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Publication numberUS3559996 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 2, 1971
Filing dateFeb 9, 1967
Priority dateJan 16, 1965
Also published asDE1478054A1
Publication numberUS 3559996 A, US 3559996A, US-A-3559996, US3559996 A, US3559996A
InventorsRobert E Hopp
Original AssigneeProduct Investors Corp Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for simulating play on full scale golf courses
US 3559996 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] lnventor Robert E. Hopp FOREIGN PATENTS New 721 170 11 1965 Canad 273 185 A [2]] App]. No- 629339 a [22] Filed Feb. 9, 1967 Primary Examiner-George J. Marlo Continuation-impart f Ser. No. 301,795, Attorneys-Percy Freeman and Burton L. Lilling Aug. 13, 1963, abandoned. [4S] Patented Feb. 2, 1971 [7 3] Assignee Product Investors Corporation, Ltd. Apparatus for Playmgfi Simulated game of golf New York N Y mcludes a display screen target positioned forwardly of a tee a corpormion' New York area, sensors adjacent the tee area and target, a computer, a film strip pro ector, spotlight PIOJECIOI'S and a putting area located between the target and tee area. The film strip projector includes a film strip showing photographic images of a golf [54] DEVICE FOR SIMULATING PLAY 0N FULL glreen tlaken fromfstulccgsslve locfationsi sayf ten yards apart, ozlg t 6 Center 0 e airway-0 a tea g0 ioul'sef. I] use, a Claims 11 Drawing Figs gol er at the tee area sees a pro ected image 0 a go] green on the target and drives a golf ball against the target, thus simulat- [52] US. Cl 273/176, i the driving of a golf ball into a real fairway toward the Z7 /1 352/233 green. The sensors, which may be photoelectric cells, deter- [51] Int. Cl A63b 67/02, mine when a ball is driven from the tee area and strikes the A63b 69/36 target. The computer determines the probable distance the Field of Search 273/ 1 76, n would have traveled if it had not been Stopped by the 1823133, play screen target, and causes the film strip projector to move 235/(Inqu1Ted); M 0!) the film strip and project another image of the golf green from 56 the location where the ball probably would have landed in the 1 References C'ted real fairway. The sensors also detect the probable lateral loca- UNITED STATES PATENTS tion of the ball in the real fairway and this lateral location is in- 2,581,738 1/ 1952 Williams 273/185(A)X dicated on the projected image by one of the spotlights. The 2,783,999 3/1957 Simjian.... 273/185(A)X film strip projector is driven by a synchronous motor which 2,784,000 3/ 1957 Simjian.... 273/185(A)X moves the film strip in front of the projector aperture at the 3,091,466 5/1963 Speiser..... 273/ 185 rate ofexactly four frames per second, in response to signals ,194, 62 7/1965 Speiser 273/ 184 from the computer. The film strip projector also includes a 1,895,644 1/1933 Regan er a1, 352/22 four-spoked capstan which cooperates with a computer con- .3,002,423 10/ I961 Straub 352/ trolled solenoid operated latching mechanism for positively 3,072,410 1/1963 Simjian 273/(A) framing each film frame.

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PATENTED FEB 21971 3559.996




SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The device of the present invention has been primarily developed and employed for use in the simulation of the play of golf, and is illustrated and described hereinafter with particular reference thereto. However, it is understood that the inventive features herein may advantageously be employed in a wide variety of game devices, all of which applications are intended to be comprehended herein.

In prior devices that simulate a golf game, the traveled distance was indicated in the form of numbers which read in either feet or yards how far the ball had traveled from the tee to its resting place. Other devices do this by means of numbers flashed on a screen or dial indicators or the like.

In all prior cases it was necessary that the player keep track of the total yardage of the hole and the distance of the last ball struck. He then subtracts this distance from the total yardage and arrives at the distance from the hole from which he is theoretically playing. That is, it required calculation. Whether the projected picture of the fairway is accurate or not, he must select his next shot by'the yardage still remaining to the hole, etc. For his next shot, he must subtract the traveled distance of the golf ball from the last distance from the hole in order to arrive at the new playing position. In all of the equipment existent, these calculations are on large sheets of paper and require constant score keeping as well as counting strokes which is the essence of the golf game.

It is a more particular object of the present invention to provide a game device of the type described which may accurately simulate playing conditions of a particular selected golf course, as the player may desire.

