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Publication numberUS3778064 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 11, 1973
Filing dateApr 10, 1972
Priority dateApr 10, 1972
Also published asCA990743A1
Publication numberUS 3778064 A, US 3778064A, US-A-3778064, US3778064 A, US3778064A
InventorsG Nutter
Original AssigneeGolf In Equipment Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Simulated golf game device
US 3778064 A
Abstract
A device for simulating the playing of a game of golf utilizes a screen toward which a player drives a golf ball. On the screen are projected images of a golf course recorded on a film strip showing in successive frames the distance to the green from successively closer lies of the ball. Two rows of photocells detect the passage of the golf ball and the club head. A player can thus practice swinging the golf club without setting off the device. Upon detection of the passage of the golf ball and the club head, an indication of the distance the ball would travel in an uninterrupted path is provided by the projection of an image showing the green as viewed from the approximate lie of the ball. The interval of time in which the ball passes over the two rows of photocells is converted into distance of ball travel by the accumulation of a count in a counter. Upon the passage of the club head over the rows of photocells, a gate is opened to permit the count in the counter to be advanced to a preset total and on the attainment of that total, the gate is closed. During the time the gate is open, signals passing through the gate actuate a stepping motor which moves the film strip to the frame which shows a view of the green from the remaining distance. That frame is projected on the screen. Where the ball is driven beyond the cup, the stepping motor is conditioned to drive the film strip in the reverse direction on the next hit of the golf ball. Detection by the photocells of the passage of both the golf ball and the club head is necessary to enable the device to complete a full cycle of operation.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

lJnited States Patent [1 1 Nutter [4 1 Dec. 11, 1973 SIMULATED GOLF GAME DEVICE [75] Inventor: Gerald E. Nutter, Canton, Mass.

[73] Assignee: Golf-In Equipment Corporation,

Braintree, Mass.

22 Filed: Apr. 10, 1972 2] Appl. No.: 242,328

[52] U.S. Cl... 273/176 FA, 235/92 GA, 273/185 B, 273/181 H, 235/92 EA, 235/92 R Primary ExaminerMaynard R. Wilbur Assistant Examiner.loseph M. Thesz, Jr. Att0rneyStanley Sacks 57 ABSTRACT A device for simulating the playing of a game of golf utilizes a screen toward which a player drives a golf ball. On the screen are projected images of a golf course recorded on a film strip showing in successive frames the distance to the green from successively closer lies of the ball. Two rows of photocells detect the passage of the golf ball and the club head. A player can thus practice swinging the golf club without setting off the device. Upon detection of the passage of the golf ball and the club head, an indication of the distance the ball would travel in an uninterrupted path is provided by the projection of an image showing the green as viewed from the approximate lie of the ball. The interval of time in which the ball passes over the two rows of photocells is converted into distance of ball travel by the accumulation of a count in a counter. Upon the passage of the club head over the rows of photocells, a gate is opened to permit the count in the counter to be advanced to a preset total and on the attainment of that total, the gate is closed. During the time the gate is open, signals passing through the gate actuate a stepping motor which moves the film strip to the frame which shows a view of the green from the remaining distance. That frame is projected on the screen, Where the ball is driven beyond the cup, the stepping motor is conditioned to drive the film strip in the reverse direction on the next hit of the golf ball. Detection by the photocells of the passage of both the golf ball and the club head is necessary to enable the device to complete a full cycle of operation.

7 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures SIMULATED GOLF GAME DEVICE The present invention relates to a simulated golf game device more particularly, to providing an indication representative of the distance travelled by a ball driven from a station.

Simulated golf game devices have been proposed wherein a player drives a golf ball from a station against a screen on which is projected a picture of an actual golf course with the picture corresponding to the lie of the ball. As the player drives or otherwise hits the ball from the station sensing means are provided to give an indication of the distance which the ball would travel if hit on an actual golf course. The ball is generally hit against a screen and the speed at which the ball is hit by the player and the impact made by the ball against the screen are employed to give an indication of the distance of ball travel. A picture is then projected on the screen to present the player with a view of the golf course as it would appear upon hitting the ball the distance as sensed by the game device. Images are projected on the screen from a film strip which has a series of frames showing successive images of an actual golf course as viewed from successive locations of the lie of a golf ball in a direction toward a green. These locations may be taken at increments of about ten yards.

