|Publication number||US3735988 A|
|Publication date||May 29, 1973|
|Filing date||Jun 17, 1971|
|Priority date||Jun 17, 1971|
|Publication number||US 3735988 A, US 3735988A, US-A-3735988, US3735988 A, US3735988A|
|Inventors||Breinin I A, Palmer D J, Palmer M L|
|Original Assignee||Breinin I A, Palmer D J, Palmer M L|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (10), Referenced by (141), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent  Palmer et a1.
 PRACTICE PUTTING SURFACE  Inventors: Donald J. Palmer; Mark L. Palmer; Irwin A. Breinin, all of 3962 Bel Pre Road, No. 6, Silver Spring, Md. 20906  Filed: June 17, 1971  Appl. No.: 154,008
 US. Cl. ..273/l78 B, 273/176 J, 273/34 B, 46/DIG. 1, 273/176 H, 206/46 AM  Int. Cl. ..A63b 57/00, A63b 67/02  7 Field of Search ..273/176,'87, 87.2, 273/87.4, 177, 178, 179, 180
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,669,454 6/1972 Kolonel ..273/l76 .1 1,732,574 10/1929 Brown et a1... ..273/176 .1
1,582,237 4/1926 Angell ..273/l76 F 2,794,646 6/1957 Knott ..273/l76 F 2,515,847 7/1950 Winkler ..273/l76 .1 2,384,723 9/1945 Brodzik et a1. ..273/176 .1
2,014,992 9/1935 Stayton ..273/l76 J 2,025,183 12/1935 Stayton et a1. ..273/l76 F 2,827,299 3/1958 Dean .....273/176 F Australia ..273/l76 J Primary Examiner--George J. Marlo Att0rneyFidelman, Wolffe & Leitner [5 7] STRACT A practice putting surface for indoor and outdoor use by a golfer having a plurality of individual putting sections of identical rectangular configuration, each section having four sides and a base portion with upper and lower surfaces, some with raised and/or depressed surfaces and detachable border sections. There is a friction pad mounted on the bottom surface of each base portion to prevent sliding. A layer of synthetic artificial turf covers the upper surface of each base board and has synthetic grass of different heights extending upwardly therefrom. There are female and male Velcro fastening means located on each side of each section and interchangeable cups and insert pieces whereby the individual sections may be put together in any given order to fasten any desired putting configuration to simulate the natural putting green on a golf course. An undulating putting surface may be provided by locating a slidable elevated member under the turf. The elevated member may include a handle which extends through a slotted portion in a putting section, whereby the elevated member may be manually moved and rotated fromone position to another.
6 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures Patented May 29, 1973 3,735,988
4 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS IRWIN A. BREININ DONALD J. PALMER 4 MARK L. PALMER Patented May 29, 1973 3,735,988
4 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 7 F I G. 8 INVENTORS IRWIN A. BREININ DONALD J. PALMER MARK L. PALMER Patented May 29, 1973 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTORS IRWIN A. BREIN/N DONALD J; PALMER MARK L PALMER Patented May 29, 1973 3,735,988
4 Shes-Sheet 4 Au arm I. an,
INVENTORS IRWIN A. BRE/NIN DONALD J. MLMER MARK 1.. PALMER but all of these games, have, by their reduction in scale,
resulted in the elimination of most of the elements which combined to make the outdoor sport. of golf such a popular, competitive sport. Personal judgment, physical skill, knowledge of the rules of the game and other psychological factors, all of which contribute greatly to the enjoyment of the outdoor game have largely vanished in the miniature reproductions previously provided.
Games or surfaces of this sort have usually involved rigid playing boards, sometimes merely flat, or alternately contoured to simulate grades, slopes, alleys, elevated areas and the like, as occur in natural golf courses, but the interest of games of this sort, which involve propelling miniature balls around such boards with small hand-manipulated clubs, is relatively limited and is seriously lacking in variety and the ability to provide actual golf course conditions.
