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Publication numberUS3539017 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 10, 1970
Filing dateJul 24, 1968
Priority dateJul 24, 1968
Publication numberUS 3539017 A, US 3539017A, US-A-3539017, US3539017 A, US3539017A
InventorsJohnson Forest L
Original AssigneeJohnson Forest L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Turf-repairing tool
US 3539017 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Forelt L. Johnson 2,022,876 12/1935 Anderson 30/ 162 1628 Story St., Boone, Iowa 50036 2,285,155 6/1942 Frost 30/162 1 2| A No. 747,185 2,617,418 1 1/ 1952 Del Pico 128/253 [22] Filed July 24, 1968 2,607,987 8/1952 Bettenhausen 30/162X [45 l Patented Nov. 10, 1970 3,049,182 8/1962 Pelow 172/378 3,185,483 5/1965 Klynman 273/32(B)UX 3,219,022 11/1965 Hagemeyer 128/329X [54] TURFREPAIRING TOOL 3,456,737 7/1969 Rhyme 172/381 9 Claims, 19 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl. 172/378, 30/164.8, 30/322; 273/32 [51] ht. Cl. A011: 1/18 [50] Field otSeerelr 172/378,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 164,575 6/1875 McCall 30/ 1 62 1,449,408 3/1923 Hull 30/162 1,953,690 4/1934 Samways 30/162X Primary Examiner- Robert E. Pulfrey Assistant Examiner-Man E. Kopecki Attorney- Roy G. Story ABSTRACT: The turfrepairing tool is in the form of a compact, rectangular case which can be carried in the pocket. A movable fork enclosed in the case has prongs which are extended from or retracted into the case by a button or knob accessible on top of the case for operating by the thumb. The movement of the fork is controlled by slots in the case and compression or tension springs which urge the fork to a retracted position or by friction caused by crimping the edges of the case against the fork.

Patente c lNov. 10, 1970 V j; 3,s39,o11

- inn-1 Sheet 013 'IIII. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIL'nI/II Inventor Forest L. Johnson Patehted Nov.10, 1970 3,539,017

Sheet 2 us Forest L Johnson 1 TURF-REPAIRING TOOL This invention relates to equipment for playing golf, and has to do more particularly with a device for repairing indentations and scars made by balls on thesurface of a golf course, especiallyon the greens.

When a golf ball falls from a considerable distance and altitude as in an approach shot to a putting green it causes an indentation where it strikes the turf, the depth of which depends on the condition of the green. As most greens are watered heavily and are rather moist, indentations may be quite deep and would interfere with the putting if the green were not repaired.

Turf-repairing implements have been proposed heretofore. The tools usually take the form of a small fork made of a flat piece of metal having a slot cut in one end to provide the prongs of the fork. Such forks are unhandy to carry because the sharp ends of the prongs tend to damage theclothingand hands. Attempts have been made to build the tool into agolf club or to provide a recess in the club for carrying the tool. Combinations of this kind are undesirable since they require alterations in the club which cause unbalance or other impairment in the accuracy ofthc club.

lnordcr to be of maximum use it is desirable to provide a repair tool which can be conveniently carried and is readily available, as for instance, one that can be carried in the pocket and will not damage the lining thereof and will not injure the fingers when it is inserted in, or withdrawn from, the pocket by the hand. I

An object of the present invention is to provide a turfrepairing tool which is free from sharp protrusions which interfere with carrying it in the pocket.

Another object of the invention is to supply a golfing implement which is compact and can be closed and carried in the pocket much like a knife.

A further object of the invention is to produce a turf-repairing device which is attractive and has a fork which retracts into a carrying case.

The invention will be more clearly understood from the following description to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention showing the fork retracted into a case.

FIG. 2 is a top view showing the prongs of the fork extended and the position of the fork in the case in dotted lines.

FIG. 3 is a side view in section with the fork retracted.

FIG. 4 is a top view of the case showing the space for the fork in dotted lines.

FIG. 5 is a top view of the on one of the fork prongs.

fork showing the spring in place FIG. 6 is a top view partly in section of another embodiment showing a compression spring on each of the prongs and the relative positions of the prongs in extended and retracted positions.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a top view of the fork only with the compression springs in place.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention with fork partly extended.

FIG. 10 is a side view in section showing a tension spring for urging the fork in a retracted position.

FIG. 11 is a top sectional view showing how the spring is connected to the fork and to the case.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a still further embodiment of the invention in which the action of the fork is controlled by friction rather than by springs.

FIG. 13 is a top view showing the prongs of the fork in an extended position.

FIG. 14 is a sectional view from the end showing how the fork is installed in the case and how the thumb knob is mounted on the handle of the fork.

FIG. 15 is a top view of still another embodiment of the invention showing the fork mechanism within the case in dotted lines and the prongs of the fork slightly extended.

FIG. 16 is a side view in section showing the prongs of the fork extended, the position of the button in dotted lines when hekfork is retracted and the locking ball in position behind the FIG. 17 is a top view of the fork only and the tension spring.