Various arrangements have been proposed for sensing the distance of ball travel. It has been proposed to employ a combination of photo-electric means to sense the path of a driven golf ball and acoustic pick-ups to sense the impact of the golf ball against the screen. The use of acoustic pick-ups has not been completely satisfactory since the sound generated by a ball impacting on the screen depends on other factors in addition to the speed at which the ball hits the screen.

Also, such game devices employ a control panel which had to be actuated by the player after each shot or were actuated by an operator after each shot. The resulting arrangements for sensing the distance of ball travel were extremely complicated and expensive and frequently gave results which were not truly indicative of the distance which the golf ball would travel in free flight.

It is therefore the principal object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved simulated golf game device.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a golf game device having an improved arrangement for accurately and instantly giving an indication representative of the distance of ball travel.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a simulated golf game device which is simple and inexpensive in construction and operation and which operates automatically to project a picture on the screen immediately after a player has driven the golf ball.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a simulated golf game device which senses the movement of the ball from the station after being hit by a player to provide an indication representative of the distance of ball travel.

The disadvantages of the prior art as described above are essentially eliminated and the objects of the present invention are achieved by the simulated golf game device disclosed herein which essentially comprises a screen having means defining a surface for stopping a driven golf ball and for displaying an image projected thereon. A station from which a player hits a golf ball toward the screen is spaced from the screen. There is further provided a film strip having a series of frames showing successive images of an actual golf course as viewed from successive locations of the lie of a golf ball in a direction toward a green. A film strip projector is positioned to project images from the film strip onto the screen. Computing means are provided which are responsive to the movement of the ball driven from the station and to the movement of the club head hitting the ball for rendering an indication representative of the distance of ball travel. The computing means are coupled to the projector and include means for moving the film strip through the projector in response to the indication representative of the ball travel after the ball is hit to project an image on said screen such that a player at the station will see an image on the screen representative of the distance of ball travel.

A golf ball driven from the station is sensed by parallel rows of photo-electric elements which generate control signals. The rows of photo-electric elements are positioned so that both the ball and club head move over them. The control signals control the number of pulses accumulated in a counter. The film strip is driven through the film projector a distance corresponding to the accumulated pulses which in turn are indicative of the distance of ball travel.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent upon reference to the accompanying description when taken in conjunction with the following drawings, which are exemplary, wherein;

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the game device accord ing to the present invention with several of the components being indicated schematically;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the screen of the game device showing an image projected thereon;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the game device of FIG. 1 with a portion thereof being shown in section;

FIG. 4 is a schematic representation showing the connections between the control elements of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an electrical circuit diagram showing schematically the elements of several of the components of the diagram of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of a portion of the film strip showing indicia marks thereon; and

FIG. 7 is a graph showing distance of ball travel versus pulse count.

Proceeding next to the drawings wherein like reference symbols indicate the same parts throughout the various views a specific embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail.

As may be seen in FIGS. 1-3, the golf game device of the present invention is indicated generally at 10 and essentially comprises an enclosure having a horizontal bottom wall or floor 11, an upstanding back wall or display screen 12, a pair of vertical rearwardly convergent side walls 13 and 14, and a top wall 15. The screen 12 is made of a material suitable for absorbing the impact of a driven golf ball and, at the same time, suitable for having an image projected thereon.

The forward end of the enclosure may be open and is provided with a raised platform or playing station 16. On the playing station, is a tee or mat 17 from which the players drive or hit the golf balls. The surface of the tee is provided with a rough resilient surface somewhat simulating the grass of a golf course so that a player may drive a ball directly off the mat. Provision is also made for including tees on both sides of the mat to accommodate both right and left handed players. The tees may be rubber such as known in the art or structure may be provided whereby the player may insert a conventional wooden golf tee in preparation for driv- Positioned below the platform 16 is a film strip projector 18 for projecting images on the screen 12.

