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Publication numberUS3601407 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 24, 1971
Filing dateDec 9, 1968
Priority dateDec 9, 1968
Publication numberUS 3601407 A, US 3601407A, US-A-3601407, US3601407 A, US3601407A
InventorsArthur Lorrance
Original AssigneeProcessing Office Furniture In
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Variable playing surface game device
US 3601407 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

nited States Patent [72] inventor Arthur Lorrance Flushing, N.Y. [21 Appl. No. 782,280 [22] Filed Dec. 9, 1968 [4S] Patented Aug. 24, 1971 [73] Assignee Processing Office Furniture Inc.

Mespeth, N.Y.


[52] U.S.Cl 273/176 H,

273/1 15 [51] Int. Cl A631: 67/02 [50] Field of Search 273/176, 195,87, 87.2, 87.4,l09,113,115

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,118,084 5/1938 Heinzelmann 273/176 H 3,170,694 2/1965 Dolce 273/176 H 3,366,388 1/1968 Del Raso..... 273/1761-1 Primary Examiner-George J. Marlo Attorney-Irving Seidman ABSTRACT: A game device in which the elevation contour of the playing field can be selectively varied by shifting one or more pivotable levers connected to associated discrete regions of a flexible panel defining the playing field. At each lever connection region, the panel can be bent into a localized doubly curved surface configuration, the elevation of which depends upon the angular displacement of the corresponding lever from a neutral position. The flexible panel is supported by a layer of resilient cushioning material which is supported on an underlying rigid panel. The pivotable levers extend from positions below the rigid panel to a position outwardly of a supporting frame which includes latching elements for holding the levers in various adjusted positions. The levers are secured to the flexible panel by link members extending upward from the levers through the rigid panel and cushioning layer. The flexible panel may be covered by a grass simulating material to adapt the device for use by golfers in putting a golf ball into a recessed cup PATENTEB M82419?! I 3,501,407


y Arfhur Lorrance ATTORNEY VARIABLE PLAYING SURFACE GAME DEVICE BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates in general to recreational equipment and more particularly to a game device having a variable playing surface over which a ball or the like is rolled.

The game device of the instant invention is readily adapta-' ble for use in connection with many different known games, and is especially useful, by reason of its variable playing surface feature, in the playing of miniature golf and as a putting practice range.

While in general, there are known in the prior art certain types of variable surface game devices, as exemplified by U.S. Pat. No. 3,170,694 issued to JP. Dolce, and the earlier U.S. Pat. No. 2,465,418 issued to D8. Baker, the variable surface game device of the present invention offers a playing field which can be selectively altered into any one of a variety of elevation contour patterns simply by shifting one or more pivotable levers.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the playing field is defined by a flexible panel that is supported along its lateral margins by a frame, such that the panel is elevated above a reference surface, which can be the floor or ground upon which the frame rests. For adjusting the elevation contour of the playing field, one or more pivotable levers are provided. Each lever extends below the panel and is connected to a predetermined discrete region thereof. When any lever is angularly displaced from a neutral position, the elevation above the reference surface of the panel connection region associated with that lever is varied accordingly, and the panel is bent at the region along lines of curvature defining a doubly curved surface localized thereat and blending smoothly with adjoining portions of the panel.

I To provide a playing surface that can be walked upon, and yet have a panel sufficiently flexible to be deflected locally at several regions up to about one to two inches in directions parallel to its'thickness dimension, a layer of resilient cushioning material serves to transmit downward shear loads imposed on the flexible panel to a thicker, more rigid subfloor panel that underlies and supports the cushioning material.

The upper surface of the flexible panel can be covered with felt, carpet, artificial grass, etc., as desired for the particular game to be played, and in those embodiments of the invention designed for use as golf practice ranges, one or more ballreceiving cups or holes can be provided through the panel.

Expediently the contour adjusting levers each include a bar that extends through the frame and projects therebeyond to bear an exposed tread plate that facilitates setting the lever by foot pressure. On the frame is provided for each lever bar a latching device which engages the bar to lock it in a given pivot position corresponding to a selected elevation of the playing field region associated with that specific lever.

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a game device having a variable elevation playing surface.

Another object of the invention is to provide a game device which can be adapted for use in the playing ofgolf games.

A further object of the invention is'to provide a game device having means for adjusting the elevation and curvature of its playing surface at any one or more of a plurality of locations.

A further object of the invention is to provide a game device as aforesaid wherein the playing surface elevation adjustments can be conveniently made and retained at the selected locations thereon.

Still another and further object of the invention is to provide a game device as aforesaid having a playing surface that can be walked upon by the players.

The various features of novelty which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularlity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification. For a better understanding of the invention, itsoperating advantages and specific objects attained by its use, reference should be had to the accompanying drawing and descriptive matter in which the invention.


FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a game device'constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention and adapted for use as a golf putting practice range.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional elevation view of the game device shown in FIG. 1 as taken along line 22 therein.

FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the game device shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION FIGS. 1-3 exemplify the game device of the invention as embodies in the form of a golf practice range 10 which can be considered as being generally portable in that it can be set upon practically any bass surface 11. either indoors or outdoors.

For purposes of example, the golf range 10 is illustrated as being generally rectangular in plan form and having a length dimension somewhat larger than its width dimension in contemplation that the golf games played thereon will be those in which the ball i (not shown) is driven along the general direction of the length dimension, as from one end of the range 10 toward the opposite end thereof and into a recessed cup 12.

As can be better seen in FIG. 2, the golf range 10 has a flexible panel 14, which can be made up of one or more adjoining sections 15 of a material such as Masonite, and is supported along its lateral margins in elevated relation above the reference base surface 11 by means of a frame 16.

The flexible panel 14 defines the playing field of the range 10, and is expediently covered on its upper surface by a flexible covering 17, such as artificial grass, felt, etc., that is glued or otherwise secured to panel 14 to flex therewith and define the actual playing surface.

To allow the players to walk upon the range 10, and yet be able to use a panel 14 that is pliable enough to be deflected locally up to about 1 or 2 inches, alayer 18 of resilient cushioning material such as sponge rubber is disposed in underlying relation to panel 14 and is substantially coextensive in area therewith so as to provide resilient support for panel 14 over its span. The cushioning layer 18 in turn is supported by a generally rigid panel 19 disposed in underlying relation to layer 18 and expediently, but not necessarily, panel 19 is connected along its margins to frame 16 for support thereby.

For selectively varying the elevation contour of the playing field at one or more discrete locations, the invention provides a plurality of lever assemblies 20, which as better seen in FIG. 3 are generally T-shaped. Each lever assembly 20 includes a first bar 21 disposed for limited rotary movement about its longitudinal axis and in parallel contact with the underside of panel 19, and a second bar 22 connected at one end 23 to bar 21, as by welding, and extending transversely therefrom through a slot 24 in frame 16 to a termination position beyond and outside the frame 16. To the bar 22 is connected a link rod 25 which in turn is connected to panel 14 at the location 27 thereon to be adjusted in elevation by the particular lever assembly 20. Since-the bars 21 and 22 are underneath panel 19, to accommodate the connection to panel 14 of the upwardly extending link rod 25, a suitable aperture 26 is provided in panel 19, which aperture 26 may be somewhat elongated in the direction of bar 22 to allow a greater swing clearance therefor.

The bar 21 defines the pivot axis of lever assembly 20, and bar 22 pivots about said axis in unison with the rotation of bar 21 thereabout to shift the position of link 25 and correspondingly adjust the elevation of panel region 27 with respect to reference surface 1 1.

For each lever assembly 20, there is provided on the outside of frame 16 a latching means 28 disposed for engagement with the portion 29 of bar 22 extending beyond frame 16 to selectively lock bar 22 in any one of three pivot positions, N, D1 and D2. To facilitate shifting of lever bar 22 from one of these positions to another, a tread 30 is connected to the free end of bar 22.

As is better seen in FIG. 2, when bar 22 is set in the neutral position N, the panel 14 is substantially flat and horizontal at the link connection region 27, and the playing surface thereat is level. Setting bar 22 in the first downward position D1 lowers link 25 to pull the connection region 27 downward thereby bending panel 14 thereat into a localized, doubly curved surface Z1 (indicated in phantom), and establishing a ball trapping concave depression in the playing field. Setting bar 22 in the second downward position D2 causes link 25 to pull the connection region 27 further downward such that the panel 14 assumes a deeper doubly curved surface Z2 thereat. Thus, by way of example, it can be noted that the invention provides a multiplicity of selectable playing surface elevation contours for each lever assembly 20, with the change in elevation at any particular connection region 27 depending upon the angular displacement of the corresponding bar 22 from its neutral position N.

It can be noted from FIG. 3 that the pivot axis bar 21 can be secured to panel 19 by guide straps 31, can be borne against auxiliary reinforcement members 32, or can merely rest in the corner formed by panel 19 and frame 16 and in parallel contact with the underside of panel 19. It should be furthermore understood that any particular lever bar 22 need not extend completely across the width of range as illustrated in FIG. 2, but can be varied in length as shown in FIG, 3.

As can be appreciated by the artisan, alternate pivotal arrangements can be substituted for those shown herein as desired in the construction of individual ranges 10.

One of the advantages of the invention lies in the fact that the setting of any particular lever bar 22 does not necessarily result in the formation of a uniform depth trough in the playing surface extending completely across the width of the range 10, but rather produces a localized doubly curved contour change about the connection region 27 affected.

