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Publication numberUS3698720 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 17, 1972
Filing dateJan 20, 1971
Priority dateJan 20, 1971
Publication numberUS 3698720 A, US 3698720A, US-A-3698720, US3698720 A, US3698720A
InventorsGudmundsen Austin
Original AssigneeGudmundsen Austin
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf ball retriever
US 3698720 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Gudmundsen [541 GOLF BALL RETRIEVER [72] lnventor: Austin Gudmundseu, 2016A Via Mariposa Way, Laguna Hills, Calif. 92653 [22] Filed: Jan. 20, 1971 21 Appl. No.: 107,995

[52] US. Cl. ..273/l62 E, 294/19 A [51] Int. Cl. ..A63b 57/00 [58] Field of Search ..273/32 F, 75, 81 D, 162 R,

273/162 E, 186 E; 294/19 R, 19 A [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 802,264 10/1905 Brown ..273/162 E X 3,318,628 5/1967 White ..273/l62 E X 2,658,785 11/1953 Jones ..294/l9 A [451 Oct. 17,1972

6/1943 Kandle ..273/l62E 6/1962 Stafford ..294/l9A Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Richard .l. Apley [57] ABSTRACT A golf ball retriever comprising a cylindrical cartridge and a tine assembly being retained in the cartridge during non-use and being extended from the cartridge for use is disclosed. The tips of the tines in the retracted position form a crown which is easily gripped by the user for extending the tine assembly. The tines are generally arcuatly formed and composed of a resilient material so as to expand while being extended such that the tips of the tines slip easily about a golf ball for gripping the golf ball. Dimensions and the materials are important.

16 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures GOLF BALL RETRIEVER This invention relates to new and useful improvements in golf ball retrievers and is particularly, though not exclusively, directed toward retrofitting existing clubs with the retriever. Existing clubs can be retrofitted with the retriever with minimal effort and minimal risk without permanent damage to the golf club.

Golf course operators and greens keepers have long been aware of a serious problem in green maintenance resulting from damage done by golfers during retrieval of golf balls from the cup. As the golfer bends or stoops to retrieve his golf ball from the cup or from the surrounding green, most of his weight is concentrated on the tip of one toe or foot. During retrieval, the golfer customarily pivots on the toe which bears the weight. These practices often do damage to the existing green. Continued maintenance and repair of the green is, therefore, necessary to maintain a golf course. One of the features of this invention is that it permits the golfer to retrieve his golf ball while standing away from the cup, without bending or stooping. Damage to the green is thereby avoided.

Golf ball retrievers are known which are built into the golf club or which may be slipped onto the golf club temporarily. Those retrievers which are built into the golf club generally must be built as an integral part of the golf club during manufacture and nearly always destroy the balance of the golf club. These mechanisms are complex, and lack the durability necessary for a commercially and economically satisfactory product.

Those golf ball retrievers which slip onto the end of the golf club are inconvenient and are generally such a nuisance that the golfer finds it easier simply to stoop down and pick up the ball than to fumble around for the golf ball retriever and place it onto the end of his golf club.

These and other disadvantages of the prior devices are overcome by the present invention in which one of the particularly advantageous features is that the golf ball retriever can be retrofit into existing golf clubs without doing permanent damage to the club and with the expenditure of minimum time and expense. Once fitted into the club, the retriever becomes an integral part of the club without adversely effecting the utility or appearance of the club. The golf ball retriever on this invention is always readily available to the player and is instantly accessable. Unlike the retrieving devices of the prior art, the golf ball retriever of this invention is easily accessable and available so as to reduce the effort of retrieval.

Another particularly important operational feature of the invention resides in the use of self healing metal tines. The metal tines can be bent beyond their elastic limit and return to their operational form through the act of pushing the device into its retracted position. Furthermore, all the mechanization is selfcontained in a small cylindrical cartridge unit which is easily retrofitted into standard putters.

