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Publication numberUS3917279 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 4, 1975
Filing dateSep 4, 1974
Priority dateSep 4, 1974
Publication numberUS 3917279 A, US 3917279A, US-A-3917279, US3917279 A, US3917279A
InventorsHoward J Barber
Original AssigneeHoward J Barber
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf game apparatus
US 3917279 A
Abstract
A simulated golf game which is designed to improve a golfer's shooting accuracy while providing practice at the same time. The game includes a regulation green which is set a predetermined distance from a stanchion or tee. An electrical circuit is deployed which indicates the golfer's shooting accuracy. The green includes a depression which extends around the putting cup and the teeing area includes blistered cement. The teeing area is in the form of stalls arranged along a line which is inclined 5 DEG to 15 DEG with respect to a line extending perpendicular to a line passing through the cups in a plurality of the greens.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

"United States Patent 1191 Barber Nov. 4, 1975 GOLF GAME APPARATUS Primary ExaminerGeorge J. Marlo [76] Inventor: Howard L Barber, 6320 E. Grand Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Basile and Weintraub River, Fowlerville, Mich. 48836 [22] Filed: Sept. 4, 1974 ABSTRACT [21] Appl. No.: 503,054 A simulated golf game which is designed to improve a golfers shooting accuracy while providing practice at the same time. The game includes a regulation green [52] a which is set a predetermined distance from a stan- [51] Int Cl 2 67/02: A63B 57/00 chion or tee. An electrical circuit is deployed which [58] Fie'ld s 273/176 184 indicates the golfers shooting accuracy. The green in- 273735 cludes a depression which extends around the putting cup and the teeing area includes blistered cement. The he form of stalls arran ed alon a [56] References Cited t.eemg m m g 3 line WhlCh is inclined 5 to 15 Wlth respect to a line UNITED STATES PATENTS extending perpendicular to a line passing through the 3,599,980 8/1971 Harmond 273/176 A cups in a plurality of vthe greens. 3,843,l36 l0/l974 Buenzle 273/l78 B 8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet 1 of2 3,917,279

US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet2of2 3,917,279

[Fig-5 GOLF GAME APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to outdoor sporting games and, in particular, to the game of golf. More particularly, the present invention concerns a golf game and a competitive method of playing same. Even more particularly, the present invention provides a simulated golf game and a competitive method of playing same.

2. Prior Art The growth of the game of golf is apparent and readily conceded. With the ever increasing popularity of the game there has arisen an increased demand for more courses. However, because of the costs involved in building and maintaining regulation golf courses, as well as the lack of suitable plots of land, the number of courses has not grown proportionately'to the increase in the number of golfers. Because ,of this failure in growth in the number of regulation golf courses the availability of tee times at public courses has greatly diminished. This is especially true on weekends. Furthermore, because of the unavailability of playing time on public courses, memberships in private courses have become closed as well as increasingly expensive to the point of being beyond the means of most people. These multiple problems greatly diminish the ability of the golfer to play the game, when desired. Thus, the golfer has turned to the only available alternative, i.e., driving ranges.

However, driving ranges, while enabling the golfer to improve the distance which he may hit a golf ball, fails to test or improve the shooting accuracy of the golfer. Hence, a driving range, per se, is-not atrue alternative to a regulation golf course. This fact is amplified when considering that in hitting a golf ball at a driving-range the ball is always teed up. There is no provision at driving ranges to practice fairway shots.

There have been proposed heretofore a plurality of simulated golf games which are designed to alleviate some of the problems pointed out above. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 2,003,074 teaches a simulated golf course wherein regulation greens are aligned with each other,

as well as with the tee. After hitting to a green, the

player then moves over to a separate putting green to finish out the hole. U.S. Pat. No. 2,455,806 teaches another, type of simulated golf game which utilizes a single green to drive to from a plurality of tees randomly distanced therefrom. Again, a separate putting green is required inthis game.

Other prior art which teaches directly or is otherwise related to simulated golf games, and which are of import to a understanding of the present invention, includes U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,701,140; 3,104,879; 3,685,833 and 3,669,454. It will be appreciated that the prior art reference herein fails to provide a simulated golf course which can approach an ideal facsimile of a regulation golf course.

As will become apparent subsequently the present invention approaches such an ideal facsimile.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a simulated golf game as well as a competitive method of playing same. The simulated golf game hereof comprises at least one regulation size green placed a predetermined distance from a stanchion or tee. The stanchion includes a plurality of stalls which are angularly inclined with respect to the green. The stalls, per se, are constructed such that the hitting ofa'golf ball therefrom simulates hitting of a ball in a fairway, i.e., the taking of a divot.

