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Publication numberUS3856313 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 24, 1974
Filing dateMay 4, 1973
Priority dateMay 4, 1973
Publication numberUS 3856313 A, US 3856313A, US-A-3856313, US3856313 A, US3856313A
InventorsTierney D
Original AssigneeTierney D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf putting apparatus with ball return
US 3856313 A
Abstract
A device for playing a game which simulates golf includes a three sided frame having gutters along its sides and a supporting surface between the gutters. The supporting surface is inclined upwardly from the open end of the frame and is thereafter horizontal, and this surface supports a mat which extends out of the open end of the frame. The portion of the mat supported by the frame has areas marked on it corresponding to different scores one might expect in playing an actual hole of golf (e.g., bogey, par, birdie, eagle), and is further provided with holes, one of which is scored as a hole-in-one. The portion of the mat located beyond the frame has tee positions marked on it. The user strokes the ball from the tee positions to the marked areas and attempts to have the ball stop in one of the marked areas or else drop into the hole which is scored as a hole-in-one.
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Tierney Dec. 24, 1974 GOLF PUTTING APPARATUS WITH BALL RETURN [76] Inventor: .David P. Tierney, 1024 Forestwood Dr., Ferguson, Mo. 63135 22 Filed: May 4,1973

21 Appl. No.: 357,166

[52] US. Cl. 273/176 FB, 273/179 C, 273/125 R [51] Int. Cl....., A63b 67/02 [58] Field of Search 273/176, 87, 118 R, 122 R,

273/125 R, 123 R, 103, 182 R, 182 A, 179 C [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 834,581 10/1906 Lambert 273/98 1,012,820 -12/1911 Cory 273/176 F Primary ExaminerRichard C. Pinkham Assistant ExaminerMarvin Siskind Attorney, Agent, or FirmGravely, Lieder & Woodruff [57] ABSTRACT A device for playing a game which simulates golf includes a three sided frame having gutters along its sides and a supporting surface between the gutters. The supporting surface is inclined upwardly from the open end of the frame and is thereafter horizontal, and this surface supports a mat which extends out of the open end of the frame. The portion of the mat supported by the frame has areas marked on it corresponding to different scores one might expect in playing an actual hole of golf (e.g., bogey, par, birdie, eagle), and is further provided with holes, one of which is scored as a hole-in-one. The portion of the mat located beyond the frame has tee positions marked on it. The user strokes the ball from the tee positions to the marked areas and attempts to have the ball stop in one of the marked areas or else drop into the hole which is scored as a hole-in-0ne.

10 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures GOLF PUTTING APPARATUS WITH BALL RETURN BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates in general to games and more particularly to a device for playing a simulated game of golf in a relatively small area.

The sport of golf commands much interest among those who participate in the sport as well as those who do not. Because golf courses require considerable space, they are few in number, and expensive to operate. As a result, many who would like to participate in the sport of golf cannot.

Heretofore devices have been developed for perfecting on'es putting indoors, but using a device of this nature is not very interesting and soon becomes boring. Also, indoor golf games have been marketed from time to time, but most of these games are relatively simple both in construction and use, and therefore, playing these games becomes routine after a short time. Moreover, they simulate the actual sport of golf only in a remote sense.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION One of the principal objects of the present invention is to provide a device for playing a game which closely corresponds to the actual sport of golf. Another object is to provide a game device which may be played indoors on a relatively small surface area. A further object is to provide a game device which will enable the user to perfect his putting ability. An additional object is to provide a game device which is interesting to play. These and other objects and advantages will become apparent hereinafter.

The present invention is embodied in a game device having a frame which supports a playing surface on which various areas corresponding to scores in golf are marked. The invention also consists in the parts and in the arrangements and combinations of parts hereinafter described and claimed.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings which form part of the specification and wherein like numerals and letters refer to like parts wherever they occur:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a game device constructed in accordance with and embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the device showing the markings on the playing surface thereof;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2 and showing the frame construction;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 4--4 of FIG. 2 and showing the gutter construction;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 3 and showing the construction of the return ball ramp and;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 1 and showing a pivoted approach block.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to the drawings (FIG. I A designates -a device on which a game closely corresponding to the vated position'by the frame 2. The mat 4 has a playing surface marked on it (FIG. 2) and further projects beyond one end of the frame 2 with the outwardly projecting portion resting on the floor.