Various artificial covering materials have been used and proposed in these games and surfaces with a view to the production of a surface having the characteristics of a well-conditioned putting green. The chief end, naturally, is to produce a surface which offers substantially the same degree of drag resistance to the rolling of a ball thereacross as encountered-in actual playing conditions. A great deal of difficulty has been encountered in actual practice in producing such a surface. Also imperative is that a surface be such as to permit the ball to roll truly. A further requirement is that the surface be of a substantially stable nature, in other words, that no intermittent treatment, either frequent or occasional, be necessitated for restoring the desired characteristics of drag or rolling friction to the surface. Such fabrics as have heretofore been proposed have failed in achieving these desired objectives. Conven- .tional woven or knitted fabrics are generally too fast,
in other words, they afford less than the required degree of rolling friction. Pile fabrics are too soft in their natures and, for this reason, ofier insufficient rolling friction or, if fabrics having a deeper pile are restored to, directional characteristics are bad and results are highly irratic and irregular. Moreover, such deep pile fabrics vary in the direction in which the individual tufts assume, particularly if the plane surface is walked upon in use, which is practically an indispensable incident of normal use.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide modular putting surface units which can be assembled to form any desired putting green in relation to lengths and depth and rolling conditions.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a plurality of individual p'utting section modules having unique fastening means whereby such sections can be assembled in any desired configuration by the user.
Another object of this invention is to provide fastening means for individual putting sections which facilitate easy and quick attachment and dismantling of individual putting sections in an artificial putting surface.
' A further object of this invention is to provide easily attached and detachable border sections for use on an artificial putting surface.
A further object of this invention is to provide putting sections in an assembly of individual putting sections which can support rigid or movable contouring members, golf cups and mass simulating border conditions around a natural putting ween.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a kit whereby a basic assembly of individual putting section modules, border strips, and balls may be packaged for use by the individual golfer.
These and other objects of this invention will become readily apparent when reference is taken to the following specification and accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. I is a perspective view of an individual putting surface showing the artificial putting surface and one embodiment of the interchangeable fastening means;
FIG. 2 is a partial perspective view of an individual putting section showing the second embodiment of module fastening means;
FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view of another individual putting section module showing a third embodiment of the unique fastening means;
FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view of an individual putting section module showing a fourth embodiment of a fastening means and the interrelationship between the sections and border strips;
FIG. 5 is a partial cross-sectional view of an individual putting section showing the provision for a raised surface;
FIG. 6 is a partial cross-sectional view showing the interlocking and mating of two individual putting sections by a fifth embodiment of the fastening means;
FIG. 7 is a partial cross-sectional view of the mating of two individual putting sections which have raised putting surfaces adapted to mate with each other;
FIG. 8 is a partial cross-sectional view of an individual putting module supporting both fairway grass, fringe synthetic grass which surrounds a putting green and/or putting green synthetic grass;
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a plurality of individual putting sections and border strips joined together to simulate a natural putting surface;
FIG. 10 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along lines 10-10 of FIG. 9 and showing the relationship of a golf cup to the individual putting section;
FIG. Ill is a perspective view of a kit in which a putting assembly may be packaged for sale and use by the individual golfer;
FIG. 12 is a partial cross-sectional view of an individual putting section module showing a movable raised surface member for varying the contour on that individual section; and
FIG. 13 is a partial bottom view of the member and section shown in FIG. 12 showing a slotted arrangement whereby the raised member may be moved on the section to change the contour thereof.
Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown an individual putting section module generally desipiated as 1. It consists of a generally rectangular or square base portion 2 having a layer 3 of artificial turf secured to its upper surface. Layer 3 has a layer 4 of artificial synthetic putting grass extending upwardly therefrom. The turf andmass is of the type known as Astro-Turf" commonly used in football arenas. An acceptable material is described in US. Pat. No. 3,513,062 which describes a synthetic turf having a backing and a plurality of synthetic thermoplastic monofilaments extending therefrom. This type of grass-like woven product comprises a warp and fill backing layer, and a plurality of synthetic thermoplastic cut pile monofilament ribbons anchored in the backing layer and extending therefrom. The ribbons having a denier in the range of 300 to 1200 and a width at least three times greater than their thickness. At least 20 percent of said monofilament ribbons extend a first length and at least 20 percent of said monofilarnent extend a second length which is at least twice as great as the first length. The longer monofilament ribbons have along at least a portion of their length a molecular orientation which varies from one value on one side of the monofilament ribbon to another value on the other side of the monofilament ribbon to thereby impart a curl to each ribbon.
