US 3365199 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 23, 1968 H. w. SCHOLIN ETAL 3, 5
PRACTICE PUTTING DEVICE I Filed March 22, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Fig. 6
HAROLD M. .SCHOL/IV HOLGEI? E. PEDERSEW ATTORNEYS.
Jan. 23, 1968 H.W.SCHOLIN ETAL 3,355,199
PRACTICE PUTTING DEVICE Filed March 22, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 HOLGER E. PEDERSEN WRwMwi/V .44.
' ATTORA/fYS United States Patent 3,3653% PRACTICE PUTTZNG DEVHQE Harold W. Scholin, 1125 N. Northwest Highway, Park Ridge, iii. 6%68, and Holger E. Pedersen, Qhicago, EiL; said Pedersen assignor to said Scholin Filed Mar. 22, 1965, Ser. No. 441,422 It) Qlaims. (Cl. 273179) ABSTRACT THE DHSCLOSURE A practice putting device includes a housing with a ball returning target swingably mounted at the front. When a putted ball strikes the target, the target moves inwardly to close a switch, and a solenoid is energized. The solenoid armature is moved from a position spaced from the target against the target to drive the target outwardly against the ball to return the ball. A suction cup is compressed between the target and the housing when the target is driven outwardly. The suction cup temporarily holds the target, and then releases the target so that it returns gradually to its instant position without rebounding and energizing the switch. A time delay takes place between the time a ball strikes the target and the time the target is driven outwardly, and a ball putted too fast rebounds out of range of the target and is not returned. A curved back rail is spaced from the rear of the housing to return balls missing the housing, and the device can be positioned toward the rear of an opening in a horizontal mat so that all balls entering the hole are returned.
The present invention relates to a practice putting device for practicing putting a golf ball.
Many types of practice putting devices have been developed in the past and are intended to simulate putting conditions existing on golf greens. Such devices are commonly used on fioors, carpets and the like, and additionally, synthetic putting mats have been developed for laying over a fioor surface.
One type of practice putting device used in the past includes a housing carrying a target plate on one side and at which the outted ball is aimed. Furthermore, the device may include an ejector mechanism or returning balls that strike the target. It is to this general type of practice putting device that the present invention relates.
Devices u ed in the past have suffered from several difficulties. Many such devices have included an entry ramp or inclined plane up which the putted ball must travel to reach the target. Thus, balls putted with enough speed to reach an actual golf cup but with insufiicient speed to climb the ramp are not returned. Some past devices have returned putted balls hit with so great a speed that they would jump over an actual golfing cup. In addition. past devices of the type including both a target and an ejector have been complex in construction and difficult to assemble.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved practice golf ball putting device and to overcome the disadvantages found in devices used in the past.
it is another object of the invention to simulate closely conditions encountered on a golf green and to provide an improved practice putting device effective to return any putted ball that would drop into a real golf cup, and not to return any ball that would miss or jump over the cup.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide an improved practice putting device for use on a fiat surface without a ramp or incline for the ball to ascend.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a practice golf ball putting device including a target ejector plate acting both as a target for the putted ball and as an ejector for returning the ball.
Still another Object of the invention is to provide a practice putting device including a damping arrangement for preventing the ejecting mechanism from operating more ti an once during a short interval of time, thereby to prevent oscillation of the ejecting mechanism.
It is another object of the invention to provide an improved housing construction for a golf putting practice device for easily and economically mounting the ball return mechanism including an electric solenoid.
Another object is to provide a practice putting device with a novel back rail for catching missed putts and returnin them in the direction from which they were putted.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide novel practice putting apparatus including a target and ejector device and a simulated putting surface mat having a target hole therein arranged in such a manner that balls reaching the target hole in the mat, even with a very low velocity, are returned by the ball return mechanism.
In brief, the practice golf ball putting device of the present invention includes a compact casing having a target plate suspended at the front thereof in position to be struck by putted balls and having a width corresponding to the hole diameter. A switch operating arm extends from the rear of the target ejector plate into the casing, and when a putted ball strikes the large ejector plate, the switch operating arm moves and strikes a flexible contact arm of an electrical switch in order to close the switch and complete an electrical circuit to energize a ball returning ejector mechanism. The ejector mechanism comprises an electric solenoid with a winding and a movable armature for striking the back of the target ejector plate when the switch is closed by impact of a ball. Thus, when the target ejector plate is hit by the armature, it is moved forward, and in turn, strikes the golf ball and returns it forcibly in the direction from which it was putted.