Briefly, the golf ball retriever of this invention consists essentially of a cylindrical cartridge adapted to be fitted into an axial hole in the end of a golf club. Typically, the cartridge includes a skirt at the exterior end for providing a finished appearance and structure for the golf club with the retriever installed. A tine assembly is slidably received in the cartridge. One end of each of the tines is joined together. This joined end forms the inner end of the tine assembly. When the tine assembly is in the retracted non-use position, the other ends of the respective tines extend a short distance from the end of the cartridge. The tips of the tines which extend from the cartridge are curved inwardly and are so constructed and are so configured as to form a crown. The crown in easily gripped by the user for extending the tines from the cartridge into the use position.

The tines are constructed of a resilient material so as to expand upon extension such that the exterior tips of the tines slip easily about and grip the golf ball for retrieving it. During non-use the tine assembly is held in the cartridge solely by the frictional forces resulting from resilient contact of the tines with the walls of the cylinder. These frictional forces, while sufficient to retain the tine assembly in the cartridge during nonuse, are easily overcome by the user who simply grips the crown formed by the tips of the tines and extends the tines from the cylinder to the use position.

The foregoing advantages and features and other advantages and features will be apparant from the specification which follows and from the drawing to which reference is made.

FIG. 1 illustrates a golf club, broken to show both ends, in which the golf ball retriever of this invention has been installed.

FIG. 2 is a side view in partial cross section of one embodiment of the golf ball retriever of this invention.

FIG. 3 is a view of the lower end of the golf ball retriever as illustrated in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a view of the upper end of the golf ball retriever as illustrated in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view in partial cross section showing the golf ball retriever as illustrated in FIG.

2 with the tines extended in the use position.

FIG. 6 is a tine assembly showing an alternative embodiment with differently shaped tine tips.

FIG. 7 illustrates another alternative configuration of Q a tine tip.

invention. The golf club includes, in addition to the usual grip ll, shaft 12, and head 13, a golf ball retriever 14 which constitutes the present invention. The golf ball retriever 14 is also shown generally in FIGS. 2 and 5.

As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 5, the golf ball retriever constitutes a cartridge 16. The cartridge is typically approximately 3 inches long and is constructed of threeeighth inch outside diameter tubing. Steel is preferred, but the particular material of which the cartridge if formed is not critical to the present invention. Cold rolled steel, copper, aluminum, and other tubing may be used. Durability, appearance, and ease of operation,

as well as useful life, are improved through the use of stainless steel tubing or steel tubing with chrome platmg.

In the embodiment of FIG. 2, a small tongue 18 is cut from the wall of the tubing and protrudes slightly beyond the exterior circumference of the tubing. This tongue engages the inside of a hole drilled in the end of the golf club 10 to retain the golf ball retriever in the end of the golf club. This tongue thus constitutes means for retaining the golf ball retriever in the golf club. Other means, such as frictional fasteners, tape strips or other adhesive fasteners, etc., may be used.

The cartridge also includes a skirt 20 secured, by welding or soldering generally, to the upper or exterior end of the cartridge. The function of the skirt is to form a smooth conforming cap-like adapter to the club handle. The skirt also provides a stop in the fitting of the device into the club handle and is means for effecting locking of the cylinder into the hole prepared for its insertion into the club handle. Thus appertures 22 and 24 may be punched in the skirt to permit the cartridge to be gripped. Other gripping means may likewise be used with equal facility.

A tine assembly is slidably received in the cartridge. The tine assembly includes at least three resilient tines, four tines being preferred and illustrated in the drawing. These tines, 26, 28, 30, and 32 are joined together at one end relative to each other. The other end of the tines extend, during non-use, a short distance from the end of the cartridge. The extending ends of the tines are so configured as together to form a crown, illustrated generally at 34, which is easily gripped by the user for extending the exterior end of the tine assembly from the cartridge for use. The tines are so constructed and formed of resilient material as normally to expand upon extension, to the configuration shown generally in FIG. 5, such that the exterior tips of the tines slip easily about and grip the golf ball for retrieving it.