The layer 3 can be secured to the upper surface of the section by any suitable adhesive such as an epoxy adhesive. Along each side of this section is a slot 5 cut centrally therein, the height of said slot usually being one-third of the total height of the base portion of the section and the slot being centrally located in the vertical dimension of the side of the base portion. The slot extends for approximately one-half the length of each side and a projection 6 is located on the remaining onehalf of the section. However, the projection 6 is usually terminated short of the corner of the section as at 7 to allow for a corresponding projection on another section to meet with the slot on the adjacent side of the section. On the portions of the side above and below the slot 5 are located strips 9 and 8, respectively, of female and male Velcro fastening means, respectively. Female Velcro strips 10 and male Velcro strips 11 are also mounted above and below each projection, respectively. As is readily apparent, the projections will mate with the corresponding slots on each section to provide a uniform alignment of the upper surface of each base portion of each section to offset any irregularities on the surface on which individual section modules are assembled to form an artificial putting surface. The Velcro strips maintain the individual sections in contact under normal use conditions but may be readily detached by merely pulling the sections apart with a reasonable amount of lateral force. Thus, both alignment and securement of the sections to each other is insured. It is also obvious that if the section modules 1 are square, that they may be assembled in any given fashion. If the module sections are rectangular, then any given side of a first module may mate at least with two sides of another section.
An alternative section may be provided and generally designated as in FIG. 2. Such a section uses a base portion 21 and layer of artificial synthetic grass 22. This section merely has individual Velcro strips 23 and 24 of female and male fastening means. Such a fastening means is all that is required if the assembly is to be constructed on a uniform level surface, such as a floor in a house or a driveway. The strips 23 and 24 are shown of substantial longitudinal length but may be of any configuration that is sufficient to maintain the sections together under normal use conditions. FIG. 3 shows still another embodiment of the fastening means on a section module designated generally as 30. Module has a base portion 31 having a layer of artificial turf 32 secured to its upper surface, said layer supporting a plurality of individual filaments or grass 33. Ex-
tending along a portion of each side is a projection 34, the height of which is usually one-half of the total vertical dimension of the side. The projection 34 is terminated as at 35 short of the corner of the base portion. The top surface of projection 34 is a layer of female Velcro fastening means such as 37 located thereon. Extending along a substantial portion of the other longitudinal half of the same section is a projection 38 which is terminated short of the opposite corner of the base portion as at 41. A layer of male Velcro fastening means is secured to the underside of projection 38. Layer 40 is designed to mesh with a female Velcro strip such as 37. Projection 38 is a top surface which carries a continuation of layer 32 of the turf thereon.
Projections 34 and 38 may also have apertures 36 and 39, respectively, to receive dowels (not shown) if additional locking support is desired. The sections carrying such fastening means as just described are locked together by the interaction of layers 40 and 37 and are held in alignment by the interfitu'ng of projections 34 and 38. Projection 38 has a vertical height equal to one-half of the vertical dimension of the side on which it is located.
Referring now to FIG. 4, there is shown another fastening embodiment used on an individual section module generally designated as 50. The section has a base portion 51 carrying a layer 52 of artificial turf thereon, said layer supporting a plurality of individual glass filaments 53. Located on each side of base portion 51 is an aperture 54 and a peg or dowel 55. The peg for dowel 55 may be slightly tapered outwardly so that when each individual section modules are put together, the dowels and apertures will provide a jam type of lock. Also located from each side at the extremities thereof are a pair of smaller diameter apertures 56 and 57. The latter apertures are designed to cooperate with dowels or pegs 59 on border strips 58. The border strips 58 have a length equal to the length of a given side of the individual section modules. If the section modules are all square, then there will be only one length of border member or strip 58. However, if the section modules are rectangular, two sizes of border members 58 will be provided. The border members simply are placed against the side of the sections and the pegs 59 are pushed into the holes 56 and 57. The pegs 59 may also be tapered slightly or have a further fastening type mechanism therein to eliminate the possibility of them coming off in use. Similar type border strips can be provided to mate with any variety of fastening means employed.