In accordance with a feature of the invention, the switch operating arm and the contact carrying arm are arranged so that a time delay occurs between the impact of a putted ball against the target ejector plate and the actuation of the ejector mechanism. Furthermore, the characteristics of the solenoid are such that an additional delay occurs before the armature hits the target ejector plate. Thus, a ball striking the target ejector plate with a velocity sumcient to jump 21 real golfing cup rebounds out of range of the target ejector plate before the plate is struck by the armature. In this manner, balls hit too hard are not returned by the device.
Damping means including a suction cup engageable with the switch operating arm in the open switch position serve to hold the target ejector plate briefly after ejection of the ball. The damping means gradually returns the target plate and switch arm to the original position, and prevents the plate and arm from moving past the original position and again energizing the ejector mechanism. Thus, oscillation of the target plate and ejector mechanism is avoided.
The device may be used upon a floor surface and in this case the target ejector plate is positioned on the floor surface so that a putted ball does not have to climb a ramp or incline in order to reach the target. Alternatively and in accordance with a further feature of the inven tion the device may be used with a putting mat designed to gve the same ball action as an actual putting green and including a target cup opening. When used with the mat, the target and ejector device is placed toward the rear of the hole, and balls reaching the hole with a low velocity are specded up as they drop into the cup and the added velocity assures that any ball reaching the cup will travel across the opening to the target device and be returned.
The practice putting device may be used with a novel semi-circular golf ball receiving back rail arranged around and behind the target and ejector device. The novel semicircular shape serves to catch balls that miss the device and to guide them in a semi-circular path to reverse their direction and return them if they are hit with sufficient speed.
The target and ejector device includes a novel arrangement of internal walls forming a chamber for receiving the solenoid from the bottom of the casing during assembly. Furthermore, these internal walls are arranged in novel fashion to support the winding, to limit the movement of the solenoid armature, and to support an armature biasing spring mounted in the armature core.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the ensuing description of an illustrative embodiment, in the course of which reference is had to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view, partly broken away, of practice golf ball putting apparatus constructed and placed upon a mat in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged, broken, partly sectional View of the device of FIG. 1, taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a partially sectional, top view taken along a line generally corresponding to the line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line 44 of FIG. 3, assuming FIG. 3 to illustrate the entire structure;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along; the line 55 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged, sectional view of the casing of the target and ejector device of the practice putting apparatus of FIG. 1 taken along a line 6-6 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view of the casing taken along the line 77 of FIG. 3.
Referring now to the drawings, and initially to FIG. 1, there is illustrated practice putting apparatus indicated as a whole by the numeral 10 and constructed and arranged in accordance with the present invention. The apparatus 10 includes a ball target and ejector device generally indicated as 12 embodying several features of the present invention and which, in the illustrated embodiment of the invention, is used in combination with a back rail 14. The device 12 and rail 14 may be used on any suitable floor surface or, preferably, may be used in combination with a putting mat 16.
The ball target and ejector device 12 includes a compact casing 18 at the front of which is suspended a target and ejector plate 20 which, in accordance with an important feature of the present invention, serves both as a ball target and as part of the means for returning the ball. Within the casing 18 is housed simple apparatus for effecting return of a putted ball with the target ejector plate 20 including a solenoid 21 having a winding 22 and a horizontally movable armature 24 controlled by a switch generally designated as 26.
In order to support the target ejector plate 20 for limited swinging movement at the front of the casing of the device 12, a top wall of the casing 18 includes a pair of forwardly extending portions 18a defining openings for supporting a hinge pin 38. The target ejector plate 26 is pivotally mounted on the hinge pin 3%) by means of a hollow pin receiving sleeve 26a formed along the top edge of the plate 20. In order to simulate actual putting conditions, the plate 20 is made the width of an actual golf cup.
When a putted ball strikes the target ejector plate 20, the impact causes the plate to swing inwardly toward the body of the device 12, and movement of the target ejector plate 2% caused by impact of a putted ball closes the switch 26.
