"A GOLFING ACCESSORY"
THE PRESENT INVENTION relates to a golfing accessory.
It is a rule of the game of golf that when a player cannot immediately locate his or her ball following a stroke, the ball will only be deemed "lost" if the ball is not found within five minutes.
The present invention seeks to provide an accessory that will be of use to players of the game of golf.
According to this invention there is provided a golfing accessory, the golfing accessory comprising a housing containing a timer, there being means to actuate the timer to time a period of five minutes, the timer being associated with visual indication means provided within the housing, the timer being adapted to control the visual indication means to provide a first visual indication indicating the commencement of the five-minute timing period, and a second visual indication indicating the termination of the five-minute timing period.
In one embodiment the housing is provided with a window, the timing mechanism being adapted to indicate the commencement of the timing period
by presenting a first "flag" to be visible through the window, and being adapted to indicate the termination of the timing period by presenting a second "flag" to be visible through the window.
Conveniently the timing mechanism is mechanical.
Advantageously the housing comprises two parts, one part being rotatable relative to the other part to initiate the timing period.
However, in a preferred embodiment the housing is provided with manually operable means adapted to initiate the timing period, and is provided with light-emitting means adapted to provide the visual indications concerning the commencement and termination of the timing period.
Conveniently the manually operable means comprise a press-button.
Preferably the light-emitting means comprises a flashing light.
Advantageously the light-emitting means is located adjacent the manually operable button, the manually operable button being transparent or translucent to permit light from the light-emitting means to pass through the manually operable button. The accessory may be provided with mounting means which may comprise a chain and key-ring or a hook, or a portion of hook-and-loop material.
In order that the invention may be more readily understood, and so that further features thereof may be appreciated, the invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a front view of one embodiment of an accessory in accordance with the invention provided with a chain to connect the accessory to a key-ring,
FIGURE 2 is a side view of an accessory similar to that of Figure 1 provided with a hook to enable the accessory to be mounted on a golfing bag,
FIGURE 3 is a side view of an accessory similar to that of Figure 2 provided with a portion of hook-and-loop material to facilitate the fixing of the accessory to a golf bag, part of which is shown,
FIGURE 4 is a block diagram of electric circuitry present in the accessoiy of Figures 1 to 3,
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of a further accessory in accordance with the invention.
A golfing accessoiy in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention comprises a housing 1 of circular form provided, in the centre of one face, with a push-button 2. The push-button 2 is of transparent or translucent material, and mounted immediately behind the push-button, within the housing, is a light source, such as an electric bulb or a light-emitting diode. The light source may be adapted to be a flashing light source.
The housing 1 may, as shown in Figure 1, be provided with a chain 3 to connect the housing to a key-ring 4. In an alternative embodiment as shown in Figure 2, the housing 1 is provided, on its rear face, with a hook 5 adapted to
engage part of a golf bag so that the housing may be mounted in position with the push-button 2 accessible and visible.
Figure 3 illustrates a further modified embodiment of the invention in which the housing 1 is provided, on the surface remote from the push-button 2, with a portion of hook-and-loop material 6 such as that sold under the Registered Trade Mark VELCRO. The housing 1, by means of the hook-and- loop material 6 be connected to a part 7 of a golfing bag which is also provided with a portion 8 of hook-and-loop material adapted to co-operate with the hook-and-loop material 6. Thus, again, the housing 1 may be mounted on part of a golfing bag 7 such that the push-button 2 is accessible and visible.
It is to be appreciated that the housing 1 contains a timer mechanism which is adapted to measure a time period of precisely five minutes. The timer mechanism provides a visual indication that the timing period of five minutes has commenced and a visual indication that the timing period of five minutes has terminated.
Referring to Figure 4 the button 2 is shown as an actuating button, and it is to be appreciated that when the actuating button 2 is depressed, a timer circuit 9 is actuated and the timer circuit, on being actuated, will cause a light 10, which is the light source located behind the transparent or translucent push-button 2, to flash for a predetermined period of time such as, for example, ten seconds. Thus, whenever the timer is actuated, it is immediately visually apparent that the timer has been actuated. A visual indication is much preferred since, on a golf course, coarse sounds, such as buzzers and bells, are inappropriate.
The arrangement of the preferred embodiment of the invention is such that the timer will time a period of precisely five minutes from the instant at which the actuating button 2 is depressed. At the end of the five-minute time, the flashing light 10 will again be caused to flash for a predetermined period of time of, say, thirty seconds.
It is thus to be appreciated that in utilising the arrangement as described, when the actuating button is initially depressed, the flashing light indicates that the timing period has commenced. The flashing light will again be activated to indicate termination of the timing period when five minutes have elapsed. Thus the accessory may be used to ensure that a player may seek a lost ball for a period of precisely five minutes.
Whilst the invention has been described above with reference to one embodiment in which a flashing light is activated at the commencement of the five-minute timing period, and is again actuated at the end of the five-minute period, in an alternative embodiment the flashing light might commence flashing at the beginning of the five-minute period and may terminate flashing at the end of the five-minute period. Again in a further embodiment, the flashing light may be replaced by a light which is turned on at the beginning of the five-minute period and which turns off at the end of the five-minute period, possibly flashing for the last thirty seconds of the five-minute period. In any event it is to be appreciated that the housing contains light-emitting means that will emit predetermined light signals indicating the commencement and the end of the five-minute timing period.
The accessoiy may be produced as a sealed unit in order to make it tamper-proof. In other words it would not be possible for a person to dismantle it and alter the pre-set period of time which is to be measured. With this
arrangement the accessory would simply be disposed of when the internal battery has become fully depleted.
Figure 5 illustrates a modified embodiment of the invention in which a housing 20 is provided of generally cylindrical form. The housing is formed of a lower housing part 21 which is rotatable relative to an upper housing part 22. Contained within the housing is a mechanical tirning mechanism, and provided at one end 23 of the housing is a window.
The timing mechanism is adapted to move timing markers or "flags" into position adjacent the window 23.
The timing mechanism, in the embodiment of Figure 5, is again intended to time, precisely, a time period of five minutes. The tirning mechanism is actuated by rotating the upper housing part through a predetermined angle of arc relative to the lower housing part 21. This serves to actuate the t ming mechanism which may be electronic timing mechanism or which may be a clockwork timing mechanism. When actuated, a first "flag" of a first colour is presented in the window 23. At the end of the five-minute timing period the "flag" initially visible in the window 23 is replaced by a second "flag" of a separate colour. Thus this mechanism also provides a visual signal indicating the commencement of the timing period and a further visual signal indicating the termination of the timing period.
In the present specification "comprise" means "includes or consists of and "comprising" means "including or consisting of.
The features disclosed in the foregoing description, or the following claims, or the accompanying drawings, expressed in their specific forms or in
terms of a means for performing the disclosed function, or a method or process for attaining the disclosed result, as appropriate, may, separately, or in any combination of such features, be utilised for realising the invention in diverse forms thereof.