US3260527A - Target device with jet ball return - Google Patents

Target device with jet ball return Download PDF

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US3260527A
US3260527A US18048662A US3260527A US 3260527 A US3260527 A US 3260527A US 18048662 A US18048662 A US 18048662A US 3260527 A US3260527 A US 3260527A
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Prior art keywords
target
tube
golf
target assembly
ball
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Charles P Younce
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MARILYN YOUNCE SPENCE
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MARILYN YOUNCE SPENCE
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B63/00Targets or goals for ball games
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B24/00Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of preceding groups; Controlling or monitoring of exercises, sportive games, training or athletic performances
    • A63B24/0021Tracking a path or terminating locations
    • A63B2024/0037Tracking a path or terminating locations on a target surface or at impact on the ground
    • A63B2024/0046Mechanical means for locating the point of impact or entry
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B47/00Devices for handling or treating balls, e.g. for holding or carrying balls
    • A63B47/02Devices for handling or treating balls, e.g. for holding or carrying balls for picking-up or collecting
    • A63B47/025Installations continuously collecting balls from the playing areas, e.g. by gravity, with conveyor belts
    • A63B2047/028Installations continuously collecting balls from the playing areas, e.g. by gravity, with conveyor belts pneumatic ball transport
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B63/00Targets or goals for ball games
    • A63B2063/001Targets or goals with ball-returning means

Description

July 12, 1966 c. P. YOUNCE TARGET DEVICE WITH JET BALL RETURN 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 19, 1962 Charles R You/we 1 N VEN TOR.

July 12, 1966 c. P. YOUNCE TARGET DEVICE WITH JET BALL RETURN Attorneys C. P. YOUNCE TARGET DEVICE WITH JET BALL RETURN July 12, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed March 19, 1962 INVENTOR.

United States Patent 3,260,527 TARGET DEVICE WITH JET BALL RETURN Charles P. Younce, Greensboro, N .C., assignor of fifty percent to Marilyn Younce Spence, Greensboro, N.C. Filed Mar. 19, 1962, Ser. No. 180,486 3 Claims. ((11. 273-176) The present invention generally relates to a target device or practicing device simulating actual golfing conditions and represents various improvements on that type of structure disclosed in copending application Serial No. 1,783, filed January 11, 1960 for Target Device, now Patent No. 3,037,776.

Basically, the present invention includes a target device having what may be considered a tee area and a target area or simulated green in the form of an upright target member and the primary object of the present invention is to provide a novel ball return means whereby a golf ball after having been struck and projected towards the target will be automatically and expeditiously returned.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a net type of enclosure for enclosing a longitudinal space extending from the tee area to the target area including a frontal frame at the tee area having a convexly curved upper end to provide sufficient vertical height to enable the golf club to move through its normal path during swinging thereof without any danger of the golf club hitting the frame.

Another feature of the present invention is to provide a target device having a ball return mechanism using a jet principle for returning the balls.

Still another feature of the present invention is to provide a ball return mechanism including a tube having a terminal end portion adjacent the tee area.

Still another feature of the present invention is to provide a target device which may be used either indoors or outdoors and which may be constructed on a small scale as a toy or the like but yet which is simple in construction, easy to set up, effective for its particular intended purposes and generally inegpensive to manufacture.

These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the golf target device of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a longitudinal, sectional view taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line 2-2 of FIGURE 1 illustrating the details of construction of the target member;

FIGURE 3 is a transverse, sectional view taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line 3-3 of FIGURE 2 illustrating the face view of the target member with portions thereof broken away to illustrate the details thereof;

FIGURE 4 is a detailed sectional view taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line 44 of FIGURE 1 illustrating the construction of the tension wires for supporting the netting and also the frontal frame construction;

FIGURE 5 is a detailed sectional view illustrating the specific construction of the jet ball return means;

FIGURE 6 is a detailed sectional view of the terminal end of the ball return tube illustrating the manner in which excess balls are stored therein ready for use;

FIGURE 7 is a detailed sectional view taken substantially upon a plane passing along section lines 77 of FIGURE 4 illustrating the construction of the top arched portion of the frontal frame;

3,266,527 Patented July 12, 1956 FIGURE 8 is a perspective view of the frontal shelf disposed forwardly of the target member;

FIGURE 9 is a front view similar to FIGURE 3 but illustrating a modified form of target member;

FIGURE 10 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially upon a plane passing along section line -101tl of FIGURE 9 illustrating further structural details of this form of the target member; and

FIGURE 11 is a detailed sectional View of a modified holder for the return tube.