An important object of this invention is to provide indicia which automatically notifies the player of his exact location; he need only count strokes in the same manner as if he were out on a golf course and he records the number of strokes employed to traverse any fairway on a score card identical with and indeed the actual score cards of the golf courses which have been photographed.

Still another object of the present invention resides in the provision of a unique target area and changeable display means for presentation at the target area, which display means is automatically changed responsive to the players impelling of a ball to accuratelysimulate the actual computed travel of the impelled ball.

Still another object of the present invention resides in the provision of unique indicating means in cooperation with the above-mentioned display means for indicating the location of the impelled ball on the display means as accurately sensed from the ball impelled by the player.

An important object of the present invention resides in the provision of means for sensing the ballistic characteristics of a driven ball and transmitting corresponding signals to a computer, and a unique and novel read-out means in the nature of a film strip projector which, in response to impulses from the computer, displays successive frames of a continuous strip of film bearing successive photographed frames representing increments of ball travel.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a game device having the advantageous characteristics mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, which is substantially entirely automatic in operation, capable of economic manufacture, installation and maintenance, which fully satisfies the enthusiasts desire for play of the conventional game, and which is durable and reliable throughout a long useful life.

Other objects of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following specification and referring to the accompanying drawings, which form a material part of this disclosure.

The invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combinations of elements, and arrangements of parts, which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter described, and of which the scope will be indicated by the appended claims.


FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a game device constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the game device of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the game device of FIG. 1, shown partly in section.

FIG. 4 is an elevational view of the control panel of the instant game device, drawn to an enlarged scale.

FIG. 5 is a schematic representation of the electrical system of the instant game device.

FIG. 6 is a representation of the last frame of the film strip typical of the hole on each green.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary portion of the film strip showing a notched edge.

FIG. 8 is a partial top plan view of the latching mechanism.

FIG. 9 is a front elevational view thereof.

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary perspective view of isolated frames of a film strip showing views of the tee at various distances as seen by the player and showing the relative position of the tee switch and the green switch.

FIG. 11 is a schematic representation of the projector and its connection to the apparatus of FIG. 8.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now more particularly to the drawings, and specifically to FIGS. 1-4 thereof, the game device is there generally designated I0 and includes an enclosure having a generally horizontal bottom wall or floor 11, an upstanding back wall or display screen target I2, a pair of upstanding, rearwardly convergent sidewalls 13 and 14, and a top wall 15. The front end of the enclosure may be open and provided with a platform or playing station 16. At the playing station 16 may be a pair of tees 20 and 21, as for leftand right-hand use in teeing off to impel a golf ball toward the target 12. Also at the forward region of the enclosure or playing device 10, say on the platform 16, there may be provided a changeable display device 22. The changeable display device 22 may assume the form of a film strip projector for presentation of a display on the target 12, as will appear presently.

Associated with each tee 20 and 21 may be suitable sensing means, such as photoelectric cells 23 and 24, and respective light sources 25 and 26. Also provided at a suitable location, such as the forward region of the enclosure, may be indicating means of suitable form, such as a plurality of pinpoint spotlights 273l. The spotlights are arranged to project toward and illuminate small spots or portions of the target 12 at laterally spaced locations therealong, and are focused so that when projected on the screen each is approximately one-third of the way from the bottom of the screen. Only one spotlight is illuminated at a time indicating the location laterally of the golf ball.

In the rearward region of the enclosure, say slightly forward of the target 12, there may be provided a plurality of laterally spaced sensing elements, each located to sense a respective vertical zone of the target. More specifically, there may be provided a series of laterally spaced, upwardly facing photocells 33-37 on the floor 11 in the region of the target 12; and, a corresponding number of light sources 38-42 may be mounted in the top walllS respectively over and facing downward toward the photoelectric cells 33-37. Thus, it will be appreciated that the photoelectric cells 33-37 and their respective light sources 3842 operate to sense a lateral series of generally vertical target areas or zones.

Also associated with the enclosure of the game device 10 are a pair of acoustic pickups 43 and 44, one for each tee, suitably located at the forward region of the enclosure, say on the platform 16, to acoustically sense the impacting or impelling of a ball by a player.