FIG. 18 is a sectional side view of the fork without the spring showing the stem of the button affixed to the bridge between the prongs of the fork.

FIG. 19 is a sectional view along the line 19-19 of FIG. 16.

Referring to the first embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-5, a generally rectangular case 10 serves as a housing for a fork indicated generally by the numeral 11 in FIG. 5. For convenience the case 10 is shown as constructed of bottom and lid sections which are substantially of equal proportions and are heat sealed or otherwise joined at the seam 12 after the fork is installed. The caseis provided with holes 13 at one end through which the prongs 15 may extend and retract. A slot 16 in the top of the case provides space for the operation of a floating button 18. The slot 16 is arranged so that the button 18 is in the notch 20 at all times. The button is used to push the fork to an extended position by moving it forwardly in the slot 16. Whenthe prongs of the fork are in a fully extended position the button slips into the notch 21 of the case to lock the fork in the extended position. The button is preferably constructed of a rivet portion having a stem 23 and an enlarged flat base 24 (-FIG. 3). The top or head portion is attached after the rivet is installed and the fork enclosed in the case. The longer prong of the fork is equipped with a compression spring 26 which is compressed when the fork is extended and tends to urge the fork into a retracted position.

In the second embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 6-8, the case 10 is much the same as in the first embodiment except for the slot 16. As will be observed in FIG. 8 prongs 15 of the fork aresubstantially alike and each contains a compression spring 26. The button 18 in this embodiment is connected by means of a flexible rod 27 to the back end 28 of the fork. When the button 18 'is pushed forward in the slot 16 the fork is forced to an extended position and may be held in that position by the button locking in the recess or notch 21. The slot 16 is set at an angle whereby the rod 27 is sprung to the side causing the button 18 to snap into the notch 21. As the fork is extended springs 26 are compressed and when the button is released from notch 21 the springs cause the fork to retract.

The third embodiment shown in FIGS. 911 utilizes the principle of a tension spring to retract the fork. Also it will be noted that the slot 16 has no notch 21 as in the preceding embodiments and as a consequence there is no means for locking the fork in an extended position. The fork in this embodiment is held extended by pressure of the thumb on the button 18. The button is fastened to a bridge or crosspiece 30 between the two elongated prongs 15 at about midway thereof. The rear ends 32 of the prongs abut against the rear inner wall of the case when the fork is in a retracted position. The bridge is connected to the rear end of the case by the tension spring 26 which tends to pull and retain the fork in a retracted position.

In FIGS. 12-14 there is shown a fourth embodiment in which the movement of the fork is controlled by friction instead of by a spring or springs as in the preceding modifications. In this embodiment the case 10 is open at the top and has the sides crimped over at about right angles as at 33 to produce frictional pressure on the marginal edges of the fork 15. The case 10 has stops 34 and 35 at opposite ends for controlling the degree of extension and contraction of the fork. The fork comprises a flat body portion 36 and prongs 15 which extend from one end thereof. The body portion 36 is provided with a ridge or knob 38 which is corrugated or knurled to facilitate manipulation by the thumb.

A fifth embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 15- --19. In this embodiment a ball 40 is used to lock the fork in 'an extended position. The ball is free to roll in the slot 41 upon tipping the case 10 to either side. When the ball is rolled to the 5 left end of the slot while the fork is extended it locks the'fork in an extended position by reason of the ball blocking the passageway and preventing the left prong from retracting as shown in FIG. 16. The fork is operated by the button 18 which is shown in extended and retracted (dotted) in FIG. 16. The button is attached to the bridge 30 and operates in the slot 16. The bridge is substantially midway between the ends of the prongs 15. The fork is normally urged to a retracted position by the spring 26 which is attached at one end to the bridge and at the other end to a pin 42 in the rear wall of the case 10.

The case is preferably made of a suitable plastic. A number of commercial plastics may be used. It has been found that cellulose-acetate-butyrate and acrylonitrile-butadienestyrene can be used successfully. Instead of plastics various metals may be used, for example, stainless steel. The fork is preferably made of stainless steel. The button 18 and the knob 38 are preferably made of plastic but they also may be made of metal.

In using the device shown in FIGS. 15, the prongs are extended by pushing on the button 18. When the prongs are fully extended the button is snapped into the notch 21 to lock the fork in position ready for use in repairing the turf.

In the modification illustrated in FIGS. 68 the slot 16 is set at an angle whereby the flexible rod 27 is bent to the left as the prongs are extended by pushing the button 18. The resulting tension on the rod causes the button to snap into notch 21 when the fork is fully extended. The fork is thereby locked open until the button is pushed to the left out of the notch when the fork is retracted by the compression springs.

The fork of the tool shown in FIGS. 9-11 is also extended by pushing on the button 18. In this modification the pressure on the button must be maintained during use as the prongs are automatically retracted by the tension spring 26 when the pressure on the button is removed.