Referring now specifically to the drawings, the numeral 10 generally designates the target device of the present invention which includes an elongated tunnel 12 defined by netting 14 which extends from a target member generally designated by numeral 16 to a tee area generally designated by numeral 18 and which includes a frontal frame generally designated by the numeral 20, a ball return tube generally designated by numeral 24 and illustrated particularly in FIGURES 2 and 5.

Beginning with the tee area 18, FIGURE 4 illustrates this construction which includes a generally flat plate 26 resting on the ground surface 28 and anchored thereto in any suitable manner. Centrally of the plate 26 is an upstanding projection or tee 30 having a socket on the upper end thereof for receiving a golf ball 32 in the nature of a conventional tee whereby the golf ball 32 may be struck by a person using a golf club in a conventional manner. The plate 26 and the tee 30 thereon may be of unitary construction and may be either placed on the ground surface 28 and anchored thereto or partially embedded therein, or if desired, a conventional golfing tee may be used if the target device is employed outdoors. As illustrated, the tee area is immediately adjacent the frontal frame 20 so that the golf ball 32 will immediately enter the tunnel 12 formed by the netting 14 when it is driven by a golf club in the usual manner.

The frontal frame 20 includes a pair of longitudinally elongated angle iron members 34 having the external flange thereof disposed vertically and being anchored to the ground surface by suitable pointed anchor members '36. A portion of the vertical flange of the angle iron members 34 disposed inwardly towards the target member 16 in relation to the tee area 18 is provided with a plurality of notches 38 which are inclined towards the tee area 18.

Upstanding from the two angle iron members 34 is a pair of vertical tubular side members 40 pivoted to the vertical flange by fastening bolts 42 or the like which extend through slots in members 40. The upper ends of the tubular upright or side members 40 are interconnected by an arcuately bowed tubular member 44 which forms an arched upper portion for the front end of the tunnel 12. The down-turned ends of the bowed tubular member 44 are telescoped into the upper ends of the upright tubular members 40 and are secured thereto by fastening bolts 46 as illustrated in FIGURE 7. The fastening bolts may be of any suitable variety but for convenience may have a wing nut 48 thereon. The fastening bolts 46 also serve to pivotally anchor a brace 50 to the upper end portion of each tubular upright member 40 with the braces 50 extend downwardly and forwardly and terminating in a flattened lower end portion 52 for engagement with a selective one of said notches 38 on the angle iron member 34 thereby enabling variation in the upright plane of the frontal member or frame 20 which normally is disposed substantially in a vertical position but may be varied slightly to provide for variations in the length of the tunnel netting 14.

The tunnel 12 formed by the netting 14 is supported by a plurality of tension wires or cables 54. As illustrated in FIGURE 1, there are four tension cables 54 and the ends thereof connected with the frontal frame 20 are connected to eye bolts 56 by virtue of a conventional loop-type connection 58 or snap hook assembly. The eye bolts 56 extend through openings in the bowed tubular member 44 and have wing nuts 60 thereon whereby the tightening of 'the wing nuts 60 will effectively tension the cables or wires 54 so that the wires will become taut for effectively supporting the netting 14 thereby forming the tunnel 12. The braces 50 combined with the angle iron members 34 serve to retain the frontal frame 20 in the desired upright condition and maintain the tension on the wires 54. The other ends of the tension wires or cables are connected with the target member 16 in a manner described hereinafter. The netting 14 may be light weight material of any suitable construction such as light weight plastic or the like and may be colored green or any other suitable color. The end of the netting adjacent the frontal frame extends around the frontal frame 20 generally in the form of a hem with the free edge thereof being attached to the netting by fasteners 60 of any suitable construction such as shower curtain supporting ring members or the like. Also, the various bolts which extend through the frontal frame more adequately serve to retain the netting in position thereon.

The target member 16 includes a rigid rotatable target plate 62 of rectangular configuration which target plate includes a covering of cushioning material 64 on the front or inner surface thereof which faces the tee area 18. The cushioning material 64 may be in the form of a cellular material having very low rebound characteristics but yet will effectively cushion golf balls striking the target plate 62 and cause them to drop substantially vertically downwardly adjacent the front surface of the target member 16. Centrally disposed in the plate 62 is an enlarged opening 66 and a similar opening 68 is provided in the cushioning material 64. Located behind the opening 66 is a frustoconical member 70 having longitudinally spaced target plates 72 and 74 extending transversely thereof together with an end plate 76. The target plate 72 is provided with a cushion 78 on the forward surface thereof while the plate 74 has a cushion 80 and the plate 76 has a cushion 82. The target plate 72 and cushion 78 have an opening centrally disposed thereon and designated by a numeral 84 which is smaller in diameter than the openings 66 and 68. Correspondingly, the target plate 74 and the cushion member 80 having an opening 86 therein which is smaller in diameter than the opening 84. The cushioning member 82 and, of course, the target plate 76 have no opening and serve as a retainer for golf balls projected through the openings 68, 66, 84 and 86 so that if the golf ball proceeds through all of the apertures and engages the cushioning member 82, the ball may be considered to have hit the bulls-eye.

