|Publication number||US3520569 A|
|Publication date||Jul 14, 1970|
|Filing date||Mar 6, 1968|
|Priority date||Mar 6, 1968|
|Publication number||US 3520569 A, US 3520569A, US-A-3520569, US3520569 A, US3520569A|
|Inventors||Anderson Robert F|
|Original Assignee||Anderson Robert F|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (23), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
y 14, 1970 R. F. ANDERSON 9 GOLF BALL RETRI EVER Filed March 6, 1968 2 Sheets-Shes l 16 22 &
INVENTOR. floberffi' firm arson HGENT July' 14, 1970 R. F. ANDERSON 3,520,569
GOLF BALL RETRIEVER Filed March 6, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet INVENTOR.
[4y BYRober/ F. flno erxson 3,520,569 Patented July 14, 1970 3,520,569 GOLF BALL RETRIEVER Robert F. Anderson, 3613 13th St., Menominee, Mich. 49858 Filed Mar. 6, 1968, Ser. No. 710,797 Int. Cl. B66f 11/00 US. Cl. 294-19 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A golf ball retriever comprising a support which passes a golf ball, at least one frictionally engaging member extending inwardly from said support a distance such that a golf ball cannot pass freely through the remaining opening and a handle attached to the support.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Many times while playing golf, the ball is hit so that it flies or rolls into a spot from which it cannot readily be picked up. This makes the retrieval of the ball by hand quite difficult if not virtually impossible under some circumstances. To illustrate, the ball may end up in a stream, in a lake, pond, water hole, mud hole, or in deep grass, weeds, underbrush or the like ground cover in the rough or the out of bounds area of a course. Many times the ball may be at the bottom of an incline, in a ravine or other place where the individual looking for the ball cannot readily climb to get it.
On other occasions, many golfers spend time hitting a large number of practice balls. These must be recovered. Generally this is done by stooping over and picking up the balls by hand.
The recovery of balls in both such instances is aided by the use of a ball retriever. Golf ball retrievers as known and available heretofore consist of a cup, scoop or basket-like member attached to a handle. In use of such a retriever, the cup must be slid or otherwise positioned under the ball and the ball then be scooped thereinto. Such retrievers are not practical or operable in many situations where the ball is lodged or otherwise caught or held in a manner such that the basket or scoop cannot readily be maneuvered under the ball. To illustrate, in a water hole many times the ball is partially submerged in mud at the bottom of the hole. A scoop or basket cannot easily be slipped into the mud and under the ball. Further, even if this action is successful, the cup may become filled with mud and the ball be left behind when the retriever is pullled in. In other circumstances, the ball may be lodged or caught in such a manner that the cup or scoop cannot be maneuvered behind or along side of the ball to pick it up. Also, with conventional scoop type retrievers, golf balls cannot be picked up when they are resting on a hard, smooth surface since the ball does not offer sufiicient resistance to permit forcing the scoop under the ball thus making it virtually impossible to retrieve the ball.
I have discovered a novel and useful golf ball retriever which can be used in many places and circumstances to easily pick up golf balls even in those situations where the basket or scoop type golf ball retrievers available heretofore cannot be used.
It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a golf ball retriever having a unique ball retrieval action which does not require that the ball be scooped up or picked up by a scoop or cup-like member.
It is also an object of the present invention to provide a golf ball retriever which is operable to pick up and/or hold a golf ball and which is suitable for use when the ball may be in a location and/or on a surface where it cannot readily be reached by hand or picked up by conventional scoop type retrievers.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a golf ball retriever which can be used to advantage in picking up a number of golf balls which have been hit in one general location, for example, while practicing.
These and other objects and advantages readily will become apparent from the detailed description presented hereinafter when read in conjunction with the drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view of one embodiment of the golf ball retriever of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a side elevation of another embodiment of the golf ball retriever of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a top view of the golf ball retriever depicted in FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a top view of another embodiment of a golf ball retriever of the present invention.
FIG. 6 is a side elevation of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is a side elevatoin of another embodiment of a golf ball retriever of the present invention.