Positioned on the platform about one foot in front of the spot from which a ball is played is a first row of photo-electric cells 19 which are spaced about 1 inch apart from each other. A second row 20 of photoelectric cells is placed about inches from the first row of cells so that when a ball is hit by a player both the ball and the club head will pass over both rows of photo-electric cells. Respective light sources 21 and 22 are positioned at the top wall for cooperation with the photo cells in the rows 19 and 20.

Each of the photo-electric cells in row is connected to a corresponding spot light projector 27 to constitute a lateral sensing arrangement for the flight of a golf ball. As a driven golf ball passes over one of the photo-electric cells in row 20 a corresponding spot light will be actuated to project a beam of light on the screen 12 to provide a lateral indication of the driven golf ball.

Mounted on one of the side walls of the enclosure 13 or 14 is a control panel 23 containing several control buttons which may be actuated by the players during the use of this game. The particular buttons and their functions will be presently described.

The projector 18 may be of the film strip type wherein there is no shutter mechanism but the film is traversed in front of the aperture. The film strip is advanced through the projector by a stepper motor portions of frames on the strip until the frame corresponding to the distance of ball travel is reached and projected on the screen.

The film strip, a portion of which is indicated at 24 in FIG. 6 consists of a series of frames showing successive images of an actual golf course as viewed from successive locations of the lie of a golf ball in a direction from the tee to the green. The images preferably indicate positions along 10 yard intervals although it is to be understood that other intervals of distance could be used. In addition, the strip includes several frames past the green to provide for the situation where a golfer may over-shoot the green and it is then necessary for the golfer to come back toward the green. Each of the frames has numbers thereon indicating the yardage to the hole and the distance from the tee as may be seen in the image projected on screen 12 in FIG. 2.

The cup and tee frames of the strip are provided with indicia consisting of opaque marks which actuate photo-electric cells. The marks 25 .on one side of the film strip indicate tee frames and are used to provide an automatic stop for the moving film when the proper frame indicating a tee position is being projected.

lndicia comprising opaque marks 26 are positioned along the other edge of the film strip to indicate cup frames and these indicia similarly actuate the photoelectric sensing device. Thus, the film strip consists of a series of images taken at 10 yard intervals along a full l8 hole golf course. Obviously, film strips can be made of different golf courses so as to give a player the impression of trying his skill on golf courses of varying difficulty.

Other information may be placed on the frames of the film strip such as the number of the hole and the recognized par. Those frames which are taken close to the hole, such as about 20 yards or less, may also be provided with an indication of a dotted circle or semicircle which would put a further demand on accuracy by the player when he is approaching the cup from the fringes of the green. If the players ball lies within this BIRDIE CIRCLE, he can then putt from a closer position to the cup.

In the schematic diagram of FIGS. 4 and 5 there is shown the electrical control system incorporating the above described elements and the several electronic elements for providing an indication representative of the distance of ball travel. The operation of the electrical system is based upon digital techniques and provides an accurate and virtually instantaneous indication of distance of ball travel.

When a golf ball is driven from the tee 17 the ball will pass over and actuate one of the photo-electric cells 19. The output of the actuated cell is then amplified by amplifier 30 and the signal causes bi-stable flip-flop 31 to be put into the state wherein an enabling signal is emitted to a gate 32.

Upon being enabled, the output of an oscillator 33 passes into a shift register 34. The shift register, in effect divides the output of the oscillator by 6, 7 or 8 depending upon the rate set by the player in a rate selector 35.

The output of rate selector 35 is unable to pass through a gate 36 until a delay counter 37 has counted 12 pulses. The delay counter 37 then enables gate 36 and its output passes into a rate generator 38. The rate generator is essentially a frequency divider whose rate is changed four times. Initially, the rate generator allows the count in a frame counter 30 to accumulate rapidly, as may be seen from the graph in FIG. 7. Thus from the thirteenth pulse, which is the first pulse received by the frame counter to pulse 28 the rate generator will not divide and the pulses will go into the frame counter 39 without being counted down. From pulses 28 to 44, the pulses will be divided by 2. From pulse count 44 to 76 the pulse count will be divided by four. And from pulse count 76 to 172 the pulses will be divided by 8.

