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Publication numberUS3575420 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 20, 1971
Filing dateOct 31, 1968
Priority dateOct 31, 1968
Publication numberUS 3575420 A, US 3575420A, US-A-3575420, US3575420 A, US3575420A
InventorsSmyk Walter M, Turner Frank E
Original AssigneeTurner Frank E, Smyk Walter M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pivotable plastic golf tee
US 3575420 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent I [72] Inventors Frank E. Turner 3 Greenfield Court; Walter M. Smyk, San Mateo, Calif. (43 Valencia Drive, South San Francisco, Calif.

- 94080) [21 Appl. No. 772,188 [22] Filed Oct. 31, 1968 [45] Patented Apr. 20, 1971 [54] PIVOTABLE PLASTIC GOLF TEE Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Richard .l. Apley AttorneyMellin, Moore & Weissenberger ABSTRACT: A resilient plastic golf tee of one piece construction. The top elongated surface has an indented portion extending transverse to the elongated top surface thereby forming a hinge with chamfered opposed shoulders. At one end of the top surface is a ground-engaging pin and at the other end is a ball support. In use, the top portion is folded backwardly about the hinge until the ehamfered shoulders engage one another to position a ball on the support in tee-off position. When the ball is struck by a club, the top portion can flex or pivot in a forward direction about the hinge axis.

Patented April 20, 1971 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG 4 INVENTOR. FRANK E. TURNER WALTER M. SMYK My, M

dm'm/ ATTORNEYS 3 Patented April 20, 1971 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG I G FIGJ FIGJZ INVENTOR. FRANK E. TURNER WALTER M. SMYK FIGJZ wreceqp/ ZW W 2/ ATTO RN EYS atvorxatls lPlLAS'IIlIC cots res BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to golf tees and, more particularly, to a golf tee having a one-piece body which allows pivoting thereof as the golf ball supported thereby is struck.

When compared with a rigid golf tee, a golf tee which can flex or pivot in the direction ofthe swing as a golf ball thereon is struck has numerous advantages. With a rigid tee, contacting of such tee embedded in the ground by a club head results in a transfer of energy to the ground rather than completely to the ball. This means that less than the full energy of the golfer is being applied to the ball, resulting in shorter-than-optimum drives. This can also result in damage to the tee or club head. Furthen'nore, the striking of the rigid tee by the club head may deflect the club head in an undesirable manner, resulting in a less accurate stroke. Also, with such a rigid tee, there is a certain amount of friction between the ball and the supporting surface of the tee, resulting in a further waste of energy, and perhaps undesirable topspin on the ball.

Various attempts have been made to provide golf tees which overcome the above problems by providing a pivoting joint therein. Such tees each have a two-piece body portion connected by a hinge which allows pivoting therebetween. Such tees, because of their complicated structure, would obviously be relatively difficult and expensive to manufacture. It will also be seen that the hinge structure of each of these known tees is subject to easy jamming by dirt which may enter into the hinge area. Such jamming, of course, results in less smooth operation, and results in a return to many of the disadvantages of the rigid tee previously described.

Furthermore, each of the known hinged tees must be pegged into the ground for any hinging to occur. That is to say, none of them is designed to be effective when merely rested on the ground.

It is an object of this invention to provide a golf tee which is of one-piece construction, meanwhile allowing pivoting of the ball support portion thereof in the direction of the swing of a golf club and flight of the ball.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a golf tee which, while fulfilling the above objects, is structurally extremely simple, and inexpensive to produce.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide a golf tee which, while fulfilling the above objects, can be either placed on or anchored to the ground.

it is'a still further object of this invention to provide a golf tee which, while fulfilling the above objects, supporm the golf ball only at a plurality of spaced points.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Broadly stated, the inventive golf ball tee disclosed herein comprises a one-piece resilient tee body comprising a base portion, and an upwardly extending portion extending from the base portion. An indented body portion interconnects the base portion and the upwardly extending portion to allow resilient pivoting or hinging therebetween. A support portion is provided at the upward end of the upwardly extending portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These and other objects of the invention will become apparent from a study of the following specification and drawings, in which:

FIG. l is a general perspective view showing one embodiment of the inventive golf tee in use;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the golf tee of FIG. 1, shown as it supports a golf ball;

MG. 35 is a view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a plan view of the golf tee of FIG. 2, in its flattened configuration;

FIG. 5 is a side elevation of another embodiment of the inventive golf tee shown as it supports a golf ball;

FIG. 6 is a. plan view of the golf tee of FIG. 5, in its flattened configuration;

FIG. 7 is a side elevation of a particular embodiment of the support portion of the golf tee;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of the support portion of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a side elevation of yet another embodiment of the inventive golf tee, shown as it supports a golf ball;

