The following claims priority from design patent applications, Ser. No. 29/361,345, filed 10 May 2010 and Ser. No. 29/368,388, filed 23 Aug. 2010 by the same inventor.
- BACKGROUND ART
The present invention relates generally to accessories for golfers and particularly to golf bags used by golfers.
Golf is a sport which its practitioners often take very seriously. Golfers are always looking for ways in which they can improve their shot making and scoring and general enjoyment of the game. Often these advances take the form of “improvements” in the equipment used to play the game (clubs and balls). Others relate to accessories which improve the quality of the experience, such as golf bags, carts and head covers.
The golf bag for carrying clubs, balls and accessories is a principal element of any golf experience. Golf bags can often be high weight and cumbersome items which can cause difficulties when carried on the shoulders or even just in moving them from the vehicle to the golf cart. Therefore, it is desirable to find ways to improve the balance and weight distribution.
- DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION
Applicant and Applicant's company, Sun Mountain Sports, Inc. has developed many improvements over the years which aid golfers in handling golf bags, both for carry bags and for bags adapted for use with golf carts. Among these improvements are carrying strap system and golf bag collar structures. Notwithstanding these improvements, room remains for further advances in methods of achieving comfort and handling utility to golf bag users.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a golf bag collar system which provides multiple accessibility options for carrying and lifting to the user.
Another object of the invention is to provide a golf bag collar system which provides gripping locations higher on the bag than conventional handles.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide multi-functional apertures which may be gripping handles or locations to hang accessories such as towels or golf gloves during use.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a golf bag collar system which facilitates loading on a golf cart in any rotational alignment.
Briefly, one preferred embodiment of the present invention is integral multi-handle golf bag collar system for a golf bag, including a golf bag with a generally tubular body having a longitudinal axis, a collar formed at one end of said tubular body, the collar being open for receiving golf club shafts therethrough to extend into said tubular body. The preferred collar member is provided with a plurality of vertical apertures around its circumference, bounded on the upper edge thereof by a semi-rigid rim portion, with each vertical aperture and associated rim portion being capable of serving as a handle for lifting, manipulating and carrying the golf bag. In one preferred embodiment the collar member includes a rear handle aperture and a pair of opposingly arrayed side handle apertures.
An advantage of the present invention is that it provides multiple gripping and lifting options for the user when loading and unloading the golf bag on a golf cart or removing the bag from a vehicle trunk or the like.
Another advantage of the invention is that it provides a variety of easily accessible apertures for purposes such as hanging a towel therethrough, with the towel being easily removable.
An additional advantage of the invention is that the golf bag collar is generally symmetrical about at least one vertical plane.
A further advantage of the invention is that additional gripping and lifting options are provided to the user without adding additional weight to the golf bag assembly.
Yet anther advantage of the present invention is that stress on the golf bag body may be reduced by facilitating lifting along the axis of the bag, rather than from externally situated handles.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become clear to those skilled in the art in view of the description of the best presently known mode of carrying out the invention and the industrial applicability of the preferred embodiment as described herein and as illustrated in the several figures of the drawings.
The purposes and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description in conjunction with the appended drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the top portion of a golf bag provided with the collar system of the present invention;
FIG. 2. is a front perspective view of another embodiment of the invention, showing the collar portion only;
FIG. 3. is a side elevational view of one embodiment; and
BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION
FIG. 4. is a top view of the invention.
The present invention is golf bag collar system adapted to be used with carry bags for golf clubs and accessories. The golf bag collar system is referred to by the general reference character 10 in the drawings and description. The golf bag collar system 10 may be incorporated into various golf bags and embodiments.
In the preferred embodiments of the invention, the golf bag collar system 10 is installed upon a typical golf bag, in each case shown and described herein, a carry bag from Sun Mountain Sports, Inc. of Missoula, Mont. Two slightly different embodiments of the invention are illustrated in the drawings, with FIGS. 1 and 4 showing one embodiment and FIGS. 2 and 3 showing an equally preferred embodiment. Both embodiments share the salient features of the invention.