In accordance with a feature of the invention, a switch operating arm 32 is formed as an integral part of the target ejector plate 26 and extends rearwardly from the plate 20 into the interior of the casing 18. The switch 26 (FIGS. 3-5) includes a fixed contact 26a mounted upon a relatively fixed terminal bracket 34 and a movable contact Zeb mounted upon a flexible switch arm 36, and the arm 36 is mounted so that the contacts 26a and 2612 are normally spaced from one another. As can best be seen in FIG. 5, the flexible switch arm 36 includes an upwardly extending portion 36a defining an inclined surface 33, while the switch operating arm 32 includes a rounded arm engaging portion 32a. In the normal position of the device 12, the flexible arm 36 is tensioned so that it bears against the portion 32a. This arrangement eliminates movement or vibration of the arm 36 which might otherwise result from jarring or moving the device 12. When a putted ball strikes the target ejector plate 20, the switch operating arm 32 moves upwardly and the arm engaging portion 32a moves along the inclined surface 38 with a cam-like action, thus closing the switch 26 and energizing the solenoid winding 22 and causing the armature 24 to strike the target ejector plate 20 and return the putted ball.
When a putted ball strikes the target ejector plate 20, the ball rebounds to some extent because of its own inherent elasticity. If the putted ball strikes the plate 20 with a relatively small velocity, the resulting rebound velocity, if any, will be small, and will not affect operation of the device. However, if a putted ball strikes the plate 20 with a large velocity, such as would cause the putted ball to jump over an actual golfing cup, the rebound velocity of the ball away from the plate 20 will be greater. More specifically, it is believed that the ball and plate both move against a back stop on the casing 18, described hereinafter, and that the ball then bounces away from the device 12. In accordance with the present invention, this characteristic is utilized to prevent the device 12 from returning balls striking the plate 20 with a velocity so great that the ball would jump an actual cup. When a ball strikes the plate 20, the plate first swings back to a switch closing position and then, upon actuation of the ejector mechanism and after movement of the armature 24 against the plate 20, the plate is pushed forward again to a position slightly ahead of the original position of the plate 20. The inclined surface 38, the arm engaging portion 32a of the switch operating arm 38, and the distance between the contacts 26a and 26b of the switch 26 are arranged so that a slight time delay exists between the time a putted ball strikes the plate 20 and the time the ejector mechanism is actuated. An additional delay occurs as the armature is moved from its original position to the point where it strikes the plate 20. The total time delay is such that a ball putted with too great a velocity will rebound out of the range of the plate 20 and will not be returned. Conversely, balls hit with a low enough velocity to drop into a cup will be struck by the target ejector plate 20 and returned with a much greater velocity than mere rebound velocity.
It can now be seen that when a putted ball strikes the target ejector plate 20, the plate and the switch operating arm 32 are moved in a rearward and upward direction and shortly thereafter the switch 26 closes to actuate the ejector mechanism. The armature 24 then strikes an impact boss 20b (FIG. 4) formed on the back of the target ejector plate 20 and forces the plate sharply forward. The swinging plate then strikes the putted ball, provided it remains in the range of movement of the plate, and returns it. After the ball has been returned, the plate might tend to swing back again and actuate the ejector mechanism a second time. Such operation would be highly undesirable and could cause oscillatory backward and forward movement of the plate 20.
In accordance with the present invention, damping means are provided in order to assure that the ejector mechanism is not actuated more than once in succession, and to assure that oscillation of the plate is prevented. The damping assembly includes a flexible suction cup 42 mounted to a bracket 44 supported in a fixed position in the casing 18. The switch operating arm 32 includes a horizontal portion 32b in alignment with the suction cup 42, and when the ejector mechanism drives the target ejector plate and arm 32 forwardly and downwardly, the flange 32b is forced down against the suction cup 42. Thus, the cup 42 acts both as a stop to limit the forward movement of the plate 20 and as a means for holding the plate 20 in its forwardmost position. Furthermore, the suction cup 42 and the flange 32b are arranged so that the suction between the cup and the flange is allowed to gradually dissipate. For example, the entire target ejector plate 20 and integrally formed switch operating arm 32 may be molded of a somewhat porous material such as Bakelite permitting leakage of air to release the suction cup.
After the ejector mechanism has moved the target ejector plate 20 and the switch operating arm 32 forwardly and downwardly against the suction cup 42, the gradually dissipating suction slowly releases the switch operating arm 32 and allows the plate and arm to return to the initial position. The gradual release assures that the arm will not overswing upwardly to again close the switch 26 and actuate the ejector mechanism a second time.
