US20130059679A1 - Golf Tee Extender - Google Patents

Golf Tee Extender Download PDF

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Publication number
US20130059679A1
US20130059679A1 US13/443,540 US201213443540A US2013059679A1 US 20130059679 A1 US20130059679 A1 US 20130059679A1 US 201213443540 A US201213443540 A US 201213443540A US 2013059679 A1 US2013059679 A1 US 2013059679A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
tee
golf tee
flexible
golf
spike
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Abandoned
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US13/443,540
Inventor
Roger E. Murken
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Roger E. Murken
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Priority to US13/223,606 priority Critical patent/US8167741B1/en
Priority to US201113310603A priority
Application filed by Roger E. Murken filed Critical Roger E. Murken
Priority to US13/443,540 priority patent/US20130059679A1/en
Publication of US20130059679A1 publication Critical patent/US20130059679A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B57/00Golfing accessories
    • A63B57/10Golf tees
    • A63B57/16Brush-type tees

Abstract

A golf tee made by over molding process that has a softer upper flexible portion and a stiffer lower spike portion. The upper flexible portion and the lower spike portion are joined together at a joining point where two different stiffness materials can come together. With the over molding process, strong mechanical interlocks may be formed while using two different materials as well as using various mixture of a same material having two different stiffness.

Description

    CLAIMING PRIORITY OF THE EARLIER FILED APPLICATION
  • This is a Continuation-in-Part of the earlier filed patent application, Ser. No. 13/223,606, filed on Sep. 1, 2011, and a Continuation-in-Part of the earlier filed patent application, Ser. No. 13/310,603, filed on Dec. 2, 2011.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to a golf tee extender for repetitive tee shots without the need for re-inserting a new tee to the ground comprising: a ball support portion for receiving a golf ball thereon and allowing insertion of a regular golf tee through its opening; a hollow body for allowing passage of the golf tee; and a tee head chamber for engaging the head of the golf tee therein and securely confining and holding the head of the golf tee.
  • Golfers go to either a golf course or a driving range for practice in order to improve. Most driving ranges nowadays use mats to keep maintenance costs low, but many still grow real grass for practice. To practice, a golfer has to bring a large quantity of tees because wood or plastic tees frequently break or become lost when struck by the head of a golf club. When a tee is broken, the broken lower portion of the golf tee is still left in the ground. Therefore, the broken lower portion needs be removed and another new golf tee inserted into the ground. In addition when the tees are lost during an extended practice, a player has to repeatedly reinsert tees into the ground.
  • Therefore, it is very troublesome to repetitively insert new tees and to take out and remove the broken lower portions of the golf tees.
  • In order to prevent this repetitive re-insertion or loss of golf tees, a number of golf tee anchoring devices have been developed. These devices usually have a golf ball support part, an anchoring part, and sometimes a connector connecting the golf ball support part to the anchoring part, with or without a tethering arrangement.
  • However, these systems generally have all or some of the following disadvantages: tee is still susceptible to tee breakage or a tee is lifted out of the ground; tee system may require a user to reseat or readjust the golf ball support part; system may have many elements of a complex structure, resulting in increased manufacturing costs; and especially when a tether is used, the golfer still must go to the tee system to reseat the dislodged golf ball support part or readjust the tee.
  • Accordingly, a need for a golf tee extender of a simple but effective structure for repetitive tee shots without the need for re-inserting a new tee into the ground has been present for a long time considering the expansive demands in the everyday life. This invention is directed to solve these problems and satisfy the long-felt need.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention contrives to solve the disadvantages of the prior art.
  • An object of the invention is to provide a golf tee extender of a simple but effective structure for repetitive tee shots that does not require re-inserting a new tee into the ground. The golf tee extender is made of a flexible and elastomeric material and comprises a hollow cylindrical part for allowing passage of a regular golf tee and a tee head chamber to securely hold the tee. When the golf tee extender with a regular golf tee mounted is inserted into the ground, the rigid golf tee is inserted to below ground level and only the flexible golf tee extender is above the ground. Thus, the golf tee extender allows repetitive shots without the need to reinsert a golf tee on the practice range and produces a longer ball flight because the entire above ground portion is a flexible, hollow tube.
  • Another object of the invention is to provide a golf tee extender with a simple structure but effective structure for repetitive tee shots that does not require re-inserting a new tee to the ground. The golf tee extender device can be used with any length of a wood or plastic tee commercially available in lengths from 2⅛″ to 4″, complying with USGA specifications for an authorized golf tee. The USGA rule 11.1 states that a tee is to be no longer than 4 inches, and the length of the golf tee extender device can be modified by using a different length of a rigid tee and/or by trimming the flexible tubular ball support.
