US 3669427 A
A golf ball retriever having pivotally mounted claw members which are yieldably urged toward closed position and which are held in open position by trigger mechanism operated by engagement with the ball to be retrieved to cause the claw members to snap closed on the ball. The trigger mechanism includes means for adjusting the sensitivity thereof so that the mechanism operates in response to very light contact with the ball to actuate the claw members. Sighting means is provided for positioning the mechanism accurately over the ball by manipulation with an extensible telescoping handle.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Curtis [451 June 13, 1972  GOLF BALL RETRIEVER  Inventor: Gerald J. Curtis, 8806 Glen Loch,
Houston, Tex. 77017  Filed: July 13, 1970  App]. No.: 54,169
 US. Cl. ..294/l9, 294/110 A 51 Int. Cl. ..A47f 13/06  Field of Search ..294/l9 R, 19 A, 86.27, 99 S, 294/110, 110A, 129, 130,99 R, 106
 References Cited 7 UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,864,196 12/1958 Rohan ..294/1l0 Primary Etamirier-Evon C. Blunk Assistant Examiner-l. Kenneth Silverman Attorney-Charles E. Lightfoot, Kurt S. Myers and Donald Gunn ABSTRACT A golf ball retriever having pivotally mounted claw members which are yieldably urged toward closed position and which are held in open position by trigger mechanism operated by engagement with the ball to be retrieved to cause the claw members to snap closed on the ball. The trigger mechanism includes means for adjusting the sensitivity thereof so that the mechanism operates in response to very light contact with the ball to actuate the claw members. Sighting means is provided for positioning the mechanism accurately over the ball by manipulation with an extensible telescoping handle.
5 Claim, 3 Drawing Figures GOLF BALL RETRIEVER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the playing of golf it is customary to construct golf courses with various kinds of hazards or obstructions which must be avoided or passed in driving the ball. Among such hazard ponds and other water hazards are often provided into which the ball frequently falls, and from which it is sometimes difficult to retrieve the ball. When such a hazard is muddy or has a soft bottom, the likelihood of losing the ball therein is greatly increased.
Heretofore it has been customary to make use of cups or small net attached to long handles for the purpose of scooping the ball from such water hazards, but often the ball cannot conveniently be retrieved in this manner because of the difficulty of accurately manipulating the retriever and when the ball happens to land in soft mud, it is frequently pushed further into the mud or the mud is stirred up by the scooping action and hides the ball.
The golf balls lost in water hazards are at times so numerous as to make it profitable to dredge or drain the hazards to collect the balls which are then cleaned and refinished for reuse.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention, briefly described, comprises a retrieving device for golf balls, or for similar purposes, having a frame carried on an extensible, telescoping, pole-like handle and including claw-like members pivotally mounted on the frame for vertical swinging movement from an open position with the claws spread apart to a closed position with the claws drawn together to enclose a ball between them. The retriever mechanism includes trigger like mechanism by which the claws are held in open position and which releases the claws upon contact with a ball to be retrieved to cause the claws to close about the ball with a snapping action. The trigger mechanism includes means for adjusting the sensitivity of the mechanism to actuate the claws upon very light contact of the trigger mechanism with the ball.
The retriever also includes sighting means which may be used to aid in accurately positioning the retriever over a ball and lowering the device into engagement 'with the ball to actuate the trigger mechanism.
The invention has for an important object the provision of retriever mechanism in which the claws are operated by trigger mechanism actuated by engagement with the ball to be retrieved and which has means for adjusting the sensitivity of the trigger mechanism.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PARTICULAR EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION The ball retriever of the invention comprises an elongated handle, generally designated which may be made up of a number of telescopingly arranged sections, such as those seen at 12 and 14 whereby the handle is made extensible. The handle section 12 may be provided at its free end with a suitable hand grip 16, or the like.
Attached to the free end of the handle section 14 is the retriever mechanism or retriever head, generally designated 18, having an annular frame or base 20, including radially extending arms 22, of which there are four in the present illustration, formed on the lower end of a supporting shaft 24.
The shaft 24 is suitably attached to the free end of the handle section 14 as by means of a slot 26 on the upper end of the shaft into which a lug 28 on the free end of the section 14 is extended and pivotally retained therein by a pin or rivet 30. Suitable means, such as spring washers 32 may be positioned on the pin 30 between the lug 28 and the adjacent sides of the slot 26 to hold the retriever head in any position of angular adjustment relative to the handle 10 to which it is moved.