In the schematic diagram of FIG. is shown the electrical system incorporating the above-described elements. It will there be observed that the photoelectric cells 33-37, and their respective light sources 38-42 are connected to a computer assembly 46. Also, the acoustic pickup elements 43 and 44.(or the alternative sensing means 2326) are connected to the computer assembly. A control panel 47 is connected to the computer assembly 46, and also to the changeable display device 22 which is a film strip projector and to the area lights. The computer 46 and control 47 serve to operate the display 22 and indicator means 2731.

The front of the control panel is generally designated 48, see FIG. 4, and there provided with suitable control-actuating means. In particular, the control panel 48 is provided with a master switch 49, preferably of the key-operated lock type, for turning the computer assembly on and off, while an additional key-operated lock-type switch 50 is employed to return the film to the first tee. Pushbutton switches 51 and 52 are provided on the control panel, respectively associated with the legend RETURN TO TEE and ADVANCE TO NEXT TEE. In addition, an on-off switch 53 is provided for the putting green light, and another on-off switch 54 is provided for switching to DRIVING-RANGE PLAY.

The film strip projector 22 is provided with a film strip con sisting of a series of frames each showing a hole of a golf course as viewed from the tee and successive locations toward the green. For example, the photography may be prepared as follows:

1. The photographer sets up his camera (at approximately eye level) on the tee of hole 01, focusing the lens on the hole, and makes exposure 01.

2. The photographer then moves the camera toward the hole, say yards, again focuses the carnera on the hole and makes exposure 02.

3. This is repeated at, say, 10-yard intervals along the center ofthe fairway until the photographer reaches the hole.

4. The photographer then sets up the camera 10 yards past the hole and makes an exposure, focused on the hole. The photographer may make five such exposures each at lO-yard intervals past the hole.

Of course, any desired interval may be employed, the interval of 10 yards being chosen for illustration and without limiting intent.

The film, in addition to the exposures discussed above, is advantageously prepared with numerical indicia and suitable legend designating preferably both the distance from the tee and thedistance to the hole for each frame, and if desired, the hole number and the recognized par.

By suitable art work performed onthose frames taken 10 yards from the hole on the approach thereto as well as on those film frames which were taken beyond said hole, there may be an indication of a dotted circle or semicircle 58, appearing, to be 5 to 8 yards in diameter, as seen in FIG. 6.

In addition to the indicia of the numbers indicating distance, each film strip (containing a full 18 hole golf course taken at the 10-yard intervals) carries marginal notches 70 outside of the sprocket holes normally in the strip. The notches 70 located on the outer edges of the film are provided to activate small electrical microswitches located in the film track of the projector. Both edges of the film are suitably notched for this purpose.

One edge of the film operates a microswitch which provides an automatic stop for the running film when the proper frame indicating a tee position is in front of the projector aperture or being projected on the display-screen target 12. This microswitch is electrically interposed in the pushbutton circuitof each control unit for both theADVANCE TO NEXT TEE 52 and RETURN TOTEE 51 pushbutton controls. When the player wants to return the film to the tee-from which he was playing so that player 02 may use the machine, he presses the button 51 on the control box, marked RETURN TO TEE. This energizes the projector and causes the film to run backwards or in reverse through the film guide. When the frame, or exposure, for that tee position appears, the notch 70 at the edge of the film engages the microswitch which automatically breaks the circuit and stops the projector at that instant. The projector, of course, is provided with the proper motor drive and brake apparatus.

The same function is performed when advancing to the next tee such as proceeding from hole 01 to 02. Pressing the AD- VANCE TO NEXT TEE button 52 starts the projector with the film running in the forward direction until the frame containing the next tee position is in front of the aperture, thereby engaging the same microswitch which electrically breaks the circuit in the advance position as well. This notch appears on the left-hand edge of the film when the film is in the projector and the observer is standing behind the projector looking.

toward the screen. This, of course, could be varied by merely changing the wiring and the notch could be on the right-hand edge of the film as well.