For supporting the small end of the conical member 70 there is provided a brace 88 extending downwardly and longitudinally with the upper end thereof attached to the target plate 76 by fastener 90. The bottom end thereof is provided with an inclined ground-engaging plate 92 and a depending pointed member 94 for insertion into the ground surface 28 thereby forming a support for the conical target member 70.

The transverse cross-sectional configuration of the conical member 70 is illustrated in FIGURE 3, and at the bottom thereof the plate 74 and cushion 80 are provided with 'an opening 96, the plate 72 and cushion 78 are provided with an opening 98 while the target plate 62 and cushion 68 are provided with an opening 100. The openings 96, 98 and 100 are in alignment with each other and are at the bottom of the conical member 70 so that any golf balls passing through the target member 62 will ultimately roll back through the openings 96, 98 and 100 at the bottom of the conical member 70 and then drop downwardly onto the area enclosed by the tunnel 12 at the front surface of the target member 16.

The target plate 62 is supported by a pair of longitudinally extending angle iron members 102 having upright 4 vertical flanges disposed outwardly with the angle iron members 102 being anchored to the ground surface by pointed anchor members 104.

A pair of downwardly inclined braces 106 are pivotally connected to the side edges of the target plate 62 by fastening members 108. The lower ends of the braces 106 are flattened as at 110 and engage with one of a plurality of notches 112 formed in the vertical flange of the angle iron member 102. Thus, the target member 62 may be supported in a substantially vertical condition with the braces 106 serving to retain the target member 62 in position. For purposes of attaching the braces 106 and for attachment to the angle iron members 102, the target member 62 is provided with a peripheral flange 114. Across the upper edge of the peripheral flange 114, there is provided a plurality of rearwardly opening slots 118 which receive the terminal ends of the cables or wires 54 'which may be provided with a knot or an enlargement 122 on the end thereof for terminal attachment to the flange 114 thereby serving to positively maintain the wires 54 taut and maintaining the tunnel 12 in the desired condition. The netting 14 extends alongside of the side edges of the target members 62 and may be attached thereto by virtue of and engagement with the flange 114 or by rings or other suitable means.

Disposed rearwardly of the target member 16 is a recess 124 in the ground surface 28 which receives a peripheral wall member 126 forming an enclosure for an electric motor 128 having a fan of the axial flow type 130 connected thereto and received in a housing 132 and supported on a suitable base 134. The housing 132 is open at one end and the other end is connected to a generally conical discharge tube 136 which provides for high velocity air flow discharging from the fan 130. The conical discharge 136 inclines downwardly and continues to reduce in transverse area thereby forming generally a nozzle 138 communicated with a horizontally disposed golf ball pickup tube 140 with the axis of the nozzle 138 being acute in relation to the longitudinal axis of the horizontal golf ball pickup pipe or tube 140 so that a golf ball 142 will be propelled along the pipe or tube 140. Spaced from the nozzle 138 is an air discharge opening 144 whereby a portion of the high velocity air discharged into the tube or pipe 140 will be discharged through the opening 144. Thus, as the air enters the tube or pipe 140, the high velocity thereof will create somewhat of a vacuum or reduced pressure in the inlet 146 of the golf ball pickup tube thus causing the golf balls to proceed from the inlet 146 past the nozzle 138 wherein the air blast then will propel the golf balls through the discharge end of the golf ball pickup tube with a portion of the air being discharged through the opening 144. The junction of the intake tube or inlet 146 with the conical discharge tube or nozzle 138 and the discharge opening 144 formed in the wall of pickup tube 140 all cooperate to provide a venturi effect to move the balls back to the tee area through a connecting conveying tube 164.