From the foregoing, it can be appreciated that the invention provides a golf range 10 in which the elevation of the playing surface can be selectively varied at as many discrete locations as there are provided adjustment lever assemblies 20. With a relatively small number of lever assemblies 20 there is available a much larger variety of playing surface changes because of the multiplicity of lever setting combinations that can be formed.

While in accordance with the provisions of the statutes there is illustrated and described herein a specific embodiment of the invention, those skilled in the art will understand that changes may be made in the form of the invention covered by the claims, and that certain features of the invention may sometimes be used to advantage without a corresponding use of the other features.

What is claim is:

1. A game device comprising a frame adapted to rest upon a reference surface, a flexible panel defining a playing field and supported along its lateral margins by said frame in elevated relation above said reference surface, a layer of resilient cushioning material disposed in underlying relation to said flexible panel to resiliently support same, a generally rigid panel supported by said frame and disposed in underlying relation to said layer of resilient cushioning material to support same above said reference surface, a plurality of lever means each disposed in underlying relation to said rigid panel and having a link extending through both said rigid panel and resilient cushioning layer for connection to said flexible panel at a predetermined region thereof, each lever means being pivotably moveable relative to said frame to adjust the elevation of the corresponding flexible panel connection region with respect to the reference surface and bend the flexible panel at said connection region along hues of curvature defining a doubly curved surface thereat to correspondingly vary the contour of the playing field.

2. A game device according to claim 1 wherein each of said lever means includes a first bar disposed for limited rotary movement relative to said frame and defining the pivot axis of the lever means, and a second bar connected to said link and connected at one end to said first bar and extending transversely therefrom to a terminus beyond said frame, said second bar being pivotably moveable about said pivot axis to shift the position of said link to adjust the elevation of the correspondflexible panel.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2118084 *Aug 11, 1934May 24, 1938Alphonse A HeinzelmannGolf game device
US3170694 *Apr 6, 1962Feb 23, 1965Dolce Jerry PaulVariable-surface game table
US3366388 *Oct 21, 1965Jan 30, 1968Carmina G VozzaElectrically operated golf game
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3871661 *Oct 6, 1972Mar 18, 1975Korff William SPutting green
US4240637 *Oct 23, 1978Dec 23, 1980Alvan CrossPutting practice apparatus
US4447059 *Aug 28, 1981May 8, 1984Norman CzajkowskiPutting practice device with spiral track
US4978127 *Mar 19, 1990Dec 18, 1990Juel Jr Charles HSelectively contourable putting green
US5002280 *Apr 2, 1990Mar 26, 1991Hines Burl DAdjustable and folding putting green
US5024441 *Apr 5, 1989Jun 18, 1991Claude RousseauGolfcourse simulator device
US5069455 *Oct 16, 1989Dec 3, 1991Thomas William FGolf putting trainer
US5087045 *Feb 26, 1990Feb 11, 1992Samuel KimPutting green with adjustable topography and multi-ball return
US5100145 *Sep 6, 1990Mar 31, 1992Samuel KimPutting green with adjustable topography and multi-ball return
US5172914 *Dec 16, 1991Dec 22, 1992James PrimeranoApparatus for providing an adjustably contoured putting surface
US5855522 *Nov 10, 1997Jan 5, 1999Bevan; Paul C.Golf putting apparatus with variable surface
US6062984 *Dec 30, 1998May 16, 2000Ju; Ji-YongGolf putting training apparatus
US6179721Mar 22, 1999Jan 30, 2001Paul C. BevanGolf putting apparatus with variable surface
US6196929 *Nov 25, 1997Mar 6, 2001Brenda ErodesGolfing game with undulating surface
US6338682 *Feb 3, 2000Jan 15, 2002Puttgolf.Com, LlcPortable, adjustable-contour, putting green
US6575841 *Apr 2, 1999Jun 10, 2003Brenda ErdoesGolfing game with undulating surface
US7195563 *Jan 3, 2005Mar 27, 2007Martens David AAdjustable putting green for golf practice
US7918743 *Nov 20, 2006Apr 5, 2011Martens David JAdjustable putting green for golf practice
US20050049070 *Sep 24, 2004Mar 3, 2005Hyun Ju LeeGolf putting practice apparatus
US20100075771 *Nov 20, 2006Mar 25, 2010Martens David JAdjustable putting green for golf practice
EP0336839A1 *Apr 5, 1989Oct 11, 1989Claude RousseauA golf parcours simulating device
WO2001023048A1 *Sep 12, 2000Apr 5, 2001Puttgolf.Com, LlcPortable, adjustable-contour, putting green
U.S. Classification473/160, 273/115
International ClassificationA63B67/02, A63F7/06
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2067/025, A63F7/0628, A63F7/3622
European ClassificationA63F7/06A9, A63F7/36D