There is also a notch 70 on the right-hand edge of the film operating a second microswitch. The notch on this edge of the film is inthe proximity of the hole or green." When the film is advancing or running in reverse and the hole" or green" exposure frame passes in front 'of the aperture, this second microswitch is mechanically tripped and introduces a circuit which will come into play the next time the projector is energized by the computer 46 (this circuit has no effect on the operation by control box pushbutton either ADVANCE TO NEXT TEE or RETURN TO TEE). Simply, this microswitch introduces a circuit that contains a built-in time delay of 'ap proximately 15 seconds. Then this circuit energizes a switch relay which sets up the circuitry so that when energized, the projector will run in the reverse direction from that which it had been traveling when the frame or exposure containing the hole" and green had passed the aperture. This reversalof film will take place when the projector 22 has been energized by the computer 46 as well as when the projector 22 been energized by either pushbutton. However, pressing the pushbutton again will not result in a reverse in motion as the pushbutton bypasses the circuitry and the intent is that such reversal will only be caused by computer operationof the projector. The film strip, as above described, is projected bythe projector 22 onto the display screen target 12, the distance between projector and target or screen being approximately 15 feet, to obtain an image approximately 8 /deet square.

The projector is a filmstrip type; that means that the film is traversed in front of the aperture and there is no shutter mechanism so that the picture images, when projected on ais so calculated and devised that the film is moved in front of the aperture at the rate of exactly 4 frames per second. Inasmuch as the exposures of the 35 mm. film are taken at 10 yard intervals, the 4 frames equal 40 yards of travel down the fairway.

Thus, when coupled with the system, the computer 46 and timing mechanism measure the elapsed time of flight of the given golf ball from the point of impact, that is, the tee position when the ball is struck by the club, to thetime when the ball reaches the display screen target. This elapsed time is then compared within the computer to the .built-in values of the various points of the built-in ballistic curve and arrives at the distance the ball would have traveled had it been unimpeded by the target. The computer then closes a relay which in effect closes a switch that energizes the projector. For the computed elapsed time in terms of yards, for example 200 yards, the

. signal emitted from the computer would keep the relay closed for 5 seconds which would allow frames to go by the projector aperture thus advancing the picture or film strip 20 frames or 200 yards down the fairway.

The synchronous motor drive for the projector is equipped with an electromechanical braking system which provides rapid braking action as soon as the signal from the computer ceases. in this manner, it is possible to keep the exposures or 35 mm. frames reasonably in alignment or in the terms of the projection industry in frame."

The particular brake construction used in conjunction with the synchronous motor consists of a clutch as well as a drag type brake. The synchronous drive motor is running constantly and it is coupled and uncoupled from the drive shaft by means of a solenoid operated clutch. This is provided fortwo reasons:

1. it is imperative that the drive mechanism run at a constant speed so that the interpretation of yardage will be accurate. Synchronous motors when started from a dead stop take an appreciable interval of time to build up to their rated speed; therefore, starting this from a dead stop would utilize a given increment of time and the net result would not be 4 frames per second of film driven past the aperture. Therefore, as mentioned above, the motor is kept constantly running.

2. The torque rating of the synchronous motor drive is slightly above that required to actually drive the film by means of the drive sprocket at a constant speed, either in the forward or reverse direction past the aperture. The handling of 35 mm. film at this speed is delicate at best and film so handled tends to jam upat times within the aperture plates. By using a drive with just sufiicient torque, when jamming occurs the drive motor is stalled before tearing of film or other damage can occur. To this end, the maintenance is simple, merely clearing up the cause of the stoppage and no damage is done to the film.

As is customary in most 35 mm. film strip projectors, the drive sprocket is coupled to the drive shaft by means of a friction-type coupling. The friction in this coupling is sufficient to provide adequate torque to traverse the film in either direction, but the sprocket can be rotated on the shaft by holding the shaft still and moving the sprocket to the desired setting. This permits lining up each frame in the center of the screen when projected, and provides friction means for it to prevent slipping under normal conditions.

In addition to this, there is provided a 4-spoked capstan 80 connected to the end of the drive shaft 82 by means of a connecting pin 79, with the spokes being about 2 inches long and approximately one-eighth inch in diameter. These spokes are fitted in a hub 81 and are located 90 apart and the hub is mounted on the drive shaft as a conventional wheel or hub would be mounted on an axle with the spokes protruding radially. Fastened to the body of the projector in the proximity of the spokes is a solenoid operated spring-loaded latching mechanism 83 consisting of a plate 84 with a V-groove 85 at one edge thereof. When the projector 22 is energized, the V- groove 85 is pulled away from the spoke along the spoked wheel and thus allows the drive shaft to rotate freely. When the projector is no longer energized and the clutching mechanism coupling the synchronous motor to the drive shaft has been disconnected, and the brake mechanism has applied friction to stop the drive shaft, the solenoid 86 holding the V- groove out of contact with the capstan spoke is deenergized and the V-groove is pulled by means of the above-mentioned spring loading mechanism into contact with the spoke. The V- groove is located in a fixed position and will thereby pull the spoke to the center of the V which will place the spoke in the same position every time.

