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Publication numberUS3758118 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 11, 1973
Filing dateAug 26, 1971
Priority dateAug 26, 1971
Publication numberUS 3758118 A, US 3758118A, US-A-3758118, US3758118 A, US3758118A
InventorsWillcox L
Original AssigneeWillcox L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf ball practice driving apparatus
US 3758118 A
Abstract
The apparatus has a ground support platform with an upright tee member accessible to a golfer standing on one end of the platform. The other end of the platfrom carries a ball receiving and delivering mechanism that includes an up and down pivoted ball guiding arm. In response to a single actuation of a foot operated member at the golfer's end of the platform, a single ball is released from a container and supplied to the guide arm which directs the released ball downwardly onto the tee member. On release of the foot operated member the guide arm is movable upwardly away from the tee member to permit full accessibility to the tee ball for driving purposes. A coin operated mechanism presets the number of balls to be driven during one driving round, and after such preset number of balls has been driven, the apparatus is rendered inoperative regardless of any later actuation of the foot operated member. A yardage indicating device may be associated with the apparatus for simulating competitive playing for confined or limited areas such hotel and motel grounds, or indoor recreational rooms and the like.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 Willcox Sept. 11, 1973 GOLF BALL PRACTICE DRIVING APPARATUS [76] Inventor: Leland J. Willcox, Cambridge, Iowa [22] Filed: Aug. 26, 1971 21 Appl. No.: 175,271

[52] U.S. Cl. 273/201, 273/181 J, 273/182 R, 2737184 R [51] Int. Cl A631) 57/00 [58] Field of Search 273/201, 11 C [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,127,282 8/1938 Beckett 273/201 2,013,881 9/1935 Fleming 273/201 1,888,256 11/1932 Boumgartner... 273/201 902,151 10/1908 Hepton 273/11 C 1,545,959 7/1925 l-luyler 273/201 1,785,150 12/1930 Soubier et aL... 273/201 2,171,299 8/1939 Beckett 273/201 2,675,237 4/1954 Willcox..... 273/201 3,294,402 12/1966 Scott 273/201 Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Harry G. Strappello Attorney-Rudolph L. Lowell [57] ABSTRACT The apparatus has a ground support platform with an upright tee member accessible to a golfer standing on one end of the platform. The other end of the platfrom carries a ball receiving and delivering mechanism that includes an up and down pivoted ball guiding arm. In response to a single actuation of a foot operated member at the golfers end of the platform, a single ball is released from a container and supplied to the guide arm which directs the released ball downwardly onto the tee member. On release of the foot operated member the guide arm is movable upwardly away from the tee member to permit full accessibility to the tee ball for driving purposes. A coin operated mechanism presets the number of balls to be driven during one driving round, and after such preset number of balls has been driven, the apparatus is rendered inoperative regardless of any later actuation of the foot operated member. A yardage indicating device may be associated with the apparatus for simulating competitive playing for confined or limited areas such hotel and motel grounds, or indoor recreational rooms and the like.

5 Claims, 18 Drawing Figures W MNMN IMI Mum Fae z/szawa J Mucax 5? u i M SHEET E OF 4 PATENTEU 7 3.758.118

SHEEI 3 0f 4 Ayn/v0 J. Mucax SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The apparatus is of a simple and sturdy construction and comprised of parts capable of withstanding hard usage over a long service life with a minimum of maintenance attention. If repairs are required, such can be made by relativelyunskilled persons with the use of readily available tools and parts. The apparatus is easily operated to efficiently release golf balls successively from a supply source, and to set eachreleased ball on a tee member without necessitating any bending over or walking about by the golfer. A coin controlled mechanism presets the number of balls to be driven. The balls may be driven into a net for automatic return to a supply source so that the apparatus is continuously reloaded forplay.-To simulate a playing atmosphere in the use of the apparatus a movable target placed in the net, on being struck by a ball, operates a yardage indicator, with the yardage varying in accordance with the movement of the target when hit by a driven ball.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the golf ball driving apparatus of this invention shown in assembly relation with a net structure for receiving a driven ball;