FIG. I0 is a plan view of the golf tee of FIG. 9, in its flattened configuration;

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Shown generally in FIG. 1 is a gold tee 10 positioned on the ground l2.and supporting a golf ball 14. Such golf tee 10 is shown in greater detail in FIGS. l-4. As shown therein, the golf tee 10 is made up of a one-piece body 16, which is of resilient material. This body 16 in turn comprises a base portion 118, an upwardly extending portion 20, and a support portion 22. The base portion 18 is pivotally connected to the upwardly extending portion 20 by means best shown in FIGS. 13 and 14. As shown therein, an indented portion 24 is formed in the body l6 and defines shoulders 26, 28. when the upwardly extending portion 20 is positioned as shown in FIGS. 2 and 14, shoulders 26, 28 contact each other and limit the pivoting movement of the upwardly extending portion 20 relative to the base portion 18.

The support portion 22 defines two arcuate portions 30, 32 which define points 34, 36, 36, 40 on which a golf ball 14 may be rested when such shoulders 26, 28 contact. With the golf ball 14 in such position, the weight thereof keeps the shoulders 26, 28 in contact. Thus, the golf tee 10 may effectively support the golf ball 14. Yet, if the golf tee I0 is positioned so that the impact of the club head thereon is in the direction of arrow A, the upright will pivot about the indented portion 24 in the direction of arrow B, when the gold ball 14 is struck.

In this embodiment, the base portion 18 is adapted to be anchored to the ground 12 by means of pin 42. It will be seen that the pin 42 effectively anchors the golf tee 10 to the ground I2, meanwhile allowing circular pivoting of the base portion 16 about the axis of pin 42 in a plane parallel to the surface of the ground 12. Thus, the golf tee I0 may be anchored initially, and then pivoted until it is in the proper position, as shown in FIG. I.

In FIGS. Ill and I2 is shown another embodiment of a golf tee 44, quite similar to golf tee 10. However, in this embodiment, the base portion 46 thereof is of much larger area than the base portion 18, and is not anchored to the ground 12 but rests directly on the ground 12.

Shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 is yet another embodiment of the golf tee 50. This golf tee 50 has a one-piece resilient body 51 which includes a base portion 52 anchored to the ground 12 by pin 54, an upwardly extending portion 56, and an indented portion 56 interconnecting them and acting as a resilient pivot point. However, the golf tee body 51 includes a support portion 60 defining a circular support surface 62 and which is pivotally connected to the upward end of the upwardly extending portion 56 by means of indented portion 64. Such pivoting of the support portion 60 relative to the upwardly extending portion 56 is limited under the weight of the golf ball M by shoulders 66,68 defined by the indented portion 64. It will be seen that, with the golf tee 5t) properly positioned, pivoting will take place in accordance with arrow C (FIG. 5) upon striking of the golf ball 14.

FIGS. 7 and 8 show another embodiment of the support portion 70 of the golf tee 50. The support portion 70 includes four small upwardly extending knobs 72 which define support points for the ball 14, This may be used as an alternative to the continuous support surface 62 of support portion 60.

Shown in FIGS. 9 and 10 is yet another embodiment of a golf tee 80. The golf tee 80 comprises resilient golf tee body 82 which comprises a first base portion 84 and a second base portion 86. A first upwardly extending portion 88 extends from and is resiliently pivotal relative to the first base portion 84 by means of indented portion 90. A second upwardly extending portion 92 extends from and is resiliently pivotal relative to the second base portion 86 by means of indented portion 94. A support portion 96 extends between the first and second upwardly extending portions 88, 92 and is resiliently pivotal relative thereto by means of indented portions 98, 100. A pin 102 extends from the first base portion 84, whereby it may be anchored to the ground 12. Similarly, a pin 104 extends from second base portion 86.

in the use of this embodiment, pin 102 is forced into the ground 12, and body 82 is rotated about pin 102 until base portion 86 is positioned in alignment with the target. The height of support portion 96 may be set by moving base portion 86 toward or away from base portion 84 (see positions shown in FIG. 9), and forcing pin 104 into ground 12. In this embodiment, the resilient pivot points 90, 94, 98, 100 act to properly support the golf ball 14 at the chosen height, meanwhile allowing a certain movement of the support portion 96 when the golf ball 14 is struck.

A number of important design features should be noted. First, each of the embodiments shown is of extremely simple, one-piece construction, and can be easily molded. The necessary action, it has been found, can be achieved with a polymeric material, such as polypropylene, which provides proper flexibility and strength. Each of the embodiments shown provides a low pivot point or points, allowing relatively freer pivoting than in the prior art, which generally provides a high pivot point. Each of the embodiments allows for alignment toward the target after it has been anchored to the ground. Each embodiment can be used with or without anchoring means (those without anchoring means being particularly useful on the newer artificial turfs), and can be used with a variety of golf ball supports, with the individual point support providing a minimum of frictional resistance. It will be seen that, even if any of these tee embodiments is struck off its pivoting line, no damage will occur thereto, or to the club head. It will also be seen that the degree of pivoting available is not limited or restricted, and is consequently much freer than any known device in the prior art.

