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Publication numberUS3345073 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 3, 1967
Filing dateOct 21, 1964
Priority dateOct 21, 1964
Publication numberUS 3345073 A, US 3345073A, US-A-3345073, US3345073 A, US3345073A
InventorsHoffman John D
Original AssigneeHoffman John D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf practice device
US 3345073 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

J. D. HOFFMAN Oct. 3, 1967 GOLF PRACTICE DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 21, 1964 Fig. 2

John D. Hoffman INVENTOR.

J. D. HOFFMAN GOLF PRACTICE DEVICE Oct. 3, 1967 Filed Oct. 21, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 U u I Fig. 4

John 0. Hoffman INVENTOR.

WWW MM United States Patent 3,345,073 GOLF PRACTICE DEVICE John D. Hoffman, 3007 Moruingside NE., Albuquerque, N. Mex. 87110 Filed Oct. 21, 1964, Ser. No. 405,351 6 Elaims. (Cl. 273-197) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLGSURE A practice golf ball is rigidly affixed to an elongated arm which is in turn pivotally mounted, through a shaft, on a frame which freely floats on eight expanded coiled springs for movement in any direction so as to tend to make the captive ball respond in the manner of a conventional golf ball. A pair of guide plates are provided to the opposite sides of the ball arm to guide the ball arm while at the same time not interfering with the movement of the floating frame.

The present invention is generally concerned with the game of golf, and is more particularly directed to a practice golf tee including a pivotally mounted practice ball capable of being repeatedly driven and automatically returning to its teed up position.

It is a primary object of the instant invention to provide a practice device which provides a convenient means for enabling a golfer to perfect his driving, swing and stance in his home, outdoors, or any other suitable place, requiring only sufficient room to properly swing the club.

In conjunction with the above object, it is a significant object of the instant invention to provide a golf practice device wherein a practice ball is provided for engagement by a golf club with this ball, upon being struck, pivoting out of the way of the club follow-through and immediately returning to its initial on-tee position.

Also, it is an object of the instant invention to provide a device wherein the practice ball will immediately return to its tee position regardless of whether the ball is sliced, hooked, topped or squarely hit. a In conjunction with the above object, it is also an object ofthe instant invention to provide for a spring mounted support frame or base for the driven practice ball thus allowing the ball, as well as the support therefor to properly give or move upon being hit, regardless of whether or not the ball is squarely hit, and still properly returned to its initial driving position.

Furthermore, it is an object of the instant invention to provide a device which can be used repeatedly and which will perform in a troublefree manner, requiring no maintenance other than possibly an occasional replacement of the practice ball itself depending upon the amount of use to which it is subjected.

Basically, in achieving the above objects, the practice device of the instant invention includes, in addition to a standing platform, a spring mounted frame or base which transversely mounts anelongated shaft which in turn has a laterally projecting ball supporting arm pivoted thereon. Fixed to the shaft on either side of the arm are a pair of guide plates which include a fixed abutment for properly orientating the ball in its driving position, and a spring shock absorber for limiting the rotational driving movement of the ball supporting arm. In addition, a biasing spring is so fixed between one of the plates and the arm as to resist the driving rotational movement thereof and properly return the arm to and maintain the arm against the fixed abutment.

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 illustrating the device of the instant invention in use;

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged partial top plan view with portions broken away for purposes of illustration;

FIGURE 3 is a cross sectional view taken substantially upon the plane passing along the line 3--3 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a transverse sectional view taken substantially on the plane passing along line 4-4 in FIG- URE 2;

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged partial cross sectional view taken substantially on the plane passing along the line 5-5 of FIGURE 3; and

FIGURE 6 is a perspective view, with portions broken away, of the portion of the device which is mounted on the spring supported carriage.

Referring now more specifically to the drawings, reference numeral 10 is used to generally designate the device comprising the instant invention. This device 10 includes an enlarged hollow rectangular stand 12 having a platform portion 14 on one end thereof and a tee portion 16 on the other end thereof, FIGURE 1 illustrating the manner in which a golfer assumes his stance on the platform portion 14 in order to drive the practice ball 18 projecting above the tee portion 16 in the manner of a conventionally teedup ball. The tee portion 16 is provided with a suitable rubber cushioning mat thereon so as to prevent damage to the club being used, the mat being indicated at 20.