Proceeding now to the construction of the casing 18 of the target and ejector device 12, in accordance with a feature of the invention the casing is formed in a novel manner for supporting the solenoid 21. In order to support the solenoid assembly 21 within the casing 18, the casing includes an internal wall arrangement generally designated as 48 defining a chamber for the reception of the solenoid 21 and designed in novel fashion to greatly facilitate assembly of the device 12.
The solenoid Winding 22 is supported by a bobbin 46 including a right cylindrical core wall 45a, a front Wall 4612 and a rear wall 460. In order to facilitate insertion and positioning of the winding 22 in the casing 18, the front and rear Walls 45b and 46c are generally square in shape. The casing 13 includes a pair of interior side walls 18!) extending forwardly from the outer rear wall of the casing and interconnected at spaced points by an internal front wall 180 and an internal rear wall 18d. As can best be seen in FIGS. 3, 6 and 7, the side walls 155 and the front and rear walls 130 and 18d form generally square supports for receiving the square front and rear bobbin walls 46b and 460. During assembly the bobbin 46 with the Winding 22 thereon is merely slid upwardly into the solenoid receivin space provided between these walls, and is thereafter firmly held in position against rotation or dislocation.
In order to prevent the solenoid 21 from moving upwardly out of position, the rear wall is provided with an abutment 18@ (FIGS. 4 and 7) against which the top of the rear bobbin wall 460 is positioned. Furthermore, the front wall 130 includes a generally U-shaped recess 50 (FIGS. 4 and 6) extending only part way through the front wall from the rear. This recess 50 forms a shoulder for receiving a forwardly extending nose portion 46a of the core wall 46a of the bobbin. Thus, it can be seen that when supported from the bottom in a manner to be described, the solenoid is held firmly in place by the wall arrangement 48.
The armature 2-4 of the solenoid 21 includes a central portion 24:: slidable in the core of the bobbin 44 in response to energization of the winding 22, and extending rearwardly from the central portion 24a is a reduced diameter portion 2412. As can best be seen in FIG. 7, the rear wall Ed is provided with a U-shaped recess 52 (FIGS. 4 and 7) large enough to allow the portion 24b of the armature to extend rearwardly therethrough, but small. enough to form a stop for the armature when the central armature portion 24a engages the rear wall Eds].
The armature 2 5 also includes a reduced diameter driving portion 24c adapted to move forwardly upon encrgization of the winding 22 and strike the impact bos 2% formed on the rear of target ejector plate 29 to return a putted ball. The forward wall 18c includes a Ushaped recess 54 somewhat smaller than and arranged symmetrically within the recess 50 and extending somewhat further into the wall 18c, but not all the way through (FIGS. 4 and 6). This recess 54 forms a supporting ledge holding one end of an armature biasing compression spring 56. The other end of the spring bears against the central portion 24:: of the armature 24 and serves to hold the armature in its most rearward position, as illustrated in the drawings, in position for energization of the winding 22.
The front internal wall 18c includes another U-shaped recess 58 smaller than and arranged symmetrically with respect to the recess 54, and extending all the Way through the front wall 180. The recess 58 is large enough to allow the driving portion 24c of the armature 24 to extend through the front wall and strike the impact boss 2012, but this recess is small enough to form a ledge for supporting the spring 56 and thus limiting forward movement of the armature.
From the above, it can be seen that due to the provision of the internal wall structure 48 including the U-shaped recesses 59, 52, 54 and 58, the manufacture of the device 12 is greatly facilitated. Thus, the assembled solenoid 21 including the winding 22, bobbin 4-6, armature 24 and spring 56 may be inserted as a unit from the bottom upwardly into the space provided, and the wall arrangeent 48 holds the solenoid in the proper position for operation of the armature.
in order to support the solenoid and hold it in position in the space provided, the device 12 includes a cover plate 6% held in position above the bottom of the casing 18 by a number of screws threaded into screw-receiving bosses 18] formed on the walls of the casing 18. Properly to position the plate 6% and support the solenoid 21, the plate includes a flange 60a (FIG. 4) extending upwardly against the nose portion 466! of the bobbin core.