  • Yet another object of the invention is to provide a golf tee extender for repetitive tee shots that does not require re-inserting a new tee into the ground comprising: a ball support portion for receiving a golf ball thereon and allowing insertion of a regular golf tee through its opening; a hollow body for allowing passage of the golf tee; and a tee head chamber for engaging head of the golf tee therein and securely confining and holding the head of the golf tee. The tee head chamber is configured in a shape reverse to the shape of the head of the golf tee to securely engage and confine the head of the golf tee. Additionally, the tee head chamber comprises a middle opening and a lower opening wherein the diameter of the middle opening is smaller than the diameter of head of the golf tee. The golf tee extender may further comprise a recess between the hollow body and the tee head chamber in order to make insertion of the golf tee extender into the ground easier. The hollow body may be trimmed to adjust the height of the golf tee extender to suit various height needs.
  • Another aspect of the invention provides a golf tee extender for repetitive tee shots comprising: a ball support portion, comprising a rim to define a golf ball engaging surface for receiving a golf ball thereon and an upper opening for allowing insertion of a golf tee; a hollow body for allowing passage of the golf tee; and a tee head chamber for engaging the head of the golf tee therein and securely confining and holding the head of the golf tee; wherein the tee head chamber is configured in a shape reverse to the shape of the head of the golf tee to securely engage and confine the head of the golf tee; wherein the tee head chamber comprises a breakable membrane and a lower opening wherein the breakable membrane initially seals upper part of the tee head chamber and is broken when the golf tee is inserted within the tee head chamber.
  • Another aspect of the invention provides the golf tee extender to be made of two different materials for the upper and lower portions, unique to this invention. The upper portion made of more flexible and soft material and the lower portion made of less flexible and less soft material to help the tee insertion into the ground.
  • The advantages of the present invention are: (1) the golf tee extender is for repetitive tee shots that does not require re-inserting a new tee to the ground; (2) a golf tee extender has a simple structure, but is effective for producing maximum anchoring to inhibit or prohibit dislodgement; (3) the golf tee extender increases the energy transfer from a swinging golf club to a golf ball resulting in an increase in the distance traveled by the golf ball struck; (4) the golf tee extender's recess helps insertion of the golf tee extender to the ground easier; and (5) the different materials used for the upper and lower parts leave the portion coming to contact with the golf club soft and flexible, but the portion coming to contact with the ground to be stiffer and more penetrating (and also more securely grip the head of a tee).
  • Although the present invention is briefly summarized, the fuller understanding of the invention can be obtained by the following drawings, detailed description, and appended claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1( a)-(c) is a cross-sectional view of the golf tee extender device identified as GTED No. 1;
  • FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the golf tee extender device as it is meant to be used with the entire rigid tee below the ground level;
  • FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of another embodiment of the golf tee extender device;
  • FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of yet another embodiment of the golf tee extender device;
  • FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of another embodiment of the modified rigid golf tee extender identified as GTED No. 2;
  • FIG. 6 is a three dimensional view of the stem tip of the rigid golf tee used in FIG. 5;
  • FIG. 7 is a three dimensional view of a cone which can be used with a regular tee to produce the modified rigid golf tee extender in FIG. 5;
  • FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of still another embodiment of a modified golf tee extender identified as a GTED No. 3;
  • FIGS. 9-9 b are cross-sectional views of another embodiment of a modified golf tee extender identified as GTED No. 4;
  • FIGS. 10-10 c are cross-sectional views of still another embodiment of a modified golf tee extender;
  • FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view of still another embodiment of a modified golf tee extender; and
  • FIGS. 12 a-12 d are cross-sectional views of still another embodiment of a modified golf tee extender.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
  • FIG. 1( a)-(c) shows the golf tee extender 100, identified as GTED No. 1, for repetitive tee shots that does not require re-inserting new tees to the ground. A regular or standard golf tee is inserted into and securely mounted into the golf tee extender 100. The golf tee extender 100 for repetitive tee shots comprises a ball support portion 10 for receiving a golf ball thereon. The ball support portion has an upper hollow section 20 and a lower hollow section 25.
  • The upper hollow section 20 is the upper portion of the golf ball tee 100, and it has an upper opening 12 at one end and a tee pass-through hole 31 at the opposite end. The upper hollow section 20 has a ball support portion 10 ending at the upper opening 12, wherein the edges of the upper opening 12 defines the ball engaging surface 11 where a golf ball is placed for hitting.
  • The golf tee 40 then can be inserted into the ball support portion 10 through the upper hollow section 20 via the upper opening 12, and through the tee pass-through hole 31 to be securely captured in the lower hollow section 25 at the tee head chamber 30.
  • The tee head chamber 30 is configured in a shape substantially reverse to the shape of the head 41 of the golf tee 40 to securely engage and confine the head 41 of the golf tee 40. As shown on the FIG. 1( a), the tee head chamber 30 communicates with the upper hollow section 20 via the tee pass-through hole 31 and ends at a lower opening 32. The diameter of the tee pass-through hole 31 is substantially smaller than the diameter of the head of the golf tee 41.