The frame 2 includes a pair of side walls 10 and an end wall 12 connecting the ends of the side walls 10 at one end of the frame 2. The opposite end of the frame 2 is open for the entry of golf balls. Interconnecting the side walls 10 intermediate its ends are cross members 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26 and 28 (FIGS. 3 and 4) which are arranged in that order from the open end. The entire frame 2 is supported on adjustable legs 29 which thread into brackets on the cross members 16 and 26. By turning the legs 29 it is possible to bring the frame into a perfectly horizontal or level position, even though the floor on which it rests may be slightly inclined. One of the side walls 10 is provided with a handle so that the game device A is entirely portable.

The cross members 14, 16 and 18 are progressively greater in height, whereas the cross members 20, 22,

24, 26 and 28 are all the same height, at least at the midportions thereof, and that height is the same as the height of the cross member 18. The cross members 14, 16 and 18 support an inclined plank 30 which slopes downwardly toward the open end of the frame 2 where it joins a pivoted approach block 32 which is wedgeshaped and forms an inclined transistion from the lower end of the plank 30 to floor level (FIG. 6). The upper surfaces of the inclined plank 30 and approach block 32 are generally flush and inclined at the same angle with respect to the horizontal. The approach block 32 pivots about an axle 33 which extends through the thick end of the block 32 and is anchored in the ends of the gutters 44. The axle 33 enables the thin or outer end of the block 32 to contact and lie along the floor, irrespective of the distance the adjustable legs 29 are extended below the frame 2. The cross members 20, 22, 24, 26 and 28, on the other hand, support a horizontal plank 34, the upper surface of which forms a continuation of the upper surface on the inclined plank 30, and those upper surfaces and disposed below the upper edges of the end wall 12 and side walls 10. One end of the horizontal plank 34 abuts the elevated end of inclined plank 30, while the other end terminates at the last cross member 28 so that a space exists between that end and the end wall 12. The space is wide enough to accommodate a golf ball. Directly opposite from the end of the horizontal plane 34, the end wall 12 is provided with an oblique deflecting surface 35 for deflecting golf balls which strike it downwardly into the space between the cross member 28 and the end wall 12. The side edges of the planks 30 and 34 are set inwardly from the side walls 10 as are the side faces of the wedge shaped approach block 32.

The horizontal plank 34 is provided with a pair of circular holes 36 (FIGS. 1 and 2) which are spaced an equal distance from the longitudinal centerline of the plank 34 and are aligned in the transverse direction. The holes 36 open into the space between the crossmembers 24 and 26 and that space as well as the circular holes 36 are large enough to accommodate a golf ball. Beyond the holes 36 the horizontal plank 34 is provided with a center hole 38, and this hole lies on the longitudinal centerline of the plank 34 and hence is centered with respect to the preceding holes 36. The center hole 36 is sized to accommodate a golf ball and opens into the space between the cross members 26 and 28.

- The spaces between the cross members 24 and 26, between the cross members 26 and 28, and between the cross members 28 and the end wall 12, are all wide enough to accommodate a golf ball and are further fitted with return ball ramps 40 which slope downwardly to one of the side walls 10 (FIG. 5). That side wall is provided with discharge openings 42 which open onto a collecting trough 43 fastened to the side wall 10 (FIG. 1). The trough 43 is inclined downwardly at a slight angle toward the open end of the frame 2. Thus areas being located one after the other longitudinally along the mat 4. The areas for the most part correspond 1 to scores one might be expected to obtain for a single golf balls falling onto the ramps 40 gravitate to the trough 43, andwhen on the trough 43, they roll toward .that portion of the mat 4 extended along the floor where they may be easily retrieved.

Occupying the spaces between the side walls 10, and

the side edges of the inclined plank 30 are gutters 44 which, like the plank 30, are inclined downwardly toward the open end of the frame 2. However, the upper surfaces of the two gutters 44 are located below the upper surfaces of inlined plank 30. The gutters 44 are also supported on the cross members 14, 16 and 18.