F IG. 2 is an enlarged detail sectional view taken along the line 2 2 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged plan sectional view as seen on line 3 3 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a rear perspective view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 3; I

FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of a coin operated ratchet and cam mechanism for presetting the number of balls to be delivered during one round of practice driving;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional view taken on the line 6 6 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view seen along the line 7 7 in FIG. 6;'

FIG. 8 is illustrated similarly to FIG. 7 showing the parts'thereof in changed positions;

FIG. 9 is a reduced sectional view taken along the line 9 9 in FIG. 3 showing a ball in a supported position on an elevating arm;

F IG. 10' is illustrated similarly to FIG. 9 and shows a ball being transferred from the elevating arm to a track or guide arm;

FIG. 11 is illustrated similarly to FIG. 9 and shows a ball being released from a discharge chute on to the elevating arm;

FIG. 12 is a sectionaldetail view taken on the line 12 12 in FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 is an enlarged sectional detail view as seen along line 13 13 in FIG. 4;

FIG. 14, illustrated similarly to FIG. 13, shows the parts thereof in changed positions;

FIG. 15 is an enlargedsectional view of the net structure taken along line 15 1 5 in FIG. 1;

' FIG. 16 is a sectional view on line 16 16 in FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is an enlarged sectional detail view on line 17 17in FIG. 16; and

FIG. 18 is a sectional view taken along the line 18 18 in FIG. 17.

DETAIL DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawings, the apparatus of this invention is seen to include a platform or base structure 20 of a rectangular shape having an end sec: tion 21 for supporting a golfer and an opposite end section 22 for carrying a ball receiving and delivery unit, indicated as 23, for guiding a ball 24 into a driving or teed up position on a tee member 26. Projected laterally from one side of the platform 20 is a ball receiving net structure 27 having a converged bottom wall 28 that serves as a container for collecting and directing hit balls into a discharge chute member 29 (FIG. 3) in which the balls are arranged in a single row or file. The chute member 29 constitutes a magazine from which the collected balls may be released. one at a time for delivery to the tee member 26. Thus, it is seen that with the golfer standing on the platform section 21 a ball 24 on being driven from the tee 26 into the net structure 27 falls onto the converging floor 28 for return by gravity action to the chute member 29.

The platform structure 20 (FIGS. 3 and 4) may be of a wood construction comprised of longitudinally extended upright transversely spaced frame members 31a, 31b and 31c which are connected together by a pair of top panel sections 32 and 3.3 arranged at different elevations so that the panel section 32 at the golfers section 21 is higher than the panel section 33 which supports the unit 23. A bristle rug or brush 34 (FIG. 1) or the like is carried on the lower panel section 33 and has projected therethrough the tee member 26.

With reference to FIGS. 3 and 4 the ball receiving and delivery unit 23 includes a housing 36 of an inverted box shape. Located below the housing 36 and within the confines of the platform structure 20 is a pivoted arm member 37 for successively releasing the lead ones of the golf balls 24 from the discharge chute 29. A pivoted elevating member 38 for receiving a ball released by the arm member 37 is normally located below the housing 36, and is movable upwardly into the housing through an opening 39 in the panel member 33. A pivoted track means or guide arm 41 within the housing 36 receives a ball 24 from the elevating arm 38 and then guides the ball to a teed up position on the tee member 26. A coin controlled mechanism 42 also located within the housing 36 presets the number of balls 24 to be released by the arm member 37 during one round of play or driving by a golfer;