FIG. 5 shows a cross-sectional view of section module designated generally as 60. Module 60 has a base portion 61, shown as a plastic such as Plexiglas, or any acceptable lightweight industrial plastic, either thermosetting or thermoplastic which may constitute a lightweight planar member and having a rubber skid mat 62 located on the bottom surface thereof. A layer 63 of artificial turf is secured to the top section by a suitable adhesive means such as epoxy resin denoted as 64. Located intermediate the side edges of base portion 61 is a contoured raised member 66 whose extremities are tapered down to merge smoothly with the upper surface of base portion 61. The resin 64 also secures the upper surface of member 66 to the layer 63 of artificial turf. The layer of artificial turf 63 carries a plurality of individual grass filaments 65 which are designed to support a golf ball, such as 67. The raised members 66 may vary in height and width and contour so as to simulate natural conditions on a putting green.
Referring now to FIG. 6, there is shown a joint of two individual section modules designated as 70. A first section has a base portion 71 designed to mate with a base portion 72 of an abutting section. Base portion 71 has a rubber skid mat 73 adhered to the bottom surface thereof and a layer 75 of artificial turf secured to the top surface thereof by a suitable adhesive 76. Base portion 72 has a rubber skid mat 74 secured to the bottom surface thereof and of the same thickness as mat 73. A layer of artificial turf 77 carrying individual filaments 79 is secured to the upper surface of base portion 72 by a suitable adhesive 78. An aperture 80 in the side of base portion 72 receives a locking pin 01 which is press-fitted therein and has a ball 84 on the end thereof. Base portion 71 carries a socket insert 81' having an internal diameter 83 which receives a resilient plastic insert 82 having indentations therein designed to cooperate with the indentation in pin 81 just below ball portion 84. Thus, the operation of the locking means or fastening means is similar to that of a tele phone jack inasmuch as the sections are merely aligned and then snapped together by the user and the action of plastic portion 82 on the indentations and pin 81 securely locks the base portion 71 and base portion 72 together.
In FIG. 7, 90 denotes the junction of two mating base portions 91 and 95 carrying raised members 97 and 90, respectively. Base portion 91 has a rubber mat 92 secured thereon of the same thickness as a rubber mat 96 secured to the base portion 95. A layer 93 of artificial turf is secured to the upper surface of base portion 91 and raised member 97 by a suitable adhesive 94. A layer of artificial turf 93' is secured to the upper surface of base portion 95 and raised member 98 by a suitable adhesive 99. Unlike raised member 66 in FIG. 5,
raised members 97, 98 are located at the side edges of base portions 91 and 95, and are especially designed to mate with one another.
In the course of playing golf on a natural course, one often encounters the situation where the ball is lying adjacent the putting green, a few inches from the actual putting surface. Such a situation can be simulated by the section shown as 100 in FIG. 3. A base portion 101 having a rubber mat 102 secured thereto supports a layer 103 of artificial turf which is secured thereto by a suitable adhesive 104. Layer 103 contains a plurality of individual filaments 105 simulating natural putting grass and a plurality of individual filaments such as 106 simulating fringe grass as found on the fairway surrounding the green or the fairway grass itself. A golfer may, in many instances, in actual play, use his putter even though the ball is not located on the putting grass itself, such as shown by the position of ball 107 in FIG. 8.
FIG. 9 shows a plurality of individual square sections assembled to form an artificial practice putting surface. The assembly is generally designated as 110. It consists of square sections 111, 112, 113, 114, and 115, assembled together by locking means employing'slots 117, projections 116, and female and male Velcro strips such as 118, 119, 120, and 121. This latter type of fastening means is shown in FIG. 1. A plurality of border members or strips, such as 125, 126, and 127 are shown in attached andexploded view and have male and female Velcro strips 128'and 129, respectively, thereon to engage strips 119 and 121 on the upper portions of the sides of each section. The purpose of the border members is to prevent the ball from rolling ofi the putting green surface. Sections 111, 114, and have individual raised surfaces such as 122, 1, and 123, respectively. Section module 113 has a golf cup located therein, generally designated as 124. While raised members are shown on sections 111, 114 and 115, it is understood that depressions may also be provided on the sections, merely by relieving the areas on the upper surfaces of the base portions of each module and adhering the layer of artificial turf down into the bottom surface of the relieved area. Alternatively, a plastic insert cup of a shallow concavity may be inserted in the base member and sand or water provided in said cup.
