US 3521887 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 28, 1970 P. J. BUTKUS 3,521,887
GAME DEVICE HAVING A RESILIENTLY TETHERED BALL AND MULTIPLE TETHER ELEMENTS Filed July 24. 1957 v m W m 1 ATTORNEY 3,521,887 Patented July 28, 1970 GAME DEVICE HAVING A RESILIENTLY TETHERED BALL AND MULTIPLE TETHER ELEMENTS Peter J. Butkus, 27 Burnet St., Maplewood, NJ. 07040 Filed July 24, 1967, Ser. No. 655,467 Int. Cl. A63b 69/ 36 US. Cl. 273-400 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A ball tether cord is connected at its ends to a ball and to one element of a tethering means, respectively, and comprises a plurality of sections connected together end-to-end, one of which sections is longitudinally resilient, and a non-stretchable cord is connected to another element of the tethering means and to the tether cord beyond the end of said resilient section opposite the firstmentioned element, providing upon change of the relation of said elements to each other in the ground, variations in the extent of stretch of the resilient section and a positive limitation of the extent of such stretch.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION There are several forms of ball game devices, particularly for golf practice, which include means intended to return the ball to the player after the ball has been struck.
In one device, a non-stretchable cord has its ends connected respectively to a ball and to a pin or stake to be driven into the ground, but this device is not satisfactory because unless the ball is struck in a special way it will not return to the player.
In another device, a length of non-stretchable cord is connected at one end to one end of an elastic cord and the other ends of the cords are connected respectively to the ball and to the stake, but this device leaves much to be desired because the elastic cord is repeatedly stretched to its limit by the struck ball so as to be short-lived, and there is the possibility of the player being hit by the ball during its forceful return upon contraction of the elastic cord.
In another device, the ball is attached to one end of a non-stretchable cord the other end of which is connected to a stake, and an elastic cord is connected to and arranged transversely of the non-stretchable cord with its ends anchored to the ground. While the elastic cord will return the ball, the cord tends to break down quickly and the ball must be struck by a wood, or iron driver to cause the ball to follow a low trajectory or the ball will not be returned to the hitter; it will drop to the ground near the stake far short of the tee.
None of these devices, including the device of my copending application, provides for variations in the degree of resiliency or the extent of stretch of the resilient section.
SUMMARY An object of the present invention is to overcome the disadvantages and weaknesses of the known devices and to provide a game device wherein the tether cord shall include both an elastic or resilient section and a non-elastic or non-stretchable section and there shall be a check cord providing positive limitation of the Xtent of stretch of said resilient section, the resilient section shall have one end connected to one of two elements, such as a pin or stake of a tethering means, and a non-stretchable check cord shall be connected at its ends respectively to the other of said elements and to the tether cord, whereby to ensure the return of the struck ball to the player and with a minimum of danger of the ball striking the player and also enabling the degree of resiliency or the extent of stretch of the resilient section to be varied in accordance with the washes of the player and to adapt the device to use with different types of golf club strokes.
A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a schematic elevational view of the ball game device embodying the invention with the parts in normal unstretched condition, and showing the manner of adjusting the tethering element connected to the resilient section relative to the tethering element connected to the check cord, in one direction;
FIG. 2 is a similar view showing the adjustment of the tethering element connected to the resilient section, in the opposite direction;
FIG. 3 is an elevational view like FIG. 1 showing the adjustment of the tethering element connected to the check cord relative to the tethering element connected to the resilient section, in one direction; and
FIG. 4 is a similar view showing the adjustment of the tethering element connected to the check cord in the opposite direction.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Specifically describing the embodiment of the invention shown in the drawings, the device includes a tether cord A comprising a plurality of sections, in the present instance two sections, connected together end-to-end, one of which sections 1 is longitudinally resilient or elastic and has one end connected by a loop 2 and knot 3 to one end of the non-stretchable section 4, the other ends of the sections 1 and 4 being shown as connected to a ball 6 and to one element of a tethering means, such as a tethering pin 5. A non-stretchable check cord 7 has one end connected to the other element of the tethering means, such as another and larger tethering pin 5a as indicated at 8 and its other end connected to the non-stretchable section 4 as indicated at 9. As shown, the length of the check cord 7 is substantially greater than the length of the completely contracted resilient section 1 and is substantially less than the length of the resilient section when the latter is stretched to its limit.
Preferably the non-stretchable section 4 and the check cord 7 comprise one piece that has one end connected to the tether pin 5a, an intermediate portion looped around a fastener element such as a staple 10 in the ball 6 and returned upon itself providing parallel reaches 4a and 4b. Said reaches have a looped connection 2 with the resilient section and are of equal length between the resilient section and the ball, and the end of the continuous cord opposite that connected to the tether pin is fast connected to the parallel reaches as indicated at 9. Thus the check cord is connected to non-stretchable parts 4 and 5a beyond the ends of the resilient section 1.
