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Publication numberUS3490769 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 20, 1970
Filing dateOct 11, 1967
Priority dateOct 11, 1967
Publication numberUS 3490769 A, US 3490769A, US-A-3490769, US3490769 A, US3490769A
InventorsTorbett Eugene E
Original AssigneeTorbett Eugene E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf practice device
US 3490769 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 20, 1970 E. E. ToRBl-:TT 3,490,759

GOLF PRACTICE DEVICE Filed OC.. 11. 1967 United States VPatent O 3,490,769 GOLF PRACTICE DEVICE Eugene E. Torbett, 505 S. Hayes, Enid, Okla. 73701 Filed Oct. 11, 1967, Ser. No. 674,438 Int. Cl. A63b 69/36 U.S. Cl. 273-181 8 Claims ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A device for practicing the chip or pitch shots of golf, and including a plurality of thin, flexible concentric rings interconnected and positioned by a plurality of radial spokes. The rings are preferably made of a resilient synthetic resin and are segmented in quadrants, octants or semi-circles, with the segments being joined by quickrelease interlocking tongue and socket joints. The joints may be overlapped either by plates slotted to frictionally receive the mating ends of the segments or by the spokes which are slotted to frictionally receive the rings.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention A great many devices and apparatuses have been heretofore contrived to assist golfers in improving their game. Many of these are intended to be employed in a backyard or limited space environment, and therefore can, at best, only roughly simulate the conditions of a regular, full-sized golf course. In some instances, too, the devices are expensive and complicated in construction, and can be afforded only by those who can also afford to play golf quite frequently, and therefore have little attraction to the amateur or duifer who plays the game infrequently and is of limited iinancial means, but who perhaps is most in need of practice.

One type of device which has previously been proposed is a target arrangement which includes a plurality of concentric rings mounted on a backboard which is inclined with respect to the vertical, and which is set up at some distance from the golfer so that the golfer can undertake to deliver pitch shots from a point remote from the target to the most desirable areas defined within the exposed portion of the target. A difficulty which is experienced in utilizing devices 0f this sort, however, is that the inclination of the target device with respect to the vertical deflects the golf balls which may strike it in ways which differ drastically from the deflection experienced in playing the actual game and in chipping to the green from some distance. Moreover, except for the point of initial impact 0f the ball on the target, little information relative to immediate improvement in accuracy of chipping is conveyed to the golfer by the subsequent path followed by the ball.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION The present invention provides a device which can be usefully employed for practicing the pitching and chipping shots of golf. Broadly described, the invention comprises a plurality of thin, flexible concentric rings interconnected by a plurality of thin, flexible radial spokes. A plurality of the larger concentric rings are segmented in quadrants, octants or semi-circles through flexible interlocking, quick-detachable joints so that the device may be disassembled and stored in a compact space, and is flexible enough to conform to, and lie atly on, uneven contours of the earth when in use. The device is preferably molded from synthetic resin and is thin enough in one dimension that it will sink into grass of average height and afford little or no obstruction to the roll of a golf ball thereacross.

The device is utilized as a target structure toward which practice chip shots may be directed. The innermost ring simulates the cup into `which the golf ball is hopefully to be directed, and the surrounding concentric rings provide an indication of how nearly this objective is achieved. The device may be employed by a single person merely for practicing, or a number of persons may use the device competitively to determine who is able to achieve the greatest accuracy in pitching and chipping.

An important object of the invention is to provide an inexpensive, easily used golf practice device which can be utilized for improving the accuracy with which a golfer can direct pitch shots onto the green and near to the cup.

Another object of the invention is to provide a golf practice device which can be disassembled and stored in a small volume, thus facilitating compact packaging of the device and convenient storage.

A further object of the invention is to provide a pitching and chipping target for use in practicing the game of golf, which target is characterized in having sufcient ilexibility that it will conform to curving or sloping contours of the surface of the earth.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a golf practice device which can be quickly and easily assembled and disassembled by one having no special skill or training to do so.