The golf cup construction is shown in detail in FIG. 10. Cup124 has an inner diameter having a bevel and bottom portion 134. A web 131 extends across the cup and has an aperture 132 therein which is adapted to receive a pin, such as 133. Cup 124 is mounted in base portion 113 which has a rubber antiskid mat 136 and a layer of artificial turf 137 secured thereto by a suitable adhesive 139. Layer 137 supports a plurality of individual grass filaments 138. Bevel 135 tapers toward the top lip of the cup so as to allow a ball to roll ofl filaments 13% directly into the cup without engaging the edge of the upper'lip.
An insert member 200 having a top supporting surface 201 and a tubular supporting portion 202 has a layer 204 secured to the surface 201 of member 200 by adhesive 203 and supports a plurality of individual grass filaments 205. Each module may have a hole therein for receiving either cup 130 or insert member 200.
The square section modules shown in FIG. 9 are shown assembled in one configuration although it is obvious that they may be assembled in various other configurations, such as five in a row, or in a general L- shaped or C-shaped configuration. Another variation of the device is that module 112 may be disassembled from module 115 and placed a short distance from the other four assembled modules. A golfer may then use section module 112 as a chipping surface by which he may chip the ball onto the green simulated by the four other section modules assembled together. In such a case, grass filaments, such as 106 shown in FIG. 8, may be used on section module 112. Thus, the assembly may be provided with four modules having simulated putting grass and one module having simulated fairway grass by which a golfer may either putt from the section module having the fairway grass onto the remaining modules having simulated putting grass, in which case all the modules would be assembled together, or he may assemble only the modules having the simulated putting grass and set the module having the simulated fairway grass a distance therefrom and chip onto the other modules.
Another variation may be realized by assembling a plurality of modules having simulated putting grass thereon with a module having simulated fairway grass thereon wherein the latter module is centrally located within the general configuration. Such a configuration would simulate a kidney shaped putting green that is found occasionally on golf courses which necessitates the golfer putting from a portion of the green across an area of fairway grass back onto the remaining portion of the green.
FIG. 11 shows a kit generally designated as 140 in which the individual components of this invention may be assembled for sale. The kit has a base portion 141 in which is located a styrofoam insert 142. Insert 142 has cut out areas 148, 146, and 143. Cut out area 148 may have additionally relieved areas 149, whereby the cutout is adapted to receive individual section modules such as those shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 9. The relieved areas 149 are adapted to allow projections such as shown as 116 in FIG. 9 and 6 in FIG. 1 to pass down into the styrofoam cutout. Cut out area 146 is adapted to receive a plurality of border members 147. Cut out area 143 is designed to receive telescoping sections 144 of a pin and a plurality of golf balls such as 145. Hinges 151 are located on one edge of base portion 141 and secure a top cover 152 hingedly to the base portion. An instruction sheet 157 on how to assemble and use the device is provided from the inside of cover 152. Latches 155 and 156 on the base portion cooperate with links 153 and 154 on the cover to lock the cover to the base portion. A collapsible putter may be provided with the kit. The kit has a handle 156 by which a user may transport the same.
A variation of a raised member to simulate natural hills and depressions in a putting surface is shown generally designated as 160 in FIG. 12. A module has a base portion 161 having a mat 162 secured to the bottom thereof and a layer 163 of artificial turf secured thereto by a suitable adhesive 164. Base portion 161 may be relieved or cut out as at 165 to allow movement of a depending handle 174 of a raised member 171 slidably supported on the upper surface of the base portion 161. As shown in FIG. 12, raised member 171 may have non-merging contoured extremities, such as 172. Handle 174 has a flanged portion 175 thereon. The shape of the cut out or relieved area 165 may vary; however, one embodiment is shown in FIG. 13. The cutout is shown as a cross having slideways 166, 167, 168 and 169. The flange portion 175 of depending handle 174 is wider than the width of the slots just described so as to prevent raised member 171 from coming off the top surface of base portion 161. Layer 163 is secured to the upper surface of base portion 161 only along the side edges thereof and terminates at short distance therefrom, as denoted at 173. This is to allow the raised member 171 to be manually moved and rotated from one position to another to change the contour of the modular putting surface. The rubber mat, obviously, is also out way as at 170 so as to allow a user to grasp flange 175 to move raised member 171 to any desired location or position.