  • The tee head chamber 30 is designed to securely hold the golf tee head, but may enclose both of the head and a portion of the stem 42 of the golf tee. The separation of the golf tee extender 100 from the golf tee is made difficult because the tubular portion surrounding the head and stem of the golf tee is stretchable and its internal measurements are designed to be identical or nominally smaller than the head 41 and stem 42 of the golf tee, thereby compressing the rigid golf tee 40 once the golf tee has been inserted into the golf tee extender 100.
  • The golf tee extender 100 is constructed of an elastic, resilient material, such as elastomer, rubber, or plastic whether natural or synthetic, to prevent any tee breakage or dislodgement caused by the impact of a golf club head thereagainst. The material is durable to withstand repeated strikes by a club head. Besides, the rim of the ball support portion may be slightly greater in diameter than the head of the golf tee so as to produce a more stable base to support a golf ball thereon.
  • The hollow body 20 is tubular or cylindrical or various other tubular shapes for the passage of the golf tee 40 and the tee head chamber 30 is stretchable so as to allow the passage of the golf tee 40 and especially, its tee head 41, and securely confine and hold the golf tee head 41. The stem section 44 extends downward below the head of the golf tee 41 to firmly compress and hold the stem of the golf tee 42. Specifically, the elastic middle opening rim 33 of the tee head chamber 30 stretches to allow the passage of the golf tee 40, but once the golf tee head 41 is mounted within the tee head chamber 30, the middle opening rim 33 does not allow upward slippage of the golf tee head 41, thereby securely holding the golf tee head 41.
  • While tee head chamber 30 engages, surrounds and confines the head and shaft of the rigid tee 40, the diameter of the inner wall 21 of the upper hollow section 20 may be made smaller than the head and stem of the rigid tee which requires that the golf tee extender 100 be stretched to allow passage of the rigid tee 40 through the internal tee head chamber 30 designed to hold the head and shaft of the rigid tee. The pressure applied by the golf tee extender 100 to the head and shaft of the golf tee results from the stretchable internal chamber compressing onto the head and shaft of the rigid tee.
  • The tee head chamber 30 and the stem section 44 may contain an adhesive therein to tightly bond the tee head chamber 30 and the stem of the golf tee 40. Alternatively, the adhesive may be applied separately when placing the golf tee 40 into the tee head chamber 30.
  • Moreover the tee head chamber 30 has an internal wall 35, wherein the diameter of the area formed by the internal wall 30 near the tee pass-through hole 31 is gradually reduced by the narrowing of the area formed by the internal wall 35 towards the lower opening 32. Alternately, the tee head chamber 30 may have an elongated section 36 wherein the diameter of internal wall 35 remains substantially constant throughout the elongated section 36. Additionally, the diameter of the lower opening 32 may be either identical to or nominally less than the diameter of the stem 42 of the tee 40, thereby compressing and securely tightening the golf tee 40.
  • FIG. 2 shows the golf tee extender device inserted into the ground as designed with the entire stem 42 and either partial or complete head 41 of the golf tee 40 into the ground. One of the advantages of this invention is that the ball support portion 10 may be comprises of two different materials for the upper hollow portion 20 and the lower hollow portion 25, wherein the material used for the lower hollow portion 25 is stiffer than the material used for the upper hollow portion 20 enabling the lower hollow portion 25 to penetrate the ground more conveniently than the less softer material used for the upper hollow portion 20. The lower hollow portion 25 made be made of stiffer rubber or even harder material, such as plastic, fiber, or metal. Moreover, the outer surface of the lower hollow section may have a roughed surface 38, such as and not limited to being ribbed, corrugated, protruding surfaces, or needles extending out surfaces similar to that of a porcupine, to help prevent the golf tee extender from easily pulling out of the ground.
  • The flexible tube of the golf tee extender device 101 bends when hit by a golf club and then returns to its pre-hit configuration, standing straight up, after the strike without any additional support, either inside or outside the upper hollow section, other than the tee 40 inserted into the ball support portion. Meanwhile, the rigid tee of the golf tee extender device is firmly anchored in the ground and the golf tee extender device 101 is not broken or dislodged.
  • The golf tee extender device 100, 101 is inserted into the ground until the head of the golf tee is at or below the ground level, and only the flexible tubular portion of the upper hollow section 20 extends above ground. Thus, entire above ground portion is a flexible tubular golf tee extender 100, and when hit by a golf club, the fulcrum point of bending may be at ground level or lower, unlike all other known prior art. Moreover, unlike any other prior art, because this invention may be made with two different materials for the upper hollow section 20 and the lower hollow section 25, the upper and more necessarily flexible portion of the upper hollow section 20 may be made of highly flexible material contrast to the lower and more necessarily stiff portion of the lower hollow section 25 may be made of more stiffer material, all helping to give greater resistance to the golf tee extender 100 being pulled off the ground and to result in greater kinetic energy transferred to the golf ball enabling a longer flight of the golf ball. Although the transition point 39 between two materials may be at or near the level of the tee pass-through hole 31, it is believed to be the best if the transition point 39 between two materials is slightly below the level of the tee pass-through hole 31.