Located to the underside of the panel sections 32 and 33 (FIGS. 3 and 4) is a foot operated rock shaft 43 which extends longitudinally of the platform 20 and is rotatably supported in bearing members 44 that are mounted on the frame member 31a. At one end of the rock shaft 43 is a radially extended foot actuated member 46 that projects through the panel section 32 at a position conveniently accessible to a golfer without requiring his moving from a driving position on the platform 20. The opposite end of the rock shaft 43 has a rock arm 47 projected upwardly through an opening 48 in the panel section 33 and into the housing 36. A cross arm 49 extended axially of the rock shaft 43 is carried on the free end of the rock arm 47 for movement transversely of the platform 20 in response to each foot operation of the rock shaft 43. Spaced longitudinally of and secured to the cross arm 49 is a series of four connecting cables 51, 52, 53 and 54 corresponding, re-

spectively, to the track means 41, coin controlled mechanism 42, the ball elevating arm 38 and a target assembly 45.

The ball release arm 37 (FIGS. 3 and 4) is formed of a length of angle iron extended longitudinally along the platform frame member 31c with one leg 56 thereof arranged adjacent to and in a parallel relation with the frame member 310. The arm 37 is pivoted at 57 (FIG. 4) intermediate its ends for up and down movement of a gate section 58 thereof into and out of an upper or ball holding position relative to a ball entrance opening 59 formed in the frame member 310.

The terminal end of the discharge chute 29 is located opposite the opening 59 to provide for a gravity feed of the lead one of the balls 24 through the opening 59 when the gate section 58 of the release arm 37 is in its lower or ball releasing position. As shown in FIG. 11 this ball releasing position is defined by the location of the leg 56 of the gate section 58 below the lower side of the ball opening 59. The gate section (FIG. 3) is continuously urged toward the upper or ball holding position therefor by a weight 61 carried on the ball release arm 37.

The gate section 58 is moved to its lower or bail releasing position by the movement of the pivoted elevating arm 38 to a lower ball receiving position (FIG. 11 The elevating arm (FIGS. 3 and 4) is of a channel shape in transverse cross section and in its lower position extends between the platform frame members 31b and 31c in line with the ball opening 59. With one end of the elevating arm pivoted at 62 on the frame member 31b, its free or opposite end 63 overlies the horizontal leg 64 of the release arm 37 at the opening 59 (FIG. 11). The channel of the elevating arm 38 is closed at a position spaced inwardly from its free end 63 by a stop plate 66 to form a pocket or ball receiving portion The elevating arm 38 is of a weight such that on its end 63 of the elevating arm and moved to its lower ball releasing position against the action of the weight 61. When this occurs, the lead one of the balls 24 from the discharge chute 29 (FIG. 3) is movable through the opening 59 and into the ball supporting portion 67 of the elevating arm 38. The stop plate 66 retains a released ball 24 at a position such that the released ball 24 (FIG. 11) and the next adjacent following ball are in touching engagement in substantially the plane of the vertical leg 56 of the release arm 37. Thus, on upward movement of the free end 63 of the elevating arm 38, the release arm 37 is concurrently movable therewith to an upper ball holding position by the weight 61. On a continued upward movement of the elevating arm 38, therefore, the balls in the discharge chute 29 are held against travel through the opening 59. Upward movement of the elevating arm 38 takes place in response to a foot operation of the rock shaft 43 in a manner to be hereinafter described.

On movement of the elevating arm 38 to its upright position, shown in FIG. 10, the golf ball 24 is transferred by what might be called a catapault action onto the track or guide arm 41. As illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the guide arm extends longitudinally of the frame member 31b for pivotal up and down movement in a vertical plane normal to the vertical plane of movement of the elevating arm 38. The guide arm is pivoted intermediate its ends at 68' for pivotal up and down movement between a pair of spaced members 69 and 71 extended transversely of the housing unit 36. The guide arm 41 is formed with an inner section 72 of a channel shape and an outer section 73 of a loop form having flat upright leg members 74 secured to and in longitudinal alignment with corresponding channel legs of the inner section 72. The forward or loop end 76 of the outer section 73 is of an enlarged circular shape relative to the spacing between the legs 74 and of a size to permit a guided travel of a golf ball therethrough. The outer section 73 of the guide arm 41 projects outwardly from the housing 36 through an upright opening located opposite the tee member 26. The terminal end of the inner section 72 carries a weight 77 so as to continuously urge the outer section 73 of the guide arm 41 to its upper or normal rest position defined by the engagement thereof with the upper side of the opening 75. The lower position of the outer section 73 occurs when such section engages the lower side of the opening 75.