The assembly of the individual components just described therefore provides a simulated putting surface to be found on golf courses. The sections are preferably approximately four foot square and the base portions thereof constructed of a plastic material, such as Plexiglas. With the base portions of plastic and the artificial turf of a synthetic material, the individual units need no maintenance and are not affected by adverse weather conditions, if, perchance, the assembly is left out of doors for an extended period of time. The border members are also preferably constructed of plastic for the same reasons.
The device is not a game, per se; it is actually a simulation of a natural green found on a golf course. The device can be used both indoors, for instance, in a playroom or basement, or outdoors on a lawn or paved surface, such as a driveway. Both the size of the individual section modules and the synthetic filament grass aid in approximating the natural conditions a golfer will find on a golf course. Thus, not only will the assembly aid in the golfers mental attitude in playing golf, but also his physiological reactions and learning process as related .to his muscular and nervous system reactions. The device can also be used as a life-size game on cruise ships, in hotels, etc.
While several embodiments have been shown and described, it is apparent that many changes and modifications will present themselves to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the appended claims in which What is claimed is:
1. A practice putting assembly for indoor and/or outdoor use by a golfer, said assembly comprising a plurality of individual putting sections of identical square configuration, each section having four sides and a base portion with upper and lower surfaces, friction means secured to the lower surface to inhibit lateral movement of said section, a layer of synthetic artificial turf covering said upper surface, said turf having synthetic putting grass of a given height extending upwardly therefrom, means securing said artificial turf layer to said upper surface at least around the edge areas of said surface, said upper and lower surfaces lying in parallel planes, said section having a general planar, flexible male fastening means on a first half of each side and a planar, flexible female fastening means on the second half of each side, each side having said male and female fastening means disposed in the same relationship so that a given side of one section will mate with either of two opposite sides of another section, whereby said sections are adapted to be assembled into various configurations to form said assembly simulating a continuous putting green surface, a plurality of border sections having an upper barrier portion, cooperative fastening means on each said putting section and on each border section, the configuration of each border section being such that when said border sections are fixed by said cooperative fastening means to a side of a putting section, the barrier portion thereof extends above said given height of said synthetic putting grass to prevent a golf ball from rolling off said assembly, at least two of said putting sections having vertically extending aperture means therein, a removable golf cup mounted in one of said aperture means and having an upper rim flush with the upper surface of said artificial turf, another aperture means receiving a removable insert member, said insert member being interchangeable with said golf cup and having a layer of synthetic artificial turf thereon and synthetic putting grass of a given height extending upwardly therefrom, said turf layer on said insert member being coplanar with said turf layer on said putting section.
2. An assembly as in claim 1 including a projecting portion along the first half side of each putting section and a complementary slotted portion along the second half side of each putting section, the mating of complementary projecting portions and slotted portions providing alignment of the upper surfaces of said base portions.
3. An assembly as in claim 1 wherein at least one of said sections has a raised member on the upper surface of said base portion, said member having a contoured top surface which merges smoothly at its periphery with said upper surface of said base portion, said layer of artificial turf covering said contoured top surface whereby rises in a natural putting green are simulated.
4. An assembly as in claim 3 wherein said raised member carrying the base portion and its accompanying means have a cut out portion therein, said raised member having a handle depending into said cut out portion therefrom and adapted to be manually moved to change the position of said raised member on the base portion upper surface whereby an infinite number of raised putting contours may be achieved on said putting section. I
5. An assembly as in claim 1 wherein at least one secgrass around the edge of a putting green.
* a: :r w: e
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|U.S. Classification||473/162, 428/17|
|Cooperative Classification||A63B2210/50, A63B67/02|