When the device is in use, the tethering pin 5 is driven into the ground or set on another suitable support and the golf tee B is set in the ground at a distance from the tethering pin slightly less than the length of the cord A when the resilient section is completely contracted, as illustrated in broken lines in FIG. 1. When the ball is struck by the golf club in the hands of a player the ball takes flight and the resilient section is stretched, but the check cord restricts the length of the stretching to less than the stretching limit of the section, at the same time permitting absorption of the force incident to the flight of the ball and then return the ball to the player with no stretching of the resilient section on the return stroke such as might cause the ball to strike the player. The force applied to the ball by the players club is dissipated first in the stretch of the elastic section until that stretch is 3 stopped by the check cord, after which the force of the ball in flight is transmitted through the non-stretchable section and check cord to the tether pin.
It has been found from experience that the elastic or stretchable section of the tether cord has a life many times longer than the life of the elastic section of the device referred to above. Furthermore, the device of the invention is adaptable to use with any golf club from a driver to a wedge and when used as shown by broken lines in FIG. 1 will return the ball to the starting position because of the short distance required for use of the device (approximately 18 to 20 ft.). This is in contrast to the known devices which require the use of particular golf clubs and the striking of the ball in a particular manner, as well as distances of from 27 to 40 ft. Another important advantage of the device of the invention is that the stretch of the resilient section when the ball is struck by the player is limited and the resilient section does not stretch during the return of the ball which is believed to be primarily due to the dissipation of the force produced by the ball in flight into the ground at the tethering pin.
While the relative lengths of the portions of the tether cord and check cord may be varied according to conditions of use, it has been found that a resilient section of about 514" in length, a non-stretchable section about 36" in length and a check cord of about 90" in length, produce satisfactory results. The length of the check cord between the points of connection to the non-stretchable portions beyond opposite ends of the resilient section will of course vary with the length of the resilient section and the degree of elasticity thereof. In the present instance the length of the check cord is in the order of one and two'thirds times the length of the completely retracted resilient section and the resilient section is stretchable to a length is substantially greater than one and two thirds times its completely contracted length.
When it is desired to vary the degree of elasticity or the extent of stretch of the resilient section, either the pin connected to the resilient section can be moved forwardly or backwardly along the intended path of the ball rela-:
tively to the pin 5a along the intended path of the ball with an attendant change in the position of the tee as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2; or the pin 5a may be moved forwardly or backwardly along the intended path of the ball relatively to the pin 5 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. When both pins are set alongside each other as shown by the position of the pin 5a and the dotted line position of the pin 5 in FIG. 1, the best results can be obtained for general use or when the usual golf strokes are performed. The adjustments of the two pins relative to each other adapt the device for special conditions such as chipping shots, pitching, half and three quarter swing practice.
If desired, the two pins 5 and 5a may be set opposite each other with the check cord and the resilient or elastic section in line with each other and taut between the two pins; and with the non-resilient section 4 disposed approximately perpendicularly to the taut resilient section and check cord. The combined length of the resilient section and the check cord extending between the pins may be reduced by wrapping the elastic section and the check cord around their respective pins. In this use of the construction, it will be seen that the check cord does not limit the extent of stretching of the elastic section, but the resilient section will return the struck ball.
What is claimed is:
1. A golf game practice device including a ball adapted to be driven into natural line of flight by a golf club, two separate and independent tethering pins movable into different positions relative to each other in the ground or other support, and a tether cord having its ends connected to said ball and to one of said tethering pins, respectively, said tether cord comprising a plurality'of sections connected together end-to-end, one of which sections is an elastic cord and connected to said one tethering pin in direct engaging relationship therewith while the other section is non-stretchable and connected to said ball, and a non-stretchable check cord having its ends connected separately from and independently of the elastic cord to the other of said tethering pins in direct engaging relationship therewith and to said tether cord between the ball and the end of said elastic cord section nearer the ball, respectively, said check cord having a length substantially greater than the length of the completely contracted elastic cord section and the length of the check cord being less than the length of the elastic cord section when the latter is stretched to the limit, thereby providing independently of said elastic cord section a positive stop to the flight of the ball when the ball is driven by a club in a natural line of flight from a tee position across the tethering pin and at the same time providing positive limitation to the extent of stretch of said elastic cord section and the storage in the elastic cord section of energy by which the ball is automatically returned to approximately the tethering pin upon contraction of said elastic cord section and thereafter is caused to roll and hop on the ground approximately to the tee position, variations in the extent of stretch of the elastic cord section being provided by changing of the relation of the tethering pins to each other in the ground along the intended path of the ball during its flight.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,961,241 11/1960 Borg 273-200 X FOREIGN PATENTS 25,611 12/1935 Australia. 19,786 1908 Great Britain. 838,470 6/ 1960 Great Britain.
GEORGE J. MARLO, Primary Examiner