The illustration of FIG. 1 shows the components of the golf bag collar system 10, installed upon a golf bag 12. The golf bag 12 is intended to enclose and support a plurality of golf clubs 13 (not shown). The collar system 10 includes a circumferential collar member 14 which extends about the periphery of the golf bag 12 at the upper open end thereof. The collar system 10 also includes any of a variety of internal collar divider structures 16 which separate the clubs 13 into groups. The internal collar dividers 16 are not a part of the present invention.
In all preferred embodiments, the collar system 10 is provided with a plurality of circumferentially spaced vertical apertures 18 with semi-rigid rim portions 20 defining the upper edges of the vertical apertures 18. The semi-rigid rim portions 20 and the vertical apertures define handles 22 spaced about the collar 14.
Although the number and precise arrangement of the handles 22 is variable, the preferred arrangement includes at least two handles 22 arranged opposingly on the sides of the circumferential collar member 14. This arrangement facilitates easy grasping and lifting of the golf bag 12, particularly to and from vertical locations, such as those found on riding golf carts.
In the embodiments shown the circumferential collar 14 includes a rear handle 24, a left side handle 26 and a right side handle 28. It is also envisioned that a front handle could be utilized, but this is often inconvenient on some golf bags because a putter slot or similar compartment is frequently provided at that location.
The vertical alignment of the apertures 18 and handles 22 is important in that it facilitates easy grasping by the user and vertical lifting when required. The vertical apertures 18 also provide a convenient location for threading a towel or the like therethrough.
The shape of the vertical apertures 18 and the rim portions 20 may vary with the golf bag model. The vertical apertures 18 of FIGS. 1 and 4 are more arcical with apexes while the apertures of FIGS. 2 and 3 are more angular. The important aspects of the apertures 18 are that they be of sufficient size to permit the user's fingers to fit therein to facilitate a good grip.
Similarly, the semi-rigid rim portions 20 must be comfortable to grasp and strong enough to easily bear the weight of the bag 12 and its contents. The rim portions 20 may be provided with textured gripping surfaces or covered with fabrics for additional comfort or aesthetic aspects.
Many other modifications to the above embodiments may be made without altering the nature of the invention. The dimensions and shapes of the materials may be modified for particular bags or categories of user. Alternate arrangements of the multiple handles 22 may be provided for special purposes and the sizes and shapes of the vertical apertures 18 may be greatly varied.
- INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY
While various embodiments have been described above, it should be understood that they have been presented by way of example only, and not as limitations.
The integral multi-handle golf bag collar system 10 of the present invention is intended for use primarily by golfers who desire maximum comfort and optimal weight distribution while carrying a golf bag. It particularly intended to be used whenever the bag is to be frequently utilized on riding carts.
The manner of use of the present invention will be very much at the discretion of the user. The multiple vertical handles 22 spaced around the circumferential collar 14 give the user a variety of options on how to carry or lift the bag. Often the built in handles and straps of conventional golf bags are spaced apart form the collar 14 and may not be conveniently accessible when the user wishes to lift or manipulate the orientation of the bag. In these instances the user can simply grasp whichever one of the handles 22 (or combination thereof) presents itself as being most accessible. In addition, the multiple vertical apertures 18 provide opportunities for attaching items such as club brushes and bag tags which a golfer may acquire, as well as a place to store or dry a golf glove between shots. As previously indicated, the apertures 18 also provide a location for releasably securing a towel in a location convenient to the golfer during a round, without the necessity of a hook or other fastener on the towel.
For the above, and other, reasons, it is expected that the integral multi-handle golf bag collar system 10 of the present invention will have widespread industrial applicability. Therefore, it is expected that the commercial utility of the present invention will be extensive and long lasting.
While various embodiments have been described above, it should be understood that they have been presented by way of example only, and not limitation. Thus, the breadth and scope of a preferred embodiment should not be limited by any of the above described exemplary embodiments, but should be defined only in accordance with the following claims and their equivalents.