  • Moreover although the two materials used may be sharply divided by the transition point 39 such that the material changes over the transition point 39 abruptly, it would be better if the two materials would gradually change stiffness over a transition area about the transition point 39 somewhat below the level of the tee pass-through hole 31. This smooth and gradual change of stiffness may be best achieved by using elastomeric materials, such as rubber. Although the words “two materials” are used, but the term “two materials” is to be understood broadly to specifically include one type of material (such as rubber) with two different stiffness or flexibility due to their difference in content, texture, consistency, roughness, or other internal (such as the use of different alloys or impregnating with greater impurities) or external differences (such as the use of different coatings or ribbings). For example, a same rubber material may be used for “two materials,” only differed by each having different elasticity or flexibility or texture. The invention shall not be interpreted as limiting to the use of two totally different materials, such as rubber and metal.
  • FIG. 3 shows another embodiment of the golf tee extender 100. The golf tee extender device further comprises a recess 50 between the hollow body 20 and the tee head chamber 30 to facilitate the insertion of the golf tee 40 into the ground. A user holds the recessed part 50 and pushes the golf tee 40 into the ground. The hollow body 20 tapers downward and then expands to form the base of a cone. The cone, then, tapers downward again. The base of the cone forms an angle of less than 90 degrees with the portion of the hollow body 20 right above the base of the cone. The cone configuration deflects the ground away from and protects the flexible tube. This further inhibits or prohibits upwards displacement of the golf tee extender when hit by a golf club.
  • Also, FIG. 3 shows an inner wall 21 and an outer wall 22 of the upper hollow section, such that the diameter of the area formed by the inner wall 21 near the upper opening 12 is gradually reduced by the narrowing of the area formed by the inner wall 21 towards the tee pass-through hole. This gradual narrowing of the diameter of the circumference created by the inner wall 21 may be throughout the entire length of the upper hollow section, about half, about lower one third, or any portion thereof.
  • FIG. 4 shows an alternative embodiment of the golf tee extender device 100. Here, the middle opening 31 is initially sealed by a breakable membrane 34. When the golf tee 40 is inserted into the tee head chamber 30, the golf tee tip 43 breaks the breakable membrane 34, making the middle opening 31. The breakable membrane 34 is thinner than the middle opening rim 33.
  • FIG. 5 shows another alternative embodiment of the golf tee extender device 101 identified as GTED NO. 2. Here, the golf tee 40 is modified by using a wood or plastic golf tee which has a stem 42 in the shape of a cone and profile shape of an arrowhead on the lower stem 42 and tip 43 of the rigid tee. The arrowhead's base 45 extends outwards and upwards toward the head 41 of the golf tee producing an angle 46 of less than 90 degrees with the stem line and an angle opening which projects toward the head 41 of the golf tee.
  • The stem section 44 of the flexible tube extends below the head of the golf tee until it reaches the base 45 of the cone shaped distal stem. The distal portion of the tapered flexible tube is cut sharply at an angle 47 identical to the angle 46 in the arrowhead section of the rigid tee.
  • The modified golf tee extender (flexible tubular portion) is fitted into the notch created by the circumferential, arrowhead, cone-like configuration at the distal end of the golf tee stem. The contact plane 48 between the flexible tubular portion and the rigid tee extends upwards and outwards. As the modified GTED is inserted into the ground, the cone-like arrowhead configuration of the distal rigid golf tee deflects the ground away from and protect the distal end of the flexible tubular portion from direct pressure thereby inhibits its upward displacement as the modified golf tee extender is inserted into the ground.
  • FIG. 6 shows a three dimensional perspective view of the modified rigid tee used in FIG. 5. The lower stem 42 and tip 43 of the rigid tee are transformed into a cone configuration shown in this drawing with an arrowhead profile best shown in FIG. 5.
  • FIG. 7 shows a wood or plastic cone which can be used with a regular golf tee to produce the rigid tee with a cone tip shown in FIG. 5. The cone 49 has an internal hollow cylinder 50 which can be slipped over the tip 43 of a regular wood or plastic tee and advanced up the stem 42 to a desired level and then bonded to the stem of the golf tee with an adhesive.
  • FIG. 8 shows another alternative embodiment of the golf tee extender device identified as GTED No. 3 in cross-sectional profile. The GTED No. 3 is the same as the GTED No. 2 except for the head 53 of the golf tee. The head of the golf tee is shaped like a pill box with square edges. There is no tapering of the rigid golf tee head towards the stem 42. A notch configuration 54 is created between the inferior surface of the pill box shaped head of the golf tee and the stem. This sharp notch inhibits upward slippage of the flexible tube when it is struck by a swinging golf club.
  • FIG. 9 through FIG. 9 b show another alternative embodiment of the golf tee extender device identified as GTED No. 4 in cross-sectional profile. A regular rigid wood or plastic golf tee 40 or a similar golf tee 40 is used having different measurements (diameters of the golf tee head and length of stem). Using a rigid golf tee with the same configuration but different measurements may require the rigid tee be separately manufactured out of wood or molded to form a rigid plastic tee.