Means including a ferrule 36 and a drive key 38 secure the one end of the tines together in cantilever fashion relative to each other such that the tines are resiliently relatively compressible and expandable from the non-use position to the use position. The ferrule in the preferred embodiment, slips easily, but snugly, within the cylinder. The tine assembly is held in the cylinder in the non-use position entirely by friction, the holding friction being substantially solely the friction between the resilient tines and the interior of the cartridge.

The golf ball retriever illustrated in FIG. is like the golf ball retriever illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3, and 4 in all essential respects and includes a cylinder 16a, and a skirt 20a. The retriever also includes a tine assembly comprising means including ferrule 36a securing the interior ends of tines 28a, 30a, 32a, and another tine, 26a not shown, together in cantilever fashion. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5, the tines grip the golf ball around the diametric circumference of the ball, the tips of the tines are extending into the indents or dimples typically found in golf balls.

The embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 5 also includes means including a cut 40 and an indent 42 in the side of the cylinder 16a. The indent 42 engages the top of the ferrule 36a thus limiting the outwardmovement of the tine assembly and preventing complete removal of the tine assembly from the cylinder.

It will be noted that the tines are generally arcuatly configured in the extended position. The tines are of a resilient metal and are so constructed as normally to expand upon being extended such that the exterior tips of the tines are normally positioned in a generally circular pattern of a diameter slightly less than the diameter of a golf ball. The tines are also sufficiently resilient to permit them to be easily slipped about the golf ball. As illustrated in FIG. 5, the tines may grip the golf ball substantially about the diametric circumference of the ball. The tines illustrated in FIG. 5 have tips formed in a generally circular loop fashion. These tips are adapted to be received in indentations or dimples of the golf ball.

FIG. 6 illustrates a tine assembly which includes a ferrule 36b and tines 28b, 30b and 32b. The tips of these tines do not form a complete loop but form a partial loop extending first outwardly from the axis of the tineand then returning inwardly, the tip of the open loop extending inwardly beyond the interior surface of the axis of the tine. In this manner, the golf ball is gripped as the tips of the tines extend into the indentations or dimples in the golf ball. The tips of the tines may be positioned about the diametric circumference of the ball or on either side of the diametric circumference. With this configuration of tine tip it is unnecessary that the tines slip beyond the diameter of the ball, although this is possible, and may be desired if greater gripping action if preferred.

FIG. 8 illustrates an alternative configuration for the tine tip in which the tine forms a loop extending inwardly from the tine axis with the tip being turned well back toward the tine axis. This presents a substantially flat gripping surface to the golf ball.

Experience has indicated that damage is quite unlikely with any of the illustrated tine configurations; however, the tine configurations in FIGS. 5 and 8 are particularly advantageous in that they completely foreclose any possibility of damage to the golf ball during retrieval. It is preferred, therefore, that the tines be configured at least to the extent that the tine tip presents a mildly arcuate surface to the golf ball. In the span of the tips the tines can slip easily overthe golf ball, grip the golf ball and be removed without possibility of damage to the golf ball during retrieval.

The configuration and resiliency of the tines is somewhat critical to proper operation of the retriever. It will be apparent that the tines must normally expand to a configuration such as to permit the tips of the tines to be slipped easily over the golf ball. The configuration of the tines is generally shown in FIGS. 5 and 6.

In addition, the tines should be made of a material which is both sufficiently resilient to enable the tines to grip the golf ball satisfactorily and yet soft enough to permit return of the tines to their original expanded position after the tines have been bent beyond their elastic limit. It must be recognized that in use the tines will occasionally be bent beyond their elastic limit, through accident, carelessness, or deliberately by golfers. One of the particularly important features of the invention is that the tine structure is self-healing in that the metal tines can be bent beyond their elastic limit and yet are returned to their operational form through the act of pushing the tine assembly into its retracted, non-use position in the cartridge, as illustrated in FIG. 2. If the tines are bent beyond their elastic limit inwardly, it is necessary only to return the tines, by hand, to a point at least corresponding to the expanded position of the tines and preferably slightly further outwardly. The tine assembly is then pushed into the cartridge, and when extended, the tines will assume the proper expanded position.