In order to establish the film traverse rate of 4 frames per second, the synchronous motor and gear train drive the drive shaft at the rate of 60 rpm. The sprocket which engages the film strip by means of serrated teeth and the films sprocket holes is of such diameter that one full revolution represents 4 frames, thus the drive shaft going at 60 rpm. traverses 4 frames per revolution or 4 frames per second. To accomplish the above, the four spokes mounted at degrees represent the separation between each frame and the proper stopping place for the film every time the film is stopped. This also provides for the proper stopping place for the film in the reverse direction as well.

In operation of the instant game device, a simulated golf game may be played by one, two, three or four persons. With the computer assembly 46 turned on, as by switch 49, and

switch 50 having returned the film to the first tee, player 01 may tee off. The image or display projected on target or screen 12 by projector 22 indicates that the player is standing at the tee and looking down the fairway toward the hole. Upon impelling of the ball by the player, the sound of the impact is sensed by the acoustic sensing means 43 or 44. According to the force applied against the ball, a number of successive electronic impulses are communicated to the computer 46 which calculates the distance such an impelled ball would have freely traveled, including roll, and produces signals which are transmitted to the projector 22. The projector is responsive to these computer signals to move its film strip accordingly so that the proper location in which the ball lies is presented on the screen 12. The projected image, as noted hereinbefore, will carry the indicia corresponding to the computed distance of travel of the impelled ball, indicating both the distance from the tee and the distance to the hole, and possibly also the hole number and the par.

The average individual, when standing on an actual golf course fairway and looking at the hole, can judge with a fair amount of accuracy (in accordance with tests 15 to 20percent accuracy) the distance from where he is standing, in yards, to

the hole. The same individual, when viewing a projected picture on a screen, can only judge the distance with about 50 percent accuracy. In other words, he could make an error in judgment of yards when viewing a 200 yard photograph.

In the light of this, it has been found that the indicia or numbers indicating distances from tee and distances to hole are extremely helpful to inform the player of exactly where he is playing from and consequently the proper golf club to use and the amount of force to be employed in hitting the ball.

By way of example, the computer may be set in accordance with the following table to show the calibrated curve at 10 yard intervals.


In addition, according to the lateral location at which the impelled ball arrived at the target or screen 12, a particular one of the photoelectric cells 33-37 will be actuated by interruption of its respective light source. Thus, the photoelectric cells 3337 sense the lateral direction of an impelled ball. The spotlights 2731 are respectively associated with the photoelectric cells 33-37, so that actuation of a particular photoelectric cell causes activation of the associated spotlight. The activated spotlight illuminates a small portion of the target or screen 12 and'simulates the representation of a ball lying at a location in accordance with the computed distance of travel and lateral deviation of the ball, as impelled.

The combination of the film strip with its numerical indicia locating the exact position of the golf ball on the fairway in distance relative to the tee and hole, and the spotlight which locates the approximate position of the ball on the fairway in the width or from right to left, completely pinpoints the exact ball location. In operation, this combination of the two dimensions creates the realism required to stimulate the players enthusiasm and interest. It is easily understood that, as described, the exposures of the fairway taken at 10 yard intervals, encompasses the obstacles or hazards in terms of sand traps, roughs, trees, water, etc. The pinpointing of the golf ball by the ball spotlight locates the golf ball laterally on this projected fairway and actually will show the golf ball in the trap, water, unplayable lie or trees, as it so happens. By providing penalties (in terms of strokes) for such hazards, the scoring when playing the instant game, is very close to and consistent with the scoring that the same player might obtain when playing outdoors on a real golf course.

It will thus be seen that the timing portion of the computer 46 a. starts operation at impact of club against ball on tee, bsstops operation on contact of impelled ball against target baffle 12, (this also breaks circuit of any one of photo cells 33-37 thus actuating one of the spotlights 27-31),

c. emanates impulses in inverse proportion to elapsed time (in milliseconds) to activate film strip projector 22.

This procedure is repeated until .the players ball is located on the green or within the circle outline of those frames or exposures which carry that designation. as described above, whereupon the player is entitled to putt. The remaining players also follow the same procedure until all are ready to putt.

