compact package for shipmerit and storage.
The playing surface of the present device comprises a plastic foam mat which closely approximates the rolling resistance of a well kept golf green. Mounted near one end of the mat is an upstanding half cup having a horizontal steel spring member spanning an open side of the cup which faces the player. The front side of a complete circular cup is indicated by a line on the mat so that the player can readily determine when the ball stops short of the cup.
If the ball is properly stroked to fall in a regulation cup, it will rebound from the spring a short distance. However, if the ball rebounds beyond a designated distance which is marked on the mat, that is an indication of excessive velocity which would have made the ball jump the cup in an outdoor putting green. A semicircular wall behind the cup defines a path having entrance ends on opposite sides of the cup to be used as aiming points for simulating a roll of the green to the right or left. Thus, the device is capable of affording practice putting under conditions substantially equivalent to those existing on outdoor putting greens. For shipment and storage, the mat and cup portion may be rolled into a compact package.
The invention will be better understood and additional objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiment illustrated on the accompanying drawing. Various changes may be made, however, in the details of construction and arrangement of parts and certain features may be used without others. All such modifications within the scope of the appended claims are included in the invention.
In the drawing:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a practice putting device embodying the principles of the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a view on the line 22 of FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of the rebound spring on the cup.
The playing surface comprises a strip of plastic foam mat 10 of any desired length such as about ten feet containing distance lines 11 at one foot intervals. Mounted near one end of the mat 10 is an upstanding semicircular half cup 12 having an open front side facing the player on a line 13. The front margin of the complete cup is designated by a semicircular line 14 on the mat. The open front side of the half cup is spanned by a horizontal spring member 15 the center of which is spaced above the mat a distance equal to the radius of a golf ball.
Spring member 15 is preferably a strip of steel having a transversely curved cross section as shown in FIGURES 2 and 3, resembling a coilable steel measuring tape. The ends of the strip are apertured at 16 to receive suitable fastening means such as cotter keys 17 or rivets in the half cup. The ends of the strip are merely bent around the side portions of the half cup as shown. Such a spring member has excellent rebound characteristics for the purpose and its resilience does not change with aging as does rubber. Since the spring member is not under tension, the half cup 12 may be made inexpensively of thin gauge metal or plastic.
Surrounding the rear side of half cup 12 is an upstanding semicircular guide wall 20 concentric with the half cup and having forward edges on the line 13. The radius of wall 20 is three times the radius of half cup 12 so that the wall forms an opening 21 on the left side of the cup of the same width as the diameter of the cup and a similar opening 22 on the right side of the cup having the same dimension as the diameter of the cup. When the ball is driven into one of the openings 21 or 22, the wall 20 returns it back toward the player. Half cup 12 and wall 20 are secured to the mat 10 in the described relationship by any suitable means. The numeral 25 designates a permissible rebound zone extending forward from the line 13 to a line 26.
For level green practice, the player places the ball on a selected distance line 11 and aims for the center of half cup 12 and strokes the ball. If the ball stops short of line 14 or enters the openings 21 or 22, it has missed the cup. If the ball strikes spring member 15 and rebounds, the direction is accurate and the distance of rebound indicates whether the ball would have remained in a standard golf cup or jumped its back side and continued rolling. If the ball stops in area 25 on rebound, the stroke is scored as a completed putt but if the ball rebounds across line 26, the excessive rebound indicates that the ball would have jumped a standard cup and continued rolling.
The position of line 26 is ascertained by determining the maximum velocity at which a rolling golf ball may strike the far side of a conventional cup and then drop back in the cup, and then measuring the rebound distance when a ball strikes the spring at that velocity. Thus, the equivalent of a recessed cup is produced on a nonrecessed surface suitable for indoor use.
In order to simulate a slope to the right, the player changes his point of aim and strokes the ball toward the opening 21 which would be on the high side of the cup. If the ball goes into opening 21, the direction is accurate but the ball may have been stroked too hard. When the ball goes into opening 21, it rolls around back wall 20 and either stops behind line 13 or rolls out of opening 22 toward the player. If the ball stops behind line 13, or behind line 26 after it emerges from opening 22, it is a good putt but, if the ball returns across line 26 toward the player, the stroke was too hard and the ball would have jumped the cup. This is merely an approximate velocity measurement but it is close enough for the purpose. In a similar manner, to simulate a slope to the left, the player strokes the ball towards the opening 22 and scores the play in the same way.
Thus, the present device may be used to simulate difierent conditions existing on an outdoor green and accuracy of both direction and distance will be indicated by the path of the ball. Most important, the device provides positive indication of excess velocity in putting, making the device useful not only for practice but also as a game for indoor competition.
Having now described my invention and in What manner the same may be used, what I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:
1. An indoor practice putting device comprising a mat with a playing surface having a rolling resistance to a golf ball approximating that of a natural outdoor green, a non-recessed simulated cup on said mat, an elongated horizontal spring member spanning said simulated cup in a position to be struck by a ball rolling toward the cup and cause the ball to rebound a distance which varies according to its approach velocity, and a line on said mat spaced a distance in front of said simulated cup to measure a rebound distance corresponding to the maximum ball velocity which would allow a ball to be retained by a standard recessed cup when passing across the center of the standard cup.
2. An indoor practice putting device comprising a mat with a playing surface having a rolling resistance to a golf ball approximating that of a natural outdoor green, a semicircular half cup upstanding from said mat with the open side of the cup facing a players putting position, an elongated non-tensioned horizontal spring member spanning said open side of said cup in a position to be struck by a ball rolling toward the cup and cause the ball to rebound a distance which varies according to its approach velocity, and a line on said mat spaced a distance in front of said half cup to measure a rebound distance corresponding to the maximum ball velocity which would allow a ball to be retained by a standard recessed cup when passing across the center of the standard cup.
3. A practice putting device comprising a simulated cup, and a horizontal spring strip spanning said simulated cup in a position to intercept a rolling golf ball and cause the ball to rebound, said spring strip being formed of stiff material having a transverse curvature with the convex side facing the direction of approach of the ball.
4. A practice putting device comprising a semicircular half cup in upstanding position on a playing surface, and a transversely curved strip of stiff spring material spanning the open side of said half cup with its convex side outward and arranged to intercept a rolling golf ball and cause the ball to rebound.
5. A practice putting device comprising a plastic foam mat, a semicircular half cup upstanding from said mat, a transversely curved strip of stiff spring material spanning the open side of said half cup, and a semicircular wall spaced from and concentrically surrounding said half cup with the ends of said cup and said wall disposed on a common diametral line.
6. A device as defined in claim 5 including a semicircular line on said mat completing the circle of said half cup, a line on said mat marking said diametral line, and a ball return limit line on said mat parallel with and spaced forward from said diametral line.
7. A practice putting device comprising a flexible rollable mat, a half cup upstanding from said mat having semicircular inside and outside surfaces, a ball rebound spring spanning the open side of said half cup, and a semicircular wall concentrically surrounding said half cup with the ends of said cup and said wall disposed on a common diametral line, said wall being spaced from said half cup a distance equal to the diameter of said half cup.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 985,004 2/1911 Burtis 273-127 1,338,963 5/1920 Rolfe 273-176 1,961,060 5/1934 McCarthy 273177 2,475,763 7/1949 Vandal 273178 3,038,726 6/1962 Hesidence 273176 3,065,971 11/1962 Coles 273-177 3,142,487 7/1964 Portteus 273-179 ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner. G. J. MARLO, Assistant Examiner.