The inlet 146 of the golf ball pickup tube 140 is communicated with a depending adaptor or trough 148 which extends upwardly and communicates with the top surface of a frontal shelf 150. The frontal shelf has downwardly inclined side portions as illustrated in FIG- URE 3 with the entire shelf being inclined downwardly towards the target plate 62. Depending side plates 152 form side walls for the space above the frontal shelf and the periphery of the frontal shelf 150 has a depending flange 154 for anchoring the frontal shelf in position and for also engaging the adaptor 148. Thus,

any golf balls which engage the front of the cushion 64 and drop downwardly will drop onto the frontal shelf 150 and by gravity will be discharged into the adaptor 148. Also, any golf balls which go through the open.- ings 68 and 66 and possibly through the openings disposed therebehind will ultimately roll downwardly along the bottom interior surface of the conical member 70 and be discharged through the opening 100 onto the frontal shelf 150 and then into the adaptor 148 and into the jet type ball return mechanism. In order to form a wall for the portion of the frontal shelf 150 in alignment with the target plate 62, a depending extension plate 156 is provided which also serves as part of the adaptor 148.

Also connected with the adaptor 148 is an elongated inclined tube in the form of an intake tube or pipe 158 which increases slightly in transverse cross-sectional area as it extends longitudinally and slightly upwardly from the adaptor 148 to an inlet elbow 160 which is disposed longitudinally forwardly of the frontal shelf and terminates in an opening 162 somewhat in the nature of the hole in the green area so that the device may be used for practice putting if desired and also enabling golf balls used in this manner to be automatically returned.

The tube 140 extends through the peripheral wall 126 and then extends longitudinally rearwardly as an underground conveying tube 164 longitudinally alongside of the tunnel and adjacent the frontal frame, the tube 164 extends upwardly in a terminal end portion 166. The terminal end portion 166 extends through an anchor loop 168 and then curves downwardly into a storage portion designated by numeral 170 for receiving a plurality of golf balls 142. The loop 168 is anchored to one of the tubular uprights 40 in any suitable manner such as by bolt-type fastener or the like and reinforcing members 172 may be provided for securing the tube in place through the anchor loop 168. The terminal end of the storage portion 170 is provided with a closure plate 174 pivotally mounted on downwardly extending lugs 176 by a pivot pin 178 and spring members 180 are provided for biasing the plate 174 to a closed position. The center of the plate may have a semi-spherical recess 182 formed therein for partially receiving a golf ball 142. Thus, when the golfer desires a golf ball, it is only necessary for him to engage the upwardly extending terminal end of the closure plate 174 and force it downwardly towards the dotted line position illustrated in FIGURE 6 and retrieve a single golf ball and then let the closure plate 174 be spring-biased back to the closed position by the axial coil spring 180 or the like.

Sand may be provided between the putting cup 162 and the frontal shelf 150 in order to practice sand trap shots. FIGURE 8 illustrates a removable bunker including a generally flat plate 184 and an upwardly offset semi-cylindrical portion 186 which will simulate a bunker or sand trap which would be installed at the forward edge of the sand area and will simulate the actual conditions encountered when blasting out of a sand trap.

FIGURES 9 and illustrate a modified form of target member generally designated by numeral 190 which includes a target plate 192 and a cushioning member 194 on the surface thereof facing the golfer. The cushioning member 194 and the target plate 192 have two large openings 196 extending therethrough and a smaller opening 198 extending therethrough below the openings 196 as illustrated in FIGURE 9. Also, there is a very small opening 200 adjacent the bottom center of the target member 190 for purposes of passing a golf ball from the rear surface of the target member to the front surface thereof.

Attached to the rear surface of the target plate 192 is an enlarged receptacle or container 202 having cushioning material 204 on the inner surface thereof with the cushioning material 204 being aligned with the openings 196, 198 respectively so that a golf ball passing through the openings will impinge upon the cushioning members 204 and drop down into the bottom of the container 202 which bottom is inclined towards the center opening 200 so that golf balls will roll back onto the frontal shelf in front of the target member 190. The rear wall of the container 202 is spaced sufficiently behind the target plate 192 that the cushioning material will not cause the golf balls to bounce back through the openings 196 and 198 but will enable the golf balls to drop down directly into the receptacle so that they may roll back through the opening 200.

The target member 190 illustrated in FIGURES 9 and 10 may be employed in lieu of that shown in FIGURES 17. The target member shown in FIGURES 1-7 is in the form of a bulls-eye arrangement whereas the target member illustrated in FIGURES 9 and 10 may be used to more accurately practice certain types of shots and also a game may be played by keeping a score depending upon which opening has a projected golf ball passed therethrough.