The regulation green hereof is constructed such that if a ball lands within a predetermined distance from the cup, the ball will roll thereinto. Electronic circuitry in corporated into the cup indicates the entrance of a ball thereinto. The circuitry is such that if, in accordance with the method of the present invention, more than one ball, hit by any one golfer, enters the cup other indicia indicates this effect.

As noted, the present invention further contemplates a method for playing the present golf game which, provides a competitive aspect to the game. Essentially, the instant method provides a best ball twosome" method of playing.

Fora more complete understanding of the present invention reference is made to the following detailed description and acc'ompanying'drawing. In the drawing like reference characters refer to like parts throughout the several views in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view ofa simulated golf course in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a green of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a schematic or ladder diagram depicting the electronic circuit incorporated into the hole provided on the green of the present invention;

FIG. '4 is 'a broken, perspective view, partly in section, of a stall of the stanchion of the present invention,

FIG. 5 is a top plane view of a green, and I FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the underground constructionof the hole of the green along line 66 of FIG. 5.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS THE GOLF COURSE Now with reference to the drawing, and in particular,

FIG. 1, there is depicted therein, generally, the simu lated golf course 10 of the present invention. The golf course 10 includes at least one regulation size green 12 and a driving stanchion or tee 14. In a preferred embodiment of the golf course, there is provided four regulation size greens 12, 12A, 12B and 12C, respectively. The greens 12, 12A, 12B and 12C are aligned in a row, as shown, and are, preferably, axially aligned along axis 16. The regulation size greens are spaced apart a prede termined distance such that they are spaced a predetermined distance from the driving tee 14. For example, the greens 12, 12A, 12B and 12C are, respectively, thirty yards, sixty yards, ninety yards and one hundred fifty yards from the driving tee 14. These distances can, of course, be varied. 1

The driving tee 14, is divided into a plurality of stalls 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28and 30. Preferably, and for purposes of facilitating the playing of the game, the tee is divided into nine equally dimensioned stalls, seven of which are shown. Of course, the number of stalls can be varied. It is critical hereto, and as depicted in FIG.

1, that the tee 14 be angularly inclined, by an angle 6, with respect to axis 16, and not be perpendicular thereto.

The angular inclination is necessitated by the fact that rarely does a golfer always have a direct shot at a green on each and every hole. More often than not, a player does not have his ball in the center of a fairway. Rather, the player is usually hitting to a green from the right or left side of the fairway. Thus, the angular inclination simulates the left side and right side of a fairway. Hence, stalls 18, 20 and 22 correspond to the left side of a fairway and stalls 26, 28 and 30 simulate the right side of a fairway. The central stall 24 lies substantially along the axis 16 and, therefore, corresponds to the center of a fairway. The degree of angular inclination may be varied, but generally ranges from about to 15 with respect to a line perpendicular to the axis 16. Preferably, each, individual, stall varies the distance to the hole by about 3 and /3 yards, with respect to the center stall. Generally, each stall has a width of about feet. It is to be appreciated from the preceding that the forwardmost edge of each stall is contiguous to an imaginary straight line which intersects the axis 16 at the angle 0.

An underground ball return (not shown) can also be included herewithin which returns a ball from the course to any suitable area. The ball returns are well known. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 2,701,140.

It is to be appreciated that by constructing the golf course in the manner hereinbefore described the typical golf shot encounters are met.

THE GREENS With reference now to FIGS. 2, 3, 5 and 6, there is depicted therein the construction of the greens deployed in the practice of the present invention. Each green is similarly constructed and, therefore, the ensuing description will be made with reference to green 12 to facilitate an understanding hereof. However, it is to be understood that the description of green 12 is equally applicable to greens 12A, 12B and 12C.