A simulated green 60 may be located between the playing station 16 and target 12, and may contain an actual hole or cup 61. Those players whose ball was located within the birdie circle representation on the target or screen may putt from an inner circle 62 marked on the simulated green, while those players whose ball was on the green but outside the birdie circle" 58 on the screen putt from the back line 63 marked on the simulated green.

To vary the lay of the ball andfor convenience, the birdie circle 62 and the back line"'63 may each be provided with designations or indicia at appropriate locations to be used to correspond with the given hole number of the golf course that the player is using. For instance, if the player is approaching the 1st, 3rd, or 5th, hole, he will place his ball on the spot so designated on the circle 62 or the back line 63, as the case may be, and puttfrom there. Each player will remember or record how many strokes he has used to arrive at the green, etc.

The master computer switch on or off" is merely a key operated switch to energize the complete system.

The projector is energized or deenergized from the pushbutton 51 labeled RETURN TO TEE and 52 ADVANCE TO NEXT TEE.

RETURN TO TEE operates the motors in reverse and rewinds the film going back to hole 01. The ADVANCE TO NEXT TEE button advances the film in the forward direction. Each one of these pushbuttons is renderedinoperative when the frame representing the tee position is in front of the aperture and the above-mentioned microswitch has been mechanically operated by the notch 70 on the edge of the film. This deenergizes the projector and the film cannot be advanced or returned manually by pushing either ofthe' buttons on the control box.

Hitting a golf ball and going through the system as it should be played will, of course, advance the projector because the microswitches do not come into play when this circuitry is utilized. The only way to operate the projector and either advance or reverse the film by use of the RETURN TO TEE or ADVANCE TO NEXT TEE pushbuttons is by bypassing the microswitch operating in the projector at the edge of the film. This is done by means of the return film to first tee key lock switch 50. When this switch is closed, it in effect shunts across the microswitch so that either of the pushbuttons will operate the projector in the proper direction.

Of course, between players the film strip projector is reversed, as by actuation of switch button 51 to RETURN TO TEE. Also, before putting, switch 53 may be closed to put the putting light on, which may also automatically turn off the projector and other area lights.

When all players have finished putting, in order to PROCEED TO THE NEXT HOLE it is only necessary'to switch off PUTTING LIGHT switch 53, and to actuate switch button 52 which advances the film strip through the projector to the tee position for the next hole.

In addition to the tees 20and 21, there may beprovided a simulated grass mat to simulate the lie of a ball, say on the fairway. 7

Of course, the above-described procedure is repeated for each hole. In addition, there may be penalties, say if the ball is represented as in a hazard (sand trap, water, tree, etc.), the player adding a stroke to his score. Also, other penaltiesmay be provided, say if the impelled ball does not strike the target screen and the projector is not operated by the computer. Also, as discussed above, there are provided exposures or frames on the film strip made past the hole. If a player overshoots the hole, the computer may reverse on the next accomplished by actuation of switch 54, in FIG. 4. This returns the film strip to its tee position, and upon impelling of a ball the above-described operation occurs, the computer and control 47 effectively operating the projector 22 to advance the film strip in correspondence with the computed travel of the impelled ball. However, in the driving-range play, the film strip automatically reverses and returns to the tee position after a predetermined time, say to 8 seconds. Thus, the driving procedure can be repeated indefinitely; and further, the player may advance the projector to the next tee, if he desires to avoid the monotony of repeated driving from the same tee.

When the driving range play switch as indicated on the control box drawing face panel, FIG. 4, is closed indicating that the driving range play is on, the circuitry is so designed that the following sequence occurs when the film is located on any one of the 18 tee positions.

a. The ball is struck in the usual manner.

b. The projector is advanced by the computer as described above.

c. The film is advanced.

d. The ball spotlight indicates the position of the ball on the fairway.

This condition remains on the screen for a period of approximately 4 seconds after the projector has come to rest. By means of a built-in time delay circuit in the driving range system, the projector will then automatically reverse, traversing the film in reverse and return it to the tee position where it stops automatically by means of the tee position microswitch. The amount of time at rest can be varied depending on the circuitry and more than 4 seconds or less than 4 seconds can be built into the system depending upon the desires of the operators.

The driving range is then ready for a repeat cycle and this can be repeated over and over again so that a practice area or device similar to an outdoor driving range is now simulated.