In a ball teeing position the loop end 76 of the track arm 41 is arranged about and in a concentrically spaced relation with the tee member 26. At the same time a portion of the inner channel section 72 is located adjacent to and below the ball supporting portion 67 of the elevating arm 38 when such arm is in its upright position shown in FIG. 10, defined by engagement of the arm 38 with the transverse member 71. When the track arm 41 and elevating arm 38 are thus relatively arranged a ball 24 is discharged from the pocket 67 of the elevating arm 38 onto the inner section 72 with the legs thereof forming guide tracks between which the ball 24 is guided downwardly onto the legs 74 of the outer track section 73. The legs 74 then guide the ball for travel through the loop 76 to a supported position on the upper end of the tee member 26. On movement of the track arm 41 to its rest or inoperative position of FIG. 9 the loop end 76 merely moves upwardly from the tee member 26 without interference with the teed ball 24.

The cable 53 (FIG. 9), for raising the elevating arm 38, from an end secured to the cross arm 49 of the rock arm 47 is trained over a first roller 78 mounted on the top side of the platform panel 33 and then downwardly through an opening 79 in the panel 33 for travel about a lower roller 81 suspended from the under side of the panel 33. From the lower roller 81 the cable 53 passes through an opening 82 formed in the frame member 31b for connection of its opposite end 83 to a laterally projected connector 84 on the elevating arm 38.

The cable 51 (FIG. 10) for the guide arm 41 extends from the cross arm 49 for travel upwardly about a roller 86 carried on the top side of panel member 33 at a position between the transverse members 69 and 71. The opposite end 87 of the cable 51 is attached to a connector 88 secured to the under side of the arm 41 at a position forwardly of the pivot 68 (FIG. 4).

Thus in response to a single actuation of the foot actuator 46 the release arm 37 is permitted to be moved upwardly by the weight 61 to a ball holding position on upward movement of the elevating arm 38 from its position shown in FIG. 11 to the position thereof in FIG. 10. Concurrently with this upward movement of the elevating arm 38, the guide arm 41 is likewise moved from its position of FIG. 11 to its position in FIG. 10. On engagement of the elevating arm 38 with the transverse member 71, a released ball 24 is ejected from the pocket 67 onto the guide arm 41. During this ejection action the ball 24 is directed to a position on the guide arm by a hood member 89 secured to the transverse member 69.

After the ball 24 has been teed up on the member 26 the foot actuator 46 is released whereby the rock arm 47 is returned to its normal or rest position by a torsion spring 85 (FIG. 3) operatively connected to the rock shaft 43 and one of the rock shaft bearings 44. This return movement of the cross arm 49 provides for the return movement of the guide track 41 by a weight 77 thereon and the elevating arm 38 from their positions shown in F IG. to the positions thereof shown in FIG.

To assure the efficient function of the guide arm 41 to tee up a ball 24 on the tee 26, the relative movements of the rock arm 47 and guide arm 41 through the cable connection 51 are such that the loop 76 of the arm 41 is concentrically spaced about the tee 26 before the rock arm 47 has moved through its full actuating movement. To permit the continued movement of the rock arm 47 through a full actuating movement therefor while maintaining the guide arm 41 in its lower position against the lower side of the housing opening 75, a coil spring 92 is connected in the cable 51.