The actual ball return unit is mounted within a flat bottom box 22 removably inserted in the lower end of the stand 12 and bolted therein by bolts 24. Mounted within the box 22, on four expanded compression springs 26 and four expanded tension springs 28, is a free floating rec tangular carriage or frame 30. The four springs 26 act in the manner of legs and are fixed vertically between a pair of base bars 32 fixed to the bottom of the box 22 and the undersurface of the frame 30. The four springs 28 are engaged, under tension, between each of the four corners of the frame 30 and the ends of the box 22 at points slightly below their plane of engagement with the frame 30. In this manner, the frame 30 is free to resiliently move in any direction.

Extending laterally across the center of the frame is an elongated cylindrical shaft 34 having the opposite ends thereof fixed within mounting blocks 36 which in turn are fixed to the opposite longitudinal members of the frame 30. A pair of enlarged flat generally circular guide plates 38 are mounted centrally on the shaft 34, each plate 38 having a cylindrical hub 40 projecting laterally therefrom and in turn being fixed to the shaft 34 by suitable screw means 42. The space between the plates 38 is maintained constant by at least two tubular spacers 44 orientated therebetweenadjacent the outer edges thereof at diametrically opposite points and receiving, in each instance, an elongated tie bolt 46 therethrough.

Rotatably mounted on the shaft 34 between the disklike members 38 is an elongated flat mounting arm 48 projecting beyond the periphery of the members 38 and having the outer end thereof reversely curled, as at 50, and laterally and upwardly curved, as at 52, the practice ball 18 being fixed to the outer upper end of the portion 52 in any suitable manner, such as by being frictionally fit or threaded thereon.

As will be appreciated from the drawings, one of the tubular spacers 44, in conjunction with the bolt 46 therethrough, acts in the manner of a stop or abutment for vertically positioning the mount arm 48 and the practice ball 18 thereon. The arm 48 is resiliently urged into this position by an elongated resilient spring-like member 54 having one end 56 thereof engaged with the mounting 3 arm 48 above the point of pivotal engagement with the shaft 34, and the other end 58 thereof fixed to one of the disks 38 with the intermediate portion 60 thereof coiled about the shaft 34 between the disks 38 in a manner so as to resiliently bias the arm 48 into an upright position against the stop or limiting spacer 44.

In this manner the practice ball 18 is properly orientated in a position simulating the actual position of a conventionally teed-up ball relative to the rubber mat 20. As will be appreciated both the rubber mat 20 and the tee portion of the stand therebeneath are provided with an elongated slot 62 which, from a central point corresponding to the at rest or vertical position of the arm 48 and ball 18, increases in width outwardly to enlarged or bulbous outer ends capable of allowing passage of the practice ball 18 therethrough. Thus, as the practice ball 18 is driven, the mounting arm 48 pivots on the shaft 34 against the resilient biasing of the spring member 54 and the ball passes through the bulbous end of the slot. In order to limit the forward pivotal movement of the arm 48 and ball 18, an enlarged expanded compression coil spring 64 is fixed between the disks 38 within enlarged rectangular openings 66 in both disks 38 in a manner so as to span the space therebetween in the path of rotational movement of the arm 48 below the upper surface of the tee portion 16 of the stand 12. This spring 64 acts in the manner of a shock absorber and slows and stops the forward movement of the arm 48 and exerts a force thereon so as to rapidly return the arm 48 and ball 18 to the driving position, this return movement of course being assisted by the spring member 54 which also acts so as to hold the arm 48 against the limit or stop spacer 44 for a subsequent driving thereof. Incidentally, it will be noted that the spring member 54 also acts so as to generally laterally position the mounting arm 48 between the disks 38 which act so as to guide the arm 48 during the rotation thereof.