Additional objects and advantages will become apparent as the following detailed description of the invention is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGURE l is a plan view of the golf practice device of the invention as it appears when viewed from above.

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view taken along line 2--2 of FIGURE l.

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged detail view showing the quick-disconnect socket which is utilized for interconnecting segments of the concentric rings used in lthe golf practice device of the invention.

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view taken along line 4 4 of FIGURE 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION Referring initially to FIGURE l, the golf practice device of the invention includes a plurality of concentric rings 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18. The rings 10-18 are preferably constructed of a synthetic resin material, such as polypropylene or polyethylene, and are relatively thin, i.e., about 1/16 to about 1A; inch in thickness. Each of the rings is also preferably from about 1/2 to about l inch in width. The rings 10, 12 and 14 are segmented so that each of these rings is formed of eight interconnected octants designated respectively by the letters a-h following the main reference numeral used to designate the ring. By the term segmented as used herein, it is meant that the rings so described has a plurality of portions which are interconnected by forming a joint or connection at the abutting ends of adjacent portions so that the thus interconnected portions or segments form a complete ring. The ring 16 is also segmented, but is preferably formed either as a pair of interconnected semi-circles 16a and 16h, as shown in FIGURE 1 of the drawings, or as four interconnected equi-sized quadrants. The innermost ring 18 has an inner diameter of 4%. inches corresponding to the diameter of the cup used in the 3 game of golf, and is formed as a single integrally formed ring.

The type of joint used for interconnecting the octants of the rings 10, 12 and 14 and the semi-circular segments of the ring 16 is best depicted in FIGURES 2 and 3. Thus, each segment of a ring includes a socket portion 20 defining a partially circular recess 22 which includes an angle of more than 180 as shown in FIGURE 3. At the opposite end of each segment from the socket portion 20, the segment carries a tongue 24 which is dimensioned to mate with the circular recess 22, and thereby form a positive interlock preventing axial separation of adjacent segments of each ring. A final portion of each of the joints formed between adjacent segments is a securing plate 26 which is provided with an undercut slot 28 in the manner best depicted in FIGURE 4. The undercut slot 28 has an opening thereinto which is of slightly lesser transverse width than the transverse width of the rings -16 so that the securing plate 26 must be forced downwardly over the joint formed `by the socket portion and tongue 24, and is frictionally retained in this position during the use of the device.

It will be noted in referring to FIGURE 1 that a plurality of radially extending spokes or ribs 30 extend from the central or innermost ring 18 outwardly to the outermost ring 10 and, in so extending, cross the sockets interconnecting certain adjacent segments of the rings 10, 12, 14 and 16. The spokes 30 thus replace the securing plates 26 which would otherwise -be required to complete the joint at these locations and, to this end, are provided with undercut slots 32 at the positions where the respective spokes cross the respective rings 10, 12, 14 and 16. At its inner end, each of the spokes 30 is provided with a slot 36 (see FIGURE 2) into which the ring 18 fits, and with a projecting tab 38 which tits into, and interlocks with, a mating recess or aperture 40 formed in the inner ring 18. As best illustrated in FIGURE 1, the apertures 40 are preferably formed on a 90 spacing around the ring 18 so that the spokes 30 are each disposed at 90 from each other.

In a preferred construction of the invention, the spokes 30 are, like the plastic rings 10-18, constructed of a synthetic resin material which is relatively thin, each of the spokes preferably being from about 1A, to about 1A@ inch in thickness. The slots 32 in the spokes 30 which receive the rings 10--18 are of a depth corresponding to the thickness of each of the rings 10-16 so that a connection is established, as depicted in FIGURE 2, in which the opposed surfaces of spokes and rings are flush.