While the device has been illustrated as an outdoor assembly, it is easily adapted for indoors by employing screws to secure the frame members in place and a carpet may be used as a simulated fairway as desired. The ball return tube could then be disposed under the floor surface or the entire assembly could be located above the floor surface depending upon the desired installation. Also the ball return tube could discharge directly into a mesh container thereby enabling the supply of golf balls to be observed which could also be accomplished by providing the terminal end portion 170 of the ball return tube of transparent material. In an outdoor installation, it probably would be necessary to provide an artificial grass area since considerable wear would be expected on the area around the tee area 18 and also around the putting cup, sand trap and like. Further, inasmuch as the device closely simulates actual golfing conditions, the golfer can use any golf club in a game exactly as he would on an open golf course as he may use any target pattern desired thereby enabling the golfer to more effectively practice the various shots and also play an actual game of golf with the automatic ball return mechanism eliminating the necessity of retrieving the golf ball each time it is hit.

The various components which make up the frontal shelf may be attached together by soldering or the like and may conveniently be of sheet metal construction although such components could also be constructed of plastic material. A three inch drop from the forward edge of the frontal shelf to the opening or adaptor 148 would be adequate for purposes of gravity feeding of the golf balls and also this will enable gravity movement of the golf balls from the putting cup 162 down the tube 158. The ball return mechanism may be connected to the frontal shelf in any suitable manner such as by soldering or the like as long as it provides .a smooth surface by virtue of which the golf balls may easily roll into the ball return mechanism. The particular dimensions of the frontal shelf will vary depending upon the size of the target member.

The netting can be conveniently attached to the various frame components by suitable rings such as those rings employed for attaching shower curtains to a supporting rod, thus quickly and easily removed if desired. Also, the automatic operation of the ball return mechanism is controlled by a suitable microswitch located in the adaptor 148 as shown in FIGURE 2 in such a manner that when a golf ball proceeds down the frontal shelf or down the tube leading from the putting cup, the golf ball will close the switch and energize the electric fan motor 128 and the circuit will have a time delay relay (not shown) incorporated therein for automatically de energizing the fan motor 128 after a predetermined interval during which the golf ball will be returned to the tee area by the jet force of the air being moved by the fan 130.

In FIGURE 11, there is illustrated a modified form of support for the tube 166 that is detachably connected to a frontal frame member 40'. This modified structure includes a ring 210 encircling the tube 166' together with a lateral offset 212 having an upturned end 214 engageable with an aperture 216 in the frontal frame 7 40'. A depending spring finger 218 is attached to the shank or offset portion 212 for detachably locking the ring 210 to the frontal frame member 40'. In lieu of this, the shank 212 may be split and the bottom half thereof separated into split segments which are curved to fit partially around the frame tube 40.

The container end of tube 166 may be telescopically sleeved into the horizontal portion of the remainder of the tube 166 thus enabling the container end of the tube 166 to be disconnected when desired. This enables more rapid dismantling of the frontal frame at the tee station and also more rapid movement of the netting tunnel in order for it to collapse against the target to allow the fairway area to be used for any other desired purpose.

The location of the microswitch may be varied with it preferably being disposed at the bottom of the adaptor at the junctions of the center lines of tubes 158 and 146 so that the switch plate on the microswitch will be actuated by all balls entering the putting cup 162 or from the shelf 150 into adaptor 148. The small plate affixed upon the trigger of the switch is optional :as the trigger of the microswitch projecting through a very small hole in the adaptor base will be directly in the path of all balls. All balls fed by gravity come to a standstill at this point. Also, as illustrated, the bolt and wing nut assembly 147 is used for affixing the adaptor to the target plate 62. By raising and lowering the ball return mechanism, the ball return tube may be either underground or subfloor or may be disposed on the floor. The ball return motor and tubes may be disposed above the ground surface or below the ground surface by orientating the tube 146 at any desired position. For example, a vertically orientated elbow may be incorporated into the tube 146 thus enabling the air jet return mechanism to be disposed above the ground surface.

The sand trap area formed by the plate 184 which may be covered with sand is preferably four feet wide and six feet long with the bunker 186 being four feet wide located along the center of the fairway between the putting cup 162 and the shelf 150. When the device is used outdoors where lawn is available on both sides of the netting tunnel, the lawn can be used as a large green for putting from either or both sides by simply detaching the side ends of the netting and placing it on top of the netting tunnel and using the opposite side to contain missed putts all of which may be followed up and putted into the cup or on to the shelf for return to the ball container. This enables putting from all angles of the green to cup, except, of course, from back of the target. This also enables approach shots to the green.

The essential features of this invention reside in the jet ball return, the unique frame to support and maintain the netting tunnel as well as the target forms and patterns. Also useful is the putting cup feature together with the sand trap and bunker feature. With this arrangement, a player with a set of golf clubs can do substantially everything he can do on an open golf course.