Additionally, in order to provide for thepivotal movement of the rock arm 47 through its full swing or actuating movement each time the foot actuator 46 is depressed a toothed segment 94 (FIG. 4) is secured to and projected upwardly from the panel member 33 in a plane parallel to the plane of pivotal movement of the rock arm 47 and extended transversely of the cross arm 49. Pivotally suspendedfrom the cross arm (FIGS. 13 and 14) for operative association with the teeth 96 on the segment 94 is a pawl member 97. In a manner well known the pawl 97 (FIG. 13) is movable from a disengaged position, shown in dotted lines, into successive engagement with the teeth 96 on pivotal movement of the rock arm 47 in one direction indicated by the arrow A. When the pawl 97 reaches its full line position, shown in FIG. 14, it is movable in the direction of the arrow B over the teeth 96, as shown in dotted lines, for return to its dotted line position shown in FIG. 13. As a result the rock arm 47 cannot be partially moved over its operating range and must be moved through a complete cycle on each actuation of the foot member 46 before the guide arm 41 is permitted to move away from a guided relation with a ball 24 on the tee member 26. I

As thus far described it is seen that so long as golf balls are supplied to the discharge chute 29 a ball 24 will be positioned on the tee member 26 in response to each actuation of the foot member 46. To limit or control the number of balls to be played by a golfer during one round of play or driving practice, there is provided the coin mechanism 42 for rendering the elevating arm 38 inoperative to move the release arm 37 out of a ball holding position. The mechanism 42 (FIGS. 4 and 5) include a shaft 99 extended transversely of and supported in the side walls of the housing unit 36. Mounted in a stacked relation on the shaft 99 (FIG. 6) and in order from the front side wall 101 of the housing is a coin wheel 102, a release cam 103, a pawl support 104, a support 106 for a working pawl 107, a ratchet 108 and a holding cam 109.

The coin wheel 102 is adapted to receive a coin indicated at'110 from a coin chute 111 (FIGS. 4 and 5) secured to the housing wall 112 which is formed with a coin receiving opening 113. When the coin (FIGS. 5 and 7) is deposited in a coin slot 114 formed in the periphery of the coin wheel 102, rotation of the wheel moves the coin into engagement with a pivoted latch member 116 to provide for the movement of a latch abutment 118 out of engagement with a stop shoulder on the release cam 103. Release of the cam 103 provides for a rotation of the shaft 99 through an angular distance defined by the movement of a hand knob 119 (FIGS. 1 and 3) between stop members 121. This limited rotation of the shaft 99 provides for a corresponding rotational movement of the ratchet 108 and holding cam 109. It is to be understood that during this partial rotation of the shaft 99, as defined by the stop members 121, the coin wheel 102, release cam 103, ratchet 108 and holding cam 109 are all rotatable as a unit with the shaft, with the hub portions corresponding to the pawl supports 104 and 106 being rotatable relative to the shaft 99.

The latch member 116 is pivotally suspended from a transverse member 122 connected to and extended between the housing side walls. The latch abutment 118 and a coin engaging finger 117 are continuously biased into engagement with the release cam 103 and the coin wheel 102 respectively, by a coil spring 123 (FIG. 7) connected to one end of the latch member 116 and to a connector 124 extended laterally from the transverse member 122.

The pawl support 106 for the working pawl 107 is continuously biased in an upward direction by a coil spring 126 connected to the free end of the support 106 and to a connector (not shown) on the transverse member 122. The pawl support 106 is pivotally moved, against the action of the spring 126, to move the working pawl 107 into successive engagement with the teeth 127 on the ratchet 108. To move the pawl support 106 there is provided a cable 128 having one end attached to a connector 129 on the pawl support 106 (FIG. 5) for extension downwardly about a roller 131 (FIG. 4) for connection of its opposite end at 132 to the cross arm 49 of the rock arm 47. The roller 131 is located on the panel 33 parallel to and adjacent the roller 78. It is seen, therefore, that in response to each actuation of the foot member 46 the ratchet 108 is advanced one tooth 127. A holding pawl carried at the free end of the pawl support 104 is gravity actuated to hold the ratchet 108 in its moved position as provided by the working pawl 107. The above described one tooth advance of the ratchet 108 continues until the working pawl 107 engages the tooth blank on the ratchet 108. At about the same time a high spot 133 on the holding cam 109 moves into engagement with a pivoted hold bar 134 extended transversely of the shaft 99 (FIG. 4) and having one end pivoted at 136 on an end wall of the housing 36.