The other switch indicated on the face of the control box is called putting lighton or off or in some instances play and putt."

Putting lights are located within the cage or enclosure. These lights are wired so as to be operative from the abovementioned putting switch. Turning the putting lights on automatically turns off the light source in the projector and the putting lights provide illumination within the cage for proper putting. Conversely, when the putting is completed, the switch is set back to the play position or putting light off" and this automatically turns on the light source in the projector bringing the projected image back on the screen.

From the foregoing, it is seen that the present invention provides a game device which fully accomplishes its intended objects and is well adapted to meet practical conditions of manufacture, installation and use.

Although the present invention has been described in some detail by way of illustration and example for purposes of clarity of understanding, it is understood that certain changes and modifications may be made within the spirit of the invention and scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A game device comprising a unitary display screen target having a surface defining means adapted for stopping a driven ball and receiving an image, a playing station spaced from said display screen target and from which, in use, a player impels a ball toward said display screen target, computing means responsive to the driving of said ball from said playing station and against said display screen target for providing an indication representative of distance of ball travel, changeable display means comprising a film strip projector adapted to project images from the frames of the film strip upon said display screen target. a film strip for said projector consisting of a series of frames showing successive images on an actual golf course as viewed from successive locations of the lie of the ball toward a corresponding green for being projected on said surfacedefining means said projector proecting at least one of said images upon said ball stopping su ace defining means and said one projected image being viewable by a golfer from said playing station, said computing means being coupled to said changeable display means and including means for moving said film strip in response to said indication representative of distance of ball travel to project a second of said images on said ball stopping surface defining means so that a golfer at said playing station may view said green from a second of said locations toward said green, said second location being representative of the distance of ball travel.

2. A game device according to claim 1, further including a plurality of fixed spotlights providing means for indicating on the unitary display screen target the simulated lateral location of said impelled ball, sensing means associated with said target serving to sense the lateral location of the impelled ball and comprising a series of laterally spaced photoelectric cells facing generally vertically and each located adjacent the unitary display screen target to sense a respective vertical zone thereof, and a corresponding number of light sources each mounted opposite and directing its light beam toward a respective photoelectric cell, means for connecting respective ones of said spotlights to respective ones of said photoelectric cells, said display screen target being suspended to be deflected by the impact of a golf ball to interrupt one of said light beams for activating a single one of said fixed spotlights for illuminating the screen target with a spot of light indicating the lateral location of a ball.

3. A game device according to claim 2, in combination with means for driving said projector, said means comprising a continuously running reversible synchronous motor drive, said projector having a drive shaft connected thereto, means under the control of said computing means for coupling and uncoupling said motor drive to and from the drive shaft of said projector and for braking the drive shaft, and an indexing means for positively framing in the projector aperture each film frame.

4. A game device according to claim 3, said indexing means comprising a capstan on said drive shaft and having a plurality of radially protruding spokes equally spaced and corresponding in number to the number of frames of the film strip moved in front of the aperture of the projector in one second, a solenoid operated spring-loaded pivoted latching plate disposed adjacent said capstan, said plate having one endoperatively connected to the armature of said solenoid and having on its other end a V-groove in its edge, said solenoid serving when the projector is energized to maintain the spokes out of the V- groove, and a spring for biasing said plate to present the walls of the grooved end into the path of the spokes to engage one of said spokes when the projector is no longer energized and the solenoid is deenergized whereby a spoke is urged to the center of the groove to position the capstan to stop the film strip in frame.

5. A game device according to claim 1, said strip projector having an aperture past which a strip of film may be traversed, a sprocket drive including a sprocket, a synchronous motor for driving said sprocket and a gear train coupled to the sprocket drive, constructed and arranged to move the film in front of the aperture at a precise number of frames per unit of time, each of said frames illustrating an image, each image depicting a successive increment of distance toward said green.

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Referenced by
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US3778064 *Apr 10, 1972Dec 11, 1973Golf In Equipment CorpSimulated golf game device
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U.S. Classification473/155, 473/156, 352/233
International ClassificationA63B69/36
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/3697, A63B2024/0037, A63B2220/807, A63B2220/16, A63B2220/808, A63B2220/24, A63B2220/805, A63B69/3658, A63B24/0021, A63B2207/02, A63B69/36, A63B2024/0031
European ClassificationA63B69/36, A63B69/36E, A63B24/00E