The green 12 is of regulation size as normally found on a nine hole or eighteen hole golf course. The green 12 comprises a natural lawn surface 32 grown from any suitable grass, such as, Bermuda grass, bent grass and the like. The green 12 further includes a cup or hole 34 and a flag or pin 36 extending upwardly from the hole in a manner well known. The cup 34 is, preferably, located at the center of the green 12. The green 12 further includes a concave indentation or recess 38 circumferentially formed about the central cup or hole 34, and is substantially circular in shape. The recess 38 is formed or contoured with a slope such that a golf ball falling therewithin must enter the cup 34. Thus, the green is constructed such that a ball coming within a predetermined distance from the cup will enter same. Generally, the recess 38 has a radius of from about eighteen inches to about 36 inches from the center of the cup 34. Preferably, the radius will range from about 18 inches to 24 inches from the center of the cup. This range is generally considered to be the one putt range for almost all golfers under substantially all conditions. It is to be noted that, conversely, ifa ball comes outside the recess of the green, the ball will not enter the cup. Thus, by so constructing the greens the golfers accuracy can be improved by providing a certain pre determined area to constantly shoot for which ensures entrance of the ball into the cup.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 6, associated with the cup 34 are means, generally indicated at 40, which indicates the entrance of a ball into cup 34. The means 40 generally comprises a timed delay relay circuit electri- The circuit generally includes a normally open proximity switch 48 in series electrical communication with the normally closed contacts 50 of time delay relay T,,. A normally closed holding contact R of relay R is also incorporated in electrical series with time delay relay T to hold the current as a golf ball goes by the switch 48, in a manner subsequently described. Interposed between the coil of the relay T and the contacts 50 thereof is a normally open power contact R which is in parallel with the holding contacts R and energized by relay R,. Relay R is a double pole single throw relay.

A stepping switch SSw electrically connected in parallel with the time delay relay T and illumination means 42, as shown, is utilized for energizing the illumination means and audio means in a predetermined sequence. The audio means 44 is in electrical series with the illumination means 47. As shown in FIG. 3, the closing of switch 48, with switch SSw in position 52 will cause the illumination means only to be energized. The same is true when the stepping switch is at position 54. When the stepping switch is at position 56, both the illumination means and audio means are energized. Preferably, the stepping switch is a three position means, as shown. Furthermore, the holding contacts R of relay R, hold the circuit energized for about fifteen seconds, for reasons which will become apparent hereinafter.

With reference specifically to FIG. 6, the switch 48 comprises a conventional magnetically operable reed switch. As is known to those skilled in the art, a reed switch of the type under consideration is provided with normally open contacts which close upon the passing of a magnetic force in proximity therewith. These reed switches are well known and'commercially available. The switch 48 is disposed within the interiorof a pipe tee 58 which is a lateral extension of conduit 60 which is in turn, downwardly depending from hole 34. A shaft 62 diametrically extends across the tee 58 at its junc-,

tion with conduit 62. A balanced paddle 64 is rotatably mounted on the shaft. The paddle is balancedsuch that it is normally in a horizontal position. The paddle is mounted on the shaft such that a first end 65 thereof is disposed within the conduit 60 and a second or opposite end 66 extends into the pipe tee 58.

Mounted on the second end is a magnetic means 67. The magnetic means is of sufficient magnetic force to close the reed switch when passing in proximity thereto.

As is clearly depicted in FIG. 6 the first end 66 of the paddle extends into conduit 60 a distance sufficient to engage a ball passing therepast, but insufficient to prevent passage of a ball therepast. Moreover, as the ball engages or contacts the paddle 64 it causes the rotation thereof in a counterclockwise direction. Rotation of the paddle causes the magnetic means 67 to pass into proximity to the switch 48 causing the closing thereof to energize the indicating means 40 (FIG. 3). Immediately, after the ball passes past the paddle, the paddle returns to the horizontal position. This immediately opens the switch 48, but the holding contact maintains the circuit in an energized state to keep the illumination means activated.

With reference now to FIGS. 3 and 6, it is apparent from the preceding that as a ball enters the hole and passes down the conduit 60, it engages the paddle 64. This causes the rotation of the paddle and the passage of the magnetic means 57 into proximity with switch 48, thereby energizing indicating means 40. Assuming the stepping switch is at position 52, and by virtue of the holding contacts, maintaining the power contacts closed, even though the switch 48 is opened almost immediately after closing, the illumination means remains energized for a period of time, as determined by the time delay, e.g., seconds.

After the predetermined time passes, the switch SSw then indexes to position 54, and thereafter to position 56. If the switch 48 is closed with the switch 88W in position 56, then both the illumination means and audio means are activated.

It should be noted that the illumination means 47 can comprise any suitable means, such as a light bulb affixed to the top of flag pin 36 (FIG. 2); a beacon like independently placed around a green, or the like.

The audio means can comprise any suitable means, such as, a bell, a buzzer or the like.

Also, it is to be noted that a fuse 68 can be utilized as a safety factor to preclude hazards from moisture,

broken wires, and other shorting situations.

Moreover, it is to be appreciated from the preceding that the instant'indicating means is adapted for the sequential hitting of three balls at the hole. This is preferred herein. However, this does not preclude a blistered surface which would otherwise occur with a heavy coating of adhesive.