  • The flexible portion of the GTED No. 4 is made out of an elastic resilient material such as elastomer, rubber, or plastic to prevent tee breakage or dislodgement when struck by a swinging golf club. The flexible portion consists of a hollow body 20 with a ball support portion 10 for receiving a golf ball thereon and an upper opening 12. The opening 12 may be larger than the head of the golf tee 41. The hollow body 20 may taper as it descends to a lower bottom 55, as the tapering approaches the tee contact surface 62 of the golf tee.
  • The tee contact surface 62 may be improved in making secure contact with the top surface 56 of the golf tee 40 when there is no substantial gap between the tee contact surface 62 and the top surface 56 of the golf tee 40 except for any epoxy that may be used to bond two surfaces together. Moreover when the tee contact surface 62 has a convex shape and the top surface 56 of the golf tee 40 has a concave shape, there likely will be no substantial gap between the tee contact surface 62 and the top surface 56 of the golf tee 40, improving the contact and the bonding strength. Furthermore, the tee contact surface 62 may have either pile 81 or hook 82 half of a hook and pile system (such as commonly used Velcro® attachments, otherwise known as a hook and pile system) and the top surface of the golf tee has the fastening pile 81 or hook 82 half of the hook and pile system so that the tee contact surface and the top surface may be removably yet securely attached.
  • FIG. 10 through FIG. 10 c show additional cross-sectional views of still another embodiment of a modified golf tee extender system 100. The male engaging portion 57 of the GTED No. 4 fits into the female engaging portion 58 of the golf tee 40 for better secure attachment of the GTED to the golf tee. Having the engaging portions of male and female enhances the grip and the attachment of the ball support portion 10 to the golf tee 40. Also, when the ball support portion 10 is bonded to the golf tee 40 by an epoxy or other securing means, the male engaging portion 57 interlocking with the female engaging portion 58 increases the surface area and provide more secure bond.
  • One embodiment as shown on FIG. 10 a is where the male and female engaging portions 57, 58 are threaded so that the ball support portion 10 is securely held by the top surface of golf tee. The male engaging portion 57 may be on either the tee contact surface 62 or on the top surface of golf tee, but it is believe that when the male engaging portion 57 is on the tee contact surface, the golf tee extender system 100 works better.
  • Another embodiment as shown on FIG. 10 b and FIG. 10 c is where the female engaging portion 58 has a female opening 59 and a female cavity 60 such that the diameter of the female opening 59 is smaller than the diameter of the female cavity 60, wherein the size of the male engaging portion 57 is substantially similar to the size of the female cavity 60 so that a forced engagement is required to have the male engaging portion 57 penetrate the female opening 59 and to be held within the female cavity 60 to securely hold the golf tee extender system together.
  • For the better use of the embodiments depicted by FIGS. 9-10 c, the inventor believes that the golf tee 40 in its entirety may be inserted and imbedded into the ground securely held by the ground to allow repetitive strikes onto the exposed more flexible upper hollow section 20. Moreover, a longer flexible upper hollow section 20 may be provided so that the golfer may cut the upper hollow section 20 to be adjusted for the best preferred tee height while the tee 40 is still imbedded deep into the ground.
  • Another version of the invention, as shown in FIG. 11 and FIG. 12 a-d, is a golf tee 75 made by a molding process, including but not limited to over molding and common injection molding processes. Although this version is not limited to the tees made by these processes, upon review of various manufacturing processes, the inventor finds the over molding process to be the best in producing two different stiffness over the length of the tee, namely providing tees with an upper flexible portion 77 and a lower spike portion 80 made from a material having two different stiffness. Moreover, using the over molding process, it is conceivable and within the scope of this invention that a golf tee 75 with more than two different stiffness portions be created, such as shown in FIG. 12 c.
  • Injection over molding is preferred over common injection molding, because two different molding materials can be used to mold an item. For example, the golf tee 75 may be made with the lower spike portion 80 made of aluminum and the upper flexible portion 77 made of rubber. Also, as an example, and preferred in this version, the golf tee 75 may be made with the lower spike portion 80 made of stiff rubber or plastic (or even metal and other hard material suited for the molding process) and the upper flexible portion 77 made of flexible rubber (or other less stiff material suited for the molding process).
  • Alternately, the golf tee 75 may be made with both the lower spike portion 80 and the upper flexible portion 77 with a same material (such as rubber or nylon), with the material used for the lower spike portion 80 impregnated with metal powders or other inclusions that would make the lower spike portion 80 that much stiffer than the upper flexible portion 77. Therefore, any material or a combination of different materials that may be molded may be injected into the mold in sequence to provide various composition of the golf tees 75.
  • The product made from over molding process holds together two parts better than a mere mechanical or bonding affixation, such as joining, gluing or using epoxy. In fact, depending upon the materials used, the over molding process may actually fuse two materials together, even to a point of molecular adhesion with certain materials about the joining point 84, giving significantly stronger bond strength than two parts were bonded together or two parts locked with mechanical locks. The joining point 84 should be located at about the neck 92 area of the golf tee or anywhere below the neck 92 of the golf tee. However, it is conceivable and is included in the scope of this invention that the joining point 84 is above the neck 92.