Each of the arms 22 of the retriever frame is slotted at its outer end for the pivotal attachment thereto of a claw member 34 which is pivotally secured mediate its ends to the arm, as by means of a pin 36. Each of the claw members has a claw shaped arm 38 and a lever or abutment arm 40, and is formed with an external notch 42 mediate its ends. The claw members are also each formed mediate its ends with an abutment lug 44. The frame is cutaway, as seen in FIG. 3 to form an abutment face 46 for each lug 44 positioned to be engaged thereby to limit the closing movement of the claw members.
A tapered stop element 48 is slidably mounted on the shaft 24 whose tapered peripheral surface 50 is positioned for engagement with the abutment faces 52 formed on the free ends of the abutment arms 40 to limit opening movement of the claw members, as seen in FIG. 2. By adjusting the position of the stop element 48 longitudinally on the shaft 24 the position of the claw members when in their open condition may be regulated as desired. 7 I
For the purpose of moving the claw members from open to closed position, suitable means, such as an elastic O-ring 54 is extended about the claw arms in the notches 42 to yieldingly urge the claws 38 toward their closed position. 1
It will be seen from FIG. 2 that when the claw members are in their open position the notches 42 will be substantially in a common plane with the pivot pins 36 of the claw members, so that the O-ring 54 lies substantially in or slightly above the pins, with the stop element 48 in engagement with the abutment faces 52 of the claw members, thus holding the claw members open.
With the retriever mechanism thus opened,the mechanism may be manipulated by the handle 10 to lower the mechanism over a golf ball B to be retrieved until the ball lies between the claw members, whereupon the ball will engage the lugs 44 of the claw member as shown in dotted line in FIG. 2 to rotate the claw members on the pins 36 toward their closed position. Such movement moves the notches 42 slightly downwardly to move the O-ring 54 below the plane of the pins 36, whereupon the claw members are immediately snapped into closed position enclosing theball as seen in FIG. 3.
The lugs 44 of the claw members together with the pivot pins 36, notches 42 and O-ring 54 constitute parts of the trigger mechanism of the retriever by which the claw members are releasably held in open position and by operation of which the claw members are moved to closed position by a snapping action when the trigger mechanism is actuated by engagement of the lugs 44 with the ball. The abutment member 48 slidably carried on the shaft 24 and engageable with the abutment faces 52 of the claw members to limit opening movement of the claws is the means by which the sensitivity of the trigger mechanism is adjusted.
It will be apparent that the position of the O-ring 54 may be readily adjusted relative to the plane of the pivot pins 36 when the claw members are open, by sliding the stop member 48 along the shaft 24. By so adjusting the mechanism the sensitivity of the mechanism may be adjusted so that the claw members will close upon very slight contact of the lugs 44 with the ball, thus enabling the user to retrieve a ball which has fallen into soft mud without pushing the ball further down in the mud.
The retriever head may be furnished with a target or sighting device, such as a colored disc or mirror 56 attached to one of the claw members in a position facing toward the user to aid in accurately positioning the retriever over a ball.
In making use of the retriever of the invention, the device is opened by pulling apart the claw members to move the claws to open position as shown in FIG. 2, the O-rirrg 54 being then in a position slightly above the plane of the pins 36 so that the retriever is cocked in open position. The retriever head is then lowered by the extended handle 10, using the sighting disc 56 to position the retriever head over the ball B to be retrieved until the ball is between the open claws and is engaged by the lugs 44, whereupon the claw members will be rotated slightly to move the O-ring 54 to a position below the plane of the pins and the claws will then be snapped into closed position enclosing the ball as shown in FIG. 3.
It will thus be seen that the invention provides a retrieving device of simple design which is easily manipulated and which can be readily adjusted to close-upon very light contact with a ball thus greatly facilitating the retrieval of balls from soft mud in which they might otherwise be further submerged by attempts to scoop or pick them out.
Having thus clearly shown and described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to secure by Letters Patent rs:
l. A retriever comprising:
a supporting shaft having a longitudinal axis;
a plurality of arms radially extending from and rigidly secured to said supporting shaft, said arms being slotted at the outer ends; 7
claw members pivotally secured in each of said arms, each claw member secured in a commonplane; said claw members being shaped so that the claws extend downwardly and inwardly and having a notch on each said claw members external surface; and
resilient means positioned in the notch of each claw member and solely supported thereby to hold the claw members in open position until said claw members are pivoted sufficiently wherein said resilient means urge said claw members toward the closed position.
2. A retriever as claimed in claim 1 wherein said claw members have an abutment arm positioned to limit the opening movement of said claw members.
3. A retriever as claimed in claim 1 wherein a tapered stop element is slidably mounted on said shaft against which said claw members abut to limit the opening movement of said claw members.
4. A retriever as claimed in claim 1 including an elongated handle pivotally connected at one end to said supporting shaft.
5. A retriever as claimed in claim 4 for retrieving golf balls including sighting means positioned on one of said claw members for aligning said handle and ball.