Not all perimeters of the required resiliency have been determined; however, it is believed that the material of which the tines is made must have a Rockwell C scale hardness of not less than about 44 and not more than about 60 and, preferably, in the range of 46 to 56. At least this has been determined to be the proper range of hardness using spring steel with a thickness of from about 0.050 to about 0.062 and a width of about 0.1 to about 0.15 inch. Tines and tine assemblies thus configured of this type of material of proper hardness have been found to be virtually indestructable and, regardless of the extent of bending beyond the elastic limit, return easily to the proper configuration merely by being inserted into the cartridge.

lt is also important to note that the combination of resilient properties, self-healing properties, and the configuration of the tips of the tines for gripping the ball and also forming a crown which is easily gripped by the player is necessary to the proper functioning of the golf ball retriever. It is also necessary that the tine assembly include means securing the interior end of the tines together, such as in cantilever fashion, such that when the tine assembly is in the use position and the resiliency, gripping action, and position of the tines results essentially solely from the configuration and composition of the tines and the construction and disposition of the securing means, rather than coaction between the cartridge and the tines.

The self-healing properties of the tine assembly and of the tines can be achieved only through the selection of tine material of proper hardness and resiliency and through proper inter connection of the interior ends of the tines. This proper combination of proper materials and configurations also permits the tine assembly to be retained in the non-use position entirely by friction, with the holding friction being substantially solely the friction between the resilient tines and the interior of the cartridge. The friction between the securing ferrule and the interior of the cartridge is a substantially insignificant part of the total holding friction.

It will be recognized that the golf ball retriever as described and illustrated here and before represents a significant advance over the prior art in terms of commercial feasibility, technical design, economic utility, asthetic appearance, and the ease of operation and convenience of use. These many advantages and features are accomplished through the design and construction of the golf ball retriever of which the foregoing described and illustrated embodiments are merely illustrative. Many variations of the design and many adaptations can be made based upon the foregoing description without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.

I claim:

1. A golf ball retrieving device consisting essentially of the combination of a cylindrical cartridge adapted to be fitted into an axial hole in the grip end of a golf club, and a tine assembly slidably received in the cartridge including at least three resilient tines, one end of the tines being joined to each other and being retained in the cartridge, the other end of the tines extending during non-use from the end of the cartridge, the extending tips of the tines curve inwardly and are so constructed and so configured as together to form a crownlike knob which at all times extends outside the cartridge so as to be easily gripped by the user for fully extending the tine assembly for use, the tines being so constructed and formed of resilient material as to expand solely by the resiliency of the material upon extension such that the exterior tips of the tines slip easily about and grip the golf ball.

2. The golf ball retrieving device as defined in claim 1 wherein the tine assembly includes means securing the one end of the tines together in cantilever fashion relative to each other such that the tines are resiliently relatively compressible and expandable from the nonuse position to the use position.

3. The golf ball retrieving device as defined in claim 1 wherein the tine assembly includes means securing the one end of the tines together such that when the tine assembly is in the use position the resiliency, gripping action and position of the tines results essentially solely from the configuration and composition of the tines and the construction and disposition of the securing means, rather than coaction between the cartridge and the tines.

4. The golf ball retrieving device as defined in claim I 3 wherein the tips of the tines are so constructed and secured as to grip recesses normally found in the golf ball for retrieval, the tips of the tines extending no further than the diametric circumference of the golf ball.

5. The golf ball retrieving device as defined in claim 3 wherein the tips of the tines extend beyond the diametric circumference to grip the golf ball.

6. The golf ball retrieving device as defined in claim 3 wherein the tines are composed of a material having a Rockwell C hardness of at least about 44 and not more than about 60.

7. The golf ball retrieving device as defined in claim 6 wherein the Rockwell hardness is between about 46 and about 56.

8. The golf ball retrieving device as defined in claim 2 wherein the tines are composed of a material having a Rockwell C hardness of at least about 44 and not more than about 60.