To provide a limited range of movement rearwardly for the target ejector plate 2d, the outer side Walls of the casing 18 are cut away to form inclined front wall surfaces 18g, and the cover plate 60 is provided with an upturned lip 69b. The walls 18g and the lip 6611 act as a backstop for the target ejector plate 20 when struck by a putted ball. Furthermore, the bracket 44 supporting the suction cup 42 may be suitably connected to the cover plate 6%.
The spring 56 serves to hold the armature 24 in the rearward position as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 when the switch 26 is open. When the switch is closed, the action of the electric field on the armature 24 accelerates the armature in a forward direction until it strikes the plate 2%. As described above, the total time delay provided by the device 12 includes the delay built into the switch 26 as well as the time required for the armature to move against the plate 20 from the initial position determined by the spring 56 and the wall 18d. During this time delay, as noted above, a ball hitting the tar et with too great a speed moves with the target ejector plate 2% to the backstop formed by the lip 66b and wall surfaces 18g, and then rebounds away from the device 12. This time delay is set to provide a sensitive dhferentiation between bails putted correctly and balls putted too hard to drop into a golf cup, the latter balls rebounding out of range of the plate 26 during the time delay period.
The casing 18 is provided with a pair of supporting bosses 18k to which the terminal bracket 34 and flexible switch arm 35 are mounted. Furthermore, these members are connected to suitable electric conductors 62 (FIG. 5) and additional circuitry is provided for connecting the switch 26 and the solenoid winding 22 in series with a suitable power source in a manner well known to those skilled in the art. The casing may be provided with a hole 63 in its top wall for mounting a flag at the center of the target area.
In accordance with another feature of the present invention, the target and ejector device 12 may be used with the ball retaining and returning back rail 14. The rail 14 is semi-circular in shape (FIG. 1) and is spaced from the rear of and surrounds the device 12. Thus, a putted ball missing the device 12 to either side thereof with sufi'icient velocity contacts the rail 14 and is guided by the rail 14 around the rear of the device and is returned toward the putter.
In order to facilitate packaging and shipping of the apparatus 16, the rail 14 is divided into portions 14a and 14b. Furthermore, each portion is provided with a mounting bracket 66a and 66b. These brackets are mounted to the casing 18 of the device 12 and are long enough to provide sufficient space between the curved rear outer wall of the device 12 and the rail 14, to the end that a putted ball may pass between the rail and the device.
In order firmly to mount the rail 14 in spaced position from the device 12, the housing 18 includes a mounting boss 68 (FIGS. 4 and 7) defining a slot 7t therein. Each support bracket 66a and 66b is provided with a flange 72 (FIG. 4) receivable in the slot '70 in order to properly position the rail portions 14a and 14b. The brackets 66a and 66b may be held in place against the casing 18 by means of screws 74 threaded into the boss 68. Further to mount the rail portions 14a and 14b together, the brackets 66a and 661) may include mounting flanges 76 held together by a fastener 7 8 (FIG. 4).
As previously noted, the device 12 and rail 14 may be used on any suitable fioor surface. For the purposes of this description, a floor surface may be defined as any horizontal surface upon which putting may be practiced including any sort of floor such as carpeting or a rug as well as outdoor ground surfaces. However, in accordance with a further feature of the invention, the target and ejector device 12 and rail 14 may be used with a putting mat 16 especially prepared of foam rubber or plastic or the like accurately to simulate the surface of an actual putting green. The mat 16 is provided with an opening 80 the size of an actual golf cup. With the device 12 positioned to the rear of the opening as illustrated in FIG. 1, actual putting conditions are encountered. More specifically, any ball putted towards the opening 80 which would drop into a cup will be returned by the device 12 while a ball which would not enter a cup is not returned. Any ball hit with barely enough velocity to reach the opening 89 would drop into a real cup. In order to assure that these balls are returned by the device 12, the putting mat 16 is made of a sufficient thickness so that a ball, in dropping over the edge of the opening 89, is accelerated just enough to reach the target ejector plate 20 and actuate the return mechanism. On the other hand, any balls hit with too great a velocity to drop into a real golf cup rebound out of range of the target ejector plate '20 before actuation of the ejector mechanism and therefore are not returned. The rebound velocity of balls not returned is sufficient to carry them only a short distance; in most cases only a few inches. In contrast, balls returned by the device 12 travel several feet back to the putter.