The removable bunker 186 can be left as it is or placed outside of the netting as desired. With the bunker removed, a player may make long putts toward separate color sections painted on or otherwise formed on surface 64 along the base of the target.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to falling Within the scope of the invention as claimed.

What is claimed as new is as follows:

1. A golf practicing device comprising a target assembly including a vertically disposed rigid panel having a target-forming aperture therein, cushioning material .on one surface of the panel for cushioning the impact of golf balls engaged therewith, a tee area spaced from the target assembly and including a tee member from which a golf ball may be driven, a guide tunnel extending from the target assembly to a point. adjacent the tee area and guiding errant golf balls towards the target assembly, said guide tunnel being constructed of lightweight mesh material, and pneumatic golf ball return means communicating with the space immediately adjacent to the target assembly for returning golf balls from the target assembly to a point adjacent the tee area, said ball return means including discharge venturi means comprising a ball pickup tube, an air-forcing fan and a conical discharge tube communicating with said fan to receive fan-forced air flow therethrough, said discharge tube interconnecting with said pickup tube to induce a reduced pressure in the pickup tube and move rapidly golf balls therein back to the tee area, said ball pickup tube and discharge tube being located immediately adjacent to said target assembly and said discharge tube having a smaller diameter at the interconnection with said pickup tube than the discharge tube diameter communicating with said fan.

2. A golf practicing device comprising a target assembly including a vertically disposed rigid panel having a target-forming aperture therein, cushioning material on one surface of the panel for cushioning the impact of golf balls engaged therewith, a tee area spaced from the target assembly and including a tee member from which a golf ball may be driven, a guide tunnel extending from the target assembly to a point adjacent the tee area and guiding errant golf balls towards the target assembly, said guide tunnel being constructed of lightweight mesh material, and pneumatic golf ball return means communicating with the space immediately adjacent to the target assembly for returning golf balls from the target assembly to a point adjacent the tee area, said ball return means including discharge venturi means comprising a ball pickup tube, a positive air displacement fan and a conical discharge tube communicating with said fan to receive air flow under positive flow therethrough, said pickup tube and said discharge tube being interconnected inducing a reduced pressure in the intake tube thereby move rapidly golf balls coming into the intake tube back to the tee area, said interconnecting ball pickup tube and discharge tube being located immediately adjacent to said target assembly, and said discharge tube having a smaller diameter at the interconnection with said pickup tube than the discharge tube diameter communicating with said fan.

3. A golf practicing device comprising a target assembly including a vertically disposed rigid panel having a target-forming aperture therein, cushioning material on one surface of the panel for cushioning the impact of golf balls engaged therewith, a tee area spaced from the target assembly and including a tee member from which a golf ball may be driven, a guide tunnel extending from the target assembly to a point adjacent the tee area and guiding errant golf balls towards the target assembly, said guide tunnel being constructed of lightweight mesh material and comprising a frontal frame generally in the form of an inverted U-shaped member with an upwardly bowed central portion providing an additional height for swinging a golf club, and pneumatic golf ball return means communicating with the space immediately adjacent to the target assembly for returning golf balls from the target assembly to a point adjacent the tee area, said ball return means including discharge venturi means comprising a ball pickup tube, an air-forcing fan and a conical discharge tube communieating with said fan to receive fan-forced air flow therethrough, said pickup tube and said discharge tube being interconnected to receive the forced air, induce a reduced pressure in the intake tube and rapidly move the golf balls from the intake tube back to the tee area, said interconnecting ball pickup tube and discharge tube being located immediately adjacent to said target assembly and 9 said discharge tube having a smaller diameter at the interconnection with said pickup tube than the discharge tube diameter communicating with said f-an.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 429,942 6/ 1890 McBride 273102 1,025,944 5/1912 Elliott 273-102 1,763,243 6/1930 McFadden 273-176 1,851,423 3/1932 Ely 273-176 1,931,841 10/1933 Evans 27.3-182 X 10 Middleton 273182 X Schanz 273-176 X Irwin et a1. 273-182 Miskel et 'al. 3022 OBrien 273--181 Younce 273-182 G amberini 3022 DELBERT B. LOWE, Primary Examiner.