In the FIG. 7 graph, it has been arbitrarily established that the longest ball hit will be 310 yards. A hit of 310 yards will thus correspond to 1 pulse being introduced into the frame counter 39. The number of pulses intro- .duced will depend upon the time elapsing between a driven golf ball actuating the rows 19 and 20 of photoelectric cells.

When the same driven golf ball passes over a photoelectric cell in the second row 20, the flip-flop circuit 31 will be returned to its other state, thereby causing gate 32 to be inhibited. The output of oscillator 33 is thus prevented from passing to the shift register 34. A club detector 40 is connected through amplifier 41 to the photo-electric cells in row 20, to permit a player to make practice swings without actuating the system. The club detector prevents the system from responding when the club head is not preceeded by a ball.

Assuming that 15 counts have accumulated in frame counter 39 when the club head passes over and actuates a photo-electric cell in row 20, the club detector 40 will emit a signal to stepper control 42. The stepper control is now enabled and passes the output of frequency divider 43 to a counter 44.

The counter 44 emits a count signal to the frame counter 39 for every thirty-two step or pulse signals applied to a stepping motor 45. When counter 39 accumulates a count for thirtytwo frames, it emits a signal to the stepper control 42 which disables that device. The system is then returned to its initial state.

For each drive pulse received by the stepping motor 45, the motor strip will be advanced by one thirtysecond of a frame. Thus the stepping motor is driven until the count in frame counter 39 overflows and cuts off the stepper control 42.

When a golf ball is hit hard in order to travel a relatively long distance the golf ball will pass over the rows of photo-cells 19 and 20 in a short time interval which will cause rate generator 38 to place a small count in the counter 39. Assuming a count of one is accumulated in the counter 39, the stepper'control 42 will cause stepping motor 45 to step 31 frames before frame counter 39 overflows and turns off the stepper control. The film strip will consequently be advanced 31 frames in the projector to indicate a distance of ball travel of 310 yards.

The opaque marks 25 and 26 on the film strip 24, as may be seen in FIG. 6, are scanned by photo cells 46 and 47. When a ball is driven past the cup frame, the signal from photo cell 47 after a delay, will cause the stepping motor to reverse direction by means of a direction control 48 since on the next hit the golf ball must be played on the far side of the green back toward the cup.

The direction control 48 can be placed in condition to cause the stepping motor to advance forwardly until the next tee frame is sensed by photo-cell 46 or can be caused to drive in the reverse direction until the previous tee frame is sensed by photo cell 46. The system also includes a control to return the film to the first tee. The first tee frame is unique in that it has markings on both edges of the film strip so as to, in effect, indicate the beginning of the film strip.

In FIG. 7 the graph plots distance of ball travel against time as measured by the pulse count. Since the longest distance that a ball can be hit is arbitrarily selected at 310 yards, the time interval in which the 310 yard ball passes between photo-cells 19 and 20, causes the rate generator 38 to effect a count of one to accumulate in the frame counter 39. It is also arbitrarily assumed that the shortest distance that the ball will be hit is yards. In the time interval elapsing during the passage of the ID yard ball between photo-cells l9 and 20, the rate generator 38 causes a count of 31 to accumulate in frame counter 39. Upon the accumulation of 31 counts in the frame counter 39, a detector 49 emits a signal to OR gate 50 which returns the timing flip-flop 31 to its original state in the event the ball has not previously actuated a photo-cell in row 20.

The graph of FIG. 7 is actually a smooth curve drawn through the points at the junctures of the several straight lines. The curve is essentially formed by employing four different rates each of which is indicated by a straight line. Thus, in effect, the curve is approximated by a series of straight lines as illustrated.

Assuming that the rate selector 35 causes the shift register 34 to divide the oscillator frequency by seven, the output from the rate selector will be 4.32 KH, The

output of oscillator 33 may be, for example, a train of square waves. The counter delay 37 will deduct the first 12 pulses from the shift register 34 and will allow the 13th and all subsequent pulses to pass through AND gate 36 to rate generator 38. As shown in FIG. 5, counter delay 37 comprises a counter 37A and a flipflop 37B. When counter 37A reaches a count of 12, it emits a signal to flip-flop 37B which causes the flip-flop to change states and provide an enabling signal to the AND gate 36. The pulses from shift register 34 then pass directly through AND gate 36 to the rate generator 38.