From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that a highly novel practice device has been defined which enables a golfer to conveniently practice his drive, swing, or stance by the provision of a continuously teed-up ball which, upon being driven, immediately returns to position. In addition, the particular device has been so constructed so as to allow this return of the ball whether or not it has been squarely hit, a unique spring supported carriage or frame absorbing all of the shock introduced into the device by the club, and consequently ensuring troublefree operation regardless of the use to which the device is subjected.

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 practice device comprising a rigid base unit, said base unit including a flat bottom, a horizontal support frame orientated in spaced relation to said base unit above said flat bottom, an elongated arm pivotally mounted at one end on said frame, a practice ball mounted on the other end of the arm, return spring means resiliently biasing said arm to a generally vertical position with the ball orientated above said frame in a tee position for engagement by a golf club, and resilient mounting spring means extending between said frame and said base unit and supporting said frame above said fiat bottom for floating movement relative thereto, said mounting spring means including a plurality of expanded compression coil springs oriented vertically between and fixed to the flat bottom and the frame spaced thereabove, said base unit including front and rear walls fixed to the fiat bottom and projecting vertically thereabove and spaced from the opposed ends of the frame, said mounting spring means further including tensioned springs engaged between said walls and the opposed ends of said frame, said compression springs and tensioned springs constituting the sole support means for said frame whereby a free floating movement of the frame in all directions relative to the base unit is achieved, a platform overlying said frame in spaced relation thereabove, an elongated slot in said platform, the upper portion of said arm projecting through said slot with the ball oriented above said platform, the width of said slot being sufiicient to permit rotational movement of the arm and ball therethrough.

2. The device of claim 1 including a resilient abutment limiting forward rotational movement of said arm, said abutment comprising an expanded coiled compression spring forward of the arm along the rotational path of movement of the arm.

3. The device of claim 2 including a stop definin the generally vertical position of the arm, said return spring means resiliently biasing said arm against said stop.

4. The device of claim 3 including a transverse shaft on said frame for free-floating movement therewith, said shaft pivotally mounting said arm, a pair of guide plates fixed to said shaft for movement With the frame, one on each side of said arm, said ball being oriented radially outward of said plates, said arm being rotatably movable between said plates.

5. The device of claim 4 wherein said return spring means has one end thereof fixed to said arm, the other end fixed to one of said plates, and the intermediate portion coiled about said shaft between said one plate and the arm.

6. The device of claim 4 wherein the compression spring abutment is mounted by and spans the space between the plates.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,419,636 6/1922 MacDonald 273196 X 1,669,204 5/1928 MacCallum 273-196 X 1,670,290 5/1928 Aldrich 273198 1,798,983 3/1931 Parsons 273197 X 1,982,525 11/1934 Lawson 273197 ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner.

G. J. MARLO, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1419636 *Nov 15, 1920Jun 13, 1922Macdonald James MTest and practice apparatus for golf players
US1669204 *Jan 25, 1928May 8, 1928Maccallum William A FGolf practice device
US1670290 *Nov 22, 1927May 22, 1928James AldrichGolf practice device
US1798983 *May 18, 1929Mar 31, 1931Joseph W GrahamGolf register
US1982525 *Feb 12, 1934Nov 27, 1934Marion Lawson KateGolf practicing machine
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3423096 *Dec 2, 1965Jan 21, 1969Tone Richard NGolf practice device
US3473811 *Mar 10, 1967Oct 21, 1969Lees William McgawnGolf practice device
US4130283 *Jan 6, 1977Dec 19, 1978University Of Iowa Research FoundationSimulated fairway surface for golf apparatus
US4311312 *Oct 9, 1980Jan 19, 1982Brien John P OElastic cord suspended golf practice pad
US4522406 *Sep 28, 1983Jun 11, 1985Tarquinio William RGolf practice game
US5540430 *Oct 27, 1994Jul 30, 1996Nichols; Cheryl A.Batting practice stand
US5593355 *Mar 29, 1995Jan 14, 1997Fore-Mat Products, Inc.Golf practice apparatus
US8911300 *Jan 3, 2014Dec 16, 2014Matilde G. AlvaradoGolf training aid assembly
U.S. Classification473/139
International ClassificationA63B69/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/0091
European ClassificationA63B69/00T3