A cable 137 has one end attached to a laterally extended connector 138 on the hold. bar 134 (FIG. 4). From the connector 138 the cable 137 is traineddownwardly about a roller 139 and then longitudinally of the housing 36 for travel downwardly about a roller 141 and through the panel 33 for attachment of its opposite end 142 to the free end of a pivoted stop bar 143. The rollers 139 and 141 are mounted on the top of the panel member 33 and the stop bar 143 is pivoted at 144 from the underside of the panel member 33 so as to extend transversely of and below the elevating arm 38.

The cable 137 is of a length such that when the hold bar 134 is resting on the high spot 133 of the holding cam 109 the stop bar 143 is pivoted upwardly to engage and hold the elevating arm 38 against moving the release arm 37 downwardly to its ball releasing position, shown in FIG. 11. Thus, as illustrated in FIG. 9 for so long as the hold bar 134 rides the high spot 133 of the cam 109, the release arm 37 will remain in a ball holding position. As a result after a predetermined number of teeth on the ratchet 108, corresponding in number to the balls to be played, have been advanced, a later actuation of the foot member 46 will be ineffective to provide for a ball being teed on the member 26. Stated otherwise, the elevating arm 38 and guide arm 41 will be moved in all-respects the same as when a ball has been delivered thereto, but on each actuation thereof the elevating arm will be returned to a stop position on the stop bar 143 without providing for any movement of the release arm 37 to its ball releasing position of FIG. 11. The apparatus will thus remain inoperative until another coin is inserted into the coin mechanism 42. On the insertion of another coin 110 the ratchet 108 is rotatable in a clockwise direction by manipulation of the hand knob 119 from its position in FIG. 7 to its position in FIG. 8 concurrently with the rotation of the cam high spot 133 out of engagement with the hold bar 134. The apparatus is thus reset for the driving of another round of balls 24.

For the purpose of simulating competitive play the net structure 27 is provided with the pivoted target assembly 45 comprised of a pair of upright frame members 147 (FIGS. 1 and connected together over their lower portions by a pair of vertically spaced cross members 148. Covering the are between the cross members 148 is a flexible plastic sheet 149. The upper ends of the frame members 147 are connected together by a cross member 146 which is pivotally suspended by knife edge assemblies 151, the fulcrum members 152 of which are mounted on a cross bar 153 that constitutes part of the frame 154 of the net structure 27. The knife edges 155 are formed on end extensions 156 of the cross member 146.

Suspended from the cross bar 153 at a position forwardly of the target sheet 149 is a sheet of canvas or like material 157 having a cut out portion 158 opposite the plastic sheet 149. The cut out 158 is of a smaller size than the plastic sheet 149 so as to shield or cover the upright frame members 147 and cross members 148. Thus, a ball striking the canvas sheet 157 is out of bounds since it is not within the area of the target sheet 149 exposed .through the cut out 158. Importantly, a driven ball is also prevented from hitting the target frame members 147 and 148 and then rebounding back toward the golfer.

Additionally, it will be seen in FIGS. 16 and 18 that the upright frame members 147 of the target assembly 45 are of a curved shape adjacent the knife assemblies l51. As a result the assembly 45 is inclined downwardly and rearwardly from the vertical plane of the canvas sheet 157. Thus a ball 24 on striking the target sheet 149 is not only prevented from rebounding forwardly, but acts to immediately pivotally move the target sheet 149 in a rearward direction along with directing the ball downwardly onto the converging bottom wall 28 of the net structure 27.