Rate generator 38 includes a five stage counter 38A which receives the 4.32 KH output from gate 36 and by dividing the 4.32 KH signal emits a 2.l6 KH, signal to AND gate 38C, a 540 H signal to AND gate 38D and a 135 H to AND gate 38E. The 4.32 KH signal is also applied directly to AND gate 38B. The gates 38B, 38C, 38D, 38B are so connected that when one of these gates is enabled the other three gates are inhibited.

The frame counter 39 is a conventional five stage binary counter. As shown in FIG. 5, the counter 39 provides a normal and complement output for each stage. The complement output is indicated by a bar above the number. Gate 38B has one input connected to T6 output of counter 39. Gates 38C, 38D and 3813 have inputs obtained from frame counter 39 as also indicated in FIG. 5.

Initially, gate 388 is enabled until a count of fifteen is accumulated in the frame counter 39. Gate 38B is then inhibited and gate 38C is enabled until eight more counts accumulate in the frame counter. Gate 38C is then inhibited and gate 38D is enabled until four more counts accumulate in the frame counter. Then, gate 38D is inhibited and gate 38E is enabled to permit four more counts to accumulate in the frame counter. When a count of 31 in the frame counter has accumulated, the detector 49 will inhibit gate 32 and cut off the input signal to the rate generator. By this time, the ball and club head have actuated a photo-cell in row 20. The signals from that photo-cell are amplified by amplifier 41 and'cause the club detector 40 to emit an enabling signal to AND gate 50. The pulse from a photo-cell in row 19 has, in the meantime, been delayed in a delay device 51 and can then pass through gate to initiate the stepper control 42. The stepper control can be merely an AND gate controlled by a flip-flop. In one state the flip-flop enables the gate to pass the signals from frequency divider 43 and in the other state the flip-flop inhibits the gate to prevent signals from frequency divider 43 passing to the counter 44. Counter 44 may be a conventional digital counter which emits a signal to frame counter39 for every 32 input pulses received by the counter 44.

The rate selector 35 may comprise three conventional AND gates, each receiving one input from the shift register 34. By enabling one of the three AND gates, one of the three outputs (each having a different rate) can be selected from the shift register 34. The rate selector, in effect, permits handicaps for the players since if a higher rate is selected the ball will travel further for a given time interval between photo-cells 19 and 20 whereas if a lower rate is selected the ball will not travel as far for the same time interval.

The overflow pulse from frame counter 39 can be employed to clear the shift register 34 and to reset the various counters and flip-flops to their initial states or conditions.

Above described operation of the circuit will thus occur upon each hit of the golf ball when both the golf ball and club head pass over rows 19 and 20 of photocells. This operation will give an indication of the distance of ball travel so that the film strip will be automatically actuated to give the player an image on the screen which corresponds to the distance of ball travel.

At the same time, actuation of one of the photo-cells in row 20 will energize one of a number of spot lights which will project a spot on the image on screen 12 to give an indication of the lateral position of the ball and to show the player the direction in which the next hit must be made.

The control panel 23 has a RETURN TO LAST TEE button 23A and a MOVE TO NEXT TEE button 23B. When the player desires to return the film to the tee from which he was playing so that another player may use the game device, the button 23A is pressed to energize the projector and cause the film strip to run backwards or in reverse through the film guide. When the frame for that tee position appears, a mark 25 will actuate a photo-cell which automatically breaks the circuit and will stop the projector at that instant.

The same function is performed when advancing to the next tee such as preceeding from one hole to the next hole. Pressing the button 238 will start the projector to run the film strip in the forward direction until the frame containing the next tee position is in front of the aperture. The same photo-cell will again break the circuit in the advanced position.

The control panel 23 has three additional buttons 23C-E which are for the purpose of selecting the rates on the rate selector 35. The selection of these rates, in effect, introduces a handicap among the players.