10 G. I. MARLO, Assistant Examiner.

Claims (1)

1. A GOLF PRACTICING DEVICE COMPRISING A TARGET ASSEMBLY INCLUDING A VERTICALLY DISPOSED RIGID PANEL HAVING A TARGET-FORMING APERTURE THEREIN, CUSHIONING MATERIAL ON ONE SURFACE OF THE PANEL FOR CUSHIONING THE IMPACT OF GOLF BALLS ENGAGED THEREWITH, A TEE AREA SPACED FROM THE TARGET ASSEMBLY AND INCLUDING A TEE MEMBER FROM WHICH A GOLF BALL MAY BE DRIVEN, A GUIDE TUNNEL EXTENDING FROM THE TARGET ASSEMBLY TO A POINT ADJACENT THE TEE AREA AND GUIDING ERRANT GOLF BALLS TOWARDS THE TARGET ASSEMBLY, SAID GUIDE TUNNEL BEING CONSTRUCTED OF LIGHTWEIGHT MESH MATERIAL, AND PNEUMATIC GOLF BALL RETURN MEANS COMMUNICATING WITH THE SPACE IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT TO THE TARGET ASSEMBLY FOR RETURNING GOLF BALLS FROM THE TARGET ASSEMBLY TO A POINT ADJACENT THE TEE AREA, SAID BALL RETURN MEANS INCLUDING DISCHARGE VENTURI MEANS COMPRISING A BALL PICKUP TUBE, AN AIR-FORCING FAN AND A CONICAL DISCHARGE TUBE COMMUNCATING WITH SAID FAN TO RECEIVE FAN-FORCED AIR FLOW THERETHROUGH, SAID DISCHARGE TUBE INTERCONNECTING WITH SAID PICKUP TUBE TO INDUCE A REDUCED PRESSURE IN THE PICKUP TUBE AND MOVE RAPIDLY GOLF BALLS THEREIN BACK TO THE TEE AREA, SAID BALL PICKUP TUBE AND DISCHARGE TUBE BEING LOCATED IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT TO SAID TARGET ASSEMBLY AND SAID DISCHARGE TUBE HAVING A SMALLER DIAMETER A THE INTERCONNECTION WITH SAID PICKUP TUBE THAN THE DISCHARGE TUBE DIAMETER COMMUNICATING WITH SAID FAN.
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Cited By (18)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3684293A (en) * 1970-01-26 1972-08-15 George D Brooks Golf game apparatus
US3810616A (en) * 1972-12-26 1974-05-14 L Murphy Target apparatus with ball catching means
JPS50113570U (en) * 1974-02-26 1975-09-16
US3942801A (en) * 1974-09-09 1976-03-09 Nathan Louis Mintz Golf game apparatus
US4272078A (en) * 1979-04-20 1981-06-09 Vinette Richard H Game ball target return apparatus and method
US4538814A (en) * 1984-09-04 1985-09-03 Cunningham William J Trifunctional golfing cage
US4541632A (en) * 1984-05-01 1985-09-17 Tillery Thomas H Golf ball teeing apparatus
US4875678A (en) * 1988-04-28 1989-10-24 Sawyer Hermon R Ball retrieval system
US5292121A (en) * 1992-09-03 1994-03-08 Heddon Bowling Corporation Pneumatic bowling ball return method and apparatus
US5653641A (en) * 1996-01-30 1997-08-05 Heddon; Will Bowling ball return gate apparatus and method
US5738593A (en) * 1997-01-21 1998-04-14 Airball Enterprises L.L.C. Apparatus and method for introducing golf balls to an air driven transportation system
US5823885A (en) * 1996-11-25 1998-10-20 Stempfer; Frank N. Portable personal driving range and all purpose sporting net
FR2775608A1 (en) * 1998-03-06 1999-09-10 Sifadis Equipment for practice of basket ball
US20030125121A1 (en) * 2001-12-27 2003-07-03 Rhee Yong Su Golf short game training, practice and contest game kit
US7066845B2 (en) 2004-03-18 2006-06-27 Shoot-A-Way, Inc. Baseball training system and method
US20130102423A1 (en) * 2010-07-07 2013-04-25 Matthew Hammons Lightweight tunnel for baseball pitching practice
US20140274481A1 (en) * 2013-03-12 2014-09-18 Muntala M. Harruna Sports equipment collection and return device and methods of use thereof
US20160082333A1 (en) * 2014-09-19 2016-03-24 Daniel Edward Tappin Tabletop game and game piece therefor