The diametric size of the several rings 10-18 can be varied, provided the innermost ring 18 has an internal diameter corresponding to the diameter of the cup employed in the game of golf. Preferably, tive of the rings 10-16 are employed as depicted in the accompanying drawings, and the distance separating any pair of adjacent rings is preferably two feet. When the rings 10-16 are of this dimension, the formation of the outer three rings 10-14 in quadrants and of the ring 16 in semicircles permits the structure to be disassembled and stored in a relatively compact space. Packaging of the device in a fairly small, easily carried box for purposes of shipment and sale is also facilitated.

In the use of the golf practice, the device is laid flat on any surface covered with grass, including pitching and chipping greens where they are available. In the latter case, the inner ring 18 can be placed around the cup permanently stationed in the pitching or chipping green. In positioning the device on the ground, the device can be conformed to uneven or undulating surfaces by reason of the flexibility of the joints `between the segments of the rings. Flexure of these joints to a slight degree will permit the several rings in the device to be distorted to assume a non-coplanar relationship to each other, so that the device as a whole can conform to any ground surface upon which it is apt to be placed.

In using the device, the golfer will stand anywhere from a few feet away from the outermost ring 10 to a distance up to about yards away from the device, depending upon the area available for practice. In addition to such practice, the device can also be used as a game in which two or more contestants hit one or more golf balls in an endeavor to outdo the other in placing the golf ball, by pitching and chipping shots, relatively close to the inner ring 18 representing the cup.

As will be apparent to any golfer, the closer the ball is to the center ring, the better the shot which has been made. Thus, in using the device as a competitive game, various scores can be awarded for the golfers ability to chip the ball into one of the spaces between concentric rings 10-18, with the score acquired being higher the nearer the ball is to the center ring.

When the use of the device has been completed, it can be disassembled and stored in a relatively small, compact box by snapping the securing plates 26 and spokes 30 upwardly to remove them from the interlocks formed by the socket portion 20 and the tongue 24, then disconnecting the tongues 24 from the respective recesses 22 to sever each of the ring segments from each other. When the ring segments are severed from each other, it will be perceived that they do not occupy a large transverse width, so that the box in which all parts of the device are stored can be relatively narrow. This facilitates carrying the box under the arm or storing it in the trunk of a vehicle if desired.

It should be pointed out that, though one embodiment of the present invention has been herein described in order to provide an example of the invention which will permit its practice by those skilled in the art, a number of modifications in the structure can be effected without departure from the principles of the invention. Thus, the preferred spacing between the concentric rings may be altered, and additional or fewer rings than those shown in FIGURE 1 may be employed if desired. Regardless of the size of the device and the number of concentric rings employed, the structure is built up through the interconnecting sockets in the same manner as has been described herein, and the relative spacing between the Several concentric rings is retained constant by the use of the radially extending spokes. All variations and modifications in the structure herein described which continue to rely on the basic principles of the invention, as these have been herein discussed, are deemed to be circumscribed by the spirit and scope of the invention, except as the same may be necessarily limited by the appended claims or reasonable equivalents thereof.

What is claimed is:

1. A golf practice device comprising:

a plurality of exible, concentric rings with one of said rings which is disposed radially outwardly of the innermost ring being segmented into at least four equi-sized, end-to-end abutting segments;

at least two radial spokes detachably interconnecting said concentric rings and maintaining a desired radial spacing between the rings, said spokes each being slotted intermediate its length, and each frictionally engaging in the slot therein, the adjacent abutting ends of two segments of said segmented ring; and

securing plates each having a slot therein and each frictionally engaging in said slot, the adjacent abutting ends of two segments of said one segmented ring, said securing plates being disposed between said spokes on said one ring, the slots in said spokes and the slots in said securing plates being dimensioned to receive the adjacent abutting ends of the respective segments so that one surface of said one segmented ring is flush and coplanar with the surfaces of said spokes and plates in which the respective slots are formed.

2. A golf practice device as defined in claim 1 wherein one of said rings is a central ring having an inside diametric dimension of 4l/4 inches.

3. A golf practice device as defined in claim 1 wherein said rings have a thickness of from about 1/16 inch to about 1A; inch, and said spokes have a thickness of from about 1A; inch to about 1A inch.