In the frictional type of tool shown in FIGS. 1214, the case 10 is made sufficiently tight on the fork or the edges 33 crimped tight enough on the fork so that the fork stays in the desired position obtained by pushing on the knob 38. If the fork tends to slide during use the necessary force to hold it in place may be obtained by putting pressure on the knob but ordinarily this is not necessary.

In the operation of the device of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 15-19, the fork is extended by pushing on the button as usual. When the fork is fully extended the case is tipped to the left to roll the ball 40 behind the left prong of the fork in slot 41, thereby locking the fork in the extended position. When it is desired to retract the fork, the button 18 is pushed forward enough to free the ball and the case is tipped to the right so that the ball will roll out of the path of the left prong. The button is then released and the tension on spring 26 causes it to pull the fork to a retracted position.

The present invention provides a handy and attractive pocket item for repairing ball marks on golf greens, cleaning cleats on golf shoes, cleaning grooves in club heads and other uses required by golfers. The case not only encloses the fork but also furnishes a surface for applying advertising, insignia and other symbols.

The modifications of the invention herein described are illustrative only and many variations thereof will be apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention. Therefore, it is intended that the foregoing description shall not be construed as limiting the invention to the exact modifications illustrated herein.


1. A hand tool for repairing turf comprising:

a flat, rectangular case having end walls and top and bottom sections, a pair of holes in one end wall to receive the prongs of a fork, and a slot in the top section to receive an actuator for said fork, said slot having an elongated portion extending lengthwise of the top section a distance substantially the length of that portion of the prongs which are exposed when fully extended through said holes; and a fork operating within said case and having a pair of prongs substantially the length of said case, one end of said fork abutting against the closed end of said case and the other end of said fork having free ends of the prongs for extending through said holes in the end of the case, a crossbar connected between said prongs and holding said prongs in a spaced, substantially parallel position, a spring positioned between said case and said fork urging the prongs in a norm-retracted position in the case, and an actuator movable within said slot and operatively connected to said fork to force the prongs to an extended position.

2. The device described in claim 1 in which said slot is located substantially entirely in that half section of the top portion of the case adjacent the end wall having said pair of holes, and the slot also contains a shorter portion extending at a right angle to said elongated portion to allow the actuator to move therein.

3. The device described in claim 2 in which one prong of the fork contains a notch which coincides with said right-angle portion of the slot when the fork is in an extended position whereby said actuator fits into the slot and notch to lock the fork in an extended position.

4. The device described in claim 3 in which said spring is a compression coil located on the other prong of the fork and the actuator has a button and rivet free-floating in said slot and notch.

5. The device described in claim 2 in which each of said prongs contain a coil compression spring and the actuator is fastened to the crossbar by a flexible rod.

6. The device described in claim 5 in which the slot is set at an angle in relation to the top of the case whereby the flexible rod is sprung to one side as the actuator moves in the slot and the resulting tension on the rod causes the actuator to snap automatically into the right angle portion of the slot to lock the fork in an extended position.

7. The device described in claim 1 in which the crossbar is located at about the midsection of the prongs and the spring is a tension coil connecting the crossbar with the closed end of the case.

8. The device described in claim 7 in which the actuator is attached directly to said crossbar.

9. The device described in claim 8 in which the bottom section of the case contains a two-level groove crosswise of the case and located so that they are just behind the crossbar when the prongs are in an extended position, the lower level of said groove serving as a storage space for a ball and the upper level serving as an area for locking the fork in an extended position, the ball being movable from the storage area to the locking area and vice versa by suitably tipping sidewise of said case.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3994040 *Jun 27, 1975Nov 30, 1976Distefano John FCleaning device for the head of a golf club
US4862970 *Jul 19, 1988Sep 5, 1989Hlavacek Stephen LGreens repair tool
US4884805 *Oct 26, 1988Dec 5, 1989Patterson James VTurf repair apparatus
US4955609 *Sep 1, 1989Sep 11, 1990Kassen Albert DGolf club with green surface repair device
US4984790 *Mar 22, 1990Jan 15, 1991Dowdy John CBall mark repair tool
US4998726 *May 4, 1990Mar 12, 1991John BudnickAccessory for golfers
US5143371 *Feb 6, 1992Sep 1, 1992Strahan Ronald LGolfer's aid
US5388824 *Jan 10, 1994Feb 14, 1995Reimers; James F.Pocket golf-aid device
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US5562553 *Jan 16, 1996Oct 8, 1996Robert L. DigernessMulti-purpose golfer's tool
US5609533 *Dec 15, 1995Mar 11, 1997Wheeler; Robert A.Ball mark remover tool
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US6620062 *Dec 8, 2001Sep 16, 2003Taylor Cutlery, LlcDivot repair tool
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US7686710 *Oct 16, 2007Mar 30, 2010Leiber Mitchell JGolf divot repair tool
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U.S. Classification172/378, 30/164.8, 473/408, 30/322
International ClassificationA63B57/00, A01B1/00, A01B1/24
Cooperative ClassificationA01B1/24, A63B2210/58, A63B57/0068
European ClassificationA63B57/00G, A01B1/24