US 3363903 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 16, 1968 J. P, OBRIEN GOLF PRACTICE TEE-OFF STATION Filed June 22. 1964 United States Patent M 3,363,903 GOLF PRACTICE TEE-OFF STATION John P. OBrien, 6230 N. Kenmore, Chicago, Ill. 60626 Filed June 22, 1964, Ser. No. 376,761 2 Claims. (Cl. 273-487) This invention relates to the golng art and in particular, it is concerned with a device adapted to be used by golfers during practice sessions. The device of this invention is particularly suitable for association with constructions presently employed for practice, such as the constructions normally used at golf driving ranges.
The great majority of individuals engaged in the 'playing of golf could improve their game if they could develop a proper and consistent swing. Golf professionals and proficient amateurs have developed techniques which they can personally use to insure the maintenance of a proper swing; however, such professionals represent only a small percentage of those engaged in this sport. It is possible for another small percentage of individuals to develop proper techniques by taking instructions from professionals or by studying the many articles and books which have been written on the subject. These procedures are, however, either too expensive or too time consuming for the vast majority of people. v In addition to the above difficulties which face most golfers, there are also certain physical dilliculties which prevent ready development of proper techniques. In addition, previously ingrained bad habits present extreme problems for many golfers.
In applicants copending application Ser. No. 310,249, tiled Sept. 20, 1963, a description is made of a device suitable for assisting a golfer in overcoming difficulties of the ty-pe discussed above. This aid comprises a support member which is adapted to be releasably attached to a golf shoe so that the proper positioning of the golfers feet and the proper weight distribution can be accomplished with ease. In such a case, the swing of the golfer tends to fall into a desirable pattern without any great conscious effort.
It is one object of this invention to provide a device for aiding golfers which is peculiarly suitable for use at installations such as golf driving ranges.
It is an additional object of this invention to provide a device of the type described which accomplishes many of the advantages of the device referred to in the aforementioned copending application while being suitable for use by individuals at driving ranges irrespective of the various stances or other habits which characterize the respective individuals.
These and other objects of this invention will appear hereinafter and for purposes of illustration but not of limitation, specific embodiments of this invention are shown in the accompanying drawing in which:
FIGURE l is a diagrammatic perspective view of a golf hitting station utilizing the device of this invention;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged elevational view partly cut away of the support device of this invention;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the support device taken about the line 3-3 of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary plan view illustrating the locking means used for positioning the support device; and,
FIGURE 5 is a cross-sectional View partly cut away taken about the line 5-5 of FIGURE 1 and illustrating additional means for positioning the support device.
The instant invention is generally directed to improvements in golf ball hitting stations of the type normally :referred to as driving ranges. At such ranges, rubber mats or other means defining a generally planar surface are angular cross section including 3,363,903 Patented Jan. 16, 1968 set up so that a golfer can stand on or adjacent to the mat. Means are associated with the station for supporting a golf ball above the surface, which means may comprise a conventional or simulated golf tee.
The particular improvement of this invention comprises a device which is characterized as a support member. This device is positioned for engagement by the back shoe of a golfer. If the golfer were wearing golf shoes with spikes, then the location of the engagement would be identified as approximately that portion of the outer edge of the golf shoe located forwardly of the arch. In the case of a right-handed golfer, the right shoe would engage the support member. In the preferred form of this invention, the support member defines an upwardly sloping surface; however, the invention contemplates any configuration for the support member which will cause the shoe to be tilted inwardly when the golfer is addressing the ball.
An important feature of the instant invention relates to the ability of the support member to be adjusted to different positions on the surface of the hitting station. As will be explained, the support member can Ibe moved to a plurality of different locations along the surface of the hitting station, the movement being undertaken in the direction of the intended line of flight of the ball. With this arrangement, various stances of different individuals can be accommodated.
FIGURE 1 of the accompany-ing drawings illustrates a hitting station 10 which may comprise a mat 12 upon which an individual can stand. The mat includes a tee 14 which is illustrated as a short section of tubular rubber. This tee supports a golf ball 16 whereby the individual on the mat can hit the ball as suggested by the arrow 18. It will ybe appreciated that the construction of the mat and the golf tee can vary widely without departing from the concepts of the instant invention.
The outlines 20 and 22 shown in FIGURE l are intended to illustrate the position of the feet of an individual intending to hit the vball 16. The support member 24 of this invention is located whereby it is adapted to be engaged by the right foot of the individual. It will be apparent that a left-handed golfer would be facing in the opposite direction whereby the left shoe 20 would engage the support member 24. It is conventional practice for driving ranges to provide tees 14 on both sides of a mat and, therefore, the device of this invention can accommodate both right-handed and left-handed golfers.
As best shown in FIGURES 2, 3 and 5, the support member 24 may comprise a block of molded material such as hard rubber. The device illustrated defines a tria sloping front face 26. This type of face is suitable for providing the desired tilt in the golfers shoe; however, other configurations are also contemplated.