The spaces between side edges of the horizontal plank 34 and side walls 10 on the other hand, are occupied by two sets of gutters 46 and 48 with the gutters 46 and 48 both being inclined toward the ball return space between the cross members 24 and 26. The gutters 46 are the longer of the two and they are supported on the cross members 20, 22 and 24. The gutters 48 merely span the cross members 26 and 28, and like the horizontal plank 34, they do not extend to the end wall 12. Indeed, the ends of the last cross member 28 are elevated to the height of the side walls 10 to form a barrier at the elevated ends of the gutters 48. The upper surfaces of the gutters 46 and 48 are located below the upper surface of the horizontal plank 34.

Interposed betweenthe elevated ends of the gutters 44 and 46 on each side of the horizontal plank 34 are intermediate blocks 50. The upper surfaces of the two intermediate blocks are located above the upper surface ofthe horizontal plank 34.

The horizontal plank 34 is fitted with pegs 52 (FIGS. 1 and 2) which are located ahead of and in alignment with the circular holes 36 and these pegs simulate trees on a fairway. Beyond the center hole 38, the horizontal plank 34 is fitted with another peg 54 which simulates the flag at a hole.

The mat 4 is formed from a flexible material such as foam rubber and is the same width as the inclined and horizontal planks 30 and 34, but ismuch longer than the combined lengths of those planks 30 and 34. Thus, the mat 4 fits between the intermediate blocks 50 which serve to position it. At one end the mat 4 has three holes which align with and snugly accept the pegs 52 and 54 projecting upwardly from the horizontal plank 34. Thus, the pegs 52 and 54 also serve to position the mat 4 on the plank 34. In addition, the mat 4 has three holes which marginally register with the circular holes 36 and 38 in the horizontal plank 34. Since the mat 4 is considerably longer than the combined lengths of the inclined and horizontal planks 30 and 34,

it extends out of the open end of the frame 2 and lies along the floor or other supporting surface on which the frame 2 rests.

The portion of the mat 4 located on the frame 2, is marked to divide it into relatively small areas with the hole in the actual game of golf, such as eagle, birdie, par, bogey, etc. The portion of the mat 4 which lies on the floor is marked with longitudinally spaced tee positions, there being one tee position for each of nine holes. The markings are illustrated in the drawings (FIG. 2). The other surface of the mat 4 may be provided with a different arrangement of markings since when reversed the holes in the mat 4 will still align with the holes 36 and 38 and the pegs 52 and 54 of the horizontal plank 34.

In use, the participant places a golf ball on first tee position and strikes the ball with a suitable club, preferably with a putter. The ball is impelled along the mat 4 and the player notes the space in which the ball stops. The player is permitted three putts from each tee position to make a shot which stops on a good lie, that is in one of the spaces marked on the upper surface of the mat. Each of these spaces is assigned a value which typlifies the score associated with such designation on a conventional golf course. Those scores may be as follows:

eagle 2 birdie 3 double bogey 6 triple bogey 7 The ball may also drop through the center hole 38 and that hole is designated an ace or hole-in-one and assigned a value on one (I). It is of course, also considered a good lie. A ball entering the hole 38 will drop onto the ramp 40 between the cross members 26 and 28, and will roll down that ramp to emerge from the opening 42 associated with it. Thereafter the ball will roll down the collecting trough 43.

A ball which does not reach the horizontal portion of the mat 4, but instead rolls down the inclined portion and still remains on the mat 4 is scored as a bogey 3. This is also a good lie.

Each shot does not necessarily result in a good lie, but on the contrary may enter an area which is considered a bad lie. For example, one of the holes 36 is designated a lake, while the other hole 36 is designated a trap. Any ball entering either one of these holes drops into the spaces between the cross members 24 and 26, rolls down the ramp 40 in that space, emerges from the opening 42 associated with the space, and then rolls down the trough 43.

The ball may also drop into the space between the end wall 12 and the last cross member 28 which is considered woods, and therefore a bad lie also. A ball entering this space will roll down the endmost ramp 40, emerge from the opening 42 associated with that ramp 40, and roll down the trough 43.

Other bad lies result from the ball entering the gutters 44, 46 or 48. The gutters 44 are considered the rough and any ball entering those gutters will roll out the open end of the frame 2. The gutters 46 and 48 lead to the space between the cross members 24 and 26 so that any ball entering those gutters will drop into the space between the cross members 24 and 26 and thence will roll down the ramp 40 in that space to the opening 42, through which it is discharged onto the collecting trough 43 whichdirects the ball to the participant for eacy retrieval. The gutters 46 and 48 on one side of the horizontal ramp 34 are considered a hook, while the gutters 46 and 48 on the other side are considered a slice.