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US429942A (en) * 1890-06-10 Folding target
US1025944A (en) * 1911-03-29 1912-05-07 Charles B Elliott Collapsible or falling target.
US1763243A (en) * 1927-05-04 1930-06-10 Macfadden Bernarr Golf game apparatus
US1851423A (en) * 1930-09-30 1932-03-29 Oscar L Ely Golf game
US1931841A (en) * 1931-09-30 1933-10-24 Edwin W Evans Golf practice apparatus
US2123195A (en) * 1932-11-07 1938-07-12 William V Middleton Game apparatus
US2173697A (en) * 1937-09-11 1939-09-19 George L Schanz Indoor golf game
US2229382A (en) * 1940-04-15 1941-01-21 Charles M Irwin Approach golf course
US2890913A (en) * 1956-12-28 1959-06-16 Pfizer & Co C Pneumatic transfer device
US2922653A (en) * 1958-09-22 1960-01-26 Edward G O'brien Golf practice device
US3037776A (en) * 1960-01-11 1962-06-05 Marilyn Y Spence Target device
US3089732A (en) * 1958-09-09 1963-05-14 American Mach & Foundry Method and apparatus for handling articles

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US429942A (en) * 1890-06-10 Folding target
US1025944A (en) * 1911-03-29 1912-05-07 Charles B Elliott Collapsible or falling target.
US1763243A (en) * 1927-05-04 1930-06-10 Macfadden Bernarr Golf game apparatus
US1851423A (en) * 1930-09-30 1932-03-29 Oscar L Ely Golf game
US1931841A (en) * 1931-09-30 1933-10-24 Edwin W Evans Golf practice apparatus
US2123195A (en) * 1932-11-07 1938-07-12 William V Middleton Game apparatus
US2173697A (en) * 1937-09-11 1939-09-19 George L Schanz Indoor golf game
US2229382A (en) * 1940-04-15 1941-01-21 Charles M Irwin Approach golf course
US2890913A (en) * 1956-12-28 1959-06-16 Pfizer & Co C Pneumatic transfer device
US3089732A (en) * 1958-09-09 1963-05-14 American Mach & Foundry Method and apparatus for handling articles
US2922653A (en) * 1958-09-22 1960-01-26 Edward G O'brien Golf practice device
US3037776A (en) * 1960-01-11 1962-06-05 Marilyn Y Spence Target device

Cited By (21)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3684293A (en) * 1970-01-26 1972-08-15 George D Brooks Golf game apparatus
US3810616A (en) * 1972-12-26 1974-05-14 L Murphy Target apparatus with ball catching means
JPS50113570U (en) * 1974-02-26 1975-09-16
US3942801A (en) * 1974-09-09 1976-03-09 Nathan Louis Mintz Golf game apparatus
US4272078A (en) * 1979-04-20 1981-06-09 Vinette Richard H Game ball target return apparatus and method
US4541632A (en) * 1984-05-01 1985-09-17 Tillery Thomas H Golf ball teeing apparatus
US4538814A (en) * 1984-09-04 1985-09-03 Cunningham William J Trifunctional golfing cage
US4875678A (en) * 1988-04-28 1989-10-24 Sawyer Hermon R Ball retrieval system
US5292121A (en) * 1992-09-03 1994-03-08 Heddon Bowling Corporation Pneumatic bowling ball return method and apparatus
US5449327A (en) * 1992-09-03 1995-09-12 Heddon Bowling Corporation Bowling ball return systems and methods
US5653641A (en) * 1996-01-30 1997-08-05 Heddon; Will Bowling ball return gate apparatus and method
US5823885A (en) * 1996-11-25 1998-10-20 Stempfer; Frank N. Portable personal driving range and all purpose sporting net
US5738593A (en) * 1997-01-21 1998-04-14 Airball Enterprises L.L.C. Apparatus and method for introducing golf balls to an air driven transportation system
FR2775608A1 (en) * 1998-03-06 1999-09-10 Sifadis Equipment for practice of basket ball
US20030125121A1 (en) * 2001-12-27 2003-07-03 Rhee Yong Su Golf short game training, practice and contest game kit
US6905418B2 (en) * 2001-12-27 2005-06-14 Yong Su Rhee Golf short game training, practice and contest game kit
US7066845B2 (en) 2004-03-18 2006-06-27 Shoot-A-Way, Inc. Baseball training system and method
US20130102423A1 (en) * 2010-07-07 2013-04-25 Matthew Hammons Lightweight tunnel for baseball pitching practice
US8668603B2 (en) * 2010-07-07 2014-03-11 Matthew Hammons Lightweight tunnel for baseball pitching practice
US20140274481A1 (en) * 2013-03-12 2014-09-18 Muntala M. Harruna Sports equipment collection and return device and methods of use thereof
US20160082333A1 (en) * 2014-09-19 2016-03-24 Daniel Edward Tappin Tabletop game and game piece therefor

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