A simulated putting green 55 may be located between the playing station 17 and the screen 12 and is provided with an actual hole or cup 56. Those players whose ball was located within the BIRDIE CIRCLE" representation on the screen may putt from an inner circle 57 marked on the green while those players whose ball was on the green but outside the BIRDIE CIRCLE" will putt from another line 58 further back. In order to vary the lie of the ball for putting purposes a number of stations may be indicated at different distances from the cup both on the BIRDIE CIRCLE" and on a further circle. Thus, a player will not putt from the same spot for each hole but from designated stations corresponding to these holes.

In the operation of the golf game device disclosed herein, a simulated game of golf may be played by any number of persons. With the electronic computing sys-' tem turned on such as by a suitable control switch provided on the panel 23 and the film strip being positioned with the first tee in the aperture of the projector, the first player will tee off. Driving of the golf ball will cause both the golf ball and club head to move through two rows of photo-cells which will sense the distance of ball travel in response to the time interval between actuation of these two rows of cells. The computing system will then be operated in a manner as described above and an image will be projected on the screen corresponding to the distance of ball travel as sensed by it is virtually impossible for a player to estimate distance merely by looking at an image or photograph of a portion of a golf course.

The same procedure is then repeated until the player has reached the green. As in actual golf, the player counts his strokes in reaching the green and his strokes in putting to determine his score for the hole.

Further realism is added to the simulated game by the introduction of penalties should the image on the screen indicate that the players ball is in a sand trap, water, woods or some other obstacle or hazard. This indication is obtained both by the distance of ball travel and by the lateral positioning of the ball indicated by a spot light projecting a spot of light on the image on the screen.

To faciliate putting, a battery of putting lights may be installed on the top wall of the enclosure and connected to a circuit to be actuated when the players are putting. These lights will illuminate the putting green. After all of the players have putted out, the putting lights are switched off and the projector is then advanced to the next tee in the manner as described above.

The circuitry for controlling the operation of the projector itself is apparent to one known in the art and a suitable circuit to accomplish the functions as described above can be readily laid out.

Thus it can be seen that the present invention has disclosed an improved simulated golf game device wherein the movement of a hit ball is sensed by photoelectric cells to give an indication of the distance and direction of ball travel. Immediately upon actuation of the photo-electric cells by both the driven ball and the club head the system will be actuated and will project an image on the screen representative of the distance travelled by the ball which has just been hit. It is not necessary for the player to actuate any controls to set the system in operation. Further, since the distance and direction of the hit ball is sensed electrically an accurate representation of the distance of ball travel is always obtained.

It will be understood that this invention is susceptible to modification in order to adapt it to different usages and conditions, and accordingly, it is desired to comprehend such modifications within this invention as may fall within the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a simulated golf game device of the type having A. a screen for displaying an image projected thereon,

B. a station spaced from the screen from which a player hits a golf ball toward the screen,

C. a film strip having a series of frames having successive images representing progressively longer travel of the golf ball,

D. a film strip projector positioned to project images from the film strip onto the screen,

E. means for sensing movement of the golf ball from the station toward the screen, the sensing means providing first and second control signals separated by a time interval related to the velocity of the golf ball, and

F. means responsive to the first and second control signals for computing the distance at which the ball would come to rest in uninterrupted travel,

the improvement wherein the means for computing the distance at which the ball would come to rest in uninterrupted travel includes 1. a source of rate signals, 2. a signal counter, 3. switching means responsive to the first and second control signals for coupling the rate signals to the counter to cause the counter to accumulate a count dependent upon the time interval between the first and second control signals, and wherein the simulated golf game device further includes G. a stepping motor for moving the film strip through the projector,

H. a signal source,

I. a gate for coupling the output of the signal source to the counter,

J. means for enabling the gate after accumulation in the counter of the count dependent upon the time interval between the first and second control signals, the counter emitting a signal to disable the gate upon the count in the counter advancing to a preset total count,

K. and the stepping motor being actuated by the signals passing through the gate whereby an image representative of the distance of uninterrupted ball travel is projected on the screen.