By so constructing the stall, contemporaneous with the simulation of taking a divot, the synthetic lawn resets itself into an upright position within a very short time period after hitting the ball. Thus, the stalls simulate a fairway without the need for replacement of lawn.

The stall 18 further includes spaced apart side walls 78, 80 which separate the stall from those adjacent thereto.

It is to be appreciated that if the distance to a green is lengthened to a point where a driver or wood is required, teeing means (not shown) can also be included greater or lesser number of steps in the stepping switch.

THE TEE With reference now to FIG. 4 there is depicted therein stall 18 of the tee 14. As with respect to the description of the greens, each stall is similarly constructed. Therefore, the description of the stall 18 herein is equally applicable to all the stalls of the tee.

The stall 18, as noted hereinabove, simulates the hitting of a ball 70 from a fairway in that the effect is analogous to the taking of a divot.

The stall 18 generally comprises a cement base 72 and a synthetic fibrous lawn overlay 74. More specifically, the cement base 72 has a blistered top surface 76. This is achieved by brushing the top surface as the cement is poured. Brushing can be accomplished by any suitable means. By brushing the surface 76 tiny grooves are provided therein which thereby define air pockets on the surface.

The synthetic fibrous lawn 74 is then placed over the blistered surface 76. The synthetic lawn 74 is of well known construction and sold under a plurality of names, such as, Astroturf. The synthetic lawn 74 is secured to the cement base 72 after the latter hardens by coating the undersurface of the lawn with any suitable liquid adhesive. Liquid adhesives are well known and commercially available. Preferred liquid adhesives are the epoxy resin-based adhesives, such as, those sold by Shell Oil Co. under the name EPON. The adhesive is applied by any suitable mode. However, in applying the adhesive it is essential hereto that there be applied a heavy coating thereof around the edges of the lawn and a light coating thereof on the interior portion thereof. By so applying the adhesive, there is provided a hard and permanent seal about the edges and an interior light seal. The interior light seal does not negate the in the construction of the stall.

METHOD OF PLAYING Although the present invention is eminently useful by individual golfers for practicing golf as well as improving their accuracy, there is further contemplated a competitive game in conjunction herewith. The game will hereinafter be described with reference to FIG. 1.

According to the present game any one player is matched against an opponent wherein the first player, from a preselected stall, hits three balls in succession to a preselected green. If a ball comes within the recess then it goes into the cup and is indicated by illumination by the light. If the second ball also goes into the cup, then, the light re-lights to indicate same. If the third ball, also, goes into the cup then the sound or audio means is activated. This occurence is, of course, achieved as a result of the circuitry associated with the indicating means hereinbefore described. Each entrance of a ball counts for a predetermined number of points. After the first player completes his hitting of the three balls to the first selected green, his opponent then hits three balls thereto, in the'same manner. This completes the first round.

Then the players move in a clockwise fashion to the next adjacent stall and hit three balls to another preselected green in the manner heretofore described.

By playing in this manner, the player hits three balls to each of the greens from different stalls. At the completion of the game the points are totaled and a winner is declared.

[n a specific example of the game it is assumed that there is provided a golf course of the type hereinbefore described having four greens and a tee comprising sevenstalls. Furthermore, there is provided two teams each comprising four team members. Each ofthe teams are assigned a series of stalls, i.e., one team is assigned stalls 18, 20, 22 and 24 and the other team is assigned stalls 24, 26, 28 and 30. Furthermore, it is predetermined that from stalls l8 and 30 the golfer hits to green 12C; from stalls 20 and 28 the golfer hits to green 12B; from stalls 22 and 26 the golfer hits to green 12A; from stall 24 the golfer hits to green 12, with one team member per assigned stall.

Assuming a team hitting from stalls 24, 26, 28 and 30, each member of the team hits his three balls to the green associated with the stall from which the player hits the ball. As the balls roll into the cup associated with the greens, the players record their scores. Then, the players on the opposing team each hit three golf balls to the designated green from their respective stalls. Thus, a first round is completed. Then, moving in a clockwise direction each player from the first team takes a position in the stall adjacent to where he originally hit from and from there hits three balls to the designated green associated with the stall. Thus, in accordance herewith each player hits three balls from each stall assigned to his team to the green associated with the stall. In this manner each player must hit to each green. As each player completes his playing of a green he records his score. At the completion of each player completing play of all four greens the scores are totaled and the team with the highest score is declared the winner.

It is apparent that many other modes and variations of playing the game will occur to the skilled artisan.

It is apparent from the preceding that there has been described a simulated golf course and game which provides practically all of the advantages of a regulation course, but which plays much more rapidly, thereby overcoming the difficulties presently encountered and as noted hereinbefore.