  • Also, because the molding process are often used to over mold more than once, it is possible to have three or more different parts comprised of different materials having multiple joining points 84 as shown in FIG. 12 c. In such use, although there are a multiple joining points, the overall structural integrity is believed to be much superior over mere bonding of three different materials together.
  • Moreover, the tee 75 made from the over molding process would be smooth, seamless (having no apparent transition point on the tee), and cost effective. Literally, it would appear as the upper flexible portion 77 is fused together with the lower spike portion 80 as one solid tee 75.
  • Another version of the invention is the golf tee 75 made with injection over molding that also has a mechanical interlock 82 in addition to the melding of two materials at the joining point 84 as shown in FIG. 12 a-d. In this version, the first molding process will provide the lower spike portion 80 having a cavity 81. The cavity 81 of the lower spike portion will accept a mechanical interlock 82 that is created when the material for the upper flexible portion is poured over the cavity 81 of the lower spike portion 80 during the second molding process. This version creates very strong adhesion and also an immovable mechanical interlock 82 between the upper flexible portion 77 and the lower spike portion 80; perhaps structurally stronger than either the upper flexible portion 77 or the lower spike portion 80. The mechanical interlock 82 may be in various forms, including but not limited to male-female interlocking shapes, various interlocking ridges, and various gripping surfaces, as shown in FIG. 12 a-12 d. The gripping surface may have finishes having ridges, ripples, threads, corrugation, and spikes.
  • One example, as illustrated by FIG. 12 b, is having an interlocking protrusion 86 in a shape of an elongated finger 94 received by the corresponding female cavity. The elongated finger 94 penetrates into a substantial portion of the lower spike portion. Alternately, the male-female interlocking may be reversed in any of the versions of this invention such that the interlocking protrusion 86 penetrates into a substantial portion of the upper flexible portion as shown in FIG. 12 b.
  • Another example, as illustrated by FIG. 12 d, is having an interlocking protrusion 88 in a shape of a long substantially cone-shaped finger 108 accepted by the corresponding female cavity, penetrating into at least a substantial length of the lower spike portion 80. As a possible improvement, the long substantially cone-shaped finger 108 completely penetrates from the joining point 84, through the length of the lower spike portion 80, to a tip end 87 of the lower spike portion 80, such that the material used for the cone-shaped finger is visible or otherwise available for inspection near the tip end 87.
  • Another variation of the invention, as illustrated by FIG. 12 a, is having an interlocking protrusion 82 in a shape of a substantially mushroom-shaped finger 96 accepted by the corresponding female cavity 81, wherein the substantially mushroom-shaped finger has a larger end 97 that is substantially larger than the size of the opening 99 of the female cavity 81 such that the substantially mushroom-shaped finger may not be removed through the opening. Moreover, the lower spike portion may also have a passage 101 between the opening 99 and the corresponding female cavity 81, and wherein the larger end 97 of the mushroom-shaped finger is substantially larger than the cross-sectional area of the passage 101 such that the substantially mushroom-shaped finger may not pass through the passage. Although the term mushroom-shaped finger is used to describe a structure with a large ball with a narrower trunk pasting through the passage 101, the shape of the large ball is not limited to a round spherical shape, but may include rectangular, cubic, semi-spherical, and other irregular shapes.
  • Another version of the invention, as shown in FIG. 12 c, is that the golf tee 75 is comprised of three sections or more in which the material used in each section is different or at least the stiffness of each section is different. This version of the tee 75 comprises of an upper flexible portion 77, a middle stem portion 105, and a lower spike portion 80 made from over molding process. The upper flexible portion 77, the middle stem portion 105 and the lower spike portion 80 are made from materials with different stiffness. The upper flexible portion 77 and the middle stem portion 105 are joined together at a first joining point 107 and the middle stem portion 105 and the lower spike portion 80 are joined together at a second joining point 109. The upper flexible portion 77 has a first interlocking protrusion 111 and the middle stem portion 105 has a first corresponding female cavity 112 with a first opening such that when the material used for the upper flexible portion 77 is poured over the middle stem portion 105, a first mechanical interlock 113 is formed by the first interlocking protrusion 111 accepted by the first corresponding female cavity 112. The middle stem portion 105 has a second interlocking protrusion 115 and the lower spike portion 80 has a second corresponding female cavity 116 with a second opening such that when the material used for the middle stem portion 105 is poured over the lower spike portion 80, a second mechanical interlock 117 is formed by the second interlocking protrusion 115 accepted by the second corresponding female cavity 116.