2. The improved simulated golf game device according to claim 1 wherein the source of rate signals is arranged to emit its signals at a rate that changes non-linearly in the time interval between the first and second control signals 3. The improved simulated golf game device according to claim 2 wherein the means for enabling the gate includes apparatus for generating a third control signal indicating that the golf ball has been struck by the golf club.

4. In a simulated golf game device of the type having A. a screen for displaying an image projected thereon,

B. a station spaced from the screen and from which a player hits a golf ball toward the screen,

C. a film strip having a series of frames showing successive locations of the lie of a golf ball in a direction toward the green,

D. a film strip projector positioned to project images from the film strip onto the screen,

E. means for sensing the passage of the golf ball hit toward the screen, and

F. means for computing the distance at which the ball would come to rest in uninterrupted travel,

the improvement wherein the means for sensing the passage of the golf ball hit toward the screen includes 1. a first row of photosensors spaced from a second row of photosensors, the rows of photosensors being disposed where the passage of the driven golf ball and the club head are detected by the photosensors,

2. means for generating a first control signal upon passage of the ball over the first row of photosensors,

3. means for generating a second control signal upon the passage of the ball over the second row of photosensors,

4. means for generating a third control signal upon the passage of the club head over the rows of photosensors,

and wherein the means for computing the distance at which the golf ball would come to rest in uninterrupted travel includes 1. a source of rate signals,

2. a signal counter,

3. switching means responsive to the first and second control signals for coupling rate signals from the source to the counter to cause the counter to accumulate a count dependent upon the time interval between the first and second control signals.

and wherein the simulated golf game device further includes,

G. a stepping motor for moving the film strip through projector,

H. a signal source,

I. a gate for coupling the output of the signal source to the counter, the gate being enabled by the third control signal and being inhibited upon the counter attaining a predetermined count,

J. and the stepping motor being actuated by the signals passing through the gate whereby an image is projected on the screen representative of the distance of uninterrupted ball travel.

5. The improved simulated golf game device according to claim 4, wherein the source of rate signals emits its signals at a rate that changes non-linearly with time.

6. The improved simulated golf game device according to claim 5, wherein the improvement further comprises K. means for selecting the rate at which the counter accumulates counts whereby different distances of ball travel can be indicated for the same interval of time between the first and second control signals.

7. The improved simulated golf game device according to claim 6, wherein the improvement further comprises L. direction control means responsive to signal indicia on the film strip for controlling the direction of movement of the stepping motor.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3892414 *Mar 20, 1974Jul 1, 1975William J GlassonGolf ball direction indicator
US3938809 *Sep 28, 1973Feb 17, 1976Gentiluomo Joseph AGolf game
US4150825 *Jul 18, 1977Apr 24, 1979Wilson Robert FGolf game simulating apparatus
US4177994 *Dec 20, 1976Dec 11, 1979University Of Iowa Research FoundationGolf game and practice apparatus
US4767121 *Dec 3, 1985Aug 30, 1988Joytec Ltd.Apparatus for simulating play on a golf course or driving range
US5024441 *Apr 5, 1989Jun 18, 1991Claude RousseauGolfcourse simulator device
US5181721 *Apr 26, 1991Jan 26, 1993Jeron Technology, Inc.Golf game apparatus
US5221082 *Feb 5, 1992Jun 22, 1993Ingolf CorporationEnhanced golf simulation system
US5354063 *Dec 4, 1992Oct 11, 1994Virtual Golf, Inc.Double position golf simulator
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US5472205 *Jun 20, 1994Dec 5, 1995Thrustmaster, Inc.Opto-electric golf club swing sensing system and method
US5566934 *Jun 17, 1994Oct 22, 1996Stringliner CompanyBaseball trainer
US5718639 *Jan 5, 1995Feb 17, 1998Thrustmaster, Inc.Opto-electric golf club swing sensing system having vertically offset sensors
WO1998007483A2 *Aug 15, 1997Feb 26, 1998Showcase Projects LimitedGame-playing apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/152, 377/5
International ClassificationA63F7/06, A63B69/36, A63F9/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F7/0628, A63F2009/2444, A63F2009/2466
European ClassificationA63F7/06A9