Having, thus, described the invention, what is claimed is: i

l. A simulated golf course comprising:

a. at least two spaced apart regulation size greens, each green having a ball receiving cup formed therein,

b. a depression formed'in each green about the cups thereof and being contoured such that a ball coming therewithin falls into the cup, the depression having a predetermined radius from the center of the cup,

c. the centers of the cups lying along a common axis,

d. a tee for hitting a ball therefrom to the greens, the tee comprising partitioning means to define at least two stalls, the stalls being a predetermined distance from the greens, and wherein the forwardmost edge of each stall is contiguous to an imaginary straight line, the straight line intersecting the common axis at an. angle 0, being greater than about 95.

2. The golf course of claim 1 wherein each stall comprises:

a. a cement base, the cement base having a blistered top surface,

b. a synthetic lawn overlying the base andadhered to the blistered top surface, and

wherein the hitting of a ball from the stalls simulates the taking of a divot.

3. The golf course of claim 1 which further comprises: means for indicating entrance of a ball into the cup.

. 4. The golf course of claim 3 wherein said means for indicating entrance of the ball comprises:

a. a normally open switch,

b. a time delay relay in electrical communication with the normally open switch, c. a stepping switch having a movable contact in electrical parallel relationship with the relay, d. illumination means inelect rical parallel relationship with the stepping switch, 1 e. audio means in electrical seriesrelationship with the illumination means, and wherein the normally open switch is closedby. entrance of the ball into the hole to thereby energize the means for indicating and to advance thev movable contact of the stepping switch.

5. The golf course of claim 4 whichfurther comprises:

a flagpin, the flagpin havingone end thereof disposed in the cup and vertically extending upwardly therefrom, and. wherein the illumination means. is mounted at the other end of the flagpin;

6. The golf course of claim 1 wherein the partitioning means comprises a plurality of upstanding walls equidistantly spaced-apart, the walls dividing the tee into a plurality of stalls. 1

7. A simulated golf course comprising:

a. at least one regulation size green, the'green having .a ball receiving cup formed therein,

b. a depression formed in the green about the cup and being contoured such that a ball coming there-. within falls into the cup, the depression having a predetermined radius from the center of the cup,

c. a tee for hitting the ball therefrom to the green, the

, tee being a predetermined distance from the green,

and v d. means for indicating entrance of a ball into the cup, the means comprising:

1. a normally open switch,

2. a time delay relay in electrical communication with the normally open switch,

3. a stepping switch having a movable contact in electrical parallel relationship with the relay,

4. illumination means in electrical parallel relationship with the stepping switch,

5. audio means in electrical series relationship with the illumination means, and wherein the normally open switch is closed by entrance of the I I ball into the hole to thereby energize the means 7 for indicating and to advance .the 'movable contact of the stepping switch. I 8. The golf course of claim 7 which further comprises: I

A flagpin, the flagpin having one end thereof disposed in the cup and vertically extending upwardly therefrom, and wherein the illumination means is mounted at the other end of the flagpin.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3599980 *Nov 22, 1968Aug 17, 1971Smith Jack OConcentrated golf game
US3843136 *Sep 17, 1973Oct 22, 1974F BuenzleGolf practice and amusement apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5033745 *Jun 18, 1990Jul 23, 1991Sullivan Bruce JGolf chipping practice apparatus
US5184824 *Jun 28, 1991Feb 9, 1993Riedinger Thomas RGolf facility and method
US6176789 *Jan 21, 1998Jan 23, 2001Accu-Sport International, Inc.Scoring method and apparatus
US6875121 *May 15, 2003Apr 5, 2005Mckeen, Jr. Hugh B.Method of playing an outdoor bulls-eye target golf game
US7137901 *Dec 29, 2005Nov 21, 2006Innovative Golf SolutionsCompact golf facility and a method of playing a golf game
US7318777Nov 2, 2005Jan 15, 2008Gary L SellsPar one
US7677991Dec 11, 2007Mar 16, 2010Sells Gary LPar one
US8574099Mar 15, 2010Nov 5, 2013Gary L. SellsPar one
EP0476147A1 *Apr 1, 1991Mar 25, 1992Tamapack Co,Ltd.Mini-golf course
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/153, 473/169
International ClassificationA63B63/00, A63B69/36, A63B67/02, A63B57/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B63/00, A63B24/0021, A63B69/3694, A63B57/0056, A63B2024/0037
European ClassificationA63B69/36T1, A63B57/00D, A63B24/00E