Various golfers may find that they are more suited for employing the device of this invention in a manner dilferent than described herein. It has been found, however, that the right shoe should engage the member 24 in approximately the position shown in FIGURE l. Thus, the portion 28 of the outer edge of the right shoe located forwardly of the arch rests on the surface 26. This provides the tilt shown in FIGURE 3. When the right shoe of the golfer is positioned in this manner, the swing of the golfer inherently tends to develop a proper and consistent pattern. It will be appreciated that an individual could employ the practice device described, and thereby over a period of time, develop the habit of a proper swing.
Since individuals employing the described device will be of various sizes and will prefer different spacing of the feet when addressing the ball, the device of this invention is provided with means for adjusting its position.
The adjusting means illustrated are provided through the use of studs 3f) which are imbedded in the member 24 and which extend downwardly from the bottom side thereof. In addition, the cleat 32 which is integrally formed in the member 24 is provided.
Channels 34 and 36 are defined in the surface of the hitting station whereby means can be included for receiving the studs 30 and cleat 32. The means for receiving the studs 30' comprise an inverted U-shaped member 38 which denes openings 40 in its upper surface. A sliding strip member 42 is positioned beneath the openings 40, and this strip member defines corresponding Openings 44. Pins 46 and 48 retain the strip 42 in position relative to the member 38. The studs 30 define enlarged ends 50 and intermediate reduced diameter portions 52. The enlarged ends are such that they can be received in the openings 4d and 44 when the support member is being placed on the desired position. The strip 42 can then be shifted whereby the openings 40 and 44 will move out of alignment as shown in FIGURE 3. This will permit locking of the support member in place. To release the support member, the strip is moved to return the openings 40 and 44 to an aligned position. A handle 54 on the strip can be utilized to achieve this movement.
The channel 36 carries a member 56 which may be formed of molded rubber or the like. This member defines a plurality of recesses 58, and these recesses are dimensioned to receive cleat 32. The recesses 58 are spaced apart so that their positions correspond to the positions of the openings 40. Accordingly, the studs and cleats will fit into their respective positions at any of a plurality of locations along the surface of the hitting station.
It will be appreciated that other means may be utilized for locking or otherwise holding the support member 24 in position on the surface of the hitting station. In this connection, the studs 3f) and associated locking means could be utilized at both ends of the support member. Alternatively, cleats 32 could be located at either end, and the studs eliminated. The primary purpose of these means is to lock the support member against movement during addressing and hitting of the ball.
1t will be apparent that the construction described accomplishes advantages during hitting of a ball of the type realized by the structure described in the aforementioned copending application. In addition, the construction of this invention is obviously ideally suited for driving ranges and the like, and existing installations at driving ranges can be readily accommodated for receiving structures of this novel type.
`It will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made in the construction described which provide the characteristics of this invention without departing from the spirit thereof particularly as defined in the following claims.
That which is claimed is:
1. In a golf ball hitting station which defines a generally planar surface upon which an individual can stand and which includes means for holding a golf ball in position on said surface whereby the individual can hit the ball with a golf club, the improvement comprising an upwardly projecting support means located on said surface to the side of and rearwardly of said golf ball holding means, said support means being positioned for engagement by the back shoe of the individual relative to the intended line of flight of the ball to be hit with said back shoe engaging said support means adjacent the outer edge of the shoe in the area forwardly of the arch, said support means being adapted to tilt the shoe inwardly when the individual is addressing the ball, a pair of channels defined by said surface, said channels being aligned in parallel relationship in the direction of said intended line of fiight, and means located in said channels for releasably securing said support means at a plurality of different locations along said channels whereby the support means can accommodate different stances of said individual, and said means for releasably securing said support means including at least one downwardly extending stud carried by said support means, means in at least one of said channels defining first openings for receiving said stud, and means for releasably locking said stud in said first openings, said stud defining an enlarged lower end portion and an intermediate reduced diameter portion, said locking means comprising a slideable strip defining second openings, said slideable strip being positioned adjacent said means defining said first openings, said first and second openings being sufficiently lange to permit said enlarged end to pass therethrough whereby said slideable strip can be shifted to engage said reduced diameter portion for locking said support means in place.
2. A golf ball hitting station in accordance with claim 1 wherein the other channel defines a plurality of spaced apart recesses, at least one downwardly extending cleat formed on said support means, said cleat being adapted to be received in one of said recesses when said support means is locked in position, the number and position of said recesses corresponding to the number and position of said first openings.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,189,613 2/1940 Paulsen 273-187 2,562,479 7/ 1951 Spikes 33-80 2,777,697 1/1957 Crossot 273-187 2,847,769 8/ 1958 Schesinger.
3,218,734 11/1965 OBrien 36-2.5 3,244,421 4/1966 Hanna 273-187 3,275,320 9/ 1966 Hydock 273-32 ANTON O. CECI-ISLE, Primary Examiner.
5 RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Examiner.
G. I. MARLO, Assistant Examiner.