  • As another version of the invention, not limited to any particular tees 75 shown on the Figs or described, is having the upper flexible portion 77 and the lower spike portion 80 made with varying lengths, respectively. For example, the upper flexible portion 77 may be made much longer or much shorter according to the desire of the user, and the lower spike portion 80 may be made much longer or much shorter according to the desire of the user. Also, because of the flexibility of the upper flexible portion, the length of the upper flexible portion (designated as L1, FIG. 11) may be provided extra long so that the user may cut the upper flexible portion 77 to make the tee 75 most suitable for the user. As the upper flexible portion 77 is made longer, it is beneficial to have the tee made from the over injection molding process, because it would give the best adhesion strength between two materials used.
  • When the golf tee 75 has a longer lower spike portion 80, it is ideal for use in a practice range, or otherwise for practice. An extra long lower spike will prevent the overall tee from being pulled out from the ground, and the flexible upper portion 77 will easily bend according to the impact from the golf club. Thus, the overall length of the tee 75 may be quite long, including and not limited to the section L1 as long as 3-4 inches and the lower spike portion 80 as long as 10 inches or longer, making the overall length of the tee 75 (designated as L2) be longer than 14 inches or more. Alternately, as shown in FIG. 12 c, it is possible to have a very short upper flexible portion 77 to simulate short tees for iron shots. In this configuration, the ball support portion 10 may be only a fraction of an inch or above the dimple 90 at the top of the tee. In fact, the radius of the dimple 90 may be in shape that is the same radius of a golf ball. One of the advantages of having the flexible upper portion 77 designed to be cut to size is that one golf tee made in this variation may be used with both irons and drivers. Also, whether the upper flexible portion 77 is cut or initially manufactured to be very short, because of the flexibility of the upper flexible portion (which does not exist in wooden tees or other single stiffness tees), it is believed that the kinetic energy of the golf club is better transferred to the golf ball, allowing the ball to be driven longer.
  • While the invention has been shown and described with reference to different embodiments thereof, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that variations in form, detail, compositions and operation may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the accompanying claims.

Claims (20)

1. Golf tee comprising:
an upper flexible portion and a lower spike portion made from over molding process wherein the lower spike portion and the upper flexible portion are made from materials with different stiffness, wherein the upper flexible portion and the lower spike portion are joined together at a joining point.
2. Golf tee of claim 1 wherein the upper flexible portion has an interlocking protrusion and the lower spike portion has a corresponding female cavity with an opening such that when the material used for the upper flexible portion is poured over the lower spike portion, a mechanical interlock is formed by the interlocking protrusion accepted by the corresponding female cavity.
3. Golf tee of claim 2 wherein the shape of the interlocking protrusion is an elongated finger accepted by the corresponding female cavity, penetrating into a substantial portion the lower spike portion.
4. Golf tee of claim 3 wherein the elongated finger has a gripping surface.
5. Golf tee of claim 2 wherein the shape of the interlocking protrusion is a long substantially cone-shaped finger accepted by the corresponding female cavity, penetrating into at least a substantial length of the lower spike portion.
6. Golf tee of claim 5 wherein the long substantially cone-shaped finger completely penetrates from the joining point, through the length of the lower spike portion, to a tip end of the lower spike portion, such that the material used for the cone-shaped finger is visible near the tip end.
7. Golf tee of claim 2 wherein the shape of the interlocking protrusion is a substantially mushroom-shaped finger accepted by the corresponding female cavity, wherein the substantially mushroom-shaped finger has a larger end that is substantially larger than the size of the opening of the female cavity such that the substantially mushroom-shaped finger may not be removed through the opening.
8. Golf tee of claim 7 wherein the lower spike portion also has a passage between the opening of the corresponding female cavity and the corresponding female cavity, and wherein the larger end of the mushroom-shaped finger is substantially larger than the cross-sectional area of the passage such that the substantially mushroom-shaped finger may not pass through the passage.
9. Golf tee of claim 3 wherein the length of the upper flexible portion extending beyond a dimple of the tee is less than about 0.15 inch.
10. Golf tee of claim 3 wherein the length of the upper flexible portion extending beyond a dimple of the tee is more than about one inch such that the flexible upper portion may be cut to desired length.
11. Golf tee of claim 1 wherein the lower spike portion has an interlocking protrusion and the upper flexible portion has a corresponding female cavity with an opening such that when the material used for the upper flexible portion is poured over the lower spike portion, a mechanical interlock is formed by the interlocking protrusion accepted by the corresponding female cavity.
12. Golf tee of claim 11 wherein the shape of the interlocking protrusion is an elongated finger accepted by the corresponding female cavity, penetrating into a substantial portion the upper flexible portion.
13. Golf tee of claim 12 wherein the elongated finger has a gripping surface.
14. Golf tee of claim 11 wherein the shape of the interlocking protrusion is a long substantially cone-shaped finger accepted by the corresponding female cavity, penetrating into at least a substantial length of the upper flexible portion.
15. Golf tee of claim 14 wherein the long substantially cone-shaped finger completely penetrates from the joining point, through the length of the upper flexible portion, to about a bottom of the upper flexible portion, such that the material used for the cone-shaped finger is visible near the bottom of the upper flexible portion.