FIG. 8 is a top view of another embodiment of a golf ball retriever of the present invention.
FIG. 9 is a top view of a modification of the golf ball retriever of FIG. 8.
SUMMARY In general, the golf ball retriever of the present invention comprises a support defining an opening of a size which passes a golf ball and having at least one frictionally engaging member extending inwardly from said support member a distance sufficient to provide an effective opening such that a golf ball cannot pass freely through the assembly of said support and the frictionally engaging member or members. The friction gripping or engaging member or members are designed or fabricated such that they frictionally engage or grip the cover of a golf ball when the support member is positioned over a ball or a ball is placed thereon. A handle is attached to one side of the support member.
The support usually is in the shape of a rigid or other not readily deformable or distendable circular member and ordinarily is fitted with a multiplicity of small resilient, elastic, frictionally engaging members positioned at spaced apart intervals around the periphery of the circular ring.
The friction gripping members usually are in the shape of small disks, grommets or tubular sections which can readily be fitted over the support. Alternatively, these could be small lugs in the shape of cones, wedges, regular prismatic blocks, spring leaves or other configurations which provide the requisite gripping action on a golf ball and from which the ball readily can be removed when desired. Still another embodiment of the frictionally gripping members of the present invention is an inwardly projecting indentation integral to the support itself. In this embodiment, an open end spring type support ordinarily is used.
Ordinarily with a ring shaped support, the inside diameter, i.e. opening, of the support is from about A inch to about A inch greater than the diameter of a golf ball. Preferably, this ring opening is from about /8 to about inch larger than that of the ball.
Usually the friction grips are of such a size that when these gripping members are in a noncompressed or nondistended state each extends inwardly from the inner Wall of the support a distance of from about & to about inch producing an imaginary circle on the perimeter of which the innermost surface of the gripping members would fall, assuming these to be identical in shape and size, having a diameter of from about ,4 to about /8 inch less than the diameter of a golf ball.
Usually a plurality of small friction grips, ordinarily from about 2 to about 8 or more in number are positioned at spaced apart intervals around the support. Larger numbers of these members can be used but it has been found that these are not necessary to achieve satisfactory operability of the retriever. In fact, if too large a number is used, or if these are spaced close together to provide for gripping action substantially around the whole periphery of the support, the force required either to pick up a ball or to dislodge it from the retriever may be so great that the apparatus might become somewhat difficult to operate when attempting to pick up a ball from a relatively long distance. It has been found that 3 or 4 small resilient, elastic gripping members placed at substantially equally spaced apart intervals around the support are satisfactory and generally preferred. Preferably, these are fastened to or held by the support so as to be fixed in place or at least not readily removed from a predetermined position on this member.
By employing a plurality of spaced apart frictionally engaging gripping members as set forth hereinbefore, the open space provided between the supporting member and the ball assures that grass, Weeds and the like which could become wedged between the ball and the support, if gripping action was provided substantially around the whole periphery of the support, is free to slide out as the ball is lifted from grassy surfaces. This additional advantage of the ball retriever of the present invention markedly improves its versatility as the possibility of the ball being pulled out of the retriever by the grass when it is lifted up is substantially completely eliminated.
The ring or other embodiment of support can be of any wrought, cast or similar fabrication and be made of a material which has the requisite structural strength and rigidity to be substantially not deformed or distended under the conditions of operation. For ease of construction, a coil spring steel wire, plain or stainless steel wire, aluminum, aluminum alloy or other metal wire, a casting of a ferrous based metal or a light metal, such as magnesium or aluminum or alloys thereof ordinarily is used.
The grippers usually are prepared from a resilient, elastic material such as a natural or synthetic rubber, an elastic foamed or resilient polymer, a distendable springy material or other like construction material which will compress or distend under a slight pressure and frictionally grip and hold a golf ball. Also, these can be projections in the support member itself.
