CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
- STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to an adjustable device for setting a golf tee into a substrate at a controlled height. The device enables a golfer to set a golf tee at an exact height, that can be adjusted in accordance with the golf club to be used to hit a golf ball. The adjustable device further includes a divot tool as an accessory item as well as a golf ball marker retainer.
2. Brief Description of Prior Art
Golf is one of the most widely played sports activities in the United States, as well as outside the United States. Not only is this activity already widespread, but the number of golfers continue to grow due to popularity of the sport.
The sport of golf is typically played on a golf course consisting typically of eighteen (18) holes. A set of golf clubs is used to strike a golf ball in each hole. Each hole has a tee box which defines a starting location of that hole in which a golfer places a golf ball and swings a golf club to strike the ball towards the designated green. Before striking the ball, the golfer often first places a golf tee into the ground and then places the golf ball on the ball-supporting surface of the tee.
It is well known that in hitting a golf ball; the most important considerations for all golfers, regardless of skill level, are consistency and reproducibility. Each golfer strives to achieve his/her personal best through adopting the same stance, same grip, same back swing, and same follow-through each time he/she hits the ball in order to achieve some level of consistency. Golf tees are often overlooked and most golfers are not aware of the importance the tee plays in obtaining a consistently good golf game.
An important factor to playing good golf and achieving the desired level of consistency, is tee height when driving the golf ball from the tee box at the beginning of each hole. More particularly, one key to successful golfing is setting the golf ball on the tee at an exact height, predetermined in accordance with which golf club will be used to hit the ball. It is desirable to control the height of the tee for each selected golf club so that it is repeatable each time you select that club.
Professional golfers tend to properly set their tees instinctively. For the unprofessional golfer, there is no convenient, mechanical apparatus available, or known to the trade, to repeatably set a golf tee to correspond to a given golf club.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
As will be seen from the subsequent description, the preferred embodiments of the present invention overcome shortcomings of the prior art.
One of the major desires for a golfer is to develop a consistent striking of the golf ball. Every golfer is aware of the importance of certain fundamentals such as proper grip and stance, proper back swing and follow-through in order to develop such consistency.
Golfers spend numerous hours on the practice range hitting golf balls to achieve “muscle memory” in their golf swing, which they hope will carry over to the golf course. Golf tees, and the setting of golf tees, are often overlooked and most golfers are not aware of the importance the tee plays in obtaining a consistently good golf game. The golfer places the golf tee into the ground, generally without giving attention to the exact height of the tee, and then places a golf ball on the ball-supporting surface of the golf tee. As a result of not controlling the height of the tee, the tee may be at one height when teeing off with a particular club, and on later holes a different height when teeing off with the same club.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The combination golf tool apparatus of the present invention is designed to adjustably set a golf tee into a substrate at a controlled height repeatably. As a result, the height of the golf tee is repeatably the same for the corresponding golf club. The combination golf tool apparatus generally includes a case, a shaft member, a divot tool, and a ball marker. The case includes a means for retaining the divot tool, a case reference, a protrusion, and a clearance for receiving the shaft member. The shaft member generally includes a head, tee height indicators, a recess, grooves, a magnet, a sloped recess, and a convex surface to match a golf tee head. The magnet is set in the recess as a provision for retaining a metallic ball marker. The sloped recess enables a golfer to press on an edge of the golf marker to flip-up the marker for removal from the magnet. The protrusion in the case communicates with a helical groove in the shaft member in order to control and guide the shaft member in the case. Positioning of the shaft member with respect to the case sets the convex surface of the shaft member within the case so that the convex surface defines an upper end of a cavity within the case for insertion of an upper end of a golf tee. The tee is inserted into a ground surface until the case makes contact with the ground, the golf tee is set at a fixed repeatable height with respect to the ground, predetermined by the setting of the shaft member within the case. The helical groove results in a one and one-quarter inch of linear travel per rotation of the shaft member and correlates with the selected golf clubs namely, the golf club wedge, the numbers 1, 2, and 3 woods, and the numbers 4-9 irons. An individual golfer, with practice, soon learns that a given fractional setting might work better for him or her, i.e., instead of the exact setting of the height indicator on the case reference, a fractional turn as a one-half or a one-quarter setting of the height indicator before or beyond the case reference, as an example.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present invention, a combination golf tool apparatus.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the apparatus of FIG. 1, and illustrates a divot tool and ball marker.
FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the apparatus of FIG. 1.
FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 illustrate the various embodiments of the present invention.
FIGS. 7, 7A, 8 and 8A indicate a correlation of height indicators versus tee placement.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
FIGS. 9, 10 and 11 illustrate preferred embodiments of the present invention.
In accordance with the present invention, a combination golf tool apparatus is disclosed. The golf tool apparatus is directed to enable setting a golf tee into a substrate at a controlled height. More particularly, the golf tool apparatus enables a golfer to set a golf tee at an exact height to correspond to the selected golf club. Specifically, it will be noted in the drawings that the golf tool apparatus relates to an apparatus designed as a convenient means for setting a golf tee at a selected height for the selected golf club being used. The golf tool apparatus further includes a divot tool as an accessory item as well as a golf ball marker and retainer. In the broadest context, the combination golf tool apparatus of the present invention consists of components configured and correlated with respect to each other so as to attain the desired objective.
FIGS. 1-11 illustrate the preferred embodiment of a combination golf tool apparatus made in accordance with the present invention. The golf tool 1 generally includes a case 2, a shaft member 3, and a divot tool 4.