9. The golf ball retrieving device as defined in claim 8 wherein the Rockwell C hardness is between about 46 and about 56.

10. The golf ball retrieving device as defined in claim 1 wherein the tine assembly is retained in the non-use position entirely by friction, said holding friction being substantially solely the friction between the resilient tines and the interior of the cartridge.

11. The golf ball retrieving device as defined in claim 1 wherein the tips of the respective tines present a substantially flat surface for engagement with the golf ball to be retrieved.

12. A golf club comprising a handle which includes a shaft and a grip, a head and are retrieving device consistingessentially of a tine assembly slidably received in an axial cylindrical hole in the handle including at least three resilient tines, one end of the tines being joined to each other and being retained in the hole, the other end of the tines extending during non-use from the end of the handle, the extending tips of the tines curve inwardly and are so constructed and so configured as together to form a crown-like knob which at all times extends outside the handle so as to be easily gripped by the user for extending the tine assembly for use, the tines being so constructed and formed of resilient material as to expand solely by the resiliency of the material upon extension such that the exterior tips of the tines slip easily about and grip the golf ball.

13. A golf club as defined in claim 12 wherein the tine assembly includes means securing the one end of the tines together in cantilever fashion relative to each other such that the tines are resiliently relatively compressible and expandable from the non-use position to the use position.

14.A golf club as defined in claim 12 wherein the tine assembly includes means securing the one end of the tines together such that when the tine assembly is in the use position the resiliency, gripping action and position of the tines results essentially solely from the configuration and composition of the tines and the construction and disposition of the securing means, rather than coaction between the handle and the tines.

15. A golf club as defined in claim 12 wherein the tine assembly is retained in the non-use position entirely by friction, said holding friction being substantially solely the friction between the resilient tines and the inten'or of the handle.

16. A golf club as defined in claim 12 wherein the tips of the respective tines present a substantially flat surface for engagement with the golf ball to be retrieved.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3918721 *Dec 19, 1973Nov 11, 1975Trask Jr John BGolf club swing training device and method
US4798219 *Oct 16, 1986Jan 17, 1989Liam FordeUmbrella package
US4854592 *Sep 26, 1988Aug 8, 1989Milovic Alex JGolf club with internal sand rake
US4955609 *Sep 1, 1989Sep 11, 1990Kassen Albert DGolf club with green surface repair device
US5004240 *Apr 18, 1990Apr 2, 1991Tsukamoto Jack KGolf ball retriever
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US6171202 *May 22, 1998Jan 9, 2001Robert L. SchmittGolf ball retrieval apparatus
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US6589123 *Aug 27, 2001Jul 8, 2003Robert SchmittGolf ball retrieval apparatus
US6743113 *Jun 21, 2002Jun 1, 2004David Alan PettingaGolf ball retriever
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US7645200Jan 12, 2010Downey Burns PGolf ball retrieval system
US7713136 *Mar 3, 2009May 11, 2010Nicholas ColucciAdapter with retractable springs that picks up a golf ball
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US9067106 *Mar 6, 2014Jun 30, 2015George Vincent Lawler, Jr.Ball retrieving retractable claw
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US20080176668 *Jan 15, 2008Jul 24, 2008Downey Burns PGolf ball retrieval system
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DE10342432B3 *Sep 13, 2003Dec 30, 2004Karlheinz SchimpfGripping device for picking up golf ball has plug fitting into tube and holding several curved tines which can slide over surface of ball and then grip it to enable it to be lifted off ground
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DE102007052718B4 *Nov 6, 2007Mar 18, 2010Werner NickelAufnahmeeinrichtung für Golfbälle
EP0453120A1 *Apr 2, 1991Oct 23, 1991J.K.T. Technology, Inc.Golf ball retriever
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/286, 294/19.2
International ClassificationA63B47/02, A63B47/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B47/02
European ClassificationA63B47/02