Although a fixed handle can be used, for versatility and to extend the utility of the retriever, ordinarily a telescopic handle which can extend from a minimum of about 2 or 3 feet to about 12 feet or more is used. Conveniently, the length of handle is selected such that when in closed position the retriever can be stored and carried in a golf bag and thus always be available and ready for use. For ease in recovery of a ball, ordinarily the handle is bent up at an angle of from about 15 to about 30 from the plane of the support member. Usually, the bend is made at about the connection of retriever with the handle proper.
I have also discovered a novel means of forming the reduced section of a tubular member used in the preparation of telescopic handles. Conventionally these are formed by swaging, forging and the like operations wherein the diameter of a tube around its entire periphery is reduced. This is a rather time consuming and laborious operation. Now, unexpectedly I have found that by positioning a tube in a forming press having a die design of a predetermined diameter smaller than that of the tube being formed and activating the press the portion of the tube in the die is reduced to the smaller predetermined diameter in one operation. The excess metal is pushed or squeezed to the external surface of the tube on opposite sides of the die at the mating plane of the die sections, the inner diameter of the tube being true and reduced to the predetermined diameter.
In operation, the ball retriever is either placed over and pushed down onto a ball or under certain circumstances is slipped under a ball and the ball allowed to settle onto the friction grips. The ball readily can be removed from the retriever either by hand or by tapping the ball against a surface to release it from the friction grips.
A number of additional advantages and modes of operation for the present invention will become apparent from the discussion of various preferred embodiments.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In one preferred embodiment of the golf ball retriever of the present invention as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 the support 10 is in the configuration of a circular ring fabricated from a single loop of wire. One or both ends of the wire are bent to extend outward at its junction 12 with the other end of the wire completing the circle. Three circular resilient frictionally gripping members 14 are positioned at about equally spaced apart intervals around the periphery of the support 10. Conveniently, the grips 14 can have a small diametered through passage between opposite fiat faces 16a and 16b passing through the center of the member 14. This passage provides for the ready assembly of the grip 14 onto the support 10. The gripping member 14 can he slipped onto the free end of a support 10 and positioned at a predetermined location thereon. By providing an opening in each grip 14 having a diameter considerably smaller than that of support 10, once the grip 14 has been pushed or forced to a predetermined location on support 10, it will remain substantially fixed at that spot without the need of any additional restraining or clamping means or adhesive bond between the grip 14 and support 10. However, in such an assembly the grips 14, even though they are compressed when gripping a ball still can revolve on the support 10 as the ball is passed therethrough. This offers the additional advantage that less pressure is required to pick up a ball. It is to be understood that in this assembly the opening in the grip 14 must be small enough that the fit of the grip 14 on support 10 is tight enough such that the weight of a ball is not sutficient to revolve the grips 14.
The free ends of support 10 which extend outward from the junction 12 completing the circle is fastened to a handle 16 by means of a tight clamp, pinch clamp or other fastening means. As shown in the depicted embodiment, the handle 16 is of a telescopic type.
A second embodiment of the present novel golf ball retriever is depicted in FIGS. 3 and 4. This embodiment consists of a unit spiral member 18 prepared from a length of wire, for example, having a circular bottom loop which serves as support 10. This loop 10 is fitted with three spaced apart friction grips 14 of the same configuration as shown and described for the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2. Above the support 10, the spiral member 18 is enlarged in diameter to form a retainer 20 which freely holds a golf ball therein. The upper boundary surface of the spiral member 18 is a circular loop 22 generally being parallel to the bottom support 10 but also larger in diameter than this support 10. The end of the wire 24 extends outward from perimeter of loop 22 and is clamped into handle 16. To aid in supporting the retriever, an additional clamp member, such as a crimped wire 26, is clamped over the spiral on the loop below ring 22 adjacent the handle 16. The other end of wire 26 also is clamped, as by being crimped, into the lower end of handle 16.
As shown, the spiral member 20 above support 10 is of a height and diameter to accommodate a single golf ball.
all It is to be understood that the diameter and/or length of the ball holding portion of this embodiment can be increased to hold a plurality of balls. This is particularly desirable when the retriever is used to pick up practice balls, for example.
FIGS. 5 and 6 show another embodiment of the present invention having support 10 in the shape of a right cylindrical section 28 and two cone shaped gripping members 14.