To give an indication as to the number of yards covered by a ball hitting the target sheet 149, a nylon cord 159 has one end attached to the upright frame member indicated as 147a (FIGS. 1 and 16). The other end of the nylon cord 159 is attached to one end of an indicator needle or pointer 161 that is pivoted at 162 inter mediate its ends on a mounting plate 163 carried on the net structure 27 adjacent one end of the housing unit 36. The mounting plate carries a scale 164 that is calibrated to indicate yardage corresponding to the rearward pivoted distance which the target sheet 149 is moved when struck by a golf ball. The cable 54 (FIGS. 1 and 4) has one end secured to the indicator 161 at the point of securement of the cord 159 and is then extended into the housing 36 for connection of its opposite end to the cross arm 49 of the rock arm 47.

As shown in FIG. 2 the indicator 161 at its pivot 162 is frictionally held by a spring assembly 167 against free movement relative to the mounting plate 163. Thus, on being moved by the cord 159 in response to a rearward pivoted movement of the target sheet 149 the indicator 161 remains at the moved position to provide for a reading of the yardage on the scale 164. On actuation of the foot member 46 to deliver a next ball to the tee member 26 the cable 54 is actuated to move the indicator 161 back to its rest or neutral position. The indicator is thus set to give a yardage reading for the next drive.

Although the invention has been described with respect to a preferred embodiment thereof, it is to be understood that it is not to be so limited since changes and modifications can be made therein which are within the full intended scope of this invention as defined by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A golf ball practice driving apparatus for successively teeing-up golf balls comprising:

a. a ground supported platform having a top surface,

b. a stationary tee member on said platform projected upwardly from said top surface,

c. a container for golf balls having a discharge chute for a single row of balls,

d. means on said platform located below said top surface for releasing only the lead ball from said row of balls to a location below said top surface,

e. means for moving said released ball from said location to a position above said surface,

f. means on said platform positioned above said top surface for receiving a released ball at said position above said surface and delivering said released ball downwardly to a teed position on said stationary tee member,

g. means on said platform for operating said releasing means and receiving and delivering means having a manually operated actuating member, and

h. means interconnecting said releasing means and receiving and delivering means with said operating means for sequential operation in response to actuation of said actuating member.

2. A golf ball practice driving apparatus for successively teeing-up golf balls comprising:

a. a ground supported platform,

b. an upright tee member on said platform,

0. a foot operated member movably supported on said platform having a foot engageable portion projected upwardly from the platform,

d. a container for golf balls having a discharge chute for a single rowv of balls,

e. means on said platform for releasing only the lead ball from said row of balls,

f. means on said platform for receiving a released ball and delivering said released ball to a teed position on said tee member,

g. means interconnecting said releasing means and receiving and delivering means with said foot operated lever for sequential operation in response to an actuation of said foot engageable portion,

h. said discharge chute having a terminal end and said releasing means including a pivoted arm member,

i. means pivotally supporting said arm member on said platform for up and down movement of one end portion thereof into and out of closing position with said terminal end,

j. means for biasing said one end portion into said position on actuation of said foot engageable portion to elevate the released ball, whereby to permit movement of said arm member to a chute closing position by said biasing means.

3. The golf ball practice driving apparatus of claim 2 wherein:

a. said ball-receiving and delivery means includes a pivoted ball-guide means located in a vertical plane parallel to a vertical plane extended longitudinally of said arm member,

b. means pivotally supporting said guide means intermediate the ends thereof at an elevated position relative to the axes of said elevating member and arm member,

0. said guide means, on actuation of said foot engageable portion, being movable to a first position wherein one end thereof is located to receive a released ball from said elevating member in the upright position therefor, and to a second position wherein the opposite end thereof is located to golf balls in succession comprising:

a. a platform,

b. a golf ball container on said platform having an outlet portion for discharging balls in a single file,