4. A golf practice device as defined in claim 1 wherein the rings and spokes are constructed of a resilient synthetic resin material;

said rings include a central ring having a diameter of about 41A inches and said segmented ring includes at least eight interconnected segments; and

said spokes are at least VVfour in number each of said spokes having a central end connected to said inner ring and each detachably engaging the adjacent abutting ends of a pair of adjacent segments in said segmented ring.

5. A golf practice device as defined in claim 4 wherein said rings have a thickness of from about 1/16 inch to about 1/8 inch.

6. A golf practice device comprising:

a plurality of exible, concentric rings with at least one ring which is disposed radially outwardly of the innermost ring including segments detachably interconnected to each other at abutting ends thereof;

four radial spokes attached to the innermost ring of said concentric rings and extending radially outwardly therefrom, said spokes forming four angles of 90 with each other, and rigidly retaining said concentric rings in a desired radial spacing with respect to each other, and detachably interconnecting the rings, each of said spokes having at least one slot in one side thereof, with the number of slots in each spoke corresponding to the number of rings disposed around the innermost of said concentric rings, certain of said slots receiving the abutting ends of two adjacent segments of one of said segmented rings; and

securing plates each having a slot in one side thereof and each receiving in said slot abutting ends of a pair of adjacent segments of one of said segmented rings, said slotted securing plates each being disposed at a location which is equi-distant from the nearest adjacent pair of said radial spokes.

7. A golf practice device comprising:

a plurality of eXible, concentric rings with at least one ring which is disposed radially outwardly of the innermost ring including segments detachably interconnected to each other, each of said segments having a socket portion disposed at one end thereof and defining a partially circular recess, which recess includes an angle of more than a tongue at the end of each segment opposite from the socket portion and dimensioned to mate with said circular recess in an adjacent segment;

a plurality of radial spokes detachably interconnecting the rings and maintaining a desired radial spacing between the rings; and

securing plates each having an undercut recess therein for frictionally engaging in said undercut recess, adjacent ends of two of said segments when the tongues of the segments are engaged with the circular recesses of adjacent segments.

8. A golf practice device comprising:

a plurality of flexible, concentric rings with at least one ring which is disposed radially outwardly of the innermost ring including segments detachably connected to each other, each of said segments having a socket portion disposed at one end of the respective segment and defining a partially circular recess, which recess includes an angle of more than 180;

a tongue at the opposite end of the segment from said socket portion and dimensioned to mate with said circular recess in an adjacent segment; and

a plurality of radial spokes detachably interconnecting the rings and maintaining a desired radial spacing between the rings, said spokes each having at least one slot therein frictionally receiving the socket portion of one of said segments.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,145,840 1/1939 Thompson et al.

FOREIGN PATENTS 16,891 1902 Great Britain. 490,717 2/1953 Canada.

GEORGE J. MARLO, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
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US2145840 *Sep 17, 1937Jan 31, 1939GowellBowling game device
CA490717A *Feb 24, 1953A. Annand GeorgePitching targets for golf practice
GB190216891A * Title not available
Referenced by
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US4171134 *Jun 29, 1978Oct 16, 1979Reck Ray GGolf game
US4239232 *Nov 29, 1978Dec 16, 1980Durham Vernon O SrGame of caddy
US4521018 *Oct 3, 1983Jun 4, 1985Cotchonis N EugeneGolf ball position marker
US5257808 *Jul 1, 1992Nov 2, 1993Jay MuellerGame ball target
US5383667 *Nov 13, 1992Jan 24, 1995Sheely; ThomasGolf game
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US5782700 *Dec 16, 1996Jul 21, 1998Haas; Edward FranklinGolfing target rings
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US6241621 *Sep 4, 1998Jun 5, 2001Timothy M. MaherGolf practice kit and method for using the same
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Classifications
U.S. Classification473/196, 273/398
International ClassificationA63B63/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B63/007
European ClassificationA63B63/00H