It should be appreciated that with the apparatus constructed in accordance with the present invention it is not necessary for the putted ball to climb a ramp or inclined surface to reach the target and ejector device 12. This represents a significant advantage since balls hit hard enough to drop into a real cup will not be returned by a device having a ramp if they do not have sufficient velocity to climb the ramp.
While the present invention has been described in connection with details of a specific embodiment thereof, it should be understood that such details are not intended to be limitative of the invention except insofar as set forth in the claims.
What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. Practice golf ball putting apparatus for returning a putted golf ball along a surface upon which the ball is putted comprising a housing, a ball returning target movably supported on said housing for forward and rearward movement relative thereto and having a portion adapted to be disposed above said surface and in the path of a ball putted toward the housing, said target being movable in a rearward direction with respect to said housing by the impact of a ball against the target, a solenoid mounted within said housing and including means effective upon energization to move the target with such force in a forward direction with respect to said housing that said target may strike a putted golf ball and return it to the golfer along the surface upon which it was putted, and means for energizing said solenoid in response to movement of the target in said rearward direction.
2. Practice golf ball putting apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said target is suspended on said housing for swinging movement about a generaliy horizontal axis, and wherein said target has a width at least as great as the approximate diameter of a golf hole.
3. Practice golf ball putting apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said energizing means includes a switch connected to control the operation of said solenoid, means operatively associated with said target for operating said switch to a solenoid energizing condition when said target is moved in said rearward direction, said solenoid including a movable armature normally spaced from the target and including a winding surrounding said armature for propelling said armature against the target with a sharp impact when the solenoid is energized, thereby to drive the target in said forward direction.
4. Practice golf ball putting apparatus as claimed in claim 3, including means for preventing immediate successive energizations of said solenoid, said last mentioned means including holding means operable upon said forward movement of said target for temporarily restricting rearward movement of said target and for thereafter releasing said target for free rearward movement.
5. Practice golf ball putting apparatus as defined in claim 4 wherein said holding means comprises a flexible suction member engageable in slow releasing suction relation between said target and said housing.
6. Practice golf ball putting apparatus as claimed in claim 3 wherein said switch, solenoid, and target are constructed and arranged to produce a time delay period between the time a golf ball strikes said target and the time the ball is returned, said period being of sufiicient duration so that a ball having a velocity great enough to jump a golf hole will rebound away from the target a distance such that it is not returned.
7. Practice golf ball putting apparatus as defined in claim 1 characterized by a mat having an upper putting surface, an opening in the mat for receiving a putted golf ball, said supporting means being located on said mat so that the target is spaced rearwardly from the front edge of the opening, said opening extending downwardly from the upper putting surface of the mat so as to increase the velocity of a golf ball falling into the opening, whereby golf balls entering the front edge of the opening with an otherwise insufficient velocity attain a velocity sufficient to strike said target.
8. Practice golf ball putting apparatus as claimed in claim 1 characterized by a curved back rail including a central portion arranged behind said housing and including end portions extending forward partially to surround said housing; said rail and said housing being spaced apart by a distance exceeding the width of a golf ball, whereby a ball putted past said housing and against said rail may be guided by the rail along a curved path and returned.
9. Practice golf ball putting apparatus comprising supporting means, ball return means movably mounted on the supporting means for movement in a forward direction to strike and return a ball to the golfer along the surface over which it was putted and for movement in a rearward direction after return of a ball, and means for preventing immediate successive operations of said ball 9 10 return means, said last mentioned means including hold- 2,873,326 2/1959 Kurtis 335-261 ing means operable upon forward movement of said ball 2,908,503 10/1959 Austin at 273*179 return m a for p a y holdmg a l return 3,134,597 5/1964 Branden 273*179 means in its forward position and restrictlng rearward movement of said ball return means, and for thereafter 5 3,139,565 6/1964 Levme 335*261 X releasing said ball return means for unrestricted rearward movement, FOREIGN PATENTS 10. Practice golf ball putting apparatus as defined in 938,377 4/ 1948 F n claim 9 wherein said holding means comprises a flexible suction member engageable in slow releasing suction re- 10 ANTON O OECHSLE Primary Examiner lation between said target and said supporting means.
RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Examiner. References Cited G- I. ASSl-S'tant Examlner.
2,582,290 1/1952 Smith 273-179 15