Referring to FIG. 2, the case 2 includes a clearance 2A for receipt of the shaft member 3, a divot tool clearance 2B for receipt of the divot tool 4, ledges 2C within the clearance 2B to facilitate sliding receipt of the divot tool 4, a protrusion 2D disposed in the clearance 2A, and a case reference 2F (shown in FIG. 1). The ledges 2C in conjunction with the divot tool clearance 2B serve to contain the divot tool 4. More particularly, the divot tool 4 further includes an edge 4C for sliding engagement along the ledges 2C of the case 2; and further includes an end-catch 4B, and at least one side-catch 4E disposed along the ledges 2C of the case 2. The ledges 2C can further include at least one notches 2E (shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 9) selectively positioned along the length of the ledges 2C in order to receive the side-catch 4E of the divot tool 4 in order to releasably lock the divot tool 4 in position. Urging a surface 4A of the divot tool 4 along the case 2 will release the side-catch 4E from the notches 2E. Preferably the catch 4E is integral to the divot tool 4 and can be any type projection sized to be received within the notches 2E of the case 2. When repairing a divot on the golf course, the divot tool 4 can be urged toward the case 2 in order to extend ends 4D of the divot tool 4 from the case 2 sufficiently to repair the turf from which the divot was dislodged by a golfer.
Referring to FIGS. 3, 4, 5 and 6, the shaft member includes a base 3I, head 3A at one end, a recess 3B, at least one helical groove 3C, a magnet 3D disposed in the recess 3B, a sloped recess 3F (shown in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6), a convex surface 3G opposite the head 3A, and a plurality of tee height indicators 3H, preferably ten (10) indicators 3H. The golfer can releasably place a metallic ball marker 3E on the magnet 3D for convenience in carrying the ball marker 3E. As is known in the sport of golf, the ball marker 3E is usable to mark the position of the golf ball on a golf course green when the golf ball needs to be removed from the green so another golfer can putt. The sloped recess 3F permits the golfer to press down on an edge of the ball marker 3E for ease of the ball marker 3E removal from the magnet 3D.
The at least one groove 3C matches up with the protrusion 2D to guide and control the linear positioning of the shaft member 3 within the case 2. In the preferred embodiment, the helical groove 3C includes one and one-quarter inch of linear travel per rotation of the shaft member 3 within the case 2 such that the shaft member 3 adjustably penetrates into the case 2 of the device 1. Each such setting is for adjusting the depth in which tee 5 is inserted into the ground. The shaft member 3 preferably includes 10 settings corresponding to 10 common golf club variations including a wedge, woods numbers 1, 2, and 3, and irons numbers 4-9.
In application, after a golfer has selected his/her golf club, the golfer rotates the base 3I of the shaft member 3 within the case 4 until the selected golf club number is aligned with the case reference 2F of the case 2. As shown in FIGS. 5-8, a cavity “C” can be defined within the case 2. The size of the cavity “C” is dependent upon the setting of the shaft member 3 in relation to the case 4. For example, as shown in FIG. 7, the majority of the shaft member 3 is positioned within the case 4 and the cavity “C” is relatively minimal as opposed to FIG. 8 where the shaft member 3 is adjusted outside the case 2 defining a larger cavity “C”. Referring to FIG. 4, a common golf tee 5 is inserted in the cavity “C” of the device 1 so that the convex surface 3G of the shaft member 3 mates with the head portion 5A of the golf tee 5. The golf tee 5 is inserted into the ground 100 (shown in FIG. 7) until the case 2 is in contact with the ground. The golf tee 5 is now set at a height with respect to the ground 100 in accordance with the height setting determined by aligning the tee height indicator 3H and the case reference 2F. Arrow “A” in FIGS. 7A and 8A illustrate a correlation between golf tee height settings and tee height indicators 2F. It should now be understood that height “A” is approximately equal to the size or distance of cavity “C” as previously discussed.
An advantage of the device 1 is that it permits repetitive tee settings at a repeatable given height. This is important for consistent golf ball striking. If a golfer finds after practice that setting the tee height indicators 2F slightly different is suitable for his/her club performance, this is easily accomplished by setting the tee height indicator 3H a fractional turn ahead of, or behind, the case referenced 2F. Again, an advantage of the device 1 is that it permits repeatable settings.
Once the golf tee 5 is set within the ground, the device 1 is lifted and removed from the golf tee 5. A golf ball 6 can then be placed on the head 5A of the golf tee 5 as is known in the art.
In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the combination of at least one helical groove 3C in the shaft member 3 and the protrusion 2D in the case 2 work well. An alternate embodiment of threads in both the case 2 and the shaft member 3 was not as convenient for manual manipulation of the device 1 in operation.
Except for the magnet 3D, the preferred material of construction of the present invention is an injection moldable structural grade plastic. The magnet 3D can be made of any suitable magnetic material.
Although the description above contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention.
For example, while the invention is discussed in terms of setting golf tees into the ground at predetermined heights, the basic mechanism may well have other applications, such as setting pins in a substrate, such as nails in walls for picture hanging, or setting studs at varying heights, or nails for temporary structures such as concrete forms where it is undesirable to have the nails driven in completely so as to facilitate tear down. Currently, this is accomplished with a special double headed nail, which is more expensive than a conventional nail.
Thus the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims in the formal application and their legal equivalents, rather than by the examples given.