16. Golf tee of claim 11 wherein the shape of the interlocking protrusion is a substantially mushroom-shaped finger accepted by the corresponding female cavity, wherein the substantially mushroom-shaped finger has a larger end that is substantially larger than the size of the opening of the female cavity such that the substantially mushroom-shaped finger may not be removed through the opening.
17. Golf tee of claim 16 wherein the upper flexible portion also has a passage between the opening of the corresponding female cavity and the corresponding female cavity, and wherein the larger end of the mushroom-shaped finger is substantially larger than the cross-sectional area of the passage such that the substantially mushroom-shaped finger may not pass through the passage.
18. Golf tee comprising:
an upper flexible portion, a middle stem portion, and a lower spike portion made from over molding process wherein the upper flexible portion, the middle stem portion and the lower spike portion are made from materials with different stiffness, wherein the upper flexible portion and the middle stem portion are joined together at a first joining point and the middle stem portion and the lower spike portion are joined together at a second joining point, wherein the upper flexible portion has a first interlocking protrusion and the middle stem portion has a first corresponding female cavity with a first opening such that when the material used for the upper flexible portion is poured over the middle stem portion, a first mechanical interlock is formed by the first interlocking protrusion accepted by the first corresponding female cavity, and wherein the middle stem portion has a second interlocking protrusion and the lower spike portion has a second corresponding female cavity with a second opening such that when the material used for the middle stem portion is poured over the lower spike portion, a second mechanical interlock is formed by the second interlocking protrusion accepted by the second corresponding female cavity.
19. Golf tee of claim 18 wherein the first interlocking protrusion and the second interlocking protrusion have gripping surfaces.
20. Golf tee of claim 19 wherein the shape of the first interlocking protrusion and the shape of the second interlocking protrusion are substantially different.
US13/443,540 2011-09-01 2012-04-10 Golf Tee Extender Abandoned US20130059679A1 (en)

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US13/223,606 US8167741B1 (en) 2011-09-01 2011-09-01 Golf tee extender
US201113310603A true 2011-12-02 2011-12-02
US13/443,540 US20130059679A1 (en) 2011-09-01 2012-04-10 Golf Tee Extender

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US13/443,540 US20130059679A1 (en) 2011-09-01 2012-04-10 Golf Tee Extender

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2020167339A1 (en) * 2019-02-17 2020-08-20 Tedd Chong Lee Golfing tee with flexible top

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US1542505A (en) * 1924-08-06 1925-06-16 George R Jacobus Golf tee
US1551003A (en) * 1924-09-29 1925-08-25 Bennion Charles Fawcett Golf tee
US1588038A (en) * 1925-05-27 1926-06-08 Faultless Rubber Co Golf tee
US1562216A (en) * 1925-09-05 1925-11-17 James F Flaherty Golf tee
US1670627A (en) * 1925-12-07 1928-05-22 Nieblo Mfg Co Inc Golfing tee
US1633686A (en) * 1926-09-11 1927-06-28 Andrew J Stone Golf tee
US1679579A (en) * 1927-12-27 1928-08-07 Robert R Lundy Golf-ball tee
US2531470A (en) * 1948-05-01 1950-11-28 James E Rickard Golf tee
US2589763A (en) * 1948-09-30 1952-03-18 John F Barrett Golf tee
US3559998A (en) * 1968-09-16 1971-02-02 Norman A Kelly Golf tee
US3633919A (en) * 1970-04-29 1972-01-11 Frank J Liccardello Golf tee having a separable turf-inserting part
US3645537A (en) * 1970-10-05 1972-02-29 Raymond Lee Organization Inc Tilttop golf tee
US4893818A (en) * 1988-08-03 1990-01-16 Patrick Liccardello Golf tee
US5085431A (en) * 1989-10-12 1992-02-04 Mcguire Robert M Golf tee and placement tool
US4998732A (en) * 1989-11-15 1991-03-12 Gallant Thomas M Golf tee
US5195743A (en) * 1991-10-10 1993-03-23 Walsh Jr Thomas J Golf club cleaner and tee
US6224501B1 (en) * 1992-10-27 2001-05-01 Ix Golf Pty Limited Golf tee
US6682443B1 (en) * 2002-07-26 2004-01-27 Chien-Cheng Liu Writable golf tee with an adjustable length
US20070004538A1 (en) * 2003-09-05 2007-01-04 Lim Eng T Golf tee
DE202005008999U1 (en) * 2004-06-08 2005-09-08 Prodinger, Matthias Golf tee, to support the ball over the ground for driving, has a coil spring between the pointed anchor and the tee head to allow movement when the ball is struck and return to its original position
US7156758B2 (en) * 2004-11-13 2007-01-02 Alex Lu Durable golf tee
US20070149324A1 (en) * 2005-12-28 2007-06-28 Chang-Tien Tsai Golf tee
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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2020167339A1 (en) * 2019-02-17 2020-08-20 Tedd Chong Lee Golfing tee with flexible top

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