Putting the ball off the mat 4 before it reaches the frame 2 is designated out of bounds, and is also considered a bad lie.

The bad lies are also assigned values which are usually added to the value of the good lie for the particular hole. Those values may be as follows:

Trap (hole 36) 2 Lake (other hole 36) 2 Hook (gutters 46 and Slice (other gutters 46 and 48) 2 Woods (space between end wall 12 and cross member Out of bounds i 3 A putt into the handicap space on the first occasion gives the participant minus 9 which means 9 points are deducted from his .total score at the end of nine holes. Any subsequent shots which stop at the handicap space are merely designated as mulligansand the participant is entitled to repeat the shot.

A shot which lands in the save per space or drops through the center hole 38 to become an ace cancels any penalty strokes accrued on a particular hole.

The foregoing procedure is repeated for each subsequent tee' position, and since the tee positions are located different distances from the frame 2, the tee positions are of varying difficulty.

To make the game device A more compact for shipping and storage purposes, the frame 2 may be hinged at the cross member 20. That would enable the frame to be folded approximatelyin half. When a hinge is provided, an additional set of adjustable legs 29 should also be provided to support the midportion of the frame 7 constitute the gutters 44.

In lieu of the wedge-shaped approach block 32, a thin strip of plastic may be used to rigidify the mat 4 at the transition from the floor surface to the upper surface of the inclined plank 30. This sheet of plastic may be secured to underside of the mat 4 or it may be attached to the end of plank 30 and projected therefrom.

This invention is intended to cover all changes and modifications of the example of the invention herein chosen for purposes of the disclosure which do not constitute departures from the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A device for playing a game which simulates golf, said device comprising: a frame adapted to rest on a floor and having spaced apart sidewalls along its sides and also having a closed end and an open end, one of the sidewalls having at least one discharge opening therein which is sized to accommodate a golf ball; supporting means mounted on the frame between the sidewalls and defining a surface elevated above the floor level, the elevated surface being partly horizontal and partly inclined with the horizontal portion being at the closed end of the frame and the inclined portion being at the open end of the frame, the horizontal portion being spaced from the closed end of the frame a distance great enough to accommodate a golf ball so as to create a transverse slot at the closed end of the frame, the lower end of the inclined portion being substantially at floor level, the supporting means having holes opening out of the horizontal portion of the elevated surface with the holes being sized to receive a golf ball; return means defining a return surface which is located beneath the holes in the supporting surface and below the transverse slot and is inclined upwardly from the discharge opening in said one sidewall to the other sidewall for receiving golf balls which enter the holes and slot and for directing them toward the discharge opening; gutters mounted on the frame above the return surface and along the sides of the horizontal elevated surface of the supporting means, the gutters being inclined downwardly toward and opening onto the return surface of the return means so that golf balls which enter the gutters will be directed toward the discharge opening in said one sidewall; and a flexiblemat-supported in part on the horizontal and inclined portions of the supporting surface and extending out of the open end of the frame where the remainder of the mat is supported on the floor.

2. A device according to claim 1 wherein the frame includes an end wall connecting the ends of the side walls at the closed end of the frame, and the upper edges of the side walls being above the gutter.

3. A device according to claim 1 wherein the trans versely extending return surface is inclined downwardly toward a longitudinally extending collecting trough which is carried by the frame and is inclined downwardly toward the end of the mat from which the ball is stroked.

4. A device according to claim 1 wherein the flexible mat has areas of different value and tee positions marked on it so that when a ball is stroked from a tee position to one of the areas, a numerical value may be assigned to the stroke.

5. A device according to claim 1 wherein said one sidewall has at least two discharge openings therein at the lower end of the return surface; and wherein guide means are associated with the return means for directing golf balls which fall onto the return surface from the holes to one of the discharge openings and for directing golf balls which fall onto the return surface from the slot to the other of the discharge openings.