FIG. 7 shows a golf ball retriever of the same general configuration as the embodiment shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 but also containing a mesh or screen type ball retainer 30.
FIG. 8 depicts still another embodiment of golf ball retriever of the present invention. This embodiment consists of a substantially circular support 10 having four grips 14 of the same general configuration as those shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. This model of retriever contains an open end section 32, usually positioned opposite the connection to the handle 16. Open section 32 is of a size such that it can freely pass the shank head of a conventional tee. The ends 34a-34b of support 10 defining the boundary of open section 32 are bent outward at an angle sufiicient that if the grips 14 become moved or dis lodged they cannot fall off of support 10.
With this embodiment not only can a ball be retrieved in the manner set forth hereinbefore, but the apparatus can be used to place a ball on a tee. For such a use, a ball is picked up by forcing it through the grips or placed on the retriever so that it comes to rest on top of the grips 14. The retriever with ball positioned and held thereon is lowered over the tee causing the ball to remain on top of the tee. The retriever is then removed by passing open section 32 past the tee.
The embodiment of FIG. 9 is of substantially the same design principle as that of FIG. 8 except the supports 14 are in the shape of triangular indented projections positioned at spaced intervals around the periphery of the support 10 and are an integral to this support 10.
Both of the embodiments shown in FIGS. 8 and 9 usually have the support 10 fabricated from a spring steel or other spring material which readily expands when forced into contact with a golf ball.
The embodiments depicted hereinbefore are intended to illustrate the present invention but are not meant to be limiting thereof. The support and frictional gripping members can be of any of a variety of configurations and fabrications which cooperate to give the requisite structural strength and frictional engagement to assure operation for the intended purpose. To illustrate, the support can be triangular, rectangular, hexagonal, octagonal or other shape and size which provides for free passage of a golf ball therethrough. Likewise, the gripping member or members can be of any of a variety of shapes and sizes the same as or of other designs than set forth hereinbefore and can be fastened to the support by frictional engagement, clamping members, adhesive or other bonding and attachment means which secures these to the support in such a manner that they do not slip or slide to any great extent from their predetermined position thereon during use.
Additionally, in those embodiments having a ball retainer above the support and frictionally engaging members, this retainer can be of an open configuration, e.g. a spiral or mesh, as depicted but also can be of a solid wall fabrication.
1. A golf ball retriever comprising in combination a rigid circular support ring fabricated from a single loop of wire defining an opening of a size which passes a golf ball, a plurality of resilient elastic frictionally engaging disks positioned at spaced apart intervals around the periphery of said ring and extending inwardly from said sup port ring a distance sufficient to provide an effective opening such that a golf ball cannot pass freely through the assembly of said support ring and said frictionally engaging resilient disks, each of said disks fabricated such that these frictionally engage the cover of a golf ball when the support ring is positioned onto a ball, and a handle rigidly attached to one side of said support.
2. The golf ball retriever as defined in claim 1 wherein the frictionally engaging disks are elastic foamed-or resilient polymer disks.
3. The golf ball retriever as defined in claim 1 wherein the frictionally engaging resilient disks are rubber.
4. The golf ball retriever as defined in claim 3 and having a ball retainer connected to and positioned above the said support ring, said ball retainer being a spiral member of diameter greater than said support ring and having a diameter and a height sufiicient to hold at least one golf ball therein, the upper boundary surface of said spiral member being a circular loop generally being parallel to said support ring, the end of the upper boundary surface of said spiral member extending outward from the perimeter of said loop and the handle being rigidly fastened thereto.
5. The golf ball retriever as defined in claim 3 and having 3 resilient rubber disks positioned at equally spaced intervals around the periphery of said support.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 898,696 9/1908 Southworth 29420 2,021,529 7/1934 Tate 294-20 3,046,044 7/1962 Christie 294--19 3,136,573 6/1964 Harke 294l9 FOREIGN PATENTS 682,885 11/1952 Great Britain.
EVON C. BLUNK, Primary Examiner D. WATTS, Assistant Examiner
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|International Classification||A63B47/00, A63B47/02|