0. an upright tee member on said platform,

d. a ball elevating means movably mounted on the platform having a ball supporting portion movable from a lower ball-receiving position to an upper ball-discharge position,

e. a selector unit for separating the lead ball in said file from the remaining balls in the file for reception on said ball-supporting portion in the lower position thereof,

f. a track means movably mounted on the platform for up and down movement, said track means in the lower position therefor having one end portion located to deposit a ball on said tee member, and an opposite end portion spaced from said supporting portion in the ball-discharge position therefor, and said track means in the upper position therefor having said one end portion located remote from the tee member and the opposite end portion located to receive a ball from said ball-elevating means when said supporting portion is in the balldischarge position therefor,

g. a foot operated member movably supported on said platform having a foot actuated portion projected upwardly from said platform, and

h. means interconnecting said elevating means, said selector unit and said track means with said foot operated member for sequential operation in response to an actuation of said foot portion, to provide for the movement of said lead ball from said outlet portion to a teed position on said tee member.

5. The golf ball practice driving apparatus of claim 4 including:

a. means for holding said opposite end of the track means against movement away from said tee member until after said foot actuated portion has been moved to a fully actuated position.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4265453 *Dec 15, 1978May 5, 1981Loof Rupert H CAutomatic golf teeing devices
US4360204 *May 30, 1978Nov 23, 1982Karr Robert JGolf ball storage and feeder device
US4441717 *Mar 24, 1980Apr 10, 1984Willcox Leland JFor teeing up golf balls
US4511146 *Jul 26, 1983Apr 16, 1985Windall Owen DPractice golf net device
US4796893 *Aug 3, 1987Jan 10, 1989Choi Young SPortable golfball teeing device
US4957296 *Mar 30, 1987Sep 18, 1990Howco TrustGolf ball dispenser and teeing device
US5096200 *Nov 6, 1990Mar 17, 1992Taito CorporationAutomatic golf ball teeing machine
US5108102 *Sep 28, 1990Apr 28, 1992Neil LoganGolf ball drive practice device
US5131661 *Jun 10, 1991Jul 21, 1992Tee-Matic, Inc.Golf swing practice apparatus with automatic teeing device
US5251885 *Feb 20, 1992Oct 12, 1993Neil LoganGolf ball drive practice device
US5282628 *Sep 25, 1991Feb 1, 1994Taito CorporationAutomatic golf ball dispenser and teeing apparatus
US5458339 *Jul 8, 1994Oct 17, 1995Wildes; DavidGolf ball setting apparatus
US5549518 *Apr 24, 1995Aug 27, 1996Wang; AustinGolf ball dispensing device with lightly-actuated pivotal track
US5599237 *Mar 19, 1996Feb 4, 1997Fetterman; Robert F.Golf ball dispenser with pivotable teeing device
US5647805 *Apr 22, 1996Jul 15, 1997Tarbox, Jr.; Robert S.Golf teeing device
US6139441 *Aug 9, 1999Oct 31, 2000Fairchild; Richard J.Automatic golf ball teeing device
US8414414Dec 23, 2010Apr 9, 2013Walter ViramontezWeight shifting device(s) for athletic training
WO2012034159A1 *Feb 15, 2011Mar 22, 2012Gary JohnsonGolf practice apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/137
International ClassificationA63B57/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B57/0006
European ClassificationA63B57/00A
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 26, 1988AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: WILLCOX, EVELYN, ALICE
Owner name: WILLCOX, EVELYN, ALICE, EXECUTRIX OF THE ESTATE OF
Effective date: 19880822
Aug 26, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: WILLCOX, EVELYN, ALICE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:WILLCOX, EVELYN, ALICE, EXECUTRIX OF THE ESTATE OF LELAND JAMES WILLCOX, DEC D., SAN BENITO, COUNTY OF CAMERON, TX.;REEL/FRAME:004938/0861
Effective date: 19880822