6. A device for playing a game which simulates golf, said device comprising: a frame adapted to rest on the floor and having parallel sidewalls and an end wall connecting the sidewalls at one end of the frame, the opposite end of the frame being open, one of the sidewalls having at least one discharge opening therein; a horizontal plank supported on the frame in an elevated position between the sidewalls with the upper surface of the plank being below the upper edges of the sidewalls, the horizontal plank having holes therein sized to receive a golf ball; an inclined plank supported on the frame and leading from the open end of the frame where it is generally at floor level to the inclined plank where it is at the level of the horizontal plank; a return ramp located below the holes in the horizontal plank for receiving golf balls which pass through those holes and being inclined downwardly toward the discharge opening in said one sidewall; first and second inclined gutters located between the sidewalls and the sides of the horizontal plank along each side of the frame and being lower than the horizontal plank, the first and second gutters having elevated and depressedends with the depressed ends being located opposite from each other but spaced apart whereby the first and second gutters are inclined downwardly toward each other and toward the return ramp, the spaces between the depressed ends being large enough to accommodate a golf ball and being located above the return ramp so that golf balls which enter the first or second gutters will gravitate to the return ramp; a flexible mat supported on the horizontal and inclined planks and extending out of the open end of the frame so that the remainder of the mat will be supported on the floor, the mat having holes therein which register with the holes in the horizontal plank; and third gutters between the sidewalls of the frame and the side edges of that portion of the mat supported on the inclined plank, the third gutters being inclined downwardly toward the open end of the frame so that golf balls which enter them will roll out of the open end of the framel 7. A device according to claim 6 wherein said discharge opening is large enough to accommodate a golf ball and wherein said ramp has its lower end at the discharge opening so that golf balls which fall on the ramp will leave the frame through the discharge opening.

8. A device according to claim 6 wherein the end of the horizontal plank and the end wall are spaced apart and the space so formed is located above the return ramp and is large enough to accommodate a golf ball, whereby a golf ball which rolls off of the end of the elevated mat will enter the space between the end wall and the horizontal plank.

9. A device according to claim 6 wherein the flexible mat has areas of different value marked on the portion thereof supported on the horizontal and inclined planks and tee positions marked on the portion thereof which extends out of the open end of the frame so that when a ball is stroked from one of the tee positions to one of the areas, a numerical value may be assigned to the stroke.

10. A device according to claim 6 and further characterized by pegs projected upwardly from the horizontal plank ahead of the holes.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4953865 *Sep 27, 1989Sep 4, 1990Matthew C. DunnePutting practice device
US4978127 *Mar 19, 1990Dec 18, 1990Juel Jr Charles HSelectively contourable putting green
US5029863 *May 29, 1990Jul 9, 1991Tadeusz KrawczykCroquet game apparatus
US5102141 *Jul 17, 1989Apr 7, 1992Mulay Plastics Inc.Golf putting practice device
US5108101 *Mar 4, 1991Apr 28, 1992Postula Victor AMethod of playing a lag and bump putting game
US5171016 *Dec 3, 1991Dec 15, 1992Kamal Charles JApparatus for practicing putting and chipping
US5725438 *Jan 24, 1996Mar 10, 1998Dennco, Inc.Practice putting green with simulated hazards
US5853335 *Apr 24, 1997Dec 29, 1998Self; Harry LeePitching and chipping golf game and training device
US6497625Jan 16, 2001Dec 24, 2002Richard W. NewbyApparatus and method for returning a golf ball to a desired location
US6607448Nov 5, 2001Aug 19, 2003Alexander MooreElevated golf putting practice device
US6623371Feb 2, 2001Sep 23, 2003Jerry A. CorcoranGolf putting and ball return system
US6716113 *May 10, 2002Apr 6, 2004Michael J. ManningGolf putting training device
US20090176590 *Jan 7, 2008Jul 9, 2009Kwang Han ChoPutting mat
US20150005085 *Apr 18, 2014Jan 1, 2015Eugene Terry TatumGolf practice device for putting
US20150005086 *Apr 18, 2014Jan 1, 2015Eugene Terry TatumSpot putting device and practice system
USD763358 *Oct 8, 2015Aug 9, 2016Bru-Bag, LLCGame board
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Classifications
U.S. Classification473/162, 473/163, 273/125.00R
International ClassificationA63B63/00, A63B67/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2063/001, A63B67/02
European ClassificationA63B67/02