Furthennore, in the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-8 and 11-14, it is the weight of the ball 14 which holds the tee in proper position. When the golf ball is struck, the resiliency of the pivot point or points acts to pivot the upwardly extending portion thereof in the direction of golf ball flight, thus providing even freer movement of the golf ball. That is to say, no force is used in the pivoting action but, rather, the pivoting takes place through the natural resilience of the material.

It will be seen that herein is provided a tee which is pivotable in the direction of flight of a golf ball, resulting in most efficient use of club force. The designs, as described above, are extremely simple, sturdy, and light, and, being of one piece, are quite inexpensive to manufacture and simple to maintain.

We claim:

1. A one-piece resilient plastic golf ball tee comprising:

a. a thin flat base portion having opposed major surfaces;

b. a thin flat elongated portion extending from said base portion and having top and bottom opposed major surfaces forming continuations of said major surfaces of said base portion;

. an indented portion interconnecting said base portion and one end of said elongated portion, said indented portion extending rectilinearly across said top major surface of said elongated portion to allow resilient pivoting of said elongated portion with respect to said base portion about a given axis parallel to said major surfaces of said base portion, said indented portion forming chamfered shoulders on said base portion and said elongated portion for limiting the pivoting of said elongated portion about said given axis toward said one major surface; and

d. a ball support portion at the other end of said elongated portion from said indented portion.

2. A golf ball tee according to claim 1 wherein the golf ball is supported by the support portion only at a plurality of spaced points.

3. A golf ball tee according to claim 1 wherein the other major surface of said base portion rests on the ground.

4. A one-piece golf ball tee as claimed in claim 1 wherein said support portion includes a member extending from the other major surface of said elongated portion normal thereto.

5. A golf ball tee according to claim 1 wherein anchoring means are included for anchoring the base portion to the ground, meanwhile allowing pivoting of the base portion in a plane around the anchoring means parallel to the ground surface.

6. A one-piece golf ball as claimed in claim 5 wherein said anchoring means comprises a cylindrical member extending from the other major surface of said base portion with its axis normal to said major surface.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1519298 *Oct 31, 1923Dec 16, 1924De Mun James BrydenGolf-ball tee
US1583897 *Nov 28, 1924May 11, 1926Oldring George HGolf tee
US1664400 *Jul 13, 1927Apr 3, 1928Copp Earl FGolf tee
US1678944 *Jan 13, 1928Jul 31, 1928Jacobsen Norman ReginaldGolf tee
US1717962 *Mar 2, 1928Jun 18, 1929Ulric C DeikeGolf tee
US1800647 *Aug 1, 1929Apr 14, 1931Henry Krafft BertGolf tee
US1924473 *Sep 16, 1930Aug 29, 1933Walsh William CGolf tee
US1933239 *Mar 20, 1931Oct 31, 1933Boe Endre AGolf tee
US1976316 *Jun 21, 1933Oct 9, 1934Melsyd Whitelaw RoyGolf tee
US2051734 *Apr 16, 1935Aug 18, 1936Maden Jr James EGolf tee
US2469928 *Sep 19, 1945May 10, 1949John MurschGolf tee
US2839304 *Jul 15, 1955Jun 17, 1958Lerick LesterFlexible golf tee
GB374542A * Title not available
GB189600253A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4205841 *Jul 7, 1978Jun 3, 1980Robert B. UvallesGolf tee
US5375838 *Feb 7, 1994Dec 27, 1994Labriola; Louis A.Golf tee
US5505444 *Apr 5, 1995Apr 9, 1996Bouclin, Jr.; Edward W.Golf tee
US6077174 *Oct 9, 1998Jun 20, 2000Noritake; HideyukiGolf ball marker
US8083615Mar 14, 2008Dec 27, 2011Karsten Manufacturing CorporationSet of golf tees
US20040067802 *Oct 2, 2003Apr 8, 2004Salsman Robert KeithGolf tee
US20070270246 *May 19, 2006Nov 22, 2007Salmon Jim RReusable golf tee
US20090233734 *Mar 14, 2008Sep 17, 2009Karsten Manufacturing CorporationSet of Golf Tees
US20090247329 *Mar 25, 2008Oct 1, 2009Murken Joseph SBall mark and method of using the same
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/397, 473/392, 473/396
International ClassificationA63B57/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B57/0018
European ClassificationA63B57/00C